The Mad Cake Batter

sweet treats and savory deets

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Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie

I learned some valuable lessons this Thanksgiving. First that pre-baking a pie crust is an anomaly to me. The crust shrank and I used leftover dough to make leaves to make it look pretty and completely forgot to put on an egg wash before baking. So those burned.

2015-11-25-09.02.43I tried redeeming myself by making another pie with the leftover filling. In a last minute decision, I used whole wheat flour and learned that one should not use whole wheat flour for pie crust because it makes it too crumbly. So I royally failed at making a proper pie crust…twice. Luckily, the filling was relish.

This was one of three desserts I made for Thanksgiving. Yes, three and if you are wondering, yes, I am crazy. But I could not, not make a pumpkin pie. It’s a Thanksgiving staple. It just wouldn’t feel right, if it were missing from the table.

This recipe is from the ever great Blackbirds Four & Twenty.


  • Single All Butter Crust
  • 6 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 TBS water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1.2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup carrot juice

2015-11-25-21.24.17Partial Pre-Baking… if you dare. Maybe someone can explain this to me someday on what I am doing wrong. Have a set pie crust in the fridge for 30 minutes and then use a fork to prick the crust 15-20 times. This will eliminate any air bubbles. Place the pie crust in the freezer for about 10 minutes and set the oven 425F. Have an egg white with TBS of water for the egg wash during baking. Cover the crust with foil tightly and place the pie weights in pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges start to brown. Remove the crust from the oven and remove the foil to let the crust cool for a minute. Then use a pastry brush to coat the crust completely. Place the pie plate back in the oven for 3 more minutes then remove it and let it cool completely.

The recipe suggests to use to heavy-bottomed skillet, I used a medium sauce pan to melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk occasionally as the butter will foam and begin to change to a “nut brown.” Once it reaches the color, whisk in the brown sugar and slowly add the water to loosen the mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer until  it caramelizes to a dark brown. Remove from the heat and carefully add the heavy cream and whisk until smooth. Cool for at least 1o min and then add the vanilla.

Preheat the oven to 350F and have racks positioned to the center and lower rings. In a pyrex, whisk lightly the eggs, yolks and salt. In the food processor, blend the pumpkin, all spice, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, molasses and lemon juice until smooth. Switch the speed to low, as you add the brown butter mixture, followed by the milk, and carrot juice. Scrape down the sides and blend until smooth.

The recipe also suggests straining the filling through a fine-mesh sieve but the I had a very liquidy filing and I basically had to clean two more things for no reason. Pour the filling into a pre-baked shell and bake in the middle rack for 45 to 55 minutes. Rotate 180 degrees and bake for another 30-35 minutes. The edges will be set and puffed slightly and the center is no longer liquid. Allow to cool completely before serving.

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Puppy Treats!

treatsA little change from my normal post. My Boyfriend and I recently adopted a puppy and being the person that I am started looking for some healthy treats I can give to my new fur-bundle of joy. I found out there are a lot of things dogs can’t have such as avocado, garlic and onion, to name a few.

I started off with something easy that I found on Bake at Midnight. It had only a few ingredients so it wouldn’t be a complete loss if Bailey didn’t like them, and I halved the recipe. Please disregard that the cookies are bat shaped, I haven’t bought a dog treat mold just yet. I also added parsley because it helps fight bad puppy breath.


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 TBS water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, oats and puree. Add water, one TBS at time to make a workable dough. Roll out to 1/8-1/4-inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Turn off oven and let biscuits sit in oven until oven is completely cool.  This helps to dehydrate the biscuits for better storage.

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Pumpkin Bread

So even though it is super, super late, here it is, the fourth and final installment of pumpkin craze (even though I still have about 1 1/2 cans worth of pumpkin puree). I found this recipe off of All Recipes. It was a fairly easy recipe as is most loaf breads. Due to extreme laziness, I did not use the dates even though we had some in our fridge. I also experimented with whole wheat flour. I wasn’t quite sure how it would turn out. If it needed a longer or shorter time than All Purpose flour, or if the consistency would be completely changed.

2014-11-11 09.05.05The coconut oil helped with the sweetness since it lacked the dates. This bread has a crispier exterior, and its not as moist as some pumpkin breads are. Nevertheless, it was still pretty good as a breakfast bread (or tea bread like All Recipes called it).


  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix the oil, sugar and eggs until smooth. Add the pumpkin and oj until fully incorporated. In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients including the walnuts. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix until incorporated. Put into a prepared loaf tin and bake for about an hour (this will depend on your oven, but the All Recipes said it could take up to an hour and 25 min. Not sure if the whole wheat flour played a role here or not).

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Ginger Pumpkin Scones

sconesMoving right along here on the next pumpkin recipe…which is scones! I don’t know why I am so fascinated with this baked good; it could be the smell, or it could be how they are so delectably crumbly. Whatever the reason, I’m glad I came across this recipe. Not sure where, but let’s be honest, it was probably Pinterest.

The actual recipe is from Fabtastic Eats. They use a food processor in their directions, but I am currently not in possession of one and didn’t really want to use a blender for the sole reason I would have to clean it. So, I did all the mixing by hand which wasn’t that bad, to be honest, and they still came out really well.  Also, I’m lactose-intolerant and my roommate makes her own nut milks. Again, I don’t think it changed the consistency of the scone that much, just made it a bit healthier.


  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 7 TBS + 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 TBS cold butter, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • scones21/4 cup nut milk


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 TBS + 1/2 tsp milk


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of a large bowl combine the two flours, 7 TBS sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, and salt. Mix scones1until well incorporated. In 1 Tablespoon increments, cut in 4 Tablespoons of the cold butter, mix until crumbly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, pumpkin, and milk. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until just combined.  Sprinkle flour onto a dry surface and knead for 3-4 minutes until smooth.  Roll the dough into an 8-10 inch circle on the baking sheet, and cut into 8 wedges. Melt remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter and brush on top. Sprinkle evenly over the top with 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, testing with a knife to make sure they’re cooked all the way through. Cool completely, then whisk together all the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl and drizzle on top.

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Pumpkin Macarons

Here we go, post 2 of 4 of pumpkin mania. I decided to make pumpkin macarons for the same birthday party. These were a bit different from the ones I normally make. My mom sent me this  recipe on pumpkin macs where they added spices added to the shells. The recipe can be found here from Oh Sweet Day. Since I could never stray from the instruction of Pierre Herme, I added the spices to my normal shell ingredients.

As for the filling, the post just had pumpkin puree and cream cheese blended together. I don’t know about you, but I need my filling to be a little bit sweeter. So I found a buttercream frosting from Wine and Glue. The only thing I really changed here was I added 1/2 cup of butter rather than their 4TBS.


  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground all-spice
  • orange food coloring
  • 110 grams eggs whites
  • 300 grams almond flour
  • 300 grams confectionary sugar
  • 300 grams caster sugar (superfine) 
  • 75 grams water
  • 110 grams egg whites


  • 8 TBS unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 cups powdered sugar


A week before you are ready to make them, measure two sets of egg whites. Cover the eggs whites with plastic wrap, poke some holes and place in the fridge.

Sift together the almond flour and sugar into a big bowl. Add the cinnamon, turmeric, all spice, food coloring, and egg whites. Set aside. Place the other set of egg whites in a standard mixer with the whisk attachment. (Make sure it is nearby your stove for this next step). In a small saucepan, add the caster sugar and water. Have a brush in cold water nearby to brush the sides of the saucepan so the sugar doesn’t burn. Have the sugar’s temp rise to 115 degree Celsius. At this point turn the mixer on high so the egg whites start to expand. Let the sugar’s temp rise to about 118 and remove from the stove and place the hot sugar into the mixer while it is still going. Keep mixing the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Let the meringue cool to about 50 degrees C. Fold the egg whites into the almond flour mixture until well incorporated and the batter. Place the batter in a pipping bag and pipe circles onto baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper to cover. Let the shells sit for 3o minutes. Heat oven to 355F. The shells cook for about 12-14 minutes depending on your oven and you need to crack open the oven door to let out moisture at the 8th and 10th minute. You will see “feet” starting to form. After a while you will be able to gauge how long the shells need to be in the oven. Once out of the oven, remove the silpat or paper from the baking sheet immediately onto cooling racks to prevent the shells from cooking any longer.

For the buttercream, place the butter in a standard mixer with the whisk attachment. Cream the butter on high until it has expanded and fluffy. Add the puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Mix until well incorporated. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until you have the desired consistency. Put frosting in a pipping bag and fill the shells. If you are not planning on serving right away, place the macarons in the fridge.

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Pumpkin Spice Cake

Hi Everyone! It’s been a while since my last post; life has been hectic. Luckily, I do have a lot of fun things to post! Today is going to be the first of 4 posts all about pumpkin. It’s that time of year, when we all lose our minds and become obsessed with anything that has to do with pumpkin. I am no exception. I have made pumpkin cake, macarons, scones and bread in the past two weeks. I apologize to all the non-pumpkin enthusiast but my blog is going to have a mini pumpkin takeover. I hope you can bear with it while we all get our pumpkin fix for a bit longer.

Liquid cream filling... :/

Liquid cream filling… :/

As the title indicated, I am starting off with the spice cake. This was a request for a friend’s birthday. She found the recipe off of Kitchen Treaty and I kindly obliged. This was a fairly easy cake, but if you have a tiny oven like I do, it make take some time.

There was a minor crisis where I wasn’t paying attention to the directions for the cream filling. The original recipe called for 3/4 TBS of water, but I read 3/4 cup. As you can imagine, the cream filling was too liquidy and it had to be scraped. All of a sudden, this cake became an original recipe. I had a block of butter and created an espresso buttercream. There is always a lesson to be learned and while I did learn mine, I was able to fix the mistake and make a pretty good cake for the birthday girl.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packedcake
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • 16 TBS unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 TBS instant espresso powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot water
  • 3-4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 TBS heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Freshly grated nutmegcake2


Preheat oven to 350F. Butter two 8-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. In standard mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil, granulated sugar, and dark brown sugar on low until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated.  Add the pumpkin puree, espresso powder, and vanilla extract and beat on medium until combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, beating just until incorporated. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely. Remove the cakes from the tins and remove the parchment paper attach to the bottom of the cakes.
For the filling, have 3/4 hot water ready and mix the instant espresso until dissolved. Place the butter in the standard mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on high for a few minutes until the butter expands and it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the espresso, whipped cream, and vanilla and mix until just incorporated. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until well combined. Set aside.
For the whipped cream topping, again in the mixer with the whisk attachment, add the whipping cream. Beat on low until the mixture begins to thicken, then increase speed to medium high. As the mixture thickens, add the vanilla and sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cake plate, right side up. Scoop the espresso filling onto the top of the layer and smooth to about 1/2 inch from the edge. Carefully place the second layer upside-down on top of the filling. Add the whipped cream on the top of the cake. Sprinkle with fresh grated nutmeg. Place in the fridge until it is time to serve.


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Pumpkin Gnocchi

ingredientsI don’t normally post about a dinner but these were fun to make. I have wanted to try my hand at making my own pasta for some time and this was a good way to ease into it. I found the recipe off of Bojon Gourmet, and true to my nature, I changed up the meal. My roommate isn’t fan of pancetta so we made a tomato sauce in its place.


1 cup roasted winter squash puree
1 cup whole-milk ricotta
3 large eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea or kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup potato flour
1/2 cup millet flour, plus more for rolling
ingredients11/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/3 small head red radicchio, leaves torn into 1-2″ pieces
a few large sage leaves, sliced


2 Romane tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic minced
fresh cilantro
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, ricotta, eggs, parmesan, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in the potato flour and millet flour, then add the rice flour a little at a time until the dough starts to come together. doughScrape the dough out onto a surface dusted with millet flour, cover the dough with the bowl, and it let rest for about 30 minutes to absorb moisture.
Prepare the tomato sauce by cutting the tomatoes in chunky pieces, mince the garlic and add the cilantro in a medium bowl. Set aside. Have the millet flour handy since you will be using it constantly. After 30 minutes has past, knead the dough for a minute or two, dusting the surface and your hands with flour to keep it from sticking. Divide the dough into 6 portions. Squeeze, press, and roll one portion into a long, wide rope, dusting the surface. Use a knife or metal bench scraper to cut the rope into 1″ lengths.
Dip the tines of a fork in flour, tap off the excess, and press a gnocco into the back of the fork, using the side of your finger to make a lengthwise indentation in the gnocco. Remove your finger, and fold the gnocco over itself gnocchi1with the back of the fork to form a crease on the back and ridges on the front. Place the gnocchi on a sheet pan dusted with millet flour.
Have a small saucepan on low for the tomato sauce. Bring a medium saucepan half filled with water to a boil. Carefully drop in one-third of the gnocchi since they will be soft when you pick them up. When all the gnocchi have floated to the top, let them boil for 1 minute, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain. Set aside.
Coat the bottom of a skillet with a thin film of olive oil. Add the gnocchi in a single layer, and don’t move them until they have a golden sear on the first side, flip using a pair of tongs for the other side. Remove the gnocchi to a platter or bowl. Add the radicchio to the pan and cook until just wilted, a minute or so.