Old-Fashioned Apple Sour Cream Cake

I was ready to experiment in the kitchen yesterday.  I planned on making something with some Granny Smith apples I had on hand.  I considered making a pie, muffins, bread, and apple crisp, but I couldn’t shake the idea of creating a deliciously moist apple cake.

I started out with a big bowl and worked my way into this delicious cake.  I promise you this cake is super moist (thanks to the sour cream) and will quench any hankering you have for the combination of apples and cinnamon.   What’s even better?  You can don’t need an electric mixer to whip this cake up; simply mix by hand.

I decided to title this recipe as Old-Fashioned Apple Sour Cream Cake because it is the type of dessert my mother or grandmother would have whipped up to serve following one of their delicious home cooked meals. 

Old-Fashioned Apple Sour Cream Cake

1 c. granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 stick of butter, softened

1/2 c. sour cream

1/4  tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored, and sliced very thin

Cinnamon and sugar mixture – 1/2 c. granulated sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon;  add prepared apple slices and set aside

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8”x8” glass baking dish

In a large bowl mix by hand the sugar, egg, softened butter, and sour cream.  Add cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and flour; mix until all ingredients are combined.  Don’t over mix.  Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Layer half of the apple slices on top of the batter.  Repeat with remaining cake batter and apple slices.  The apples will be the top layer.

Bake for approximately 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean after being submitted into the center of the cake.

Cool slightly and serve warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream, or allow to cool and serve later. 

Delicious Apple Sour Cream Cake - From Scratch

 

Old-Fashioned Apple Cake - Serve Warm or Cold

What is your favorite fruit to bake with?

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Cooking Light Carrot-Cake Bars

The idea of baking lighter treats appeals to me, and there was a time many years ago, when I was in the habit of using egg whites and applesauce every time that I would bake a cake, quick breads, etc.

My how times have changed… 

While shopping my most favorite thrift store recently, I stumbled across a Cooking Light cookbook for a quarter.  I know, what a bargain! This cookbook has every recipe from the year 1999 that was featured in the Cooking Light magazine so I snatched it up and figured maybe it’s time I get back on the light wagon. 

The recipe for Carrot-Cake Bars is one of many that caught my eye in my new used cookbook.

These bars turned out moist, tender, definitely not oil laden, and delicious.  Yea!  I did make a few slight changes to the original recipe.  First, I used all-purpose flour in place of the whole-wheat flour the recipe called for.  I also used 3/4 cup of sour milk (made with skim milk) instead of the buttermilk, and I skipped adding the raisins.  I think not adding the raisins was a mistake.  While I am not a raisin lover, I do think they add a nice subtle flavor to your treats.  And lastly, I used only 1 cup of old-fashioned oatmeal which I think this was a good move.  Below I’m sharing the original recipe with you.  So feel free to go with it, or make your own modifications.

Carrot-Cake Bars from Cooking Light (Original Recipe)

2/3 c. packed brown sugar

2 tbsp. margarine or butter, softened

3/4 c. low-fat buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 large egg whites

3/4 c. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 c. regular oats

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. shredded carrots

1/2 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 11×7 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Beat sugar and margarine until blended.  Add buttermilk, vanilla, and egg whites; beat well.  Add flour and next 5 ingredients; mixing until combined.  Stir in carrots and raisins.  Pour batter into a prepared baking dish.  Bake for approximately 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Cool in pan and serve.

According to the Cooking Light Cookbook, these bars (original recipe) have 121 calories, 2.3 grams of fat, 3.1 grams of protein, 23.3 carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and 138 mg of sodium.   I added a few calories to my bars because I drizzled a thin buttercream icing on top.  Shame on me I know.  But look at the calories I saved elsewhere.

Do you like baking and cooking light?  Or do you say –  Ah, what’s the sense?

One Bowl Cinnamon Coffee Cake

I know my blog posts are getting farther apart these days but please hang in there.  I haven’t forgot you!

