Blogs, Recipes

Citrus Olive Oil Cake

Olive oil cake has a crackling crust and an aromatic oil-rich middle, which, if it held any more moisture, would be pudding. 

This is one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever bake! You’ll love how simple it is to make.

All you need to do is whisk your dry ingredients together in one bowl, your liquid ingredients in another, and then combine them. The batter will be smooth and a little on the thin side. Just pour it into a greased pan and bake. 

The olive oil cake is delicious on its own, with just a little powdered sugar for garnish.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 orange – for the juice & zest
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Rosemary for garnish (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9 inch cake pan make sure to coat all the sides with butter. 

Cream the sugar, eggs and vanilla together on medium for 2 minutes – I used my Kitchen Aid..

Add the olive oil and mix. 

Mix in the orange juice and orange zest for about another minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder and flour. 

Add to the ingredients above in two batches. For each batch, gently mix to incorporate all of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 

Pour into the cake pan.

Make sure there are no air bubbles in your cake batter before baking – you will need to tap the pan on a counter or shake it a bit. The air bubbles will cause an uneven surface or cracks in the top of the cake so try to remove them as best you can. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back from the touch and the edges pull away from the pan. 

Cool completely or on a wire rack.

Put confectioners sugar in a duster and shake it on to the top of the cake. 

Enjoy!

Blogs, Recipes

Lemon Loaf

This Lemon Loaf recipe is full of lemon flavor, moist, dense, and rich. It’s a perfect snack, dessert or even Breakfast Bread.

The lemon loaf cake itself is perfectly lemony, and the lemon glaze boosts the lemon flavor even more. Lemon lovers will be in their glory! 

I actually prefer this loaf after it has sat overnight, this allows the fresh lemon/sugar mix to have a chance to soak into the cake, which gives it more flavour and makes it even moist. But don’t let it sit for too long because there’s a fine line between when a loaf is moist, then all of a sudden it’s dry.  So moral of the story, let it sit overnight and enjoy it the next day.  Honestly, this loaf is so good so you’ll probably finish it in one day, a slice or two for breakfast with your coffee, one for a sweet mid-day snack and then a few slices with vanilla ice cream after dinner! 

Lemon Loaf Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoon lemon extract 
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk — sour cream works too

Lemon Icing Ingredients

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, add more until desired consistency is reached
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice,  add more until desired consistency is reached
  • 2 tablespoon cream or milk, add more until desired consistency is reached

Lemon Loaf Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. 

Grease and flour an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt.

In a separate bowl beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy – this will take at least 3 minutes.

Mix in the eggs 1 at a time. 

Then mix in the vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

With the mixer on low speed, mix in about 1/2 of the flour mixture followed by about 1/2 of the buttermilk. 

Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Repeat the process with the rest of the flour mixture and buttermilk.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. 

Cool the loaf fully before icing (otherwise, the icing will melt through the cake and run off the sides).

*It will be done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the top feels firm to the touch. 

*If after about 30-40 minutes the top is browning too much, place a piece of aluminum foil over top and continue baking.

Lemon Icing Instructions

In a medium bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and cream/milk until smooth. Add in more powdered sugar or cream as needed for desired consistency.

Remove the cooled loaf from the pan and drizzle or pour over top.

Recipes

Grandma’s Rum Cake

I’ll never forget the day I stopped by grandmother’s house to ask her to share the family recipes. I pulled up a chair at her kitchen counter, pen in hand and she asked “Where do you want to start?”

I remember being a little girl having family picnics at the lake down the street from her house and for dessert she always would make her famous rum cake. My cousins and I would always feel so grown up because we were eating rum cake. LOL

So I asked for her rum cake recipe. She laughed, opened her recipe box and handed me a recipe card. It was the Bacardi Rum Cake recipe card. “It’s that easy”, she laughed. We spent the rest of the afternoon laughing and writing down her recipes. 

This recipe makes the moistest cake you’ll ever eat. And it’s been popular since the 1970s, it’s soft, fluffy and super moist, bursting with rum and yellow cake flavor. Not to mention it’s easy to prepare, and perfect for any occasion.

You can use any rum. I use my favorite rum, 82°West 1911 Special Dark Rum. 82 West Distilling is a craft rum distillery in Tampa, right in Seminole Heights! 

It all starts with a cup of pecans sprinkled over the bottom of a bundt pan. Then you mix a package of yellow cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and half a cup of rum until smooth. I did make one adjustment and added a tablespoon of Vanilla and mixed until combined. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for one hour.

