Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Apple Muffins

Apple from the oven to warm the 'inner man'! They are great morning, noon or night...
and a perfect addition to the school lunch bag.  This recipe came from Betty Crocker's cookbook (copyright 1969)...which happens to be one of my old favorites.

Apple Muffins
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup coarsely grated apple
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Beat egg.
  2. Stir in milk, oil and grated apple.
  3. Mix in remaining ingredients, just until flour is moistened.  Batter should be lumpy.
  4. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
  5. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes...or until golden.
  6. Yield...12 muffins
*Optional Crunch Topping: Sprinkle muffins with a mixture of 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup chopped nuts and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. The topping is wonderful on fresh muffins...not quite so good later on.

Gluten-free Pastry

I got the following pastry recipe from my friend Joanne, who is also Celiac. It is excellent tasting pastry ( as good as regular pastry) ! I know because I ate it before I knew I was Celiac and I was amazed that I could not tell the difference. The dough is also fairly easy to handle.


  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
  • 1 cup sweet rice flour
  • dash of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • rounded teaspoon of xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 tbsp ice water
  • sweet rice flour for rolling


1. Blend well together the flours, xathan gum, salt and sugar. (flours for gluten-free baking must be well-blended - either sift them several times together or I put them all in a zip-lock bag and shake the bag- no dust-method, smile)

2. Cut in butter and shortening

3. Beat egg , add vinegar and ice-water.

4. Stir into flour mixture forming a ball. (Add a little more water if too dry)

5. You may knead this a bit since rice flour crust can stand handling. Knead until you have a smooth soft ball.

6. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour or more to chill.

7. Roll out between wax paper dusted with sweet rice flour. I scotch tape the wax paper to the counter to keep from sliding. Peel off top layer of wax paper , flip over onto pie plate and then carefully peel off the other layer of wax paper and fit pastry into pie shell fluting edges -- for single crust pie or for double add filling and then top with top crust .

8. Bake at 375' until lightly browned.

recipe will make one large double crust pie , or one single crust plus one platz base (recipe for gluten-free platz to follow)

Multigrain No Knead Bread

The ingredient list is very simple but you will need one piece of critical equipment.  You must use a heavy enamel cast iron pot, either  round or oval doesn't matter but it must have a heavy lid. My pot is oval and measure 4 inches high, 10 long and 8 inches at the widest.

  • 1 1/2 cups Multigrain Flour. . . or Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of All Purpose White Flour
  • 1 teaspoon vital wheat gluten (some bread flours don't seem to need this)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 - 2 tablespoons of water

  1. Stir the flours and the gluten together in a large glass mixing bowl.
  2. Add the yeast and the salt.
  3. Add the room temperature water.
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 12 - 15 hours.
  6. Place a piece of parchment paper in a a heavy enamel cast iron pot with a lid.
  7. Shape dough into a ball and place on a piece of parchment paper covered with a large bowl for an hour or until double.
  8. Place heavy dutch oven with with lid into the oven and preheat to 450F.
  9. Remove pot from oven, place the dough with the parchment paper inside, place on lid and bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove lid and continue to bake for another 10 - 15 minutes until evenly browned.
  11. Remove bread with parchment to a wire rack to cool. 

Squash and Apple Bake

My friend Dorothy submitted this recipe to our first GWG Greendale Church cookbook. 
It's been a favourite of ours for years. Definitely one of those comfort food recipes.
 It's a good dish to feed to those "fussy about veggies" kids and grandkids (and their elders).

  • 2 pounds squash - I've used butternut, or acorn 
  • 2-3 apples
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  1. Cut the end off the squash and peel. (I use a good potato peeler) Peel and core the apples.
  2. Cut the squash and apples into 1 inch cubes and place in casserole dish.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients except pecans and spread over squash and apples. top with chopped nuts if desired.
  4. Cover with lid or foil and bake for 50-60 minutes in a 350 F degree oven. Or you can cook it in the microwave until tender. Either way it makes a wonderful fall side dish.

Bavarian Apple Torte

I love the combination of flavors in this cake, but since there are those in my family who don’t care for for cream cheese, I don't make it as often as I'd like. I got the recipe from my friend Karin, when we were young moms, getting together for coffee while our toddlers played. I’ve modified the recipe somewhat.


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 - 3 thinly sliced apples
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  1. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add flour a little at a time and beat until crumbly to resemble a graham wafer type crust.
  2. Press crumbs out on bottom and a little up the side of a 8 1/2 - 9 inch spring-form pan. 
  3. Beat cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth. 
  4. Pour into pastry-lined pan.
  5. Arrange apples on top of cream cheese layer and sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture
  6. Top with almonds.
  7. Bake at 400° F for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375° F and continue baking for 50 - 60 minutes. Cover loosely with foil for last 10 minutes if almonds get too dark. (shorter baking time is if using a larger pan, because the cake will not be as high)
  8. Allow to cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge before removing the rim. 

Fruit Cocktail Cake

This is one of the recipes I made allot for care group nights. It's not healthy at all but that is why it tastes so good. The canned fruit adds moisture to the cake and the topping is just plain fattening and delicious. It is a must to heap copious amounts of whipped cream on top and forget about the calories you are consuming and enjoy your cake! A good rich cup of coffee is a must with this cake.


1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs-slightly beaten

1 14oz can fruit cocktail-with juice

Combine all ingredients accept the flour and beat together well with an electric hand mixer. Add flour and blend until flour is all absorbed.

Grease a 9x13 pan or a 10-12 inch round or spring form pan. Bake cake for approx. 45 minutes @ 350.


3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup cream

1/2 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla (add after other ingredients have boiled)

Just before cake is done place the topping ingredients in a microwavable bowl and bring to a full boil. Watch that it does not boil over. You can also do this on the stove top stirring constantly.

Remove cake from oven and immediately poke fork holes all over the top. I make them about 2" apart over the whole cake. Pour the hot topping over the cake slowly allowing the topping to soak into the holes. This makes the cake very moist. Allow cake to cool on counter. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. It is best when served just barely warm, but keeps in the fridge for a day or two. I have never frozen this cake, but I don't think the results would be the best.

don't even bother asking about the calorie count in this one. Just eat it!

Auntie Betty's Pasta Casserole

Years ago my Auntie Betty made this casserole for us and we enjoyed it so much that it has been a favorite of mine ever since.

  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 green onion stems chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • grated cheese for the topping
  • noodles of your choice ~ 8 ounces

  1. In a large skillet, fry the ground beef, breaking it up and browning it.
  2. Add the garlic salt, salt, sugar, chopped green onions, and pepper. Simmer a few minutes.
  3. Add the two cans of tomato soup and simmer a few minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and the sour cream.
  5. Cook the noodles until just tender.
  6. In a 9 X 13 pan, layer the meat sauce, noodles, and cream cheese/sour cream sauce.
  7. Repeat and then top with grated cheese.
  8. Bake at 350 for one hour.

Serve with a crisp green salad.

Danish Cream Squares

This creamy dessert has been a family favorite for many years and is my daughter's choice for a birthday cake. She's not big on cakes and since today was her 30th birthday she got to pick and choose!  I got this recipe from my friend Wendy about twenty years ago, but have seen versions of it in recipe books.

  • graham wafers
  • vanilla pudding and pie filling, 6-serving size
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream (500 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 square semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine

  1. Line 9 x 13 inch un-greased pan with whole graham wafers, trimming to fit.
  2. Cook pudding with milk as directed, using only 2 1/2 cups of milk.
  3. Allow to cool; spread over graham crackers in pan.
  4. Beat cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff. Spread over pudding.
  5. Top with second layer of whole graham crackers, trimming to fit.
  6. Mix icing sugar and milk together well. It needs to be fairly thin (add more milk if necessary). Spread over cracker layer.
  7. Melt chocolate with butter (in microwave). Drizzle over top. 
  8. Chill. Let stand overnight before serving.


Overnight Whole Wheat Waffles

When our family comes for Sunday brunch I often make this batter first thing in the morning or the night before and keep it in the refrigerator or if they are calling when they are on their way, I let it sit on the counter.  The timing works wonderfully to make the batter and then start the vanilla custard and berry sauce.

 While you are working on the custard sauce and berry sauce you can easily put a bag of hashbrowns in the oven on a cookie sheet to bake.   Stir them once in awhile to crisp them and  and have bacon ready to put in the oven in a single layer on parchment paper for 20 or until crisp.

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 large eggs or 3 small ones
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup white flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes and until puffed.
  2. Add the milk, melted butter that has cooled a wee bit, the eggs and tablespoon sugar and the salt.
  3. Using a mixer, combine on medium speed until smooth.
  4. Add the flour and mix slowly until combined.
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or let stand on the counter several hours.
Bake the waffles in a hot waffle iron until the steam stops.

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • dash salt
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. In a microwave safe 4 cup measuring cup, combine the sugar and the cornstarch and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, and add the milk.
  3. Stir with a whisk the milk and eggs into the sugar mixture.
  4. Cook in the microwave at one minute intervals , stirring with a whisk until it is boiling.
  5. Add the vanilla, stir well, and cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool until serving time.
Berry Sauce
  • 3 cups of mixed berries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Mix the sugar and the cornstarch in a small bowl.
  2. Add 1/4 cup water to the frozen berries
  3. Heat in the microwave at one minute intervals until the berries thaw.
  4. Add the sugar and cornstarch.
  5. Continue to cook in the microwave until bubbly and slightly thickened.
  6. Allow to cool until serving time.

Homemade Hot Dog Buns

A few weeks ago we planned to have a wiener roast and I got to thinking that I used to make homemade hot dog buns for our wiener roasts and so went on a search for the recipe. I didn't find my original recipe but found one on that seemed similar.
This dough can also be used to make hamburger buns.
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (recipe called for just white flour)
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  1. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together 1 3/4 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
  3. Mix milk mixture into flour mix, add egg and mix well. Stir in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time beating well after each addition.
  4. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out into a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. I did this all in my Braun machine...that handy little thing!
  5. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces, recipe called for 12 but it was stated that they were pretty big and 16 was suggested, which I did and they were the right size.
  6. With rolling pin roll and shape each piece into a 6 x 4" rectangle. Starting with the longer side roll up tightly and pinch edges and ends to seal. I didn't pinch the ends and they were okay. As you can see on the pic that mine didn't look perfect..should we say rustic, maybe?
  7. Place on greased baking sheet and let rise 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Bake at 400º for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.
Here the wieners are roasting.. turning black just the way I like them!
Oh my they were so good..add a few veggies, chips and rice salad (which I posted some time ago) and dig in! I love wiener roasts and hope to have a few more before the snow flies. Actually it is quite fun to have winter wiener roasts as well, then you just cozy up to the fire!

Hoisin Chicken in Lettuce Cups

This unusual appetizer is reminiscent of the lettuce wraps served in our local Chinese Restaurant. 
                     It serves 6 - 8 as an appetizer but if you want to serve it as a main course, 
                                                         this recipe will serve 3.
  • 1/3 cup Hoisin sauce or paste (found in the Chinese grocery aisle)
  • 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb), rinse and pat dry
  • salt and pepper
  • Iceberg lettuce leaves - either the small ones from the inside of the head or use a pizza cutter and cut round shaped cups from the larger leaves.
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1-2 green onions chopped or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 handful each of fresh basil and parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  1. Heat BBQ grill to medium high. In a small bowl, whisk the Hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and Soy sauce until blended. 
  2. Divide the Hoisin mixture equally into into 2 bowls. Set one aside - you will use it to moisten the chopped chicken later.
  3. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and brush with the Hoisin mixture from one of the bowls. 
  4. Grill the chicken thighs, covered, until well browned and beginning to blacken around the edges - about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over, brush with the sauce and grill for another 5 minutes or so. Continue flipping the chicken and brushing it with the Hoisin mixture until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. This does not take very long.
  5. Remove from grill and let it rest for 10 minutes. 
  6. Chop the chicken into a fine dice. 
  7. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the Hoisin mixture, the basil, parsley and chives. 
  8. You can refrigerate the chicken at this point. 
  9. Just before spooning onto the lettuce leaves, stir in the peanuts.
  10. Place one heaping tablespoon onto each lettuce cup (I use a mini ice cream scoop), arrange on a platter and serve.

You may want use the Hoisin sauce as a BBQ sauce. I've often cooked the chicken for supper and saved 4 thighs to make an appetizer for the next day.

Yam Puff

For years this has been a "for sure" when planning the holiday menus. The Puff is light and creamy with a crisp topping and "just" a hint of sweet.
  • 6 cups Yams  (about 4 medium) 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs . . beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Butter melted
  1. Put yams on a baking sheet and wrap them in foil and bake them at 350 F for an hour or until very done. I slide a sharp knife into the largest one to ensure it is soft enough to mash.
  2. After the Yam has been measured, mash it really well with a potato masher.
  3. Add the butter and eggs. Beat well. (this can be done the day ahead and wrapped and kept cold)
  4. Combine the flour, sugar, Baking Powder, salt, pepper.
  5. Stir into the mashed yams.
  6. Butter a flat casserole dish and spread the yam mixture into the pan.
  7. Combine the crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the Yams.
  8. Bake at 375 for about  45 minutes or until golden browned and puffed.

Frosted Pumpkin Donuts

I bought a number of pumpkins from a farm last week. I baked and pureed them...there is nothing like fresh pureed pumpkin! I baked pumpkin pies for our Thanksgiving dinner and I still had puree left over and decided to make donuts. These donuts taste amazing and I will make them again.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened 
  • I cup cooked and pureed pumpkin (fresh or from a can)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 cups white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (I used skim milk)
  • Oil for deep frying
  1. In a mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, and butter.
  2. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mix well.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and add to pumpkin mixture alternately with milk.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead 5 or 6 times. I needed extra flour to roll out the dough. Roll to 3/8" thickness and cut with a donut cutter.
  5. In deep fryer or skillet ( I used my wok) heat oil to 375º. I test to see if it's hot enough by putting a 'donut hole' in the oil and if that rises to the top immediately you know the oil is hot enough. Fry donuts, a few at a time until golden, about 3 minutes, turn once and remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels to soak up excess oil.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting:

*I looked for a frosting with pumpkin puree and found one at I only made half of the recipe as I wasn't planning on frosting all of the donuts.
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup cooked pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups icing sugar
  1. Beat cream cheese, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange zest, and vanilla together with a hand mixer at medium speed. 
  2. Add icing sugar and beat until frosting is fluffy.
  3. Once donuts are cooled spread with frosting. 
  4. I frosted some with the pumpkin cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with crisp gingersnap cookie crumbs, some I coated with a sugar/cinnamon mixture and some I left plain.
  5. Crushed peanuts or toffee bits sprinkled on the frosted donuts would be very good as well.

Yam Casserole

I recently saw an article about the confusion between yams and sweet potatoes.  The origianl recipe that inspired this one was called Sweet Potato Casserole, however, the picture showed the orange flesh. In our area the orange fleshed potatoes are yams and the white fleshed are sweet potatoes, but I've come to learn it all depends on where you live. This recipe uses orange yams and lightens up on the sugar and butter. It is still quite sweet, but so delicious with turkey dinner.

  • 10 - 12 small (size of a large potato) yams, peeled and cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cubed small
  • 1/2 – 1 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 1 small bag miniature marshmallows
  1. Peel and cut yam crosswise about 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Arrange half the yam slices in a glass baking dish.
  3. Mix sugar, salt and pepper, then sprinkle half of it on the yams.
  4. Dot with half the butter.
  5. Arrange remaining yams and top with the rest of the sugar and butter.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400° F for 30 min.
  7. Sprinkle with nuts, cover and continue baking another 45 minutes or until yams are soft.
  8. Five minutes before serving, remove foil, cover with mini marshmallows and bake uncovered until golden. Serves 12

Maple Walnut Pumpkin Biscotti

The flavours of Pumpkin and Maple Walnut blend together beautifully. You could leave out the walnuts and use vanilla flavouring if you have nut allergies.

  • 2 1/2 cup white flour
  • 2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 14 ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons maple flavouring
  • 1 cup of walnuts
  1. Before you begin, Preheat your oven to 350 and toast your walnuts for about 10 minutes or until they begin to smell fragrant while the oven is preheating.  Let them cool and then chop.  
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the eggs and the can of pumpkin and the flavouring.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. 
  5. Add the walnuts.
  6. Divide the dough in half.
  7. On a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper, form a log and flatten. Use most of the length of the cookie sheet. . and the log will be about 1 inch thick.
  8. Bake at 350 about 30 minutes or until firm to the touch.
  9. Let cool about 15 minutes.
  10. Slice into one-inch pieces and stand up on the cookie sheet as shown below.
  11. Bake again for about 20 minutes.
  12. Take out of the oven and cool completely.
  13. Make the icing.

Maple Walnut Icing
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons maple walnut flavoring
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • enough milk .. a few tablespoons to make an icing that can still be used for dipping.
Combine all the icing ingredients and dip each Biscotti and allow to dry on the cookie sheet overnight.
These can be frozen or stored in a jar with a loose lid.

Caramelized Onion and Potato Flan

I first tasted this at Kathy's place and it has become my husband's favourite potato dish since. 
The recipe comes from the Best of Bridge cookbook 
and is an elegant make ahead dish to serve to company.
It has no liquid added but the potatoes bake up moist and tender.
It is one of those recipes in which the amount of each ingredient varies according to the
size of your pan and how many people you are cooking for.

  • onions
  • butter
  • potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  1. Choose your pan first: I use a glass, straight sided flan dish - either a 9 inch to serve 4-6 people or a 12 inch to serve 6-10 people. You can use a glass pie plate if you don't have a flan dish.
  2. Lightly butter the pan.
  3. Slice 2-4 large onions. I usually cut them in half first and then slice them lengthwise but you can use your preferred method. Just don't chop them. You want nice onion strings.
  4. Place onions in fry pan with 1-2 tablespoons butter over medium low heat and saute slowly until onions are a deep caramel colour. This will take about 20 minutes.
  5. Peel and slice 2-4 large potatoes. I use a mandoline slicer and slice them right into the flan dish.
  6. Cover the bottom of the pan with potato slices - if you want to be fancy you can overlap the slices in a spiral pattern - and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  7. Cover potatoes with 1/2 of the caramelized onions.
  8. Grate Gruyre cheese over the onions
  9. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, caramelized onions and Gruyre cheese.
  10. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  11. Cut into wedges and serve.

Baby Carriage Cake

Yesterday we welcomed Maelyn, my newborn granddaughter, with a baby shower. Bronwen (my DIL) hosted the shower and did all the work.  I just showed up and brought the cake. A few months back, I pulled a cake recipe out of a magazine, thinking it may just come in handy one day.

That day arrived this weekend...and I tried my hand at the Baby Carriage Cake featured in the May 2008 issue of Canadian Living magazine.

For someone who likes to play, but has no idea how to do professional cake decorating, this is the perfect cake. I have done cut-up cakes for the kids and grandkids for and not too complicated! I'm sure you could use any favorite cake recipe for the base. I decided to do the entire cake as posted in the magazine. I baked the cake the previous day, then popped it in the freezer to make the cutting process easier. I spent Saturday night putting the whole thing together, while I watched listened to Last King of Scotland which was playing on the screen nearby (an excellent movie, by the way).

Baby Carriage Cake
  • White Buttermilk Cake (recipe below)
  • Creamy Vanilla Frosting (recipe below)
  • Green and blue paste food colouring
  • 2 oz (60 g) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 chocolate-covered snack cakes...such as Wagon Wheels
  • 2 pieces black licorice
  1. Cut carriage from 9 x 13 inch cake...cut out 4x6 inch rectangle from one top corner and round remaining corners.
  2. Cut 2 1/2 inch circle for babies head from the 4x6 inch piece.
  3. Assemble on a base measuring about 14 x 17 inches.
  4. Reserve 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) white frosting. Divide remaining frosting among 3 bowls. With paste food colouring, tint 1 bowl green and 1 bowl pink. Stir melted chocolate into remaining bowl.
  5. Spread 1 cup (250 mL) of the white frosting over top and sides of cake to mask and seal in crumbs. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. I've never done this step before...but it works great to keep crumbs out of the 'top-coat'.
  6. Spread green frosting over top and sides of carriage hood, reserving some for decorating.
  7. Spread pink frosting over top and sides of carriage bottom.
  8. Using small amount of chocolate frosting, attach snack cakes at base of carriage for wheels.
  9. Spread wheels with chocolate frosting, reserving some for decorating.
  10. Chill for about 15 minutes.
  11. Use reserved frostings to decorate carriage, wheels and baby.
  12. Twist licorice to create carriage handle and undercarriage; attach to cake. I found the carriage handle would not stay in place without a little it was firmly attached and not to be eaten!
  13. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
This is a rich moist cake that easily serves 24. Enjoy!

White Buttermilk Cake:
  • 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) butter, softened
  • 2-1/4 cups (550 mL) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla
  • 3-1/2 cups (875 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 2-1/4 cups (550 mL) buttermilk
  1. Grease sides of 13- x 9-inch (3.5 L) metal cake pan; line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, beat butter with 2 cups (500 mL) of the sugar until light. Beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time; beat in vanilla.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt... stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk.
  4. In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually beat in remaining sugar until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold one-quarter into batter; fold in remaining egg whites.
  6. Scrape into prepared pan, smoothing top.
  7. Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven for about 50 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.
  9. Turn out onto rack; peel off paper. Let cool.
  10. (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)
Creamy Vanilla Frosting:

This frosting spreads and pipes smoothly. Make sure the butter is really soft so the frosting won't split when tinted.
  • 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) butter, softened
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) whipping cream
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
  1. In large bowl, beat butter until fluffy.
  2. Alternately beat in sugar and cream, making 3 additions of sugar and 2 of cream.
  3. Beat in vanilla.

     (To make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours; let come to room temperature and beat until smooth.)

Lemony Apricot Jam Muffins

Every Thursday afternoon for almost 10 years, I had the privilege of being invited to the home of two friends, and I am always treated to a bowl of soup and freshly baked muffins! I think that she was so tired of me asking for the recipes that for my birthday they gave me the book called "The 250 Best Muffin Recipes" by Esther Brody. So here is one of the many recipes enjoyed by our family.

  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 t. grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 c. buttermilk or 1 c milk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 t. lemon juice
Filling and Topping:
  • apricot jam
  • 1/4 c. chopped almonds
  1. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, zest, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Make a well in center.
  2. In another bowl whisk together egg, butter, buttermilk and lemon juice. Add to dry ingredients stir until moistened.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling half full. 
  4. Drop a bit of apricot jam into each tin. 
  5. Top with remaining batter; sprinkle with almonds. 
  6. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

Put up your hand if you have never made these. The new cooks on the block may very well have their hands up now, but if you were baking in the early 80's you most likely have had a well-worn recipe card with a similar recipe to this one.

I've made a few changes to the muffin recipe.  I thought it was very healthy back then but my sense of healthy food has changed a bit. These muffins are perfect for school lunches.  My boys took many of these to school.

Bran Muffins

  • 2 cups boiling water mixed with. . .
  • 2 cups All Bran Cereal .. .and let stand
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil. . or other light oil
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 quart /1 litre buttermilk
  • 1 navel orange including peel 
  • 3 cups fresh raisins
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 2 1/2 cups of white flour
  • 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups natural bran
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  1. In a medium sized bowl, pour your boiling water over the All Bran and let cool. .. for a bit.
  2. Cream together the oil, sugar,  molasses and the eggs in a very large bowl.
  3. In a blender put your chopped orange, and half of the buttermilk, and puree well.
  4. Add the rest of the buttermilk and the orange mixture into the All Bran mixture.
  5. Mix together all the dry ingredients in another large bowl.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Now, you can put it into a more appropriate size or two smaller sized containers, cover and keep refrigerated.
This muffin mix keeps for 6 weeks. You only need to make what you can eat in a day.
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Rice Crispie Chocolate Roll

I was introduced to this treat by another volunteer in our church kitchen many years ago. This recipe is a combination of the recipe she shared with me and one I found in our church cookbook. I have to warn you that these go fast where there are kids or teenagers! My daughter once shared her snack with a friend on a bus trip and the response was, “This is the best thing I ever tasted!”

  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups Rice Crispies
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. In a large pot, on medium heat, bring corn syrup and sugar to boil. 
  2. Stir in peanut butter and butter. Remove from heat; mix in Rice Crispies. 
  3. Line a 14x18 inch cookie sheet with wax paper. Press rice crispy mixture into cookie sheet, with buttered hands.
  4. In a small pot, melt 1/2 cup butter (remove from heat), add milk, icing sugar, cocoa and vanilla, stirring until smooth. 
  5. Spread over flattened rice crispy mixture. 
  6. Starting at wide end, roll up jelly-roll fashion, shaping and squeezing gently. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a few hours, until set.  (There is a sweet spot of when it's easiest to slice - don't let it harden too long)
  7. With a sharp knife, slice into 1/2 inch slices. You may have to use both hands to press knife down, since it’s not a sawing motion. Keeps well in fridge if you hide it. Wrap it up and make someone smile! (freezes well too)