Cakes

Just when I thought I wasn’t ready for summer to end, cooler mountain air moved in and I’ve succumbed. I’ve found myself craving warmer flavors and lots of spice. Are you? This is a beautiful time of year in the mountains. Scrub brush turns vibrant reds, purples, and yellows. The grasses are wheat colored and seeded. And the aspens are getting their first whispers of gold- it starts in a small cluster of leaves that eventually spreads throughout the whole tree. My only harp is that this season never seems long enough. Thankfully we have plenty of pine tree varieties to give the mountains some color all winter. For those of you itching to start your fall baking, I’ve compiled my pumpkin recipes here: Pumpkin Crumb Bars Pumpkin Crumble Muffins [...]

We are moving! We’ll still be in the valley, just a bit further west. In this process, I have begun going through the freezer trying to figure out what to eat up so we don’t have to pack yet more things. It seems we always have one banana left behind in the fruit bowl that gets too ripe on us. I stockpile them in the freezer for banana recipes like this one. Looks like we’ll be eating a lot of banana things this next week… Growing up, my mom would sometimes make snack cake, and it was always a welcomed treat. I see a lot of snack cake recipes with zucchini or bananas, and for good reason. In this recipe, the banana adds moisture to the cake without having to [...]

The darker, holiday cousin of carrot cake, this cake certainly commands attention when placed on the dessert table. Rich spices and moist cake pair with a tangy, citrus-scented frosting that’s perfect for this time of year.  Zack brought some of this cake into work and said it was gone in a matter of minutes, which I have to admit surprised me a little. No doubt this cake is good, but it’s deeply flavored with molasses and spices and not exactly the sweetest treat on the block. He said everyone thought it was carrot cake with a twist. Just look at how splendid it is. Creamy, sweet frosting on the top adds just the right touch. Are you heading to a party and need to bring finger food? Cut into small [...]

I bake cake nearly every week, several times per week. So it’s safe to say that given the choice, I often choose other desserts to eat over cake. This recipe totally surprised me- after tasting it, I kept reaching for more. That’s saying a lot! But honestly, who can resist perfect pound cake? And when wrapped well, it seems to only get better with age. If you’re looking for homemade gift ideas, this a good contender. Bake the whole cake for a hostess gift, or divide the batter into smaller loaf pans for multiple gifts. I bake cakes like this the evening before, so that it can sit overnight and get better (they seem to grow moister and develop a stronger flavor). The rum adds just the right holiday touch, although [...]

Greetings! I do apologize for the crickets that have been on here for quite some time. We finally wrapped up our busy season for 2014 weddings and I’m so delighted to have some much-needed down time. The temperatures are slowly dropping, the sunsets are coming earlier, and the holidays are going to be right around the corner. I definitely notice an increase in my desire to be in the kitchen this time of year! And first on our list- a spiced pumpkin cake roll. Many of you have requested a high altitude-friendly recipe for pumpkin cake rolls, and here it is. Cake rolls couldn’t be more easy to make, and they’re great for entertaining because they’re a spongy, light cake, with creamy filling that has a unique presentation all its own. [...]

Sifting through blueberry recipes last night, I was delighted to have discovered this one for blueberry ‘buckle’. I am new to making buckle. We’ve had cobbler, crumble, and crisps, but never this.  What is a buckle, you ask? A buckle is a type of cake (1 layer) that has a streusel on top. The name buckle supposedly comes from the buckled appearance on the top of the cake from the streusel topping. And from my research, it’s traditionally made with blueberries.  This was exactly what I wanted to get out of my excess blueberries- a coffeecake sort of baked good with a ton of fruit, and a bit of textural contrast on the top. I don’t see why you couldn’t make this with peaches, plums, or other berries.  On Monday [...]

Zack and I have purchased a grill- about time- and decided it would be fun to have some friends over for a cookout this past weekend. When I entertain, it’s uncalled for not to serve dessert. I feel like I’m not doing my job as a pastry chef if I don’t.  Zack suggested strawberry shortcake, and I immediately thought of my trusty vanilla sponge cake recipe. Rather than make individual shortcakes, or the biscuit kind, I would bake the cake batter in a deep springform pan. That way, once the cake has baked, you simply split it in half and fill with whipped cream and strawberries. You can also add some more on top, too. Fast, simple, and divine.  Everyone loved this dessert. We devoured it so quickly I didn’t [...]

My life the past month has been pretty hectic. I’ve had so many weddings, cake tastings, and other projects that I literally have not had any time for ‘casual baking’ at home, unfortunately.  What do they say- when it rains, it pours? On Tuesday I wrapped up a cake photo shoot and now, for the time being, I have a little time on my hands. Yesterday evening I baked these muffins, as well as the delicious Double Lemon Bars that are now a classic in our home.  We had salad for dinner and I wanted something a bit hearty, a bit sweet, and satisfying in the way that only carbs can be. A quick Internet search yielded these muffins. I threw some milk chocolate chips in ours, but I think [...]

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to divert from my usual brownie recipe and make something a bit more festive- these chocolate stout brownies. Living in Colorado, we are so spoiled when it comes to craft beer, so I opted to use something local rather than Guinness. Any strong, dark, malty stout beer will do here.  The batter is very thin, and bakes up into a fudge-like, creamy brownie. I think that next time I would omit the chocolate chips/pieces sprinkled on top, and instead finish these with a caramel glaze. They’re very rich and a salty contrast would be delicious.  But that alteration aside, you can never go wrong with brownies! Here are some other high altitude recipes that would be great for celebrating St. Patrick’s [...]

I know I’ve shared my memories of baking recipes out of Taste of Home magazine with my mom when I was younger. The new magazine arrivals were always such a thrill- we’d sit together and go through each page, marking the recipes we planned to make.  These cappuccino muffins came to mind this afternoon when Zack, Abe, and I returned from a sunny hike. I loved them then and I still love them now. They are such a perfect muffin- fluffy and moist, with a delicious coffee-cinnamon flavor and studded with chocolate chunks or chips.  They’re also really fast to throw together, which of course works wonderfully with my new life as a puppy mother. I will say it is getting a little easier, so maybe one of these days [...]

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