Jammy-Broken Heart Cake

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So, this recipe has been in the making for months, meaning I’ve been making it for months. That said, I might have lost that last stubborn baby-five but for this cake. I might also have gotten more sleep. But I WOULD NOT have been happier. You see, there is something wonderful about this unparalleled deliciousness (unless you royally mess it up like I did once, but I blame adding cocoa powder – requested by the birthday girl but NOT GOOD, and substituting frozen strawberries when I found my JUST BOUGHT strawberries were moldy).

jammy broken heart cake 2So, let me tell you about this cake. It started long ago before I “made the change”. It had eggs and sour cream and butter and all of that white flour yumminess, so of course it was tasty. I put blueberries and peaches in the middle one time and almost attacked my husband when he asked for some. And then the recipe got shoved to the bottom of the pile because I wasn’t ready to figure the veganizing of this one out.

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Well, I finally did it. And every time I’ve used strawberries because it’s Spring and they get all jammy and yummy. In the past I’ve read about things that tasted jammy, and they didn’t sound good. I don’t really like most jam. But this is different and unparalleled gooey, sweet, strawberryey jamminess. Just believe me, you want some.

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Because I’ve tried it many different ways, I’ll include all of the workable options with the best ones first. I’ll even put in the non-vegan ingredients for you omnis, because really, butter just tastes better than the substitutes. They are, after all, “substitutes”. (Apparently my palate is still detoxing and may be for the rest of my life.)

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A quick note on fats: Butter, Vegan Butter/Earth Balance/margarine, coconut oil, and coconut butter are all tasty options, but they obviously each have a different outcome. I would stick first with homemade vegan butter, then coconut oil/Earth Balance, then coconut butter. Coconut butter makes a  more dense cake – still delicious, but mixed halfsies with coconut oil, it could be good and cheaper than the subs.

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Oh yeah, and it’s a broken heart cake because for the life of me, I cannot manage to get it out of the pan without at least a little break, and sometimes it’s a big one. But when using 100% whole grain, that’s not a bad thing (except when I eat all of the broken parts…) and pretty remarkable that it stays together as well as it does.

Jammy Broken Heart Cake

1 c. granulated sugar
¾ c. homemade vegan butter, coconut oil, coconut butter, butter
1 c. vegan sour cream or sour cream
3 egg equivalent substitute: 1 ½ T. Ener-G + 6 T warm water; 3 T ground flax seed + 6 T warm water
2 ½ c. flour: 1 ½ c Kamut + 1 c. whole wheat (pastry); options: sub ½ c. oat flour, all gluten free flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
½ c. chopped walnuts
1 t. vanilla extract
2-3 c. chopped fresh fruit: strawberries, blueberries, peaches, black/raspberries – any combo is YUMMY
1 T. ground cinnamon
¼ c. granulated sugar


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Lightly grease one bundt pan, but DO NOT flour it. (I tried and it does bad things.)
2.  Cream together 1 c sugar with “butter”. Add sour cream and eggs and beat well until light. Add flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mixing until combined. Stir in vanilla and walnuts.
3.  Combine remaining ¼ cup of sugar with cinnamon.
4.  Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Add fruit and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Cover with remaining cake batter.
5.  Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 8 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 40 minutes.

Quick cake break!

Jen here.

So, we’re all busy with summer and making school year plans and gardens!  We’ll, we’re trying to be busy with our garden out here, but our garden is all about improvement out here in the foggy San Francisco Bay Area.  Our corn is falling down, squash not getting pollinated and bean leaves being skeletonized by some voracious bug.  The dill I planted for summer pickling has become a wildlife habitat, hosting at least 5 butterfly caterpillars, and generations and generations of ladybugs (eggs, larvae, pupae and beetles) – which is absolutely wonderful, but it means I’m  not using my dill like I’d like to.  I’d much rather encourage the beneficial bugs.  But, we are harvesting beans – and that’s making me happy.

But, vegetables aren’t what this post is about today.  It’s about chocolate cake.  Fast chocolate cake.  Cake in 5 minutes, start to finish (unless it takes longer to get your ingredients together or you have small children helping).  Really!  We made this on Monday, and it was good.  I found this Five-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake in an article about studying chocolate.

