Month: September 2019

Cheddar Apple Pie

Cheddar Apple Pie by Wood and Spoon. This is an apple pie with an all-butter and cheddar cheese crust. The fruit filling is flavored with cinnamon and fall spices and is juicy. The cheddar crust is lightly flavored and flaky. Learn more about how to on this autumn lattice pie on thewoodandspoon.com

My favorite recipes are the ones that evoke memories. Nana’s banana bread. My mom’s baked spaghetti. Mimi’s chicken and dumplings. The foods that come attached with a series of moments or a special person are the ones that I find most comforting. They just taste like home. Since this is the first recipe of the *official* fall season (let’s be honest, I’ve been secretly dreaming of fall via my denim-filled online shopping carts and cozy coffee creamer choices for about a month now), I thought I’d go all out and share a super fallish recipe: cheddar apple pie.

Cheddar Apple Pie by Wood and Spoon. This is an apple pie with an all-butter and cheddar cheese crust. The fruit filling is flavored with cinnamon and fall spices and is juicy. The cheddar crust is lightly flavored and flaky. Learn more about how to on this autumn lattice pie on thewoodandspoon.com

Apple pie, for me and likely every other Thanksgiving-celebrating American, is an incredibly nostalgic recipe. One of my first real baking experiences was spent with floury hands in a bowl of pie dough destined to encase a gooey apple and cinnamon filling. My Mimi, who makes apple and pumpkin pies every Thanksgiving, first let me saddle up at the counter with her as a middle schooler. With two forks and some serious forearm endurance, we cut fat into dry ingredients, pat together clumps of shaggy dough, and gingerly rolled out thin slabs to fit inside of the glass dishes. It was a technique and recipe she had used for years, and I learned how to make pie dough by studying her methodical movements over the edge of the counter.

Cheddar Apple Pie by Wood and Spoon. This is an apple pie with an all-butter and cheddar cheese crust. The fruit filling is flavored with cinnamon and fall spices and is juicy. The cheddar crust is lightly flavored and flaky. Learn more about how to on this autumn lattice pie on thewoodandspoon.com

Pie dough is still sometimes a mystery to me, and although I have a favorite classic recipe, an all-butter recipe, and even a savory cornmeal dough, I’m always tinkering with the ingredients and technique to try out new combinations. Still, very few pie crusts taste as good to me as the ones that hold my Mimi’s apple pie filling, because you just can’t beat nostalgia.

Cheddar Apple Pie by Wood and Spoon. This is an apple pie with an all-butter and cheddar cheese crust. The fruit filling is flavored with cinnamon and fall spices and is juicy. The cheddar crust is lightly flavored and flaky. Learn more about how to on this autumn lattice pie on thewoodandspoon.com

This cheddar apple pie is a variation of sorts of a few different pie dough and filling recipes that I’ve used over the years. Here, the classic apple, sugar, cinnamon, and spice combination is complimented by a cheddar cheese and butter crust. Yes, we literally take a delicious block of Kerrygold aged cheddar cheese, finely shred it, and work all that goodness into the flour and butter. The final outcome is a crust whose flavor is subtle but entirely unique, a pairing that goes really well with the autumnal filling.

Cheddar Apple Pie by Wood and Spoon. This is an apple pie with an all-butter and cheddar cheese crust. The fruit filling is flavored with cinnamon and fall spices and is juicy. The cheddar crust is lightly flavored and flaky. Learn more about how to on this autumn lattice pie on thewoodandspoon.com

If you’re new to pie making, don’t let this cheddar apple pie scare you. Adding savory elements to dessert is never really my favorite thing, but here, the cheese only barely scents the crust of what is otherwise an entirely sweet and cozy pie. Loads of sugar and apple pie spice bake in with juicy apples until the insides are bubbling and thickened. If you notice you crust starts to brown too much before the filling has had a chance to thicken up, just lightly drape it in a sheet of tin foil. I always like to bake the pie with a larger sheet pan or piece of foil directly beneath it to catch any bubbled-over juices as well.

Cheddar Apple Pie by Wood and Spoon. This is an apple pie with an all-butter and cheddar cheese crust. The fruit filling is flavored with cinnamon and fall spices and is juicy. The cheddar crust is lightly flavored and flaky. Learn more about how to on this autumn lattice pie on thewoodandspoon.com

Here’s a few more basic pie tips to help you out along the way! I want you to have the best luck with this cheddar apple pie, so for best results check out these tricks I always like to adhere to:

  1. Don’t overwork the dough! Cut your fat into the dry ingredients and stir in the water with as few steps as possible to keep your dough tender. If you work with it too long it will get tough.
  2. Work with a chilled dough. Slightly warm or less than cold doughs will slouch and not keep their shape in the pan!
  3. Know that all pie plates bake differently. I prefer to bake pies in my hearty metal pan because I find this yields the most evenly baked pies. Beware that pie crust tends to sag or shrink back in ceramic pie plates. I like to briefly freeze my bottom crust to help prevent this from happening.
  4. Leave a little hangover. When you roll out your bottom crust, you’ll need about a 1-2″ hangover of dough on all sides to give you enough to work with.
  5. Bake until the juices are bubbling! Bubbling juices in the center of the pie means that your filling will have had time to bake up. No bubbles means a runny filling.
  6. Be patient while you wait for your pie to cool. I like to let my pie come to room temperature throughout before cutting into it. You can speed up this process by placing it in the fridge.

Honestly, there’s probably a million other things I could say about pie baking, but I’ll leave you alone for now. In the meantime, many thanks to Kerrygold for sponsoring this delicious post. I hope you all pick up some of their fab aged cheddar and unsalted butter to make this cheddar apple pie. You won’t regret it! Happy fall, y’all!

If you like this cheddar apple pie you should try:

Caramel Apple Pie

Apple Frangipane Tart

Brown Sugar Apple Bundt Cake

Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Cornmeal Crust

Cranberry Pear Pop-Tarts

 

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Cheddar Apple Pie

Cheddar Apple Pie by Wood and Spoon. This is an apple pie with an all-butter and cheddar cheese crust. The fruit filling is flavored with cinnamon and fall spices and is juicy. The cheddar crust is lightly flavored and flaky. Learn more about how to on this autumn lattice pie on thewoodandspoon.com

This is a traditional cinnamon-spiced apple pie with a cheddar cheese and butter pie crust!

