Archive for Baking

Dutch New Year’s Rolls: Kniepertjes

You can read a bit more about these delicious cookies in a post I wrote earlier. I tried a new recipe, which is definitely much tastier than the other one, so this one will be my go-to recipe from now on.


Kniepertjes (makes 16-32, depending on size)
From “De Banketbakker – Cees Holtkamp”

170 g flour
170 g caster sugar
85 g butter, molten
170 g water
10 g vanilla sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt

Make a smooth batter with all the ingredients. Leave to rest for at least an hour.
Heat your flat waffle iron, and lightly grease if necessary. Pour some batter on the iron, depending on the size of the iron this needs to be a teaspoon, up to 3 tablespoons for a large iron. Cook until lightly golden. Immediately roll the waffle, small ones can be rolled around a wooden spoon, larger ones around a rolling pin or broomstick. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
Leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Serve filled with whipped cream, but only pipe the whipped cream in just before serving to prevent sogginess.

Apple and Apricot Cake

A moist cake, filled with fruit. The apple almost disappears, but gives the cake lots of extra flavour and moistness. It is quite firm, but not heavy. It is one of those cakes that is best when it is freshly baked. It is nice on its own, but would also work well with some whipped cream, crème fraîche or custard.


Apple and Apricot Cake
Slightly adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

250 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
225 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 eggs
150 g butter, melted
225 g apple, peeled, cored and cubed
100 g dried apricots, cubed
25 g flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a brownie tin with baking paper.
Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, eggs and butter together in a bowl, then beat well for 1 minute. Fold the apple and apricots through. Spoon into the tin and level. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
Bake for about 1 hour, or until the cake is golden, firm to the touch and beginning to shrink away from the side of the tin. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then turn out, peel off the baking paper and serve. Or leave on a rack to cool down to room temperature.

Apricot Yoghurt Cake

A firm but light and airy cake with a good flavour that is really easy to prepare. It also freezes well. Try different fruits for variation.


Apricot Yoghurt Cake (12-16 pieces)
From “Das Grosse Backbuch – Kochen & Genießen”

1 can apricot halves (850 ml)
2 eggs
75 ml oil (something neutral, like rapeseed, or rice bran)
75 g yoghurt
150 g sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar
150 g flour
1 tsp baking powder

Grease and flour a 28 cm springform.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Let the apricots drip out in a sieve over a bowl. If they are whole, half them, so the bit of liquid in the middle will leak away too.
Mix eggs, oil, yoghurt, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the flour and baking powder and fold through. Pour into the prepared tin and spread out. Divide the apricots over the batter, with the round side up.
Cook for about 35 minutes in the preheated oven.

Treacle Spice Traybake

Mellow spiced, sticky tray bake. It is quite sweet and moist. Keeps very well, a few days is not a problem at all. And it would probably freeze well too. Try to bake it the day before you want to serve it, it tastes better when the flavours had some time to marry.

Treacle Spice Traybake2

Treacle Spice Traybake (21 pieces)
Slightly adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

225 g butter, softened
175 g sugar
225 g black treacle
275 g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp speculaas spices
4 eggs
4 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 30 x 23 cm baking tin with baking paper.
Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin. Cut into 21 pieces.


Lussekatter are Swedish saffron buns made with a brioche-type enriched dough. They are traditionally made for advent, and especially eaten on December 13th (Saint Lucy’s Day). But don’t let that stop you, they are delicious any day.

Making the snake shapes is quite a bit of work, so if you’re not up to that, make them round instead. Or play around with some other shapes.


Lussekatter (makes 20)
Slightly adapted from Joe Pastry

0,5 g saffron threads (not needed, but the buns will be paler without saffron)
225 g milk
500 g flour
60 g sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 sachet dry yeast
115 g quark, room temperature (or use mascarpone, crème fraîche or sour cream as substitution)
50 g soft butter
egg wash (use a yolk for the best colour and shine)

Crush the saffron threads. Warm the milk to just simmerring and add the saffron. Stir it, then leave to cool to lukewarm.
Meanwhile, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add the milk and quark. Stir with a spoon until roughly mixed, then dump out onto your workbench and knead for about 7 minutes, until a smooth and supple dough forms. Then add the butter about a tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated. Alternatively, use a standing mixer with a dough hook.
Place the dough in a large bowl, cover and let it rise for 45-60 minutes, or until doubled in size. Dump out onto your workbench and cut into 20 pieces. Roll out into snakes (about 35 cm), flatten slightly with your hands or a rolling pin, then roll one end inwards to about halfway, turn the whole thing over and roll the other end inwards – you’re making an S shape. Or, if you don’t have much time, just shape them into little balls. Place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper, to proof for 30 minutes. Halfway, brush with the egg-wash and preheat the oven to 240C. Brush the buns again before baking. Bake 8-12 minutes.
They are best freshly baked, but the day after they are still delicious. After that, they get a bit stale.

Apple-Speculaas Muffins

Moist muffins with the lovely warmth of speculaas spice mix and sticky apples on top. A real big hit in my house.


