Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Doughnuts and Muffins

Unless you've been avoiding Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, walking down the sidewalk and talking to other people, you know that "Pumpkin Spice Season" is upon us. You can't turn the corner without seeing a PSL (or a pumpkin spice latte, if you want to be formal) in a death-grip or browse Facebook without seeing a love poem to some pumpkin spice. While I pretend to mock them, let's be real, I am one of them.

Smelling cinnamon coated apples basking in the warmth of my oven makes me giddy and apt to spread some baking joy. Hoarding canned pumpkin is a seasonal tradition and unearthing it again in July is always a shock. So yes, I roll my eyes at all the "#PSL" hype… but I partake is a more homemade fashion.

To any co-workers who are reading this post, yes, these are the baked goods I brought into the office! 

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Doughnuts & Muffins
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin purée – not pie filling
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt (see note above)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (see note above)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus a heaping 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger
  • 8 oz (1 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) all-purpose flour

For the cinnamon-sugar topping:
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Grease the muffin tins and doughnut pan with a little bit of butter and flour.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, salt, and baking powder on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Lower the speed of the mixer and stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, as well as the flour until they are completely incorporated. Do NOT over mix - this can lead to a tough texture.
  4. If you're making doughnuts, fill the wells of the doughnut pans about 3/4 full, using a scant 1/4 cup of batter in each well (a small cookie scoop works well here). 
  5. If you’re making muffins, fill each well about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake the doughnuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. If you’re making muffins, they’ll need to bake for 23 to 25 minutes.
  7. While the doughnuts/muffins bake, stir together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl until well mixed; set aside.
  8. Dip the warm doughnuts and muffins in the cinnamon-sugar topping. The muffins will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days and may need a cinnamon-sugar refresher before serving. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Key Lime Bundt Cake

Every person I've talked to has bemoaned that this has been the most hectic summer in recent memory. Work, family, friends, life - it was all wanting equal parts of you without enough downtime to spare. "A" and I can group ourselves into that camp and complain. Yet what's the point? Now that we live in the Midwest, even though it takes some gas and time, we are able to drive to see both our families with a days notice and a weekend's time. While one family is a 4 hour drive to the west and another a 7 hour drive to the east, the fact that we can both see family more than one or two times a year is priceless.

Giving up the American tradition of barbecuing and relaxing with a day free of labor, "A" and I drove to Michigan for a Labor Day weekend filled with good food in Ann Arbor and an (age need not be mentioned) birthday for my beautiful Grandma, Betty! 

It's pretty much an unspoken rule that if I'm in attendance at a birthday party (family or not), I'll supply the cake. Even though I have a pretty good roster, my mother demanded that I make her mother a Key Lime cake. Not that new fancy chocolate cake recipe I've been waiting to try out. Not that caramel cake that most people would line up to try. Nope - a cake filled with Key Limes and not in pie form.

As I mentioned earlier, the weeks of summer have been filled to the brim and the temperature steadily rising, the thought of turning on an oven for even five minutes seemed to daunting. So instead I adapted a Key Lime cake recipe I have previously developed, threw it in a bundt pan and made it in my parents kitchen after my morning run. Oh yeah, did I mention I've been training for a running race? That's another story for another time.

Needless to say, the birthday girl was happy and I have yet another successful birthday cake in my storybook. 

Key Lime Bundt Cake

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh or bottled key lime juice
  • 3/4 cup goat yougurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime zest

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bundt pan with oil or melted butter and flour.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into mixing bowl. 
  3. Add eggs, oil and lime juice mix on medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy. 
  4. Add goat yougurt and zest; mix until smooth. Pour cake batter into bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until tester is inserted and comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pans for 5 minutes and then turn the cake out onto cooling racks. Cool for 1 hour.
  6. To decorate, make a glaze with key lime juice and powdered sugar and top with toasted unsweetened coconut.


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