Tag Archives: cake

Strawberry Season

Strawberry season for us in New England is a few weeks away.

There really is something about sitting in a field full of strawberry plants, the sun shining down on your face, the birds singing and the smell of life in the air.

I’ve always loved quiet moments, those moments you smile to yourself because you just know they’re special. Like when the sun shines down at a certain angle and you swear you see angels coming down from heaven.

Or when you smell lilacs in the air or when you hear waves lapping on the shore, those simple pleasures in life that so many of us take for granted.

Do me a favor and go strawberry picking this year. Go when there’s not a lot of people, when your family will have a row to yourselves. Sit or squat down among the berries. Feel the warmth of the sun and listen to the birds up above, watch the wind blow the leaves all around and pick those bright red juicy strawberries.

Maybe try one of these recipes with your bounty:

Strawberry Skillet Cake

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Lemonade

French Strawberry Cake

Jodi xo

 

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September

There’s something special about September in New England.

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The days are cooler but the sun still brings warmth.

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Flowers still bloom.

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Wishes can still be made.

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There’s a golden hue to the sun filtering in through the windows and splashing across the hardwood.

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It’s still warm enough for strawberries.

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But cool enough for fires in the stove.

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There’s abundance in September.

Here, in the form of apple cake.

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And center stage in September are the leaves turning from green to yellow and red.

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Get outside and enjoy these last few days of September.

These days that bring crisp air, bright sunshine, crinkling leaves underfoot, the smell of pumpkin spice, the taste of apples and the sound of acorns falling to the ground.

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!

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Fresh Rhubarb Upside-down Cake [TWD]

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My first attempt baking with rhubarb was successful.

I did improvise a little.

I used a large cake pan instead of baby cake pans.

I halved the cake portion but kept the butter, brown sugar and pecan ratio the same.

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This was a relatively easy recipe compared to some of the other Baking with Julia recipes.

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You can’t go wrong with butter and brown sugar. Add pecans and it’s just so right.

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Top that with freshly cut rhubarb.

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And you’ve got yourself a delicious accompaniment to morning coffee.

To get the recipe for this delicious cake, check out this week’s host blogger: Erin of When in Doubt…Leave it at 350.

You can also see what the other bakers thought about the recipe, here.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Skillet Cake

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Skillet Cake

I have gratefully stumbled upon Joy the Baker. She has an awesome baking blog that is chock full of fantastic recipes and gorgeous photography. She also has a book, Joy the Baker Cookbook. I haven’t had a chance to get it yet, but it is on my wish list.

One of her recipes I recently indulged in was a Banana, Walnut and Chocolate Cookie Cake. How genius is it to prepare and bake something in one dish, a cast-iron skillet! I love it.  I love it so much that I created this healthier version, cutting the butter and sugar in half. It contains whole wheat flour, banana, pumpkin, walnuts and of course you gotta have the chocolate chips :)

It’s very good, but it becomes a supastah with a scoop of freshly made whipped cream…

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Skillet Cake

  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

First things first, the butter needs to melt in a hot skillet. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar. Let that cool before whisking in the egg. Once cooled and egg is whisked in, add the vanilla. Add the banana and pumpkin to the mix and stir until incorporated.

Add the whole wheat flour, baking soda, spices and salt.

Finally stir in those chopped nuts and chocolate chips. Smooth the top and place in a preheated 350F oven for 15-20 minutes.

If you want this cake to really shine, you’ve got to have the whipped cream.

Start with heavy cream, add 2 Tbs sugar and 1 Tbs vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer, beat for about 5 minutes until it is the consistancy you want…and enjoy!

Lemon Raspberry cake or loaf or muffins…

lemon raspberry cake

“I want a lemon dessert”. That’s all I need to hear and I’m off searching for the perfect lemony treat.

My search produced this lemon raspberry treasure. I wanted to use my new doughnut pan but it turns out that this batter is just too delicate for doughnuts. I used the rest of the batter in a cake pan. You could use a loaf pan or make muffins instead.

It is easily the most moist, tender and delicious lemon dessert I have ever had…I HAVE EVER HAD!

Lemon Raspberry Cake

(Adapted from kitchen confidante)

For the cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • juice of a lemon

For raspberry topping

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 3 Tbs. water

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease your choice of pan. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Combine milk, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, oil and lemon juice in another bowl until completely mixed. Stir in flour mixture until combined.

Pour into your choice of pan. Place raspberries, sugar and water into a blender and puree. Strain the mixture to remove those pesky seeds. Dot the top of the cake with the raspberry mixture and swirl to incorporate. You will have leftover raspberry sauce. (could be used with waffles or pancakes)

If using a cake or loaf pan, bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20-30 minutes (maybe longer)

Get ready for a slice of heaven.