Posted: November 16th, 2010 | Filed under: Cake | Tags: cream cheese icing, pumpkin and cream cheese, pumpkin bundts, pumpkin cake | 1 Comment »
So I know that all over the country people have been enjoying fall weather and colors for well over a month. Some places have even had snow… but here, in Denton we are just starting to enjoy all of the beautiful fall colors. The trees are turning reds and golds and beautiful oranges… and it really makes the drive around town surprisingly pleasant… and the cold isn’t too bad yet either. (We’ll go over my dislike of the cold another day.) So today I want to share something that is appropriate for the beautiful weather and the beginning of the holiday season we are all upon.
These litte bundts can be baked into bars, or mini loaves, but I just really really love them as the tiny bundt cake. It is the perfect little bite of pumpkin with the sweet tangy-ness of the cream cheese icing. It’s pretty great.
Pumpkin Bundts with Cream Cheese Icing
adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 c canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c sugar
3/4 c vegetable oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a mini bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the pumpkin, sugar, oil and eggs until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pans – about 1/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes — keep a close eye on it — because baking times will vary — bake until set and the cakes bounce back. Remove and let cool to room temperature.
4 oz package cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c sifted confectioners’ sugar
In a small bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, beating until smooth and creamy.
Put the icing into either a piping bag, or a squeeze bottle and drizzle over the pumpkin bundts.
Enjoy with friends and apple cider!
Posted: October 12th, 2010 | Filed under: Cake | Tags: best carrot cake, best carrot cake cupcakes, carrot cake, carrot cake with cream cheese icing, cream cheese icing, fancy pecans, toasted pecans | No Comments »
This has been a crazy week… and its only Tuesday! So, I have a job, I’m a barista at Starbucks. (In case you didn’t know, I was a barista as I finished up college, and while I looked for a post grad job.) I have to say, I really am enjoying it more this time around. I think its because my mindset is different this time, I don’t feel the pressure of what I’m doing for my “real job” after college, I’m not worried about trying to work my way up in an imaginary career when I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do for life. (Which, I am fully aware has the potential to change as often as seasons change.) But I’ll say this, I’m not terrible at it, I enjoy work, and its not stressful. Which I love. And its teaching me the things I need to learn the food industry better, especially since I’m paying closer attention this time around to the things I need to learn to be successful in the food industry, to the things I’ll need to run a small business one day.
Also in life, we are packing up for a quick trip to California! (I’m super excited, I love California.) But even more exciting — we are going for a wedding– a wedding we’ve been anxiously awaiting — a wedding we can’t wait to be present for. Ryan’s brother Jay and his long time girlfriend Melissa are getting married this Friday. We are so excited for them. It is just crazy that we got married almost three years ago, and one right after the other the brothers have all gotten paired off, entering into marriage with some amazing women. (It makes holiday and family get togethers much louder and way fun.) So as we pack and reflect on family, I’m also thinking of recipes that remind me of home, of family, of comfort in the fall, of tradition and warmth — and so there are carrot cake cupcakes. With flavors and spices that are warm and welcoming, these are the perfect cupcake for the beginning of fall. (I live in Texas, its still not exactly sweater weather all day yet. So yeah, the beginning of fall, not the middle or end quite yet.) Slathered in a smooth cream cheese icing and topped with toasty pecans — its beautifully delicious and moist and the flavors are perfect together in each and every bite.
Other things I like about this recipe is just how easy it is. It doesn’t take long to put everything together, the cake can all be done by hand, and the aromas from each component pour through the kitchen making it all the more inviting.
Alyssa’s Carrot Cake
For the Cake
2 1/3 c self rising flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp all spice
1 tbsp orange zest
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 c light brown sugar
1 c canola oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 c fresh orange juice
3 c carrot (very finely chopped in a food processor)
Preheat the oven to 350F, place liners in two cupcake/muffin tins. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and orange zest. In another bowl, stir together the whole eggs, egg yolks, and brown sugar. Add the oil, vanilla and orange juice. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and stir in the egg mixture a little at a time, until just combined. Stir in the carrots. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the centers are set and a tester in the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature before icing and topping.
Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 c unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
Two 8oz packages of cream cheese
4 c confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter until soft, add the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Blend in the sugar, vanilla and salt. Spread on top of each cupcake with an icing spatula.
2 c pecan pieces
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp salt
Preheat an oven to 350F. On a large baking sheet spread the pecans and roast until fragrant, about 10 minutes. While the pecans are in the oven place the butter and salt in a medium mixing bowl. When the pecans are ready, take them from the oven and pour them directly into the bowl with the butter and salt. (Thats right, don’t let them cool.) Flip or stir the pecans in the bowl with the butter and salt, letting them melt the butter and allowing the butter and salt to coat every pecan. Let cool to room temperature before topping each cupcake with a few pecan pieces.