These baked pumpkin cake doughnuts are soft, fluffy and packed with warm flavours.
Baked Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts - Hot Chocolate Hits - YouTube
I realize it’s not fall anymore- spring is now dawning upon us, so I guess it’s a little late to be sharing pumpkin recipes.
Now, I had originally planned to upload this recipe in October (I know). I’m way late.
The issue isn’t that I haven’t wanted to post, I have. But sometimes passions and hobbies must take the backseat especially when 3,000 word essays, 180 page long readings and life are piling up.
It bothers me that a lot of the comments I get on Youtube ask why I’m so infrequent in uploading videos- although I’d like to post more often, for now I have to accept that other things need to be prioritized.Baking has always been a way for me to destress, and I need it to remain that way- it can’t be a source of tension, not when it’s my passion. But that means that each time I post, I feel like it’s extra special!
Today I’m super excited about sharing this baked pumpkin doughnut recipe with you. It’s one of those desserts that can have you go back for seconds, thirds, fourths, and onwards. It’s not at all like a typical yeast doughnut. In fact, it’s more like a muffin – sweeter, doesn’t have that yeast flavor to it, still super fluffy, a little dense (in comparison to a regular cake), and not deep-fried. It’s quicker to make as well.
It’s also packed with warm spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and ground ginger, which pair beautifully with the pumpkin.
If what you crave is a regular doughnut- greasy, crisp on the outside, sticky, delicious, you’ll need to wait a couple weeks more. For now, enjoy this cake version- not completely the same as a regular doughnut, but still addictively delicious- and so beautifully colored.
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar for dusting (optional! You can also serve them with chocolate sauce :)**
Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C and grease a doughnut tray with melted butter, oil or non-stick spray. If you don't have a doughnut tray, no worries! You can make the same recipe in a muffin tray (you can also place a ball of foil in the middle of the doughnut tray to make little doughnuts!).
In a bowl, combine the oil, pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Mix till smooth.
Stir in the flour.
Using a spoon, fill the doughnut trays with about 1/4 cup of batter per cup (for the bigger doughnuts- about 3 inches in diameter). It doesn't matter how large the doughnut cups are- just make sure they are full about 3/4 of the way!
Bake the doughnuts for 15 minutes (about 10 for the smaller ones).
Let them cool for about 5 minutes.
Gently loosen the doughnuts from the moulds by nudging them with a knife.
Place the cinnamon sugar in a ziplock bag (I actually like to use a little more than 1/4 cup and then save the excess for another recipe).
Add the doughnuts to the ziplock bag one at a time. Seal the bag and shake to coat the doughnuts with the sugar.
Gently remove the doughnut from the bag and let it sit on a cooling rack.
Enjoy with a nice cup of tea.
These store nicely in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week (though I like to eat them at room temp/slightly warmed).
*You can use store-bought pumpkin puree or you can make your own- find out how here.
**To make your own cinnamon sugar, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon. Grind together using a spice grinder until well combined.
DOUGHNUT TRAYS: You can find the larger tray here. To get the silicone mini doughnut tray, see something similar here
No, it doesn’t taste bland and gross. If it did, this chocolate mousse recipe wouldn’t make it to this blog.
Only quality stuff, man.
Normally I don’t like using weird ingredients in dessert. I’ve tried, of course. But never successfully. Sweet potato brownies? Been there, done that, and the verdict is no. Avocado brownies? Definitely not. I wonder how people can enjoy traces of bitter avocado in the chocolate.
Black bean brownies? Yeah, no. It’s not as good as everyone seems to advertise online.
But tofu? Well, that’s another story. It works. The key is to use silken tofu, a soft, delicate version that cuts better than butter. It yields the perfect mousse/pudding-like consistency.
It may not seem like it at first: after you blend up the ingredients, the mixture resembles a thick chocolate smoothie rather than a chocolate mousse- but if you let it set up a bit, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
This recipe isn’t completely healthy – it does contain dark chocolate. But it is healthier than the classic version that calls for raw eggs and heavy cream (not that that’s a bad thing)- and it’s a lot quicker to throw together. Plus, dark chocolate is supposed to be healthier, right?
I also tossed in some raspberries and a pinch of instant espresso, but that’s completely optional. I think I might actually prefer having the fruit served alongside the dessert instead of in it. But you can really play around and flavour it however you’d like.
So take a risk, have some faith and give this recipe a try. Let me know what you think!
Dulce de leche cheesecake: A festive twist on a classic dessert, made with gingersnap cookies, dulce de leche and chocolate.
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Recipe - Hot Chocolate Hits - YouTube
December = snow = vacation = the Holidays = food = best time ever.
My semester ended on a bittersweet note, bitter because many of my friends are leaving for their semester abroad. Bitter because next semester won’t be the same. Because the days get shorter and the nights longer. Sweet because I’m looking forward to five weeks of vacation and another semester. Sweet because it snowed a few times. And I ran outside the door in pyjamas and rain boots at 3 am so that I could have a snowball fight with my friend. Sweet because literally, sweets.
Today’s recipe may not necessarily be associated with Christmas, but it is a special occasion dessert that can be dressed up for Christmas (or any holiday you celebrate around this time of year). A festive combination of dulce de leche (a type of caramel made from milk), ginger cookies (I use speculoos), and chocolate take cheesecake to a new level. Adorned with crushed hazelnuts, cookies and tiny gold Christmas trees, you’re set.
For the base, I love gingersnap cookies; to me they represent this time of year- but obviously any cookie will work, such as plain digestives or Oreos.
Chocolate – love it. It goes so well with the dulce de leche. But, you are the master of your own cheesecake and it is up to you!
Make sure to bake the cheesecake or the specified time- the centre will still be a little jiggly, but will solidity as the cheesecake cools. This ensures a nice, creamy texture.
Dulce de Leche
Dulce de leche is a type of milk based caramel. It should not be too hard to find, but may have a different name in your country. In Poland, we refer to it as masa krówkowa or kajmak. Although it is easier to use a store-bought variety, you can make your own. Submerge a can of condensed milk in a pot of cold water. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for 3-4 hours. 4 hours for a thicker dulce de leche.
To Make Paper Christmas Trees
Fold a piece of gold paper into two. If the paper is one-sided, make sure the white side is facing outwards. Draw small Christmas trees 2-3 inches long, then cut out with scissors. You should end up with one pair of trees for each drawing. Using a glue stick, glue one of the trees (the white side), then place atop a toothpick. The toothpick should be glued in such a way so that 1 inch sticks out. Then glue atop the other tree, gold-side facing outwards. Let the trees dry, then stick them into the cheesecake.
1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar (regular granulated is fine too!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping cup (250-300 mL) dulce de leche*
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream
50 g dark chocolate (optional), melted
For the topping (optional):
Dulce de leche (about 1/2 cup/125 mL is perfect!)
Hazelnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
A few of the gingersnap cookies, crushed
Golden Christmas trees* (if it's that time of year)
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and grease a 9 inch (22 cm) springform tin with butter.
If you haven't already created crumbs from the cookies, place them in a ziplock bag and whack away with a rolling pin until you're left with a copper colored rubble. You can also place the cookies in a food processor and pulse.
Stir the melted butter into the cookie crumbs.
Tumble the cookie crumb mixture into the springform pan press down evenly, and create a slight ridge at the sides.
To make the filling, beat together the cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla. Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature- it makes it much easier to work with!
When the ingredients are just combined, add in the dulce de leche, eggs and sour cream, once again- just till incorporated.
Pour about 2/3-3/4 of the mixture atop the crust and tap the pan slightly to settle the mixture.
To the remaining mixture, stir in the melted dark chocolate until your result is a mousse-like mass.
Dollop the chocolate mixture on top of the dulce de leche mixture and swirl using a knife or toothpick.
Tap the pan to settle the mixture, then bake for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes are up, turn the oven off and leave the oven door open as the cheesecake cools.
Once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, chill it in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
If your cheesecake cracks, fear not! Now is the time to cover up any imperfections with the topping. Spread the 1/2 cup of dulce de leche atop the surface of the cheesecake.
Sprinkle atop the crushed gingersnaps and hazelnuts, then top with the Christmas trees.
*You can use any sort of cookie you like instead of gingersnaps (Oreos would be great, so would plain digestives).
*I used 750 g cream cheese but I know that in the US you can only get 8 oz packs, so 3 of those should be fine.
*Dulce de Leche- in the UK, this is known as Carnation Caramel. You can buy it in a can; in Poland it is kajmak or masa krówkowa. To make it at home, submerge a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of water and simmer it uncovered for 2-3 hours (3 hours for a thicker dulce de leche). Do not open the can while boiling and let it cool completely before handling.
*To make the golden Christmas trees, fold gold paper in half, the gold side inwards. Cut out Christmas tree shapes. You will end up with two for the same size. Apply glue on the paper side of both trees (I just used a glue stick) and place a toothpick about 2/3 of the way up one tree. Place the second tree on top and glue together to create a double-sided gold Christmas tree.
