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Traditional Irish Buttermilk Scones

Traditional Irish Buttermilk Scones

These easy Irish Buttermilk Scones are soft and fluffy on the inside with a perfect crust outside, boasting just the right amount of sweetness. Made with traditional ingredients like buttermilk and baking soda, they’re reminiscent of classic Irish soda bread but with a touch more 

Best Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes {Recipe}

Best Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes {Recipe}

This quick recipe makes fluffy and light vegan buttermilk pancakes, and requires only 7 simple ingredients.  They’re so easy and so delicious! Looking for a classic stack of buttermilk pancakes, made without eggs or dairy? You’re in for a treat with these vegan buttermilk pancakes. They’re 

Favorite Banana Bread Recipe: Using Frozen Bananas

Favorite Banana Bread Recipe: Using Frozen Bananas

Pantry staples + frozen bananas make this supremely easy banana bread recipe a favorite in our house!  A hint of cinnamon and nutmeg for that little touch of something special – this recipe is one you don’t want to miss!

favorite banana bread using frozen bananas

Why You’ll Love this Frozen Banana Bread Recipe

  • Easy & Quick – This simple banana bread recipe takes 10 minutes to make and doesn’t require fancy ingredients or tools to whip up the batter.  Plus, the ease and convenience of using frozen bananas means you can count on having all ingredients on hand. 
  • Just Right Sweetness –  Just the right hit of sweetness from the maple syrup, and the bananas, of course.  No white sugar is needed to make a delicious banana loaf, I promise!  
  • Texture Perfection – This loaf bakes up with a lovely sparkly sugar “crust” and a moist crumb within…such great contrast!  That sugary crust is the reason it’s best the day it’s baked!  
favorite banana bread recipe using frozen bananas

Although the banana eating habits of the five in our household range from a consuming a literal bunch per week to that of my oldest kid who won’t touch one, we consistently buy a very large number of fresh bananas for the week.  Within a few days of bringing them home from the grocery store, most are consumed in their original form; others are relegated to banana smoothies (yum!) as they become progressively more soft and more yellow, and maybe even a little spotty.  Then, there are the final few that never make it off the counter and morph into a color that is more brown than yellow and even a little aromatic.  These are the ones bound for our freezer, and there they remain until they’re baked into this amazing (frozen) banana bread, one that even my banana-averse daughter requests.  

Can frozen bananas be used in banana bread?

Absolutely!  You can save all ripe bananas and collect them in your freezer until you’re ready to bake with them.  They work well in all kinds of banana baking recipes like banana chocolate caramel bundt cakebanana muffins, and, of course, this (frozen) banana bread.  I’ve found the flavor and texture of the bread to be just as good as the loaves made with fresh bananas.  You’ll just need to defrost the frozen bananas before you begin because they’ll need to be soft enough to mash for your baking recipes.

How to freeze bananas:

Ripe to overripe bananas can be frozen up to 3 months in an airtight container or ziplock freezer bag.  Just peel them and line them up in glass lock or bag and find a nice cozy spot for them in your freezer.

You’re looking for a soft, mash-able texture and to release all the excess liquid from the freezing process. 

ripe bananas ready to be peeled and frozen
frozen bananas in airtight container
thawed frozen bananas ready to mash

You can thaw bananas one of three ways:

  • 1 – place them in a bowl (covered) or other container in the refrigerator overnight.  Don’t be concerned if they turn brown as they thaw. They are perfectly safe and delicious to use in your banana bread. Before using in recipe, pour off or drain (and discard) liquid. 
  • 2 – Defrost them in the microwave in 30 second intervals on high power. Drain and discard liquid before using. 
  • 3 – Defrost them in the microwave on 50-percent power for 2-3 minutes, until bananas are soft enough to mash and they have released some liquid. Drain and discard liquid before using.
drain excess liquid in a strainer

HOW TO MEASURE A LOAF PAN

This recipe calls for an 8.5 by 4.5 inch loaf pan but you can also use a 9 by 5 size. You’ll just want to reduce the baking time by about 10 minutes and start checking the bread at 40 minutes. If you’re not sure which size you have, pull out a ruler, and measure the broad, top portion to double check. This is important to get the time right!

how to measure a loaf pan

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make (Frozen) Banana Bread

  • Frozen bananas – Must be thawed (see above how-to) and ready to mash.  You’ll use two large bananas or about 3/4 cup.
  • All-purpose flour – Scoop lightly and level with a butter knife or the back of a measuring spoon. 
  • Baking soda & baking powder – the combination of these two leaveners helps the bread rise.
  • Kosher salt (or sea salt) – Balances the sweetness and brings out all that banana flavor!
  • Cinnamon – Goes so well with the banana flavor (optional)
  • Nutmeg – This is also completely optional but I encourage you to try the bread with the cinnamon and nutmeg at least once! It really gives it a special touch. 
  • Avocado oil – Or another neutral-flavored oil. This adds moisture and tenderness to the banana bread. 
  • Large eggs 
  • Maple syrup – We’re using maple syrup as a sweetener and it also adds a lovely hint of maple flavor. 
  • Vanilla extract 
  • Unsalted butter – for greasing the loaf pan
  • Raw/turbinado sugar – Sprinkling a little on top of the unbaked loaf adds a little sparkle and crunch to the finished banana bread.  You can also use brown sugar as an alternative.
ingredients to make frozen banana bread

How to Make (Frozen) Banana Bread

1. Center a rack in oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan generously with butter and set aside. Mash thawed bananas with a large fork, pastry blender or potato masher. 

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk all dry ingredients including nutmeg and cinnamon to mix well, ensuring all baking powder & baking soda is well incorporated. 

3. Stir together all wet ingredients, starting with eggs and whisking, followed by mashed bananas, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently with a rubber spatula until most of flour has been incorporated and only a few streaks of flour remain. Don’t over mix. 

5.  Using rubber spatula again, spoon all batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth.  Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of turbinado sugar on top.

6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. 

7. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack in pan, and then remove from pan to cool fully on cooling rack. 

8.  Slice into thick slices and serve with butter, if desired.

frozen banana bread batter

How to Store and Freeze Extra Banana Bread

Store banana bread, covered well in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 3-4 days. To reheat, place a slice in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.  To freeze banana bread, wrap well in plastic wrap and then wrap a second time in aluminum foil. Place in tightly sealed ziplock bag or glass-lock container and place in freezer for up to two months. To thaw, place at room temperature overnight. If you’d like, you can reheat the thawed loaf in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. 

fresh baked banana bread using frozen bananas

Mixing Things Up

There are countless ways to play around with this banana bread recipe.  Add nuts or fruit, or, my kids’ favorite, chocolate chips!

  • For blueberry banana bread, gently fold in 1 cup of blueberries to the finished finished banana bread batter.
  • For chocolate chip banana bread, gently fold 1 cup of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chocolate chips into the batter.
  • For Banana nut bread – Gently fold 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans into the batter before baking.
favorite banana bread recipe using frozen bananas

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Favorite (Frozen) Banana Bread

This recipe calls for an 8.5 by 4.5 inch loaf pan but you can also use a 9 by 5 size. You’ll just want to reduce the baking time by about 10 minutes and start checking at 40 minutes.
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: frozen banana bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon optional
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg optional
  • 3/4 cup frozen bananas (or two large bananas) thawed and drained of excess liquid
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • butter for greasing the loaf pan
  • turbinado or raw sugar to top loaf (optional)

Instructions

  • Center a rack in oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan generously with butter and set aside. Mash thawed bananas with a large fork, pastry blender or potato masher.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk all dry ingredients including nutmeg and cinnamon to mix well, ensuring all baking powder/soda are well incorporated.
  • Stir together all wet ingredients, starting with eggs and whisking, followed by mashed bananas, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently with a rubber spatula until most of flour has been incorporated and only a few streaks of flour remain. Don't over mix.
  • Using rubber spatula again, spoon all batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth.  Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of turbinado sugar on top.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack in pan, and then remove from pan to cool fully on cooling rack.
  • Slice into thick slices and serve with butter, if desired.
Favorite Oatmeal Pancakes (without eggs)

Favorite Oatmeal Pancakes (without eggs)

Homemade oatmeal pancakes, made with no eggs! This is my family’s favorite oatmeal pancake recipe, made with oats, buttermilk, brown sugar and a few other simple ingredients.  It’s an easy recipe it and makes delicious oatmeal pancakes, sure to be among your very favorites! So, grab your favorite griddle and 

Fresh Ginger & Lemon Scones

Fresh Ginger & Lemon Scones

Made with fresh ginger and lemon, these beautiful bakery-sized scones are light and buttery inside, crumbly on the outside and finished with a drizzle of lemon icing. Scones are my very favorite breakfast pastry. I love how versatile they are with any number of mix-ins 

Lemon Crepes with Honey Mascarpone 

Lemon Crepes with Honey Mascarpone 

Delicate lemony crepes topped with whipped honey mascarpone and fresh raspberries. Lemon crepes with honey mascarpone make a lovely dessert crepe, a perfect Mother’s Day brunch or an extra-special family breakfast for a lazy Saturday. 

My Aunt recently delivered a bowl of Meyer lemons straight from her California friend’s lemon tree!  The skin was so smooth and a deep, almost-orange yellow, complete with tiny green stems.  They were beautiful and such a treat in my Colorado kitchen!  I knew I had to make lemon crepes!  This lemon crepe recipe is bursting with lemon flavor…fresh lemon juice as well as zest.  The lemon flavor pairs so well with the honey and the ultra-creamy mascarpone cheese in the filling.  The whipped filling is purely optional; serve the lemon crepes simply with a generous dusting of powdered sugar if you prefer!

