Tag Archives: cake

Banana Olive Oil Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Is it wrong to make cake two days in a row?  My weekend was just kind of like that.  Watch for some healthy salads in the coming days to balance things out!  Well, maybe.

Yesterday’s rhubarb cake was inspired by the new produce of springtime, but today’s recipe is inspired by old produce: a bunch of browning bananas.  I tend to throw them in the freezer and forget about them, but it was my turn to bring snack to the soccer game, so I figured I’d toss the bananas into some healthy muffins.  Instead, I made these cupcakes–a happy accident.

See, the recipe comes from the Moosewood Simple Suppers book, and it features four ripe bananas, olive oil, and yogurt.  Healthy, right?  I somehow glossed over the amount of sugar until I was actually measuring it into the bowl.  These are cupcakes, folks, plain and simple.  And good ones!  And quick to make.

The cream cheese frosting is optional and we enjoyed most of our cupcakes plain. If you do choose to make the frosting, though, the recipe gives you the option of dressing it up with a splash of coffee or a spoonful of cocoa powder, either of which would be a worthy compliment to the sweet banana flavor.

Continue reading Banana Olive Oil Cupcakes (click for recipe)

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Rhubarb Cake with Crystallized Ginger Crumb

Remember when my backyard rhubarb was barely poking its head up through the ground?  I was happy to see the first signs of spring, sure, and new life unfurling is always inspiring, yada yada, but really?  I was excited because I was already thinking about this cake.

It’s sweet and light, with barely-tart shards of rhubarb nestled in every bite.  It’s topped with a crystallized ginger crumb that gives it a bit of a coffee cake appearance, which lets you get away with serving it for breakfast.  (I’ve never understood why topping a sugary cake with MORE sugar makes it into breakfast fare, but I’m not complaining.)  It’s a family favorite.

This recipe comes from Rustic Fruit Desserts, a book by Portland baker Julie Richardson and chef Cory Schreiber.  If you don’t have it already, you might want to run out and get it right now.  I know I’ll be using my copy all summer. Continue reading Rhubarb Cake with Crystallized Ginger Crumb (click for recipe)

A One Year Old’s First Birthday Cake, or, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Our baby is one!

We’ve had her in our lives for a whole year.  And what a year the first year of life is!  A baby grows from a shapeless, snuggly bundle of tiny fingers, big eyes, and warmth into a little person who can play peekaboo and demand bananas.  It’s been a good year.

A birthday, at our house, calls for a cake.  I know there are birthday-pie people and people who think one-year-olds shouldn’t eat sugar (they probably shouldn’t), and we aren’t even really cake people so much but…. Birthday. So cake.  I have made this same cake for all three of my little ones’ first birthdays.  Here it is.

You can think of this particular cake in two ways.  If you want to feel virtuous, you can describe it as a tender, butter-free whole wheat cake, glazed with a maple-sweetened cream cheese frosting, chock full of carrots and tinted pink with beet.  If you want to feel honest, you can describe it as a total sugarbomb of a cake, well-suited to any celebratory occasion.

In the past, I’ve grated a beet and squeezed it in cheesecloth to use as pink food coloring.  This time, I came across powdered dried beet at my spice shop and gratefully took that less-messy route.  I bought about a quarter cup of the stuff.  Achieving the magnificently pink hue below required half a teaspoon.  Oops.  Does anyone need some powdered beet?  What should I do with the rest? Continue reading A First Birthday Cake, or, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (click for recipe)