Delicious Fudgy Cupcakes by the Single Serving

So the title of this post is slightly misleading. We made three cupcakes–because there are three of us–but this recipe allows you to make just one (or two, or three, or four, etc.) rather than *having* to make a full batch. Which, let’s admit it, challenges the self control just a wee bit, right?

Tonight, My Tiny Sous Chef wanted to do something special to celebrate her dad’s first day at a new job. She asked this morning if we could make him cupcakes, and after school we decided we were going to figure out how to make just what we needed. The result was fudgy, and still somehow not too sweet, single serving perfection. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
Recipe makes one cupcake
* 1/8C flour
* 1 1/4T sugar
* 1/2T cocoa
* pinch of salt
* 1T milk
* 2T canola oil
* 1/8t vanilla
* homemade or store bought ftosting/decorations of your choosing

WHAT TO DO
Preheat the oven to 325F. Spray a cupcake pan with nonstick spray or line with as many cupcake liners as the number if cupcakes your making, and set aside.

Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a bowl until combined.

Then add the milk, canola oil, and vanilla and whisk carefully until fully combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake tin or liner(s).

Bake at 325F for 20-24 minutes.

Allow your cupcake(s) to cool completely before frosting and decorating to your own individual delight–and enjoy! There’s always a reason to celebrate something, right?!

New Year’s Apple Cake

It’s Monday, so I should be posting a vegetarian dinner, but our dinner tonight was only *mostly* meatless, so I’m going to save it for another day. Plus, it’s my first post of the new year, and I didn’t want that to go unmentioned.

In the Jewish tradition, one of the most notable traditions is eating sweet things to usher in the new year. One of the best known symbols of this sweetness for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is apples dipped in honey. Apples, which are in season in the fall when Rosh Hashanah falls, are eaten for their inherent sweetness and because they are believed by many to have healing properties; honey is the epitome of natural sweet. It’s a beautiful and tasty symbol to initiate a positive entry into a new year. So yesterday, New Year’s Day, when we woke up slowly and enjoyed a lazy, pj-wearing morning that lasted to lunch time, I decided My Tiny Sous Chef and I could use our lazy time to bake something delicious in a merging of the traditions, to kick 2017 off with a sweet start. This apple cake for the New Year is dense and moist, but actually not too sweet – just enough. And it pairs perfectly with several cups of slowly-drunk coffee, or whatever else you needed to get you moving after your New Year’s Eve goings-on. And bonus – it’s perfect for a tiny sous chef – almost all of the steps can be handled by your little assistant, if you have one. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1T softened butter
* 1/2C granulated sugar
* 2C all-purpose flour
* 1t baking soda
* 1t baking powder
* 1/4t salt
* 2 vegetable oil
* 1 egg, plus 1 egg white
* 1C plain, nonfat yogurt
* 1/3-1/2C applesauce
* 1t vanilla extract
* 1 large apple, peeled and diced (Honey Crisp is a great choice for this cake, and not just for its name; but any sweeter variety is good as well, whatever your preference)
* 1T brown sugar
* 1/2t cinnamon
* 1/4t allspice

WHAT TO DOapplecake1
Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray an 8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray, and set aside.

Beat the butter and the sugar in an electric mixer until the butter breaks down and you get what is basically the consistency of coarse wet sand.

Add the flour, baking soda baking powder, and salt to the bowl, and beat on low until evenly combined.

Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

applecake2In your mixer, beat together the oil, egg, egg white, yogurt, apple sauce, and vanilla extract on a low speed until combined. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and carefully fold together and stir with a rubber spatula until the dry components are completely incorporated.

Pour the batter into your baking pan.

Distribute the diced apples over the top of the batter.
Then sprinkle with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice.

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Bake 1 hour (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Pour a large cup of strong coffee, and enjoy at a leisurely pace… in your sweatpants and slippers… or in bed.

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Here’s to what will hopefully prove to be a year more remembered for its sweet moments than for anything else. Happy New Year.

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Raspberry Ricotta Cake

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Late last winter I was getting ready to host some lovely lady-friends for and chit chat and stuff, and wanted a not-too-sweet-but-still-delicious (you know that perfect balance I’m talking about?) treat to serve with some coffee and fruit. But I am not the biggest baker, so I always get a little anxious about coming up with something pastry-like, and often end up buying something instead of making it. This time I wanted to do it myself for sure, so I scoured some go-to recipe resources, and found this one from Bon Apetit and immediately pinned it, knowing it was going to strike that exact balance I mentioned… You guys! It’s the PERFECT brunch cake. I promise you. It’s just the right amount of sweet, but not so fluffy-ooey-gooey-sweet. Light, airy sweet. And (you know where I’m going here, right?) just so easy, it’s ridiculous.

We recently made this little cake again, just because. Extra bonus – totally kid-friendly, both in eating and making. My little sous chef was on.her.game. I actually mixed up a step this time, so we ended up with a modified version – still perfect. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1.5C flour
* 1C sugar
* 2t baking powder
* 3/4t Kosher salt
* 3 eggs
* 1.5C ricotta cheese
* 1/2t vanilla extract
* 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
* 1.5C frozen raspberries

WHAT TO DO
Preheat your oven to 350F and spray a 9″ round cake pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and Kosher salt (an excellent job for your assistant, if you have one!).

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Next, in another, smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, and vanilla until smooth.

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Fold in the melted butter, followed by ¾ cup raspberries (This is the deviation from the original recipe; note: your batter will turn pink — this encouraged instead of deterred my sous chef! No difference in outcome baking/taste-wise.). Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just blended, being careful in the folding so as not to break the berries up any more than you already have.

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Pour your batter into the prepared cake pan and scatter a handful of additional raspberries over the top.

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Bake one hour, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool before serving. And then dig right in – daintily, of course, because this is such a purrty little cake.

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(Again, here‘s that Bon Apetit original inspiration recipe, and here‘s where I pinned it on my Yummmmm: Sweet Treats board!)