P3 ~ PISTACHIO PLUM PLATZ

Anyone remember the old nightclub on the show Charmed? That is what inspired me to name this wonderful German Platz aka coffee cake.

P3 ~ PISTACHIO PLUM PLATZ
CAKE
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter,SOFTENED
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
3 LARGE black plums, sliced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray shallow baking dish(es) with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the softened butter with a pastry cutter or using gloved hands (my preference) until mixture is like coarse crumbs.
  • Stream in eggs, milk and vanilla until well combined. Be sure to scrape down sides with a spatula to incorporate all the dry mixture. Mixture will be thicker and possibly lumpy JUST like it should be 😀
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out evenly.
  • Place plums slightly overlapped on top of batter. Set aside and make crumb topping.

CRUMB TOPPING
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup crushed roasted with salt pistachios

  • Mix all together using your hands again until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Distribute topping evenly over top of plums.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes or until fruit is soft and cake is cooked through.

NOTES: Other fruits that substitute well are peaches, cherries or nectarines .

AUNT SHARON’S CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK CAKE, OR IS IT?

I’ve always called this Aunt Sharon’s Chocolate Buttermilk cake because I got the recipe from her when I was a teenager, but I have been making it from scratch with my own flourish (specialty quality ingredients as in the homemade rum vanilla, cocoa and cinnamon) for more years than I care to admit, so is it hers or is it mine now? I have tried other recipes over the years, always looking for that new PERFECT recipe, but ALWAYS come back to this one because it just works EVERY time!

CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK CAKE

CAKE
2 cups KING ARTHUR all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup QUALITY buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 LARGE eggs
2 sticks butter, room temperature
4 heaping tablespoons QUALITY cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 cup boiling water

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • If you are going to cut and layer this cake prepare the jelly roll pan with parchment paper and non-stick cooking spray, otherwise leave it un-greased.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and eggs. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the cocoa.
  • Whisk together to combine.
  • Pour the boiling water in the pan and allow it to bubble a bit, then turn off the heat.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture stirring together for a minute to cool the chocolate.
  • Pour in the egg mixture, stirring together until smooth, then pour into a jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet) and bake for 20 minutes.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING for sheet cake
1 3/4 sticks butter
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
6 tablespoons WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups (1 pound bag) powdered sugar

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth.
  • Add the milk, vanilla and powdered sugar, stirring together.
  • Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, pour the warm icing over the top. You’ll want to avoid doing much spreading, so try to distribute it evenly as you pour.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM for layer cake
1 pound butter, softened
7 cups (2-1 pound bags) powdered sugar
4 heaping tablespoons QUALITY cocoa powder
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk

  • Cream butter.
  • Sift together the cocoa, cinnamon and powdered sugar into the creamed butter and blend well.
  • Add vanilla, blending well. If too stiff add 1 tablespoon WHOLE milk to thin.

CHOCOLATE CHINESE FIVE SPICE CAKE

So, I admit it, the Kid’s Baking Championship inspired me on this one! If they can do it, I can do it I figured and this time it worked! 😀

CHOCOLATE CHINESE FIVE SPICE CAKE

CAKE
1 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice Blend
1 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
2/3 cup finely chopped or grated bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup brewed coffee or espresso, Chai tea, or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, Chinese Five Spice Powder and baking soda in a bowl.
  • In a small bowl, mix the coffee (or chai tea/apple cider vinegar) and diced chocolate.
  • Stir vigorously until the chocolate has fully melted – don’t leave any lumps of chocolate.
  • Add vanilla extract and buttermilk to mixture, and blend well.
  • Set mixture aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg and sugar in a bowl until light and airy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the chocolate mixture and mix well with a large spoon.
  • Add the flour mixture and stir until fully mixed with no lumps.
  • Pour mixture into two well prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove cake pans from oven and let cool fully to room temperature.
  • Remove from cake pans.
  • When pans are cool to the touch, remove from pans and let sit on cooling rack at least another hour to cool, otherwise chocolate ganache will melt if cake is still warm.

