January 26, 2014

Lamingtons - Australia Day 2014

Happy Australia Day!  You can take the girl out of Australia, but you can't take the Australian out of the girl, so of course I wanted to celebrate. One of the most iconic Australian cakes is the lamington and that is what I wanted to make.

January 20, 2014

Iced VoVos ~ #CreativeCookieExchange

I wasn't quite ready for Valentine's Day decorations in the stores the day after Christmas, however I'm definitely ready now which is perfect timing for the #CreativeCookieExchange.  The theme this month is Put On Your Red and Pink for Valentine’s Day!  I guess I took it literally since my cookie has both red and pink.

Limoncello Pound Cake ~ The Cake Slice Bakers January 2014

It is Cake Slice Bakers time - our first for 2014! The votes were cast, tallied up, and the winner was Old-Fashioned Pound Cake.  You just know you can never go wrong with a classic like this, and we had the choice of plain, spirited, nutty, or chocolate chip.  Of course I choose the boozy one :). As you know we are baking from Great Cakes by Carole Walter. So far we have baked some Streusel Squares, an Applesauce Spice Cake, and this Old-Fashioned Pound Cake - and each one has been a winner.  It is an expansive book filled with great recipes and Ms. Walter's expert knowledge, and I'm looking forward to each month's baking challenge.

January 16, 2014

Mocha Hazelnut Marble Bundt - #BundtBakers

This is a kind of good news/bad news kind of post.  First the bad news - unfortunately the Bundtamonth group is no longer together due to the time constraints on the administrators.  We had a great time as a group, and I wanted to send my thanks to Lora and Anuradha for all of the hard work they did for the us.  Now the good news - many of us did not want to let go of our love for bundts, so a new group has been formed called #BundtBakers.

Our first theme together as a group, since we are all nuts for bundts is Nuts!  This is the perfect theme since I think a lot of people would still have leftover nuts - pecans, almonds, walnuts, pistachios - from the holiday season, and are just looking for ways to use them up. So, why not make a bundt or two? The members in this group are sure to inspire you in some way to get baking.

January 15, 2014

Banana Pecan Breakfast Cake + Giveaway!

Everyone loves a good breakfast cake, I mean really, who doesn't like cake for breakfast?  The recipe for todays cake, Banana Pecan Breakfast Cake, can be found in Lick the Bowl Good, a new cookbook by blogger extraordinaire Monica Holland, who also has a blog by the same name. I have followed Monica's blog for quite a while, so I was excited to hear that she was writing a cookbook. Lick the Bowl Good is just as amazing as her blog. I love that the recipes are accompanied by photos - gorgeous ones too. The recipes are familiar, and very do-able, but have a little twist that makes you want to keep working your way through the book to the next yummy recipe.

I made the Banana Pecan Breakfast Cake a couple of days ago and it just disappeared off the plate in record time. I've had other banana cakes before, but there is something special about this recipe.  Family members were giving each other accusing looks as they tried to figure out who had more pieces than someone else, and how they were going to split that last piece into six even pieces. Calming everyone down I explained and could buy more bananas and make another one, although the next time I will definitely make two so I get more than one piece before it is gone.

A group of us were so excited about getting the book, that a Facebook Group, Baking Through Lick the Bowl Good, was formed and we will baking one recipe on the 15th of each month. Some people will post via their blogs, some will post on Facebook, and everyone is invited to come and check it out. Of course I will be baking other recipes from the book too.  It got to the point that I stopped putting sticky notes in the book because there was one on every page, and I recommend that you visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Jessica's Biscuit/ecookbooks or your neighborhood bookstore and pick up a copy as soon as possible.

And now to the giveaway.  A few weeks ago I was very lucky and won a copy of Lick the Bowl Good from the author herself, along with some other goodies.  Since I had already purchased the book in preparation to start baking from it, I found myself with an extra brand-new copy.  It seemed like the perfect idea to pay it forward and have a giveaway for the book.  Since we are all still catching our breath from the busy holiday season I am going to make this giveaway super simple to enter - just visit Monica's blog Lick the Bowl Good and leave me a comment telling me what recipe you would like to make from it and I will enter you in the draw.

The Fine Print

  • Leave me a comment as per the instruction above.
  • Deadline for entry is January 22, 2014 at 6:00PM HST.
  • Sorry, this giveaway is open only to US addresses.
  • Please leave a valid email address where I can contact you if you choose to publish anonymously.
  • One winner will be chosen at random using Random.org. I will send the winner an email, and they will have 48 hours to respond, if I do not hear by then another winner will be selected.
  • The winner will receive a copy of Lick the Bowl Good by Monica Holland
  • The prize for this giveaway to one of my readers is being provided by me. I was not compensated personally for this post.

Good luck everyone!

We have a winner!  Congratulations to Holly who is the winner of Lick the Bowl Good.  I hope you enjoy the book and it will be in the mail tomorrow.

For another amazing idea for this cake please visit my friend Kim at Ninja Baker  - her Banana Pecan Breakfast Cupcakes would certainly make me eager for breakfast in the morning!

Banana Pecan Breakfast Cake
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Cake ~
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • ¼ buttermilk
Pecan Topping ~
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cake ~
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉
  2. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, vanilla, and mashed banana and blend till incorporated.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in all of the buttermilk and mix until just incorporated, then add the remaining flour and mix once again until no traces of flour remain.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top.
Topping ~
  1. Combine the sugar, pecans, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Stir together, then evenly sprinkle the mixture over the cake batter.
  2. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  3. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  4. Store at room temperature.

Recipe from Lick the Bowl Good by Monica Holland/Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

January 01, 2014

Crumpets ∼ #TwelveLoaves January 2014

Welcome to 2014! Can someone please slow this year down a bit since it seemed like 2013 went by in the blink of an eye. I have decided to make 2014 the year that I will become a confident bread baker - including all kinds of bread. I have been very fortunate in being able to join the #TwelveLoaves baking group. If anyone can help me achieve this goal it is this group of amazing bakers. It is going to be challenging for me, but I am so excited to get started. I hope that anyone else who wants to achieve this goal will follow along as I attempt each months theme - it will be fun and we can learn together.