The filling and the crepe batter can be prepared in advance, and in fact, the crepe batter must rest; so do yourself a favor and whip up the batter the night before. It only takes a few minutes!  The mascarpone filling can be made up to three days in advance.

lemon crepes with honey mascarpone

Handy Tools to Make Crepes More Successful

  • Offset spatula – This could be small or large in size.  Offset spatulas are flexible and bend easily to get under the thin crepe edges.  They just make flipping that much easier.  I’ve also had success with other spatulas.  In general, the thinner, the better!
  • Crepe pan – I use this De Buyer crepe pan and it’s wonderful. Made of carbon steel, it’s durable and needs less and less seasoning (butter) the more I use it.  You can also use a small, 8-inch nonstick skillet as well if you don’t own a crepe pan.  
lemon crepes with honey mascarpone

Ingredients to Make Lemon Crepes with Honey Mascarpone

  • Flour – All purpose flour (unbleached)
  • Eggs – Four room temperature eggs are needed to make the crepe batter. It gives them their delicate and rich texture.
  • Milk – Whole milk at room temperature is important for this recipe.
  • Salt – Flavors the batter
  • Butter – A few tablespoons of melted unsalted butter goes into the batter.  There’s more sugar in this crepe recipe to balance the tart lemon juice and they’ll stick a little more than your traditional crepe batter, so keep a little extra butter handy while you cook the crepes. 
  • Lemon – I used Meyer lemons this time but I’ve also used regular lemons and they’re equally delicious in this recipe.  You’ll need both the zest and the juice of one lemon, which will be between 2 and 3 tablespoons of juice. 
  • Granulated sugar 
  • Powdered sugar – Give the finished crepes a final dusting of powdered sugar just before serving. So beautiful!
  • Raspberries or other fresh berries – for serving!
  • Mascarpone – Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese.  The main difference between mascarpone and American cream cheese is the higher fat content in mascarpone, and, as a result, it is creamier in texture. 
  • Honey – The sweetener for the whipped mascarpone topping.  If you’re not a fan of honey, you can substitute an equal amount of maple syrup. 
ingredients to make lemon crepes with honey mascarpone

How to Make Lemon Crepes with Honey Mascarpone

1. Make crepe batter

Using a microplane or box grater, zest lemon onto a plate and squeeze lemon juice into a small bowl.  To a blender, add flour, eggs, milk, salt, melted butter, lemon zest & lemon juice and granulated sugar. Turn blender on and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Turn blender off and run a rubber spatula around the perimeter of the blender base to incorporate any remaining flour.  Process once more for a few seconds until smooth and fully blended. 

2. Let batter rest

Let the crêpe batter rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or overnight.  This allows the gluten in the flour to rest and gives the finished crepes a more delicate texture.  They also stick less and flip more easily after resting. 

3. Cook Crepes

Stir batter for a few seconds after removing from the refrigerator. Preheat crepe pan or small non-stick pan (8-inch) over medium high heat.  Place your hand a few inches above the pan.  When it radiates heat, it’s ready.  Turn burner back down to medium.  I usually alternate between medium low and medium heat while I’m cooking the crepes.  Don’t fret if the first crepe is a flop! It always is in my house! It can take a minute to get the pan to the right temperature. 

Grease the pan with about 1 teaspoon of butter if it’s not already well-seasoned. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of crepe batter into the center of the pan and, working quickly, rotate pan in a circular motion as the batter spreads to coat entire surface of the pan.  Place pan back on burner and cook for about a minute, until edges begin to brown and lift up from the edge of the pan.  Use an offset spatula or a thin rubber spatula to release crepe from pan, and then flip crepe with your hands or spatula. Cook for an additional 15-30 seconds. It’s OK to see a few golden brown spots.  Transfer crepe onto a large dinner plate.  Continue cooking (adding butter as needed) and stacking crepes on plate as you go, using all remaining batter, until ready to serve.  

cook first side of lemon crepe
flip the crepe with an offset spatula
stack finished crepes on a plate

4. Make Honey Mascarpone

In a small bowl, whip together the honey, mascarpone and heavy cream with a whisk until smooth. 

5. Serve Crepes

To the center of each crepe, spoon about 2 tablespoons of honey mascarpone and spread gently outward.  Fold into quarters and stack a few crepes on top of each other.  Dust with a little powdered sugar and add fresh raspberries.

Other ideas for serving

Dust a little powdered sugar on top of each crepe and fold crepe into fourths or roll up like a burrito.  Serve with a final dusting of powdered sugar on top, or with a little maple syrup, lemon curd and/or fresh whipped cream.  This fresh blackberry sauce would also be amazing! 

close up of lemon crepes

Can I freeze the extra crepes?

Yes! Crepes freeze well stacked between layers of wax paper or parchment paper, and then sealed tightly in a ziplock bag. They’ll keep for 4 months frozen. To defrost, just place in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in the microwave in 10 second intervals, flipping in-between, until warm. Or, place in a skillet over medium-low heat and heat until warm.

serving lemon crepes with honey mascarpone

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Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! I love hearing from you and hope these lemon crepes become a favorite in your collection, too.

Lemon Crepes with Honey Mascarpone

Delicate lemony crepes topped with whipped honey mascarpone and fresh raspberries.  
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Rest Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 28 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword: honey mascarpone, lemon crepes
Servings: 12 Crepes

Ingredients

Lemon Crepes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • unsalted butter for cooking
  • lemon zest & juice (about 2-3 T juice)

Honey Mascarpone

  • 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp honey

Instructions

  • Make crepe batter: Using a microplane or box grater, zest lemon onto a plate and squeeze lemon juice into a small bowl.  To a blender, add flour, eggs, milk, salt, melted butter, lemon zest & lemon juice and granulated sugar. Turn blender on and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Turn blender off and run a rubber spatula around the perimeter of the blender base to incorporate any remaining flour.  Process once more for a few seconds until smooth and fully blended. 
  • Let batter rest: Let the crêpe batter rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or overnight.  This allows the gluten in the flour to rest and gives the finished crepes a more delicate texture.  They also stick less and flip more easily after resting. 
  • Cook Crepes: Stir batter for a few seconds after removing from the refrigerator. Preheat crepe pan or small non-stick pan (8-inch) over medium high heat.  Place your hand a few inches above the pan.  When it radiates heat, it's ready.  Turn burner back down to medium.  I usually alternate between medium low and medium heat while I'm cooking the crepes.  Don't fret if the first crepe is a flop! It always is in my house! It can take a minute to get the pan to the right temperature. 
    Grease pan with about 1 teaspoon of butter. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of crepe batter into the center of the pan and, working quickly, rotate pan in a circular motion as the batter spreads to coat entire surface of the pan.  Place pan back on burner and cook for about a minute, until edges begin to brown and lift up from the edge of the pan.  Use an offset spatula or a thin rubber spatula to release crepe from pan, and then flip crepe with your hands or spatula. Cook for an additional 15-30 seconds. It's OK to see a few golden brown spots.  Transfer crepe onto a large dinner plate.  Continue cooking (using more butter to grease as needed) and stacking crepes on plate as you go, using all remaining batter, until ready to serve.  
  • Make Honey Mascarpone: In a small bowl, whip together the honey, mascarpone and heavy cream until smooth. 
  • Serve Crepes: To the center of each crepe, spoon about 2 tablespoons of honey mascarpone and spread gently outward.  Fold into quarters and stack a few crepes on top of each other.  Dust with a little powdered sugar and add fresh raspberries.

Notes

Other ideas for serving: Dust a little powdered sugar on top of each crepe and fold crepe into fourths or roll up like a burrito.  Serve with a final dusting of powdered sugar on top, or with a little maple syrup, lemon curd and/or fresh whipped cream.  This fresh blackberry sauce would also be amazing! 
To freeze: Stack between layers of wax paper or parchment paper, and then sealed tightly in a ziplock bag. They’ll keep for 4 months frozen. To defrost, just place in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in the microwave in 10 second intervals, flipping in-between, until warm. Or, place in a skillet over medium-low heat and heat until warm. 
Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

Mascarpone whipped cream frosting is the sophisticated cousin of your favorite homemade whipped cream.  It’s fluffy and rich and holds up beautifully when piped or spooned on top of your favorite cake or dessert.  Made with only 4 ingredients, it’s the easiest frosting you’ll ever make. 

Nut-Free Linzer Cookies with Lemon Curd

Nut-Free Linzer Cookies with Lemon Curd

Gorgeous lemon curd-filled sandwich cookies…buttery, delicate and a perfect compliment to the tart lemon curd within.   WHAT ARE LINZER COOKIES? Linzer cookies are traditional Austrian cookies, usually made with ground nuts and sandwiched around a jam filling. They are an adaptation of the classic 

Double Chocolate Banana Kodiak Cake Muffins

Double Chocolate Banana Kodiak Cake Muffins

These double chocolate banana kodiak cake muffins are made with bananas, ground cinnamon, pure maple syrup and two kinds of chocolate!  They’re whole grain, full of protein, and perfect for a quick breakfast on a busy morning. 

I love muffins for breakfast…or a snack…or really, any time of the day!  They’re wonderful for a meal prep idea as they freeze easily and keep well on the counter for several days. They’re super portable and individually-sized.  My kids enjoy packing them for their school snacks.  The problem is, most muffins contain nearly as much sugar as a cupcake and rarely are they made with whole grains!  That’s where these Kodiak muffins come in.  This healthy and delicious kodiak cakes muffin recipe yields light, chocolatey banana muffins, perfect for an easy breakfast on a busy morning or a healthy snack on the go.

I’ve used Kodiak pancake mix for years to make easy whole grain waffles and my family loves them, especially with a little homemade whipped cream and some fresh berries.  They’ve never known they are enjoying whole wheat waffles, full of protein. So, it’s only fitting to use the mix for muffins as well, and the results are delicious! Like, in case you missed these apple cinnamon kodiak cake muffins.

Without further ado, the latest kodiak adaptation are these delicious double chocolate banana muffins…

double chocolate banana kodiak cake muffins

WHAT IS KODIAK CAKE BAKING MIX?

This pre-mixed blend is like the Bisquick mix of my youth, made to be convenient and versatile for whipping up easy waffles, pancakes and muffins!  But, unlike other brands, Kodiak mix, known as “Power Cakes”, is made 100% of whole grains, both with whole wheat flour and oat flour, and has less sugar.  The mix also has 14 grams of protein (from wheat protein isolate and whey protein concentrate) per serving, which is always a good addition to breakfast pastries.  

I find Kodiak Power Cakes mix stocked at my Costco, which makes it especially economical, but I’ve also seen it at most of the local grocery stores as well.  “Buttermilk” is their original flavor of Kodiak flapjack & waffle mix and the one we’re using to make these muffins. 

Kodiak Power Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix

INGREDIENTS FOR DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BANANA KODIAK CAKE MUFFINS

  • Kodiak cakes baking mix – This comes pre-leveaned so it’s easy – no baking soda/powder or salt needed.  It combines whole grain oat flour & whole grain wheat flour for a 100% whole grain muffin. 
  • Baking powder – There is already a little baking powder in the Kodiak mix, but in my recipe testing I found the texture and rise of the finished muffins is better if a little extra is mixed into the dry ingredients. 
  • Bananas – The riper, the better. Frozen bananas, defrosted in the microwave also work!
  • Pure maple syrup – the sweetener in this muffin recipe. You can swap honey in it’s place too, or substitute 1/3 cup of brown sugar if you’d prefer. 
  • Milk – The milk is flexible.  Use whole milk, unsweetened almond milk, or oat milk.
  • Egg – Large egg, preferably at room temperature
  • Oil  – A neutral oil like avocado works best.
  • Vanilla extract – purely for flavor 
  • Cinnamon – This is optional.
  • Nutmeg – Nutmeg is optional as well but so delicious with the banana and chocolate!
  • Cocoa powder – Unsweetened variety
  • Chocolate chips – I really love using these Trader Joe’s dark chocolate chips! You can add more or less of these depending on your preference.

HOW TO MAKE Double Chocolate Banana “KODIAK CAKE” MUFFINS

1. PREHEAT OVEN AND GREASE MUFFIN PAN

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and center oven rack. Grease 12 standard-size muffin cups with butter or spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.  You want to skip the paper muffin/cupcake liners with this recipe and grease your muffin pan instead as the muffin liners are too sticky for this recipe.

2. MIX MUFFIN BATTER

In a large mixing bowl, mash banana with a pastry blender or fork.  Stir in milk, egg, vanilla extract, oil, and maple syrup until well combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together Kodiak mix, cocoa powder, baking powder, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Using a rubber spatula, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, being sure not to over mix.  Add chocolate chips and gently stir.  You don’t want to develop the gluten in the whole wheat flour too much or the muffins will be tough.

3. FILL MUFFIN CUPS

Using a large ice cream scoop or large spoon, divide muffin batter evenly between muffin tins. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top for good measure.  

grease muffin tin
scoop double chocolate banana kodiak muffin batter into muffin tin
bake muffins

4. BAKE MUFFINS

Bake at 400 degrees in middle of oven for 10 minutes.  Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a muffin center comes out clean.

5. COOL MUFFINS AND ENJOY

Cool muffins slightly on wire rack. Enjoy warm, split with a little butter, or enjoy later. 

MIXING THINGS UP

Substitute greek yogurt for the milk. An easy swap to add a little extra protein to these muffins. 

HOW TO STORE & FREEZE EXTRA KODIAK MUFFINS

Place fully cooled muffins in airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.  To freeze, use freezer storage bags and place muffins in a single layer, removing as much air as possible before sealing.  These will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.  To thaw, defrost on the counter overnight and warm in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes, if desired.  Or, reheat each frozen muffin in the microwave on microwave-safe plate, on high, for 30 seconds.

double chocolate banana kodiak cake muffins

LOOKING FOR MORE HEALTHY BREAKFAST & SNACK IDEAS? CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES:

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and give this recipe a rating! And of course, be sure to follow Lane Bakery on Instagram and don’t forget to tag me (@lane_bakery). I love cooking with you!


Double Chocolate Banana Kodiak Cake Muffins

Double chocolate banana kodiak cakes muffins are made with bananas, ground cinnamon, and pure maple syrup.  They’re whole grain, full of protein, and perfect for a quick breakfast on a busy morning. 
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time18 minutes
Total Time33 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Keyword: chocolate banana muffins, kodiak cake muffins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups Kodiak Power Cakes Mix (Buttermilk variety)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon optional
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg optional
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  • PREHEAT OVEN AND GREASE MUFFIN PAN: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and center oven rack. Grease 12 standard-size muffin cups with butter or spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.  You want to skip the paper muffin/cupcake liners with this recipe and grease your muffin pan instead as the muffin liners are too sticky for this recipe.
  • MIX MUFFIN BATTER: In a large mixing bowl, mash banana with a pastry blender or fork.  Stir in milk, egg, vanilla extract, oil, and maple syrup until well combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together Kodiak mix, cocoa powder, baking powder, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Using a rubber spatula, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, being sure not to over mix.  Add chocolate chips and gently stir.  You don’t want to develop the gluten in the whole wheat flour too much or the muffins will be tough.
  • FILL MUFFIN CUPS: Using a large ice cream scoop or large spoon, divide muffin batter evenly between muffin tins. 
  • BAKE MUFFINS: Bake at 400 degrees in middle of oven for 10 minutes.  Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a muffin center comes out clean.
  • COOL MUFFINS AND ENJOY: Cool muffins slightly on wire rack. Enjoy warm, split with a little butter, or enjoy later. 

Notes

MIXING THINGS UP:
Substitute greek yogurt for the milk. An easy swap to add a little extra protein to these muffins. 
Mini Berry Pavlovas with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

Mini Berry Pavlovas with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

Impress your loved ones with these mini berry pavlovas with vanilla bean whipped cream. These elegant individual pavlovas have a crisp exterior and chewy marshmallow-like center. Topped with homemade vanilla bean whipped cream and berries, they’re absolutely delicious! Have you made pavlova? Maybe you’ve tried 

Homemade Soft Country Bread

Homemade Soft Country Bread

Homemade country bread takes 2 hours and 15 minutes, start to finish. No planning ahead or sourdough starter required!  This recipe makes two round, free-form loaves and is leavened with instant (quick) yeast.  Homemade bread doesn’t get any better, or easier than this! I don’t 

First Watch Lemon Ricotta Pancakes 

First Watch Lemon Ricotta Pancakes 

Lemon ricotta pancakes, made with ricotta cheese and fresh lemon are inspired by the lemon ricotta pancakes at First Watch.  These fluffy pancakes are layered with lemon curd and fresh strawberries!  They are a real treat for a weekend morning breakfast with the family when you want to mix up your pancake routine or even a Mother’s Day brunch!

I have a weakness for pancakes.  Like, these old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes.  And while I love a good brunch out every now and then, to me, there’s nothing better than a lazy Saturday morning at home with homemade pancakes and a cup of coffee for breakfast.  So, I just had to recreate the First Watch lemon ricotta pancakes at home.  Now you, too, can enjoy these amazing First Watch lemon ricotta pancakes any day of the week, from home!

We’re using a whole grain flour combo to match the multigrain batter at First Watch.  You won’t even know you’re eating whole grains though; they’re still just as moist and fluffy as the pancakes made with only all-purpose flour.  For the pancake batter, I modified my buttermilk pancake batter, adding creamy ricotta cheese for an extra delicate texture and delicious taste, plus the zest and juice of one lemon.  Topped with fresh strawberries and lemon curd they’re over-the-top good! 

5 TIPS FOR perfectly fluffy LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES


1. DO MIX ALL THE DRY INGREDIENTS TOGETHER WITH A WHISK.

This will guarantee you don’t have any pockets of baking soda in your pancakes.  If the baking soda is evenly dispersed in the batter, it will rise beautifully and you won’t end up with any bitter baking soda-y bites.

2. DON’T OVER-MIX THE BATTER.

If you mix til the point of a perfectly smooth batter, you’ll overwork the gluten in the flour and they’ll be tough and chewy.  Mix just until most of the flour has been absorbed by the liquid ingredients but you should see some lumps.

3. DON’T LET THE PANCAKE BATTER SIT.

You want to use the batter as soon as it’s combined and take advantage of all those glorious CO2 bubbles from the buttermilk and baking soda reaction. If you’ve read the opposite before, it’s likely because the other pancake batter is made with baking powder, which takes more time to activate.

4. DO USE A JUST RIGHT HOT GRIDDLE.

I can’t emphasize this one enough. Have you ever noticed the first few pancakes in your griddle are “flops” and just don’t look great? That’s because the pan isn’t hot enough! Don’t be afraid to fire up the heat to medium-high in the beginning. You will want to turn it back to medium after a few minutes. On my stove, I alternate between medium-high heat and medium-low heat, with the majority of the cooking time set to medium. When the pancakes are browning too quickly, turn it down. When they’re looking flat and pale in color, turn it up. You’ll get the hang of it!

5. DON’T FLIP MORE THAN ONCE.

Resist the temptation to flip more than once and please, oh please, don’t smoosh or pat your pancakes with your spatula while they’re cooking.  You’ll know the pancakes are ready to flip when they’re covered in tiny bubbles and those bubbles begin to pop.  Use a thin but sturdy spatula for flipping precision.

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES

ingredients you'll need to make First Watch lemon ricotta pancakes

For the pancakes

  • Flour – We’re mixing our own half whole wheat-half all purpose flour blend to match the multi-grain blend used at First Watch in their pancakes.
  • Baking soda – Make sure your baking soda is fresh.
  • Salt – Adds flavor
  • Sugar – Adds sweetness
  • Buttermilk – both low-fat and full fat buttermilk work for this recipe.  It makes fluffier pancakes than those made with milk. 
  • Oil – This adds richness and tenderness to the pancakes.  I like to use avocado oil, but any neutral-flavored oil will do, or you can substitute melted butter.
  • Eggs
  • Ricotta – Use whole milk ricotta in this recipe. 
  • Whole lemon – You’ll use both the zest and the juice in the pancake batter. 
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla goes so beautifully with the lemon in these pancakes!
  • Butter – For cooking (or substitute more oil)

For Serving

  • Lemon curd – You can find lemon curd in the jams and jellies section of the grocery store. Trader Joe’s makes their own for a reasonable price.  Or, make your own!
  • Fresh strawberries – Slice the strawberries, or quarter them if they’re small. 
  • Pure maple syrup – For serving. Warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds to take the chill off if it’s been stored in the refrigerator. You don’t want to pour cold syrup over your hot pancakes!
  • Whipped cream – Decadent addition that goes so well with the tang of the lemon curd. This is optional, of course!

