Easter Carrot Cake

This is the best carrot cake I’ve ever had in my life. My entire family felt the same way. I’ll never be able to try another version.

When my friend gave me this special cookbook, she mentioned that the carrot cake recipe was wonderful and that it incorporated crushed pineapple. I can’t believe I waited so long to make it! The author notes that this is their most popular cake- and that its sales in the bakery double every year. It really was unbelievably delicious.

This recipe was adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads by Kathleen King, founder of Tate’s Bake Shop. I roasted the walnuts, reduced the baking time, and lined the cake pans with parchment paper.

Yield: One 9-inch, 2-layer cake

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups grated carrots (from 5 to 6 carrots)
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • 1 cup crushed and drained pineapple
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roast the walnuts until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  4. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, grease paper and dust pans with flour.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  6. In another large bowl, mix sugar and oil.
  7. Beat in eggs with an electric mixer. (I used a hand held mixer.)
  8. Stir in carrots, roasted nuts, and pineapple.
  9. Stir in the flour mixture.
  10. Pour into prepared pans. (I use a scale to ensure that the pans hold an equal amount of batter.)
  11. Bake for 35 minutes on convection, or up to 45 minutes in a standard oven, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Remove pans to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pans.
  13. Let the cakes cool completely before icing.

For the Cream-Cheese Icing and To Finish the Cake:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla and mix.
  3. Beat in the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Spread the icing between the 9-inch layers and over the top and sides of the cake.
  5. Chill before serving. (I made the cake a day in advance.)

Note: This cake is very moist and keeps for at least a week in the refrigerator; it also freezes perfectly unfrosted.

One Year Ago: French Apple Cake

Two Years Ago: Carrot-Cake Thumbprint Cookies

Three Years Ago: Outrageous Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Four Years Ago: Jacques Pepin’s Plum Galette and Raspberry Custard Tart

Five Years Ago: Carrot Cupcakes and Cheesecake Brownies

Banana Honey Muffins

I loved these wholesome, naturally sweetened muffins more than everyone else in my house. The cookbook described them as “a great alternative to a heavier banana bread.” Agreed! 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads by Kathleen King, founder of Tate’s Bake Shop. I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour and wheat bran for the wheat germ.

Yield: 12 muffins

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ or wheat bran
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mashed, fully ripe bananas (about 4 medium)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Grease 12 standard muffin cups with cooking oil spray.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flours, wheat germ/bran, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter. Add honey, vanilla, and mashed banana.
  5. Add butter mixture to flour mixture and mix lightly.
  6. Spoon mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of one comes out clean.

One Year Ago: Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

Two Years Ago: No-Knead Bread from Sullivan Street Bakery

Three Years Ago: 

Four Years Ago:

Five Years Ago:

White Sandwich Bread

After all of the heavy eating during the holidays, I was craving a light soup and salad dinner. My daughter is always asking for Tomato Soup, so I made this bread to serve with it so that it would be a substantial enough meal for my husband. It was a bribe of sorts, as I usually do not support the consumption of white bread. 😉

This wonderful bread recipe was adapted from a favorite book, Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads by Kathleen King. I halved the recipe and adapted the recipe to use a bread machine. My family loved it!

Yield: one standard loaf

  • 2 1/2 T warm water
  • 1 cup warm milk (I used 1 percent)
  • 1 1/2 T unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 T granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp bread machine (dry) yeast
  1. Combine warm water, warm milk, and butter in the bread machine loaf pan.
  2. Place flour over the top, using a knife to spread it evenly into the corners of the pan.
  3. Sprinkle the sugar and salt over the top of the flour.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast.
  5. Set the bread machine to 1 1/2 pound standard loaf and start.

One Year Ago:

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Four Years Ago:

Oat Bran Bread

This is the ultimate peanut butter and jelly sandwich bread. Super moist whole grain bread with subtle sweetness.

The original recipe made 3 loaves which seemed like a little much to me… I made half the recipe and baked it in my favorite Pullman loaf pan. Perfect!

This recipe was adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins and Breads by Kathleen King. I doubled the wheat bran in lieu of using wheat germ, used 1 percent milk in lieu of skim, and made half the recipe as a Pullman loaf.

Yield: Makes 1 Pullman loaf (double the recipe makes 3 standard loaves)

  • 1 1/8 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 3/4 cups skim or 1 percent milk
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1/2 T coarse salt
  • 1 3/4 cups oat bran
  • 1 whole wheat flour
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • 2 T wheat bran
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, separated
  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm water. Stir until dissolved and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, heat milk and add molasses, oil, and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together oat bran, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, wheat bran, and 1 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour.
  4. Add cooled milk mixture and oat bran-flour mixture to yeast mixture. Beat for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in remaining 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, and knead until smooth and elastic.
  7. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl; brush top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk. (I placed mine in a proofing oven for 1+ hours.)
  8. Punch down the dough and form into a loaf. Put into a greased Pullman loaf pan.
  9. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. (I placed mine in a proofing oven for 1+ hours.)
  10. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees, preferably on convection, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped with your finger.

