Sourdough Small Batch Pull-Apart King Cake Muffins

I decided to do a little experiment: I took Joy the Baker’s delicious, yeasted, Small Batch Pull-Apart King Cake Muffins and converted them to use sourdough starter using Emilie Raffa’s Soft Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls recipe as inspiration for the modifications needed. The results were a lovely mash-up!

Makes 10-ish muffins.



100g Starter (active and bubbly)
19 g sugar, white
1 large egg
0.5 tsp vanilla extract

30 g unsalted butter, melted
75 g buttermilk, lightly warmed

230 g all-purpose flour
0.25 tsp salt


100 g sugar, white
2 g ground cinnamon
0.25 tsp ground nutmeg

3 tbsp butter, melted (Reserve 1 tbsp for drizzling just before baking)


1.5 tbsp whole milk
0.25 tsp lemon extract
0.5 cup icing sugar


  1. Combine the melted butter and buttermilk in a small bowl. Cool slightly before using. 
  2. Add the egg, sourdough starter, vanilla extract, and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix to combine.
  3. With the machine running, slowly pour in the buttermilk/butter mixture.
  4. Slowly add the flour and salt. Continue mixing until a rough, sticky dough forms, about 1 minute.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. After the dough has rested, switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed for 6-8 minutes. The dough should feel soft, supple and pull away from the sides of the bowl when ready. If itโ€™s too sticky, add a small amount of flour.
  7. Transfer the dough to a medium-size bowl coated in butter. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise overnight at room temperature (~20 degrees C), or until double in size, about 8-12 + hrs.
  8. When risen, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling.  Set aside.  Melt butter.  Set aside.  Lightly grease 6 cups of a muffin pan (I put mine in silicone muffin cups).
  9. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness.  Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Reserve about a tablespoon of butter to sprinkle over the top before baking.  Sprinkle the rolled dough with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  It might seem like a lot of sugar but youโ€™re doing it right. Youโ€™ll lose some sugar to the countertop.
  10. Slice the dough into squares about 2-inches each. Carefully stack 4 of the sugar squares on top of one another. Place the stack edges up in a prepared muffin cup. Don’t forget to use all the side scraps as well if you have those. 
  11. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for about 2 hours, or until the dough puffs up. 
  12. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  13. Sprinkle remaining butter over the tops of the pastry stacks.
  14. Place the pan in the oven and allow to bake for 18 to 20 minutes until golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to rest until the muffins cool enough to handle. Transfer to a cooling rack
  15. Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and lemon extract to a pourable stream. Drizzle over cooled cake and top with yellow, green, and purple sprinkles.

Bakers Timing

Day 1
08:00 – Feed starter
20:00 – Make dough
Rise overnight

Day 2
08:00 – Shape dough
09:30 – Preheat oven (adjust based on how quickly your oven pre-heats)
10:00 – Bake
When cool, glaze and sugar!

The Queen of Hearts, Loved her Tarts!!

Hot out of the ovenSomething in the air got to me, it was a perfectly delightful crisp morning doing my Pranayama breathing exercises, and the day continued to be just as gorgeous. It didn’t get to hot, I was productive at work, what more could a boy ask for? A tart of course.

A couple weeks ago, and old high school friend posted pictures of a scrumptious looking tart he made. This got me thinking about all my tart fiascoes. I am decent at pastry related things. Even had a chef telling me I should think about going to school for pastry, back when I was still in the business. I have never had good luck with tarts, I fear the crust, which knows when you fear it.

I also have an obsession with lemon filling. I would eat it by the bowl full if I was allowed to. Again I have a fear of lemon filling, I seem to over/under cook it. I just can’t seem to get it right.

I decided that the best idea for this glorious day was to combine my two fears into one lovely

Nicely carmelized

dessert, to surprise Hayley when she got home. That sounds like a smart idea doesn’t it? In this case it actually was, the tart turned out good, not great, it needs a little tweaking and I did over cook it just a smidgen. BUT it tasted yummy, and the crust is very tasty. This recipe will live to see another round, I am thinking it will be at the family Christmas dinner I am currently planning for the family gathering in Winnipeg, MB this year.

On to the recipe. I grabbed this from Food & Drink, which has a good track record in my books for successful recipes.I actually didn’t change anything on this recipe the first time, because of the aforementioned fear.

Lemon Tart – From the Holiday 1999 Food & Drink magazine

To finish this one off, Hayley made a fresh blackberry sauce, it just added to the yumminess of this one!

