Category Archives: Cakes

The Holiday Kosher Baker {review and giveaway}

The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer

There is nothing more exciting for me than receiving a brand new cookbook, hot off the presses.  I received a review copy of Paula Shoyer’s new cookbook The Holiday Kosher Baker, and couldn’t wait to crack it open.  As a fellow pastry chef, I am in constant awe of Paula.  She is a former practicing lawyer who decided to follow her love and passion for baking, and I’m so glad she did!  This is Paula’s second book.  Her first book, The Kosher Baker, is designed like a baking bible.  It has every basic recipe a Jewish baker could hope for.  In her second book, Paula focuses on holiday baking which is great, because there are so many Jewish holidays, each with it’s own unique holiday desserts.

Paula and me at Kosherfest 2013

The cookbook begins with a Kosher baking encyclopedia explaining everything you need to know about using this book as well as general kosher baking skills.  The cookbook is then broken down by holiday, starting with Rosh Hashana and following the Jewish calendar all the way through to Shavuot.  Each chapter is color coded making the cookbook even more beautiful and easy to navigate.  The most exciting section has to be Passover.  This cookbook includes over 45 recipes for the scariest holiday a pastry chef could possibly face. Paula makes baking easy and exciting.  Her recipes are clear, and easy to follow.  Most of the recipes are accompanied by gorgeous color photos to inspire.  There are plenty of tips and tricks included to help you along the way.  Paula even labeled every recipe, explaining it as easy, moderate, or multiple steps so you can decide for yourself what you are in the mood to tackle.

Almond Olive Oil Cake

Most of the recipes are non-dairy, perfect for serving after a meat meal, but she also includes her best dairy desserts.  Recipes for low-sugar, gluten free, vegan, and nut-free treats are also included—something for everyone in your family.  I already use Paula’s red velvet cake as my default recipe and can’t wait to try more!  The recipes I have already bookmarked to try are babka bites, gingerbread cookies, red velvet hamantaschen, and Passover Mexican chocolate cookies.  To celebrate Chanukah, I’d like to share Paula’s recipe for Almond and Olive Oil Cake.

Almond and Olive Oil Cake
Serves: 8 to 12
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds (with or without skins)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • ½ tsp. orange zest (from one orange)
  • spray oil containing flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Trace an 8-inch round pan on parchment paper and cut it out with scissors.
  2. Grease and flour the pan, press in the parchment circle; and grease and flour the top of the parchment and sides of the pan.
  3. Sprinkle and spread the sliced almonds on the bottom of the pan to cover it.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, and olive oil for about one minute at medium speed until creamy.
  5. Add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, almond extract, and orange zest and beat until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture over the sliced nuts.
  7. Bake fr 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the sides.
  9. Turn the cake onto a wire rack and let it cool.
  10. Serve the cake almond side up.
  11. Store it covered at room temperature for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.

Now for the amazing giveaway!  Enter to win a free copy of The Holiday Kosher Baker! Contest open to US addresses only.  One winner will be chosen at random, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apple Pie Bundt Cake {recipe}

Apple Pie Bundt CakeThis month, the Kosher Connection blogging buddies took on a challenge to all post recipes about apples.  I knew eactly what I was going to bake!  I saw this recipe for apple pie bundt cake on a blog I follow called Buttercream Bakehouse.  She originally adapted the recipe from Lucky Leaf, a company probably best known for fruit pie fillings.  I love the ease of using a ready made filling, I use a canned strawberry filling in my strawberry banana crumb cake, and it tastes great!  I am all for using shortcuts to make life easier and the original recipe calls for canned apple pie filling, but sometimes there is nothing better than homemade.  For this recipe I made my own apple pie filling and then mixed it into a sweet cake batter.  (If you are using my pie filling recipe special for this cake I would only make a half batch).  The cake was perfect there but I took it a step further and topped it with a homemade salted caramel glaze.  You can definitely skip the glaze and just finish it with a dusting of powdered sugar before serving.  The cake is moist, delicate and sweet all on it’s own.  This is a perfect cake for your holiday table, plus it is so quick and easy to prepare; and my recipe is non-dairy!

