Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake

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I’ve been thinking about this cake for over 3 months, ever since Thanksgiving. I had a large bounty of apples that I’d picked up from the Farmer’s Market and was looking for desserts to make. And Thanksgiving seemed like the perfect opportunity because I can usually make a few different desserts!

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For the last few years, the boyfriend and I have been hosting a left-behind Thanksgiving dinner, but since we had plans with his family last year, we hosted a Secondsgiving over the following weekend. Usually, I take care of the turkey and the desserts, which are my two favourite parts. But last year, other friends who host a left-behind dinner bought over all their leftover dessert… So I didn’t need to bake anything!

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While I had mixed feelings about not being able to make all the desserts, it was a nice change of pace to be able to focus on savories and sides. But then I never got the chance to make the Caramel Apple Upside-down Cake! After 3 months, I finally found the right time!

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The cake starts with a layer of sliced apples coated in a quick caramel sauce. A fluffy cinnamon cake is baked on top of the apples, and the whole thing is inverted onto a serving platter. The caramel cooks the apples and creates a gooey layer on top of the cake, with a light caramel taste. To boost the caramel flavor, serve the cake with extra caramel sauce!

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One thing to note when baking this cake is to use extra-wide aluminum foil to cover the bottom of your springform pan, and place a large cookie sheet on the rack below the cake. Springform pans have a tendency to leak slightly, so you’ll want the pan there to catch any drippings! Otherwise, you’ll panic when smoke starts pouring out of your oven, like I did… 😛

Click below for the recipe. If you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! Enjoy! 🙂

Download the recipe!

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Banana-Blueberry Muffins

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It’s kind of serendipitous that I’m posting a banana recipe today. Yesterday, I submitted my recipe for Banana Blondies to Serious Eats’ “Share Your Sweets” weekly column. And since looking back on that recipe, I can’t get those Blondies out of my head! (Mostly because they would be so perfect right now to invoke the feeling of Spring and shake off this cold and dreary winter.)

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As I’d confessed in my Blondies post, I’m a banana hoarder. I love bananas, but there’s a small window in which I’ll eat them before they end up in the “banana wasteland”. Then I save them for baking. Because of my banana surplus, I’ve come up with a few really good recipes over last few years. And now I have one more to add to the list!

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I threw together these muffins on a whim last week, when I had a jar of mashed banana and a quart of blueberries in the fridge and a hankering for blueberry muffins. And they turned out okay… The flavor was there, but they were dense and chewy. So I went back to the recipe I scribbled out and tweaked a few things.

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And the result was a perfect muffin: not too sweet, fluffy but substantial, and loaded with blueberries. They’re also pretty low in fat (with only a small amount coming from sour cream) and egg-free. You can also make them dairy-free by using vegan sour cream (made with tofu) or soy yoghurt!

Click below for the recipe. If you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! Enjoy! 🙂

Download the recipe!

Mixed Berry Coffee Cake

It’s summer in DC, and with that comes the inevitable time when I buy WAY too much fruit before heading out of town. This time, it was too many berries… My fridge was full of beautiful strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries right before I left my house for 5 days. I really didn’t want to come home to a fridge full of over-ripe or spoiled food, and I knew I couldn’t eat all those berries before going camping! So I needed to come up with a way to use them…

I cracked open one of my favorite cookbooks, to a recipe I’d bookmarked to try out: a Blueberry Crumb Cake by Dorie Greenspan. As I’m want to do, I modified the recipe slightly, doubled it to make a big pan of coffee cake, and went to work!

And this coffee cake is to die for! It is just sweet enough, chock full of fresh berries, and topped with a delightfully crumbly topping. It’s great as a breakfast cake but also perfect for dessert. The cake is also extremely versatile! I’ve made it with just blueberries and raspberries and with chopped strawberries thrown in. Make it with whatever berries you have or can find, depending on your preference!

If the recipe quantify is a little daunting, feel free to halve it. Or bake the whole thing and store half of it in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap, for later this year when fresh berries are no longer in season. Click below for the recipe! Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! 🙂

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