Marbled Orange Espresso Cupcakes | Baking

These marbled cupcakes are sure to impress — no mixer required! Make the separate orange and espresso batters then swirl in the cupcake tins to create the gorgeous marbled effect. Top with the orange espresso buttercream for the perfect treat for the adventurous dessert fanatic in your life — or you know, just to have around as a quick snack!

A marbled orange espresso cupcake before baking.
A cupcake before baking — look at those swirls!

To best preserve the individual flavors, I’ve created two separate cake batters for these cupcakes; the orange and the espresso. The two are then playfully layered into cupcake tins and baked.

In order to keep this as simple as possible, no mixer is involved for the creation of the cake. Get two large bowls side by side and make your batter at the same time.

The recipe may look intimidating but I promise you can do it! As always, feel free to contact me with any questions.

The cake recipe is DAIRY FREE! No milk or butter used in the making of the cake. For a simple dairy-free swap in the buttercream, follow these replacements:

  • Use dairy-free or vegan butter.
  • Instead of heavy cream, use 2 tablespoons of your favorite dairy free milk, vanilla coffee creamer, or coconut cream.

Orange and Espresso: Delicious Flavor Combination

Initially, perhaps, this flavor combination seems counterintuitive. After all, chasing orange juice with espresso is a bitter experience. However, when layered with sugar in fluffy cupcake form, these flavors complement each other beautifully.

After much recipe testing, I perfected the amount of orange and espresso in each batter so that their true flavors come through but do not overpower one another. Additionally, these cupcakes are sweet which helps blend the two flavors together in a delicious way!

The espresso batter includes a dash of cocoa powder. This helps to round out the deep, bitter flavor of the espresso and complements the fresh orange zest and juice in the orange batter.

The buttercream frosting is a key component of this dessert, really tying the orange and espresso together in a smooth, creamy finish. I highly recommend taking the time to make the buttercream.

If you MUST skip the process of making the frosting, go for a vanilla store-bought, and mix in the orange zest, orange flavor and instant espresso as directed in the buttercream recipe.

Baked Marbled Orange Espresso Cupcakes
The end result of the marbling technique before frosting.

Orange and Espresso: Special Ingredients

To truly bring out the orange and espresso flavor in these cupcakes, we enlist the help of some special ingredients.

For the orange batter, use fresh, ripe oranges. You’ll zest and juice these oranges to use in the batter, and reserve some zest for use in the buttercream frosting.

In the espresso cupcakes, I chose to use instant espresso. It’s a great ingredient to have on hand for baking, as you can use it in the plain powdered form to incorporate into other cakes, frosting, ice cream or cookies or use the powder to brew just as much espresso as you need for your recipe. Here’s a link to my favorite brand of instant espresso, pictured below.

Medagalia D'Oro Instant Espresso

Marbled Cupcake Technique

What makes these cupcakes so fun and pretty to look at is the marbling technique. The natural colors of the orange and espresso come through in each batter, so you wind up with one light orange batter and a nice tan batter for the espresso. By making the batters separately and marbling them in the cupcake tin, it results in a gorgeous marbled cupcake!

Cake Mix in Two Separate Bowls. Layer and Swirl with Toothpick!

How you marble and layer the separate cake batters is entirely up to you. There truly is no wrong way to do this. Use small spoons to scoop different layers into the cupcake tin, then use a toothpick to swirl the colors together. For a more hands-on tutorial, check out this video from Wilton. The recipe they use utilizes food coloring, which you don’t need when using this recipe. However, its a good video of how the marbling process actually looks and may help if you are feeling unsure about the process.

Orange Espresso cupcakes

Marbled Orange Espresso Cupcakes

These marbled cupcakes are sure to impress! To keep this recipe as streamlined as possible, I've laid out step-by-step instructions. You'll be making the espresso and orange batters separately, then marbling them together in the cupcake molds. Lastly, while the cupcakes are baking, prepare the buttercream (if desired, or use store bought).
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cupcakes

Equipment

  • Clean bowls
  • Coffee mug
  • Zester
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Cupcake tin
  • Cupcake liners
  • Two small spoons
  • Stand or hand mixer for the buttercream frosting

Ingredients
  

Espresso Batter

  • ¼ cup water with 2 teaspoons espresso
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp instant espresso ¾
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TB canola or grapeseed oil

Orange Batter

  • 1 tsp orange emulsion
  • tsp orange zest
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TB canola or grapeseed oil

Orange Espresso Buttercream

  • cup unsalted, softened butter
  • cup + 1 TB powdered sugar
  • 2 TB heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp instant espresso
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • ½ tsp orange emulsion

Instructions
 

Espresso Cake Batter

  • Stir 2 teaspoons instant espresso into warm water until fully dissolved. Set aside.
  • In a clean bowl, sift flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add in the salt and sugar and ½ teaspoon instant espresso. Whisk gently to combine.
  • In a different clean bowl, add the egg, oil, vanilla and espresso. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Whisk well to combine. Set aside until ready to use. If you prefer, you can pop this bowl into the fridge while you prepare the orange cake batter.

