Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Pink Grapefruit Layer Cake

Fruit kissed by the sun welcomes this light and luscious Pink Grapefruit Layer Cake.

Citrus growing in the garden.

Smell the scent of the fragrant flowers.

Lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits.

So much fruit adorn the branches.

Bending gently as ripened, too heavy fruit falls to the ground.

Citrus is the inspiration for summer.

Refreshing as the sweet and tart fruit squirts into your mouth.

The sun has kissed these kindly.

And the soil has spurted their growth.

The citrus is delicate. The oil is light.

Brought together makes a wonderful combination.

Light and refreshing cake.

New and intriguing flavor.

Delightful.

As summer comes to an end.

Drench yourself in the sunny flavors of citrus.

Stimulate your senses.

Soft pink. Pale yellow.

A beautiful dessert worth remembering.

PINK GRAPEFRUIT LAYER CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2/3 cup Algee oil*
1/2 cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons pink grapefruit zest

For the Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
2-4 tablespions freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2-3 drops red food coloring

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper, then sprayed again, and set aside.

in a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs for about 5 minutes until light yellow and thick.

In a separate large bowl add the flor, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined. And, to a medium bowl add the yogurt, oil, grapefruit juice and grapefruit zest and mix until well blended.

With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Repeat twice. Do not over mix.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes; until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely.

When the cake is cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter on high-speed for about 5 minutes – until light and fluffy. Tune the mixer to low-speed and add the confectioners sugar, grapefruit juice, heavy cream, and the red food coloring (one drop at a time until you get the color you prefer). Turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

To assemble the cake, put the first cake on stand or plate, add 1/4 of the frosting, top with the second cake, 1/4 of the frosting, then the third cake, and top with 1/4 of the frosting. Use the remaining frosting for the sides and smooth with an offset spatula.

Slice. Serve. Enjoy!

Sweetly,

Sheila

 

* I won a bottle of Algee Oil from Raley’s, thanks!

{cake inspired by BHG}

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Pear Tart {with orange glaze}

Simplicity at it’s best…this Pear Tart with orange glaze will amaze your taste buds and warm your tummy!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

Ever since I got my rectangular tart pan, I have been thinking of new and interesting treats to bake with it.

However, I have really only made a few things in it, such as this Chocolate Malt Tart and this Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart (when I blogged this I did not have the tart pan yet, so I used a round tart pan, however I have baked this several times in my rectangular pan, but have not taken photos or done another post — may have to put that on my list!).

So, I thought it was time to get something new and memorable baked in my favorite pan and share with you! And since the fall is upon us and the weather is finally brisk with hints of rain in the air — something warming and wonderful was on my mind!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

My husband wanted something made with apples. My son requested a treat with chocolate. But for me, I wanted something different.

I wanted something that I had not really baked with before, I wanted to create a new adventure.

As I wandered through the fresh fruit section at my local grocer, big juicy pears jumped out at me! I knew that this would be the centerpiece to my tart. I had not baked with pears before so this would be the perfect introduction.

Along with the pears, I also snagged some fresh lemons and a jar of orange marmalade and was on my way to whip up my new treat!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

This recipe is really easy to prepare mostly because you to not have to make a crust that you have to roll out. And if you know me, I do not like traditional crust; I know strange for a baker! Instead, mixing a few simple ingredients you then press the crust into your tart pan. How easy is that!

The result is a fluffy and moist base engulfed with juicy pears, sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar and glazed with tangy-sweet lemon scented orange marmalade. The flavor combination will amaze you — warmth from the cinnamon, sweetness from the pears, and tartness from the lemons.

You can serve it warm from the oven or room temperature. It’s great with a big cup of coffee in the morning, or with a cup of tea as an afternoon treat. You could probably even serve it for dessert, it’s that good!

Any way you slice it, you’ll want another piece of this mouth-watering Pear Tart!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

Rustic Pear Tart {with lemon-orange glaze}

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life
By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients

Tart Crust:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 pears; peeled, halved, and cored

Topping:
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Glaze:
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

 

Instructions

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 4-inch rectangular tart pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Into a medium bowl, add the flour and baking powder, stir then set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high-speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Decrease the speed to medium and add the egg and mix until well incorporated. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until smooth. Note, the dough will be very soft.

Scoop the dough into the pan and using your fingers, push down into the pan to form an even crust. Be sure to flour your fingers so the dough will not stick to them. Then place the pear halves, cut side down onto the dough and press gently. Lightly sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden brown,. Let cool on a rack.

Mix the orange marmalade, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Place in the microwave and heat on high for about 30-60 seconds. Stir until combined then brush over the top of the tart. Remove tart from pan, cut and serve with the remaining marmalade mixture.

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

Pour your favorite warm drink, cut a slice of this Pear Tart and sit back and enjoy the beauty of the season and be thankful for the simple pleasures in life!

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from Real Simple}


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Key Lime Pie

Take a break from the summertime heat with this cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie!

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

Many years ago, my husband and I were watching Oprah. Ok, let me say, this did not happen much — I think I was home sick and we were flipping through the channels.

We stumbled upon The Oprah Winfrey Show where a chef was just about to make his famous Key Lime Pie. My eyes were glued to the TV as he quickly whipped together this beautiful pie.

With my mouth still watering, I clicked onto Oprah’s website and printed out the recipe. I stuck it in my recipe binder and there it stayed.

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

For some reason, I never made the pie. Not sure why.

I always knew I wanted to make it. Maybe it was because I had never seen fresh Key limes before. Or maybe I was just not looking. Does this ever happen to you — you find a great recipe and never make it?

I had seen Key lime juice in a bottle, but knew for sure I did not want to use that stuff. I’m sure its good, but not good enough for this pie.

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

A couple of weeks ago my husband told me that he saw Key limes at our local grocery store.

I immediately said, “Well, that means I need to make a Key Lime Pie.”

And that is exactly what I did. I flipped through my binder, found the recipe and off to the store I went.

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

And the outcome — a sweet and tangy flavor, a crisp delicious graham crust, and the filling — a wonderfully cool and creamy texture.

Afterwards I continued to wonder why had I never made this amazingly easy, and incredibly satisfying pie before.

Who knows. But I have made it twice and both times it turned out perfect.

I believe the fresh Key limes are the secret ingredient. They are smaller, juicier and have more distinct, intense flavor than regular limes. I hope your grocer has Key limes so you can enjoy this pie as much as me and my family did!

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

Key Lime Pie

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crust
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Filling
4 egg yolks
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice
Freshly grated zest from 1 Key lime

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust: Place 2 packages of graham crackers into a large zip-lock baggie, seal and crush with a rolling pin until you get coarse crumbs. Measure 1-1/2 cups and add to a large bowl. Add the melted butter, sugar and salt and stir until combined. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.

For the filling: In a large bowl add the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk and whisk until well combined. Add the Key lime juice and whisk until mixture becomes thick then pour into the prepared crust. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the filling has just set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours. Slice and serve.

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

Get ready to dig into summer with a big slice or two of this sweet and creamy Key Lime Pie!

Sheila

 

{Recipe adapted from The Oprah Winfrey Show}


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Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Keep the summer alive with a batch of these soft and delicious Lemon Crinkle Cookies. They’re not too sweet and will fill your day with happy sunshine.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies - soft, fluffy and delish! | Sweet Baked Life

I just had to get one more summertime treat out there before the weather changes.

Now around here, the weather has been all over the place. Last week it was in the 100’s and so far this week it is in the 80’s. Yes, it’s only in the 80’s — LOL!

Before you know it, we will be complaining about that it’s too cold. Well, in my book, that would be a welcome change. And rain. Yes, rain would be nice too. We really need it here in California. By the way, have you heard about all the devastating fires that are happening here in the Northern part of our state? Turns out there are two very large wild fires that are close to us; the Butte fire and the Valley fire.

So, not only has it been hot here, but now the smoke from these terrible raging fires are invading our area. Just to go outside is not much fun — it’s super hazy and the smell is terrible and my eyes have been watering for days. Luckily we did get a bit of precipitation, not really much to report as well there is a little breeze blowing around — hopefully that will help remove some of the gloom from the ash. Just glad to see the weather beginning to change, as this summer has been extremely hot so I will welcome the fall with open arms!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies - soft, fluffy and delish! | Sweet Baked Life

And so that’s why I’m treating you today to these Lemon Crinkle Cookies.

They are oh so soft and fluffy in the inside and they will immediately put some sunshine into a possibly gloomy day. Or for that matter, will extend the summer just a bit!

You start with a simple base of butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice, then add in your flour and baking powder. Roll these lemony gems into some confectioners sugar and bake until perfectly cooked. I especially like the way these cookies look — and to top it off, they are melt-in-your-mouth fabulous!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies - soft, fluffy and delish! | Sweet Baked Life

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

  • Difficulty: easy
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By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life LemonCrinkle-4

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted

Instructions:
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest on high speed until light and fluffy.

On medium-speed, add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly until smooth then add the lemon juice and mix until combined.

Turn to low-speed and add the flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together – be sure not to over mix.

Chill the dough for about 30 minutes to chill.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

When the dough is chilled, remove from oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Then cut some wax paper and place on your work surface. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and place onto the wax paper. Then roll each scoop of dough into a ball. One-by-one, gently roll the dough balls into the confectioners sugar and place on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies onto cooling racks. Let cool completely. Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days. Yields 32 cookies.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies - soft, fluffy and delish! | Sweet Baked LifeIf you’re in need of adding a little sunshine into your day, whip up a batch or two of these Lemon Crinkle Cookies, and they’ll brighten your day for sure!

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from The Kitchen Paper}