Blood Orange Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Blood Orange Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Over the past few months, I’ve seen a bunch of pictures of bundt cakes with pink, blood orange icing—I just had to see for myself if it was really was that pink.

Spoiler alert: It really is bubblegum/Pepto Bismal pink.

I often get the question of where I come up with the things that I bake. To be honest, the answer is not really that exciting. In fact, it is often as simple as—“I had something I needed to use up.” In this case, it was several blood oranges and buttermilk from my freezer. This recipe is adapted from a lemon version from Bon Appétit but I simply swapped out the lemon components with blood orange and added a simple syrup and icing as well. Might as well try to maximize the flavor in as many ways as possible, right?

Read More

Citrus Cake with Citrus Curd

Citrus Cake with Citrus Curd

I have to admit that the initial motivation for making this cake was a need to use up some lemon icing that I had too much of, but I still enjoyed the end result!

Last week, I felt inspired to do some weeknight baking when I found myself with too many lemons from a friend and some blueberries that kept attacking me by falling out of the freezer. I was making this Lemon Yogurt Cake with Blueberry Compote when it went in the oven and I realized I had completely forgotten to add the lemons that I had just spent 10 minutes zesting and juicing. It was definitely too late to add them into the batter, so I decided to make a lemon icing to drizzle on top. Little did I know, but it takes a LOT of powdered sugar to make lemon icing from ⅓ cup of lemon juice, so I had a ton left over and had to find something new to do with it.

Read More

Neapolitan Checkered Cake

Neapolitan Checkered Cake

I’ve always wondered what Neapolitan Ice Cream was named after and on further research, I found out that it relates to culture, food and people from Naples.

Neapolitan ice cream reminds me of my visits with Popo as a child. This was not an ice cream flavor my parents usually had in the freezer, but it was always something I could expect at her house. I loved the three flavors combined together. One could not be without the other and I would always try to scoop out the perfect proportion of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. She always had Breyers, and the elongated shape of the container was ideal for even scooping. I haven’t eaten this flavor of ice cream since I was a kid but those three flavors have always stuck with me. Whether it was the flavor, colors or company I was eating it with, I can almost taste it if I think about those warm memories.

Read More

Peach Cake with Caramel Frosting

Peach Cake with Caramel Frosting

Like fruits, vegetables, holidays and clothing, I think baked goods also have seasons. 

Bread-baking is definitely a winter and fall season activity. Kneading becomes a way to warm up rather than a vigorous, sweaty exercise, and the temperature is cool enough that the dough won't rise too rapidly, or turn sour and ferment (unless on purpose!). One of the most wonderful things during the colder months is turning on the oven knowing that you’ll soon have a fresh, piping hot loaf of bread. Pair it with a soup or stew and it's the perfect winter's night meal. 

Whereas I will rarely turn on my oven to bake bread in the summer, I will for pies. As you may have noticed around here, summer is for pies and all of the things in the pie family—galettes, cobblers, crisps, pandowdies etc... This does seem counterintuitive because you are turning on your oven and crusts and toppings are in danger of melting during preparation, but this is the season when summer produce is at its peak. What better way to use it up than in a baked full-to-the-brim with the best fruit. I will, of course, bake pies all year round, but tend to make them more in the summer. 

Read More

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Stone fruit upside-down cakes and I don't always get along.

There was one really spectacular one I made three summers ago and since then, I haven't made one as tasty as that one except for this winter Mandarinquat Upside-Down Cake. Or perhaps I should say, I've been afraid to make one again in fear of it being exceptionally soggy or having a really gnarly top. Trying to get an upside-down cake to both look beautiful and to be baked just right is a challenge that is quite difficult to achieve. 

Although I prefer fresh cherries over cooked cherries, I prefer cooked plums over fresh plums. Sometimes the skin on plums can be too sour or bitter and I much prefer the sweetness and texture of peaches, nectarines or apricots. So plums get deemed as fruit that I will bake with or use as smoothie options.

Read More

Mint Chocolate Chip Checkered Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Checkered Cake

This is the cake of my mint chocolate chip dreams. 

If you are a newcomer around here, mint chocolate chip is one of my favorite flavors and has been since I was a kid. It's always and absolutely mint chocolate chip ice cream, especially if it's the green kind. You might also not know that I'm very, very much a big fan of #teampie. Generally, cakes are for special occasions and I am very picky when it comes to cake texture, frosting, the combination of flavors... so basically everything. Cakes don't show their face around here too much and the last cake I baked was for my birthday in October.

So is this a special occasion? In a way, yes. I had intentions of making this cake to celebrate this blog's 3rd year of existence but then it turned into making a cake for the joy of making a cake and that felt more appropriate. 

Read More

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Hello... I am back from my short hiatus with cake.

Here we are in November where the weather has taken a turn and Thanksgiving is starting to nudge more permanently in my mind and thoughts. October was a blur. Since I last posted, fires continued to blaze through Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, I turned 25 and transformed into a Hobbit for the day. 

It was difficult to find the right words to say these past few weeks and to put myself out there on the Internet. It's challenging to balance stuff that is going on in the world without either ignoring it or sounding like everything is always so dreary. Even though I wasn't here, I was still making food, working on some Hapkido projects but mostly enjoying my introvert time. It made me grateful that I don't blog full-time or have to be "on" the Internet full-time but I suppose if this was my job rather than a personal hobby, it would be a little different. It was especially nice to take a break from posting on Instagram for a while. But, we'll talk about my feelings about Instagram on another day.

Read More

Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen)

Plum Streusel Cake (Pflaumenkuchen)

And thus I resume my adventures into more German food making.

Last year I made this German Apple PancakeAnd prior to that there is of course spaetzle which Popo would make for Kristen and I when we were kids so it has a special place in my heart. We were obsessed with it but of course ate it in the least German way possible with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. I can feel my friend Mark cringing and cringing. But we will talk about spaetzle on another day. 

This plfaumenkuchen which I have pronounced again and again in my head and got kind of freaked out when hearing this pronunciation, is something that I stumbled across by accident. Well not completely since I religiously read Molly's blog. It got me researching more about plfaumenkuchen and it sounded fascinating. Why would you not top bread dough with fruit and streusel? It basically combines all of the things that I like. And since it was finally gloriously cool enough to make bread, I decided to tackle this thing that I had known nothing about only days before.  

Read More