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 40
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 240
  • Yield: 9 1x
  • Category: Dessert
Scale

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 21/4 cups (350 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230 gm) unsalted butter, cold and diced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For the filling:

  • 4 lbs apples (I used about 7 fuji apples), peeled, cored and sliced 1/8” thick
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple pie spice
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg white whisked with 1 teaspoon water

Instructions

To prepare the crust:

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse in the butter until pea-sized clumps exist throughout. Pulse in the cheese to combine barely. Pour the vinegar into your ice water and stir. Add about 5 tablespoons of the water mixture into the bowl of the processor and pulse a bit. Add water a tablespoon more at a time until the mix begins to come together into a shaggy dough. Don’t overwork it.  Dump the dough out onto a clean surface and bring it together into a ball. Cut the dough in half and flatten each piece into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

To prepare the pie:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use a floured rolling pin to roll out half of the dough onto a floured surface into a circle about an inch wider than your pie plate on all sides. Roll the dough back onto the pin and then unroll it into the pie dish. Brush a thin layer of the egg white wash onto the pie dough and place in the freezer while you prep your filling. Combine the sliced apples with the sugar, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, spice, vanilla, and salt. Toss to evenly coat the apples. Gently ease the dough into the edges of the pie dish and dump the filling into the prepared pie dish. Roll out the second half of dough onto a flour surface and use it to cut lattice strips or top your pie. Cut a few vent strips into the top of the pie if you opt out of a lattice and crimp the edges of the pie together as desired. Brush a thin layer of the egg white wash on top of the pie dough and place in the oven. Decrease the oven heat to 400 degrees and bake for 20 minutes. Decrease the heat to 375 and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the filling is bubbling under the crust. You can top the pie crust with a sheet of aluminum foil if it begins to look too dark. Allow to cool completely prior to cutting!

Double Chocolate Ganache Tart

Double Chocolate Ganache Tart by Wood and Spoon. This is a pretzel and brown sugar crust filled with two types of ganache. First, a white chocolate ganache and then a rich dark chocolate ganache. Learn how to make easy ganache for this beautiful make ahead fruit and chocolate tart in a sweet and salty press in pie crust. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

At any given moment, if you open our fridge or freezer, there’s bound to be a few hidden gems. Tucked in the farthest corner, say, behind a jar of pickles and last nights leftovers, you’re likely to find a secret plate of dessert that no one knows about… except for me. If you, like me, live with a bunch of hungry little people, you know the importance of staking a claim on the good stuff while you have a chance, so today I’m going to share the recipe for this double chocolate ganache tart, a dessert that I stuck a flag in and called my own.

Double Chocolate Ganache Tart by Wood and Spoon. This is a pretzel and brown sugar crust filled with two types of ganache. First, a white chocolate ganache and then a rich dark chocolate ganache. Learn how to make easy ganache for this beautiful make ahead fruit and chocolate tart in a sweet and salty press in pie crust. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

When you’re raising toddlers, it seems as if they exist on the grass that they perceive to be not so green. Example: Aimee wants the toy George is playing with, and George wants to sit in Aimee’s chair. If George orders chicken, he wants Daddy’s sandwich. If Aimee asks for grapes she will eat Mommy’s cheese. It’s a never-ending back and forth of one-upping and musical chairs, and frankly, it’s exhausting.

Double Chocolate Ganache Tart by Wood and Spoon. This is a pretzel and brown sugar crust filled with two types of ganache. First, a white chocolate ganache and then a rich dark chocolate ganache. Learn how to make easy ganache for this beautiful make ahead fruit and chocolate tart in a sweet and salty press in pie crust. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Listen. There are very few things that I can claim as mine. My time, my car, my body, and basically anything else that one would think they could manage on their own is up for grabs when kids are involved. So when I make something like this double chocolate ganache tart, you better believe I’m hiding it. I’m wrapping it in foil and hiding it behind scary leftovers. I’m labeling it as something terrifying like “vegan meatball mash” or “overcooked broccoli,” and when I’m certain the children have fallen asleep, I sneak to the fridge. Gingerly, as quiet as I can be, I unwrap it, take a few bites, and return it to the fridge before anyone knows I’m even in the kitchen. Stealth is of the utmost importance when food is involved, and this tactic is especially important when hosting guests like a mother in law, cousins, or a sweet-toothed sister. You gotta James Bond to and from the fridge if you want that dessert all to yourself.

Double Chocolate Ganache Tart by Wood and Spoon. This is a pretzel and brown sugar crust filled with two types of ganache. First, a white chocolate ganache and then a rich dark chocolate ganache. Learn how to make easy ganache for this beautiful make ahead fruit and chocolate tart in a sweet and salty press in pie crust. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

So why is this double chocolate ganache tart so special? For one, it’s got the sweet and salty flavor vibe that you know is my jam. The crust here is a pretzel and brown sugar combo held together by loads of shimmery liquid gold (aka BUTTER) and baked until it tastes like a caramelized crunch. The filling is rich with two layers of ganache, one white and one bittersweet, layered on top of one another in a balance of flavor that is almost too perfect to describe. I’m always one for a rich chocolate tart, but here, with the addition of the white chocolate, the flavor isn’t overwhelmingly bitter and it makes for a dessert that keeps you coming back for bite after bite.

Double Chocolate Ganache Tart by Wood and Spoon. This is a pretzel and brown sugar crust filled with two types of ganache. First, a white chocolate ganache and then a rich dark chocolate ganache. Learn how to make easy ganache for this beautiful make ahead fruit and chocolate tart in a sweet and salty press in pie crust. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

This double chocolate ganache tart is being brought to you today by my friends at Kerrygold! If a luxe dessert calls for butter, I always depend on Kerrygold to bring it in terms of flavor and quality. Here, butter holds together our deliciously salted crust and plays a role in smoothing out the ganache so that is has a melt-in-your-mouth kind of feel. Butter makes everything better, but especially the secret treats you sneak for yourself. You’ve earned quality butter, so definitely depend on it for this double chocolate ganache tart.

Double Chocolate Ganache Tart by Wood and Spoon. This is a pretzel and brown sugar crust filled with two types of ganache. First, a white chocolate ganache and then a rich dark chocolate ganache. Learn how to make easy ganache for this beautiful make ahead fruit and chocolate tart in a sweet and salty press in pie crust. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

If you have a chance, I hope you’ll make this double chocolate ganache tart this week! In the meantime, I’m going to be developing my idea for a branded tupperware that is labeled “last week’s meatloaf” or “salmon-flavored dog kibble.” You know, something to keep the wandering paws away. Don’t you think that would sell? Have a great week and pop by again later this week for a second recipe that is going to transition us to the fall flavors you’ve been waiting for. Happy baking!

