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Pumpkin Layer Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting

November 22, 2015



Lots has happened in the past few weeks! Most importantly, I received a full time position in a grade 5 class! And I’m so excited to have my own class. At first I was a little nervous about teaching intermediate, since I did my practicum before in a grade 2 class. However, I’ve been substitute teaching in all grades over the last two years and so far I’m really enjoying grade 5. I find that the day goes by faster, since there’s always something happening and things to get done, students to help etc. In primary there is a lot more play time, ‘centre’ time, and down time with the little ones. I really enjoy teaching a lesson, being able to introduce new concepts and themes for each subject, and really interacting with the students. So far everything’s going well!

Also in the past week or two it’s gotten an awful lot more chilly. In the morning there is noticeable frost on the ground and windows, making the drive into work look like a frosty winter wonderland. As Adam tells me, I’m lucky to have a short commute to work – only a 15 minute drive! Which i’ll be even happier about when it starts snowing. 

sfAll the cold weather and frosty windows makes me want to start decorating for the holidays, so this weekend Adam brought out the boxes of christmas decor. I always love going through them and re-discovering old items or things I had purchased at the end of the holiday season last year. The only thing I’m having trouble with is that we don’t have a mantle or fireplace, and we don’t even really have a shelf/countertop in the living/dining room. So, when I took out the stockings and stocking holder I wasn’t sure where it was going to go. Last year we put it under the TV, on the shelf with the playstation/tv PVR etc. but since we always swivel our TV to face the kitchen etc, it knocks off the stocking holder or you constantly have to move it out of the way. I’m still not sure where they’ll go, but i’m trying to talk Adam into making a ‘credenza’ in the dining room… we’ll see how that goes 😉

For now, i’m gathering my holiday baking recipes together so I can start baking for get togethers. We already have our third annual neighbour get together at our place next Sunday with about 15 people, so I’m trying to get ready early. 


I made this cake for a dinner with Adam’s sister and brother-in-law one night and it’s a dense cake, almost like a pumpkin pie meets cake – cake. Since I have a dairy allergy to cow’s milk, I wondered what it would taste like to use goat cheese in the frosting instead of cream cheese, and it was delicious. I would definitely use this frosting on other cakes or even brownies. 

Pumpkin Layer Cake
A dense spiced pumpkin layer cake with goat cheese frosting.
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  1. 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  6. big dash of cinnamon, nutmeg
  7. 3 large eggs
  8. 1 1/2 cups pumpkin - not filling
  9. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 cup almond milk or other milk alternative
for the frosting
  1. 1/2 cup soft goat cheese
  2. 3-4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  3. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line three 6 or 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, in a medium bowl.
  4. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy
  5. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time.
  6. Beat in pumpkin; add vanilla
  7. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of almond milk; beat until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  8. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
  9. Bake until cakes are golden brown, edges pull away from sides of pans, and a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  10. Transfer to rack to cool.
For the frosting
  1. beat butter and goat cheese until fluffy, add in icing sugar one cup at a time, beating until light and fluffy.
  2. Place bottom layer on a cake stand and spread evenly with half the frosting.
  3. Top with second layer, spread more frosting and top with last layer. finish the top with more frosting and sprinkle with walnuts.
b a k e a h o l i c
Bread, Sweet Buns/Rolls

Cinnamon Buns

January 22, 2012

I used to be afraid to use yeast in baking. I only really tried using it last summer for the first time, making pizza dough. I think after a few tries I have gotten the hang of it. The very first time I ‘killed’ the yeast because the water was too hot, you know they’re quite sensitive to heat. But after a few tries you get the hang of it, and realize how warm the water/milk should be for the little yeast granules to ‘live’ and foam up. I make pizza dough quite often now, and I don’t even think I have ever bought a pizza shell from the grocery store since Adam and I began living together last september. Or really any time before then. This month, we decided we wouldn’t spend any money eating out. November and December were both quite busy, and we seemed to be eating out quite a lot. While it is not only costly for the wallet, it’s also not healthy to always be eating at restaurants or fast food. While I don’t think I’ve eaten at a ‘fast food’ restaurant like McDonalds for quite a few years now, we did begin eating a lot of Tim Horton’s this past summer. We have never even ordered take out to our apartment, no pizza deliveries, no Chinese food. The only thing we really ever go out for, or bring back to our house is Sushi, because lets face it you cannot make it as well, or for as cheap as they can at a restaurant. There is no ‘take out menu’ drawer at our place. Only fresh ingredients in the cupboards and fridge.

Adam had to work on the island for three weeks in November, eating out every meal of the day. So when he would come home on the weekend he was happy to be eating healthy meals made at home. So far this month we have not spent any money going out to restaurants. We have however gone out twice now, once with Adam’s parents who took us out to dinner, and once this weekend to the Secret Supper Soiree which I won tickets to. It has been nice not going out to eat. While I do enjoy dining out, I also love to cook myself so it’s not a big deal to stay in. Many people think of going out as a convenience, but making a homemade meal is quite convenient, and there are always leftovers for the next day. We’ve been eating a lot of soups, such as the Italian Ribollita soup I made before, and chili. I have also found that there are many things we buy from a store that we can make ourselves. I even began making granola bars, instead of buying them, as Adam takes a couple with him for lunch every day. They are much healthier, and you can add things like pumpkin and flax seeds.

I remember when I was younger my mother would make pizza dough, and then use the extra to make my brother and I cinnamon buns, and of course my dad who was always wanting ‘something sweet’ for dessert. She would always add raisins and nuts, usually walnuts that we had on hand. It was a special treat when she did. I remember they would disappear quite fast. My mom came over today and got to taste them, I think they are as good as the ones she made us. There’s just something about warm cinnamon buns right from the oven. I had wanted to make these for a while now, but had yet to get around to it. They are worth the wait, and take about two hours from start to finish. We also brought a few over to Adam’s sister, who has a bun of her own in the oven. Adam could become an uncle any day! But for the sake of his sister, not too soon haha. These are perfectly fluffy, and just sweet enough. I didn’t use a large amount of sugar in the dough or in the filling, so you don’t feel too bad eating them 😉 And the whole wheat dough makes them healthy..ish.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns
adapted from Cate’s World Kitchen 

Time: 1 1/2 hours to rise, 20 minutes to bake.

1 cup milk (I used 1%)
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
raisins (optional)
walnuts (optional)


  1. Warm the milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until it reaches 105 degrees. I suggest using a thermometer, I love mine since I bought it and it has come in very handy.
  2. Pour the milk into a mixing bowl, I used my kitchenaid bowl. Add to the milk 2 1/2 tsp. of active dry yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Let the mixture stand until it begins to look foamy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the 1/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter, 2 eggs, and flour. Using the paddle attachment mix for 30 seconds. Switch to the dough hook, and continue for about four minutes until dough becomes smooth. Alternatively, you can knead dough by hand.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball, place in a large bowl that is well greased, and cover with a tea towel. Let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  5. Once it has risen, sprinkle some flour on to the countertop and lightly flour a rolling pin. Roll the dough into a large rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Brush the dough with 1/3 cup melted butter using a pastry brush and sprinkle evenly with sugar and cinnamon. I just used a handful of sugar, and a lot of cinnamon. You can make them as sweet as you like. Cover with nuts and raisins evenly.
  7. Roll the dough up starting with the longer side and cut into approximately 12 rolls.
  8. Arrange the rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover again with a tea towel and let rise for about 30 minutes. I also used a muffin tin for the extras, and baked them in that. It worked really well for small cinammon bun/muffins.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.

You can leave them plain, or mix cream cheese with icing sugar to make an icing.

Do you eat out quite often?

Do you prefer cooking at home than dining out?

Have you baked with yeast before? What are your favourite recipes?