citrus

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl #bundtbakers

I’m sorry, but I really hate the phrase, “made it by the skin of my teeth”

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

A) Seriously, how gross is that?
B) What the heck does that even mean? Teeth don’t have skin.
Unless we’re talking about gums here, in which case, that’s even weirder/grosser/more nonsensical.

Anyway, even though I don’t like or understand that saying, in this case it’s true. I made it. Just in the nick of time.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

If you’ve been paying attention, you already know that my oven has been broken (along with my heart). My landlord, in tandem with Brooklyn’s slowest appliance repair company, have been taking their sweeeeeeet time fixing it.

As difficult as going oven-less has been for me, my biggest concern through this whole agonizing experience has been that I might not be able to bake along with the bundt bakers this month. It may have been painful to have cookies taken off the menu and chicken taken out of the oven and put on the back burner (literally), but DO NOT mess with my bundts. I’ve baked a bundt cake each and every month since I found this rag-tag (though truly well organized) team of bakers, and having to bow out because of an ancient apartment oven and a foot-dragging repairman was seriously bumming me out.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

Luckily the repair man pulled through at the eleventh hour. On Monday he came through with the backordered fuse in hand and within an hour my baby was back in working order. I was at work at the time, but Russell was filling me in from home and once the oven was purring again we were sending jubilant texts back and forth for the rest of the day. I was like a giddy school girl. 16 days with no oven can do that to a guy.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

With no time to spare, I assembled the ingredients for my cake and set to work. The lovely Anshie of Spice Roots is our group’s host this month, and she chose “Hidden Surprise” as our theme (which is appropriate, because my ability to even make this cake was a total surprise!).
The idea was to bake a cake with a filling or ingredient inside that isn’t visible until it’s sliced. From the outside it looks like any ordinary cake, but once sliced a whole universe of delicious is revealed.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

At first I was having a really difficult time deciding what to do with this theme. My mind immediately went toward berries and chocolate, but in my experience berries always want to sink through the batter and settle into what, once un-molded, is the top of the cake. That wouldn’t really be much of a surprise would it? I pawed at a few other ideas in my head but nothing really seemed to take.

That all changed about two weeks ago when I caught a nasty bug and couldn’t get off the couch for a few days.

When I was growing up, my grandmother always prescribed the same “medicine” whenever I was sick. The patient always needed canned chicken noodle soup, plain vanilla ice cream, warm ginger ale, and graham crackers. Now that I’m older the chicken soup seems to make sense, but the vanilla ice cream just seems like a bad idea. I don’t really get the warm part of the ginger ale, but I guess the lack of ice was supposed to be easier on the stomach, and I suppose graham crackers are easy on an upset tummy too.
To this day, whenever I get sick, I always crave these things. Once I was well enough to actually eat, I went through an entire box of graham crackers in like two days. All that was left was a small trail of graham cracker crumbs.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

That’s when it hit me, what if I made a cake using crushed graham cracker crumbs in place of some of the flour?
And what better flavor to pair with graham cracker crumbs than key lime pie?
Better yet, key lime CHEESECAKE!!!

Surprise!

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

I can’t accurately describe how amazing this cake is. Words like moist, tender, flavorful, warm, & homey come to mind to describe the graham cracker cake, but really don’t do it justice. This cake is out of this world. Why hasn’t this been done before? If it has, why haven’t I been informed? Graham cracker cake, filling or not, is something I’d like to be buried with. Hillary should choose graham cracker cake as her running mate. Seriously. Clinton/ Graham Cracker Cake/ 2016.

I could have paired this cake with any number of fillings and knocked it out of the park. Chocolate and marshmallow “S’mores” cake would have been amazing, but KEY LIME CHEESECAKE was a real stroke of genius. Seriously, out of this world. I want to use words like tangy, rich, creamy, silky, & decadent; but like I said, words cannot describe the otherworldly levels of deliciousness happening inside this cake.

Go make this. Now.
(you can thank me later)

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

Graham Cracker Bundt Cake with Key Lime Cheesecake Swirl

  • Servings: 12 to 16-ish
  • Print
Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
pinch of salt
1 large egg
4 tablespoons key lime juice
finely grated zest of 1 lime

Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for pan)
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (plus more for topping)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks, plus more for pan)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Glaze:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons key lime juice
pinch of salt
1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 and move the rack to the center position.  Generously butter and flour a 10 to 12 cup bundt pan. Tap out extra flour and refrigerate.