HOW TO MAKE LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES

This recipe makes about 16 four-inch pancakes. The batter is easy to whip up and it’s mixed by hand. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees if you want to keep them warm while you cook.  

1. STIR TOGETHER DRY INGREDIENTS

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. 

2. WHISK LIQUID INGREDIENTS

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs vigorously, followed by oil, buttermilk, ricotta cheese, fresh lemon juice & zest, as well as the vanilla extract. 

how to make lemon ricotta pancakes batter

3. MAKE PANCAKE LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKE BATTER

Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently with a whisk or rubber spatula, until almost fully mixed.  You want to error on the side of undermining.  Lumpy batter equals more tender pancakes!

stir together lemon ricotta pancake batter

4. COOK THE PANCAKES

First, start by heating a large pancake nonstick griddle, cast-iron skillet or electric griddle over medium heat and wait until the griddle is nice and hot.  You should feel the heat coming from the pan when you place your hand a few inches above. 

Coat the bottom of the pan with a little move avocado oil or a pat of butter (about one teaspoon).  

Using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon and about a quarter cup of batter, scoop onto hot skillet, letting the batter fall into somewhat organized circles.  They will begin to bubble quite quickly if the pan is sufficiently heated.  Wait until the edges begin to set and little bubbles form and begin to pop on the surface of each pancake.  

When you suspect they’re ready to flip you can “peek” by lifting the corner of the pancake with your pancake spatula.  If it’s golden brown, you’re ready to flip. If it’s still light and blonde looking, give it another minute or two (you may want to turn up your heat to medium-high, temporarily).  Flip all pancakes and cook on the other side for another 1-2 minutes, until browned and cooked in the middle.  

Remove pancakes in batches as you go, and repeat with remaining batter.  I like to stack the cooked pancakes on an oven safe baking sheet and place in the oven (200 degrees Fahrenheit) as I go, to keep them hot and serve them all at once, but a plate works fine too.

heat hot skillet
wait until pancakes begin to bubble and those bubbles pop
flip pancakes and cook on other side 1-2 minutes

5. SERVE PANCAKES

Serve pancakes in stacks, layering with lemon curd between each pancake. Top with fresh strawberries, a drizzle of maple syrup and whipped cream if you’d like!  The final First Watch topping is a dusting of their cinnamon sugar made with powdered sugar and a little cinnamon, so don’t hesitate to add a little of that as well!  We’re going all in for pancakes, right?

First Watch lemon ricotta pancakes

MIXING THINGS UP

  • For blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes, just swap out the strawberries for fresh blueberries!  Other fresh berries would be good as well.  Raspberries…blackberries!
  • For 100% whole grain lemon ricotta pancakes, substitute all whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour.

CAN I PREPARE THE PANCAKE BATTER IN ADVANCE? 

No, unfortunately not. You can pre-mix the dry ingredients and pre-mix the liquid ingredients and store them in airtight containers overnight.  But, once you mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, it’s go time!

When the baking soda and the buttermilk are combined in the batter, the leavening agent in the baking soda is activated by the buttermilk to create carbon dioxide.  Bubbles of gas are caught in the batter as it cooks and this is what makes the pancake fluffy.  Letting the batter sit will result in dense, flat pancakes. Try this homemade buttermilk pancake mix for a time-saving alternative or to make buttermilk pancakes ahead of time.

HOW TO FREEZE & STORE LEFTOVER PANCAKES

Inevitably, I end up with 2 or 3 leftover pancakes every time!  But, they are easy to freeze and reheat well for future weekday breakfasts or snacks on the go. 

To freeze, place in ziplock bag, separating each layer with parchment paper. These will keep up to 2 months.

To reheat, place frozen pancakes in toaster or microwave for 30 seconds on high heat.

Have extra buttermilk you need to use? Try these recipes:

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes

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Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! I love hearing from you and hope these lemon ricotta pancakes become a favorite in your collection, too.

First Watch lemon ricotta pancakes
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

First Watch Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Fresh lemon + ricotta pancakes. Light & fluffy, and oh-so-good layered with lemon curd, fresh strawberries and whipped cream!
Prep Time12 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time32 minutes
Course: Breakfast, brunch
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the Pancakes:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or "white" pastry flour or use regular whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese whole milk ricotta preferred
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp avocado oil or another neutral oil melted butter works, too!
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon 2-3 tbsp of juice and about 1 tbsp of zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For Serving:

  • lemon curd
  • fresh strawberries sliced
  • whipped cream
  • pure maple syrup

Instructions

  • STIR TOGETHER DRY INGREDIENTS – Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. 
  • WHISK LIQUID INGREDIENTS – In a medium bowl, whisk eggs vigorously, followed by oil, buttermilk, ricotta cheese, fresh lemon juice & zest, as well as the vanilla extract. 
  • MAKE PANCAKE LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKE BATTER – Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently with a rubber spatula, until almost fully mixed.  You want to error on the side of undermining.  Lumpy batter equals more tender pancakes!
  • COOK THE PANCAKES – First, start by heating a large pancake nonstick griddle, cast-iron skillet or electric griddle over medium heat and wait until the griddle is nice and hot.  You should feel the heat coming from the pan when you place your hand a few inches above. 
    Coat the bottom of the pan with a little move avocado oil or a pat of butter (about one teaspoon).  
    Using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon and about a quarter cup of batter, scoop onto hot skillet, letting the batter fall into somewhat organized circles.  They will begin to bubble quite quickly if the pan is sufficiently heated.  Wait until the edges begin to set and little bubbles form and begin to pop on the surface of each pancake.  
    When you suspect they’re ready to flip you can “peek” by lifting the corner of the pancake with your pancake spatula.  If it’s golden brown, you’re ready to flip. If it’s still light and blonde looking, give it another minute or two (you may want to turn up your heat to medium-high, temporarily).  Flip all pancakes and cook on the other side for another 1-2 minutes, until browned and cooked in the middle.  
    Remove pancakes in batches as you go, and repeat with remaining batter.  I like to stack the cooked pancakes on an oven safe baking sheet and place in the oven (200 degrees Fahrenheit) as I go, to keep them hot and serve them all at once, but a plate works fine too.
  • SERVE PANCAKES – Serve pancakes in stacks, layering with lemon curd between each pancake. Top with fresh strawberries, a drizzle of maple syrup and whipped cream if you’d like!  The final First Watch topping is a dusting of their cinnamon sugar made with powdered sugar and a little cinnamon, so don’t hesitate to add a little of that as well!  

Notes

This recipe makes about 16 four-inch pancakes. The batter is easy to whip up and it’s mixed by hand. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees if you want to keep them warm while you cook.  
  • For blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes, just swap out the strawberries for fresh blueberries!  Other fresh berries would be good as well.  Raspberries…blackberries!
  • For 100% whole grain lemon ricotta pancakes, substitute all whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour.
Homemade Oatmeal Fig Bars

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Grandma’s Classic Pumpkin Pie

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Chocolate & Cognac Fig Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate & Cognac Fig Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Figs are a lovely early autumn treat, and here they’re featured in a luscious dark chocolate cake.  This decadent cake is moist and rich and for true chocolate lovers!  It combines the richness of dark chocolate, the warmth of cognac and the natural sweetness of figs…soooo good!  

This delicious cake can be made any time of the year as it uses dried figs, but it’s especially fun this time of year, when the leaves are beginning to change and the first scents of fall are upon us.  Chocolate & cognac fig cake is a beautiful cake and perfect for special occasions, or when you need a little chocolate indulgence in your life (always!).  It’s sure to impress! 

The origin of this recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Baking From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan.  Dorie makes this with prunes, but they have never been one of my favorite ingredients so I opted for figs over prunes.  I love the chewy-seedy texture of figs and their nutty, not-too-sweet flavor.  They go beautifully with the dark chocolate and cognac in this adaptation of Dorie’s recipe.  

Cognac, Armanac, Oh my! What is the difference between Cognac, Brandy & Armanac?

Cognac is a type of French brandy distilled from wine.  Cognac earns its designation in a specific part of France, much like that of champagne. To be considered a cognac, the brandy must be twice distilled in copper barrels, aged at least two years, and be produced in any of the French designated growing regions.  Similarly, armagnac is a brandy one of four certified French regions but it’s only distilled once.  It’s known for its flavor, combining notes of dried fruit, chocolate and caramel.  Armagnac is the oldest brandy to be distilled, but is lesser known as it’s produced in smaller quantities than cognac. 

Tips for making the best chocolate fig cake

Use the right pan! This fig cake recipe calls for an 8-inch pan, either a regular cake pan or a springform pan.  If you only have a 9-inch pan you’ll need to reduce the baking time. 

Perfectly whipped egg whites – Egg whites provide the lift in this cake recipe as there are no chemical leaveners like baking soda or baking powder, so make sure to fold the egg whites in when incorporating them to keep the cake batter light and airy.  

No nut butter – Don’t over-process your pecans or walnuts when grinding them in a food processor.  You don’t want to turn them into nut butter! 

