When people ask you for the recipe for this cake, you’re going to have to decide whether or not you want anyone to know how incredibly easy it is to throw together. It’s what’s known as a “dump cake” because you really just keep dumping ready-made ingredients into the pan, pop them in the oven, and this cake emerges a while later. No one would ever guess that you didn’t make the whole thing from scratch!
Recipe: Caramel Apple Cake
2 cans apple pie filling
1/4 c. caramel sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 box yellow cake mix
1 c. melted butter
1/2 c. chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Add apple pie filling, caramel sauce, lemon juice, and cinnamon to the pan and mix together. Sprinkle the entire box of cake mix on top. Next, sprinkle the pecans over the top. Cover with melted butter, making sure to cover the whole surface. Bake for 35-40 minutes. (Mine actually baked for 45 minutes.) Remove from oven and cool, or enjoy warm with ice cream.
My Claudia was really hesitant to try this cake because it’s called a “coffee cake.” She was sure there would have to be some coffee in there somewhere. She makes a good point. I don’t know where the name really comes from, but I told her whenever people want to have cake for breakfast, they just call it a coffee cake, and for some reason it becomes socially acceptable. Go figure.
My first impression of this particular coffee cake wasn’t terribly enthusiastic. I did eat it while I drank my morning coffee, but I thought it was a little lackluster. Kind of dry and nothing special. But because I believe in second chances, I decided to give it a look the next day. It was so much better the second time around! It became moist and wonderful and brought all the flavors of pumpkin pie to the table. I’m considering it my belated welcome to Fall.
Recipe: Pumpkin Coffee Cake
(slightly adapted from Recipe Girl)
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
One (16 ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 large slightly beaten egg
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened slightly
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
Prepare cake: Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl; add eggs and beat well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix dry ingredients into the butter mixture half at a time, alternating with half of the Greek yogurt. In another bowl, combine pumpkin, egg, 1/3 cup sugar, and pie spice. Keep separate.
Prepare topping: Mix the topping ingredients together with fork, hands, or pastry cutter until crumbly. Set aside.
Spoon half of the batter mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel topping over the batter. Spread the pumpkin mixture over the streusel. Carefully spread the remaining batter over the pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle remaining streusel on top. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
If you could only choose one pancake recipe to use forever more, I promise you, this is the one you’d want. It’s not only enormously healthy and versatile, but wonderfully tasty too. We have used this base for raspberry pancakes, blackberry pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, blueberry pancakes, and just plain old syrup-covered pancakes. Never once have they disappointed us.
Here’s the 411 on this batter. First, it’s packed with oats, which are good for you in so many ways. They help with cardiovascular health, have anti-cancer properties, and they’re high in fiber and protein. Second, we use Greek yogurt in these pancakes, so we’re getting a calcium boost and some more protein. Then there’s the white whole wheat flour. If you haven’t started using it yet, I think you should. All the benefits of whole wheat flour are there, but because it is made from hard white spring wheat, the color and texture is lighter. Perfect for pancakes and other baked goods. There’s no oil or butter, just good stuff through and through.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that my kids are absolutely addicted to their dad’s peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes. Well, this recipe has finally shoved that one out the door. The versatility of these are a huge hit with the kids. As Jim mans the griddle, they get to choose what kind of pancake they want. Feels a little like a diner, which is fun. But since Jim’s using the same batter for everything, it’s no big deal to sprinkle some mini chocolate chips on one, some blackberries on another, and some blueberries on a few more. It definitely takes breakfast to new heights!
Recipe: Raspberry Oatmeal Pancakes
(adapted from Sunset magazine)
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. plain, lowfat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 c. nonfat milk
1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. berries
In a large bowl, mix oats with Greek yogurt and milk. Let stand 15-30 minutes for oats to soften. Meanwhile, in another large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. When 15-30 minutes has passed, beat eggs and vanilla into oat mixture. Pour oat mixture into flour mixture and stir until evenly combined.
Heat griddle over medium heat. When hot, spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter onto griddle and sprinkle each with berries. Cook until pancakes are lightly browned on the bottom, then turn to lightly brown the other side.
Serve pancakes right away or keep warm in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven.
Have you ever looked around at all the varieties of rice krispie treat desserts there are out there? I really think you could create a blog just totally about those and not run out of ideas for years. These avalanche bars are a take on the classic that I hadn’t seen before, so I wanted to give them a try for the kids on the first day of school.
Warning: You absolutely must like white chocolate chips or you aren’t going to enjoy these. Personally, I’m not a fan. White chocolate – real white chocolate – is fine with me, but vanilla flavored morsels are just not my cup of tea. However, they’re a main ingredient here and I figured I wasn’t the one who was going to eat them, so I made them anyway. Were they ever sweet!! So much so, in fact, that (shock of shocks) my kids didn’t really even care for them. Crazy, I know, since Claudia has an exceptionally active sweet tooth.
Take my “review” for what it’s worth. I love the idea of mixing up the traditional rice krispie treats, but I’m going to stick to some of the other recipes I’ve found out there in the blogsphere. Have you tried cake batter rice krispie treats yet? They’re definitely on our “keeper” list!
Recipe: Avalanche Bars
(from Cookies and Cups)
12 oz. bag of White Chocolate Chips
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
3 c. Rice Krispies cereal
1 1/2 c. mini marshmallows
1/4 c.mini chocolate chips + 2 Tbsp. for garnish
Lightly grease a 9×9 pan. In a microwave-safe bowl, pour in white chips and heat on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir and continue to heat in 30 second increments until chips are melted. Stir in the peanut butter until combined. Add krispies and mix. Allow to cool 15-20 minutes. Add the marshmallows and mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and spread evenly; pressing lightly with the back of your spoon. Press remaining chocolate chips into the top for garnish. When completely cooled, cut into bars. (I found that I had to refrigerate them to firm them up enough to cut into bars.)