Grapefruit and Yogurt Pound Cake

Hi ya’ll amidst the transition to a new site, I wanted to share this refreshing little number with you.  “Cake” and “refreshing” aren’t usually words that go together, but this may be one of only a handful of exceptions.

While I am at it, I should admit that I have not met a member of the citrus family that I didn’t like.  Anything that has me grating and squeezing the goodness out of a lemon, lime, grapefruit, or orange is off to a good start in my book.

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So, I am pretty willing to jump on the citrus fan club, but THIS. CAKE.  Seriously!  If you have been here before, you will know that I am all about butter – especially in baked goods.  I know that butter is not exactly trending these days, but what can I say?    A cake with yogurt instead of butter would normally make me skeptical too, but, in this case, yogurt means lighter texture, a bit healthier, extra moist, and a more pure citrus flavor.  Yes, please to all of the above.

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Spoiler alert: Stay tuned for a lemon lavender version coming at you on the new and improved almostproperly.com in a couple of weeks…. Who knew a new site wasn’t instant?  This tech-phobic blogger certainly didn’t.  CSS what?  Sooooo grateful for my tech savvy girly who is walking me through even the most basic of basics and knows what the heck things like SQL are and that JAVA isn’t always coffee.

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Tea parties, brunches, picnics, or even dessert?… Grapefruit and Yogurt Pound Cake is a very good answer.

Grapefruit and Yogurt Pound Cake

Servings: 8
Active time: 15 minutes       Total time: 75 minutes

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour, sifted then measured
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tbl. grapefruit zest
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 5 tbl. grapefruit juice

For topping the cake and glaze:

  • 3 tbl. grapefruit juice
  • 1 tbl. plain Greek yogurt + 1 tbl. water OR 1 tbl. regular plain yogurt (not Greek-style)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

To assemble the cake: Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder.

In the bowl of stand mixer, combine zest and sugar with your fingers until very fragrant and small clumps begin to form (About 1 minute).

Wish together eggs, oil, vanilla, and grapefruit juice in a small bowl.  Using stand mixer, add to sugar mixture by beating on medium speed just until combined.

Then add 1/2 of the yogurt.  Mix just until combineed.  Then add 1/2 of the flour mixture.  Mix just until combined.  Repeat with other half yogurt and flour mixtures, ending with flour and mixing just until combined each time.

Grease and lightly flour a loaf pan (I prefer glass ones since they more evenly distributes the heat.)

Pour cake batter into loaf pan and lightly tap on counter to release any trapped air.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Immediately after removing from the oven, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen.  Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 more minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove cake from pan and continue to cool on wire rack for approximately 15 more minutes.

To assemble the glaze: In a small bowl combine yogurt (and water, if using Greek yogurt) and powdered sugar.  Using a fork, mix until smooth.

Final Touches:  Brush the 3 remaining tablespoons of grapefruit juice on top of cake.  This will add an extra punch of fresh grapefruit flavor while also making the cake extra moist!  Once the cake has fully cooled, drizzle the top of loaf with glaze.

For best glaze results, wait 15 minutes for glaze to set prior to serving:)

 

 

Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Did you have a good Easter?  I hope so!  See family?  Eat something delicious?  Our plan was to sneak a mini-escape to the Oregon Coast (beach, books, and relaxation).  I had the car packed, podcasts downloaded, and a thermos full of tea.  Then my husband calls from work.  “We can’t go.”  So, I unpacked the car, and home we stayed.  In the midst his work chaos and long hours, we hunkered down, skipped the family get-togethers, and took in some quiet.  We do not make a habit of hiding out or avoiding the fam.  We aren’t anti-social hermits.  In general, we do quite the opposite.  Honest!

So things looked a little bit different this year.  No big get together.  No weekend away.  It was just us and the four-legged canine kiddos.  No matter.  Regardless of the location, events, or company, there is one requirement in our Easter festivities.  Cinnamon rolls. Well, maybe there are two requirements.  Church!  (It is Easter after all.)

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But, cinnamon rolls…  You know, the kind with thick cream cheese frosting on top?  And the extra gooey cinnamon?  Yup, THOSE.  So whether it’s cinnamon rolls for two or 22, we say bring on the sticky cinnamon deliciousness.  This recipe is truly the best I have tasted due to years and years of the family’s tweaking .  The ingredients and process are very traditional, but what sets it apart is that unlike other recipes I have tried, the results are so, so consistent.  Yeast used to intimidate me, but I think all I needed was a better recipe!

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This recipe can even be refrigerated after being rolled for up to two days!! When hosting large holidays, having “prepare-ahead” items can be a lifesaver.  The morning you plan to bake, just stick them in a warm dry place to allow to rise until approximately doubled in size.  My oven can go as low as 100 degrees, which is perfect for this.  This step usually takes around 45 minutes.  Then bake for 20, invert the pan so the caramelized juices don’t settle at the bottom, frost, and dig in!!

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Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Total Time: 4-5 hours (including rising)        Active time: 1 hour
Servings: 4-8 (depending how many rolls each person eats)

Dough:

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbl. unsalted butter (plus more for greasing baking dish)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • vegetable oil for greasing bowl

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbl. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbl. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. corn starch
  • 4 tbl. unsalted butter, melted

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
  • 6 tbl. unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

For Dough:  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, yeast, and sugar until well combined.  Mix egg into dry ingredients until well combined.  In a small saucepan, combine milk, butter, and cinnamon until butter has melted and temperature has reached 120-140 degrees only!  Do not allow mixture to come to a simmer!!  Add milk mixture and kosher salt to flour mixture.  Mix on low speed, and once combined increase speed to medium/high and beat for approximately 3 minutes – or until mixture is very elastic and sticky.