GANACHE
1 cup heavy cream
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder

  • Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
  • Sprinkle with Chinese 5 spice powder.
  • Heat heavy cream to JUST before boiling.
  • Pour over chocolate chips and spice and let sit for 4-5 minutes – do not stir.
  • Whisk the mixture until it thickens and becomes a rich, dark chocolate brown.
  • Pour a small amount of ganache over top of one layer of cake and top with other layer. Set aside to cool.
  • Let remaining ganache cool to room temperature, so it is thick, but still spreadable.
  • Generously coat cake in ganache, running a flat spatula along the sides and top to make a smooth cake.
  • Top with chocolate sprinkles, cinnamon Sticks, and a very light dusting or five spice powder or cinnamon sugar, or crushed walnuts.
  • Chill for 2 hours, up to two days before serving.
  • Cut into slices and serve.

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL BANANA BUCHE DE NOEL

I went super simple on this, but you can get as carried away with decorations as you want. This cake is great, FULL of flavor even without the ganache! I also made half of the recipe for just the 2 of us so it was more of a twig or branch than a log, but didn’t impact the flavor 🙂

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL BANANA BUCHE DE NOEL

CAKE
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with non stick cooking spray; line with parchment paper and spray the top of the parchment paper with non stick cooking spray; set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs for 5 minutes; add 1/2 cup sugar, banana and vanilla.
  • In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  • To the egg whites gradually beat in remaining sugar, a tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form.
  • Add flour mixture to banana mixture; mix gently until combined.
  • Fold in egg white mixture.
  • Spread into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
  • Cool 5 minutes; run a knife around the edges to loosen.
  • Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners sugar.
  • Gently peel off parchment paper.
  • Roll up cake in towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Once the roll is cooled, unroll the cake.
  • Because the cake has cooled in a rolled position it will easily re-roll.

VANILLA BEAN FILLING

2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
⅔ cup (80 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla bean seeds at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Unroll cake and evenly spread the filling.
  • Roll back up.

TOPPING ~ WHIPPED GANACHE FROSTING Makes about 2 cups

4 (4-ounce) bars (460 grams) high-quality dark (60% to 65%) chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy whipping cream

  • Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, bring cream JUST to a simmer below a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Pour cream over chocolate; cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together chocolate and cream until smooth.
  • Let stand until ganache reaches room temperature, 45 minutes to 2 hours. (If necessary, refrigerate for 15 minutes.)
  • Transfer ganache to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  • Beat at medium-high speed until a spreadable consistency is reached, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Spread or drizzle on the cake.

APPLE LEMON HARVEST BUNDT CAKE

I combined my 3 favorite recipes; Shenandoah Apple Cake, Meyer Lemon Cake and Apple Cream Cheese Swirl Cake into a single recipe to make my Harvest bundt cake. and love it so much that this is now my favorite recipe!  This recipe makes two 9-inch bundt cakes or one 10-inch plus 2 small decorative bundt cakes or 6-8 small decorative bundt cakes.

The secret is the swirl of orange cream cheese that winds its way through the sweet tartness of the Meyer lemons and the crisp sweetness of the Honey Crisp apples to combine into the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert.

APPLE LEMON HARVEST BUNDT CAKE
SWIRL

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1 LARGE egg
1 tablespoon FRESH orange zest

  • On medium speed beat cream cheese until creamy in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar, flour, egg and orange zest, beating until smooth.
  • Cover and chill while preparing batter.

BATTER
2 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest
1 tablespoon orange zest

  • In a mixing bowl combine sugar and zest with a fork.
  • Set aside 10-20 minutes so flavor infuses sugar.

3 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
6 LARGE eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
2 LARGE Honey Crisp or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Prepare bundt cake pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray and a flour dusting.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer cream the avocado oil and butter together.
  • Add the infused sugar, beating until well incorporated, light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add apple cider, vanilla and lemon juice, blending well.
  • Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream, starting and ending with flour mixture JUST until blended after each addition.
  • Fold in apples.
  • Spread half of mixture into prepared pan(s).
  • Remove swirl mixture from the refrigerator and spoon evenly on top of batter, avoiding the edges.
  • Top with remaining batter.
  • Using a knife, gently pull the blade back and forth through the cake to swirl the cream cheese mixture into the batter. You don’t want to mix, just gently swirl.
  • Bake 60-75 minutes for a LARGE bundt pan until tester comes out clean. For the smaller decorative pans I start checking them around 35 minutes.
  • Let cool 15-20 minutes.
  • Invert and transfer to a wire rack to COMPLETELY cool before the syrup and glaze.

SYRUP
1/4 cup FRESH Meyer lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

  • Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar is COMPLETELY dissolved.
  • Brush over COOLED cake.
  • Allow cake to COMPLETELY cool again before glazing.

