Archive for October, 2013

The way to a man’s heart is with Streusel

October 27, 2013


As usual my husband hinted at a potential coffeecake this weekend. I hadn’t made one in a while and he said what if there was a recipe for cinnamon swirl coffeecake with caramel frosting he would love that. My google search did not pan out with the frosting part but I am sure I could invent a frosting to add to a future recipe. What I did come upon was cinnamon streusel coffeecake from my reliable recipe buddy – King Arthur Flour. I had all the ingredients in the house, a rare occurrence, so I set to work. There were a lot of steps, it was not complicated, just a lot of work. But it was well worth it for this ridiculously delish cake. The cake had so many layers of flavor and yumminess. The crumb topping, the streusel filling, the moist cake – all combined to make a definite recipe box entry. If you are having a well deserved lazy weekend like we did and you are craving a sweet treat, skip the store bought crumb cake and whip this up for a real treat!

Cinnamon Streusel Coffeecake

Streusel topping

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (if you use unsalted butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted  (note, my topping was a bit dry, I’ll add more butter next time or mix it together better, my pint sized assistant was in charge of this step)


  • 1 cup brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder


  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt (1 ¼ teaspoons if you use unsalted butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (anything from skim to whole)
  • 3 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan, or two 9″ round cake pans.
2) Make the topping by whisking together the sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter, stirring till well combined. Set the topping aside.
3) Make the filling by mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Note that the cocoa powder is used strictly for color, not flavor; leave it out if you like. Set it aside.
4) To make the cake: In a large bowl, beat together the butter, salt, sugars, baking powder, and vanilla until well combined and smooth.
5) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6) In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream or yogurt and milk till well combined. You don’t need to whisk out all the lumps.
7) Add the flour to the butter mixture alternately with the milk/sour cream mixture, beating gently to combine.
8) Pour/spread half the batter (a scant 3 cups) into the prepared pan(s), spreading all the way to the edges. If you’re using two 9″ round pans, spread 1 1/3 cups batter in each pan.
9) Sprinkle the filling evenly atop the batter.
10) Spread the remaining batter atop the filling. Use a table knife to gently swirl the filling into the batter, as though you were making a marble cake. Don’t combine filling and batter thoroughly; just swirl the filling through the batter.
11) Sprinkle the topping over the batter in the pan.
12) Bake the cake until it’s a dark golden brown around the edges; medium-golden with no light patches showing on top, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes for the 9″ x 13″ pan, 50 to 55 minutes for the 9″ round pans. When pressed gently in the middle, the cake should spring back.
13) Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve cake right from the pan.

Cupcake Sandwiches

October 7, 2013


I love trying out new recipes. Especially ones I collected eons ago and I rediscover. This one was from one of my favorite hunky Chefs, Michael Chiarello. I had printed it several years ago and stuck it in my must try someday binder, which often goes forgotten. I was looking for something tasty and sweet to make for Sofia’s birthday party last weekend and I happened upon this magical recipe for cupcake sandwiches. Think decadent moist chocolate cupcakes split in half and filled with homemade chocolate mousse, whipped cream, sprinkles and mini candies – that is not your typical “sandwich”. We used mini rolos, mini kit kats and reese’s pieces for the candies and some rainbow sprinkles.

This was my first foray into making homemade mousse, something my readers know I love – a challenge. The mousse was simple to make but did not come together as creamy as I would have liked so I definitely need more practice. It tasted delicious so that is what mattered. Also the recipe said to bake the cakes for 30 minutes but I always test my cupcakes about 8 minutes early (my secret to not dry cake) and they were done at 22 mins, so be sure to check yours.  This cake recipe would be delicious to use without the candy and mousse if you wanted to frost and use a new chocolate cupcake recipe. The superfine sugar, cake flour and mayo really made for a scrumptious cake.

Sad to report most of the kids threw theirs away, probably too gourmet for a kids birthday party in retrospect, but the grownups liked them. Also Sofia ate every last crumb, love that little foodie! If I made them again I would probably make them a bit more fancy and for a grownup event. So if you want a new take on cupcakes with a beautiful presentation or want to do something cool for an upcoming holiday party you need to check this recipe out!

Chocolate Cupcake Sandwiches with Easy Chocolate Mousse

1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
Easy Chocolate Mousse, recipe follows or chocolate frosting,
Whipped cream
Assorted candy pieces like chopped candy bars, chocolate chips, sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fill a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.

Combine cocoa powder and water and mix until smooth. Fold in mayonnaise. (Make sure cocoa mixture is not to hot to prevent breaking of mayonnaise). Add vanilla and whisk until smooth.

In mixer, combine sugar, cake flour, baking soda and salt and mix slowly until well incorporated. Add wet cocoa mixture, mix on medium-high until well blended. Scrape down the sides and blend for 30 seconds.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 way full of batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (Mine were done in 22, even with oven at 350). Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack.

Slice each cupcake in half, horizontally, and serve the halves with chocolate mousse, whipped cream, and assorted candy toppings. Kids build the sandwiches by spreading one half of a cupcake with mousse or whipped cream, sprinkling on candy toppings and placing other half of cupcake on top.

Easy Chocolate Mousse:
13 ounces bitter or semisweet chocolate

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large egg yolks

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons superfine sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and the butter. Heat in the microwave until melted, about 35 seconds depending on your microwave, and stir to melt completely. Whisk in the egg yolks and set aside to cool.

Pour the cream into a chilled bowl of a mixer and beat on medium speed until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk until the cream starts to form stiff peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Read more at: