Category Archives: Breads and Yeast Raised Doughs

Challah Bread {Recipe}

Challah Bread | Lil Miss Cakes

I have been talking about my challah recipe for weeks and weeks. Maybe even years? But I wasn’t quite ready to share it until now. I have been tweaking it each time I baked it, and now I’m pretty sure it’s perfect! I’ll explain my process as well as tips and tricks I use to make my challah picture perfect.

Lets talk about yeast. I buy active dry yeast in bulk. I store it in an airtight container in the back of my fridge. It stays fresh for months that way. You can also store it in the freezer. Then when I’m making challah, cinnamon buns, vanilla rugelach, or anything else that calls for yeast, I’m ready to go. Here are some tips for using active dry yeast. When mixing your yeast with water and sugar, that is called proofing. When proofing your yeast, if your yeast mixture is not puffy or bubbly after 5-10 minutes it is probably dead. Please discard it; your bread will not rise. Your yeast could have been old, or your water could have been too hot or cold. The water temperature should be between 105 and 110 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, run the water over your wrist. If it feels warm, it’s just above body temperature (98.6 degrees F) and should work perfectly to proof your yeast.

If you buy instant yeast, you can proof it first, but you can also  just add it directly in with the flour; there is no need to proof it with water. Then continue the recipe as normal. If you buy rapid rise you should add it directly to your flour. You should then technically knead the dough and immediately shape the bread. Then allow to rise and bake. The rapid rise yeast is not meant to rise twice. I would stay away from it altogether just because it makes things more complicated and you may have different results.

I like to mix my dough until it just comes together, leaving out the salt. Then I allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. This gives the flour some time to absorb the liquids in the dough. I find that if I mix it all right away, I need to add more and more flour to make the dough stop sticking. By allowing the flour to properly hydrate, the dough doesn’t usually need extra flour. I live in New York and this recipe works for me, but if you live in a higher elevation or very different climate, you may need to adjust your flour amounts, rising, or baking times and temps.

Once your dough is mixed and smooth, place it in an oiled bowl. Rub a thin coat of oil all over the dough. I like to lay a piece of plastic wrap directly over my dough. Then I add a second piece of plastic wrap over the entire bowl, completely sealing it. You can also just rest a clean kitchen towel over the bowl. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled. If it is a hot summer day, it may double in 45 minutes. If it is really cold in your kitchen, it could take up to 2 hours. If it’s a cold day, I like to turn my oven on very low, place my dough on top and sometimes even crack the oven open slightly. Or I will run my dishwasher and place the dough nearby so it benefits from the warmth. Just be careful not to overheat your rising dough. Do what works for you!

If you have mixed your dough but don’t have time to bake it, place it directly in the fridge. Do not allow it to rise first. The dough will rise in the fridge, it will just rise very slowly. You can even allow it to rise in the fridge overnight. Just make sure to bring the dough to room temperature before continuing. Your dough may smell extra yeasty or l ike alcohol. This is okay! Your dough just had extra time to ferment and let off extra alcohol gasses. Do not allow your dough to rise on the counter overnight, you have eggs in the dough which are perishable.

When I make this recipe, I divide my dough into 6 equal pieces, 6 equal challahs. Then I braid each challah and bake them in greased Magic Mill oval challah pans, size 8 (8″). If I want larger challahs, I divide my dough into 3 loaves and bake them in Magic Mill oval challah pans, size 10 (10″). If I doubled my recipe, (and it does double beautifully) I would bake 6 loaves in the size 10 challah pans. The pans that I use are technically non-stick, but I like to grease my pans with cake release before placing my braided dough inside. You can use cooking spray, but I find that it leaves a sticky residue behind.

Once my challah loaves are braided, I brush them with egg wash and cover them loosely with a clean kitchen towel. Then I preheat my oven. Allow the bread to rise until doubled in size. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes, to 1 1/2 hours. You can test your dough by pressing your finger into the bread slightly. If your dough springs back, it’s not ready yet. If your indentation stays, your dough is ready for the oven. You can carefully brush with egg wash again and then bake.

Bake for about 30 minutes until the bread is evenly browned and the challah sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Baking time can vary depending on the size you shaped your bread. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Once my challah bread is baked, it freezes beautifully, just make sure to wrap it well in plastic wrap and a freezer bag.

