• Fresh Strawberry Bundt Cake

    So it’s been a while!! Almost 3 months exactly…yikes. I have to say, cooking for fun just isn’t as easy or possible when you only go to the grocery store once a week, and I have found myself feeling really unmotivated to experiment. But! Now that summer is here, and open-air farmstands are open, I’m starting to feel better and miss the feeling of baking something “just because”. Embarrassingly enough, I baked and shot this cake back in MAY, thinking that I would feel like writing about it way sooner than this, but hey, better late than never! Taken from this New York Times Cooking recipe by Yossy Arefi, this cake is the perfect summery dessert, moist and light, but with SO much fresh strawberry flavor.

    A few notes on this- when reading the recipe on NYT, a 16 cup bundt pan is mentioned as the recommended size. I have never seen a 16 cup bundt pan, nor do I own one. I don’t even know what size mine is, but I suggest using what you have, and simply fill the pan 3/4 of the way full. That way you don’t have to worry about the pan overflowing in the oven, and you still have a beautiful looking cake, with some leftover batter (put it in muffin tins maybe??). Also, this recipe very specifically says whole milk yogurt, not Greek yogurt. Because I am a dummy, I read this too quick and specifically got greek yogurt instead. Fear not! If that is all you can find, measure out 1 cup of greek yogurt and fill the rest of the 1/4 cup with whole milk. This will thin it out enough and add a nice tang. Finally, this goes without saying, but try to find the freshest strawberries possible, and do NOT under ANY circumstances, use anything but fresh lemon juice. But I’m sure you already knew that.

    Okay! Before we get started, you know what time it is! Since I have left my “Things To Be Happy About” book in my apartment, I’ll make these ones up from scratch today, here goes!
    ONE. Taking all your downtime at home and turning it into something productive.
    TWO. Finally seeing a friend after months apart.
    THREE. Settling into a work from home routine.
    FOUR. Writing down five things you’re grateful for each day.
    FIVE. Wearing your mask outside, because you care about the safety of the people around you 🙂

    Let’s bake!

    Fresh Strawberry Bundt Cake Ingredients
    (adapted from NYT Cooking)

    1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened (plus more for greasing the pan)
    3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting the pan)
    1½ tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp baking soda
    1¼ tsp kosher salt
    1¾ cups granulated white sugar
    1 tsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
    3 eggs
    1¼ cups whole milk yogurt (or 1 cup greek yogurt + ¼ cup whole milk)
    ¼ cup lemon juice
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2¾ cups (~1 pound) fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped into pieces


    Fresh Strawberry Glaze Ingredients

    ¼ cup fresh strawberries
    2 cups confectioner’s sugar
    2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice


    Steps

    Move one rack to the center of the oven, and preheat to 325 degrees F. Generously butter and flour your bundt pan, making sure every crevice is covered.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder + soda, and salt. Set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer (or separate bowl with electric mixer), combine together the butter and sugar until uniform. Add the lemon zest, and beat this mixture until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.

    Turn the mixer down to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition and scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla, then mix on medium speed until combined. The mixture may look curdled at this point, I promise it fixes itself once the flour is added!

    At this point, carefully add in all the flour mixture at once, and mix on low speed until almost fully combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, stir around the sides and bottom to make sure everything is incorporated evenly.

    Take a ½ cup of the batter from the bowl and drop it, a tablespoon at a time, around the bottom of the prepared pan, until almost fully covered, smoothing out as you go. This will make sure that the strawberries don’t all sink to the bottom and stick.

    Add the chopped strawberries to the rest of the batter and mix until even. The batter will be quite thick! Spoon evenly into the pan and smooth out the top. Remember, if you’re using a bundt pan smaller that the 16-cup, only fill the pan about ¾ of the way full to prevent overflowing. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

    Bake the cake until the top is golden and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. It should be about 70 minutes, but I would start checking around 1 hour. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.

    To make the glaze: in a medium bowl, use a fork to mash the strawberries until smooth. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to start. The glaze should be quite thick, but still pourable. If it seems too thin, add some confectioner’s sugar, if it’s too thick, add the extra teaspoon (or more) of lemon juice.

