Winter brings out my love of comfort food. I just want to consume classic, easy, basic foods. I have been thinking about Pineapple Upside-Down cake for a while now because of that delicate caramelized layer of brown sugar and butter and fruit. I researched a lot of options and landed on this divine recipe that I slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour. If you are feeling like rewarding your tastebuds with joy, I suggest giving this little number a go.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 20-ounce cans pineapple rings in juice, drained
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish.
- To make the topping: Melt the butter, and mix with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Cut the Pineapple rings in half and arrange on brown sugar mixture in staggered rows or in any pattern you desire. (I had a few rings leftover that didn’t fit)
- To make the cake: Beat the butter and sugar until fairly smooth.
- Beat in the egg, then the salt, baking powder, vanilla, and coconut flavor.
- Add the flour alternately with the milk, mixing at medium speed and beginning and ending with the flour. Once the last of the flour is added, mix briefly, just until smooth.
- Spoon the thick batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges of the pan.
- Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. (Mine took closer to 40 or so minutes)
- Remove the cake from the oven, wait 3 minutes, then turn the pan over onto a serving plate (You’ll need a big one for this size of dish). Wait 30 seconds, then lift the pan off. If anything sticks in the pan, just lift it out and place it back on the cake.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you want an easy and delicious pie recipe, this one’s for you! It is so easy to put together and has a big payoff in flavor and texture. It tastes like summer, sunshine and joy. Also, I think it probably has three to four of your daily servings of fruit—and this pie is so good—you could eat it all in one sitting. Now that I call a win-win.
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
- 1 tablespoon butter, diced
- Turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over blueberries. Mix well. Line pie dish with one pie crust. Pour berry mixture into the crust, and dot with butter. Cut remaining pastry into 1/2-3/4 inch wide strips, and make lattice top. Crimp and flute edges. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on the top (A tip from my pie expert mama is to spritz the top of the crust with water to make the sugar stick more easily. Bake pie on lower shelf of oven for about 40-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. (If the crust edges start to get too brown after 30 minutes, cover with foil.)
One of the things I miss the most about living in Berlin is my little group of amazing friends. From that group comes one of my favorite people in the world—we’ll call her Girl Swede. She and I used to bake together a lot and she taught me so many of her Swedish traditions and makes the most amazing Swedish treats. This Sticky Cake was the first thing she ever made for me and I was hooked! Girl Swede correctly explained that it was such an easy and quick treat to make and it is commonly enjoyed during Fika (a Swedish coffee break that is accompanied by delectable pastries). So, if you are wanting a super simple but decadent, chocolatey, chewy, kind of sticky treat–make this. I guess you could also invite others to join you, instead of hoarding this all to yourself but, I’ll let you decide…
Swedish Sticky Cake, a.k.a. Kladdkaka
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1⁄3cups white sugar
- 1tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2cup butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Lightly grease an 9-inch cake pan.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside. Stir the eggs into the sugar until smooth. Add the flour mixture, and stir until combined. Pour in the vanilla extract and butter; stir until well combined. Pour into prepared cake pan.
- Bake on the lower rack (important!) of the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the center has slightly set. Allow cake to cool for 1 hour in the pie plate. The cake is equally delicious if served warm or cold, find your sweet spot! Also, this can be good garnished with ice cream or whipped cream or powdered sugar dusted on top—I like how this is like a brownie and I’m a purist, so I served it plain.
Original Swedish recipe found here.
This American version was found from here and very slightly adapted.
If your name is Caroline King, there’s a good chance you have a serious chocolate addiction. We won’t pretend we are the only ones “afflicted” with this “problem” so let’s just say that this is the latest in super rich, dense, chocolatey satisfaction. I can’t remember how I came across this recipe, but I’m so glad I did. It’s slightly adapted, but significantly delectable.
Chocolate Frosted Zucchini Bread
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated zucchini (approximately two medium)
- 1 cup chocolate chips (I used half semi-sweet and half dark)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups chocolate chips (I used half semi-sweet and half dark)
- Set oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly spray and line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment, leaving the ends long so you can lift the cake out for slicing after it has baked.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together. Sift the cocoa powder to get rid of any clumps. Set aside.
- Whisk the sugar and eggs together until pale and smooth. Beat in the butter and vanilla, then fold in the zucchini.
- Blend the dry ingredients into the wet, in three stages, blending just until incorporated after each addition; careful to not over-beat.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely on a rack before frosting.
- To make the ganache, heat the cream to a simmer, then pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes, then stir until glossy and smooth. Refrigerate until cooled and spreadable, stirring every 10 minutes until desired thickness (for me, that was approximately 25 minutes).
- Once spreadable, frost the bread. The recipe makes a LOT of ganache, so I frosted the sides as well.
