Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween!

First off, happy birthday to my Dad!

Just a quick post to show the fun cake that I made for a halloween party I went to last night.  No recipe because I was a bit dissapointed with the actual cake and over-mixed it trying to get the colours right.  It looked cool though!
Got a bit squished on the walk over...

Friday, October 29, 2010


Today there was a talent show at work to raise money for charity.  My talent...clearly baking.  I didn't participate in the talent portion of the show, though I did provide the dessert for people sitting in the VIP section.  I caught a bit of the show, and looked to see if my talent was going over well (I think so...?).

I made a trio of cupcakes.  I decided to go with a bit of a fall theme, making: pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a caramel drizzle, apple-oat cupcakes with a cinnamon honey buttercream and a chocolate toffee pretzel cupcake (because apparently I love this combo and every good dessert has some sort of chocolate element).

Since I've featured both the pumpkin cake recipe and the chocolate toffee pretzel cake, I will share with you the apple-oat cupcake. I've seen the buttercream on a few blogs and am not 100% sure on the origin but it is  below as well.

Apple-Oat Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Buttercream
From an Edible Mosaic

1/3 c rolled oats
1 c water, divided
1 c brown sugar
1/3 c canola oil
3 large eggs
3/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 large egg whites
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c honey
Pinch salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tray with paper liners.
2. In a small saucepan, combine oats with 2/3 c water and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low to low heat, stirring occasionally; set aside to cool.
3.In a large bowl, combine 1/3 c water, brown sugar, canola oil, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla; stir in the oatmeal.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, adding a little at a time until fully incorporated, being careful not to overmix.
5. Put into muffin tray and bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs.

1. In a double boiler, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and honey.  Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm (about 140F), whisking frequently (about 3-5 minutes).
2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Add the salt and cinnamon and beat on high speed until the mixture is thick and glossy (about 5-7 minutes).
3. Gradually add the butter piece by piece while beating; stop beating when the buttercream is thick and smooth.

* I piped mine in stars because I felt that a big swirl would be too much.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

more donuts!

It's pumpkin this time.  Not quite as good as the apple ones, but the bar was raised WAY HIGH on my first attempt at baked donuts.  Those other donuts just set unrealistic expectations for every donut to follow.  These were still really delicious...and better than Tim Hortons according to Jim (the only person I know that has tried the Tim Horton's Pumpkin Spice Donut).  I should hope so...
I'm getting a wee bit tired of pumpkin now.  I think I've done almost every possible baked good.  Other than pumpkin pie of course, oh and pumpkin brownies or cheesecake.  There are really just so many opportunities to use it but only so much I can handle.  Even though I love pumpkin.  I am feeling like I need to shake things up.

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts

Recipe from Craving Chronicles
Makes about 64 mini donuts ( I used a half recipe and got 32)


For Donuts
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup preed pumpkin
1/2 cup low-fat milk

For Coating
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon


Preheat oven 350°F. Spray each cup in a mini donut pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices (through cloves). In a separate, large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined – do not over mix!

Pipe batter into the pan. Bake at 350°F for 6-7 minutes (mine took about 6 and a half) or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the donuts bake, melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. Remove donuts from oven and dump out right away to cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, dip the top of each donut in melted butter, then dip in cinnamon sugar.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

chocolate toffee pretzel cake

I've been digging the salty-sweet combo lately.  I volunteered to help my friend make a cake for a dinner she was going to and decided to make one for a little dinner my roommate and I were having with the boys.  I hadn't made a chocolate cake in a while and wanted to change things up.  Thought of this, and the rest is history.  Next time I would forgo the pretzels in the cake and just do the ones on the outside because they got a little bit soggy, but other than that it was awesome.  Live and learn!
Use your favourite chocolate cake recipe and chocolate frosting recipe.  Put a layer of frosting between each layer of cake and sprinkle a toffee bits all over.  Decorate with pretzels.  Easy as that!

Friday, October 22, 2010

baked apple donuts: variations on a theme

While in NYC with my family, we stopped in at Sur leTable. This was my first time in the store, and well…I shouldn’t really be allowed in stores like that. I ended up walking out with things ranging from the ever so useful re-usable icing bag to the completely useless but oh so cute cat-shaped creamer. One thing I walked out with pretty excited to try was my mini-donut pan. I’ve seen quite a few bloggers rocking the mini donuts lately, and had to get in on the action myself. Let me just say right now, I am both extremely happy and very worried that I did.