To make the filling; cream sugar, softened cream cheese, and salt together in a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer) on high speed. Beat until fluffy and completely free of lumps, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add egg, and mix to combine. Add lime juice and zest and mix to combine. Scrape filling out into a small bowl and set aside. Wash bowl or at least scrape it out well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt. Set aside. In the same bowl as before, cream the butter with sugars on high speed until pale, light, & fluffy; about 4 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating on low to combine after each addition. On low speed, alternate three additions of flour and two additions buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, scraping the bowl between additions. Do not over-mix. Scrape batter out into prepared pan and use your spatula to push the thick batter up the walls of the pan to create a well in the center.
Pour the filling into the center of the well, and use a small icing spatula or butter knife to swirl the filling into the cake batter. Try to avoid scraping the bottom or sides of the pan.
Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before turning out of the pan onto the rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and lump free. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add lime juice and salt. Beat again until smooth and lump free. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. (I used all 3 tablespoons)

Pour or drizzle glaze evenly over the top of the cake and sprinkle a few tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs over the top.
Cake should keep, tightly covered at room temperature, for about 3 days. If you refrigerate it bring it back up to room temperature before serving.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

Are your taste buds ready for a few more delicious surprises? There are a whole lot of tasty secrets hidden within these recipes y’all. Check it out.

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BundtBakers

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Interested in learning more about us? #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page here.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board.

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thai style chicken noodle soup

March is here, which means that winter is finally on it’s way out!

thai style chicken noodle soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

The other day I got off the train after work and looked up to notice the last warm fingers of daylight still touching the tops of the buildings in my neighborhood. I can’t tell you how warm and fuzzy that made me feel after walking home in the dark all winter long.

The days are getting longer, the air is getting (ever so slightly) warmer, and while the snow still seems to keep falling, spring will be here in just a few short weeks.

thai style chicken noodle soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

For now though, it’s still winter. If I ever had any doubt, all I’d have to do is look out my bedroom window to see the blanket of white snow perforated in tight tracks by the paws of little pups.

thai style chicken noodle soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

I’m no stranger to long winters. I lived in the Adirondacks for my college years, and grew up in Central New York, the land of lake effect snow and highway clogging blizzards.

Winters in the city have always paled in comparison, being more about rain and slush than actual snow accumulation. When I first moved to Brooklyn I would laugh when people complained about winter weather, but after living through more than a few New York City winters, I realize that freezing rain and grey haze are just as depressing and awful as snow that won’t quit piling up.

thai style chicken noodle soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

This winter has been one of the coldest on record here in Brooklyn, and has felt like one of the longest.

I have to admit, I’m over it.
Officially.

thai style chicken noodle soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

The idea for this recipe came from my desire for something warm and homey and satisfying, like old fashioned chicken noodle soup, mixed with my yearning for bright summery flavors that might draw me out of my cold weather funk.

I thought it was worth a shot to try marrying the idea of chicken noodle soup with the flavors of a Thai Tom Kha Gai coconut soup.

thai style chicken noodle soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

Let me tell you, this soup is amazing. It’s rich and satisfying while somehow also feeling light and healthy.

It’s got a mildly sweet tanginess from the acidic lime juice, a nice bright tropical creaminess from the coconut milk, and just a hint of spice from the fresh ginger and sriracha. The chicken thighs and stock add a nice richness and the carrots give it that traditional chicken soup feeling. The torn cilantro and green onion round out the flavor with green summery freshness, and the al dente rice noodles add a nice bit of texture and substance.

All together every bite is a bright vibrant burst of the tropics in the midst of a dreary grey winter.

thai style chicken noodle soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
4 carrots, thinly sliced into disks
1 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs
sea salt to taste
4 cups chicken stock
1 14 oz can coconut milk
juice of 1 to 4 limes *see note
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1/2 cup torn cilantro leaves
6 oz package of rice noodles, softened or cooked according to package

Preheat oil over high heat in a large heavy bottom stockpot. Add garlic & ginger and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add carrots and cook for 1 minute more. Add chicken thighs and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes. Add chicken stock & salt bring to simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove chicken thighs with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool for 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Skim any foam off of the stock. Slice or shred chicken into bite sized pieces. Add the chicken pieces back to the stock along with coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce, & sriracha. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Bring just back to a simmer, remove from heat, add scallions and cilantro. Ladle into bowls, serve with a generous handful of rice noodles.

*cooks note: I am crazy for citrus so when I developed this recipe I used the juice of 4 limes. I was thrilled with the flavor and posted the recipe the way I liked it.
Over time, a few readers expressed that it was too much for them and they’d prefer it with less lime if they made it again. I’d suggest you that start with the juice of one lime and give it a taste before deciding if you’d enjoy more.

vanilla greyhound pitcher cocktail

I know it’s still very much winter out there, but I couldn’t wait to share this super easy, super summery pitcher cocktail with you all.

vanilla greyhound pitcher cocktail | Brooklyn Homemaker

Now that I think about it, I guess I posted another citrusy cocktail recipe pretty recently didn’t I?

