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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Spiced Pumpkin Crumb Cake

Photo Dec 05, 2 18 04 PM

2017-12-04 18.43.07

This dessert is one of my family’s favorites. I do want to explain why I take help from my local grocery store when I’m making any type of cake. In the past, I’ve mentioned using box cake mixes. It saves time, most importantly, there are great box cake mixes out there. They’ve come a long way in their quality and variety. I mean, why would you break out the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and or cocoa powder, when all these ingredients are already measured and mixed for you!

I start with a basic box cake mix and build a flavor profile of the type of cake I’m looking to make. For example; If I’m making a chocolate cake, adding brewed coffee will enhance the chocolate flavor. I also like to add Ricotta cheese to cake batter. These ingredients, that I’ve mentioned. ultimately enhance or make for a more tender cake.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Total Time: 45-55 minutes (Baking time may vary depending on the type and size of the pan you use)
Equipment: parchment paper, 8 inch or 9 inch square pan
Yields: 9 slices

Ingredients:
For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of cake flour
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup of chopped pecans (optional)
1 stick (8 tablespoons), melted unsalted butter

For the pumpkin spice cake:
1 box vanilla cake mix (16.5 OZ)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4  cup granulated sugar
1 cup of canned pumpkin pie mix
1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup water
pinch of Kosher salt
1 heaping teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
powdered sugar for garnish

Directions:
For the topping: Using a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, cake flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir with a spatula until a thick crumble forms. Allow to sit while preparing the cake.

For the cake batter: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 8 or 9 in pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper. Note: This will allow for easy removal, also spray parchment paper with baking spray.

In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add oil, vanilla extract, sugars, pumpkin pie mix puree, and ricotta cheese. Once the mixture is smooth, add 1 egg at a time until incorporated.

In a medium size bowl, add the box cake mix, pumpkin pie spice, and Kosher salt. Whisk these ingredients together. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix! Note: If you are doing this by hand, you can use a spatula to fold  the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading into an even layer. Cover with the crumb mixture. If need break up the larger crumbs into smaller ones.

Place into oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until cake tester, inserted into the center, comes out clean, and the center of the cake barely jiggles. Remove from oven and let cool in the loaf pans for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Top the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar.

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Vanilla, Cream Cheese Pound Cake With A Sweet Whipped Ricotta Cheese Topping

2018-04-09 16.26.37

2018-04-09 16.26.57

This is a dessert that anyone can make from scratch without feeling intimidated by the process.

2018-04-09 16.26.40

Prep Time: 5 minutes ( mixing batter)
Cook Time 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes
Inactive Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time:  2 hours 15 minutes
Equipment: two-8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2- inch loaf pans
Electric mixer

Ingredients:
Non-stick baking spray
4 tablespoons of Turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
3 cups of sifted cake flour (measured after sifted)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups of Ricotta cheese
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup powdered sugar
fresh mint for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325  degrees F. Spray two non-stick metal loaf pans with non- stick spray. Sprinkle the insides of the pans with the Turbinado sugar, tilting the pans to cover evenly.

Place the butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar in the bow of and electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure ingredients are well mixed. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl before adding the next egg. Mix in the vanilla extract and vanilla seeds.

Combine the cake flour and salt in a large bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, scraping down the bowl and the beater with a rubber spatula. Mix the batter with the spatula to be sure everything is well mixed.

Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans, smooth the tops, and bake in the  center rack of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Cake is done when tooth pick or cake tester gadget, inserted into center of the cake come out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto a baking rack and cook for another 30 minutes

To serve, slice and add a dollop of the sweet Ricotta cream to the top and garnish with fresh mint.

 

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My Easy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Pie

Photo Mar 16, 11 36 49 AM

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 24 hours (chill overnight)
Yields : 2 pies, 8 servings per pie
Ingredients:
4 cups of quartered Reese’s peanut butter cups
2 containers of your favorite chocolate chip ice cream
2 ready made short bread pie crusts

Directions:
In a large bowl, scoop out all the ice cream from the two container. Allow to soften for 15 minutes. Chop the Reese’s cups into quarter pieces. First, sprinkle about 1/4 cup of chopped Reese’s cups over each of the pie crust. Mix the rest of the Reese’s cups in with the softened ice cream. Scoop out equal amounts of ice cream into each pie crust. Place the plastic covers ( they come with the pie crusts) back on the each of  the pies, and freeze overnight.

Tip: When ready to cut pies, place a large knife into very hot water. Score the top of the pies into the eight slices. This will make for even slices.

 

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Creamsicle Cupcakes And Creamsicle Frosting Topped With Candied Oranges

2016-09-03-20-20-20

2016-09-03-15-30-26

Do you remember that distinct musical sound that came from a loud speaker proudly displayed on the top of a white truck? You could hear them, those wonderful musical tones, before even seeing anything coming down your street. I believe they planned it that way, giving you, just enough, time to run in and ask your parents for money to buy and ice cream! Those were great childhood memories. I would always get the creamsicle, it was my favorite! Today I relived those memories with my creamsicle cupcakes topped with candied oranges.

I do want to let my readers know, in the pictures,  I made 3 boxes of cake mix, yielding around 72 of these cupcakes, celebrating two birthdays, for co-workers. My recipe below is for 24 cupcakes, 1 box. It’s really important to note, anytime you want to make more than one box, only mix one box mix at a time. After the completion of the box mix then you can combine them together in one large bowl. The frosting you can mix all the ingredients at one time together, no problem!

I’m start with the candied oranges.

 

Creamsicle cupcakes:
Equipment: cupcake pan, paper liners
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes ( follow the cook time on the back of the cake box)
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
1 Box Duncan Hines French Vanilla
3  room temperature egg whites ( large eggs)
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of Orange Crush soda ( this replaces the water from the box instructions)
1/3 cup of room temperature Ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons of Orange Jello Mix

Ingredients for Creamsicle Frosting:
2 sticks of room temperature unsalted butter
3 cups of powdered sugar
1-3 tablespoons of Orange Crush Soda
2 tablespoons of Orange Jello Mix

Directions for Creamsicle Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. In one large bowl mix egg whites, Ricotta cheese, vegetable oil, jello mix, and Orange Crush soda. Once all these ingredients are well combined, slowly add in the dry cake mix, stirring ( do not over mix) until just combined. Fill the liners 3/4 of the way full and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on sheet pans with cooling racks.

Directions for Creamsicle Frosting:
In a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, whip butter until light and fluffy. Add in jello mix. Next, gradually add in the powdered sugar a little at a time. Finally, add in the Orange Crush Soda as needed to reach the desired consistency. Pipe the frosting ( using piping bag and preferred tip) on the cooled cupcakes.

Candied Oranges:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour (stove top)
Bake Time: 2 hours @ 200 degrees F. (leave in the oven 1 extra hour with oven off)
Total Cook Time: 4 hours
Equipment: 3-1/4 sheet pans with racks, aluminum foil

Ingredients:
1 orange yields:  around 25 triangles
3 navel oranges sliced into rounds around 1/8 inch thick. Discard seeds and ends.
Large bowl of ice water
3 cups of granulated sugar
3 cups of water
6 tablespoons of orange juice
Turbinado sugar

Directions for candied oranges:
Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring a large sauce pan with water to a boil and add in orange slices. Boil for 1 minute then place the orange slices in the bowl of ice water to shock and stop the cooking process. Once the orange slices have cooled, drain and place them into a large container and set them aside.

In another large sauce pan over medium heat, bring 3 cups of water, 3 cups of sugar, and 6 tablespoons of orange juice just to a boil. Heat until sugar has dissolved stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to med-low and place the orange slices into the sugar-water. Simmer ( do not boil) the orange slices for 1 hour, until the rinds are slightly translucent, turning the slices over every 15 minutes.

Place racks on sheet pans lined with foil and lay the orange slices in single layer on the racks. Sprinkle each of the orange slices with Turbinado sugar. In a preheated 200 degree oven F., place the racks of oranges into the oven for 2 hours. This process will dry the candied oranges out so they are not so sticky. Turn the oven off and do not open the oven for an extra hour.

I’ve made extra candies oranges in this recipe and that’s because I want to use only the best looking ones as toppers and, at the end of the day, the cooks needs a treat too! Once the candied oranges have come out of the oven after the 3 hours, slice the candied oranges into triangle. Do this by using a paring knife and start at the center of the circle using the segment lines within the circle, cut into triangles.For appearance reasons, use only the best ones to place on top of each cup cake. Each circle yields around 5 triangles.

 

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