clementine cake [smitten kitchen]

A while back, a friend of mine showed me a most curious recipe over at Smitten Kitchen.

Full clementines? In a cake? Made almost entirely of almonds?

Hmmm.

I was skeptical, but my interest was piqued, and I knew I had to give it a shot.

IMG_2122

This cake has a soft, nutty crumble with just the right punch of citrus. It’s not too sweet, and I love having a piece of it with breakfast or cutting off a slice when I pass through the kitchen.

IMG_2126

I’ll tell you this doesn’t last long in my house.

There was a bit of guess-and-check with this recipe. I’ve made it twice so far, both times in a 9×13 cake pan. If you do this, 35-40 minutes at 375° will bake it just right, until the edges are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Also, make no mistake: this cake is very moist. You’ll probably want to add some flour to hold it together; I used 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, sifted.

Other useful tips for this recipe:

+ If you have a scale, use it!! Measuring the almonds, sugar, and clementines by mass will make your life easier. Trust me.
+ A quick few pulses in the blender will mush those clementines up for you, no trouble. (The Magic Bullet is your friend!)
+ Dusting the cake afterward with powdered sugar is pretty, but absolutely not necessary for the flavor of the cake.

IMG_2123

In other news, I’m so sorry for posting late! D: I’ve been running around on planes for a couple days. Posts will resume as normal on Fridays from here on!

Coming up soon: original recipe!

Let me know if you try this clementine cake, and if you have any other tweaks!

Happy first weekend of spring 🙂

chocolate peppermint cupcakes [a pumpkin and a princess]

Last week’s candy cane crinkle cookies were just a part of a much larger peppermint kick that I was on right before winter break. Nearly every one of my finals week study breaks involved baking. I knew there was one treat that needed to be part of my week’s menu, more than anything else: peppermint cupcakes.

Much googling led me to this beautiful post at A Pumpkin & A Princess.

Everything seemed so simple, yet so rich: Betty Crocker cake mix, CoolWhip frosting, all infused with peppermint and topped with ample Andes peppermint chocolate pieces and chunks of Ghiradelli peppermint bark.

Boy, did they deliver.

IMG_1975

I spent a couple hours on these, but that is by no means necessary. You can mix, bake, pipe, and decorate in no time–especially if you have actual Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips on hand [which I did not, so I spent a good deal of time beating up Andes Peppermint Crunch Things, as well as smashing mini candy canes for the vanilla-frosted ones].

IMG_1962

I also switched to pre-made vanilla frosting [topped with candy canes, as you can see] when I ran out of the CoolWhip chocolate one. Really, you can use any kind of frosting you want. I’d love to make these again with a thick, creamy homemade buttercream with some chocolate pudding mix and sour cream thrown into the batter, too!

The CoolWhip frosting had a texture almost like ice cream, which was an unusual and pleasantly surprising change from most cupcakes you’ll find. Unfortunately, that also leads me to a major warning: CoolWhip frosting will melt on you! So don’t frost these babies until you’re ready to serve them, unless you plan on refrigerating them.

IMG_1967

These were a big hit with my house. They didn’t last long.

IMG_1974

Say a sweet, minty, wintry goodbye to the cold weather with these delicious cupcakes–and let me know how it goes!

See you next week 🙂

candy cane crinkle cookies [what’s cooking with ruthie]

I love the holiday season. Not because I necessarily celebrate the actual holidays, but because of the music, the decorations, the general spirit of festivity ringing through every street–and most importantly, the peppermint.

I love peppermint. Especially with chocolate.
And I’m sure you have some candy canes left over from December, hiding in your kitchen.

IMG_1937
These candy cane crinkle cookies come from What’s Cooking with Ruthie. The box mix base cuts a good deal of time out of the prep, and you certainly won’t lose any flavor because of it. I made these cookies in the middle of finals week–half celebration, half a reprieve from studying. They were more than worth the time.

IMG_1941

Pillowy, chocolatey cookies that aren’t too rich cut by melted down peppermint–you won’t be able to stop at one, especially if you make them as small as these ones.

I substituted all-purpose flour for the cornstarch, and it worked perfectly well. I imagine the cookies will be even fluffier if you use the cornstarch 🙂

Is there a specific type of recipe you’d like to see next? Let me know in the comments! Coming up soon, we have more cookies, cupcakes, and perhaps even one of my own recipes ooooooh~
Happy Friday, folks!