The grocery store was packed with holiday shoppers yesterday. The warm sun and mild temperatures brought people out in light jackets and cropped pants. I’m so happy that Spring has arrived in our part of the world.
Like many of you, I’ve been baking goodies for the Easter weekend. The local grocer had a huge display of overly ripened bananas on hand so I picked a decent selection of fruit and carted it home with me. I headed to my trusty file to find one of my spring-time favorites. This scrumptious Banana Streusel Swirl Cake is absolutely delicious. I hope you have a chance enjoy this crunchy, sweet, delicate cake made with pecans, cinnamon, mashed bananas, and a convenient cake mix. Happy Easter, Everyone!
Banana Streusel Swirl Cake
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 package Yellow, Spice or Banana Cake Mix
1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
4 eggs, slightly beaten
3-4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease a 10″ bundt pan.
For the streusel: combine all 4 ingredients and stir well. Set aside.
For the cake: combine all 6 ingredients and mix by hand or with a mixer for 2 minutes. Batter should be thick and well combined.
Pour half the batter into bundt pan. Sprinkle streusel over batter. Spread remaining batter over streusel. Gently swirl the batter with a butter knife in a circular motion. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 25 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from pan and invert on a cake plate. If desired, frost with glaze and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
During my weekly shopping trips, I usually purchase a load of bananas for quick breakfasts and simple snacks. By the end of the week, the bright yellow and slightly green fruit has turned to more of a brown and yellow speckled mass of goodness. While some might pitch the ripe bananas in the trash, to me, these gorgeous specimens are best for baking. The sugar becomes more concentrated and the texture of the banana lends a moist property to scrumptious treats baked in the oven. I often toss the brown fruit into the freezer, skins and all, so that they become even more flavorful and delicious. Just pull the frozen bananas out of the freezer a bit before baking, peel the slightly thawed fruit, mash, and add to your favorite banana based recipes.
Best Banana Cake Ever
1 package yellow or white cake mix (with directed ingredients – eggs, water, oil)
2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Mash the bananas with the baking soda and stir into the cake mix batter. Pour batter into one greased and floured 9×13 inch baking pan. Do not preheat oven. Place uncooked cake in oven and turn oven on to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool thoroughly before frosting, slicing, and serving.
I’ve been fooling around with cake mix recipes for years. I often have extra fruit ripening on the counter or parked in the fridge for too long so I keep a stash of cake mixes on hand to whip up a batch of breakfast muffins. The cake mix and fruit combine easily for a quick and easy twist on the classic fruit muffin.
This week I had two bananas and a bit of homemade applesauce to add to the mix. The ratio usually requires the standard mix, 1/3 cup of oil, 3 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of a overly ripe or wet fruit. I’ve often mixed in flavored yogurt as well. Play around with your favorite flavor combinations and see what you come up with. I’d love for you to share any of the cake mix combos that you enjoy. I love this quick and easy method of baking in a semi-homemade way.
Easy Cake Mix Apple and Banana Nut Muffins
1 box cake mix, white or yellow
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup mashed overly ripe bananas (2 medium)
1/2 cup chunky applesauce (I use homemade applesauce)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Old fashioned oats or brown sugar topping, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray 2 muffin pans with cooking spray or line with paper liners. In large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups. Sprinkle with a handful of old fashioned oats or brown sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean and inside of cracks do not look wet.
Boy, if you don’t like this cake, I don’t know what to say! A bonus…it’s super easy to make. Once again, I started with a basic cake mix.
Years ago, I found a recipe for a cinnamon coffee cake that was a bit time consuming to pull together. It tasted great so I continued to make it for the family. Then, a couple of years ago, I found a similar (but easier) recipe in the newspaper and tucked it away for another day. Yesterday, I had a taste for my original cinnamon coffee cake recipe. While looking through my recipe binder, I found the page ripped from the newspaper that I had tucked away some time ago. I thought…why not give it a try? After altering the recipe a bit, I quickly mixed it up and threw it in the oven.
Well, the smell of the cinnamon and extracts was enough to make me salivate in front of the oven, as I watched the cake rise and take shape. Mmmmm, it sure smelled wonderful! And, after letting it cool and giving it a taste, I was not disappointed! This sweet, moist, cinnamon roll coffee cake is absolutely delicious!
Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake
1 box yellow or white pudding cake mix
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon softened margarine
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Prepare cake mix as directed on the package. Add extracts to the batter and mix well. Spray, with cooking spray, a 13×9″ baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix together the topping ingredients. Pour half of the batter in the baking dish. Sprinkle half of the topping mixture over the batter. Pour on the remaining batter and finish by adding the remaining topping. Swirl through the cake mix with a knife. Bake according to package directions. Cool and top with my powdered sugar icing. Yummy!
Growing up, I remember a boxed mix that my mom used to buy to make something called a snack cake. The favorite in our household was the spice mix flavor. Mom used to quickly bake it in a square pan and slice it into 9 squares. Once our family had grown to a count of 10 people, she was out of luck and needed to find a larger cake mix recipe…the traditional, full-sized cake mix that could be baked in a 9×13 pan.
What I like best about the snack cake is the ease of it all…only a few ingredients and no frosting needed.
This recipe is certainly a favorite. I pack quite a few lunches on a daily basis and this cake is really quite easy to slice, wrap and pack. As my oldest child will be heading to college in August, this will be a great cake to bake and send in a care package as I am sure she will be missing our traditional home-baked goodies. (And we will be missing her!)
Easy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Snack Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips; mix until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish; bake 35-40 minutes.
This past weekend, we celebrated my daughter’s graduation from high school. I knew the temperature was predicted to reach 90 degrees so I got all of my baking out of the way during the week, while the temperatures were mild and breezy. A couple of weeks ago, I saw that the local market was having a sale on cake mix. I had cake mix coupons to stack onto the sale price so the final price came out to 75 cents per box! I bought 5 boxes and remembered that I had a great recipe for Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies. I thought that this would be a great addition to the dessert table at the graduation party. These cookies are crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. They have great flavor and the guests really enjoyed them. Store in an air-tight container (if they last that long).
Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies
1 box yellow cake mix
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup canola oil
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
Combine cake mix, oatmeal, and sugar in large bowl; mix well. In a medium bowl, combine oil, eggs and extract; mix thoroughly. Next, add wet mixture to dry ingredients, stir well. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.
Use a small ice cream scoop to drop on ungreased cookie sheets about 2″ apart. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to continue cooling.
I love when my family has the opportunity to kick back in the evening and spend some time together. We often relax while watching a movie, sitting on the deck of our pool, having a bonfire, or just talking around the kitchen table. I always turn to this recipe for an evening treat because it is so quick and easy to assemble and everyone can join in to make their own favorite treat. I usually have the cookies made ahead of time. Then, I line up the counter with various tubs of ice cream flavors and an assortment of toppings. Everyone can load up their cookie sandwich with all of their favorites and enjoy family time together. In this busy world, I just love munching on this scrumptious treat and sharing quality time with those that I hold dearest in my heart.
Cake Mix Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 box of white cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Ice Cream, any flavor
Toppings: Chocolate Chips, Sprinkles, Candies, etc.
In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs and oil.
Use a small ice cream scoop to make 1″ balls with the dough and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 6-10 minutes and light golden brown around the edges. After five minutes, remove to a wire rack to completely.
For filling, place a large scoop of ice cream between two cooled cookies, press firmly to flatten ice cream a bit. Press chocolate chips into the ice cream for added flavor.
Note: Use any flavor cake mix, ice cream, or toppings, to make this a personalized family favorite.
Every year, around the holidays, I bake this loaf for friends and co-workers. I take out my ceramic bowls, baking supplies and loaf pans and turn out about 15 loaves in a matter of hours. After I let the loaves cool, I wrap them in foil and Christmas wrapping paper, tie them up with Christmas ribbons and send them off to various friends and co-workers. This yummy loaf is quick and easy to make yet looks like it takes hours. This recipe yields three gift jars that can be used to make one loaf each.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
1 pkg. white cake mix
2 pkg. rapid-rise yeast
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 16 oz. jars
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients and evenly distribute them into the three jars. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon and distribute into three plastic baggies. To each jar, attach a baggie and a copy of the following directions.
To make Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Set aside sugar-cinnamon baggie.
In a large bowl, combine bread mix with 1 cup of warm water.
Stir until well combined.
Stir in one more cup of flour and kneed dough until smooth.
Return dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 45 minutes.
Punch down dough and roll into an 8” X 12” rectangle.
Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon –sugar mixture.
Roll up the dough and place seam side down in greased loaf pan.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.