Chai Latte and Blueberry Coffee Cake

Chai Latte and Blueberry Coffee Cake

Traditional coffee cake is a single layer cake flavored with cinnamon and has a streusel topping made from butter, flour, and sugar. When creating this recipe I included the warm blend of chai spice and chai tea with fresh blueberries , a layer of cheese cake and an oatmeal streusel topping. This cake looks fancy but is very easy to make and perfect for everyday or as a special occasion cake. Fragrant and delicious on its own, or sprinkle with powdered sugar, add a vanilla drizzle ,or serve with ice cream or whipping cream. It can be made in two 6-inch spring form cake pans or in one 8-inch spring form cake pan. Other flavor variations, berries or seasonal fruits can be substituted including raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, a fresh berry mix, apples or peaches.

Ingredients and Baking Tips

  1. A chai spice blend of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice adds flavor and color without the need for additional fat and sugar.
  2. Fresh blueberries are a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K, and manganese, are heart healthy, and support brain, digestive, and immune health. Blueberries contain anthocyanin and polyphenol antioxidants, helping to protect against disease and cell damage caused by free radicals.
  3. A combination of olive oil and butter adds flavor, while making a moist and tender cake.
  4. I like using maple syrup in many of my cake recipes, reducing the need for added sugar. It has a lower glycemic index compared to cane sugar and brown sugar. Maple syrup is rich in antioxidants and calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese.
  5. Baking tools and Equipment. An electric stand mixer, measuring cups and spoons, two 6-inch spring form cake pans (or one 8-inch spring form cake pan), baking spray, parchment paper, and a baking cooling rack.
  6. Using the classic French baking technique of “Mise en Place”, organizing baking tools, gathering and measuring ingredients before starting the recipe, ensures a smooth process and a high quality cake. Preparing the cheesecake filling and streusel topping before mixing the cake ingredients can also be helpful.

Recipe

Chai Latte and Blueberry Coffee Cake

Cake Ingredients

5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup extra light olive oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chai skinny latte concentrate (I used Tazo)

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

1/2 cup low fat buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Cheesecake Layer

6 ounces cream cheese softened

one large egg lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose white flour

Oatmeal Streusel Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon white sugar

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2- 6 inch spring form pans or one 8-inch spring form pan with baking spray then line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together, sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice. Set aside.
  3. On medium speed with an electric hand or stand mixer beat butter and sugar together until smooth, add extra light olive oil and maple syrup, continue to beat until light and creamy about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add vanilla, then eggs one at a time mixing well between additions.
  5. Add lemon zest and chai skinny latte concentrate, mix well.
  6. On slow speed of electric or stand up mixer alternate flour mixture and buttermilk to cake batter mixing just until flour begins to disappear. Try not to overmix.
  7. Spoon batter evenly between two -6 inch spring form cake pans or one 8-inch spring form cake pan.
  8. Top batter with fresh blueberries.
  9. To make the cheese cake layer: in a separate bowl light beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla and mix well. Stir in flour until blended. Spread cheese cake layer evenly over the blueberries and cake batter.
  10. Prepare the streusel topping. In a small bowl mix the flour, oatmeal, brown and white sugars, and ground cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or with two forks until topping resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle batter with streusel topping.
  11. Bake on center rack of preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until cake is baked through and lightly springs back or by inserting a toothpick. Cool in pan for 15 minutes then release and continue to cool on a baking rack.

Similar Posts and Recipes

Strawberry and Cardamom Spice Streusel Muffins

Fresh strawberries are in season and compliment well with cardamom spice allowing each to shine in this recipe, creating a muffin that is lightly sweet, fragrant and flavorful. This muffin is also topped with a streusel of oatmeal and maple sugar, and is finished with a vanilla glaze. This recipe is very versatile and when fresh strawberries are not available, other fresh fruits in season can be substituted such as blueberries, cranberries, apples, and peaches. I think this may become my most favorite muffin recipe for summer. Many store bought muffins are overly sweet, lacking in flavor and contain unhealthy ingredients. These muffins are easy to make, contain high quality ingredients and taste amazing.

