Summer Berry Trifle

After celebrating quite a few birthdays in May & June, we have had to start getting creative about what to do with leftover birthday cake. We love our share of cake, but after a few days, we were getting a little tired of tasting the same ingredients. We experimented a bit with different leftover birthday cakes and repurposed them to create summer trifles. By adding homemade whipped cream and fresh berries we were able to continue to enjoy our sweet treats in a different way. No extra cake? No problem. You can pick up an angel food cake at the store and use it in the same way. 

Summer Berry Trifle 
Makes: 12 servings  
Prep Time: 10 minutes     Total Time: 40 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 leftover cake- about 8 cups cubed (or store bought angel food cake)
  • 3 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped 
  • 3 tbs sugar 
  • 4 cups of mixed berries (we used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries)

Directions: 

  1. If you are using leftover cake, scrape the frosting off the cake and cut the cake into one inch cubes. This does not need to be perfect. If using store bought, cut the angel food cake into one inch cubes. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer, mix the heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean, and sugar until the cream forms stiff peaks. About 5 minutes. 
  3. Assemble the trifle by layering the cake cubes, whipped cream and mixed berries. You want to make sure that the cake is thoroughly coated in the whipped cream so that it can soak up the moisture. Top with a layer of whipped cream and use any remaining berries for decoration.
  4. Keep the trifle refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before serving. This can be made overnight. Serve cold. 

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

We have been seeing versions of this cake online now for weeks, and finally Tuck’s mom caved and had to make it on a Saturday morning. We based our recipe off of King Arthur Flour’s recipe for Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake and tweaked it to add fresh strawberries and a little lemon zest to give it a brighter taste. We added a brown sugar glaze to the cake which brought it to a whole new level of decadence. We aren’t sorry about it. This cake is the perfect addition to a weekend brunch menu; it’s perfectly sweet and seasonal for spring. 

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze 
Makes: 1- 8 inch round cake (6-8 servings)
Prep Time: 30 minutes Baking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients for the Cake: 

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature 
  • 1 cup light brown sugar 
  • 1 egg, room temperature 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon 
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 12 large strawberries, stemmed and hulled (plus more for garnish if desired) 

Ingredients for the Glaze: 

  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a tiny pinch of salt 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch cake pan with extra butter or a good layer of cooking spray; set aside. 
  2. Stem and hull the strawberries. Slice 6 of the strawberries vertically; these will go on the bottom of the cake pan. Chop the other 6 strawberries, which will be folded into the batter. 
  3. Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and fully combine.
  4. Add the baking soda, salt, and 1 cup of the flour to the bowl. Mix until just combined, scraping the bowl with a spatula as necessary to get everything out from the bottom. 
  5. Add the buttermilk to the bowl and mix until just combined, again scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the remaining flour and chopped strawberries to the bowl.
  6. Arrange a layer of strawberries in the design of your choice on the bottom of the cake pan. If you have extra slices, fold those into the cake batter before pouring the batter in to the cake pan. Use a spatula to gently even out the batter before placing in the oven. 
  7. Bake the cake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the center of the pan. 
  8. While the cake is baking in the oven, make the glaze. 
  9. Combine the brown sugar and butter in a small pot on the stove over medium heat. Whisk the ingredients to combine and add the buttermilk. Add the baking soda- the mixture will start to bubble- continue whisking until the mix thickens up. This can take a good 5 minutes on the stove, but mix until the glaze is the texture you desire. Add the vanilla and salt and remove from the heat. Whisk again to combine and set aside.
  10. When the cake has finished baking, give it at least 15 minutes to rest before removing it from the pan. Serve with a generous pour of brown sugar glaze and additional strawberries, if desired. 

Apple Mascarpone Tart

Our dessert for our Golden Globes 2020 menu honors Christina Applegate, nominated for her role in Dead to Me. This was one of our favorite shows this summer and we were thrilled to make a dessert in her honor! Being that it is the first week of January, we tried to keep this dessert relatively light so that no one has to feel like they spoiled their resolutions week 1 of the new year. We love this Apple Mascarpone Tart recipe. It is sweet, just a hint of savory, and tastes ultra-decadent. It comes together very quickly and makes for a great, handheld treat as the Golden Globes are finishing at the end of the night! 

Apple Tart With Mascarpone & Thyme 
Makes: 6 servings 
Prep Time: 15 minutes    Baking Time: 30 minutes    Total Time: 60 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 lb  cold pie dough (we used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 2 tbs flour- for rolling out the dough 
  • 2 large honeycrisp apples 
  • juice of 1/2 lemon 
  • 4 tbs honey, separated 
  • 1 tbs hot water
  • 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese 
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Sprinkle the flour onto an even surface. Roll the pie dough into a large rectangle- approximately 10 inches by 16 inches. The dough should still be at least 1/4 inch think, so use your best judgement if you use a different brand of pie dough. Use the rolling pin to help lift your pie dough from your counter top onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. 
  3. Cut the apples away from their core and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices. Sprinkle with the lemon juice so that they do not brown. 
  4. Use a whisk the mix the mascarpone cheese and 2 tbs of the honey in a small mixing bowl. Use a soft spatula to gently spread the mascarpone mix evenly onto the pie crust, leaving a two inch border on all sides of the dough. Be careful not to spread the mascarpone too hastily so as to rip the dough. 
  5. Layer the apples in two rows over top the mascarpone, making sure to leave the two inch border on all sides of the dough.
  6. Mix the remaining 2 tbs honey and thyme leaves with 1 tbs hot water. Use a pastry brush to brush all of the apples with the honey mixture. 
  7. Gently fold the dough border around the apples, creating a crust on all sides of the apples. Gently pinch the overlapping edges together to form a seal. Refrigerate the tart for 5 minutes to help it set before baking. 
  8. Bake the tart for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the crust is light golden brown. Let the tart sit, out of the oven, for at least 10 minutes before slicing or the crust will tend to fall apart. 

