Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

As everyone has switched over into Christmas mode, I’m still holding on to all things fall. My coffee remains pumpkin spice flavored and my taste buds crave anything with apple. This led me to buy a really big bag of apples at the market, simply because they are in season and dirt cheap. The day after this purchase, while enjoying my morning coffee, I pondered what I could make with said big bag of apples. It was then that I remembered coffee cake, which is an entire category of cake devoted solely to enhancing the coffee drinking experience. My two favorite flavors of fall happen to be pumpkin and apple, so what better way to celebrate the last days of the season than by pairing them together in coffee and its accompanying cake.

Now you may be wondering how someone who promotes living a fit, healthy lifestyle can still drink coffee and eat cake. Well…I’ll let you in on a little secret….YOU STILL CAN! Sure I use almond milk instead of cream and sugar and my sweets recipes are so altered I would make my old pastry chef professors cry, BUT I still get to enjoy what I love while being fit, which is what this journey is all about. For me, there is no point of being fit if you can’t enjoy life and for the longest time I honestly thought I could enjoy neither. I used to think coffee and desserts were only allowed for special occasions or circumstances. Thankfully, I eventually learned that these foods CAN still be in my life, so long as they are made with all natural ingredients and use special prep techniques to better fit my nutrition plan. So with that same knowledge in tow, I set out to make a moist, sweet cake that was far healthier than traditional coffee cake recipes.

When I began my journey to reboot coffee cake, the first thing I realized is how deceptive this treat really is. Most people view coffee cake as the better cake option, probably because, you know, it’s not slathered in rich, buttercream icing and decorated with sugary sprinkles. Yet, as shocking as it may seem, coffee cakes are actually PACKED with sugar. Most traditional recipes average around 80 grams of sugar per serving, which is more than 3 times the amount of added sugar the average person should be consuming in a day. Yikes. Thankfully, I’m well aware that you can heavily cut back on added sugar & still end up with a satisfyingly sweet treat, therefore that is where I started. To begin the sugar deload, I first replaced traditionally used granulated sugar with Sucanat. My go to sugar is almost always Sucanat, not only because it’s minimally processed, but because it has a rich, molasses-like flavor. This flavor allows me to use less sugar while adding more complexity than granulated sugar ever would. So with the sugar problem addressed, the next problem I needed to solve was the topping.

The most common type of coffee cake topping is a simple two ingredient glaze made of powdered sugar and milk, which gets drizzled on top once cooled. As easy as this icing is to make, finding a healthier alternative wouldn’t be. Since there is no natural equivalent for processed powdered sugar, I needed an alternative. With no other natural sugars able to provide the same smooth glaze, I was honestly very tempted to just skip it. But as much as I wanted to, I knew I couldn’t just skip out on the topping altogether because an unadorned cake is plain and makes for a rather boring presentation. After a bit of trial and error, I remembered something that we used A LOT in culinary school…simple syrup. Just as its name suggests, simple syrup is created by dissolving sugar in water. Instead of the typical white, granulated sugar, I heated evaporated cane juice in the water for a cleaner syrup. I then beat the syrup into cream cheese for a smooth glaze that looks just like the original, but is a whole lot healthier and tastier. The rich and tangy cream cheese in the glaze is a perfect compliment to the sweet and tart apples and spicy cinnamon. Enjoy it for breakfast or to celebrate a beautiful fall afternoon. Coffee can be optional!