Double Chocolate Ganache Tart by Wood and Spoon. This is a pretzel and brown sugar crust filled with two types of ganache. First, a white chocolate ganache and then a rich dark chocolate ganache. Learn how to make easy ganache for this beautiful make ahead fruit and chocolate tart in a sweet and salty press in pie crust. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like this double chocolate ganache tart you should try:

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tarts

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Tart

Pretzel Millionaire Bars

Strawberry Pretzel Tart

Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse

 

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Double Chocolate Ganache Tart

Double Chocolate Ganache Tart by Wood and Spoon. This is a pretzel and brown sugar crust filled with two types of ganache. First, a white chocolate ganache and then a rich dark chocolate ganache. Learn how to make easy ganache for this beautiful make ahead fruit and chocolate tart in a sweet and salty press in pie crust. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

This double chocolate ganache tart features two layers of ganache and a sweet and salty pretzel crust.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 120
  • Yield: 9 1x
  • Category: Dessert
Scale

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 5 ounces of pretzels
  • 1/4 cup (55 gm) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup /1 stick (115 gm) of unsalted butter, melted

For the white chocolate ganache:

  • 1/2 cup (120 gm) heavy whipping cream
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the dark chocolate ganache:

  • 1/2 cup (120 gm) heavy whipping cream
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, whiz the pretzels, brown sugar, and salt until the pretzels are crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine. Alternatively, you can crush the pretzel and stir the other ingredients in to combine.
  3. Pat out the crumbs into the bottom and sides of a 10″ tart pan. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until set. Set aside to cool while you prepare your ganache.

To prepare the filling:

  1. Pour the white chocolate into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Gently heat the heavy whipping cream for the white chocolate ganache on the stove over medium-low heat. Once the cream around the edges of the pan start barely bubbling (don’t overheat it!), remove the pan from the stove and pour over the white chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Add the butter and whisk to incorporate. Pour the white chocolate ganache into the bottom of the pretzel crust and spread to smooth. Put the pan into the freezer or fridge to set up quickly while you prep your dark chocolate ganache.
  2. To prepare the dark chocolate ganache, repeat the process as used for the white chocolate ganache. When the white chocolate ganache is fairly set, pour the dark chocolate ganache on top and spread the smooth. Allow the tart to rest until the ganache is set. Garnish with fleur de sel and either fruit or additional pretzels. Enjoy!

Almond Toffee Cake

Almond Toffee Cake by Wood and Spoon. This is a vanilla layer cake with a rich chocolate fudge frosting and bits of homemade almond roca toffee throughout. The layer cake has a sweet and salty flavor and is rich with the addition of real chocolate buttercream. learn how to make this caramel tasting stacked celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a layer cake which is weird kind of since we’re all about celebrations here. As the ever-wise Julia Child once said, “A party without a cake is just a meeting,” so let’s celebrate, shall we? I have a seriously yummy (and celebratory!) almond toffee cake to share with you today, and I can’t wait to dive in!

Almond Toffee Cake by Wood and Spoon. This is a vanilla layer cake with a rich chocolate fudge frosting and bits of homemade almond roca toffee throughout. The layer cake has a sweet and salty flavor and is rich with the addition of real chocolate buttercream. learn how to make this caramel tasting stacked celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

To be clear, we’re not celebrating anything super specific. Earlier this week I received some good(ish?) news about a project I’ve been working on. It wasn’t anything big,  just encouragement that I really needed. A friend and her family came over for dinner later that evening, and we decided the news was worth celebrating, not because I had reached any specific end goal but because I had endured long enough to see signs of breakthrough. Initially I thought it may be premature to ring the bells for just a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel but I also know that sometimes we need to celebrate that fact that we’re still standing. So celebrate I did.

Almond Toffee Cake by Wood and Spoon. This is a vanilla layer cake with a rich chocolate fudge frosting and bits of homemade almond roca toffee throughout. The layer cake has a sweet and salty flavor and is rich with the addition of real chocolate buttercream. learn how to make this caramel tasting stacked celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Life isn’t all just peak and valley moments. There’s plenty of opportunities for little victories in between, and I think if we don’t stop to acknowledge where we are we rob ourselves the opportunity to experience joy. To be proud of ourselves. To be grateful for how far we’ve come. A friend of mine recently shared a quote that I thought was fitting: “What a good day to be proud of all the progress I’ve made.” Isn’t that the truth? We’re always in progress, and that process is definitely worth celebrating.

Almond Toffee Cake by Wood and Spoon. This is a vanilla layer cake with a rich chocolate fudge frosting and bits of homemade almond roca toffee throughout. The layer cake has a sweet and salty flavor and is rich with the addition of real chocolate buttercream. learn how to make this caramel tasting stacked celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

So here’s a raised glass to you, your progress, and the shoulders you stood on to get where you are today. My hope is that you’re inching closer to victory every day, even if it feels like you’re moving at a snail’s pace. Don’t miss your opportunity to be proud of your successes, you perseverance, and everything in between. Now let’s pick up our forks and chew on this almond toffee cake. I promise you’re going to love it.

Almond Toffee Cake by Wood and Spoon. This is a vanilla layer cake with a rich chocolate fudge frosting and bits of homemade almond roca toffee throughout. The layer cake has a sweet and salty flavor and is rich with the addition of real chocolate buttercream. learn how to make this caramel tasting stacked celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

I love toffee. I love that something hard and crunchy can be intensely buttery and smooth all at the same time. Here, in this decadent star of a dessert, fluffy layers of vanilla cake sandwich a sweet chocolate frosting and bits of caramelized almond crunch. This cake has a really well-rounded flavor and texture to boot, so if you like a dessert that has it all you’ve come to the right place.

If’ you’ve never made toffee before, trust me when I say YOU CAN DO THIS. The process can be a little intimidating, but if you read through the instructions and prepare for the candy-ing process well you’ll be just fine. This almond toffee is ridiculously worth the effort, and with any luck you’ll have a little extra leftover to munch on while you frost your cake. I call that a win.

