Category Archives: Everyday Cakes

Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}

Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Nobody throws a dinner party quite like my friend, David. He can make a multi-course meal for fifty without panicking for a second, and he’s been known to throw impromptu dinner & a movie nights for twenty without the slightest hesitation.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Both the man and his food are sophisticated without being pretentious—think ham smoked on his roof, cold salmon with dill & yogurt, habanero cheese grits, herby roasted potatoes, tomato & avocado salad with pesto, and a recipe for brussels sprouts that haunts my dreams. And that’s to say nothing of the things he can do with a Costco croissant and a bulb of fennel! I could go on, but the bottom line is that David makes unfussy food that is outrageously delicious, and if you are ever so lucky as to be invited for dinner at his apartment, you must must must go. If not for the main menu or the love of his three-legged cat, go for the Boterkoek.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}If you have never heard of Boterkoek (pronounced “bow-ter-kook”), it’s Dutch for “butter cake,” and it’s about to be your new favorite dessert for any and all occasions. David is of Dutch descent and makes it frequently (usually from Heleen A.M. Halverhout’s Dutch Cooking), and now, so do I.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}As its name states, this cake is ridiculously buttery. It’s also sweet, simple, and the sort of thing that works just as well for dinner with friends as it does for delivering to new parents or keeping around to pick on over the course of a lazy weekend.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek is made from a dough rather than a batter. It includes softened butter (duh), sugar, an egg, flour, vanilla and almond extracts, and minced candied ginger. There’s no leavener, but the final product isn’t terribly dense. I attribute that to beating the softened butter until it’s good and fluffy.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}As with all of David’s go-to recipes, this one is decidedly unfussy. The most annoying part of making a Boterkoek is reserving a teaspoon of the beaten egg for brushing over the top of the cake. No bother, really. The thin layer of egg wash makes for a golden top, and a crosshatch pattern carved out with the tines of a fork gives way to crispy edges and a magazine-quality presentation.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}I haven’t even mentioned the flavor! Boterkoek is rich and buttery with a touch of almond flavor and a little sharpness from the candied ginger. The texture falls somewhere between a cake, shortbread and a blondie—it’s best eaten with a fork when it’s warm, but can be handheld when it’s room temperature.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek is what I like to call an everyday cake; it can be made easily with few ingredients, doesn’t require layering or frosting, and works for almost any casual occasion including, of course, a dinner party at David’s. Or, you know, watching Netflix in your oldest/best pajamas.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Either way, you shouldn’t skimp on the ice cream.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}

Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}
adapted from Dutch Cooking by Heleen A.M. Halverhout
makes one 8-inch round cake, about 8-10 slices

1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon water
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup minced candied ginger

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch pie plate with butter. Set aside.

Crack egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork. Use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to remove 1 teaspoon of the egg to a separate bowl. Whisk 1 teaspoon water with the 1 teaspoon of egg to make an egg wash. Set both bowls aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, an electric mixer (or wooden spoon and a lot of elbow grease) to beat softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the larger amount of egg, vanilla and almond extracts, and beat to combine. Add flour and salt and mix until a thick, crumbly dough forms. Add minced candied ginger and mix on low for 10-15 seconds to distribute.

Press dough into prepared pan. Brush egg wash over the top. Use the tines of a fork or edge of a knife to create a crosshatch pattern on top.

Bake cake 30-35 minutes, or until golden and glossy on top. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving from the pan.

Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}

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Meyer Lemon Drizzle Cakes

Meyer Lemon Drizzle CakesI’ll never forget the first time I found meyer lemons in a regular grocery store. It was 2010, and I was doing a last-second rush for supplies before a blizzard. I have no idea what I shopped for that day (my then-oven ran at least 150F cool, so options were limited), but I remember seeing a display of meyer lemons and thinking they were so…exotic. I had heard of meyer lemons, of course, but never seen them in the wild (er, Cobble Hill grocery store). Out of curiosity, I put a couple in my cart. I couldn’t begin to tell you what I did with them, but that is the probably-tedious story of how I came to love meyer lemons.Meyer Lemon Drizzle CakesFast forward nine years and I have used meyer lemons many, many times. I see them in every store this time of year, and while I no longer think of them as exotic, I always look forward to adding their orange-lemon flavor to my bakes. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I only have one lone meyer lemon recipe in my archives! Just one measly recipe for scones—very good scones, mind you, but how is that the only recipe I have to celebrate one of the best winter citruses out there?!Meyer Lemon Drizzle CakesWell, consider that oversight rectified. Today’s Meyer Lemon Drizzle Cakes celebrate everything that is wonderful about this winter citrus. There’s meyer lemon zest in the batter, the cakes are soaked in a sticky meyer lemon syrup, and the cakes are topped with a thick meyer lemon icing drizzle. Yesssss.Meyer Lemon Drizzle CakesThis recipe is based off the Orange Cardamom Cake I posted last fall. The batter itself is near identical; just sub meyer lemon zest for orange and nix the cardamom. Instead of baking it in a bundt pan, I went for two loaf pans—one to share, ya know?!

