Tag Archives: cake

Banana streusel snack cake

7 Sep

I really wish that while I am typing this post, I am wearing a cardigan, sweats and I am sipping warm coffee. Because autumn is here and all the leaves are brown and the air is chilling. And in my kitchen I am baking something cinnamon-y, dunno what though yet. I haven’t decided what.

Reality check…. I leave in Athens (the original one, in Greece) and it’s hot out there. Most of my friends and(sane) people I know, are still spending hours on the beach whenever they have free time and we are still semi-dressed due to the hot weather. The only thing that has come out of my kitchen the past month are mostly ice cubes, and I am lucky cause I didn’t have to make them (thanks to my fridge), so I won’t be giving you any recipe there.

In my head though, autumn is here.  My vacation time seems far away and I am back to my normal forty fifty-something- hour workweek (business as usual). I had a nice time, I can’t deny that, but now I am ready to start the new season and get back to my schedule. I’m also looking forward to doing loads of baking without instantly converting my kitchen to a sauna (it’s good for the skin, though).

I am just trying to be patient for now, and whenever I have free time I find great pleasure into going to department stores to secretly touch the new suede jackets or just feel the soft angora jumpers. I was even daring enough to use my oven the other day to make this cake.

I made it to accompany coffee, on a Sunday morning. It’s really cliché and at the same time an all time classic to make a banana bread/cake, especially now that schools are starting. But this one is not your typical banana bread. First of all it’s not a one bowl recipe, so if you were looking for a quick recipe, please come back next week. It’s more cake-y and light in texture and the streusel gives a nice crunch and feel (to me at least) and it makes it stand out (even judge G_ liked it and he always complains when he sees me making something with bananas).

Someone had cake for the first time (and from the look on his face he really liked it).

Banana streusel snack cake

slightly adapted from Technicolor Kitchen

6 tablespoons (60g) all purpose flour
6 tablespoons firmly packed (75g) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/3 cups (233g) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (255g) mashed ripe bananas (2 medium or 3 small)
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) demerara sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork

1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles or chips (optional, but you won’t regret it)


In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon with your fingertips until the mixture is lumpy; refrigerate.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 20cm (8in) square pan then flour the pan, tapping out excess flour. Have all the ingredients in room temperature.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside. Put the mashed bananas in a medium bowl and stir in the milk and vanilla; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
Add the egg and beat until completely incorporated. Add the banana mixture (it will look curdled, but that’s OK) and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer to its lowest speed and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated (I always do this by hand, using a rubber spatula). If using chocolate, add it now.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter.
Bake the cake until it springs back when gently pressed in the center and a round wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan completely before cutting and serving.

Chocolate muffins

7 Jun

I’ve been seeing chocolate everywhere. I guess there are other sweets around me, but my system refuses to acknowledge anything else.

The chocolate I’ve been seeing, comes in fancy forms and shapes, unlike those simple looking (but “effective” I have to add) muffins, but since I’ve been away this long weekend (we had Monday off) and I’m working a more-than-full time job, it’s quite difficult for me to find the peace and quiet I need in order to bake something (it’s sorta my meditation time). So, the green mixer had the time off.

And no, if you are wondering, we didn’t go to the beach for the first of the year swim/sunburn/or ice cream (important milestones in ones summer, in Greece). We had a wedding to attend, in a small village, resulting coming back to an empty fridge and cupboards.

But I was not feeling good about not making and posting anything here, so I managed to make these muffins, which disappeared as quickly as it took me to make them. No one ever denies a chocolate treat, for sure (ok, I may have delivered a couple to friends personally).

I found this recipe on Pinterest. I’ve been resisting it for some time now, although I had registered a long time ago, but due to peer group pressure (yeah, I’m not 16, I know), I jumped on the pinterest wagon at last and created some boards. I wonder if I will manage to find time to follow everything.

A few words about the recipe

  • Quick and easy recipe, perfect for breakfast or/and to accompany coffee (they are made and eaten on the spot) and the muffins are not overly sweet
  • if you like nuts, feel free to add some, it will be a good idea
  • if you are not very fond of coffee or don’t have instant espresso you can omit it from the recipe Continue reading

Gâteau au yaourt

31 May

or Yoghurt cake

…or yoghurt pie (as we call it in Greece, but had no idea about it)

No, I am not really a francophile, although I did spent a few years learning French (and absolutely loved it). I just had a couple of yoghurts sitting in my fridge forever, and instead of giving them the death penalty (i.e. the bin), I remembered that I had this recipe bookmarked, at some point in this life (I have a serious case of food porn addiction), and managed to retrieve it.

Also, lately, I have been trying to persuade someone to try and eat more “clean” foods, full grains and the like, so I couldn’t just go and make another cake full of butter, sugar and white flour. So this recipe was perfect. It has olive oil, yoghurt, a relatively small quantity of sugar (which i decreased by mistake) and I substituted less than half of the AP flour for spelt flour that was also sitting in my fridge (I only told about it after everyone had eaten it, to see if they could taste anything different).

The cake is really simple, moist and not overly sweet (and somewhat healthy I guess – at least I didn’t). Simplicity is underrated. Continue reading

Strawberry cake with chocolate glaze

21 May


are tough….

Ever since I was little ….


Especially after a busy weekend, hanging out with people, cooking, baking, and all that entails. I can say that I was kinda relieved when I returned to the office today and started my weekly routine. It’s an endless loop. At least it was quite productive and I managed to finish these for my nephew’s christening (for the children’s goodie bags). They are ready, packed waiting to be eaten.

I made this cake to accompany our coffee and lollipop decorating/packaging session and even though I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t touch this cake (I am not fond of fruit, especially when inside or on top of sweets-cakes etc- no-one’s perfect), I had to restrain myself from eating too much  (I’m supposed to be on a strict diet)

A few words about the recipe:

  • It’s not an overly sweet cake and this makes it perfect for breakfast or to accompany coffee (or tea- ok I am not a big fan, but I suppose you get the picture)
  • The strawberry taste is not too strong and it offers a discreet scent and flavor and as you eat a piece, you can feel the strawberry “seeds” pop in your mouth (like poppy seeds)
  • The strawberry purée/sauce can also be used in crepes, on waffles etc. You can prepare it earlier, or the day before (that’s what I did) and keep it refrigerated. If you like to feel and see the strawberries in the cake, just cut them in half cause they are going to melt (and disappear, like in mine)
  • Although it might look like it, it doesn’t contain any whole wheat flour, it’s dark because of the strawberry (if you look closely, you’ll see it) Continue reading

Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake

27 Apr

…or how am I going to translate this in Greek?


I realize that as this is the English version of my blog I don’t have such problem as if anyone bothers to read this, they will understand what this cake is about.  But as I am trying to write the same posts in both languages, I had to be a bit accurate, at least in the tittles.

As I am not a proffessional pastry chef (not even close), I usually find myself having troubles with the jargon and translating the recipes in Greek. I also have to take into consideration that some techniques or products are non existent, not available or known here  (maybe not so much anymore though, thank you internet),  so I have to go looking for a substitute or a DIY version (you will understand what I am talking about if you keep reading).

I don’t think that the concept of the pound cake exists in this country. As in the type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.  I guess all cake recipes were imported and adapted from other countries anyway, so it’s all cake to us. And really, it doesn’t really matter if it tastes good, right?

I made this cake for my cousin and her little girl who came over from Italy for the Easter holidays (i am trying to bribe the little one with sugar so she likes me better). And yes, we had a winner. The little one spread crumbles all over the place and she was making  funny sounds while devouring two huge pieces (ok, 1/3 was on the floor). Hopefully by next year she will be able to use the vacuum.


A few words about the recipe:

  • the filling is usually found on top of cakes, as a crumble, but in this case it is put in the center to create the swirl
  • the buttermilk added will provide extra moisture to the cake and a softer texture
  • it is a simple-to-prepare cake. The cardamom really makes a difference, although used in a really small quantity.
  • The original recipe calls for cake flour, which is not sold in Greece, so I went for a DIY substitute* and it turned out alright (if you want to make it with cake flour click on the original recipe at the link below)

Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake
barely adapted from @Køkken


Cinnamon Streusel Swirl
1/2 cup (60g)   All purpose flour
1/3 cup (72g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp.  ground cnnamon
3 Tbsp. (42g) Unsalted butter, melted

2,5 cups minus 1 Tbsp  (304g)  All purpose flour
1 Tbsp.  Cornstarch
1 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Baking soda
1/4  tsp.  salt
1/8 tsp.  Ground cardamom
1 cup (227g)  Unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400g)  Castor sugar (I used 340g and it turned out sweet)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp.  Vanilla Extract
1tsp. Finely grated orange zest (I used zest from one whole orange)
1 cup (240ml) Buttermilk


Preheat oven to 170C / 325F. Grease the inside of a 25cm/10″ bundt pan with butter  and dust it with flour.

Cinnamon Streusel Swirl
In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of the Cinnamon swirl. Add the melted butter and stir until blended and crumbly.

Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Using a paddle attachment, cream butter for 2 mins at medium speed in a mixer until very creamy (2mins).
Gradually add in the sugar and continue beating at medium high speed until pale and light. (4mins)
At medium speed, add the eggs one at a time and mix to incorporate well.
Add vanilla extract and orange zest.
Add in the flour in 3 portions, alternating it with milk (2 additions). Mix until just combined.
Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the batter. Scrape the remaining batter on top and smooth it into an even layer.
Bake the cake for 65 to 75mins, until the cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (it took  about 65mins in my oven).
Cool the cake for 15 mins before turning out the cake to cool completely.

Judges’ verdict:8 – 9 (my biggest fan has yet to learn how to count)

*The DIY recipe for 1 cup cake flour is:

1 cup all-purpose flour – 2 Tbsp all purpose flour + 2 Tbsp Cornstarch

Measure one cup of AP flour in one bowl and then take out 2 tbsp.
Add 2 tbsp corn flour, whisk to combing and sift.

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