Tag Archive | Lemon

Better for you Carrot Cake

It is a fact that of all the cakes I love carrot cake the most. Not that I don’t have many soft spots for other cakes, but there is something about the carrot cake that reigns supreme. Now, this is not to say that there are bad carrot cakes out there which are dry and stringy, but a good carrot cake is all of the best things in the world: moist, chewy, sweet without being too sweet, spicy, flavorful and balanced by the perfect cream cheese icing for a tart, creamy finish. Excuse me while I drool.

One of the fun things about carrot cake is that there are many recipes that cater to different tastes. You can have carrot cake with raisins, without raisins, with pineapple, or ginger, or nuts. It’s almost as much fun as ordering a drink at Starbucks. Now, this is a cake that CAN be a diet killer. Some versions have a lot of sugar and white flour and not nearly enough fruit and vegetable, so be aware of what you’re getting into. Now, the good news is that this can also be a very healthy cake with Ultra Gel to help hold the moisture, applesauce, loads of carrots and spices that tingle your tongue and your tummy! So here’s one of my favorite recipes. What’s yours?

Carrot cake

Cornaby’s Carrot Cake

1 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups grated carrots, (6-7 good sized ones – And don’t use the baby carrots. They tend not to have nearly the same flavor as whole long carrots!)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 Tbsp chopped sugared ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp Ultra Gel

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

3 large eggs

6 ounce plain yogurt (Lemon is also good)

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch round cake pan. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt and Ultra Gel. Combine with carrots and toss until carrots are well coated. In a food processor or stand mixer combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, yogurt and applesauce until well mixed. Drizzle in the oil. Pour sugar mixture into flour mixture and combine until just mixed. There may be a few lumps, but that’s fine. Pour into cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pan and allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out the cake. Cool completely and top with Cream Cheese Icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

8 ounces softened lite cream cheese

1/4 cup softened unsalted butter

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 Tbsp Ultra Gel

1-2 pounds powdered sugar

milk as needed

Combine cream cheese, butter, salt and Ultra Gel until smooth. Add powdered sugar and milk until the desired thickeness is achieved. Keep any leftovers in the fridge.


Lemon Berry Bread

My sweet husband has a vast love for blueberries. Really berries of any kind make him very happy. This berry love also goes hand in hand with loving lemons. Fortunately this time of year both berries and lemons are fairly easy and inexpensive to come by, so for a treat I made some really good lemon berry bread. How do I know it was really good? Mostly because there were two loaves on Tuesday and by today it’s all gone. 🙂

There are a couple of unique notes about this bread. Note one…you can use whatever berries you have on hand. Fresh is best, but frozen will work and I found that blueberries, raspberries and blackberries tend to work better than strawberries. Maybe if you diced the strawberries really well first they would work, but they tend to bring too much liquid to the party. Note two…This recipe calls for 1 cup of yogurt. Plain will work fine, but it doesn’t bring much extra flavor, so I like using one small container of vanilla yogurt and one of lime, lemon or orange to pump up the citrus. Note three…we use Ultra Gel in this recipe as a stabilizer, to maintain the moisture and the tenderness. This would be an ideal bread to freeze, or to divide as muffins if it lasts that long.

So here’s the recipe. Let me know what you think!

lemon berry bread

Lemon Berry Bread

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 Tbl Ultra Gel

1 cup plain yogurt (or 1/2 cup vanilla and 1/2 cup lemon)

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup olive oil

1-1 1/2 cups berries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan, or two smaller pans.

In a medium bowl sift together flours, baking powder, salt and Ultra Gel. In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, zest, vanilla and oil. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients stirring just to combine. Do NOT over mix!  Gently fold in fruit and pour batter into the prepared pan. It should come up no further than 3/4s of the way. If you get berry happy and end up with excess batter pour off into a second prepared pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and top is golden brown and lovely. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before depanning loaf.

Some folks suggest that a bread like this needs a lemon glaze. It’s nice, but totally not necessary. The combination of sugar and eggs gives a nice crunchy caramel crust and I found that the glaze undermined the flavors.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

My sweet hubby needed cookies for a work party.  When he asked, very nicely mind you, I started thinking chocolate chip cookies…a certain favorite…but it wasn’t quite right.  With summer setting in I wanted something brighter and fresh.  I pondered lemon bars, but remembered that I’d seen this recipe for lemon crinkle cookies and was sure I had it pinned somewhere.

So I popped over to pintrest and wandered through my cookie pins until I found what I wanted.  I adjusted this recipe to use Ultra Gel, which I honestly use in close to all of my cookie recipes.  Living in Utah we fight both altitude and humidity when it comes to baking.  Food dries out easily and adding the Ultra Gel and a little extra liquid helps everything stay good longer.  Not that we ever have a hard time working our way through cookies!

These cookies turned out really good.  They have nice crispy edges with a smooth creamy center which makes me happy.  These are powder sugar dusted, very traditional for crinkle cookies, which makes for a bit of a sticky situation on fingertips.  It wasn’t a bad thing, but means you’ll want to separate layers of the cookies with waxed paper if you freeze very many of them.  All in all I’m really glad I made a double batch.  🙂

Find the original recipe here.  Add two teaspoons of Ultra Gel with the dry ingredients.

lemon crinkle cookies

The Great Cookie Experiment- Pinterest Edition- High Tea Lemon Cookies

The Great Cookie Experiment- Pinterest Edition- High Tea Lemon Cookies


I want it to be spring.  I really REALLY want it to be spring.  I am not a big fan of winter, and I miss short sleeves and pretty shoes and recipes made with light spring flavors like strawberries and lemon.  It’s why I picked these Lemon Cookies for my Pinterest cookie this month- it makes me think of spring and summer and being outside.  *dreamy sigh*


These are a cornstarch based cookie.  That means the texture is going to be dry and delicate and designed to melt in your mouth.  It’s a beautiful texture that makes it perfect for a High Tea, because it goes great with a hot beverage as it will dissolve easily with the hot liquid in a beautiful fashion.  The cookies are iced with a tart lemony glaze to really give a strong lemony boost to the cookie.


The author of the recipe gives a big caution about the recipe- it is very important that you start with room temperature butter.  Apparently, if you soften your butter incorrectly, then you don’t get that perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture.  This means there is no cheating when it comes to softening your butter.  Do not pull the butter out of the refrigerator at the last minute, and stick it in the microwave ten seconds at a time until it starts to get mushy.  If you end up with a liquid center at the cube of your butter, it could ruin your cookies.  Pull your butter out in the morning, and make the cookies in the afternoon, and you should be fine.


The resulting cookie has a great texture, and a tart lemon taste in the frosting that tastes wonderful.  The cookie itself is a little bland tasting without the lemon frosting on top, and I did find myself wishing that the cookie itself had more flavor so it would pair better with the frosting.  Did I still like it?  Oh yes.  The next time I’m invited to a tea party, I am so bringing these!  Maybe with some cucumber sandwiches.


You can find the original recipe here:

High Tea Lemon Cookies


High Tea Lemon Cookies

2 cups butter (ROOM TEMPERATURE!)

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp grated lemon zest

½ tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 ½ cups cornstarch


Lemon Frosting

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1/3-1/2 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed!)

4 cups powdered sugar


Beat butter until creamy.  Add powdered sugar; mix until light and fluffy.  Add lemon zest and vanilla.  Beat well.  Add flour and cornstarch into butter mixture and mix well until well combined.  Roll cookie dough into 1 inch balls.  Place onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake 15 minutes at 350.  Remove from oven, carefully remove from baking sheet, and cool on wire cooling racks.  Cookies are very delicate when warm.  When cookies have cooled, spread with lemon frosting.  Makes about 6 dozen.