avocado chocolate chip pound cake

I’m currently studying for my U.S. History exam, and to be honest, it’s a lot of mindless memorization.  The kind of memorization that makes my brain mushy and eyes dizzy.

The one thing that keeps the subject mildly interesting are the diary excerpts that sometimes show up in the DBQ section (document-based essay section).  I recently read an excerpt from a diary of a Lowell factory girl talking about how awful the other girls at the factory were, and how terrible the conditions were in the summer — this humanized the dates and numbers behind the Industrial Revolution; suddenly, history got a lot more interesting.  It’s literally reading someone else’s diary, but in a socially acceptable way.

In this digital age, I’m not penning my thoughts with a quill on parchment, or even scribbling in a fancy-pants moleskine notebook.  But the thought of a diary fascinates me.

In a way, my diary is the Notes section on my iPhone. It’s a lot less romantic than a diary, but just as raw.

I used to get super paranoid when my friends would look at pictures on my phone, for fear that they might stumble across my notes page.  I’m less paranoid now because A) my notes are hidden deep in the depths of my app folders where no one can find them and B) even if you read my notes you wouldn’t be able to figure them out.

To get totally crazy here are the first few notes in my phone, and what (I think) they mean.

“Plan:” (followed by no plan to do anything) ~ classic.

“Gm cherry get cash not target demographic” ~ this was probably written at a dark moment while studying for some test.  I wish I could tell you what this means, but I have no idea. Sounds interesting.

“Bunky” ~ an old man who takes drop-in advanced adult ballet with me.  He wears loafers instead of ballet shoes and, thus can’t point his feet.  He has a faded tattoo that spells “bunky” on one of his arms.

“Write about how good it feels to get your scalp massaged at Hair Cuttery” ~ self-explanatory

These bits of jibberish are pretty important to me.  I am always paranoid about forgetting things — so when some stroke of so-called brilliance hits me, I have to write it down or else I will forget it immediately. Sometimes, I’ll write down something like “avocados are the butter of the Earth.”  Some of these snippets end up being stories I tell to you all, some of them end up being baked into pound cake, most of them remain in the gigabytes of my phone collecting cyber-dust.

Nonetheless, these shards and memories are the good stuff, like the artichoke hearts of life. When I’m rolled over in bed at 2 a.m. furiously typing a note to myself, you best believe it’s important.

With love,
Erica

Avocado Pound Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line and grease a 9-inch loaf pan.

  2. In a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil, avocado and sugar together. 

  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth, add vanilla extract and beat once more.

  4. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda. 

  5. Stir into avocado mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and spoon into loaf pan. 

  6. Bake 65 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, slice, and enjoy!

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

orange cranberry pound cake

I’ve noticed that a hot shower feels 100x better than normal when I come inside after a cold and sweaty run, a bag of pretzel sticks tastes amazing when I’m ravenously hungry, and my bed is the most comfortable place in the world after a busy day.  

Actually the last one’s always true… no matter what I did that day.

 What I am trying to say is, contrast makes everything more awesome. 

This adorable pound cake plays upon this awesome concept of contrast.  Sure, a sweet vanilla pound cake is always yummy — but it can get a little boring after the third bite.  This pound cake is the perfect yin-yang balance of tart, zesty, and sweet. (i.e. not boring)

This cake never gets boring because it totally nails the “contrasty” thing.  Fresh cranberries are super tart.  Oranges are fresh and citrusy.  Pound cake is rich and sweet.  Mingle all of these friends together and you have the perfect, totally-not-boring, pound cake.  Pound cake perfection.

This is a great counter-top cake.  You know, the kind of cake to just put on the counter top looking all pretty, and as people walk in and out of the house — mom, dad, the dog walker etc., the cake slowly gets nibbled away.   

And when the glaze hardens and gets all nice and crackly…  Ugh.  I just wanna pour it on everything. 

glaaaaaaaaze

With love,
Erica

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup vanilla yogurt/plain yogurt/or sour cream
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
zest of one large orange
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup frozen cranberries
1/3 cup orange juice

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice

Preheat
the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a loaf pan.  

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a larger
bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, orange zest, and
vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With
a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter.  Fold in the cranberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake
for about 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.

While the cake is in the oven, cook the 1/3 cup orange juice
and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and
the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it
to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  While the cake is still warm, pour the orange-sugar
mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

Once cool, carefully remove from the pan.  For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake. 

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

iced lemon poundcake {starbucks copycat}

I have a confession. I love Starbucks. Every time I walk past that iconic green sign, I can’t help but wander in. Even more embarrassing, the baristas at my neighborhood Starbucks know me by name, and get my favorite drink (coffee frappuccino) ready when they see me on the sidewalk. I’ve probably had so many coffee frappuccinos in my life that I could rightfully be called a coffee frappuccino connoisseur…
Alas, every time I buy one of Starbucks’ enticing baked goods, I can’t help but feel guilty that I just paid 3 bucks for something I could have easily baked at home. That’s when I had a revelation.

I don’t need to deal with sassy baristas, a long line, and high prices to enjoy all of my favorite Starbucks treats. I am taking on the challenge to recreate all of my Starbucks favorites in my own kitchen (for a fraction of the price and a little bit of homemade magic) in a new series called Starbucks Copycat.

I am starting this series off with one of my all-time favorite Starbucks classics: the iced lemon pound cake. This recipe tastes exactly (if not better than) like the Starbucks one that I have been buying for so long — light, spongy, lemon-y, and delicious. 

E-mail me your favorite Starbucks treat, I will re-create it right here in my own kitchen! I dare you!
With love,
Erica

ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix
4.3 ounce instant or cook and serve Lemon pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
8 ounces sour cream
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Icing
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease two loaf pans.
2. Place all cake ingredients into a mixer, beating until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Divide batter between two prepared loaf pans spreading evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes before removing loaves from pans.
3. To prepare icing, place powdered sugar into a large bowl. Drizzle in lemon juice stirring until smooth and thick. Should be a good drizzling consistency. Drizzle icing over cakes and let set for 20 minutes for a firm icing.

Inspired by Picky Palate 

lemon yogurt pound cake

This simple cake embodies summer — from its energizing citrus-y aroma to its fabulous, vibrant yellow color. Unlike a traditional pound cake, this cake does not have butter — but personally, I like the fruity, exotic notes of olive oil and the tang from Greek yogurt (although this might not be the cake for you pound cake purists!).

Just like a wheel of Gouda or a pair of jeans, this cake actually gets better with age. It is delicious straight from the oven, but it is out-of-this-world after sitting on the counter for a few days. Time really lets the succulent lemon syrup sink in, making the loaf super rich and super moist. So, if you can resist, keep this loaf on the counter for a day or two, and then indulge — the wait is worth it!

This would be a perfect easy, elegant dessert for a brunch, served with berries and whipped cream — or even better all by itself with a nice cup of tea. This loaf freezes up beautifully, so luscious, velvety lemon-y goodness can always be at your fingertips.
With love,
Erica

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan (either regular or mini). Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. (35 minutes for mini loaf, 50 minutes for regular loaf)
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe on the Food Network