I Am Baker

Puppy Chow surprise-inside cake

I love this cake.

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

Every little thing about it.  From the amazing chocolate flavor to the chocolate sprinkles to the glorious surprise waiting inside.

Delicious. Beautiful. (in my opinion!) and Easy.

Let’s get to it!

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

After assembling the layers of this cake I covered it in a thin coat of buttercream.  I used about 1 cup of chocolate sprinkles and gently pressed them into the cake.

After the cake was covered I used a fondant smoother to press them in further and to get the clean, sharp lines you see here.  Although I lightened it a bit (we are already losing light so quickly here in Minnesota!) this picture is basically straight out of my camera.

But lets take a step back.  Just how did I assemble it?

Puppy Chow Surprise Inside Cake HOW TO

I started with three 6-inch chocolate cakes.  After chilling them, I used a 3-inch round cookie cutter and cut out the center of one of the cakes.

I then placed a thin layer of chocolate buttercream around the edge of the cake with the center cut out.

Puppy Chow Surprise Inside Cake HOW TO

Next, I placed the cake with the center cut out on top of one of the other layers, frosting side down.  We want the frosting to act as a glue.

I filled the cake with that fabulous Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow.

Added another thin layer of chocolate buttercream around the edge.

Finally placed the last layer on top.

I chilled my cake at this point, as I find it easier to cover in frosting when the cake is stable and firm.

Cover with thin layer of chocolate buttercream and then sprinkles. (as directed above)

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

And now we are back to here.

Ready to see the surprise?

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

So fun right?

And totally delicious.  Pumpkin. Chocolate.  More chocolate.  Crunchy Chex® cereal bits.  It’s stinkin awesome!!!

For a cake.  I mean, it’s not world peace or anything. #da

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

Here is the nitty gritty:

Prepare a batch of Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow. (Give yourself a few hours for it to cool and harden.)

Prepare a chocolate cake (you can use box mix or this wonderful Chocolate Cake recipe) in three 6-inch round cake pans.
Remove cakes from pans and chill until they are very firm.

Prepare chocolate buttercream.

Follow directions above for assembly.

Chill cake until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

And there you have it!  How to prepare a Chocolate Buttercream Sprinkle Covered Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

Say that three times fast. ;)

If you like this cake be sure to check out my new book, Surprise-Inside Cakes!

I Am Baker

candy corn cupcakes

This post is sponsored by McCormicks.

What’s for dessert?  Cupcakes.  Glorious dual-toned, frosting piled high, covered in an obscene sweet glaze decadent cupcakes.

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

Imagine if you are in grade school, and have been sitting in class all morning.  The tick-tock of the clock is constant, and you are full of energy, waiting so impatiently for the lunch bell to ring.

Consonants and pronouns and quizzes and tests are just another thing keeping you from a cold milk, peanut butter & jelly and being able to talk with your friends about whatever you want.

Finally!  Lunch time.

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

Opening your lunch box yields the greatest surprise of all time… a CUPCAKE!  And not just any cupcake, a cupcake covered in more frosting than you have ever seen!  On top of that frosting is a sweet sticky orange glaze.  Without hesitation you stick your finger into it, as knowing what it tastes like suddenly becomes the most important thing in the world.

The first taste is utterly sweet… and confusing.  What is it?  Familiar, but hard to place.  You pull the entire cupcake out of your lunch box and see all the glorious color.  Candy Corn!  That glaze tastes just like candy corn!

Everyone is oohing and aahing.  They all want some, but it’s all yours.

You sit back, revel in being the coolest kid at the lunch table and think to yourself, “I am totally going to clean my room when I get home. My mom rocks.”

candy corn cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Yellow & Red McCormick® Food Coloring
  • Candy Corn Glaze
  • 1 bag candy corn, 11 ounce size
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla.
  2. Divide batter in half.
  3. Tint one batch yellow with 1/3 teaspoon yellow food color. Tint second batch orange with 1/4 teaspoon yellow food color and 1/8 teaspoon red food color.
  4. Fill each paper-lined muffin cup 1/3 full with orange batter. Gently add yellow batter on top of orange batter, filling each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
  5. Candy Corn Glaze
  6. Reserve 1/4 cup of candy corn then place the remainder of the 11-ounce bag in a medium saucepan. Pour in 1/4 cup water and heat on low for about 10-15 minutes. You will want to candy corn to be melted completely.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. You will want to cover cupcakes while glaze is still warm, but not hot.
  8. Using a spoon, drizzle glaze over frosting.
  9. Decorate tops of cupcake extra candy corn pieces. (not shown in picture)
  10. Can be done 1-2 days in advance.
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Recipe shared with permission from McCormick.

