Tag Archives: cinnamon

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

IMG_0195.JPG (2)

There has been a cool breeze in the air all week and I have to say it’s getting me excited for fall! It’s funny how the change of seasons is always so exciting whether it be the first snowfall, the first sunny days in the spring, or the first scorching weeks in the summer. While summer is definitely one of the most enjoyable seasons in Canada (let’s face it….we don’t have too many enjoyable seasons here…especially in Ottawa when 4 months of frostbite rolls around :|), I have always had a soft spot for fall. While summer desserts tend to focus more around fresh flavours, fall brings back warm flavours and comforting ingredients like spices, apples, and pumpkin. I don’t doubt that I will have a boatload of pumpkin recipes to share with you soon, but for now I’ll begin to ease you into the new season with some cinnamon raisin swirl bread…aka the best bread EVERRR!

I actually made this bread for the first time sometime early this year. Despite my constant failures with yeast, I was determined to try again with this recipe, because I was dying to create a homemade version of one of my favourite childhood treats, cinnamon raisin toast. The recipe is not difficult, but does take a bit of time due to the rising time. The first time I made it I started it way tIMG_0196oo late and it didn’t come out of the oven until midnight. It didn’t seem to stop us from consuming almost half the loaf while it around was still warm though, this stuff is SOO good! I honestly couldn’t believe I made a loaf of bread that tasted and LOOKED like one from the store. It was way too good to be true. If I can do it, you can too!

I made this recipe again when we went to visit my Mom a few weeks ago. We couldn’t help but eat almost an entire loaf between 3 of us while it was still warm. I’m telling you, it’s dangerous! The recipe makes two loaves of bread, you can cut it in half to make just one, but you’ll regret it when you eat the whole loaf in 10 minutes! You can always wrap the second loaf in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze it for later…or you can just eat it and call it a day.

If you’re like me and nervous about baking with yeast, give this a try, you will be pleasantly surprised!! I’m planning to try a savoury cheese version of this bread ASAP. Next time maybe one cinnamon, one cheese? Mmmmm….make me some of this bread now pleaaseeee..?

*My notes are for kneading the dough by hand, but if you are lucky enough to have a stand mixer, you can use the dough hook to do the kneading and to incorporate the raisins, making it even easier!

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

From The Kitchn

  • 1 cup raisins IMG_0194.JPG (2)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 1/2 -6 cups all purpose flour


  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 tsp warm water

Put the raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let them plump for at least 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Reserve soaking water.

Pour 1 cup of water (use the water used to soak the raisins, just make sure it’s cooled to room temp) into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over top. Let it sit for a few minutes, then stir to fully dissolve the yeast into the water.

Add the milk, melted butter, and salt into the water. Add 5 1/2 cups of the flour and stir to form a shaggy dough. Knead by hand for 8-10 minutes to form a smooth, slightly tacky dough. If the dough is very sticky, add a tbsp of flour at a time just until it is workable. The dough is ready when it quickly springs back when poked.

Toss the raisins in a few tablespoons of flour to absorb any moisture.

Turn the dough out onto your work surface and press it into an oval. Sprinkle half the raisins over the dough and fold it like a letter. Press it into an oval again, sprinkle the remaining raisins, and fold it again. Knead the dough for a few minutes to distribute the raisins.

Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour. In the meantime, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a one bowl and beat together the egg and water in a another bowl.

Split the dough into two pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough out on the counter. Roll it slightly less wide than your baking pan and as long as you can make it.

Brush the surface of the dough with the egg wash, leaving about two inches clear at the top. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Starting at the end closest to you, roll the dough. When it’s rolled, pinch the seams closed. Transfer to a loaf pan seam-side down. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Let the loaves rise until they pillow out over the top of the pans, 30-40 minutes. Halfway through rising, preheat the oven to 375° F.

Brush the top with some of the remaining egg wash. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

Remove the loaves from the pans and allow them to cool completely before slicing (Good luck with that part!! haha)


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Filed under Breakfast, Yeast Bread

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf


I caved. I bought another can of pumpkin puree at the grocery store! There are still lots of pumpkin recipes popping up on other blogs, and I just can’t shake it yet. I didn’t even have any pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving! That has to be illegal. So, to make up for it, and to feed my addiction, I made this pumpkin loaf. In keeping with my cookbook theme, I found this recipe in one of the most stunning cookbooks; Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. This book has lots of fun twists on classic desserts, and the presentation is very modern and eye-catching. The book is written by the owners of The Baked Bakery, and it is definitely on my ever growing list of bakeries to visit in NYC. The Baked Brownie is without a doubt the best brownie ever! I have made it before, but will have to make it again for the blog. It is the perfect brownie in every way. Even Oprah said so!

