Daily Archives: November 6, 2011

Maple Ginger Cakes with Brown Butter Caramel – A Vintage Recipe Swap!

Maple Ginger Cakes - a Burwell General Store Recipe Swap!

This is a very special post for this little Dusty Baker.

One year ago, I started this blog.  I had been blogging on another site, which housed a wider range of aspects of the holistic health industry as I pulled out of another bout of Lyme Disease.  I wanted to focus on recipes, and writing, and how baking could connect me to other aspects of my art and to the art itself that is baking.  

Also one year ago, on the other side of the country, Christianna of Burwell General Store and Lindsay of Rosemarried started a recipe swap, comparing their takes on vintage recipes.  That group grew into an incredible community of food bloggers who monthly change at least 3 aspects of a recipe that Christianna sends to us, and then we all post at the same time and exchange blogging love.  I don’t quite remember if I found out about the swap from Lindsay or Toni over at Boulder Locavore – I found and fell in love with their blogs around the same time, in April of last year.  All I know is that I feel very fortunate to be a part of this little group.

These bloggers have become teachers, inspiring me by their personal focus in the food world, their varying levels of culinary expertise and their love for what they do, both in and out of the kitchen.  Through them I get to feel the seasons change all over the world (we have several overseas swappers!), and how that effects what we’re all making and how we’re nourishing our bodies.  I get little glimpses into the lives of passionate, creative and sometimes exhausted people.  All because of our shared love for food.

Burwell Swappers, you rock my world.  Happy Birthday to Christianna, Lindsay, Toni, Chef Dennis, Sabrina, Lora, Mari, Shari, Monique, Pola, Linda, Alli, Barb, Priya, Lana, Shumalia, Claire, Jamie, Jaclyn and Alex (did I miss anyone?!!?).  And welcome to the new swappers Eda, Julia and JoAnn who are contributing this month! Please click on the link at the bottom of this post to check out their contributions, read more about their blogs at the Burwell General Store and, if you’re the tweeting sort, follow our Burwell Swappers list on Twitter.

When sending us the recipe for this month, Christianna asked us to ponder where our lives have traveled this past year, what we’re thankful for and what we want to celebrate with this post.

It’s been an interesting year: at points I’ve had less money than I’ve had in my entire life and questioned my decision to not have a “boss” and to work only freelance.  I took on the responsibility of managing my family business, and continue to learn just what it means to be a boss.  Through this blog I’ve met some incredible people,  been asked to participate in live food events, and developed the voice that brought me to writing for the NYC food blog Bromography and now doing research and writing for Easy Eats, an incredible gluten-free digital magazine that as an eater I am very excited about and am particularly thrilled to be contributing to. I did a few shows, meeting insanely talented, big-hearted people.  I fell in love, then had my heart broken for the first time.  I got a dog!  Projects that I’ve dreamed of creating have come into reality.  I’ve met teachers who are so far above me in the food world, and seem to see some glimmer of potential in what I have to contribute.  I am still relatively healthy after my third bout of Lyme, and my family are all close by and well.  It’s been a weird, hard year, but I have so much to be thankful for.

So in celebrating the anniversary of my blog and the birthday of the Burwell General Store swap, I’m doing a Thanks-GiveAway!  For the month of November, I’ll be hosting discussions, comments, sharing the recipes of others and asking readers to follow the lovely bloggers who are the filling to my macarons.  And in thanks I’ll send a few readers each two copies of some of my favorite gluten-free cookbooks, one to keep for themselves and one to give as a holiday gift to a baker they love.  Along with a few of my favorite things.

For information on the giveaway, CLICK HERE.

Now, this month we were given a Maple Syrup Cake to swap, which overjoyed me as I love baking with maple syrup and go through jugs of the stuff far too often.  After last month’s Millet Coconut Breakfast Pudding  I decided I didn’t want to change too much of this recipe, I just wanted to make a really delicious gluten-free take on these cakes.

My first go-around I adapted the recipe by cutting the white sugar completely, substituting with my gluten-free flour blend and adding some chopped ginger.  I used 3 teaspoons of soda as gluten-free flour sometimes need the extra lift.  And I added some chopped candied ginger along with increased the amount of spices in the cake.  The cakes were so-so.  A bit to baking soda-y and not sweet enough, even for me.  And a little dry.

So the second go around I added back in a bit of the sugar (palm), even more ginger, and some pumpkin, to give a little extra moisture. I also made a quick caramel sauce to serve on top.

The result? Um, yum!! These are incredibly moist little cakes.  The pumpkin isn’t a feature as much as the ginger and spice, but it provides great body.  The texture of the candied ginger suits the soft cake perfectly.  These would be divine as a special breakfast treat, or made in regular cupcake tins and topped with pumpkin or cream cheese frosting.

