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.

Cherry Struesel Muffins


I’ve been thankfully blessed with an ever seemingly flowing deposit of cherries at market this season.
My fingertips are stained and I’ve finally invested in a cherry pitter it’s been such a bumper year.

The other day, with another bowlful of cherries, I was called by a neighbour to do some reno snooping and a visit. Since I didn’t want to show up empty handed, she was letting me look at the inside of her closets after all, I grabbed for my cherry pitter and a bowl.

We were a little late but the muffins were still steamy when we arrived. After peeking at her newest addition, we had coffee and the muffins. She had two and I got the name of her contractor. Pretty good trade.

CHERRY STRUESEL MUFFINS
350ºF 18-20 Minutes

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Bing Cherries, pitted & roughly chopped
1/3 Cup Safflower Oil
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Soy Milk
1/3 Cup Orange Juice

Struesel Topping

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Oatmeal
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Walnuts, chopped
3 Tablespoons Earth’s Balance Butter

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a regular sized muffin tin.
In a small bowl combine the milk, oil and orange juice.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.
Add the sugar and stir in the wet ingredients.
Pit the cherries and roughly chop. Fold in the cherries, and spoon into prepared muffin tin.

Combine struesel topping together and mash butter with a fork until evenly distributed and the mixture is crumbly.
Generously top each of the muffins with the struesel mixture and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester can be cleanly removed.

Makes 12 muffins.

Red Grapefruit Curd Filled Donuts



Heading out with the intention to create a citrusy tart flecked with the essence of rosemary or cardamom, I started out with a super red grapefruit curd for the filling. Anyone who reads here regularly, might have noticed I’m a bit of a red grapefruit junky. I’ll slip it into dishes where ever it fits. Heck, I even bathe in the stuff.

Being amongst the world’s best doughnut eaters, not that I would necessarily know, of course but what can I say? I’m Canadian. Those little slurps here and a spoonfully nibble there of the grapefruit curd, reminded me of a fresher, livelier version of the sweet lemony filling squeezed out as the best part of a filled doughnut. Petite tarts of fanciness were sent to the back burner as I set out to create a canuck worthy doughnut.

Updating that simple, lemony filling to this, little more grown up, less of a drive-thru flavour was supurb with a little dusting of sugar and a hot morning cup of coffee. It was so sinfully wonderful to have to admit that vegan food isn’t always healthy but certainly scrumptious.

As the January resolutions met their match, I realised I’m not the only one who’s given up a diet for some February grease. Helen from Tartlette and Peabody have teamed up for a donut fry fest; this, my friends should be good.

Continue reading Red Grapefruit Curd Filled Donuts

Cinnamon Rolls



It’s a crazy thing that I’m about to admit to. For Christmas, I got a new stove. No, it wasn’t a Garland or one of those hot little Bertazzoni numbers, just four burners and a functional oven. Finally.

It’s embarrassingly amazing how used to baking in a toaster sized convection oven I’d become. In fact many of these photographed recipes were made from that bitty thing. The last stove worked, however the oven did not and the burners needed a little Laura Ingles styled lovin’ with a match and some rapid waving. It’s taken me a few days to stop reaching for a match and just turn a knob to light it.
This technology continues to amaze me.

It’s pretty natural for me to be quite in love with such a new toy. Any good kitchen gal loves a new oven, right? I’d been yearning for large loaves of fresh bread and batches of cookies baked more than six at a time. …And the thought of waking up in the morning with the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls all puffed and ready, just waiting to be baked in a real sized oven? Heaven.
Ahhhh. My house has never smelled better.
Needless to say, you might have to look forward to more baked items from me this winter.
Continue reading Cinnamon Rolls

Ghoulish Goodies



Before leaving for vacation, my daughter was very concerned about the notion of being away for Halloween. Never one to pass on a party myself, we decided to throw a little pre-dinner soirée for our little fairly princess and her guests.

With thirteen members of the 4 and 5 year old set, I knew I’d need extra hands and entertainment but as far as the food went, I figured I had it covered.
Between the green goo and witches brew, there were ghost pops, goblin cakes and these Casper cookies.

The cookies are great for cutting out cats, witches, pumpkins and ghosts alike. Pretty quick and easy to make, just err on the underdone as the edges can brown fairy quickly.
Continue reading Ghoulish Goodies