Fresh Strawberry Snack Cake

Strawberry snack cake is a rich and delicious dessert with a soft, moist crumb that’s bursting with fresh strawberry flavor.

Strawberry Snack Cake

Strawberry Snack Cake

Course afternoon tea, Dessert
Servings 12
Calories 223 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick or ½ cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • Powdered sugar or whipped cream for serving (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. 
  • Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
  • Place butter, sugar and zest into the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until pale, about 4 minutes. 
  • Add eggs one at a time to the mixing bowl. Continue beating and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  • In another bowl, mix buttermilk and vanilla. 
  • Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Continue beating until nearly combined, then add half of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat, ending with the last third of the flour mixture; beat until just combined. Stir in lemon juice.
  • Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan.  Arrange strawberries on top, pressing down lightly. 
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (or an internal temp of 210ºF), 50 to 55 minutes. 
  • Let the cake cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  • Top with powdered sugar or whipped cream before serving, if desired.
  • Hack:  Don’t have buttermilk?  Mix 1½ teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice into ½ cup milk.  Let it stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes until it’s thickened and curdled.  Another option is to thin sour cream with a bit of milk or water until it reaches the consistency of heavy cream.
  • Hack:  Feel free to use your favorite berry in this recipe!
  • Hack:  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months.
  • Hack: To easily zest a whole lemon, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin and finely chop it. Lay unused zest in a single layer and freeze. Store, tightly wrapped, in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Hack: Puree any leftover lemons in the blender or food processor for use in recipes such as cakes, cookies or bread. Freeze the puree for up to 3 months.
  • Hack:  Leftover lemon juice can be frozen for up to 12 months.  Pour the juice into an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer until solid.  Transfer the cubes to freezer bags or freezer-safe containers for storage.
Keyword afternoon tea, cake, easy, fresh fruit, snack, strawberries

 

Did you know? Just 8 strawberries will provide 140 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for kids.  Check out some more fun facts here!

Suggestion:  Orange quick bread is another delicious treat made from fresh fruit!

Homemade Easy Dulce de Leche

This easy dulce de leche is a thick, creamy caramel-like spread made from cooked sweetened condensed milk.  Its uses are only limited to your imagination!

Easy Dulce de Leche

Easy Dulce de Leche

Course afternoon tea, Condiment, Dessert, Snack
Servings 6
Calories 212 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • Water to cover

Instructions
 

  • Remove the label from the can of sweetened condensed milk.
  • Place the can on its side in a saucepan and add enough water to cover the can plus 1”.  Cover the pan with a lid and bring the water to a boil.
  • Turn the heat to low.  Simmer can for 3 hours, rolling it around every 30-40 minutes.  Add water, if necessary, to keep the can completely covered.
  • Use tongs to carefully remove the can from the water.  Allow it to completely cool before opening.
  • Use dulce de leche on ice cream, for cake/pastry filling, spread on cookies, stirred it into your coffee or any other place where caramel would taste good!
  • Hack:  Transfer dulce de leche into a tightly covered container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  • Hack:  I suggest using a solid can (not a pull tab) for this recipe to avoid a rupture.
  • Hack:  Don’t have time to watch a pan?  Put the can in a slow cooker and cover it with water plus 1”.  Set it to low for 8 hours.
  • Hack:  Dulce de leche can also be made in the oven.  Simply open and empty the can into a pie pan or similar size pan.  Cover tightly with tin foil.  Place the pie into a larger pan (so that the pie pan sits comfortably).  Fill the larger pan with ¾" of water.  Bake in a 425℉ oven for 60-90 minutes,
Keyword afternoon tea, cake filling, caramel, coffee sweetener, dessert, Dulce de Leche, homemade, snack, spread, sweet, sweetened condensed milk

What’s the difference between caramel, butterscotch and dulce de leche?  Check it out here!

Banana Strawberry Oatmeal Bread

This banana strawberry oatmeal bread is for those who enjoy a “less sweet” quick bread option.  It tastes great with peanut butter or jam!

Banana Strawberry Oatmeal Bread

Banana Strawberry Oatmeal Bread

Course Dessert, Snack
Servings 12
Calories 224 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1⅓ cup  whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups cubed strawberries

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉.  Coat two 9”x5” bread pans with cooking spray.
  • Mix together flours, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  • Put bananas, eggs, maple syrup, butter and extracts into a blender and process until smooth. 
  • Pour banana mixture into the flour mixture and blend with a spoon just until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Add strawberries to the bread mixture and gently fold until they are incorporated into the batter.
  • Divide batter equally into the bread pans.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center clean or the internal temperature is 205℉. 
  • Allow to rest in the pans for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely before slicing.
  • Hack:  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze tightly wrapped loaves or slices for up to 3 months.
  • Hack:  Try experimenting by using different kinds of fruit and/or berries in this recipe.  Let me know it turns out in the comments section!
  • Hack:  Take advantage of the wide variety of fruits and berries that can be found in the frozen foods section of the grocery store.  If the pieces are too large for your purpose, simply let a few thaw so you can mash them or puree the desired amount in a blender.
Keyword afternoon tea, baked, banana, berries, bread, cake, dessert, easy, fruit, leftover, loaf, oatmeal, over-ripe, ripe, snack, strawberry, vegetarian

Did you know?  A family of four wastes about $1,600 per year on produce that “goes over” before it gets eaten.  While my favorite way to use (almost) too ripe fruit is to bake something delicious, this article offers other solutions to avoid waste!

I have lots of recipes for using up fruit and berries, including fruit leatherbanana pudding, and pork chops with apples and onions, to just name a few!

Freshly Baked Lemon Barley Scones

The light and sunny flavor of lemon barley scones are sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next afternoon tea…but you might be tempted to keep them all for you!

Lemon Barley Scones

Lemon Barley Scones

(adapted from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Cookbook)
Course Snack
Servings 1 scone
Calories 171 kcal

Ingredients
  

Scones

  • 2 cups  (8 ounces) whole barley flour*
  • 1 cup  (4¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  •  ¼ cup (1¾ ounces) granulated sugar
  •  ¼ cup (1¾ ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp  baking powder
  • ½  tsp salt
  • ½  cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon
  • Lemon juice (if necessary)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) buttermilk**

Glaze

  • ½ cup (2 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tbsp (1 ounce) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix together the flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • Use a hand, box or rotary grater to grate the butter into the dry ingredients.  Use a fork or your fingers to quickly blend the mixture until it resembles bread crumbs.  Alternately, you can use a pastry cutter, fork or two knives to work the butter into the dry ingredients.
  • Using a zester or a small holed grater, zest the lemon into a small bowl and set aside.  The zest can also be removed using a vegetable peeler and then chopping the zest into small pieces.
  • Cut the lemon in half and juice it into a small measuring cup.  Add bottled lemon juice, if necessary to make it equal ¼ cup + 2 tbsp (just over ⅓ cup).
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk, ¼ cup lemon juice and 1 tbsp lemon zest (reserve the rest of the juice and zest for the glaze). Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir swiftly with a fork until the mixture is evenly moist.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead the mixture two or three times to make it come together. Sprinkle in a little flour if it’s too moist to shape. 
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape each into a disk that is ½“ high and 6” in diameter.  Cut each disk into 8 wedges and separate them slightly.  They should be almost touching but not quite, which makes them easier to separate after cooking.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway through baking if the bottoms become too browned.  Remove from baking sheet to a cooling rack. 
  • While the scones are baking, mix together confectioners’ sugar, 2 tbsp lemon zest and the remaining lemon zest.
  • Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and drizzle with glaze.  Scones can be served warm or at room temperature.
  • *If using freshly milled barley flour, make sure to weigh, not measure, the amount needed.  This can be done before or after milling.
  • **If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, add ¼ cup buttermilk powder to the dry ingredients and ¾ cup regular milk or water to the wet ingredients.
  • Hack:  Scones will remain fresh for 1-2 days at room temperature or up to a week in the refrigerator.  They can also be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Hack: To easily zest lemons or other citrus fruit, use a vegetable peeler. Lay unused zest in a single layer and freeze. Store, tightly wrapped, in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Hack:  Leftover lemon juice can be frozen for up to 12 months.  Pour lemon juice into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer until solid.  Transfer to freezer bags or freezer-safe containers for storage. 
  • Hack: Puree any leftover peeled lemons in the blender or food processor for use in recipes such as cakes, cookies or bread. 1 lemon yields about ½ cup, which can be sealed in a bag and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Keyword afternoon tea, barley flour, breakfast bakes, buffet, King Arthur, lemon juice, lemon zest, scone, tea cake, vegetarian, whole grain

 

Get the King Arthur Whole Grain Cookbook here!

Use any leftover lemon juice in this Lemon Turmeric Dressing!

The Very Best Homemade Scones

I’ve included a few variations on these, the best homemade scones out there. I would love to know:  What’s your favorite scone flavor?

Best Homemade Scones

Best Homemade Scones

(Courtesy: Arty Garland)
Course afternoon tea, Breakfast, Snack
Servings 1 scone
Calories 110 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • cups flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 4 - 6 tbsp half-and-half
  • 1 beaten egg for brushing (optional)
  • Coarse sugar (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400℉.
  • Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Cut in butter with a fork or pastry blender until the dough resembles fine crumbs.
  • Stir in egg and just enough half-and-half to allow the dough to hold together.
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface or pastry mat and knead lightly 10 times.
  • Place dough on an ungreased baking sheet and pat or roll into 2 circles, each ½“ thick.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut each circle into 8 triangles and separate triangles slightly. If desired, brush tops with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  • Bake until golden brown, 10 - 12 minutes. Remove immediately from the baking pan to a cooling rack.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Variations:
    - Add 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, 4 slices cooked, crumbled bacon and ½ cup minced jalapeno pepper (2-3 peppers) to the dough before kneading.
    - Mix heaping ¼ cup of peanut butter and 1 cup of chocolate chips into the dough before kneading.
    - Gently fold in 1 cup of raspberries into the dough while kneading. Top with Nutella after removing it from the oven.
    - Cut half-and-half to 3 tbsp and mix 5 tbsp (2.5 oz) softened cream cheese. Gently fold in 1½ cups of blueberries while kneading.
    - Glaze: Mix ¼ cup confectioners sugar and 1½ tbsp half-and-half. Drizzle over scones while still warm.
  • Hack: Scones can be stored at room temperature for 3 days or wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.
Keyword afternoon tea, bacon, biscuits, blueberry, breakfast, brunch, cheese, chocolate chips, cream cheese, hazelnut spread, jalapeno, Nutella, peanut butter, raspberries, raspberry, scone

Did you know?  While the scone is most often associated with British Afternoon Tea, they were originally a Scottish treat.  They officially came to the tea table around 1840, thanks to Anna, the Duchess of Bedford.

Suggestion:  If you love scones, try these lemon barley scones by Lily Rose Kindergarten Cook!

 

Fresh Orange Juice Quick Bread

This incredibly moist and delicious orange juice quick bread uses orange zest and fresh orange juice for extra-bright citrus flavors everyone will love.

Orange Juice Quick Bread

Orange Juice Quick Bread

Course afternoon tea, Breakfast, brunch, Dessert, Snack
Servings 10
Calories 350 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 orange
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature (½ cup)
  • cups sugar
  • ½ cup orange juice + ¼ cup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375℉. Coat one 9” x 5” loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
  • Zest orange.  Pulse the remaining orange in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside.
  • Cream eggs, butter and sugar together with a mixer until pale. Add orange zest, orange puree, ½ cup orange juice and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to sugar mixture and blend until smooth
  • Place batter into loaf pan and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean or until the internal temperature is 190℉, about 60 minutes.
  • Immediately after taking the bread out of the oven, drizzle the top with ¼ cup orange juice, going slowly enough to allow the juice to soak into the top of the bread.
  • Allow to cool completely before slicing.
  • Hack: For smaller loaves (for freezing or giving away!), divide the batter between two 6’ x 4” loaf pans lined with parchment paper and bake for 40-45 minutes. Alternately, line 24 muffin cups with muffin papers. Divide batter between cups and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Hack: Store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 4 days or freeze, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months.
  • Hack: To easily zest a whole orange, use a vegetable peeler. Lay unused zest in a single layer and freeze. Store, tightly wrapped, in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Hack: Zest and puree any leftover oranges in the blender or food processor for use in recipes such as cakes, cookies or breads. 1 orange yields about ⅓ cup puree, which can be sealed in a bag and stored in the freezer.
  • Hack:  Leftover orange juice can be frozen for up to 12 months.  Pour orange juice into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer until solid.  Transfer to freezer bags or freezer safe containers for storage.
Keyword afternoon tea, baked breakfast, breakfast, brunch, orange juice, orange zest, oranges, quick bread, snack, vegetarian

Did you know?  Oranges are actually classified as a berry! Check out some more fun facts here!

Suggestion: If you love quick bread, try this simple homemade banana bread by Lily-Rose Kindergarten Cook!

Easy Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Fig Chutney

Who loves grilled cheese? Try jazzing up your next lunch by making this easy grilled cheese sandwich with fig chutney! It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Easy Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Fig Chutney

Course brunch, lunch, Sandwiches
Servings 1
Calories 520 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Spread one piece of bread with ½ tbsp butter. Place butter side down in a cold skillet.
  • Top bread with one slice of cheese. Spread chutney over cheese. Top with the remaining piece of cheese.
  • Spread butter on the remaining slice of bread and place on top of the sandwich, butter side up.
  • Turn heat to medium. Grill until the underside is golden brown. Flip sandwich and grill reverse side until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Hack: Butter will soften to room temperature in 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of the chunk of butter.
  • Hack: Butter can also be placed in the microwave at 30% power at 5-second intervals until softened. 
  • Hack:  Feel free to use your favorite cheese or whatever you have on hand!
  • Hack:  Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Reheat in a skillet, oven or toaster oven.
Keyword afternoon tea, chutney, dried figs, easy, fast and easy, grilled cheese, jam, light meal, quick and easy, sandwich, toasted cheese, vegetarian

Did you know?  Figs, whether fresh or dried, are a nutritional powerhouse!

Suggestion: The chutney in this recipe is also delicious in fig-stuffed chicken breast!

Homemade Dried Fig Chutney

Dried fig chutney is thick, flavorful and spicy jam that’s mildly sweet. It’s great on crackers for snack time or as a saucy side to your favorite meal!

Dried Fig Chutney

Dried Fig Chutney

Course side, Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 tbsp
Calories 60 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ lb dried figs (14 figs, two cups chopped)
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dried ginger
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • Remove any hard stems from figs and roughly chop. Place them in a medium saucepan with water. Cover and bring to boil.
  • Remove from heat and allow to sit for 15-20 or until tender. Drain the figs and return to the pan.
  • Add the onion, raisins, garlic, vinegar and spices to the pan. Return to the stovetop and bring to a boil.
  • Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until onions and raisins are tender and all liquid is absorbed, 25-30 minutes.
  • Add brown sugar, turn heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring constantly, until liquid from melted brown sugar is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
  • Hack: Cover chutney tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Keyword afternoon tea, chutney, cracker spread, dried figs, Indian cuisine, Indian food, jam, jelly, pickle, preserve, puree, relish, spread

Did you know?  Figs, whether fresh or dried, are a nutritional powerhouse!

Suggestion: Use this chutney in grilled cheese sandwiches or stuffed chicken breast!

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