March 25, 2010

Smaller than a breadbox, bigger than a muffin

We're living in a rented house for an indefinite period of time, and I don't want to accumulate "stuff" which is why I should stay away from the kitchenware section of Goodwill. Should. Should. Should. But I don't. I'm drawn there like my dog is to waste baskets, just "looking" in case there might be something interesting. Recently while I was there, I saw a NordicWare mini bundt pan. "Well I certainly don't need that," I thought. "No. Certainly not." I looked. I touched. I walked away.

Standing in the clothing department, vaguely shifting sweaters on a rack, my mind kept going back to the pan. Next thing I knew, I was standing in the checkout line holding it, feeling justified (it was only $2.99!) though slightly guilty, as other people stopped to comment on my find. Oh it's a cute pan, all right.

As soon as I got the pan home I washed and dried it, and set about proving I would use it. I made my version of this apple-cranberry cake, making a few substitutions that I wanted to try. I replaced 3/4 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of almond meal and 1/4 cup of coconut flour (and added 1/4 cup more liquid). I used 1/2 cup of evaporated cane juice and dried cranberries. For the topping I mixed a small amount of lemon juice and powdered sugar to drizzle over the tops. And yes, the mini bundt cakes were cute and delicious.

And now I've used it again, because there's something irresistible about mini-bundt cakes. I've baked a variation of the apple cake — an orange-flavored cake with chocolate chips. I used an organic orange, because though I use organic fruit most of the time, I always like to use organic fruit if I plan to eat the skin. I used a similar flour mix to the one I used for the apple cake but if I didn't already have almond meal and coconut flour in the pantry, I would just use white whole wheat. I like my cakes to have some body, especially bundt cakes, rather than be all light and airy, so sometimes I add alternative flours. I also appreciate when the dessert offers more than just a pretty face. Almond meal and coconut flour add to the nutritional profile, as well as the taste and texture, but feel free not to use them. The cake will work perfectly with just flour. (Click here for more information about coconut flour.)

Before I post the recipe, I want to mention my microplane zester. Using this tool makes me feel like I could zest all day and never get tired. Zip, zip, zip, and the zest is in a fluffy pile. I love this tool, and if you don't already have a zester, this is one you might consider. (It doesn't make long shreds for garnishes; you'll need an old fashioned zester with a single row of little holes, for that.)

Orange chocolate chip cake

Dry ingredients
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice (raw sugar)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Indian black salt (or plain salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
Liquid ingredients
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce or non-dairy yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 3/4 cup orange juice (if you're not using coconut flour, use only 1/2 cup of juice) I zested and juiced one orange, and added frozen OJ to get the full amount of juice needed.
  • 3/8 cup soymilk
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (from one orange)
Preheat oven to 350˚ F and grease pan. I used a mini-bundt pan but you could also use a 9" x 13" pan or a regular 6-cup bundt pan. If using a bundt pan, grease with a mixture of equal parts margarine, oil and flour.
  1. Sift or whisk the dry ingredients except for the chocolate chips, in a large bowl. Stir in the chips.
  2. Whisk the liquid ingredients except for the zest, in a medium bowl until smooth and thick. Stir in the zest. (It will look a little curdled)
  3. Fold the wet mix into the dry until incorporated. Don't over mix.
  4. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake about 35 minutes for a single pan or 20 minutes for a mini-bundt pan. Test with a toothpick.
  5. Cool 9x13 pan on a rack and serve from pan. For bundt pans, place a rack over the pan and invert to release the cake. I let mine cool about one minute before inverting.
  6. For bundt cakes, make a glaze, if desired by whisking together until smooth, one tablespoon orange juice and enough powdered sugar to form a thick but pourable glaze. (Drizzle about one teaspoon over each mini-cake.) Or, melt chocolate chips over hot water and drizzle a chocolate glaze onto cakes. For topping a 9x13 cake before baking, click here for topping suggestions.


  1. What's one more little pan? Haha, I know what you mean about being drawn into the Goodwill.

    The cakes look lovely...and gorgeous pictures!

    Thanks for orange-chocolate chip recipe, sounds delicious.

  2. Give yourself credit for making such swift use of your pan! I bought both the pan and zester weeks ago & they're just languishing.

  3. That sounds fabulous Andrea! Mini bundt cakes are so cute, I need to get one of those pans. Not that I really NEED more kitchen gear...

  4. Rose,
    Thanks! Just one more little pan ... and one more little pan ... and ...

    If it makes you feel any better, I've had an unused gnocchi board for two years, and a barely used mini doughnut pan for just as long. You should definitely use the zester — even my husband was wild-eyed with glee at its powerful zesting ability!

    Thanks and you're welcome. I agree you should dig out that pan.

    It's kind of a bulky pan but it really is cute, and It was a great bargain at $2.99.

  5. Those cakes are adorable, thanks for sharing the recipe. And I need one of those graters;)

  6. *Bookmarking* How pretty! I am not a big fan of cranberries, but the orange and chocolate chips version goes at the very top of my "to bake" list. I love how you used almond and coconut flour too! I do that to keep the carb content down when I am baking something for Mr. Kook (it helps keep his triglycerides low).

    Enjoy your mini bundt pan! :)

  7. They are so cute. I wouldn't have thought about adding Indian Black Salt in sweet recipes. I've just discovered this ingredient and have just sprinkled it on food for the moment. Adding it in cake batter sounds a good idea to give an "egg" taste when it's required. Thanks.

  8. Janet,
    I feel very powerful when I use the grater. :)

    We're on the same page with the almond and coconut flour.

    I use the salt in fairly small amounts so there isn't a pronounced "egg" taste, but it seems to make the cakes taste richer.

  9. I am a total sucker for any miniaturized baked goods, so you can imagine I'm squealing over here! Those are just adorable, the cutest things ever! I also love the combo of orange and chocolate, a little bit different and a lot delicious. This was a great post!

  10. Andrea, those wee baby bundt cakes look almost too cute to eat! Well, maybe not! Your recipes look very try-able too! Now, where am I going to get one of those tins??????????

  11. Tasha,
    Thank you! I'm a sucker for any baking equipment, miniature or otherwise, and interesting cooking stuff, but not always the best about putting said equipment to good use. This pan, however, has really caught my fancy, and I can't wait to use it again!

    You like flea markets and second hand stores, Penny. You should just keep an eye out next time you go. That's how I got mine. :)

  12. Oh, if I had such a pan, I'd use it all the time, too. We recently saw a (quite expensive) bag of coconut flour in a health food store. I didn't buy it, but maybe I'll go back now...
    Your cakes look cute indeed but also very delicious! It sounds like a really interesting recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Those look really, really good. Well done!

  14. I'm totally there with you with kitchen equipment obsessions. Now I want those mini bundt pans! I've always used dried zest b/c I never know what I'm going to do with the fruit leftover - do you eat it right away?

  15. Mihl,
    Coconut flour is a little pricey but I only use a little at a time so it lasts a while. I used it tonight in carrot coconut macaroons.

    Thank you. I'm sorry they weren't gluten-free. :(

    Darn obsessions. I saw some really nifty bamboo tongs yesterday and I may have to go back and get them.

    About the fruit - in this case I juiced the orange and used it in the cake. If I don't use the fruit (usually a lemon) I put it into a glass storage container and use it another time. You only take the very outer layer so there's still skin to protect the fruit.

  16. I am just like you Andrea, I am always drawn to the kitchenware department. It is an exciting place to browse around and it is very difficult keeping your purse shut. This was a good haul. I do love these cakes, they are very cute and the combination of chocolate and orange is always fabulous :)

  17. Hi Andrea! I hope you're in the mood for some black onion seeds... *hint hint* :)

  18. Hi Andrea, my name is Nancy. I just started my own cooking blog where I focus on natural homemade foods. I'm following your blog because I like vegetarian/vegan recipes. Your mini bundt cakes are cut and delish! If you'd like to check out my blog I'd love to hear what you think!

  19. Jacqueline,
    Don't I know it. I was just in such a store yesterday, and of course there was something I absolutely needed. Thanks for the nice comments about my little cakes!

    Of course I am. Woohoo!

    Hi Nancy,
    Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. I'll definitely check out yours, soon.

  20. does this cake really not have any sugar or is it a misprint?


  21. Anon,
    Sorry about that. The sugar was listed in the commentary but didn't make it into the ingredient list. Same with the dried cranberries which were listed as chocolate chips. Sheesh.

  22. I've always been more of a cookie fan than a cake fan, but this sounds like a perfect compromise!

  23. Mimi,
    Little cakes are hard to resist. They're just so cute!

  24. OMG those mini bundt cakes are the cutest!!!

  25. I saw the little tiny bundt cakes as "related" to one of your other posts, so I had to take a peek!

    Goodness this is so adorable!!!

    1. I should that pan again! Thanks for the reminder.


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