Tag Archives: cake

French Yogurt Cake… Fresh Baked Friday!

19 Aug

Two summers ago I found myself searching for a job, living back home and looking for something to get me out of bed in the morning.  In an attempt to fill my days, I stumbled upon this world, this blog world.  I’d heard about it, but spent little time looking around.  

Well, it didn’t take long for me to get hooked.  In fact, as of today, I subscribe to 75 blogs in my Google reader and write my own blog (I know, duh!).  Needless to say, I spend more time then I care to admit reading, researching and looking at blogs.

What’s your point, Kristina?  Well, one of the first blogs I stumbled upon two summers ago was Tuesdays with Dorie, a blog of bloggers (say that ten times fast!) baking their way through the esteemed Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours.  Although I didn’t have a blog at the time, I started playing along.  I baked with them once a week.  It gave me something to do.  Plus, my mom’s co-workers were thrilled to eat the goods!

I loved it.  While I stopped baking alongside the Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers, I do check-in from time to time.  As for the cookbook?  Well that gets plenty of use…

A few weeks ago, I was looking for a light, summer, citrusy cake.  I immediately went to Dorie and, as usual, she did not steer me wrong.

Tender crumb, moist cake, hint of lemon.  Absolute summer perfection.  

Oh, and it gets better after a day or two.  Love that.

French Yogurt Cake
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1 cup flour
1/2 cup almond flour* (or, if you prefer, just use another 1/2 cup of flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola oil 

*You can make almond flour by grinding almonds to a fine powder.  You can also buy it from specialty stores, such as King Arthur’s Flour.


Preheat the oven to 350℉.  Generously butter a loaf pan and place the pan on a baking sheet.  Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, almond flour (if using), baking powder and salt.   

Put the sugar and lemon zest in a medium bowl.  Using your fingertips, rub the zest and the sugar until the sugar is moist and aromatic.  Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract.  Whisk vigorously until well blended.  Whisk in the dry ingredients.  Using a spatula, fold in the oil.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan and is golden brown.  Move the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan.  Turn the cake out onto the rack and allow to cool completely.  Cut and enjoy!

Source:  Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan


Blueberry Crumb Cake… Fresh Baked Friday!

22 Jul

I’m a sucker for a crumb cake.  Any kind will do.

One of my first memories of Villanova is actually eating a piece of crumb cake with my mom at Holy Grounds, right before we took a tour.  And let’s just say that wasn’t the last piece of crumb cake I ate at Villanova.  Man, I miss that square piece of deliciousness.

And, yes, that is in fact the name of our on-campus coffee shop.  Get it?  Grounds has two meanings.  Boy, us Catholics sure can be cleaver.

Anyway, Mom and I went blueberry picking a couple of weeks ago and those little berries found their way into a delicious crumb cake.  This one is particularly great since it’s just slightly sweet.  And easy.  Super, super easy.

Perfect for breakfast.  Or a mid-morning snack.  Or dessert.  Your choice.

Blueberry Crumb Cake
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For the Cake…

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups blueberries

For the Crumble…

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, softened*

*I also bring my butter to room temperature when baking.  It helps the butter incorporate better.  For the crumble, you definitely don’t want to skip this step, otherwise you will have a hard time cutting it with the other ingredients.


Preheat the oven to 375F.  Prepare an 8×8 inch pan by either greasing it or lining it with parchment paper.

Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and mix until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk.  Begin and end with the flour mixture.  Do not overbeat!

Fold in the berries and pour into the prepared pan.

Using a fork, mix together all the ingredients for the crumble.  Sprinkle over the top of the cake.  Don’t be skimpy… this is what makes a crumb cake a crumb cake.

Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.  


Source:  {very} slightly adapted from Mommy Coddle

Strawberry Cake… Fresh Baked Friday!

8 Jul

Can you believe it?  I know.  FRESH BAKED FRIDAY!

Please, trust me when I say I’m trying.  I’ll get this balance thing down one of these days.  Until then… thanks for continuing to read.   And now on to the main event…

During our Charleston trip, we spent an afternoon learning to make low country cuisine at Charleston Cooks!, a great kitchen store that has a demo kitchen attached.  The meal included blackened fish, southern succotash and fresh strawberry cake.  Everything was shockingly simple and incredibly delicious.

Any guesses on which part of the meal excited me the most?  

Now, I love strawberries.  As long as they are fresh strawberries.  Strawberries baked in things?  Not so much (although I did love strawberry frosted donuts as a little girl… but that phase passed).

Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical.  Luckily, this cake was a deliciously happy surprise.

When I made the cake at home, I tweaked the recipe just a bit.  In both cases, the cake is delicate and moist, lightly sweet and kissed with a delicious strawberry taste.  Not too much, not too little.

Emily, the instructor of the class, said this was her favorite cake as a little girl.  After one bite, you’ll know why. 

Strawberry Cake
Printer Friendly Recipe

Cake Ingredients…
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon orange liqueur (strawberry liqueur is fine too or just omi)
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
½ cup sliced strawberries

Frosting Ingredients…
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 ounce cream cheese
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons strawberry preserves or jam (more or less to taste)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325F.  Prepare a bundt pan by generously spraying with a non-stick spray or grease with butter and dust with flour.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, vanilla, orange liqueur and eggs.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  

Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture.  Mix until just combined.  Gently fold in the strawberries.  Be sure to not over mix!

Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt pan.  Bake until the cake springs back to the touch, about 25 – 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the cake sit for 15 minutes in the pan.  Turn the cake onto a cooling rack.  Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting.  Cream together the butter and cream cheese.  Add the powdered sugar and beat to combine.  Add the vanilla and strawberry preserves and mix until desired consistency.  Spread on cooled cake and enjoy!

Source:  Charleston Cooks!

I Made a Cake

7 Jun

It’s no big deal.

Except that it was pretty.  And really delicious.  

So delicious, Aunt Gerry wanted to lick the plate.  And Mom ate a whole piece.  You know, despite not liking chocolate cake.  And Grandma didn’t share her second half with Granddad.  

Yes, people, it was so good, my family was starting to show their ugly sides.

Except for Cousin Pam.  Probably ‘cause the cake was for her birthday.  So she could eat however much she wanted. 

Dark chocolate cake.  Layers of whipped chocolate ganache.  Covered in a rich Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Drizzled in chocolate ganache.  Because a touch more chocolate was definitely needed.

I cut, I cooled, I smoothed.  I cooled again, I covered, I drizzled.  

The end result?  Worth every step. 

Psst… Interested in seeing the steps?  Take a look at Sweetapolita.  She gives an amazing step-by-step.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake – Fresh Baked Friday!

13 May

I’m going to be honest with you from the get-go – I debated whether or not to post this recipe.

As I’ve mentioned here numerous time, I’m a vanilla girl.  So, it’s no surprise, I had high hopes – perhaps too high – from the moment I saw it.  A cake loaded with vanilla beans and a hefty drizzle of a vanilla glaze.  What’s not to love?

Well, I didn’t love it.  Gasp!  Shock!  Horror!  I know.

The texture was great, but I think I wanted more vanilla.  There is a hint of lemon extract (which I debated whether or not to use as I was making the cake and went for it ) and I felt like that was the predominant flavor.  Which would have been great…  if this cake was called a vanilla lemon bundt cake.  But it’s not.

So why am I passing this along?

Well, Grandma and Granddad couldn’t stop talking about it.  Rave – I mean RAVE – reviews.  And while you might expect my grandparents to give all my baked goods rave reviews, that’s not always the case.  Plus, since they taste just about everything I bake, I know I’ve hit upon a winner when they are still talking about it a few days later.

Such was the case with the Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake.  So don’t be afraid.  Try it.  I think you’ll like it.  But one piece of advice?  Think of it as Vanilla Lemon Bundt Cake.  Then you’ll surely enjoy.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake
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3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
18 tablespoons (2 ¼ sticks) butter, room temperature
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
4 large eggs
¼ teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 cup buttermilkGlaze…
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
½ cup whole milk
1 cup confectioners sugarDirections…
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350F.  Generously butter the bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out the excess.  Alternately, generously spray the bundt pan with a nonstick baking spray.Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
Beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla bean paste and lemon extract. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Mix until just combined.Pour the patter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly and smoothing the top.  Gently tap the pan on the counter to eliminate air bubbles.Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.  To be safe, I would start checking around the 50 minute mark.  Cool in the pan for 1 hour, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.To make the glaze, add the vanilla bean paste to the milk and let sit for a few minutes.  Sift the confectioners sugar into a large bowl.  Slowly start adding the vanilla bean milk, a tablespoon at a time.  Whisk until combined.  You want the glaze to be pourable, but still quite thick.  Continue to add the vanilla milk until you get the consistency you want.

Drizzle over the cooled cake.  Slice and enjoy!

