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23 Sep



Reimagined with a vanilla bean pâte sablée crust and a custardy sweet potato filling, our Sweet Potato Bars take tried-and-true sweet potato pie to epic new heights thanks to Heilala Vanilla. Heilala Vanilla’s premium vanilla bean paste lends tempting vanilla speckles and a rich flavor to the buttery crust while their vanilla extract brings out the sweet mellow flavor of sweet potato. Simple yet satisfying, these portable bars are ready to wow at your next dinner party or tailgate spread.

Stock up on Heilala Vanilla by using the code BAKEFS11 to get 20% your vanilla purchase in their online store! Code valid through November 30, 2019.

Sweet Potato Bars

  • Pâte Sablée (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups (488 grams) warm mashed baked sweet potato (see Note)
  • 1 cup (240 grams) evaporated milk
  • ¾ cup (165 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract*
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan; lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. Press Pâte Sablée into bottom of prepared pan. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Using a fork, dock dough about every 1 inch.
  3. Bake until light golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together warm mashed sweet potato and all remaining ingredients until well combined. Pour filling onto warm crust.
  5. Bake until filling is set and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175°F (79°C), 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Trim edges, and cut into bars as desired using a hot, dry knife.
*We used Heilala Pure Vanilla Extract.

Make sure mashed baked sweet potato is completely smooth without any chunks.

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Pâte Sablée

  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2 large egg yolks (37 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg and egg yolks, beating until combined. Beat in vanilla bean paste.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined. Use immediately.

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Previous articleOatmeal Cream Sandwich Cookies



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23 Sep



Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies were hands down our editor-in-chief’s favorite childhood snack. To this day, they’re one of Brian’s road trip essentials. Bigger and better than store-bought but just as nostalgia-inducing, these jumbo Oatmeal Cream Sandwich Cookies prove that you can never have too much of a good thing.

Watch Brian bake up these cookies on the Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family on Monday, September 23 at 10am EST/9am CST! For more epic cookie recipes, pick up a copy of The Cookie Collection, our newest cookbook!

Oatmeal Creme Pies

  • 3 cups (274 grams) quick-cooking oats
  • 1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (10 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¾ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
  • 2 cups (454 grams) unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 1½ cups (330 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (21 grams) molasses
  • 1 tablespoon (21 grams) dark corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (64 grams) finely chopped raisins
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 4 cups (480 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse oats until almost ground but not powdery. Add flour, cocoa, 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; pulse just until combined. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup (227 grams) butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses, corn syrup, and vanilla extract until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add oats mixture, beating until combined. Stir in raisins. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Shape dough into 24 (1½-inch) balls (about 54 grams each), and place 3 inches apart on prepared pans.
  5. Bake until cookies flatten and turn deep golden brown, 10 to 11 minutes. (Do not overbake.) Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat vanilla bean paste, remaining 1 cup (227 grams) butter, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt at medium speed until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth. Beat in milk until smooth. Pipe or spread about ¼ cup (60 grams) filling onto flat side of half of cookies. Place remaining cookies, flat side down, on top of filling.

PRO TIP: To pipe the filling with the traditional scalloped edges, transfer filling to a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (#1A). Pipe teardrop-shaped dollops onto flat side of half of cookies, beginning each dollop at the edge of the cookie and ending near the center.

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Previous articlePumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel



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20 Sep



Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies were hands down our editor-in-chief’s favorite childhood snack. To this day, they’re one of Brian’s road trip essentials. Bigger and better than store-bought but just as nostalgia-inducing, these jumbo oatmeal cream pie cookies prove that you can never have too much of a good thing.

Watch Brian bake up these cookies on the Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family on Monday, September 23 at 10am EST/9am CST! For more epic cookie recipes, pick up a copy of The Cookie Collection, our newest cookbook!

Oatmeal Creme Pies

  • 3 cups (274 grams) quick-cooking oats
  • 1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (10 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¾ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
  • 2 cups (454 grams) unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 1½ cups (330 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (21 grams) molasses
  • 1 tablespoon (21 grams) dark corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (64 grams) finely chopped raisins
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 4 cups (480 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse oats until almost ground but not powdery. Add flour, cocoa, 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; pulse just until combined. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup (227 grams) butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses, corn syrup, and vanilla extract until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add oats mixture, beating until combined. Stir in raisins. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Shape dough into 24 (1½-inch) balls (about 54 grams each), and place 3 inches apart on prepared pans.
  5. Bake until cookies flatten and turn deep golden brown, 10 to 11 minutes. (Do not overbake.) Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat vanilla bean paste, remaining 1 cup (227 grams) butter, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt at medium speed until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth. Beat in milk until smooth. Pipe or spread about ¼ cup (60 grams) filling onto flat side of half of cookies. Place remaining cookies, flat side down, on top of filling.