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies

Is there anyone who doesn’t like cookies over the holiday season? We don’t think so. We love these cookies because they can add to your holiday festivities in so many ways. If you want to have a holiday baking day like Tuck’s grandma and aunt in California, you can bake the cookies in advance and leave the frosting and decorating for guests who attend your cookie day. If you want to do the work yourself, they make great hostess gifts, teacher gifts, and presents for people like the mailman. It’s a little gesture that can mean a lot for someone’s holiday. 

We LOVE this particular sugar cookie recipe because of their shameless vanilla flavor. The added touch of vanilla beans to the dough and almond extract to the frosting makes these cookies stand out from the crowd. As for the decorating, we understand that people can get hung up over it. For an excellent tutorial on how to decorate with royal icing, watch this video from Food Network. All you need is a few tooth picks, a small tip piping bag, and food coloring of your choice. We always recommend using gel food coloring so that you don’t water down your icing giving it a color change! 

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies 
Makes: 24 cookies 
Prep Time: 15 minutes   Total Time: 30 minutes for cookies + about an 1 hour for decorating  depending on how many people are helping you 

Ingredients For Cookies:

  • 2 sticks butter, cold and cut into small cubes  
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 large vanilla bean, scraped 
  • 1 tsp almond extract 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 3 cups all purpose flour 

Ingredients for Frosting 

  • 1 lb powdered sugar 
  • 2 tbs meringue powder 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 tsp almond extract 
  • gel food coloring
  • sprinkles, if desired 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until the butter is light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, vanilla bean, and almond extract to the butter. Mix until thoroughly blended, scraping the butter from the bottom of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. 
  3. Add the baking powder and flour to the mix. Mix until just combined. Remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a large sheet of saran wrap. Place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before rolling out. If you want to make the dough in advance, keep in the refrigerator for up to two days before baking the cookies. 
  4. Use a rolling pin and a bit of extra flour on the surface of your counter and the dough,  roll the dough into an even sheet- approximately 1/2 inch thickness. Use a variety of holiday themed cookie cutters to cut out the dough, and place each cut cookie onto a cookie sheet. Re-roll the dough as necessary until you’ve used it all up.
  5. Bake the cookies for 6-7 minutes. You want the center to be cooked through but do not want them to brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack before decorating.  
  6. Make the frosting. Combine the frosting ingredients in a mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for 5 full minutes, or until the frosting gets a glossy sheen. Give it a taste and add more vanilla or almond, if desired. Mix well to combine.
  7. Divide the frosting into a few smaller bowls and use the gel food coloring to color each small bowl to your desired color. Decorate the cookies as you see fit, using the tutorial above! The frosting recipe is great for outlining the cookies and doing decorations on top of a full icing. We add another +/- 1 tbs of water to the full mix (or a tsp to each smaller bowl) for flooding the cookies. The amount of water can vary- test on a spare cookie until you get the desired frosting texture. 

Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Place Cards

At Tuck & Tate, we think you are never too old for a party favor. It is that little extra that leaves a great impression with guests long after the party is over. Since we always have place cards at Thanksgiving, we thought we would make cookies decorated with everyone’s names as the place card. We adapted this recipe for our pumpkin sugar cookie dough and bumped up the spices in the batter to really give it that fall punch. The cookies are not that sweet, so the frosting is a good and welcome addition. A quick trip to Michaels for some cellophane and ribbon and you have an easy, thoughtful take-home gift. 

Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Place Cards                                                                                                                      
Serving Size: +/- 24 cookies, depending on the shape you cut them                                                           
Prep Time: 15 minutes    Inactive Time: 2 hours    Total Time: 3.5 hours

Ingredients For Cookies:

  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice  
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 2 1/2 cups flour 

Ingredients For Royal Icing:

  • 1 lb powdered sugar 
  • 2 tbs meringue powder (you can buy this at Michaels or any baking store) 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 5-6 tbs water 
  • food coloring of your choice (use the gel type that won’t thin the icing)

Directions:  

  1. Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract, mixing until well combined. 
  2. Add the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking powder, and flour to the bowl. Mix on a low speed until the batter is just absorbed, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary with a spatula to make sure everything is combined. Pour the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  4. Use a small handful of flour to coat a countertop for rolling out the dough. Roll the dough until it is roughly 1/2 inch thick. Use the cookie cutters of your choice to cut out the cookies, placing them onto a baking sheet. 
  5. Bake the cookies for 6-7 minutes. They might appear pale, but they will be cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  6. While the cookies are cooling, make the icing. Put the powdered sugar and meringue powder through a sieve to make sure it doesn’t have any lumps. Add the vanilla, water, and food coloring to the mix, whisking to combine. When the cookies are completely cool, use a small tip piping bag to decorate the cookies with your guests names. Let the icing dry for at least an hour before placing into cellophane bags.