Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Apple Fritter Cake

I've made this cake twice since I discovered it on Pinterest and plan on making it many more times.  The name really intrigued me but personally I don't think it tastes like apple fritters....more of a coffee, streusel type cake.  It is sooo good.  It's very moist and it's best eaten within a day or two while it's very fresh.  It definitely reminded me of the first cake I ever  made when I must have been around 12.  That one however, came out of a box!  It had the mix in a bag, the topping in a bag and the apples in a little can.  It was so easy to make.  And good...and I made it many, many times. 

This area of Virginia managed to survive Hurricane Sandy without any extensive damage.  However,  New Jersey and New York did not. I grew up on Long Island and lived there until I was 22.  Then I lived for quite a few years in Bayonne, New Jersey.  I just hate seeing those pictures of the New Jersey shore with everything just wiped away and what's left in shambles.  It is heartbreaking.  Beautiful Seaside Heights....seeing the roller coaster in the ocean.  Whoever would have thought that could happen?  When I lived up there flooding from hurricanes never crossed anyone's mind. But now?  Very different.  As far as Manhattan and Long Island, it's just a nightmare and my heart goes out to everyone there.  I guess it proves once again, that you cannot take anything or anyone for granted.

Apple Fritter Cake

from Nerdy Baker (my changes are in parenthesis)


For Filling

1 heaping cup of sliced apples, (I used 2 heaping cups)

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

small pinch freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons cornstarch (I used 1 heaping tablespoon)

2 teaspoons water (I used at least 5 tablespoons)


1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a 1/4 cup each of dark and light)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For Cake:

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup greek yogurt (you could use plain yogurt as well or sour cream)

For Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons milk


For filling: Make your filling by combining apples, sugar, water, cinnamon and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Cook on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickend and the apples are a bit soft. Set aside to cool. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together until well combined and set aside.

For Cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add applesauce and vanilla and mix till combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the batter in three parts alternating with the yogurt in two parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until just combined.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the cooled apple mixture over the batter carefully and spread as evenly as possible. Sprinkle 2/3 of brown sugar cinnamon mixture over apples and cover with the rest of the batter. Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture over the top.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

For Glaze: While the cake is baking, make the glaze. In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until the glaze is desired consistency. When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately but carefully pour onto hot cake.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Autumn Pumpkin Chili

This is a delicious and hearty chili.  It comes from the latest issue of Simple & Delicious by Taste of Home.  To be honest however, I just can't taste the pumpkin in it!!!  I would make this again and just increase the amount of chili powder since I like my chili spicy and this is somewhat mild.  At least for my taste, that is.   I love chili with fresh cornbread and when I went to get my cornmeal out I noticed it had long since expired. I don't like to fool with anything that is old so that just went into the trash.  Instead we had Hawaiian dinner rolls since that is what I had on hand. They were so good.  They are somewhat sweet so that just balanced itself perfectly with the chili.  Amazing how you can stumble upon things you would never pair together and then they turn out to be a perfect blend!  Have you ever tried the little Hawaiian dinner rolls?  If not, try them the next time you have chili and I promise you will be pleasantly surprised. 

1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. ground turkey
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
4 1/2 tsp. chili powder (I would increase this)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt (I increased this to 1/2)
1 can red kidney beans (my addition since the original recipe had no beans in it)

Saute onion and green and yellow peppers in oil in a large skillet until tender.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Crumble turkey into skillet.  Cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.

Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.  Stir in the pumpkin, tomatoes, chili powder, beans, pepper and salt.  Cover and cook on low for 7 - 9 hours.  Serve with toppings of your choice.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Grape Harvest Cake

This cake comes from Mary over at One Perfect Bite and it's another winner! I have been wanting to try baking a grape cake since I had seen one a while back and this was the perfect time to try it.  It's really delicious.  My cake was a bit taller than Mary's and the grapes were not visible from the top, the cake baked over them, so it wasn't as pretty. However, I'm sure it was just as delicious.  We had this with some whipped cream over it.  You can try subsituting other fruits too.  I think that would work out fine. I am going to try this in another week or so using mango.  Should be interesting.  I love trying new recipes and find that there are very few I repeat because I'm always on search for the "next one" to try! 

We made our yearly trip up to Graves Mountain this past weekend and I have a ton of apples here.  Looking for some new recipes for them.  Hopefully I'll have lots of successes and be posting them soon!  In the meantime I highly recommend this cake!

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for buttering the pan

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cane sugar

2 large eggs and 1 large egg yolk

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1-3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the pan

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk

2-1/4 cups (3/4 pound) red seedless grapes


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch metal cake pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Butter paper and then coat pan with flour.

2) In bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl frequently. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in yolk, followed by olive oil.

3) Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl.

4) On low speed, beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with additions of buttermilk and scraping down sides of the bowl frequently. Stir in half the grapes and pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with remaining grapes and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

5) Bake until cake is browned on top and springs back when pressed lightly with your finger, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of pan, then invert, peel off paper and cool cake upright on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature. Yield: 12 servings.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Buttermilk Chocolate Frosting

I've have found many ways to use up buttermilk and this frosting is perfect for just that!  My favorite frosting has always been marshmallow creme.  I just don't think you can beat that on chocolate cake. But that is just my preference.  This is probably second is really good as long as you don't want a sweet frosting.  This is pure chocolate with a bit of a tang to it from the buttermilk.  I would imagine that you could use less if you wanted less of a tang or more.  You can't really taste the buttermilk only a very slight hint of it.  Here is the basic recipe for it and by all means just adjust to your own taste for thicker or sweeter frosting!  I think it's great!     Buttermilk Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter

2 oz unsweetened chocolate

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided

5 tbsp buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

In a small, microwave safe bowl, melt together butter and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in 30-45 second intervals, stirring frequently, until mixture is smooth. Cool for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is close to room temperature.

Transfer butter mixture to a larger bowl. Beat in cocoa powder, 2 cups confectioners sugar, buttermilk, vanilla and salt, beating until frosting is smooth and slightly fluffy. Add additional confectioners’ sugar to thicken, if needed. Frosting should be at room temperature before using.

From BakingBites.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Coconut Buttermilk Pound Cake

The name of this pound cake alone made me want to try it.  It's from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine.  There were several recipes in the latest issue that used buttermilk so I was able to use up the whole quart.  Many times I've bought something needed for a recipe only to have that ingredient sit there and go to waste. Not this time though. 

I highly recommend trying this pound cake.  Pound cakes are one of my favorites and relatively easy to make.  This one is no exception.  The only thing I did differently was use a 9x5 inch baking pan instead the smaller one this recipe stated.  I've made several cakes where the recipe calls for a smaller baking pan and then when I look at the batter I think "no way."  I don't know why that is since I follow the recipe.  Oh well, if you make this I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.  It's not "kid friendly" here though, since my son is not a fan of coconut!

Toast coconut in a 350 F degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes and stir often and watch carefully.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, divided
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted, divided
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 4 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch loaf pan (I used 9 by 5).  Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy, 8 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.  Add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down bowl.  With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with two 1/2 cup additions buttermilk, and beat until combined.  With a rubber spatula, fold in 1 1/4 cups coconut. 

Transfer batter to pan and bake until skewer inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 60 minutes.  Let cool in pan on wire rack for one hour.  (I removed from pan after 15 minutes and cooled on rack). 

Whisk together confectioners' sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk.  Drizzle over cake and sprinkle with remainomg 1/4 cup coconut.