Vanilla

YOU NEED TO KNOW: How to Make Custard (and Classic Creme Brûlée!)

Cooking Tutorial: Learn How to Make Custard and Homemade Creme Brûlée! This recipe instructional by Wood and Spoon gives instruction on the different types of custards, how to make them, and a simple, straight-forward recipes for vanilla bean creme brûlée. This elegant dessert is great for dinner parties and can be semi-made-ahead. Read all about this classic French dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

For close to a decade, I’ve been telling people near and far that my favorite dessert is ice cream. And that is, in some ways, true; ice cream offers the creamy texture and endless flavor options that makes enjoying dessert just the best. But lately, I’ve started to realize that my favorite isn’t ice cream- it’s the ever-adaptive, always delightful custard. Custard, if you don’t know, is a star component to a million different recipes, and so many of them are my favorite. Today, I’m going to teach you how to make custard, and you can flex those new skills with a classic creme brulée. Let’s get started!

Cooking Tutorial: Learn How to Make Custard and Homemade Creme Brûlée! This recipe instructional by Wood and Spoon gives instruction on the different types of custards, how to make them, and a simple, straight-forward recipes for vanilla bean creme brûlée. This elegant dessert is great for dinner parties and can be semi-made-ahead. Read all about this classic French dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

WHAT IS IT AND HOW DO I MAKE IT?

So what is custard? In general, custard is a milk-based mixture often sweetened with sugar and thickened with eggs. Different spices, extracts, and other flavorings add in to create different flavors. While all custards tend to have the basic skeleton of eggs, milk, and sugar, there are a few different ways custards can be prepared.

Baked Custard

Baked custard is, as you can imagine, baked! If you’ve ever made a custard pie (like this one!), a bread pudding, or a creme brûlée, you’ve made a baked custard. Here, ingredients stir together, either in a bowl or over the stovetop, before baking until set.

There are a number of ways to make a baked custard. In some cases, all of the liquid ingredients stir together with sugar, salt, and sometimes a thickener like starch or flour. Then, that liquid mixture pours into vessels (as with creme brûlée and custard pies) or over chunks of bread, as is the case with bread pudding. Baked custards generally prefer moderate heat, in large part, due to the eggs; eggs that are heated too much can curdle and cause quite a mess. In addition, water baths are often used to offer insulation to the custard while it’s in the oven. As the custard bakes, it sets, becoming even more firm as it cools.

Cooking Tutorial: Learn How to Make Custard and Homemade Creme Brûlée! This recipe instructional by Wood and Spoon gives instruction on the different types of custards, how to make them, and a simple, straight-forward recipes for vanilla bean creme brûlée. This elegant dessert is great for dinner parties and can be semi-made-ahead. Read all about this classic French dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

Stirred Custard

My husband’s favorite kind of custard is a stirred one. Why? Because he LOVES pudding. Pudding desserts, pastry cream and most ice creams start out as stirred custards. Here, sugar dissolves in warm milk or cream before being slowly added to eggs or egg yolks. That mixture is allowed to thicken over heat on the stovetop before cooling for use.

To make a stirred custard, we start with the dairy. Milk heats on the stovetop, often with sugar, a thickening agent, or even cocoa powder and other flavorings, until the sugar is dissolved. Once combined and smooth, the warm milk mixture is carefully added to the eggs or egg yolks. Remember- the eggs are prone to curdling here! Take care to prevent this by adding the milk little bit little and stirring all the while. Once the mixtures are combined, the custard is returned to the heat where it is stirred at a low temperature until thickened to the appropriate consistency. The custard then cools in the fridge until set.

Other Custards

There are a number of other ways to make custards (think gelatin! whipped cream!), but for today, we will focus on baked and stirred custards. You can research “gelatin custards” online to learn more.

