Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

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Strawberry Bunny Cake

April 11, 2019

Growing up, my grandparents made a Bunny Cake every Easter. I recall being dazzled by the cake year after year. It was always so special looking…plus it was served on an extra big tray (and what little kid doesn’t get excited about that?!). This past Easter my mom and I made one at my house. We baked, frosted, and covered it with coconut the evening before. Then my mom added some fresh fruit to make the bunny face before serving. It was a huge hit with the whole family (and inspired some pretty wide toddler eyes too!).

20180331 Bunny Cake 02

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 c milk, room temperature
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 3 c hulled and chopped strawberries
  • Favorite white frosting (we used two containers of whipped vanilla frosting from the store)
  • 14 oz sweetened coconut flakes
  • Berries for decorating (we used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)

20180331 Bunny Cake 04

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and eggs until smooth and well blended.
  4. Mix in the milk, baking powder and salt until well combined.
  5. Mix in the flour and beat until smooth.
  6. Fold the chopped strawberries into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean. The sides should be have begun to come away from the pan.
  9. Cook the cakes on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  10. Turn the cakes out from the pans and remove the parchment paper lining.
  11. Allow to cool completely on the wire racks.
  12. Cut one of the cakes into two ears and a bowtie(the cake between the “ears” will become the bowtie; see the first photo above).
  13. Set the cakes on a large serving platter (in a pinch, you can use a large foam board covered in plastic wrap).
  14. Frost with your favorite frosting.
  15. Sprinkle coconut on top and gently press it into the frosting.
  16. Just before serving, decorate with fresh fruit to make the bunny’s face.

 

20180401 Bunny Cake

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Cranberry Cake

December 31, 2018

I am loving cooking with my toddler. He was very excited to help with this cake, and we all loved that it was not ultra sweet. The cranberries and lemon make it a very bright cake, even for the winter.

You will need:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, picked through to discard any that have gone soft
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Approx. 1 c powdered sugar

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  4. Mix in half of the flour and the sour cream.
  5. Mix in the remaining flour.
  6. Fold in the cranberries.
  7. Spread into the prepared bundt pan.
  8. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until golden on the sides. A tester in the middle should come out clean.
  9. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
  10. Allow to cool another 15 minutes before icing.
  11. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice with the powdered sugar to make a smooth glaze. Drizzle over the cake before serving.

20181125 Cranberry Cake 03

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Banana Bread Coffee Cake

September 25, 2018

This sweet treat brings together the best of banana bread with the best of coffee cake. Combining ripe bananas with warm cinnamon and brown sugar makes your kitchen smell amazing.

You will need:

  • 8 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 c light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1 3/4 c old-fashioned oats, divided
  • 2 T unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 baking dish with foil and grease with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together 8 tablespoons of the butter with 2/3 cup of the brown sugar.
  3. Mix in the eggs, banana, and vanilla.
  4. Mix in the banking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
  5. Mix in the flour and 1 1/4 cup of the oats.
  6. Spread into the prepared pan.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of oats with the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of cold butter, and pecans until it forms a crumbly mixture.
  8. Spread the topping on the batter.
  9. Bake 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean and the cake is golden.
  10. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

20180812 Banana Cake 03

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Guava Puff Pastry Pockets

July 17, 2018

I first had pastelitos de guayaba (guava puff pastries) at a little market in San Antonio. Pastelitos are a popular Cuban dessert, and you often find them filled with sticky guava paste and sweet cream cheese. I made a variation without the cream cheese for a summer picnic this month. I loved how portable they were and how well they handled the summer heat. Another bonus: there are only two ingredients!

20180703 Guava Puffs 05

You will need:

  • 1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, defrosted
  • 1 package guava paste (you’ll need about 12 oz)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Roll out each piece of puff pastry into a 12 inch by 12 inch square.
  3. Slice your guava paste and place on one sheet of the puff pastry. You want to space them to create twelve pockets of guava.
  4. Top with the remaining sheet of puff pastry. Cut into the twelve pieces.
  5. Use a fork to press the edges together.
  6. Make three small slices in the top of each piece to vent.
  7. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before eating.

20180703 Guava Puffs 01

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Granola Bars

June 19, 2018

While home with our sweet newborn, I’ve learned having snacks I can eat one-handed nearby is a must. I love these bars chilled, so I recommend keeping them in the fridge and grabbing a slice when you need a delicious break from your day.

You will need:

  • 1 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c dried fruit, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped

Then you will…

  1. Line a 9×9 baking dish with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the peanut butter together with the honey and maple syrup over medium-low heat until smooth and well combined. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats and dried fruit.
  4. Stir the peanut butter sauce into the oat mixture.
  5. Stir in the chocolate.
  6. Press the mixture into the prepared dish and refrigerate at least 3 hours or until firm before slicing.

20180605 Granola Bars 03

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Strawberries n’ Yogurt Popsicles

June 9, 2018

Our teething toddler recently discovered popsicles and all their cool yumminess. We found a mini popsicle mold online that makes small popsicles that are just the right size for his cute little hands and mouth. He loves strawberries and yogurt, so we let that inspire these popsicles.

20180601 Strawberry Popsicles

You will need:

  • 16 oz fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 c vanilla yogurt (I recommend a thicker yogurt like Greek or Icelandic skyr)
  • 4 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 t lime juice
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract

Then you will…

  1. Puree all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds.
  3. Freeze overnight.
  4. Enjoy in the sunshine.
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Citrus Cream Cheese Cake

May 18, 2018

Lemon and limes are extra special as the weather moves from winter to spring and summer. They are bright and wonderful additions to your dishes. The cake itself reminds me of a pound cake, and you get lots of citrus sunshine through the glaze in particular.

IMG_0035

You will need:

  • 1 c + 1 T unsalted butter, at room temperature (divided)
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese (or regular), at room temperature
  • 2 c sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced (divided)
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced (divided)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 c confectioners’ sugar

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a Bundt pan or cake pan by greasing with a nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Beat together 1 cup of the butter and the cream cheese until smooth, light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and sugar. Beat until well combined with the butter-cream cheese mixture.
  4. Beat in the vanilla, half of the citrus zests, and a pinch of salt.
  5. Mix in the flours until just combined.
  6. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 60 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
  8. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar with the remaining of the citrus zests and juices until smooth.
  9. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and whisk into the glaze.
  10. Drizzle over the top of the cake until you have as much as makes you and your taste buds happy.
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