These little donuts were AH-MAZE-ING. So amazing that my roommate and I each had easily a dozen and then joked about taking the day off work to eat more donuts.

This is how we imagined the phone call to work might go:

“Uh, hi boss, I can’t make it in today, I ate too many donuts”
“Oh no, you should take a tums or something”
“Yeah…I think I’m just going to have more donuts”

I did two variations on the donut. I got the first from this blog. For the second variation I went with the same donut base and added a maple glaze and bacon bits. Both were equally delicious. The bacon one tasted like breakfast. They are dangerous dangerous little things and I will definitely not be making them very often.

Baked Apple Donuts with Caramel Glaze (and Maple Glaze)
from shutterbean

1 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 medium apples, peeled & shredded
1 1/2 cup chewy caramel candies
1 tablespoon whole milk (I'd try 2 to make the caramel thinner)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray donut pans with baking spray and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars until smooth. Whisk in oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined and add the apples. Pipe the batter into pans but do not fill right to the top. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out dry.
For the caramel:
In a small, microwaveable bowl, combine the caramel and milk. Microwave on medium power checking and stirring often until melted and smooth.

For the maple glaze:
 I combined about 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon icing sugar and a tsp of milk.  It was quite thin, but I had tried more icing sugar earlier and thought it was really gross and didn't have enough maple flavour.  I then sprinkled with bacon bits I had made earlier - crushing up some crispy bacon that I cooked.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

flip flopping

I’m worse than a politician when it comes to these muffins. I made them the other night and from the minute I saw the batter, I was uncertain. I baked them anyways, and decided they were no good. But then, I took one for my afternoon snack and decided they weren’t so bad. Again today, I had one, and questioned my assumptions. Maybe they’re not the best muffins I’ve ever had, but my friend Aimee reminded me that the failures are interesting to hear about too and that maybe they could be made blog worthy, it’s all about the way you spin it.

I definitely think these muffins could be improved, but I really did like the ginger flavour. I made a few chocolate chip ones which were less than sensational so next time I would stick to the ginger, walnut variety. Overall, they needed a bit more flavour in the actual muffin part, so I would add a bit more sugar and spices (namely cinnamon) next time. I would also increase the amount of pumpkin and possibly the oil a smidge.

Here’s the recipe as it stands with my suggested changes in brackets (although I can’t say that this would work for sure – I definitely think I am onto something).

Pumpkin Ginger Walnut Muffins
adapted from 500 Cupcakes

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar (1/2 cup)
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
(1 tsp ground cinnamon)
1 lightly beaten egg
½ cup puréed pumpkin (3/4 cup)
¾ cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup sunflower oil (1/2 cup)
3 tbsp chopped candied ginger
4 tbsp walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

In your mixer, beat the egg, pumpkin, milk and oil until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until nearly combined. Fold in the candied ginger and walnut pieces.

Bake for 15-20 minutes and remove pan from oven to cool.

Store in an airtight container. Makes 1 dozen.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

cake decorating I

This Saturday, I had the exciting opportunity to take Cake Decorating I at Artistic Cake Design.  The instructor and head decorator, Amanda, told us that this round of classes filled up in less than four hours, so I was quite happy to have a spot.

I have obviously been decorating cakes for a little while now (out of a need to attempt to make what I bake look pretty) but had never taken any training.  Amanda's wealth of knowledge meant that I learned an extraordinary amount in such a short time yesterday.

We started the class making character cakes (on practice sheets).  This is something I had never done before and it was a lot easier and faster than I had imagined.  I will definitely be exploring this option in the future.

We then moved on to making roses which were a huge challenge to get the hang of.  I struggled quite a bit but everytime we took a break from it (for lunch and to learn other stuff), I felt that I came back refreshed and did better.  By the end of the day, I was starting to get pretty nice roses.

