Tag Archives: cake

Espresso-Brown Butter Banana Bundt Cake


For the cake:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup finely mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons espresso powder
2/3 cup chocolate chips (dark or milk work great here)

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2–1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk


Heat the oven to 350F degrees.

Butter and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, cook it slowly, letting it bubble, until it smells nutty or like butterscotch and turns a deep golden hue, 5 to 10 minutes. Let the butter cool until it’s warm, 5 to 10 min.

Once the butter is cool, transfer it to a large bowl and whisk in the sugar and eggs until nice and smooth. Then stir in mashed bananas, vanilla and salt.

Sift the flour, baking soda and expresso powder directly onto the batter; stir just to combine. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan, spreading it evenly with the rubber spatula. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it, about 45 min.

Set the pan on a rack to cool for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and remove the pan. Let cool completely.

To make the glaze, stir together the powdered sugar, espresso powder, vanilla and milk. Use more espresso powder if you like a stronger coffee flavor. Adjust with milk and/or powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over completely cool bundt cake.

Cast Iron Pumpkin Cranberry Cake

If you’d like to make this and you Don’t need to adjust for high altitude make the following changes: increase granulated sugar to 2 full cups, decrease vanilla extract to 1 1/2 teaspoons, increase baking soda to 1 3/4 teaspoons, and increase baking powder to 2 1/2 teaspoons. Follow directions as is.


For the cake:

4 eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate OR 15 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries


Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Prepare 10-inch cast iron skillet with a touch of butter if your pan isn’t seasoned. Otherwise let it be!

In a medium bowl sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin puree, orange juice concentrate or essential oil, sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Mix well with wire whisk.

Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and with a wooden spoon mix just until combined. Stir in chopped cranberries.

Pour batter into cast iron and bake until done about 35-40 minutes. Let cool on rack for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Note: For 10 inch dutch oven to bake at 350F use 14 charcoals on top and 7 around the bottom.

link to chart:

Lunch Lady Brownies

A cross between a brownie and cake, these are perfectly fudgy.
Yield: 24 brownies


for the brownies:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

for the chocolate icing:

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
small pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Grease a 9×13 pan with either cooking spray or butter; set aside.

Melt butter in a medium sized pan over medium heat.

Add cocoa powder and sugar. Use a whisk until smooth. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla extract. Lastly, stir in flour and salt just until combined.

Pour batter into a prepared baking pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean taking care not to over bake. Remove brownies from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. You want frost the brownies while they’re still warm.

To make the icing, beat all ingredients until smooth. Spread evenly over still warm brownies and then let cool completely before cutting into 4 squares.

Author’s notes: Apparently this recipe (or a variation close to) originated from a sweet lunch lady in Idaho over 50 years ago. It’s such a simple recipe- I literally use one pan – and the ingredients are basic and familiar.

You could easily add some espresso powder or mint extract if you want to jazz these up.

High Altitude Chocolate Bundt Cake

A tried and true high altitude recipe for Chocolate Bundt Cake.


for the cake:

1 tablespoon butter for buttering the pan
1 1/4 cups strong coffee, just barely warm
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup flavorless oil such as grape seed, avocado, or vegetable
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup full fat, plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

for the frosting:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Use the 1 tablespoon butter to thoroughly butter a 10-inch bundt cake pan, using your fingers to get in all the nuks and crannies. Use a tablespoon of cocoa powder or flour to coat the bundt pan- shaking it back and forth- to coat the pan; set aside.

Put the coffee and cocoa powder in a small bowl and stir until cocoa is dissolved.

In an electric mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment, mix together the sugar, oil, salt, baking soda, and eggs on low speed about 30 seconds. Add the buttermilk, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract and mix for another 30 seconds. Add the flour and stir just until combined. Add the cocoa/coffee mixture mix on high speed until well incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 60 minutes or until cake is done. You can test it by inserted a clean toothpick in the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Remove from oven.

Let cake cool for 10-15 minutes in pan before removing it to cool on a cooling rack.

While cake cools, prepare frosting as you want to pour it over a slightly warm cake.

To make the frosting, melt butter, milk, and cocoa powder over medium heat. Stir frequently until chocolate is smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar until there are no more lumps. Pour frosting over barely warm bundt cake, taking care to cover the cake evenly. It’s cool if the frosting pools in the center of the bundt cake – easier to stick your finger in!

Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.

Author’s note: While it could totally handle some add-ins like mini chocolate chips, or chopped up peanut butter cups, or even some crushed up Oreos, I like it just the way it is. I’ve made it minus the icing- and served it just with a sprinkle of powdered sugar – but I like it best with the icing. The cake + the icing = the perfect combo.

High Altitude Spice Cake


2 c all purpose flour
1/4 c cornstarch
1 c sugar (-1 tblspn)
1 tsp baking powder (-1/8 tsp)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c shortening, butter flavor
1 c buttermilk
3 eggs
1/4 tsp allspice, ground


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 9 inch round cake pans.

Sift together flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon and allspice into a large bowl. Add shortening, buttermilk and eggs, beat for 2 minutes on high. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done.

Frost with a cream cheese frosting.

Easter Peek-a-Boo Pound Cake

High Altitude Pound Cake


2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup butter
10 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Break eggs into another bowl.

Add butter and cream with beater.

Add milk to the eggs and butter; mix.

Beat together the butter and egg mixture with the flour mixture on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Add milk, lemon essential oil, and vanilla.

Beat batter on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch loaf pans.

Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely with cake upright in the pan.
— — —

Assembling the Peek-a-Boo Cake

You will need

1 recipe of pound cake
cookie cutter of your choice that is not taller than your pan
food coloring of your choice


Mix up one recipe of pound cake batter. Do not bake at this point.

Divide batter in half and tint one half to your desired color, leaving the other half uncolored.

Pour colored batter into 1 9-inch loaf pan and bake according to recipe directions.

Cover the uncolored half and set aside until ready to use.

When colored cake is baked, allow to cool completely.

Slice cake into slices as wide as your cookie cutter.

Use your cookie cutter to cut a shape out of each slice.


Spoon a thin layer of uncolored cake batter onto the bottom of a greased and floured 9-inch loaf pan.

Carefully place cut-outs down the middle of the pan and place them as close together as possible.

Spoon remaining batter over the cut-outs. You may find you don’t need to use all the batter. (I found it easier to keep the shapes from tipping or breaking by using a piping bag to squeeze the batter around the shapes.)

Bake at 350F for another 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

High Altitude Vanilla Bean Cake

Adjusted for high altitudes above 3,500



2 cups + 2 Tbl all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/3 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup full-fat yogurt
1/2 cup boiling water

Strawberry Rose Swiss Meringue Buttercream

2/3 cup egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups or 3 cubes unsalted butter cut into 1 tbl. cubes or slices
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup strawberry puree
1/8- 1/4 teaspoon rose water extract


To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Generously coat 3 6-inch round baking pans. Set aside .

Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

Slice vanilla bean in half, with the back of a knife scrape seeds from the pod. Mix into the sugar.

In the bowl of an electric mixer or other mixing bowl, add vanilla sugar and butter. Cream together.

Slowly mix in oil. Beat for 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time. Mix until light yellow in color.

Add the flour alternately with yogurt beginning and ending with flour.

Beat in boiling water.

Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned and cake springs back when touched.

Remove from oven. Allow cakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto a cooling rack. Cook completely. Cakes may be wrapped and frozen for up to 2 weeks.

To make Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

In a very clean bowl of an electric mixer, add egg whites and sugar. Place over a simmering pot of water, stirring constantly until temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Rub a small amount of the mixture between two fingers to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Using the whisk attachment, beat until the mixture is a thick meringue and the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch. The bowl must be cool before adding the butter.

Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment. With the mixture on medium-low speed add butter once slice at a time until all of the butter has been incorporated. The mixture should be silky smooth and thick. The mixture may begin to look curdled, keep mixing until it is smooth. This can take 10 minutes or so. Mix in salt and vanilla. Add strawberry puree and rose water extract. Once puree is added keep mixing until mixture is silky again.

Recipe Notes

If you live at lower elevation levels, make the following adjustments. Delete 2 tablespoons flour and Add 2 tablespoons extra sugar, increase baking soda to 2 teaspoons.