GLAZE
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4cup WHOLE milk
3tablespoons QUALITY honey
2 tablespoons FRESH Meyer lemon juice
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest

  • Whisk all together in small bowl until smooth.
  • Drizzle over COMPLETELY cooled cake.
  • Garnish with additional zest.

NOTE:

  • THE BEST ADVICE, I can offer you on this recipe is prep work! Do ALL of the zesting, juicing and chopping before you begin a single step!!!
  • Then infuse the sugar as directed as your second step before you begin the swirl so it allows more time for the sugar to be flavor infused.

PUMPKIN PINEAPPLE CRUNCH CAKE aka HARVEST DUMP CAKE

Once upon a time this would have been called a DUMP cake, but when I saw a version of it on FaceBook from My Baking Addiction where they called it a Pumpkin Crunch Cake I knew I had to make my own version. This cake epitomizes fall flavors and is wonderful cold or even at room temperature! Don’t forget a dollop of whip cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I made some other modifications for taste and we now call it Pumpkin Pineapple Crunch Cake aKa modified HARVEST DUMP CAKE.

Pumpkin Pineapple Crunch Cake aKa modified HARVEST DUMP CAKE Serves 12-18

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Chill Time: 3 hours Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple (drained WELL)
4 LARGE eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (apple pie spice works well too)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup golden raisins or currants (currants are my favorite)
1 box yellow or white cake mix
1 cup chopped walnuts divided 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
cinnamon sprinkle

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugars, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt and well combined and smooth.
  • Fold in crushed pineapple and raisins.
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
  • Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture, followed by the 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts and use you hands to gently press it into the pumpkin batter.
  • Evenly drizzle the melted butter over the entire cake.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Check your cake. If the top is becoming too brown, cover the cake with a piece of foil for the remaining bake time. Continue baking an additional 15-20 minutes or until set.
  • Remove pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Chill for a few hours before serving.
  • If desired, top with whipped cream, remaining chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon before serving.

NOTES:

  • Even if serving at room temperature be sure to chill the cake first!
  • If you don’t have any evaporated milk you can substitute 3/4 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup heavy cream.

PINEAPPLE RAISIN STREUSEL PUMPKIN PIE

The streusel topping is what turns this ordinary pumpkin pie into something spectacularly perfect for your fall holiday celebrations!

PINEAPPLE RAISIN STREUSEL PUMPKIN PIE
PIE
1 batch your favorite pie crust dough or 1 sheet Pillsbury pie crust
3 LARGE eggs
15 ounce can solid pack pumpkin
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup PACKED brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice blend

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • On a lightly floured surface prepare pie crust and transfer to a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Trim and flute edges.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, heavy cream, sugars and spices.
  • Pour into crust.
  • Bake 45 minutes.

STREUSEL
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup PACKED brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup COLD butter, cubed
1/3 cup FINELY chopped crystallized pineapple
1/3 cup golden raisins

  • In a small bowl combine the flour, brown sugar and walnuts.
  • Cut in butter pieces until crumbly.
  • Add in pineapple pieces and raisins mixing until well coated and distributed.
  • Remove pie from oven and GENTLY sprinkle streusel over the pumpkin filling.
  • Lay a piece of foil over top gently to prevent burning.
  • Bake 15 minutes more, remove foil and bake another 10 minutues or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into pie center.
  • Cool on wire rack.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.

CHERRY PINEAPPLE BUNDT CAKE

CHERRY PINEAPPLE BUNDT CAKE adapted from Sweet Peas Kitchen

This Cherry Almond Bundt Cake is a refreshing dessert cake full of flavor that lends its beauty to any backyard BBQ or church social, but is also great for holiday buffet tables with the perfect slices of bundt style cake.

CAKE
1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
5 LARGE eggs, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons QUALITY PURE pineapple extract
1 cup COMSTOCK cherries (save the rest of the can for garnish at the end)

  • Preheat the oven to 325°.
  • Generously grease and flour bundt pan proper.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Pour the cherries into a strainer to drain the glaze from the cherries into a large bowl. Keep the glaze. The glaze will be thick and take some time to drain. Shake the colander periodically or move the cherries around with a large spoon to separate them from the glaze.