Almond Toffee Cake by Wood and Spoon. This is a vanilla layer cake with a rich chocolate fudge frosting and bits of homemade almond roca toffee throughout. The layer cake has a sweet and salty flavor and is rich with the addition of real chocolate buttercream. learn how to make this caramel tasting stacked celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

I’m sharing today’s recipe with my friends at Kerrygold. The butter flavor in the dessert is so prominent that using a premium butter was a must. With butter in both the cake layers, toffee, and frosting, this almond toffee cake is seriously buttery and the perfect treat to transition into this fall season with. After all, it’s always butter season, right? Many thanks to Kerrygold for sponsoring this post and celebrating with me. I hope you’ll count up your little victories in the coming weeks and take an opportunity to celebrate with this almond toffee cake. If you get a chance to try it, let me know what you think! Happy baking and tune in next week for another double header of recipes!!

If you like this almond toffee cake you should try:

Pecan Toffee Blondies

Espresso Toffee Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake

Milk Chocolate Chip Cake

 

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Almond Toffee Cake

Almond Toffee Cake by Wood and Spoon. This is a vanilla layer cake with a rich chocolate fudge frosting and bits of homemade almond roca toffee throughout. The layer cake has a sweet and salty flavor and is rich with the addition of real chocolate buttercream. learn how to make this caramel tasting stacked celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

This almond toffee cake features fluffy vanilla layers, a toffee crunch filling and a fudgy chocolate frosting!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 40
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Dessert
Scale

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 cup (230 gm) unsalted butter
  • 13/4 cup (350 gm) sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (410 gm) cake flour
  • 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 11/4 (300 gm) cups whole milk, at room temperature

For the almond toffee:

  • 1 cup (230 gm) salted butter
  • ½ cup (100 gm) sugar
  • ½ cup (100 gm) brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup roasted almonds, chopped

For the frosting:

  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped or in chips
  • 1/3 cup (70 gm) brown sugar
  • 2 cups (480 gm) heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup (55 gm) salted butter, at room temperature

Instructions

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 8” or 9” round cake pans and line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the egg and egg yolks one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Add the vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in half of the dry ingredients on low speed. Add half of the milk and scrape the bowl again. Repeat this process with the remaining dry ingredients and milk. Fold in any unincorporated bits and divide the batter between the two pans. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-37 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

To prepare the almond toffee:

  1. Prepare a large rimmed sheet pan with a sheet of aluminum foil that is greased with butter. Set aside. In a medium-sized heavy bottomed saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sugars and stir until dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads a temperature of 300 degrees. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the almonds. Spread the mixture into a layer on the buttered foil and allow to cool completely.

To prepare the frosting:

  1. Pour the chopped chocolate/chips into a large mixing bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream and brown sugar together until the milk is almost starting to bubble around the edges and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the cream over top of the chocolate and cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap. Allow to rest 5 minutes and then whisk to combine into a smooth and thick chocolate mixture. Stir in the butter and allow the mixture to set. I like to put the whole bowl into the fridge and stir it every 10 minutes until the mixture is a thick, fudge-like consistency. Once it’s thick enough to spread, remove from the fridge and prepare to frost your cake! If you happen to over-chill your ganache, just heat it barely in the microwave until it’s loosened up. Re-whisk and allow it to thicken up again if needed.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Level the tops of the cakes with a serrated knife. Line a cake stand or serving plate with a cardboard cake round and spread a little of the ganache frosting into the center of the board. Place your first cake layer in the center and spread about 1/3-1/2 cup ganache on top. Smooth and sprinkle the crumbled toffee on top. Dollop a few small dots of ganache on top of the toffee and press the next cake layer down on top. Smooth more ganache on top and spread it all over the cake. You can place your cake in the fridge to set up. Sprinkle the top of the cake with more toffee and serve with additional chopped toffee. Store the cake covered in plastic wrap and keep the toffee tightly sealed. Cake is best enjoyed within two to three days.

Mocha Macarons

Mocha Macarons by Wood and spoon. Theres are coffee espresso flavored French macaron shells filled with a rich semisweet chocolate ganache scented with coffee! Learn how to make these elegant delicate fancy cookies on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

I’ve always thought there was something magical about macarons. The dainty French cookies that line bakery cases like colorful little soldiers have always felt fancy, like a special treat reserved for posh ladies with tiny dogs and big sunglasses. Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m delusional, or maybe my inner Francophile is getting away from itself, but either way, I absolutely adore macarons. These mocha macarons are no exception.

I went to France as a junior in college. With stars in my eyes and a mini French dictionary in my pocket, I roamed the streets in terribly uncomfortable shoes (because fashion, duh) doing my best to look like I belonged. Although I’ve heard many people say that they didn’t enjoy their time in France, I found the place to be entirely alluring: the scent of warm butter and pastry wafting out of patisserie doorways; music and the twinkling of wine glasses on cozy bistro street fronts; the elegant faces of countless humans that dripped in an air of effortless cool. The France I discovered that January won my affection immediately, and I have yet to experience a country that has met me with half as much mystery and intrigue.

Mocha Macarons by Wood and spoon. Theres are coffee espresso flavored French macaron shells filled with a rich semisweet chocolate ganache scented with coffee! Learn how to make these elegant delicate fancy cookies on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

Of course I was completely captivated by the cuisine. With my mother and Nana, I visited a number of cafes and restaurants, and there wasn’t a creperie, boulangerie, or patisserie that I didn’t attempt to nibble my way through. I inhaled clouds of powdered sugar from shatteringly crispy croissants and licked the warm puddles of Nutella that dripped out of folded crepes and onto my fingers. I taste-tested brioche and palmiers and eclairs and caneles, each bite more sumptuous than the last. I didn’t meet a pastry in France that I didn’t love, but none charmed me quite as much as the macaron. At that time, in 2008, mini food was all the rage. Tiny cupcakes, bite-sized burgers, and shot glasses of bisque were everywhere, and macarons fit right into that profile. The colorful cookies with surprising flavors and creamy insides seemed to go hand in hand with the meticulous French cuisine that I was discovering, and I couldn’t wait to gobble them up.

Mocha Macarons by Wood and spoon. Theres are coffee espresso flavored French macaron shells filled with a rich semisweet chocolate ganache scented with coffee! Learn how to make these elegant delicate fancy cookies on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

Once home, I eventually garnered the bravery to attempt macarons on my own, and over the years there have been many batches of macarons, some successful and some not. More recently, after extensive help from Tessa, I was able to nail down a practice that worked best for me, and since then I’ve let my imagination go wild. Nutella raspberry macarons? Cake batter flavored? Toffee peanut? Mint truffle? The possibilities are endless.