Orange Cake Batter

  • Zest two oranges into a small bowl, avoiding the white pith. In a separate small bowl or cup, juice both oranges.
  • In a clean bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk gently to combine.
  • In a separate clean bowl, add the egg, oil, vanilla, orange juice, orange zest and orange emulsion. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk well to combine.

Marbling the Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Using paper or silicone liners, line one full-size cupcake pan.
  • Using two small spoons, scoop a bit of orange batter into the bottom of the cupcake tins, then add some espresso, alternating however you'd like. This is the fun part! Get creative and layer however you'd like. Stop filling the cups when it reaches halfway.
  • Using a toothpick, swirl the batters together in fun and interesting patterns. There's really no wrong way to do this, so have fun with it and experiment freely.
  • Bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are firm and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Prepare the Buttercream

  • Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter until it is soft and fluffy about 5-7 minutes. Using room temperature butter will help speed up this process.
  • Incorporate powdered sugar ½ cup at a time, waiting until fully combined before adding more.
  • Once all the powdered sugar is mixed in, add the salt and vanilla extract. At this point, scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is fully combined.
  • Pour the whipping cream in a slow, steady stream while beating the buttercream.
  • If you prefer your buttercream to be plain vanilla flavor, you can skip this step. To get the full orange espresso flavor, add the espresso powder, orange zest and orange emulsions, mixing until fully combined.
  • If you don't have a piping bag, you can cut one corner off a Ziploc bag and use it to pipe, or simply spread the frosting onto the cupcakes with a butter knife.
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled fully, frost your cupcakes however you'd like. Incorporate some food dye into the buttercream for an extra burst of color!
Keyword espresso cupcakes, marbled cupcakes, orange cupcakes, orange espresso cupcakes

Have you tried this recipe? Curious about the flavor combination? Let me know in the comments below!

Nectarine and Goat Cheese Pissadelière | Baking

A yeast-based dough makes the base for this “French pizza”, the Provençal pissadelière.

What is a pissadeliére?

Originating in Provence, France, pissadelière is a pizza-like street food. Located on the southeastern side of France, Provence borders Italy and the Mediterranean Sea — the perfect mix of culinary influence to create this French pizza!

On-the-water view of Provence, France
Gorgeous Provence

Traditionally, pissadelière is topped with onions, anchovies and olives. Needless to say, this is NOT a traditional pissadelière.

Instead, I chose to use the pissadelière dough as a base for a fruity, cheesy, sweet flatbread, something that could easily be eaten for dessert or for breakfast. This Nectarine Goat Cheese Pissadelière would make a great addition to a Sunday brunch, as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee or a sweet and savory dessert component for your next dinner.

Close up photo of a slice of Nectarine Goat Cheese pisadellière
A platter of Nectarine Goat Cheese Pissadelière

The dough is the most laborious part of the recipe, and even then most of the time spent is letting the dough rise, not active time.

If you prefer to use a different stone fruit, the recipe is completely adaptable. Simple choose your fruit, cheese and herby toppings! Here are some other combinations to consider:

  • Plum and Chèvre
  • Peach and Gorgonzola
  • Berries and Brie
Slice in triangles for a fun, rustic platter of tasty sweet/savory pizza!

On a Personal Note

The basis of this recipe, originally from Cook’s Illustrated , was handed down to me from my mom, originally given to her by my grandfather. He was the one who taught me how to make pizza at six years old. He called the recipe “French pizza” because he (like many of us, I’m sure) was confused on how to properly pronounce “pissadelière”. Honestly, I have no idea how to say it either. What I do know is that the final result is delicious.

The trick to the dough is using well-oiled hands! As my grandpa (Papa) said, “The dough is beautiful to work with, especially in conjunction with the parchment paper and using very oily hands stretches the dough easily.”

It was a pleasure to make this recipe that he’d made and enjoyed before. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we did. Feel free to change out toppings as you see fit!

Nectarine goat cheese pissadeliere
Nectarines, goat cheese, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Delicious!

Recipe: Nectarine Goat Cheese Pissadelière

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional as needed for dough
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1-2 large ripe nectarines
  • 8 ounces soft goat cheese
  • Handful of fresh herbs (mint, thyme, or basil)
  • Honey, for drizzling

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bloom the yeast. In a large bowl, mix yeast and warm water. Whisk gently. Let bloom for 3-5 minutes. You should see light bubbling forming in the bowl.

