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 butter over medium heat. Add apples, sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer apples to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Work in butter with your fingertips until mixture looks like wet sand. Press together to make 1/2-inch chunks.
Cake
  1. Preheat 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 cake pan with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat eggs and vanilla into butter mixture in three separate addition, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk milk and sour cream together.
  6. On low speed, mix flour mixture into batter in three separate additions, alternating with milk mixture. Beat just until combined.
  7. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Smooth top with a spatula.
  8. Drain any excess liquid from apples. Top cake batter evenly with apples, then topping mixture.
  9. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and continue cooling.
Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, salt and 2 tablespoons of cream. Add additional cream until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cooled cake.
Recipe Notes

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

Caramel Apple Blossoms

Caramel Apple Blossoms by Brownie Mischief

Whether you call them apple blossoms, apple dumplings or apple fussbudgets, (which are named after your great grandfather’s second wife’s cousin), these are cute little apple pastries. I made them because I was craving apple pie, but I didn’t have enough apples to bake one. I didn’t invent them, and I don’t know who did, but I’ve had frozen ones and I’ve seen them on restaurant menus. I thought it would be fun to make them, and it was! I could’ve just put some pie dough in muffin cups and made quick little pies, but flower shaped things automatically get extra points for cuteness. And if you know me, you know I love my cute bakes!

Print Recipe
Caramel Apple Blossoms
Course Dessert
Keyword pastry
Servings
blossoms
Ingredients
Topping
Course Dessert
Keyword pastry
Servings
blossoms
Ingredients
Topping
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice until combined.
  2. Add brown sugar, sugar, melted butter, flour, cinnamon and salt to apples. Stir until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together all topping ingredients. Set aside.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll pie dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
  6. Cut out 12 5-inch blossom shapes, re-rolling dough as necessary.*
  7. Lightly mark a 2-inch circle in the center of each blossom. Make cuts between the petals to separate them, just up to the edge of the center circle.
  8. Top each blossom with about 2 generous tablespoons of apples.
  9. Brush dough petals with egg wash. Form blossoms by lifting and overlapping each petal 1/2-inch in a spiral pattern similar to a rose. Tuck the last petal under. Press petals together to seal so filling won't leak out.
  10. Top each with a spoonful of topping. Place in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Don't skip this step. This will help blossoms keep their shape.
  11. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Brush blossom dough all over with egg wash. Wipe any drips off of parchment paper. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is starting to bubble, about 23-28 minutes.
  12. Drizzle blossoms with caramel sauce.
Recipe Notes

*When re-rolling pie dough, cover and let rest for several minutes to help avoid shrinkage.

Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines

Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines

I had tea with with a well mannered hedgehog once on a crisp fall day. He brought me a tiny bouquet of flowers, which I placed in a small jam jar filled with water. He said the delightful maple scent of these Madeleines reminded him of his time in the woods, as a young hoglet. When he had his fill of the delicate little cakes, I wrapped some in a tea towel for his journey home.

As cooler weather approaches, I’m always looking for a little something to enjoy with a warm drink and a good book. Although traditional Madeleines typically remind me of spring, these Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines have a cozy fall feeling. They go well with coffee, tea or hot cocoa. If you want to make them for a friend, make the batter and keep it in the refrigerator. Bake the Madeleines right before your friend arrives.

I used a spherical Madeleine pan to make these maple scented little cakes. The Madeleines made in this pan are a little thicker and fluffier than those made in a traditional oval pan. To find the Madeleine pan I used, click here. You can certainly use a traditional pan if you prefer. Keep in mind that the baking time will be shorter and you will end up with about twice as many.

Print Recipe
Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword madeleines, maple
Servings
Ingredients
Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword madeleines, maple
Servings
Ingredients
Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines
Instructions
Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar and maple extract, on high speed with an electric mixer, until batter is voluminous, light in color and holds its shape when you lift the beater, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Combine melted butter and maple syrup.
  4. Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture in three additions, alternating with the melted butter. Fold just until combined, being careful not to deflate batter. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all flour is combined.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a spherical Madeleine pan* with nonstick spray or melted butter. Dust the pan with a light coating of flour. Tap out the excess flour.
  7. Fill the wells of the Madeleine pan with batter 3/4 full, about 2 tablespoons each, using a scoop**, a spoon or a piping bag. If you're using a traditional oval Madeleine pan, fill 3/4 full, about a generous tablespoon of batter in each.
  8. Bake until golden brown around the edges and puffed in the center, about 10-12 minutes. Baking time for oval Madeleine pan will be about 7-8 minutes. Do not over bake.
  9. Cool in pan for one minute then turn Madeleines out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Top with maple icing and nuts.
Maple Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, maple extract and one tablespoon of milk. Add additional milk as needed. Stir in a pinch of salt to taste.
  2. Brush icing onto Madeleines with a pastry brush. Apply nuts to the edges of Madeleines. Serve immediately. Madeleines are best served the day they're baked.
Recipe Notes

*To find the Madeleine pan I used, click here. **To find the scoop I used, click here.