I also upped the temperature by 25F. This extra burst of heat allows the cakes to dome slightly, which comes in handy when you drizzle on the thick meyer lemon icing.Meyer Lemon Drizzle CakesBut before we get to icing, let’s talk syrup! After baking, these cakes are soaked with a meyer lemon simple syrup. To make it, just combine equal volumes of meyer lemon juice and granulated sugar over low heat, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Easy.Meyer Lemon Drizzle CakesMeyer Lemon Drizzle CakesMeyer Lemon Drizzle CakesWhile the cakes are still warm, poke ‘em full of holes. I like to use a thin, flexible knife to keep them inconspicuous, but a skewer will work. Whatever you use, poke it through to the bottom. Then pour over that syrup. You’ll think it’s too much, or that it’ll make your cakes soggy, but it won’t. It’ll just make them extra moist and dense and outrageously delicious. This is the good stuff.Meyer Lemon Drizzle CakesMeyer Lemon Drizzle CakesMeyer Lemon Drizzle CakesLast but not least, let’s talk about the drizzle. It’s a just a simple icing—two ingredients, one bowl, no mixer—but it’s the crowning glory on these tea cakes. Once the soaked cakes are cool, set them on a cooling rack and pour the icing down the center. The cakes’ slight domes should help the icing to “spread” itself, but you can coax it with the back of a spoon, too. It’ll drip down the sides a bit, but should be thick enough that most of it stays on top. The icing will set quickly, which is a good thing because you’re going to want to dig right in.Meyer Lemon Drizzle CakesMeyer Lemon Drizzle Cake is good on the first day. Very good, even. But if you have the patience, you should wait a day or two to have a slice. The cakes become even more tender and the orange-lemon flavor intensifies over time, making those day-old slices absolutely heavenly.Meyer Lemon Drizzle CakesI, however, have no patience around Meyer Lemon Drizzle Cake.Meyer Lemon Drizzle Cakes

Meyer Lemon Drizzle Cakes
makes two 9×5-inch loaf cakes

Cakes:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh meyer lemon zest (about 2 medium meyer lemons-worth)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 16 pieces
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup milk (preferably whole), room temperature

Syrup:
2/3 cup freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice (about 4 medium meyer lemons)
2/3 cup granulated sugar

Icing Drizzle:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 1/2 medium meyer lemons)

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans. Line with parchment, leaving overhang on the two long sides, and grease again. Set aside.

Make the cake. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes. Batter will be thick.

Transfer batter to prepared pans and smooth the tops with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Tap full pans on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes while you make the syrup.

Combine meyer lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stab warm cakes (still in their pans) several times with a thin, flexible knife or skewer, making sure to poke all the way to the bottom. Pour syrup evenly over the cakes, about 1/2 cup each. Let cakes soak in the syrup until they are completely cool.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set a cooling rack over the top. Use parchment overhang to remove soaked cakes from pans. Discard used parchment and place cakes on prepared cooling rack.

Make the icing. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together confectioners sugar and meyer lemon juice. Mixture should be very thick, but pourable. If it’s too thick, add more meyer lemon juice by the teaspoon. Pour over the centers of the cakes—the icing should “spread” itself, but you can coax it a bit with the back of a spoon. Let sit for 20 minutes to set. Move cakes to a serving plate before slicing and serving.