2. Make the dough.  *For an alternative method using a food processor, see recipe notes.

  • Sift all-purpose flour into the bowl with the yeast and water.
  • Add salt and olive oil. Mix in bowl until combined.
  • Then, on a wooden board dusted with flour, knead dough into a smooth ball, about 3 minutes.
  • When kneading, shape the dough into a ball and use the heel of your hand to push the dough down, reshaping it.

3. Rise the dough. Lightly oil a clean bowl and place the dough ball inside and cover with a cloth. Allow to rise for 1 – 1 ½ hours, until the dough has grown in size.

4. Stretch the dough. Have olive oil close at hand for stretching the dough. This dough responds better to oil than flour to repel stickiness.

  • Line a full-sized baking sheet with parchment.
  • Cut the ball of dough in half, forming two chunks.
  • Stretch the dough using oiled hands to form rectangle shapes. (Any shape you make is okay, the important thing is stretching the dough so it is about ½” thick. If the shape doesn’t come out the way you’d like it, remember, it’s not a mistake – it’s rustic!)
  • Place one rectangle on one end of the baking sheet. Using your fingertips, dimple the dough.
  • Repeat with the other dough ball.
Step-by-step guide for stretching pissaladiere dough

5. Add toppings. Slice the nectarines into eight sections. This prevents the nectarines from being too thin and burning in the oven. Top dough with sliced nectarines and goat cheese. Add as much or as little as you’d like!

6. Bake.  Bake in a 425 degree oven for 13-15 minutes. The crust should be lightly brown.

7. Add honey and serve. Drizzle the pissaladiére with honey. Top with finely chopped herbs of your choice.

  • Mint, thyme and basil all pair well with nectarines and goat cheese. If your herbs are flowering, use the flowers too! They are edible, slightly sweet and make for a beautiful presentation.
  • Slice the pissaladiére any way you’d like. If the dough is not perfectly rectangular, I recommend slicing into triangle shapes.

RECIPE NOTES

Alternative dough method: If you are new to dough making, you may be more comfortable with the food processor method described in the original Cook’s Illustrated recipe:

“In the workbowl of a food processor fitted with a plastic dough blade, pulse flour, yeast and salt to combine, about five 1-second pulses. With machine running, slowly add oil, then water, through feed tube; continue to process until dough forms ball, about 15 seconds. Generously dust work surface with flour; using floured hands, transfer dough to work surface and knead lightly, shaping dough into ball.”

Decadent Peach Buckle | Baking

A delicious peach buckle with a hint of cinnamon.

Peach cut in half
Photo by John Lambeth on Pexels.com

Meet your new go-to summer dessert.

A buckle is similar to a cobbler, but instead of biscuit dough, a buckle uses a cake-like batter. Classic buckles include a crumbly topping, but to keep things simple, I decided to omit it from this recipe.

To learn more about the difference between a buckle and a cobbler, check this out.

Everyone has their own technique for a buckle, and this recipe uses mine.

I use an easy buttery batter, adapted from this recipe. The batter is poured in first, then skinned peaches tossed in brown sugar go on top.

This way, as the buckle bakes, the batter rises up around the peaches, soaking up all that delicious peach juice and making for the best, sturdiest slice. Serve with some vanilla bean ice cream to cool off the warm summer nights.

I buy my peaches (and a myriad of other stone fruit and berries) from the Okui Fruit Stand in Grover Beach.

I may be biased, but something about Okui fruit just stands out above the rest. That being said, the peaches I used in this recipe were huge, bigger than I could hold in one hand, and may be larger than the peaches you find in your local supermarket.

For this recipe, the bigger the better! If you can only find medium sized peaches, adjust the blanching time when you boil the peaches to peel them.

Closeup of peach cobbler

Decadent Peach Buckle

By Lauren Harvey + July 24, 2020

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 large peaches, about 4 ½ cups peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated or turbinado sugar for sprinkling

For the batter:

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cup milk (almond milk works great)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Skin the peaches.
    • Over high heat, bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Gently rinse the peaches and score an X on the bottom of each peach with a paring knife.
    • Once the water is boiling, carefully drop the peaches in and cover with a lid for 1-2 minutes, depending on the size of your peaches. Larger peaches will take longer than smaller peaches.
    • Remove from boiling water and place in a glass bowl in the sink. Run cool water over the peaches.
    • When they are cool to the touch, peel the skin off starting at the X mark. If ready, the peach skin should come right off, detaching from the peach evenly and easily. If the skin seems stuck, try boiling again for another minute.
    • Slice the peaches in half and remove the pit. Cut into quarters, then slice the quarters in half. This should give you sixteen peach cubes per peach.
    • Place all sliced peaches in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Prep the filling.
    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • To the bowl with the sliced peaches, add ½ cup brown sugar. Stir to combine. Set aside while you prep the batter.
  3. Prepare the batter.
    • Melt the butter using a microwave safe bowl in the microwave, using 15-30 second intervals to ensure the butter does not spill over. (If you don’t have a microwave, you can use a toaster oven or melt it in a small pot on the stove.)
    • In a clean bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
    • Allow the butter to cool to the touch, so that it is still liquid but not too hot.
    • Once the butter is cool, add it to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Add the milk. Stir to incorporate well. Set aside.
  4. Bake the buckle.
    • Grease a 9×13” baking pan.
    • Pour the prepared batter into the pan, and smooth out to cover evenly.
    • Add the peaches on top of the batter. If your peaches are extra juicy, use a slotted spoon to scoop the peaches into the pan. This way, you will retain some of the juice but don’t have to use all of it.
    • Sprinkle sugar on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until edges are beginning to brown and the batter in the middle of the cobbler is no longer runny.
    • Allow the buckle to cool before serving. This gives the batter time to soak up any juices left behind by the peaches in the baking process, making for an extra tasty buckle!

Serve with vanilla ice cream and a bit of whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Ultimate Banana Bread | Baking

This recipe is an adaptation of the Banana Loaf recipe in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. I’ve made a few minor adjustments, converting the self-raising flour to accommodate all-purpose flour instead. I’ve yet to come across self-raising flour on the supermarket shelves, and this bread comes out as cakey and light by making your own.

You’ll notice your bread looks dark golden on the outside. That’s good! This recipe comes out light, fluffy and cakey on the inside, unlike any other banana bread I’ve tried before. In fact, that’s why I’m sharing it — this is my go-to recipe and its the only one you’ll ever need!

I tend to add a couple of generous handfuls of chocolate chips to the batter before pouring it into the pan. It makes for a great dessert, or toast a slice with some butter for a scrumptious breakfast.

Mary Berry’s original recipe calls for 4 oz of softened butter. I use half butter and half canola (vegetable) oil because I prefer the fluffier texture you get from using some oil alongside the butter. Make sure your butter is about room temperature, this will ensure it blends easily in with the rest of the ingredients. Melting the butter to a complete liquid state may affect the texture of the cake of the cake negatively.

I make this recipe by weight, but have included volume measurements as well if you don’t have a kitchen scale (though I recommend it!).

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 oz softened butter
  • 2 oz canola oil
  • 6 oz granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas mashed
  • 225 g AP flour
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf tin with parchment.

2. Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat with a stand or hand mixer for about two minutes, until well blended. Mix in 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips if desired. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.

3. Bake in the oven for about one hour, until well-risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. Leave the tin to cool for a few minutes, then turn out to slice and serve.

Enjoy!

Ricotta Vegetable Quiche | Baking

It’s the weekend. You are busy doing laundry, cleaning the house and laying on the couch catching up on Netflix (the most important chore of all). You want to serve up a show-stopping breakfast with minimal effort.

Never fear: the Ricotta Vegetable Quiche is here!

This recipe was born from a tub of ricotta cheese sitting in the fridge begging to be used. You may use full lactose, ‘regular’, ricotta or you may substitute for any store-bought lactose-free, vegan options. For my favorite make at home vegan ricotta recipe, see the notes below!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 1/2 white onion, diced.
  • 3/4 cup bell peppers, diced.
  • 3/4 cup spinach, chopped frozen.
  • 3/4 cup broccoli, diced.
  • 3/4 cup artichoke hearts, diced.
  • 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese.
  • 4 eggs, whole.
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

1 teaspoon EACH of the following:

  • salt.
  • black pepper.
  • smoked paprika.
  • onion powder.
  • garlic powder.
  • dried oregano.

1 large flour tortilla, burrito-sized.

Optional:

  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs.
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese.

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper larger than the 9" pie pan. To cut to size, lay parchment on the table with the pie pan on top and cut around the edges. Place cut parchment inside pie pan. Set aside. Alternative: grease the pie pan using spray like Pam or butter.
2. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil to medium-sized fry pan over medium heat. Saute diced onion and minced garlic in pan until tender, translucent and fragrant.
3. Add all vegetables to pan (bell peppers, broccoli, artichoke hearts and spinach). No need to defrost spinach, just add to pan frozen!
4. Saute uncovered on medium heat about 15-20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender. Ensure all the water has cooked out of the spinach, otherwise it will make the quiche soggy. Set aside.
5. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk eggs together until smooth. Add ricotta, 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, salt, pepper, and seasonings. Whisk until smooth.
6. Place the tortilla in the bottom of the pie pan. For alternatives, see notes below!
7. Pour the egg and ricotta mixture into the parchment-lined pan. Sprinkle the sauteed vegetables on top, distributing as evenly as possible. Optional: Sprinkle 1/4-1/2 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan on top.
8. Bake in oven 25-35 minutes until middle is set and no longer liquid.
9. Cut into slices and enjoy! Serve with avocado slices and fresh spinach.