*Next time I make this, I will omit the lemon extract and increase the vanilla bean paste to 3 tablespoons for the cake.  I’ll probably increase the vanilla bean paste in the glaze a bit as well.  Can’t hurt, right?!

Source: slightly adapted from Sweetapolita

Let Them Eat Cake!

1 Feb

My fabulous Cousin Pam is in town (by the way, I capitalize “cousin” because in our family, familial relation becomes part of everyone’s name.  In fact, when Pam calls me, she notes, “Kristina?  It’s Cousin Pam.”  Honest.  Ask her.).  Her first order of business was to plan a special birthday celebration for her sister, Debbie.  To accompany the champagne toast, Pam asked me to make a cake.

We decided Debbie should decide the flavor components.  After all, it was her birthday celebration.  Well, she said she wanted chocolate cake, not chocolate frosting and something with fruit, if possible.  After much discussion, we ended up with a four-layer cake, filled with orange ganache, covered with orange buttercream and topped with dark chocolate curls.

The result?  Pretty divine, if I do say so myself.  And it seemed to be a hit with everyone else.  Although, that could have been the champagne talking.

Photo Credit: Cousin Pam, Photographer, Great-Aunt Gerry, Stylist (89 year’s young and still finding new skills!)

Now, Pam is trying to convince me to add cakes to my repertoire.  Maybe if she sticks around for a few more weeks she’ll have me convinced.

By the way, be sure to check out her blog Pam Plants a Garden.  It will give you a glimpse as to why Mom and Cousin Pam are kindred spirits.

Brown Butter Spice Cake – Fresh Baked Friday!

28 Jan

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical when my mom showed me this recipe.  Brown butter on some delicious pumpkin ravioli, yes, but in a cake?  Just not sure.

Well, I am here to tell you, push that skepticism aside.  This cake, which is more along the lines of a zucchini or banana bread, is absolutely delicious.  Filled with wonderful spices, a fabulous nuttiness and a perfect texture, this is surely a keeper.

You will notice some less conventional ingredients, like natural cane sugar and whole wheat pastry flour.  Feel free to sub as you see fit.  The source, 101 Cookbooks, sticks with all natural foods and ingredients, so I stuck with her ingredients this go-around.  If you sub with more traditional ingredients, be sure to let me know how it goes in the comment section.

Start by browning the butter.  This can take a bit of time, so be patient.

I forgot to keep an eye on the clock, but it was definitely close to 15 minutes.  Like I said, be patient.  You want the bits brown, but not burnt.  Fine line here, fine line.

Once browned, but the butter aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the dough.

But first, prepare your loaf pan with butter and flour.  Just in case you need it… first butter the pan (don’t be skimpy here) and throw some flour into the pan.

Now slowly, hit the flour around the pan.  You will have extra, just throw it out.  I know, a bit of waste.  Just go with it.

Now to the dough.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and sea salt,

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, pureed squash and milk.

By they way, I thought the cane sugar deserved a little close up.  Isn’t it pretty?

Anyway, test the butter.  It should still be melted, but not hot to the touch.  If it’s there, add to the sugar mixture.  Whisk until well combined.

Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture.  Mix until just combined.

Mix in the almonds.

Pour into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the top with sugar and the almonds.

Bake.  Be sure to not over bake.  You want to keep that moist texture.

Once cool, slice and enjoy.  Just like I’m about to do… right now!

Looking for other sweet treats?  Take a look here!


Brown Butter Spice Cake
Printer Friendly Version

9 ounces unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon cloves
⅛ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup fine grain natural cane sugar or muscovado sugar
2 eggs
½ cup pureed roasted squash
¼ cup milk
⅓ cup lightly toasted sliced almonds

1 ½ tablespoons fine grain natural cane sugar or muscovado sugar
¼ cup lightly toasted sliced almonds


Preheat the oven to 350F.  Butter and flour a loaf pan.

Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat until brown, with a nutty aroma.  This can take between 10 and 20 minutes.  Be patient.  You want the butter solids to be nice and toasted, but not burnt.  Once browned, set aside and allow to cool (but not set).

Sift the flour, baking soda, spices and sea salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, squash and milk.  Whisk in the cooled, melted butter.  Be sure the butter is not hot to the touch before adding.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  Fold in the almonds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle with the sugar and almonds.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the edges have browned and the center of the cake is well set.  Be sure to not over-bake.

Source: adapted from 101 Cookbooks


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