Category Archives: Cakes and Muffins

Mini Apple Walnut Loaves

When my kids were younger and were still in Scouts, we used to sell apples to raise money every September. It takes quite a bit of courage for a 6 and a 9-year-old to go up to strangers and ask for donations. It was such a good experience and I was so proud of them. Now that their interests have changed and we are no longer in Scouts, I really miss those years of fund-raising, camping, hiking and all the other activities that we have done….  

Fall is the apple season and there are so many different kinds of apple. Gala is my favourite ! It’s not too big, it’s sweet and has the perfect texture for eating or baking. And I made these mini loaves with walnuts the other day. They taste best when warm….and even better with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream ! I like to make them in mini loaves as you don’t need to bake them as long and can freeze them very easily for later.  

Makes 4 mini loaves (dimensions of pans: 5.75 x 3.25 x 2.25 inches)

  • 360 g all-purpose flour
  • 10 g baking powder
  • 4 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 3 g ground cinnamon
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 100 g demerara or brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 180 mL vegetable oil
  • 150 g sour cream
  • 10 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 400 g diced apples, about 3-4 apples (I used Gala, washed, peeled and cored)
  • 120 g coarsely chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Lightly oiled and floured 4 mini loaf pans
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, set aside
  4. Whisk together eggs and sugars until frothy, mix in oil, vanilla and sour cream
  5. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix until just cooperated
  6. Stir in apples and walnuts
  7. Pour batter into 4 loaf pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes

 

Tools that I used 

Chicago Metallic 59440 Commercial II Non-Stick Mini Loaf Pans, Set of 4

You can get the mini loaf pans through the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item. 

Advertisements

Strawberry Mousse Cake

I first made this cake for my son’s 13th birthday last year. He specifically wanted a strawberry cake. It came out alright…but the cake was slightly dry and the mousse layer was too thick…..

My son’s birthday cake

I have been wanting to remake and “upgrade” it ever since, but never had a chance. It’s Mother’s Day, so I thought this is the perfect time! I added a jelly glaze on top to brighten both the colour and flavour. Each of the three layers has a different texture but they match very well together. It looks much prettier than last time too! I can now share it with my mom and my family. Happy Mother’s Day to all our moms! I wonder what my kids are doing to surprise me this year…….

Makes one 6 inch cake

For the cake

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 75 g cake and pastry flour, sifted
  • 2 g baking powder
  • 1 g salt
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 5 mL fresh lemon juice
  • 30 mL vegetable oil

For the mousse and jelly glaze

  • 400 g fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 160 g granulated sugar
  • 10 mL fresh lemon juice
  • 250 mL cold whipping cream
  • 4 x 1 g gelatin sheets

To make the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
  3. Whisk together egg yolks and 60 g of sugar until pale
  4. Mix in vanilla and oil, then gently fold in flour mixture
  5. In a separate bowl, make a meringue by whisking together egg whites and lemon juice until frothy
  6. Slowly add in 15 g of sugar, whisk until medium peak
  7. Gently fold meringue into flour mixture
  8. Pour batter into a lightly-greased 6 or 7 inch cake pan, lined with parchment paper at the bottom (see notes)
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes
  10. Let cool, then trim top and side of cake

Notes : I baked my cake in a 7 inch springform pan and trimmed it to fit into a 6 inch cake ring. You can just bake and assemble your cake in the same pan.

To make the mousse and jelly glaze

  1. For the mousse, place a large mixing bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes
  2. Soak 3 gelatin sheets (1 g each) in cold water for a few minutes
  3. Blend strawberries and strain seeds out through a mesh
  4. Add sugar and lemon juice, and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved
  5. Set aside half of the puree for the glaze
  6. Drained gelatin and add to remaining puree, stir until dissolved, let cool
  7. Whisk whipping cream in the cold mixing bowl until stiff peak
  8. Fold in strawberry gelatin mixture until just blended
  9. Pour on top of cake, smooth with a spatula and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours until set
  10. For the jelly glaze, soak 1 gelatin sheet in cold water for a few minutes
  11. Reheat the saved strawberry puree over medium heat
  12. Add drained gelatin and stir until dissolved
  13. Let cool, pour on top of mousse layer and refrigerate for another 3-4 hours until set
  14. Release cake from pan or ring and decorate as desired

Coffee Cake Muffins 

The past month has been super busy! Kids were on spring break, we went for a mini vacation to Portland with my parents. I came back to start a new pharmacy job, meanwhile trying to prepare for 3 Spring markets….. I was basically working 14-16 hours a day! It was exhausting but I had so much fun doing the markets. I love to share my baking passion and people’s responses are very positive and encouraging. I also love meeting and talking to other artisan vendors. It makes me really appreciate the time and effort that they put into their art, whether it’s food related or not. So go visit your local artisan markets and I am sure you will discover some very amazing local vendors and their products.

This is a recipe I did a while ago. I usually try to have one or two “spare” recipes so I can keep posting when I am busy. It’s a very simple muffin recipe but the crumble makes them taste so good! It’s a perfect afternoon snack with a cup of coffee! And definitely need it on my 16 hour-day!

Makes about 12 

For the muffins

  • 360 g all-purpose flour
  • 10 g baking powder
  • 4 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 180 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 60 mL canola oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 300 g sour cream
  • 10 mL pure vanilla extract

For the crumble

  • 60 g demerara or brown sugar
  • 90 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 g ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60 g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. To make the crumble, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt
  3. Rub in cold butter with fingers until resemble wet sand, set aside
  4. To make the batter, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda
  5. Mix in sugar and salt
  6. Add eggs, vanilla, sour cream, melted butter and oil, stir until just blended
  7. Spoon half of the batter, then half of the crumble into lightly oiled and floured muffin tins
  8. Layer with the remaining halves
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes

Recipe adapted from Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins with Streusel Topping at www.justataste.com

Funfetti Cheesecake 

Can’t believe 2017 is almost over ! It has been a fun and eventful year for me ! I have tried a number of new things…..I did a 10K run (and I actually ran the whole 10K, not walking !) I did two Christmas markets, selling my cookies for the very first time…..I have also injured my feet (plantar fasciitis) and I am not sure when they will completely healed….but oh well, that’s an age thing too, I guess……But overall, I think I had more good than bad this year ! I hope 2018 will be even better, I already have many plans in my mind ! Hope yours will be a prosperous one too ! 

Here is a fun cake to make for New Year ! Funfetti Cheesecake ! I added some rainbow sprinkles to a basic cheesecake recipe and used shortbread cookies for the crust. I baked the cheesecake in a hot water bath to prevent the cake from cracking….Hope you’ll enjoy it and have a fun New Year ! 

Makes one 6-inch cake

For the crust 

  • 150 g shortbread cookie crumbs (you can use any cookies of your choice)
  • 45 g unsalted butter, melted 

For the filling 

  • 500 g light cream cheese, softened 
  • 180 g granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 g all-purpose flour 
  • 7.5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • 25 g rainbow sprinkles

Extra sprinkles and whipped cream for decorating if needed 

  1. To make the crust, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter together 
  2. Press firmly onto bottom of a 6-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper 
  3. Bake for about 8 minutes, cool slightly 
  4. To make the filling, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth using an electric mixer 
  5. Add eggs, flour and vanilla, mix until blended 
  6. Fold in sprinkles 
  7. Pour into pan, smooth with a spatula and bake in a hot water bath for 50-60 minutes. You can wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent seepage 
  8. Cool completely, then refrigerate 
  9. When ready to serve, remove cake from pan, decorate with whipped cream and more sprinkles 

 

Halloween Monster Cupcakes 

I used to make my kids’ Halloween costumes when they were younger….fairy, witch, Thomas the Tank Engine, Ash from Pokemon, etc. Even though they don’t fit anymore, I still keep them in a box ! Maybe I am collecting too much “junk”, but they really brought back a lot of fond memories…..This year my daughter wants to be a grim reaper again, but scarier than the last two years. Yes, you read it right, it’s my daughter, not my son, and for the third time ! This was her on Halloween night two years ago ! She was only 8 ! Most 8-year-old girls would probably want to be a princess or a fairy, well….. not my girl ! 

Me? I am just going to make monster cupcakes ! These chocolate cupcakes with vanilla butter cream taste really yummy and are not scary at all ! They actually look quite adorable ! Happy Halloween ! 

Makes about 18-20 cupcakes 

For the chocolate cupcakes

  • 150 g all-purpose flour 
  • 150 g cake and pastry flour 
  • 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 6 g baking powder 
  • 3 g baking soda 
  • 3 g salt 
  • 200 g granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 180 mL buttermilk 
  • 60 mL vegetable oil 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • 180 mL boiling water 

For the butter cream frosting 

  • 240 g unsalted butter 
  • 480 g icing sugar, sifted 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • 30 -60 mL milk 
  • Gel food colouring 

You will also need candy melts, licorice sticks, candy eyeballs, etc for decoration

  1. To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt 
  3. Mix in sugar
  4. In another bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla 
  5. Pour wet ingredients (except boiling water) into dry ingredients, mix until just blended 
  6. Gradually stir in boiling water, 3-4 tablespoons at a time, until just combined, batter will be runny 
  7. Pour into slightly greased cupcake cups and bake in tins for about 16-18 minutes 
  8. Cool completely before frosting 
  9. To make the frosting, use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, start creaming butter 
  10. Gradually add in icing sugar, beat until fluffy
  11. Add vanilla, then milk, a little at a time, to desired consistency 
  12. Separate into batches, add gel food colourings
  13. Decorate cupcakes as desired 

Keep in refrigerator if not consume right away

 

 

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cake 

For Thanksgiving this year, I want to make something that I haven’t made before and is easy to put together. So I made this Pumpkin Cake ! I kept it light by using vegetable oil in the batter and just a small amount of butter in the frosting. I figured everyone might be running out of stomach space after a hearty turkey meal ! The maple walnuts are optional, but they are REALLY good and make the cake a lot more flavourful ! My daughter is usually my taste tester, but this time I got my mom to try it …..and she ate 2 big pieces of it, I guess that means it’s approved ! Happy Thanksgiving !

Makes one 8-inch square cake

For the cake 

  • 150 g canned or homemade pumpkin puree 
  • 200 g cake and pastry flour
  • 3 g baking powder
  • 3 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 5 g ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 90 mL vegetable oil
  • 90 mL buttermilk
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 

For the frosting 

  • 250 g cream cheese, softened
  • 60 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2.5 mL pure vanilla extract 

Optional toppings

Mix about 60 g walnuts with a tablespoon of maple syrup and toast in a 350°F oven for about 8 minutes.

  1. To make the cake, preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Line bottom of baking tray with parchment paper, lightly grease and flour the sides
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking power, baking soda, salt and spices
  4. Mix in sugar
  5. In another bowl, mix together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla
  6. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix until just blended
  7. Fold in pumpkin puree
  8. Pour into baking tray and bake for about 25-30 minutes, let cool 
  9. Evenly trim off top and sides with a serrated knife 
  10. To make the frosting, beat together cream cheese and butter until creamy
  11. Add icing sugar and vanilla, beat until smooth
  12. Spread over top of cake
  13. Top with toasted walnuts if desired 

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

I haven’t been blogging actively. It’s been such a busy summer and we were on vacation last week. I make this zucchini loaf all the time and I have been hoping to share it since May ! Somehow just never got around to it. Last week, the mom of my daughter’s best friend gave me a few gigantic zucchini fresh from her garden ! So I made this again and finally put the post together. It’s one of those sneaky recipes in which you can hide the vegetables ! My son doesn’t like sweets nor zucchini, but he would come back for more of this. I guess that means it tastes pretty good ! If you prefer, you can put them in muffin tins instead, just remember to adjust the baking time to about 20-25 minutes. 

Makes 2 mini loaves (dimensions of pan: 5.75 x 3.25 x 2.25 inches)

  • 120 g shredded zucchini
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 20 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 g baking powder
  • 1.5 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 180 mL buttermilk
  • 30 mL vegetable oil
  • 2.5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 60 g semi-sweet chocolate chips 
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F
    2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt
    3. Add both sugars
    4. In another bowl, mix together egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla
    5. Add wet ingredients into flour mixture, stir until just blended
    6. Fold in chocolate chips and zucchini (batter will be slightly runny)
    7. Pour into lightly greased and floured loaf pans
    8. Bake for about 40-45 minutes 

Tools that I used 

Chicago Metallic 59440 Commercial II Non-Stick Mini Loaf Pans, Set of 4

You can get the mini loaf pans through the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item.