PRO TIP: To pipe the filling with the traditional scalloped edges, transfer filling to a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (#1A). Pipe teardrop-shaped dollops onto flat side of half of cookies, beginning each dollop at the edge of the cookie and ending near the center.

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Previous articlePumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel



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17 Sep

A veggie bake is the easiest way to bulk up a dinner party meal because it seriously takes a lot to mess one up. And if it happens to be vegan, you’ll be covered for any plant-based guests you forgot were coming.

They’re also great because they’re super versatile, so you can pretty much add any veggies you have in the fridge. And veggie bakes are easy to upgrade into a lasagne, if you feel like going through the extra few steps.

READ MORE: This Vegan Pizza Might Even Taste Better Than The Real Thing

This veggie bake is an aubergine bake with a thick tomato sauce. Again, you can jazz up the sauce whichever way you like, but this one uses chilli (optional, of course) and basil. If you didn’t want to make your own tomato sauce, you could buy your favourite brand from the store, but this recipe is so easy and delicious, it’s really not necessary to go the store-bought route.

Mr Organic Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce

R 89.00

Buy Now!


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16 Sep



Like most gâteaux crafted by French home bakers, this rustic Pear Butter Cake is made extra tender with Président® butter. It’s elegant yet simple to put together. The pillowy, buttery cake is also beautiful with a layer of fresh pear slices. Served with a dollop of crème fraîche, this is the epitome of comfort baking à la française.

Pear Butter Cake

  • ¾ cup (170 grams) Président unsalted
  • butter, softened
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) almond extract
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) crème fraîche
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 green Anjou pear (276 grams), cored and sliced ⅛ inch thick (about 1½ cups)
  • Garnish: strained apricot preserves
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour; line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Stir in crème fraîche. (Mixture will look like it is breaking, but it is not.)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cardamom, and cloves. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until well combined.
  4. Arrange pear slices in prepared pan, fanning along outer edge and then filling center. Spread batter onto pear slices, being careful not to move pear.
  5. Bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack; brush with apricot preserves, if desired. Let cool completely.

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Previous articleMaple-Pecan Apple Cake with Maple Buttercream



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10 Sep



This Apple Butter Pull-Apart Loaf doubles down on sweet apple flavor, packing both apple butter and tart Granny Smith apple chunks into its sugary bread folds.

Apple Butter Pull-Apart Loaf

  • 3½ cups (438 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (187 grams) cake flour
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons (37.5 grams) baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons (12 grams) kosher salt
  • 1½ cups (340 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 cups (480 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 grams) apple butter
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple (185 grams), finely diced
  • Sugar Glaze (recipe follows)
  • 1½ cups (180 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) whole milk, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray an 8×4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead dough until it comes together. Roll dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 3½-inch round cutter, cut dough. Reserve one round. Top each remaining round with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) apple butter and 1 tablespoon (12 grams) diced apple.
  4. Stand prepared pan vertically on one short side, and starting at bottom, carefully layer rounds, apple side up, one on top of the other. Top with reserved plain round. Turn loaf pan upright onto its bottom.
  5. Bake until top and sides are golden, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and drizzle with Sugar Glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Use immediately.

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05 Sep

In its essence, a baked potato is a potato, baked.

As with all elemental things, though, the simplicity of a baked potato is deceptive. We’ve all had excellent baked potatoes and terrible baked potatoes. Happily, an excellent one is not any harder to make than a terrible one.

The right potato, the right temperature, and the right timing are key. There’s also some spirited jabbing with a fork involved. Get set to bake the best potatoes of your life!

START WITH THE RIGHT POTATO

Use russet potatoes for baking. They’re the big, tapered ones with dull brown skins. These are high-starch potatoes, and they work best for dry heat. That’s exactly the kind of heat your oven makes. It’s a match made in heaven!

High-moisture potatoes, like redskins or Yukon golds, are best for wet heat: steaming and boiling. They are lower in starch and remain dense after baking, which is not what you want in a baked potato.

How to Make a Baked Potato in the Oven - potatoes lined up showing sizesHow to Make a Baked Potato in the Oven - potatoes lined up showing sizes

BIG POTATOES AND SMALL POTATOES

Those giant russet potatoes marketed specifically for baking often weigh around an entire pound. This is a lot of potato. The ones that are the most realistic for serving as a side weigh 6 to 8 ounces.

If you want to split that baked potato open and load it up with substantial toppings (like broccoli or chili or pulled pork or salsa and guacamole and black beans…sigh), a 6 to 8 ounce potato might still be a good bet, because you’ll be adding to it to make a full meal.

In any case, the bigger the potato, the more time it takes to bake. Keep that in mind.

Oven Baked Potato Recipe - potatoes with forksOven Baked Potato Recipe - potatoes with forks

Oven Baked Potato Recipe - potatoes with forksOven Baked Potato Recipe - potatoes with forks

POKE TO PREVENT EXPLOSIONS

Do you want your potato to explode in the oven? No. More importantly, do you want it to taste great? Yes. Then jab it multiple times with a fork. Ten times per potato should do it. Potato-jabbing is cathartic. Enjoy yourself.

Much less dramatically, hole-poking gives you superior baked potatoes. According to the Idaho Potato Commission, potatoes are about 80 percent water. As your potatoes bake, some of that water converts to steam and exits through the tiny channels you poked in them. This moisture loss is a good thing. Outside of preventing explosions, it delivers lighter, fluffier baked potatoes.

TO OIL OR NOT TO OIL

Rubbing the potato with a little oil or grease before baking is, in my opinion, a good move. It makes the skin nice and crispy so you get a contrast between it and the steaming, starchy interior. The potatoes come out of the oven looking darker, shiny, and more appetizing than un-oiled ones.

Some sources say oiling the potato before baking seals in moisture, which is the opposite of what you want—you want the potato to vent off moisture. But we already poked it full of holes, remember?

TRY THIS! At my first-ever restaurant job, we dunked our potatoes in a vat of bacon grease, then coated them in tasty crumbs from the bottom of the crouton bin. They were heavenly. If you cook bacon, save that grease for your baked potatoes!

How to Make Baked Potatoes - russet potatoes being saltedHow to Make Baked Potatoes - russet potatoes being salted

How to Make Baked Potatoes - russet potatoes being saltedHow to Make Baked Potatoes - russet potatoes being salted

WHEN AND WHERE TO SALT

I am all in favor of salting potato skins: salt makes potato skins taste great.

Salt will stick to a greased potato better than a dry potato, but some will still fall off. That’s just the name of the game.

That salt on the skin won’t season the interior of the potato one lick, so remember to salt it up good once it’s on your plate and split open.

SKIP THE FOIL

Wrapping a potato in foil before baking will trap steam inside, resulting in dense, gluey flesh. Potatoes already have a perfectly fine wrapper: their skins. And you can eat them! So skip the foil before baking. It’s an extra step that makes not-as-good potatoes.

How to Make Baked Potatoes -- salted potatoes on a baking sheet in the ovenHow to Make Baked Potatoes -- salted potatoes on a baking sheet in the oven

How to Make Baked Potatoes -- salted potatoes on a baking sheet in the ovenHow to Make Baked Potatoes -- salted potatoes on a baking sheet in the oven

HOW LONG TO BAKE A POTATO?

How long does it take to bake a potato? It depends. The short answer is: It’s not fast!

Expect baked potatoes to take anywhere from 35 to 55 minutes, or over an hour if you are using giant honking mega-potatoes. The baking time depends on the size of the potato.

WHAT’S THE BEST TEMPERATURE FOR BAKED POTATOES?

Not too hot, not too cool. We like 400° Fahrenheit best.

Baked Potato Recipe - salted potatoes on a baking sheet with a fork stuck in it.Baked Potato Recipe - salted potatoes on a baking sheet with a fork stuck in it.

Baked Potato Recipe - salted potatoes on a baking sheet with a fork stuck in it.Baked Potato Recipe - salted potatoes on a baking sheet with a fork stuck in it.

WHEN IS IT DONE?

Gauging a baked potato’s doneness can be tricky. Because they come in so many sizes, you’re best relying on how it looks, smells, and feels, rather than a timer (but still set a timer so you remember to check on them). Here are some tips:

  • Fully baked potatoes will have slightly wrinkled skins.
  • They may make tiny hissing sounds, if you listen carefully.
  • If you lightly squeeze a potato, it should yield to the pressure of your fingers, and possibly even crack open a little.
  • You should be able to slide a fork or skewer deeply into the potato with minimal resistance.

If you are still feeling unsure, use an instant-read thermometer: their internal temperature should be between 208°F and 211°F. (In this magic temperature zone, starch granules in the potato have absorbed water, ruptured, and rendered the interior flesh fluffy and light.)

OPEN UP FOR SERVING

Get that hot potato on a plate and open it up. For a fluffy, craggy interior that’ll absorb toppings like butter, sour cream, or chili, don’t cut the potato open with a knife. Split it open with a fork. This gives you crumbly, flour-y flesh and more surface area.

How to Bake a Potato -- 3 potatoes split open with butterHow to Bake a Potato -- 3 potatoes split open with butter

How to Bake a Potato -- 3 potatoes split open with butterHow to Bake a Potato -- 3 potatoes split open with butter

BAKING POTATOES IN ADVANCE

Thousands of steakhouses across America bake potatoes well in advance of serving them. These potatoes are not as amazing as ones straight from the oven, but they are pretty good.

However, after being kept hot for more than an hour, baked potatoes will get very wrinkly skins, their interiors will collapse and become dense, and the flesh under the skin will turn brown. If you want great baked potatoes, don’t make them more than an hour in advance.

To keep fully baked potatoes hot, wrap them in foil (I know we were carping on foil earlier, but this is foil after the potato’s fully baked). It’s best to wear an oven mitt when you do this. Then pop the wrapped potato in one of the following options.

  • An Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker on its “keep warm” setting.
  • A slow cooker on the lowest setting.
  • A small cooler that’s been warmed with hot water, then emptied out.
  • A regular oven on the lowest setting (ideally “warm”).

LEFTOVER POTATOES

I often bake a few more potatoes than I need. They become building blocks for future meals: hash, gnocchi, loaded potato skins, twice baked potatoes, improvised baked potato soup.

Let leftover potatoes cool, then wrap them in foil and refrigerate them for up to 4 days. Baked potatoes do not freeze well.

GOT LEFTOVER POTATOES? USE ‘EM UP!

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03 Sep



When you’re craving comfort from scratch, this Vanilla Applesauce Cake comes together with minimal effort and delivers bold fall flavors. Applesauce gives this cake its unbelievably tender crumb and tart apple notes, and Heilala Vanilla’s premium vanilla beans join forces with fall spices to impart a cozy autumn feel. We finished off this soul-warming cake with a luscious Vanilla Bean Frosting speckled with Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste. The vanilla bean paste lends this buttercream a rich, mellow flavor that’s so good, you’ll want to eat the buttercream on its own—although we recommend piling as much on top of the cake as you can. Between the soft, apple-scented cake and that sweet buttercream, this will be your seasonal go-to.

Before you whip up this recipe, stock up on enough Heilala Vanilla to last you through the fall baking season! Get 20% off your vanilla purchase on Heilala’s Amazon store by using the code BAKEFS11 at checkout. Code valid until November 30th, 2019. 

Vanilla Applesauce Cake

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 grams) unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature
  • ½ cup (112 grams) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) Heilala Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Vanilla Bean Frosting (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper; lightly spray sides of pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger, and cloves. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, applesauce, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Pour sugar mixture into flour mixture, and fold until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula.
  3. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Spread Vanilla Bean Frosting on cooled cake.

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Vanilla Bean Frosting

  • 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups (480 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (18 grams) Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium-low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add butter, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup (120 grams) at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase mixer speed to medium-high. Add vanilla bean paste and salt. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat for 2 minutes. Use immediately.

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28 Aug



A grown-up chocolate cake, this olive oil stir-together batter has sophisticated cocoa notes complemented by a deep, dark ganache frosting. Find more quick and delicious stir-together cakes in our new September/October 2019 issue!

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

  • ⅔ cup (50 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ cup (120 grams) boiling water
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (168 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons (6.25 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • Whipped Ganache (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper; butter sides of pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa and ½ cup (120 grams) boiling water. Let cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla until well combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, whisking just until combined after each addition. (Batter will be thin.) Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Top with Whipped Ganache. Serve immediately. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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Whipped Ganache

  • 10.5 ounces (315 grams) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1¼ cups (300 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  1. Place chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a simmer over medium-low heat. Pour half of hot cream over chocolate; let stand for 30 seconds. Starting in center of bowl, slowly stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Add remaining hot cream, and slowly stir to combine. Add butter and vanilla, stirring until fully incorporated. Refrigerate, uncovered, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer ganache to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat ganache until it lightens in color. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until mixture thickens and holds stiff peaks. (If ganache texture starts to look granular, you’ve overwhipped.) Use immediately.

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28 Aug



Packed with crystallized ginger and diced pears, this rich, buttery skillet cake is sure to impress any weeknight guest. A final sprinkle of sugar adds a little crunch that contrasts the dense, moist texture of the cake.  

Ginger Pear Skillet Cake

  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) plus 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams)
  • ¾ teaspoon (3 grams) almond extract
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1¾ teaspoons (8.75 grams) baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) crème fraîche
  • 1 pound (455 grams) pears, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons (69 grams) chopped crystallized ginger, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) . Butter and flour a 10-inch enamel-coated cast-iron skillet.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 1½ cups (300 grams) sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond extract.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with crème fraîche, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Fold in half of pears and 1½ tablespoons (34.5 grams) ginger.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading to edges. Arrange remaining pears and remaining ½ tablespoons (34.5 grams) ginger on top, slightly pressing into batter. Sprinkle with tablespoons (24 grams) sugar.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes, covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Remove from oven; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon (12 grams) sugar. Let cool completely.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a 10-inch cast-iron or ovenproof skillet, a 10-inch round cake pan will work, too.

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