Almond Snowflake Cake

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it SNOW! This snowflake cake is a perfect representation of our Ann Arbor weather today. It’s like a winter wonderland outside with delicate snowflakes tumbling from the sky. I’ll be the first to admit that although I love a fresh snowfall, I really dislike driving in the snow. I often try to plan my weekly errands so that I don’t get stuck on snowy roads. The perfect place to be when the weather is bad is tucked inside watching the snow fall outside the window. Even better yet, I love to spend a snowy afternoon in the kitchen baking.

I am actually more excited about the bundt pan I used for this cake than the recipe itself. I acquired this bundt pan at the Nordic Ware outlet when Matthew and I were back in Minnesota around Christmas. Nordic Ware is a Minneapolis-based company that makes AH-mazing kitchenware products. I love their products and have several of their baking trays and pans in my kitchen. I felt like a kid in a candy store during our trip to the outlet. This beautiful snowflake pan was one of several purchases that we made for our kitchen.

I’ve always been a fan of fun-shaped bundt pans because it’s an easy way to make a basic recipe look really special. The recipe for this almond cake couldn’t be easier and all the ingredients are combined in a single bowl. The design of the pan is what really puts this cake over the top. Just adding a little powdered sugar on the top adds the final touch to the presentation. The same snowflake pan can be found on Amazon for $20.

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Almond Snowflake Cake 
Original recipe from Nordic Ware 

Ingredients
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup milk
powdered sugar for dusting

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour pan and set aside. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time; stir in almond and vanilla extracts.

In a small bowl, stir together, flour, baking powder, salt and ground almonds. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with milk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert cake onto a wire rack. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!

Heather’s Helpful Hints 
Perhaps the most challenging part of baking any bundt cake is the delicate process of removing your cake from the pan. Nordic Ware pans often have intricate designs which make this process even more challenging. The following video offers some great tips for preparing your pans for easy cake removal.

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Rosemary Lemon Amish Friendship Bread

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This month my Amish Friendship Bread baking challenge took a new twist. I purchased some mini bundt bans at the store over the weekend, and wanted to put them to use right away. I figured if you can make Amish Friendship Bread in loaf pans and muffin tins—why not use a mini bundt pan?

Now that spring is in the air and it appears warmer weather is around to stay, it’s time to experiment with fresh springtime flavors. I decided to use a recipe that has hints of lemon and rosemary—two flavors that make me think of warmer weather. Typically you might think of these two flavors paired together for a savory dish such as chicken. I decided to pair them together in this bread recipe for a unique twist. The frosting drizzled over the top is the final touch that pulls everything together at the end.

If you’re interested in other Amish Friendship Bread recipes that I’ve tried this year, feel free to check out my Traditional Cinnamon Bread and Chocolate Cherry Almond Bread. Three recipes down and nine more to come… stay tuned!

Rosemary Lemon Amish Friendship Bread Recipe 

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Bread Ingredients
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
3 eggs
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 small box lemon instant pudding

Lemon Glaze Ingredients
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Dash of lemon extract

Directions
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, add ingredients as listed. Grease mini bundt pans and dust with flour. Pour the batter evenly into mini bundt pans until slightly less than 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the bread loosens evenly from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Mix ingredients for lemon glaze and drizzle over the top once cooled. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary or lemon rind.

Heather’s Helpful Hints
This recipe yields a lovely and wonderfully moist bread. I used lemon pudding but if you’re not a fan of lemon, I’d recommend using 1 box vanilla pudding and eliminating the vanilla extract.

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