Challah Bread {Recipe}
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (4½ tsp.)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ------------------
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2.5 pounds flour (7-8 cups)
  • 1 Tbs. salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl mix the warm water with the yeast and ½ cup of sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to proof for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the eggs, oil, sugar, and flour. Turn the mixer to low speed and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix for a minute or two until the dough just comes together. (It will look shaggy and messy). Turn the mixer off and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, add the salt then turn the mixer back on and mix until the dough is smooth and shiny; about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once the dough is smooth, transfer to a large oiled bowl. The bowl should have enough room to allow the dough to double inside. Make sure the dough is completely covered in a thin coat of oil. Then cover and allow to rise. It needs to double in size. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
  5. Once risen, divide the dough, braid, and egg wash. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel.
  6. Allow to double in size again. This can take 30 minutes to 1½ hours.
  7. While the dough is rising for the second time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Once risen, carefully brush with more egg wash and bake until golden brown. Baking time varies depending on the size that you shaped your bread.

 

Vanilla Rugelach {Recipe}

Vanilla Rugelach | Lil Miss Cakes

I actually shared a recipe for vanilla rugelach on joyofkosher.com about 4 years ago. It is a really popular recipe because they are insanely good! But I personally haven’t baked them in a long while. My brother in law loves these vanilla rugelach from a certain bakery in town, but he recently moved away. So when I was getting ready to visit I figured I should probably bring him some, but not store bought. Homemade obviously. I started by mixing up a batch of my favorite sweet dough, the dough I use for my famous cinnamon buns. Then I pulled up my recipe on joyofkosher.com and realized that I had originally made some changes to that dough by adding some vanilla pudding mix. Whoops! I was not about to make another batch of dough so I continued with the recipe. It worked beautifully so I don’t think I’m going to bother with the other dough recipe anymore. I don’t always have vanilla pudding mix in the pantry and it’s really not worth the hassle or extra cost. Originally I was dividing the dough in half, making 32 huge rugelach. Some of the comments on the original recipe actually mention that they were quite big. So this time around I divided the dough into 6 portions. This makes 96 perfectly sized sweet rugelach.

Tray of Vanilla Rugelach | Lil Miss Cakes

The next update to the recipe to the recipe is not actually in the ingredients but how the rugelach bake. I used to space the tiny pastries on the tray, but the sugar was baking out and all over the tray. I noticed that in Israel they bake their rugelach much closer together, almost like cinnamon buns. I figured they probably know what they are doing so I packed my rugelach onto the baking tray with just a tiny space in between each one. I wanted them to have a little room to puff up and rise. This baking method is genius because the sugar has nowhere to go-keeping the rugelach sweet, moist, and gooey. The last change I made what to the sugar glaze that I brush on as soon as the rugelach come out of the oven. Instead of using simple syrup, I mixed up equal parts of clear apple jelly with water and warmed it on the stove until the jelly melts and dissolves into the water. You can certainly use sugar instead of the apple jelly, but the jelly gives the rugelach a bit of a shine and some added sweetness. These pastries are really easy to make and freeze so well! I made a quick video just to show you how I roll out, fill, and shape these rugelach.


Vanilla Rugelach {Recipe}
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 96
 
Ingredients
Dough
  • 2 packets (4½ tsp.) dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water (90 to 110 degrees)
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 4½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup vegetable oil or margarine, melted and cooled
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
Filling
  • ¾ cup margarine, melted
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup vanilla sugar
Glaze
  • ¼ cup apple jelly
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
Dough
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add in the dry yeast, warm water, and sugar and whisk to remove lumps. Let stand for 5-10 minutes until foamy and bubbly. If it doesn't "proof" then discard and start over (the yeast is dead).
  2. Once the yeast is alive, add in 4 cups of flour, the oil or melted and cooled margarine, soy milk, sugar, eggs, and salt.
  3. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together and is smooth, about 5 minutes.
  4. Once the dough comes together form the dough into a ball, rub oil all over and place in a clean oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
  5. Once your dough doubles in size, divide it in 6 pieces and work with one piece at a time.
Filling
  1. Melt the margarine and set aside.
  2. Mix the sugars in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Roll your dough out thin on a lightly floured surface. Try to roll the dough into a round shape.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer all over the dough.
  5. Sprinkle a layer of sugar over the entire piece of dough.
  6. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 16 wedges .
  7. Starting at the widest part of each edge, roll up each wedge of dough.
  8. Transfer the rugelach to a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure the end of each rugelach is tucked underneath so they don't open while baking. The rugelach should be placed close together on the baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour.
  9. Bake the rugelach for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Until the rugelach are golden brown.
Glaze
  1. While the rugelach are baking, prepare the glaze.
  2. In a small pot, add the apple jelly and the water. Heat over a low flame until the apple jelly is melted.
  3. As soon as the rugelach come out of the oven, use a heatproof pastry brush to brush the thin glaze all over the rugelach.
  4. Allow to cool on the tray and enjoy!

