Category Archives: Cakes/Coffe Cakes

Pumpkin Pound Cake

The cooler autumn weather is great for baking and I love to bake pumpkin-flavored things this time of year. I wanted to make something fairly simple and this Pumpkin Pound Cake recipe I found at the Taste of Home site sounded like just the thing to bake! I made a few changes to the original recipe and may have over-baked it slightly because the edges came out a little dark, but otherwise I thought this pound cake was really good. It has a good buttery flavor and the dusting of powdered sugar on top adds just the right amount of sweetness. The cake itself has a lighter pumpkin flavor and isn’t overly spicy, so even if you or your family aren’t crazy about pumpkin bread, you make like this pound cake.

Another nice thing about this recipe is that it makes two loaves! One for now, one for later, or one to keep and one to give. I’m sure this would also make a nice bundt cake, too. The baking time might be a little longer, but you can check it after 60 minutes and see how it’s doing!

PUMPKIN POUND CAKE by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes two 9×5″ loaves

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • Optional: powdered sugar for dusting on top

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour two 9×5″ loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, cream softened butter and sugar. Add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Add dry ingredients, half at a time, to the butter/sugar mixture in large bowl, then stir in the pumpkin puree until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans and bake at 350˚F for 60 to 62 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean or almost clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

I have lots of other pumpkin recipes I want to try–way more than I will have time to make! What kind of pumpkin-flavored desserts have you been making?

Sharing at Weekend Potluck.

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Blueberry Almond Pound Cake

I found some blueberries at a really good price at my local market, so it was the perfect time to make this Blueberry Almond Pound Cake! If you like blueberries, you will need to try this–it’s so moist, dense, and rich! You can also use frozen blueberries in this cake, but the baking time will be slightly longer. I prefer using fresh blueberries because the frozen berries tend to give the batter a blue-ish color. The almonds and almond extract give this pound cake a really nice flavor and the glaze adds a little extra sweetness. Serve it for dessert at dinner or at a brunch with coffee or tea.

BLUEBERRY ALMOND POUND CAKE by NancyC

Makes one 10″ bundt cake

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup sliced or coarsely chopped almonds
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed

ALMOND GLAZE

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream), depending on desired consistency
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced or coarsely chopped almonds for garnish (you can lightly toast them if you prefer)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10″ bundt pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend butter, cream cheese, almond extract, and sugar until mixture is creamy and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and blend well after each addition.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to creamy mixture and mix well.

Stir in sliced almonds, mixing to evenly distribute in batter and then gently fold in the blueberries and blend evenly into the batter. Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake 50 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean (do not overtake, or cake will be dry).

Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan onto a serving plate (you may need to loosen the edges of the cake from the pan a little with a knife). Let cake cool completely.

While cake is cooling, mix the glaze ingredients and after cake cools, drizzle glaze over the cake. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Makes about 8-10 servings.

Have you been enjoying fresh blueberries this summer too? What kind of blueberry baked goods have you been making lately?

Sharing at Meal Plan Monday, Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday. What’s for Dinner Sunday, Happiness is Homemade.

Summer Squash Cake

Summer Squash Cake @ NancyCJust about everyone I know who has a garden grows summer squash. Summer squash usually grows really well, so home gardeners often have an abundance of it—which is really nice if you have lots of good recipes to use it in, like zucchini bread, for example, or a yummy squash casserole! Here’s another really good squash recipe that I found in  Farm-to-Table Desserts. If you’re a vegetable gardener or love to shop at your local farmer’s market, you’ll enjoy this cookbook that shows you how to make yummy treats with fresh, organic ingredients.  Continue reading

Carrot Cake

When I think of Amish food, I think of good, homestyle comfort food. That’s why I was interested in reviewing the recently published Amish Community Cookbook: Simply Delicious Recipes from Amish and Mennonite Homes. I was in the mood for some comfort food and there are lots of comfort food-type recipes in this book…breakfast items, casseroles, main dishes, sides, and desserts. I thought I’d try the Carrot Cake because I really love carrot cake and this one sounded really easy to make.

It was easy, but there are some positives and negatives to this recipe. The positives are that it tastes great, and it has three–yes, three–cups of shredded carrots in it. All those cups of carrots made me feel a little better about eating this cake. The cream cheese icing, which I turned into a thicker frosting, is really good too (but not healthy at all)!

The negative thing about this recipe is that it sunk in the middle when I made it. It was higher at the edges and lower in the middle. I made a batch-and-a-half of frosting to fill in the sunken middle and make the cake appear level. And sprinkled the top with chopped pecans. So it ended up looking fine. I’m not sure if the sunken middle was due to something I did wrong or if it always turns out that way. So if you try this, you’ll have to let me know if your cake sunk or not!

At any rate, everyone I shared this cake with loved it. So I guess that’s the most important thing!

CARROT CAKE adapted from Amish Community Cookbook

Makes a 9×13″ cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups (granulated) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups oil (this may be too much oil; just try 1 cup and the cake may not sink in the middle!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

CREAM CHEESE ICING

(Note: I made a batch and a half of the frosting to have enough to generously cover the cake and the sunken middle: 3/4 cup butter, 4.5 ounces cream cheese, 3 tsp. vanilla, 6 cups powdered sugar; I also topped the frosting with 1/3 cup chopped pecans. Below is the original icing recipe from the book)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar or more as needed for consistency (I used 4 cups of powdered sugar because I wanted a thicker frosting)

In large bowl, beat eggs well. Add sugar, beat until creamy. Beat in oil and vanilla. Stir in carrots.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Add dry ingredients to egg/sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Pour into ungreased 9×13-inch pan and bake at 350˚F for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Spread with cream cheese icing. Keep cake refrigerated.

If you’ve looked over this recipe and have any ideas why this cake may have sunken in the middle and how to fix that, be sure to let me know! Even with the sunken middle though, I would make this again because it really does taste good. If you’re a carrot cake fan, I’m sure you will like this! Have you made carrot cake before and do you have a favorite recipe for it?

Sharing this at Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

Ricotta Pound Cake

Ricotta Pound Cake II @ NancyCHello there, friends! Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers these past few months–your comments on my last post were so thoughtful and encouraging. I have spent a lot of time resting and recharging during this time and it was just what I needed. I’m doing much better now. So I’m back from my blogging break with a pound cake recipe to share!

I don’t use ricotta cheese very often, but I did use it for something recently and I had some extra ricotta in my fridge. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but then I came across a recipe for Ricotta Pound Cake at Epicurious. It sounded like the perfect thing to try! I made a few small changes to the recipe and thought it tasted really good. A few things to note: The top of the loaf browns a little, and the sides of the loaf brown a lot–but the dusting of powdered sugar covers the top and the deliciousness of the slightly crispy edges are a nice contrast to the moist, buttery texture and flavor of the inside. And thankfully, the dark edges do not have a burnt taste like I thought they would. I fully expected them to, and it’s a mystery to me why the edges don’t taste burnt. My loaf also sank just very slightly in the middle–maybe because I had taken it out of the oven a little too early and put it back in–but that little indention was the perfect place to add in a few strawberries!

RICOTTA POUND CAKE by NancyC, adapted from Epicurious

Makes one 9″ loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk or part skim ricotta cheese (drain any excess liquid)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for dusting on top
  • Optional: fresh strawberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9″ loaf pan.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter, ricotta, and sugar until smooth. Beat eggs in one at a time, then blend in the vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture to the butter/ricotta mixture, blending everything well.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, smoothing evenly with a spatula.

Gently whack the pan on the counter to remove air pockets. Bake at 350˚F for 46 to 50 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (you shouldn’t have to bake it more than 50 minutes). Cool in loaf pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate and let cake cool completely. When cooled, dust top of loaf with powdered sugar and add some strawberries in the center of the loaf, if desired.

Ricotta Pound Cake @ NancyCIf I hadn’t had that extra ricotta in my fridge, I may never have tried making this pound cake! I’m so glad I did–I love the rich buttery flavor and how the ricotta makes the cake so good and moist. Do you use ricotta in any of your dessert recipes?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday.