It’s October 1st and it’s pumpkin spice everything already! I get it. I really do. The first hints of a chill in the air mean cozy warm spices to tease your senses and warm your soul. But, I’m holding on to the last moments of summer and celebrating the end of blueberry season in the most comforting way imaginable, with this brunch worthy Blueberry Buckle.
There are two kinds of people in life: ones that love ripe bananas, and everyone else that cannot bear the sight of even a fleck of a brown spot, or a bit of a bruise. Our family falls into that second set, and so we often have bananas that are immediately rejected and shunned at the first hint of over-ripening. So when life hands you over-ripe bananas, you of course make…banana chocolate chip cake!
I created this recipe to use up our ripe banana for a low sugar, low-fat breakfast for the children, and with school back in session, it’s the perfect back to school bake!
I am not from the South, so I never knew there were varying degrees of nakeness! A few years after moving to my adopted home state of Tennessee, a kind and sweet as back porch iced tea, Southern, young-at-heart friend explained that there most certainly are.
“Now dear, there’s “naked” and then there’s “nekked,” she explained with an oh so lovely drawl that toggled on that line between sincerity and syrupy sweet Southern sarcasm. There was no mistaking here, she was down right serious. She continued, “naked is when you don’t have clothes on, and nekked, well…nekked, is when you don’t have clothes on and you’re doin’ something you’re not supposed to be doin’!” I am not exactly sure when the snorting laughter ensued, but at one point I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard and distinctly remember thinking that her explanation made perfect sense. That is the moment my friends, I knew I was a Southerner at heart.
The moment I began thinking of making this recipe for you all, I thought of this story and knew this cake had to be the perfect combination of “naked” and “nekked.” Classic enough to be presentable, but with just a bit of sass to make you wonder! A cake where you can see all of the beautiful baked cake layers, stacked high with perfect pillowing frosting peeking through and crowned with an indecent amount of seasonal fruit.
Just imagine a dreamy, luscious, tangy-sweet cream cheese frosting, but in ice cream form. Now add moist, decadent, flavorful chunks of carrot cake, and finish with a drizzle of the best caramel sauce your two hands can make or wallet can afford. Mine is a magical carrot caramel, which I realized wasn’t a thing until I created it! I promise, this ice cream will blow your taste buds away. They will then regroup, join forces, and scream for another spoonful.
Ya’ll it is cold in Nashville. Like, really, really, really cold. As in, with a wind chill of -14°F this is the coldest it has been since we have moved here! So, what’s one to do when you’re iced in with stir-crazy little ones to entertain and a kitchen full of seasonal fruits and veggies? You bake, of course! This moist voluptuous carrot coconut cake uses half the oil and sugar of a traditional recipe and is paired with a luxurious Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting. It is a lovely twist on the traditional, but yet it is still as comforting as grandma’s knit woolen throw when freezing cold blankets the world outside and ice covers EVERYTHING in sight!
Ahhh, blood orange. This sweet, sour, tangy and unbelievably bright citrus fruit is bursting with juicy flavor that is reminiscent of an orange, tangerine and lemon, all they while drenched in its own crimson uniqueness.
Cake is often treated as a vehicle for frosting. Not here. Not this bake. Not this cake. This Candied Blood Orange Olive Oil Yogurt Cake is one of the most deeply flavorful and gratifying cakes I have ever created. The fruity intense flavor of the extra virgin oil, with the tang of the yogurt and sweet sour bite of the blood orange is an incredible symphony when married together.