RECIPE NOTES:

1. Feel free to adjust vegetables per personal taste. You could swap in roasted, diced sweet potato, zucchini, cauliflower or asparagus.

2. You can use many things for crust. For a low carb option, make the quiche without a crust by pouring the eggs directly into the parchment lined pie pan. For a more traditional quiche, use a pie crust, homemade or store bought.

3. I encourage creativity! Adjust spices per your tastes. I always recommend a little sprinkle of Trader Joe’s Nutritional Yeast or try their Mushroom Umami Seasoning for a savory kick.

4. You may use regular Italian ricotta for this recipe, or any store bought vegan alternative (though seasonings may need to be adjusted with store-bought vegan ricotta). To make your own Vegan Ricotta at home, use my favorite recipe from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. Click here for recipe.

5. All vegetables can be picked up frozen prepped and ready at your local grocery store to keep things simple! Check the produce area as well for prepped and ready fresh veggies.

6. To make the Quiche GLUTEN FREE: Pour eggs and veggies directly into parchment-lined pie pan. Omit breadcrumb topping. Alternatively, use a gluten-free pie crust for the quiche.

Easy, Hearty, White Wheat Bread | Baking

This is an easy, hearty bread recipe, made with a packet of yeast and a dash of whole wheat flour that requires very little kneading, fussing or attention.

Jump to Recipe

Bread that sticks to your ribs

This is not a fluffy, Wonder bread recipe. This bread has density and a heartiness that makes for a great breakfast toast or soup companion. Slice thin for best results. The wheat flour adds a heftiness that makes it extra filling and flavorful compared to a fluffy white bread.

hearty white wheat bread toasted with tomatoes, zucchini and fresh herbs.
Serving suggestion: Toasted with fresh herbs and veggies!

No sourdough needed

In March 2020, in lieu of my newfound work from home position amidst COVID lockdown, I fulfilled my dream of having my very own sourdough starter. Months later, after a tumultuous string of events that ultimately led to the decision to move, I decided it was time to let my starter go. After all, it hadn’t been bubbling for weeks and was producing a strange grey liquid on top that smelled a bit like toe jam.

And so there I was, having passed into and out of the sourdough starter phase of quarantine 2020. Thankfully, I am persistent upon purchasing yeast packets whenever I see them, particularly when grocery store stocks began dwindling and the shelves looked more and more bare with each visit.

Cooler months are coming, and while grocery shelves may be stocked, it’s still nice to enjoy a loaf of homemade bread on the weekend. Bonus: your house will smell like fresh baked bread for days!

Homemade bread for the rest of us

I love freshly baked, homemade bread. What I don’t love is spending countless hours preparing it only to have it come out subpar. That’s why this is my go-to homemade bread recipe. It’s simple, straightforward and comes out great every time.

If you are new to making bread, here’s a video of me kneading the dough by hand. You can watch it before you begin the recipe, or while you are kneading the dough. Let’s make bread together!

Easy Hearty White Wheat Bread

Lauren Harvey
This bread is made to fill you up! Read the full recipe, including tips and notes about mix-ins before beginning. We suggest making it as is for your first try, and experimenting with mix-ins as you feel comfortable. Enjoy!
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf

Equipment

  • Glass bowl
  • Wooden cutting board
  • Loaf pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Whisk
  • Bench knife, lame or razor blade for scoring the loaf

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast or Instant Yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or additional 1 cup of all-purpose flour

Instructions
 

  • Add water, honey, salt, and yeast to a glass bowl. Whisk gently to combine. Let sit 3-5 minutes until bubbles appear on the top of the liquid.
  • Add the all-purpose and wheat flours to the bowl with the yeast.
    Incorporate using a spatula until dough becomes shaggy, then you can use your hands.
    Remember to scrape the bottom of the bowl to fully incorporate flour. Once all flour is incorporated and the dough has come together in a bowl, turn out onto a lightly floured wooden board or clean, flat surface.
    Knead using the heel of your hand until dough is smooth and not sticky.
  • Heat the oven to 400°F. Turning the oven on now allows plenty of time for it to come fully up to temperature before baking the bread.
    Place the round dough on the wooden board. Cover gently with a clean flour sack towel or dish towel and allow it to rise for 30-45 minutes.
  • Using a paper towel, lightly rub the inside of the pan with olive oil.
    This step is to ensure that nothing will stick. I do it even with nonstick pans. Better safe than stuck!
    Cut a strip of parchment to fit long-ways in the loaf pan with some excess over the sides. This will make it easy to lift the loaf out of the pan once its done baking.
  • Gently roll the dough back and forth to make a log shape approximately the same size as your loaf pan. It shouldn't take much to get it into shape.
    Place dough into loaf pan and, using a bench knife, lame or razor blade, score lightly down the middle.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes.
    You are looking for a nice golden outside and a hollow sound when you knock on the bread.
    Leave on a cooling rack for an hour or so before slicing for a clean cut and to ensure its finished the cooking process.