Cooking Tutorial: Learn How to Make Custard and Homemade Creme Brûlée! This recipe instructional by Wood and Spoon gives instruction on the different types of custards, how to make them, and a simple, straight-forward recipes for vanilla bean creme brûlée. This elegant dessert is great for dinner parties and can be semi-made-ahead. Read all about this classic French dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

HELPFUL HINTS FOR MAKING CUSTARD

Combining Ingredients

Most custards call for combing warm milk and uncooked eggs. This is one of the most important steps of the process, because, if done incorrectly, the custard can curdle. Take care to combine these two ingredients slowly by tempering them. You can temper custard by slowly adding small, 2-3 tablespoon-sized portions of hot liquid to your egg mixture, whisking all the while. In doing so, you gradually increase the temperature of the eggs without technically cooking them.

If you fear you’ve curdled your eggs while combing the eggs and warm milk, don’t fret. Simply run your mixture through a fine sieve to eliminate any clumps. If your mixture has curdled, you’ll see what looks like scrambled egg pieces in your stainer!

Cooking Tutorial: Learn How to Make Custard and Homemade Creme Brûlée! This recipe instructional by Wood and Spoon gives instruction on the different types of custards, how to make them, and a simple, straight-forward recipes for vanilla bean creme brûlée. This elegant dessert is great for dinner parties and can be semi-made-ahead. Read all about this classic French dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

How to Tell if It’s Done

This is a tricky part of the process. As always, I recommend reading through the entire recipe prior to beginning the cooking process. Know what you are looking for! In the case of baked custards, recipes will often call for a jiggle test. Here, you gently wiggle the custard dish. Baked goods that are not at all done will wave like a water bed under its entire surface. Partially cooked custards may have edges that only wiggle like Jell-O while having a center that still appears liquidy under the surface. But custards that are cooked just right have edges that are mostly set with a center that wobbles like Jell-O. In the case of bread puddings or pies, you may see some slight puffing happen as the dish nears doneness.

With stirred custards, we often use the spoon test! Insert a large metal or wooden into the cooked mixture and carefully run a finger down the back of it. For most “done” stirred custards, the mixture will coat the back of the spoon and you’ll see a line parting where your finger ran through it. You can also examine the consistency of the custard. In the case of puddings, the mixture will be slightly thickened but loose, similar to a bottled ranch dressing. For pudding pies, I like my custard to have the texture of loose mayonnaise, just barely thick enough to spoon.

Making a Water Bath

Water baths are one of those things a lot of people try to skip. While I can’t explain all the ins and outs of a water bath, I will tell you that I use them implicitly when called for. So what it is? A water bath, often called a bain marie, is a little a pool of hot water that you bake your custard in. In general, the custards are added to their dish (i.e. ramekins for creme brûlée, a springform pan for a cheesecake) while water heats on the stove. We then place the custard dish into a larger vessel (a baking dish or some other rimmed oven-safe pan) before carefully pouring in an inch of hot water. The water should just barely extend up the sides of the custard dish.

My research tells me that water baths exist for one reason: to prevent the outside of the custard from over-cooking before the inside gets cooked. It also can help to moisten the top of the custard with water steam and prevent the custard from cracking.

To make a water bath, I recommend heating water in a tea kettle. If you don’t have a tea kettle, just be sure you are warming your water in a pan you can safely transfer water from.

Cooking Tutorial: Learn How to Make Custard and Homemade Creme Brûlée! This recipe instructional by Wood and Spoon gives instruction on the different types of custards, how to make them, and a simple, straight-forward recipes for vanilla bean creme brûlée. This elegant dessert is great for dinner parties and can be semi-made-ahead. Read all about this classic French dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

WHAT CAN I DO WITH A CUSTARD

Honey, the world is your oyster. Custards are added to all sorts of recipes in all sorts of forms to add creamy texture, moisture, and flavor. Thin custards like creme anglaise often pour over desserts like soufflés (which is also technically a custard, btw!). Pastry cream is a thickened custard that chills before being piped or layered into desserts like profiteroles and (one of my favorites) mille-feuille. Stirred custard can also be chilled and churned into frozen custard– truly, God’s gift to earth. And don’t forget, pudding, pudding pies, and curds; these stovetop delights make for a delicious dessert all on their own.

