Naked Lemon Layer Cake recipe and tutorial | Simple Bites

Rustic Lemon Layer Cake for a baby shower

November is the season of comfort food, which for me roughly translates into coffee and cake – at least today it does.

Lately I’ve taken to retreating into my warm kitchen in the morning with a stack of the fall’s latest baking books and only emerging when I feel adequately caffeinated and something delightful is cooling on the counter. We can only eat so much, and I gift a good portion of my baking, but it is always welcome to have a little assignment.

So last weekend when a few close friends and I teamed up on an (actual, not virtual, although today’s is virtual) baby shower, I volunteered to bake the cake. I’d been thumbing through both Homemade Decadence and Butter Baked Goods dreaming of layer cakes and fluffy frosting and this was the opportunity I needed  to break out the cake pans. I chose a recipe from each book and both were so spectacular, I requested permission from the publishers to share them with you here.

The recipes can be scaled up or down, should you one day find yourself committed to making a wedding cake or just want a crumb of something sweet for Sunday dinner.  I think you’ll agree, few things in life are as enjoyable a frosted slice of cake, so read on for the tutorial, recipes and virtual baby shower you can join, too!

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TWO DAIRY-FREE PUMPKIN DESSERTS FOR THANKSGIVING

Dairy-free Spiced Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Pumpkin Baked Doughnuts

In October, we lug home golden pumpkins and red-skinned apples from the markets and transform them into a sideboard of sweets for a Canadian Thanksgiving celebration.

The correlation between Thanksgiving baking and cooler fall temperatures is no coincidence. My kitchen begins heating up with crimped pies and tender cakes right around the time our evening walks start requiring scarves and sweaters. It’s a good balance.

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Extra-Crisp Pear Lavender Crisp | Simple Bites #dessert #pears #recipe

Extra-Crispy Pear-Lavender Crisp

This post is sponsored by KitchenAid Canada.

Local apples are not quite sweet enough for my liking yet, but fortunately we have pears from neighbouring province Ontario to tide us over.

Bartlett pears have replaced peaches on my kitchen counter and the first basket I bought fulfilled their destiny in this dessert. I’m a big fan of the super simple slow cooker apple crisp (it’s a great kitchen job for kids), but lately I’ve been craving a really crumbly topping. An extra-crisp fruit crisp.

Fortunately, one of my favourite Canadian bloggers, Charmian, recently released a cookbook titled The Messy Baker and I found just what I was looking for between its beautiful covers.

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onion_header

A Spring Onion Tart

When I was a child, onions were one of the few vegetables I loved to eat.

Generally they came in the form of pizza topping, but after a while onions started to adorn my sandwiches, and I sought them out whenever my mom cooked up a vat of her beef stew. Once I discovered the joy of roasted garlic, I was hooked on alliums for life.

One of the building blocks of cooking, alliums deserve a place in pretty much every meal. Granted, not everyone loves them as much as I do. I’ve been converting my 6-year-old to an onion fan, slowly but surely, because I’m sure he has an amazing cooking career ahead of him and he needs to understand the onion. Or at least, be able to throw together a fantastic pasta sauce and garlic bread.

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Mocha Pie with Espresso Whipped Cream | Simple Bites #pie #mocha #recipe

Mocha Pie with Espresso Whipped Cream

I couldn’t tell you when the craving for a mocha pie originated, only that it is a desire I have been trying to ignore for the better part of a year.

My affections lie firmly in the fruit pie camp, which is why the urge for a rich pudding of dark chocolate and coffee, tucked into a flaky crust and topped with mounds of espresso whipped cream was a mystery to me. I’m usually all about the rhubarb pie in the spring (three recipes and counting), but this year, I’m serving up mocha.

Mocha Pie with Espresso Whipped Cream | Simple Bites #pie #mocha #recipe

Fortunately, Easter is just around the corner, and chocolate is usually on the menu in many shapes and forms. I’m going to go ahead and suggest that this cream-topped mocha pie make an appearance on your table for the holiday. And if it is, please invite me over.

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