At least, that is what I envision would happen.  More likely than not, the cupcake would get schmooshed on the way to school and frosting would be all over the lunchbox, the sandwich, the milk, the apple.  My precious little darling would have her lunchbox held up to her face unabashedly licking every last bit of frosting from every last surface.  She would then have frosting in her hair, on her eyelashes, all over her face and hands.

Maybe this is better suited as an after school snack!

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

A couple things:

The first time I made this glaze (candy corn schootcharoo bars) I played around with it quite a bit.  I think it works best at a lukewarm temperature for drizzling over cupcakes.  The cooler it gets the more firm it gets and therefor harder to drizzle.  Once you are done covering the cupcakes I would place an remaining glaze in an air tight storage container and clean out the pan.

I did my candy corn cupcakes in opposite color order.  This was entirely for vanity purposes!  I just liked how it looks with the orange on top and bottom and the yellow breaking it up a bit.  The recipe is written how I did it, but if you want a traditional candy corn cupcake, be sure to put the yellow batter on the bottom.

While this recipe is written to use a box mix, you can most certainly use your favorite white cake or yellow cake recipe.

I love this buttercream recipe for bright white frosting.

If you want to use a bit less frosting I think this style of cupcake decorating would be lovely and would allow the glaze to pool just beautifully on the cupcake. (and would be more lunch box friendly!)

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

These sweet little treats are definitely perfect for the occasional seasonal indulgence.  The bright colors and billowing frosting take ‘eating with your eyes’ to a whole new level!  And of course, are the ideal treat for anyone who loves candy corn!

I Am Baker

vanilla cinnamon chocolate ombre pancakes

One of my favorite cakes in my book is the Ombre Cake.  The main reason I love it is because it screams masculine to me, and that is not always easy with a buttercream flower petal covered cake!  I happened to catch a quick glance at it the other day (it’s on my sidebar of the landing page of the blog) and decided… that needs to be pancakes.

Vanilla Cinnamon Chocolate Ombre Pancakes

The flavors are a bit different than my original ombre cake, and this is not covered in gobs of frosting, but in my defense it is for breakfast.  I hope you will let my inconsistencies fly!

Vanilla Cinnamon Chocolate Ombre Pancakes

This was a great opportunity to have my little kids (Audrey and Eddie) in the kitchen helping.  They did great and learned about the difference between cake batter and pancake batter.  Because apparently I make a lot of cakes and this is what they are usually helping with.

My husband and I decided that now is as good of time as any to really start our small kids on consistent chores and “life duties.”  It comes from Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.“.  (NIV) If I want the kids to be knowledgeable and helpful in the kitchen, I really need to model those behaviors.  (Well, the helpful anyway.  I am still working on the ‘knowledgeable’ part!) So instead of my whizzing through meals just to get them done, I am going to slow down and include them in the process.  

 

Note: This is a large recipe and makes at least 36 good sized pancakes.

vanilla cinnamon chocolate ombre pancakes

Ingredients

    Base Batter
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Vanilla Pancakes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cinnamon Pancakes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Chocolate Pancakes
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Prepare the 'base batter'.
  2. In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl use a fork to combine eggs, milk and oil.
  4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just moistened.
  5. Separate mixture into three bowls.
  6. Vanilla Pancake
  7. Add in vanilla and stir until just combined.
  8. Cinnamon Pancakes
  9. Add cinnamon and vanilla to base batter and stir until just combined.
  10. Chocolate Pancakes
  11. Add cocoa, vanilla, 1 tbsp sugar and mini chocolate chips to base batter. Stir until just combined.
  12. Turn oven on to warm and line a cookie sheet with parchment to set completed pancakes on.
  13. Starting with the vanilla batter, prepare pancakes using about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. You should place batter onto a hot (about 300-325 degree) griddle. (baking spray works well if you need to grease the griddle)
  14. When pancakes are done place them on parchment lined cookie sheet and into the oven to warm while completing other batters.
  15. To serve place chocolate chip pancake on plate, then cinnamon, then vanilla. Top with butter and maple syrup and enjoy!
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Vanilla Cinnamon Chocolate Ombre Pancakes

The kids were skeptical on eating these all together, but I insisted.  Turns out they loved it and demolished the entire recipe. My oldest, Colton, made a point of telling me that I needed to blog these and that I needed to tell everyone that he LOVED them.