Ya’ll knew that we would never give up our love for our favorite combination, PB&C—and throwing in banana with that is always ideal. There’s the great cookbook from some of my favorite baking pros, called Baked Elements. I love how they organize each section by flavor, and since I tend to be mood oriented with what I feel like baking or even listening to, this concept couldn’t be more perfect for me. I loved their Bananas Cake recipe, but unlike 2.0 (who is the yin to my yang) I am more of a lazy baker and wanted to try the idea with cupcakes instead of a three layer cake. This is a delicious hodgepodge of their cake, a thicker version of their ganache and a Peanut Butter Buttercream frosting. I would have to say, (sorry not sorry) it’s bananas.
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 oz. butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup Crisco
- 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
Peanut Butter Frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter
- 2.5 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 ounces butter
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake sheets with 24 liners and spray liners to prepare them. (There will be some leftover batter to make a mini loaf, if you have a pan—prepare with butter or cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
- Beat butter, shortening on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 10 to 15 seconds after each addition, until the egg is incorporated into the mixture. Then turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla and bananas and beat until well mixed. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners (and possible extra mini loaf).
- Bake for 20 minutes, until cake springs back when you gently touch it.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting:
- Cream together the peanut butter and butter for 2-3 minutes—until the color lightens a shade or two.
- Add the powdered sugar and salt, scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until well-combined.
- Set aside until ready to top cupcakes.
- When ready to frost, divide frosting evenly and dome the frosting as much as possible.
Chocolate Ganache Topping:
- Place the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan on low heat.
- Using a rubber spatula, stir until chocolate mixture is completely melted.
- Let cool to room temp.
- Put in refrigerator for 5 minutes, this will cool the sauce enough that when you mix it, it thickens enough to top the domed peanut butter frosting.
My mom makes the best apricot jam in the world (recipe coming soon, don’t you fret). I always try to get a jar when I visit or have her bring me one (or two or three). So, the other night when we were having an Italian themed family dinner at my house I knew what I had to do. Last fall, I had one of these homemade beauties in Rome and have wanted to make one ever since. I added almond flour to the original recipe and love the little bit of extra “oomph” that it gives. This crostata is simple, summery and oh so heavenly!
Serves 10 – 12
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
150g chilled butter, cut into cubes
2 egg yolks
1/4 icy cold water
2 cups good quality apricot jam (I used my mama’s cause I’m lucky like that)
Place the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor with dough blade and pulse until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolks and the icy cold water and process until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Scoop out of the bowl, wrap in cling wrap and let it sit for at 40 minutes in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously grease a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable base. Form 1/2 the pastry into a ball and place between 2 sheets of baking paper. Roll out until it is about half a centimeter thick and then line the base and sides with the pastry. The pastry should come about 2 cm up the side of the tin. Spread the jam evenly across the base of the tart. Now roll out the remaining pastry and cut it into strips. Carefully drape the strips over the pastry in a lattice pattern, leaving a nice gap between the strips. The pastry can be a little soft and sticky, so I didn’t weave the strips because the dough was tearing too easily to do that (I didn’t let it sit for 40 minutes in the fridge—only 20 minutes—which is why I changed that in the instructions). Trim any extra bits of pastry from the edges and bake in the oven on the top third rack for 35 – 40 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden (mine took a bit longer than that, but my oven is trippin lately). Cool before serving.
Recipe slightly adapted from Simple Food
I’ve been looking up ideas lately that are quick and that maybe take a break from our chocolate obsession. This one fit the bill perfectly and seemed like ideal treat to bring to a family BBQ. I love bananas, I love pudding and I love meringue (although it tends to be my nemesis). I added more Nilla wafers and bananas than the original recipe, and everyone was quite pleased with the results.
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 cups whole milk
4 large eggs, separated and divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 11-ounce box Nilla wafers (you won’t use the entire box, unless you pour the rest in your mouth—which—no judemgent here.)
- Preheat oven to 350. Make custard: whisk 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, milk and egg yolks in a pot set over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until it just begins to bubble, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn heat down slightly, and allow mixture to simmer, still stirring constantly, for 1 minute, then remove mixture from heat. Whisk in vanilla, salt and butter.
- Make meringue: put the egg whites, cream of tartar and 1/2 cup of sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer, and set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot to touch, about 3 minutes (This will melt the sugar). Transfer to the stand mixer fitted with whisk, and beat until stiff, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Line a 13-by-9-inch oven-safe casserole pan with two layers of Nilla wafers (I did one side face up and the other side face down to fill in the gaps) and layer all of the banana slices.
- Pour the custard over the bananas and cookies, then use a spatula to spread the meringue. Bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the peaks are the color of a toasted marshmallow. Allow to rest until ready to serve. (The author talks about how the meringue can weep a bit, I couldn’t find a way around that, but maybe those who are more masterful with meringue have some tips for that…)