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cake

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Bran Snack Cake

April 3, 2014

Bran Snack Cake 1 | Espresso and Cream
I know, I know. The whole “bran cake” probably doesn’t have you dashing to the kitchen to make this recipe, does it? Hang with me for a moment and let me explain. I’ve undoubtedly mentioned before how much I love hearty, healthier, one-bowl cake that doesn’t require a lot of fuss. This cake is all that and more.

Growing up I remember buying the most amazing bran muffins at the local grocery store. They were made by the local Dutch bakery (we grew up in a very Dutch town) and were pretty much the best things on the planet. They were huge muffins, not in paper liners, and the bottoms of the muffins were gooey and covered in some sort of caramel glaze that soaked into the muffins and kept them moist. At the time, I thought I was eating something healthy. I mean, they’re bran muffins for crying out loud. Now I realize they were more than likely loaded with sugar and butter and calories only being disguised by the bran as a better-for-you treat.

Bran Snack Cake 2 | Espresso and Cream
So last week when the urge to bake hit me hard I decided to try and recreate those muffins with a healthier twist. This bran cake is made in an 8- or 9-inch square cake pan, though you could certainly use a round cake pan if that’s what you happen to own. Instead of being loaded with sugar and butter and all those bad-for-you ingredients, I made a light glaze to go on the cake and drizzled the cake with a couple tablespoons of honey right after it came out of the oven.

Joe, who is not one for healthy desserts and cakes, was a huge fan of this cake! Although I had to warn him about portion control. One slice of cake a day is really all you should think about eating, if you know what I mean. We’re talking about bran, after all.

Bran Snack Cake 3 | Espresso and Cream

Bran Snack Cake
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Serves: 9 to 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups 100% bran cereal (such as All Bran)
  • 1¼ cups milk (I used 2% but you can use whatever you prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square (or 8-inch round) cake pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, melt butter. Add brown sugar to butter and stir until well combined. Pour mixture into bottom of pan.
  2. In large bowl, combine all-purpose and whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt until well combined. In second bowl, combine bran cereal, milk, egg, oil and sugar until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake 22 to 26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of the cake. Invert cake immediately onto serving platter. Drizzle with the honey. Cut into squares to serve. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Yogurt Streusel Coffee Cake

March 7, 2014

YogurtCoffeeCake_1The weekend is almost upon us! For some reason, Friday’s arrival just sort of ambushed me and I am having a hard time believing that it’s Friday. I guess that’s a good problem to have, much better than the week dragging by. We don’t have a whole lot on the calendar this weekend, which I’m totally excited about. A few dinners with friends and family, a couple of lazy mornings, and enjoying the warmer weather with the pups. Sounds pretty perfect to me!

At work I’ve been creating some really fun yogurt cake recipes. And while I can’t share the amazing recipes just yet, I did play around in my own kitchen with a completely different yogurt cake that’s delicious in its own right. My dedicated taste tester, Joe, was a big fan of this cake. Serve it as a coffee cake in the morning or as a dessert with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. It’s not overly sweet, which both Joe and I loved. But I think the best part is how easy it is to make.

I hope that wherever you are the weather is getting warmer (and yes, 30 degrees totally counts as warm!) and you take some time to relax with loved ones. See you Monday!

YogurtCoffeeCake_2

Yogurt Streusel Coffee Cake
Recipe type: Brunch/Dessert
Serves: 16 slices (2 cakes)
 
I love how easy this recipe is! You use the actual yogurt container to measure out all the sugar, oil and flour, meaning you don't need to dirty measuring cups and you can throw the yogurt container away when you're done. This coffee cake is easily my new go-to for easy, effortless entertaining. Perfect for breakfast, brunch of dessert.
Ingredients
  • 2 containers (5.3 to 6 oz) Greek yogurt (I used a flavored raspberry Greek yogurt)
  • 2 containers sugar
  • 1 container oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 containers all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Streusel
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • Icing
  • 1 container powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, sugar and oil. Stir until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. In medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to wet mixture, beating with a whisk or electric mixer until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour batter into cake pans.
  5. In small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, oats and flour. Work the butter in with your fingers until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel mixture on top of cakes.
  6. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost completely clean (a couple crumbs may remain because it's a slightly moister cake.)
  7. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cake. Turn cake out of pans and cool on wire cooling racks.
  8. Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cakes. Serve cakes warm or cool.

 

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Rainbow Chip Mug Cake for One

February 15, 2014

Mug_Cake_4I’ve got a serious bone to pick with mug cakes. While I love the concept of mug cakes, every time I went out looking for a recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth, the mug cakes I found fell in one of the following categories:

1. Very super healthy but tasting similar to sawdust
2. Super indulgent, with as much as 2 or 3 tablespoons (!!) nut butter in a single serving, meaning 200-300 calories in nut butter alone

When I’m looking to make a mug cake, I want it to taste great but I’m also not looking to consume a huge number of calories. In that case, I would just make a regular cake or go to Whole Foods for a cupcake. The other week as I was leaving work, I swung by the company store (yes, we have a company store and it’s wonderful) and picked up a box of Betty Crocker Party Rainbow Chip cake mix. We don’t usually have things like cake mix sitting around at home since I’m more of a from-scratch baker, but something about that Party Rainbow Chip was calling my name.

