My All-Time Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe

My All-Time Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe
The BEST carrot cake recipe! Super moist and subtly spiced with pineapple, raisins, coconut, pecans, and cream cheese frosting.
READ: My All-Time Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe

My All-Time Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe

The BEST carrot cake recipe! Super moist and subtly spiced with pineapple, raisins, coconut, pecans, and cream cheese frosting.

READ: My All-Time Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe

Healthy Stuffed Zucchini

These healthy stuffed zucchini are oven baked and filled with fluffy quinoa and coarsely chopped walnuts and raisins. Served with a creamy, vegan puree, these stuffed zucchinis make for an elegant main course or a simple side salad.  These quinoa s…

healthy stuffed zucchini
These healthy stuffed zucchini are oven baked and filled with fluffy quinoa and coarsely chopped walnuts and raisins. Served with a creamy, vegan puree, these stuffed zucchinis make for an elegant main course or a simple side salad.  These quinoa stuffed zucchinis are completely vegan and super versatile!

Black Fruitcake

Over the last several years, people suggested that I write a book of fruit desserts. I point out, helpfully, that I already have, but every year a few books of fruit desserts come out, mostly relating to pies or crisps and cobblers. So it was interesting to see one devoted solely to cakes, called (appropriately) Fruit Cake: Recipes for the Curious Baker. But no need…

Over the last several years, people suggested that I write a book of fruit desserts. I point out, helpfully, that I already have, but every year a few books of fruit desserts come out, mostly relating to pies or crisps and cobblers. So it was interesting to see one devoted solely to cakes, called (appropriately) Fruit Cake: Recipes for the Curious Baker.

But no need to worry that it’s a book of Christmas cakes with sticky green cherries in them. It’s by Jason Schreiber, a food stylist and recipe developer, who dreamed up with seventy-five cakes that feature fruit, everything from Key Lime Meringue Cake to a tropical fruit Panettone. There are also Pineapple Breakfast Cakes, his riff on the classic Sachertorte with chocolate and apricots, and a Jamaican Black Cake, that caught my eye for a number of reasons.

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One-Bowl Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This article is from Delicious Everyday.
These vegan oatmeal raisin cookies match up the warm flavors of brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla with juicy raisins for a totally addictive plant based cookie. And they’re ready in just 20 minutes! I&#8…

This article is from Delicious Everyday.

These vegan oatmeal raisin cookies match up the warm flavors of brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla with juicy raisins for a totally addictive plant based cookie. And they’re ready in just 20 minutes! I’ve been on a cooking baking spree lately, and these vegan oatmeal raisin cookies are the latest addition to my collection of...

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Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins
These cinnamon-spiced Morning Glory Muffins taste like apple cake, spice cake, and moist carrot cake combined. Healthy and indulgent all at once!
READ: Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins

These cinnamon-spiced Morning Glory Muffins taste like apple cake, spice cake, and moist carrot cake combined. Healthy and indulgent all at once!

READ: Morning Glory Muffins

Eccles Cakes

Thanks to Stoves for sponsoring this post If you haven’t lived in the UK, you might not know what an Eccles cake is. They are a very traditional bake, made up of a filling of currants & spices encased in flaky pastry. The name comes from the town of Eccles which is near Manchester. They’re very moreish and go extremely well with a cup of tea, of course. You can eat them warm from the oven or at room temperature. Stoves, began as a manufacturer of gas heaters when founded in 1920 on valentine’s day! They moved on to make gas cookers and eventually range cookers which they are still a leading manufacturer of in the UK today.  To celebrate Stoves’ landmark 100th year, I was tasked with making a recipe from a 1920s cookbook. Although there were many classic pastries in the book, the Eccles cakes were something I had always wanted to make so I settled on that recipe. The ingredients are quite basic, a lovely buttery flaky pastry is made, rolled out and cut into disks. A filling of currants, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and sugar is stirred together and spooned onto each circle. The edges […]

The post Eccles Cakes appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

Thanks to Stoves for sponsoring this post

If you haven’t lived in the UK, you might not know what an Eccles cake is. They are a very traditional bake, made up of a filling of currants & spices encased in flaky pastry. The name comes from the town of Eccles which is near Manchester. They’re very moreish and go extremely well with a cup of tea, of course. You can eat them warm from the oven or at room temperature.

Stoves, began as a manufacturer of gas heaters when founded in 1920 on valentine’s day! They moved on to make gas cookers and eventually range cookers which they are still a leading manufacturer of in the UK today.  To celebrate Stoves’ landmark 100th year, I was tasked with making a recipe from a 1920s cookbook. Although there were many classic pastries in the book, the Eccles cakes were something I had always wanted to make so I settled on that recipe.

