Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

When life (or Misfits Markets) gives you too many carrots, there is only one option in my house: carrot cake. Plus we were visiting family at their camp last weekend and, when made in two loaf pans, it was the perfect thank you with one pan waiting happily waiting for our return home! And I’ll confess, it may have even made a guest appearance at breakfast.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 eggs
3 cups grated carrots (about 4)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray (I did this in two loaf pans)

Mix the all the dry ingredients to combine. Add in the yogurt and the eggs. Stir in the grated carrots.

Pour into the prepared baking dish (or dishes). Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan. While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting by beating 4 tbsp unsalted butter (softened) with 4 ounces of softened cream cheese until smooth (confession: I usually use 6 ounces). Add 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 1 3/4 cups of powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Spread over the cooled cake. Store in the refrigerator. Most importantly, enjoy!

* if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice handy, use 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Is there something you make for your spouse/significant other/dear friend that is such a part of their memories, you are terrified to screw up their expectations of making it yourself? For me, it was peach upside-down cake from the recipe my mother-in-law shared with me at my bridal shower a few years ago. She lovingly explained how it was my soon-to-be husband’s favorite and she made it each year for his birthday. When she passed away, I got the recipe out and decided to tackle it myself. No pressure.

3 eggs (separate whites from yolks)
1 cup sugar
5 tbsp juice from peaches*
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 can sliced peaches
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat the yolks of the eggs with the sugar and fruit juice. In a separate bowl, sift the flour. Mix in the baking powder to incorporate well. Add to the egg yolk mixture and stir well. In another bowl (this is the last one – it does generate a lot of cleanup), whip the egg whites until stiffly beaten. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the rest of the ingredients. In a 9 inch cake pan, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Remove from oven, give it a quick stir, and place the peach slices into the butter and brown sugar mixture. Pour the batter over the fruit/butter/brown sugar.

Bake for 45-50 minutes. Here’s the terrifying part (at least in my mind). After removing cake from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes. Then invert on a cake plate and leave undisturbed upside-down for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the cake should have come out of the pan. (She must watch over me for this step because I haven’t screwed it up yet). It’s wonderful as-is, but a dollop of whipped cream doesn’t hurt!

The best thing about enjoying the cake is that when I make it now each year, we spend time re-living all the memories of what an amazing person she was. In my mind, there’s nothing better than that!

*Don’t be put off, it seems like a lot, but it’s perfect

Streuselkuchen

My mom, God bless her soul, was known for her epic sweet tooth and her complete lack of skills in the baking department. And no, I’m not telling tales out of school because she was always the first to admit it. It did not, however, stop her from always finding suggestions for what I should bake to satisfy said sweet tooth! Especially if it was any German dessert she spoke so fondly of my grandmother making. So I was thinking of her yesterday when I had a couple apples left over from our weekly Misfits order and I decided to make one of her favorite cakes. Streuselkuchen is the fun German name for crumb cake, but this one takes it up a notch by adding of apples between the cake batter and the streusel topping.

1/2 unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Almond extract
1 tbsp grated lemon peel
1/2 cup milk
2 cups of flour

2-3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced

Streusel:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (chilled)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13×9 pan with cooking spray.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, baking powder, almond extract, lemon peel and milk. Mix well. Add flour into the batter one cup at a time, mixing well after each cup.

Spread batter in greased pan. Add apples over the top of the batter to completely cover.

To make the streusel topping: use a pastry cutter to combine the flour, brown sugar and butter until the mixture looks like course crumbs. Sprinkle (liberally!) over the apples.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Enjoy warm or cooled. Pro tip: a dash of whipped cream is the perfect topping!