  • In a large bowl or stand mixer cream the butter until smooth.
  • Add the sugar and continue beating it until it’s light and fluffy.
  • Add the almond extract, mixing until incorporated.
  • Add the eggs ONE AT A TIME making sure each one is mixed before adding the next egg.
  • Gradually alternate dry ingredients and milk, beating until incorporated after each addition.
  • Pour 1/2 of your batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  • Add 3/4 cup of the cherries to the batter and swirl them into the batter.
  • Spread a VERY THIN layer of the glaze on top.
  • Add the remaining batter followed by the remaining cherries and another VERY THIN layer of glaze.
  • Cover the bundt pan with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 65-70 minutes. The sides of the cake should be slightly pulling away from the pan and a cake tester should come out clean.
  • Remove from oven and cool at least 10-15 minutes on a wire rack. The pan should be lukewarm, but cool to the touch.
  • Invert bundt pan and tap on several sides with a table knife to release the cake onto the wire rack. Let cool completely before glazing.

GLAZE
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
6 teaspoons heavy whipping cream or milk
¼ teaspoon QUALITY almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Place the cream cheese in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, to soften.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, add the cream cheese, and powdered sugar, stir to combine.
  • Add the heavy cream, almond extract and salt and continue to stir until it thickens.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
  • Garnish with sliced almonds

GARNISH

  • Use remaining Comstock sherries around the edge of the bundt cake before serving. To make it even more decadent you can add a fudge drizzle over the cherries or the whole cake!

Store in an airtight container for up to a week. This cake freezes exceptionally well IF it is frozen soon after baking. Be sure to wrap it at least twice and place in a large ziplock bag to prevent it from drying out or freezer burn. If you wrap it well, it will taste just like a fresh cake after thawing.

FLAVOR VARIATIONS

  • Pineapple – Make it with crushed canned pineapple instead. It is an entirely different flavor that is scrumptious.
  • COMSTOCK – just about any pie filling flavor lends itself to this cake, but I especially like the Berry medley, peaches or sour cherries.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE MARBLE CAKE ~ THE PERFECT CELEBRATION CAKE

For the life of me I cannot remember where I adapted this recipe from, but it is a serious home run! It’s actually more sugar than I can tolerate and hubby said it was good, but felt we could go without the fudge layer completely and that it would still be great. I had also added a thin layer of blackberry jam that I will omit next time.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE MARBLE CAKE ~ THE PERFECT CELEBRATION CAKE

This recipe uses 1 batter 2 ways (vanilla and chocolate) swirled with a fudge ripple to create a simply delicious layer cake topped with a fudgy buttercream frosting. This was a scratch recipe that I’ve adapted to use weights trying for a more exact baking science.

VANILLA CAKE BATTER
3 cups all-purpose flour or 390 grams by weight
3 cups granulated sugar or 600 grams by weight
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder or 10 grams by weight
1 teaspoon salt or 5 grams by weight
1 cup butter or 225 grams by weight unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons or 10 grams by weight PURE vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites or 245 grams by weight – about 6 LARGE egg whites
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or 360 grams by weight, at room temperature
1/8 cup vegetable oil or 30 grams by weight

  • Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
  • Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  • Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.
  • Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.
  • Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Pour half of the batter (950 GRAMS) into a separate bowl and set aside.

CHOCOLATE CAKE BATTER
1/3 cup or 35 grams by weight unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/4 cup or 50 grams by weight granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon or 2 grams by weight baking powder
1/4 teaspoon or 1 gram by weight salt
1/4 cup egg whites or 60 grams by weight (about 2 egg whites)
1/4 cup or 45 grams by weight buttermilk

  • Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, 1/4 salt, and baking powder into the remaining batter.
  • Add the egg whites and buttermilk, mixing on a low speed until smooth.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE SWIRL
1 cup or 150 grams by weight MINI semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup or 55 grams by weight unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup or 60 grams by weight heavy cream, room temperature

  • Combine the chocolate chips, butter, and heavy cream into a heatproof bowl.
  • Heat in microwave for two 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
  • Allow the mixture to cool 1 minute, then stir until smooth and set aside to cool.

CAKE PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line three 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper AND grease with non-stick baking spray.
  • Alternate spoonfuls of vanilla cake batter with the chocolate cake batter into the prepared cake pans, filling them roughly one inch high with batter.
  • Randomly add small dollops about one inch in diameter of fudge swirl on top of the vanilla and chocolate cake batter.
  • Drag an offset spatula or butter knife through the batter in horizontal and vertical lines to create a marbled pattern.
  • Bake for 33-35 minutes until tester comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  • Level the cakes with a serrated knife as necessary once they’re fully cooled.

FUDGE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING – if simply icing without fancy decoration halve this recipe.

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter or 325 grams by weight (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
5 1/2 cups or 685 grams powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon or 3 grams by weight salt
1/4 cup or 30 grams by weight heavy cream
1 tablespoon or 15 grams by weight PURE vanilla extract
1/2 cup or 40 grams by weight unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup or 90 grams by weight semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

  • Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and salt on a low speed.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with cream.
  • Mix on low for a couple minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add in more cream 1 tablespoon at a time or if frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Mix in baking cocoa powder and the melted chocolate chips.
  • Place half of the buttercream into a separate bowl.

CAKE ASSEMBLY

  • Stack the cake layers on a grease proof cake round or large serving plate.
  • Spread a thin dab of buttercream on the center of the board, to help your cake layer stay in place.
  • Next, center the first cake layer the cake board.
  • Spread an even layer of buttercream onto the cake layer with an offset spatula.
  • Repeat with remaining cake layers.
  • Place the top cake layer upside down.
  • Cover the cake in a thin layer of frosting, and smooth using a bench scraper.
  • Chill the cake in the freezer for about 5 minutes, until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  • At this point you can get creative with your decorating or add a final layer of buttercream smoothing as you go.

NOTES

  • You can make the parts in advance and freeze them to make the process A LOT less tedious.
  • Make your frosting ahead of time too and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure to stir it well to smooth the consistency.
  • You can add a marmalade or berry layer on top of each buttercream layer for a bit of an added oomph!
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious! If you cut into the cake and have any leftovers, you can use remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.

ALTERNATE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM
8 ounces cream cheese – 1 brick, 226 grams by weight, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter – 1 stick, 113 grams by weight, softened to room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar – 455 grams by weight, sifted
3 tablespoons QUALITY cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract

  • Beat the cream cheese, butter until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and blend until creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt on low until combined.
  • Beat on high 3-4 minutes until smooth, light, and creamy.
  • Decorate as desired.

COBBLER COOKIE PIES

We LOVE cookies and we LOVE pies around here, but with just the two of us pies are too big and cookies don’t always have the summer flavors we’re looking for.  So, WHY not combine them into little cookie pies FULL of flavor AND the crunch of a cookie AND a streusel topping? You can also make your own sugar cookie dough and even use FRESH fruits, but why not go easy on that too?

COBBLER COOKIE PIES
Yield: 12      Prep Time: 15 minutes      Cook Time: 30 minutes      Total Time: 45 minutes

16 ounces package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/4 cup sugar
1 can peach pie filling, chopped small***

STREUSEL
3 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons FINELY chopped oatmeal
3 tablespoon PACKED brown sugar
2 tablespoons COLD butter, chopped small
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

GLAZE
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2-3 teaspoons milk

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Divide cookie dough into 12 pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a ball and roll in sugar to coat.
  • Fill a well-greased muffin tin with cookie dough balls and bake for 15 minutes.
  • While cookie cups are baking, chop peach pie filling and prepare the streusel by combining the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and use a fork to blend until the mixture resembles large crumbs. Set aside.
  • Remove cookie cups from oven; press the center of each cookie cup with the bottom of a small glass. I use a small prep bowl.
  • Fill each with peach pie filling and top with a layer of streusel.
  • Return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven, cool completely, and gently remove from muffin tin.
  • Combine powdered sugar and milk; drizzle over cooled cookie cups.

***NOTES:  Any flavor works, but for summer peach or apple is awesome.  I also really like using blackberry or a black and blue berry combo! Today was a berry combo  using strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE CAKE

BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE CAKE
This wonderfully moist coffee cake is loaded with FRESH blueberries, topped with a delectable brown sugar crumble and  drizzled with a creamy vanilla glaze that hardens as it cools. You’ll end up with a super moist and chewy cake with a crunchy crisp sweet topping.  The glaze is optional and no even really needed! 😀

CRUMB TOPPING
1/2 cup PACKED light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

  • In medium bowl stir all the dry ingredients together.
  • Cut butter into smaller chunks and mix with mixer until combined or using fingers or pastry cutter mix until butter is combined and you can squeeze together to form clumps.
  • Chill mixture until ready to use.