This weekend I was looking at coffee cakes lined up on a shelf at my local grocery store and I was so tempted to buy one to satisfy my never-ending sweet tooth.  But I knew better.  I knew a store-bought coffee cake wasn’t going to stand up to a moist, tender crumb, cinnamon coffee cake that I could produce in my very own kitchen.  I was certain that buying one would be a waste of my money and only yield disappointment.   Instead, I dug out my mixing bowl and did the right thing, I made my own from scratch.  And let me tell you, no disappointments here!

This cake is so simple to make.  And you all know how simple I like to keep my baking.  One bowl recipes suite me just fine.  The order of the ingredients is exactly how I added them to the one bowl I used to make this cake.  Also, I mixed by hand; not electric mixer.  So go ahead, give this recipe a try.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 egg

1 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1/2 c. sour cream

1/4 c. heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Filling/Topping

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 7×11 glass baking pan using non-stick cooking spray.

Put all of the ingredients (except the filling/topping ingredients) in a large bowl and mix by hand until everything is combined.  This batter will be stiff.  Mix the filling/topping ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.

Pour 3/4 the batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture on top.  Add remaining batter on top, and swirl a butter knife through the mixture several times.  Top with remaining cinnamon and sugar filling/topping and bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.

I bet this cake would be delicious with a raspberry filling too.  What do you think?

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Cake and October

Today is the 1st of October and I’m excited.  September was a crazy month for me, I didn’t get to spend much time with my blog, and I plan to make up for that this month.

First, something new will be added to the Mercantile because the auction for the craft/sewing notion jar has officially ended.  Thanks for all your bids!  It’s been so much fun watching the bids come in and reading your comments.  I hope the lucky winner (who is being notified by email) will enjoy their jar of notions.

Also this month, I’ve conspired with a bunch of GREAT BLOGGERS and we will be hosting a virtual fall harvest dinner party that is bound to help jump start your Thanksgiving Day menu planning.

Sandra from Sweet Sensations will be setting our table for this event.  Terra from Café Terra will be mixing up one of her amazing cocktails for us.  Monet from Anecdotes and Applecores and Dionne from Try Anything Once Culinary will be whipping up tasty appetizers that anyone would gladly sample.  Amy from Ms. Toody Goo Shoes will be making us a beautiful and delicious fall inspired salad that sounds like a meal in itself.  Jeanne from Inside NanaBread’s Head will be sharing one of her scrumptious side dishes – and hint, she grows at least one of the ingredients  that she will be using in her dish.  Sharon and Denise from BeBetsy, and Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake,  will be surprising us with something yummy from their bread baskets.  And last but not least, Anne From My Sweet Heart will complete our meal with one of her insanely enticing desserts.  I don’t know about all of you, but I can’t wait!

So, let’s get this month started with a great recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Spice Cake.

This recipe was adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Pies and Cakes cookbook.  It’s super moist and perfectly spiced.  If you’re a raisin or nut fan, throw in a few of each.  They can only make the cake that much better.

1/2 c. margarine, softened

1 1/3 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 c. canned pumpkin

2/3 c. sour milk

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

Generously grease a 10”x14” cake pan with margarine.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs; beat well.  Mix in pumpkin, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla.  Alternate adding flour with milk and beat thoroughly.   Pour batter into prepared pan and bake approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted into the center.  Cool slightly and cover with plastic wrap.  Once cake has completely cooled, frost with your favorite cream cheese icing.

Happy October!

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Farm Country Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake

I was just thinking about food staging and the pictures I take for my blog.  And as much as I’d like to spend hours staging my food with cute little props and scads of backgrounds I seldom do.   Heck, some days I’m lucky if I remember to place a fork next to the food I make if one is required – like this cake for example.  I really hope this doesn’t deter my readers from drooling over the things that I make from time to time, but truthfully, not being able to spend hours perfecting my photo’s with the perfect backgrounds makes me feel slightly inadequate as a blogger.  Maybe it’s because blogging can be (regardless of what other bloggers will admit) somewhat competitive.  I think it’s fairly safe to say that everyone wants their blog to be liked.  Right?

