Archives for posts with tag: Fruits

I am a happy godmother of two amazing young women: Stephanie and Laura and we were able to spend a weekend together where we explored some embassies in DC, checked out the DC Funk Parade, ate some Chinese food, made brunch and baked cupcakes! Since the beginning of great summer weather is approaching, we thought it would be fitting to make these amazing strawberry lemonade cupcakes. The original recipe also suggested putting them in mason jars which is adorable too, but we stuck with some quintessential summer cupcake liners that were too perfect to pass up. Enjoy these refreshing summer treats!

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Lemon Cupcakes Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (any fat content)

Strawberry Frosting Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4oz. (1/2 block) cream cheese (cold)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 2-3 fresh strawberries, pureed (or very finely chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream, or milk, as needed

Lemon Cupcakes Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*F. In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.

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Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla, lemon extract, lemon juice, zest and oil, beat.

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Add sour cream and blend until combined.

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Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. Mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Pour (or scoop) batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners. Fill liners about 2/3 full (no more).

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Bake cupcakes in pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes

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Strawberry Frosting

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until fully smooth. Add cream cheese, and again beat until fully incorporated and very smooth. While mixing on low speed, add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time.

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Add vanilla extract, then strawberry jam and beat until well combined. If the jam you are using has large chunks in it, you may need to blend in a food processor or press through a fine strainer before adding to the frosting. Depending on the ripeness of your berries, you may want to add 1 drop of pink food coloring to the icing.

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If the frosting is very thick, add heavy cream or milk, then beat until light and fluffy. Frost on cooled cupcakes.

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Love these goons:

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Because there’s nothing better than a Waffle Work Meeting on [the day after] International Waffle Day!

The recipe itself is still on the organic waffle mix bag at the office,which was quite good and healthy using soy milk and honey. But the idea for this came up as a team bonding experience for our relatively new team. Within one day, we had all of the equipment and ingredients needed to make fruit and maple syrup covered waffles in the office kitchen. They smelled and tasted delicious and I got some new Instagram followers from it 🙂

Remember, baking can be with anyone, anywhere. Just enjoy it and don’t stress about it!

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In addition to it being my sister’s birthday, it was also a historic Pi Day!

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This recipe had a recipe to make the crust as well I had to buy a pie crust in the interest of time (which worked just fine except that my filling started to bubble through the crust toward the end of the baking time). I’m sure this crust recipe is just as good as the filling which was absolutely delicious!

Ingredients
  • 6 cups (about 2 pounds) of strawberries, small ones whole and larger ones chopped into chunks
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup + 1 tbsp. pure cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
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Directions
Chop strawberries and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle cornstarch on the berries along with the salt and stir thoroughly. Add vanilla, lemon juice and ¾ cup of sugar. Mix until berries are evenly coated.
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Remove crust from the fridge. Roll one half of the dough out into a circle, large enough to lay in the pie pan with the pie crust laying over the edge of the pie pan.
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Spoon the strawberry mixture on top of the pie crust.
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Roll out the other half of the dough into a circular shape, enough to cover the pie plate with 1 inch or so hanging over. Cut strips across the dough approximately 1 inch wide using a pizza cutter or a decorative edge cutter. Lay strips horizontally and vertically across the pie.
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Pinch the ends of the top and the bottom dough together and make the decorative edge of your choice. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
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Preheat your oven to 425 F. Cover the outer edge of your crust using a pie ring or foil.
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Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a baking rack.
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More pictures from the birthday festivities:
You can find the recipe to the cake here!
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The birthday girl and I!
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 The full spread!
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And some behind the scenes:
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Another snow day! We had a leftover pie crust and a new box of blueberries sooo we made a blueberry pie! It was super easy to make and quite delicious as dessert tonight! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, 3/4 cup sugar, egg, 2 tablespoons flour, vanilla extract and salt with a spoon until smooth. Gently fold the blueberries into the sour cream mixture. Spoon the filling into the unbaked pie crust.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

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While the filling is baking, prepare the streusel topping: In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar and flour. Mix the butter in (I always use my hands) until the mixture resembles course sand. Fold in the chopped pecans. After the filling has baked 25 minutes, sprinkle the streusel crunch topping over the top of the pie. Make sure your crust doesn’t burn. Either use a crust shield or make a loose foil tent towards the end of baking. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until filling is set and topping is brown.

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Remove from oven and let pie sit for at least 10-15 minutes. Serve pie warm or chill it and serve cold.

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, my sister and I got together to bake these yummy, adorable, easy cookies! My sister took some amazing pictures that you will see throughout this post. Enjoy the post, enjoy the cookies, and enjoy Valentine’s Day with all our loved ones!