I think maybe this whole kitchen project has been driving me to drink! Thankfully I’m finally able to just sit back and enjoy the benefits of all my hard work! I guess this long, cold, wet, windy, snowy, awful winter hasn’t been helping either, and might be just as much to blame for driving me to drink too.

vanilla greyhound pitcher cocktail | Brooklyn Homemaker

I always crave citrus in the winter, especially near the end. Citrus fruit is so bright and sunny and fresh that I can’t resist it when everything else is so dull and dreary and dead. Not only does this cocktail have citrus in spades, but it also has a really fresh summery feeling that I think most of us could really use plenty of right about now.

vanilla greyhound pitcher cocktail | Brooklyn Homemaker

I first came up with this recipe for our wedding back in 2013. We were married outdoors on the first of June in a big white tent overlooking the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. We were serving two signature cocktails in big drink dispensers at the bar and, while our caterer was providing the bartenders, we were in charge of supplying the booze and all the fixins. I wanted the cocktails to be so simple that all I’d need to do is give the bartenders the ingredients and a spoon, and just tell them what quantities to mix together.

vanilla greyhound pitcher cocktail | Brooklyn Homemaker

In the name of trying to please everyone (or mostly everyone) we served one signature cocktail with whiskey, and another with vodka for our friends and family who aren’t as crazy for the brown liquor as we are.  The first was a bourbon spiked Arnold Palmer and the other was one of my favorite summery vodka drinks, a vibrant greyhound made with pink grapefruit juice. To really make it our own, we added some vanilla to warm it up, and some rosemary for a little fresh herbal depth. In honor of Doris (this was before Betty joined our family) we called it the little grey dog.

vanilla greyhound pitcher cocktail | Brooklyn Homemaker

I was expecting the Arnold Palmer to be the more popular of the two drinks because most of our friends have the same penchant for whiskey that we do, but to my surprise our vanilla greyhound was a much bigger hit. In fact, despite bringing enough ingredients with us to fill our 2 1/2 gallon drink dispensers twice, we actually ran out of it before the sun went down! I think it may have had something to do with the fact that it was unbelievably hot that day, and that this greyhound is light and refreshing and oh-so-thirst-quenching.

vanilla greyhound pitcher cocktail | Brooklyn Homemaker

The other day we were having some friends over for drinks to show off our fancy new kitchen. We wanted to serve something that might help take our minds off of the frozen muck and slush outside and I thought this would be the perfect thing for it. It’s easy to mix up in advance so you’re not stuck tending bar all night, and it’s so light and bright that you can drink a few without feeling like you’ve had a few too many!

vanilla greyhound pitcher cocktail | Brooklyn Homemaker

The grapefruit juice really shines here so you want to make sure that you get a the best quality 100% pink grapefruit juice you can find. The addition of vanilla adds an unexpected homey warmth that doesn’t normally go along with grapefruit but somehow works really well. Despite the fact that grapefruit juice doesn’t taste all that sweet on it’s own, once it’s mixed with the vodka and vanilla it’s somehow perfectly (and surprisingly) sweet enough and doesn’t want for any additional sugar. For that reason, I’d advise against using vanilla flavored vodka for this, which tends to have artificial sweeteners already added.

Right at the end the whole thing gets just a hit of effervescent soda water to keep it feeling light and bright. If  you’re only serving a few drinks at a time I think it’s best to leave the soda water out of the pitcher and just top off each drink as they’re served, but if you want to make this in a big ol’ drink dispenser, just mix it all right in. With volume in mind by the way, this recipe is easily doubled (or quadrupled in the case of our wedding).

If you have time, I think the rosemary comes through a little better if you let it infuse with the vodka and grapefruit juice overnight. If you have lots of time (and love rosemary) you could even let it infuse in straight vodka for a couple days to really extract it’s flavor. Really though, the rosemary isn’t meant to be the star of the show here and you don’t want to overdo it, so adding to the drink just before serving is totally delicious too.

Drink up y’all!

vanilla greyhound pitcher cocktail | Brooklyn Homemaker

Vanilla Greyhound Pitcher Cocktail

  • Servings: Makes about 9 or 10 six ounce cocktails
  • Print
2 cups vodka
3 1/2 cups pink grapefruit juice
2 tbsp vanilla extract
4 to 5 rosemary sprigs
1 cup soda water

Mix vodka, grapefruit juice and vanilla in a large pitcher and stir well. If you have time, I think the cocktail benefits from letting the rosemary infuse overnight. If serving immediately, you can add the rosemary to the pitcher or use a single sprig as garnish in each glass. Just before serving you can either stir the soda water into the pitcher, or you can top off each glass with about 2 oz of soda as the cocktails are poured. In a drink dispenser or punch bowl it’s best to just stir the soda in, but if you don’t want the soda to go flat over time, it’s better to top off each glass as they’re served.
Either way top off each glass with plenty of ice.