 

Peanut Butter Frosted Jelly Donuts {Recipe}

Peanut Butter Frosted Jelly Donuts | Lil Miss Cakes

I love putting a flavor twist on traditional dessert recipes. In the past I have shared my recipes for pumpkin donuts with marshamallow graham cracker glaze, cinnamon bun stuffed donuts, and a mint chocolate cookies and cream donut (which happens to be baked). But this recipe isn’t really outside the box like those. I simply added a peanut butter frosting to a classic and traditional Hanukkah jelly donut. Now I love peanut butter and jelly, they are a match made in heaven. I’ve shared my recipe for peanut butter and jelly hamantashen which are made with a peanut butter cookie dough and filled with delicious jelly. That’s what I tried to do with these donuts. I really wanted to fry up a peanut butter donut and fill it with my favorite jelly. But after lots of research and even more trial and error I realized that peanut butter dough just doesn’t want to be fried.

Peanut Butter Frosted Jelly Donuts

I finally went with a simple peanut butter frosting on top of a classic jelly donut. My husband really wanted this combo from the beginning. He doesn’t like peanut butter flavored things since they lose the signature sticky, thick peanut butter texture. These donuts taste like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the peanut butter texture is definitely there. I made the frosting thick but you could always thin the frosting out and turn it into a peanut butter glaze. Those would also be amazing! Enjoy the simple and dairy free recipe for these donuts!

Peanut Butter Frosted Jelly Donuts {Recipe}
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 donuts
 
Ingredients
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Jam or jelly for filling
Dough
  • 2 packets yeast (4½ tsp.) I use active dry.
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
Peanut Butter Frosting
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼-1/2 cup water
  • ½ tsp, vanilla extract
Instructions
Dough
  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the yeast with the warm water and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir until no longer lumpy and set aside to proof and bubble up; 5-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile add the ¼ cup sugar and the salt to the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  3. In a microwaveable bowl warm the vegetable shortening with the soy milk until the shortening has melted. Pour the shortening/milk mixture over the sugar/salt mixture and stir to melt. Allow to cool until lukewarm.
  4. Add the flour and eggs into the mixer bowl. Then finish off with the yeast mixture. Mix on low using the dough hook until the dough comes together. Once it's pulling off the sides of the bowl, set the mixer to medium low and mix for about 6 minutes.
  5. Grease or oil a large clean bowl and scrape the dough mixture inside.The dough will be sticky, but don't add flour! Grease your hands to better work with the dough.
  6. Cover in plastic wrap and set in warm place to rise for one hour.
  7. Once the dough has risen, roll the dough out and cut circles using a 2½- 3 inch round cutter. Set the circles of dough on a floured and parchment lined baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel.
  8. Allow to rest in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
  9. Meanwile heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottom pot or deep fryer. Set the temperature to 350 degrees F.
  10. Once the donuts have rested and risen for a second time and the oil has reached it's temp, fry the donuts for 1 minute on each side. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
  11. Fill the donuts with your favorite jam or jelly. I use a piping bag fitted with a Wilton number 230 filling tip. It is long and skinny with an angled front to allow easy filling.
Prepare the frosting
  1. In a bowl stir the peanut butter with the powdered sugar and vanilla. Slowly add in the water until it's spreadable. Spread or pipe the frosting on the donuts. You can also thin it enough to make a glaze and pour over the donuts.

Cinnamon Bun Stuffed Donuts {Recipe}

Cinnamon Bun Stuffed Donuts | Lil Miss Cakes

Oh my goodness, guys-I think I just won Hanukkah. Now let me start off by apologizing for sharing these the day that the holiday starts, but you really can’t rush greatness! Lucky for us, Hanukkah is 8 days long so there is still time to work these epic donuts into your schedule!

Cinnamon Bun Donut | Lil Miss Cakes

Now I wish I could tell you that this recipe came out perfectly on my first try. I was actually working on another flavor idea and couldn’t get the dough to work. So I thought I would try using my cinnamon bun dough because that recipe is amazing and it’s my most requested dessert. But then once I was using that dough my friend mentioned that I should just fry my cinnamon buns. I wasn’t so into that idea because that is basically just a fried cinnamon bun or coffee roll if you frequent Dunkin Donuts. That’s when the genius hit me! What if I stuff a cinnamon bun inside a donut and fry it?! It was not as easy as I thought. For one thing, my cinnamon bun dough is way to sweet and heavy. Perfect for baking, not so great in the fryer. There goes batch number one, into the garbage right out of the fryer. On to round two: finding a better recipe. I found one that was so similar to my original bun recipe, it just cut down on the amount of sugar and used a little less shortening instead of my butter/margarine. This recipe was similar to Alton Browns recipe but without all the weighing so I  knew I was on to something. This new dough recipe turned out to be perfect! But my method now needed tweaking. I was rolling my cinnamon buns my usual way, cutting them into pieces and wrapping them in more dough. After letting them rest, they would fry up beautifully. But the centers were raw…insert sad face here! I was really going to give up-I was not only 2 batches deep in terrible cinnamon bun donuts, I didn’t even mention the 3 batches of my previously failed attempt at an interesting flavor combination.  5 batches of donuts in, I almost gave up. Aren’t you glad I didn’t?!