Five-minute Chocolate Mug Cake
(Originally published in the June 10, 2009 edition of the San Jose Mercury News. Submitted by Eileen Fukunaga.)
Serves 1 to 2
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips, optional
Small splash vanilla

Put flour, sugar, and cocoa in a large, microwave-safe mug and mix well. Add egg, and mix thoroughly. Pour in milk and oil, and mix well. Add chocolate chips and vanilla, and mix again.

Place mug in microwave and cook for three minutes at 1,000 watts (“high on a 1,000-watt oven, lower setting for ovens with greater maximum wattage). Cake will rise over top of mug. Allow to cool a bit. Tip out onto plate, if desired, or eat straight from the mug. Pour a bit of cream over the top for an even more sinful creation.

A one-mug serving can easily be divided between two people.

We made one mug cake on Monday night, for our Family Home Evening treat.  We used one of our tall mugs (about 16-ounces).  We actually split it between the four of us and had a 1 tablespooon-cookie-scoop of ice cream (Häagen-Dazs vanilla).  One of the principles we’re teaching our family right now is “portion size, not desired size”).  It was plenty for each of us at the end of a long day.

08-15-09 Update:

We used this recipe for Bud’s day-of birthday cake, because we were going to have a big cake the next day.  Here are some assembly photos:

Strawberry Shortcake

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One of my favorite summer desserts since childhood is Strawberry Shortcake. Typically I have just made the individual portion shortcakes using the Bisquick recipe. Well, I ran out of Biquick while having a plethora of strawberries and I decided to break out of the mold. (I know, living on the wild side.)

Not only is this shortcake from scratch, it makes a single HUGE one (I’m sure you could make it into smaller portions too, but where is the fun in that?)  I completely botched up the whipped cream by over whipping it and it was way too heavy.  I poured milk over my portion for added moisture.  But the shortcake and strawberries were delicious.

Strawberry Shortcake

3 Pints Strawberries
1/2 c. sugar (I used agave nectar instead)
2 1/4 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbl. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. shortening (I used butter)
1 egg
2/3 c. milk
2 c. whipping cream

Slice strawberries and toss with 1/2 c. sweetener.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Grese and flour 8 inch round cake pan (I used a glass pie dish.)

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Cut together until resembes coarse crumbs.  Make a well in the center and add beaten egg and milk.  Stir until combined.

Spread batter into pan.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool on wire rack.

Slce partially cooled cake in half, making two layers.  Place half of the strawberries and whippin cream on one layer and top with other layer.  Garnish with extra cream and berries.

Watermelon “Cake”

Last year I just didn’t want cake on my birthday. All wanted was watermelon! We got a little creative and this is what we put together.

Slice watermelon in stackable circles, about 1 1/2 inch thick.  Slice parts of the rind off to make decorative edges.  Attach assorted fruit with skewers and push in candles. Light and eat.  Yum!  A hit with both kids and adults. 🙂

When the family gets together, it’s like lightning (Lightning Cake).

My sister and her family came to visit last week and we had a family get together that required food. You need to understand that my sister and I, as women in this family, are in a very slim minority. My dad was one of seven boys, and it seemed the boys were always everywhere. My sister and my cousin Heather were the oldest cousins and after them was a pretty long string of boys. Family reunions have often consisted of four-wheeling, snowmobiling, shooting things, and a lot of sitting around outside. Power tools were usually required.
With my sister in town, we realized we had a surprising number of cousins around that are from my dad’s side, so we made as much contact through facebook as possible. Funny thing, though, only the girls and their familial appendages came. Also in town were at least 3 boy cousins and attending families (probably more) and my own brother. I guess they missed out.

That said, we still ate like we do with all the boys and there was a lot of sausage and hot dogs on the grill out bag, lovingly grilled by cousin Heather. I brought cake, and because of how the day had gone, it needed to be quick. And I ask you, what is quicker than LIGHTNING CAKE? Nothing. At least insofar as cake is involved and you don’t want my chocolate emergency cake, which I didn’t.
So, Heather, per your family’s request, here is the recipe from the Joy of Cooking. Now go buy some eggs, because you’ll need them. And yes, Brooke, you could probably handle this one. I’m not sure about the soup yet – can you cook bacon? I’m sorry to admit but this sank. Welcome to high altitudes, which I still have not completely figured out yet. Everyone still ate it, so I’m pretty sure it didn’t hurt it. It just wasn’t as pretty or fluffy, but with six eggs and a cup of butter, what do you expect!