Once the cake is done, you prepare a simple butter-rum glaze made of butter, sugar, water and rum. Spoon the sauce all over the warm cake. Let it sit to soak in all the delicious butter-rum glaze and serve.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup chopped pecans 
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (You just use the cake mix as is, do not add other ingredients listed on the cake box.)
  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding mix (92 g)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1⁄2 cup cold water
  • 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1⁄2 cup dark rum 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla 

GLAZE INGREDIENTS

  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 1⁄4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup dark rum or rum

CAKE DIRECTIONS

Sprinkle nuts over the bottom of a greased bundt pan.

Stir together cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, vanilla, water, oil and rum.

Pour batter over nuts.

Bake at 325 in the oven for 1 hour.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

Transfer onto a serving plate and poke top with a toothpick.

GLAZE DIRECTIONS

Melt butter in a saucepan.

Stir in water and sugar.

Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat.

Stir in rum.

Drizzle ½ of the glaze evenly over the top and sides of the cake.

Allow cake to absorb glaze.

Drizzle the remaining glaze over the top of each slice right before serving.

Recipes

Zeppole

In 2007, my family and I took a Carnival cruise around the Mediterranean coast. My Papa, grandfather had the biggest sweet tooth and loved to try all the Italian desserts. While we were in Naples, we stopped at a cafe for Limoncello. In the bakery case, they were selling fried dough dusted with powdered sugar, Zeppole. Naturally, my Papa ordered us some to go along with our Limoncello. We were handed a brown paper bag filled with Zeppoles.

We explored Naples, carrying that beautiful greasy bag, pulling Zeppole out one at a time, getting the sugar all over ourselves. We were two very happy people! 

Zeppole are tiny Italian doughnuts – crisp, light and incredibly fluffy, usually served in a brown paper bag or wrapped in parchment paper.

Zeppole make the perfect Hostess gift. Brian and I made them for our Friends Thanksgiving at our friend’s Jason and Paul’s house.

As it turns out, Zeppole are really easy to make at home and take almost no time at all — about 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of unsifted flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Confectioners Sugar for Dusting or maybe Cinnamon Sugar
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Directions

Crack your two eggs into the mixing bowl and beat until foamy.  

Add all of your dry ingredients into the eggs in the mixing bowl while on slow speed and then add  your ricotta and vanilla right away.  

Continue to mix on a slow speed till it is all combined.  The batter will be thick…creamy and sticky.  It is not a cookie dough consistency…it is a rich thick waffle type batter. Do not over mix.

Have your oil ready in your favorite pot.  I use a cast iron  dutch oven.  Your oil should be approximately 375 degrees.

I use a small cookie dough scoop …first I spray it with oil so that batter doesn’t stick …then scoop up the batter (no exact measurement here : ) and carefully drop it into the oil…repeat with consecutive scoops but don’t let them touch…

Zeppoles will turn themselves over. Fry them for about about 3 minutes…if they are a little bigger…a little longer.

Once you get to that nice deep golden brown it is time to scoop them up and place them on brown paper or paper towels to drain. Continue with another batch. 

Sprinkle them with Confectioners sugar or some Cinnamon Sugar. 

Recipes

NUTELLA SWIRLED BANANA BREAD

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread is the ultimate banana bread recipe. It is extremely easy and moist with swirls of nutella spread throughout. It’s perfect at breakfast served with your morning coffee or for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

The best bananas for this recipe are ones that are over-ripe. The peels should be at least half brown and easy to remove. The insides should be squishy and browning. I find myself buying bananas and never eating all of them so this recipe is a great way to save the bananas and my wallet. 

There is no need for a mixer. You can mix everything together in one large  bowl. The first step is to mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl! I use the back of the spoon or you can use a potato masher. Then, I just throw everything else into the same bowl and mix it together. I told you it was easy!

Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Grab your Nutella jar and microwave it for 10-20 seconds. Pour half of the banana batter into the loaf pan, and drizzle two spoonfuls of the warm Nutella over the banana batter. Add the rest of banana batter and repeat with the drizzle of warm Nutella. To achieve the marble look, take a knife and swirl it through the loaf pan.Bake in your pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes until golden on top and a knife or toothpick comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the loaf pan and serve in slices. I like to cut mine into thick slices but that is totally up to you! 

ENJOY!!!

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 overripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup Nutella

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Lightly grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the sugar, butter, egg & vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  4. Gradually add the flour and baking soda, mixing until all combined.
  5. Pour half the batter into your pre-lined loaf pan and smooth into the corners.
  6. Warm your Nutella in the microwave for about 10-20 second to soften it slightly. 
  7. Drizzle a couple of spoonfuls over the batter in the loaf pan before adding the remaining batter on top.
  8. Drizzle the remaining Nutella to the top of your loaf before stirring the batter with a knife to create the marbled effect.
  9. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 40 minutes until golden on top. 
  10. Leave to cool in the loaf pan and serve in slices.