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By Heather Harris Brady

I’ve featured a carrot cake before, with coconut and crushed pineapple, but when I saw this one in Cooking Light I had to give it a try. The browned butter adds a nice depth, and it does get better over the second and third days. I made some adjustments to the original recipe.

Make sure you use larger carrots for this recipe, the ones they typically sell in the bulk section for juicing work well. The small baby carrots just don’t have enough flavor.

If you have a pretty fluted bundt pan now’s the time to use it! I apologize for the weird capitalization, my iPad always gets fussy with blogging.

Carrot Cake with Browned Butter, Makes one 12″ bundt cake

1 stick of butter

1/3 c. Olive oil

1 c. Granulated sugar

2 t. Vanilla

2 large eggs

1/2 c. Greek yogurt

1-1/2 t. Cinnamon

2-1/2 t. Baking powder

1/2 t. Baking soda

1/2 t. Fresh ground cardamom

2 c. Carrots, finely grated

2 c. White whole wheat flour

1 c. Un bleached all-purpose flour

1/3 c. Milk

Glaze

3 T. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese

2-1/2 c. Confectioner’s sugar

1 t. Milk

1/2 t. Vanilla

Put the butter in a saucepan on medium heat and stir. It will melt, bubble and eventually foam up.  As soon as it starts to turn brown (the milk solids in the butter are what will be browning), take it off the heat. Let it cool to room temperature and then preheat the oven to 350.

Put the browned butter in a mixing bowl. Beat in the oil, sugar and vanilla. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. I used a wooden spoon but you can do it with a mixer if you like. Stir in the white whole wheat flour, then half the yogurt, the cinnamon and the cardamom.

Add the rest of the flour, the rest of the yogurt, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the milk.

You should have a thick batter. It might seem a little too thick to you, but that’s okay! We’re adding a lot of moisture with the carrots.

Fold in the carrots.

Spread the batter in a greased baking pan.

Check it at 40 minutes. Your tester should have moist crumbs.

While the cake is cooling make the glaze. Combine the sugar, vanilla and cream cheese in a bowl.

Drizzle in the milk and whisk until you have the desired glazing consistency.

Put the cake on a serving plate and pour the glaze over the top.

I garnished this one with some flakes of coconut and chopped candied pecans.

Store the cake in the refrigerator, loosely covered.

pumpkincake14_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Now I like a good four-page recipe probably more than the next girl, but there are times when you have to come up with something FAST. You found a slip at the bottom of the school backpack asking you to bring in something for the bake sale/party, you’ve been invited to a tailgate, or you just need cake like NOW.

This recipe is for those times. If you can stir you can make it. I promise. If you’re an experienced baker it’s still a lovely thing to throw together for a treat after working all day. It keeps well, it’s moist and velvety and it has that irreplaceable homemade thing going. It would also make a great Halloween dessert, just bake it in a round and drizzle a spider web-ish design in chocolate over the top. Boom.

Pumpkin Cake, Makes one 8″ cake or about 12 cupcakes

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 1 t. fresh ground ginger
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda

Frosting

  • 4 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 3 T. soft butter
  • 1 t. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 c. powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the pumpkin, eggs, sugar and oil. Stir together well.

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Stir in the spices.

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Then the flour, baking soda and baking powder.

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Spread it evenly in a greased baking dish.

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Bake for about 25 minutes, until the center springs back to the touch. Set it aside to cool to room temperature.

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While the cake is cooling make the frosting. Combine the powdered sugar, butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl.

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Beat in the vanilla and the milk. Add a little milk if you need it to reach the desired consistency. Beat for two minutes.

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Spread the icing on the cooled cake.

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Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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I sprinkled some candied nuts on top.

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Keep leftovers refrigerated, and lightly covered.