Cinnamon Bun Donuts | Lil Miss Cakes

It turns out that you need to bake the cinnamon buns before you stuff them inside more dough and fry them. Otherwise you end up with raw donut centers. I don’t know of anything worse! So, that is definitely a downside of this recipe-they take some time and patience. But here is the good news-you only need to make one batch of dough. And you can plan in advance-make the dough and bake the cinnamon buns. Next day, take your buns, stuff them in some raw dough and fry! The icing is completely optional, but cmon…you got this far-the icing is the easiest part! Here is my dairy-free, perfectly epic cinnamon bun stuffed donut recipe. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Bun Stuffed Donuts {Recipe}
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
Dough
  • 2 packets yeast (4½ tsp.) I use active dry.
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
Filling
  • 2 Tbs. margarine, melted
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cinnamon
Icing
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼-1/2 cup water
Instructions
Dough
  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the yeast with the warm water and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir until no longer lumpy and set aside to proof and bubble up; 5-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile add the ¼ cup sugar and the salt to the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  3. In a microwaveable bowl warm the vegetable shortening with the soy milk until the shortening has melted. Pour the shortening/milk mixture over the sugar/salt mixture and stir to melt. Allow to cool until lukewarm.
  4. Add the flour and eggs into the mixer bowl. Then finish off with the yeast mixture. Mix on low using the dough hook until the dough comes together. Once it's pulling off the sides of the bowl, set the mixer to medium low and mix for about 6 minutes.
  5. Grease or oil a large clean bowl and scrape the dough mixture inside.The dough will be sticky, but don't add flour! Grease your hands to better work with the dough.
  6. Cover in plastic wrap and set in warm place to rise for one hour.
  7. Once the dough has risen, cut off ⅓ of the dough (about 12 ounces if you have a kitchen scale) to make your cinnamon buns. Set the rest of the dough in the fridge.
Cinnamon Buns
  1. Grease a 12 cavity cupcake pan and set aside.
  2. On a well floured surface roll out the dough you just portioned off. Roll it into a rectangle about 12" wide and 6" tall.
  3. Melt the margarine and brush over the dough.
  4. Sprinkle the dough with the brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Roll the dough into a log, you are rolling the long side up so your log is still 12" long.
  5. Once rolled up use a serrated knife or bench scraper to cut the buns into 12 pieces.
  6. Place each bun in one cavity of the cupcake pan, cut side up/down.
  7. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  9. Once the buns have risen, bake for 10-12 minutes until just lightly brown. You don't want to overbake-these will still be fried.
  10. Remove the pan from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes and then carefully pop the buns out of the cupcake pan. The sugar will be extremely hot so your best bet is to flip them out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  11. Allow these to cool completely.
  12. Once the buns are cool, remove the reserved dough from the fridge.
  13. Divide the dough into 12 portions (just under 2 ounces each). Flatten each piece, I used well floured hands but you could use a rolling pin.
  14. Place one bun pretty side down on the flattened dough. Carefullly wrap the dough over the bun and pinch the seams together at the bottom.
  15. Set the donut to rise seam side down on a floured parchment lined baking sheet.
  16. Once all 12 donuts are formed, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  17. While the donuts are rising, heat your cooking oil. I use vegetable oil but use any oil with a high smoking point.
  18. Heat your oil to 350 degrees F. Proper temperature is everything: too cold and your donuts soak up all the oil and become greasy. Too hot and your donut is burning but the inside is raw.
  19. I use a deep fryer because it will regulate the temperature for me, if you don't have one-make sure you have a really good thermometer and keep a close eye on it.
  20. Fry the donuts for about 1 minute per side.
  21. Carefully remove from the oil and drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
Icing
  1. Once your donuts have cooled (if you haven't eaten them all yet) measure the powdered sugar into a bowl.
  2. Slowly add a bit of water at a time until you have a thick icing consistency. I went thick with these but you can thin the icing out more if you are looking for more of a glaze.
  3. Dip, drizzle, or pour the icing onto your donuts.
  4. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon for an added touch and enjoy!

Mini Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels with Sweet Cream Cheese Dip

Mini Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels with Sweet Cream Cheese Dip

I absolutely love soft pretzels.  They are the perfect any time snack, and they are surprisingly easy to make.  Yes they start with a yeast dough, but their are only a few ingredients involved, and the dough comes together quickly.  Once the dough is formed, it only needs to rise for an hour before it’s ready to be shaped and baked.

How To Form A Pretzel

Shaping a pretzel seems complicated, but the way I twist mine is actually pretty easy. Follow these three easy steps and you will be making impressive looking pretzels too!  Just make sure to roll the dough into a really thin strip because it puffs up a lot.  I made mine into mini sized pretzels so they would make a lot (32 to be exact), but they can definitely be made into larger pretzels as well.

Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels

Pretzels get boiled in a warm bath of water and baking soda before they get baked.  That process gives pretzels their unique tang and color.  To help the pretzels brown a little more, I brushed mine with egg wash before sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar.  I serve mine with a sweet non-dairy cream cheese dip (just in case you thought they weren’t sweet enough).

Charlie With My PretzelsHere’s my son Charlie with my pretzels.  He loves being part of my photo shoots.  He’s always eager to help.  I couldn’t say no to his cute face.  Here’s my non-dairy recipe: the pretzel dough is adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe.

Mini Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels with Sweet Cream Cheese Dip
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 32
 
Ingredients
Pretzel Dough
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2¼ tsp.)
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 4½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 5 cups water
  • ⅓ cup baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
Sweet Cream Cheese Dip
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup non-dairy cream cheese (I use Tofutti Brand)
  • 2 Tbs. margarine
  • 2 Tbs. soy milk or water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
Pretzel Dough
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix warm water with the yeast and sugar. Allow the yeast to bubble and proof for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Then add in the flour, salt, and coconut oil.
  3. Turn the mixer on low and mix until the dough starts to form.
  4. Switch the mixer to medium speed and mix for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  5. Remove the dough, spray the bowl with non-stick spray, return the dough to the bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for one hour.
  6. Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  8. Fill a large saucepan with 5 cups of water and ⅓ cup baking soda. Heat the water mixture on medium heat until it slightly simmers.
  9. Divide the dough into 8 even pieces and then divide each piece into 4 even pieces yielding 32 pieces.
  10. Roll each piece into a long thin rope, about 18 inches long. Form the pretzel shape. Drop each pretzel into the simmering baking soda water and let it simmer for 30 seconds. Use a flat spoon or spatula to remove each pretzel onto a baking sheet.
  11. Once all the pretzels have simmered in the water bath, mix the egg yolk with 1 Tbs. water. Brush the egg wash onto each pretzel and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
  12. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the pretzels are light brown. Serve with the sweet cream cheese dip.
Sweet Cream Cheese Dip
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the confectioner sugar, cream cheese, margarine, soy milk, and vanilla until smooth. Serve with the soft cinnamon sugar pretzels.

Here are some great super bowl recipe ideas!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns with Maple Glaze

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Pumpkin season is not over yet!  I still have an exciting recipe to share with you.  A few weeks ago I shared my recipe for pumpkin doughnuts with marshmallow and graham cracker glaze.  Then I showed you what I did with the doughnut holes making cinnamon sugar pumpkin doughnut holes with orange cranberry jam.  Those two recipes were amazing, but I was wondering what else I could do with that gorgwous pumpkin dough.  I tried making them the same way I make my famous cinnamon buns, and they were amazing!  Topping these buns with maple glaze put these over the top.  I urge you to try this non-dairy recipe with your leftover canned pumpkin!

Rising Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Here are the pumpkin buns packed with sugar, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.  They are rising and almost ready for the oven.  I just couldn’t get enough of this gorgeous pumpkin orange color!

Baked Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Here are the buns fresh out of the oven.  I allowed them to cool before drizzling on the sweet maple icing.

Charlie joins the photoshoot

Here is a behind the scenes look at my photo shoot.  My son Charlie was around for this one and wanted to be a part of it!  This pose was his idea, love it!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns with Maple Glaze
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
Ingredients
Pumpkin Dough
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 pkg. yeast (2¼ tsp.)
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 4 cups flour
  • ⅓ cup soy milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Filling
  • ½ cup margarine (or oil), melted
  • 1¼ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp, pumpkin pie spice
Maple Icing
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3-5 Tbs. maple syrup
Instructions
Pumpkin Dough
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add warm water, yeast and maple syrup. Stir and allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Once the yeast has bubbled, layer all the other ingredients on top starting with the flour, then soy milk, egg, pumpkin, oil, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Turn the mixer on low and mix until the dough starts to come together, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the mixer and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the mixer back on low and knead the dough for another 10 minutes. It might be slightly sticky but should be smooth.
  6. Turn the dough out into a lightly greased bowl, cover with kitchen towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
  7. Once the dough has risen, divide in half and work with one half at a time.
Filling
  1. Roll out half the dough into a rectangle shape. Spread the melted margarine or oil, then sprinkle the sugar/spice mixture on top.
  2. Roll the dough up into a long log.
  3. Slice the log into 9 slices and arrange cut side up into a greased 8 inch square pan or tin.
  4. Repeat the filling process with the rest of the dough.
  5. Cover each pan with a clean towel and allow to rise in the pan for 45 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Once the buns have doubled in size, bake for 25-30 minutes until really light and golden brown. Allow to cool before icing.
Icing
  1. While the buns are cooling, mix the icing ingredients together. Add the maple syrup to the confectioners sugar a little at a time until you get a thick spreadable icing.
  2. Spread the icing on the cooled buns and enjoy!