Basically, if the main ingredients are eggs, milk, and sugar, there’s a good chance you’re working with a custard! Once you know how to properly prepare a custard, you can flavor and add it to any number of desserts. I’m going to list a few of my favorite Wood & Spoon custard desserts below. Then, we’ll get to the creme brûlée!

Brown Butter Bourbon Chess Pie
Blueberry Mascarpone Ice Cream
Chocolate Budino
Creamy Rice Pudding
Southern Coconut Cream Pie
Coffee Donuts
Caramelized Banana Pudding
Chocolate Pudding Pie
Coconut Cream Pie Puffs
Blueberry Sour Cream Pie
Brown Sugar Buttermilk Tart

Classic Creme Brûlée

Who doesn’t love a creme brûlée? I recently took my daughter out for a fancy dinner with a friend, and she tried this classic dessert for the first time. Her reaction was, obviously, awe. She ate more than her share, and I regretted not ordering two.

While creme brûlée’s origin is debated (is it French? English?), it now lives forever in my heart. This creamy, baked dessert requires little but quality vanilla and a crunchy torched top. I like to serve mine with a smidge of whipped cream and fresh fruit, but you can pick your poison. Whatever you do, make sure you serve the dessert just after bruleeing the top- otherwise, your crunchy burnt sugar will dissolve and puddle on your dessert.

Cooking Tutorial: Learn How to Make Custard and Homemade Creme Brûlée! This recipe instructional by Wood and Spoon gives instruction on the different types of custards, how to make them, and a simple, straight-forward recipes for vanilla bean creme brûlée. This elegant dessert is great for dinner parties and can be semi-made-ahead. Read all about this classic French dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

A note on bruleeing: there’s a couple different ways to do it. If you’re lucky enough to own a kitchen torch, congrats! This is my preferred method. Not only does torching provide the most controlled method of bruleeing, but it also makes for a great party trick. Alternatively, you can brûlée your dessert under a preheated broiler. This may be preferred if you’re serving bulk amounts of creme brûlée or if you don’t have fancy kitchen equipment. Simply preheat your broiler, sprinkle the tops of your custards with a bit of sugar, and bake on the top rack of the oven until just beyond golden brown. Be careful removing them from the oven and wait a minute or two before eating.

Ok, that’s all I have on creme brûlée and custards. For now, happy Saturday and happy baking!

Cooking Tutorial: Learn How to Make Custard and Homemade Creme Brûlée! This recipe instructional by Wood and Spoon gives instruction on the different types of custards, how to make them, and a simple, straight-forward recipes for vanilla bean creme brûlée. This elegant dessert is great for dinner parties and can be semi-made-ahead. Read all about this classic French dessert on thewoodandspoon.com
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YOU NEED TO KNOW: How to Make Custard (and Classic Creme Brûlée!)

This classic creme brûlée is a creamy custard with a crunchy, bruleed top!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 180
  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for topping the custards 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Pour the heavy cream into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Split the vanilla bean down the middle, using a paring knife to carefully scrape the insides into the cream. Add the empty bean shell as well. Place the saucepan over medium low heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low once simmering and simmer, whisking regularly, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool an additional 10 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  3. Fill a tea kettle with water and bring to a bowl. Set an 8 or 9” baking dish off to the side. These will be used for your water bath.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk to combine the salt, yolks, and 1/3 cup sugar. Once the cream has cooled  slightly, remove the vanilla bean pod and use a heat-safe measuring cup to pour in just a bit of the heated cream into the yolk mixture, stirring all the while. Note: it’s important to not add too much cream too fast- the heat from the cream could cook and curdle the eggs. Scoop out some more cream and quickly whisk that into the eggs as well. Return all the egg/cream mixture back to the saucepan and whisk to combine. 
  5. Strain the mixture into 4- 6 ounce ramekins. Place them into the baking dish and carefully pour the boiling water from the tea kettle into the pan, creating a “bath” for the ramekins to sit in. The water should reach halfway up the ramekins. Carefully place the baking dish into the oven and bake the custards about 40 minutes or until it jiggles slightly in the center when you gently shake them. Do not allow them to overbake- this could cause the custard to curdle. Once finished, cool slightly prior to chilling, covered, in the fridge about 4-6 hours.
  6. When ready to enjoy, remove the custards from the fridge. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon sugar on top of each custard. Use a kitchen torch or a preheated broiler to cook the top of the sugar until golden. When using the torch, hold the flame about 5” above the ramekins. Slowly cook the sugar, passing the flame over the custard, until golden. For the broiler, simply place the ramekins on a baking pan and broil on the top shelf of the oven until golden, about 2 minutes. Alllow to cool 1-2 minutes before enjoying. 