Just right baking time – Check the cake at 28 minutes exactly and remove it from the oven when the edges are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.  A toothpick inserted into the center should come away with steaks, not completely clean.  If the toothpick or skewer is still really wet, you can bake it for another 3-5 minutes. 

chocolate cognac fig cake

Ingredients You’ll Need for the chocolate fig cake:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Pecans (or walnuts) – The nuts add flavor but you won’t really detect them because they’re ground in this recipe.  Bob’s red mill makes many nut flour varieties, which will also work here if you don’t want to process the nuts at home.
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Water – Some for the fig mixture and some for the chocolate/butter portion of the cake batter
  • Unsalted butter – Some for the cake, some for the glaze and a little more to grease the cake pan
  • Large eggs – The whites will be whipped and the yolks incorporated with the sugar.  These will add volume to the cake!
  • Cognac – Enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake and is delicious with the dried figs!  Brandy, Scotch whisky or Armagnac are all great options.
  • Dried figs – Remove the stems and chop into small pieces.
  • Bittersweet chocolate (coarsely chopped) – 7 ounces for the cake and an additional 3 for the glaze! 
  • Confectioners’ sugar – Also known as powdered sugar – A little will be added to the chocolate glaze.
ingredients for chocolate and cognac fig cake
ingredients for chocolate glaze

How to make Chocolate & Cognac Fig Cake with Chocolate Glaze

1. Get ready

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375°F (175°C). Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan or springform pan.  Line bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper and then butter the bottom one more time.  Dust the bottom of the pan with flour and shake out the excess, being sure to coat the sides as well.  Place the prepared pan on a baking sheet and set aside while you make the cake batter.

2. Make the cake batter

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and ground pecans (or walnuts).  

Heat the 1/4 cup of water over medium heat and cook the finely chopped dried figs until the water has almost been incorporated into a jammy mixture, being careful not to burn the fruit.  Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the cognac.  Stand back and light the cognac with a flame (this will burn off the alcohol content in the cognac).  Once the flame dies out, transfer the fig/cognac/water “jam” to bowl to let cool (this jam can be made up to 1 day ahead – just keep it covered).  

In a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt butter and chopped chocolate with the remaining 3 tablespoons of water (or you can do this step in the microwave).  Remove from heat as soon as they’re melted and stir to combine.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar until thick and lightened in color for about 2 minutes.  Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate/butter mixture into the egg mixture, then add the flour mixture and, finally, the fig/cognac “jam”.

fig mixture
whip egg yolks and sugar

Using another large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until shiny and firm, forming glossy peaks.  Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, and then gently fold in the remaining egg whites, being careful not to deflate the batter.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth with the rubber spatula.

stir in flour, salt and nut mixture
fold in egg whites
pour cake batter into prepared pan

3. Bake the cake

Bake the cake for 28-33 minutes in the preheated oven, or until puffed in the center and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.  A thin knife of a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out streaky.  Transfer the cake to a cooling rack to cool for about 10 minutes.  Then, carefully run a knife around the sides of the cake pan (or remove the side if using a springform pan), invert, pull off the paper and let it cool right side up until it’s room temperature.  Let the cake cool completely before you glaze it.

remove baked fig and chocolate and cognac cake from oven

4. Make the chocolate glaze

Melt the chopped dark chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water or microwave in 30 second intervals until just melted. Use a whisk to combine and continue whisking until smooth and glossy, adding the powdered sugar a little at a time while you whisk. 

5. Glaze and serve the cake 

If the cake has a dome in the center, use a long serrated knife and a gently sawing motion to even out the top. Place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper underneath the wire rack to catch the drips from the glaze. Using a large spoon and an offset spatula or knife, pour and smooth the glaze over the top of the cake, working your way from the center out and spreading the glaze to the outside of the cake, allowing some to drizzle down the sides. Let the glaze set at room temperature before serving.  Or, if you want to speed up the process, you can place the cake in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving. 

spread chocolate glaze onto chocolate fig cake
spread chocolate glaze onto chocolate fig cake
spread chocolate glaze onto chocolate fig cake

How to Serve Serve Chocolate & Cognac Fig Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Slice into small pieces (it’s a rich one!) and serve alongside a little fresh whipped cream and fresh fruit, if you like.  Some chopped fresh figs would make a real statement!  Serve it for dessert or an indulgent afternoon snack (treat!) with some tea.  Soooo delicious! 

​How to Store the Cake

This cake gets better after a day, or even two, so feel free to make this one ahead!  The texture of the figs and the chocolate cake just gets better, and the chocolate, fig and cognac flavors intensify.  If you have extra cake, you can store at room temperature (or in the refrigerator, if you like cold cake) for up to 5 days.  Just make sure to cover it well.

Mixing things up:

Chocolate Cognac Almond Cake – Substitute almond flour for the ground pecans and add 3/4 teaspoon of almond extract to the chocolate/butter/egg mixture in the cake batter.

Chocolate-Orange & Cognac Fig Cake – Add 1 tablespoon of orange zest and substitute 3 T of freshly squeezed orange juice for the water in the butter/chocolate step. 

chocolate and cognac fig cake on a cake stand

More Chocolate Recipes to Love

chocolate & cognac fig cake
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chocolate & Cognac Fig Cake with Chocolate Glaze

This decadent cake is moist and rich and for true chocolate lovers!  It combines the richness of dark chocolate, the warmth of cognac and the natural sweetness of figs.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time28 minutes
Total Time58 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: chocoalte fig cake, chocolate cognac cake, chocolate cognac fig cake, fig cake
Servings: 12

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • 2/3 cup finely ground pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose four
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 dried figs, chopped into small pieces 6 ounces
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup Cognac, Armagnac, brandy or Scotch whisky
  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs separated
  • 2/3 cup sugar

FOR THE GLAZE

  • 3 ounces dark chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  • GET READY
    Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375°F (175°C). Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan or springform pan.  Line bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper and then butter the bottom one more time.  Dust the bottom of the pan with flour and shake out the excess, being sure to coat the sides as well.  Place the prepared pan on a baking sheet and set aside while you make the cake batter.
  • MAKE THE CAKE BATTER
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and ground pecans (or walnuts).  
    Heat the 1/4 cup of water over medium heat and cook the finely chopped dried figs until the water has almost been incorporated into a jammy mixture, being careful not to burn the fruit.  Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the cognac.  Stand back and light the cognac with a flame (this will burn off the alcohol content in the cognac).  Once the flame dies out, transfer the fig/cognac/water “jam” to bowl to let cool (this jam can be made up to 1 day ahead – just keep it covered).  
    In a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt butter and chopped chocolate with the remaining 3 tablespoons of water (or you can do this step in the microwave).  Remove from heat as soon as they’re melted and stir to combine.  Set aside.
    In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar until thick and lightened in color for about 2 minutes.  Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate/butter mixture into the egg mixture, then add the flour mixture and, finally, the fig/cognac “jam”.
    Using another large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until shiny and firm, forming glossy peaks.  Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, and then gently fold in the remaining egg whites, being careful not to deflate the batter.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth with the rubber spatula.
  • BAKE THE CAKE
    Bake the cake for 28-33 minutes in the preheated oven, or until puffed in the center and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.  A thin knife of a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out streaky.  Transfer the cake to a cooling rack to cool for about 10 minutes.  Then, carefully run a knife around the sides of the cake pan (or remove the side if using a springform pan), invert, pull off the paper and let it cool right side up until it’s room temperature.  Let the cake cool completely before you glaze it.
  • MAKE THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE
    Melt the chopped dark chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water or microwave in 30 second intervals until just melted. Use a whisk to combine and continue whisking until smooth and glossy, adding the powdered sugar a little at a time while you whisk. 
  • GLAZE AND SERVE THE CAKE 
    if the cake has a dome in the center, use a long serrated knife and a gently sawing motion to even out the top. Place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper underneath the wire rack to catch the drips from the glaze. Using a large spoon and an offset spatula or knife, pour and smooth the glaze over the top of the cake, working your way from the center out and working the glaze to the outside of the cake, allowing some of the glaze to drizzle down the sides. Let the glaze set at room temperature before serving.  Or, if you want to speed up the process, you can place the cake in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

Recipe based on Dorie Greenspan’s “Chocolate Armagnac Cake – The Cake That Got Me Fired” from Baking From My Home To Yours

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Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake

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Banana Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake {One Bowl}

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This spiced one-bowl banana chocolate caramel bundt cake is studded with dark chocolate & pecans and topped with homemade brown sugar-caramel glaze just as it comes out of the oven.  It’s truly one-of-a-kind!

Wondering what to make with that bunch of brown bananas on your counter?  Only one hour separates you from the most delicious banana bundt cake you’ll ever taste!  This banana chocolate caramel bundt cake is decadent enough for a special occasion, but easy enough for an average weekend dinner.  The recipe scores bonus points for using just a single bowl and can easily be mixed by hand.

Combining banana, chocolate chunks and pecans, this cake is accented with delicate undertones of spice from the nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and almond extract.  Immediately after pulling the cake from the oven, it’s topped with a homemade brown sugar caramel sauce.  Some caramel seeps inside of the cake and some glazes the top.  The whole cake is then flipped onto a cake platter.  One slice of cake, or two, and you’ll be sold!  

banana chocolate caramel cake on a platter

What is a Bundt cake? 

Named for the pan they’re baked in, bundt cakes are doughnut shaped with a hole in the middle.  They’re often topped with a glaze or light icing, or simply dressed up with a dusting of powdered sugar.  Often bundt cakes are more dense in crumb than their sponge cake relative, similar to that of a pound cake.  I love bundt cakes because they are so effortlessly beautiful and don’t require the work of a layer cake.  Plus, they take on many interesting flavor combinations, all baked into one amazing concoction.  This easy banana bundt cake recipe is no exception.  

What Makes This The Best Banana Bundt Cake Recipe?