By the end of class, everyone had to decorate a cake using the techniques we had learned.  I was very pleased with my results and got a major ego boost when Amanda asked me if I was looking for a part-time job.  I wish that it worked into my schedule!  If you live in Ottawa and have any interest in cake decorating, these courses are a must!  I can't express how much I enjoyed it and can't thank them enough for everything I learned.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

biscotti bite 2.0

So, I went from posts everyday to radio silence.  I have a some things planned for the next few days, so hopefully I will be back to my regularly scheduled programming.

This biscotti is another of my promises for afternoon snacks.  I'm very late on this one, she's been out of biscotti for quite some time!  The recipe is a combination of ideas from three sources.

1. Request for blueberry white chocolate biscotti
2. Melissa's blueberry corn tartlets
and 3. momfuku milk bar's corn cookie (so yummy!)

Heather and Todd's request got me thinking about blueberry but what I thought is that it was a bit boring.  Maybe it's because I'm not a particularly huge blueberry or white chocolate fan.  I do love corn though...some may even call me a cornivore (KJ).  When I saw Melissa's blueberry corn tartlets I wanted to incorporate that idea into the biscotti.  Finally, I got to go to NY this weekend thanks to my lovely parents and their 30th Wedding Anniversary (yay Mom and Dad - and thanks for an awesome trip!), and while there I went to momofuku.  I got the corn cookie and ended up eating it on the plane while waiting on the tarmac for an hour and a half Monday night.  It was so yummy...and I am going to try to re-create it.  We'll see how that goes...

I looked for a good biscotti recipe that incorporated corn and decided on this one with some adjustments.  Lynne had some amazing tips on how to make the biscotti cut well and look nice.  I was really happy with the results in terms of looks.  I also loved the texture of these biscotti.  They managed to be crunchy while still not feeling like they were underdone.  Most biscotti aren't that great unless they're dipped in a hot drink (imho) but these were awesome as is (also - with or without the glaze - I just incorporated to please the "client").

Here's what I came up with:

Corn Almond Blueberry Biscotti with White Chocolate Glaze

2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup corn starch
5/8 cup corn flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 - 3/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup dried blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In your mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla until creamy.
2. Combine the flours, corn starch and cornmeal.  Lower the mixer speed and add the mixture until incorporated. Stir in dried blueberries and almonds. Transfer the dough to baking sheet and shape into a log (or two logs). Smooth the top of the dough with a wet dough scraper (this is from Lynne - works brilliantly!).
3. Bake for 25 minutes. Once removed from oven let cool for about 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, spray with water and let stand an additional 5 minutes (another Lynne tip - this will soften the crust to make slicing easier).
4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Cut the biscotti into slices and set upright on the baking sheet 1/2 inch apart so the air can circulate. Bake for an additional 25 minutes.

I then mixed together some white chocolate and milk in a double boiler and then dipped the biscotti in but this unecessary.

Monday, October 11, 2010

peanut butter and nutella thumbprint cookies

Just a quick post to wrap up the series of tea party recipes.  I was looking out for gluten-free recipes for the tea party when I stumbled on this gem. These cookies are super tasty, have so few ingredients and were a snap to pull together. They were perfect for providing a gluten-free option and quick so I could continue on to make many more baked goods. 

Peanut Butter and Nutella Thumbprint Cookies
from bell’ alimento

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg – beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
9 teaspoons Nutella


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Into your stand mixer add sugar, peanut butter, egg, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combined.
3. Measure approx 1 tablespoon of dough. Roll dough into a ball and place onto cookie sheet. Gently press dough ball down using the palm of your hand. Continue forming balls until dough is gone. Space approx 1″ apart.
4. Bake for approx 8-10 minutes. CAREFULLY remove tray from oven. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, GENTLY make an indentation in the middle of each cookie. Fill each cookie with a dollop of Nutella. Return tray to oven and continue cooking for 2-4 minutes until golden.
5. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool before enjoying.