Mocha Macarons by Wood and spoon. Theres are coffee espresso flavored French macaron shells filled with a rich semisweet chocolate ganache scented with coffee! Learn how to make these elegant delicate fancy cookies on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

These mocha macarons capture my first time in Paris. Each cookie is petite and precise, and the flavors of espresso and rich chocolate feel like ones best enjoyed in the city of light. I’m sharing today’s recipe with help from my friends at Nestlé Toll House who are debuting the Artisan Collection- luxurious premium baking chips made with single-origin chocolate from Ghana. Deluxe treats like macarons deserve equally special ingredients, and Nestlé ‘s new chocolate fits the bill. Here’s the lowdown on these mocha macarons:

Mocha Macarons by Wood and spoon. Theres are coffee espresso flavored French macaron shells filled with a rich semisweet chocolate ganache scented with coffee! Learn how to make these elegant delicate fancy cookies on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

The macaron shells are airy cookies made with whipped egg whites, sifted almond flour, and confectioner’s sugar. I’ve added a touch of espresso powder to the dry ingredients to create a cookie shell that is lightly flavored and speckled with the granules. To double down on the coffee flavor, I added a bit of that same espresso powder to the ganache filling that was prepared using Artisan Collection Extra Semi-Sweet chocolate baking chips by Nestlé Toll House. The sweet chocolate offsets the bitterness in the espresso, and, when combined with warm cream, makes a thick ganache that is fudgy at room temperature. The cookies are simultaneously light and rich, and I found myself eating more than my fair share the first time around because they were just that tempting.

Mocha Macarons by Wood and spoon. Theres are coffee espresso flavored French macaron shells filled with a rich semisweet chocolate ganache scented with coffee! Learn how to make these elegant delicate fancy cookies on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

I highly recommend you give these mocha macarons and Artisan Collection a try for your next baking adventure. They also offer an Extra Dark variety that has 61% cacao. I tested this chocolate in shortbread cookies, and they were phenomenal. Both options can be used for these mocha macarons, and you won’t be disappointed. I’ll be sharing an additional recipe later this week, so stay tuned. In the meantime, happy baking!

Mocha Macarons by Wood and spoon. Theres are coffee espresso flavored French macaron shells filled with a rich semisweet chocolate ganache scented with coffee! Learn how to make these elegant delicate fancy cookies on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

If you like these mocha macarons you should check out:

Strawberry Shortcake Macarons

Mocha Cookies 

Hazelnut Mocha Cream Pie

Mocha Brownie Fudge Ice Cream

 

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Mocha Macarons

Mocha Macarons by Wood and spoon. Theres are coffee espresso flavored French macaron shells filled with a rich semisweet chocolate ganache scented with coffee! Learn how to make these elegant delicate fancy cookies on thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

These mocha macarons feature an espresso-scented shell and an espresso ganache filling!

  • Author: Kate Wood, Adapted from Tessa Huff
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 26 1x
  • Category: cookies
Scale

Ingredients

For the macaron shells:

  • 11/2 cups (144 gm) almond flour
  • 11/3 cups (145 gm) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons espresso granules
  • 120 gm room temperature egg whites (from about 34 large eggs)
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (120 gm) sugar

For the espresso ganache:

  • 5 ounces extra semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped or in morsels (I recommend the Artisan Collection by NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE® Extra Semi-Sweet variety)
  • 1 teaspoon espresso granules
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Additional chocolate, if desired

Instructions

To prepare the macarons:

  1. Line two of three baking sheets with parchment paper templates or silicone baking mats set over the templates and fit a large piping bag with a plain round tip.
  2. In a food processor, combine the almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, and espresso granules and process the mixture for 1-2 minutes, stopping once to scrape down the bowl, until the almond flour is finely ground. Sift the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard any large chunks left in the sieve or grind again until fine.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a whisk attachment (make sure both are clean and grease-free!), whisk the room temperature egg whites on low speed until they begin to foam, form small tight bubbles, and turn opaque. Over the course of a couple of minutes, very gradually increase the speed to medium while slowly adding the granulated sugar. Mix on medium-high until stiff peaks form.
  4. Using a flexible rubber spatula, scrape the meringue off the whisk attachment into the bowl with the almond mixture. Begin folding the meringue and almond mixture together, five to ten folds. Scrape in the meringue from the mixer bowl and continue to fold the mixture until incorporated, rotating the bowl as your go. Every so often, gently deflate the meringue by smearing the batter around the side of the bowl. Stop folding once the correct consistency is achieved: the batter should flow very slowly like lava.
  5. Fill the prepared piping bag with the macaron batter. Holding the bag straight down, pipe the macarons. I prefer to use a stencil to ensure the macarons are the same size. Once one baking sheet is full, tap the bottom of the sheet a few times in each corner with the palm of your hang. Set aside and repeat with the remaining prepared baking sheet(s). Set the piped macaron shells aside to rest for 20 to 40 minutes, until a skin forms over the shells and the tops feel dry to the touch.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the center position.
  7. Bake the macaron shells once sheet at a time for 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops feel secured to the feet but wiggle very slightly when nudged.
  8. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Let the macaron shells cool on the baking sheets for at least 5 minutes. Repeat to bake and cool the remaining shells.

To prepare and use the filling:

  1. Place the chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl. Warm the cream on the stove or in the microwave until just barely steaming or about to bubble.
  2. Pour the cream into the chocolate and add the espresso granules. Whisk until the chocolate is smooth and feel free to microwave in 15 second increments until the chocolate has melted.
  3. Allow the mixture to set up slightly, either on the counter or in the fridge while stirring often, until it is a slightly thickened fudgy consistency that will move through a piping bag.
  4. Fit a piping bag with a round tip and squeeze 1-2 teaspoon sized dollops into the center of half of the macaron shells.
  5. Top with an additional macaron shell and allow to set up. In the meantime, feel free to gently warm and melt a small about (about 1/3 cup) of chocolate and drizzle or piping decorative stripes on top of the sandwich cookies. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Using a macaron stencil is helpful in making sure your macaron shells are uniform in size.
  • Instant coffee granules can be used in a pinch.

Vanilla Butter Loaf

Vanilla Butter Loaf by Wood and Spoon. This is a pound cake like cake with a cinnamon swirl and a simple vanilla glaze. Top with fresh seasonal fruit or eat plain! This make ahead treat is great to serve as a breakfast snack or dessert. Learn more about this easy baked good on thewoodandspoon.com

You gotta have those back pocket recipes- the ones that come together easily, can find a home throughout every season, and never disappoint. This vanilla butter loaf is an easy peasy cake that can serve as a nest for all of your favorite seasonal fruits and easily doubles as dessert and breakfast. It’s as beautiful as it is delicious, so let me tell you all about it.

