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?

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Banana Peach Quick Oat Bread (Mini’s)

The peaches sitting in my stoneware bowl on our dining room table were ripe and fragrant.  Overly ripe bananas in our freezer were falling out every time I opened the door.  The combination of both of those things could only mean one thing; it was time to bake. 

Sometimes when I decide to bake I’m not quite sure which direction I’m headed in when I pull my mixing bowl and measuring cups out of the cupboard.  All I know is that my impromptu creativity could ultimately prove success or disaster in the kitchen.

This bread definitely falls within the perimeters of success.  The bananas make this bread sweet, but the peaches give it a slightly tart finish that makes you want just one more slice. The oats give it a hearty texture so you feel like it’s good for you – even if it’s not the most healthy choice on earth, and it’s super moist.  So moist, you can hear it when you cut into it.

 Banana Peach Quick Oat Bread (Mini’s)

1 cup of diced peaches

3 very ripe mashed bananas

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. margarine, or butter

1 egg

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Spray four mini loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, add fruit, sugar, eggs, and margarine; beat with electric mixer on medium speed.  Add salt, baking powder, and vanilla; mix thoroughly.  Beat in flour and oatmeal until all ingredients are completely blended together.  Pour batter into prepared mini loaf pans.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Cool before removing from pans.

I would have loved to add some nuts to this recipe.  If you were going to add nuts to this bread what kind would you choose?

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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Cheery Cupcakes

My last post was written exactly one week ago.  I can’t get over how quickly time goes by.  I was busy a good share of the week working on an article that is slated to be published in the May/June issue of Tastes of Wine Country. This is a great publication that is specific to the beautiful Finger Lakes area.  I’m very excited about this, my first official writing gig.  I had a great time working on the story and can’t wait to see it in print!  The local business that I wrote about is amazing.  I’m excited for them too – but that’s all I can say right now 🙂

The weather was miserable yesterday.  As I was listening to the hard rain and the strong winds hit against our house I decided I’d had enough.  You know the old saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going. “   

I was in the mood to bake.  I just didn’t know what I was in the mood to bake.  Snicker doodles, molasses cookies, and blonde brownies briefly crossed my mind.  In the end, it was cupcakes that won out.  Big, beautiful, cheery, colorful, bright cupcakes.

cupcakes rainbow 008

I’ve made colored frosting before but I really can’t remember coloring cake batter.  To make these I used one of my favorite vanilla cake recipes and then separated the batter into small bowls.  I then colored each batter with neon colored food coloring. These cupcakes turned out beautiful.  They are so moist and pretty that I decided not to frost them.  If you’re a frosting freak then I know what you’re thinking. I may just top them off with some fresh whipped cream and throw a jelly bean on top.  These would make a perfect finish to a big Easter dinner. 

Are you planning on making an Easter dessert?  What will it be?

The curse of the marble cake

   

(Not) the cursed marble cake

Everyone has baking stories.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Undoubtably, if you bake, you’re going to experience wins and losses.  For me, when something turns out great I love to share the recipe, tastes of it, and hear feedback.  When it turns out bad, well frankly, I don’t like to talk about it.  I don’t want to be reminded of my in-competencies, the time I wasted making it, and most of all, the wasted ingredients.  But this story has to be told.  

It all sounded so easy.  There was a simple request  made for a marble cake.  No problem.  I’ve made a lot of cakes over the years and it couldn’t get any easier, it wasn’t like I was being asked to make a cake for TLC’s tv series Cake Boss. 

 I probably should have heeded the first sign of trouble when it presented itself.   It came when I  had a hard time finding a recipe that suited my tastes for a marble cake.  All of the marble cake recipes I found called for orange extract, or flavors that I don’t associate with a simple yellow/chocolate marble cake.  To make things easy on myself  I decided to make a yellow cake and marble it.  All went well until I was passing the cake pans into the oven and it dawned on me that I had left out the baking powder. 

