soft pumpkin cookies

pumpkin cookie 2

It’s Friday, so let’s keep this short and sweet, shall we?

These soft, cakey pumpkin cookies really don’t need a story or explanation… then again, they didn’t need any icing either, but I gave it to them anyway because… why not?  Look how pretty they are with their adorable little icing stripes.

To recap:



Filled with pumpkin.

Covered in icing. (Optional, but way prettier)

If you’re still dying to read words, you can see words from me and many other talented bloggers over at A Periodic Table’s “Just One Question” project!

soft pumpkin cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: appx 20 cookies


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Continue beating to incorporate, another minute or so.
  4. Add flour mixture and beat just to combine.
  5. Drop tablespoon-sized cookies onto baking sheet, slightly flattening the top, and bake until set and edges begin to turn golden; about 12 minutes


If you would like to ice these cookies, I used my usual cinnamon-bun icing - Just take about a cup of powdered sugar and add a bit of vanilla extract (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, depending on your personal preference), and just enough milk to thin it to the consistency of your liking (1 to 2 tablespoons of milk should do the trick) If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more milk. TADAA!

apple cake tatin

apple cake 0568

Now, I’ve never been a huge ‘pie’ girl.  All the rolling and cutting and par-baking and fussing… I just don’t have that kind of energy (generally speaking).  As ashamed as I am to admit it… when I do bake a pie, it’s often with the aid of a store-bought crust.   I know, I should probably just go kill myself now.  Especially when we have such dedicated bakers who make such marvelous pies and poor Ms. Natalie can’t be bothered to run her food processor for 30 seconds and wait for the dough to chill after rolling it out.

I should just throw myself off of a cliff.

So when apple pie season rolls in and you’re not a huge pie person but you still want to serve a delightfully autumnal dessert, what’s a girl like me to do?


apple cake

FYI: I find that in much of life’s dilemmas, the answer is usually cake.

I spotted this cake ages ago on an episode of Barefoot Contessa, and it’s been sitting in the back of my brain ever since.  Just gnawing at my willpower.  Whispering from my subconscious to my brain, “make me…”  So, I did!

It basically ends up like a caramel apple upside-down cake, which isn’t as fancy as Ina’s title of “apple cake tatin”, but let’s be realistic here.  This is a caramel apple cake.  I’d bet it’s best served warm with a scoop of melty vanilla ice cream, but a cold slice for breakfast is enjoyable as well.

I mean, it’s healthy… “apple a day” or something like that.

Apple Cake Tatin


  • *6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • *1 1/4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
  • *1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • *2 large eggs, room temperature
  • *1/3 cup sour cream
  • *1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • *1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • *1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • *1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • *1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • *Confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish (I used a cake pan lined with parchment) and arrange the apples in the dish, cut side down.
  3. Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color, and registers about 360 F on a candy thermometer. Swirl the pan but don't stir. Pour evenly over the apple slices. Stare in awe while it bubbles.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix just until combined, being careful not to overmix.
  6. Pour the cake batter evenly over the apple slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If an apple slice sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm with ice cream, or at room temperature.

[ Adapted from Barefoot Contessa ]

apple cider donut cake

Fall is full of apples, and apple orchards, and fresh-pressed cider, and hot apple cider donuts and fresh apple fritters.

For most of the country, at least.

The closest I can get is store-bought apple cider… and this apple cider donut cake, which is delicious, and not deep-fried, and still super full of fall flavors.

The original recipe calls for cooking sliced granny smiths in cider, and pureeing them, and adding that to the cake.  Since my stores apple selection could be described as dismal at best, I decided to replace the fresh pureed apples with applesauce, which also means you make this any time of the year, in any part of the world, because I’m pretty sure that even if you don’t have fresh apples readily available, you will still be able to find some applesauce.

I also added buttermilk to give it a nice, tender crumb, since anyone who may have tried to substitute applesauce in a recipe may know it can make things a little on the “chewy” side.

This cake is like a fresh cider donut, and since it has “donut” in the name that means you are allowed to eat it for breakfast.  And any recipe that allows me to sneak cake into my breakfast regimen is considered a win in my book, especially if you then cover that cake in a layer of sweet cinnamon-sugar.

This cake would be the perfect brunch item, providing you and your guests something to snack on while they wait for your turkey to roast, or it would make a delightful alternative as a Thanksgiving dessert for those of you who don’t care for pumpkin, I know you’re out there.

Apple Cider Donut Cake

[ Printable Recipe ]

For Cake

  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room-temperature, cubed
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Cinnamon-Sugar Coating

  • 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare bundt pan with butter or spray.

