Archive for February, 2015

Pipe Up! Cutesy little ideas for half cakes?


I ate half this sweet potato ginger cake, then made the rest into a sunny tropical vacation beach sunrise celebration cake for my roommate because she got a new job. What other things could you decorate a half-circle into? Rainbow? Igloo? Let me know in the comments. ‘

Happy Friday!


Pipe Dream #316: To Revise – Maple Chestnut Tea Cake



This cake falls in the “single layer minimal prep and please can I have a cup of tea with afternoon cake” category. I try to excel at this category (including quick breads and loaf cakes, because you never know when someone will want to drop by for afternoon tea on a Sunday, and gosh darn is it nice to have a little nosh to go with so you don’t have shaky caffeine hands and low blood sugar. No one likes these things.

And maybe in my head I think, “If someone has shaky caffeine hands and low blood sugar and bad feelings when they are around me, they will associate those feelings with me, and then they won’t like me.” Because, obviously, it’s important that everyone, ever, like me. I never want the thought pattern to be hungry–>hangry–>Lauren is the worst.

Wait, guys, I promise I have never explored this whole thought before this blog post, and I don’t actually believe that. I think maybe if I think I need to write a paragraph saying “Jk, guys, jk. I actually don’t care if everyone, ever, likes me, and I don’t bake for you because I’m worried that if I don’t, you won’t like me,” I should probably just delete the whole thing.

But now I’m four paragraphs into it, and I can’t abide the thought of starting again so.

In conclusion, this maple chestnut tea cake.



No, I didn’t roast my own chestnuts over an open fire for this. You’d be mad to say I’m so enterprising, and besides, it’s not Christmas anymore. These were vacuum-sealed, a year old, and after sniffing them a few times, I thought, “Welp, if they’re bad, I’ll just say that’s how it is supposed to taste, because who eats chestnuts? No one will know.”



Plus, when topped with a creamy maple icing and eaten among the best of friends, nothing tastes so bad.




Maple Chestnut Tea Cake

An LH Original

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups  jarred chestnuts (about 10 ounces)

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 8x8x2-inch baking pan with parchment and grease the parchment. Coarsely chop enough chestnuts to measure 1 cup. Set aside. Grind remaining chestnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Beat butter and brown sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Beat in maple syrup and vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in ground chestnuts. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt until just combined. Stir in half of chopped chestnuts. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining chopped chestnuts, then remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 22 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack.

Pipe Dream #315: To Be Fundamental – Flour’s Famous Banana Bread


Who names their bakery ‘Flour?’ That’s a little bit presumptuous, don’t you think? You take basically the foundation of all baking and claim it as yours, like your bakery is somehow fundamental to the trade while trying to be “trendy” by using one simple word as your business name.


I won’t take issue with it Flour though. This banana bread is called the best by many, and I can see why. Simple technique, near-dead bananas and toasted walnuts, which I think I’ve decided are the only appropriate mix in. Even chocolate chips somehow make banana bread less classic.



I split the batter into two pans so I could gift a loaf, but it sure would have fit in one for a taller, more majestic banana bread. That is, if any quick bread can be described as majestic.




Oh yes. It can.



Flour’s Famous Banana Bread

Adapted slightly from Flour

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line two small loaf pans with parchment paper.Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, yogurt and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into the two lined loaf pans and bake for about 35-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

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