Cranberry Cornmeal Loaf Cake


I got asked the other day what I want to do after graduation. I tried to play it off like I usually do (*laughter* “Now that’s a great question…” *more laughter*), but as I awkwardly trailed off I realized this person actually expected a real answer.

I should have told them I wanted to work on a cranberry farm. Partially because then they would have been like, excuse me, why the hell are you in college if that’s all you want to do with your life. But also because how cool would it be to work on a cranberry farm?

Full disclosure: the only thing I know about cranberry farms (farms? bogs?) is based solely on the Ocean Spray commercials with the two guys standing waist deep in water. But that looks super fun and also I love cranberries, so I’m pretty sure it’ll be a perfect fit.


In case you couldn’t tell from last week’s post, I’ve currently got a bag of cornmeal and after a failed batch of polenta sticks, I’m trying to find other ways to use it up. Hence, this loaf cake, which by the way is an utter dream. It’s a bit more complicated than it needs to be– did we really have to break out the electric mixer for one egg white?– but the end result is worth it.

It’s moist and sweet and bursting with tart cranberries, plus bonus: it’s almost fat-free. Greek yogurt and applesauce do most of the heavy lifting to keep this loaf from going dry, while that one slightly annoying egg white keeps it from becoming too dense. There’s cornmeal for texture and added flavor, plus cranberries scattered throughout. All in all, it’s a total win.

ALSO: Just because they’re so good I can’t handle it, you should know that these caramels are the most November thing you will ever encounter in your life. You’re welcome. You are so welcome.

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Cornmeal Coconut Oil Biscuits


I walked home from class in the dark yesterday. Last week I wore a big curly wig and ate candy and watched a scary movie. There are plans in the future for an apple orchard excursion. I desperately want to start breaking out the crockpot.

So basically what I’m trying to say is that it’s November and I really, honestly, and truly don’t know how to handle it. Can we all just take a deep breath and please slow the heck down?

I mean, at least take the time to stop and make some biscuits.


You’d be hard pressed to find a biscuit recipe that I didn’t get excited about. Especially when things like raspberries or pumpkin are added as well. So combining biscuits with my beloved cornbread was only destined to make me love them even more.

These biscuits are (shocker!) very similar to cornbread, except a lot lighter and fluffier because of all the biscuit-making techniques we added in, including key moves like using (vegan) buttermilk and cold, cut up coconut oil. And, as always, make sure to be super careful with your dough and not handle it too much in order to avoid tough and dense biscuits. Because that just might be the saddest thing in the world.


The cornmeal gives these biscuits a wonderfully crisp and craggy crust that gives way to a soft, fluffy interior. So basically, they might even be better and more interesting than regular biscuits.

Last thing: these were practically made to be eaten with butter and honey. Just so you know.

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Rosemary Chocolate Bread


There’s never a bad time to make bread. You can make it when you’re happy. You can make it when you’re sad. You can make it when you’re irrationally angry for no good reason. You can make it for friends, or you can make it all for yourself (obviously the second option is the way to go). You can make it early on a empty Saturday morning, or late at night when you’ve had enough of the world and just need to beat around some dough for a bit.

Bread can be a celebration or a cure or a simply a way of feeling capable and in charge of your life because, hey, you just baked that loaf of bread yourself and that’s something to be proud of.


Any home baked bread is going to be amazing and delicious, no questions asked. But if you’re going to go to all that trouble to make bread, you might as well add some rosemary and chopped chocolate, because why the heck not?

One thing you’re going to need for this recipe: a dutch oven. It’s the key to getting really nice, crusty bread that becomes golden brown and crackling on top, and using it to make bread is one of those secret, innovative kitchen strategies that really makes you feel like you know what you’re doing. If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can try baking this bread in standard loaf pans or in shaped rounds on a baking sheet, but I’m not at all sure how that would turn out.


If you have a stand mixer and a dough hook… then you’re super lucky and this dough will be a breeze. If not, be prepared for a nice little arm workout, because in addition to the initial kneading, it takes a bit of strength, patience, and perseverance to get the rosemary and chocolate fully incorporated. But once you do? Well then you’re halfway to fancy bread and the next hardest thing you’re going to have to do is wait. Although that’s always a whole lot harder than it sounds.

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Super Simple Carrot Cake


So I don’t know if you’ve heard…but apparently there’s going to be a pumpkin shortage this year. Aaaand a turkey shortage.


Like, will Thanksgiving even be the same? Or fall, for that matter? I blame the pumpkin spice lattes (mainly because it’s easy to blame the pumpkin spice lattes). But the moral of this story? Stock up on alllll the pumpkin…and maybe a turkey or two while you’re at it.


You shouldn’t have any problem getting carrots. In fact, you may be in the same situation as me and wind up with too many carrots. Which is why you should make a cake. Because vegetables are always better when they’ve been turned into cake.

This recipe is a simple one bowl situation. Just mix the wet ingredients, stir in the dry ones, fold in some carrots, and bake. If it sounds ridiculously simple, that’s because it is.


This carrot cake is subtly sweet and super fluffy, the kind you might eat for breakfast or a snack. If you want to dress it up some more, feel free to top it with powdered sugar or some cream cheese frosting.

And remember, you’re basically eating vegetables. So go ahead and cut yourself that second slice.