Key ingredients and Baking Tips

  • Fresh Strawberries: Choosing fresh fruits in season ensures the best quality and flavor. Conventionally grown strawberries are part of the “Dirty Dozen” 2021 produce list, when possible try to choose organically grown strawberries to avoid potentially harmful levels of pesticide residue. Strawberries are very nutritious, high in vitamin C, and a good source of potassium and fiber. Strawberries contain healthy phytochemicals and are rich in antioxidants protecting the immune system from the negative effects of free radicals that lead to heart disease and cancer.
  • Ground Cardamom is a very distinctive spice with origins in the ginger family. Cardamom is highly fragrant and has a unique minty and slightly sweet citrus-like flavor. It is used in both sweet and savory recipes. Clinical studies suggest cardamom may have many potential health benefits, is antibacterial, high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Cardamom has also shown to help relieve digestive problems. The amount of cardamom in this recipe can be adjusted to your taste and preference.
  • Organic Maple Syrup and Maple Sugar contributes to the natural sweetness and flavor, limiting the amount of added sugar needed. Organic maple sugar contains vitamins and minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Maple sugar also has healing and immune boosting properties.
  • Olive oil: These muffins have the flavor of real butter and the healthy goodness of olive oil. Substituting part of the butter with olive oil adds a warm rich flavor along with increasing healthy monounsaturated fats. Grapeseed oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil can be used in place of the olive oil.
  • Greek yogurt and Buttermilk keeps these muffins fluffy, moist and tender .
  • Oatmeal Maple Sugar Streusel Topping: Oatmeal is included in the list of healthy ingredients in this muffin recipe, supporting your whole grain and fiber goals for the day.
  • Equipment : I used a standup mixer to blend the ingredients, a 12- cup standard size muffin pan, parchment paper cupcake liners, and a ice cream scoop to portion and distribute the batter evenly in the muffin pan.
  • To create perfectly domed muffin tops, first bake the muffins at a higher temperature for 7-8 minutes then lower the temperature for the remaining baking time.

Recipe

Strawberry and Cardamom Spice Streusel Muffins

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries rinsed and cut into small pieces

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom

Oatmeal Streusel Maple Sugar Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar

Directions: in a small bowl mix together all the ingredients with a fork to create a crumb-like topping.

Vanilla glaze (optional) : in a small bowl measure 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, gradually whisk in one to two teaspoons of heavy cream to create a glaze consistency.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with parchment paper cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together, sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cardamom and set aside.
  3. On medium speed with an electric or standup mixer beat butter and sugar until smooth, add olive oil and maple syrup and continue to beat until light and fluffy, approximately 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add vanilla, then eggs one at a time until well blended.
  5. Add Greek yogurt and mix well.
  6. On slow speed of electric or standup mixer, starting and ending with flour mixture alternate with buttermilk just until blended. Try not to over mix.
  7. Gently fold in strawberries.
  8. Using a ice cream scoop evenly distribute batter among a 12-cup prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle with streusel topping.
  9. Bake in center rack of oven for 7-8 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. Bake until tops are lightly brown and muffins spring back with a light touch.
  10. Allow to cool in muffin tin for 15 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack.
  11. Once cooled drizzle with the vanilla glaze if desired.
  12. Store muffins at room temperature for 1-2 days or freeze for a later date.

For more muffin recipes:

Lemon Blueberry and Carrot Muffins

Rhubarb and Lavender Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

10 Tips to Healthy Home Baking

10 Tips to Healthy Home Baking

Homemade cakes and muffins are easy to make and can be more nutritious than store bought bakery. Replacing part of your recipe with healthier ingredients can improve both taste and nutrition, increasing fiber, and decreasing refined sugars, fats and oils. With nutrition and creativity as your guide there are endless ways you can make your homemade cakes and muffins a healthy option for breakfast, on the go snack, or dessert. 