Apple-Speculaas Muffins (12 muffins)
inspired on “Leon Ingredients & Recipes”

2 eggs
1/3 cup neutral tasting oil (for example rapeseed, rice bran)
1/3 + 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce (from ~1,5 large apple)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup bran
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp speculaas spices
pinch of salt
handful chopped walnuts
1/2 apple chopped in small cubes, mixed with a little brown sugar and speculaas spices

Preheat the oven to 175C. Line a muffin pan with paper cups.
Whisk eggs, oil, apple sauce, vanilla and brown sugar together.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, bran, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.
Mix dry and wet ingredients until just mixed. Stir in the walnuts.
Spoon the batter in the prepared muffin cups. Top each one with a spoonful of chopped apple.
Cook for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Bread

Chocolate bread. All the chocolate flavour, without the sometimes cloying richness and heaviness of cake. It came out a bit crumbly, plain it was slightly too dry, but with a dab of butter it was delicious. I think a smear of cream cheese would be nice as well, or some jam (cherry would be especially nice). Or you could use some of it for french toast, or bread pudding. I left out the chocolate chips and nuts, but will make this recipe again with them in.


Chocolate Bread
slightly adapted from David Lebovitz

180 ml milk, tepid
1 packet dry yeast (7 g)
75 g sugar
55 g butter
85 g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder (boosts the chocolate flavour)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
280 g flour (preferably bread flour)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
90 g chocolate chips or coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (optional)
70 g toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Add one tablespoon sugar, then set aside in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes, until bubbles form on the surface.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
Once the yeast mixture is frothy, mix in the remaining sugar, the instant coffee (if using), the egg, vanilla, and sea salt.
Stir in half the flour and cocoa powder, then the melted butter and chocolate, then the remaining flour mixture, stirring until well-incorporated. Mix vigorously with a flexible spatula for 5 minutes, or use a mixer for this. The dough will seem quite moist and sticky.
Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Butter a 23 cm loaf pan.
Stir in the chopped chocolate and nuts, if using. Then use a spatula to fold the dough over on itself in the bowl for about thirty seconds, then transfer it to the buttered pan, pressing a bit to spread it to the corners. Let rise in a warm place for one hour.
Ten minutes before you’re ready to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 175C.
Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until it feels done and sounds hollow when you tap it. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Raspberry-Blueberry Muffins

Using yoghurt and light cream cheese instead of butter makes this muffins a lot lighter, it makes them very moist and give them a nice tang. They are not too sweet. I used a mixture of raspberries and blueberries for this recipe, but you could use other fruit instead, for example cherries, peach (cubed) or mango (cubed).
Officially, the recipe is for 12 muffins. But as you can see on my photo, this was a bit optimistic… quite some batter ended up on the baking tray, because the muffin cups overflowed. I think the recipe will work a lot better if you make 16 muffins with it. But probably I will make half of the batter and divide it over 12 muffin cups next time. Part of the reason they overflowed was the great amount of baking powder in the original recipe, they just grew too much, changing them into volcanoes. I reduced the amount of baking powder in the recipe below.


Raspberry-Blueberry Muffins (makes 16)
Adapted from “Buiten Eten – Rose Marie Donhauser”

2 egg yolks
100 g sugar
250 ml yoghurt
150 g light cream cheese
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
250 g flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 egg whites
200 g fruit

Preheat the oven to 200C. Prepare 2 muffin tins.
Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, yoghurt, light cream cheese, salt and vanilla extract. Fold through the flour and baking powder. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, and carefully fold through. Then fold through the fruit. Divide over the muffin cups and cook for about 35 minutes. Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the tin, then leave to cool further on a wire rack. Can be frozen.

Whole Grain Milk Bread

Quite a close-textured bread, but not heavy or dry at all. A slightly sweet flavour, that works well with a smear of cream cheese, but also nice with some jam and butter. I expect it would make very nice pain perdu, but haven’t tried it yet.


Whole Grain Milk Bread (1 loaf)
Adapted from “Recepten van Moeder Aarde”

2 1/2 cup whole grain flour
1 packet dry yeast (7 gram)
1/2 cup milk powder (=60 g)
1 cup water
40 g butter
40 g honey
1/2 tsp salt

Mix the flour, yeast and milk powder in a large bowl. Melt the butter and honey in the microwave in a separate jug or bowl. Add the water and salt, and mix well. You should have a lukewarm liquid mixture. Add this to the flour mixture, stir around with a fork or spatula until it is crudely mixed, then leave to rest for a few minutes. Scoop the dough from the bowl onto your workspace, and knead for 10-15 minutes. Form into a ball, place back into the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for 1,5 hours.
Take the dough from the bowl, knead through lightly, then form back into a ball. Place onto a greased or lined baking tray and leave to rise for another 45 minutes, covered with the bowl.
Preheat the oven to 225C. Place the baking tray with the risen bread into the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes. Place on a rack and leave to cool completely before slicing.

Banana Bread Muffins

A lovely moist muffin with the flavours of banana bread.


Banana Bread Muffins (makes 10)
Heavily adapted from “Leon – Ingredients & Recipes”

2 eggs
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 small ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup bran
Optional: a handful of chopped pecans or blueberries
Optional: oats or pumpkin/sunflower seeds for the tops

Preheat the oven to 175C. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
Mix the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, banana and brown sugar. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, bran and fold through. Fold through the pecans or blueberries if using. Divide over 10 muffin cups.
Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. They will rise high. Leave to cool on a rack. Suitable to freeze.