This veganized version of a banoffee pie with chocolate and coconut takes the concept of banoffee to a whole new level.
No-Bake Vegan Banoffee Pie (Banana Caramel Pie with Chocolate and Coconut) - Hot Chocolate Hits - YouTube
I don’t necessarily support the origins of Thanksgiving, nor am I American. But I do appreciate the taking time to reflect back upon this year and think about what I’m grateful for.
This year was challenging. I started university in January, which wasn’t easy, for many reasons. But I’m really thankful to be at the place I am now, with some of the coolest people in the world, doing things that I love. It just goes to show that everything takes time. And for someone who is impatient, that takes a while to learn.
Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, it doesn’t hurt to think about the things that are going right. And whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, it doesn’t hurt to make pie either.
This one just so happens to be vegan.
The base is embellished with chocolate, coconut. I make it with almonds, but you could use walnuts or pecans as well. To bind the crust, I add in a combination of dates and coconut oil. The coconut oil helps it set and the dates bring everything together. You could use all dates (it would be around 3/4-1 cup) or all coconut oil (at least 1/4 cup – with maybe a few tablespoons of maple syrup or sweetener)- but this is really the optimal mix and I recommend you use both.
Dates – I use soft, Iranian dates, Medjool are also fine. Dry dates will be difficult to use – you could try soaking them in hot water but I can’t guarantee the same texture.
The filling – dates are notable for their natural caramel flavour. We expand upon this notion, adding a touch of salt and vanilla to form the ultimate raw vegan salted caramel.
The topping– coconut whipped cream. I got this idea from my friend, Ronnie. It’s life-changing. To make the coconut whip, you need coconut cream. What’s that, you ask? Well. All you need to do is place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. It will separate into a solid portion and a liquid portion. Scoop that white, creamy solid mass out, leaving behind the water – and whip it good. Make sure not to shake the can before using- because if the cream is too liquidy, it will not whip properly.
This banoffee pie (if made right) is the perfect blend of flavours, a dessert that (mostly) everyone can enjoy.
1/2 cup (100 g) soft dates (such as Iranian dates or Medjool dates)
For the banoffee filling:
1 cup (200 g) dates
1/4 cup (60 mL) water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 bananas (not super ripe but not super raw)
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the topping:
3/4 cup (180 mL) coconut cream*
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup/agave/honey if not vegan -- or just add 1 tbsp of sugar
cover an 8-inch pan with plastic wrap (clingfilm) leaving some hanging over as excess.
To make the base, place the almonds and coconut in a food processor and blitz the ingredients together until you're left with a damp rubble.
Add in the dates and coconut oil, then mix for a few more minutes or until the mixture comes together, forming a mass.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan and about 1.5 inches (2.5 cm) up the sides, then place in the freezer to set, until solid.
In the meantime, prepare the salted caramel filling.
Place the dates into a food processor along with the water, salt and vanilla.
Blend the ingredients together until the dates are completely smooth and the mixture and form a nice, toffee-like paste. Add more salt/vanilla if desired.
Slice the bananas and sprinkle atop the lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
Next make the coconut whipped cream (see notes for what it is).
Place the chilled coconut cream into a bowl.
Whip using an electric mixer or hand held whisk until it has doubled in size and the mixture forms nice peaks.
Gently mix in the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
To assemble the pie, gently remove the plastic wrapped base from the cake tin, then peel it off of the base. Because the base was in the freezer, it should be nice and firm.
Pour the date caramel into the base and spread evenly to cover the inside entirely.
Scatter atop the banana slices, covering the date caramel entirely.
Dollop atop the coconut whipped cream, creating peaks using your knife or spatula for a nice finishing effect (see the vide0).
dust with cocoa/cacao powder or scatter atop some raw cacao nibs or grated chocolate (vegan chocolate if vegan).
Because this dish has fresh fruit, it won't last more than a few days once you assemble it. I recommend making the base and dates caramel ahead of time- the coconut whip and bananas should be prepared the day of/day before serving. The base keeps well in the freezer for up to 2 months, as would the date caramel.
*Coconut cream is the fatty part in a can of coconut milk. Place your coconut milk in the refrigerator the night before using it. Be careful not to shake the jar. The thick, fatty part will rise to the top- scoop this part out. Leave the water behind (it can be used in smoothies!).