Okay, a couple of curse words might have escaped me at that moment.   I was left with two choices,  throw the cake batter out and start over, or pour the batter back into the mixing bowl, add the baking powder, and serve a light-colored chocolate cake along with an explanation.  Needless to say I opted for the later choice. 

The second warning presented itself after I took the cakes out of the oven.  Baking powder dots speckled  the tops of very thin cakes.  What in the world? I was slightly worried the cake might taste bitter because the baking powder appeared on top but  I ignored that nagging feeling I had.  Never ignore nagging feelings… 

A persistent person by genetics, or nature, I  was convinced I could turn this disaster around.  My next plan of attack, mix up another batter of marble cake and use it as one large middle layer.  I could triumph – I was sure.  The cake would have a light chocolate layer on the top and bottom with a marble layer in the middle.  Brilliant! 

And yet, another warning…  By now you’re probably asking yourself what’s wrong with this girl…  As the middle layer of the cake was cooling I found a recipe for a soft chocolate frosting.  It tasted delicious but didn’t make nearly enough for two layers, let alone three.  Worse, it wasn’t a soft fluffy frosting like I had wanted, it was more like a ganache without cream.   As you can probably imagine I was a little more than frustrated.  Still trying to convince myself things would be okay I shifted the middle layer into position and as I did the top of the cake stuck to my fingers – a good time to taste I thought.   Disaster! !  The cake tasted like baking powder.  It was bitter just as I had suspected.  There was no way I could serve this, and without further thought I picked up all three layers and delivered them to their final resting place – the trash!   

Other than a batch or two of burnt cookies I’ve never had to resort to (the trash) before .  There was no question  I was cursed.    After all I had been through with this dreaded cake one important fact remained – I still had to have a cake for a planned celebration.  This time I resorted to what I knew.  I dug out a chocolate cake recipe I’ve made a half-dozen times and I found a great recipe for an irresistable cream cheese peanut butter icing.  I’m sure you will be relieved to hear (after all this) the chocolate cake  turned out heavenly, and was a huge success.  Now, here’s the kicker, while I was trying to write this post about the curse of the marble cake my laptop went down.  How strange is that!   

 

Giving up chocolate chip cookies?

Can you believe it?  I’m giving up chocolate chip cookies.  Okay, not so fast, I’m giving up making them after I found this awesome chocolate chip cookie bar recipe, but you can bet I’ll continue to eat them right along with the next guy. 

I can’t tell you how simple these were to make.  Not to mention they are so rich, moist, chewy…. need I say more?

The recipe:

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. melted margarine

1/2 c. sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla 

Chocolate chips to your liking

Mix the butter, egg, sugar and vanilla together.  Then add the dry ingredients.  Fold in chocolate chips into batter and pour into a 9×13 pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  

I’m thinking vanilla ice cream would sit just right on top of one of these.

Finally found time to bake – lucious lemon blueberry bread

What a combination

 

The batter

 

Bottom side of bread fresh out of the pan

 

Life is good, and busy.  This time of year the nice weather calls me outside.  Because of this I  put baking on the back burner, so to speak.    

This week we planted our garden which now has a variety of fruits & veggies and herbs packed into it.  Today was more or less, a day of rest, and I finally found time to bake.    

I found some nice looking blueberries at the grocery store and they help inspire me.  I had been wanting to make something on the lemon side so with that in mind I dug through my (not quite organized yet) recipe box and found a great recipe I’ve made many a time.  Lemon Blueberry Bread   

The recipe is as follows:  3 tbls shortening, 3 tbls margarine, 1 c sugar, 1 tbls lemon juice (I used real lemon extract), 2 eggs, 1 1/2 c flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 c milk (I used skim), 1 cup fresh blueberries.  Mix in order.  I used  3 mini bread pans and baked for 37 mins in a 325 degree oven.  You know the routine.  Whatever you bake it in, make sure the toothpick comes out clean in the center.  Enjoy!   

We are enjoying it as I type….. Moist and tasty – not overly sweet.