CAKE
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
3/4 WHOLE cup milk
1 egg, rood temperature
2 cups FRESH** blueberries, washed and dried
1/4 cup WONDRA flour, for blueberry dusting

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray 9″ springform pan with nonstick spray and if desired, cut out a piece of parchment paper for easier transfer to serving dish.
  • In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt stirring to combine.
  • Add milk, egg and softened butter, in chunks mixing until mostly smooth and combined. The batter will be thick, but if too thick, add additional 1/4 cup milk.
  • Dust blueberries with WONDRA flour.
  • Gently fold in blueberries into the batter.
  • Pour into prepared 9″ springform pan. If you use a smaller pan for a deeper cake add 10 minutes baking time and if you use a larger pan for a larger shallower cake, decrease baking time by 10 minutes.
  • Remove crumble from refrigerator and crumble on top of coffee cake batter in marble sized chunks.
  • Bake 50-65 minutes until top is golden and center is firm, toothpick may or may not come out clean.
  • Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  • Glaze.

GLAZE (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream

  • While cake is cooling, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk/cream until smooth and pourable consistency.
  • Pour over top of warm cake for glaze that hardens and melts into cake, or if preferred, wait until cake is cooled completely then pour glaze over.

TO SERVE:

  • To serve, using a butter knife, gently run around the edge of the spring form pan.
  • Transfer to serving platter and enjoy.

NOTES:

  • **Frozen blueberries may be used, if possible thaw and drain, toss gently in a couple tablespoons of flour to coat, that will help the blueberries to not bleed as much.
  • You can substitute any other sliced or diced berries; strawberries, blackberries, raspberries… to make you happy.
  • *Glaze is GREAT, but can definitely be left off the cake and still be flavorful and moist.

 

BROWN BAG APPLE PIE

There are a lot of recipes out there for Brown Bag Apple Pie, but I honestly haven’t found one that compares to grans. ALL of those others will tell you that their pie is the most incredible one! Once again I haven’t found one that compares with gran’s old recipe. I can agree that no matter what recipe you use, the paper bag is THE key ingredient! It truly makes for a crust that doesn’t burn, but is a lightly textured and deep golden flaky crust, sweet and delicately flavored center and a crunchy topping. Don’t forget the luscious vanilla ice cream on a nice warm piece of pie!

BROWN BAG APPLE PIE

CRUST
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons SUPERFINE sugar
6 tablespoons UNSALTED butter
2 ½ tablespoons COLD vodka or more as needed

  • Whisk the flour and white sugar together in a bowl until well-combined.
  • Cut the unsalted butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle with the vodka, a little at a time, mixing the dough together lightly with a fork until it barely holds together.
  • Form the dough into a ball and roll it out to a circle about 1/8-inch thick.
  • Gently ease the dough into pie dish, pressing to fit pie pan.
  • Cut off any excess pastry with a knife.
  • Finish the edge of the crust by gently pressing the tines of a fork into the dough all the way around the edge of the pie dish.
  • Set the crust aside.

FILLING
5 pounds Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced thinly
½ cup PACKED brown sugar
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 teaspoons PURE ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch QUALITY ground ginger
Juice from 1 LARGE lemon
2 tablespoons ginger snap crumbs

  • In a large mixing bowl toss the apples with the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and lemon juice.
  • Set aside.

CRUMB TOPPING
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup COLD butter
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup PACKED brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon 



  • Combine the flour, sugars and cinnamon, whisking to combine.
  • Cut in butter pieces until you have a crumbly coarse mixture.


ASSEMBLY


  • Sprinkle the ginger snap crumbs over the bottom of the pie crust evenly.
  • Fill the pie with the apple mixture.
  • Sprinkle the crumb topping mixture evenly over the filling.
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Place pie in a brown paper bag (grocery size) so that bag is folded over, but not actually touching the pie itself.

  • Bake for 1 hour. DO NOT PEEK while baking.
  • Remove from the oven, carefully remove paper bag from around pie and let cool; serve warm.
  • Store leftovers in refrigerator.


NOTE: ALTERNATE METHOD TO AN ACTUAL PAPER BAG

  • Tear off two 30 inch long pieces of parchment paper.
  • Place them perpendicular to each other on a work surface.
  • Place the filled pie in the center of the two pieces of parchment, bring the paper ends up over the pie and fold and staple the parchment paper over the pie to COMPLETELY enclose and seal in the pie inside.
  • The paper should not touch the top or sides of the pie.
  • Place on a baking sheet to catch any drips.