Hot Glazed Almond Cake (and What’s It Like to Get a Front Helix Ear Piercing?)

Hot Glazed Almond Cake
Hot Glazed Almond Cake

Strawberry Pop-Tart Pie

Strawberry Pop-Tart Pie
Strawberry Pop-Tart Pie

Strawberry Doughnut Cake (and a creative giveaway!)

Strawberry Doughnut Cake
Strawberry Doughnut Cake

Strawberry Doughnut Cake

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking with strawberry glaze adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Yield: 8-10 servings

You’re going to be shocked by how delicious this super cute and super quick cake is. SHOCKED, I tell you!

Cake Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Glaze Ingredients:
5-6 strawberries, chopped
1 tablespoon strawberry jam
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
sprinkles (optional)

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the butter and water to a boil. In the meantime, in a separate large bowl, whisk together the cake flour and sugar before adding the eggs, sour cream, almond extract, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine. While mixing, slowly pour in the boiling butter and water mixture. Mix to combine completely. Your batter will be very runny. Pour the batter into a 10-inch cast iron skillet (alternatively, I think this would work fine in a 8-inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper.)

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out with a few moist crumbs (don’t wait for the top to get golden brown, necessarily — mine stayed pale). Cast iron skillet cook times can be variable, so check early and often. Cool completely.

To make the glaze: Put chopped strawberries and jam into a food processor or blender to puree. Pour into a medium bowl and mix in milk and vanilla extract. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar. Pour glaze over the cake to cover (I used most but not all of it) and top with sprinkles.

Almond Scones with Raspberry Jam and Clotted Cream

Almond Scones with Raspberry Jam and Clotted Cream

Recipe by: Adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s Cranberry Orange Scone recipe
Yield: about 14 scones

I love scones because they’re so quick and easy, but are absolutely divine in terms of texture and flavor. These scones are very lightly sweet, and the glaze adds a much needed dimension, along with a sprinkle of crunchy sugar. Serve with clotted cream and raspberry jam while hot out of the oven. This recipe also provides instructions for freezing the scones for amazing, speedy weekday breakfasts!

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling (I used coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling)
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash

Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup milk (or cream — I used cream, but it does separate and probably isn’t quite as pretty as milk)
raspberry jam, for serving
clotted or Devon cream, for serving (or substitute whipped mascarpone)

Note: You can make scones, shape them, egg wash them, and then freeze them on a baking sheet. Once frozen, you can drop them in an airtight container or bag separated by sheets of wax paper. You can then bake them straight from frozen any morning you want one — just by baking a few minutes longer than normal. So convenient!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a food processor, mix together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add cold butter and pulse about 10 times or until the butter is the size of small peas (you can also do this by hand in a large bowl, using a pastry cutter or two knives to cut in the butter). In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together lightly beaten eggs, heavy cream, and almond extract. While mixing the flour mixture on low, pour in the wet ingredients slowly. Keep mixing on low until the mixture forms a dough and begins to form a ball. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead a turn or two, forming into a disc.

Roll the dough out to 3/4-inch thick, moving it around on the floured surface often to make sure it’s not sticking. Flour a 3-inch round cookie cutter and cut round scones, laying each on the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the dough and continue cutting scones. When all scones are cut, egg wash just the tops of each one and sprinkle on the coarsest sugar you can find (the crunch is so nice). Bake in the 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until risen, lightly golden, and done on the inside.

While the scones bake, whisk together all glaze ingredients. Add more sugar or milk as needed for consistency. Drizzle over hot scones and serve immediately with raspberry jam and clotted cream (also called Devon cream). If you can’t find clotted cream, grab some mascarpone cheese and whisk it a bit until fluffy. Use that instead.

*Darius’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.

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