    Place the cake (still on the cooling rack) onto a rimmed baking sheet and pour the glaze evenly over the whole thing, catching all the excess drips on the baking sheet. Let it set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

    xoxoxoxD

    Looking for more summery fruit desserts? Look here, here, and here!

  • Spiced Apple Cake

    T minus 2 days until Thanksgiving, WHO IS READY? Not me, that’s who. I’m spending too much time going over my notes from previous years and trying to come up with a reasonable schedule that won’t end with me making pie at 2 am. And yet, I will probably still be baking pies at 2 am. Because things just never go according to plan, as I’m sure you know. But before I worry about all this, let’s briefly talk about cake. This cake, in particular. Originally from Giada De Laurentiis, this spiced apple cake is perfectly light and moist thanks to AP and almond flours, plus it’s sandwiched on both sides by lil cinnamon apples so what’s not to love!

    Do you know someone who doesn’t like pie? Then this is the Thanksgiving dessert for them! Although, if you don’t like pie, probably don’t tell me, because I can’t handle that kind of negativity. Other than that, a warm slice of this would be perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee in your pjs, because cake for breakfast is never the wrong idea. Did I mention that it also takes literally 30 minutes to throw together? It’s a win-win!

    Here are 5 things to be happy about today!! (Thanksgiving addition)
    ONE. Sneaking some crispy turkey skin when no one is looking.
    TWO. Cranberry sauce holding the shape from its can.
    THREE. Eating Thanksgiving leftovers for three days straight.
    FOUR. Having a slice of each pie because why NOT.
    FIVE. Waiting until midnight after Thanksgiving to go into full Christmas mode.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving all! Let’s bake!!

    Spiced Apple Cake

    If for some reason you're not a pie person, or you're looking for a quick but impressive dessert, look no further than this cake! A beautifully light cake sandwiched on both sides by spiced apples, there's literally no time of day that this isn't appropriate.
    Prep Time 30 mins
    Cook Time 1 hr
    Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
    Course Dessert
    Servings 15 servings

    Ingredients
      

    • Softened butter; for greasing the pan
    • 6 granny smith apples; peeled and sliced
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon; divided
    • sticks butter; at room temperature
    • 1⅓ cup white sugar; divided
    • 4 large eggs
    • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
    • 1 cup Almond Flour
    • tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • A pinch ground cloves
    • ½ tsp kosher salt
    • cups buttermilk
    • Powdered sugar; for serving
    • Whipped Cream; for serving

    Instructions
     

    • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously butter the baking dish.
    • In a medium bowl, toss the apples with ⅓ cup white sugar and ½ tsp of cinnamon. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the 1½ sticks of softened butter and the remaining 1 cup of sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix each one until incorporated before adding the next.
    • Turn the mixer down and carefully add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, ½ tsp cinnamon, pinch of cloves, salt, and buttermilk. At this point, fold the batter with a rubber spatula so that you do not overmix.
    • Take half of the apples and spread them evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish, then pour the batter on top. Arrange the remaining apples on top in any pattern that you feel like!
    • Bake the cake for 1 hour, rotating halfway through baking, testing with a toothpick or cake tester to make sure it's fully done before removing from the oven. Allow to cool at least slightly before sprinkling with powdered sugar and/ or whipped cream. YUM!
    Keyword apple, cake, fall baking, Thanksgiving

    Need more Thanksgiving inspo? Look no further than here, here, here, and here!

  • Sourdough Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

    Hello my loves! I’m back this week with a fun and fancy new cake recipe, because it’s never not the time for cake. This weekend, we hosted my sister’s birthday party in our apartment, and to be honest it felt like an Olympic Sport to me. 25 people in our little apartment? Bring it on. Food and cake and drinks to fill all these people? I’ve got this. After a very successful trip to Trader Joe’s, my biggest concern was making a cake that would provide a slice for everyone. A Sweet D cake was promised in the Facebook invite, so the pressure was on!! Then, earlier in the week I came across a cake recipe that clicked PERFECTLY. Specifically, this cake, which has a surprise visit from my sourdough starter!