Apple Pie Bundt Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ⅓ cup apple juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups apple pie filling (21 ounces if using canned)
Salted Caramel Glaze
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup caramel sauce
  • 3-4 Tbs. water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a 10 inch tube pan with baking spray or regular cooking spray and flour. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add in the oil, apple juice, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. Beat until combined.
  6. Fold the apple pie filling in by hand so the apples don't break down.
  7. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cake to cool and then flip it out onto a cake plate.
  9. Prepare glaze by mixing the confectioners sugar with the caramel sauce. Slowly stir in the water until the glaze is smooth and able to be poured. Pour glaze over top and enjoy!

For more great apple recipes, check out these great blogs!


Strawberry Banana Crumb Cake {recipe}

Strawberry Banana Crumb CakeThis is a very exciting time!  A fun and creative set of Kosher bloggers and I formed a cute little club just about a year ago.  Once a month we like to challenge ourselves and choose one topic to all blog about.  It has been a lot of fun and I have made some great friends in the process!  This month we wanted to celebrate by doing something a little different: a Great Blog Swap!  We were randomly matched with another blog and asked to use a recipe found by a fellow blogger to inspire a new dish.  I was assigned Bizzy Bakes.  She had a lot of dessert recipes for me to dig into, but none of them really inspired me.  I wanted to do something different and fun.  Then I came across this strawberry banana smoothie recipe and the wheels started turning.  I knew I had to make a strawberry banana cake! I’ve never heard of one and it’s weird because strawberries and bananas are a match made in dessert heaven!

Springform Strawberry Banana Crumb CakeI have to admit, this was my second attempt at a strawberry banana dessert.  My first try involved a bundt pan and way too much strawberry jam.  The cake tasted delicious, but looked like a mess and I was not a happy camper.  Instead of trying to perfect a bundt cake, I went more rustic with a round crumb cake baked in a springform pan.  This recipe would also work nicely in classic 9×13 inch cake pan, but I have something against baking in squares and rectangles.  I can never get each piece to be exactly the same size and that bugs me every time.

Strawberry Banana Crumb Cake Slice

I combined a bunch of different recipes to create the perfect crumb cake.  The banana cake layer is moist and dense.  I cut the sugar in the cake because the strawberry pie filling is extremely sweet and cutting back on the sugar in the cake helps to balance out the sweetness.  The crumbs bake up brown and crunchy, a perfect balance to the tender cake. I know I used canned pie filling and if that’s not your thing, make your own filling.  I like to cut corners once in a while.  I can whip this cake up in a pinch as long as I have some pie filling in the cupboard, and it looks absolutely beautiful.  Best of all, my recipe is non-dairy and printable!

Strawberry Banana Crumb Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
  • 1-21 ounce can strawberry pie filling
  • ½ cup margarine (I used earth balance buttery sticks)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
Crumb Topping
  • ¼ cup margarine, melted (I used earth balance buttery sticks)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour a 9x3 inch round springform pan.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat margarine and sugar until combined.
  4. Add in the vanilla and the eggs and mix until combined.
  5. Add the bananas and mix until broken down.
  6. Finally add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until incorporated.
  7. Pour into prepared springform pan and spread evenly.
  8. Top with the strawberry pie filling.
  9. Prepare the crumb topping by melting the margarine and mixing it with the sugars, flour, cinnamon, and salt.
  10. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the strawberry layer.
  11. Bake for 55-60 minutes until a knife comes out clean.

This blog swap was super fun, now here’s where you can get in on the action.  We are hosting an amazing giveaway!  We are giving away two prizes from Emile Henry. A Bread Cloche valued at $130 and a 4.2 qt Dutch Oven valued at $170! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter- you can enter up to 23 ways! Two winners will be chosen at random.

Giveaway Prizes

The contest winners will be contacted via email. They will have 48 hours to respond before other winners are chosen. This contest is open to United States residents over the age of 18.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are all the recipes from the other creative blog swap participants; enjoy!