Paula’s trick (I can attest that it actually works!): The dough is going to be sticky, that’s just the way it is. I have a little trick that works every time. I put the dough into a sheet of parchment paper and shape it into a log. I roll it up like a piece of candy and pop it into the freezer for 3-4 minutes, take it out and slice it. Works likes a charm. Just DON’T leave it in there too long or the dough will fall apart {trust me, I know LOL)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

maple brûlée tart

I got this recipe from Technicolor Kitchen and was really excited about it, despite Patricia's warnings to go straight to the ramekins and skip the tart. I should have trustePost Optionsd her, because I know how amazing she is but I was stubborn because I felt it would be so nice on my tea party menu. I went ahead and ignored her and made one big tart instead of tartlets. I had a huge new tart pan so I did an extra half of the recipe. The pastry still managed to shrink up and so the proportions were all wrong with way too much pastry and not enough of the brûlée. I found the pastry to be a bit bland but perhaps with better proportions, I wouldn’t have felt this way. I also thought the maple flavour didn’t really shine through enough so next time I might add a bit of maple extract...although I haven’t tried it out yet and am worried about a fake maple flavour.

My friend with Celiac’s enjoyed her ramekin of maple brûlée, and despite all the imperfections, I still do think this tart has tons of potential with the right tweaks. I still decided to post, because these things happen to the best of us, and this is exactly why I started this blog; to push myself, to learn new things and to improve my skills as a baker. Perhaps I will have to do some work on it and re-post with an updated version.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

blog feature batterdays: plum-cake

This recipe comes from one of my favourite bakers, Melissa, of plum-cake. Not only is she an amazing baker, I just love reading her blog. I aspire to be half the blog-writer she is. We met while I was working at Cyclelogik and she was the baker. Ever since, we get together occasionally (we’re both very busy ladies) to chat about baking, life etc. and I couldn’t be happier to have met her. She brought this to one of my tea parties, I can’t remember which one now, but it was very popular.

I thought the flavours were very appropriate for fall and add something diverse to the tea party menu that isn’t spiced with cinnamon. Since Melissa is busy being an awesome Mom and professor, I decided to try it out. Once again, it was extremely popular with many of my friends commenting on how nice it is. I really like how it is salty and sweet at the same time. It's also super easy and goes really well with a cup of tea too (you must be getting sick of me saying that!). Add it to the list of recipes for cold and dreary days, you won’t regret it!

Oat Shortbread
from plum-cake, recipe here


1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1/4 cup oat bran
3/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

(note: oat flour and oat bran can be found at health food stores)

Heat oven to 300 F. Prepare a pan. I used a 9-inch round springform for these, but you could also use an 8-inch square pan. For the springform, line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. For the square pan, line with parchment leaving an overhang on two sides (this will help you lift out the baked shortbread.

Whisk together, the flours, bran and salt. Add butter and brown sugar and beat until all ingredients come together and form smooth dough. Press this evenly into the prepared pan. (note: If you use the springform pan, place on a baking sheet before putting in oven as there is a chance for butter leakage).

Bake for 30 minutes until brown on the edges. Remove pan from the oven. With a sharp knife, score the shortbread into even pieces (you don't need to cut all the way through). For the springform pan, score eight wedges. For the square pan, score 4" x 1".

Put pan back in oven and bake for another 15 minutes, until shortbread is lightly browned all over.

At this point, you can gild the lily by sprinkling granulated sugar (or perhaps even better, raw sugar) over the top. If you've used the springform, remove the pan ring and let the shortbread cool fully before cutting the wedges. If you've used the square pan, allow the shortbread to cool fully, then lift out of pan and cut through the rectangles. Enjoy! and try not to eat it all at once as I tend to do.

Friday, October 8, 2010

cranberry curd

This was my first time trying my hand at curd. It always appealed to me in photos of other’s creations (I've never actually tried it before) and I decided that I really needed to make it. What better opportunity than a tea party where scones would be served?

I had decided that cranberry curd would go well with pumpkin and when I looked on tastespotting, I didn’t see any recipes. After I had already adapted a berry curd recipe, I had the genius idea to google it and of course there are plenty of cranberry curd recipes out there.

I was still quite happy with the way my curd turned out (I think it's right), although perhaps I would use slightly less orange zest next time. The orange flavour overpowered the cranberry a bit for my liking.

Cranberry Curd
adapted from this recipe
1 1/2 cups cranberries
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 tsp orange zest (this is adjusted from what I used)
3 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter (cut into 1/2” chunks)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar (you could use slightly more, but I liked the tartness)

1. Combine the cranberries and 2 tbsp of sugar in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat until berries start to disintegrate and set aside.

