Pancake Friday: Pineapple UpsideDown Cake

21 02 2014

When I was in San Diego on Sunday morning, I did a quick Yelp search for the best brunch. I was contemplating a few places, until I saw a review that mentioned a Pancake Flight.

IMG_2117I didn’t need to see any more. I was headed to Snooze, an AM Eatery.

Snooze is located in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it is right next to D Bar, where I met up with my SOAS teammates and got my picture take with the (celebrity) head chef, Keegan Gerhard.

Keegan Gerhard

No, I didn’t challenge him to a bake off. 🙂

I digress- we’re here to talk about PANCAKES!

Snooze offers quite the variety of pancakes- check out their menu– and I had a tough time deciding which I wanted. The Pineapple upside down cake came highly recommended, so I included that in my order, along with a cinnamon roll and caramel apple pie. I could hardly wait for them to arrive!


There was a little mix up in the kitchen and I got the pancake of the day (oatmeal chocolate chip) instead of the cinnamon roll, but I was too hungry to send it back. I could go for a little chocolate anyhow:-) The other two were just as I had ordered and OH SO GOOD! It seems like the chef at Snooze focuses on having a really good buttermilk batter, to which he/she can make tiny additions to blow it out of the water. The caramel apple had slices of apple on top, a caramel sauce, and this outta control marscapone whipped cream. The pancake that stole the show though was the pineapple upside cake.

pineapple upside down pancake snooze

The pancake had these tiny pineapple chunks that were mini versions of what you’d get in the can- they didn’t seem to be the “crushed pineapple” though. The pineapple was complemented by the cinnamon butter and creme anglaise on top. YUM.

As I sat and enjoyed my delicious breakfast, I couldn’t help but to think back on a pancake I had made before my trip:

IMG_0919It was my own version of pineapple upside down cake! Sure, I didn’t have the compound butter or the creme anglasise (um, but definitely want to next time!) but I thought my pancakes tasted pretty darn good.

I caramelized the pineapple with some brown sugar and butter (and probably would have added some rum to set on fire if Bill had been around)- which I think took these to the next level.


My recipe is a little involved (and because I didn’t take good notes while I was making them over a week ago)- so feel free to make additions/changes as necessary. I think I’d make some swaps next time- i.e. use crushed pineapple in the batter rather than cutting the chunks, and use more pineapple juice.

Brown sugar + Pineapple is an EXCELLENT combination!



Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup cake flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup dry oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:
1 individual serving of pineapple Greek Yogurt (I actually used the Publix brand that had the stir-in fruit)
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup milk + more if batter is too thick
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 TBS honey

Other additions:
1/2 cup chopped pineapple cubes (or more)- to be stirred in to the batter
1 TBS Brown sugar + 1 TBS butter warmed in a saute pan. When it is a goopy mixture, stir into the batter.
For the topping:
Sauté 1/2 cup pineapple chunks with 1 TBS butter and 1 TBS brown sugar



Loaded Layered Brownies

5 11 2012

So I baked this weekend. And it was bad. It was so bad, but SOOOOO good.

It involved Oreos. And cookie dough. And brownies.

It might be illegal to call myself a healthy living blogger after this one.

Saturday night, team XP had a little get together to celebrate Mary’s big news, and to welcome back Chuck.

(So that was supposed to say “Congrats Mary and Welcome Back Chuck!” But I definitely ran out of room. Whoops!)

I decided I would bring brownies because I had a box of brownie mix in the cupboard. But I couldn’t just bring brownies from a box. I had to take it up a notch. And I figured hey, I deserve it after today’s killer bike work out.

Jess and I took 3 minute shifts in the lead. When we got back, Felipe asked Jess how long it took us to ride the 30 miles. When she said an hour and a half, he said incredulously, “That’s it?!” Heck yeah. We BURNED those legs out!

So, I figured it was okay to make a ridiculously rich, loaded brownie with a cookie dough layer. And an Oreo layer. With pretzels on the bottom. Oh, and throw in some Butterfingers for good measure. Yeah, that’s more like it.

Don’t forget the milk!

Loaded Layered Brownies


~2 cups crushed pretzels
2 tubes of prepared cookie dough (or you can make your own)
Butterfinger minis
1 box of brownie batter (prepared using the directions on the box)

How to:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Generously grease a 9 x 13 pan.

Spread the crushed pretzels on the bottom of the pan.

Pull off small handfuls of the cookie dough and press them into a layer on top of the pretzels.

Layer on the Oreos and Butterfingers.

Pour on the brownie batter.

Bake for about 30 minutes.


Doughnut Semi-Fail

22 08 2011

I (Steph) have a bad habit of starting a recipe before I read it the whole way through. I read the ingredients, make sure I’ve got ’em all, and then skim glance at the directions, and then dive on in. Most of the time,  this isn’t a problem, but there have been a few times where I didn’t realize something needed to be chilled, or I didn’t realize how many steps were involved.

Rewind to a few months ago, when it felt like every blogger was making doughnuts. Ok, maybe it was just Jenna and Kristin who made some scrumptious looking cake doughnuts, but then I saw a recipe in my Food & Wine magazine for Sweet Potato Doughnuts. That was it. I HAD to make some. The only problem was I didn’t have one of these:

After some thinking, I decided that I didn’t really NEED a doughnut pan, but if I happened to stumble upon one at HomeGoods, I’d treat myself. Well, I frequented HomeGoods more than usual, and despite getting all of this during one of those trips:

(all for about $50, which was the original price of that knife alone! Booya!)

they didn’t have a doughnut pan. I had finally convinced myself that I could really do without a doughnut pan, until I saw Ashley’s recipe. OH MY GOODNESS. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the masterpiece she created in her doughnut pan. Ok, maybe I didn’t, but peanut butter + marshmallow donuts? DROOOOOL!  I used to take a fluffernutter sandwich to school EVERY DAY when I was in elementary school. How could I NOT make these?

I ❤ Peanut Butter

Ashley posted her recipe right around the same time as MamaPea’s book was coming out, which I knew I wanted to order. So, on to Amazon I went and added Peas & Thank You to my cart. And then I added Carrots N Cake. And then, since I needed to spend a few extra dollars for free shipping, why not throw in a doughnut pan too?

I decided that this weekend I’d make the doughnuts, since I knew they took a little bit of time, and I had all Saturday free, I figured it was the perfect opportunity. My boyfriend also happened to be flying in on Sunday, so wouldn’t I be the sweetest girlfriend ever if I greeted him with some fresh, homemade sweet potato doughnuts?

So, I got to work on Saturday morning, prepping the batter so it had time to rise. I timed my morning so that I could make the dough before I went to the gym, let it rise for an hour, and then bake ’em when I got home.

So, I returned from the gym, to continue working on my donuts, only to realize that 1) They needed to rise again and 2) I didn’t need a doughnut pan in the first place! I was supposed to cut out circles with a cookie cutter, not pour the dough in the pan. Way to go Steph.

I pressed on, and waited yet another hour for the donuts to rise before putting them in the oven.

I followed the baking instructions, but I let them cook too long, and they started to burn 😦 They also didn’t exactly turn out the way I envisioned them to-I was thinking they’d be like a dense cakey doughnut. Unfortunately, they turned out more like a dry cakey cookie. 😦 They taste fine, but I definitely didn’t get the doughnut experience I was hoping for. Fail.

At least some turned out quite photogenic:

Lessons Learned:

1) READ THE ENTIRE RECIPE FIRST! This is like rule #1 in cooking, and I always break it. Must. Stop. Doing. This.

2) The recipe calls for bread flour, but I used all-purpose. I think this mistake contributed to the final consistency of the doughnuts. Need to purchase bread flour.

3) The recipe also required the use of a dough hook to mix the dough. I kneaded it for a little bit, but definitely not the 5 minutes that the recipe called for (I had a spin class to get to!). I need to do what the recipe says.

4) Learn more about yeast and flours and how the different kinds of flours affect the way the final product turns out. Allie did some research and wrote up a few posts about it. I think I need to reread those posts.

Anyhow, here’s the recipe, from Food & Wine Magazine. Good luck!

Sweet Potato Donuts

Recipe from Food & Wine Magazine


One 12-ounce sweet potato
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1 envelope instant dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon dark rum (I used gold)
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
3 1/4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling


1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

How to:

  1. MAKE THE DOUGHNUTS: Prick the sweet potato all over with a fork and cook it in a microwave at high power for 10 minutes, until tender. Let cool, then peel and puree the sweet potato; you should have about 1 cup.
  2. In a small skillet, cook the butter over moderate heat until nutty and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Scrape the browned butter and solids into a small bowl and let cool.
  3. In the same skillet, heat the milk until just warm, about 105°. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the yeast and let stand for 5 minutes. Gently mix in the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, salt, vanilla seeds, nutmeg and rum. Add the sweet potato puree, browned butter and solids, egg and egg yolks and beat until combined. Add the 3 1/4 cups of bread flour and beat at medium speed until the dough is evenly moistened, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to moderately high and beat until a soft dough forms, about 5 minutes. Gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a buttered bowl. Cover and let rise in a draft-free place for 1 hour.
  4. Punch down the dough and let stand for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2 3/4-inch round cutter, stamp out as many rounds as possible. Using a smaller round cutter (1 inch), stamp out the centers. Transfer the doughnuts and holes to 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the doughnuts and holes rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400° and position racks in the upper and lower thirds. Bake the holes for 10 minutes and the doughnuts for about 20 minutes, until risen and golden.
  6. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE TOPPING: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Put half of the hot doughnuts in a large bowl and drizzle with some of the melted butter; toss and turn to coat. Sprinkle with some of the cinnamon sugar and toss and turn until evenly coated. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts, butter and cinnamon sugar. Transfer the doughnuts to a platter; serve.

Question of the day: Have you ever started a recipe before knowing exactly what you got into? What happened? OR What’s your favorite kind of doughnut?