Archive for: one bowl
It’s always nice to have an easy banana bread recipe on hand, and it doesn’t get much easier than this One Bowl Banana Bread. The bread is mixed up in one bowl in just a few minutes, and uses a more streamlined mixing approach than most banana breads do. I like this kind of recipe because it makes the bread seem very accessible: it requires very little prep and can be stirred up in less time than it takes to preheat the oven.
The bread is soft, with a tight and dense crumb. It has a very good banana flavor, and the cinnamon and vanilla just highlight it even more. The biggest “wet” ingredient in this quick bread is the mashed banana, which is not only flavorful but keeps the bread moist. Bananas can vary in size, so if you have two large bananas you will probably have plenty even if you don’t have exactly 1 1/4 cups of mashed banana. A bit more or a bit less won’t throw off the recipe. The loaf is delicious plain, but can hold up to being toasted and slathered with butter or peanut butter, too. It is perfect when cut into generous slices and eaten for breakfast.
I should also note that this is not the fanciest looking banana bread that you’ll ever see. In fact, it’s a plain loaf that isn’t all that tall, even after baking. This is a banana bread for whipping up when you want a treat for yourself, not for when you want to bring something out to impress a crowd. Of course, after a bite or two anyone will definitely appreciate this easy to make banana bread, even though it comes in a plain package.
The only thing better than a delicious homemade cake is a delicious homemade cake that is easy to make. Piece of Cake!: One-Bowl, No-Fuss, From-Scratch Cakes is a book that is all about easy. The cookbook features dozens of recipes for cakes that require no special ingredients, no special techniques and can all be mixed up in just one bowl.
The idea of a one-bowl cake has been around for decades and one of the most well known is the “wacky cake”, which served as the inspiration for this book. A basic wacky cake recipe is given at the beginning of the book, but that is really just a jumping off place for a whole variety of recipes that take the simplicity of that one cake to a whole new level. The book is divided into chapters and includes all sizes and shapes of cake: single decker and loaf cakes, sheet cakes, bundts, layer cakes and pound cakes – as well as a wide variety of icings and glazes that can be paired with each recipe. The recipes are very easy to follow and the ingredients are very clearly laid out. Many of the recipes are accompanied by tips and suggestions for easy flavor variations, and most are accompanied by beautiful photos of the finished cake.
The cookbook can be used by bakers of all skill levels, but is designed to be simple and non-intimidating for beginning bakers. In the introduction, ingredients are explained clearly and simply to make sure that you know exactly what you’ll need to get started. Although the technique used in the book is simple, one-bowl cake recipes often require that you use certain ingredients (full fat sour cream, as opposed to low fat, for instance) to ensure that you get the best results because it is easy to overmix the batter and toughen your cake. Overall, it is easy to get excited about the recipes in this book because they’re so easy to make. You’ll find yourself trying to streamline other recipes after using this technique, and turning back to it every time you’re in the mood to make dessert and want something simple.
Zucchini is great for baking because it can add a whole lot of moisture to a baked good. It can show up in cakes and quickbreads, just as carrots can. It is often paired with chocolate and over time I’ve noticed why: green is not a color that blends into a cake that easily (nor is it one that you expect to see in a cake) and chocolate can easily disguise it. Zucchini doesn’t add much flavor to a cake – again, like carrots in a cake – so there really is no need to hide its color if you don’t mind it. I don’t mind it at all, and you can see plenty of zucchini in this Zucchini and Lime Cake with Lime Cream Cheese Frosting.
This sheet cake uses up a lot of zucchini. Depending on what size your squash are, you should be able to fit in about 4 or 5 of them – which is quite a feat during zucchini season! The cake is ultra-moist and tender, and while you can see all those little green flecks in the cake, the hint of lime flavor both in the cake and in the frosting makes you think of lime, not just of zucchini, when you see them. The cake uses melted butter and can be mixed up in one bowl.
I cooled my cake right in the pan and put the frosting in a nice, thick layer on top. The sweet cream cheese frosting goes amazingly well with the moist, not-too-sweet cake and everything is tied together with the lime. Be sure to use fresh lime juice in the frosting, as that is what will bring in the most dramatic source of lime flavor and you want it to be bright. This is a great cake for making at home and muching your way through on a lazy, end-of-summer weekend, but it is the kind of cake that would also be a big hit at a barbecue or potluck if you want to serve a crowd. And, just like carrot cake again, you can always tell yourself that you’re getting an extra serving of veggies when you reach for that second slice.
Peanut butter cups may be the name of a specific candy, but when I hear “peanut butter cup”, I think of all kinds of chocolate and peanut butter combinations, not just the candy cups. I was definately thinking of peanut butter cups when I put together this cake. It’s a buttermilk chocolate cake with a creamy peanut butter filling.
The cake is a great everyday sort of cake. It is tender, moist and has a nice chocolate flavor. It also couldn’t be easier to make, since it mixes up in one bowl! You could bake this cake as two layers, in two separate pans, but in the spirit of the simple cake – and the spirit of having fewer dishes to wash – I bake this as a single layer and cut it in half before filling.
The peanut butter filling is silky and has a great sweet-salty flavor to it. It is creamier than most candy fillings are, but the peanut butter flavor really is similar to that of a peanut butter cup! I used a national brand of crunchy peanut butter. If your brand happens to be a little less thick, your filling might need a little extra confectioners’ sugar. A drizzle of chocolate onn top is entirely optional, but a nice finishing touch.
It’s been a while since I baked a batch of cupcakes, but I started to get the itch for some of the miniature cakes this weekend and pulled out my trusty cupcake pan. Some freshly picked oranges – plucked from the tree before the orange-loving squirrels could get to them – were my inspiration to make some orange and chocolate cupcakes.
I used a simple cake recipe that I come back to time and again. I’ve heard it called wacky cake and eggless cake before, but it’s just a good one in my book no matter what name it goes by. The cake uses no eggs and no butter (it’s vegan, actually), and it can be mixed up in just one bowl. Typically, it gets its leavening from a combination of baking soda and vinegar added to the batter and is moistened with vegetable oil. Since orange juice is acidic, I left out the vinegar and introduced a good amount of orange juice to the cake. The resulting cupcakes rose beautifully and had a great texture: soft, but not crumbly, and moist.
Using cocoa powder in the cupcakes gives them a really good, strong chocolate flavor. The orange juice, if used alone, contributes a surprisingly mild flavor that doesn’t stand up to the chocolate that well. I remedied this by adding in the zest of one orange to the cake batter to boost the citrus flavor of the cake and by topping the cupcakes with a zesty orange frosting. The frosting was quite bold and, in the end, everything came together perfectly.
These are tasty and easy to make – especially since you don’t have to wait for butter to soften before you can start mixing. Try to use freshly squeezed orange juice for the best flavor. You’ll need to have fresh oranges on hand for their zest, so you might as well make the most of the fruit in this recipe.