Sometimes- but only sometimes- you need an ultra-decadent concoction, full of chocolate, sugar and calories. If this is one of those days, you have come to the right place. Nothing to me is more comforting than a cheesecake made right. This cheesecake is equipped with all the qualities it should have: It is dense, lush and creamy. The moment it hits your palette you’ll be overwhelmed with a sense of happy wonder. And then you’ll dive in for another forkful. And another.
The flavor of coffee is great. But it’s even better when exemplified with bitter chocolate. Mocha cheesecake. Simple.
But be careful, not only because it’s possibly one of the richest desserts in the world, it has a generous dose of caffeine, making it not quite as friendly as a late night treat- but of course, you could use decaf. Regardless, this is a dessert any coffee lover will cherish.
If you’re really against the whole mocha combination, you can leave out the coffee and you’ll end up with a fabulous chocolate cheesecake.
And if you want to take this to the next level, try using chocolate cookies instead of plain digestives in the crust.
I love this cheesecake adorned with raspberries if it’s summer, which helps cut through the decadence. Any berry or fruit should pair beautifully with this creation, but of course, it’s fine plain as well.
If your cheesecake cracks, don’t be – it happens. The only thing cracks affect are appearance; the cheesecake still retains all its other glory. And that’s why you gotta have the raspberries on hand to cover up any blemishes. Another tip, do not bake a cheesecake like a cake- it should still be jiggly in the center when the baking time is done. Once it cools completely, it will firm up. Over-baking your cheesecake will result in a bit of a grainy texture- and we want silky smooth. So tempting as it is, take the cheesecake out of the oven at the right time.
This mocha cheesecake is a perfect recipe for any coffee lover, and a great way to celebrate a special occasion.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9 inch springform pan with butter.
To prepare the crust, stir together the cookie crumbs and melted butter. This can be done in the sprinform pan or in a separate dish. Press the mixture evenly and firmly on the bottom of the baking pan and set aside.
To make the filling, combine the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl and beat using an electric mixer or whisk, until smooth.
Add in the eggs and continue to mix until just blended. Be careful not to over-mix as this will lead to cracks in the cheesecake.
Melt the chocolate in 20-second increments in the microwave or over a double boiler until smooth. Cool the chocolate slightly and then quickly stir it into the cheesecake batter.
Pour in the heavy cream, sour cream, and stir till just combined.
Dissolve the instant espresso powder in the hot water and add this to the batter along with the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well-blended.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread slightly so that the top is even.
Bake for 45 minutes. The center will still be jiggly- but you want to take it out at that stage so that the cheesecake retains its creamy texture. It will solidify as it cools, so fear not.
Cool thoroughly and chill before serving. If your cheesecake has any cracks, you can cover it up with berries (pictured above) or chocolate ganache.
Serve cold with fresh berries and chocolate shavings.
This decadent ice cream cake takes minutes to put together and seconds to consume
Ultimate Ice Cream Cake from Scratch (No-Churn) - Hot Chocolate Hits - YouTube
Summer is at its season finale. The days grow shorter, the air becomes frigid and the hats, jackets and scarves emerge from storage. This recipe should have been posted earlier- because in the Netherlands, fall is already here. And rain. Lots of rain. All day. Not that that’s a characteristic of fall, it’s a characteristic of the Netherlands.
But ice cream doesn’t have to be a summer dessert, so forget my seasonal negligence.
This no-churn ice cream cake is mind-blowing.
Literally. Anything fabulous outlandish flavour combination you have in mind, you can do. The sky is the limit.
The basic ice-cream recipe is one that has been circulating the internet for a while now- a combination of heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk. It’s up to you if and how you want to embellish it.
I went with a lets-add-everything-I-can-possibly-think-of combination which involves Oreos (lots of Oreos), salted caramel, peanuts and coffee.
Other combinations I’d like to try a cheesecake flavour (adding cream cheese, crushed digestive biscuits and jam to the base) or perhaps an Eton mess combination (crushed meringue and strawberries).
One thing to note– in this recipe, be super careful how much you beat the ingredients together because over-whipping/stirring will most definitely result in curdling- just whip the ingredients to a nice soft peak (if that).
Optional: Oreos, peanuts, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce and chocolate chips to decorate
Line a 9x5 inch (23x13 cm) loaf tin (or 8-9 inch/2o-22 cm cake tin) with cling film (plastic wrap)
To prepare the base, add the Oreos and melted butter to a food processor.
Blitz the ingredients together until they resemble the likes of wet sand. You could also skip the food processor step and crush the cookies in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin, then add the butter.
