Deluxe Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This dreamy Cinnamon Swirl Bread is a perfectly soft, tender loaf with two layers of brown sugar cinnamon. It was already delicious on its own, but I’m sure Grandma wouldn’t mind that I upgraded it with a generous amount of crumb topping and a drizzle of cream cheese icing. This versatile loaf is enjoyable year round. During spring, it’s delightful served with a cup of blueberry tea. On summer mornings, it’s perfect with a glass of peach iced tea. And of course, during fall and winter, this comforting loaf is cozy served with a mug of hot coffee or cocoa.

To watch the Instagram video, click here.

Print Recipe
Deluxe Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Soft, tender vanilla loaf cake with two layers of brown sugar-cinnamon swirl, topped with crumb topping and cream cheese icing
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cinnamon swirl, loaf
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Cream Cheese Icing
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cinnamon swirl, loaf
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Cream Cheese Icing
Instructions
Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt until well combined. With your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like wet sand with no large pieces of butter. Press the mixture together to form chunks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup (100g) of brown sugar and the cinnamon until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup (50g) of brown sugar, with an electric mixer at medium speed, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. In a small bowl or a glass measuring cup, whisk the milk and sour cream together. On low speed, beat the flour mixture into the batter in two additions, followed by half of the milk mixture after each addition. Mix just until combined.
  6. Transfer half of the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture over the batter. Swirl with a skewer. Add the remaining batter and repeat with the remaining brown sugar-cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle the crumb topping on evenly.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. (The toothpick may have some brown sugar or crumb topping on it, but not wet batter.) Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a cooling rack.
Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and 1 tablespoon (30ml) of milk until smooth. Whisk in additional milk if needed to achieve your desired consistency. Drizzle the icing over the cooled loaf.
Recipe Notes

*To find my favorite cinnamon, click here.

Mini Baklava Cheesecakes

Mini Baklava Cheesecakes

These Mini Baklava Cheesecakes are so cute and incredibly delicious that they actually made me mad! I’d been thinking about making them for awhile, so I was mad at myself for not making them sooner. They’re much quicker and easier to make than a full size cheesecake. The phyllo dough is par-baked, then topped with a nut mixture. I used a combination of pistachios and almonds, but you can use any combination of pistachios, almonds or walnuts of your choice. After the cheesecakes are baked, the phyllo shells are soaked with honey syrup.

I topped them with little nests made of kataifi, which are so cute and perfect for Easter. Kataifi is thinly shredded phyllo pastry. You can find it in the freezer section of supermarkets and international markets. Toasted coconut makes a good substitute if you can’t find kataifi. These cute cheesecakes are also pretty topped with edible flowers or rose petals, which would be perfect for Mother’s Day or any springtime celebration.