The ingredients are quite basic, a lovely buttery flaky pastry is made, rolled out and cut into disks. A filling of currants, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and sugar is stirred together and spooned onto each circle. The edges of the circle are gathered at the top and pinched together to seal the filling within a layer of pastry.

These are little pastries, similar in size to a cookie, as they are quite rich from all the butter & dried fruit! This batch makes quite a few Eccles cakes, and although they’ll keep well for ~5 days in a sealed container, you can also freeze them if needed.

Although it is traditional to use lard in flaky pastry (in place of all or some of the butter), I go for all-butter. So yes, these Eccles cakes are vegetarian, but some that you might buy from traditional bakeries will contain lard.

Eccles Cakes

Eccles Cakes

Yield: 20-22
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Flaky pastry:

  • 226g (2 cups minus 2 tbsp) white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine table salt
  • 170g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 70ml (1/4 cup + 2 tsp) very cold water

Currant filling:

  • 120g (3/4 cup) currants (or raisins)
  • 40g (1/4 cup) chopped mixed peel
  • 40g (3 tbsp) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 40g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Demerara sugar (raw sugar), for sprinkling

Instructions

For the pastry:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub in with a pastry blender/a pair of butter knives/your fingertips until the majority of the mixture has a breadcrumb-like texture with some pea-sized lumps of butter remaining. (If you have a food processor or stand mixer with paddle attachment, you can also do this step in there, pulsing to combine until you reach the consistency mentioned).
  2. At this stage, drizzle in the cold water and gently toss to combine. Give it a bit of a knead in the bowl until the dough starts to come together then tip the shaggy mass out onto your work surface. (Again, if doing this in a food processor/stand mixer, just pulse until the mixture starts to come together then tip out).
  3. Gather the mixture into a mound and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a smallish rectangle. It will likely seem very messy and might stick to the rolling pin, this is fine! Just scrape any dough off the rolling pin and add back to the rectangle. Fold the rectangle into thirds like a business letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees then roll out into a rectangle again. Fold into thirds again. Then use your hands to press down to compact it into a nice little package.
  4. Wrap in a resealable sandwich bag and chill for at least 1 hour.

For the filling:

  1. Mix the currants, mixed peel, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Stir to combine then pour over the melted butter. Stir again to incorporate and set aside.

Roll out and shape:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C fan (400°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and from the sandwich bag. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface, dusting with flour on top as needed to prevent the dough sticking to the rolling pin. Also make sure you’re checking underneath the dough as you do this by gently lifting the edges up and dusting flour underneath as needed to prevent it sticking to the work surface. The dough should be about 3 to 4mm thick.
  3. Use a 4-inch (10cm)round cutter to cut circles from the dough. Place a teaspoonful of filling in the centre of each circle. Wet the edges of the circle with a fingertip dipped in some water. Gather the edges up at the top and pinch together to seal the filling within. Flip over so the seam side is underneath and place onto a lined baking tray. Repeat with all the circles, re-rolling pastry scraps as needed until you’ve used all the filling/pastry.
  4. Cut 3 slits into the top of each Eccles cake with a sharp knife. Brush with the beaten egg and then sprinkle with some demerara sugar.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20minutes until well browned.


The post Eccles Cakes appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

Wholegrain Soda Bread

When the lockdown started in March, a wave of people got to work mixing up sourdough starters and baking bread. I was frequently asked for my sourdough starter recipe and people were confounded, and a bit disappointed, that I didn’t have one. There are five very good bread bakeries within a few blocks of where I live (bakeries stayed open in France during the confinement,…

When the lockdown started in March, a wave of people got to work mixing up sourdough starters and baking bread. I was frequently asked for my sourdough starter recipe and people were confounded, and a bit disappointed, that I didn’t have one. There are five very good bread bakeries within a few blocks of where I live (bakeries stayed open in France during the confinement, as they’re considered essential businesses), and while I was avoiding going out, getting bread from your local bakery is part of the rhythm of life in France. Bread is deeply important and proof of its importance was that the French revolution was spurred on by a lack of flour to make bread. Bread isn’t just “bread.” It can be much more than just something to eat.

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Hot Cross Buns

This hot cross buns recipe is filled with warm spices and bright citrus. Make it a part of your cherished Easter traditions!

The post Hot Cross Buns appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

This hot cross buns recipe is filled with warm spices and bright citrus. Make it a part of your cherished Easter traditions!

