Category Archives: Cake

Wild Berry Lemon Cake

The inspiration for this recipe came while forest bathing, what the Japanese call shinrin-yoku, or the medicine of being in the forest. It is simply going out into the woods and just being; listening to the birds, watching the wind blow through the leaves of the trees, feeling the sun on your face and eating wild food.

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This is a wineberry (rubus phoenicolasius), or wine raspberry. It was introduced into the United States from Japan, Korea and China in the late 1800’s and is an invasive species. Wineberries taste sweet and tart and are juicy, just like raspberries.

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We also came across a thicket of blackberry bushes and added them to our container.

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This very fragrant cake starts like a lot of cakes, with butter.

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Said butter is creamed with sugar and the zest of three bright yellow lemons.

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Eggs are added one at a time until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy.

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After scraping down the sides of the bowl, we alternately add the dry ingredients and the yogurt.

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Once the dry and wet ingredients have been fully incorporated, the wild berries can be carefully folded into the lemon zest flecked batter.

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The batter is poured into the prepared loaf pan and while it’s in the oven, the glaze, simply sugar and lemon juice, can be made.

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Once out of the oven, it is left to cool for a while in the pan.

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Once cooled, the prepared glaze is poured over top and it is ready for slicing!

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Wild Berry Lemon Cake

For the cake:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • the zest from 3 lemons
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh wineberries and blackberries

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar and lemon zest and cream until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Add flour and yogurt alternately, starting and ending with flour, mixing well after each addition.

Fold in the wild berries and pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then turn out and cool completely before drizzling with glaze. Slice and enjoy!

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Mulberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

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Mulberry (Morus rubra) is a deciduous tree that grows wild here in New England. If you’re walking along and you see the ground covered in what looks like black berries, look up.

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The trees can grow up to 70 feet tall.

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The blackberry-like fruit is ripe for picking in early summer and varies in flavor from tree to tree.

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The berries of the red mulberry tree start out white, turn pink then red and finally to a purple color. Make sure to only harvest the ripe fruit.

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We foraged the berries that would have otherwise fallen to the ground.

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The question was, what to make with these beauties?

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Since we had some rhubarb fresh from the garden, we decided on crumb cake.

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A cup each of rhubarb and mulberries…

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folded into a cake batter…

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Sprinkled with a crumb topping and baked to perfection.

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Slice and enjoy!

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Mulberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

  • Servings: makes 12 bars
  • Print

Crumb

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • pinch of salt

Cake

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup mulberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9 baking pan. Prepare crumb topping by placing all the ingredients into a bowl and stirring until crumbly.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking powder and add to the creamed butter mixture. Fold in chopped rhubarb and mulberries.

Place cake batter into prepared baking pan and cover with crumb topping.

Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Strawberry Skillet Cake

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A beautiful day deserves a beautiful dessert.

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This is Raspberry Skillet Cake‘s half sister.

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Butter and sugar are creamed and strawberries are diced.

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Dry ingredients are added and we have ourselves a cake batter.

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Diced strawberries are folded in.

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The batter is spread into the prepared cast-iron skillet and baked for 35-40 minutes.

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Strawberry Skillet Cake

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup diced fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10″ cast iron skillet.

Cream butter and sugar with a handheld mixer until pale yellow and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla and strawberry puree. Mix until well incorporated.

Add flour, baking powder and salt to the creamed mixture and mix until well combined.

Fold in strawberries and spread into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Sweet Potato Spice Sheet Cake

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I had a helper in the kitchen today. She didn’t get her hands dirty but she lent the emotional support baking sometimes requires :)

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Sweet potato gives this cake flavor and texture. It also boosts the vitamin A content as well as beta-carotene.

Start by creaming the butter. It’s always a good idea to cream the butter before you add the sugar.

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Eggs and vanilla are added to the mix.

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Flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg comprise the dry ingredients.

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One medium sweet potato yields about 3/4 of a cup.

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Fragrantly spiced flour is mixed using one of Thomas’ beautiful handmade spoons.

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The flour mixture and the sweet potato puree are alternately added to the creamed mixture.

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The batter is spread into a greased 9×9 square pan.

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After about 25 minutes in the oven, the baked cake is flecked with spice and orange sweet potato.

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Top with frosting made with maple syrup.

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Enjoy :)

Sweet Potato Spice Sheet Cake with Maple Syrup Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9 square baking pan.

Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated into the butter mixture. Mix in vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix to combine. Alternately add the flour mixture and the sweet potato into the creamed mixture until a stiff batter is formed.

Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting.

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened.
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add more or less maple syrup and confectioners sugar as required.

Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

 

Butternut Squash Cake

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The birds are singing, the sky is vibrantly blue, snow is still blanketing the ground but the sun is out. The calendar says spring is 20 days away. Soon little crocus petals will be sprouting out of the cold cracked soil. But in the mean time, let’s just enjoy winter squash.

Butternut squash can really be swapped for pumpkin in most recipes and it has more vitamin A than pumpkin. To begin, you should have about a cup of mashed or pureed butternut squash. I like to slice a fresh heavy squash lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and roast on a baking sheet, cut side down until soft, about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. Scrape the flesh out once it has cooled and mash with a fork.

Assemble your ingredients.

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Appreciate the beauty in everyday things…

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…even in the messes made.

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Once the batter is in place, go ahead and blanket it with streusel.

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After the cake has cooled, slice into twelve pieces and notice the flecks of spice and orange butternut strewn throughout.

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Enjoy :)


Butternut Squash Cake

  • 2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed butternut squash

Topping

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch square pan. Combine all topping ingredients and using a pastry blender or your fingers, mix until crumbly. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk eggs, oil, brown sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Add butternut squash and mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until all flour is incorporated. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle topping over the top and bake for 35-40 minutes until browned and fragrant. Let cool on a wire rack before slicing. 