While it does take a couple more minutes to prepare, it is definitely worth it!  The flavor combination is fabulous and tastes like a really decadent treat for breakfast!

I Am Baker

peanut butter chocolate chip coffee cake

This is one of those cakes that I inevitably end up having for breakfast but that should never be served for breakfast.  It is a full on honest-to-goodness cake with sugar and butter and decadent frosting.

But it has coffee in it.  So I make it in the morning loving that I have a very good reason to brew myself another cup.

I am an adult and can totally do that ok?!  Just don’t tell my mom, she would kill me!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting!

So why coffee in a peanut butter cake? Because instead of adding regular old chocolate chips, I prefer to use good quality chopped chocolate. (For this one I used Scharffen Berger 62% Semi-Sweet.)  And we all know that coffee amplifies the flavor of chocolate!

When you chop chocolate as poorly as I do with a huge Chefs Knife (a Chef I am not, I just like to use their cool stuff), there is inevitably a tablespoon or two of smaller, fine crumbles as well as chocolate dust.  I absolutely love that in this cake and love that every single bite is infused with the beautiful rich chocolate.

But then I kick it up a notch and add coffee.  Not just any coffee, but strong coffee.  And not with any ole machine, but with the brand new Keurig 2.0.

Keurig 2.0

The Keurig’s are more like a computer now; highly intelligent and full of brilliant options I didn’t know I wanted but can now not possibly live without.

Like the STRONG button.  I use it every single time even when I am not technically supposed to.  Which I weird I even think that I am technically supposed to drink coffee a certain way and then go so far as to make myself feel guilty for not adhering the the imaginary guidelines I have set in place.

keurig-2-0-machine-story-top

In summary (where is that cake recipe???), not only is Keurig my go-to coffee maker for amazing coffee, hot chocolate and a variety of other drinks, it is my go-to machine in Baking.  And if you like coffee and try this cake or my Perfect Chocolate Cake with the “strong” coffee, you will be as hooked as I am.

It’s a game changer baby.

Peanut Butter Glaze Frosting

I decided to make a simple glaze to combat the rich chocolate flavor of the cake.  Well, it was supposed to be simple.  It was supposed to drizzle.  But I skimmed the recipe (bad baker!) and instead of 2/3 cup added 2-3 cups.

So thick and creamy ruled the day and not soft drizzles.  Just be sure if you make it you try the soft drizzles first ok?  The warm glaze seeps into every nook and cranny of the cake and adds the amazing moisture and flavor that makes me long to just eat it directly on my treadmill so I can do it without guilt.  Well, when the treadmill is on that is.  You know, being used for exercise purposes.  Like it is intended to be used.  #whatever

Peanut Butter Glaze Frosting

peanut butter chocolate chip coffee cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons coffee
  • 1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, the baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  2. In a separate bowl with a handheld mixer cream together the brown sugar, the peanut butter, and the butter.
  3. Beat in the egg, vanilla and the coffee.
  4. Add in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition, and gently stir in 1/2 cup of the chopped chocolate.
  5. Pour batter into a prepared 8-inch round cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 28-34 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool slightly then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. If you are adding peanut butter glaze, turn the cake out directly onto a cake stand and add glaze while cake is still slightly warm.
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Adapted from Cooking Channel.  Click here for Peanut Butter Glaze recipe.

Peanut Butter Glaze Frosting

My favorite way to eat this cake is warm and for breakfast.  Do not be like me.  You make yours in the afternoon and enjoy it for dessert as it was meant to be.

If you do end up with any extra glaze, be sure to save it.  It goes great on everything!

I Am Baker

pumpkin spice puppy chow

I love puppy chow.  Muddy buddy’s.  Chum.  Trash.  It has a different name for every area of the country it seems.  Here in Minnesota it is puppy chow.  And it is DElicious.

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow!

And easy.  Four ingredients.

Ten minutes.