Vanilla Butter Loaf by Wood and Spoon. This is a pound cake like cake with a cinnamon swirl and a simple vanilla glaze. Top with fresh seasonal fruit or eat plain! This make ahead treat is great to serve as a breakfast snack or dessert. Learn more about this easy baked good on thewoodandspoon.com

One of my favorite things about this vanilla butter loaf is that it’s pretty much dessert disguised as a breakfast bread. You know those loaf cakes that are served at coffee shops? This is that kind of thing. It has major pound cake vibes, but its loaf shape and the swirl of spice through the center of the cake totally establishes it as a breakfast food, if you ask me. The whole thing is glazed with a simple powdered sugar icing that envelopes the cake in lemon scented sweetness and protects it from drying out.

Vanilla Butter Loaf by Wood and Spoon. This is a pound cake like cake with a cinnamon swirl and a simple vanilla glaze. Top with fresh seasonal fruit or eat plain! This make ahead treat is great to serve as a breakfast snack or dessert. Learn more about this easy baked good on thewoodandspoon.comVanilla Butter Loaf by Wood and Spoon. This is a pound cake like cake with a cinnamon swirl and a simple vanilla glaze. Top with fresh seasonal fruit or eat plain! This make ahead treat is great to serve as a breakfast snack or dessert. Learn more about this easy baked good on thewoodandspoon.com

Another plus of this vanilla butter loaf is that it can easily be topped with whatever fresh fruits you have on hand. Here, I opted for figs and toasted almonds, but berries, baked apples or pears, Concord grapes, or stone fruit would taste delicious. Choose whatever is in season and most beautiful for best results or feel free to opt out entirely. The cake is delicious on its own.

Vanilla Butter Loaf by Wood and Spoon. This is a pound cake like cake with a cinnamon swirl and a simple vanilla glaze. Top with fresh seasonal fruit or eat plain! This make ahead treat is great to serve as a breakfast snack or dessert. Learn more about this easy baked good on thewoodandspoon.com

I’m sharing today’s recipe with my friends at Kerrygold. This vanilla butter loaf has a distinct richness and melt-in-your-mouth flavor that can only be attributed to quality butter. You already know that I count on Kerrygold for all of my most flavorful baked treats, and this loaf is no exception. Be sure to choose a butter you trust for this cake and you won’t be disappointed.

Vanilla Butter Loaf by Wood and Spoon. This is a pound cake like cake with a cinnamon swirl and a simple vanilla glaze. Top with fresh seasonal fruit or eat plain! This make ahead treat is great to serve as a breakfast snack or dessert. Learn more about this easy baked good on thewoodandspoon.com

I’ll be popping in next week with not one but TWO recipes for you all to nosh on, so stay tuned. You won’t want to miss them. Many thanks to Kerrygold for sponsoring this post. I hope you all get to baking this week and enjoy this vanilla butter loaf!

Vanilla Butter Loaf by Wood and Spoon. This is a pound cake like cake with a cinnamon swirl and a simple vanilla glaze. Top with fresh seasonal fruit or eat plain! This make ahead treat is great to serve as a breakfast snack or dessert. Learn more about this easy baked good on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like this vanilla butter loaf you should try:

Marble Loaf Pound Cake

Cherry Pound Cake

Banana Crumb Cake

Lemon Pound Cake

 

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Vanilla Butter Loaf

Vanilla Butter Loaf by Wood and Spoon. This is a pound cake like cake with a cinnamon swirl and a simple vanilla glaze. Top with fresh seasonal fruit or eat plain! This make ahead treat is great to serve as a breakfast snack or dessert. Learn more about this easy baked good on thewoodandspoon.com

This vanilla butter loaf is similar to a pound cake and features a vanilla glaze and fresh fruit and nuts on top!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Dessert
Scale

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • ¾ cup (170gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 gm) sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 11/2 cups (200 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (60 gm) buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:

  • ¼ cup (50 gm) brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom

For the topping:

  • 1 cup (115 gm) powdered sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 11/2 cups sliced fruit- I used figs
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease and flour an 8”x4” loaf pan. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light a fluffy, about two minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scrape the sides of the bowl and beat on low to combine. Add the extract and zest. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add half of the flour, the baking powder, and the salt. Stir on low until almost combined and then add the buttermilk. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir the remaining flour in on low speed. To not overmix. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare the filling by combining the brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Spread half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the filling on top. Dollop the remaining batter on top of the brown sugar mixture and smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. When cooled, whisk together the topping. Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest until you achieve your desired consistency. Add extra powdered sugar to thicken the glaze and extra lemon juice to thin it out. You can test the consistency on the side of a glass. Pour on top of the cake and garnish with fruit (I prefer figs or strawberries) and almonds. Serve immediately.

English Muffin Bread and Homemade Apple Butter

English Muffin Bread and Apple Butter this simple no knead one bowl quick rise yeast bread is a loaf form of the classic breakfast dish. Serve it with homemade maple apple butter made in a slow cooker/ crock pot. This is a simple make ahead baked good perfect for the fall. Read more at thewoodandspoon.com

Do you ever have those days that seem to glue themselves to your brain? A set of moments that hang out in your memories like they’ve lived there forever? Earlier this week, the kids convinced me to relinquish my indoor post at the nursing chair to come play outside. Surprised by the unseasonably cool weather, I sat in the grass with Charlie laid back on my lap. He kicked his little feet and looked upward with wide eyes that I could tell were taking in the noises and sights before him. Birds chirping. The wind in the trees. A lone cricket singing somewhere far off. We’d kept inside for most of the summer, so the outdoor elements were new to him. I followed his cue and tried to take it all in too.

English Muffin Bread and Apple Butter this simple no knead one bowl quick rise yeast bread is a loaf form of the classic breakfast dish. Serve it with homemade maple apple butter made in a slow cooker/ crock pot. This is a simple make ahead baked good perfect for the fall. Read more at thewoodandspoon.com

A few yards away, Aimee and George were playing games in the yard. They’d disappear into the garage and return with various balls and rocks they found along the way. When they tired of the toys, they raced around the yard chasing each other’s shadows until they ran out of grass. “Mama, look at us! Look how fast we are!” The sight of them running toward me, legs flailing and heads tossed back in laughter, was akin to something you’d see in the movies.