Notes

Tip: Check for doneness by tapping the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow, the bread is finished cooking.
Mix-in Ideas
Add any spices, seasonings or mix-ins you’d like. Try adding sliced olives, patted dry, Italian seasoning or a sprinkle of your favorite cheese! Add mix-ins after dough is kneaded, but before it is shaped and rested.
Some ideas to get you started:
  • Kalamata Olives, patted dry
  • Parmesan, with pesto brushed on top just before baking and a sprinkle of flaky salt.
  • Sunflower seeds, soaked in water for 30 min and drained dry before baking.
  • Caramelized onions and blue cheese.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes.
Keyword Easy Bread Recipe, White Wheat Bread, Yeast Bread Recipe

Have you made bread at home? How did you like it? Rate this recipe and leave me a comment below!

Top 8 Essential Baking Utensils | Lifestyle

Baking is an exact science… most of the time. While I do much improvisation in the kitchen (it is difficult to follow a recipe without adding my own spin), baking is a delicate balance, and requires precision. And so I present to you, my eight top baking utensils. These tools are a must-have to make at-home baking more accurate, more enjoyable and more tasty!

The 8 Essentials are:

  1. Scale
  2. Oven Thermometer
  3. Zester/Microplane
  4. Pastry Bag & Tips Set
  5. Fine Mesh Strainer
  6. Hand Mixer
  7. Glass Jars
  8. Spatulas

Let’s get into it!

1. SCALE

When making my grandfather’s cookie recipes, I always use a scale. Weighing ingredients provides for a much higher level of accuracy and consistency, particularly if you are making smaller or larger batches than the original.

Here’s a solid starter scale on Amazon. As you get more comfortable measuring by scale, it may be worthwhile to invest in a scale that provides two decimals when measuring in grams (1.25 g for example).

Using a scale is my preference for baking. Besides the obvious accuracy of measuring with a scale vs. attempting to perfectly level 3 cups of flour, it makes clean up much faster!

2. OVEN THERMOMETER

Again, baking is an exact science. Sure, you can ~set~ your oven to 350 degrees, but how do you know it actually ~is~ 350 degrees? Enter the oven thermometer.

Oftentimes, ovens run a little hot, or a little cold. Recently, I’ve noticed the oven in our apartment running hot. Thankfully, I can check my oven thermometer before putting anything in the oven. By checking the thermometer and adjusting the oven temp, I can get an accurate temperature every time I bake.

Buy one here on Amazon.

3. ZESTER — MICROPLANE

I’ll admit, zest is one of my most favorite baking ingredients. I love dessert, but am NOT a fan of anything overly sweet. Citrus zest is a relatively foolproof way to balance out the sweetness of your favorite dessert with a fresh burst of acidity.

Have a good zester on hand to lighten up any dish, sweet or savory!

Try adding:

  • Orange Zest to Chocolate.
  • Lemon Zest to Vanilla.
  • Lime or Grapefruit Zest to Berries & Fruit.

Get yours here on Amazon.

4. PASTRY BAGS & TIPS SET

Most commonly, I use my pastry bags and tips for decorating cakes. However, there are some cookies I make that utilize the pastry bags to form the cookies.

Pastry bags and tips can also be used in savory cooking. In general, they are beneficial to have on hand when you feel like dressing things up a bit!

This is the exact first pastry bag & tip set I purchased. The tips are small, which is ideal for learning how to pipe. It’s easier to manage the frosting in small amounts, just make sure your buttercream/frosting is well mixed so nothing gets stuck.

I prefer the plastic pastry bags to the stretchy silicone type included in the set. The silicone bags have a tendency to stretch more when you are trying to pipe, making it harder to control.

Find some plastic piping bags here. If you are concerned about the throw-away plastic, I’d recommend a canvas piping bag instead. They are durable, will last you literally decades if properly cared for, and don’t oddly stretch and give as the silicone bags tend to do. Find some canvas piping bags here.