And you are in white chocolate covered Chex Mix® heaven.

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow!

pumpkin spice puppy chow

Ingredients

  • 1 box Cinnamon Chex® cereal (13.5 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. Carefully melt white chocolate in microwave. I started at 1 minute, removed and stirred, then heated again in 10 second increments until completely melted.
  2. Add pumpkin spice to melted chocolate and stir well.
  3. Place cereal into bowl; pour white chocolate mixture over cereal. Stir until well coated.
  4. Transfer mixture to a large resealable plastic food bag and add powdered sugar. Seal bag tightly. Shake bag until powdered sugar evenly coats cereal.
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Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow!

We were all addicted to it of course, and could not stop eating it and it was all gone in a very very short period of time that I am not able to disclose mainly because its so embarrassing. #butworthit

Try it. You’ll like it. Promise.

I Am Baker

pumpkin french toast

In all the times I have made this fabulous version of french toast, I have never once made it for breakfast.  My kids adore it (and all the pumpkin treats that fall brings) but they always seem to request it for dinner.

Which is fine with me!

Pumpkin French Toast

My husband’s brother shared some freshly made maple syrup and that is what we used on the french toast.  If you can ever splurge and use real maple syrup (no high fructose corn syrup allowed) I recommend it.

I also use a 12 grain bread in this recipe.  The main reason being that it is what we prefer to keep in the house.  But I also like how well it stands up to the pumpkin seasoning and that the small grains add some texture to the egg soaked bread.

Pumpkin French Toast

pumpkin french toast

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 eggs
  • 16-20 pieces bread

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin and pie spice until smooth.
  2. Dip each side of the bread and cook on a hot, greased griddle or skillet. I have mine set to 300 degrees F.
  3. Flip the bread over after approximately 2 minutes.
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Adapted from 5 Dollar Dinners.

Pumpkin French Toast

If you prefer you can use all whole milk or even skim milk.  After we started drinking raw milk a few years ago, I feel like I am drinking water when I drink skim.  That is totally a matter of preference and you are welcome to make an adjustment that fits your likes.

We are a “one loaf” family, meaning that we can can easily polish off an entire loaf in one meal.  This recipe is designed to accommodate that!  If you need to halve the recipe it can be done with success.

I Am Baker

spumoni cake

Kinda.  I mean, in all honesty this cake was inspired from some ice cream I saw at the grocery store.  But when I saw it the first thing I thought was… Neapolitan Cake.  I need to make this “spumoni” into my Neapolitan Cake!

Spumoni Rose Cake!

So I did.  I mean, kinda.  I got the colors right… but I think that’s about it.  The ice cream container says that it is chocolate, pistachio and amaretto ice cream with mixed fruit.

I made a chocolate, pistachio and cherry almond cake.  So it’s basically the same thing, right?

Spumoni Rosette Cake!

My saving grace of this dessert is the flavor.  Everything works so amazingly well together.

To make this cake I baked two separate cakes, one is the “white” cake and I will share the recipe below.  The other is the Best Chocolate Cake.  I prepared the chocolate cake as directed and had 2 layers in 8-inch round cake pans.  One layer is used in the spumoni cake, the other layer I snacked on for 2 days.  But you should freeze yours for a later date.

I then made up a small batch of cherry buttercream, of chocolate buttercream, and of pistachio buttercream.  I recommend printing off each of those recipes if you want to make this cake.

Spumoni Rosette Cake!

I have a post on how to make the rosettes here, and a video showing how to make the Rose Cake here.

Ok!  Now for recipes.

As I mentioned, click here for the chocolate cake.  You will use one layer for this Spumoni cake.