Lightning Cake (aka German Blitztorte)

Note: Have all ingredients at room temperature, it helps. That’s the slow part. I’ve included the measurement for doubling in [brackets].

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour one 8×2-inch round cake pan, 8×8 square pan, or if doubling, a 9×13 pan.
Whisk together thoroughly:
1 c. [2 c.] all-purpose flour
1 t. [2 t.] baking powder (or less, theoretically at high altitudes, but I don’t know how much)
1/4 t. [1/2 t.] salt
In a large bowl, beat until creamy, about 30 seconds:
8 T. (1 stick or 1/2 c.) [16 T, 2 sticks or 1 c.] unsalted butter (preferably, but if you have regular butter it won’t be that different)
Gradually add and beat on high speed until lightened in color and texture, 3 to 5 minutes:
1 c. [2 c.] sugar
Beat in 1 at a time:
3 [6] large eggs
Beat in:
1 t. [2 t.] grated lemon zest
2 T. [1/4 c. or 4 T.] fresh lemon juice
Stir in the flour mixture just until smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. If desired, (and I did not) sprinkle the top with a mixture of:
1/2 c. [1 c.] chopped or sliced natural almonds or other nuts (unblanched or roasted)
1 heaping tablespoon [2 heaping T.] of sugar.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes, a little longer if doubling. let cool in the pan on the rack for 10 minutes, and then slide a knife around the edge, flip the cake out. I’m never that ambitions. Besides, I glazed my afterward, so I would have lost some of the glaze had I done that and I need all the glaze. ALL of it.

Quick Lemon Icing
Note: It is best to pre-measure everything before you start. I did not double this for the doubled cake recipe, just one recipe was enough.

Melt, or heat, the top of a double boiler over low heat: (A double boiler is essentially a heat-proof bowl or pan placed on top of a pan with water on the stove, usually at medium heat or less, so the bowl is still above the water, but is indirectly heated by the steam rather than by the direct heat of the burner.)
4 T. unsalted butter or 3 T. heavy cream
Remove from the heat and stir in:
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
1 T. milk
2 T. fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon grated directly over the pan
1/8 t. salt
Cook, stirring occasionally, over barely simmering water (in the double boiler) for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add:
1 t. vanilla
Beat until cool and the desired consistency. (You can place the pan in a larger pan of ice water to quicken the process.) Pour over Lightning Cake. If you really want it to seep in, poke holes in the cake, but I didn’t.

Sugarbun Loaf

It’s an annual Christmas tradition for my husband’s family to make Sugarbun Loaf on Christmas Eve, and get everyone together after the milking has been done and dinner eaten. I have only been party to it once, but it was a nice evening around the table with three generations discussing the world and life and the holiday season. But that was years ago, so I might be inflating the details.
Sugarbun Loaf is named for the near by “mountain,” Mt. Sugarloaf. I think the idea of it being a mountain is also inflated (as we currently life in the shadow of 11,000+ mountains), but it’s all they have so I guess they can call it what they want. This year, we were the ones to carry on the tradition, as we found out Christmas Eve that it wasn’t part of the New England festivities.
It is essentially monkeybread, but not quite. And to be honest, I will probably make a few changes to get a chewier dough next year and a gooier coating. So, while I could post a recipe here, good baking books will have a recipe for monkeybread (which is a terrible name because there aren’t any monkeys, or even bananas, in it), and if you include pecans, brown sugar and lots of butter, you’re in. It’s nice to have a tradition that we can carry on, even when we’re far away.
It helps to use a spoon or fork to yank it out of the tube pan – that’s why there is one in the middle. And as a rule, this must be consumed with a lot of milk, and we won’t discuss whether organic or conventional milk is better. It has already caused at least one disagreement over Sugarbun Loaf.