  1. Reduce the amount of sugar by 25% in your recipe. Granulated white sugar contributes to “empty calories”. Regular consumption of high amounts of refined sugar increases health risks of diabetes and heart disease, and contributes to weight gain. Using natural sweeteners such as bananas, unsweetened applesauce, coconut sugar, or maple syrup to replace part of the sugar adds natural flavors and nutrition to your recipe.
  2. Replace butter in your recipe with healthier oils such as olive oil, grapeseed oil, or canola oil. Replace part of the fat with zucchini, applesauce, or prune puree or try using nut butters. Healthier oils contribute to your intake of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids and aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, E, and K.
  3. Replace 1/3 to ½ of white flour with almond flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or coconut flour. For every one cup white flour use ¾ cup of whole wheat pastry flour. Using unprocessed flours can help meet your daily fiber goals. Fiber helps to stabilize blood sugars and provides important prebiotics to support healthy good gut bacteria.
  4. To increase nutrition add fresh or frozen berries, apples, shredded carrots or zucchini, pumpkin puree, nuts, seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, ground flaxseed or wheat germ.  Limit artificial flavorings and candies, that can add unnecessary calories and increase refined sugars.
  5. For a vegetarian option to eggs, mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal with 3 tablespoons of water, mix together and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to thicken. 
  6. Add natural spices, pure extracts, fresh lemon or orange zest for added flavor. Natural spices contain antioxidants and phytochemicals that support the immune system. I like to add a chai spice blend of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice.  
  7. Using plain yogurt or buttermilk helps to add moisture, tenderize and provide a softer texture.
  8. For recipes using chocolate, substitute with 100% unsweetened cocoa powder, 70% or greater dark chocolate, or cocao nibs. I like to add 1-2 teaspoons of instant espresso to recipes to bring out the rich chocolate flavors. 
  9. Skip heavy sugar sweetened frostings for a light glaze or simply add a topping made of nuts or seeds. 
  10. Use organic whole-food unprocessed ingredients and avoid artificial food colorings or extracts. For added color use strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, beets, carrots, and pumpkin puree. Natural foods provide both color and added nutrition.

Healthy homemade baking is easy, guilt-free and can contribute to your healthy eating goals. Update a cherished family recipe or try one of the following recipes.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes

Chai Spice Apple Zucchini Bundt Cake

Lemon Blueberry and Carrot Muffins

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Fresh lemon and ginger highlight this blueberry and carrot muffin recipe. It is the perfect way to welcome Spring. Using whole fresh ingredients adds flavor and helps to keep these muffins healthy. Lemon juice and lemon zest adds a natural bright citrus flavor while activating the baking powder and baking soda helping the muffins to rise. Ginger contributes both a sweet and a lightly spiced flavor that balances well with the tartness of the lemon. If you do not have fresh ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger can be used in place of 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger added with the dry ingredients . Mixing the lemon zest and freshly grated ginger with a small amount of sugar before adding to the muffin batter helps to release and distribute the flavors more evenly.

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When cooking or baking with fresh ginger, first lightly peel off the top brown layer, then using a zester finely grate the amount of ginger needed. Fresh whole ginger can be placed in a tightly sealed bag and stored in the crisper of the refrigerator for up to one month or longer in the freezer. For this recipe baking tools I recommend are a stand up mixer, measuring cups and spoons, zester, small juicer, 12 cup muffin pan, ice cream scooper, and parchment paper cup liners.

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Recipe
Lemon Blueberry and Carrot Muffins
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened 
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar (separated)
  • 1/3 cup grape seed or canola oil 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (approximately one whole fresh lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1 fresh blueberries
Dry Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

Glaze: in a small bowl measure 1/2 cup powdered sugar gradually whisk in one to two teaspoons of heavy cream to create a glaze consistency.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with parchment paper cup liners. 

  1. In a medium bowl whisk sifted flour, baking powder, and baking soda together and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl mix together fresh lemon and ginger zest with 1 tablespoon sugar and set aside. 
  3. On medium speed with an electric or standup mixer beat together butter and sugar until smooth, add canola or grape seed oil and maple syrup and continue beating at medium speed until light and fluffy about 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Add eggs one at a time blending well between additions, then add vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon ginger mixture. 
  5. On slow speed of mixer gradually add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, starting and ending with flour mixture in 3 additions. 
  6. Gently mix in shredded carrots and then fresh blueberries being careful not to over mix the batter. 
  7. Using a ice cream scooper spoon batter equally among 12 muffin cups. 
  8. Bake for 22- 25 minutes, until muffins are lightly brown and tops spring back. 
  9. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove and continue to cool completely on a cooling rack before adding glaze. 

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Chocolate Banana Raspberry Mini Bundt Cakes

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Happy Valentines Day !

DRND8794

It may be cold and snowy today but the weather can’t stop me from baking Valentines treats. A combination of chocolate, banana, and raspberries, these mini- bundt cakes have a rich moist chocolate flavor that will warm your heart. I used banana, maple syrup, and raspberry jam for just the right amount of sweetness that compliments well with 100% cocoa powder and instant espresso.

 

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Recipe
Chocolate Banana Raspberry Mini Bundt Cakes
Ingredients:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened 
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup grape seed or canola oil 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (approximately 2 medium bananas) 
  • 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam 
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk 
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder 
Dry ingredients 
  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour (sifted)
  • 1/3 cup 100% unsweetened cacao powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
Directions: 

preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 6 well mini bundt pan with a non-stick baking spray. 

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the sifted flour, cacao powder, baking powder, and and baking soda. Set aside. 
  2. On medium speed of an electric or standup mixer cream unsalted butter , add granulated sugar and beat until smooth, add grape seed or canola oil, and maple syrup and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Add vanilla extract, then eggs one at a time, mix until well blended. 
  4. On low speed gradually mix in mashed banana and seedless raspberry jam until blended. 
  5. In a separate glass measuring cup whisk together the buttermilk and espresso powder.  
  6. On slow speed of electric mixer gradually add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to batter,  starting and ending with flour mixture in 3 additions, being careful not to over mix. 
  7. Evenly spoon batter into the mini bundt pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, and tops lightly spring back to touch. Cool in pan for 15 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.

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Related Posts 

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf with a Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes

 

How to Make a Healthy Smoothie

Fruit and vegetable smoothies are quick and easy to make and a powerhouse of nutrition. Smoothies can help you meet your nutrition goals whether you are following a vegetarian, plant-based, paleo, or keto diet or you are needing extra nutrients. Commercial or store- bought smoothies often contain added sugars, fats, artificial ingredients, and are high in calories.  Homemade smoothies can be much healthier than commercial or store- bought ones and when prepared right they provide many health benefits. They are a great way to get your fruits and vegetables in for the day and can provide a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants. Homemade smoothies save time when you are too busy to prepare a complete meal. The basic ingredients of a smoothie are a liquid base, fruits and vegetables, healthy add-ins, and ice. There are endless ways to make a smoothie and can be designed specifically to meet your nutrition goals. Homemade smoothies along with a well-balanced diet, exercise, and a healthy life style can support wellness, anti-aging, and improve nutrient intake. 

Tips to making the perfect smoothie 

1.    Choose fresh or frozen produce. Wash fresh produce thoroughly to remove any possible soil, bacteria, and pesticide residue. Produce should be cleaned right before using with a vegetable brush and then rinsed under cold water. Peel foods with non-edible skins. 

2.    Experiment with a variety of ingredients. Be creative. Choose ingredients specific to your nutrition goals. 

3.    Freezing fruit for a slushy or creamy texture. Adding ice can also maintain smoothie texture, increase fluid volume and fullness, without additional sugar or calories.

4.    Layer each ingredient starting with the liquid ingredients first. Blend at low speed first and gradually increase the power. The liquid base will keep the solids moving to make a more smooth consistency without small pieces remaining.

5.    Avoid refined sugars, if additional sweetness is desired add a little fruit concentrate, stevia, dates, or maple syrup to taste.  

6.    It is best to drink your smoothie right away. But you can keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Freeze your smoothie in small containers or in an ice cube tray to enjoy at a later time. 