Evenly press 3/4 of the Oreo mixture into the tin, reserving 1/4 for later. You could also just press all of the mixture but I like to keep a little for the centre of the cake.
Set the base aside.
In a bowl, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until the volume of the cream increases and you get nice soft peaks when lifting the whisk from the bowl.
Add in the sweetened condensed milk and mix for 1-2 minutes until thick.
At this point, you can play around with the flavour combinations.
I like to divide the ice cream base in three separate bowls.
To one bowl, add the toasted peanuts and salted caramel sauce. To the second, add the instant espresso powder. To the third, add the chopped Oreos (ingredients listed under 'add-ins'), stirring just to combine.
Alternate dollops of each flavour onto the ice cream base.
Once you get half-way, sprinkle atop the reserved Oreo-butter crumbs, then continue dolloping.
Run a spatula through the top of the cake to even the surface.
Cover the top of the cake with more cling film, then freeze until solid (mine took about 6 hours but overnight is optimal).
to serve, peel the cling film from the ice-cream cake and place it onto a serving plate.
Drizzle with melted chocolate, caramel sauce and garnish with chocolate chips, Oreo chunks and chopped peanuts.
Serve immediately and store the leftovers covered, in the freezer.
*Heavy cream is also referred to as double cream. It should have between 30-26% of milk fat and should be pourable to whip. Chilling the cream before using makes whipping a lot easier.
**The add-ins listed are what I used in the video- but by all means, you can customize this recipe to your taste (i.e. add melted chocolate/cocoa for chocolate ice cream, strawberries, digestive biscuits and cream cheese for a strawberry cheesecake twist, cinnamon, etc etc.)
Thick, fudgy chocolate strawberry brownies make for an ultra-decadent summer treat.
Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Strawberries - Hot Chocolate Hits - YouTube
During summertime in Poland, stands pop up alongside the road, outside the grocery store, on street corners selling baskets of brightly colored berries. The mix includes strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, currents and cherries.
I personally prefer eating berries plain, in breakfast food or served alongside dessert.
Rarely do I cook with them.
It isn’t that I haven’t tried, it’s just that a lot of the time, fruit tastes so good on its own that it seems pointless to bake a pie or a tart that doesn’t seemingly do the fruit enough justice. Why tinker with perfection?
I was, however, more than thrilled with these strawberry brownies.
The brownies are perfection on their own (just look!). Damp, dark, velvety – pure chocolate decadence. Just like my classic fudgy chocolate brownies– but chocolate-based instead of cocoa-based. I’ve made the base recipe (sans chocolate chunks and strawberries) with a salted caramel peanut topping served with vanilla ice cream.
This strawberry variation is perfect around this time of year. The strawberry slices caramelize while baking, which makes them crisp and slightly chewy (depending on how thin you’re cutting them). They lend a tart sweetness, working well with that rich interior.
This recipe is easy to prepare, and a definite favourite of ours this summer.
200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces/chopped
1 scant 1 cup (200 g/7 oz) unsalted butter, chopped
3 large eggs
1 heaping cup (250 g) sugar
1 scant cup (135 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder*
For the topping:
100 g (4 oz) milk chocolate/semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (chocolate chips are fine too!)
A handful of fresh strawberries (5-10), thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 160 C (325 F) and grease/line a 9 inch (22-24 cm) square pan with parchment paper.
Melt together the butter and dark chocolate. You can do this step over a double boiler, or in the microwave, stirring after every 45 seconds or until smooth (about 2 minutes). Set the chocolate aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt and instant espresso powder till smooth.
Stir in the melted chocolate-butter mixture (should be cool to touch) just until incorporated.
Finally, fold in the flour.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly to all corners.
Top the brownies with the strawberry slices and chocolate chunks.
Bake for 35-4o minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few damp crumbs.
While these taste great warm, chilling the brownies makes them far easier to cut. They also taste great cold.
Cut the brownies int0 squares. These make 9 generous portions (3x3 inches; pictured above) or 16 smaller (and more manageable!) ones.
These can be stored for about a week in the fridge (I wouldn't go much longer due to the fruit). You can freeze them for 1-2 months.
*Instant espresso powder highlights the flavor of the dark chocolate. I love adding it but if you don't like the idea of adding coffee to your dessert, you may leave it out.
The original recipe I adapted was listed in grams. However, I measured out the ingredient quantities in cups as well, which accounts for the "scant" or "heaping" variations in cups.