Did you make this recipe?

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A Half Birthday Cake Tutorial & 6 Months with Her Daily Bread!

Half Birthday Cake Tutorial and Recipe by Wood and Spoon blog. Learn how to transfer a simple single layer vanilla cake into a fun celebratory half birthday cake! The recipe for this simple vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream is a great way to celebrate everyday occasions like half birthdays. Find the recipe and how to on the woodandspoon.com

There’s been no shortage of celebration around here. With the school year ending, Mother’s Day, my anniversary, and a few family birthdays, we have been partying non-stop. Honestly, it’s been wonderful and exhausting. I’m simultaneously excited for a lull in our calendar and chomping at the bit to begin planning Charlie’s 3rd birthday. That’s kinda just how things work in our house, and I’m positive I’m not alone in that boat. There are certain types of people who live to honor the everyday (and not-so-everyday!) occasions. If that’s you, you’re going to love today’s post. I’m sharing a terrific half birthday cake tutorial and recipe in honor of this week’s celebration, the half birthday of my first book, Her Daily Bread. Cheers!

Half Birthday Cake Tutorial and Recipe by Wood and Spoon blog. Learn how to transfer a simple single layer vanilla cake into a fun celebratory half birthday cake! The recipe for this simple vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream is a great way to celebrate everyday occasions like half birthdays. Find the recipe and how to on the woodandspoon.com

Say it with me: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Yes, my baby book is already 6 months old. Writing, editing, and releasing the book was such a labor of love that the aftermath has had a few baby blues attached to it. What should I be doing to help the book along? What in the world do I do next? Like any beginner in most things, I’m just kinda feeling this whole thing out, and that means occasional uncertainty and a few wobbly steps. The truth is, I probably haven’t done this all perfectly, so I’m currently focused on two things: first, learning from this experience in hopes that next time (PLEASE LET THERE BE A NEXT TIME!!) I’ll do it even better, and second, celebrating where I am in the process. So that’s us today: celebrating the process.

Half Birthday Cake Tutorial and Recipe by Wood and Spoon blog. Learn how to transfer a simple single layer vanilla cake into a fun celebratory half birthday cake! The recipe for this simple vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream is a great way to celebrate everyday occasions like half birthdays. Find the recipe and how to on the woodandspoon.com

Half Birthday Cake

Today marks a half of a year with my book, and we’re celebrating with a half birthday cake. For a long time now, I have loved the idea of a half birthday, and, truthfully, this recipe has been a long time coming. Whether you’re celebrating 6 months with your newborn or honoring the 182nd day of the year, this happy little cake is the perfect way to do it. With just a single round vanilla cake and a bowl full of frosting, you can honor whatever (or whoever!) you have in process.

How to Make It

To make this cake at home, we start with one ultra-thick round cake. I used a homemade vanilla cake that came out sturdy and tender. Once cool, cut the cake in half to make two half moon-shaped pieces. Next, homemade American buttercream seals the two layers together before we begin to frost the tops and sides. Here’s where things get interesting.

You’ll want at least two different frosting colors here: one color to be the revealed faux cake layers, and another to be the frosting. I ended up with three different colors, because I wanted the edges piped and decorated in a different shade. Set aside a heaping cup of frosting for smearing on the flat edges of your cake and another 2 cups to serve as the frosting. You can use the remaining frosting to pipe and decorate in whatever color you prefer.