Have you ever made a cake that is so moist that you can actually hear it when you are cutting it?  Well, this is happens to be one of those cakes.  I found this recipe digging through my mom’s recipe box.  I’m not sure that I ever remember her making this cake, and there was no mention on the recipe card of where it originated from, but this much I can tell you – it’s moist and delicious. One thing that I found odd about this recipe is that it didn’t suggest what kind of frosting the cake should be topped off with.   I opted to keep it simple and made a confectionary sugar glazed icing that I drizzled on top, but I’m also thinking a nut or coconut frosting, or even just a dollop of fresh whipped cream would be a tasty on this too.

Farm Country Oatmeal Cinnamon Cake

1 c. old-fashioned oatmeal

1 1/2 c. boiling water

1 c. granulated sugar

1 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. margarine or butter

2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. raisins (optional)

1 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Generously grease 10”x14” cake pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place oats in a separate bowl and pour boiling water over top.  Let set 20 minutes.

In a separate mixing bowl, cream together sugar, margarine, and eggs.  Add salt, baking soda, cinnamon and flour; mix thoroughly.  Add in prepared oatmeal and vanilla’; beat until all ingredients are combined.  Fold in raisins and/or nuts.  Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.  Cool and top with your favorite icing.

I shared this cake with friends and family and their feedback has been great.  A definite must make again!

All you food bloggers out there, how much time do you spend working on food staging for your photographs?

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Kahlua Chocolate Chip Cake – A Vintage Style Dessert for Glamping

When we finally get to go glamping (soon I hope) I’m going to make vintage style desserts and fresh perked coffee on our adventures.  

This dessert is perfect for glamping because it’s quick and easy to throw together, calls for common ingredients, and bakes in less than 30 minutes.  I’m so excited that one of these days I’ll be able to bake in my little gold vintage oven.

This recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of one of my favorite liquors – Kahlua.   I promise the flavor is subtle and it won’t overwhelm you. 

Kahlua Chocolate Chip Cake

Grease a 9×13 pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1 c. margarine, softened

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 tbsp. Kahlua

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl,  cream together margarine, sugars, and eggs.  Beat in baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, Kahlua, and flour.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Allow to cool before cutting.

This cake is moist and doesn’t crumble easily.  You really don’t even need a fork for it.  That’s a good quality if you want to cozy up in front of a campfire and eat your dessert. 

Do you have a favorite dessert you like to make when you’re camping (glamping)?  How about crockpot desserts, ever tried one of those?   Also, I’d love to know what you consider a good vintage style dessert.

FV

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Maple Sour Cream Cake Recipe Review

I eagerly strolled out into my kitchen today to make a cake recipe that I found on Technicolor Kitchen’s blog.  The original recipe came from Food 52.

The photo’s of this Maple Sour Cream Cake on Technicolor Kitchen’s blog looked so delicious (all of her baked goods do) that I don’t know who could resist making such a beauty.

And then there was reality…

Sadly, this cake turned out nothing like I was expecting.  Either in taste or texture.  The cake was extremely heavy and oily, browned too quickly when it was baking,  and tasted much more like egg than anything else.

So, was it something I did?  Let’s take a look, and feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

I used olive oil instead of canola oil.  It should be noted that I usually bake with olive oil and generally don’t have any issues with it, but I suppose that could have been a contributing factor.   I used an electric mixer in place of a whisk – ??  And for the actual baking, I ended up lowering the heat to 325 degrees because the outside was getting too dark too fast (I did follow the baking instructions to the letter). 

It’s inevitable that when you  try new recipes there will be some that you are tickled with, and others that you aren’t.  I like to use these experiences to try and improve on the concept of the recipe.  I’ll do a little experimenting and see if I can shape this recipe to fit my expectations of  what I think a Maple Sour Cream Cake should be.

What’s the last recipe you can remember making that didn’t turn out a thing like you expected it to?