    To keep you all updated, last week, I suddenly got very motivated to make my own sourdough starter, despite knowing how much of an undertaking it is. If you’re interested in taking the plunge yourself, I found that this article from King Arthur Flour to be very informative. To give you a brief summary, sourdough starter is made by combining parts of flour and water and allowing it to sit, with daily feedings of more flour and water, so that the natural yeast develops to produce a tangy, flavorful loaf of bread. But sparing you all the intricacies of sourdough making, part of the feeding process is that every day, all but 4 ounces of the starter is discarded before more flour and water is added. It requires a relatively consistent feeding schedule, which is how I ended up getting up at 6:20 every morning to feed my starter before work, like it was a small dog. Good times.

    Now, yes, starter is just flour and water, but throwing out large portions of flour can feel wasteful, so that’s where this cake comes in. Originally a recipe from one of my favorite food writers Posie Harwood, this deeply chocolate cake is both decadent and simple somehow. Now before you get worried that this is more bread than cake, rest assured. The sourdough starter only creates the most moist, intensely flavored cake you’ll ever have. As my sister said, “This is the platonic ideal of a birthday cake”. The original author recommends eating the cake on its own, no need for frosting. I’m sure she’s correct, but since this was a birthday cake, frosting isn’t just wanted, its required.

    I call this shot the “I forgot to take pictures until the cake was almost gone” shot.

    You may remember a few weeks ago when I took a cake decorating class with Claire Saffitz of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen. If you weren’t here for that, YES that happened and it was glorious. Among the bits and pieces that I took home from that experience was a recipe for Claire’s chocolate cream cheese frosting. I feel silly for saying that I never thought about making a cream cheese frosting that’s anything but vanilla, and now I feel silly because this is DELICIOUS. Together with the cake and this frosting, it’s an unstoppable creation that had multiple guests going back for seconds. Have I tempted you enough yet?

    Before we start obviously, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. Discounted Halloween candy on November 1st.
    TWO. A crystal punch bowl set with glasses and a ladle.
    THREE. A well organized cheese plate.
    FOUR. Vintage bar carts.
    FIVE. Pre-sliced carrot and celery sticks with little cups of ranch and hummus.

    Let’s bake!!

    Sourdough Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

    A moist, intensely chocolate cake slathered in maybe the best frosting known to man, you will want to keep sourdough starter at all times for this recipe alone!!
    Prep Time 3 hrs
    Cook Time 40 mins
    Total Time 3 hrs 40 mins
    Course Dessert
    Servings 24 people (max)

    Ingredients
      

    Sourdough Chocolate Cake

    • 1 cup discard sourdough starter
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • cup white sugar
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
    • 1 tsp salt
    • tsp baking soda
    • ¾ cup Non-Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
    • 2 eggs

    Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 6 oz. cream cheese; at room temperature
    • 2 cups confectioners sugar
    • ¼ cup cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
    • pinch salt

    Instructions
     

    Sourdough Cake

    • In a large mixing bowl (not your stand mixer bowl), combine the milk, sourdough starter, and flour. Stir until all the flour has been moistened, but don't worry about getting out every single lump. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dishtowel and allow to sit for 2 hours.
    • After the 2 hours is up, preheat your oven to 350°F and generously grease a 9 x 13" baking sheet, then line the bottom with parchment paper for easy release.
    • In your stand mixer or another large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
    • Add the sourdough mixture to the bowl and beat on low speed until it's totally combined into the batter. It's very sticky, so it does help to stop the mixer and scrape everything down a few times to make sure everything is incorporated.
    • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. You'll know it's done when the top is very shiny, and only slightly bounces back when pushed with your finger. Run a knife or spatula around the sides and allow to cool completely in the pan before frosting or removing from the pan.

    Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

    • In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and confectioners sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
    • Add in the cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt, and whip until smooth and evenly combined.
    • Frost the cake as desired- you could leave the cake in the pan and just frost the top, or your could flip the cake out onto a sheet tray and frost all sides. Top with sprinkles, candles, or whatever you want! Now eat up!! YUM!
    Keyword cake, chocolate, cream cheese, frosting, sourdough, sprinkles

    Want more cake? Look here, here, here, and here!