5. FINE MESH STRAINER

I have a small version of this strainer and I love it. It use it for many things. The feet on the bottom make it easy to sit over the edge of a bowl and measure directly into. It’s ideal for sifting ingredients. The smaller size is convenient for all recipes, or even just dusting a cake with powdered sugar. Buy it on Amazon here.

6. HAND MIXER

Having a hand mixer ~on hand~ is simply essential. They are small in size, affordable and versatile. The hand mixer I use is this one, from Hamilton Beach. I break it out when I want to whip up a batch of 5 minute homemade whipped cream, semi-homemade buttercream frosting, or when I’m saving time by using a boxed baking mix.

My stand mixer, (this one here), is quite literally, a monster. My kitchen can barely accommodate Esther (yes, SHE has a name) so bringing her down from her home in that awkward cabinet above the refrigerator requires a very good reason. For everything else, I use my hand mixer.

A tip: Be sure to use the single whip when making whipped cream. The beater attachments are not sufficient for incorporating air into the cream and will instead deflate it. Use the beater attachments for baking mixes.

7. GLASS JARS

These are what I use to store my open bags of flour and sugar. Sealing the flour in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid keeps the flour fresh, and prevents pest infestation. Similarly, sealing your open bags of sugar in glass jars deters ants that would otherwise consider the scent of brown sugar wafting from your baking cabinet an open invitation to a downright stampede. Needless to say, if you plan on baking regularly, or even just cooking regularly, invest in (or start collecting) quality sealing glass jars. Plastic is OK, but glass is always preferred.

8. SPATULAS

You MUST have a good set of spatulas to bake. Out of all the essential tools listed here, this one may be the MOST essential. How else can you scrape every bit of cookie dough goodness from the bowl? Accurately measure rapidly melting butter? Imagine tackling a recipe that calls for molasses without a quality spatula… impossible! To scrape down the sides of your mixer when combining wet and dry ingredients?

I digress. Here’s a set of spatulas from Amazon. I like them because they are sturdy, can hold up to being used to scrape glutinous dough, and flexible, meaning they’ll bend to the shape of the bowl, or other container. They come in a variety of sizes and fun colors. I wash mine in the utensil section of the dishwasher and haven’t had any problems.

Additionally, I recommend a set of adorable mini spatulas. These are prime for scraping small jars.

* * * * * *

With these eight indispensable baking tools in tow, you are ready to tackle any baking project the holiday may throw your way! Happy Holidays. Enjoy!

Berry Stone Fruit Crumble | Baking

Crumble vs. Cobbler. The main difference: Cobbler uses a pie crust or dropped biscuit dough on top of the fruit, while crumbles use a streusel topping, typically some combination of oats, flour, butter and sugar. Now you know!

This On-The-Fly Fruit Crumble is my go-to when I need dessert STAT. If using berries, you can throw this crumble together in 10 minutes flat. Bring it to a potluck, or let it bake while dinner is cooking! It’s a foolproof recipe that relies heavily on ingredients already in your pantry. No mixer required!

This crumble is also a great way to use up fruit that is right on the edge of turning bad. Even berries or stone fruit that are a little too soft to eat cook up nicely in the crumble.

I’ve made this crumble with various combinations of blueberries, apricots, strawberries and blackberries. I even tried it with only strawberries (super delicious). The point being, as long as your measurements are the same as the recipe, it will be great!

Choose your favorite combination of berries and/or stone fruits. Go with what’s in season, or what looks best at the market. That’s the true secret to a good crumble!

No one wants a crumble that’s turned to juice. This recipe requires corn starch, which helps to bind all the juices together as they cook out of the fruit. Lemon juice & zest provide a contrast in flavor, and also help to draw out those juices! The topping crisps up nicely and also absorbs some moisture, resulting in a perfectly sweet, tart, crunchy, jammy crumble every time.

INGREDIENTS

For Filling:

  • 2 lb fruit (fresh berries and/or stone fruits work best).
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar.
  • 1/2 cup corn starch.
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (can substitute with 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp allspice).
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • 2 tsp lemon juice.
  • Zest of one lemon.

For Topping:

  • 1 1/4 cup All-Purpose flour.
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Wash your fruit. If needed, trim and slice. The fruit will cook down in the oven, but bite-sized pieces are recommended.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pull butter out of fridge and let come to room temperature on the counter while preparing the rest of the crumble.
  3. Using an 8″x8″ baking dish, add fruit. Measure vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest directly into baking dish with fruit. Stir to combine.
  4. In a clean bowl, add sugar, corn starch and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk to combine.
  5. Pour sugar and corn starch mixture over fruit in baking dish and mix well. You can use a spatula, but I prefer to use my hands. Set aside.
  6. Cut softened butter into small, manageable chunks using a knife or bench knife. Place into a clean bowl. Add in flour, oats and brown sugar. Mix with hands to combine, coating the butter with the dry ingredients and breaking it down into pea-sized pieces. The heat of your hands will help to soften the butter and better incorporate it. At this point, you are making the “crumble” and that is exactly how the texture should be!
  7. Sprinkle the topping evenly onto fruit in baking dish.
  8. Bake about 45-55 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and sticky and the topping is golden brown.
  9. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!

