Tag Archives: Baking

Apples and Bananas in need of a recipe!


This Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze is wonderful.  I can say that because I just finished eating a warm, piece of goodness and my house still smells of all the great fall spices.

Even my handsome fella said “mmmm….this is good….really good”

I can’t remember where I found the recipe but it was somewhere on a pinterest hunt.  Here is how I made it:

Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze

Makes one 12-cup Bundt or tube cake (could do it in two 8×4 inch loaf pans too)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour your pan and set it aside.  (My cake fell right out of the pan.  I used a papertowel to “paint” on the shortening and then dusted flour all around the pan)

Melt in the microwave:

  • 1/4 cup butter

Put the melted butter in a large mixing bowl and add to the bowl:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or canola)
  • 5 to 6 ounces vanilla or plain yogurt (I used on standard-sized individual container of Greek yogurt.  You could use sour cream too)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Whisk the above until batter is smooth and silky—about 1 minute.

Add to the silky, smooth batter:

  • 1 cup masked ripe bananas
  • 1 cup finely diced apples (I peeled about half of the apple)

Stir to combine


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if you need or want to)

Stir the mixture until just combined- careful not to over-stir the batter

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for about 39 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before inverting it and removing the cake.

While the cake is cooling, make the caramel sauce.

Vanilla Caramel Glaze

(Makes about 1 cup glaze)

This is a fast moving recipe so have everything ready to go when you begin.

In a small saucepan melt:

  • 1/4 cup butter

Add to the melted butter

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

Bring to a boil, stirring nearly continuously.

Allow the mixture to boil quite rapidly for 2 minutes, stirring nearly continuously.  Remove the pan from the burner, allow it to cool for about 1 minute.

Vanilla Caramel Glaze in the making: beckinpa.wordpress.com

Vanilla Caramel Glaze in the making: beckinpa.wordpress.com

Add to the mixture:

  • 2 Tablespoons of milk (or cream if you have it)

Whisk aggressively to incorporate the milk/cream and calm any bubbling that occurred.

After any bubbling has calmed down, add to the mixture and whisk to combine:

  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Add, 1/2 cups at a time, until you reach the desired consistency, of:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (Sifting it will help the glaze whisk up smoother and more silky…not lumpy.  I used about 1 1/2 cups of the sugar for my glaze)

Poke holes in the cake with a chopstick or skewer.

Pour the glaze over the cake and allow it to set up for a few minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

The recipe says that the cake will keep up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature.  I’m not sure the cake will last two days at our house!

Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze

Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze



Easy Apple Pie


This is a perfect fall day dessert.  I made it over the weekend to go with the Mamma Mia Stew and it too was a hit with the family!  I found the recipe on lifeasmom.com .  I did not make the “Gramma John’s Pie Crust” though.  I used the recipe that I make for Thanksgiving from Martha Stewart.

Get the recipe here for Slab Apple Pie.  I made a few changes like:

  • the crust I used.  I would have used a refrigerated crust if I had one but since I didn’t and I had everything for the Martha Stewart recipe I whipped those up and froze one crust to use at a later date.
  • instead of 6 apples I used more like 5.  My apples were fairly large so I think there were plenty of apples for everyone!  I only had fuji apples on hand and was not making a trip out.
  • no nuts.  My girls don’t really care for nuts so I didn’t include them.

Don’t forget to fire up the coffee pot when you take the pie out of the oven to cool.  It pairs perfectly with a nice cup of Joe!

Easy Pie Crust


Today was a first for me.  Rather than run to the store to get a packaged pie crust for my chicken pot pie, I actually made my own!  I figured it would be cheaper as I can hardly ever walk into the store for one item and come out with just that one item (I bet I’m not alone in that!).

Here is my pie crust on top of our chicken pot pie ready to bake.

A good friend of mine gave me this Martha Stewart recipe several years ago when I decided that at Thanksgiving I would make my own pie crust for pumpkin pie.  Since then I have made it only at Thanksgiving and continued to buy store-bought for everything else throughout the year.   I tried to link to the web address for the recipe but it comes up as a bad address now…guess Martha re-vamped her website.  So, if you are ever in need of a pie crust and don’t want to run to the store, this one is really easy to make.

Pate Brisee (Pie Dough)

In the bowl of a food processor, combine:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled, unsalted butter that you have cut into small pieces.

Process the above mixture until it resembles coarse meal….about 8-10 seconds says Martha…but I’m probably more like 10-15 seconds.

Next you will need:

  • 1/4- 1/2 cup ice water.  (I like to put 1/2 cup of cold water in the fridge with a few ice cubes while I get everything else going.  Then when I need the cold water, I remove the ice cubes and make sure I’m starting with 1/2 cup of water)

With the  machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube.

Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky.  Be careful not to process more than 30 seconds.

To test, squeeze a small amount together.  If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 T at a time.  (I find that I use about 1/4 cup of water)

Divide the dough into two equal balls.  Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic.  Place them in the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour.

The dough can be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

Oh, and if you are wondering “Pate Brisee” is the French version of classic pie or tart pastry.  Pressing the dough into a disc rather than shaping it into a ball allows it to chill faster.  (So says Martha and you know that Martha knows her stuff!)