Three hot cross buns on a serving plate, one sliced in half.

Much more than just a nursery rhyme, hot cross buns are an important part of spring holiday celebrations around the world. Easter just isn’t Easter for many folks without these treats.

I made a version of hot cross buns many, many years ago and while they were good, they fell short of great. I began testing and re-testing recipes again this year again (much to the delight of my raisin-loving husband and kids!) and finally came upon the holy grail of flavor and texture. Loaded with orange zest, spices, and lots of raisins, these bake up super soft and with the best texture.

Hot cross buns on a baking sheet.

What is the significance of hot cross buns?

Everything about the pastries symbolizes something significant:

  • A warm mix of spices signals the melting away of winter’s chill, as well as the embalming of Christ at his burial.
  • Bright citrus reminds you of the past winter’s provisions and the light that exists even in the darkest times.
  • The proofing yeast represents life returning and the Resurrection.
  • And of course, the cross on top represents the Crucifixion.

Beyond just the components of the bread, there are so many superstitions and beliefs about them! Some believe a bun hung in the kitchen will prevent fires and ensure bread bakes perfectly.

They’re believed to protect seafarers against shipwrecks and to be medicine for the ill. Many also believe that if you bake them on Good Friday, they’ll never go moldy.

No matter what you believe about them though, one thing is for sure: they’re super delicious!

White plate piled high with hot cross buns.

What are the ingredients?

I love how fluffy and moist the crumb is, how deliciously spicy and oozing of a fresh orange scent. These very much remind me of the Greek Celebration Bread that I made in the past and it’s likely that the two may be related if we trace the family tree back a few centuries!

A rundown of the key ingredients:

  • Dry Ingredients: Bread flour, sugar, instant yeast, and salt
  • Fats: Milk, butter, and egg
  • Fruits: Orange zest and raisins
  • Flavors: Vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg
  • Cross paste: Flour + water
  • Glaze: Apricot jam

Step by step photos of mixing dough for hot cross buns

Step by step photos of mixing raisins and spices into dough.

How to make hot cross buns

A lot of people get really intimidated when it comes to the idea of making yeast bread, but you shouldn’t be scared! Just follow the steps outlined in the recipe, and I promise you can do it. A quick summary:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients, then make a well in the center.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients, add to the well in the center of the bowl.
  3. Stir together with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
  4. Rise until doubled in size (it takes about an hour).
  5. Add the raisins, orange zest, and spices to the dough, knead it into the dough with your hands, then cover and allow to rise again.
  6. Divide the dough into 15 balls, shape into rolls, place on a baking sheet and allow to rise again.
  7. Make the cross paste and pipe onto the risen rolls.
  8. Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Brush the rolls with warm apricot jam.

Yes, there are 3 (three!) rise times; honestly, I feel like this is what sets this recipe apart and makes utterly fantastic, melt-in-your-mouth rolls. I tried testing different variations with only two rise times and this version was far and away superior!

Hot cross buns being piped with crosses.

Recipe tips and notes

For making the best hot cross buns!

  • Bread Flour: The higher protein content creates a chewier texture and helps the rolls hold up to all of the raisins and zest. You can substitute all-purpose flour if that’s all you have, but the texture will be a bit different.
  • Yeast: Instant yeast makes this a breeze to make, however you can use an equal amount of active dry yeast if necessary. It will need to be activated: warm the milk, sprinkle the yeast over and let sit for 10 minutes. Then mix with the rest of the wet ingredients and proceed with the rest of the recipe. Please note rise times may be a bit longer.
  • Raisins: You can substitute currants, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or just about any other dried fruit you’d like!
  • Spices: I’ve included my preferred mix of spices, but feel free to play around with your favorites.
  • Cross Paste: Baking the cross into the tops of the buns is the most traditional method, but you can also pipe a cross on after baking with a simple sugar glaze – mix together powdered sugar and a little bit of milk (thick enough for a piping consistency) and pipe onto cooled buns.
  • Make-Ahead Instructions: You can shape the buns, place on the baking sheet, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to bake them. Once risen, pipe with the cross paste and proceed with the recipe as written.
  • Freezing Instructions: These freeze beautifully! Allow to cool completely, then wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in a zip-top freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or pop in the microwave.

Hot cross bun with bite taken out and others in the background.

Want more Easter bread ideas? Try my Italian Easter Bread and Tsoureki (Greek Easter bread).

