Posts made in April, 2022

Bready or Not: Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted by on Apr 27, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, cake, cheese galore, lemon | 0 comments

This Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting isn’t fancy. It’s a 9×13 cake cut in half and stacked. It has curves and straight edges. It also tastes amazing.

Bready or Not: Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is also an ideal cake for lemon-lovers. Two lemons are zested and juiced, their flavor infusing both the batter and frosting.

Bready or Not: Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The cream cheese frosting here is an absolute classic, too. This is a recipe where you definitely want to lick the beaters and the bowl afterward!

Bready or Not: Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I actually debated whether or not to post the cake on Bready or Not because it is so basic. After a lot of thought, though, I realized that simplicity is one of the perks.

Bready or Not: Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

It may not win awards for looks, sure. But does it taste good? YES.

Bready or Not: Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Modified from Food & Wine Magazine January 2021.

Bready or Not: Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is rustic and simple–a 9×13 cake, cut in half and stacked–with cream cheese frosting through the middle and all around the sides. There’s lemon juice and zest flavoring it throughout, making this an ideal treat for lemon-lovers. Modified from Food & Wine Magazine January 2021.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, cream cheese, lemon
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • 9×13 pan
  • uneven spatula
  • cooling rack
  • chopstick or skewer
  • hand mixer
  • parchment paper

Ingredients

Lemon Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 large lemons zested and juiced, to use for cake and frosting
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons honey

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (1 box) softened
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (half stick) softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

Make the lemon cake

  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray.
  • Mix together the white sugar and 1 Tablespoon of the lemon zest; reserve remaining zest for the frosting. Using fingertips, for about a minute rub zest into sugar to deploy the inherent oils. Whisk in the olive oil followed by the eggs. Add the milk, vanilla, and salt. Keep beating until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Beat in the flour and baking powder until just combined, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. Pour batter into the cake pan.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the middle passes the toothpick test. Let cake cool in pan about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and 3 Tablespoons of the lemon juice until smooth.
  • Invert the cake onto a large cooling rack. Stab cake all over with chopstick or skewer. Set a cookie sheet beneath the rack. Drizzle or brush the honey-lemon mix all over the cake. Let cool for about an hour.

Frosting

  • Combine cream cheese, salt, the rest of the lemon zest, and a Tablespoon of lemon juice; use rest of juice otherwise. With a hand mixer, beat on medium-high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the butter and beat until pale and fluffy, about a minute.
  • Reduce the speed and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Once it’s all in, increase the speed to high and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the cake to a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Use an uneven spatula to spread 1 1/2 cups frosting all over the top of the cake. Place cake in fridge to chill for 15-30 minutes. Once frosting has hardened. Slice in half crosswise and stack the halves. Spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of cake, getting all of the odd angles, nooks, and crannies.
  • Refrigerate cake, uncovered, at least 30 minutes before serving. For longer than that, cover with plastic wrap; it’ll keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days, and can also be frozen in individual slices. Serve cake right from fridge.

OM NOM NOM!

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    New publications for spring!

    Posted by on Apr 22, 2022 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

    I’m staying incredibly busy these days, and publishers are keeping busy, too. I’ve had a number of new works published of late! [Note that links to Amazon are through their affiliate program.]

    untethered

    Short stories

    Poetry

    • Four works nominated for the 2022 Rhysling Award and included in the anthology: long form “The Bookstore” and “Follow the Meandering Path”; short form “Field Trip to See the Mermaid” and “How to Find Yourself Again”
    • “Let’s Enjoy the Stars One Last Time” and “Today,” Star*Line 45.1
    • “Forget That,” Star*Line 45.2

    Nonfiction

    #SFWAPro

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    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Blondies (Redux)

    Posted by on Apr 20, 2022 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

    I first shared this recipe for Snickerdoodle Blondies back in 2015, so it’s time for a re-bake and repost, with shiny new pictures of these delicious things!