My Favorite Posts Of 2013

Baby Mickey First Birthday Cake
Baby Mickey Cake

It is so hard for me to pick my favorite posts of the year, I put my heart into everything I make, and am really in love with everything I share.  Here are some highlights from 2013, starting with my most popular post of the year, this baby Mickey First birthday cake.

Crispy Peanut Butter Cups

This recipe for crispy peanut butter cups was shared with me by my sister-in-law.  She gave me a basic outline of how she does it and I wrote down measurements so that I would be able to replicate them perfectly every time.  They are the perfect non-dairy and no bake snack to keep in the freezer for those late night cravings!

Football Whoopie Pies

This recipe for whoopie pies is one of my most requested treats.  They are reminiscent of the classic snack cake Devil Dogs, but are way better!  Plus they are non-dairy.  I decided to make them in football shapes to celebrate the Super Bowl, but I usually just make them round.  Either way, they are delicious!

Designer Handbag Cake
Designer Handbag Cake

This cake was a challenge to make.  It was my first handbag cake I was ever asked to make, and I couldn’t pass on the challenge.  At the time, I didn’t really have any instructions, so I just made it up as I went along, and it came out better than expected!  I still can’t believe I made this, and that it’s all edible!  Donna absolutely loved it, and so did I.

Purple Ruffle Ombre Cake
Ombre Ruffle Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes that I ever made.  It might have to do with the fact that I made it to celebrate my sister-in-law’s bridal shower (hi Miriam)!  Her wedding color was purple, and since she didn’t pick a specific shade, I thought it would be super cute to do the whole thing in ombre, that way every shade was represented.  I think she still has the edible gum paste flowers.

Angry Birds Birthday Cake
Angry Birds Cake

I can’t go through a favorite list without mentioning this Angry Birds cake I made to celebrate Aviv’s 4th birthday.  It was so much fun to make, I am thrilled with the results!  The color scheme is really perfect and the cake is just so much fun to look at.  Aviv is still talking about his birthday cake!

Spelling Bee Cake
Knaidel Cake

This cake was just so cool to make.  Arvind from Queens, NY (my home town) won the Scripps National Spelling Bee-congrats!!  His teacher asked me to make him a special cake to celebrate with his classmates.  He was so surprised when I showed up with this custom cake depicting the winning word: knaidel.  He even took the little gum paste figure home with him!  Congrats again!

Minnie Mouse Clubhouse Cake
Minnie Mouse Clubhouse Cake

I love this cake because it was one of the tallest cakes I have ever made!  It was really fun to bring Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse to life for a cute little 2 year old birthday girl.  Happy Birthday Libby!

Ballerina Bat Mitzvah Cake
Ballerina Bat Mitzvah Cake

Here is another insanely tall cake that I made this year.  This one also happened to be super heavy, and I carried it by myself!  This one was made to celebrate a Bat Mitzvah with a ballet theme.  The birthday girl wanted the cake to match her theme but tastefully done.  Mazel Tov Courtney!

Stacked Suitcase Wedding Cake
Stacked Luggage Wedding Cake

This was my first luggage cake I have ever made, and it was for a wedding!  Talk about pressure, but I think I did a pretty good job.  All the buckle details really bring this cake to life.  Since then, I have made at least two more pieces of edible luggage, and I can’t wait to make more!

Teacher Retirement Cake
Teacher Retirement Cake

I wanted to share at least one stacked book cake that I have made and this was the perfect one.  It was made for a teacher celebrating her retirement.  Her husband surprised her with it, and she was shocked!  She even emailed me to thank me for it afterwards.  Congrats Judy!

Pirate Birthday Cake
Pirate Birthday Cake

This cake was made pretty last minute for a special birthday boy.  His dad really wanted him to have a special Jake and the Neverland Pirates cake so I couldn’t say no.  I am so glad I made this cake, because it came out even better than I imagined!  The kids at the party loved eating the edible gold doubloons.  Happy Birthday Harry!

Gumpaste Chobani Yogurt Container

This next cake was fun, but my favorite part was the edible Chobani Greek Yogurt container that adorned the cake.  All the details were hand painted, after it was done, I almost didn’t want to give it away!

