Salt-Roasted Candied Peanuts

I’ll have to admit that I love peanuts, especially when they are candied with a touch of sea salt added. For years I’ve been making all sorts of candied nuts, including these candied peanuts, but this was one of the first candied nut recip…

I’ll have to admit that I love peanuts, especially when they are candied with a touch of sea salt added. For years I’ve been making all sorts of candied nuts, including these candied peanuts, but this was one of the first candied nut recipes I ever came up with and I’ve been making them ever since.

Continue Reading Salt-Roasted Candied Peanuts...

Kentucky Derby Chocolate Bourbon Walnut Pie

Kentucky Derby Chocolate Bourbon Walnut Pie
This wonderfully decadent chocolate-walnut bourbon pie, affectionately known as “derby pie” is a Kentucky tradition! Very similar to pecan pie in taste and texture with the addition of chocolate chips and a g…

Kentucky Derby Chocolate Bourbon Walnut Pie

This wonderfully decadent chocolate-walnut bourbon pie, affectionately known as "derby pie" is a Kentucky tradition! Very similar to pecan pie in taste and texture with the addition of chocolate chips and a good splash of bourbon, this will become a fast favorite.

READ: Kentucky Derby Chocolate Bourbon Walnut Pie

Zebra Cake

Zebra Cake
Yellow and chocolate cake batters are layered together to create a gorgeous two-layer Zebra Cake. Filled and covered with a silky smooth chocolate frosting!
READ: Zebra Cake

Zebra Cake

Yellow and chocolate cake batters are layered together to create a gorgeous two-layer Zebra Cake. Filled and covered with a silky smooth chocolate frosting!

READ: Zebra Cake

Candied Grapefruit Peel

As you get older, you tend to forget things. Often it’s blamed it on age, or an allusion to an early onset of a memory-loss disorder. I forget things all the time, but I blame it on a full brain. Think about it; every ten years, our brains have so much more information to remember than they did a decade ago. Think about all you’ve…

As you get older, you tend to forget things. Often it’s blamed it on age, or an allusion to an early onset of a memory-loss disorder. I forget things all the time, but I blame it on a full brain. Think about it; every ten years, our brains have so much more information to remember than they did a decade ago. Think about all you’ve done in the last ten years, then multiply it by four, or five, or six, or seven. That’s a lot to remember. And unlike computers, we can’t empty our trash or upgrade our memory. We’re stuck with what we’ve got

You name it; names, dates, places, birthdays, and even recipes I’ve written, I’ve forgotten about. That goes for Candied Grapefruit Peel, which I made the other day after I’d made a batch of Pink Grapefruit Marmalade. I was diligent about jotting down what I did, photographing the steps, writing up the recipe to share, and taking more pictures of the results. They were so pretty, how could I not?

Continue Reading Candied Grapefruit Peel...

Whiskey Caramel Sauce

Rich and creamy, sweet and boozy – this whiskey-infused caramel sauce makes a perfect homemade holiday gift! The boozy secret ingredient in this luscious homemade caramel sauce will garner praise and awe from all those who taste it. My mom regularly makes double batches of my whiskey caramel sauce to accompany my chocolate whiskey bundt […]

Rich and creamy, sweet and boozy – this whiskey-infused caramel sauce makes a perfect homemade holiday gift!

The boozy secret ingredient in this luscious homemade caramel sauce will garner praise and awe from all those who taste it.

Three jars of homemade whiskey caramel sauce, one jar mostly empty with a few drips, and printed black and white labels.

My mom regularly makes double batches of my whiskey caramel sauce to accompany my chocolate whiskey bundt cake recipe, claiming that the sauce itself (not the cake, mind you) always gets tons of raves and compliments whenever she makes it and she likes to have extra on hand to send home with her dinner guests.

Which got me thinking that maybe this recipe, simple as it may be, deserved its own post.

A spoon drizzling homemade whiskey caramel sauce into a jar full of caramel

Whether you drizzle it on a moist chocolate bundt cake or over homemade vanilla bean ice cream, slather it on yeasted Belgian waffles or boozy French toast, swirl it into fudgy pecan brownies or spoon it on top of a slice of New York-style cheesecake… this spiked caramel sauce is not only incredibly versatile, it’s a revelation.

Bonus that it makes a great homemade holiday gift too (and be sure to scroll to the bottom to download my free printable gift labels!)

(more…)

October Bake-Along: Sticky Buns

These old-fashioned sticky buns are covered in a decadent caramel glaze and chopped pecans; perfect for weekend breakfasts or dessert.

The post October Bake-Along: Sticky Buns appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

This old-fashioned sticky buns recipe comes complete with a decadent caramel glaze and chopped pecans. Made completely from scratch with a make-ahead option, these are a wonderful choice for holiday brunches, weekend breakfasts, or an extra-special dessert.

A pan of sticky buns just turned over.

Welcome to the October bake-along! After a September hiatus, I’m excited to be back in the saddle and baking along with all of you this month! (If you are new to the site, each month I select a featured recipe and invite readers to bake it during the month and share their results in the comments here and on social media. Scroll down for more information on how to participate!)

Now that the chilly weather is right around the corner (hopefully? It’s supposed to be 90 here today, eek!), I wanted a caramel-y, cozy recipe and these sticky buns fit the bill.

For the longest time, I couldn’t go to the mall without being lured into the cinnamon roll shop by that all-too-familiar intoxicating aroma of butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Nearly impossible to walk away, am I right? Luckily, I started making homemade cinnamon rolls and didn’t need to practice self-restraint every time I went to the mall, but there was yet another recipe I wanted to master at home.

Let me introduce you to cinnamon roll’s tawdry cousin – the sticky bun.

Homemade sticky buns turned out onto a pan after baking.

Sticky Buns vs. Cinnamon Rolls

Sticky buns and cinnamon rolls start out as the exact same being – the same master dough recipe is used, and even the cinnamon-sugar filling is identical. Aaaaaand that’s where the similarities stop. Let’s go discuss the differences…

  • Cinnamon rolls can be baked on a baking sheet or nestled together in a pan, and then covered in icing or glaze once they come out of the oven.
  • Sticky buns, on the other hand, are baked on top of a butter, sugar, and corn syrup combination (with pecans!) that turns into an absolute dream caramel situation in the oven. Once they are finished baking, they are flipped upside-down so that all of the caramel they had been sitting in while baking is now drenching the top of them.

I tested caramel glazes that were cooked and went into the pan in a liquid state, and this creamed-together mixture was, HANDS-DOWN, the absolute best at creating a wonderfully thick glaze that was the perfect consistency at both warm and room temperature.

Side by side photos of dough before and after rising in a glass bowl.

Walking Through the Sticky Buns Recipe

Before you get the whole way down to the bottom and start reading the recipe, let’s give it a quick overview so you know what you’ll be doing:

  1. Make the Dough – This is an enriched dough with butter and egg, which means that it’s silky smooth and a dream to work with. It also means that the fat keeps it from rising quickly, which is why the rise times you’ll see below are slightly longer than other recipes you may have made with instant yeast. I also use bread flour in this recipe, as all-purpose flour created way too much “fluff” in the buns; a denser version is what I was after and the bread flour delivered.
  2. Allow the Dough to Rise – The dough needs to double in size and this can take upwards of 2 hours (see above as to why!).
  3. Make the Caramel Glaze – While the dough is rising, get the caramel glaze ready to go by creaming together butter, granulated sugar, white sugar, and corn syrup until light and fluffy. If you’re planning to use pecans, you can get them chopped up now, as well.
  4. Roll and Shape the Dough – Next, we’ll roll out the dough into a rectangle, sprinkle it with an obscene amount of cinnamon-sugar (yes, use it all!), roll it up, and cut it into rolls.
  5. Get Everything in a Pan – Spread the caramel glaze in your pan, sprinkle with pecans, then place the rolls on top, evenly spaced out.
  6. Rise #2! – Time to let those rolls puff up and smash into each other.
  7. Bake – Total bake time takes around 30 to 40 minutes (mine usually clock in right at the 35-minute mark), then let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  8. Flip! – Take that pan and flip it over, either onto a serving platter or another pan (a rimmed half sheet pan is perfect). Scoop up any caramel glaze that runs off and plop it back on the top of the sticky buns. Allow them to cool a bit, then dig in while still warm or let them cool to room temperature.

A bowl of caramel glaze and then it spread onto the bottom of a pan with chopped pecans.

Step by step photos showing sticky bun dough rolled out, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and rolled up.

Side by side photos of sticky buns in the pan before and after rising.

Here in Pittsburgh, there is a popular local diner chain (Eat n’ Park); along with their meals, you receive two rolls – one a regular dinner roll and the other, a sticky bun (at least, that’s what they used to do; I haven’t been to one in years!). It’s always such a nice surprise to get to enjoy a pseudo dessert with dinner. In the event you want to get dessert, too… well, there are sticky buns for that! They are famous for their Grilled Stickies a la Mode – sticky buns topped with vanilla ice cream.

Biting into these sticky buns had me remembering the good ol’ days… Those early days in high school before we were old enough to drive when my friends and I would get dropped off at the movies, and then walk to Eat n’ Park for a bite to eat afterward. Then, we’d take turns using the pay phone (gasp!) to call our parents to tell them we were ready to be picked up.

When my sister took a bite of these, she said, “oh my goodness, these taste JUST like Eat n’ Park, but BETTER!”

Perfection.

A stack of three sticky buns on parchment paper, with others in the background.

JOIN THE BEB BAKE-ALONG!

To tackle sticky buns and bake along with me this month, simply do the following:

  • Make the sticky buns!
  • Snap a picture and either share it on social media (#BEBbakealong on Instagram or Twitter), upload it to the BEB Facebook group, or email it to me.
  • Check in on Instagram and Facebook throughout the month to see everyone’s sticky buns!

A sticky bun on a plate, with a fork taking out a bite.

One year ago: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Five years ago: Chocolate Lover’s Cheesecake
Seven years ago: Quick & Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Let’s Make Sticky Buns!

Sticky Buns Recipe

This old-fashioned caramel sticky buns recipe with pecans is perfect for breakfast or dessert.

For the Dough:

  • 6½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 5½ tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk (at room temperature)

For the Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 6½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the Caramel Glaze:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  1. Cream together the sugar, butter, and salt on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Whip in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

  2. Meanwhile, make the Caramel Glaze: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt, and cream together for 2 minutes on high speed with the paddle attachment. Add the corn syrup and vanilla extract, and continue to cream for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  3. Transfer the dough to the counter. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle 18 inches wide by 9 inches long. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough (use it all!), and roll the dough up with the long side facing you, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 12 even pieces.

  4. Coat the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish with the caramel glaze, then sprinkle the pecans evenly over the surface. Lay the pieces of dough cut-side-up on top of the caramel glaze, evenly spaced throughout the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size.

  5. Make-Ahead Note: Instead of the second rise, you can place the shaped buns in the refrigerate for up to 2 days, pulling the pan out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof at room temperature.

  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust the oven rack to the lowest shelf.
  7. Bake the sticky buns for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the buns in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove them by flipping them over onto another pan or serving platter. Carefully scoop any run-off glaze back over the buns with a spatula. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving. The sticky buns are best eaten the day of baking but can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days (see notes below on reheating).

  • While you may substitute all-purpose flour for the bread flour, know it will produce a slightly different texture than what you see here.
  • The corn syrup is a key ingredient in getting the exact right texture for the caramel glaze and I don’t recommend making any substitutions.
  • Make-Ahead Note: You can prepare the sticky buns through placing the rolls into the pan, then cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking. Bring to room temperature prior to baking as directed in the recipe.
  • Once the sticky buns have cooled to room temperature, I recommend a quick reheat in the microwave for 10 seconds for optimal enjoyment :)

(Recipe adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice)

Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in May 2012; it was updated in October 2019 with new photos, a video, and extensive better recipe instructions.

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]

The post October Bake-Along: Sticky Buns appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting (From Scratch!)

This fluffy vanilla cake recipe is the absolute best yellow cake and paired with a silky smooth chocolate frosting, you can’t beat it for a classic birthday cake or any other celebration!

The post Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting (From Scratch!) appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

This fluffy vanilla cake recipe is the absolute best yellow cake from scratch and paired with the silky smooth chocolate frosting, you can’t beat it for a classic birthday cake or any other celebration!

A slice of yellow cake with chocolate frosting on a plate.
Are you a box mix yellow cake person? Or a from-scratch yellow cake person?

Truth be told, it’s REALLY hard to replicate that always-moist-and-fluffy texture that everyone loves about a box cake mix, but at the same time, we also love homemade, right?!

It took me a LONG time to find a homemade yellow cake that I really, really loved. Box cake mixes seem to always bake up perfectly fluffy and moist yellow cakes, and the ones I’ve had from bakeries have been great as well, but I just couldn’t seem to replicate it at home no matter how many recipes I tried. (Consequently, I haven’t had the same issue with chocolate cakes! See: Snickers Cake – the base recipe for all of my chocolate cakes!)

Many were too dense, too dry, too chiffon-like, too fussy in their preparation. I just wanted a fantastic yellow cake recipe I could use for birthday cakes that was easy to make and turned out delicious. I came across this recipe from Joy while I was on the hunt for yet another recipe to test out for Joseph’s birthday.

