Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake with Lemon Glaze

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’ve finally started watching the new season of The Great British Bake Off. We’re meeting up with the rest of the country halfway through because I had actually been binging old seasons of Bake Off on Netflix and All 4 over the late summer, and I wasn’t caught up by the time the new season started. This year’s contestants took a few weeks to warm up to, but I’m finally growing attached to a few of them. Mannon is so beautiful and talented I almost can’t handle it, and Briony is plucky and adorable. But Paul Hollywood continues to blow my mind with how completely out of touch he is.

What Paul doesn’t know about food trends I will never understand. I checked and the man definitely has Instagram. I assume it’s run by someone else because if he went on it even once, he would have seen that chocolate globe desserts are freakin’ everywhere. He clearly doesn’t follow food blogs because he’s apparently never heard of tangzhong. And I can never forgive him for the time he pronounced chipotle as chi-pot-el on one of his cooking shows. Are we sure he’s an actual expert?

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hopefully Paul’s had a pull-apart cake, though I certainly wouldn’t want him to judge mine. Although I feel that the slight wonkiness of this Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake adds to its charm. Between each layer of enriched yeasted dough is butter and cinnamon sugar that melts into the most delicious goo as it bakes. There’s also a generous layer of lemon glaze that adds a sweet brightness to the whole thing. This dessert is a great combination of crunchy top, chewy bottom, and sweetness and spice. We love it.

Like with any yeasted dough, this cake is a bit of a project, but there’s nothing excessively complicated. It’s just time consuming because of the multiple rises for the dough. There’s also a bit of low key geometry, but don’t worry, you’re not being judged, so no need to get out your ruler. 

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This cake has so many possibilities. You could easily modify it to make your signature flavor. We’re starting with Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be seeing some variations on this in the future.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake with Lemon Glaze
Serves 8
Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake is chewy and sweet and perfect for autumn.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr
For the dough
  1. 3 cups plain flour, plus a few tablespoons more for the counter
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 2-1/4 teaspoon yeast
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/3 cup whole milk
  6. 2 ounces unsalted butter
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 2 eggs
For the filling
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  4. 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
For the glaze
  1. 3/4 cups icing sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  3. 1 tablespoon whole milk
For the dough
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups f the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt until well combined.
  2. In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, add the milk and the butter and heat until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1/4 cup water and the vanilla. Check the temperature of your liquid mixture with a candy or instant read thermometer. It should be between 115 and 125 Fahrenheit. You may need to let it cool or put it back on the heat depending on how cold your water was.
  3. Once your wet ingredients reach the right temperature, add them to your dry ingredients, and stir both together with a spatula. Add your eggs and continue to stir. It will seem very wet, but it will eventually start to come together. Finally, stir in your last cup of flour until your dough comes together. It will still be very sticky.
  4. Transfer the dough to a greased mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel, and stash it in a warm place in your kitchen to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  5. When your dough is risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and knead an additional 2 to 4 tablespoons of flour into it until you have a smooth dough. It should take about five minutes. Form your dough into a ball and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Allow it to rest for about five minutes before rolling it out.
For the filling
  1. While your dough is resting, gently whisk together your sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and melt your butter for the filling.
  2. Also butter and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  3. Once your dough is rested, you can begin gently rolling out your dough in a lightly floured surface until you have a rectangle that's about 12 inches by 20 inches.
  4. Use your pastry brush to spread the melted butter evenly over the dough. Try to brush it right to the edge without going over. Next, sprinkle on all the cinnamon sugar. You can use your pastry brush again to spread it evenly over the dough, again up to the edge.
  5. Now it's time to slice and stack. Start by cutting six equal strips vertically. I use my pizza cutter for this. You'll then need to stack these strips on top of each other. I use my small offset spatula to slice under the strip to make sure it's not stuck to the counter anywhere. Start with the strips on each each working your way to the middle until all six are stacked on top of each other.
  6. Next slice your stack of strips into six rectangles horizontally. Line up your piles of dough squares into your loaf pan.
  7. Place your clean kitchen towel over your dough and allow it to rise again for about half an hour until it's filled up your pan.While your dough is rising, be sure to preheat your oven to 350 F (175C).
  8. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes until beautifully brown on the top. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before turning out onto your desired destination.You'll obviously need to gently turn it upright after you get it out of the pan. Also, it can't hurt to run a butter knife around the edge of the pan before attempting to turn it out.
For the glaze
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, lemon juice, and milk until smooth. Gently pour evenly over your cooled cake. Allow gravity to do it's thing and drip over the cake.
  2. To serve, gently pull or cut apart a few layer at a time.
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants

Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I write my blog posts in the evening, which is probably a mistake. At about 7:00 pm, I hit a productivity wall that I often find insurmountable. It’s 7:40 right now, and I’m like words? What are those?