Going on my list as one of my favorite cakes.  Thanks, again, Burwell Swappers.

Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday Burwell Swappers!


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft
  • 1/3 cup palm sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup maple syrup (I used one from Vermont, which I love.  Always try to keep it as close to home as possible, and luckily that’s not a problem in New England)
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free cake flour with xanthan gum (if using a mix without xanthan gum, add 1 1/4 Tbsp to the flour)
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped


Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour cake pan of choice.

In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients up to ginger.

In the bowl of a standing mixer with whisk atatchment (or in bowl with hand mixer), beat butter and sugar until smooth.  Add pumpkin and continue to beat until combined.  Add maple syrup, and beat until smooth.

Alternate the flour and hot water, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing on low, until all are incorporated, occassionally wiping down the sides of bowl.

Stir in the candied ginger.

Pour equally into prepared pans.  My cakes took 24 minutes to bake, a larger cake will take about 35.

For the brown butter caramel:

Brown 2 Tbsp unsalted butter on medium heat until golden.  Whisk in 2 Tbsp maple syrup and 1 Tbsp light brown sugar, and whisk until smooth.  Immediately pour over cakes and serve.

A Thanks-GiveAway! Keep One and Gift One On!

At the Great American Pie Off, 2011

I have much to be thankful for this November.  Fittingly enough, this is the month and the start of the season for giving thanks.  Sweet.

A year ago, I started this little blog.  And because of it, I started baking a sh*tload!  I’ve spent so much time, barefoot and with my favorite red apron strapped on, with my fingers in gluten-free flours, typing away at my dusty keyboard while tweaking recipes, and tweeting and blogging and commenting away.  Through this blog I have “met” some incredibly talented, intelligent, passionate people on the web, and through them seen the seasons change all over the world.  Reading their recipes and stories, I’ve seen how their environments affect how they eat, how they nourish themselves and their loved ones, how they cherish food.

I’ve also attended so many food events in NYC, for my own interest or while reporting for NYC’s food blog Bromography.  At these events I’ve met some insanely delicious chefs and entrepreneurs.  If you’re reading, you all know who you are, and that I think you’re rock-star.

Recently I became an intern at Easy Eats Magazine.  It’s a gorgeous digital magazine devoted to the gluten-free world.  I am completely in love with this magazine – the layout, the content, the ease of use and the variety of information.  I’m psyched to be contributing.

A year ago as well, Christianna at the blog the Burwell General Store began a recipe swap, and last April I joined it.  Every month the 25 or-so bloggers have taken one recipe and thrown our individual spins on it.  We’ve supported each other in failed recipes, changing relationships, lost jobs and cranky moods.  And some have even met in person.  I have a feeling more will do so with time.

So, in thanks for all this good stuff (and for the belly I’ve developed that will be going away as soon as New Years comes, when I make my resolution.  I try not to make resolutions throughout the year, just so that New Year’s Day feels special.  Ok, that’s a lie, I make resolutions all the time.  But what baker in her right mind would make a resolution to eat less sweets going into the holiday season?  That kind of crazy I am not.  Maybe other kinds of crazy.  I should probably get to the giveaway part now… hopefully you’re still reading! Read on, dusty web traveler, read on…)…

…I’m spreading the love!

Enter my Thanks-Giveaway to win TWO copies of one of my favorite gluten-free cookbooks: One to keep and one to give away for the holidays!

So, here’s what you have to do:

1. Leave a comment on this page with someone or something you’re thankful for, in relation to food and/or gluten-free cooking. Who would you give the book to?  Who do you want to cook gluten-free for?

AND  do one of the following and let me know that you did it in your comment.  Do as many as you want, just let me know in the comment, and for each one you’ll get another ticket in the bucket:

  • Subscribe to this blog with the little “Lead On Dusty” button to the top right of this page.
  • Follow me on Twitter at DustyBakerGal and tweet this giveaway to your followers (@dustybakergal me too so I can see!).
  • Like me on Facebook.
  • Follow the Burwell General Store Twitter List on my Twitter Page, so that you can keep up with all the crazy food news from those incredible people.
  • Sign up for your initial free digital Easy Eats Gluten-Free Digital Magazine issue.  I know once you see one, you’ll be so psyched you’ll want to subscribe!!
  • Comment on any recipe coming up in the month of November on my page with a link to something you’re bananas about on yours, so that I can check it out and comment back!

Do these things, and win TWO of one of these cookbooks, one for you to keep and one for you to pass along!  Also, some fun little stuff that will be a surprise, wrapped up all special-like just for you!

Oh, and note that none of these books came from the publishers – they’re all on me, just because I love them so much.

Thank you for being so delicious!

Wishing you peace, love and a sweet, sweet life,

– Jacqueline

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