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake


Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1¼ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2/3 cup Sucanat
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; room temperature
  • 2 large Eggs; room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk; room temperature
  • 1¼ cups peeled & chopped Apple (about 2 Apples)
  • 3 tbsp. Organic Cane Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Water
  • ¼ cup Cream Cheese (full fat); room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8-x-8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (select a brand that uses no propellents). Line base of pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set bowl aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the Sucanat with the butter on medium speed until mixture is fluffy and begins to stick to the sides of the bowl (about 1 minute). Add one egg and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated. Repeat with second egg.
  4. With machine on low speed, add one third of flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add one third of milk and again beat until just combined. Repeat process twice more, alternating between flour and milk additions. Remove bowl from machine and stir in apples by hand.
  5. Tranfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top over with a spatula. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a plate and gently peel off parchment. Invert cake back onto wire rack and cool completely.
  6. While cake cools, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine cane sugar and 3 tbsp. water. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a heat-proof container to cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, until smooth and fluffy, using an electric mixer on high speed. Add one quarter of the sugar mixture and beat until smooth. Add remaining sugar mixture in three more additions, beating until smooth between each addition.
  7. Pour glaze over cooled cake in long, diagonal stripes to make a crosshatch pattern. Serve immediately. Cake can be stored at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Nutrition

Per Serving (1 Slice): 257 Calories; 4 g Protein; 12 g Total Fat; 7 g Sat. Fat; 3 g Fiber; 273 mg Sodium; 20 g Sugar; 34 g Carbs; 72 mg Cholesterol

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: J. O’HARA
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

Gluten-free Pear-Chocolate Chip Muffins

With my first post of the season, I would like to officially welcome everyone to fall! I feel like I should have said that back in August, since that is when all of the Halloween and fall merchandise hit the stores. For those who live in areas where the temperatures drop in early September, I suppose it’s not a big deal to have fall flavors pop up early. Here in the sunshine state, however, it still feels too much like summer, even into mid-October.

Thankfully, temperatures have finally gotten a little cooler lately, especially at night, helping boost those fall vibes. Even on the warmest days, I still couldn’t resist switching my protein coffee into fall mode the moment the pumpkin spice almond milk hit the shelves. Slowly but surely, the spirit of fall is sinking in, thus my transition into fall mode with my sweets.

This is my first fall-inspired sweet of the season. I know it does not use either of the traditional fall favorites, apples and pumpkins, but I did still choose a fall harvested fruit, the pear. I’m not big on eating pears raw because of my issue with their texture, but I love baking them into food for their flavor. These muffins showcase the pear flavor perfectly and when paired with dark chocolate chips….need I say more? Even better, these muffins are gluten-free and only cost 155 calories, making them a great on-the-go breakfast or healthy snack when a sweets craving strikes. I urge you to give them a try, especially when you begin to grow tired of everything pumpkin and apple this season!

Gluten-free Pear-Chocolate Chip Muffins


Ingredients

  • 3 cups Old-fashioned Rolled Oats; divided
  • 2 ¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon; divided
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 ¼ cups Whole Buttermilk
  • 5 tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Pears; finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp. Dark Chocolate Chips (70% or higher)
  • ¼ cup chopped Pecans; unsalted
  • 2 tsp. Sucanat

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line two standard size muffin tins with paper liners (16 total). Fill remaining empty cups with 2 tbsp. water to prevent the tin from warping. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, pulverize 2½ cups oats into a fine flour. Transfer oat flour to a large bowl and add remaining ½ cup oats, 2 tsp. cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk egg. Add in the buttermilk, maple syrup, and oil. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in pears, chocolate chips, and pecans. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each liner three-quarters full. Set aside.
  4. In another small bowl, toss together Sucanat and the remaining ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle 1/8 tsp. Sucanat mixture over batter in each liner. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  5. Allow muffins to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for 3 days or freeze and defrost when needed.

Nutrition

Per Serving: (1 Muffin): 155 Calories; 4 g Protein; 6 g Total Fat; 2 g Sat. Fat; 3 g Fiber; 130 mg Sodium; 9 g Sugar; 22 g Carbs; 14 mg Cholesterol

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: H. BAINBRIDGE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

20190312_153651What comes to mind when you think of a good snack? Do you envision lots of fruits and veggies, or are you more interested in processed convenience foods? We all know chips, candy, cookies, and ice cream are easier to reach for when hunger strikes, but if you want to be lean and healthy you need to make cleaner food choices. It can be a challenge discovering how to keep hunger at bay while living a fit lifestyle, but if you’re a foodie like me that still wants to succeed, you need to change your mindset towards eating. Even though processed snacks have to go, it doesn’t mean you’re no longer allowed to snack.

20190312_153925To stay fit and healthy while still enjoying food, start by arming yourself with nutritious snacks that can stand in for any sweet, savory, or crunchy craving that may arise. Take, for example, this pumpkin chia pudding. This recipe is super easy to make & will satisfy any sweet tooth without packing on the pounds. Unsweetened almond milk provides the pudding a low-calorie, dairy-free base, chia seeds give a fiber boost, while warm and aromatic pumpkin pie spice provides a nice depth of flavor to complement the pumpkin.

20190312_153809Even though pumpkin is a fall flavor and we are currently entering spring, this recipe is simply too good not to share. I initially developed it back in the fall when pumpkin was still in season, but thanks to canned pumpkin you can enjoy one of fall’s best flavors year round in this gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sugar, healthy snack. If you do opt to buy canned pumpkin over roasting your own fresh pumpkin, just be sure it is organic pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. If you have a sweet tooth and love anything pumpkin, I recommend you give this recipe a try. It’s a sweet treat that won’t hinder your progress to being lean!

Pumpkin Chia Pudding


Ingredients

  • 2 cups Plain Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ½ cup Pitted Dates
  • 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Pumpkin Puree (fresh or canned)
  • ¾ tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • Cinnamon Sugar; for garnish (if desired)

Directions

  1. In a large jar or container with a lid, combine milk, dates, & chia seeds. Cover, shake well, & chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but no longer than 8 hours.
  2. Remove chilled mixture from the refrigerator & place in a blender. Process mixture on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, & salt. Blend again until thoroughly combined. Divide among 6 (4 oz.) meal prep jars or store in one larger container. Refrigerate at least 1 hour more before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Per Serving (4 oz.): 104 Calories; 3 g Protein; 4 g Total Fat; 0.5 g Sat. Fat; 5 g Fiber; 83 mg Sodium; 9 g Sugars; 16 g Carbs; 0 mg Cholesterol.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: C. LYONS
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

 

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Bites

20171122_124753Thanksgiving is only a few days away which means holiday baking has already begun or is about to begin shortly. A staple of most American’s Thanksgiving feast is the pumpkin pie. Although I love a slice of traditional pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream I also enjoy developing desserts inspired by classic flavors. This year I chose pumpkin pie and created these pumpkin pie pudding bites to suppress my creative itch.

20171122_124734Despite my love for pumpkin pie I understand it can be a difficult pie to master, especially for novice bakers. Anything custard based can be tricky and the smallest mistake can be all the difference between the perfect pie and disaster. Of course you can always buy a pie from the bakery or supermarket but many families enjoy the baking process and passing a dish they made themselves with love. That is where these pumpkin pie pudding bites can help. If you do not want to take on the task of baking a pumpkin pie from scratch but also do not want to miss out on the great taste that is pumpkin pie, these bites are the answer to all of your problems.

20171133Not only do these bites channel all the flavor and texture profiles of traditional pumpkin pie (with half the effort), they are also extremely portable and the perfect size for little fingers or those prone to overindulging. Try making them in place of a traditional pie if you need a quick last minute dessert, as a portion controlled offering for the health conscious, a mess free treat at the kid’s table, or as an interesting addition to your classic offerings.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Bites

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar; divided
  • 2 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 ¾ cups Milk
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ cup canned Unsweetened Pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 pkg. Puff Pastry Shells
  • ¼ cup Chopped Walnuts
  • Dash of Salt
  • ¼ cup Heavy Cream

 

Preparation

  1. Combine 6 tbsp. sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium heat. Combine the milk and egg and stir well with a whisk. Gradually add the milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
  2. Combine pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl, stirring well. Slowly add the pumpkin mixture to the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Place pan over low heat and cook for 3 minutes, or until thoroughly heated (do not boil), stirring constantly. Transfer pudding into a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill.
  3. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil and coat foil with cooking spray. Place the remaining 2 tbsp. sugar, walnuts, and dash of salt in a small skillet. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves and is golden, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently to coat nuts. Transfer nuts to the prepared baking sheet and cool completely. Once cool, coarsely chop nuts.
  4. Prepare puff pastry shells according to package directions. Cool completely. Place cream in a bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fill shells with chilled pudding. Top each filled shell with a dollop of whipped cream and chopped nuts. Serve immediately (if not serving immediately, wait to whip the cream and top bites).

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: SUSAN RUSSO
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

Vampire Bat Cookies

20171030_124439Happy Halloween! This year has been a very busy one so far and with that I have had limited time to brainstorm new ideas and recipes to share. I could not pass up sharing some Halloween delights with you so I whipped up these vampire bat cookies with my oldest daughter.

To make these you will need a bat cookie cutter, your favorite sugar cookie recipe, 1 box royal frosting mix (such as Wilton’s), piping bags (I prefer disposable for easy clean up), 3 round #2 piping tips, and gel food coloring (black, white, & orange).

20171030_124526First, prepare your cookie dough or buy cookie dough and cut into bat shapes. Bake and allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the royal icing to stiff but pipable consistency and seperate into portions, 2 larger portions for white and black, and a smaller portion for the orange (as you will use much less). Dye each portion with food color and allow to rest at least 4 hours. For the blackest black I allow mine to sit 24 hours for the color to fully develop, otherwise you will end up with gray bats or you will have squid ink by adding too much dye to the icing.

20171030_124518Once the icing has developed and the cookies have cooled completely begin decorating your bat cookies. Pipe an outline around the bats in black to prepare the cookies for flooding. Set aside a bit of 20 second (stiff) black royal icing for detailing later then make the remaining black icing into flooding consistency by adding water. You will be at the right consistency when you can draw a line through the icing and by the time you count to 10 the line has disappeared. Flood the bats with black icing and allow to set. I allowed mine to set overnight to prevent the black color from bleeding to my white icing details but if you do not have that long to wait ai recommend you at least wait 6 hours but preferably at least 12. Much of it depends on your climate and humidity levels as to how fast your icing will set.

20171030_124153Once the black icing has dried and set you can pipe face details on the bats in white icing. I had my oldest daughter help me so ours vary between male and female bats. She wanted cute eyelashes for the female bats but you can decorate .them however you please. Allow a few minutes for the white to set then pipe the wing details in orange. To give depth to the eyes use the reserved black stiff icing to pipe an eyeball. Once all is dry you will have cute vampire bat cookies that adults and kids can both enjoy! Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone!

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

Apple Kuchen

20171007_134852Pumpkin, Pecan, Apple, & Cinnamon…all iconic flavors of Fall. Two of the sweetest (and my personal favorite) flavors can be found right here in this easy German apple cake (Apfelkuchen). The classic combination of sweet apples and spicy cinnamon makes for a simple yet pleasing post dinner treat or Oktoberfest dessert!

20171007_134809

Apple Kuchen

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Apples; peeled, cored, & sliced
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Sugar; divided
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Salt; divided
  • 6.75 oz (1 ½ cups) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ cup (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter; softened & divided
  • 3 oz. Cream Cheese; softened
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup nonfat Buttermilk
  • ½ cup Chopped Walnuts; toasted
  • ¼ cup Apple Jelly

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 13×9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine apples and lemon juice and toss together. Add ¼ cup sugar, cinnamon, and ¼ tsp. salt, tossing again to combine.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, the remaining ¼ tsp. salt, and baking powder. Place remaining ¾ cup sugar, 6 tbsp. butter, and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat mixture at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Stir in the vanilla. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Gently stir in the walnuts.
  4. Scrape batter into prepared baking pan. Arrange apples over batter. Melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter and brush over apples. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until set.
  5. Microwave apple jelly for 30 seconds or until melted, stirring once. Brush jelly over apples and cool. Cut into squares and serve.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JULIANA GRIMES
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017