Pumpkin Doughnuts

I am usually busy with lots and lots of cakes, but I also do love developing recipes.  For the once in a lifetime holiday of Thanksgivukkah, I made these pumpkin doughnuts with marshmallow graham crcker glaze, and they were amazing!  I might have to make them again, just because.

My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe

The last recipe I decided to share this year is also one for my favorite chocolate chip cookies.  After almost 3 years of blogging, I can’t believe I have never shared it with you before!  It is my go to recipe for a delicious and comforting treat.  I hope you enjoyed this roundup as much as I did; it has been a fun year, filled with cakes, recipes, and photography that just keeps getting better and better.  Happy New Year!

Pumpkin Doughnut Holes with Orange Cranberry Jam

Pumpkin Doughnut Holes with Orange Cranberry Jam

I am still super excited about the upcoming holiday of Thanksgivukkah. It’s a fusion holiday made up of Thanksgiving and Chanukkah and it won’t happen again for a very very long time. So don’t worry, this fad will blow over shortly. But until it does, here’s a cute recipe incorporating both holidays. Last week I shared my recipe for pumpkin doughnuts with marshmallow and graham cracker glaze. You might have been wondering what I did with all those doughnut holes! I rolled them in cinnamon sugar and served them with a warm orange cranberry jam, perfect for dipping. The cranberry jam is spiced with cinnamon sticks and fresh grated nutmeg, giving it the perfect Thanksgiving holiday flavors. Orange juice and fresh orange zest lends the perfect tart notes that balance well with the sweet cinnamon sugar that coat the doughnut holes.

Pumpkin Doughnut Holes with Orange Cranberry Jam
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Pumpkin Doughnuts
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 pkg. yeast (2¼ tsp.)
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 4 cups flour
  • ⅓ cup soy milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup sugar+1 Tbs. cinnamon for rolling
Orange Cranberry Jam
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • zest of one orange
Instructions
Pumpkin Doughnuts
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add warm water, yeast and maple syrup. Stir and allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Once the yeast has bubbled, layer all the other ingredients on top starting with the flour, then soy milk, egg, pumpkin, oil, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Turn the mixer on low and mix until the dough starts to come together, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the mixer and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the mixer back on low and knead the dough for another 10 minutes. It might be slightly sticky but should be smooth.
  6. Turn the dough out into a lightly greased bowl, cover with kitchen towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
  7. Once the dough has risen, cut in half to make it easier to use.
  8. Roll out half the dough to about ½ inch thickness. Cut doughnut holes with a small circle cutter about 1¼ inches in diameter. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with kitchen towel and allow to rise for about 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. You can ball up the scraps and cut out shapes once more but don’t go beyond there, your doughnuts will be tough.
  9. While the doughnuts rise, prepare the oil for frying. Heat up a deep fryer or fill a heavy bottomed pot with about 2 inches of oil. Using a candy thermometer, heat the oil on medium heat until the temperature reaches between 350 and 375 degrees F.
  10. Once the oil reaches the proper temperature, fry 2 doughnuts at a time for about 45 seconds on each side. The doughnuts will start to brown. Once lightly browned on each side, transfer to a paper towel lined baking sheet and allow to cool.
  11. After they have cooled slightly, roll in cinnamon sugar and serve with warm jam.
Orange Cranberry Jam
  1. In a medium sized pot combine cranberries, sugar, water, orange juice, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg.
  2. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until some of the cranberries start to pop open and break down.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest.
  4. Transfer to a heat safe bowl and allow to cool slightly before serving.
  5. The jam will thicken as it cools.

Here are more fun Thanksgivukkah recipes for you to enjoy for this once in a lifetime holiday!

Pumpkin Doughnuts With Marshmallow and Graham Cracker Glaze

Pumpkin Doughnuts

As you may know by now, Thanksgiving and Chanukkah fall on the same day this year.  I don’t usually love fads, but this fusion holiday is too much fun to ignore.  To bring both holidays together into one dessert, I used two traditional desserts from each holiday and combined them into one.  I transformed the classic pumpkin pie with marshmallow topping and graham cracker crust from Thanksgiving fame into a doughnut which is the most famous Chanukkah treat.  I present to you a pumpkin doughnut topped with a marshmallow glaze and graham cracker crumbs.  The doughnuts have pure pumpkin puree in them giving them a beautiful orange color, as well as loads of pumpkin pie spice to lend that perfect autumnal spice.  And as my husband said, while devouring one of these babies “you can’t go wrong with marshmallow topping”!

The doughnut recipe was adapted from Bakeaholic Mama.  Here’s my non-dairy recipe.

