Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Individual Vanilla Cakes

I love the idea of giving gifts of food. It's something that you've taken the time and energy to make yourself, and there is something warm and comforting about getting a gift from someone's kitchen that can't quite be duplicated with anything else. So I was thrilled to see the article in this month's Cooking Light with ideas for gifts from your kitchen this holiday season. I knew I had to start trying out some of their recipe ideas right away so I would be prepared with great baked gifts when the holidays finally get here. I can recommend this one whole-heartily.

Vanilla Buttermilk Cakes
Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 5 Loaves or 10 Mini-Cakes

13.5 oz flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 T vanilla bean paste
3 eggs
1 1/3 cups low-fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350*
Combine first four ingredients and stir together with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, followed by the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is fully-incorporated before adding the next. Add flour and buttermilk to the sugar mixture in alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour. Place a mini-loaf pan (mine has room for eight) in the oven to preheat slightly. Remove the pan and spray with cooking spray. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 40 - 45 minutes until golden brown and slightly puffed on top. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Enjoy!


Erica said...

I love giving the gift of food too! And people LOVE to get it! These are beautiful and I bet they're really tasty!

Michele said...

I plan on baking for all of my gift giving this year. These would be a perfect addition. I'm adding them to the wish list right now. :-)

Meg said...

What fantastic cakes! I love that it uses vanilla bean paste!!

Hopie said...

I agree about giving food. And you're right to experiment early :-) Those vanilla cakes look delicious!

Alissa Nicolau said...

Your photo of the mini cake is beautiful. I can almost smell them from here... mmmmmm!

Unknown said...

absolutely divine!

Cathy said...

The perfect little cakes to tuck into a holiday gift basket. I'll have some happy friends this Christmas.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

These look delcious! I haven't seen vanilla bean paste before, but I am thinking I could just srcape the seeds from a fresh vanilla pod. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

I think I'm doing homemade cinnamon rolls this Christmas. I was thinking about taking them all ready to be baked (with the icing on the side) and then they can freeze and bake when they are ready.
This, however, looks like a great alternative if I decide to do something different!

Maria said...

I love giving away treats as gifts. these individual cakes are darling!

Anonymous said...

I bet those are great with ice cream and poached fruit! (Or with yogurt for breakfast...)

I have an award for you - come on by and see what it is!

alexandra's kitchen said...

I do too! Can I have one. just kidding. I have mini loaf pans and this is the best time of year to break them out. this cake sounds simply delicious.

I love your homemade ravioli demo over there on the right. :)

alexandra's kitchen said...

nice! just checked the passed-its-prime buttermillk I have in my fridge, and I think it will work just fine!

also, sorry to communicate via commenting, but, I did work in restaurant/catering kitchens for about 4 years while I was living in Philadelphia. It was a blast, though I never want to get back into a professional kitchen!

Anonymous said...

Homemade gifts are always the best, especially when they're edible and sweet :).

Hopie said...

I just posted an award for you over on my blog :-)

i am... said...

Great! I'm hoping you'll do more posts like this. I need some fresh ideas for gifts!