Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Best Carrot Cake, Ever!

 Ryan and I decided we wanted to use some of the carrots from our garden in a carrot cake.  I typed into google "carrot cake recipe" and this recipe happened to be the first link that popped up (through  After discovering that 87 out of the 89 comments had rated the recipe 5 stars we decided we should give it a try. 
Once I started making the recipe I discovered why so many people had claimed it the best carrot cake of their life.  As part of the recipe, you make a buttery glaze (very similar to buttermilk syrup for pancakes), and drizzle it over the hot cake layers as they come out of the oven.  The syrup soaks into each layer making them moist and scrum-dittily-dumptious (thanks Ned Flanders).
Some of the review said that the three layers this cake made were too thin, so I did increase the the recipe by 1/4th.  But I think I'll just post the recipe as it was originally written so things don't get too confusing.  Also, I thought the cream cheese frosting was too runny.  Next time I would just use a cream cheese frosting that I normally use that uses less butter and cream cheese.  Enjoy!

Best Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts 

  1. Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.
  2. Stir together first 4 ingredients.
  3. Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.
  4. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Buttermilk Glaze
1 cup sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
1/2 cup buttermilk 
1/2 cup butter or margarine 
1 tablespoon light corn syrup 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  1. Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.
Cream Cheese Frosting
 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Double Chocolate Banana Raspberry Muffins

Say that name 5 times fast.  I found this recipe online after searching for something that used ingredients I needed to use up (bananas and raspberries) as well as what I was craving (chocolate).  I was also trying to go a healthier route and these are actually pretty low sugar for how yummy they are.  If you put some frosting on top, they'd taste like cupcakes!  They were moist and chocolatey and the raspberries made it seem like they were filled with little pockets of jam!  I would highly recommend these babies!

Double Chocolate Banana Raspberry Muffins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup raspberries (I used frozen--don't thaw before using)

Combine the the first six ingredients.  In a separate bowl, combine bananas, oil and egg.  Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients until just moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips and raspberries.  Pour into greased or lined muffin tins and bake in a 350 degrees oven.  I checked these in probably 12 minutes but I can't remember exactly how long then took to bake.  I always like to check early because you can always keep baking but you can't undo when they are overcooked.  I also doubled this recipe and it made 24 muffins.  Enjoy!

Delicious breadsticks

Here is one of those recipes that I made months ago but haven't gotten around to post yet.  These breadsticks are actually from Our Best Bites so probably something my one other reader has already tried.  I don't think I've made one thing from their site (or cookbook) that hasn't been awesome.  I know these certainly were. 

Delicious Breadsticks

1 1/2 c. warm (105-115 degrees) water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 1/2 c. flour

In a large bowl (I used my kitchen aide bowl), combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.  Stir in salt and then mix in 1 1/2 cups flour.  Gradually add more flour (between 3 to 4 cups), until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Put it in an oiled bowl and cover to rise until it's about doubled in size (45 min). Then roll it out on a lightly floured surface and cut into 12 strips.Roll out each piece of dough into a snake and then drape over your forefinger and twist the dough. Place on a sprayed baking sheet and repeat with remaining 11 pieces of dough. Cover pan and let it rise for another 30 min. Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  Rub butter on top of warm breadsticks and enjoy!  I sprinkled their garlic bread seasoning (which I would recommend having in your fridge--it's great on veggies too) on top and they were awesome.  Happy bread making!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Best Banana Bread Ever

This was really, really good banana bread.  It got all crunchy of the top and was really moist on the inside.  I added chocolate chips.....of course.  I have made this recipe replacing half of the oil with applesauce and it was still good but...... not as good.  I figure if I only make banana bread a few times a year we can have the good stuff and not feel bad about it.  I used half wheat flour and half white and it was just fine.  This recipe came from allrecipes.  I usually double the recipe so I can get 2 loaves.

2 eggs
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. oil
1 c. mashed bananas
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
mini chocolate chips

Mix everything together.  Pour into 9x5 inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Double PB and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

After eating these cookies, Ryan told me to throw away all my other cookies recipes and just make these, they were that good. I found this recipe on the back of a bag of chocolate chips (again, while trying to use up pantry items). The next time you are in the mood for some PB cookies, give these a try, they are delicious!

1/2 cup butter or marg., softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips

Beat butter, sugar and PB in bowl until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture. Stir in milk chocolate chips and PB chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8-9 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Enjoy!

Toasted Almond Granola

I've been trying to use up some of the items in our pantry before the move. We had a ton of old fashioned oatmeal, so granola it was. I liked this recipe because it had little oil and a lot less sugar than other recipes. It was quite tasty! We really liked it with sliced strawberries and vanilla yogurt. Enjoy!

Toasted Almond Granola
3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups rice krispies
1/2 cup wheat germ, toasted
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup flaked coconut (I added this to mine and it was delicious)
2 Tbsp sunflower kernels
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups dried fruit (I used raisins and craisins, but chopped apricots and/or dates would also be good)

In a large bowl, combine first nine ingredients. In a saucepan, combine orange juice, honey and oil. Heat for 3-4 minutes over medium heat until honey is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in extracts. Pour over oat mixture, stir to coat. Transfer to a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until crisp; stirring every 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Stir in dried fruits. Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Genius, Genius, Genius! (3-2-1 Cake)

So I found this on pinterest the other day and gave it a try. I really thought, "There's no way this is going to be good... it will probably taste like a sponge..." but it didn't. It was really good! It is just the right size..... if you can keep yourself from wanting to make more. And since it has no eggs or oil or anything in it, it is a good little treat when you are trying to lose weight. You can have a little taste of cake without making a big one and having it sit on the counter and taunt you for 3 days. I put a little bit of lite cool whip on top and it was just right! I didn't take a picture but you can just picture a little cake. In a mug.

1 angel food cake mix
1 other cake mix (I used chocolate)

Mix these two mixes together and you can just keep it in something with a lid.
To make the cake: 3 Tbsp. cake mix
2 Tbsp. water
Combine in a good size mug and microwave 45-60 seconds
I cooked it for 50 seconds and it was just right. You might just have to try it a few times to figure out the best time. Now eat it and don't feel guilty.