Gum Drop Cake


Had enough sugar yet today?

My Nana used to make this cake for us when we were kids.

I’m not sure if it’s one of those depression era cakes that remind me of grandma’s and farmhouses or if it’s just a classically good everyday cake that’s delicious enough to serve for any celebration.
…And most days are worth celebrating, aren’t they?

GUM DROP CAKE

1/2 Cup Butter, vegan
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Cup Plain Soy Milk
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Chopped Gum Drops, about 15

Combine the milk with the lemon juice and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a loaf pan with butter and flour.
Cream the butter with the sugar.
Add the salt, cinnamon, baking powder and soda.
Alternating, add about one third of the milk and 1/2 cup of flour until it has all been incorporated.
Stir in the chopped gumdrops to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester is cleanly removed.

Cool completely before serving.
If desired drizzle with a tangelo glaze:

1/2 Cup Icing Sugar
Zest and juice of 1 tangelo

Sift the sugar and add the zest.
Whisk in the juice until smooth, add water, one drop at a time, if necessary.

Strawberry Breakfast Cake


Seems late for strawberries, but this year the weather went from hot to cool and rainy then back again. It may leave me with not being able to pack my long pants away but at least I have more time to visit the strawberry field. Usually the year’s weather will determining the look (and taste) of the strawberries for the season, however this year they were all over the map. I suppose you could say, kind of like that weather.

The cooler sunny days seemed to make them smaller, sweet and abundant. Of course you won’t hear any complaints from me.

After picking several pounds of them, I naturally feasted, making full meals while hulling sinkside. I revisited my recipes of past years, I even shared a few baskets. With my last two pints in the fridge, I wanted some for snacking but I was also left craving something a little less sweet and perfect for a Sunday morning, or anytime. This is strawberry season of course.

STRAWBERRY BREAKFAST CAKE

1 Cup Self Rising Flour
1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 Cup Quick Oats
1/3 Cup Semolina
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 ½ Cups Soy Milk
1 Banana, well mashed
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest, about 1/2 an orange
1 Pint Strawberries, divided

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Prepare a 9” round cake pan with oil and a dusting of flour.
Hull the strawberries and roughly dice half of the pint, equally 1 Cup.
Slice the remaining strawberries and reserve for serving. Macerate strawberries in orange juice, sugar and Contreau, if desired and it’s brunch, not breakfast:).
In a large bowl combine the flours, oats, semolina, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar.
In a pourable measuring cup, mix the soy milk, mashed banana, oil and vanilla.
Add the milk mixture to the dry stirring just to moisten and combine.
Fold in the orange zest and chopped strawberries then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester can be removed cleanly from the centre of the cake.
Cool to remove from the pan and serve with reserved strawberries.

Celebrate Life With National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day



Who knew?

When I saw that reminder on Twitter, I couldn’t help myself but to think that I may not have been celebrating enough lately.
How about you?
Life a little busy? Preoccupied with everything?

I had a pineapple sitting, waiting for someone to enjoy it, so when I saw this, I just couldn’t help myself… plus I made it small. Perfect for date night or a celebration of one.

Every time I think of pineapple upside-down cakes, I think of my nana or some other 50’s era mom baking this for some backyard bbq but apparently this cake has been around for at least another generation than that. Either way, it’s quick, it’s retro and it’s fun.

Why not celebrate?


VEGAN PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

1/4 Cup Vegan Butter, like Earth Balance – softened
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 Tablespoons Pineapple Juice
1 Cup Self-Rising Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Soy Milk
1 teaspoon White Vinegar
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut, optional
1/2 Cup Fresh Pineapple, thinly sliced, about 1/8″thick
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Lightly spray one 9 inch or two 4 inch spring form pans.
Evenly sprinkle over the brown sugar and fan out the pineapple slices in one layer.
Sprinkle over coconut, if using.
Meanwhile, cream the butter with the granulated sugar, then add the juice.
In a pourable measuring cup, combine the soy milk with the vinegar and stir.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the batter.
Pour the batter over the prepared pineapple pans, dividing batter equally, if using the two 4 inch pans.
Set pans on a cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes for the 4 inch pans and 40 minutes for the 9 inch or until a cake tester comes out clean from the centre of the cake.
Cool, invert and release from the spring form pan.

Oh, and just to be interesting, I made these cupcakelettes for the kiddies. Same idea, only easier.
Sprinkle of brown sugar on the bottom of the mini- silicone “papers” with a thin slice of pineapple.
Topped with the same cake batter, I just lessened the timing and baked these for about 12ish minutes.
Way more kid friendly and so fun for party popping.