Print Recipe
Mini Baklava Cheesecakes
Mini cheesecakes with a baklava base, topped with kataifi nests
Course Dessert
Keyword baklava, cheesecake
Servings
mini cheesecakes
Ingredients
Honey Syrup
Kataifi Nests
Course Dessert
Keyword baklava, cheesecake
Servings
mini cheesecakes
Ingredients
Honey Syrup
Kataifi Nests
Instructions
Honey Syrup
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, water, honey and lemon juice, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Mini Cheesecakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Brush the insides of a 12-serving muffin pan with melted butter.
  2. Place a sheet of phyllo dough on your work surface. Brush it lightly with melted butter. Place another sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first one and brush it lightly with melted butter. Repeat this process until you have 5 sheets. Using a pastry wheel or a sharp knife, cut the phyllo into 6 squares, measuring about 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches each. Repeat this process with the five remaining phyllo sheets. Make sure to keep your unused phyllo sheets covered while you work to prevent them from drying out.
  3. Place the phyllo squares into the cups of the muffin pan. Press them in with a pastry tamper or with the flat bottom of a small shot glass. Prick the bottoms of the phyllo with a fork. Bake until light golden brown, about 14-17 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the nuts, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of melted butter and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix until well combined.
  5. Turn the oven heat down to 325ºF (165ºF). Place about a tablespoon of the nut mixture into the baked pyllo shells and press lightly with the back of a spoon.
  6. To make the cheesecake filling, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low speed, until smooth. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar, the egg, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and well combined, but do not over beat.
  7. Ladle the cheesecake mixture into the phyllo shells over the nuts. Fill them almost to the top. Bake until the cheesecakes are set, but still slightly jiggly in the centers, about 13-15 minutes.
  8. Using a small offset spatula, gently loosen the cheesecakes from the muffin pan. Drizzle honey syrup generously along the perimeter of the outside of the cheesecakes, letting the syrup drip down the sides of the phyllo pastry. Let the cheesecakes cool in the pan. When the cheesecakes have cooled and the syrup has absorbed, transfer the cheesecakes to the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
Kataifi Nests
  1. Turn the oven temperature up to 350ºF (180ºC). Brush an 8 x 8-inch or a 9 x 7-inch baking dish with melted butter. Roll clusters of kataifi stands into twelve 2-inch wide spiral shapes to form the nests. Place them in the baking dish. Drizzle the nests with melted butter. Gently brush more melted butter over the surface of the nests. Bake until golden brown, about 25-35 minutes. Immediately drizzle with honey syrup. Let the nests cool in the baking pan.
  2. Place the nests onto the cheesecakes. Fill the nests with candy eggs.
Recipe Notes

To find the muffin pan I used, click here.

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

An easy to make 8-inch square cake, typically unfrosted, is what my family would consider a snacking cake when I was growing up. This easy-to-make apple cake can definitely qualify as a snacking cake because it stands on its own as a delicious cake, unfrosted. BUT…if you add the silky cream cheese frosting, then you have yourself something a little more special. This cake could easily appear at a Thanksgiving meal and upstage the pies.

I used fresh puréed apples that I picked recently when I went apple picking. If you don’t have fresh apples on hand, you can substitute with unsweetened applesauce.* I used French vanilla compound, which gives it an exceptionally lovely flavor, but you can also use vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract.

Print Recipe
Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
A soft, moist apple cake with silky cream cheese frosting.
Course Dessert
Keyword apple, cake
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Apple Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting
Course Dessert
Keyword apple, cake
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Apple Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
Apple Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line the bottom of an 8-inch square cake pan** with parchment paper. Grease and flour the insides.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the puréed apples until incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 28-33 minutes
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large bowl, stir the cream cheese with a spatula until smooth. Beat in the butter, with an electric mixer on low speed, until smooth and well combined.
  2. Beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and heavy cream until smooth and well combined. Stir slowly with a spatula to smooth the frosting and remove bubbles.
Recipe Notes

*If you're using applesauce and your applesauce is watery, drain off excess water before measuring.

**To find my favorite 8-inch square cake pan, click here.

Caramel Apple Crumble Bars

Although we have access to apples year around, apple season is my favorite time to bake with apples. I love the opportunity to go apple picking or choosing fresh apples from the abundance of apples available at farmers markets. Baking with apples makes your home smell cozy and delightful, especially when paired with cinnamon. These Caramel Apple Crumble Bars have the autumn flavors you’re craving. They’re the apple version of my popular Blueberry Crumble Bars and they’re equally delicious.

This recipe requires multiple steps, but the steps are all very easy. The apples are cooked briefly on the stovetop to achieve the perfect texture. The crust is blind baked to keep it crisp. The caramel is drizzled over the apples which helps keep them juicy and we all know what a perfect match apples and caramel are! Adding the caramel to the apples, rather than drizzling it over the top of the crumble topping also keeps the topping crisp.

I like using green apples for this recipe, such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious, or a combination of green and red apples, but you can use any baking apples that you prefer. The caramel sauce recipe is one that I would consider a shortcut. I used caramel candies melted together with heavy cream.