spumoni cake

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Cherry Cake
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • Pistachio Cake
  • 1 package pistachio pudding (3.4 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer cream butter.
  3. Add in egg whites, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
  4. Add 1/3 cup milk at a time, alternating with dry ingredients.
  5. Remove bowl from mixer and halve the batter. It is approximately 4 cups of batter, so remove about 2 cups and place in a bowl.
  6. Cherry Almond Cake
  7. To the batter left in the stand mixer add finely chopped cherries, cherry juice and almond extract. Mix by hand until fully incorporated. Pour into prepared 8-inch round cake pan and bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes.
  8. Pistachio Cake
  9. For the 2 cups of batter in the separate bowl, add in pistachio pudding mix and vanilla. Stir by hand until fully incorporated. Pour into a prepared 8-inch round cake pan and bake for 22-26 minutes.
  10. My pistachio cake needed to bake for a bit longer than the cherry cake, but you can certainly bake them at the same time and just remove the cherry one first.
  11. Prepare chocolate cake. (recipe linked to above) Bake as directed when the other cakes are done.
  12. Allow all cakes to cool for about 5 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack.
  13. Prepare chocolate, cherry and pistachio buttercream. (recipes linked to above) Place buttercreams each into a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip.
  14. Once chocolate cake is cooled, level the chocolate cake, the cherry cake and the pistachio cake to the same height.
  15. To assemble cake, place chocolate cake on cake stand and cover in about 1/2 cup of chocolate buttercream. Place cherry cake on top of chocolate and cover in cherry buttercream. Place pistachio cake on top of cherry. (I did not do a crumb coat.)
  16. Starting at the bottom and with chocolate buttercream, cover bottom layer with rosettes. (video and picture tutorial linked to above). Next do a row of cherry buttercream rosettes. Next a row of pistachio buttercream rosettes. The entire sides of the cake should be covered.
  17. Finish covering the top with pistachio rosettes and chill until ready to serve.
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Spumoni Rose Cake!

There are definitely a lot of steps in this cake.  I have made it both from scratch and with cake mix, and while the cake mix is faster, it was not as flavorful.  However, it will definitely work in a pinch!

Spumoni Rose Cake!

This cake is absolutely perfect for anyone looking for something a little different.  The flavors are unique and (as I mentioned already, I just can’t stop) work so well together.

It was worth all the work!

Spumoni Rose Cake!

And it’s kind pretty if I don’t say so myself.  I know there were a lot of recipe’s and steps and directions in there, but if you have any questions please do feel free to ask!  I am happy to walk you through it.

Like this cake?  You should check out my new book Surprise-Inside Cakes!

I Am Baker

cookbook heaven (HUGE giveaway!)

giveaway

Want to win a Kitchen Aid and ALL the blogger cookbooks seen here? Well, you’ve come to the right place today.

There will be 13 winners for this amazing giveaway. Yes, lucky 13!

ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER will win a KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Stand Mixer in their choice of color (see color options here) AND one of each of the following cookbooks:

and…

TWELVE (12) ADDITIONAL WINNERS will win one of the cookbooks listed above. (Cookbook will be assigned randomly, winner does not get to choose.)

That’s over $570 in prizes for the grand prize winner!

Giveaway specifics: please enter using the rafflecopter form below. Please be patient, sometimes the form takes a moment to load. Open to U.S. residents only, must be 18 years or older to enter. Please see full and complete rules in the rafflecopter form.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I Am Baker

pumpkin puff pastry

I have officially jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon and I am so excited about it!  This faux Toaster Strudel® recipe is absolutely amazing, and the perfect way to start any day!

Pumpkin Puff Pastry!

It all started with a homemade puff pastry.  I have made it three times in the last couple days and love it more and more each time.

Puff Pastry Dough

The great thing about this puff pastry is that it takes just minutes to pull together!  I was shocked at just how easy and fool proof it is.  Every single time I have made it, the dough has been perfect.

A word of caution:  This dough feels like silk.  I wanted to keep kneading, to let my hands linger in the velvety soft exquisiteness, but you must resist!  Over kneading is a no-no. ;)

pumpkin puff pastry

Ingredients

    Pastry
  • 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cold tap water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Filling
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