Blueberry Donut Holes with Homemade Blueberry Sugar

Blueberry Donut Holes with Homemade Blueberry Sugar

If you landed here from one of my social media accounts, welcome! I’m really glad you’re here. I love to create fun, pretty and sweet treats like these delicious blueberry donut holes! The thing that really makes these special is the homemade blueberry sugar, which adds a burst of blueberry flavor. Freeze dried blueberries are combined with sugar to create a beautiful, flavorful sugar that you can use for many other things. It can also be used in tea, lattes, lemonade, cocktails or sprinkled on cookies or scones. Keep in mind that freeze dried blueberries are not the same as dried blueberries. Dried blueberries still contain some moisture, so they won’t work for this purpose.

The donut hole batter comes together quickly and easily. The most challenging part for me is frying them. I found that using a thermometer and testing one donut hole first, helps you determine the perfect oil temperature. Using a small ice scream scoop helps you get uniform donut holes. Make sure the outside of the scoop is clean between each donut to help them keep the round shape and avoid pointy tails.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Donut Holes with Homemade Blueberry Sugar
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
donut holes
Ingredients
Blueberry Sugar
Blueberry Donut Holes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
donut holes
Ingredients
Blueberry Sugar
Blueberry Donut Holes
Instructions
Blueberry Sugar
  1. Process freeze dried blueberries and sugar in a food processor or a clean spice grinder until finely ground. Be careful not to over process or you may end up with powdered sugar.
Blueberry Donut Holes
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sugar, eggs, melted butter, milk and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Stir in flour mixture just until combined. Do not over mix! A few lumps are okay.
  4. Fold in chopped blueberries.
  5. In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 340ºF.
  6. Drop tablespoon size scoops or spoonfuls of batter into hot oil. I used a #60 ice cream scoop. Don't overcrowd the pan.
  7. Cook donut holes until golden brown on all sides, about 2-4 minutes, flipping halfway through. If donut holes cook too quickly on the outside, turn heat down.
  8. Briefly drain donut holes on paper towels, then toss warm donut holes in blueberry sugar. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Success tip: Use a small ice cream scoop sprayed with nonstick spray to drop donut holes into oil. Make sure the outside of scoop is clean between each donut hole to keep the round shape and avoid tails on your donut holes.

To find freeze dried blueberries, click here.

To find the ice cream scoop I used, click here.

Maple Pecan Brownies

maple pecan brownies

Pecan pie was my mom’s favorite, but she didn’t bake pies, so I always used to bake her one for Thanksgiving. One year, I made a chocolate version. It was delicious, but let’s just say it wasn’t user friendly. It was gooey and hard to serve. Over the years, it eventually morphed into these Maple Pecan Brownies. The brownie version is still delicious, rich and gooey with toasty pecans, but much more user friendly.

Enjoying Maple Pecan Brownies with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee is a must. Thinking of it brings back memories. I can practically smell my dad brewing the coffee to go with these brownies.

Print Recipe
Maple Pecan Brownies
Rich, gooey brownies topped with pecan pie filling
Servings
brownies
Ingredients
Brownies
Pecan Topping
Servings
brownies
Ingredients
Brownies
Pecan Topping
Instructions
Brownies
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, overlapping the sides an inch or two. Spray parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined.
  3. Mix in eggs and vanilla, one at a time, until well combined.
  4. Mix in cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
  5. Stir in flour just until combined.
  6. Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Bake just until top is set, about 25 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare pecan topping.
  8. When brownie top is set, remove from oven. Gently pour pecan topping around the outer perimeter of brownies, to avoid making brownies sink in the middle. Evenly distribute the pecan topping over the top gently with a spoon.
  9. Return the brownies to the oven and continue baking until the topping is set, about 20-25 minutes. Brownies will stop jiggling and topping will look deep golden brown. Toothpick inserted inside will have a few moist crumbs on it. (If your topping starts to brown too much on the edges before the inside is done, apply aluminum foil around the edges as you would with a pie.)
  10. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting, about 2- 2 1/2 hours.
  11. Cut into squares, wiping knife between cuts.
Pecan Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together maple syrup, butter, brown sugar, egg, maple extract and salt until well combined.
  2. Stir in pecans until well coated with maple syrup mixture.
  3. Set aside until brownies are partially baked.

