Lemon Pound Cake

Oh hey, lemon again? To be honest, I’m not a fan of lemon flavored things.  Actually, let me correct that; I’m not a fan of overly lemon flavored treats.  I don’t mind mild lemon flavor, but I’m not a fan of the body-distorting-mouth-puckering-in-your-face-lemon flavor. This pound cake takes a ride on the milder side, and is refreshing and perfect for the ongoing gorgeous spring season.

Fun fact- these lemons were actually grown in my mother’s backyard! When she was visiting in December, she filled her luggage with these lemons (her tree only produces harvest in the winter months) to share with us 🙂

 (Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

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Lemon Pound Cake

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup yogurt or sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons (1 whole lemon) lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter on high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and oil and beat on high speed until creamed, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time. Add yogurt (or sour cream), lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined, making sure to scrape the bowl as needed. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 to 60 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, tent with a piece of aluminum foil.

Allow cake to cool for 1 hour, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Make Glaze:

In a bowl, whisk together sugar and 1 tablespoon milk, adding more milk if needed to thin it out. Pour over cake while it is still slightly warm, and cool completely before serving.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Thanksgiving came and went, and I’m sitting here asking myself where the year went? We’re about one month away from ringing in 2017. 20-17. Let that sink in.

 

Sweet potatoes are in season every season, but we find ourselves loading up on them especially during the cooler months.  I stumbled upon this fabulous recipe by Grandbaby Cakes for Sweet Potato Pound Cake, and I was sold. I had one lonesome sweet potato hanging out in my pantry, and I just knew that it was destined for greatness.

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Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Yield: One 9”x5” Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed roasted sweet potato
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup neutral flavored oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased loaf pan.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine mashed sweet potato, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and oil. Mix on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix on medium-low speed until thoroughly combined. Add cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and ground ginger. Mix on low speed until completely combined.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes.

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

 

Note: Cake can be kept at room temperature for a few days.

Instructions on roasting sweet potatoes: Wash and pat dry potatoes. Place each potato on a square piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with a tiny bit of neutral flavored oil. Wrap loosely with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 40 to 60 minutes. Potatoes will be ready when they can pricked with a fork easily. Cool slightly before using.

Cinnamon Roll Cake and Eid Eats 2015! (and some life updates)

Knock, knock… Anyone there?

I disappeared, didn’t I? I’m sorry, life just happened and I got caught up in it. To give you an idea of what has kept me, here’s just a short breakdown of everything that’s happened since we last spoke:

  • Some of my closest friends, whom I have met through blogging, threw me a surprise virtual baby shower! I am so humbled by their love and kindness 🙂 Here is a roundup of what everyone shared: Faaiza, Sarah, Asiya, and Amira.
  • We celebrated my son’s birthday with a handful of family, close friends, and classmates. My due date was 10 days from his actual birthday, so we celebrated early because I couldn’t see myself dealing with a room full of energizer bunnies, otherwise known as preschoolers, so close to my due date.
  • My mom flew in from California! She’s still in town, but only until this Saturday.
  • My brother also flew in from California, although his trip was much shorter (he stayed for a little less than one week).
  • And most importantly, we welcomed our newest addition, Ms. Zunaira, on May 28th, at 2:55 p.m. She is 3 weeks old, and she’s already got her older brother and daddy wrapped around her tiny fingers!

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After her birth, days blended into nights, and it’s only now that I am slowly starting to emerge from the fog that is nightly feedings, constant diaper changes, cleaning spit-up, and piles of folded laundry that need to be put away. Alhumdullilah, praise be to God, I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

Speaking of updates, Ramadan Mubarak/Happy Ramadan! We’ve been blessed with the return of this Holy month, and I pray that we all find the peace and rewards that come along with it.

In the spirit of Ramadan, I am joining Asiya (of Chocolate and Chillies) and Sarah (of Flour and Spice) in hosting the very special Eid Eats 2015! What is Eid Eats, you might be wondering? Consider it a virtual potluck in which you “bring” (ie., blog about) a food item which is reminiscent of Eid (the holiday marking the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan). What you decide to share can be something traditional that’s made in your home/family, or you can get creative and share something completely out of the ordinary. The choice is yours, as long as it screams Eid festivities to you 🙂

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Here are a few guidelines in order to participate:

  • Prepare and blog about your food item on July 15th, 2015.   You can prepare your blog post beforehand, just be sure to have it go live on the above-mentioned date.
  • Link your post to the party hosts blogs (Flour and Spice, Chocolate and Chillies, and My Ninja Naan) and be sure to include the party button/graphic (the one you see above) in your post.
  • Visit the aforementioned blogs on July 15th and be sure to submit your post via the link party (will be set up that day).
  • Check out what our fellow bloggers have submitted, and be sure to head on over to their space and leave them some love in their comments section!