    Pastry
  1. Measure water and add salt; stir to dissolve and set aside.
  2. Put flour and cinnamon into food processor.
  3. Coarsely dice all butter and place in food processor on top of flour. Pulse for about 3 seconds four or five times.
  4. Drizzle water into food processor on low speed. Watch closely as dough will start to pull together very quickly. Once the dough forms a ball stop the processor.
  5. Flour work surface and scrape dough from work bowl.
  6. Roll dough into a rough rectangle, dusting with more flour if the dough gets too sticky.
  7. Fold the dough in half, then in half again, then in half again. If you are able fold it over one more time, then wrap in plastic and chill for one hour.
  8. Filling
  9. Put pumpkin puree in a bowl and mix well with sugar and vanilla.
  10. Cream Cheese Glaze
  11. Beat cream cheese with handheld mixer until creamy.
  12. Add in remaining ingredients and mix on slow until fully combined. (You may add more or less milk to reach desired consistency.)
  13. When you are ready to assemble to Pumpkin Puff Pastries:
  14. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. You want the dough to be thin, only about 1/8 inch thick.
  15. Using a pizza cutter, trim off the rough edges and then cut into small sections, about 4 inches by 5 inches.  I divided the dough into thirds lengthwise, and then halves width wise.  You can see that my rectangles are not perfect and that is just fine.  
  16. Beat egg in a bowl and grab a pastry brush.  Brush the edges of the pieces of dough lightly with the egg.
  17. Add about 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree to half of the rectangles, spreading to about half an inch from the edges.
  18. Top with the remaining pieces of dough.  
  19. Use a fork to press the edges together going in about 1/2 inch from the edge. (The first couple times I made this I just barely made marks with the fork and when they baked you could not tell.  I prefer the look of a larger fork impression.)   
  20. Generously brush the entire top of the pastry with the egg.
  21. Place strudel on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  When done pastries should be golden brown and puffed up.
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Puff Pastry recipe barely adapted from Food Network.

Puff Pastry Dough

I think that I ended up liking the ‘rustic’ look best.  Sure, you can get out your ruler and make a perfect rectangle and measure each perfect little pocket of pumpkin loveliness OR you can eyeball it and enjoy it just the same.

For the delectable frosting drizzle: Place cream cheese in a pastry bag and snip off a very small portion.  Apply pressure to bag and drizzle over each pastry while it is still warm.

This recipe makes roughly 10 pumpkin pastries.  I had about 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture left over, and that will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Pumpkin Toaster Strudel

Just look at those flakey layers of buttery deliciousness!  My third attempt at these is when I decided to add cinnamon to the dough.  I have to tell you… it is incredible.

Homemade Pumpkin Toaster Strudel!  (from scratch puff pastry)

The slight cinnamon flavor in the buttery pastry paired with the barely sweetened pumpkin filling seriously creates something magical.

Here is another plus, without the frosting these pastries have just 1/3 cup of sugar in the entire recipe!  If you use a small amount of frosting you can actually feel good about giving them to your family for breakfast. :)  (Note, I was not able to use a sparse amount of frosting.  I mean, cream cheese.  Obvi.)

If you are a pumpkin fan, a breakfast pastry fan, a butter fan, a fan of food in general, you will want to try these!

I Am Baker

Logo Surprise-Inside Cake

I have been partnering with McCormick for a few years now. It is a match made in heaven! I get to use amazing quality products and share delicious and creative recipes and they… um… they… well. I am starting to think that I got the better end of this partnership.

Don’t tell them I love my work so much ok?  Our secret!

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

McCormick is celebrating their 125th birthday on Sept. 28th. I don’t know about you, but I had no idea that they had been around for 125 years! There is something to be said for longevity and dependability in a huge company like that.

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

In honor of their big day I decided to make them a cake. It’s what I do ok? I wanted it to be fun, really fun, and really personal. The outside of my cake is covered in hundreds of rainbow sprinkles! Don’t you love the clean lines and color in this cake?

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

Add to that a fancy little white frill around the top and we are golden.  Golden I tell you!

Or rainbow.  More like rainbow.

Add to that a fancy little white frill around the top and we are golden.  Golden I tell you!

And here is the surprise! I made the McCormick logo inside the cake!

It was not easy. But it was a labor of love.

Add to that a fancy little white frill around the top and we are golden.  Golden I tell you!

I have to tell you, when I cut into the cake I was so pleased! SO pleased.   could not contain my excitement and I texted off a picture to a close friend. She was as excited as I was and that’s when I knew that this was a special cake. And who better to honor?

While I happen to think that this may be one of the prettiest cakes I have ever made, it is also the tastiest. I prefer this amazing White Cake recipe, but with a twist.

McCormick Extra Rich Vanilla

McCormick just released this wonderful new Extra Rich vanilla that is 25% richer than classic vanilla extract. It adds something really special to my cakes and frostings!

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

If you want to know more about how I made this surprise-inside cake please do check out my book, Surprise-Inside Cakes! I also have a little video here that helps to detail the process.

Happy Birthday McCormick!  Looking forward to another 125 years!