Step 1: Choose a liquid base (1-2 cups) 

A 32 ounce smoothie is approximately 2 servings and will require 2 cups of liquid depending on the water content of fruits and other ingredients 

·     Almond, coconut, soy milk unsweetened, or low fat milk 

·     Kefir (choose without added sugars): is a fermented yogurt-like drink containing probiotics 

·     Herbal or green tea 

·     Vegetable juice

Step 2: Add Leafy Greens if desired 

To maximize nutrition antioxidants and phytochemicals add leafy greens. Choose a milder green if you are new to a smoothie. 

·     Mild: 1-2 cups spinach, romaine, or radish greens

·     Medium: ½ to 1 cup chard, Bok choy, collard greens, beet greens, or kale

·     Strong: 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup dandelion greens or arugula 

Step 3: Pick your protein

Protein is essential for building and maintaining lean muscle mass, bones, skin, hair and nails, and supports the immune system. 

·     Greek yogurt ¼ to ½ cup (plain is preferred) 

·     Cottage cheese 

·     Tofu 

·     Peanut butter

·     Protein powder (1 tablespoon to 1 scoop or more to preference, aim for 15 to 21 grams of protein per serving) choose certified USDA organic and non-GMO brands, whey based protein or pea protein (a non-dairy vegetarian and plant-based protein). 

Step 4: Choose your Fruit (1 cup)

Fruits provide a rich source of vitamin C, potassium, manganese, folate, B-vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Antioxidants support the immune system and protect your body from harmful free radicals that can lead to heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and other health conditions. Using frozen fruit creates a more creamy smoothie. Be careful when adding fruit as it also contributes to sugar and calorie content.  

·     Choose fresh or frozen fruit or try a combination of different fruits. 

·     Fruits high in antioxidants are blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, oranges, prunes and raisins. 

Step 4: Add Nutrition Boosters

Add one or more of these nutrition boosters to increase the nutritional value of your smoothie. 

·     Healthy Fats 1 tablespoon (nut butters, avocado, unsweetened coconut, flaxseed oil, cashews): contain omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, and helps to increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

·     Herbs and Spices (cinnamon, turmeric, ginger): helps improve immune function, digestion, decreases inflammation and relieves chronic pain associated with arthritis. 

·     Seeds 1 tablespoon (ground flaxseed, chia, or hemp seeds): provide omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, and zinc. 

Health note: 

There is no evidence that dietary supplements provide the same health benefits as eating a healthy well-balanced diet that includes lean unprocessed animal proteins, plant-based proteins, fruits and vegetables. High-dose supplements may actually be harmful and increase health-risk or interfere with certain medications. It is best to consult with your health care provider or a registered dietitian before starting any supplement.

Click on the link below to start your smoothie adventure

Orange and Mango Green Smoothie

Maple Sugar and Spice Cookies

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Maple Sugar and Spice Cookies 

The joy of holiday baking is creating a new cookie recipe. This recipe is similar to a traditional shortbread butter cookie adding holiday spices, maple sugar, and almond flour.

Recipe Tips and Highlights 
  • Organic maple sugar is made by evaporating the liquid (water) from maple syrup, and can be used as a healthy baking substitution to refined sugars such as brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Organic maple sugar contains vitamins and minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Maple sugar also has healing and immune boosting properties. It contains antioxidants that can protect us against harmful free radicals that can contribute to heart disease and cancer. 
  • In this recipe I replaced 1/4 of the all-purpose flour with super- fine blanched almond flour. Almond flour is made from almonds that are blanched, the skins are removed, then finely ground and sifted into flour. Almond flour offers many nutritious benefits, is a good source of protein,  fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium and is low in carbohydrates. In baked goods, almond flour adds a slightly sweet and buttery flavor.  
  • Adding an egg to this butter cookie helps to add moisture and bind the almond flour to the dough helping to maintain its cookie shape.
  • Warm spices of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and allspice provide flavor and compliment well with maple sugar , almond flour and butter.
  • To decorate and give a festive look I used a cookie press, or you can use the bottom of a decorative glass or even a fork.  After baking, I added a decorative glaze of powdered sugar and cream. ( To a 1/2 cup powdered sugar gradually add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cream to form a glaze,  then dip or brush on, and decorate with sprinkles)

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Recipe
Maple Sugar and Spice Cookies 
Ingredients 
  • 1 1/2 cup all- purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup super-fine almond flour (from blanched whole almonds)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 
  • 12 tablespoons ( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup organic maple sugar 
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 egg 
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. This recipe makes approximately 36 (1 1/2  inch diameter) cookies 

  1. Measure and sift all-purpose four and almond flour into a medium bowl. Add cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice and whisk together.
  2. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat unsalted butter, maple sugar, and powdered sugar at medium speed until light and creamy, 3-4 minutes stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to mix until well blended.
  3. With mixer on low speed gradually add flour and almond flour mixture in 3 additions. Mix until dough comes together, it will still be slightly crumbly.
  4. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
  5. Using a small cookie scoop or a small spoon, form dough into balls and place on to the parchment lined cookie sheet.
  6. Using a decorated cookie press or fork, dip into sugar then press into each cookie. 
  7. Bake cookies 12 minutes or until the edges and bottom of the cookies are lightly brown. 
  8. Cool cookies completely on a cookie rack before adding a glaze.
  9. To make the glaze, measure 1/2 cup powdered sugar into a small bowl, gradually add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cream, mixing well between additions. Dip or brush on glaze, and decorate if desired.  

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Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake

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Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake 

It’s a fall baking weekend, and I am making a new pumpkin cake recipe. This recipe is quick and easy to make and uses less sugar than traditional pumpkin cakes. I like using maple syrup in place of granulated sugar in many of my cake recipes. Maple syrup adds a natural sweetness that combines well with warm spices and many fruit cake recipes such as apple, banana or pumpkin, or in a zucchini or carrot cake. A swirl of pecan and cinnamon highlights the pumpkin perfectly. I used my 5 cup duet bundt cake pan but this cake can be made in a 6 cup cake pan or a regular loaf pan to.

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My collection of bundt pans. 

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Recipe 

Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake 

Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola or grape seed oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (sifted)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice

Pecan Cinnamon Swirl 

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Maple Glaze 
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons maple syrup                                                                  
  •  ½ to 1 teaspoon milk or heavy cream 

In a small bowl mix the powdered sugar and maple syrup together,  gradually add the milk or cream 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon at a time until lightly thickened.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl with a spoon , mix together the Pecan Cinnamon Swirl ingredients. Set aside.
  3. On medium speed with an electric or standup mixer beat butter and granulated sugar until smooth. Add grape seed or canola oil and maple syrup and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. To the cake batter add vanilla extract , then eggs one at a time blending well between each addition.
  5. Add pumpkin pie puree and blend until evenly distributed.
  6. On slow speed of mixer gradually add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, starting and ending with flour mixture in 3 additions.
  7. Spray a 6 cup bundt cake with baking spray. Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 of cake batter evenly into baking pan. Evenly distribute Pecan Cinnamon Swirl over batter. Spoon remaining cake batter. Place in center of oven, and bake for 35 to 38 minutes or until cake lightly springs back. Cool in pan for 15 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.
  8. Once cooled, drizzle with the maple syrup glaze.

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Marble Spice Bundt Cake

IMG_1406Marble Spice Bundt Cake

Happiness for me is creating a new bundt cake recipe. This marble cake combines a rich dark chocolate layer with a spiced butter cake layer. Unsweetened applesauce adds moistness and reduces the need for added sugar. Adding warm spices of ground cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and allspice complements this updated version of a traditional marble cake recipe.

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Recipe Tips
  • This cake recipe uses classic baking techniques. Using the exact ingredients and following each step in order as listed in the recipe will result in the best tasting cake.  
  • Most of my bundt cake recipes use a 6 cup bundt cake pan. This cake can also be made in a molded loaf pan. You can alternate the chocolate and butter cake layers to your design preference.  
  • Suggested equipment: flour sifter, stand-up electric mixer, whisks, long handle spatula, a double boiler pot or a small handle pot with a heat resistant glass bowl, cooling rack, and a 6 cup bundt cake or loaf pan (I like the Nordic brand of pans).

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Marble Spice Bundt Cake
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil (1/4 cup canola oil may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 ounces unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
Dry Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (sifted)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Chocolate Layer 
  • 1/4 cup or 2 ounces of dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup half and half cream 
  • 2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 6 cup bundt cake pan with baking spray.

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and all-spice. Set aside.
  2. Prepare chocolate layer. Using a double boiler or fill a small pot 1/2 way with water, and then set a larger glass bowl on top. Add dark chocolate, cream, and espresso powder and stir together. Set stove top burner to low and slowly melt chocolate stirring often. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly and whisk in the  unsweetened cocoa powder. Set aside to cool.
  3. On medium speed with an electric or standup mixer first beat the butter for 30 seconds then gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until smooth. Add grape seed oil and maple syrup, continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. To the cake batter add vanilla extract , then eggs one at a time blending well between each addition.
  5. Add unsweetened applesauce and blend until evenly distributed.
  6. On slow speed of electric mixer gradually add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, starting and ending with flour mixture in 3 additions.
  7. In a separate bowl combine 1/2 of the cake batter with the reserved chocolate mixture.
  8. Alternately spoon chocolate and butter cake batter evenly into the bundt pan. Place on center rack of oven, bake for 35 to 38 minutes or until cake lightly springs back. Cool in pan for 15 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.

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Chocolate Zucchini Loaf with a Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

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This Valentines Day combine healthy and sweet to bake a chocolate zucchini loaf that will make all your loved ones happy.  By substituting healthy ingredients in baking recipes you can enjoy your favorite desserts without the guilt and have the nutrition benefits to. The healthy ingredients I like to bake with are:

100% cocoa powder: Contains good sources of magnesium, niacin, potassium, copper, and manganese. Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids. Cocoa powder is anti-inflammatory, helps to decrease cancer risk, heart disease, and insulin resistance and may help to prevent depression and cognitive decline.

Zucchini: A good source of vitamin C and A, potassium, folate, and fiber. The green skin is rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free-radical cell damage. Zucchini contains both soluble and insoluble fiber helping to support a healthy digestive system.

Maple syrup: In this recipe I reduced  and replaced part of the sugar with maple syrup. It has a lower glycemic index compared to cane sugar and brown sugar. Maple syrup is rich in antioxidants and calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese.

Grape seed oil: Is from the seeds that remain from making wine. It is flavorless and does not alter the taste in foods compared to other oils making it ideal as a replacement to butter in baking recipes. Grape seed oil is high in phenolic antioxidants and a good source of vitamin E, is anti-inflammatory, helps lower cholesterol and insulin resistance.

Spices: Add flavor, color, and fragrance without adding fat and sugar. Dried spices have many  health benefits supporting digestive health, reducing inflammation, and preventing cell damage.

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Recipe

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf with a Raspberry Butter Cream Frosting 

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup shredded unpeeled zucchini

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose white flour (sifted)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper for easy removal of the cake after baking.

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, and allspice. Set aside.
  2. On medium speed with an electric or standup mixer beat butter and sugar until smooth, add grape seed oil and maple syrup and continue beating until light and fluffy about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla extract, then eggs one at a time until well blended.
  4. Whisk buttermilk and espresso powder together.
  5. On slow speed gradually add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk starting and ending with flour mixture.
  6. Gently by hand with a spatula mix in the shredded zucchini until well distributed.
  7. Transfer to a prepared loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 45 to 48 minutes until lightly springs back. Cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Once cooled frost if desired.

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Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of heavy whipping cream or half and half cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons of seedless raspberry preserves

With an electric mixer beat unsalted butter until light and fluffy, gradually add the powdered sugar . Add the vanilla and cream and continue beating. Then add 1 teaspoon at a time the raspberry preserves beating until well blended and smooth.

 

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