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Eleventh Birthday Longboard Cake! (Yellow Cake with Chocolate Icing)

The number one gift on my son’s Christmas wish list was a longboard. He learned how to ride one with his friends at the beach this summer and has been desperate for one ever since. My husband & I let Santa know that WE wanted to give it to him! The designs on these longboards are really works of art. I cannot even begin to tell you how long we searched for the perfect one for our special gift. We fell in love with the giant squid eating a lighthouse!! Isn’t it cool? 😉

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So, of course, I tried to recreate this design on his 11th birthday longboard cake. (It’s pretty close considering I recreated the design with cookies and m&m’s!)

The second special thing I must share about this cake is where I got the amazing recipe. One of my friends gave me a very special- out of print- cookbook for Christmas. She has a copy and I had been desperate for my own. It is loaded with gold standard recipes for classic baked goods. The author’s shop is now known as Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton, New York. What a sweet friend! ❤ I love it!!

The cake and icing recipes were adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads by Kathleen King. I used unsalted butter and coarse salt. I also baked the cake in a convection oven. I made the squid, house, and axles with my birthday Number Cookie recipe. If you have been following my blog, you can guess that my son wanted Roman numeral “11’s” (XI’s) this year! 🙂

For the Yellow Cake:

Yield: Makes one 9-inch 2-layer cake (or 1 longboard cake)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • chocolate icing (recipe below)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection. Grease and flour pans of choice, two 9-inch round cake pans for a layer cake or one Pullman loaf pan, one mini loaf pan, and 4 cupcake tins for a longboard cake.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Beat in vanilla.
  6. Add dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream, ending with the dry ingredients.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into cake batter, and pour into the prepared pans.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove pans to a wire rack. Cool 10 minutes before removing cake from pans; finish cooling on a rack.

For the Chocolate Icing:

Yield: 3 1/2 cups (enough to ice a 9-inch layer cake or 1 longboard cake)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used 1 percent)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Confectioners’ sugar
  1. Melt butter and chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler.
  2. Stir in milk; add vanilla.
  3. Stir in sugar.
  4. Place mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  5. Chill mixture for 45 minutes, then beat with an electric mixer every 15 minutes (chilling mixture between beatings) until it becomes light and thick enough to spread. (This will take three or four beatings.)

I’m bringing this one to share with my friends at Fiesta Friday #103 this week hosted by Sonal @Simply Vegetarian777 and Petra @Food Eat Love. Enjoy!!

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Tate’s Shortbread

My way of celebrating a friend’s birthday is to bake something for her… This is difficult for one of my buddies because she isn’t really a fan of desserts. It’s terrible. 😉 (One year I actually just gave her butter! – it was special butter…) Well, lucky for me, I was able to find the recipe for her absolute favorite cookies this year. Yay! Shortbread from Southampton, New York’s Tate’s Bake Shop.

This super simple recipe results in perfect, slightly crunchy, crumbly cookies. The recipe was adapted from Baking for Friends by Kathleen King, owner and founder of Tate’s Bake Shop, via redtri.com. I used unsalted butter and coarse salt instead of salted butter. Delicious!

Yield: Makes 32 cookies

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 3/4 lb (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp coarse salt
  1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (on convection). Line the bottom and 2 short ends of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or a 20-inch length of aluminum foil, pleating the foil as needed, and letting the excess foil hang over the ends. Butter or lightly spray the parchment with cooking oil.
  2. In the bowl of a standing, heavy-duty electric mixer, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and mix with the paddle attachment on low-speed until the mixture looks crumbly, about 1-½ minutes. (Add any of the variation flavorings listed below at this point.) Press firmly and evenly into the prepared pan. (I use the base of a dry measuring cup.)
  3. Bake until the shortbread is golden brown on top and slightly darker around the edges, about 1 hour. Cut into 32 pieces while still warm. (If cooled before cutting, the shortbread will break.) Let cool completely in the pan on a wire cooling rack.
  4. Run a dinner knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the shortbread. Lift up the parchment or foil “handles” to remove the shortbread from the pan. Cut through the previously cut marks into 32 pieces.

Other variations:

Lemon Ginger Shortbread: Add 1 cup chopped crystallized ginger, 1 cup minced candied lemon peel (or the grated zest of 1 lemon), and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

Brown Sugar Ginger Shortbread: Substitute 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar for the granulated sugar, and add 1 cup crystallized ginger.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread: Add 1-cup (6 ounces) miniature chocolate chips

Pecan Shortbread: Add 1 cup toasted and finely chopped pecans.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

If you like this you may also like:

Tate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_0969

I feel as though I am revealing a secret recipe…. These cookies from Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton, New York, are sold all over the United States. Now I know why these cookies are their signature item! They are FABULOUS- thin, crispy – but not too crispy, and loaded with chocolate chips. I don’t know if the water in the dough or the dark brown sugar makes the difference, but there is a difference. 🙂

This recipe is from Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Home-Style Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads. I modified the recipe by using unsalted butter, chilling the dough for 1 hour prior to baking, and by adjusting the baking time for a convection oven. I baked them for 12 minutes when using 2 baking sheets at a time, and for 8 minutes when using only 1 baking sheet. Delicious.

Yield: 4 1/2 dozen 3-inch cookies

IMG_0963

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup salted butter (I used unsalted!)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees on convection.
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, silpat, or butter.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add the water and vanilla; mix until just combined.
  6. Add the eggs and mix them lightly.
  7. Stir in the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. Be careful not to overmix!
  8. Using a small cookie scoop, drop the cookies onto prepared cookie sheets.
  9. Bake them for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the edges and centers are brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

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Two Years Ago:

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