  • Gorgeous no-fuss cake made in one bowl
  • So easy! Mix this beauty by hand – no electric mixer required
  • Scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and almond extract make the banana flavor sing
  • Dark chocolate + banana equals a match made in heaven
  • Homemade brown sugar glaze/caramel sauce to top it all off
banana chocolate caramel cake

Ingredients for Banana Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake

Cake Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour – Some for the cake and more to flour the pan
  • Butter – A few tablespoons to grease the bundt cake pan
  • Baking soda – Key leavener in this recipe
  • Sugar – Plenty of sugar in this cake and it makes for the unique texture.  Your sweet tooth will thank you!
  • Salt – Flavor enhancer and balances the sweetness
  • Eggs – Room temperature and beaten slightly, as you want them to be broken up when they go into the dry ingredients
  • Neutral Oil – This lends moisture and richness to the finished cake. I like using avocado oil. 
  • Almond & vanilla extract – Purely flavor elements
  • Cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg – The banana flavor is soooo good with this combination of spices.  It’s that subtle flavor that makes it stand out.  You’ll want the ground variety of all three of these.  Use freshly ground nutmeg if you have it!
  • Bananas – Over-ripe bananas are best for this recipe. See tip at bottom of this post if you have unripe bananas.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate chips or chunks will both work! Use your favorite chocolate. I love a good bittersweet bar, chopped.  I have also used semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Pecans – Toasted and coarsely chopped. These are optional, of course.

Caramel Sauce Ingredients

  • Light brown sugar – Starting with brown sugar just makes the caramel super easy to get right and gives it a butterscotch/toffee flavor as brown sugar is made with molasses.
  • Butter – The butter adds flavor to the caramel sauce.
  • Whole Milk – Thins the sauce down a little for a pourable consistency
  • Salt – Who doesn’t love a little salty-sweet caramel?

How to Make Banana Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake

1. Preheat oven and grease Bundt pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and center an oven rack. Next, butter and flour a 10-inch (12 cup) bundt cake pan.  Using a large pat of butter, rub butter into every nook and cranny of your bundt pan.  You can use a small piece of parchment or wax paper to do this to save your hand.  Just make sure you’re generous with the butter. This will guarantee a perfect release after the cake is baked.  Shake a little flour into the greased bundt pan and tap all around the perimeter and up the sides of the pan.  Lastly, turn pan upside down and give it a good bang against the side of the sink to remove the excess flour from the pan.

2. Mix cake batter

In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves together until all the dry ingredients are well incorporated. Add beaten eggs, oil, granulated sugar, vanilla and almond extracts to dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly with a rubber spatula until all flour has been absorbed by the wet ingredients. Lastly, fold in diced bananas, chocolate chunks and pecans. Do not overmix. Spoon batter (this will be quite thick) into the prepared bundt pan, and spread with a rubber spatula to even it out as much as possible.  Place bundt pan on a baking sheet.

fold in chocolate chips, pecans and bananas
spread banana chocolate caramel cake batter into bundt pan

3. Bake cake

Bake cake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 

baked banana chocolate caramel cake

4. Make caramel sauce

Meanwhile, about 5 minutes before pulling cake from oven, begin making caramel sauce. Place butter, and brown sugar in small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, swirling pan gently to mix as sugar melts into butter.  Remove from heat once it’s darkened a little and is amber in color.

homemade brown sugar caramel sauce to glaze top of bundt cake

5. Unmold warm cake from Bundt pan

With a long skewer (I use a metal grilling skewer), poke holes all over the top of the cake immediately after removing from oven.  Pour the hot caramel on top of the cake, encouraging some caramel to soak into the holes and some to remain on the surface of the cake. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.  Using a thin knife, loosen the outer and inner sides of the cake from the bundt pan.  Next, place a large round platter or cake stand on top of warm cake, and in one quick motion, flip the cake over.  The caramel layer will now be on the bottom.  Once completely cool, using a sieve, dust top of cake with powdered sugar before serving.

unmold banana chocolate caramel cake from bundt pan onto cake platter

How to store banana chocolate caramel cake

Any leftover cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  It will stay moist and delicious for days, if it lasts that long!

slice of banana chocolate caramel cake

Help! My Bananas Aren’t Ripe Enough

You can place your unripe bananas in a brown paper bag for a few hours to soften and ripen.

More Delicious Dessert Ideas

Easy Berry Pavlova with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
Southern Blueberry Cobbler
Jen’s Chocolate (French) Silk Pie
Blueberry Streusel Pie

Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! I love hearing from you and hope this banana bundt cake recipe becomes a favorite in your collection, too.

banana chocolate caramel bundt cake
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Banana Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake

This spiced one-bowl banana cake is studded with dark chocolate & pecans and topped with homemade brown sugar-caramel glaze just as it comes out of the oven.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Keyword: banana bundt cake, banana chocolate caramel bundt cake
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg freshly grated preferred
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 3 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chopped – chips OK too
  • 1 1/2 cups ripe bananas small diced into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 bananas)

Brown sugar-caramel sauce

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter cut into chunks
  • pinch of salt to taste

Instructions

  • PREHEAT OVEN AND GREASE BUNDT PAN – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and center an oven rack. Next, butter and flour a 10-inch (12 cup) bundt cake pan.  Using a large pat of butter, rub butter into every nook and cranny of your bundt pan.  You can use a small piece of parchment or wax paper to do this to save your hand.  Just make sure you’re generous with the butter. This will guarantee a perfect release after the cake is baked.  Shake a little flour into the greased bundt pan and tap all around the perimeter and up the sides of the pan.  Lastly, turn pan upside down and give it a good bang against the side of the sink to remove the excess flour from the pan.
  • MIX CAKE BATTER – In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves together until all the dry ingredients are well incorporated. Add beaten eggs, oil, granulated sugar, vanilla and almond extracts to dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly with a rubber spatula until all flour has been absorbed by the wet ingredients. Lastly, fold in diced bananas, chocolate chunks and pecans. Do not overmix. Spoon batter (this will be quite thick) into the prepared bundt pan, and spread with a rubber spatula to even it out as much as possible.  Place bundt pan on a baking sheet.
  • BAKE CAKE – Bake cake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 
  • MAKE CARAMEL SAUCE – Meanwhile, about 5 minutes before pulling cake from oven, begin making caramel sauce. Place butter, and brown sugar in small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, swirling pan gently to mix as sugar melts into butter.  Remove from heat once it’s darkened a little and is amber in color.
  • UNMOLD WARM CAKE FROM BUNDT PAN – With a long skewer (I use a metal grilling skewer), poke holes all over the top of the cake immediately after removing from oven.  Pour the hot caramel on top of the cake, encouraging some caramel to soak into the holes and some to remain on the surface of the cake. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.  Using a thin knife, loosen the outer and inner sides of the cake from the bundt pan.  Next, place a large round platter or cake stand on top of warm cake, and in one quick motion, flip the cake over.  The caramel layer will now be on the bottom.  Once completely cool, using a sieve, dust top of cake with powdered sugar before serving.

Notes

Recipe adapted from The Essence of Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? 

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leaving a comment below provides wonderful feedback and supports my blog. Thank you!

Homemade Coconut Almond Granola

Homemade Coconut Almond Granola

This coconut almond granola is studded with big chips of toasted coconut, slivered almonds and sweetened with maple syrup. It’s spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Coconut almond granola makes the perfect easy breakfast or snack to have on hand. What makes this Coconut 

Jen’s Chocolate (French) Silk Pie

Jen’s Chocolate (French) Silk Pie

Deeply chocolate and ultra smooth, the chocolate silk filling is crowned with homemade whipped cream and sits on a buttery chocolate cookie crust. Decadent chocolate silk pie combines two layers of chocolate and is a perfect dessert for any occasion. This chocolate lover’s dream pie 

Chocolate Linzer Cookies

Chocolate Linzer Cookies

Dipped in chocolate, these heart-shaped chocolate linzer cookies have all the traditional “spice” flavors of a linzer cookie: hazelnuts, citrus zest and and a little cinnamon, minus the jam usually sandwiched in-between. They’re pretty and oh so good!

Looking for a chocolate version of the classic linzer cookie? The combination of the semi-sweet chocolate and the orange-scented hazelnut cookie may be better than the original. Maybe I should try to mask my chocolate bias a little more, but I can’t help it; I’d take chocolate over jam any day! If you’re looking for the traditional jam-filled linzer cookie, these raspberry linzer cookies are the ones you’re looking for!

Which Cookie Cutter to Use?

You’ll need one large cookie cutter, approximately 2 1/2 inches across. The heart cutter I used was perfect for Valentine’s Day, but you can use any medium-sized cookie cutter you love to fit the time of year or mood.

Chocolate Linzer Cookie Ingredients

  • Hazelnuts – You will start with whole hazelnuts and roast them to bring out their delicious flavor and also remove the skins. You can also substitute slivered almonds that have been toasted if you’d like.
  • Butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg yolk
  • Orange zest
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Semi-sweet chocolate – You can use milk chocolate if you’d like for a Nutella-inspired pairing.
  • Coconut oil – Mixing a little coconut oil into the melted chocolate thins it for dipping and helps it cool with a harder finish.
chocolate linzer cookies

How to Make Chocolate Linzer Cookies

TOAST HAZELNUTS AND MAKE HAZELNUT “FLOUR”

  1. Spread hazelnuts in an even layer onto an ungreased sheet pan and toast in a 325 degree oven until fragrant and their papery skin begins to crack. This will take between 10-20 minutes total, depending on the size of your hazelnuts. Check them and give the pan a good shake after 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven or continue toasting for another 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer the toasted nuts to a plate.
  3. While still warm and working with half of the nuts at a time, rub hazelnuts with a clean tea towel to remove the skins. Don’t worry if you can’t remove all of the skins!
  4. In a food processor, pulse nuts until finely ground and slightly crumbly, being careful to not over-process into a paste.
toasted hazelnuts
toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
hazelnut "flour"

MAKE LINZER COOKIE DOUGH

  1. Incorporate dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, cinnamon, and salt) in a bowl using a whisk. Stir in the ground hazelnuts.
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until pale and fluffy with a paddle attachment of a stand mixer or an electric beater. Stir in the egg yolk, orange zest, vanilla extract, and the almond extract, scraping the sides of the bowl with a sturdy rubber spatula as needed.
  3. Gradually add flour mixture until just blended, being sure not to overwork the dough. The dough will be soft.
  4. Divide dough into four equal portions, wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and press into a disc shape. Place dough in refrigerator and chill for at least 1/2 hour.