Quick and Cheesy Cornbread Muffins | Baking

Here’s a confession: I impulse buy Jiffy mixes. At the often tantalizing price of $0.54 who can resist?

This is a quick, semi-homemade recipe for cornbread muffins using a big helper — Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. That familiar blue box that is found in pantries across America. Sometimes, you just need a shortcut. And you know what? That’s 100% okay.

Packed with whole corn kernels, cheese and sliced jalapeños, these muffins do well at potlucks, and can be easily made in a double batch for larger parties.

You can sub fresh jalapeños for the pickled jalapeños called for in the recipe. We always have pickled jalapeños in the fridge, and I prefer the milder spice and more pungent flavor they lend in these muffins, but I encourage you to do what you like best!

Any firm shredded cheese would work in this recipe (I daresay a blue cheese + bacon + red chili muffin would be a worthy rival), but I used a mexican shredded blend because it melts beautifully into the muffins.

Pro-tip: From the Jiffy Box itself! Let the mixed batter stand for 3-4 minutes (in this recipe, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients), for a better rise on your muffins.

This recipe yields one dozen muffins. For a quick-guide to a double batch, scroll to the bottom of this post!

If you’re a savory breakfast person, these would be great for meal prep for the week. Wrap individually and heat in the microwave or toaster oven before enjoying with a cappuccino!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
  • 1/2 cup drained canned corn.
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend).
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, chopped and patted dry.
  • 1/2 tsp each black pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
  • Pinch of granulated sugar.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners, or spray to grease. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix the corn muffin batter according to package directions. Let stand while preparing the remaining ingredients.
  3. Drain one can of corn and measure 1/2 cup into a clean small bowl. Add shredded cheese. Pat jalapeños dry with paper towel, then roughly chop and measure into the bowl with the corn and cheese.
  4. Add seasonings (pepper, paprika, garlic powder and sugar) to the corn muffin batter. Stir to incorporate.
  5. Add the cheese, corn and jalapeños to the batter. Stir until combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the muffin liners until 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees according to package directions, about 15-20 minutes, until muffins are golden brown on the top.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Enjoy with salted butter and a light drizzle of honey.

DOUBLE BATCH

Yields 24 muffins.

  • 2 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
  • 1 cup drained canned corn.
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend).
  • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeños, chopped and patted dry.
  • 1/2 tsp each black pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
  • 1/4 tsp granulated sugar.

Lemon Cake with Blueberry Compote | Baking – Dairy Free

Grocery stores have become some kind of battleground, shoppers donning face masks and plastic gloves, hand sanitizer and lysol holstered at the ready. Six months ago, this is not how any of us imagined such a mundane activity, grocer shopping, to be. And yet, here we are.

As stocks of staples dwindle, we rely ever more on recipes of decades past. Particularly Depression-era baking recipes have seen an unprecedented uptick in popularity. I’ve fondly termed these eggless, milkless, butterless baked wonders Impossible Cakes. Because, somehow, this cake comes out impossibly light, fluffy and delicious.

This recipe is borrowed from King Arthur Flour.

Last year, I posted a lemon blueberry teacake recipe after a bountiful blueberry harvest at a local grove. The cake was good, but its lack of spectacularity has haunted me ever since. So I give you this recipe instead, King Arthur Flour’s Lemon Tendercake with Blueberry Compote. If you read the prologue to the recipe, you’ll see that this is a favorite of English chef Nigella Lawson, a fine endorsement if you ask me.

Like I said, this Impossible cake contains no eggs, flour or butter. It relies wholly on shelf-stable pantry ingredients, save the blueberries, which can easily be replaced with whatever berry, or fruit you have on hand, fresh or frozen.

As it happens, this cake is indeed vegan and by default dairy-free, hooray!

The original recipe includes a yogurt topping, which I admit I forwent in favor of the easier alternative, a can of whipped cream. You could just as easily replace the compote with a sweet jam you have on hand, or swap available yogurt for the coconut yogurt in the recipe. I recommend, however remaining as close to the cake recipe as possible. The coconut milk lends a sweet, almost nutty flavor and sweetness is balanced with a whisper of tart from the lemon.

For an easy printable version of the recipe click here.