Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Ultra Gel

Tis the season of pumpkin spice everything and I admit I’m a fan of the trend. So much so that when we ran out of oat waffles (which I make in a large batch and freeze for easy breakfasts) I turned the new batch into pumpkin spice waffles. It was a straight forward change and makes the waffles even more healthy (Lots of fiber and beta-carotene in pumpkin) and delicious.

As a reminder we use Ultra Gel in quick breads like waffles for increased tenderness and it keeps them from drying out when frozen.

Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Ultra Gel

(This recipe makes about 2 dozen waffles. It can be halved if you don’t need that many at once.)

11 ounces ground oats

8 ounces flour

6 Tablespoons sugar

6 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 cups buttermilk (at room temp)

6 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling, just plain old pumpkin.)

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. You just want to bring these together, so be careful not to over mix. It’ll be lumpy and that’s a good thing.

Cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions. I use a Belgium waffle maker so I get two thick waffles at about 1/4 cup of batter each per batch. Eat warm with fruit, jam or syrup (Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup is really good. Apple Syrup is really good, and plain old maple syrup is smashing). Alternatively package waffles into layers in a freezer bag and freeze flat. To reheat toss waffles into a toaster.

Halloween Swirl Cake with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

One of my favorite parts about October is Halloween. This year in particular is fun because my little girl is finally old enough to really enjoy the festivities. She’s dressing up as a “good witch” and totally ready to go. Another benefit of October is that it’s both my own and my best friend’s birthday, so there are birthday parties piled onto Halloween and a lot of treats around the house.

This year I wanted to combine birthday cake and Halloween cake and put together this Halloween Swirl Cake infused with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup. This is a very easy cake, but is visually amazing and tasty. For even more fun you can add candy eyes which are available at local grocery stores, Gygi’s kitchen store in Salt Lake City, and can even be homemade.

This recipe comes in a lot of steps, but is a great Halloween cake to make with your kids. They can help with almost every step. My little girl had a great time with ours, even if I think many of the monster eyes got devoured!

Halloween Swirl Cake with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

1 chocolate cake mix

1 white cake mix

Ultra Gel




orange, purple and black food coloring

Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

white buttercream icing (homemade or from a can will work)

Monster eyes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I know the measurements aren’t precise on this, which is because they change depending on the cake mixes you choose. This is much more about the process. So we’ll start with the chocolate cake. The first thing to do is to look at the high altitude directions on your cake mix, yeah even if you don’t live at altitude. It will say something like Add 2 Tblsp Flour to dry mix. Replace whatever this amount is with the same amount of Ultra Gel. So in my cakes it was one chocolate cake mix + 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel, which I mixed well. Then I continued to follow the cake mix directions, but swapped out the water for milk and the oil for melted butter. Once the mix was all together I added some black gel food coloring to darken up the chocolate batter.

Repeat this process with the white cake mix, but split it into two bowls at the end and color one batch of cake mix orange and the other purple. At this point look at all of your batters and make sure they aren’t too thick. I’ve never had one too thin, but I had one in the several times I’ve made this cake which was very thick (I suspect I missed something). If this happens add 1-2 Tablespoons of water to thin.

Now, grease and flour a bundt pan VERY well. Pour in about 1/3 of the black mixture, followed by all of the orange, all of the purple and more black to cover the colors. A standard bundt pan will only use about 2/3rd of the total batter, so repeat the process to make swirled cupcakes or in a loaf pan to use the rest of the batter. Bake for 35-45 minutes until cake tests done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cardboard or decorative tray. Cool completely.

Once the swirl cake is cool we get to the syrup. The point of using the Raspberry syrup is two fold. First we’re adding a burst of flavor to our cakes and second we’re adding a spooky red drizzle to the center of our swirl. In order to get this effect we want to inject the syrup into the cake with a small baster, injector or syringe. I keep a couple of medical syringes on hand which are marked to be used for kitchen use. They’re easy to get from your local pharmacy or online. So I inject half a teaspoon of raspberry syrup in several locations around the cake, all of which will be covered with frosting to hide the syrup until the cake is cut. Do not OVER inject or the cake will be soggy. The point here is mild flavor and some fun color, not to drench the cake. I use between 1/4-1/3 cup raspberry syrup maximum.

Finally, split your white icing into two and color orange and purple. If it’s too thick to work with easily place the icing in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to color and drizzle. Drizzle the cake with alternating stripes of purple and orange, letting it pool around the sides. Add sprinkles, monster eyes or other decorations.

Yum and double yum!

Amazing Marshmallow Fondant with Ultra Gel

Between a big family and lots of friends and family catering I’ve made more than my fair share of cakes over the years and worked with a lot of different kinds of fondant. I have to admit commercial fondant has never really done it for me. There’s something about the combination of texture and flavor that’s just kinda…well…blah. So I wanted something better and we’ve come up with two recipes which I’m really rather fond of.

The first one is a cream cheese base and the second a marshmallow base. Both use Ultra Gel to help maintain moisture and workability and both, I’m happy to say, are easy to work with and taste fantastic.

If you want to color either of these recipes I highly advise using gel or powdered colors as liquid ones are weak and can change the consistency of the final product.


Ultra Gel Fondant

8 ounce light cream cheese

1/2 cup butter – softened

3-4 lbs powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Beat cream cheese and butter well.  Add half of the powdered sugar and mix to combine.  In a separate container mix together milk and Ultra Gel.  Add to powdered sugar mixture and beat well.  Add additional powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.  Use powdered sugar or corn starch on rolling surface for easier use, but be careful not to dry mixture out.

Marshmallow Ultra Gel Fondant

3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

2/3 cups white baking chocolate

1/4 cup water

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Combine powdered sugar, salt and Ultra Gel in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook and mix until well combined. Make a well in the center. In a large microwave safe bowl combine marshmallows and water. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between until smooth. Add white chocolate and stir until melted. This may require a brief stint back in the microwave. Add food coloring at this point.

Pour marshmallow mixture into the powdered sugar mixture and mix until you have a paste and all the powdered sugar has been incorporated. Scrape onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tight. Let stand over night. You can add more powdered sugar if you want to use this immediately, but I found that the over night sit helped everything to hydrate and made it easier to work with.

Roll out using normal fondant tools and methods. Wrap and refrigerate unused portions for upto 4 months. Bring to room temp before rolling.

Sugar Cookie Peach Cobbler with Thick Gel

It’s peach season in Utah! This is a delightful time of the year when we eat our weight in peaches and even have a few left over for canning and turning into peach pie filling. As much fun as it is to have peach pie filling on the shelf I try to make enough that I can make a batch of peach cobbler for eating right now too!

Cobblers are a type of dessert which features a filling (fruity is most common, but occasionally savory ones are used as well) with a biscuit, cake or crumb topping all baked together. When I make pie filling I always use Thick Gel as it’s approved for canning and makes for a really smooth finished product. Pie fillings made with Thick Gel bake nicely without too much bubble, and without making the crust or crumble soggy! It’s a win all the way around.

Sugar Cookie Peach Cobbler

1-2 quarts Peach Pie Filling

1 tube sugar cookie dough or batch homemade sugar cookie dough

Line a 10 inch cast iron skillet with tin foil. (You can skip this step, but I don’t like scrubbing cast iron. Alternately, you can prepare this in a glass 9×13 inch baking pan.) Pour in peach pie filling. Top with pieces of the sugar cookie dough. Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes until cookie dough is golden brown and delicious.

Overnight French Toast Using Ultra Gel

In the last few months our oldest boy has started working the graveyard shift. This means that instead of just hubs and I having breakfast together we are often joined by our son and sometimes all the kids. This has lead to trying several breakfast options including a cinnamon and brown sugar stuffed french toast which was a unanimous favorite.

This overnight french toast uses Ultra Gel in both the filling and in the egg custard to provide stability and help to hold the moisture close to the bread so you end up with a tender, chewy finished product. You need to prepare this overnight french toast the night before and then it takes about 45 minutes to bake. So it’s very easy and a great make ahead, but there is a timing factor to consider. It’s totally worth the planning because it’s amazingly good.


Overnight French Toast with Ultra Gel

1 loaf Texas Toast (12 pieces)

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup butter

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

6 large eggs

1 1/2 cup milk (Or half and half if you want to be really decadent)

1/8 tsp salt

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Optional: sprinkle of nutmeg and pecan pieces

In a medium sauce pan combine 1 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 cup butter and 1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel. Cook for 2-3 minutes until sugar is dissolved but not burned. Pour into the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch pan. Place one layer of bread over caramel layer, pressing it into the sugar. Top with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. Layer the remaining bread on top.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, Ultra Gel, water and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread layers. Sprinkle with nutmeg and nut pieces if desired.

Cover casserole with tin foil and refrigerate over night. The next morning bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until golden brown and delicious.

Serve warm. I flip it upside down as I serve it so the gooey sugar serves as the syrup. So yummy.

Spiced Snickerdoodles

We’ve featured snickerdoodle recipes before, but really with such a fantastic cookie who can stop with just one version?

These snickerdoodles are another soft version with a crunchy edge. They get an extra vanilla kick from adding vanilla bean to them, and before baking they’re rolled in sugar and pumpkin pie spice for a bit of extra snap. Ultra Gel is added for tenderness and to help them stay soft longer and, as always, it does this job fantastically. Even if I had to hide cookies from my family to prove it!


Spiced Snickerdoodles

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

scrapings from one vanilla bean (vanilla bean paste)

2 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

In a large mixing bowl, or bowl for a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until completely mixed. Beat in Ultra Gel, water, vanilla and vanilla bean paste. In a separate bowl combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

Scrape down the side of the bowl of creamed ingredients. Add dry intgredients and mix until just combined.

Preheat oven to 350. In a small, shallow bowl combine sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll in sugar mixture. Place on baking sheets and bake for about 13-15 minutes until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and try to resist eating until cool.

Mango Chicken Stir Fry

Mangoes have been on sale for the last little bit and I’ve been looking for different things to do with them. Mango Cake is always a fun option, but this time I wanted something savory and light.I had some chicken breast pieces and bell peppers which also needed using so I put everything together to end up with a Mango Chicken Stir Fry. Let me tell you this is a magnificent combination. The dish is chewy and sweet and crunchy with a little bit of spice and goes great over a little baked rice. This was good enough that we ate mango chicken for dinner, and then again for lunch…and another lunch…every scrap was eaten. That’s one of the things I love, a food where the leftovers are just as desired as the first go around!

I found more mangoes on sale this week and I think we’ll be giving this mango chicken stir fry an encore.


Mango Chicken Stir Fry

1 pound chicken breast, sliced

2 medium mangoes, cubed

1-2 bell peppers, cubed

1 medium white onion, sliced

1 can sliced water chestnuts

2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce





Leftover Teriyaki sauce (optional but gives it a great flavor boost or you can use a dollop of Cornaby’s Peach Habanero sauce if you want more kick!)

Ultra Gel

Heat a large skillet or wok. When the pan is good and hot add 1-2 Tablespoons of oil. Add chicken and cook until mostly done. Add fruits and vegetables and cook until tender. Add soy sauce and spices and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add Ultra Gel as needed to soak up extra liquids. It’s usually 1-2 Tablespoons depending on how juicy your mangoes are.

Serve warm over rice.