This month I am supporting some of my peeps by joining them on the Whole30. This means that baking is very painful and difficult because tasting as I go/tasting the final product is a no go. In light of that I thought that it would do me some good to work on old posts that very much so deserve to be out in the ether. This in particular was a birthday brunch for the one spearheading this Whole30 plunge and giving me all the tips and tricks I need to survive it. Brett’s mom takes care of everyone around her. I think it is innate in all moms to do this, but there is definitely a special way about her. She loves having all her people around to serve them in any possible way. This brunch was a way for her kids to say that they appreciate it all and to turn that service on its head for her. I was enlisted to make her favorite little Scandinavian Almond Cake. As with anything I do, I ended up suggesting more and more things I could make because I love to try new things. So I ended up adding some cinnamon rolls to the mix, because… who doesn’t like a nice cinnamon roll? Plus I was missing home and my Mom’s cinnamon rolls are THE BEST!

Baking is Messy

One thing to note about making anything in a mixer… make sure that when you are adding ingredients to the mixer while it is on, you are fully aware of the distance between the measuring cup and the fast mechanical beater. If one does not take note of this distance they will end up with the mess detailed in the picture above. From the start the cinnamon rolls weren’t on their way to being the perfect yummy, tightly rolled, sugary units of perfection that my mom makes. This was my first time trying her recipe and I have found since that my first time with any bread recipe will not go well. Bread is really difficult. It is freaking delicious, but also takes a lot of skill gained by making lots of mistakes. I am excited to one day be proud of the rolls I make, but for now they looked much better in dough form than they baked or tasted.

Cinnamon Rolls dough

Now for the main event, the whole reason I was invited to this shindig in the first place. The cake that makes everyone beg for a second slice. This cake is incredibly simple. It has maybe five ingredients, but it is probably one of the best you’ll ever have. The birthday girl gave me this recipe and pan for Christmas last year. It is a cake that makes the rounds at all their family events of late and is an easy showstopper. It immediately fills the mouth with almondy goodness and is so simple to dress up with a fresh coating of powdered sugar and sprinkling of almond shavings. I ended up making three of these. I was always going to make two, but got a little over eager and tried to de-pan it too early to be met with a cake in pieces. Luckily, like I said it is super simple, so whipping up the replacement took no time at all. The scraps were also greeted with open arms as it tends to go faster than desired.

The second (third) Scandinavian Almond cake that I made was a gluten-free version for Brett’s sister-in-law. I love being able to try to bake gluten-free. There are not many people in my life that are gluten-free so I like to jump at the challenge when I can. Because the cake was so simple I just used equal parts of Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and some Xanthan Gum to thicken/stabilize the cake. The gluten free cake ended up coming out of the pan significantly easier which gave it a prettier presentation. It was a little grainy, but was still met with the great almond flavor that makes this cake so good! All in all these bakes were met with happy faces and Brett and his siblings did an amazing job of executing a special day for their mom! I hope that one day me and my brothers will be able to do the same for our awesome Mom. If you do anything today after reading this post, let it involve loving your mom in thought or deed!