Espresso Banana Bread with Chocolate Espresso Glaze

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This is a large loaf cake which makes good use of leftover bananas. Definitely a pick-me-up snack with the great combination of coffee and chocolate. Freezes well when wrapped with a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. instant espresso powder
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. kosher salt
3 bananas
2/3 cup coconut/grapeseed/olive oil
½ cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup almond/soy/coconut milk
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the glaze:

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp. freshly brewed espresso

Directions:

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Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9-x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

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In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the bananas, oil, sugars, eggs, milk and vanilla and well processed.

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Add the dry ingredients and pulse until just combined.

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Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

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Transfer the batter to the pan and bake for 60 minutes.

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Allow to cool for 20 minutes in the pan then transfer to a plate.

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Melt the chocolate in a microwave over 60-90 seconds. Add the confectioners’ sugar and brewed espresso and stir until it becomes a pourable glaze.

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Coat the cake with the glaze and spread over the top.

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Funfetti Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Cookies and Cream Frosting

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So.. you have a celebration coming up and don’t know what to bake? Well, We’ve got you covered. This cake is perfect, and is sure to impress a crowd. This comes from Sugar Spun Run and was a little more complicated to make, but well with the effort. Also – a tip for you, don’t double this recipe because it will not fit in your electric mixer. I learned that the hard way.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1 stick + 1 tbsp butter, softened
3 cups sugar
1 cup canola or grapeseed oil
4 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup milk
9 egg whites (use the package of egg whites)
1/2 cup sprinkles

For the Frosting:

1.5 cups butter, softened (3 sticks)
6 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp heavy cream
8-10 oreos, crushed

Directions:

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350˚F and spray 3 8 inch round pans with canola oil spray.

Cream butter.

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Add sugar and oil and mix until well-combined and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in vanilla.

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In a separate bowl combine flour , baking powder and salt.

Alternate adding flour and milk.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

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Fold into batter with sprinkles.

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Pour evenly into three pans.

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Bake for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and cakes are light golden brown.

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Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

In bowl of electric mixer cream butter and slowly add powdered sugar. If too thick, add milk.

Transfer out 3/4 of icing into a separate bowl.

Add heavy cream and crushed Oreos. Mix well

Putting it Together:

Trim the edges of the cake to ensure that they are all the same size.

Place a little bit of icing on the bottom to hold the cake in place.

Place the first layer down. Put a layer of cookies and cream icing on top. Place the second layer down. Put another layer of cookies and cream icing. Put the third layer on top.

Cover in a thin layer of the plain icing.

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Freeze for 15 minutes. Add another layer of icing on top and smooth with an icing spatula.

Blueberry Loaf

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Adapted from a recipe given to me by my friend, Elaine, this cake takes just minutes to prep and freezes well.

Ingredients:

2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup coconut/grapeseed/olive oil
2/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries, tossed in 1 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

For the topping:

Option of 3 tbsp. turbinado sugar sprinkled over batter or a combination of ¼ cup brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon, blended and then sprinkled over the cake.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 8 ½- by 4 ½-inch loaf pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

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In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the eggs, sugar, oil, juice and vanilla.

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Add the flour mixture and pulse until just combined.

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Fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter in the pan and sprinkle with your choice of topping.

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Bake for 65 minutes.

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Alternatively bake for 24 minutes if using the batter to make 12 muffins.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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This carrot cake is an old recipe from Ina Garten that will be sure to impress a crowd. I made this as an addition to the shavout festival of cheesecakes and it was a huge hit.

The cake is best if you bake the layers the night before and let sit over night in the fridge.

Before starting make sure to prep the ingredients. I used a food processor to grate the carrots, chopped the walnuts and diced the pineapple.

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Ingredients:

 

For the Cake:

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups grapeseed or vegetable oil
3 eggs, room temperature (if you forget to bring them to room temperature, allow the eggs to sit in warm-hot water for 5 minutes)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 pound carrots, grated
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

For the Frosting:

1.5 bricks of cream cheese (3/4 pound), room temperature
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 or 3 circular pans with parchment and spray with canola oil spray.

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Beat sugar, oil and eggs in an electric mixer. Add vanilla and mix again.

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Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and mix well.

In another bowl toss raisins and walnuts with 1 tbsp flour. Add carrots and pineapple to this mixture. Add to the batter and fold in.

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Divide batter equally between circular pans and bake for 40-45 mins if 3 layers or 55-60 mins if 2 layers.

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For the Frosting:

Cream butter and cream cheese in stand mixer.

Add vanilla and mix again.

Add sugar in 3 parts. Mixing after each to combine.

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To ice:

Place a little bit of icing on the bottom of your cake plate and smooth out. This will help the cake stick in place.

Place first layer with flat side down and spread icing on top. Put second layer and repeat). If using three layers repeat and ensure that flat side is facing up.

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Evenly coat in a layer of thin frosting and refrigerate for 15 minutes to seal in the crumbs.

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Add more frosting on top and smooth out.

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Top with pieces of fresh pineapple.

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Science Fact of the Week:

This cake has plenty of carrots which are a high source of antioxidants and can decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

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This easy quick bread can be made with a food processor or mixed by hand. A great use of leftover/ripe bananas that combines the delicious flavours of chocolate and banana. Freezes well when wrapped with one layer of plastic wrap and a second layer of aluminum foil.

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Ingredients:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
3 large ripe bananas (1 ½ cups mashed)
½ cup liquid coconut oil
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

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In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the bananas, oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.

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Add the dry ingredients and pulse until just combined.

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Add ¾ cup of the mini chocolate chips and fold in with a spatula.

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Transfer the batter to the lined pan and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup mini chocolate chips over the cake.

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Bake for 60 minutes.

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Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Enjoy!

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Science Fact of the Week:

Cocoa powder has many health benefits as it contains flavonoids. These can help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol. As well, they have the added effect of being a potential anti-depressive agent.

Texas Sheet Cake

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This large rich and delicious chocolate cake is a nut-free version of the pecan covered Texas sheet cake which has been made in the U.S. for years. One unique feature of this recipe is that the frosting is warm when spread over the hot cake immediately after it comes out of the oven. The frosting and cake blend together into one layer as the cake cools.

For the cake:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup nondairy sour cream (Tofutti)
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tbsp. unsalted pareve margarine (1/2 stick)
¾ cup grapeseed/olive/canola oil
¾ cup water
½ cup cocoa powder

For the Icing:

1 stick unsalted pareve margarine (8 tbsp)
½ cup Nutriwhip
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp. corn syrup
3 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
sprinkles

Directions:

For the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 18×13 –inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.  Combine the first 4 dry ingredients in a large bowl.

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Whisk the eggs, yolks, vanilla, and sour cream in another bowl until smooth.

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Heat the chocolate, margarine, oil, water and cocoa in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 3-5 minutes.

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Whisk the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture.

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Whisk the egg mixture into the batter.

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Pour into the prepared baking sheet.

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Bake for 18 minutes.

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For the Icing:

About 5 minutes before the cake is done, heat the margarine, Nutriwhip, cocoa, and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth.

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Off the heat, whisk in the icing sugar and vanilla.

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Spread the warm icing evenly over the hot cake. Cover the cake with any type of sprinkles.

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Let the cake cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, then refrigerate until the icing is set, about 1 hour longer.

Science Fact of the Week:

 

Sour cream is considered an odd ingredient to put in baked goods, however is is considered a standard ingredient for Texas sheet cake. It provides extra moisture and creaminess to the cake.