Pumpkin Doughnuts With Marshmallow and Graham Cracker Topping
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18 doughnuts
 
Ingredients
Pumpkin Dough
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 pkg. yeast (2¼ tsp.)
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 4 cups flour
  • ⅓ cup soy milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Marshmallow Graham Cracker Glaze
  • 2 cup marshmallow cream (I use Marshmallow Fluff)
  • 1 Tsp. shortening
  • graham cracker crumbs
Instructions
Pumpkin Doughnut
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add warm water, yeast and maple syrup. Stir and allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Once the yeast has bubbled, layer all the other ingredients on top starting with the flour, then soy milk, egg, pumpkin, oil, sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Turn the mixer on low and mix until the dough starts to come together, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the mixer and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the mixer back on low and knead the dough for another 10 minutes. It might be slightly sticky but should be smooth.
  6. Turn the dough out into a lightly greased bowl, cover with kitchen towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
  7. Once the dough has risen, cut in half to make it easier to use.
  8. Roll out half the dough to about ½ inch thickness. Use a round cutter about 2¾ inches in diameter and cut out six doughnuts. Cut the centers out with a smaller circle cutter about 1¼ inches in diameter. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with kitchen towel and allow to rise for about 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. You can ball up the scraps and cut out another 6 doughnuts, but don't go beyond there, your doughnuts will be tough. You may reserve the doughnut holes and fry them as well.
  9. While the doughnuts rise, prepare the oil for frying. Heat up a deep fryer or fill a heavy bottomed pot with about 2 inches of oil. Using a candy thermometer, heat the oil on medium heat until the temperature reaches between 350 and 375 degrees F.
  10. Once the oil reaches the proper temperature, fry 2 doughnuts at a time for about 45 seconds on each side. The doughnuts will start to brown. Once lightly browned on each side, transfer to a paper towel lined baking sheet and allow to cool.
Marshmallow Glaze
  1. In a small pot or in a double boiler, melt the marshmallow cream with the shortening. Dip the top of each doughnut into the marshmallow, allow the excess to drip off and immediately sprinkle with the graham cracker crumbs.

Misa’s Famous Cinnamon Buns

World Famous Cinnamon Buns

This is my most requested dessert and I figured it was time to share the recipe.  These buns are pretty easy to make, they just take some time and patience.  Trust me though, they are worth it!  This recipe was originally dairy but in my typical fashion, I make a non-dairy version that will still knock your socks off!

Freshly Baked Cinnamon Buns

The dough is easiest made in an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, but it can be made by hand.  This recipe is also great because I always seem to have all the ingredients on hand; yes I almost always have dry yeast in the house.  I recently picked up a 2 pound bag of dry yeast from Costco.  I was really excited because it was so cheap!  I just hope I can get through the whole thing before it loses all of its yeasty super power.

Icing Cinnamon Buns Gif

These cinnamon buns are best eaten within a day or two of baking, but I have never found that to be a problem.  They also freeze so well!  I like to bake the cinnamon buns and freeze them without icing.  When I am ready to serve, I just defrost, add the icing and serve!  Here’s the printable recipe:

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Misa's Famous Cinnamon Buns
 
Ingredients
Dough
  • 2 packets (4½ tsp.) dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water (90 to 110 degrees)
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 4½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup margarine, melted and cooled
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Filling
  • ½ cup margarine, melted or oil
  • 1¼ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cinnamon
Icing
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3-5 Tbs. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
Dough
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add in the dry yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let stand for 5-10 minutes until foamy and bubbly. If it doesn't "proof" then discard and start over (the yeast is dead)
  2. Once the yeast is alive, add in 4 cups of flour, the melted and cooled margarine, soy milk, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla.
  3. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. You may need to add more flour to form a dough that is not too sticky.
  4. Once the dough comes together form the dough into a ball, rub oil all over and place in a clean oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
  5. Once your dough doubles in size, divide it in half and work with one piece at a time.
Filling
  1. Roll out half the dough into a rectangle shape. Spread half the filling on the dough. Start with the melted margarine or oil, then sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture on top.
  2. Roll the dough up into a long log.
  3. Slice the log into 8 slices and arrange cut side up into a greased round pan or tin.
  4. Repeat the filling process with the rest of the dough.
  5. Cover each pan with a clean towel and allow to rise in the pan for 45 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Once the buns have doubled in size, bake for 25-30 minutes until really light and golden brown.
Icing
  1. While the buns are cooling, mix the icing ingredients together. Add the water slowly until you get a thick white icing.
  2. Spread the icing on the cooled buns and enjoy!

Also try my pumpkin version for a delicious fall treat! Don’t have yeast handy but really in the mood for these? Try my cinnamon roll cake-it’s a great alternative.