ROLL OUT & BAKE LINZER COOKIES

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. These are delicate cookies and they will be much easier to transfer once baked if they are lined.
  2. Working with one disc at a time, roll out linzer dough on a generously-floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch. You can also place the dough between two sheets of wax paper if you prefer to use less flour.
  3. Stamp the dough with the cookie cutter.
  4. Repeat with the remaining discs and re-roll all scraps to use up all the dough.
  5. Arrange cut-out cookies on lined cookie sheet, spacing them about an inch apart.
  6. Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes, until just starting to brown around the edges and firm to the touch.
  7. Using a thin spatula, remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool completely on cooling rack.

DIP LINZER COOKIES IN CHOCOLATE

  1. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, or in the microwave in 30-second intervals, melt chocolate with coconut oil, and stir until smooth and shiny.  
  2. Pour into a microwave-safe wide cup or bowl. Dip half of each cooled cookie into the chocolate mixture, and place on a sheet of wax paper until chocolate is set. You may have to microwave chocolate/oil mixture a few times as you go to thin as it begins to set.
  3. Cool on wax paper until chocolate has fully set.
dip linzer cookies in chocolate

Mixing Things Up

  • For “Nutella” Linzer cookies, swap out the semi-sweet chocolate for milk chocolate. It’s that classic combo of milk chocolate and hazelnuts.
  • For a lemon-scented chocolate linzer cookie, swap out the orange zest for lemon zest.
  • For a chocolate almond linzer cookie, use 2 cups slivered almonds instead of the whole hazelnuts.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY THESE COOKIE RECIPES:

Chocolate-Dipped Mocha Cookies
Swedish Tea Rings – Classic Jam Thumbprint Cookies
No-Chill Cinnamon-Sugar Cut-Out Cookies
Ultra-Thin Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Cardamom Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
Fresh Ginger Cookies

Chocolate Linzer Cookies

Dipped in chocolate, these heart-shaped chocolate linzer cookies have all the traditional "spice" flavors of a linzer cookie: hazelnuts, citrus zest and and a little cinnamon, minus the jam usually sandwiched in-between.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time13 minutes
Chill Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 13 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: chocolate linzer cookies, chocolate-dipped cookies
Servings: 36 cookies

Ingredients

Linzer Cookies

  • 2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate Dip

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions

TOAST HAZELNUTS AND MAKE HAZELNUT “FLOUR”

  • Spread hazelnuts in an even layer onto an ungreased sheet pan and toast in a 325 degree oven until fragrant and their papery skin begins to crack. This will take between 10-20 minutes total, depending on the size of your hazelnuts. Check them and give the pan a good shake after 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven or continue toasting for another 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the toasted nuts to a plate.
  • While still warm and working with half of the nuts at a time, rub hazelnuts with a clean tea towel to remove the skins. Don’t worry if you can’t remove all of the skins!
  • In a food processor, pulse nuts until finely ground and slightly crumbly, being careful to not over-process into a paste.

MAKE LINZER COOKIE DOUGH

  • Incorporate dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, cinnamon, and salt) in a bowl using a whisk. Stir in the ground hazelnuts.
  • In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until pale and fluffy with a paddle attachment of a stand mixer or an electric beater. Stir in the egg yolk, orange zest, vanilla extract, and the almond extract, scraping the sides of the bowl with a sturdy rubber spatula as needed.
  • Gradually add flour mixture until just blended, being sure not to overwork the dough. The dough will be soft.
  • Divide dough into four equal portions, wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and press into a disc shape. Place dough in refrigerator and chill for at least 1/2 hour.

ROLL OUT & BAKE LINZER COOKIES

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. These are delicate cookies and they will be much easier to transfer once baked if they are lined.
  • Working with one disc at a time, roll out linzer dough on a generously-floured surface to thickness of 1/4 inch. You can also place the dough between two sheets of wax paper if you prefer to use less flour.
  • Stamp the dough with the cookie cutter.
  • Repeat with the remaining discs and re-roll all scraps to use up all the dough.
  • Arrange cut-out cookies on lined cookie sheet, spacing them about an inch apart.
  • Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes, until just starting to brown around the edges and firm to the touch.
  • Using a thin spatula, remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool completely on cooling rack.

DIP COOKIES IN CHOCOLATE

  • In a heavy saucepan over low heat, or in the microwave in 30-second intervals, melt chocolate with coconut oil, and stir until smooth and shiny.  
  • Pour into a microwave-safe wide cup or bowl. Dip half of each cooled cookie into the chocolate mixture, and place on a sheet of wax paper until chocolate is set. You may have to microwave chocolate/oil mixture a few times as you go to thin as it begins to set.
  • Cool on wax paper until chocolate has fully set.
Chocolate Raspberry Crisp for Two

Chocolate Raspberry Crisp for Two

Raspberry crisp with chocolate streusel, for two! This recipe combines juicy sweetened raspberries with a punch of crisp chocolate streusel, baked to perfection and topped with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream. Chocolate raspberry crisp is the easiest dessert to throw together.  In less than 10 

Lemon Pizzelle Cookies

Lemon Pizzelle Cookies

Lemon pizzelle cookies are thin and crisp waffle cookies, made with butter, lemon zest and vanilla extract.  Often made at Christmas and Easter in Italy, pizzelle cookies are easy and fun to make!   If you’ve ever had a pizzelle cookie before, you know how beautiful and 

Orange & Chocolate French Butter Cookies (Sablés)

Orange & Chocolate French Butter Cookies (Sablés)

Rolled in sparkly sugar, with barely golden edges, orange chocolate French butter cookies (sables) are flecked with dark chocolate and orange zest.  French butter cookies are generally a perfect addition to a holiday baking line-up, as they’re sturdy and pack beautifully; these orange & chocolate sables are no exception.

My mom returned from a trip to Paris and gifted us a beautiful tin from a Parisian bakery filled with miniature French butter cookies (sables).  Each of the eight or so flavors in the tin were unique and absolutely delicious, but my favorite had a subtle orange essence.  I recreated these orange French butter cookies using Dorie Greenspan’s sable recipe as a guide, with the addition of dark chocolate. The results are worth sharing!

What is a Sable Cookie?

French butter cookies or biscuits, aka sablés, are akin to shortbread, sandy (the word ‘sablé’ means sandy in French) in texture, and not overly sweet.  Sables are not leavened with baking powder or soda, which gives them their characteristically dense yet delicate texture. They’re often formed into logs and sliced after a lengthy chill in the refrigerator. I shaped mine into cylinders for a round sable, but they can also be rolled out and shaped with cutters or pressed.  

Orange & Chocolate French Butter Cookie Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter – Room temperature butter is very important for this recipe. Use salted if that’s what you have; just reduce the salt in the recipe.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar – Run the powdered sugar through a sifter or mesh strainer. Texture is key here.
  • Salt – Salt gives these cookies flavor and balances the sweetness.
  • Room temperature egg yolks – The yolk is less “eggy” in flavor without the white and imparts great texture.  Save one white for the “glue” you’ll use when you coat them in sugar.  The other white can be saved for another use.
  • All-purpose flour 
  • Orange zest – You’ll need a teaspoon and a half. I used three small clementines.
  • Dark chocolate – I used bittersweet chocolate chips and chopped it finely with my largest knife.  Don’t use the food processor for this step as the chocolate will turn to powder.  

How to Make Orange & Chocolate Sables

Get ready:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Using your fingers, press the granulated sugar and the orange zest together into a bowl, until it’s fragrant and well mixed.

orange zested-sugar

Make sable dough:

With a beater, cream butter, both sugars and salt until smooth and velvety in a large bowl. On low speed, add egg yolks, one at a time and mix thoroughly, stopping to scrape the bowl with a sturdy rubber spatula a few times.  You don’t want to add too much air here, but you want the sugar/salt-butter-egg yolk mixture to be homogenous before adding the flour. Add flour and, with mixer on lowest setting, or turning on and off again, slowly work flour into the dough.  The texture of the dough should be crumbly and should not clean the sides of the bowl so don’t be tempted to overmix. Use a sturdy rubber spatula to gently stir in the chopped dark chocolate, and also work in any bit of flour hanging out at the bottom of the bowl.

butter, sugar, orange zest, salt & powdered sugar
completed orange and chocolate sable dough

Shape dough:

On a flat work surface, with your hands, press dough together until it’s in a rough ball and divide in half.  Use a kitchen scale if you have one to make your portioned dough nice and even in size. Place first dough half onto a parchment rectangle and work it into a rough “roll” by pulling up on ends of paper and compacting dough with hands to smooth the gaps and cracks. Roll dough further until it’s roughly 9-inches long and clylindrical.  Repeat with second half of cookie dough.  Place two logs into a resealable bag or a glass lock container and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours (and up to 3 days), or freeze the cookie dough “logs” for future use.

rough "log" of orange chocolate French butter cookie dough (sable dough)

Slice and bake cookies:

Using one of the remaining egg whites, whisked well, paint the two cookie dough logs with egg white and press coarse/turbinado or decorating sugar onto the outside of the logs until fully coated. To guide even thickness, score logs of dough with a knife to mark off 1-inch increments. Slice the cookies by dividing each mark into three equal slices (I like to use my serrated knife with a gentle sawing motion), into 1/3-inch thick cookies.  You can vary this depending on how thick you like your sables, but keep them between ¼ and ½ inch. Place cookies on parchment-lined sheets, about an inch apart.  Bake, one sheet at a time, for 17-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until edges are slightly brown and the bottoms are beginning to brown as well.  Let the butter really develop that “French bake” flavor. 

Cool and enjoy:

Remove cookies from oven and use a small metal spatula to place cookies on cooling racks. Wait to serve cookies until they’ve cooled to room temperature. Make a cup of coffee or tea to enjoy while you wait!

Mixing Things Up

  • Try swapping lemon zest or even grapefruit zest for the orange.
  • Roll logs in red or green sugar for a festive Christmas feel.

How Long Do Orange & Chocolate French Butter Cookies (Sables) Keep? 