Leftover cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to five. Meyer lemon flavor will intensify over time.Meyer Lemon Drizzle CakesMeyer Lemon Drizzle CakesMeyer Lemon Drizzle Cakes

French Apple Cake

French Apple CakeIf you are looking for an apple cake with brown sugar and warming spices, this isn’t the one. (This is.)French Apple CakeIf, however, you’re looking for a buttery, almost custard-like cake with only a teaspoon of vanilla extract to distract from the flavor of tender fresh apples, you’ve come to the right blog.French Apple CakeMeet the French Apple Cake. It’s easy. It’s elegant. It’s French home-baking at its finest.French Apple CakeFrench Apple CakeThis little cake is perfect for the upcoming holidays (or just any ol’ day) because it requires minimal effort and delivers big time. Also, it requires exactly nine ingredients (ten, if you include the confectioner’s sugar) and there’s an 80% chance you have all of them already.French Apple CakeFrench Apple CakeThere’s no need to soften any butter either, so you can conceivably have this in the oven in under 20 minutes. You won’t even need to break out your mixer!French Apple CakeFrench Apple CakeThis beauty bakes up in about 45 minutes, and since it doesn’t require frosting or filling or anything more than a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, it only needs a 15 minute rest before you can release it from its springform and slice it up.French Apple CakeYou read all that correctly. If you crank the oven right now, you can be eating French Apple Cake in 80 minutes.French Apple CakeI’d start moving toward the kitchen, if I were you.French Apple Cake

French Apple Cake
makes one 9-inch round cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large baking apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
juice of 1/2 medium lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

For serving (optional):
confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Combine 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Whisk for about 2 minutes, or until uniform in appearance and a bit thick. It will be grainy.

Whisk half the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, followed by half the melted butter. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and butter.

In a small mixing bowl, toss together apple chunks and lemon juice.

Add apples to cake batter and fold together with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Transfer to prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Scatter remaining tablespoon of sugar over the top. Tap full pan on the counter 5 times before baking for 40-50 minutes, or until golden. A toothpick inserted in the center should come back clean or with only a few moist crumbs.

Let cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a thin, flexible knife around the edge of the pan before releasing the springform. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. Dust with confectioners sugar, if desired.

Leftover cake will keep covered at room temperature for two days or in the refrigerator for up to five.French Apple CakeFrench Apple Cake

Raspberry Coffee Cake

Raspberry Coffee CakeRaspberry Coffee Cake—it’s what’s for breakfast this weekend.Raspberry Coffee Cake
It can also be what’s for mid-morning snack, second breakfast, afternoon snack, or dessert. It’s also totally okay to sub a big hunk of it for one meal.* But only on the weekend because vegetables are important. Or something.

*Not a nutritionist, just a coffee cake enthusiast who believes in cake for lunch every once in a while, okay? Okay.Raspberry Coffee Cake
Raspberry Coffee Cake is a summertime spin on the Apple Cider Coffee Cake I made last fall. I’m looking forward to making the apple version again in a few months, but I am all about fresh seasonal berries right now. When I wrote my berry round-up a couple of weeks ago, I was shocked to see how few raspberry recipes I have in my archives, so I went and made a cake that showcases them in all their sweet, tangy glory!Raspberry Coffee CakeRaspberry Coffee CakeRaspberry Coffee Cake
This cake is super moist and delicious. In addition to the 1 1/2 cups of ripe red raspberries, the batter is made with sour cream, whole milk, butter, and a touch of brown sugar—basically, if you can think of an ingredient that makes cake amazing, it’s probably in this recipe.Raspberry Coffee CakeRaspberry Coffee CakeRaspberry Coffee CakeRaspberry Coffee Cake
I know coffee cake crumb qualifies more as an “element” than it does as an ingredient, but this cake has two layers of it and they definitely up the amazingness quotient. While the middle layer sort of melts into the middle of the cake, the stuff on top gets super caramelized and crispy while baking. YUM.Raspberry Coffee Cake
And speaking of baking, because it’s so moist, this cake needs to bake for a while. Like 75-minutes-a-while. The wait will seem eternal, but it will be absolutely worth it because cinnamon-scented cake bursting with raspberries and topped with crunchy crumbs is basically always worth it.Raspberry Coffee Cake
Another great thing? You don’t have to cool this cake completely before you slice into it. I mean, if you want to move it to a serving plate, you’ll want to wait for it to cool, but if it’s just you and family/friends who are family sitting around drinking cold brew and eating Raspberry Coffee Cake on a Saturday afternoon, slice that sucker up anytime you please.Raspberry Coffee Cake

