Tag Archives: cinnamon

Spice Cake Drenched in Cream Cheese Frosting

I obtained this recipe, after suffering its wonderous, moist, frosted phenomenon, from old family friends.  They deserve credit for this amazing cake I continue to make at least once a year. It’s perfect for that rich, Christmas or Thanksgiving dessert you were assigned to bring to the party.

For the cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream (cream cheese substitution is okay)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 heaping tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 heaping tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 heaping tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 eggs

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Start by preheating the oven to 300 degrees Farenheit.  Grease and flour either a 13″ x 9″, 2 round cake pans, or a bundt cake pan (these would also make excellent cupcakes). 

Beat all ingredients with a hand mixer on low for 30 seconds.image  Beat for a remaining 3 minutes on high.image

Pour batter into your pan.  imageBake for approximately 40-45 minutes for a rectangular pan or 30-35 minutes for the round pans or bundt cake.  When a toothpick comes out of the center clean, the cake is finished cooking.

While the cake is cooling, whip up the frosting.image In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, milk and vanilla together on low-speed with a hand mixer until smooth. image In doses of about one cup, add in the powdered sugar. image Cream together until frosting is smooth and spreadable. image

Spread cream cheese frosting over cake. Enjoy.image

I doubted the fridge’s holding of unexpired sour cream, and used cream cheese in the cake instead only to find out the next day we had not one, but TWO fresh cartons of sour cream. Whoops. The only difference I noticed was the dense cake was less moist than its sour cream compromised counter-part.  It was still enticing, then again, what, covered in cream cheese frosting, wouldn’t be?

I made a mini sampler size for taste testing, just in case the cake didn’t turn out using cream cheese inside the cake. Andrew refused to touch it, so I gave it to my mom and Dave first. They all agreed it was well-prepared and delectable, despite my impatience for both the trip to the store to buy sour cream and to allow the oven to fully heat up to 300 degrees Farenheit.

The spices remind me of sipping on a gingerbread latte from Starbucks, or slurping up some Pumpkin Black Bean Soup (minus the cayenne), not to mention it makes the whole house smell like a lit Yankee Candle.  Each bite is dribbled in luscious cream-colored gobs of icing.

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Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

This is a great treat to wake up to or snack on at lunch.  It can get your kids and husbands to eat their vegetables without even knowing it.  I decided to make this when my boss gave us all club sized zucchini’s from her garden.  I didn’t even use half of the zucchini with two batches of this bread.  That’s some healthy soil right there.image

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cup Diet Coke
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini (not packed)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.

In a bowl, mix together your dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chips.  The whole wheat flour is an acquired taste, so if you prefer, use white. I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to accentuate the mini bread loaves I ended up with.image

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla extract, butter, Diet Coke, milk and zucchini.  The recipe I found on skinnytaste.com reccommended apple sauce, which would make this bread much sweeter and super moist, but we didn’t have any in the cabinet or fridge.  I took Caroline’s earlier suggestion of Diet Coke in cake batter in place of the wet ingredients.  I minimized the wet ingredients, but added milk for a thicker, heartier dough.  You can also grate the zucchini directly into the dry ingredients bowl, as it will sit directly on top instead of sinking to the bottom of the wet ingredient bowl so you can see how much you have grated.  I used a simple hand cheese grater, which was perfect for the huge size of the zucchini.
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Combine your wet ingredient bowl into the dry ingredient bowl and stir until just mixed.  You will see the beautiful green of the zucchini radiating against the dark chocolate chips.  Scrumptious.

Crisco/butter either a 9″ x 5″  bread loaf pan or for my second batch I used 4 mini aluminum loaf pans for an individual touch I could give away at work.  These come with cute plastic covers, but will need a lot of attention with the Crisco/butter in each crease. 
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Pour the batter in your pan.

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Bake for 50-60 minutes at 325 degrees Farenheit. image
If you are using the mini pans, cook for approximately 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
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The zucchini adds a nice texture to the bread, but the taste really comes from the chocolate chips, wheat flour and brown sugar.  I personally didn’t notice a difference in taste when using Diet Coke in place of the “wet ingredients” but in the future will use apple sauce for bread as it will add more moisture.  The Diet Coke would be great in a box cake mix in place of the eggs, oil and water. The wheat flour adds a healthy flavor and slight grain texture that may or may not put you off, so as mentioned, white flour will suffice.   Like my boss did, your husband and kids may ask you if there is really zucchini in the bread.

Add a little butter to your warm slice of bread for moisture, or eat directly from the pan. Either way this chocolatey, thick and flavorful bread is quite appetizing.

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Filed under Breakfast, Food

Carmelized Praline French Toast Bake

 

This is a Paula Deen recipe that I changed around a little with the Raspberry sauce, so expect a lot of butter, cream and an amazing breakfast/brunch.  My college friends were in town for a wedding and found this delicious.

Add to your grocery list:

1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup milk
8   large eggs
2 cup half-and-half
Butter, for pan
1   loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Raspberry Syrup, recipe follows

Praline Topping:
2 sticks butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2-tsp. nutmeg

Raspberry Syrup:
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. preserves (I used Bumbleberry, purchased on a fruit picking farm)
2 tablespoons white wine, I used a dry white wine to take away from the sweetness.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit (unless you are using the overnight method). Generously butter a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Slice your french bread into approximately one-inch thick slices. The recipe calls for 20, but I had a hard time fitting them all in a single layer in the casserole dish.  After jamming the slices in, I realized an easier layout for the bread would be to layer them resting on top of each other, like a cheese tray.

In a mixing bowl, whip together the eggs, milk, half-and-half, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla with either a whisk or a hand mixer. I also added in a little bit of black pepper.  The mix should be thouroughly blended, so I suggest the hand mixer.  I used a fork and had two egg yolks still whole when I poured the batter over the toast, the next step. When pouring the egg combo, be sure to cover all the bread slices evenly. I kept going and just baked the bread immediately after I soaked the bread slices.  You can also cover up the baking pan and refrigerate overnight for a softer texture and fully soaked bread.

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When your bread has chilled overnight, or you are ready to immediately bake your dish, whip up the praline topping.  In another bowl, intermingle all the ingredients until well-integrated.  Evenly paint on the mixture to the top of your bread covering the entire dish creating a sweet, slightly thick, top layer.  Cook in the oven for 45 minutes or until the egg mixture turns into a solid, slightly mushy state.  The eggs should have cooked thoroughly through and the praline topping will have melted and become a dark brown, crystallized crust.image

While your brunch is baking, you can heat up the fruit topping. I didn’t have the ingredients Paula called for, so I whipped up my own version. In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients on low heat stirring until completely heated.  Set aside for later.

 It was a little sweet, so you could probably remove either the corn syrup or honey.  The wine definitely brought down the kid-in-a-candy-store sweetness with a grown up kick, so if you follow the recipe exactly I would make sure to add this.  Any fruit and preserve would work, so if blueberries are in season and cheaper, try a variation of the raspberry topping.image

When the french toast bake is finished, dish out one-two slices per plate and top with the raspberry topping.  Delectable!image

The best part was definitely the crunchy, candied pecans crusting onto the gooey, egg-thick french toast.  It didn’t stick your teeth, but sure tasted like a taboo candy that would rot out your molars.  The fresh fruit on top made the dish feel healthy and brought another level of flavor to the agreeably sweetened, nutty french toast.  A great brunch item paired with a mimosa or watermelon cooler and some fresh fruit.image

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Blueberry Streusel Cake

This easy to make recipe will have your co-workers begging for more.

For the cake you will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup blueberries or blackberries or any other berry

For the topping you will need:

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit and grease an 8×8 baking pan.  It only takes about 10-15 minutes to throw the ingredients to be cooked together, just enough time to get the oven nice and hot.
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In a mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients for the cake: flour, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients: oil, egg, milk and brown sugar (okay this isn’t a wet ingredient, but it is heavy and when combined with the egg and oil will diffuse into a liquid).

Gradually combine the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients adding in a tablespoon of cinnamon.  I used a fork to get a gentle whipped texture keeping the cake nice and light.  The cinnamon will incorporate with the sugar creating a sweet spice.  Stir until everything is blended.

Carefully fold in the berries to you mix.  If you are too rough, the berries will break open staining your cake.  My mom likes to freeze berries when they are cheap and in season in individual sized glad freezer wrap.  These turned out excellent for the cake because they are solid enough to not break open, but still fresh.  Pour your mixture into the 8 x 8 pan making sure it evens out and set aside. image

In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar and cinnamon.  Add in the softened butter and mix until they are equally incorporated and form into small crumbles.  You really want softened butter and not melted to get the correct form and texture of the topping.  Sprinkle the sugary morsels onto the top of your cake mix in the 8 x 8-inch baking pan and place in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour.  The cake will stop jiggling when lightly shaken from side to side when it’s ready. Stick a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before cutting into the sweet morning treat.

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The cake holds the perfect amount of moisture so every bite holds together and melds into your taste buds.  The best part is the topping, so make sure to get some with every forkful.  It brings more of that sweet spice from the sugar and cinnamon into the cake and when you get some with a berry, your taste palate is complete.

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Filed under Breakfast, Food