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A Few (Non Pumpkin) Ways to Celebrate Fall



It’s fall! I know that it officially became fall a few weeks ago, but everything great about this season seems to begin once the calendar flips to October. So to celebrate one of the best times of the year, here is a handful of recipes to bake as the months get colder. And because it seems to be everywhere right about now, there’s no pumpkin to be found. You’re welcome for the reprieve.

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How to Make Granola Without a Recipe


The other day, my friend and I (Hi Joe!) wanted to make granola… but we were too lazy to find and/or follow a recipe. How hard could it really be to wing it?

Turns out, not hard at all.

And so, as a follow up to How to Make Shortbread Without a Recipe, we’re taking a look at how to make granola without one either. All it takes is a few main components: oats, honey, and add-ins, plus some spices and salt. What you add—and how much of it you add—is all up to what you’re feeling (or what your pantry looks like)(or your budget, for that matter).


The basic procedure: preheat your oven and toast any nuts or seeds you might be adding. Toss together some oats and spices, then add in your toasted nuts/seeds plus any other additions. Drizzle in enough honey for things to start to stick together. Finally, spread everything onto a baking sheet, then stick it in the oven until it’s good to go!

Some tips and other things to keep in mind: 

– If you’re adding chocolate, you have two options— 1) Mix it in with the rest of the ingredients before putting the granola in the oven, which makes some pieces melt into the granola and create chocolate clusters. This, needless to say, is pretty awesome. 2) Add the chocolate after the granola has come out of the oven so that it stays solid and doesn’t really melt at all

– To get more clusters, press your granola firmly into the pan in an even layer before putting it in the oven, and don’t stir it around while baking. Let the granola cool in the pan before breaking it up. We also tried adding a beaten egg white to the mix to make more clusters, but that didn’t really seem to make a difference

– I wouldn’t suggest subbing maple syrup or even agave for the honey, as honey is a lot thicker and thus makes the oats stick together much better. You might have success with a thicker liquid sweetener like brown rice syrup, but I haven’t tried that out yet

– I highly suggest hitting up the bulk bin at the grocery store for ingredients and inspiration. Not only does it save money, but all of the ingredients available can spark the idea for some crazy new flavor combo you never would have thought of before


Granola is way too useful and delicious to be complicated. So honestly, why would you use a recipe when you really don’t have too? Raid your pantry, dig out those oats you forgot you had stashed, maybe even splurge on some quality honey. Throw it together, toss it in the oven, and all of a sudden you’ve got yourself a batch of damn good granola.

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Peach and Buckwheat Upside Down Cake


Before this attempt, I am willing to admit that I had never before made any form of upside down cake. Probably because the most common version involved pineapples, and the idea of baked pineapple just seems so ughhhh to me. Peaches, on the other hand, make much more sense.

It wasn’t the peaches that drew me to this cake though. It was the prospect of using buckwheat flour, an ingredient I’ve flirted with before in a few recipes, but ultimately have never truly committed to. A new interest in alternative flours and the unique flavors they bring, however, had me anxious to try this cake out.

It didn’t disappoint.


I feel compelled to try to explain it all, because there’s just something so interesting about this cake, despite its being incredibly simple. First the peaches. The peaches are laid out in a pool of caramel, deep and dark from the brown sugar and rich with butter. Once everything is flipped, the peach juices and the caramel drip down into the cake, mingling and merging and creating a sauce that infuses the whole thing with flavor.

And then the cake. The key here truly is the buckwheat flour. It can be just a bit of an acquiring taste, which is why the whole business is mellowed out here by the addition of wheat flour so as not to overwhelm everything. Buckwheat flour has a nutty, almost earthy flavor that sings alongside the vanilla and brown sugar, and it adds an extra depth and aroma that truly elevates this cake. A cake, it should be noted, that is incredibly light, fluffy, and moist. It really is unlike anything you’ve ever had.


I also think it provides the perfect transition in this bridge between seasons. Late summer peaches that are of less than stellar quality? Stick them in a cake. One that’s cozy and comforting and just begging to be made right. this. second.

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Almond Butter Swirled Meringues


I once wrote that I can never seem to go more than two months without making meringues… and that’s totally true. Aside from being shattering, ethereal, literally-melt-in-your-mouth little gems that are way too easy to eat five at a time, they are also so gosh darn fun to make. It’s like making marshmallows, except there’s no corn syrup or stovetops involved and the end result winds being up being cookies.

I thought that I loved meringues about as much as I ever could, and that there wasn’t much one could do to improve upon them without changing their fundamental nature aside from stirring in a few extracts or flavorings. But then— THEN— the goddess that is Alice Medrich came along and told me how I can make meringues better, and now I love her (and them) all the more for it.


The difference here is the addition of one more simple ingredient: almond butter. Once you’ve made your meringue, you simply fold in a few spoonfuls— a quick step, and yet it ultimately makes all the difference. The nuts cut through the overwhelming sweetness of the meringues and provide an excellent contrast in flavor that simply can’t be beat. The resulting cookies are richer and more complex, elevated beyond the basic one-note sweetness that typically characterizes meringues. It’s basically a match made in heaven.

I’m providing a recipe for meringues made with almond butter, because almond butter is unquestionably delicious and was also the only nut butter to be found in my pantry at the time, but really any nut or seed butter should do here. I would just caution against using any that is sweetened, as the whole aim here is the contrast with the already super sweet meringue. Any basic, straightforward natural version should do.


Celebrate your Friday with a new and improved meringue recipe. You can thank me later.

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