I did a kitchen cupboard inventory yesterday. On one of the upper shelves, I found a can of Solo Cake & Pastry Filling. I pulled back the label of the almond flavored can and noticed a recipe for a Bundt cake. Who doesn’t love the aroma of almonds and butter baking in a cake batter? I immediately pulled out a few sticks of butter to soften on the counter and waited in anticipation of a beautiful baking experience. Here’s the recipe:
This week marks the beginning of the official holiday season. Like many of you, my calendar is filled with holiday commitments, most of which require a carry-in dish or baked treat to bring along to the party. I really enjoy this time of year and I do my best to take advantage of a few stress-free tips that can really simplify things. One such tip would be to choose recipes that are easy yet flavorful. The recipe below includes ingredients that are nearly always on-hand in my kitchen. It’s adapted from a recipe that I found in an old community cookbook many years ago. This one’s a no brainer for me… It always turns out perfect. A few simple ingredients bake up a moist and flavorful, good ole’ fashioned, pound cake.
Easy Peasy Pound Cake
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
3/4 cup milk
Grease and flour a Bundt pan (take your time with this step, getting all of the softened butter and flour into all the nooks and crannies). DON’T PREHEAT THE OVEN.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla/almond extract and continue mixing well.
Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Beat until smooth batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
Place cake into the oven, set the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 60 to 90 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
It’s that time of year again… Back to school! This is a great quick bread loaf to bake in quantity and pop in the freezer for lunchbox treats throughout the year. We recently visited our daughter who has started her clinical year at a hospital in Illinois. I brought along an assortment of quick breads that I carefully sliced and individually wrapped for the freezer. This way, she can take out one slice at a time and pack it into her lunch bag for a morning snack or a lunchtime treat. As I think back to all of the blueberry recipes I’ve made for the family, this one is surely a winner!
Back to School Blueberry Bread
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons grated fresh lemon peel
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar or 1 cup powdered sugar
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk, beating well. Fold in the blueberries, nuts and lemon peel.
Transfer to a greased 9X5″ loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Continue to cool on a wire rack.
Combine the glaze ingredients and drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely before slicing.
This past holiday weekend was mild and breezy…the perfect opportunity to head up the road to a local farm to purchase some plump, ripe blueberries. The trip was inspired by my niece who had been “baking up a storm” to celebrate her mother’s (my sister’s) birthday. My sister celebrates her birthday on Independence Day so her daughter prepared a few festive goodies for the occasion. After seeing a few pictures of the table setting for the party, I was inspired to uncover our vintage Mustang convertible and take a drive down the country road to pick up a five-pound box of freshly picked berries. This is one of my favorite pie recipes as it is super simple, made with fresh, bright flavors and ingredients. There is nothing like sharing a piece of blueberry pie after dinner on a Sunday evening with the family before starting another busy work week.
Blueberry Pie with Oat Crumble Topping
1 pre-made pie crust
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
5 cups fresh blueberries
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
6 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Press the pie crust into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie plate. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour, lemon zest and lemon juice. Gently stir in the blueberries. Carefully, pour blueberry mixture into the pie crust.In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in butter using a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Spread the crumb topping evenly over the pie filling.
There’s nothing like a quiet weekend morning when all in the house are still asleep. I so enjoy tiptoeing through the kitchen to watch the sun come up while sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee. I use this time to plan weekly meals and search my “kitchen file” for clipped recipes from years past that I’ve been wanting to try again. This “kitchen file” holds recipes from my college days, the early years of marriage, the harried years of raising young children, and the middle aged years of managing a busy work schedule. My recipe interests seem to morph depending on my stage of life. During my college years, my favorite recipes were quick and inexpensive. During the early ears of marriage, my favorite recipes showcased new and interesting ingredients. While raising my young children, as I had three children within one year, it was mandatory that my recipes be quick and easy! Now, in my middle aged years, I’m all about prepping for a week’s worth of meals so I don’t have to fuss too much after a long day of work.
I think you’ll enjoy this recipe as my family seems to grab these cookies for any occasion. An “on the go” breakfast with a cup of tea, an afternoon snack, or a quick evening dessert… Delicious!
This is the version I make most often but I have also posted a link for a low sugar version that is delicious as well.
Crispy Ginger Snaps
1 cup oat bran flour
1 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1/4 cup turbinando sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat bran,flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt, allspice and cloves. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the margarine, butter, and brown sugar and coconut sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Next, add the molasses and egg, beat until fully combined. Add the flour/oat bran mixture to the wet ingredients; mix until combined.
In a small bowl, pour in the turbinado sugar. Roll the dough into 1″ balls, then roll in the sugar. Place on a baking sheet roughly 2″ apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Slightly cool before removing from baking sheets to cool completely.
For a healthier version of this recipe try this website…
Jeepers creepers, it sure is busy around here…
This happens every December as the temperatures drop, the snow starts to fall, and holiday celebrations begin.
I recently attended an early morning co-worker’s meeting. We only meet four times a year and our December meeting is more like a meeting/potluck lunch. We discuss business during the morning hours and then celebrate the upcoming holidays with a carry-in lunch in the afternoon. As a special breakfast treat, I had volunteered to bake a few items and run to a local coffee shop for a box of hot coffee for the crowd.
Well, to my dismay, it started to snow heavily the night before the event and I knew the snow would hamper my trip to the donut shop the following morning. I decided that I would get up really early to throw my baked goods into the oven so that I could travel into town and onto the meeting in a timely manner. I wanted to make an uncomplicated recipe with only a few ingredients to speed up the process so I grabbed my recipe file to look for a recipe that had appeared in the newspaper many years ago. I had clipped it out and tucked it away for just such an occasion. For this simple recipe, I used a box of spice cake mix and a can of apple pie filling for two of the ingredients. The addition of three eggs was all that was needed to finish off the batter. I threw in a handful of chopped walnuts to add a bit of crunch.
Below you will find the basic recipe. The addition of nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, etc. will certainly add to the flavor and texture of the cake. I’ve added a note with some classic flavor combinations if you would like to change things up a bit… Enjoy this moist and flavorful cake!
Amish Snack Cake
1 box cake mix, any flavor (I use spice cake mix)
3 large eggs, beaten
1 can pie filling, any flavor (I use apple pie filling)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9″ pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, eggs and pie filling. Stir together until well blended. Bake for 40-45 minutes or test for doneness with a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake. Cool completely before icing (if desired).
- Chocolate cake mix with cherry pie filling and chocolate chips
- Butter pecan cake mix with apple pie filling and nuts
- Yellow cake mix with peach filling and walnuts
- Pineapple cake mix with blueberry filling and coconut
- Yellow cake mix with cherry filling
- Spice cake mix with apple pie filling and walnuts
A couple of years ago, I was invited to an afternoon luncheon where a gathering of friends would celebrate the coming of Christmas. When I arrived, several women were happily chatting as they placed holiday favors at each place setting. An assortment of Christmas chocolates, candy canes, and holiday ornaments were individually wrapped for each guest. One woman had made at least 3 dozen mini-quick bread loaves, each beautifully bundled in festive cellophane wrap. She had baked lots of different flavored loaves; pumpkin nut, cranberry orange, banana, and lemon pound cake. I was tickled to receive the lemon flavored loaf for the glaze glistened through the cellophane and looked absolutely delicious.
Arriving home, I promptly put on the kettle and sliced the loaf to share with the family. A quick bite had me rummaging through my recipe files as the taste reminded me of an old recipe I had tucked away years before. The lemony flavor is perfect and the texture is incredibly moist. This recipe makes a beautiful bundt cake that is baked for about 1 hour. (I often pour the batter in two 8X4″ loaf pans and bake for 40-45 minutes.) The zesty glaze adds a boost of flavor that soaks into the cake and makes it a wonderful addition to the holiday dessert table.
Lemon Christmas Cake
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon extract
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
Beat sugar and butter together in a bowl until light and fluffy, nearly 10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, thoroughly beating after each addition into the butter and sugar mixture. Stir in lemon extract. In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking soda together. Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture; mix well. Pour in half the buttermilk and beat until combined. Continue adding the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, beating well after each addition, and ending with the flour mixture. Evenly pour batter into prepared pan. Before baking, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 60 to 75 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
For the glaze:
Beat confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons butter, and lemon zest together in a bowl until glaze is smooth. Pour about half the glaze over the cake; let cool. Pour remaining glaze over the cake.