I started to get my phone to take pictures but hesitated for fear that I’d disrupt the beauty that was unfolding. It was the single most peaceful and pure moment we had experienced all summer. I knew it was something special and immediately tried to lock it all into my brain: Aimee’s eyes glittering in the glare of the sun;  the way Charlie smacked his lips when his searching eyes caught mine; the hair at the crown of George’s head that flopped up and down as he ambled about the yard. This was my entire world making magic in our backyard, and I took in the details of the scene with wonder that I got to be apart of it all.

English Muffin Bread and Apple Butter this simple no knead one bowl quick rise yeast bread is a loaf form of the classic breakfast dish. Serve it with homemade maple apple butter made in a slow cooker/ crock pot. This is a simple make ahead baked good perfect for the fall. Read more at thewoodandspoon.com

To be fair, someone was crying within minutes. We eventually went back inside, ate supper, and resumed the bedtime circus, but for just a second, the near-fall air and a patch of grass afforded me a memory I plan to hold onto for a while. This past summer gave us a lot, but I’m still longing for the change of pace that fall will bring. So maybe that’s why you’re getting English muffin bread and homemade apple butter today. Yes, there’s still room for summer berries and ice cream cones, but I’m hoping this small peek into autumn recipes will spur on the shift I’m longing for. So let’s talk about the recipe.

Do you love English muffins? Apple butter? I can remember disapproving of both as a child. The dry texture of the muffins seemed far less acceptable that a toasted slice of white bread, and apple butter came in second to the option of store-bought jelly. Now, as an adult, I adore the way an English muffins’ deep nooks serve as a pool for whatever topping you’ve slathered on and I appreciate the rich apple and cinnamon flavor in the apple butter. Both elements are cozy and seem appropriate for fall.

English Muffin Bread and Apple Butter this simple no knead one bowl quick rise yeast bread is a loaf form of the classic breakfast dish. Serve it with homemade maple apple butter made in a slow cooker/ crock pot. This is a simple make ahead baked good perfect for the fall. Read more at thewoodandspoon.com

English muffin bread is surprisingly simple to make. It’s a no-knead recipe that is stirred together in a bowl and dumped in loaf pans for a short rise. The whole process takes less than an hour, so you can have fresh crannied bread within the length of a lazy Saturday morning. The apple butter is similarly simple although it does take a bit longer to prepare. Apples, maple syrup, and a generous amount of spice are cooked low and slow in a crock pot until the mixture is soft enough to puree. After a quick whiz in a blender or food processor, I like to cook it down even more to thicken the mixture. The blend keeps well in the refrigerator and serves as a great alternative to your morning peanut butter or jelly toast.

I’m sharing today’s recipe with my friends at Stemilt. Stemilt is is a leading Washington state grower, packer, and shipper of fruit including apples, pears, cherries, and more. Each quarter, I’ve been developing recipes for their blog using their best in-season fruits. This month, I got my hands on their fuji apples, and thought a sweet and simple apple butter would make for a delicious treat to spread all season long. Head to their site at the link below to read all about it and give the recipe a try! I can’t wait to hear what you think. Enjoy this change of season and happy baking!

CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE FOR THIS ENGLISH MUFFIN BREAD AND APPLE BUTTER

English Muffin Bread and Apple Butter this simple no knead one bowl quick rise yeast bread is a loaf form of the classic breakfast dish. Serve it with homemade maple apple butter made in a slow cooker/ crock pot. This is a simple make ahead baked good perfect for the fall. Read more at thewoodandspoon.com

If you like this english muffin bread you should check out:

Buttermilk Bread

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

Flaxseed Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

 

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English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread and Apple Butter this simple no knead one bowl quick rise yeast bread is a loaf form of the classic breakfast dish. Serve it with homemade maple apple butter made in a slow cooker/ crock pot. This is a simple make ahead baked good perfect for the fall. Read more at thewoodandspoon.com

Just like the original English muffins, but in loaf form!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 60
  • Yield: 2 loaves 1x
  • Category: Bread
Scale

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (60 gm) lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 21/4 cups milk, lukewarm
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • Cornmeal

Instructions

  1. Combine the water, honey, and yeast in a large bowl of a stand mixer. Allow the yeast to dissolve. Add in one cup of flour and the milk, stirring to combine. Add in the remaining flour, the salt, and the baking soda, and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. Lightly grease two 8”x4” loaf pans and dust them with cornmeal. Dump half of the thin dough into each prepared pan. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm spot in the kitchen until the loaves dome an inch outside of the pan.
  3. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Once the loaves have risen, bake in the preheated oven about 20-22 minutes or until the tops are golden and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and cool about 15 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan and cool completely. Serve bread toasted and sliced.

 

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Apple Butter

English Muffin Bread and Apple Butter this simple no knead one bowl quick rise yeast bread is a loaf form of the classic breakfast dish. Serve it with homemade maple apple butter made in a slow cooker/ crock pot. This is a simple make ahead baked good perfect for the fall. Read more at thewoodandspoon.com

This apple butter is made in a slow cooker and sweetened with maple syrup!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 240
  • Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Condiment
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of apples (I used fuji), peeled, cored and roughly sliced
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Combine the apples, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a slow cooker and set to high for 4-5 hours, stirring hourly until the apples are soft and juices are starting to get sticky around the edges of the pot. Carefully remove the mixture from the slow cooker and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the apple mixture back to the slow cooker and cook for an additional 1-2 hours or until desired consistency is reached. Add the vanilla extract and taste for sweetness. Add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup if desired. Allow to cool prior to use.

Mini Victoria Cakes

Mini Victoria Cakes by Wood and Spoon. These are mini sponge cupcakes with a strawberry jam filling and whipped cream topping. These are fancy looking little two bite treats perfect for tea parties. Read all about these cute summer desserts on thewoodandspoon.com
It’s Wednesday, and I think we should party like it’s a Friday. If you need some mindless internet perusing,  I’m sharing a run-through of all of my current favorites: what I’m eating, what I’m wearing, yada yada yada. On top of that, I’ve got these mini Victoria cakes that are sure to add some pizazz to your mid-week routine. Let’s dive in!

What I’m Eating:

Have we talked about how my husband has a million hobbies? Like, SO many. This man can find 100 things to do in his free time, but the one activity I am always for is fishing. Brett heading out on a deep sea fishing trip means Mama gets ultra-fresh Gulf seafood for dinner. Yes please. I’ve adored this recipe from Julia Moskin for pan-roasted fish with herb butter sauce and think you need to try it ASAP. We usually opt to use snapper, but something similar would work wonderfully too.

What I’m Drinking:

Besides lots of water (shoutout to the nursing Mamas!), I’ve really been hankering for a good cocktail lately. Have you heard of the aviation cocktail? Apparently, it’s an old classic, but after trying it in Charleston a few years ago I’ve been noticing variations of it popping up on menus all over. I finally picked up the liquors to test out this recipe at home and it is DIVINE. All the flavors blend really well together, so it’s not overly citrusy or sweet. If you like gin and aesthetically pleasing beverages, give this one a try.

What I’m Wearing:

Does anyone else feel like all the cool kids’ clothes look like stuff they grew up seeing their mom wear? I’m basically one shoulder pad away from looking like JTT’s Mom on “Home Improvement.” Nevertheless, I’ve got my sights set on a fall wardrobe revamp and I’m seriously into the oversized blazers I’ve been seeing all over the place. Plan on seeing me rock this little beauty from Madewell next month… or as soon as it’s not 100 degrees outside.

Where I’m Going:

Brett and I have a trip to Boston planned for next month! Count me in for at least 15 lobster rolls and all the corny historical walking tours my feet can manage. I landed on this round-up of the best carry-on travel backpacks and immediately started a mental shopping list. My personal fave was the Dagne Dover option, but I’d also like to add this Frye backpack to the mix. Super cute and on sale? Yes please. (PS, send me all of your Boston/Martha’s Vineyard recs!)

Mini Victoria Cakes by Wood and Spoon. These are mini sponge cupcakes with a strawberry jam filling and whipped cream topping. These are fancy looking little two bite treats perfect for tea parties. Read all about these cute summer desserts on thewoodandspoon.com

What I’m Baking:

Have you ever had a Queen Victoria cake? It’s a classic English sponge cake featuring fluffy vanilla layers that sandwich both a jam filling and whipped cream. I first tried a rendition of this treat at a London Starbucks back in 2010 and hilariously thought it was a Starbucks specialty. Needless to say, I was really disappointed when I got back to the States and couldn’t find the dessert at any of my local coffee shops. In the time since, I’ve seen renditions of the Victoria sandwich cake in various cookbooks and knew a decidedly British treat needed a fancy pants update for all my pinkies-out teas, parties, and events. These mini Victoria cakes are the end result, and they’re so deliciously cute that you will love them too.

Mini Victoria Cakes by Wood and Spoon. These are mini sponge cupcakes with a strawberry jam filling and whipped cream topping. These are fancy looking little two bite treats perfect for tea parties. Read all about these cute summer desserts on thewoodandspoon.com

To make the tiny treats, we start with the cakes. Although traditional Victoria cakes use self-rising flour, I decided to rely on regular all-purpose flour and added leavening. The batter comes together quickly and is baked in a mini cake pan. Here, I opted to use a mini cheesecake pan like this one, but you can easily sub in a mini cupcake or muffin pan instead. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and then allow to cool completely.

Mini Victoria Cakes by Wood and Spoon. These are mini sponge cupcakes with a strawberry jam filling and whipped cream topping. These are fancy looking little two bite treats perfect for tea parties. Read all about these cute summer desserts on thewoodandspoon.com

When you’re ready to assemble your mini Victoria cakes, whip up a stable cream made with heavy whipping cream, cream cheese and powdered sugar. The mixture should be thick enough to stand up on the end of a spoon but still light and fluffy. Use a paring knife the cut the middle of your mini cakes out and pipe in some prepared or store-bought strawberry jam. Top with dollops of the cream and garnish with berries, cutie sprinkles, or whatever else makes you feel like a Queen. Serve immediately or store covered in the fridge until about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Mini Victoria Cakes by Wood and Spoon. These are mini sponge cupcakes with a strawberry jam filling and whipped cream topping. These are fancy looking little two bite treats perfect for tea parties. Read all about these cute summer desserts on thewoodandspoon.com

These mini Victoria cakes make an excellent finger dessert or pickup treat for evening affairs and brunch hour teas. I’m sharing them with you today thanks to my friends at Kerrygold. Their butter is the perfect addition to these little cakes and flavors each one like a dream. Anytime there are few ingredients involved in a recipe, you want to make sure that you’re choosing flavorful, quality ingredients. I always count on Kerrygold to get the job done. Pick up a few blocks of Kerrygold butter and give these mini Victoria cakes a try! They’re a surefire way to put some sass into your midweek routine. Happy Wednesday and happy baking!

Mini Victoria Cakes by Wood and Spoon. These are mini sponge cupcakes with a strawberry jam filling and whipped cream topping. These are fancy looking little two bite treats perfect for tea parties. Read all about these cute summer desserts on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like these mini Victoria cakes you should try:

Strawberry Rhubarb Layer Cake

Strawberry Shortcake Macarons

Strawberry Icebox Pie

Strawberry Pretzel Tart

Strawberry Shortcake

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Mini Victoria Cakes

Mini Victoria Cakes by Wood and Spoon. These are mini sponge cupcakes with a strawberry jam filling and whipped cream topping. These are fancy looking little two bite treats perfect for tea parties. Read all about these cute summer desserts on thewoodandspoon.com

These mini Victoria cakes are a cute little rendition of the classic Bristish sponge cake.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 120
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x
  • Category: Dessert
Scale

Ingredients

For the cakes:

  • 1 cup (230 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •  1 cup (200 gm) sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (270 gm) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the filling and whipped topping:

  • ½ cup strawberry jam or preserves
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at cool room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 gm) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 11/2 cups (360 gm) heavy whipping cream
  • Fresh strawberries, quartered for garnish

Instructions

To make the cakes:

  1. Preheat the oven (325 for dark pans and 350 for light pans). In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition to incorporate. Add the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients just until combined and fold in any unincorporated bits. Lightly grease mini muffin or cheesecake tins and fill each cup 2/3 of the way with batter. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in the pan and then carefully remove each cake to cool completely.
  2. When ready to frost and serve, use a paring knife to core out the center of each cake. Fill a piping bag with the jam and pipe jam into the center of each cake. Set aside while you prepare your topping.
  3. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the extract and salt. Slowly drizzle the cream into the bowl while the mixer is on and whip until stiff peaks form. Fill a piping bag with the topping and pipe on top of each cake, covering the jam filling completely. Top with quartered strawberries just before serving. Enjoy at a cool room temperature but store in the fridge.