Four years ago: Farmhouse Cornbread
Three years ago: Cheese Fondue
Two years ago: Brioche Coffeecake
One year ago: Apple Dumplings


gingergoldcake8_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris-Brady

Local apples are starting to come in and I made this cake as a way to use up some of the beautiful Gingergolds I picked up.  Gingergolds are a cross between Golden Delicious and Newton Pippins. They are a lovely golden green:

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with a gorgeous sweet-tart flavor and crisp bite. These apples are not built for long-term storage, so you have to enjoy them early in the season. I decided to pair them with a mix of spices, sugar and local honey. The recipe below is based on Eliza Acton’s classic gingerbread recipe from the 1800s, with a few tweaks of my own.

Gingergold Cake, Makes one 9″ cake

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 c. molasses
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 2 T. ground ginger (Not powdered, actual ground gingerroot)
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. allspice
  • Zest of one lemon (important!)
  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. light wholewheat flour
  • 6 T. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • Four Gingergold apples, cleaned and chopped in a fine dice, set aside in acidulated water
  • Whipped cream or ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 and put the eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat them until light and frothy.

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Beat in the sugars.

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Then beat in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and butter. Beat until well-combined, then beat in the buttermilk. Lastly, beat in the wholewheat flour.

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You should have a thick, creamy batter.

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Fold in the apples and pour the batter into a greased 9″ cake pan.

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Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden brown. The center should spring back when touched lightly.

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Serve warm or at room temperature, plain or dressed up. This cake is a good keeper, and I think it’s actually better on the second day. Store any leftovers wrapped, freeze for storage longer than a few days.

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Three years ago: Berry Crumb Cake
Two years ago: Icelandic Almond Rolls
One year ago: Fried Rice


cheesecake9_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

I came home from a weekend away to a large container of cottage cheese VERY close to its expiration date. It was too much for bread or other uses but just enough for a cheesecake. This makes a nice, different cheesecake with the added bonus of less fat and a lot more protein.

Cottage Cheesecake, Makes on 8″ round cheesecake

  • 1 large 14 oz. container low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 sm. pkt. instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 T. melted butter
  • 3/4 c. milk

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the cottage cheese and pudding mix in a food processor.

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Blend until smooth.

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Add the milk and eggs, blend until smooth.

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Add the flour and baking powder.

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Blend smooth once more.

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Combine the crumbs and butter in a 8″ springform pan. Press them over the bottom and spoon the batter over the top.

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Bake for about 40 minutes, until lightly browned. It will still jiggle a bit. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least three hours and preferably overnight.

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Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

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Store all leftovers covered and refrigerated. This best eaten within two-three days.

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Three years ago: Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake
Two years ago: Badabing Chewy Cherry Bars
One year ago: Peach Crumb Pie


chocolatecherrycake17_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

The sweet cherries were just in season here. I was thinking about making a black forest cake, but often those can be disappointing with dry cake and not a good ratio of cake to filling. What I was going for was a moister cake, more of a brownie texture. I found what I was looking for in Baking with Jim Dodge. His recipe, which I’ve tinkered with slightly below, uses brandied cherries (which would be delicious) but I was under a time crunch so I used fresh cherries.

Chocolate Cherry Cake, Makes one 8″ cake

For the cake:

  • 1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60%)
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk (or 1/2 c. strong coffee)
  • 1/3 c. cocoa
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt

For the filling:

  • 1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60%)
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 T. softened butter

2 c. stabilized whipped cream

1 lb. Bing cherries (or another sweet black cherry)

Preheat the oven to 375. To make the cake: combine the chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until melted.

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Set it aside to cool slightly, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.

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Beat in the rest of the dry ingredients.

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Then add the milk. You should have a thick creamy batter.

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Spread the batter in a well-greased 8″ pan. I also dusted mine with cocoa powder before adding the batter, just to be sure it would come out.

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While the cake is baking make the chocolate filling. Combine the chips and cream over medium heat, stir to melted. Then stir in the butter and set it aside to cool (you can speed it up by putting it in the freezer).

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Whip the ganache until it’s light and fluffy.

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Let the cake cool thoroughly. If you have some Kirsch now would be a good time for a sprinkle.

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Wash the cherries, pit and halve them. It’s a messy job, there’s no getting around it.

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Split the cooled cake in two and put it on your serving dish. Arrange the halved cherries on the bottom layer.