    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Blondies (Redux)

    These are thick, soft, and chewy bars, packed with snickerdoodle flavor. The top is crowed with cinnamon and sugar.

    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Blondies (Redux)

    Oh yes, and through the tender crumb are sporadic caramel chips–or cinnamon chips. This recipe is fantastic using either, or both. They add extra oomph without being overkill.

    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Blondies (Redux)

    The recipe makes a big 9×13 pan, so this is a good recipe to feed a crowd!

    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Blondies (Redux)

    Bready or Not Original: Snickerdoodle Blondies (Redux)

    These soft, chewy Snickerdoodle Blondies are everything a person loves about Snickerdoodles, in deluxe form!
    Course: Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: bars, snickerdoodle
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 9×13 pan
    • aluminum foil

    Ingredients

    Blondies

    • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) room temperature
    • 2 cups brown sugar packed
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2 large eggs room temperature
    • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 10 ounces caramel chips or cinnamon chips

    Topping

    • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    Instructions

    • Prepare a 9×13 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and applying nonstick spray. Preheat oven at 350-degrees.
    • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time.
    • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and baking powder. Gradually add the dry mix into the wet bowl. Once everything is mixed, add the bag of caramel or cinnamon chips.
    • Evenly spread the dough into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mix over the dough.
    • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Use the foil to lift out the contents and cut into bars. Store at room temperature. They will keep well for a few days if kept sealed.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not Original: Bread Machine Beer Bread Rolls

      Posted by on Apr 13, 2022 in alcohol, Blog, Bready or Not, yeast bread | 0 comments

      Your home bread machine makes delicious carbs super-easy with these Bread Machine Beer Bread Rolls!

      Bready or Not: Bread Machine Beer Bread Rolls

      First things first: the type of beer. You could try this with any number of beers, but I suggest a darker one. I’ve tried this with Kiltlifter (a major local beer in Arizona) and also Guinness. Guinness definitely created rolls that were darker with a deeper flavor. I have not tried this with a nonalcoholic beer.

      Bready or Not: Bread Machine Beer Bread Rolls

      Really, choose a beer that will go well with the meal. Don’t worry about alcohol amounts in the final product, either. It’ll burn off in the baking process. Also, you don’t have to like beer to like these rolls. I do not like beer (seriously, I really do not like beer) but I do enjoy the hoppy flavor it imbues in this bread!

      Bready or Not: Bread Machine Beer Bread Rolls

      A food scale will be an immense help in creating like-sized rolls. I’ve used this recipe to make medium-sized rolls, good for a butter-lacquered side dish, as well as big rolls suitable for BBQ-sauce shredded pork or other heaped-on fixings.

      Bready or Not: Bread Machine Beer Bread Rolls

      The rolls are fantastic fresh and will keep fine for a few days, and they are great to freeze. If you freeze them soon after they come out from the oven, they will taste just that fresh when you later thaw them!

      Bready or Not: Bread Machine Beer Bread Rolls

      Bready or Not Original: Bread Machine Beer Bread Rolls

      Beer works along with dry yeast to add loft, texture, and depth of flavor in these soft, delicious rolls. Divide the recipe however you wish–you can divide by 11 to get medium-sized rolls for a supper side dish, or by 6 to get rolls big enough for hearty sandwiches.
      Course: Bread
      Keyword: alcohol, bread machine, yeast bread
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • bread machine
      • food thermometer
      • food scale

      Ingredients

      • 12 ounces dark beer such as Kiltlifter or Guinness
      • 1/2 cup water
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
      • 4 to 4 1/2 cups bread flour plus more for dusting
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast

      Instructions

      • This may be a travesty for some, but place the beer and water in a large microwave-safe dish. Give the liquid a brief zap in the microwave to raise the temperature to 100 to 110-degrees. Place in the pan of the bread machine. Add the salt, 4 cups bread flour, and yeast. Start the machine on the dough setting.
      • Check on the dough as it begins mixing. If your bread machine allows, as the cycle is on-going, add more flour if the dough looks too loose, or add a touch more water if it is too dense and lumpy.
      • When the cycle is done, weight the dough and do the math to divide into rolls of desired size. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough with the help of the food scale, shaping and smoothing each piece into a roll. Set spaced out on sheet.
      • Cover dough balls with plastic wrap or towels and set in a place to rise, 30 minutes to an hour.
      • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Remove cover from dough and baking sheet. For medium rolls, bake for around 24 minutes; for larger rolls, bake for about 28 minutes. Check for doneness by tapping rolls and listening for a hollow sound, or plunge the food thermometer into a discreet place to verify the temperature in the middle if above 190-degrees.
      • Cool at least 20 minutes before eating. Rolls will keep in a sealed bag at room temperature for up to 2 days, and can also be frozen to enjoy much later.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

        Posted by on Apr 6, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, chocolate | 0 comments

        The Triple-Marble Pound Cake is tender, soft, and has three incredible complementary flavors combined in one cake. It’s not hard to make, either, though it does dirty a few extra dishes.

        Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

        Oh yes, and it’s pretty, too. The interior reminds me of a calico cat!

        Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

        Something I really like about this recipe is that it is no-frills. The flavors are all built into the dough itself. There’s no need for frosting or glaze. The end result is a nice, tidy slice. You can throw it in a sandwich bag or some plastic wrap, and this is great as a to-go snack of treat. It might get crushed, but it won’t melt (and that is always a concern in Arizona!).

        Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

        The cake keeps well, too. Store it sealed at room temperature for up to four days. It’s also fantastic to freeze in slices to enjoy later.

        Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

        Greatly modified from Bake from Scratch Sep/Oct 2020.

        Bready or Not: Triple-Marble Pound Cake

        This pound cake is marbled with three colorful flavors: chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. The texture is tender but still durable, making this a great cake to slice and take as a snack on the go!
        Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
        Keyword: cake, caramel, chocolate, loaf cake
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • 9×5 loaf pan
        • parchment paper
        • food scale

        Ingredients

        • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 and a half sticks) softened
        • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
        • 3 large eggs room temperature
        • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
        • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
        • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt or sour cream
        • 1/4 cup jarred caramel or dulce de leche
        • 1/3 cup dark chocolate melted and cooled slightly
        • 1 Tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder sifted
        • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

        Instructions

        • Preheat oven at 300-degrees. Cut a piece of parchment to fit like a sling inside the pan, extending up both long sides. Apply butter or nonstick spray in the pan, then set the parchment inside and spray it again.
        • Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beating well after each addition.
        • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients in with the wet, adding in the yogurt/sour cream as well.
        • Either by using a food scale or by eyeballing, divide the dough into three roughly equal portions.
        • If the caramel/dulce de leche is stiff, microwave briefly in a microwave-safe bowl to make it looser. Mix that into one portion of dough.
        • Add the cocoa powder with the melted chocolate, and fold that into a second portion of dough until the color is even throughout.
        • To the third portion, mix in the vanilla to completely incorporate.
        • Set a tablespoon with each portion. Scoop vanilla and chocolate to form a checkerboard-like formation in the bottom of the loaf pan. Add scoops of caramel dough sporadically over top. Tap pan to settle the dough. Repeat, mixing up the pattern so that different colors are near each other, tapping the pan on occasion. Once all of the dough is in the pan, use a butter knife to gently swirl for an extra marbling effect on the top. Tap pan again to level and work out bubbles.
        • Bake for 1 hour 40 minutes. Check the middle with a toothpick. If it’s still wet, bake longer, checking every few minutes for doneness. Once it passes the test, let cool on stove top for 10 minutes, then use the parchment sling to lift the loaf onto a rack to cool completely.
        • Cake can be served warm or at room temperature. It will keep for up to 4 days in a sealed container. It can also be frozen in slices for later enjoyment.

        OM NOM NOM!

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