Print Recipe
Caramel Apple Crumble Bars
Fresh apple cinnamon filling on a crisp, buttery shortbread base with a generous crumble topping
Course Dessert
Keyword bars, caramel apple
Servings
2-inch bars
Ingredients
Apples
Crumble Topping
Caramel Sauce
Crust
Course Dessert
Keyword bars, caramel apple
Servings
2-inch bars
Ingredients
Apples
Crumble Topping
Caramel Sauce
Crust
Instructions
Apples
  1. In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the apples are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Crumble Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Work the cold butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or with your fingertips until it looks like wet sand. Press together to form 1/2-inch chunks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Caramel Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the caramel candies and heavy cream together, stirring until smooth.
Crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. (180ºC). Line an 8-inch square baking pan* with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat just until the dough comes together.
  4. Press the dough into the prepared baking pan. Bake until the surface looks evenly light golden brown, about 20-22 minutes. Remove from the oven. Top with the cooked apples. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Top with the crumble topping. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking until the topping looks golden brown and the filling starts to bubble, about 25-28 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely in the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Recipe Notes

To find the baking pan I used, click here.

Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread

This banana bread was a happy accident. One morning, I started to make banana bread. My recipe called for three over-ripe bananas, but I realized that I only had two. So I changed my recipe, and then I added blueberries, toasted pecans, a pecan crumb topping and a brown sugar cinnamon glaze. The results were so tender, moist and delicious that I can confidently say this is the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve tasted a lot of banana bread. I’ve tried many different recipes and tasted loaves baked by other people. I also like picking up a slice of banana bread at bakeries and coffee shops sometimes, alongside my coffee or tea.

The three biggest problems I typically see with banana bread are rubbery texture, dry texture or bland flavor. Over mixing can cause a rubbery loaf, so when you add your dry ingredients to the batter, mix it just until the flour is incorporated, to avoid excess gluten formation. To avoid a dry loaf, make sure not to over bake it. Test it before you think it might be done. When measuring your dry ingredients, weigh them for the best results. Sometimes people inadvertently add too much or too little flour when using measuring cups.

For the best flavor and sweetness, make sure to use very ripe bananas when making banana bread. I like to use bananas that are soft and covered with brown spots. I avoid the black, oozing bananas, even though you may see people on social media recommending them for use. These are technically rotten bananas and can give your banana bread an unpleasant fermented flavor. The toasted pecans in this recipe add texture and a rustic nutty flavor. Even people who don’t like nuts tend to appreciate them in this banana bread. But if you have a nut allergy you can certainly leave them out. The addition of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla also add lovely flavor to this loaf. This banana bread is quite delicious on its own, but the crumb topping and brown sugar glaze take it over the top!

To watch the Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread Instagram video, click here.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread
Moist tender banana bread with blueberries and toasted pecans, topped with pecan crumb topping and brown sugar cinnamon glaze.
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Glaze
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Glaze
Instructions
Crumble Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Work in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like wet sand. Mix in the pecans. Press the mixture to together to form chunks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread
  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (165ºC). Line the bottom a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan* with parchment paper. Grease and flour the insides.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, eggs, sour cream and vanilla until smooth and well combined. Stir in the bananas until incorporated. Mix in the flour mixture just until combined. Do not over mix. Stir in the pecans.
  4. In a small bowl, gently toss the blueberries with the lemon juice, then toss them with 2 teaspoons of flour. Fold 3/4 of the blueberries into the batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Top with the remaining blueberries, then the crumb topping.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Glaze
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt together over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the edges start to bubble. Remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Drizzle over the cooled banana bread.
Recipe Notes

*To find the loaf pan I used, click here.

Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins

Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins

These cute little bear-shaped pumpkin muffins are almost too cute to eat. But if you try one, it’ll be gobbled up without hesitation because they’re so moist, fluffy and delicious! The cinnamon sugar coating gives them the perfect fall flavor and a subtle crunch. I used cream cheese icing to form the snouts and melted chocolate for the eyes and noses. You can also use melted chocolate chips or candy melts to decorate their faces if you prefer. I used a bear-shaped mini muffin pan, which is also called a Madeleine pan or a financier pan. To find a bear mini muffin pan, click here. A standard mini muffin pan will also work, but the muffins won’t be bear-shaped. If you end up using a standard mini muffin pan, you can add round, flat candies to form the ears.

To watch the TikTok video of Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins being made, click here.

To watch the Instagram video of Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins being made, click here.

Print Recipe
Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins
Moist, fluffy bear-shaped pumpkin mini muffins with cream cheese icing snouts
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword muffins, pumpkin
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins
Cinnamon Sugar
Bear Faces
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword muffins, pumpkin
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins
Cinnamon Sugar
Bear Faces
Instructions
Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins
  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (165ºC). Grease and flour a bear-shaped mini muffin pan. (This recipe also works in a mini muffin pan but the muffins won't be bear shaped.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil and egg until smooth and well combined. Mix in the pumpkin purée until incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined.
  4. Scoop or pipe the batter into the muffin pan, filling the cups 2/3 full (about 3/4 oz or 21g in each). Use a small offset spatula to smooth the top of the batter, making sure to get batter into the ears.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 9-11 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove them from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. Clean the pan and repeat with the remaining batter.
Cinnamon Sugar
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Brush the warm muffins with with melted butter using a small pastry brush. Coat them with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bear Faces
  1. In a small bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of milk until smooth. Add more milk as needed.
  2. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip or snip off the end of the piping bag making a 1/4-inch wide opening. Pipe a small blob of icing onto each bear's face to form the snouts.
  3. Transfer the melted chocolate to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip or snip off the end of the piping bag making a 1/16-inch wide opening. Pipe dots of chocolate onto the snouts to make the noses. Pipe dots or curved lines to make the eyes. Alternately you can apply the melted chocolate dots with the tip of a toothpick
Recipe Notes

*To find a bear-shaped mini muffin pan, click here.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cakes

Summer was such a happy season for me as a child that I didn’t want it to end. I still love summer, but now that I’m an adult, I begin to anticipate fall right around the time when I’m tired of harsh, hot temperatures, rumbling air conditioners and flies buzzing around at cookouts. Now is that time for me. It’s so hot where I live right now, that I’m welcoming the cool, crisp fall weather and all it brings.

The beautiful warm flavors of fall are perfectly captured in these Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cakes. The moist, perfectly spiced cakes are topped with a cinnamon swirl which is basically cinnamon roll filling. I topped them with Vanilla Bean Icing, but you can also make it cream cheese icing by swapping out 1 tablespoon of the melted butter for 1 tablespoon of softened cream cheese, if you prefer. The optional addition of meringue powder helps the icing set up and gives it that crunch we love on glazed donuts. To find meringue powder, click here.

I used a shallow jumbo muffin pan to make these cakes. The muffin cups are 4 inches wide and 1 inch deep. A hamburger bun pan for 4-inch buns or six 4-inch cake pans will also work. To find the pan I used, click here.

To watch the Instagram video of the finished Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cakes, click here.

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cakes
Moist pumpkin cakes with cinnamon swirls and vanilla bean icing
Servings
4-inch cakes
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cakes
Cinnamon Swirl
Vanilla Bean Icing
Servings
4-inch cakes
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cakes
Cinnamon Swirl
Vanilla Bean Icing
Instructions
Pumpkin Cakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a 6-serving shallow jumbo muffin pan with jumbo muffin liners.* (The jumbo muffin liners will fit by pressing them in around the inside bottom edges.) The muffin pan I used has cups that are 4-inches across by 1-inch deep. A hamburger bun pan for 4-inch buns or six 4-inch cake pans will also work.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth and well combined. Mix in the pumpkin purée. Stir in the flour in two additions, just until combined.
  4. Transfer the batter to the muffin cups, evenly dividing the batter among the cups. Pipe the cinnamon swirl mixture in a spiral on the top of the batter of each one.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake part comes out clean, about 23-27 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Cinnamon Swirl
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add the melted butter and whisk until well combined.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1/4-inch wide round tip.
Vanilla Bean Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, vanilla bean paste, powdered sugar, meringue powder, salt and 1 tablespoon of milk until well combined. Whisk in more milk as needed to reach your desired consistency.
  2. Brush the icing on the cooled cakes with a small pastry brush or make the icing a little thinner and drizzle the icing on if you prefer.
Recipe Notes

