Cinnamon Sugar Blondies with Pecans

Oh, I’ve got a good one for you today, guys. This recipe is probably going down as one of my all time favourites. I made these cinnamon sugar blondies on Sunday, and I’ll already be making them again tomorrow.

They’re really good.

I had a casual dinner thing with a couple of my closest friends on Sunday, and I more or less promised I’d bake something and bring it with me (there was definite peer pressure involved). Since I had to take the thing I baked with me on my bike, it had to be something that couldn’t easily be smooshed, hence the blondies. Plus, I love a good blondie/brownie. They’re easy to bake, super delicious, and you can play around with the flavours endlessly.

One thing that’s still not entirely clear to me is whether blondies need white chocolate. Is white chocolate a requirement for a blondie? I don’t think it technically is, but I’m sticking with it, because it just makes sense, doesn’t it?

The cinnamon sugar is the true hero in this recipe. It really takes it up a notch and I love it a lot. Although, I must say, the pecans really add a little something too. In the middle of all the soft lovely blondie-ness, they provide a bit of a bite. Yum!

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Nutty Bundt Cake with Raisins

Now that summer is definitely over, I’m starting to crave those typically autumnal/wintery bakes again: cinnamon infused, aromatic cakes filled with plenty of nuts. Oh, who am I kidding, I crave those flavours all throughout the year. But now I have a good excuse to actually act on them again!

This weekend I baked this beautiful bundt cake, and let me tell you, it’s delicious. I didn’t expect it to turn out this amazing, but I’m pretty sure it’s a new favourite. The cinnamon and nutmeg provide the autumnal aroma I was looking for, and the abundance of nuts (hazelnuts and pecans) give it that great crunch as well as an amazing flavour. Add a bunch of raisins, and the texture and taste are complete winners! But wait, there’s more (I’m sorry…)! The very simple glaze adds yet another layer of deliciousness (icing sugar + orange juice = success).

Oh, and one more thing: aren’t bundt cakes the prettiest things you’ve ever seen?

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An Easter Carrot Cake (with pecans)

Happy Easter everyone! How was your day? Lots of chocolate, I suppose?

What with Easter being a perfect holiday for delicious baked goods, I figured I had to bake something scrumptious this weekend. My mind went immediately to a carrot cake, a bake I’d never made before and seemed perfect for Easter. I think the thought process went something like “carrot – rabbits – Easter bunny”, although that didn’t happen deliberately.

Anyway, on Saturday morning I browsed through some of my baking books and the internet and eventually I put together my own recipe, for what I thought would make a delicious carrot cake with pecans and a nice lemon-y frosting.

It was very easy to make and came out absolutely wonderful! The cake has a beautiful texture and a nice cinnamon taste which is complemented in a lovely way by the frosting, which has a hint of lemon. If you want the cinnamon taste to be less dominant, just use a bit less cinnamon (obvious, eh?) or perhaps a bit more ginger for a more ginger-y taste.

I am very proud of how this cake turned out, I hope you’ll like it too if you decide to make it!

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You’ll need…For the cake (approx. 10 servings)

– 3 eggs

– 150 ml sunflower/vegetable oil

– 100 g white sugar

– 100 g light brown sugar

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavouring

P1010026– 125 g flour

– 2 teaspoons of baking powder

– a pinch of salt

– 1,5 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

– 0,5 teaspoon of ground ginger

– 165 g grated carrots

– 50 g chopped pecans

For the frosting:

– 200 g cream cheese

– 1 tablespoon of buttermilk

– 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla flavouring

– 220 g icing sugar

– zest of half a lemon

Also:

– a springform tin (22 cm)

– parchment paper

– and an oven, of course! This cake needs to be baked at 175 °C (don’t forget to preheat your oven!)

So, let’s get baking!

1. Mix together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla First of all, you need to beat together the eggs and the sunflower (or vegetable) oil, and then add the two types of sugar and the vanilla flavouring and mix until everything is evenly mixed. I just used a whisk for everything.

2. Add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger Next up, you’ll have to add the flour and the baking powder and mix it through, and do the same with the salt, the cinnamon and the ginger. As I said above, you can adjust the amounts of cinnamon and ginger to your taste.

3. Add carrots and pecans Now, stir in the grated carrots and then also add the chopped pecans. Mix everything until your mixture is nice and smooth, which shouldn’t be too difficult; such an easy recipe, and so delicious!

P10100294. Prepare the tin and bake the cake Line the base of your springform tin with parchment paper and grease and flour the entire tin. Then pour in the mixture for your cake. You’ll probably won’t have to smooth anything because the mixture is quite runny. Put your cake into the preheated oven and bake the cake for 35 to 45 minutes. Check the cake after the first 35 minutes by inserting a skewer; if it comes out wet you’ll need to bake the cake a bit longer. If that’s the case, just check again after 5 extra minutes of baking.

5. Make the frosting After your cake has cooled you can coat it with the frosting, which you prepare by mixing the cream cheese, buttermilk and vanilla flavouring together with an electric mixer, after which you gradually mix the icing sugar through it. Then add the zest of about half a lemon. Just gradually add the zest and taste after mixing if you think it’s right!

And that’s all to make this delicious easter carrot cake! Enjoy!

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I had quite a bit of frosting left over since I don’t usually use a lot of frosting (and it was just too much), so I whipped up a small batch of cupcakes to coat with the remaining lemon frosting. I decorated them with the limited edition of Easter M&M’s.

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