Fairy Puffs

Fairy Puffs sugared mini muffins wtih edible flowers

My dad used to take me on walks in the woods to look for fairy rings when I was a child. I wanted to see a real fairy so badly! I got a book about fairies, hoping to learn more about them. Fairies love little cakes, milk, honey and butter so I’m sure these Fairy Puffs would be fairy approved.

My Fairy Puffs recipe is loosely based on an old favorite mini muffin recipe. I tweaked it quite a bit, including the addition of pink dragonfruit powder. Dragonfruit has a subtle flavor, so the bright fuchsia powder is mostly for color. But oh what a beautiful color it is! You can find dragonfruit powder in healthy food stores or online. To find the dragonfruit powder , also known as pink pitaya powder, I used, click here.

fairy puff muffins

Decorating these little cuties was so entertaining! After sampling multiple variations of sparkling sugar and cinnamon sugar, I decided that dipping the bottoms of the muffins in butter and cinnamon sugar, then dipping the tops in butter and sparkling sugar gave them the perfect balance of sugar and spice. I had purchased some edible flowers a couple of days prior, and they added a pretty, magical touch. The flowers I used are called bachelor’s buttons and I got them at a local gourmet flower seller.

sugared mini muffins with edible flowers

Print Recipe
Fairy Puffs
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cake, muffins
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Fairy Puffs
Topping
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cake, muffins
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Fairy Puffs
Topping
Instructions
Fairy Puffs
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 24 serving mini muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, dragonfruit powder, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and beat until smooth.
  5. Add flour mixture and milk alternately in two additions and mix just until combined.
  6. Fill wells of prepared muffin pan with batter.
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Be careful not to over bake. Small muffins can dry out easily.)
  8. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove puffs from pan and transfer to cooling rack. (Loosen puffs with a small offset spatula or butter knife if necessary.)
Topping
  1. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  2. Place colored sparkling sugar crystals in another shallow bowl.
  3. Dip the bottoms of each puff in melted butter, then into cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. Dip the tops of each puff in melted butter, then into sparkling sugar.
  5. Decorate with edible flowers if desired.
Recipe Notes

*To purchase dragonfruit powder, click here.

 **To purchase pink sparkling sugar crystals, click here.

 

Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Icing

Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Icing by Brownie Mischief

I was seriously happy when I started seeing donuts appearing at weddings, bridal showers and occasions other than work meetings. I’ve always felt those sweet, fluffy rings of dough had a higher calling. They had such potential! And honestly who doesn’t love donuts? They’re delicious, but they can also be beautiful. These Lemon Buttermilk Donuts could certainly win a beauty contest. They would make a gorgeous edition to any breakfast, brunch or dessert table. The fresh lemon zest and the earthy flavor of honey will bring springtime right into your kitchen.

Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting by Brownie Mischief

If you’re on the lookout for a Mother’s Day recipe, any mom will love these pretty, fragrant treats. This is a very easy recipe and the donuts bake up quickly, so you’ll have time to fix mom a cup of her favorite tea. If you don’t have a donut pan, and you’ve been reluctant to buy one, I can honestly say I love mine. It was very affordable and I’m pleased with the performance and ease of clean up with the pan I purchased. To find the donut pan click here.

In keeping with the springtime feel, I decorated my donuts with pesticide-free edible flowers. I used pansies, but if you’re unable to find them, you can substitute pesticide-free rose petals. I found these edible pansies at my local food market in the produce department, near the fresh herbs. You can also find edible flowers at farmers’ markets and online. For a list of edible flowers, click here.  Note:  The above pictured orange ranunculus flowers on the table are not edible.  

Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Icing by Brownie Mischief


Print Recipe


Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Icing

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes

Servings


Ingredients
Lemon Buttermilk Donuts

Honey Cream Cheese Icing

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes

Servings


Ingredients
Lemon Buttermilk Donuts

Honey Cream Cheese Icing


Instructions
Lemon Buttermilk Donuts
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray the wells of a ***donut pan with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg, melted butter, and lemon zest together. Add to flour mixture and stir until combined.

  4. Transfer batter to a piping bag or plastic zip bag. Snip off the tip of the bag and pipe batter into prepared donut pan, filling the wells 2/3 full.

  5. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until toothpick inserted into donuts comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove donuts to a rack to cool completely.

  6. Prepare Honey Cream Cheese Icing while donuts are cooling.

  7. Dip tops of donuts into icing and decorate as desired. Serve immediately.

Honey Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.

  2. Add vanilla extract and salt. Mix until combined.

  3. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until moistened. Turn mixer up to medium speed and mix until combined.

  4. Add honey and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. Beat until smooth.
    Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting by Brownie Mischief