*To find jumbo muffin liners, click here.

To find the baking pan I used, click here.

To find 4-inch cake pans, click here.

To find meringue powder click here.

Peach Crumble Pie Cookies

Peach Crumble Pie Cookies

I couldn’t decide whether to call these cookies or pies, so I made a compromise. They’re about the size of cookies, but they taste like little peach crumble pies. The base is tender like shortbread or pie crust and the filling is made with fresh peaches. I’ve seen people make something similar with jam and call them cookies, but since I used fresh fruit for these, they deserve to be elevated to pie status.

The peaches are macerated to draw out the excess juices, to help avoid making your cookies soggy. If you’re impatient, don’t be tempted to skip this step. It’ll go by fast as you prep the crumb topping and the remaining ingredients.

When I first made these, I used cupcake liners because I was worried that they might stick to the pan. It turns out that they stick to the cupcake liners more than the pan. So the next time I made them, I opted to lightly spray the pan with nonstick spray instead of using liners. I ran a small thin offset spatula around the perimeter of the cookies to loosen them from the pan and they popped out nicely.

I love topping these little peach delights with caramel sauce. Salted caramel is also a delicious addition. Or you can simply sprinkle them with powdered sugar if you prefer.

Print Recipe
Peach Crumble Pie Cookies
Tender, peach-filled cookies with crumble topping and caramel drizzle
Keyword cookies, peach
Servings
Ingredients
Macerated Peaches
Crumble Topping
Cookies
Topping
Keyword cookies, peach
Servings
Ingredients
Macerated Peaches
Crumble Topping
Cookies
Topping
Instructions
Macerated Peaches
  1. In a medium bowl, toss the peaches with lemon juice. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir gently to combine. Let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the peaches, reserving 1 tablespoon of the juices. In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved peach juice with the corn starch. Mix with the drained peaches.
Crumble Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  2. With your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like wet sand. Press the mixture together to form chunks.
Cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Lightly spray a 12-serving muffin pan with nonstick spray. (If you're concerned about the cookies sticking to the pan, see notes below.*)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the flour mixture on low speed or by hand, just until combined.
  5. Press generous tablespoon size (about 20g each) portions of dough into the bottoms of the muffin pan cups with a pastry tamper dipped in flour. You can also use the bottom of a flat shot glass.
  6. Top with the peaches, then the crumble topping mixture. Bake until the cookies are set and the topping is golden brown, about 15-17 minutes.
  7. Cool the cookies completely in the pan. Once cool, remove the cookies from the pan by running a small offset spatula or paring knife around the inside perimeter of the muffin cups to loosen them. Drizzle with caramel sauce.
Recipe Notes

*You can line the bottoms of the muffin cups with 2-inch parchment circles to make sure your cookies release. I don't recommend cupcake liners because the cookies stick to the ridges of the liners. You can, however, cut the circles from the bottom of the cupcake liners if you don't have parchment paper.

White Chocolate Peach Muffins

I have strong opinions about muffins. Maybe a little controversial too. When baked correctly, muffins should be soft, fluffy and tender. I get a little sad and disappointed when I buy a big, domed bakery muffin and the inside is rubbery. Many of the pretty muffins I see on social media are painfully rubbery too, as the creators break open a muffin in a dramatic moment of triumph. The muffin recipe I’m sharing here is tender and delicious if baked correctly.