What would I change?

  1. Use a little less lemon zest
  2. Add a tiny bit more sugar
  3. Watch the tart a little more closely when it is almost done to make sure I don’t over cook it.

Not many changes, and a successful tart. What cooking fear should I tackle next?

How the Cake Rolls!

Several weeks have passed since it was Hayley’s birthday. To continue with our tradition she dug through the baking recipe books and picked out the cake she wanted. The rule is: she picks the cake, I have to make it, doesn’t matter if I have made it before, or if i am even confident that I can make the cake, I have to make the cake of her choice.

mmmm sponge cake!

This is great for two reasons, one, she gets a fantastic homemade birthday cake, two, I push the limits on my baking skills.

Fluffy batter!

So what was this years choice? It comes from a lovely Williams and Sonoma Cake cookbook, that I wouldn’t normally have picked up, but it was $9 at Costco ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a Strawberry Roulade. Which is a fancy way of saying, sponge cake layered with whipped cream and strawberries, then rolled up and iced ๐Ÿ™‚

That is neither here nor there, this years choice was much easier in the end than last years choice of Angel Food cake, which tasted good, but was a minor disaster because it fell, that is a whole different post.

Now that I am done rambling about past disasters, I can happily say the only glitch with this cake was that I didn’t roll it tight enough (apparently I haven’t been making Sushi enough at home these days.)

The Final product!

This cake was made extra special as this weekend was the first weekend on the year that fresh Ontario strawberries were available at a reasonable price. So this cake was packed full with delicious local strawberries.

On to the cake. There are two different sets of ingredients/directions, one for the cake, and one for the filling and icing. I recommend being uber prepared and having *all* the ingredients for both measured and read to go as the filling is prepared while the cake is cooling, and you need to fill and roll the cake completely cools.

Sponge Cake recipe (
Strawberry Roulade Recipe (

So, I will definitely try my luck with a roll style cake again, maybe I will make a nice chocolate log for the big family Christmas gathering this year ๐Ÿ™‚

And some for you?

Adventures in Ice Cream

So we are going through a ‘heat wave’ in Southern Ontario, in honour of this I am posting a nice cool you down recipe. There is nothing fancy about what I am planning on making, plain old vanilla ice cream. But I am trying one of the recipes I found for Philadelphia, or American Vanilla ice cream.

A lot of ice creams are delicious and rich, but they are a pain to make because it requires a custard, I hate making custard, takes too much time out of my day when all I want is some ice cream to sandwich between two delightful homemade chocolate chip cookies. In warm weather custards are also a pain because they require the stove on for an extended period, not what you want when you are already overheating.

What I found in the back of my ice cream book, which I some how missed over the last two years, was a recipe for Philadelphia no cook ice cream. The no-cook is a misnomer, as it does involve cooking, it requires that you heat the milk and the vanilla bean in order to infuse the flavour of the vanilla bean into the milk. But this requires minimal heat and time so I will let it slide.

Your can make this without an ice cream maker, it just requires you to stir the ice cream every now and then while it is freezing. It won’t be as smooth as a machine made ice cream, but if you like your counter space it is better than storing an ice cream maker.

The freezing device

(makes ~1L)

1 Vanilla Bean
375mL Milk
50g Caster sugar (I’ll be honest I use regular sugar :))
125mL Sweetened condensed milk (chilled)
250mL Whipping cream (chilled)
pinch of Salt

Ice cream maker
Paring Knife
Wooden spoon


  1. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and heat with the milk and sugar, stirring occasionally, to just below boiling point, allow to cool, then chill.
  2. Remove the bean and scrape out the seeds, adding them to the chilled milk. Cover and chill in the fridge
  3. Add the chilled condensed milk, cream and salt. Mix together, then still-freeze or start the ice cream machine and pour in the liquid.
  4. Leave to churn for 20 minutes or until the ice cream has the consistency of very soft whipped cream.
  5. Quickly scrape into plastic freezer boxes and cover with wax paper and lid
  6. Freeze until firm, ~1 hour.

There you have yummy vanilla ice cream. While this wasn’t my favourite vanilla ice cream, it was definitely good. I found this one to be a little sweet for my taste, but I blame that on the condensed milk. The next time I am going to try to modify this recipe and leave out some of the sugar. Or I might get really brave and replace the condensed milk with something else ๐Ÿ™‚

The final Product