Pumpkin Cranberry Scones



I’m sitting and eating and eating and thinking about what to write for a post.
These are good. Even on the second day, but especially just warm from the oven. The amazing thing is that they are perfectly autumn and the moisture hasn’t given way to the little bricks that so many other scones can become.

I may have mentioned my favourite fall outings to the pumpkin patch, my Scottish roots and even my recent vacation. All of which brought me to my current gluttony of scones and tea.

Having arrived home after 2 1/2 weeks in the sun, one of my hoarded pumpkins wasn’t too happy about being hauled inside a little early. With signs of softness starting, I knew it wouldn’t store but since it was one of my favourite Galeux d’Eysines, I didn’t really mind carving in early.
These old French heirlooms are perfect for baking and savoury dishes.
Might be why these thing taste so good!

(That’s her in the middle, my Galeux d’Eysines in all her unspoiled glory.)


PUMPKIN CRANBERRY SCONES

1 1/2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Cold Vegan Butter, cubed
3/4 Cup Pumpkin Purée, I used unseasoned, roasted Galeux d’Eysines, but canned is already drained
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
Pinch Freshly Ground Nutmeg, about 1/8 tsp.
5 T Clementine or Orange Juice, 2 clementines
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

Preheat oven to 450ºF.
Drain any excess water from the pumpkin purée with a fine mesh sieve, if necessary.
Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, pulsing to sift.
Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse to a coarse bread-crumbly consistency.
Add the the pumpkin and clementine juice to combine.
Add the dried cranberries and pulse, just to incorporate throughout the dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
With clean, floured hands, turn the dough out onto the parchment paper.
Pat the sticky dough into a workable 1″x8″ round and slice, with a floured blade, into 8 wedges.
Bake for 20 minutes or until tops have slightly goldened.

Allow to cool, only slightly, before eating.
Dust with confectioners sugar, if desired.

Ultra Quick Vegan Banana Bread


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Even on vacation bananas go brown. Not like I didn’t think it wouldn’t happen, it’s warmer here plus we’ve been too busy playing to eat them right away. Needless to say, I couldn’t store them in the freezer for another time and I certainly didn’t want to throw them away. Thankfully I have a tried and true recipe for this super quick banana bread that’s the go-to with overripe bananas. With a few pantry items, I was back on the beach in no time.

…And yes, I even bake on vacation….

BANANA QUICK BREAD

3 Bananas, mashed
1/4 Cup (vegan) Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Soft Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Mash the bananas well and combine them with the butter and the sugars to cream.
Add the salt, baking powder and baking soda to combine.
Stir in each of the flours, mixing until just moistened.
Bake in a slightly greased and flour dusted loaf pan for 35-40 minutes of until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let rest for a few minutes before removing from the pan to cool on a wire rack.

For something a little fancier, drizzle over some cooled caramel and serve it for dessert!

What Ever Became of You?


We found ourselves getting a bit carried away, shall we say at the apple orchard last week.
At least, not until we’d discovered an overwhelming tree full of brightest red Mac’s. Our picking was literally done in minutes. With my filled bag, I headed to the scales and the woman running the show was notably impressed by our haul.
I’m greedy, I thought. We leave on vacation in four days, how are we possible going to go through an 18 pound bag of fresh apples?*

As I listed off potential recipes to make a dent, we were invited for a casual afternoon with friends so, this is what we made.
Thrown together, it was a cinch to make and although it only used up two apples, it was pretty delicious and perfect for tea.

APPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Vegan Butter, divided (vegan, Earth Balance) softened
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar, divided
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 1/4 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup Plain Soy Milk
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Medium Apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4″ thick

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Combine the two flours with a fork and set aside.
Cream the butter, less the two tablespoons, with 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar.
Pour in the teaspoon of vanilla extract and add the 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon.
Add the baking powder and soda then continue to mix until fluffy.
In a measuring cup, soy milk and lemon juice.
Add half soy milk mixture to the creamed sugar, then half of the flours, mixing until each is combined, repeating with the remainder.
Evenly spread the butter over the bottom of an 8″x8″ baking pan. Sprinkle over the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.
Lay out the apple slices over top of the sugar in an even layer.
Add the cake batter to the pan.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 – 45 minutes or until a cake tester can be cleanly removed.
Cool in the pan then gently slide a knife around the edges before turning it out to a cooling rack or a serving plate to completely cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Oh, and just as an update, after creating and edible centerpiece, a few pints of slow-cooker apple butter and a pot of pumpkin soup, I’m down to four (count ’em 4) apples! I had to restrain myself not to get any more… but I have about 50Lbs of pumpkins… and a whole other story.