One of the most important ways to achieve tender muffins is by not over mixing your batter once the flour is added. Muffins are technically cake, not bread, so we don’t want gluten formation. Another way to get tender muffins is to use an acidic ingredient such as sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk. Lastly, and very importantly, don’t over bake or under bake your muffins. Baking times in recipes are a guide and not necessarily exact because everyone’s ovens and baking pans are different. Keep an eye on your muffins and test them for doneness with a cake tester or a toothpick. My grandma used to say that when you start to smell them, they’re probably done or close to being done.

Soggy muffins also make me run the other way. Muffins loaded with too much fruit or fruit that hasn’t been macerated can make your muffins soggy or dense. In this recipe, I macerated the peaches to draw out some of the moisture, so it helps to avoid creating soggy spots in your muffins. The waiting time goes by fast as you prep the rest of your ingredients.

Print Recipe
White Chocolate Peach Muffins
Tender muffins with white chocolate chips and chunks of fresh peaches.
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Macerated Peaches
Crumb Topping
Muffins
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Macerated Peaches
Crumb Topping
Muffins
Instructions
Macerated Peaches
  1. In a medium bowl, toss the peaches with lemon juice. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the peaches well and toss with flour. Reserve 1/4 cup of peaches for the muffin tops.
Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  2. With a pastry blender, or with your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like wet sand. Press together to form chunks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Muffins
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Line a 12-serving muffin pan with tulip muffin liners.* (Tulip muffin liners are preferable because they hold more batter, but you can also use standard muffin liners.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and extracts in 3 separate additions, making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next.
  4. Mix in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula, in two additions, followed by half of the sour cream after each addition. Mix just until combined. The batter will be thick.
  5. Toss the white chocolate chips with flour, then fold them into the batter. Gently fold in the drained peaches.
  6. Transfer batter to the prepared muffin pan, equally dividing the batter among the muffin cups. (If you're using standard muffin liners, fill them 2/3 full.) Top with the reserved peaches and the crumb topping. Optional: Top each muffin with a piece of white chocolate.
  7. Bake muffins for 5 minutes. Turn down the oven heat to 350ºF (180ºC). Continue baking until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centers of the muffins comes out clean, about 15-20 more minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and continue cooling on a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

*To find tulip muffin liners, click here.

 

Cinnamon Crumble Scones

The weeks following the winter holidays always feel peaceful to me. The rush is over and it’s time to catch my breath and rest. When it’s chilly and raining outside, I love spending time at home curled up in my coziest fluffy pajama bottoms and fuzzy socks. Give me a blanket, 75 pillows, a warm cup of tea and these Cinnamon Crumble Scones for ultimate coziness!

The crumb topping on these scones will remind you of a cinnamon crumb cake, which makes them extra nostalgic and comforting. The technique of folding the dough over itself gives them a flaky layered texture. For the tenderest scones, make sure not to over work your dough.

To watch Instagram reel, click here. To watch extended TikTok video showing baking process, click here.

Print Recipe
Cinnamon Crumble Scones
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cinnamon, scones
Servings
scones
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Cinnamon Filling
Scones
Icing
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cinnamon, scones
Servings
scones
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Cinnamon Filling
Scones
Icing
Instructions
Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, sugar cinnamon and salt.
  2. Work in butter with your fingertips until it looks like wet sand. Press together to make dime size chunks.
  3. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use.
Cinnamon Filling
  1. In a small bowl, mix filling ingredients together until well combined.
Scones
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Work butter into flour mixture with your fingertips or with a pastry blender until pea sized pieces are formed.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together heavy cream, sour cream and vanilla extract.
  5. Stir cream mixture into flour mixture a little at a time until dough comes together. If your dough is too dry add 1-2 more teaspoons of heavy cream.
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Fold dough over onto itself a couple of times.
  7. Pat dough into an approximately 9 x 5-inch oval. Spread cinnamon filling on half of the dough to within 1/2-inch from the edges. Fold dough in half bringing short ends together. Press edges to seal.
  8. Shape dough into a 7-inch round, about 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into 8 wedges. (Or 6 wedges if you prefer larger scones.)
  9. Pinch the pointed tip of the wedges and tuck under to seal. This helps to prevent the top layer from sliding off while baking. Place wedges about 2-inches apart onto prepared baking sheet.
  10. Brush tops of scones with heavy cream. Top with crumb topping. Bake until light golden brown, about 18-22 minutes.
  11. Transfer scones to a cooling rack to cool. Drizzle with icing.
Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, butter, 1 tablespoon of milk and vanilla. Add additional milk until desired consistency is reached.

Chocolate Gingerbread

Chocolate Gingerbread

Chocolate gingerbread is gingerbread’s elegant sister. It has the warm spices we love in gingerbread combined with the earthy depth of chocolate. Topping this rich, tender loaf with silky cream cheese frosting is the best possible choice to take it over the top. It’s a lovely loaf to enjoy during the holiday season and beyond. Enjoy it with a hot drink for a cozy, comforting winter treat.

Make sure to check out my method for making sugared cranberries below. No raw eggs required!

Print Recipe
Chocolate Gingerbread
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Chocolate Gingerbread
Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Chocolate Gingerbread
Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
Chocolate Gingerbread
  1. Preheat oven go 350ºF (180ºC). Line the bottom of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease the insides and dust with a mixture of equal parts flour and cocoa powder.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla together until smooth.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and milk.
  5. Add flour the mixture to the batter in two additions, alternating with the milk mixture, beating just until combined.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 38-45 minutes.
  7. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of milk, the vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth. Add additional milk, if needed, until your desired consistency is reached.
Recipe Notes

To make sugared cranberries and rosemary for garnish:  Mix 1 teaspoon of meringue powder* with 1 tablespoon of water. Place 1 cup of fresh cranberries in a bowl and coat them in the meringue powder mixture. Drain any excess liquid then coat the cranberries with granulated sugar.  Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet to dry at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Use the same method for sprigs of rosemary.

*To find meringue powder, click here.

Grandma’s Apple Crumb Cake

Grandma's Apple Crumb Cake

I remember my grandma making coffee cakes and sweet muffins for breakfast, along with eggs, sausages, hot coffee and a big pitcher of milk on the table. The older generation really loved their coffee cakes. I’ve noticed that many Millennials and Gen Z’s think coffee cake contains coffee. Maybe some coffee cake does contain coffee, but in general, coffee cake is called that because it’s typically eaten with coffee. A classic coffee cake is usually a subtly sweet cake with cinnamon, crumb topping and maybe some icing. The Apple Crumb Cake recipe I’m sharing with you has the elements of a classic coffee cake, but so much better! The cake is fluffy and soft, the crumb topping is chunky and plentiful, and the apples are perfectly tender. And don’t get me started about the icing!

Why do most of our grandmothers cook and bake so well? Because they’ve had decades of trial and error to perfect their recipes, tweaking them here and there until they’re approved and loved by their families, neighbors and friends. This cake has had its share of trial and error. She has earned her place as a well-loved, delicious, beautiful queen of coffee cakes.

Print Recipe
Grandma's Apple Crumb Cake
Keyword apple, cake
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Apples
Crumb Topping
Cake
Keyword apple, cake
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Apples
Crumb Topping
Cake
Instructions
Apples
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples, sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the apples to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Work in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like wet sand. Press together to make 1/2-inch chunks.
Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a 9-inch cake pan with a removable bottom*, or a 9-inch springform pan, with parchment paper. Wrap the bottom of the cake pan with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat the eggs and vanilla into the butter mixture in three separate addition, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and sour cream together.
  6. On low speed, beat the flour mixture into batter in three separate additions, alternating with milk mixture. Mix just until combined.