Fall is here! Can you believe it? Where did the year go? This is actually my favorite time of year, especially now that I live in Arizona and autumn signals the time when our brutally hot summers finally give way to cooler temperatures.
I grew up in California, so I didn’t get to experience much of the colorful fall foliage seen in other parts of the world. I do vividly recall one autumn New England visit several years ago. What a treat it was to see the maple tree-covered hills painted in hues of red, gold, amber, brown and green. These are my favorite colors. I love beautiful earth tones. Not to mention the pure maple syrup that is so plentiful in that part of the world and tastes so fabulous!
I wanted to share a recipe with you that is reminiscent of this wonderful time of year – something that you can share with loved ones during the upcoming holiday season. These delicious maple mini cakes are festive and simple to make.
This recipe also makes great use of this maple leaf pan that I bought a couple of years ago, but you could use a simple mini muffin or cupcake pan.
I had always struggled with coming up with a good idea to decorate the little cakes I made with this pan. Yet they seemed so naked without any sort of embellishment. I finally settled on making them in various fall colors and decorating them with simple table sugar colored to match.
You could serve them as dessert, but they would also make a tasty breakfast alternative to pancakes or waffles, drenched in pure maple syrup. Yum!
I think they turned out really great.
I made the fall wreath from a foam wreath form that I bought at my local craft store and inexpensive artificial foliage that I bought at the dollar store. It makes a great centerpiece for an autumn dinner party and when you’re done with that simply hang it on your door.
And now for the recipe…
Mini Maple Cakes
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 tsp maple extract
1 cup whole milk or soy milk
1/4 cup butter (lightly salted)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
gel or liquid food color in fall colors
1. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl with paddle attachment for 4 minutes. Do not skip this step!
2. Add sugar, and continue beating for another 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add maple extract and stir on low until just combined.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add to eggs and sugar on low speed until just combined.
4. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter on low heat just until butter is melted. Add to batter, beat just until combined.
5. Separate batter into small bowls according to the number of different colors you would like to use. Add food coloring to batter and mix and match until you get the desired colors.
6. Pour into greased and floured maple leaf pan or mini cupcake pan. Fill cavities ¾ full.
7. Bake at 325 until the middle springs back when touched, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand in pans for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto wire cooling racks and cool completely.
Decorate with colored sugars. Instructions for making your own colored sugar at: http://www.instructables.com/id/Creating-Custom-Sugar-Colors/
Recipe adapted from CakeBoss
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