Grease large bowl with vegetable oil.  Shape dough into a ball and place in greased bowl.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel.  Place bowl in a warm, dry place for 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.  For example, my oven’s temperature can go as low as 100, which is perfect for a dough rise.

Once dough has risen, prepare clean work surface with a liberal dusting of flour.  And prepare the filling.

For the filling: On the stove, melt butter over low heat.  In a small bowl, combine all other ingredients.

Assembly: Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish or glass pie plate with butter.

Punch down the risen dough.  Place dough on well floured surface.  Work dough into ball and dust with flour.  Using well dusted rolling pin, roll dough into rectangular shape that is roughly 8×10′ to 8×12′.

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Spread melted butter over top of dough leaving a 1/2 inch border at long edge.

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Generously sprinkle an even layer of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

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Starting at long edge, roll dough into a log shape.

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Slice log into rolls.  The slices should be at least 1″ thick.  You should have approximately 12 slices.

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Place slices in greased baking dish.

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Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.  At this stage rolls can be refrigerated for up to two days. *See Note below.  If baking rolls immediately, return rolls to a warm dry place until doubled in volume around 45 minutes.

*NOTE: After rolls have been refrigerated you will need to complete the rising step by placing rolls in a warm dry place.  Most likely the rolls will have risen a bit in the fridge so this step will take less than the estimated 45 minutes.  Remember, you want the rolls to double from their original size. 

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and cover with foil.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and continue to bake for additional 3-5  minutes or until rolls on the edge have turned slightly golden brown.  Remove from oven and immediately invert rolls onto a serving plate.  This will keep the cinnamon mixture from settling at the bottom.

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These are delicious and gooey (sticky bun style) on their own, so not everyone will want frosting.  I think they are even more decadent with the frosting of course (frosting assembly instructions below).  We typically leave them unfrosted and place a bowl of frosting on the table so that everyone can add as much or as little as they desire!

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For the Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine butter and cream cheese until well combined.  Mix in powdered sugar in two additions.  Add lemon juice and vanilla.  Mix until combined.  Can be made and kept chilled up to three days ahead.  Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

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Ginger Molasses Squash Whole-Wheat Muffins

Soooo excited to be back to baking for fun rather than the wedding cake marathon, which ended up amazing, by the way but more on that another time.  My first day back on the baking horse resulted in these muffins, which I highly recommend if you are craving a little taste of fall mixed in with the last days of summer!  I know, the “F” word is a horrifying notion that equates to school, backpacks, crisp days, gorgeous fall colors… and warm delicious fall flavors!!!  While I am not ready to go all pumpkin on you yet, I am not opposed to a little bit of molassy, gingery, cinnamony warmth this time of year.

I am not about to rush into fall any sooner than the next Seattlite, but you see, my aunt has a pea-patch with an out of this world yield.  The woman could feed a small army.  And, apparently when you become a gardening pro like her you also harvest your own seeds.  Last year, she harvested seeds that she assumed would produce zucchini.  This year as her crops grew she discovered that her seeds had cross germinated with crookneck squash yielding Crookini!!  Crookini is exactly what it sounds like!  A hybrid.  Slightly crook-necked zucchini with a yellow-green hue.    Imagine thick skin, zucchini-like flesh with a squash-like seedy middle.  In keeping with her “feed a small army” yield, she has been handing out Crookini like its going out of style.  While I am unsure it was ever in-style, I have been scooping out the seeds and using the flesh like a zucchini!  Compared to the mildness of zucchini, there is a slightly more squash-like taste – which to me is airing on the side of FALL!  I know, I know, there is that word again.

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Now, to the muffins!!! They don’t require any wonky incidental hybrids and can be made with any squash or zucchini you have on hand.  They are whole wheat, dairy free, and refined sugar-free!  A little molasses, ground ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg make these moist fall previews the perfect transition.  I am already thinking about making a version with pumpkin and butternut squash later in the year!  And the mix-in potential is pretty much endless!!  Walnuts, pecans, raisins, cranberries, dried coconut, diced apples, stone fruits, fresh berries,….So many options!!

I am so not a whole wheat baked goods kind of girl.  Bran muffins: bring it on.  But whole wheat sandwich bread only, please.  So believe me when I say that I am loving the flavor complexity that whole wheat adds here!  A little molassy warmth here is perfect!  So Coconut sugar with a little good old-fashioned molasses for good measure are just adding to the warm flavor party…

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If you can pull yourself away from your beach lounging, suntanning, and camping long enough to recognize the last days of summer are upon us, then these muffins are just what you need to ease you into fall!

Ginger Molasses Squash Whole-Wheat Muffins

  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbl. molasses
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup grated squash (zucchini, “crookini,” summer squash, etc…)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Prep a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners.

Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices together in a bowl.  Set aside.

In stand mixer, beat coconut oil, sugar, and molasses until combined.  Add eggs one at a time mixing just until combined.  Add zucchini and vanilla and mix to combine.

Add flour mixture to zucchini batter in two parts until combined.

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Using 1/4 cup measuring tool, scoop batter into muffin tins.  Muffin cups should be 3/4 of the way full.  If desired, sprinkle some turbinado on top or possibly some unsweetened coconut flakes, a nut, a slice of peach, or keep it as is.  Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes.

Delicious hot or cold.  Treat this as the whole wheat muffin base of your DREAMS!  No squash?  Unsweetened apple-sauce or grated apple will do the trick!!  OR try with a a carrot, zucchini, apple mixture for a carrot-cake like result!  Pretty sure this recipe has a long future ahead of itself in my house!!