Ingredients

  • 1 package pie crust
  • strawberry jam
  • sugar for garnish
  • milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 370 F. Cut heart shapes from pie crust.

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Put a teaspoon of strawberry jam in the middle of the heart.

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Top with another heart slice. Press the sides with a fork.

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Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

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Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Have some blueberries in the fridge? Or any berries for that matter?  Mix up this incredibly quick and easy 4-ingredient recipe and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 125g plain flour
  • 50g caster sugar plus an extra 2tbsp
  • 100g cold butter, cut into several chunks
  • 150g fresh blueberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4 / 350°F). Combine the plain flour and caster sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Press about two-thirds of the shortbread mixture onto a lined baking tray or loaf pan. Be sure to press it in firmly to help it hold together. Scatter the blueberries across the shortbread, and sprinkle over the remaining breadcrumb-like shortbread mixture.

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Top with a couple of tablespoons of sugar, and bake for around 30 minutes, until the shortbread is light golden brown and some of the berries have released their juices. Allow to cool completely, and then cut into squares with a pizza cutter.

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Making this cake was quite nice but the lemon glaze didn’t quite end up looking like the original picture but it was still delicious and the combination between the lemon and the berries was awesome! Also, the flour over frozen berries was a total life hack! Enjoy!!

Ingredients

Cake
    • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 cup kefir (or buttermilk)
    • 3 cups mixed berries (I used 1 cup raspberry, 1 cup blackberry, 1 cup blueberry)
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Glaze
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened (not melted! the butter should still be able to retain its shape!)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt and combine thoroughly.

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In a separate large bowl, add together the softened butter, sugar and lemon zest and mix, using mixer, on high setting for about 5 minutes until even consistency is reached and the mixture reaches lighter color. Add eggs, vanilla to the butter-sugar mixture and continue beating until well-incorporated.

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Now we’ll be adding flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture in 3 gradual steps, instead of dumping all of flour at one time. If you dump all of flour mixture into your butter mixture at one time, it will be more difficult to stir and you won’t get a smooth texture. So, we’ll be adding flour and kefir (or buttermilk) in 3 additions: With your mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture, beating just a little until all is well combined. Then follow by 1/4 cup of kefir (or buttermilk). Add second 1/3 cup of flour mixture, beating with mixer just to combine. Follow by 1/4 cup of kefir (or buttermilk), beating just to combine. Finally, add third 1/3 cup of flour mixture, followed by final 1/4 cup of kefir (or buttermilk). Again, beat just enough to combine. Make sure to have your mixer on low speed while adding flour, otherwise flour might fly around your kitchen. Make sure to not overmix or overbeat, use mixer just to combine the ingredients.

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In a separate bowl, combine berries with 2 tbsp of flour. This is supposed to prevent berries from clumping together and sinking. Note about using frozen berries: I did make this cake with frozen berries without defrosting them. It’s important that, if using frozen berries, they should not be clumped together, each berry should be separate (I freeze fresh berries by lining them on a cookie sheet). So you can use both fresh and frozen berries, and in either case you toss them with flour before adding to the batter.

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Using spatula, fold berries into the cake batter, trying not to squish the berries.

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Spray your cake pan with a Baking Spray with Flour (which works great for bundt pans). Pour batter gently into prepared pan.

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Bake for at least 60 minutes (depending on the oven, it could be as long as 1 hour 15 minutes), until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Mid-time through the baking, turn the pan around in the oven for even baking.

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Remove the pan from oven, let it cool for 40 minutes on wire rack. And here is my way of releasing the cake from the bundt pan, which proves successful each time I use it: After your bundt pan cooled off for 40 minutes, place the bundt pan in the freezer for 30 minutes – it will still be quite hot to the touch (even after 40 minutes of cooling), so use kitchen gloves to handle the pan. Remove the pan from the freezer after 30 minutes, invert the bundt pan and let it sit inverted for a bit to let the gravity do the work (it could take as little as half a minute or as long as 20 minutes, depending on your bundt pan). Then, gently lift bundt pan and your cake should be released

Whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice and butter until very thick and very white. Spread this lemon juice frosting over the top of the cooled cake like shown on the photos.

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Super Bowl Sunday! In preparation for the game, we had a huge menu for appetizers and snacks for the game but we couldn’t forget about the dessert! This cake was so delicious and the combination of the strawberries and chocolate chips were wonderful and the cake itself was very soft and fluffy. Enjoy (and what a game!!)

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips plus more for sprinkling the top of cake
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9×3-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the side of the springform pan or square pan with butter or cooking spray.

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Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

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In a separate large bowl, combine butter, Greek yogurt, and 1 cup sugar and, using electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy – no more than 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, mix in the egg, beat until light and fluffy. Then mix in milk, vanilla. Keeping the mixer speed low, mix in the flour mixture, gradually, just until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in chocolate chips into the batter.

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Transfer batter to springform pan.

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Arrange strawberries on top of the cake, cut sides down and close together.

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Place chocolate chips in spaces in between.

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Bake cake for about 1 hour until the top is golden brown and the tester comes out clean. In the last 5-10 minutes of baking, you can take the cake out of the oven and sprinkle some more chocolate chips on top, pressing them lightly into the top of the cake (the top of the cake will already be baked and a bit crusty) – it will make for a nice presentation. Return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes, to allow chocolate to melt a bit and look even nicer!

When the cake is done baking, let it cool (still in the baking pan) on a wire rack. After cake has cooled for about 40 minutes, release the cake from the springform pan. At this point, if the cake is cool enough, you can slide your hand under the cake, between the parchment paper and the bottom portion of the springform pan and move the cake with the parchment paper attached to its bottom onto a cake plate easily.

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Notes

Storage tips: Because strawberries tend to make any desserts overly moist, this cake is best kept refrigerated. When refrigerated, it keeps very well for at least 1 week, and tastes just as fresh! It tastes pretty good cold, and you can also microwave it for 10 or so seconds to melt the chocolate chips.

Freezing tips: This cake freezes very well. Cool the cake completely. Tightly wrap the cake in plastic wrap, make sure it’s airtight. Freeze for up to 1 month.

These cookies are surprisingly soft and quite healthy! These are great to have for when you have cravings and are trying to watch your weight.

Ingredients

  • 1 c instant (quick-cook) oats (measured correctly)
  • ¾ c whole wheat flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ c honey
  • 6 tbsp fresh raspberries, diced
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Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla.
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Stir in the honey until thoroughly incorporated. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.
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Fold in the raspberries.
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Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. (If chilling longer, cover with plastic wrap, ensuring it touches the entire surface of the cookie dough.)
Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops on the baking sheet. (If chilled longer than 1.5 hours, flatten slightly.) Bake at 325°F for 13-15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

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Notes

It’s incredibly important to measure both the oats and whole wheat flour correctly, using the spoon-and-level method described in the links above. If scooped from the container using the measuring cup, you’ll end up with 1.5 times as much, which will dry out your cookies and make them crumbly.

To make your own instant oats, pulse 1 cup of old-fashioned oats in a food processor 5-8 times.

Melted unsalted butter or melted margarine may be substituted for the coconut oil. Regardless of which is used, be sure that the egg is at room temperature before whisking it in. A cold egg added straight from the fridge would rapidly cool the fat source, resulting in small blobs of semi-solid coconut oil or butter.

If the cookies are still really flimsy after cooling on the baking sheet for 15 minutes and threaten to break apart, let them cool completely on the baking sheet. That won’t let them crisp up too much, and they’ll still stay soft for an entire week!

This cake really does taste like muffin, no joke! I was having a rough day and I really just wanted to make a cake. My sister helped me out and we worked on this cake for quite some time while watching the CFB Championship game. It was a lot of fun but the cake didn’t look quite as nice as the original recipe did. But that just drives home the purpose of Baking with Friends: that the process itself is what is so enjoyable about baking, the cake may come out pretty or ugly, tasty or nasty, but either way, the important part you will remember later on was how much fun you had in the process. So grab some friends, make this cake and let me know if yours didn’t fall apart in the end! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose Gold Medal Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 pound fresh blueberries (I didn’t have enough blueberries so I mixed in some raspberries as well)

Buttermilk Glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Oat Crumble Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds (I didn’t use these but you can!)

Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with flour to fully cover the pan.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour and buttermilk, alternating each, until all incorporated.

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Finally beat in the lemon zest before turning the mixer off.

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Use a spoon the stir in half the blueberries.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and sprinkle the remaining blueberries over the top.

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Bake for 60-80 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack.

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DO NOT try flipping the cake any earlier than 20 minutes, or the cake will stick. Promise! Waiting 30+ minutes is safer.

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Once the cake is cooling on the rack, mix the oat crumble. Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and pinch with your fingers to blend the ingredients and break into small pieces. Sprinkle the mixture over a baking sheet and bake in the heated oven for 5-10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet before proceeding.

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For the glaze, whisk the buttermilk and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and immediately sprinkle the oat crumble over the top of the cake before the glaze dries.

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Not too shabby and absolutely delicious!

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