Tag Archives: Brown Sugar

Apple Pecan Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

I always have an eye out in whatever newspaper I am reading, hoping to run across new recipes that sound inviting, and spotted the recipe for this apple spice cake in our local Southeast Missourian newspaper several weeks ago and first made it to take to Deer Camp weekend in Kentucky in mid-November.  Though this cake does beautifully chilled in the refrigerator, this one barely made it through the first day of Deer Camp.

If your cake is allowed to sit, the chopped apples mellow and the spices mingle, producing a moist, dense cake packed with flavor.  Chop the apples into small pieces and chop the pecans coarsely for the best results.  Cinnamon and nutmeg season the apples perfectly, providing a taste of autumn in every bite.

You don’t need a stand mixer, but be prepared with a strong arm to thoroughly mix and fold all batter ingredients.  A hand electric mixer is all you need for preparing the frosting, but do beat the mixture until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved, at least five minutes.  The cake does require refrigerating once frosted, but after that, the amount of leftovers is up to you and your guests.  If you have any at all, keep the cake refrigerated.

Whether you are cooking for a crowd or a special family meal, you will have a hard time finding a cake more satisfying, more evocative of autumn and its blessings, than this concoction.  I hope you will try it soon and let me know how you like it.

Apple Pecan Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting


4 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped small
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup Wesson oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped


1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup golden brown sugar

Directions Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×13” baking pan. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine apples and sugar. Stir in oil, eggs, and vanilla. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the flour mixture to the apple mixture. Add milk and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Add chopped pecans. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.

For frosting: Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add butter and continue to beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla and brown sugar. Beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved. Spread evenly on top of cake. Refrigerate after frosting.

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

hot milk sponge cake blog and FB

Today’s Hot Milk Sponge Cake turned out tasting every bit as good as it sounds! This simple and economical cake is a breeze to make and the results are nothing short of delicious. The recipe is from a baking book printed by General Foods Kitchens in 1960 and I can easily imagine this cake being tucked into someone’s lunchbox all week. It is a cake that will improve with age and so a 9×13″ pan full will go a long way for you and your family.

I used my stand mixer to beat the eggs and finish preparing the batter. You can certainly make it using a hand mixer as well but today I was glad for the power of the stand mixer since there is a good deal of beating required. Once you add the butter and hot milk, use a spatulas or metal whisk to incorporate the liquid. The batter is thin and pours easily in typical sponge cake fashion. The hot liquids give the cake its moistness and today’s cake rose beautifully. The hot milk creates steam as the cake bakes and acts as extra leavening. Definitely use a good cake flour such as Swans Down which is what this old recipe calls for. Other than that it’s just 1-2-3 and bake!

Today I frosted this one with the Broiled Coconut Topping recommended in the recipe though this cake wouldn’t be particular about frosting; buttercream would also be good. I do like the contrast of the fluffy cake with the crunch of the toasted coconut in this frosting. However you frost it, it is a winner and will surely be enjoyed by everyone at your table.  Enjoy!

Hot Milk Sponge Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping


2 cups sifted Swans Down cake flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
4 eggs, unbeaten
2 cups sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 cup milk
2 T. butter

Directions Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Beat eggs in large deep bowl until very thick and light, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar. Add vanilla. Add flour to egg mixture, a small amount at a time, blending by hand or at low speed of electric mixer. Bring milk and butter just to a boil and very quickly stir into the flour mixture, blending thoroughly. Batter will be thin. Pour into a 9×13” pan which has been greased and floured on the bottom only. Bake at once for 30-35 minutes. Cool slightly, then spread with Broiled Coconut Topping.  Serve warm.

For Topping:

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1-1/2 T. milk
3/4 cup flaked coconut

Directions Cream butter and sugar together in mixing bowl. Add milk and beat until smooth. Add the coconut and stir to blend thoroughly. Spread on cake and broil for 3 minutes, turning pan as needed, until coconut is lightly toasted.

Apple Caramel Pie

More apples! I am so definitely still in an “apple everything” frame of mind! It’s October, y’all, and there are beautiful Granny Smiths, Gala, Braeburn, and Fuji apples everywhere!  I say, and say again, “Bring them ON!”  Today’s  rich  apple pie recipe is from  a “Taste of Home” magazine’s special Fall baking issue, and it is just in time for our cooler October evenings.  You won’t go wrong investing time in preparing this one for your family.

To be honest, there is a good bit of prep work for this dish, but,  take it one step at a time and you’ll be removing this fragrant pie from the oven in no time. Today, I used both Granny Smith and Gala apples today because I had both on hand. I also used lemon juice instead of the lime juice called for in the recipe. Prepare the apples and toss them with the juice, spices, flour and sugar then get your pie crust made. You will need to follow the instructions and amounts given for the 2-crust pie as listed in the recipe; don’t skimp or you won’t have enough dough for both crusts. The butter in the dough makes for a deliciously tender crust for spiced apples piled high, topped with a second crust and drizzled with a rich caramel sauce.

Baker’s Tip:  Use a box grater and grate the butter for the crust; the photo above is one stick of butter grated; you’ll need one more stick.

Make the topping when the pie has finished baking and slowly pour it over the top crust then bake the pie a few minutes longer. I’m sure you’ve already decided to serve this one still warm, with individual scoops of country-style vanilla ice cream, and you are spot-on with that choice. Nothing’s better on a chilly Fall evening! Enjoy!

Apple Caramel Pie


6 cups sliced peeled tart apples
2 T. lemon or lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 t. salt
Pastry for a double crust 9” pie (see below)
2 T. butter, chopped

Topping Ingredients

2 T. butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 T. heavy cream
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Directions Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, toss apples with juice. Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt; add to apples and toss lightly. Set aside.

Prepare pie dough and line a 9” pie plate with bottom crust and trim even with edges; fill with apple mixture. Dot with butter. Place top crust over filling. Trim, seal, and flute edges, cut slits in top pastry. Brush the top crust with an egg wash (egg yolk and water, beaten).

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and apples are tender. Prepare topping by melting butter in a small saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and cream; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add chopped pecans, and pour mixture over top crust; bake pie for 2-3 minutes longer or until bubbly. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Note: Recipe ingredients for a double crust 9” pie: 2-1/2 cups flour, 1/2 t. salt, 1 cup cold butter, grated, and 2/3 cups ice water

Directions Combine flour and salt and stir to sift. Cut in the cold butter with your fingers, working fast. Add ice water and toss with a fork just until the dough pulls away from sides of the bowl. Separate into two discs, wrap each disc in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Chill your rolling pin also.

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler

You will love this dish for several reasons, the first being that you likely have everything you need to prepare it already sitting on your pantry shelves. NO extra trip out to the store means you can think it and bake it within an hour’s time! The results are huge, so do get started soon.

The spices in the cobbler whisper October’s name: cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves. You know how good this will be just thinking about that combo, right? Finding yourself smack in the middle of Fall usually means one thing in the kitchen, and that is pumpkin! There’s enough pumpkin purée in the dish to provide that special autumnal flavor and the spices are a nod themselves to our cooler temperatures.

I was a little leery of the recipe’s instructions for pouring hot water over the topping before baking but was totally delighted with the results. As the water incorporates into the batter while baking, a rich creamy caramel sauce results, perfect for spooning over each serving.  That saucy caramel is one of the best things about the dish.

The second reason I love this recipe (and many thanks to friend Micki Welsh for finding it and knowing that I would enjoy it!) is that it is a snap to make. You will need three bowls for the dry, wet, and topping ingredients but there is no need even for your hand mixer. Simply combine wet with dry ingredients then sprinkle over the topping; add the hot water, and into the oven it goes.

Do try this one when cooler weather rolls around. If you are a pumpkin person (and I know many), you will be delighted by this cobbler. You will also find that a scoop of rich country-style vanilla ice cream is the only accompaniment you’ll want. Add friends and family and it’s Pumpkin Heaven, y’all!

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler


1 cup plus 3 T. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1-1/2 t. vanilla

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spices in a large bowl and stir to combine. In a smaller bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, butter, and vanilla. Combine wet ingredients with dry and stir to blend all thoroughly, forming a thick batter. Scrape into an 8” baking dish with high sides.

Topping Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1-1/2 cups very hot water

Directions. In small bowl, combine the sugars and the pecans. Sprinkle on top of the batter in the baking dish. Slowly add the hot water, do not stir. Bake for 40 minutes or until the middle of cake is set. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with vanilla ice cream and additional pecans, chopped coarsely.



Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Yesterday’s abundance of sour cream and several cups of frozen summer blueberries in the fridge and the freezer led me to this great recipe on the “allrecipes” web site. The cake did an on-point job in meeting my needs: enough to serve eight after eating two pieces after supper and saving a 3-slice hunk of it for breakfast the next day. I knew when I sliced the cake tonight that it would be even better the next day, after the streusel mixture set. Normally I don’t have any luck with streusel toppings but it helped that this streusel swirls into the middle and the top layers of batter. An overnight rest made for a fabulously chewable streusel cake with coffee yesterday

I used my stand mixture up to the point of folding in the berries. My berries were flash-frozen from the summer so I sprinkled them with a T. of flour before adding to the batter to prevent dreaded ‘purple stain batter’ syndrome! Other than that, make strictly as is. Don’t over bake; an hour and 2 minutes was perfect. I covered it lightly with a dish towel and inverted it onto my serving plate after 45 minutes.  The only thing to really watch, other than having everything in place before you begin, is to allow your butter to soften to just the right texture before beginning.  As soon as the cold is off of it is just right.

The powdered sugar goes on in a fine mist. Combined with the snowflakes on the serving plate and the powdered sugar, it almost felt winterish in the kitchen on blueberry streusel day. It’s definitely worth a trip to your freezer to see if you have summer berries lurking there!

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake


1 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1-5/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9-inch Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in blueberries.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the batter in the pan. Spoon remaining batter over the top, and then sprinkle the remaining pecan mixture over. Use a knife or thin spatula to swirl the streusel layers into the cake.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the crown of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Invert onto a serving plate, and tap firmly to remove from the pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.