Saturday, February 16, 2013

Strawberry Bundt Cake

Every once in a while, I read a recipe and want whatever it is immediately.  Well, ok, that actually happens a lot but I usually hold off and just create a stash of recipes that I refer to when I’m at a loss of what to make.  I found this cake recipe the other day though and read the ingredients – I had everything at home already, so I was making this cake…

Most people opt for chocolate cake or vanilla cake or even red velvet or carrot.  I have always had an affinity for strawberry cake.  More times than not, it’s what I had for my birthday every year as a kid.  And yes, I’m even talking about that bright pink boxed version – deeelish.

This recipe sounded great, it includes yogurt which gives a nice background tang and keeps it moist (ewww, hate that word), and requires you to roast the berries…I’d never heard of doing that, but I think it worked as the berry flavor really came through.  This is like the adult version of that boxed cake – I think I’m officially ready to move on.

Recipe adapted from

3 cups halved strawberries
1 ½ Tbsp granulated sugar (I omitted)
3 cups AP Flour, spooned and swept (I used 2 cups AP and 1 cup white whole wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 extra large eggs, plus 1 yolk
½ cup plain yogurt (I used nonfat Greek yogurt)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp red food coloring (I omitted)

1 cup white chocolate chips
¼ cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 375º.  Place the strawberries in a large baking dish and sprinkle with the 1 ½ Tbsp sugar. (I left this sugar out, just didn’t seem necessary since there is so much in the cake).  Roast for about 10-15 min, then remove from oven and set aside to cool for about 15 min.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325º.  Grease a 12-cup bundt pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. 

In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until even in color and texture and the mixture has lightened in color slightly.  Add the eggs one at a time, then add the yolk, vanilla extract and food coloring, beating just until well mixed.

In a blender, puree the strawberries and yogurt then add to the sugar mixture and beat on low speed or stir to combine.  Sift and slowly add the flour mixture just until combined.  Do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the greased pan making sure to evenly distribute.  Tap the pan on the counter a couple times to eliminate any air bubbles.  Bake in a preheated oven for 50-55 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  I started checking the cake after about 45 minutes and checked every 4-5 minutes thereafter.  When done, let cool in the pan for about 15 min, then careful tap the pan over a cooling rack to release and cool completely.

After about 20 minutes, make the white chocolate ganache by slowly melting the chips into the heavy cream. (I did this in 25 second increments in the microwave)  Let cool enough for the mixture to thicken slightly then pour over the cake.  Let set before serving.

*NOTES*  I only had frozen fruit and on top of that, I only had 2 cups of strawberries so I added 1 cup of blueberries.  It took a little longer to roast the fruit since it was frozen, but it worked just fine.  Blueberries are a dominant flavor and color, hence my cake being more gray-purple than pink, but the taste was amazing.  I’ll definitely make this again with only strawberries though.  Also, I think other toppings would work well on this cake – perhaps a simple vanilla or lemon powdered sugar glaze, or even a cream cheese glaze.  I’m starting to crave this again just by talking about it.  Experiment and enjoy! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Orange Coffee Cake Muffins - Baking GALS Round 17

For the first Baking GALS round of 2013, I wanted to make something different.  New year, no repeats (let’s hope I stick to that!).  I asked some friends for ideas and the suggestion was made to make something orange-flavored.  Well, two things immediately came to mind, both of which my mom made when I was growing up – orange cardamom bread and orange coffee cake.  I haven’t had the orange coffee cake in years and I’ve never actually made it myself so I knew that was the one.

A quick email and call home and I had the recipe and tips I needed.  I also learned that this is actually my grandma’s recipe and one of my dad’s favorites.  My mom has been making it for our family since the 70’s.  I think this is one of the few, if not the only, TRUE family recipes I’ve posted on this blog so I’m a little nostalgic about it.  If anyone makes this and doesn’t like it – spare me please and just keep your comments to yourself!

I noticed that there is melted shortening in the recipe – ewww, what??  I know shortening is just a vegetable product but it still just has a bad stigma in my head…even though one of my favorite jobs in the kitchen as a kid was to get a glob on a paper towel and grease the pans for whatever my mom was baking.  I distinctly remember sticking my hand in that big blue can…  So when I asked her if I could substitute butter, the immediate response was “Well that isn’t what they used when grandma was making this Steph - people used Crisco, just use Crisco.”  Ok fine, in honor of grandma, here goes:

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup melted shortening
1 tsp grated orange rind
3/4 cup orange juice

 In a separate bowl combine with a fork: 2 Tbsp grated orange rind, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 Tbsp butter (soft enough to mush into the other ingredients).

Sift flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla, rind, juice, and then add shortening.  Stir only until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour into 8" square greased pan.  Per my mother when I asked about using a mixer, “No no!  It’s a very delicate batter, definitely mix it by hand.”  Done and done.

Sprinkle topping over batter.  

Bake in 400° oven for 30 minutes, though start checking it after 25.   Obviously I made muffins rather than a cake – for regular size muffins, bake for about 11-13 min; for mini muffins, bake for about 10 min.  

This is good warm, but the orange flavor really comes out as it cools a little.  Enjoy!