This addictive upside-down banana cake will have you go bananas.
Upside-Down Banana Cake Recipe - Hot Chocolate Hits - YouTube
A lot of people dislike bananas. Thankfully, I don’t.
Why thankfully? Because a lot of the time, bananas in our house tend to become super-ripe. I don’t like to eat bruised, browned bananas, but they go well in my breakfast smoothie.
And also cake.
Lily’s banana bread is a fabulous loaf recipe. But I bake a lot and so I cannot limit myself to a single set of instructions. This results in healthy whole wheat banana bread, cinnamon streusel banana cake, chocolate chip banana muffins, chocolate banana bread, banana cake with cream cheese frosting, banana cake with mocha fudge frosting and of course,
Banana upside-down cake, a recent developments and most likely one that will remain high up in my banana cake repertoire (more…)
Extreme Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies - Hot Chocolate Hits - YouTube
I only know how to do extreme. Extreme excitement. Extreme anxiety. Extreme stress. And, on the occasion, extreme dessert. This recipe for chocolate chocolate chip cookies is pretty extreme. So is my use of ‘extreme’ in this post.
There’s a reason why the word ‘chocolate’ has been utilized twice in this cookie’s name. The dough itself is built upon a foundation of melted dark chocolate and cocoa powder. It is then studded with two different varieties of chocolate (I use milk and dark), though you may choose to add a third by using white chocolate. Apart from eating a bar of chocolate itself, nowhere is that rich, bittersweet flavor more prominent than in this cookie.
These cookies are pure decadence, so I often freeze half the batch and save it for when I really need a chocolate fix (see instructions below on how to do that), or when I have people coming over.
The flavor and texture of this cookie match my expectations of what may be purchased at a niche bakery; dark, damp- not chewy but tender, almost flaky and representative of its name.
If you’re into chocolate, no doubt, these cookies will satisfy your palate. (more…)
Fluffy, moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
The Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - Hot Chocolate Hits - YouTube
This is the first carrot cake recipe I ever made, and the only carrot cake recipe I make. My sister’s close friend, Danika gave her the recipe several years ago, when they were in high school. I recently found out that Danika’s dad, Lee is the original author of the recipe, and I’m so grateful to them for sharing it with me!
There’s two things that all bakers claim they do the best. Banana bread and carrot cake. But trust me when I say this: This is the best carrot cake you will ever try. Ever.
As a self-proclaimed cake connoisseur, I have tried many carrot cakes, but none compare to this one. There’s a reason this is the only carrot cake recipe I’ve ever made.
It is soft, fluffy (the oil instead of butter makes it super moist), perfectly spiced, perfectly sweetened and sufficiently carrotted.
Apart from grating the carrots, the cake batter is a breeze to assemble.
My favourite way of making carrot cake is in a rectangular pan, with a generous layer of cream cheese frosting (the same one I use for my lemon poppyseed cake and red velvet cupcakes). It isn’t anything fancy, but it is awfully comforting and takes me back a couple years.
Of course, you can embellish and adorn it however you would like.
This recipe makes a large 9×13 inch cake, but can be halved for a smaller (9×9 inch) cake. You can also frost it with mocha fudge frosting if you prefer. But quite frankly, there is nothing better than golden carrot cake speckled with nuts, covered in cream cheese frosting.
1 1/4 cup (300 mL) flavourless oil (such as canola
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (130 g) walnuts or pecans, chopped – (you can increase the quantity to 1 1/2 cups if you like)
other optional add-ins (1 cup of chocolate chips, raisins, ½ cup desiccated coconut)
For the frosting:
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 oz (100-115 g) cream cheese at room temp.
2 cups confectioners’ (icing) sugar
1./2 lime or lemon, juiced (about 1 tbsp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the topping:
½ cup walnuts, chopped
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 F, grease a 9x13 inch pan with butter and dust with flour. You can alternatively use three 9 inch pans.
In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice) and set aside.
In another bowl, toss the carrots with the lemon juice and set aside.
In a large bowl, blend the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs until smooth.
Add the flour mixture, stirring just to combine.
Fold in the carrot mixture and nuts. The nuts are optional, but I highly recommend adding them! You can also add in chocolate chips or raisins if you like.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes (if baking multiple layers, the baking time will need to be adjusted accordingly), or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting:
To make the frosting, blend together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and lemon juice.
Gradually add in the confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. The frosting should hold a soft peak when you lift up the whisk/beater.
I like to garnish the cake with some cinnamon and chopped nuts, but this is totally optional.