Happiness Project#89: Apple Cinnamon Cake!

applecinbg1It’s amazing to me how quickly this year flew by! Just 4 months ago I celebrated my 1 year cancer-free anniversary, and now it’s the end of November! Which means not only my favorite time of the year, because of massive baking sprees, but also new beginnings for my little family of three. A new beginning, taking us from the Bay Area, where we’ve lived for over 15 years together, to just a short hop, skip, and a jump away to Santa Cruz!

My husband is a surfer, and since we are a total beach family, we finally decided this year to follow one of our dreams, and travel over the hill to a beautiful, very family oriented neighborhood community, located less than 10 minutes from my husband’s favorite beach.  Although leaving the SJ area where I’ve grown up, leaves me a bit sad, I’m beyond excited about beginning my new adventure as a wife, mom, and pastry chef within a lovely new beach community! And becoming home owners for the 1st time is super exciting, too! Once we’re more settled in, I’ll post a couple photos of our new house!

However, because of the chaos of packing and moving, I haven’t had much time to bake or blog new recipes. Until Thanksgiving last week, when I FINALLY created THIS Apple Cinnamon Loaf Cake! I’ve had this recipe sitting on stand-by for months, and I’m not going to lie, it was well worth the wait! Super easy to create, particularly if you’re a family with little kiddos who like to help out too.  And it’s heavenly aroma of sweet apples and warm cinnamon? A-MAZING.

Here you go!

For the Cake:

2 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole milk

For the Apple Filling:

2 Gala Apples, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Firstly, prep your apples by peeling, and then chopping them up into small squares. In a small bowl, combine the apple filling together: the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon, until throughly coated. Set aside.

Preheat your over to 350 degrees. Butter, and then lightly flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Now cream together the butter, and the sugar in a bowl on a stand mixer, or by hand held, until nice and fluffy.

Add in the eggs, and then the vanilla extract, until fully combined.

Now slowly add in half of the flour mixture, followed with half of the milk, until both are gently combined. Add in the rest of the flour, followed again with the milk. Beat together until just incorporated.

In your prepared loaf pan, scoop in half of the cake mixture. Drop in half of the coated apples on top of the cake mixture. Scoop out the rest of the cake flour on top of the apples, and then add on the remaining apples. With a knife or small spoon, swirl the entire cake mix together.

Pop that pan into the oven, and bake for 40-45 minutes. Once the cake is slightly domed with a nice light brown crust,  remove from the oven, and let cool on a wire rack. Once you’re ready to serve, invert the loaf cake from the pan, and drizzle with powdered sugar or a simple sugar glaze.

This little cake is so darn yummy that it’s highly possible that the entire loaf will be GONE in one sitting! Which is truly the BEST feeling to have as a baker, right?

I hope that you and yours have been having a wonderful year thus far! xoxo

 

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Happiness Project Recipe #14: Husband-Hero Cinnamon Oat Muffins!

It’s been an emotional week (to say the least) & whenever my body forces me into round-the-clock bed-rest, I tend to become either very depressed over it or very contemplative. Last night, as I lay exhausted in bed, listening to my beautiful red dog snoring softly from the floor & my husband’s slow, steady breathing beside me, I was nearly overwhelmed by how deeply grateful I am for the people who care for & love me so unconditionally, especially my husband. It’s not an easy thing to live in an environment frequently dominated by (my) pain, moodiness & depression. It takes immense strength & courage to walk with me down this turbulent path of strife & uncertainty. Yet through it all, he does, quietly & softly. Even within this trying time, there has never been a day where I have not believed in the love of my husband. In our 7 years together, he has taught me & continues to teach me that as long as we’re together nothing else matters. In the end, as long as we have each other, everything will be okay. Love will pull us through. So this muffin recipe is dedicated to my husband, who loves all things cinnamon. He is my knight in shining armor. My Imzadi. My hero. My world is a better place with him in it. Always.

Topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Filling:

3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

5/6 teaspoons water

Muffins:

1/2 cup melted butter

3/4 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

2 tablespoons corn starch

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

4/5 tablespoons whole milk

Preheat your oven to 375F. Butter 12 muffins cups or line 12 cupcake tins.

First, mix all your Topping ingredients together with a fork until nice & crumbly. Set aside.

Now, mix all your Filling ingredients together with a spoon until the consistency is similar to that of frosting. Set aside until later.

For your muffins, in a large bowl (by hand) whisk together the butter, milk & eggs until well combined. In another bowl, stir together your flour, oats, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and white chocolate chips. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet one & stir until just combined.

Now, to get messy! Fill each muffin cup or cupcake tin with 2 tablespoons of batter. Then drop 2 teaspoons of filling on top, in the middle of the batter. With your remaining batter, drop another 2 tablespoons of batter on top of the filling. Lastly, sprinkle your crumbly topping evenly over each muffin.

Bake for 18-20 minutes for cupcake tins or 20-24 minutes for muffin cups. As your muffins are baking away, you’ll notice that the cinnamon filling will start to bubble up from around the edges of the batter & that’s okay. It’s supposed to do that.

For your Glaze, combine the butter, sugar and milk, stirring with a spoon until the glaze is smooth & shiny. If you think the glaze is too sugary (I personally like a sugary glaze), add another tablespoon of milk to thin it out.

Cool your muffins completely before drizzling on the glaze (I have not yet drizzled on my glaze, hence the naked muffin photo above).

Happiness Project Recipe #13: The BEST Chocolate Chip Muffin!

Gooey, gooey chocolate!

Lately, finding the best of all muffin recipes has become an all consuming obsession (besides my nuttiness with collecting beautiful cake stands) & since I’m such a sucker for the classics, I had to create the BEST Chocolate Chip Muffin! Had to! After consulting a vast variety of cookbooks, I finally found “the one.” With my own cinnamon twist, of course. So here’s what I created…

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup low fat buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Butter 12 muffin cups or line 12 cupcake tins with paper liners.

In a medium sized bowl (you can easily do this with a hand-held mixer), beat together the butter, buttermilk, egg & vanilla until just smooth (for about 1 minute.) If your batter is visibly very clumpy, it was over beaten & you will need to start over with a new batch.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and optional cinnamon (if using). With your hands, make a shallow well in the center of the flour mixture, add in the buttermilk mixture, and beat until smooth and well mixed, 1-2 minutes. Using a large silicone spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Do not over mix, or the batter will fall flat (& won’t rise correctly when baking). The desired batter should be relatively thick (similar to that of cookie dough) & very sticky. Spoon the batter into each muffin cup or cupcake tin, filling it nearly level with the rim.

Bake your muffins for 20-24 minutes for standard size muffins or 18-20 minutes for standard size cupcakes. They should be lightly golden & springy to the touch when removed. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

After bringing home the left-overs last night from a friends 4th of July party, I discovered a catch. I didn’t & still don’t  want to share any of them. That’s how much I adore this recipe. You will too!

*Recipe adapted from “The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book”

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