I’m also supposed to make a cake later so I can frost and decorate it in the morning and shoot it before going out to an early dinner. It’s an extremely safe bet that this cake will not get made tonight. I probably won’t even pick up the cookbook. The last dregs of my energy are going into this drivel right here. 

That being said, there’s a somewhat decent chance I’ll manage to drag myself down the stairs and around the corner for chips. I’m hungry.

Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It just so happens I have a very lazy recipe for you today. Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants are the perfect thing to offer any drop in holiday guests or offer up as a light breakfast for family or friends who might be staying over. Or you could just scarf them all yourself. That’s what I did.

These Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants are super easy to make and you can easily keep all the ingredients on hand to have them fresh out of the oven whenever you need them. Unroll dough, sprinkle cinnamon sugar, snap a chocolate bar, roll up, sprinkle again, brush, bake. Easy peasy.

Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Let’s all be lazy together. Let’s eat Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants while we do it. Productivity is overrated.

Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants
Serves 8
Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants are a delightful sweet treat you can bring together in a flash.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/6 cup sugar
  2. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  3. 1 sheet puff pastry
  4. 1 egg, beaten
  5. 8 pieces of dark chocolate (I just snapped small chunks off a bar of dark chocolate, but you could use chunks or chips, whatever you have)
  6. Pinch of sea salt flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  3. Unroll your sheet of puff pastry. Mine was wrapped in parchment in the package, so I just left it on that, but if yours doesn't come with, slide some parchment paper underneath. Use a pizza cutter to cut your pastry sheet in half.
  4. Brush one half of your puff pastry sheet with your beaten egg. Sprinkle most of your cinnamon sugar over your egg wash, holding a little bit back for sprinkling over the top at the end. Place the other half or your puff pastry on top of the cinnamon sugar side, and pinch the edges together to seal.
  5. Cut your new rectangle in half in both directions creating four rectangles, then cut each of these rectangles in half diagonally, creating 8 triangles. Place a chunk of chocolate at the wide end of each triangle, then roll it up toward the point. Tuck the edges under and give a light pinch to keep all the chocolate goodness inside. Place each mini croissant on your baking sheet. Give them room to grow.
  6. Brush each croissant with the remaining egg wash, sprinkle on the remaining cinnamon sugar, and add a light sprinkling of sea salt.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. These are best served warm but are still pretty awesome the next day if kept in an air tight container.
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I just finished watching the semi-final of this year’s Great British Bake Off. In case you’re wondering, I’m team Sophie. I absolutely love watching this show, especially since they have the refrigerator of my dreams on set. Every week I’m astonished by how the producers can manage to make baking seem so extremely tense and suspenseful. It just makes me realize there’s no way I ever would or could put myself through that.

I love to bake, but I also love to keep it simple and need to keep it cheap. Most importantly, I need to keep it delicious. I think that’s one thing about Bake Off that makes it superior to other cooking competition shows like Cake Wars and such. They really focus on flavor, so even if your bake doesn’t look completely perfect, you still get credit for how it tastes, and sometimes, great flavors even win out over beautiful spectacle.

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

All I’ve got for you are some humble Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting, and while they might not win any beauty contests, I assure you, the flavor is on point. Tons of spice comes through, heavy on the ginger and almost hot. And the cake itself is so tender. Then the maple frosting on top is sweet and deep and dreamy.

You could pipe your frosting to make them extra fancy, but I went with a scoop and swirl action, then added a hint of gold sprinkles for a bit of whimsy. It’s not a show stopper, but it’s absolutely awesome.

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting are going to make all your Fall flavor dreams come true. 

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
Yields 15
Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting are full of gorgeous flavor and perfectly sweet.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
For the cupcakes
  1. 2 cups cake flour
  2. 3/4 cup white sugar
  3. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  8. 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  9. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  11. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  12. 2 eggs
For the frosting
  1. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  2. 250 grams (2-1/2 cups) powdered sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and add 15 papers to your cupcake pan. You may yield a couple more or less. Be flexible.
  2. Add all dry ingredients, everything from flour to salt, into your mixing bowl and mix on low speed to incorporate all ingredients.
  3. Add butter and buttermilk and mix on medium until thick and incorporated.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
  5. Scoop batter into cupcake pans, filling half full. This batter will rise quite a bit so don't overfill.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting
  1. Beat butter and powdered sugar together until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Dollop onto the nearest cupcake and dance with joy.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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