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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Strawberry Lemonade Bundt Cake ~ #BundtBakers

 Believe it or not it's that time of the month that #BundtBakers present their creative creations of deliciousness.  This month the theme for #BundtBakers was chosen by the extremely talented,   Anne of From My Sweet Heart.  In the cake, on the cake, around the cake or all of it,  lemon was the theme.  Immediately I knew that I wanted to use the combo of strawberries and lemons.   Strawberries paired with lemons are lovely.  The sweetness of the berries balances out the tartness of the lemons and together they are a fantastic pair,   complementing one another fully.   

 I loved this cake from the moment I started mixing all the ingredients together.  The batter is flavored with grated lemon, lemon juice and a small amount of lemon extract.  All three lemon sources allow for the perfect lemon taste to the cake.  A delicate yet perfect lemon flavor shines in each bite of this cake.  Sour cream, butter and eggs all lend a hand in offering a richness to the cake too.  And then lastly the strawberries which are sliced and diced and then tossed with a little bit of flour and powdered sugar are folded into the batter to pair up with the lemon.  A perfection of a cake.

 A simple glaze of powdered sugar and lemon juice could easily be used to drizzle over this bundt.  I decided I wanted to have a bit of a fancier topping than just a simple glaze.  I also needed to cover up some of the areas on the cake that didn't release as gracefully from the pan as I had hoped.  I added some melted butter, lemon peel and dash of lemon extract to the powdered sugar and lemon juice to create exactly the topping I was after.  I was delighted visually as was my taste buds.  The frosting topped off the cake perfectly with decadence.

 Embrace the strawberry season as fresh strawberries are in abundance and bake up this cake.  Or buy some fresh strawberries at the super market if you can't pick them fresh.  This cake is perfect for those that want to impress yet simple enough to do so with truly very little effort.  

I send Anne big hugs of happiness for her fantastic choice of a "lemony" theme for our #BundtBakers group this month.  I enjoyed every minute of baking with lemons (and strawberries) by my side!   I also want to thank the creator of this group, Stacey of Food Lust People Love, for the amazing job she does to keep all the bits and pieces together to make the #BundtBakers such a fantastic group each and every month.  Merci beaucoup to both of you!!! 

Strawberry Lemonade Bundt Cake 
               (recipe adapted from I Heart Nap Time

Cake Ingredients-
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp lemon extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz sour cream
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP flour 

Frosting Ingredients-
4 TBSP butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1-2 TBSP fresh lemon juice - more or less depending on what consistency you want

Directions -

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.   Grease and flour bundt pan - set aside. 

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt - set aside. 

In a large bowl beat together butter, sugar and lemon zest for 2-3 minutes.  Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition.  Add in lemon juice and lemon extract. 

Add to butter mixture the flour mixture and sour cream - alternating between the 2, starting and ending with the flour.   

In a medium bowl toss strawberries with powdered sugar and flour.  Gently fold strawberries into batter.  Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.  

Place cake into oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.  Bake for 60 min - 1 hr and 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle of cake comes out clean.  Cool cake for 20 minutes before inverting onto serving plate.  Cool completely before frosting (or glazing).

While cake cools make your frosting.  Melt 4 TBSP of butter and pour over powdered sugar in a medium bowl.  Stir to incorporate.  Add in zest of lemon,  lemon extract and lemon juice and mix well.  Alter consistency of frosting by adding in more lemon juice if you wish. Pour over cooled cake, using a butter knife if needed to direct the frosting to a specific location.  Slice and enjoy!! 

Happy Strawberry Lemonade Bundt Cake Baking!

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Delicious Coconut Banana Bread

I have baked hundreds of banana breads.  It really is one of my most favorite thing to bake.  I often find myself looking over the bananas at the market for those that are no longer perfectly yellow or even slightly green but rather for bananas that have brownish-black speckles on them.  I have an eye out for ripe, banana bread ready bananas.  Bananas that are overly ripe are gems in my eyes. 

Recently, I found a gem of recipe for banana bread.  I am so excited to be sharing it with all of you! Honestly, I may have found my all time favorite recipe for banana bread.  It's made with a few unusual ingredients that you don't usually find in banana bread.  Coconut milk, canola oil and even almond extract are a few of these unusual additions in this recipe.  

The first time I made this recipe I followed it to the T.   I used all the required measurements and ingredients.  The bread came out amazing!  Absolutely delicious with a lovely texture.   The only way this banana bread could be any better would be if I could make it a bit healthier.  The original ingredient list called for all-purpose white flour and white sugar.  Which is fine but I really wanted to see if I could alter the recipe slightly and still get the same delicious results. 