They’ll keep at room temperature for about a week.  The unbaked logs can stay in the refrigerator for up to three days, or frozen for up to two months.  Just make sure to leave them wrapped well in the parchment paper (wait to egg-wash and sugar) and place in a resealable bag.  As mentioned, they’re sturdy and pack well for gifts.

Looking for other slice-and-bake cookies?

Try one of my very favorites – Cappuccino Flats (Chocolate-Dipped Mocha Cookies)

Orange & Chocolate French Butter Cookies (Sables)
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Orange Chocolate French Butter Cookies (Sables)

Rolled in sparkly sugar, w/ barely golden edges, orange chocolate French butter cookies (sables) are flecked w/ dark chocolate & orange zest.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Chill time3 hours
Total Time4 hours 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: butter cookies, french cookies, sable cookies
Servings: 54 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 egg yolks at room temperature – save at least 1 white for coating in decorative sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate
  • Coarse/turbinado sugar for decorating

Instructions

  • GET READY: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Using your fingers, press the granulated sugar and the orange zest together into a bowl, until it’s fragrant and well mixed.  Using a large knife, chop dark chocolate finely.  Your largest chocolate piece should be the size of a mini chocolate chip.  Don’t use a food processor for this or you’ll end up with chocolate powder.
  • MAKE SABLE DOUGH: With a beater, cream butter, both sugars and salt until smooth and velvety in a large bowl. On low speed, add egg yolks, one at a time and mix thoroughly, stopping to scrape the bowl with a sturdy rubber spatula a few times.  You don’t want to add too much air here, but you want the sugar/salt-butter-egg yolk mixture to be homogenous before adding the flour. Add flour and, with mixer on lowest setting, or turning on and off again, slowly work flour into the dough.  The texture of the dough should be crumbly and should not clean the sides of the bowl so don’t be tempted to overmix. Use a sturdy rubber spatula to gently stir in the chopped dark chocolate, and also work in any bit of flour hanging out at the bottom of the bowl.
  • SHAPE DOUGH: On a flat work surface, with your hands, press dough together until it’s in a rough ball and divide in half.  Use a kitchen scale if you have one to make your portioned dough nice and even in size. Place first dough half onto a parchment rectangle and work it into a rough “roll” by pulling up on ends of paper and compacting dough with hands to smooth the gaps and cracks. Roll dough further until it’s roughly 9-inches long and clylindrical.  Repeat with second half of cookie dough.  Place two logs into a resealable bag or a glass lock container and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours (and up to 3 days), or freeze the cookie dough “logs” for future use.
  • SLICE AND BAKE COOKIES: Using one of the remaining egg whites, whisked well, paint the two cookie dough logs with egg white and press coarse/turbinado or decorating sugar onto the outside of the logs until fully coated. To guide even thickness, score logs of dough with a knife to mark off 1-inch increments. Slice the cookies by dividing each mark into three equal slices (I like to use my serrated knife with a gentle sawing motion), into 1/3-inch thick cookies.  You can vary this depending on how thick you like your sables, but keep them between ¼ and ½ inch. Place cookies on parchment-lined sheets, about an inch apart.  Bake, one sheet at a time, for 17-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until edges are slightly brown and the bottoms are beginning to brown as well.  Let the butter really develop that “French bake” flavor. 
  • COOL AND ENJOY: Remove cookies from oven and use a small metal spatula to place cookies on cooling racks. Wait to serve cookies until they’ve cooled to room temperature. Make a cup of coffee or tea to enjoy while you wait!

Notes

*Recipe based on Dorie Greenspan’s “Sablés” from Baking From My Home to Yours
Whole Wheat Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix Cookies

Whole Wheat Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix Cookies

Chock-full of goodies like chocolate, dried cherries, oats, almonds and pumpkin seeds, look no further for an amazing whole wheat peanut butter cookie you’ll feel good about eating any time of day. These whole wheat chocolate cherry trail mix cookies can pass for an after-school 

Deep-Dish Dutch Apple Pie

Deep-Dish Dutch Apple Pie

Deep-dish Dutch apple pie. Filled with layer upon layer of soft, cinnamon-scented apples, this pie is, without a doubt, my favorite Thanksgiving pie and the one I make every year. The tart-like crust is slightly sweet and the whole thing is crowned with a streusel 

How To: Roll Out Pie Dough

How To: Roll Out Pie Dough

Creating delicious and good looking pies is possible! Follow along to roll out pie dough like a pro with these step-by-step instructions. Rolling out pie dough is so much easier than you might think, and with a little practice you’ll be creating beautiful, or darn near beautiful, works of art in no time! My favorite part of the whole process comes after I’ve successfully transferred the rolled out dough into the pie plate and it’s time to decorate the outside edge. There are so many possibilities and just a simple fork or spoon, or any other kitchen tool you can dream up, can create beautiful repetition around the outside of your pie. Of course, the classic crimped version is very pretty, too.

How to: Roll Out Pie Dough

Getting Started

Pie dough should chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours. If dough has been in freezer, let it thaw in fridge overnight and place on counter to soften for an additional 10-15 minutes. You want the dough to be soft enough to roll out. Click here for my all-butter pie dough (pate brisee) recipe.

pie dough disc

Step 1:

Lightly dust flour on large, flat surface.  Sprinkle top of dough with a few more tablespoons of flour. Using rolling pin, roll out dough “disc” into a circle.  Every few rolls, turn dough slightly to ensure it’s not sticking to counter or pin, and to get the most even circle possible. Roll until it’s about 12 inches across (unless directed otherwise) and about 1/8 of an inch thick. ***If dough cracks when you begin to roll out, stop here and let it sit on the counter for another 5-10 minutes until it’s softer.

roll out pie dough

Step 2:

Loosely roll dough back around rolling pin and lift rolling pin into pie plate, before gently unrolling into place.

Step 3:

Press dough firmly into corners and up the sides of pan.  

press pie dough into pie plate

Step 4:

Using kitchen shears, trim dough around the top, with up to 1 inch of overhang.  

trim outer edge of pie crust

Step 5:

Fold overhanging dough underneath itself. Try to line it up with the outer edge of the pie plate.

fold pie dough under edges

Step 6:

Use extra dough to patch any holes or cracks.

Step 7:

Flute edge of pie with chosen design. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Pinch-Method

Using thumb and index finger of one hand, and the thumb of your other hand, pinch the outer edge of the dough to form a triangle-shaped indentation, moving your fingers around until you’ve completed the circle of dough.

Fork Crimp

Using the tines of a fork, press gently into crust edge to make little hatch marks. If fork sticks to dough, dip in flour. Repeat until you’ve moved around the entire circle of crust.

Spoon Circles

Using the under side of a spoon, press gently into crust edge to make little rounded indentations. If spoon sticks to dough, dip in flour. Move around the entire circumference of pie.

crimped pie dough
fork crimped pie dough
spoon circles design on pie dough

Step 8:

Fill finished pie dough as needed or blind bake according to pie recipe. For more information on how to blind bake a pie crust see this tutorial.

Check out these pie recipes for more ideas!

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie (Without Corn Syrup)

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie (Without Corn Syrup)

This over-the-top chocolate bourbon pecan pie started as a Thanksgiving tradition for many years, until my mom started requesting it for her birthday dessert.  Her birthday is just a few days after Thanksgiving, so, often we make it twice in the span of two weeks!  

No-Chill Cinnamon-Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

No-Chill Cinnamon-Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

No chill time required for these cinnamon-sugar cut-out cookies! Just mix, cut & bake these delicious roll out cookies, made extra special with cinnamon and almond extract. No cookie plate is complete without a decorated cut-out cookie, like the ones we remember from our childhood.  These 

Christmas Cookie Gift Ideas

Christmas Cookie Gift Ideas

Diana’s Christmas Cookie Plate

I noticed the arrival of Christmas trees shining through neighbor’s windows earlier than ever this year, as well as an unprecedented extravagance to outside Christmas light displays around town. There’s a definite longing for the joy and hope of the Christmas season.

I’m extra excited to put together a spread of cookies this year. I’m not sure there’s anything better than an assortment of homemade cookies in varying flavors, shapes and sizes. With the distancing from family and friends ongoing, could anything be better than sharing a Christmas cookie gift with loved ones this season? What a festive way to spread joy (in a safe way!) as we usher in Christmas. Plus, baking Christmas cookies is just plain fun and gives my kids and me something special to do as we’re home more.

These Christmas Cookie gift ideas are sure to round out any cookie plans you have during the advent season. If you make any of the cookies featured on my cookie plate, be sure to leave a comment and give the recipe a rating! And of course, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! I love seeing everything you create.

A few things to keep in mind when building a cookie plate:

Size Variations

It’s best to showcase a variety of shapes and sizes for visual interest. It’s also nice to have a smaller option for your third cookie of the evening. :0)

Flavor profiles

Important flavors to include: chocolate, fruit or jam, citrus, seasonal spices like ginger & cinnamon

Color

Try to steer away from a sea of beige. Chocolate and cookies with molasses and plenty of spices naturally run darker; and fruit can add beautiful color too. Food coloring can also boost the color profiles, just be sure to use safe food coloring tints.

More Christmas Cookie Display Ideas

Arranging & Delivering Christmas Cookies Gifts

Holiday Tins

Small or medium size tins are nice for showcasing your beauties. They can also be reused next season.

“Gift-able” Holiday Plate

I also like the idea of gifting a small Christmas-themed plate to bestow your cookies upon. My mom’s neighbor does this every year, and my mom has collected a bunch of fun plates to use throughout the season.

Recyclable Containers

For an eco-friendly version, line a small cardboard box with parchment paper and present your cookies in a fully-recyclable container. Or, try out this DIY card stock paper box you can make at home.

Christmas cookies gift in a tin
Christmas cookie gift on a plate

Recipes for Cookies Featured in Diana’s Christmas Cookie Plate:

Swedish Tea Rings – Classic Jam Thumbprint Cookies
No-Chill Cinnamon-Sugar Cut-Out Cookies
Ultra-Thin Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Cardamom Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
Cappuccino Flats
Fresh Ginger Cookies