This recipe is pretty easy to make, combine the dry and wet ingredients separately, and then mix them together and voila, you’re done. You don’t need a stand mixer, or even a hand mixer, which I love. Sometimes the easiest recipes are the best ones.

IMG_0997The loaf did stick to the pan a bit on the bottom, but it was easily fixed and you wouldn’t know from the final product. It is really important to butter and flour the pan. Make sure to get the butter into every little corner, and try to dust it with flour as best as possible.

Mine was done baking in 1 hour and 20 minutes, but again, every oven is different so start checking around 1 hour 10 minutes, as soon as the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done! The recipe does freeze well so feel free to freeze half the loaf (wrapped well in plastic wrap, and tinfoil).

This is a perfect fall treat, and is yet another yummy way to sneak a vegetable (pumpkin) into your baking! How can that NOT be a good idea? Now I’m off to make some more pumpkin pancakes with the leftover pumpkin….

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

Barely adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in BakingIMG_1020

  • 1 1/2 plus 1/8 cup flour ( I used half whole wheat, half all purpose)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 heaping cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup water, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan and set aside.

IMG_1023In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, baking soda and salt. Whisk until combined.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin and oil until combined. Add in sugar, and whisk again until combined. Add eggs one at a time, and once incorporated, add vanilla. Add in water, and mix to combine. Stir in chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients, and mix just until combined.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake in centre of oven for 1 hour 15 mins to 1 hour 30 mins. Loaf is done when a toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean.

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Pumpkin Spice Scones


After this weekend, I think we can say that fall has officially arrived! It was so cold and rainy, it almost made me regret wishing summer away just a few weeks ago. I love fall, but after feeling that bitter cold, I was reminded of fall’s ugly sibling…winter! How does it arrive so quickly every year? Before I know it, I will be digging out the Christmas decorations, and switching my orange sprinkles for red and green. I am already dreaming about all the Christmas treats I want to make this year, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, it is still only October, and we have Thanksgiving and Halloween to get through first.

If we must deal with the chilly nights of fall, I can’t think of anything to comfort me more than a buttery, spicy, delicious pumpkin scone. Now, I will be honest, up until a few weeks ago, my experience with scones was minimal. I walk past The Scone Witch every so often, but have never had the urge or desire to IMG_0876become excited about scones. Well, people, everything has changed! I am now here to make you a scone lover, if you aren’t one already. Maybe it’s the fact that these incorporate my favourite ingredient du jour (pumpkin!!), but these are really good, and I can’t wait to experiment with different flavours and ingredients.

I have made a batch of these scones the past two weekends in a row. The last time I made a recipe twice in a one week span, was during the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie extravaganza. At least this time we didn’t eat them all ourselves.

The only downside to these (and all scones) is that they don’t keep fresh for long. Scones are the best right after they come out of the oven. They will be good for around 24 hours, but anything longer than that and I found that the texture was unappealing. I haven’t tried this, but you can freeze the scones individually after shaping them into triangles (or whatever shape you like), and before baking them. That way, whenever you get the urge for a scone, just pop one straight from the freezer to the oven, and add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

As directed in the recipe, you will get 12 scones. The second time I made them, I cut each triangle into half again to make 24 mini scones. The mini scones are really cute and are the perfect size for a two (or one) bite treat! I didn’t get any pictures of the mini scones because they were in an out of the kitchen too fast! IMG_0872

I did have some issues with the baking temperature. The recipe originally states to bake at 425 degrees. I did this initially, with the rack in the middle of the oven, and the bottoms were burnt. I put the rack up one spot higher, and the second batch came out okay, but required a bit more baking time. I also tried again with the oven at 400 degrees, and they came out fine, with a few extra minutes of baking time. Just keep an eye on them, my oven is not very accurate, and often doesn’t behave as it should. You may be perfectly fine without raising your oven rack, or lowering the temperature, but just keep an eye around 10-12 minutes to see if they’re starting to burn.

Pumpkin Spice Scones

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


  • 2 cups all purpose flourIMG_0884
  • 7 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 6 tbsp cold butter
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 tbsp half and half
  • 1 egg

Icing Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk

Spiced Glaze

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8  tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 pinch ground ginger
  • 1/2 pinch ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender or a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly. You should see some chunks of butter covered in flour, but none bigger than pea sized.

In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg. Fold the wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form dough into a ball.

IMG_0886Empty dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 12 inches long, and 4 inches wide.

Use a knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. To make mini scones, cut each of the 12 triangles in half again, to make 24. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Remove to wire rack to cool.

To make the icing sugar glaze, mix the icing sugar and milk together until smooth. Once scones are cool, use a brush to spread glaze over the top of each scone.

To make the spiced glaze, combine all of the ingredients and stir until smooth. Once the icing sugar glaze has set a little bit, drizzle the spiced glaze over each scone.

As I said, these are best eaten the same day that they are made. If not, store them in an airtight container.

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Pumpkin Pancakes


If you have not jumped on the pumpkin loving bandwagon yet, get on it! Even though you can buy canned pumpkin all year round, I only feel appropriate eating it in the fall! This is really crazy, but I also feel this way about mini eggs. Even though you can buy them all year round now, they are only meant to be consumed at Easter! Anyways, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back, the air is crisp, and it’s time to start incorporating pumpkin into my diet.

IMG_0731I made these pancakes when we had breakfast for dinner one night last week. They are really good, and definitely had that pumpkin-y taste that you get from pumpkin pie, or pumpkin muffins. If you don’t like pumpkin pie, it doesn’t mean you don’t like pumpkin! Give these a try, and I promise you will be happy 🙂

I followed the recipe exactly, other than substituting nutmeg for the allspice. I also used half whole wheat, half all purpose flour, but you could use all of one or the other.  I might add some chocolate chips next time, and will probably cut the recipe in half because this made about 8 big  pancakes.


Pumpkin Pancakes

Adapted from All Recipes

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree IMG_0747
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine milk, pumpkin puree, egg, canola oil, and vinegar in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

Add dry mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix to combine. Let mixture rest for about 5 minutes while preparing pan or griddle. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan or griddle over medium to high heat.

Pour batter onto the heated surface, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Flip when uncooked side starts to show bubbles, and cook through on opposite side.


Filed under Breakfast

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I don’t know why, but raisin is one of those words that I just can’t spell. I always want to type ‘raisen’ but then I know that can’t be right…so it must be ‘raisin’! Am I crazy?!? And why I am even typing that word so often anyways?

I made these cookies this past Sunday afternoon. Baking on a lazy Sunday afternoon is the perfect way to prepare for the week ahead, and round out the weekend. I can remember when I was younger and I would  do everything I could to convince my mom to make homemade cookies. To me, they were the best thing I had ever tasted in the world. It’s funny because my mom usually always made the recipe on the back of the chocolate chips package, which I too have made a million times, but they just never taste as good as when my mom made them. Mom’s have special powers like that.
I had planned to make chocolate chip cookies because I have what seems to be a neverending list of recipes to try, each one only slightly different than the last, but always hoping to find the *perfect* one. However, once I proposed my idea, I was persuaded into making an oatmeal cookie. I don’t get many baking requests in this household, so I will take whatever I can get!!

I decided to try a new recipe and I was not dissapointed. I did half oatmeal raisin, half oatmeal chocolate chip. Both were delicious, but the raisin ones were a step above. Even the skeptic who hates raisins agreed that they were amazing. I know there are a lot of raisin haters out there, but trust me, in these cookies, they are so much better than chocolate chips!! I didn’t add any nuts only because I didn’t have any, but walnuts would be a good addition as well. These cookies have the slightest hint of cinnamon, which is not too overpowering. You can always add more cinnamon if you like, or experiment with other spices such as nutmeg or cloves.

Mine were done baking in 8 minutes, the edges were already pretty brown, so keep your eye on them! Every oven works a little differently, but definitely start checking around 8 minutes.

EDIT: I had originally written up this post on Sunday, and I will let you know that these cookies were gone by Tuesday, and ANOTHER BATCH was made. It was ridiculous. There are only two of us living in this apartment, and I will tell you that it was not me who thought to make a second batch. They really are THAT good. I used all raisins in the second batch because we found ourselves looking for the ones with raisins in the first batch..just do it!!

The recipe makes about 18 cookies with my 1 1/2 tbsp cookie scoop.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350degrees

Cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla together with hand mixer on medium speed, until smooth and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk  together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Add flour mixture to butter and sugar mixture and stir just until combined.

Add oats, and raisins or chocolate chips to mixture and mix until incorporated.

Scoop or roll into balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Keep unused dough in fridge while cookies are baking.

Bake for 8 to 10 mins until edges start to turn golden brown.

Cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.

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Filed under Cookies