This was IT. The recipe that had eluded me for years!

Three slices of yellow cake with chocolate frosting on plates.

I love that this can easily be mixed together in one bowl using my hand mixer; there’s nothing fussy about the ingredients or preparation, and it produces an absolutely perfect yellow cake. The layers are light but sturdy, buttery and moist, and the ideal base for your very favorite chocolate frosting.

I used the chocolate frosting recipe from my ultimate chocolate cupcakes, and it was a wonderful companion to this cake. The frosting is more buttery than sugary, satiny smooth and full of rich chocolate flavor. It glides on like a dream!

Prepared cake batter in pans.

Chocolate frosting in the bowl of a food processor.

A layer of yellow cake with a dollop of chocolate frosting on top.

Yellow cake tends to be the elusive unicorn of homemade baking; so many cakes can turn out too dry, too crumbly, too dense, too cornbread-like, and I have one major piece of advice for ensuring yellow cake perfection:

Make sure all of the ingredients listed “at room temperature” ARE ACTUALLY AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.

I’ve totally been there and have used still-cool butter, eggs or dairy in a recipe when I’m in a hurry, but it’s actually vitally important here. Having all of those ingredients at room temperature ensures that they emulsify, which traps air in the batter and, once in the oven, that air expands and produces a fluffy cake.

Room temperature ingredients also ensure that the batter comes together well and is ultra-smooth, which keeps the resulting cake from being crumbly or cornbread-like.

Cake covered in chocolate frosting on a platter.

Every recipe binder needs a fabulous recipe to make yellow cake from scratch; a recipe that can be transformed into the most special birthday cake, and this is definitely the recipe. It got rave reviews at Joseph’s party, and I’ve since made it again and again to countless rounds of huge applause.

This is the only yellow cake recipe you need!

A slice of yellow cake on a plate with a forkful taken out of the front.

Five years ago: Morning Buns
Six years ago: Greek Lamb Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting (From Scratch!)

This fluffy vanilla cake recipe is the absolute best yellow cake and paired with a silky smooth chocolate frosting, you can't beat it for a classic birthday cake or any other celebration!

For the Cake:

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk (at room temperature)

For the Frosting:

  • 20 tablespoons unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces milk or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

Equipment Used:

  • <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002Y5X9W/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0002Y5X9W&linkCode=as2&tag=broeyebak-20&linkId=S3OXF7FFBWDM7NYT" target="_blank">Stand Mixer</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0034A8C4O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0034A8C4O&linkCode=as2&tag=broeyebak-20&linkId=LRVRA2RFLK42K327" target="_blank">Hand Mixer</a>
  • <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ESYMUMK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00ESYMUMK&linkCode=as2&tag=broeyebak-20&linkId=AUU2UEFGW4QKKAAG" target="_blank">Round Cake Pans</a>
  • <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OFND8W/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000OFND8W&linkCode=as2&tag=broeyebak-20&linkId=OSYS34QMTR2CWAF6" target="_blank">Wire Cooling Racks</a>
  • <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005I6ZKCE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005I6ZKCE&linkCode=as2&tag=broeyebak-20&linkId=4VKTWU2FUO6UGTKI" target="_blank">Food Processor</a>
  • <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F0A6FYU/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00F0A6FYU&linkCode=as2&tag=broeyebak-20&linkId=SXCXOOBJLIHNFFWA" target="_blank">Large Icing Spatula</a>
  1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
  4. Add the dry ingredients all at once and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the buttermilk and beat on low for 1 minute, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 3 additional minutes.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 33 to 38 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto wire racks and cool completely before frosting.
  6. Make the Frosting: In a food processor, process the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powdered, and salt until smooth, about 30 seconds, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape the sides of bowl, then add the melted chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 seconds.
  7. Assemble the Cake: Place one of the cake layers on a serving platter and spread 1 cup of the frosting evenly over the surface. Place the second cake layer on top. Use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake. The cake can be kept at room temperature for up to 1 day before serving. Once cut, leftovers should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  •  You can make this cake in 9-inch pans, you will just need to reduce the baking time slightly. It can also be made in a 9×13-inch pan (again, reduce baking time).
  • The only substitution I’m aware of for the corn syrup is Lyle’s golden syrup, which has a more pronounced flavor. If you cannot find (or do not want to use) corn syrup, I would recommend using The Best Chocolate Frosting.

Nutritional values are based on one serving

Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in February 2016; updated in September 2019 with new photos and extra recipe tips.

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]

The post Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting (From Scratch!) appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.