To help usher in some Ramadan festiveness, I decided to whip up a delicious Cinnamon Roll Cake. When Sarah initially shared this, I knew it was something that I just had to make! I finally got the chance this week, as my brother was leaving to go back home to California, and I figured that I needed to make this when someone else was around because otherwise I would be eating the whole thing myself (and we all know that that wouldn’t be very wise). Although it may seem daunting, preparing the cake was very simple, and the only downside to the whole process was waiting for it to come out of the oven to be devoured 🙂

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Cinnamon Roll Cake

Yield: One 9-inch Cake

Ingredients:

For Cake:

  • 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 egg

For Filling:

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon

For Frosting:

  • ¼ pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Prepare Dough:

In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Mix and set aside.

In a separate dish, heat water, milk, and butter together until the butter has melted and the mixture is warm to touch. Combine liquid mixture with the flour mixture. Add egg and knead on medium-low speed until a cohesive and pliable dough is formed. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, knead by hand for a few minutes, then place in a lightly greased bowl and set aside for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine filling ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined and set aside.

Set aside a greased 9-inch pie plate, cake pan, or springform pan.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the prepared dough out into a15”x12” rectangle. Spread prepared filling evenly over the surface.

Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into six 2-inch strips. Loosely roll up one strip and place it at the center of the prepared pan. Coil the remaining strips of dough around the center roll, starting each strip at the end of the previous strip. Be sure to leave some space in between the coils, as the dough needs room to rise. Cover the cake and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.

Make Frosting:

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, making sure to scrape down the sides, and beat until thoroughly combined. Add milk and vanilla, and mix until combined.

Generously spread frosting over warm cake.

Chocolate Cake (and a little update)

It is common in the South Asian culture to celebrate good news with something sweet. Today’s post was the first time that I baked something specifically to blog about. I’ve been trying to think of ways to share this news with you, and I finally settled on just baking a good old-fashioned chocolate cake. You see, we are awaiting a second addition to our family, due at the end of May, God willing. My Zuni is about to become a big brother, and has decided that he would like to called Zuni Bhai (Bhai in Urdu, literally means brother, and is used as a respectful means to address an older brother or older male) as opposed to Zuni Bhaiya (Bhaiya is just another way of saying Bhai).

I ask that you, my dear friends, remember our family in your thoughts and prayers, and that you send your positive vibes our way 🙂

 

Now, with that, I present to you this delicious chocolate cake. The recipe is courtesy of Smitten Kitchen, and has officially made the cut for the go-to chocolate cake. This recipe yields a very friendly 8-inch cake, and can easily be doubled to fit a 9”x13” pan (although the baking time may need to be adjusted). The crumb of the cake is moist yet holds together well, and it isn’t cloyingly sweet. I frosted the cake with my go-to chocolate buttercream, although this cake pairs well with any type of frosting.

 

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Chocolate Cake

Yield: One 8-inch Square Cake

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased 8-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until combined. Add buttermilk and mix until just combined (batter may look uneven), and scrape down bowl. Place a sifter over the bowl and shake in flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking salt. Mix on low speed until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth out, and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 18 to 30 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Coffee Flavored Cake With Coffee Buttercream Frosting

I love having people over (or volunteering to bring something along when invited) because it gives me a chance to test out recipes that I wouldn’t otherwise.  That’s not to say that we wouldn’t like it, but what I mean is that with a toddler and husband with a very specific palate, I sometimes get lazy in wanting to try new recipes.  Like this Coffee Flavored Cake by Flour and Spice– you see, although I love coffee, my husband isn’t a fan of it, and I’m not crazy enough to give my almost-3-year-old son a cake loaded with caffeine. #SorryNotSorry

So last week when I was invited to a ladies brunch, I jumped at the chance to bring along a dessert.  I had pinned this recipe when it was first posted for two reasons:

(i) I love coffee and coffee flavored baked goods.

(ii)  The size of the cake is ideal for a small gathering, i.e., it produces a one layer 9″ cake.  Also, the frosting amount is perfect too.

If you or someone you know is a fan of anything coffee, be sure to give this cake a shot.  It’s super easy to throw together and the results are phenomenal 🙂

 

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Coffee Flavored Caked

With Coffee Buttercream

Yield: One 9” Cake

Ingredients:

For Cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For Frosting:

  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

Make Cake:

Preheat oven to 350˚F and set aside a greased 9-inch cake pan.

In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine instant coffee and hot water. Mix until the granules have dissolved completely. Add milk and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter at low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and beat on low speed until light and fluffy, approximately another 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well.

Add the coffee and milk mixture and mix well. Do not worry if the batter looks curdled. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until thoroughly combined.

Transfer batter to greased pan and bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Make Frosting:

In a small bowl, combine hot water and instant coffee. Mix until the granules have dissolved completely and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until fully incorporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add coffee mixture, vanilla, and salt and mix on low speed for a few minutes to incorporate. Do not worry is the frosting looks curdled. Increase speed to medium and beat for a few minutes, until the frosting is light and fluffy. Frost cake as desired.