If you make these hot cross buns and love them, please take a moment to stop back and leave a review below; they help out fellow readers so much! Thank you! xo

Print

Hot Cross Buns

This hot cross buns recipe is filled with warm spices and bright citrus. Make it a part of your cherished Easter traditions!
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rising time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 15 buns
Calories 188kcal
Author Michelle

Ingredients

  • cups bread flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cup milk room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 egg room temperature, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • 1 orange zested
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch nutmeg

For the Cross

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 to 8 tablespoons water

For the Glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Make a well in the center.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, egg, and vanilla extract, then add to the center of the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir everything together. The dough will be sticky, but should come together. Add more flour a tablespoon at a time if needed.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  • Place into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • With the dough still in the bowl, add the raisins, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. With your hands, knead everything into the dough, making sure it is well distributed. Cover the bowl and allow to rise again until doubled in size, another 1 hour.
  • Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 15 even pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and place at least 1 ½ inches apart on a half sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise until the rolls are puffed, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Make the Cross Paste: In a small bowl, stir together the flour and 5 tablespoons of water. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time; use only enough to make a very thick paste. Spoon the paste into a piping bag or resealable plastic bag and snip off the end. Pipe the paste down and across each row to make a cross on top of each roll.
  • Bake until golden brown and the internal temperature registers 195 degrees F, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Prepare the Glaze: Heat the jam in a small saucepan over low heat or, alternatively, in the microwave in 30-second bursts until melted. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove chunks, then brush over warm hot cross buns.
  • Serve buns warm or at room temperature.

Video

Notes

  • Bread Flour: The higher protein content creates a chewier texture and helps the rolls hold up to all of the raisins and zest. You can substitute all-purpose flour if that's all you have, but the texture will be a bit different.
  • Yeast: Instant yeast makes this a breeze to make, however you can use an equal amount of active dry yeast if necessary. It will need to be activated: warm the milk, sprinkle the yeast over and let sit for 10 minutes. Then mix with the rest of the wet ingredients and proceed with the rest of the recipe. Please note rise times may be a bit longer.
  • Raisins: You can substitute currants, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or just about any other dried fruit you'd like!
  • Spices: I've included my preferred mix of spices, but feel free to play around with your favorites.
  • Cross Paste: Baking the cross into the tops of the buns is the most traditional method, but you can also pipe a cross on after baking with a simple sugar glaze - mix together powdered sugar and a little bit of milk (thick enough for a piping consistency) and pipe onto cooled buns.
  • Make-Ahead Instructions: You can shape the buns, place on the baking sheet, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to bake them. Once risen, pipe with the cross paste and proceed with the recipe as written.
  • Freezing Instructions: These freeze beautifully! Allow to cool completely, then wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in a zip-top freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or pop in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 155IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.6mg

(Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food)

Originally published in 2011, this hot cross buns recipe has been updated to include a better technique, new photos, a helpful video tutorial, and more in-depth recipe tips.

[photos by Dee of One Sarcastic Baker]

The post Hot Cross Buns appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding
Old-fashioned New Orleans bread pudding layered with bourbon-soaked raisins then drizzled with bourbon sauce. A southern classic perfect for any holiday!
READ: Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding

Two plates of bread pudding.

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding

Old-fashioned New Orleans bread pudding layered with bourbon-soaked raisins then drizzled with bourbon sauce. A southern classic perfect for any holiday!

READ: Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding

Quick Mincemeat recipe

The word Mincemeat doesn’t quite inspire the same rapture that it does in England, most likely due to the name. Meat isn’t something normally associated with dessert in many places (although I had an interesting chocolate and beef pastry in Sicily), but traditional mincemeat is indeed, a wonderful addition to holiday desserts. To make it, one must get suet from a butcher, which posed a…

The word Mincemeat doesn’t quite inspire the same rapture that it does in England, most likely due to the name. Meat isn’t something normally associated with dessert in many places (although I had an interesting chocolate and beef pastry in Sicily), but traditional mincemeat is indeed, a wonderful addition to holiday desserts. To make it, one must get suet from a butcher, which posed a challenge for me the first time I made it in France. When I mentioned I needed beef fat to make a dessert to a boucher in Paris, from the look on his face, he wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to make with it. Or, I guess I should say, he wasn’t exactly convinced I was in my right mind. (Which wouldn’t be the first time that happened to me here.)

Not everyone wants to make traditional mincemeat, which is a bit of a chore, but there’s another way to get the wonderful flavors of candied peel, spices, dried fruit, and brandy, in your desserts, and that’s to make quick mincemeat.

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