Sugar and Spice Cake

If Autumn had a taste it would be spicy. I've never tasted a crimson or amber autumn leaf, but it is surely loaded with spice. There would be hints of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and allspice. The long warm days whisper cinnamon secrets. The crisp nights hum nutmeg lullabies. It's time for your kitchen to sing sweet spicy songs. 

Here's a cake that is a sweet Autumn spice-storm. It is adapted from a recipe called Eggless Hillbilly Cake from a cookbook called Aglow in the Kitchen. My mother gave my sisters and I copies of this book when we were young kitchen novices. The broiled topping is absolutely heavenly, or sinful. Sometimes it's hard to know the difference. I think it's sinful if you feel guilty about it. So just enjoy this over-the-top dessert. Indulging in spicy desserts is a rite of Fall, after all. Add a scoop of coconut ice cream. You deserve it.

Sugar and Spice Cake, GF/CF
A sweet and gooey vegan dessert

1 cup evaporated cane juice
1 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick (one stick)
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

2/3 cup organic brown sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick (1/2 stick)
3 Tbsp So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage (or other non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Combine sugar, water, spices, buttery stick, and raisins in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring, and boil for one minute.

2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flours, potato starch, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum.

3. Blend hot mixture with flour mixture, stir until combined. Pour into prepared 8x8 inch baking pan.

4. Bake 30 minutes or until done.

5. Make topping: Melt buttery stick with brown sugar. Stir in the rest of the topping ingredients. Spread topping over warm cake and place under broiler until bubbly. Serve warm or cold.

This cake ages well, and is actually better on the second day.


Apricot Blueberry Blondies, GF

Here in the Northwest it suddenly seems like fall. Leaves are getting rosy cheeked, the squeaky brakes of the school bus have returned to my soundscape twice a day, and my thoughts have turned to baking.

Even though my kids are all in college now I still think in terms of lunchbox and after-school treats when September rolls around. Images of cookies, brownies, and cakes interrupt my work. I wonder if there is a name for this lack of focus and constant interruption by random baking ideas. Baking Obsession Disorder? BOD? I have BOD. Do you?

Today I was thinking about dried apricots and how underused they are (at least for me). But I love them. So I found an old blondie recipe and added dried apricots, dried blueberries and pecans. The result is a moist fruit and nut studded bar, perfect for school lunches or after school treats. Or with tea. That's what will happen to these.

Apricot Blueberry Blondies, GF/CF
A moist and lovely little snack

1/2 cup shortening (I use Spectrum Organic)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp GF vanilla extract
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened dried blueberries

1. Cream shortening and brown sugar, then add eggs and mix well. Stir in vanilla.

2. Combine sorghum flour, millet flour, potato starch, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt, whisk until well combined; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. 

3. Fold in apricots, blueberries, and pecans. Press into greased 8x8 inch baking pan. Bake at 350ยบ for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool; cut into bars.
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