chocolate orange bundt cake #bundtbakers

Have I ever mentioned the fact that I LOVE chocolate?

chocolate orange bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Well, it’s true.
I do.

chocolate orange bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

I know that it’s probably hard to believe, but you’re going to have to get used to the idea.

chocolate orange bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

When I found out that Tanya of Dessert Stalking had chosen chocolate as the theme for this month’s #bundtbakers, I was over the moon. Thank you Tanya!!! I’ve made a lot of bundts in this group, but this whole time I’ve only made one other chocolate cake. It’s a cryin shame is what it is, and I promise that I’m appropriately ashamed.

chocolate orange bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

I usually prefer dark chocolate over milk or white, but to be honest I’ll take any and all of the above given the opportunity. I’m the kind of person who keeps a dark chocolate bar (or two) hidden in a drawer in my night stand just in case of emergencies. I only need a few squares at a time when I need my fix, but when I need it, I really need it.

I know I inherited that trait from my mom, who’s secret chocolate stash is kept in the drawers of her vanity. When I first found out about it I couldn’t believe that she would dare to withhold chocolate from me and have the audacity to keep some for herself. These days, I get it.

chocolate orange bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

When I was trying to decide on a chocolate bundt to make this month I was totally overwhelmed by the possibilities. There are just too many delicious things you can do with chocolate and I couldn’t even begin to narrow it down.

Every time I’d think of something, my mind kept wanting to wander back to a chocolate orange bundt that I made when I was just getting this blog off it’s feet. That cake was so moist and tender and brightly flavored and super duper chocolatey that it might just be one of my favorite bundts I’ve ever made.

chocolate orange bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Now, I don’t want to get into the habit of repeating recipes around here, but I knew this cake deserved to be revisited. I originally made it way back in the beginning, back before I’d found out about and joined up with the #bundtbakers gang, back when I was still using an iphone to take my photos, and most importantly, back when I didn’t really have many readers other than my mother. Not only is this recipe new to the bundt bakers, but I also think it deserves to be highlighted with better photos and to be seen and shared with as many people as possible, which simply wasn’t the case the first time around.

I’ve done this with a small handful of my other favorite recipes from the first few months of Brooklyn Homemaker, and I saw no reason not to revisit this one too. So, chocolate orange bundt cake it was.

chocolate orange bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

I made a few minor adjustments to the original recipe from back in 2013, but for the most part little has changed. This cake is rich and dark and sublimely chocolatey with an assertive cocoa flavor backed up with soft and melty morsels of finely chopped dark chocolate. The orange zest and juice in the recipe, along with the orange glaze poured over the top, elevate this cake and give it a boost of sweet fruity brightness that can be unusual with chocolate cakes. The crumb is soft and tender, and the cake is so moist that it stays perfectly delicious for several days if covered well. I took half of the cake to work with me and my coworkers devoured it and raved about how wonderful it was. One of them loved it so much that she took a slice home to her roommate, and has been asking me ever since when I’d be posting the recipe so she could try it herself.

If you’re into chocolate, this is a cake you really gotta try. If you’re not, you need your head examined.

chocolate orange bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Another thing you gotta do if you’re into chocolate is make sure to scroll down past the recipe to check out all the other mouth-watering, craving-satisfying, unbelievable chocolatey creations the other bundt bakers came up with this month. I myself can barely handle all this chocolate in one place.

chocolate orange bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake

adapted from Joy the Baker

For the Cake:
1 1/4 cups orange juice
zest of 3 large oranges
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup peanut oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup finely chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips

For the Glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
zest of one orange

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Generously butter and flour a 10 to 12 cup Bundt pan and set aside.

Whisk orange juice and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, mix together the sugar and orange zest until the zest is well distributed and has turned the sugar orange. Add the salt, eggs and egg yolk and mix on low for about 1 minute. Add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract and mix on low again for another minute.

Add the flour and baking soda and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Mix in chopped chocolate on low. The batter will be very loose.  Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 55-65, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before inverting onto a rack to cool completely.

make the glaze:
Whisk confectioner’s sugar, orange juice and zest until free of lumps. I like to do this in a glass measuring cup with a spout so you can pour the glaze easily.

Place a sheet pan under the rack with the completely cooled cake. Pour the glaze over the Bundt cake, covering it completely. If you have leftover glaze pour it from the pan back into the measuring cup and go back in for another coat. Transfer to a cake plate or platter by gently sliding the cake off the rack, use a thin spatula to help lift it if necessary. Leave at room temperature until ready to serve. The glaze will harden and form a sort of candy shell and keep the cake nice and moist.

chocolate orange bundt cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

It’s probably a good thing that I’m not able to taste all of these cakes because I’d probably eat until I burst given the chance. All this chocolate sure has me drooling guys!!!

BundtBakers

.
Interested in learning more about us? #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page here.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board.