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Top the cherries with the ganache and then add the second layer of cake.

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Top that with the stabilized whipped cream. Chill thoroughly before serving.

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Even fresh the cake will cut neatly.

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Store leftovers lightly covered in the refrigerator.

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Three years ago: Cheesecake Ice Cream
Two years ago: Gooseberry-Raspberry Pie
One year ago: Sunday Night Cake with Chocolate Sauce


lemoncakes15_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

This cake got its name from its strong clear lemon flavor, which reminds me of the lemonade you can buy from fair vendors – the kind they make to order with a whole lemon per glass. Because it’s been so hot I baked them in a small size to cut down on the oven time, but you could bake it as a traditional loaf – just adjust the baking time up.

I based this recipe on one for traditional pound cake from Carole Walter’s Great Cakes, another one of my favorite cookbooks.

Country Fair Lemon Pound Cakes, Makes about 24 mini bundt cakes or one loaf cake

  • 1 c. softened butter
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 2 c. powdered sugar

Measure the sugar into a bowl and zest the lemon into it. Work the rind into the sugar with your fingers until it’s well combined. Preheat the oven to 325.

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Put the butter into a mixing bowl and beat until light. Gradually beat in the sugar.

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Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beating well after each addition. Stir in the extract.

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Add the flour and baking powder. Beat well.

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You should have a thick creamy batter.

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Grease your pan(s) and fill them.

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Bake small cakes about 20 minutes. Loaves may need 45 minutes or more.

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While the cakes are baking make the glaze. Measure the powdered sugar into a bowl. Juice the lemon into the sugar and stir it into a glaze. Depending on how much juice is in the lemon, you may need to adjust the thickness of the glaze with a little more powdered sugar.

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Turn the cakes out onto a rack.

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Drizzle them with the glaze while they are still warm.

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You can serve these at any temperature.

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They’re especially nice with fresh berries and coriander flowers.

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Store leftovers lightly covered at room temperature for up to two days. Freeze for longer storage.

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Three years ago: Strawberry Frozen Custard
Two years ago: Traverse Cherry Pie
One year ago: Strawberry Lemon Torte


 

candycake7_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

This cake is something you’re going to want to bookmark for the times you need to throw a dessert together in a hurry. The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax. It’s an amazing book and the fact we lost Richard Sax at such a young age is a huge loss to those of us with a passion for cookbooks.

I had to tinker with the recipe, because I didn’t have the chocolate, Grand Marnier, or jam on hand he called for in the original. But it still turned out great. I served it with lightly sweetened whipped cream and strawberries on the side, but it’s very versatile. The flavor is actually better the next day.

Quick Chocolate Candy Cake, About eight generous servings

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. apricot preserves
  • 1 T. Grand Marnier
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 c. almond flour
  • Zest from one orange

1/4 c. soft fresh bread crumbs (regular or gluten free)

Preheat the oven to 375. Butter the sides of an 8″ round pan. Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the jam and Grand Marnier with one of the eggs.

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Then beat in the remaining two eggs, followed by the melted chocolate, almond flour and bread crumbs.

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Lastly, add the zest.

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Spread the batter into your pan and bake about 25 minutes.

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The center should still be a bit shiny.

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Serve warm or at room temperature.

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I cut this slice after the cake had been out of the oven for about 30 minutes. It was still warm.

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Serve with whipped cream, berries or both. The cake keeps several days covered at room temperature.


Three years ago: Fresh Ginger Carrot Muffins
Two years ago: Quick Caramel Apple Cake
One year ago: Chocolate Cake-Truffle Petits Fours


applecoffeecake_little-house-dunes14

by Heather Harris Brady

This is a great recipe from The Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas. I made a small change, adding a cinnamon swirl batter under the apples. It’s quick and easy to make but it looks very finished, it would be great to take to a brunch or tea. It also keeps well, if you like to bake things ahead for company.

You can use a deep-dish pie pan or a deep springform pan. Look for well-flavored baking apples to use in this recipe. I used Jonamacs.

Danish Apple Cake, Makes one 9″ cake – eight generous servings

  • 1/2 c. softened butter
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 3 baking apples, peeled, split in half and cored (let stand in acidulated water)
  • 2 T. melted butter
  • 2 T. granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375. Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cream well.

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Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

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Then alternately add the milk and the flour in two parts, beating well between each addition.

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Spread 3/4 of the batter in a greased, 9″ deep dish pie dish.

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Stir the cinnamon in the remaining batter and spread it across the top. Slice each apple half not quite through in 1/4″ slices (Hasselbeck-style).

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Press the apples cut side down on top of the batter.

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Brush them with the entire surface with the melted butter, then evenly sprinkle it with the sugar.

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Bake for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center is cooked through.

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This has a great flavor and a texture that is somewhere between a dessert cake and a coffeecake.

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It keeps well at room temperature and slices nicely for serving.

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Three years ago: Chocolate Pudding
Two years ago: Austrian Carnival Doughnuts
One year ago: Bran Muffins


strawberrytorte18_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Somehow I have found myself the mom of a high school senior, so we’ve been trying to cram some college visits in this summer – hence the lack of posts last week. I know, if I was prepared I could schedule some ahead of time. I aspire to that level of blogging someday 😉 But hey, I did get my new camera battery charger so yay! Better photos ahead.

To make it up to you here’s a pretty strawberry torte. The layers are lemony, soft yet firm enough to stand up to the weight of the berries. Despite it’s glamorous appearance, it goes together pretty quickly and you don’t have to have the oven on for long.

Strawberry Lemon Torte, Makes one 8″ torte

  • 1/2 c. soft butter
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • Two eggs, separated
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 t. fresh lemon zest
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 c. almond flour
  • 2-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 quarts fresh berries, washed and cleaned
  • 6 c. stabilized whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease two 8″ round pans. Cream the butter and sugar together.

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Add the egg yolks and flavorings. (I’m using farm fresh eggs here, which give you the amazing yellow color.)

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Beat in the dry ingredients.

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Then stir in the yogurt. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks, and fold those in.

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Spread the batter in the pans.

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Bake for about 15 minutes, until the centers are firm.

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I like to let them steam in the pans for a few minutes, before I turn them out on racks.

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Put the first layer on a cake plate and top it with a layer of berries. Fill gaps with smaller berries.

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Then top it with a layer of cream.

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Second layer, rest of the berries.

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Cover it all with the rest of the cream.

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Chill thoroughly before serving.

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Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, lightly covered.


Two years ago: Strawberry Cookie Cones
One year ago: Easy No-Bake Raspberry Pie

bananacake12_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

This is a quick snack cake I threw together while I was making dinner to use up some odd items I had laying around. It goes together in minutes and you can have warm cake for dessert! Since this recipe is meant to use up leftovers I’m giving you some potential substitutions below.

Butter Pecan Banana Cake, Makes on 8″ square cake

  • 5 T. softened butter
  • 3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas (or 1 c. pumpkin/sweet potato)
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1-3/4 c. flour
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk (or yogurt/sour cream)

Topping:

  • 1 c. shelled raw pecans
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 3 T. heavy cream
  • 1 t. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease a 8″ square cake pan. Cream the butter and sugar together, then cream in the eggs, bananas and vanilla.

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Beat in the flour, buttermilk, and baking powder.

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You should have a thick, creamy batter.

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Spread it in the pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until the center springs back lightly at the touch.

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While the cake is baking make the topping.

Combine the butter and nuts in a saucepan over medium heat.

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Saute for about five minutes, until the nuts and butter are starting to brown. Then add the sugar.

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Cook until the brown sugar starts to smell like caramel, about five minutes. Keep stirring! Then add the cream all at once.

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Cook for another two minutes and take it off the heat. Stir in the vanilla and let it cool. It will start to thicken up.

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Spread the topping over the warm cake.

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Sprinkle with some coarse salt if you like. Serve warm.

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Cover lightly with plastic and store any leftovers at room temperature.


Two years ago: Pavlovas
One year ago: Charred Asparagus

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