Mug_Cake_1

Turns out I was right. I’ve found plenty of ways to use the cake mix I picked up last week. I was delighted when I figured out that I could make an incredibly easy and tasty mug cake with just a few ingredients. A little bit of cake mix, an egg white and a few tablespoons of milk is all you need to make a mug cake any night of the week. While it’s not exactly health food, it’s certainly healthier than a lot of the mug cakes out there and tastes so much like a regular cupcake! From now on, I’ll be keeping a box of cake mix in my pantry just in case.

Healthier Rainbow Chip Mug Cake for One
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
This is my go-to weeknight dessert when I'm craving something sweet but don't want to totally bust my healthy eating for the day. It's easy and incredibly tasty and has enough protein to keep you full thanks to the egg white.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Betty Crocker Party Rainbow Chip cake mix (or similar cake mix)
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. In small bowl, whisk together the cake mix, egg white and milk until smooth. Spray a mug with cooking spray. Pour cake batter into mug and microwave 30 to 40 seconds or until cake is cooked through. It's better to undercook than overcook mug cakes.
  2. Serve cake warm plain or with a dollop of Greek yogurt or peanut butter as "frosting."

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Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake

January 28, 2014

FlourlessChocolateCake_1

Maybe you’re already thinking about Valentine’s Day? Maybe, if you’re like me, you think Valentine’s Day could be done a little better. I like Valentine’s Day, but I really don’t like the chiche roses and pressure to do something grand or give the perfect gift. A couple years back, Joe and I agree to never go out to eat on Valentine’s Day. We usually go out to eat a couple weeks before or a week after the actual day, avoiding the crowds and the craziness and the fixed menus.

This year, with the incredibly cold weather we’ve been having, I think my idea Valentine’s Day date goes something like this: watch a movie in our pajamas, drink red wine, eat this Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake. It’s pretty simple, really.

I don’t have a clue why it took me so long to make a flourless chocolate cake, but I’m a little embarrassed. I think I’ve always associated flourless chocolate cake with restaurant menus and sophistication and difficulty. In reality, it’s a no-brainer! I frequently find myself out of flour, but I almost always have cocoa powder and some semi-sweet chocolate and eggs, meaning I’m never more than a few ingredients away from a delicious, easy and impressive cake.

FlourlessChocolateCake_3
If you’re like me and have been putting off making one of these cakes, delay no more! Grab some high-quality chocolate, cocoa powder, sugar and eggs and get to baking something sweet for your sweetheart. And don’t feel the need to wait for Valentine’s Day. This cake is easy enough to make even on a weeknight, but I can’t guarantee it will last longer than a day.

FlourlessChocolateCake_1

Flourless Chocolate Cake for Two
Adapted from Epicurious.com

Ingredients
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon high quality vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s brand unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder)

Directions
Heat oven to 375°F. Grease 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment. Set aside.

In small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in the sugar until well combined. Add eggs, whisking after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and cocoa powder until just combined.

Transfer batter into cake pan and bake 22 to 25 minutes or until edges have set and formed a crust. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert onto plate or platter. Cut into wedges to serve.

Happy Baking!
Madison

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Marcia’s Rhubarb Cake

June 10, 2013

Rhubarb_Cake_1

Happy Monday, friends! I’m struggling to get on the Monday bandwagon this week, if we are being really honest. Joe and I have both been battling a sore throat for the last couple days and we had a terribly sick little pup Thursday and Friday, which was awfully scary. Thankfully, it appears to have been a bout of puppy flu, and she is back to her normal chipper self. Never have I been so thankful to see that little tail wagging again!

If I had to sum up last week, I think I would call it the “Week of Rhubarb Desserts.” Joe and I literally ate rhubarb dessert four out of five weeknights last week. Crazy, right? But when it is in season, you have to take advantage!

The real kick-off to our rhubarb dessert eating was the fact that my sweet older neighbor, Marcia, brought over a large bag of rhubarb from her garden. Along with the rhubarb she included a couple of her favorite rhubarb recipes, including a super simple family favorite recipe for rhubarb cake. I love old recipes, especially recipes that have been handed down from other bakers with much more experience, so it took about 10 minutes for me to get baking this cake.

Rhubarb_Cake_2

As with most older recipes, there are a lot of ways you can go wrong. The directions are usually pretty vague and don’t necessarily provide much direction or explanation, meaning there is plenty of room to make a mistake. However, I’m happy to report that this cake was a huge hit with everyone who enjoyed it! It’s a simple cake that is very easy to pull together. I called for an electric mixer in the recipe, but I made the recipe twice and didn’t use an electric mixer the second time. The cake turned out beautifully both times, so use what you feel like using.

One word to the wise: This cake is better when it is made the day you are planning on serving it. Since the rhubarb has a lot of moisture it tends to make the cake soggy on the second and third days after baking. It’s still totally edible and delicious (Joe still ate it all!) but maybe not worthy of serving guests after the first day. Pop it in the oven while you eat dinner, then serve it warm with a cup of coffee and some ice cream after you eat your meal.

Marcia’s Rhubarb Cake
Makes 12 to 16 servings
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped rhubarb
Additional sugar for sprinkling atop cake

Directions
Heat oven to 350F. Combine sugar and butter. Beat until well combined with an electric mixer. Beat in the egg and buttermilk until combined.

In large bowl, combine the baking soda, cinnamon, salt and flour. Add flour to wet ingredients and beat until just combined. Stir in the rhubarb by hand.

Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons sugar atop cake. Pour batter into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 34 minutes or until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean. Cool 10 minutes before cutting.

Happy Baking!
Madison