Put applesauce in liquid measuring cup.  Fill with apple cider to 1 cup mark. Stir to combine. Add buttermilk and vanilla to cider mixture and stir to combine again.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition.  Add oil and continue beating until incorporated.

Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour mixture alternating with apple mixture (flour-cider-flour-cider-flour), scraping down the bowl as needed.  Remember to scrape up from the bottom too to catch any flour pockets that may be hiding down there.

Scrape batter into greased bundt pan and bake 35-45 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto rack, coat with cinnamon sugar mixture (I sprinkled it over the top, then poured into my hand and rubbed onto the sides), leave on rack until it has cooled completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Inspired by Serious Eats ]

cinnamon pumpkin bundt cake


pumpkin bundt 2

You may have noticed a few changes around here… if not, you might want to take a look around. Turns out that changing your site layout is harder than it seems… a bunch of my older posts are now, well let’s just say they are in need of some extra TLC. Moving things around a little bit, so I guess I apologize in the mean time until I get it all straightened out, or when I get tired and just switch back to the old format. Either one is equally likely, really.

pumpkin bundt 3

In the mean time, I’ve been needing pumpkin like woah. So I made this pumpkin bundt cake. I put cinnamon chips in half of the cake (I wasn’t sure if the BF would want them in there). So, I should say I put cinnamon chips in my half of the cake… I won’t tell you if I ate an entire half. AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!

What I will tell you is to please enjoy this cake with freshly-whipped creamcoffee-flavored whipped cream is especially delicious.

The cinnamon chip amount in the recipe is if you want to put them in the whole cake. Oh, and ignore that finger mark in the powdered sugar. It’s not really there. You’re just seeing things.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Bundt Cake

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cinnamon chips (optional, chocolate chips would also be delicious)
  • whipped cream, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Prepare your bundt pan with spray or butter (I like PAM for baking)
  3. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix until smooth.
  6. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the pumpkin puree, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  7. Gradually add half of the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until just incorporated.
  8. Slowly pour in the milk and mixing on low until incorporated, then add in the rest of the flour mixture.
  9. Beat until fully mixed, scraping down the sides and making sure to get any flour that might be stuck at the bottom of the bowl and stir in cinnamon chips.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, smooth the top, then bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This is exceptionally delicious when served with whipped cream.

thursday things

God bless Trader Joes: I finally found a delicious turkey bacon.  The most delicious turkey bacon in all the land.  I used it to make this “healthy” breakfast with a fat free english muffin, and a perfectly-poached egg.


Side note: What’s the deal with measuring cups these days? My recent guest star, Kabrina, and I were discussing these recently. Here is her measuring cup, less than one year old and my measuring cup, also very young:


The difference?

I can see the faint lines in mine (if I hold it up to the window) and then draw them on with a marker. I essentially paid for a blank piece of glass. Thanks.

I know for a fact that when I was a child, we had one measuring cup, and it lasted for my entire childhood. So what gives? The cup has one job: measure things. And it fails. It fails at its ONLY REASON FOR EXISTING.

Ok Pyrex, whatever cheap paint you’ve switched to, I’m sure it’s saving you buttloads of money, but it’s time to stop. I promise that I will drop my measuring cup and it will shatter into 1,000 pieces and I will have to buy a new one… eventually. You don’t have to attempt to expedite the process with horrible paint.

Know what else has to stop? Communal tables in restaurants. Oh, how they fill me with a fiery rage. I am happy to see that I am not the only one who despises communal seating at restaurants… I realize it saves you money, and I realize that it’s “convenient” (for the restaurant) but it’s SO UNCOMFORTABLE! It’s like being on an airplane, you’re surrounded on either side with people you don’t know and you have to decide which is more awkward: ignoring the people two inches away, or interrupting their dinner by talking to them.  Let’s just stop the madness now.

On a much happier note, there’s a new video of my golf boyfriend (that’s two links btw). I’ve never been a fan of golf, but I would watch it if he was my man. How could you say no to charm like that?

This insanely cute pillow from A Beautiful Mess almost motivates me to be crafty enough to make it. I’ll put that on my pinboard to forget about and probably never make…

Speaking of pins, the Fall Flavors board is up and running! Which means that this is basically me for the next three to four months:

… Like my pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling or the best pumpkin cheesecake in the world! (yes, i stand by that statement)


Speaking of pumpkin, my friend posted this hilarious picture on Facebook. I promptly died from laughter.

That’s all for this week, have a fabulous weekend!