Toffee Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

NOT TO BE OUTDONE by my comrade in cooking, I needed to get this recipe up for everyone about 3 hours ago. This is simply a fabulous cake. I slightly adapted a recipe on www.allrecipes.com (“Pumpkin Cake II”) – I have to add my own little twists and turns in every recipe I make. At Two Girls, we are all about recipes that are easy to make, taste great and look beautiful. We only look like we spent hours slaving away in the kitchen. This recipe has it all. Even my pickiest-of-the-picky two-year-old Maddie LOVED it (I cut her off after two servings). It gets some added nutrition from the whole wheat flour and the wheat bran, and it really is perfect for our chilly Central New York autumn evenings. Another nice twist would be to serve it with some homemade caramel sauce (super duper easy, recipe to follow soon), or even your favorite chocolate sauce. Enjoy!

Toffee Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients:

– 3/4 cup all purpose flour

– 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

– 2 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 2 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1 tsp ground nutmeg

– 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

– 1 cup canola or vegetable oil

– 1/2 cup wheat bran flakes

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 29-oz can pure pumpkin

– 3 eggs

– 1 8-oz bag English toffee bits

– 1 12-oz bag milk or semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1) Heat oven to 350. Coat the inside of a bundt pan generously with nonstick cooking spray.

2) In a large bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3) Using the stand mixer on low speed, combine the sugar and oil. Blend in the vanilla extract and the pumpkin. Add the eggs, one at a time, with the mixer running on low speed.

4) Blend in the wheat bran flakes. Gradually add the flour mixture with the mixer running on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Fold in the toffee bits and chocolate chips.

5) Scrape batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. If the edges are browning too quickly, cover the rim of the pan with aluminum foil.

6) Remove from oven. Let stand for 10 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving plate. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

NOTES:

– I cannot live without my stand mixer. If you don’t have one (or if you have one but you don’t want to drag it out!), a hand mixer or even an old fashioned wooden spoon will do the job just fine.

– My oven can be quite touchy. I always start with the shortest cooking time (sometimes even less) and I always babysit it when I bake.

– The cake SHOULD slide easily out of the pan when you flip it upside down. If it doesn’t, turn it back right side up and carefully run a sharp knife around both the inside and outside edges.

~Sam~

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Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats

Last week at this time I was getting ready and packing for my cousin’s wedding.  In the mean time, I’m thinking to myself that I really want something sweet to take with me in the car, but given that it was almost midnight I wasn’t prepared to be up all night cooking.  I actually had to be lucid for my teacher inservice, so I couldn’t afford to stay up late.  Enter the latest:  Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats.

Yes, indeed.  You read correctly.  Cake batter. Krispies.  I can hear your inner child screaming in sugared glee.

And it’s not like this took any additional effort.  Most everyone has made rice krispie treats at one time.  They’re a common bake sale staple from a harried mom whose child informs them the night before that they need something sweet and sugary for tomorrow.  Having no kids myself, I was indulging my own childhood and keeping in mind that the teachers who came into my room might take my ramblings a little more calmly if they had something in their hands to nosh on.

It worked!  The plate was gone before I could take the leftovers in the car with me, and I couldn’t be happier about it.  Plus, we all know that you could do worse on the waistline than eat a Krispie treat.  I’m posting the basic recipe, but feel free to top it as you’d like or make it yours. Your kids and the kids-at-heart will thank you.  😉

Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats

  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1 – 10 oz bag of mini marshmallows
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dry funfetti cake mix
  • One small container of colorful sprinkles

Here’s a tip before you get started:  spray your spatula/spoon and your pot with non-stick cooking spray.  You won’t have as much issue with the marshmallows sticking.  You can spray a little oil on your hands, too, if you want to press the treats into the pan manually.  Be mindful that the mixture will be very warm coming out of the pot, so be careful (I have to include the reality check here).

Grab a large soup pot to give yourself plenty of room.  Melt your butter over low heat, then add the entire bag of marshmallows.  Stir until the marshmallows start to melt.  A tablespoon at a time, add your dry cake mix and stir into the marshmallows until well incorporated.  Add your vanilla and mix a minute more to release the flavors.  Add your cereal and, if you want, some of your colorful confetti sprinkles to add additional color to the treats.  Once your treats have been mixed well, gently press them into an 8″x8″ pan or a 9″x13″ pan (depending on how thick you want them) and generously sprinkle the top with more of your sprinkles.  It looks like a party in a pan!  Cool for at least a half hour before you cut them (do your best not to cheat).

Enjoy, and happy cooking!

— Sarah