I was completely delighted with my alterations!  My "healthier" substitutions were a success as the bread still tasted wonderful along with the soft crumb presence in each slice.  In place of the white flour I used whole wheat flour and then swapped out the white sugar for maple syrup.  The best part of this healthier version was when I could tell my friends and family that they didn't have to feel guilty about eating such a delicious banana bread.  It was a HUGE hit all around!  

Impress you friends and family and make this banana bread.  Everyone will love you for it! 

Coconut Banana Bread 
 (recipe altered from The Recipe Critic)
1/2 cup canola oil (melted coconut oil could easily be used in place of the canola oil) 
1 cup maple syrup (granulated white sugar can also be used in place of the maple syrup)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour + 2 Tbsp (extra flour is added because of the use of maple syrup)
3/4 cup all purpose flour 
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt 
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium size bananas) 
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup shredded coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9x5 loaf pan (I used a tea loaf pan which is 12x4) and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together oil and maple syrup.  Add in eggs and extracts.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mixing well with a whisk.

In another medium bowl combine mashed bananas and coconut milk.  

Alternating with the wet ingredients and flour mixture add them to the oil/maple syrup mixture.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded coconut over batter and swirl gently with a butter knife to slightly incorporate into the unbaked bread. 

Bake bread for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out clean.  If the coconut starts to brown too much cover with tin foil until bread is completely baked.  Cool bread before slicing.  Enjoy! 

Happy Coconut Banana Bread Baking!

Monday, June 1, 2015

(SRC) Taco Pizza

We eat a lot of pizza in our house.  At least once a week we are throwing a pizza in the oven or ordering one up from one of our local pizza joints.   It's a meal that everyone enjoys and will eat. 

 As I searched for my recipe pick for this month's  Secret Recipe Club assignment I immediately settled on this fantastic pizza recipe.  I knew my family would eat it and I would enjoy making it.  I thank you, Anna of Cheese with Noodles  for sharing this recipe with me!  

Just as I suspected it was so much fun to make this pizza!  It came together quickly and with simple, pantry ready ingredients.  One of the best parts of this recipe is that the pizza dough is homemade AND the technique for allowing the dough to rise is done in the oven as it bakes.  Completely brilliant!  The dough is mixed up and then patted/rolled onto the prepared pizza pan and then placed into a cold oven which is only then turned on to 375 degrees F.  As the oven heats up, the dough gently rises.  Simple as that!

As you can see from the picture above instead of using the traditional pizza sauce, refried beans are used in it's place.  Thus the foundation for this Mexican flavored pizza.  I sprinkled a Mexican blend of cheese and then some chopped cherry tomatoes and sliced black olives.  Once the pizza was baked to melt the cheese I then placed some avocado slices and chopped up cilantro for additional "taco" ingredients and color.  This recipe is perfect for all taco toppings.  It all depends on what you like and what you have on hand.   I envisioned adding some lovely red onions, dollops of sour cream and a side of salsa on my next Taco Pizza.  Yum!!

Definitely try out this Taco Pizza.  It won't disappoint!!   I was completely delighted with it and send Anna of Cheese with Noodles big hugs of gratitude for this recipe.  I can't wait to make it again along with some of her other mouth watering recipes (I have my eye on her recipe for Triple Peanut Butter Cookies). 

Taco Pizza 
(recipe from Cheese with Noodles)

Pizza Dough Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp taco seasoning (my addition) 
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
1 packet yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup water
2 TBSP olive oil

Pizza Toppings 
1 can refried beans
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend) 
A variety of toppings from below.....
sliced black olives
cherry or plum tomatoes, cut into quarters or small pieces
red onions, chopped into small pieces
avocado slices
ground beef, cooked and seasoned with taco seasoning
dollops of sour cream
cilantro, chopped 


In a large bowl fitted for a mixer prepare pizza dough by whisking together flour, taco seasoning, sugar, salt and yeast.  Add in water and oil and with your dough hook mix well all together. Dough should resemble a soft gum.  Add in water or flour if need to be to obtain such a consistency.  

Grease pizza pan and then gently pat dough out onto the sheet.  Make sure there is rim of dough higher on the edges than in the inside.  Place into a cold oven and heat to 375.  Bake for 15 minutes - starting timer when you place the pizza in the oven. Remove from oven and then spread refried beans over the dough and sprinkle with cheese.  Evenly scatter toppings that you wish to be baked such as tomatoes pieces and black olives.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.  Top pizza with remaining desired toppings, slice and enjoy!! 

Happy Taco Pizza Baking!


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