2. Put the egg yolks, whole egg, orange juice, orange zest, 1/2 cup of sugar and a 1/4 cup of cooked cranberries in a double boiler. Cook whisking the entire time until thick.

3. Remove egg mixture and pour into saucepan with berry mixture. Whisk until completely blended. Add butter and whisk until incorporated.

4. Process until smooth in food processor. Chill in the refrigerator before using.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

pumpkin scones

Following up on the promise of mass quantities of pumpkin baked goods this fall, these pumpkin scones deliver nothing but pure scrumptiousness.

I had this recipe in my pile of recipes for quite some time and finally made them for last year’s fall tea party. They were so delicious, and such a hit that I had to make them again for this year. Overshadowed by the apple cake, they perhaps didn’t get as much love as last year, but were still enjoyed by all. I’ve been continuing the enjoyment this week by starting my day with them before I run out the door.

Unfortunately, I printed this recipe before I was super conscious about sourcing, so I am not sure where I got it. If anyone recognizes it, let me know!

Pumpkin Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
7 tbsp packed brown sugar
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 egg

 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, salt and spices.
3. Cut in butter until the mixture resemble coarse crumbs.
4. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, cream and egg and whisk together.  Fold into the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon until everything is incorporated.
5. On a floured surgace, use your hands to form the dough into a flattened circle, about 1 inch thick and cut into six triangles.  (I used a patry cutter to make mini round scones)
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until light brown in colour.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

sugar and spice and everything nice

Not only what girls are made of, but these cookies too!  I’ve been using this recipe for years and it’s always been a hit. My friend Chad particularly loves these cookies and requested them when he was home from Bangkok last Christmas. He then proceeded to eat the entire batch in less than 48 hours, which is precisely one of the reasons I love him so much. He appreciates food in a way that I understand.

chad made me take this picture with the cookies, haha
Cookies with lots of spice are perfect for fall and will take you right into winter. I usually make them a number of times over the chilly months because nothing goes better with a cup of tea and a good book. A lot of people hate the cooler weather but I love it because it gives many more guiltless opportunities for curling up and being cozy with books, with friends and with pets. So, next time it’s cold and dreary, remember this recipe to warm you up.

Big Soft Ginger Cookies
slightly adapted from Allrecipes


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon orange juice (water if you’re in a pinch)
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the orange juice and molasses. Stir dry ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into balls, and roll them in the remaining sugar. Place the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

fall tea party

This weekend I had the pleasure of getting together with most of my favourite ladies and enjoying some tea and treats.  After spending most of the weekend preparing, it was nice to sit down, relax and catch up.

I love putting together the menus for my tea parties.  Nothing makes me happier (seriously, nothing) than planning an array of seasonal baked goods and sandwiches; making sure it all flows and that everyone will be happy.  One of my friends has Celiac disease, so I had to ensure there were gluten-free options available.  It’s a good challenge and I always like finding new recipes that everyone will enjoy that are gluten-free.

This time we made an effort to decorate seasonally too.  Kate did most of the decorating and she did a fabulous job.  We were both pretty excited (definitely more Kate) about the mumpkin (mums in a pumpkin) found at the local farmer’s market.
I’ll be featuring the recipes over the week, and will start with one of the clear favourites.  The cinnamon cake with apple compote was a real hit at the party.  It was so moist and delicious.  The best part for me was that it was super easy too!  I found the recipe in the latest Food & Drink magazine (thanks to my Dad for picking up a copy for me).

Buttery Cinnamon Cake with Apple Compote
from Food & Drink

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream

For the glaze:
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
2 tbsp water

For the compote:
4 large red-skinned apples, peeled and diced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon or cardamom
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease the sides of a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  In a separate bowl (or your stand mixer) beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla until blended.  Stir in flour mixture alternately with sour cream. Spread into prepared pan, smoothing top.
3. Bake for 45 minutes or until tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes.
4. For the glaze, combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk.  Brush top and sides with glaze and serve warm or slide the cake off the pan onto a rack and cool completely.
5.  Meanwhile, prepare the apple compote.  Combine ingredients (except the vanilla) in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until apples are tender but still keep their shape.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Serve with warm slices of cake and whipped cream.

Note: If not serving right away, cool completely and wrap it well.  When you want to serve it, wrap in tin foil and heat for 10 to 15 minutes at 350F.