Raspberry Coffee Cake
makes 1 9-inch round cake

Crumb:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

Cake Batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (about 8 ounces)

Garnish:
1-2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Make the crumb. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in vanilla. Add butter. Use your hands (or a pastry blender) to work butter into dry ingredients until a clumpy but homogenous mixture forms. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Line with parchment. Grease parchment with butter. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until fluffy. Mix in egg and sour cream; mixture may be a bit lumpy. Mix in half the dry ingredients followed by half the milk. Add remaining dry ingredients, followed by remaining milk. Use a silicone spatula (or wooden spoon) to fold in raspberries.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Top with half the crumb. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the crumb and gently spread to cover. Scatter remaining crumb over the top. Tap full pan a few times on the countertop to release any large air bubbles. Bake cake for 65-75, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool 20 minutes in the pan on a rack. Run a thin, flexible knife around the edge of the pan before releasing the springform. Cake may be served warm or room temperature. If you’d like, let the cake cool completely, invert it and remove the parchment before placing on a serving platter. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the top. Serve.

Leftover cake will keep well at room temperature for up to two days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.
Raspberry Coffee Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down CakeThere’s just something about Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.Pineapple Upside-Down CakeI don’t know if it’s the buttery cake or the mosaic of canned fruit that I would otherwise never eat or the way the brown sugar glaze caramelizes perfectly during the 50 minute bake time.Pineapple Upside-Down CakePineapple Upside-Down CakePineapple Upside-Down CakePineapple Upside-Down CakePerhaps it’s the way that it somehow straddles the line between Everyday Cake and Celebration Cake.Pineapple Upside-Down CakePineapple Upside-Down CakeOr that it doesn’t need to cool much after baking and doesn’t need any sort of adornment to make it complete. A scoop of ice cream doesn’t hurt though.Pineapple Upside-Down CakePineapple Upside-Down CakeMaybe it’s that making one of these beauties lets me channel the TV ghost of June Cleaver. The undeniable retro-ness of this cake nearly has me reaching for my string of pearls.Pineapple Upside-Down Cake(That’s really something, considering that this blog could easily be sponsored by Lululemon, Birkenstock, and ten year old college t-shirts.)Pineapple Upside-Down CakeYep, if I were a cake, this would be the one.Pineapple Upside-Down CakeWhy all this Pineapple Upside-Down Cake love? Well, all the things listed above and because today is National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day. Yes, that’s a thing now. As far as I’m concerned, it’s as good a reason as any to stash a homemade cake in your fridge and snack on it all weekend.Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
makes one 9-inch round cake

Topping:
1 20-ounce can pineapple slices in juice
1 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup pineapple juice (reserved from topping)
1/2 cup milk (not skim or fat free), room temperature

For serving:
vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a deep 9-inch round cake pan (or a springform). Set aside.

Make the topping. Open the can of pineapple rings and drain the juice into a small bowl. Drain maraschino cherries (or just fish them out of the jar).

In a small saucepan, combine butter and light brown sugar. Place over medium-low heat and stir constantly until butter and sugar are melted, 3-5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Transfer mixture into prepared pan, using a silicone spatula to spread it over the entire bottom of the pan. Top the brown sugar mixture with a single layer or pineapple and cherries. Set aside.

Make the cake batter. In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in granulated and light brown sugars. Add eggs one at a time, mixing completely after each addition. Combine pineapple juice, milk, vanilla and almond extracts (if using) in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low, alternate adding dry ingredients and the pineapple juice mixture in two installments. Mix just until combined.

Pour batter over pineapple and cherry layer, and spread with a silicone spatula to even out the top. Tap pan on the counter two or three times to release any large air bubbles. Depending on the depth of your pan, you may want to place it on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any light overflow of caramel.

Bake cake 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Tent loosely with a layer of foil if anything begins to brown too quickly.

Let cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a small, thin knife around the edge of the pan a couple of times before inverting onto a cake stand or large serving plate. If any fruit sticks to the pan, just nudge it back onto the cake with your fingers.

Serve cake warm, room temperature, or cold, with ice cream, if desired.

Cake is best the day it’s baked, but will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake