Tag: Cake

Vanilla Bean Sheet Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Happy spring, everyone! Not only is it officially spring, but the weather in LA has been really gorgeous lately! We’re celebrating the awesome weather and the start of spring with our first sheet cake recipe! A Vanilla Bean Sheet Cake with Strawberry Frosting! I love a good sheet cake and couldn’t believe we haven’t done one for the blog yet! Crazy! So today’s the day! This cake is light fluffy, delicious and really simple to make! I used freeze-dried strawberries in this frosting bc I really wanted a nice, strong flavor of real strawberry and the flavors in the freeze-dried strawberries and nice and concentrated they get the job done! Enjoy! xx, Jenny

Vanilla Bean Sheet Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Makes 1 (9”x 13”)

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or 1/2 vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups whole milk
strawberry frosting:
1/4 heaping cup freeze-dried strawberries
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk
pinch salt
roughly crushed freeze-dried strawberries
white chocolate crispy balls, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Lightly grease a 9”x 13” baking pan and line with parchment (so longer sides of pan have a couple inches of overhang on each side).
3. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar , with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy.
5. Scrape down sides of bowl and with motor running add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Stir in vanilla.
6. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of milk to the butter mixture and mix. Continue adding flour and milk in thirds until fully incorporated and batter is smooth, making sure not to over mix.
7. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick come out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.
8. Place cake onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Once cooled, lift cake out by the parchment paper. Peel parchment paper from cake and transfer cake to a platter or cutting board.
9. For frosting: Place freeze-dried strawberries and powdered sugar into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
10. Cream butter in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar mixture to butter, with motor running until fully incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl, add milk and beat together until smooth.
11. To assemble: Scoop frosting onto top of cake and spread evenly over the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with crushed freeze-dried strawberries and white chocolate crispy balls, if using. Slice and serve.

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Small Batch Chocolate Guinness Cake Loaf · i am a food blog i am a food blog

Small Batch Chocolate Guinness Cake Loaf | www.iamafoodblog.com

If you’re looking for a small batch treat to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, this little chocolate Guinness loaf is for you. It’s rich and deep with just the barest hint of Irish stout and is absolutely perfect on it’s own or along side a pint.

Even though this is technically a post to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and it has nothing to do with British people, I wanted to mention that I just love the way British people describe sweets. Or food in general. One of my all time favorite things to do in winter is watch Nigella Lawson while I’m doing Christmas baking. She has a whole series of Christmas specials and they always feel that way: special. I think it’s something in the way she talks about food. Everything is luscious and magnificent. Flavors are resonant and gorgeous. It really makes me want to improve my lexicon and branch out from just exclaiming that everything is awesome.

But, speaking of awesome, this little cake definitely is. It’s a Nigella recipe, naturally, and it’s all of the over the top adjectives. I third-ed the recipe and it just about fit in my little loaf pan – you may want to hold back a 1/4 cup batter and make an extra cupcake on the side because my just spilled over the top. It has an awkward egg measurement, but if you have a kitchen scale (if you’re into small batch baking at all, I hope you do!) it’s no big deal to whisk up an egg then measure it out. I truly love using my scale to bake, especially when doing small batch recipes. It just makes the math so much more easy.

Even though I topped the cake with a bit of creme fraiche frosting – it’s supposed to kind of look like a glass of stout – I loved the cake without. And, as Nigella says: it is perfectly acceptable to leave the cake un-iced: in fact, it tastes gorgeous plain.

Happy baking!

Small Batch Chocolate Guinness Cake Loaf | www.iamafoodblog.com

Small Batch Chocolate Guinness Cake Loaf | www.iamafoodblog.com

Small Batch Chocolate Guinness Cake Loaf | www.iamafoodblog.com

Small Batch Chocolate Guinness Cake Loaf | www.iamafoodblog.com

Small Batch Chocolate Guinness Cake Loaf
makes 1 small loaf

  • 1/3 cup guinness
  • 1/3 cup (83 grams) butter
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) cocoa
  • 2/3 cup (133 grams) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 35 grams egg, about 1 tablespoon plus 2.5 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup (90 grams) flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

via Nigella Lawson

Heat the oven to 350°F and butter and line your mini loaf pan (6×3 inches or a pan that fits 2 cups liquid).

In a small pot, over medium heat, combine the Guinness and butter. When the butter is melted, remove from the heat. Whisk in the cocoa, then the sugar.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Whisk into the beer mix. Whisk in the flour and baking soda until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, remove from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack. Enjoy!

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Lemon Coconut Petal Cake – A Cozy Kitchen

This coconut lemon petal cake has been on my to-make list for a looooong time. And since I’m super excited for spring–even though we’re not even out of February yet–I decided to make it and get a lil’ bit of a jump start on the season.

While this cake is a test in patience (yes, admittedly it takes some time), the topping is actually super easy to do. No real special skills needed. The thing you have to have is a small spoon OR better yet, a small offset spatula.

And of course, some food coloring gels.

Not going to lie, this cake is a bit of a labor of love. Between the lemon curd, cake layers and buttercream, there’s a good amount of things to make. I like to make lemon curd and frosting the day before so I can knock it out and just spend most of my time assembling and decorating. Dividing up the work really helps.

In other news, this weekend I’m prepping for Josh’s b-day. I usually throw him a party of some kind but this year he wanted to do something low-key. We’re headed to Santa Barbara to celebrate. His friends just opened a restaurant so we’re going to go eat some pizza, some Mexican food and walk around near the beach—it should be chill vibes.



Keywordcoconut cake, lemon cake, lemon curd, rum cake, spring cake

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Serving Size: 8

Calories: 420kcal

Lemon Curd:

  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Coconut Cake Layers:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teapsoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons neutral oil (vegetable oil or avocado oil)
  • 3 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar


  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons white rum (optional)
  • Various food coloring gel

To Make the Lemon Curd

  • To a small saucepan, placed over medium heat, simmer the lemon juice until it reduces by half (to about 1/3 cup), about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

  • *In the stainless steel bowl (note: you’ll use this bowl as a makeshift double-boiler later) of your stand-up mixer, add the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. You can also use a glass or stainless steel bowl with an electric hand mixer. 

  • Add the egg yolks, beat the mixture together, until they’re well incorporated. Stir in the salt, and then in a few batches, add the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled and you might scratch your head and wonder if it’s right, it will be!

  • Rinse out the small saucepan you used earlier, and fill it with a few inches of water. Bring the water to a simmer and place your stainless steel bowl of curd mixture on top. Stir constantly, and heat the curd slowly enough that the sugar has time to dissolve and the whole mess becomes cohesive; this step usually takes about 10 minutes. Pull the curd from the heat, when it is just thick enough to coat your spoon and until a thermometer reads 166 F. The curd will thicken as it cools.

  • I ran the curd through a sieve into a chilled bowl a few times just to ensure it was silky smooth. I highly recommend this step! Transfer the curd to a container a keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to a week.

To Make the Coconut Cake Layers:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 8-inch cake pans with rounds of parchment and grease the sides with cooking spray or flour and butter. Set aside. 

  • In a large measuring cup, measure out the milk and add the egg whites. Whisk together and set aside. To a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. 

  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (or using a large bowl and an electric hand mixer), add the butter, oil, coconut extract and sugar. Beat until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Next, rotating between the milk/egg white mixture and the dry ingredient, add, ending and beginning with the liquid mixture. Beat for an additional 20 seconds, until everything is combined and cohesive. Give it a manual stir with a spatula just to ensure all of the flour at the bottom of the bowl is properly combined. 

  • Divide the batter amongst the two cake pans and using a spatula, even out the top and spread the batter to the edges of the cake pans. Transfer to the oven to bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes in the pan before inverting them onto cooling racks. 

To Make the Buttercream:

  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the butter. Beat for about 30 seconds or so just until the butter is mostly smooth. Add the sifted powdered sugar and salt. I like to cover my mixer with a clean kitchen towel so the powdered sugar doesn’t spill out. Turn the mixer to low and mix for about 30 seconds. Turn the speed up to medium speed and beat for an additional 30 seconds.

  • Pour in the heavy cream and rum and beat on high for 2 minutes, until the buttercream is light and fluffy. 

To Assemble the Cake:

  • Place one cooled cake layer on a cake board. Transfer about 1 cup of white frosting to a piping tip. Create a barrier to the top of the first layer of cake. Pour about 1 cup of lemon curd to the center and using a spatula, spread it into one even layer. Place the second cake layer on top. Add a crumb coat of white frosting to the cake and smooth the top and sides. Transfer the cake to the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes. 

  • Meanwhile, divide the remaining frosting into three different bowls. Then to two other small bowls, add about 2 tablespoons each (this is going to be the center colors). For the center, I made them burgundy (black and red food coloring gel, about 1 drop each) and the other bright yellow (1 drop of yellow). For the three different colors of mauve, I added about 1 drop of fuschia + 1 drop of black. I played with these adding a bit at a time, until I reached 3 different shades, going from darker to medium to light. 

  • Add the three different shades of mauve to different piping bags with #10 tips attached. To the top, starting with the outside, and starting with the darkest color, add one row of dots all the way around the top of the cake. Using a small offset spatula, press the dot down, making a swiping motion. Repeat with the same color. Next, move onto the medium color. And repeat with two rows. Next, move onto the lightest color, repeating with two rows. 

  • When you reach the center, you should have a small circle that’s empty. Transfer the burgundy and yellow color of frosting to two small piping bags, snipping off the tips. Make a ton of teeny dots of each of the color to the center, mimicking the center of a flower. Transfer to the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes before slicing. 

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Video & Recipe 008 – Strawberry Shortcake

Video & Recipe 008 – Strawberry Shortcake

Recipe by Sangdad, cookbook publishing in Thailand Video by Spoonful Production

5-Minute Peanut Butter & Jelly Mug Cake

Table for One is a column by Senior Editor Eric Kim, who loves cooking for himself—and only himself—and seeks to celebrate the beauty of solitude in its many forms. This week, a pantry dessert that capitalizes on the power of 5 minutes.

In my opinion, one of life’s greatest pleasures is collecting mugs. I wouldn’t say that this is the most interesting thing about me (but it’s pretty high on the list). When I travel anywhere, I always come home with a new mug. The cheesier the lettering, the tackier the coloring, the better. They’re reminders of my trips but also of the people I’ve met, and of the delicious coffee I’ve had in them.

In my cabinet at home, above the Chemex, you’ll find a rainbow of mugs I’ve collected over my 10 years in New York City, moving from apartment to apartment to apartment. Even the ugliest, chipped mugs I’ve kept because they remind me of something or someone. I love that each cup tells a story, and in their continued usage, will gather meaning and symbolism in my life as a hermetic mug hoarder who loves having people over (so he never has to go out).

I use my mugs for things other than drinking my morning coffee. Like serving soup at dinner parties. It’s not uncommon on weekends for my friends to stare up at me from the tiny, flimsy fold-up table I’ve forced crowded them around as I open up my cabinet, smiling wide, “Pick a mug, any mug.”

You’d be surprised at how much you can tell about a person from the mug they choose. Those who choose wide-rimmed mugs are usually Aquariuses. Those who seek tall, angular mugs are confident in their professional lives, but vulnerable in their personal ones. Those who reach for the fancy-schmancy mugs think very highly of themselves—as they should, because self-love.

As for me? I love my 12-ounce mugs. They’re the perfect size for coffee—and the perfect size for cake.

One of my deepest, darkest secrets (and perhaps the greatest evidence of my self-sufficiency) is this peanut butter and jelly mug cake. I make it for myself whenever I’m in the middle of a Grey’s Anatomy episode and want something sweet to tide me over until Meredith’s closing monologue, which always makes me cry. It gives me that little boost of energy I need to really let it all out and just bawl. And if some of my tears go into the cake, all the better; the salt helps bring out the peanut butter flavor.

Your choice? It’s simple. Her or me. And I’m sure she’s really great. But Derek, I love you, in a really, really big—pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over my head outside your window—unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you. So pick me. Choose me. Love me.

Dr. Meredith Grey, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

For these moments and more, all I do is take a 12-ounce mug and plop a handful of ingredients into it: 1/4 cup peanut butter (that’s 4 tablespoons, by the way), 1 egg, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, and a pinch of salt. I whisk this together until smooth, then dollop in 1 tablespoon jelly, whatever flavor I have on hand. I think grape tastes great, but I’ve tried sour cherry (yum) and my colleague Ella—who helped me finesse this recipe—preferred versions with raspberry.

You’ll then want to swirl the jam—but don’t mix it in, because the joy of this cake is that it bakes up (in just 45 to 60 seconds on high) into a light and fluffy sponge, not unlike a Japanese cheesecake, and so the pockets of jelly melt and make certain cross sections a little gooey. It’s the best of both worlds, for me. But if you’re like Ella, who adores peanut butter, then I’d recommend leaving out the baking powder. You’ll end up with a fudgier, gooier cake with a more pronounced PB flavor, which can be very nice if you’re into that.

I love this mug cake because it’s the ultimate comfort dessert for one, both in the eating and in the cooking. Its small-scale nature makes it quick and easy to execute—just five minutes from start to finish, only one of which is actual cooking. Plus, cleanup is essentially nonexistent, since you’re mixing up all of the ingredients in one single cup that gets thrown into the dishwasher.

There are also so many permutations here: You could try a different kind of nut butter with your favorite flavor of jelly. I imagine almond butter with raspberry would taste great, for instance. And if it doesn’t, who cares? I’ve always felt that the greatest thing about cooking for one is that it encourages experimentation, and the risk is so low because it’s just you in the kitchen. As my editor Joanna once wrote, “a mug cake is the ultimate in whimsical, riffable desserts: You can experiment without committing to the whole shebang of a recipe.”

Oh, the final thing I should say is that this cake happens to be gluten-free: There’s no flour. Whether this matters to you or not, I think it’s an incredible thing when a recipe works even better without an ordinarily essential ingredient. There’s something about peanut butter that just bakes up into a gorgeous cake with the simple help of a single egg and sugar.

If you’re looking for more microwave cakes (for Grey’s Anatomy binges and more), I highly recommend Marie T. Smith’s Microwave Cooking for One. People can say what they will about the book’s premise, but Smith’s “Cakes and Frosting” chapter has some of the best recipes I’ve seen: from apple and blueberry streusel cakes to cornbread, banana bread, carrot cake, and even cheesecake, all adapted for the microwave. She really makes a case for self-care—after all, is there a kinder act than baking a cake just for you?

Do you watch Grey’s Anatomy and love crying, too? Let us know in the comments below.

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A Palestinian Pomegranate Cake to Celebrate Life

Yasmin Khan—longtime Food52 contributor, food and travel writer, and author of the beautiful new book, Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen—is no stranger to telling stories. (If we had any doubts about this, she quashes them by tailing her name with the word “stories” in all of her social handles.) This emphasis on narrative is what makes Zaitoun such an important book in its telling of the kitchens she visited on her travels to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

“The thread running through all my work is a fundamental belief that humans, wherever we are in the world, have more to unite us than to divide us,” she writes in the book’s introduction. “Celebrating this commonality is my passion, inspired by the old Jewish adage that ‘an enemy is just a person whose story you haven’t heard yet.’”

To hear more of her stories, I asked Yasmin to trek through the polar vortex to the Food52 offices, where we sat down to chat.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

ERIC KIM: Tell us about yourself. What did you do before food?

YASMIN KHAN: Before I came into the food world, I did a law degree and worked as a human rights campaigner for charities and nonprofits. I did a lot of grassroots community work on all kinds of issues. I think the thing I’m most known for in the U.K. is my work on deaths in police custody. I also worked for trade unions on employment rights and for an anti-poverty human rights charity, and that’s what kind of sparked my interest in Israel and Palestine.

EK: How do you see human rights playing into the way you write about food? Are they related?

YK: What drove me when I was a human rights activist was this realization that the best way you could effect change would be by sharing people’s stories, by connecting people to others in a really human way. And I feel like that’s what I do in my cookbooks, as well. I travel around places and I share stories from the people I meet, with the aim and the mission of challenging stereotypes of the Middle East. But also humanizing people and celebrating our commonality, which I think in these troubled times is needed very urgently.

The thread running through all my work is a fundamental belief that humans, wherever we are in the world, have more to unite us than to divide us.

EK: Would you say this a political book, then?

YK: Yeah, the act of witnessing is very important when there are human rights abuses. And I see my role as someone who witnesses those things. I’m not Palestinian, but I did travel extensively around the region, and what I wanted to do in this book was to use food as a way of opening a window into this place that’s more commonly construed through news headlines. Also, I’ve always felt that if you care about a food of a culture, you also have to care about the people.

Photo by Matt Russell

EK: In the book, you write about being detained at the airport in Tel Aviv and interrogated by Israeli officials. Does this happen to you often?

YK: Oh yeah. It’s been really interesting. Even when I used to work for the nonprofits, my boss, who was a middle-aged white man, would walk through fine, and we’d be flying together with our papers from the foreign office saying we’re coming. The reason I included that part of my travels is that yes, this is a cookbook, but increasingly I feel that Israeli food has become so popular, and Tel Aviv is seen as this incredible foodie destination—and it definitely is, there are great restaurants there and a vibrant food scene—but your ability to access it is dependent on your ethnicity. Not everybody can have these wonderful food holidays.

So for me, it was just about saying, “What is this actually about?” Even at the basic level of trying to get in, having gone through hours of detention and interrogation—even though they knew I was there to write a cookbook—I realized that it’s actually just about making you feel vulnerable. The questions are circular, and you’ve not eaten for a while. At one point the interrogator said to me, “You look a lot like your mom, don’t you? You don’t look like your dad?” It’s just very frightening.

EK: It’s cruel and inhumane. I’m sorry.

YK: Yeah.

EK: Well, you wrote: “I should have packed a sandwich.” What kind of sandwich will you pack for the next time? Just kidding…

YK: (Laughs.) Actually, I did! The next time, I picked up an avocado wrap with Parmesan and mayonnaise and pine nuts, and I had a TREK bar.

EK: What’s a TREK bar?

YK: It’s a U.K. thing. It’s got oats and protein—you know, one of those health bars. I was fully prepared.

‘Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen’ by Yasmin Khan.

Photo by W. W. Norton & Company

EK: What is Palestinian food, and what would you say are the most important ingredients in a Palestinian kitchen?

YK: Palestinian food is seasonal and vegetable-focused, primarily, and uses spices like cumin, cinnamon, and allspice to delicately flavor stews, grilled meats, and fish dishes. And I think the ingredients used most commonly, like allspice, were a revelation to me. We’re used to having allspice in cakes and cookies and pumpkin pie, but in Palestinian food they use it in savory dishes. So now that’s what I do all the time. Sumac and za’atar are very important, as well. Za’atar is an herb that grows wild, but it’s also a spice mix with the herb and sumac and sesame seeds. Palestinians often start meals with tearing a bit of bread, dunking it in olive oil, and dunking that in za’atar. It’s so good.

EK: What does the word zaitoun mean, and what is its significance for the book and for your journey?

YK: Zaitoun means “olive” in Arabic and Farsi and Turkish, and it was, for me, the word that best symbolized the Palestinian table. Any time you have a meal, there’ll be a bowl of olives on the table, and Palestinians always have several bottles of olive oil in their cupboard, normally coming from their family trees. The olive tree and the olive branch are universally known as symbols of peace, but in Palestine, the olive tree also represents connection to the land. So many poems and films and books have olive tree symbolism in them. And when they’re uprooted, olive trees have come to represent Palestinian displacement. It all comes from that one word.

EK: That’s really beautiful.

YK: Yeah.

EK: Your photographer Raya is an integral part of this book, not just aesthetically but in the story too. Can you tell us about her?

YK: I really wanted to work with a woman. And I really wanted to work with a Palestinian woman. It’s important, for me, when I’m doing these kinds of projects to be connected to the community I’m representing. I like to work with women because I feel that, especially in those spaces, in many Middle Eastern countries, women can actually get you better access into other women’s homes. And so it was a real strength to me to have Raya. You get so much more depth and connection when it’s a photographer who speaks the language and has got her own food recommendations. She’s a massive foodie and a dear friend.

And of course, it’s just so funny—that pomegranate tattoo she has? In my first book, The Saffron Tales, I wax on and on about pomegranates so much, because being half-Iranian, they’re such a big part of our lives. When I was chatting with her on Skype, she was like, “My leg hurts! I just got a new tattoo.” It was this gorgeous pomegranate half coming up her leg, and I thought, “That’s the photographer for me.”

EK: What’s the significance of pomegranates to you and to Palestinian cuisine?

YK: Throughout the Middle East, pomegranates have always been revered. They’re seen as quite symbolic fruit, because in the midst of winter, when nothing is growing and everything is barren, you have these amazing ruby-red bulbs hanging from trees. In Iran, for example, they used to line the gardens of ancient temples with pomegranate trees because they were said to represent eternal life. And in Palestine, similarly, they represent fertility and abundance. I imagine every Middle Easterner has got a special affinity to pomegranates. They hold meaning and depth and connection.

Photo by Matt Russell

EK: Speaking of pomegranates, can you tell us more about the cake in your book?

YK: That cake is really my kind of cake. I like almond cakes, and almonds are another key ingredient in Palestinian cooking. Almond trees just kind of grow everywhere in Palestine. So what I wanted to do was bring together a couple of key ingredients from the Palestinian kitchen into a sweet cake. This is a dense and quite—what’s the word—squidgy cake. I run pomegranate molasses through it, so it soaks in the top and runs through. And I always like a bit of sharpness along with something sweet, so I top it with a lovely mascarpone-yogurt mixture and sprinkle it with pomegranate arils.

EK: What’s your desert-island dish?

YK: Oh, it would have to be my mom’s ghormeh sabzi, which is this Iranian stew of lamb, red kidney beans, and dried limes, made with—literally—a kilo of herbs. I’d have it with Persian rice, tahdig, torshi (Iranian pickles), and salad… Ugh! I could really eat that right now. (Lies back.)

EK: (Laughs.) I love that question because the answer is always, “My mom’s…”

YK: Is it?

EK: Oh yeah.

YK: Aw, that’s nice.

Recipe and photographs from Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen by Yasmin Khan. Copyright © 2018 by Yasmin Khan. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

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Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts · i am a food blog i am a food blog

I am deep into baking things without eggs. First, I was all about dividing eggs up for small batching, but now I’m all about small batch recipes that don’t even use eggs. The nice thing about egg free cake is that it’s vegan and also perfect for people who happen to be allergic to eggs, like my littlest nephew. Luckily for him, he just grew out of that allergy and he’s so happy about it! The first thing he wanted to eat was cake. He’s not really into eggs themselves, just cake.

But, for all those other people out there who are still allergic to eggs, or are vegan, these baked chocolate doughnuts are for you! They’re really quick to put together: just stir together the dry ingredients, make a well, pour the wet ingredients in the well, mix it up and bake. Essentially this recipe is this one, but in doughnut form. I went ahead and put some non-vegan cream cheese frosting on it because I’m living my best life but you can keep it vegan with a bit of simple coconut oil and powdered sugar glaze.

Oh, and sprinkles of course! I got these sprinkles at my favorite bulk store. It’s amazing there. Every holiday they have a selection of themed sprinkles. And they have the best snack foods. At first it was a little weird to see bins and bins of things like cheetos, chips, and pretzels, but then I realized the potential: SNACK PARTY! It’s awesome because it’s a bulk store so you can get as much or as little as you like and everything is really fresh because they have incredible turnover. Inevitably when we go, I pick out a tiny amount of every conceivable salty snack. Mike always just gets a big bag of sour candies. When we get home I put all my salty snacks onto different little plates and have a little snack smorgasbord party. SO GOOD.

Also so good are these doughnuts. It’s a good thing that they’re small batch because I just ate two in a row. Soon they’ll be gone and I won’t have to feel too guilty about it because there were only 5.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

PS – Are you a one flavor giant family size bag of chips person or a six different little bags of chips person?

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts | www.iamafoodblog.com

Vegan Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts
makes 4-5 doughnuts

  • cooking spray
  • 6 tablespoons (45 g) flour
  • 1/4 cup (54 g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (9 g) cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar

adapted fromGuittard Chocolate Cookbook

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a doughnut pan with cooking spray or lightly oil.

Make the batter: Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Whisk until blended, some lumps are okay.

Spoon or pipe the batter into the doughnut wells, 3/4 of the way up. These don’t rise very much so if you keep them low your doughnuts might end up not as high as you want them to.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a couple of crumbs clinging. Let cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Note: I frosted these with a bit of leftover cream cheese frosting that I had (which is decidedly not vegan) but they’ll taste good just plain or with a simple coconut oil and powdered sugar glaze.

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Mini Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe · i am a food blog i am a food blog

Guys, Mike and I came up with the craziest idea…meal prep baking! Why should savory things have all the fun? This is a small batch little chocolate loaf cake recipe that you can make on Sunday, cut into 8, and have a piece for everyday of the week. Plus, one for the day you bake it. It keeps in the fridge tightly wrapped and tastes good cold (does anyone else like cold cake?!) or at room temp.

I love this recipe because it uses no eggs – it’s one of those “wacky cake” recipes. You know, the ones that happen to be vegan? I think they were invented after the war, when milk, butter, and eggs were rationed. It’s a pretty genius recipe and awesome because you usually have all of the ingredients in your house. There’s no creaming of sugar or anything finicky; it’s essentially a dump cake. It’s super moist, lightly sweet, sturdy yet delicate with a tight crumb, and just a hint of chocolate.

If you like, you can definitely increase the chocolate content by adding in some chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, but I liked it as is, especially since (according to a calorie counting website) it only comes out to 130 calories per slice, depending on the slice. To be honest, I’m not sure how those calorie figuring out sites factor in the calorie count for loaves because they dome so the slices in the middle seem so much bigger than the slices on the end.

Anyway, this loaf is a keeper, especially if you like chocolate and small batch loaf cakes. I’m on the small batch loaf train and I’m never getting off!

Mini Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Mini Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Mini Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Mini Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Small Batch Chocolate Loaf Cake Recipe
makes 1 small loaf

  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

slightly adapted from Epicurious

Note: All the chocolate flavor comes from the cocoa, so make sure you use the good stuff. I’ve also heard of people subbing out the water for coffee which apparently makes the cake even more chocolatey, but I haven’t tried that myself.

Heat the oven to 350°F.Lightly oil and flour pan a mini loaf pan (6×3 inches or a pan that fits 2 cups liquid) or line with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, mix together the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Combine the liquid ingredients and dry ingredients, mixing until there are no lumps.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, remove from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack. Enjoy!

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An Incredible No Bake Chocolate Cake

I suspect this will be the easiest chocolate cake you’ll ever make. And it’s always a huge hit. It’s the sort of easy dessert that is perfect for summer (and entertaining!) because you don’t need to heat your oven. I think of it as a no bake chocolate cake, you wouldn’t be far off calling it a slice-able truffle. Or, imagine an espresso-spiked, velvety, chocolate mousse you were able to cut into beautiful wedges. Sounds incredible, right? If you have ten minutes,  some dark chocolate, cream, and something to infuse the cream with, you’re in business. I also have some non-dairy variations as well.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

When this Sort of Chocolate Cake is Perfect

This is the sort of thing I’ll throw together if we’re having friends over for dinner and I run out of steam on the dessert front. It’s less trouble to make than it is to go out and buy something. A small slice really goes the distance. It’s intense, it’s hardcore chocolate. Paired with a touch of whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream) it’s a total crowd-pleaser. I infused the cream used in the cake with espresso adn allspice in this version, but you could play it straight. Or take it in any direction you’re inclined – there are dozens of great suggestions in the comments.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Choosing the Right Pan

This is a small but mighty chocolate cake. The choice of pan warrants a mention. You end up with with ~ two cups of batter, and for the most part you can pour that into any small-ish, parchment-lined cake pan you like. The parchment is important if you ever want to get the cake out of the pan. For this cake, I used a little loaf pan I like, but I’ve done this in small spring-form pans, and on occasion little tart pans. Just keep in mind, a bigger pan will mean a thinner slice. A small loaf pan like this yields a deeper slice, and so on. It’s hard to screw up – I mean, it’s a slice-able truffle cake. In the lead photo I’ve used a 6-inch springform pan. In the shot below, I’ve used a small loaf pan.

In a pinch – a number of you have mentioned that you simply pour the chocolate mixture into individual muffin tins, or dessert cups, allow it to set, and served this way. Brilliant! Less cake like, but I suspect no one will complain.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake


If you want to avoid heavy cream, there are a number of substitutions that work well. I love using cashew cream in place of the heavy cream called for in the recipe. Make cashew cream by combining 1 part cashew nuts + 1 part water and process in a high speed blender until silky smooth. No need to strain. Coconut milk also works nicely as a substitution.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Finishing Touches

I like to bring a bit of extra flavor (and some pretty) with a dusting of cocoa powder, a few dried rose petals, and a sprinkling of cacao nibs. Others like to finish things of with a few berries. Generally speaking, if it pairs nicely with chocolate, go for it. A few toasted nuts, or crumbled cookies wouldn’t be unwelcome.

The Ultimate No Bake Chocolate Cake

Choosing the Right Chocolate

Because this cake is all about the chocolate, you don’t want to skimp on quality. I’ve been using Guittard Organic 74% Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers for this cake. It works beautifully. I often use it straight, meaning, without the added espresso or allspice noted in the recipe. So it’s just the beautiful chocolate notes coming through. San Francisco family-run chocolate represent! But, any good chocolate between 70% – 80% will work.

No Bake Chocolate Cake

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Small Batch Coconut Mochi Cake Muffins · i am a food blog i am a food blog

It’s another Small Batch Sunday coming at you with these coconut mochi cake muffins! This guy makes just 6 lil coconut mochi muffins, perfect for the week or maybe even just a day or two?

Have you guys had mochi muffins? Or mochi cake? Sometimes it’s called butter mochi but since I didn’t use butter in these, I’m sticking with just mochi muffins. Mochi cake, if you haven’t had it, is a sweet and squishy cake made with mochiko flour instead of regular, making them gluten-free and squishy in texture. They’re usually baked in a pan and sliced into squares that are chewy and just the right amount of sweet.

These little mochi muffins in particular are squidgy and delightfully chewy on the inside while being crisp and addictively crunchy on the edges. Anyone who is in the know knows that the crust is the best part of any mochi cake so I went ahead and muffin-ized these to get maximum crunchy edges. I’m not the first person to do this, and I most definitely won’t be the last. Perhaps the most famous though, is SF’s Third Culture Bakery’s mochi muffins.

These guys are not brown-buttered and sesame seeded like their SF cousins. Instead, they’re just a simple mix of coconut oil, sugar, egg, milk, and mochiko flour. They happen to be one of Mike’s favorite desserts and the 6 count is just perfect for the two of us. If you don’t get around to eating them all right away and they get a little soft, try toasting them up for a few minutes – they get all warm and crisp again.

Small Batch Coconut Mochi Cake Muffins | www.iamafoodblog.com

Small Batch Coconut Mochi Cake Muffins | www.iamafoodblog.com

Small Batch Coconut Mochi Cake Muffins | www.iamafoodblog.com

Small Batch Coconut Mochi Cake Muffins | www.iamafoodblog.com

Small Batch Coconut Mochi Cake Muffins Recipe
makes 6 muffins

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cups milk or coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3/4 cup (120 grams) mochiko flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Coat muffin tins with coconut oil and set aside.

Mix together the coconut oil and sugar until light and fluffy.

Whisk in the eggs and coconut extract and then the milk.

Add the mochiko flour and salt and whisk until smooth.

Pour into the tings. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the edges and top turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before enjoying.

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