Half Birthday Cake Tutorial and Recipe by Wood and Spoon blog. Learn how to transfer a simple single layer vanilla cake into a fun celebratory half birthday cake! The recipe for this simple vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream is a great way to celebrate everyday occasions like half birthdays. Find the recipe and how to on the woodandspoon.com

What You’ll Need to Make a Half Birthday Cake

I find an offset spatula helps to get the edges clean when frosting corners, but I’ll go ahead and warn you that frosting this shape of cake is not for the faint of heart. I spent a good bit of time to achieve the tidy edges and even frosting. Just be patient in the process. Once you have the flat edge frosted as the inside of you faux cake and the remainder of the sides frosted as well, use a piping bag fitted with a #3 tip to pipe a little wavy line for the center of the cake. I used a 1M tip to pipe the decorated edge around the perimeter of the cake in yellow, but you can decorate as you desire. This half birthday cake looks festive with or without the extra touches.

Half Birthday Cake Tutorial and Recipe by Wood and Spoon blog. Learn how to transfer a simple single layer vanilla cake into a fun celebratory half birthday cake! The recipe for this simple vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream is a great way to celebrate everyday occasions like half birthdays. Find the recipe and how to on the woodandspoon.com

There’s no time like the present to celebrate wherever you find yourself, and if you find yourself somewhere in the middle, I hope you’ll consider making this half birthday cake. If you haven’t already, take a peek at my book or pick up a copy at Amazon or most major book retailers. Happy Saturday to you and happy baking!

Half Birthday Cake Tutorial and Recipe by Wood and Spoon blog. Learn how to transfer a simple single layer vanilla cake into a fun celebratory half birthday cake! The recipe for this simple vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream is a great way to celebrate everyday occasions like half birthdays. Find the recipe and how to on the woodandspoon.com

If you like this tutorial, you should check out:

Sugar Cookie Pops
Homemade Sprinkles
Mini Layer Cakes
Donut Croquembouche
Alphabet Cream Pie

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A Half Birthday Cake Tutorial

This recipe and tutorial for a half birthday cake is a fun and playful way to celebrate everyday occasions!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 180
  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 13/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces milk

For the frosting:

  • 11/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 33/4 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 11/2 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 7 or 8” round pan and cut a sheet of parchment paper to sit inside the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, stirring briefly after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and scrape the sides of the bowl. In a smaller separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir half of those combined dry ingredients into the bowl with the butter, just until combined. Add the milk, stirring briefly, followed by the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in any unincorporated bits until the mixture is uniform. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes for 7” pans and 38-42 minutes for 8” pan. Allow to cool completely. 
  3. To prepare the frosting, cream the butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in about half of the powdered sugar and the salt, adding the remaining dry ingredients once combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in the milk. Increase the speed on the mixer to medium and beat until fluffy and combined, about 30 seconds. 
  4. Set aside 1 cup of frosting to remain white. This will cover the flat edge of the side of your cake, serving as the exposed faux cake layers. You can color the remaining icing however you’d like. I colored a remaining 2/3 in pink and a final 1/3 yellow to be piped as decoration. 
  5. To prepare the cake, cut the cake in half to make two half moon shapes. Spread a dollop of your frosting-colored frosting to a cake board or serving platter and place the first cake pieces on top. Spread a thick layer of that same frosting on the first piece of cake, smoothing with an offset spatula. Top it with a second piece of cake and continue frosting the top and rounded edges, being sure to keep the color frosting away from the flat edge. Next, use a clean offset spatula to cover the flat side with the white frosting. Clean up the edges as desired and then use a piping bag fitted with a small round (I used #3) tip to pipe a squiggly line on the flat edge. I used a 1M piping tip to pipe around the perimeter of the cake. Continue decorating the cake as desired, and enjoy!

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Cinnamon Sugar Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a fluffy brown sugar cake with a salted cinnamon brown sugar filling and vanilla bean frosting. This spiced dessert is perfect for fall birthday parties or holiday gatherings or anyone who loves good cozy flavors. Learn more about this cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Today’s recipe has been one of the most requested recipes via social media lately. About a month ago, we hosted a small, family-only wedding at our home. The bride and groom had a hard time selecting a flavor for their wedding cake, but we eventually settled on cinnamon sugar. After a few test runs, I landed a recipe I felt comfortable serving for their tiny, two-tiered cake, and WOW. It did not disappoint. Since that time, I’ve made the cake a few times, and finally, I get to share it with you today! So without further ado, here’s the cinnamon sugar cake!

