Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet Potato Bread

When the calendar moved to December this past weekend, my first thought was to leave sweet potatoes firmly planted in the past. In my mind, these root vegetables have a place at the Thanksgiving table, and that is about it.

The problem was, I had a stack of sweet potato recipes that I fully intended to enjoy in November but simply did not get around to. Shelve them for next year, or get to baking? Get to baking.

This bread sunk a bit along the middle, and it was so moist I was initially concerned I failed to bake it until fully done. Turns out all was well, and I have been enjoying a slice for breakfast ever since.

Though I opted to sweeten my bread up with mini chocolate chips, incorporating nuts will make for a more savory option. Consider enjoying a savory slice with a bowl of soup or salad. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet Potato Bread
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the sweet potato puree, brown sugar, applesauce, milk, and vegetable oil until well combined.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees F for 60 minutes until the bread is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 45 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. If needed, run a knife along the edges of the pan to fully loosen the loaf.
Like pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree is available in canned form. I made my own by roasting four small sweet potatoes at 400 degrees until tender, about 45 minutes. When they were cool enough to handle, I simply popped them out of their skins and mashed them with a fork.

For a savory twist, add chopped pecans or other nuts in place of the mini chocolate chips.

Spiced Baked Apples

Stuffed Apples

Though it is now well past Thanksgiving, I can’t help but leave November with one final Stuffed! recipe. It seems appropriate considering stuffed is how I, and I suspect many of you, felt about a week ago.

These stuffed apples are good for ridding the kitchen of a few lingering cranberries. They also make for a sweet and filling dessert that, aside from the brown sugar, is not all that unhealthy. Plus, you can bake these apples in your slow cooker.

Stuffed Apples

The cranberries themselves add a nice tart pop to the sweet baked apple and spiced brown sugar. Though I did not garnish my stuffed apples, allowing a dollop of ice cream or cool whip to melt over their tops seems like a great idea. With just a few simple steps and a little bit of time, you too can enjoy sweet stuffed apples.

Another way to use up fresh cranberries is to sugar them. This creates a fun snack as well as a simple syrup good for flavoring sparkling water. And if cranberry sauce remains in your kitchen, a recipe for warm cranberry dip might solve your problems leftover problems.

Stuffed Apples

So long, November. Hello, holiday baking…

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Sweet Spiced Apples
Serves: 5
  • 5 medium apples
  • ⅓ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional
  1. Core or hollow out the centers of apples. Be sure to leave the bottoms fully intact.
  2. If desired, peel the top third of each apple.
  3. Combine the cranberries, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the apples.
  5. Place in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until tender.
  6. Garnish with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

Twinkies Bundt Cake

Twinkie Bundt Cake

When I heard the news that Hostess would be no more, I felt momentarily wistful  for my favorite snack cake, the Twinkie. I have not bought a Twinkie in approximately six years, but I still love them more than those delicious chocolate cream-filled cupcakes and pink coconut snowballs.

I love Twinkies so much that I actually own The Twinkies Cookbook where the snack cakes are described as, “Twinkies sparkle with an undeniable magic.” Here are a few pieces of other Twinkies trivia:

Despite the rumor that they would stay fresh through the apocalypse, Twinkies have a shelf life of a mere 25 days.

Upon their invention in the 1930s, the snack cakes were filled with banana-flavored cream. The switch to vanilla was in response to a banana shortage experienced during in WWII.

The inspiration for their name came from a St. Louis billboard advertising Twinkle Toe Shoes.

Twinkies Bundt Cake


When I came across a recipe for a Twinkie Bundt Cake a few weeks back, I marked it on my “To Bake” list. When I heard people across America were stockpiling Twinkies a few days ago, I thought I had better share this homemade twist on a classic sooner rather than later.

Admittedly, the cake is not quite like the Twinkies I remember. The crumb seemed more heavy than spongy, but on the other hand, the filling was remarkably similar. Preparation requires a bit of forethought as both the eggs and the buttermilk should warm to room temperature before baking.

Creating a tunnel to fill with the vanilla cream was also interesting.  It was not as difficult as I expected, but I found I needed to shake the cake pan over the sink a few times to remove all of the crumbs and form a clear path.

The Twinkies cookbook concludes an ode to the beloved snack cake with, “So let us raise a toast to an American original – the magical, mystifying, magnificent Twinkie. The journey’s been quite a treat.” Indeed it has.

Twinkie Bundt Cake
  • For the Cake
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extra
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 7 eggs: 3 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • For the Filling
  • 1 jar (7 to 7.5 ounces) marshmallow cream
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioner's sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray, dust lightly with flour, and set aside.
  2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt and set aside as well.
  3. Beat the butter and vanilla extract on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the sugar and beat until evenly mixed, about one minute.
  5. Slowly pour in the vegetable oil and beat until light fluffy, about two minutes more.
  6. One at a time, beat in the eggs followed by the egg yolks.
  7. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk in three alternating additions, beginning and ending with the buttermilk.
  8. Continue to beat on low speed until all lumps are removed, then fold by hand a few times before pouring into the prepared Bundt pan.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees F for 60-70 minutes until golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool in the pan for approximately two hours before turning out and filling.
  11. To make the filling, beat the marshmallow cream, butter, and vanilla together until smooth.
  12. Place in a pastry bag fitted with a round tip (a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off should serve in a pinch).
  13. Use an apple corer or a knife to cut six deep holds into the bottom of the cake. Take care not to cut down through the top of the cake.
  14. Use your fingers to connect each hole by burrowing down into one and across into the other, dumping crumbs as necessary.The goal is to create a tunnel within the cake.
  15. Insert the tip of the filled pastry bag into each hole and gently fill. You should be able to see the filling start to fill an adjacent hole as it moves through the tunnel. If not, gently work the bag back and forth as you fill.
  16. Scrape away any excess filling, invert onto a serving platter to remove from the pan, and dust lightly with confectioners sugar if desired.