Cake 44: Fig Walnut Torte

This fig walnut coffee cake torte was inspired by the “Apricot-Walnut Coffee Cake” recipe in Sarah Kramer’s La Dolce Vegan, but it’s using the ingredients I have in the house, which alas are not vegan, and I have fig preserves instead of apricot preserves. I would argue this is a pretty guilt-free cake, especially if you make it the proper vegan way from the original recipe.

Fig Walnut Torte Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white fig preserves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Fig Walnut Torte Recipe Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9-inch round cake pan. In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In your food processor, blend the butter, tofu, sugar, milk, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. Add to the dry ingredients mixture and mix with a spatula until blended. The batter will be a little thick. Spread half of the cake batter into the pan, top with the preserves, and half the walnuts, then the last half of the cake batter and top it off with the last of the walnuts. Bake for about 30 minutes (or 35 minutes if you’re using an 8-inch pan) until it becomes golden brown and your tester comes out clean, and it’s just starting to pull away from the edges. Cool completely in the pan. Then turn it out onto your dish and serve!

Cake 35: Homemade Cinnamon Roll Cake

Making this homemade cinnamon roll cake recipe from scratch brought back memories from my childhood I just have to share. It’s more of a confession, really. When my brother Cody and I were growing up, there were a few special things my dad permitted us to have for breakfast once in a while that broke away from our usual cereal and milk. Sometimes it was donuts from the little local donut shop, Holt’s on Main Street, right down the street from our house. Other times, it was just a can of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. These were an occasional Friday morning treat. So Cody and I would bust open the can, layout the 8-pack of pre-made cinnamon rolls in a round pan and wait anxiously as they baked in the oven. When they came out of the oven and had a few minutes to cool (if we could wait that long) we would grab a spoon from the drawer and start spreading that cream cheese icing over the whole gooey mess. Inevitably, the middle cinnamon roll would always be a little more squished than all the others — which made it the ideal frosting receptacle. It always had the most frosting running down the sides. SO, being the rotten big sister I was, with Cody four years my junior, I spent a significant amount of time convincing Cody that the best cinnamon rolls were the slightly crispy ones on the outside so I could get the gooey, frosting-drenched inside cinnamon roll. (Sorry, Cody.)

When I pulled this cake out of the oven tonight and the softest part was still in the center and I began pouring my homemade cream cheese icing on it, I couldn’t help but laugh at that memory of me manipulating my poor kid brother so I could get what I want. I have to say I prefer this cake over the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, but I still have a special place in my heart for them and probably always will because of this memory.

Anywho, get ready to have your mind blown. I’ve never seen a cinnamon roll cake recipe that doesn’t call for yellow cake mix, but you know me, I can’t stand the stuff. So here’s an original homemade cinnamon roll cake recipe made from scratch.This is melt-in-your mouth good, incredibly delicious and decadent cinnamon roll cake gooeyness.

Cinnamon Roll Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups sifted flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Cinnamon Roll Cake Recipe Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in the kitchen mixer bowl. Mix in the vegetable oil on a low mixing speed using the paddle attachment. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then a medium-high speed  for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl down with a spatula occasionally. Pour the cinnamon roll cake batter into a greased 9×13 cake pan (or I used my Wilton flower cake pan). In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecan pieces. Pour over cake batter. Swirl into the cake batter with knife. One or two good spirals starting in the middle should do the trick. The cake naturally folds into itself while it’s baking and you get that neat swirl of bown sugar, cinnamon and nuts on the inside of the cake. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. (I used my Wilton flower cake pan and it took nearly 45 minutes.) The cake should be a rich golden brown color, especially on the outside edges. Make sure the center portion isn’t jiggly – that means it’s undercooked and still doughy. If that happens to you, continue baking for 2-3 minute increments until you get the desired texture. The cake should spring back when gently pressed.

Cream Cheese Icing Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons of milk

Cream Cheese Icing Recipe Directions

While the cake is cooling, beat together the softened cream cheese, softened butter, powdered  sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Slowly add milk until you reach the desired consistency (you can stop short of 5 tablespoons if you like). Let cake cool 10 or 15 minutes in the pan before icing with the cream cheese glaze. Spread the cream cheese icing on the still-warm cake.

Cake 25: Cardamom Coffee Cake

I know my friend Vidhya is looking forward to this recipe because of the cardamom. She is quite the baker and cook herself, and she never ceases to impress. Vidhya, I hope you can veganize this one! I also hope it lives up to your caliber of baking and cooking. 🙂 Also, the cardamom cake recipe means I’ve baked a cake with each of the challenge ingredients you all voted on so far except for persimmon – but rest assured, I’ll make that, too.

A little baking tip for you fellow bakers out there. One of the biggest rules I learned from The Cake Bible that my sister-in-law got me for my birthday is not to overbeat the cake batters. I use the paddle attachment instead of the whisk attachment in the KitchenAid, and I only beat as much as it takes to incorporate the ingredients. Also, the book suggests to sift all the dry ingredients together – even if the recipe doesn’t say so. So I use the flour sifter I got from mom-in-law a while back to incorporate my flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, etc. these days. I have really changed my ways and started planning ahead so I can pay better attention and get my timing right. These two changes have helped lead to lighter, fluffier, softer, tastier cakes!

This one turned out so neat. I love a good coffee cake, but the cardamom adds such an interesting and unique twist.

Cardamom Coffee Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, and an additional 4 tablespoons or so of brown sugar (flexible)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1.25 teaspoons baking soda
  • 0.75 teaspoon cardamom (I used Guatemala ground cardamom from Penzey’s)
  • 0.25 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (I used China Tung Hing Cinnamon from Penzey’s)
  • 0.25 cup chopped walnuts

Cardamom Coffee Cake Recipe Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a round bundt pan or tube pan. I line the bottom with parchment paper and use non-stick cooking spray to prepare my pans lately, but cutting out an o-shaped piece of parchment paper seemed like a pain, so I just sprayed generously. In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and the brown sugar together until they are light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, and then the eggs one at a time. Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients mixture and the sour cream a bit at a time, alternating. You should start and finish with the dry ingredients mixture. Set your cake batter aside, and in another bowl mix together the cinnamon, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and the chopped walnuts to create your nut mixture. Pour about half of your cardamom coffee cake batter into the pan, layer on about 2/3 of the nut mixture, then the last half of the batter, then the last half of the nut mixture (I kind of mushed the last part of the nut mixture into the batter with my spatula, don’t know why – but it turned out great). This can bake for about 1 hour in your 350-degree oven, but it wouldn’t hurt to check starting at about 45 minutes. You should have a lovely brown color on top, the cake should spring back when lightly pressed, and your skewer tester should come out dry when inserted in the middle. Cool for about 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the tube pan and remove from pan to finish cooling completely.

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