Cinnamon Sugar Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a fluffy brown sugar cake with a salted cinnamon brown sugar filling and vanilla bean frosting. This spiced dessert is perfect for fall birthday parties or holiday gatherings or anyone who loves good cozy flavors. Learn more about this cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Cinnamon Sugar Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a fluffy brown sugar cake with a salted cinnamon brown sugar filling and vanilla bean frosting. This spiced dessert is perfect for fall birthday parties or holiday gatherings or anyone who loves good cozy flavors. Learn more about this cake on thewoodandspoon.com

My best description of this cake is cinnamon toast crunch. There’s something very comforting and cozy about the flavors represented in this cinnamon sugar cake, and I think what it most reminds me of is a bowl of that nostalgic cereal. Here, fluffy cake layers (a rendition of my bourbon caramel cake!) sandwich a thick schmear of salted cinnamon and brown sugar buttercream filling, and the whole thing is slathered with a whipped vanilla bean buttercream. The brown sugar in the filling lends a certain grit that textures the otherwise fluffy and smooth cake, and that addition of salt offers the balance that a lot of other layer cakes lack. In short, this cake is the bomb, and if you make it you’ll know why.

Cinnamon Sugar Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a fluffy brown sugar cake with a salted cinnamon brown sugar filling and vanilla bean frosting. This spiced dessert is perfect for fall birthday parties or holiday gatherings or anyone who loves good cozy flavors. Learn more about this cake on thewoodandspoon.com

A few things about this cake are different from our standard approach: first, this is a two layer cake. I know: so weird. We normally stick with three layers around here, but with COVID, what do we need that third layer for? Second, this is kinda a tiny cake too! Just 6″. In keeping with the theme of these days, less in more. But not to worry: if you’re wanting to serve a larger crew, you can easily double this recipe. Just double and bake the cake in two deep 9″ pans. Easy peasy!

Cinnamon Sugar Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a fluffy brown sugar cake with a salted cinnamon brown sugar filling and vanilla bean frosting. This spiced dessert is perfect for fall birthday parties or holiday gatherings or anyone who loves good cozy flavors. Learn more about this cake on thewoodandspoon.com

I know November is ordinarily the month for pies, pies, and more pies, but this cinnamon sugar cake had to make it out into the world. I really think you’ll like it. Give it a shot and let me know what you think! Not to worry- we’ve got some Thanksgiving-ish stuff coming in soon. Happy Monday and happy baking!

Cinnamon Sugar Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a fluffy brown sugar cake with a salted cinnamon brown sugar filling and vanilla bean frosting. This spiced dessert is perfect for fall birthday parties or holiday gatherings or anyone who loves good cozy flavors. Learn more about this cake on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like this cinnamon sugar cake you should try:

Cinnamon Sugar Scones
Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits
Brown Sugar Apple Bundt
Coffee Cake Muffins
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

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Cinnamon Sugar Cake

This cinnamon sugar cake has fluffy layers, a salted brown sugar cinnamon filling, and a whipped vanilla buttercream frosting the outside!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 120
  • Yield: 7 Servings
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 13/4 cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 11/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 11/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream

For the buttercream:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons milk or cream

Instructions

To prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease two 6” round pans and cut out parchment paper rounds to fit into the bottom of them. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, canola oil, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth, about a minute and a half. Add the egg and yolk and stir until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in any unincorporated bits. Add half of the cake flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir on low to combine. Add ¼ cup of the milk as well as the bourbon and vanilla. Stir on low. Add the remaining cake flour and milk and stir on low just until combined. Fold in any unincorporated bits. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake in the middle of the oven for about 30-33 minutes or until the cake has puffed, turned golden, and a toothpick inserted just barely comes out clean. Don’t overbake! Set aside to cool completely.

To prepare the filling:

  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium until smooth, about one minute. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. Set aside in a different bowl while you prepare your buttercream.

To prepare your buttercream:

  1. In the same bowl as you made your filling, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and slightly pale, about 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and whip and additional minute. Add the cream and beat until smooth and fluffy, about an additional minute. Assemble your cake by spreading a small amount of buttercream on a 6” cake board. Level your cake layers using a serrated knife and place the first layer on the board. Use an offset spatula to spread the filling on the top of that first layer and place the second on top. Use an offset spatula to spread the buttercream on the outside and decorate with any remaining frosting. I like to mix the remaining filling and buttercream together to pipe décor on top! Enjoy!

Notes

  • For a larger cake, simply double all the ingredients and bake the batter in 2 9″ pans! Bake time may be longer.

Did you make this recipe?

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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

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

Vanilla Butter Loaf

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 easily receives whatever fresh fruits you have. Here, I opted for figs and toasted almonds; 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

Finally, 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 thanks to the butter. You already know that I count on Kerrygold for all of my most flavorful baked treats; 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. Also, 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 recipe you should try:

Marble Loaf Pound Cake

Cherry Pound Cake

Banana Crumb Cake

Lemon Pound Cake

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Vanilla Butter Loaf

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
  • Category: Dessert

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.

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Marble Loaf Pound Cake

Marble Loaf Pound Cake by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a moist and rich recipe for pound cake inspired by the chocolate marble loaf cake at Starbucks! This makes one big bread loaf that is perfect for breakfast or dessert. The recipe is topped with a chocolate ganache glaze. The vanilla and chocolate batter is swirled together to give a marbled look! Find the recipe for this southern style buttermilk pound cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Happy Monday to my favorite band of butter and sugar pushers! Is your week off to a joyful start? Has January been treating you well?

Here in Alabama, we are experiencing one of the coldest winters of all time. (I’m talking icicles-hanging-off-your-car cold. Frozen-boogers-crusted-on-your-kid’s-face cold. Wearing-two-bras-to-hide-your-nipples cold.) We’ve been trapped inside for a few weeks now, and if the icy weather doesn’t get to you, being stuck inside with stir-crazy children probably does.

Marble Loaf Pound Cake by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a moist and rich recipe for pound cake inspired by the chocolate marble loaf cake at Starbucks! This makes one big bread loaf that is perfect for breakfast or dessert. The recipe is topped with a chocolate ganache glaze. The vanilla and chocolate batter is swirled together to give a marbled look! Find the recipe for this southern style buttermilk pound cake on thewoodandspoon.com

The past few days have been spent building fires, watching reruns of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” and carb-loading from our positions on the couch. Of course my kids have loved these new winter privileges, but to be honest, being stuck inside with two tiny humans that are cracked out on cartoons and Teddy Grahams is pretty close to mental purgatory. The combination of boredom and pent-up energy is constantly at risk of combusting into a tornado of toys in the living room, food fights, or temper tantrums. Winter-pocolypse indeed.

Marble Loaf Pound Cake by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a moist and rich recipe for pound cake inspired by the chocolate marble loaf cake at Starbucks! This makes one big bread loaf that is perfect for breakfast or dessert. The recipe is topped with a chocolate ganache glaze. The vanilla and chocolate batter is swirled together to give a marbled look! Find the recipe for this southern style buttermilk pound cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Marble Loaf Pound Cake

To stay busy, I’ve been baking up a storm. Save for a few cookies that burned while I was scraping peanut butter toast off the couch, these snow days have proved to be perfect baking weather, and I (with the exception of my waistline) am relishing it. Case and point: this marble loaf pound cake.

Marble Loaf Pound Cake by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a moist and rich recipe for pound cake inspired by the chocolate marble loaf cake at Starbucks! This makes one big bread loaf that is perfect for breakfast or dessert. The recipe is topped with a chocolate ganache glaze. The vanilla and chocolate batter is swirled together to give a marbled look! Find the recipe for this southern style buttermilk pound cake on thewoodandspoon.com

I’ve long been a fan of the marble loaf pound cake at Starbucks. For years, it was the only treat from their glass case of microwavable calories that I was willing to spend dollars on. Despite numerous attempts to recreate it at home, I was never able to achieve that sweet and tender crumb of vanilla and chocolate that I longed for. Luckily, the forced hours indoors this past week have provided me ample time of test batches of marble loaf pound cake, and I could not be more pleased with the results. This recipe for marble loaf pound cake makes an indulgent treat, sweet enough for dessert and dainty enough for breakfast, and yields one huge loaf that is plenty for you and your family to snack on all winter long.

Marble Loaf Pound Cake by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a moist and rich recipe for pound cake inspired by the chocolate marble loaf cake at Starbucks! This makes one big bread loaf that is perfect for breakfast or dessert. The recipe is topped with a chocolate ganache glaze. The vanilla and chocolate batter is swirled together to give a marbled look! Find the recipe for this southern style buttermilk pound cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Making the Pound Cake

To make it, we prepare two batters: one for the chocolate swirl and one for the vanilla. Both batters begin by creaming butter and sugar. Eggs and vanilla are added next, followed by the dry ingredients. To prepare the chocolate batter, we add just a touch of dark cocoa powder. Once completed, both batters are added to the pan in large scoops, and the loaf is marbled with the swirl of a knife. The whole thing bakes up into one giant, rich marble loaf pound cake.

The Ganache

If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can top the cake with a bit of chocolate ganache. The cake is totally delicious all on its own, but if you want it to stay true to the Starbucks original, it will require a chocolate glaze on top. Simply heat a small amount of whipping cream and stir it into semisweet chocolate chips. EASY!

Marble Loaf Pound Cake by The Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This is a moist and rich recipe for pound cake inspired by the chocolate marble loaf cake at Starbucks! This makes one big bread loaf that is perfect for breakfast or dessert. The recipe is topped with a chocolate ganache glaze. The vanilla and chocolate batter is swirled together to give a marbled look! Find the recipe for this southern style buttermilk pound cake on thewoodandspoon.com

No worries if you don’t have the right size loaf pan. You can prepare this marble loaf pound cake in a 9″ square cake pan or in a few mini loaf pans. Be sure to not overflow your pan with batter. Otherwise, you will have a burn-on-the-bottom-of-your-oven situation; I can promise you don’t want to deal with that. A square cake tastes just as good as a loaf, honest.

Give this marble loaf pound cake a whirl on these winter days. You most certainly won’t be disappointed. Have a great week and tune in on Friday for another recipe!

If you like this marble loaf pound cake, you should check out:

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Blueberries and Brown Butter Crumble

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Raspberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Lemon Almond Poppyseed Bundt Cake

Blueberry Cornbread

Carrot Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

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Marble Loaf Pound Cake

This marble loaf pound cake is a chocolate and vanilla swirled, rich Southern-style pound cake loaf! Perfect for breakfast or dessert!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1

Ingredients

For the vanilla batter:

  • ½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 gm) sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 gm) brown sugar
  • 11/2 large eggs, at room temperature (save the other half for the chocolate batter)
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • ¾ cup (100 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) whole fat buttermilk, at room temperature

For the chocolate batter:

  • ½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 gm) sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 gm) brown sugar
  • 11/2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup (20 gm) dark cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (65 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) whole fat buttermilk, at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Move a rack to the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a large 9.25” x 5.25” loaf pan with baking spray (see notes).
  2. Prepare the vanilla batter by creaming together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until nearly combined. Add the buttermilk and stir on low to combine. Set this batter aside while you prepare the chocolate batter.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for three minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the dry ingredients, mixing until the components are almost combined, and then add the buttermilk. Stir on low speed just until combined.
  4. Scoop 1/2 cup sized portions of the batters into the prepared pan, alternating regularly to achieve a marbled effect. Once all of the batter has been poured in, carefully smooth the top slightly, being careful not to muddy the colors of the batter too much. Insert a knife vertically into the batter and swirl back and forth about five or six times to get a good swirl throughout. Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted just barely comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan.

Notes

  • If you don’t have a loaf pan large enough for the batter, feel free to use a 9” square baking pan or pour extra batter into cupcake tins or a mini loaf tin. Be sure to not overflow a pan!

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