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Grind the grain, scoop the flour, and melt the chocolate; it’s time to celebrate and bake!
Growing up, fall time was about baking, creating family memories around flour, sugar, and a warm oven. Yes, there were processed ingredients and refined sugars (it was the 80’s), but the memories were pure and organic. Might I even say “priceless”? Too cliche?
Standing around my mom’s flour-dusted counter, I learned that baking is an art that brings people together.
Today, as a mom, it’s my desire to gift my children with the same memories that my mom shared with me. The gift of learning how to sift flour into a bowl, crack eggs, lick the batter-covered spoon (it’s an art, friend!), butter the baking pan, watch our labor of love rise in the dimly lit oven, and share in the joy of a delicious creation surrounded by family and friends.
This fall, I want to welcome you into my kitchen, to share in this art of baking and making memories. Together, over the next six weeks, we’ll navigate the often confusing world of baking with real food ingredients. We’ll explore the different types of real food flours, learning tips and tricks for baking with each one. We’ll chat over a latte about how to make substitutions for healthier ingredients like honey in place of processed sugar. We’ll also share in some amazing fall treats, with simple recipes you can make at home.
By the end of the six weeks, you’ll have confidence to bake and cook with real food ingredients (and many different flours) and new fall recipes to enjoy! Think of our time together as a free enrollment into the elite Real Food Baking University. A university where you learn and eat (and sip lattes). Oh my!!
I’ve teamed up with three real food baking champions: Bob’s Red Mill, Jovial Foods, and MightyNest to make the next six weeks delicious and healthy. Here are a few of the topics we’ll cover over the next six weeks, just in time for fall baking:
- Fall Baking Gear Essentials (everything you need for real food baking this fall and all year long)
- How to Use Spelt Flour + Recipes
- How to Use Einkorn Flour + Recipes
- How to Use Whole Wheat Flour + Recipes
- How to Use Pastry Flour + Recipes
- How to Use Almond Flour + Recipes
- How to Use Coconut Flour + Recipes
- How to a Gluten-Free Baking Mix + Recipes
- Real Food Baking Substitutions 101 (how to get rid of the processed sugar, canola oil, and Crisco in your favorite recipes)
- Plus, two huge giveaways for the ultimate fall baking gear and flours!
To celebrate the next six weeks, today, I baked you a cake, one of our family’s favorite fall cakes, packed with seasonal squash (yes, squash!) and naturally sweetened with honey. This cake is made with pastry flour to give it a light and moist texture (a flour we’ll explore in this series).
I already cut you a big slice and drizzled it with my my simple go-to chocolate glaze (which you probably remember from this amazing grain-free cake recipe). Sit, take a bite. Then, tie your apron and roll up your sleeves, let’s get ready to bake together.
Chocolate Bundt Cake with Zucchini and Walnuts
- 1 1/4 cups brewed coffee
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 TB baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs whole, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup butter melted
- 3/4 cup buttermilk 3/4 + 1 TB lemon juice will work as a sub for buttermilk. Allow the milk and lemon juice to sit on the counter for 5 minutes before using.
- 1 TB pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 medium zucchini grated
- 1/2 cup walnuts crushed
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the brewed coffee and cocoa powder to a slight boil (not a full boil, just starting to bubble), whisking every few seconds to prevent burning. Once the mixture reaches a slight boil, turn off the heat and set aside. The mixture will thicken as it sits.
In the bowl of the mixer, add the honey, baking soda, salt, and eggs. Beat the mixture for 2 minutes on medium speed.
Add the melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Continue to beat for another 2 minutes. Beating the batter is the key to produce a moist, perfectly-raised cake! Turn off the mixer.
Before moving on to the next step, press the shredded zucchini in between two paper towels or a folded dish towel, squeezing out any excess water.
Turn the mixer on to medium speed and add the shredded zucchini, crushed walnuts, and flour (a cup at a time). Beat for 1 minute. Then, add the coffee and cocoa mixture. Beat for 2 minutes.
Butter a bundt pan (like this) and sprinkle a small amount of flour over the buttered pan. Spread the flour over the buttered pan so there's a very light, thin coating of flour (this will make the cake easy to remove after baking).
Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. To remove, simply flip the bundt pan over and the cake will pop right out.
For the chocolate glaze, in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate chips and cream. Once melted, whisk in the honey. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to cool for 4-5 minutes.
Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and top with crushed walnuts (if desired).
Note: If you’re using whole wheat pastry flour, decrease the flour to 2 1/3 cups.
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