Summer is winding down and Fall is in the air! It’s time for cozy sweaters, boots, and apple recipes! I love apple picking this time of year, and I always pick way too many. Here’s one great way to incorporate apples into a delicious dessert. This is also a great alternative to oatmeal raisin cookies. They are sweet and full of cinnamon for that delicious Fall flavor.
These cookies are sweet and full of cinnamon to satisfy your Fall flavor cravings. My recipe is simple and dairy free! I shared it with my friend Melinda of Kitchen Tested fame. You can find my Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie recipe there!
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!
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?!
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!
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.
Meanwhile add the ¼ cup sugar and the salt to the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
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.
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.
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.
Cover in plastic wrap and set in warm place to rise for one hour.
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.
Grease a 12 cavity cupcake pan and set aside.
On a well floured surface roll out the dough you just portioned off. Roll it into a rectangle about 12" wide and 6" tall.
Melt the margarine and brush over the dough.
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.
Once rolled up use a serrated knife or bench scraper to cut the buns into 12 pieces.
Place each bun in one cavity of the cupcake pan, cut side up/down.
Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
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.
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.
Allow these to cool completely.
Once the buns are cool, remove the reserved dough from the fridge.
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.
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.
Set the donut to rise seam side down on a floured parchment lined baking sheet.
Once all 12 donuts are formed, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
While the donuts are rising, heat your cooking oil. I use vegetable oil but use any oil with a high smoking point.
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.
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.
Fry the donuts for about 1 minute per side.
Carefully remove from the oil and drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
Once your donuts have cooled (if you haven't eaten them all yet) measure the powdered sugar into a bowl.
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.
Dip, drizzle, or pour the icing onto your donuts.
Sprinkle with extra cinnamon for an added touch and enjoy!
Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer. But there is something so great about Fall…oh yeah-pumpkin spice overload. Now I agree that the pumpkin craze can get a little overwhelming, but I absolutely love it! I think I’ve shared more pumpkin recipes than any other category. These cookies use pure pumpkin puree just as my pumpkin snickerdoodles (first blog post ever!!), doughnuts, doughnut holes, cinnamon buns, and hamantaschen. Last year I discovered pumpkin spice pudding mix and used that to make chocolate chip cookies, and simple pumpkin spice pudding cookies. I have a few more ideas for this pudding mix and I hope to do some recipe testing soon.
These cookies are similar to a classic cinnamon twist cookies, but they are perfectly seasonal. The pureed pumpkin give these a nice orange color. The cookie dough has a blend of pumpkin spice flavors mixed inside. Then the cookies are rolled in cinnamon sugar and twisted into this cute shape. These cookies are perfect alongside a cup of tea or coffee as the weather starts to cool down. My recipe is dairy-free, margarine-free, and freeze beautifully.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugars with the oil and eggs and beat until combined.
Add in the vanilla and pumpkin and mix to combine.
Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Mix on low until the dough comes together.
Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour so the dough is easy to work with.
In a small bowl mix 1.2 cup sugar and 1 Tbs. cinnamon.
Once dough is chilled, scoop dough into about 2 tsp. sized balls. I use a cookie scoop for even and easy measuring. Roll each ball of dough into a log about 3 inches long. roll the dough in the cinnamon sugar mix. Flatten dough slightly and then twist and set onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for about 8 minutes until just lightly brown.
For some reason I really like baking cookies. Alot. Most of the recipes I share are for cookies-they look good, are easy to bake and serve and they freeze well. For the holiday season my most popular recipe is for simple honey cookies. I also shared a recipe for honey sugar cookies and honey whoopie pies which are like an elevated snack cookie/cake hybrid. So naturally when I found an old recipe for apple honey cookies I knew it would be a perfect recipe for the Jewish New Year. After baking the first batch, the cookies were just too soft and tender to hold up as a cookie, and they were coming out all wonky instead of perfectly cute and even. I thought they would be better suited as a muffin. They needed a bit of excitement though, the batter itself was a little one note for me. So I added a simple crumb topping. Then the crumb topping really just needed a bit of icing, but that’s totally optional. My family really doesn’t like traditional honey cake so I’m always looking for recipes that work in apples and honey and this one is perfect! The muffins are sweet, spiced and tender with bits of fresh apples throughout. The crumbs give the muffins a bit of a crunch and the icing adds a touch of sweetness. There is quite a bit of honey in the recipe and these muffins go perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee, but they definitely don’t taste like that old school dry honey cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin or cupcake pans with 18 liners and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the shortening, brown sugar, and honey until smooth.
Mix in the eggs and sour cream and beat until smooth.
Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Peel and core the apples and then dice them into small pieces. Stir them into the batter.
Divide the batter between the cupcake pans, filling each about ¾ of the way full.
In a small bowl, mix the xugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Pour in the oil and mix until large crumbs form.
Sprinkle about 1 Tbs. of topping on each muffin.
Bake for about 15 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and spring back to the touch.
Allow to cool before adding the icing.
In a small bowl, pour in the powdered sugar. Slowly sir in a bit of water at a time until the icing is a nice thick consistency. Use a spoon to drizzle a bit of icing on each muffin. I prefer to fill a disposable pastry bag with the icing and drizzle it that way. You can also use a Ziploc bag and snip the tiniest hole in the corner.
Some tips: I like baking with granny smith apples since they don’t break down in the oven, they really hold their shape.
Store in an airtight container, but I wouldn’t keep them at room temperature for too long, since the apples can start to go bad. Refrigerate for short term, but the fridge can cause baked goods to dry out. The best storage solution is to freeze them until ready to serve. The muffins defrost really quickly.
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.
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.
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).
Here’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: Lil' Miss Cakes
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
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.
Then add in the flour, salt, and coconut oil.
Turn the mixer on low and mix until the dough starts to form.
Switch the mixer to medium speed and mix for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.
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.
Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
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.
Divide the dough into 8 even pieces and then divide each piece into 4 even pieces yielding 32 pieces.
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.
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.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until the pretzels are light brown. Serve with the sweet cream cheese dip.
Sweet Cream Cheese Dip
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.
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!
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!
Here are the buns fresh out of the oven. I allowed them to cool before drizzling on the sweet maple icing.
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!
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!
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.
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:
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)
Once the yeast is alive, add in 4 cups of flour, the melted and cooled margarine, soy milk, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla.
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.
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.
Once your dough doubles in size, divide it in half and work with one piece at a time.
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.
Roll the dough up into a long log.
Slice the log into 8 slices and arrange cut side up into a greased round pan or tin.
Repeat the filling process with the rest of the dough.
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.
Once the buns have doubled in size, bake for 25-30 minutes until really light and golden brown.
While the buns are cooling, mix the icing ingredients together. Add the water slowly until you get a thick white icing.