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Classic Gingerbread

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It’s Sunday and there’s a blizzard raging outside.

We are lucky we don’t have to go to work or school today and we are lucky there’s molasses and ginger in the cupboard.

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I have been dreaming about palm trees and warm sand under my feet. I’ve tried to imagine the sun shining on my freckled face and sweat on my brow.

But the fact is that it’s supposed to be -30 degrees F tonight and we have ice dams a foot thick and 200 feet of driveway to shovel.

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I picture the deer and rabbits hunkered down, sleeping, trying to stay out of the wind.

And the truth is we are blessed to have a warm home, family to keep each other company and spicy gingerbread fresh from the oven.

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Classic Gingerbread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and ginger in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place mixer on low to stir the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg, molasses, oil, and sugars. Add boiling water and stir until incorporated.

With the stand mixer on low, slowly pour molasses mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix just until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes.

This gingerbread is moist and has a nice crust. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.


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Raspberry Skillet Cake

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Summer is holding on and we’re holding on to it. There’s only two weeks until Ethan is off to fifth grade. Let’s make the most of what the summer has to offer: swimming, warm breezes, fragrant and colorful flowers and fresh berries.

Raspberries are full of dietary fiber and vitamin C and manganese. If you didn’t know, manganese strengthens bones and connective tissue in our bodies. It also promotes normal nerve function and cell wall strength. It even plays a role in carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

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This recipe calls for a cup of nutrient packed fresh red raspberries but you could use whatever berry or combination of berries you prefer.

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We’re also cooking this cake in a cast iron skillet, which can be beneficial to your health. Did you know that cooking certain foods in cast iron increases the iron content in the food?

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Raspberry Skillet Cake

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 10″ cast iron skillet.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

In a separate bowl,  combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add this flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until fully incorporated. Fold in chopped raspberries. Spread into cast iron skillet and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Slice and enjoy :)

 

Plum Crumb Cake

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Plums are chock full of phenols and vitamin C, giving them antioxidant power. Antioxidants slow cell damage and counteract free radicals, which can injure cells and damage our DNA.

Plums are classified as a drupe or stone fruit, consisting of an outer fleshy part covering a seed or pit. Peaches, cherries, apricots, nectarines and olives are all considered drupes and bramble fruit, like blackberries and raspberries are drupelets.

So this cake is good for your health and good for your soul. Plus, who doesn’t love a good crumb cake?

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The batter for this cake is thick. Once it is spread evenly in the dish, the sliced plums are placed over top.

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The crumb is prepared with one of my favorite kitchen utensils, the trusty ol’ pastry blender.

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While baking, the cake will become golden and cinnamon speckled and bubbling with delicious plum juices.

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Plum Crumb Cake

For the cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the crumb

  • 2 plums, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 stick of butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8 inch dish. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Melt butter and add to flour along with milk and beaten egg. Spread batter/dough into prepared dish.

Place pitted and sliced plums over top of batter/dough. Combine flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in butter. Sprinkle over plums and bake for 35-45 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack and cut into squares.

 

 

 

 

 

4th of July Cake

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Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. A national holiday associated with backyard bbq’s and fireworks. We are expecting rain today and the fireworks aren’t until tomorrow, so we’re celebrating with cake. I just couldn’t have it any other way.

The batter for this cake is the same batter used in my Blueberry Cake Donuts. We are doubling it and baking it in a 9×13 inch pan.

As always, It starts with the dry ingredients. Cold and cubed butter is blended in and the wet ingredients are poured in and mixed until fully incorporated.

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We’re baking for 35-40 minutes and letting it completely cool before adding the finishing touches.

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Fresh blueberries and strawberries make the stars and stripes. I used Cool Whip instead of fresh whipped cream so that it will last longer than a day.

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Happy 4th of July!

Blueberry Cornmeal Cake

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A father provides, teaches, disciplines and loves his children. A good father strengthens his family. It is not an easy job and it is sometimes thankless.

It is a great responsibility; knowing how to punish and reward appropriately, leading by example, teaching important lessons, admitting when you’re wrong and letting children make their own mistakes. It is also the most rewarding, satisfying, fulfilling part of life.

A best friend gives compassion and acceptance and shows kindness. A husband lends safety, stability and comfort. I am fortunate enough to have both in the same person. Thomas also happens to be the epitome of a great father.

IMG_2122One way that I know how to show my thanks is to make a handcrafted, love filled, scrumptious and somewhat healthy dessert. And since it’s almost Father’s Day, that’s just what I will do.

Blueberries and cornmeal have had a long standing and delicious relationship. They go well together, whether it’s in a muffin or a cake. I’m adding freshly whipped cream for a bit of decadence.

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Let’s do what we do; whisk the dry ingredients and cream the butter with sugar, add eggs and milk. That’s what we do.

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When we have a nice wet and well combined batter, we plop blueberries and sugar over top.

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Then it all comes together in the oven. We are going low and slow with this cake.

When it comes out, we will have to wait, as hard as that is. We wait because we have to make the freshly whipped cream. Add a touch of vanilla and confectioners sugar and we have a party.

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Blueberry Cornmeal Cake

  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 8×8 pan.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time until well combined. Add vanilla. Add flour in 3 batches alternating with milk in 2 batches. Spread into prepared pan. Dot with blueberries and sprinkle the 2 tablespoons sugar over top. Bake for 50 minutes until golden and beautiful.

Let cool slightly on a wire rack while preparing whipped cream = 1/2 cup heavy cream, splash of vanilla and 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar.

Happy Father’s Day!

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I love you Dad!