pecan-pie-muffins

Pecan Pie Muffins Print

I saw these Pecan Pie Muffins on Pinterest and they looked so yummy that I knew I had to make them immediately. Well, “immediately” turned into a few days because I was fresh out of pecans, but in fairly short order I was able to gather everything for them and oh my! am I ever glad I did because these little gems are yummalicious! And with only 6 ingredients in the recipe, they’re super easy to pull together! I used maple sugar and molasses to sweeten these pecan pie muffins, but if you’d rather make them with brown sugar, head on over to The Girl Who Ate Everything’s blog and check out Christy’s wonderful recipe.

pecan-pie-muffins

pecan-pie-muffins

pecan-pie-muffins

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cups butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • Directions

      Preheat oven 350ºF
    1. Spray muffin pan with Baker’s Joy (or similar).
    2. In a medium bowl, stir together maple sugar, flour and pecans.
    3. In another bowl, beat the butter, eggs, and molasses together. Add in 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition, then add molasses.
    4. Gently stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined.
    5. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups to about 2/3 full.
    6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove from muffin tins to cool on wire racks.

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blueberry coffee cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake Print

Generally, coffee cake is considered a breakfast cake. But I ask you, is there ever a time of the day when it isn’t appropriate to eat coffee cake? I didn’t think so. I do think, however, that you are going to love this blueberry coffee cake. Moist, but still light, bursting with those bright berries and just the tiniest hint of cinnamon to accent that sweet goodness. I adapted this recipe from a Buttermilk Blueberry Coffee Cake recipe from the lovely blog: Alexandra’s Kitchen. Head on over there if you’d rather make a traditionally sweetened version of this wonderful cake. Either way, I think you’ll be happy you tried this gem of a cake.

blueberry coffee cake

blueberry coffee cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest (1 large lemon should do)
  • 3/4 cup maple sugar, plus 1 tablespoon maple sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour, divided
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF

  1. Cream butter with ¾ cup of the maple sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.
  3. Toss blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together remaining flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Beating slowly, add in the flour mixture to the batter, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. Grease a 9-inch diameter spring-form pan with butter or coat with Baker’s Joy spray (or similar). Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of maple sugar.
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. (Baking for 10 minutes more may be necessary). Let cool slightly before serving.
Adapted from: Alexandra’s Kitchen

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Peach Shortcakes

Peach Shortcake Print

The sweet season of summer is so short that I’m doing my level best to get every last drop out of it; and that includes eating as many old and new favorite summertime treats as I can jam into these few brief months. And I just had to fit this Peach Shortcake recipe in before all of the wonderful, juicy peaches are past their peak and can no longer be found in the grocery stores. The original recipe comes from a Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, but I changed up the shortcakes quite a bit; they’re more of a “sturdy” scone than the usual shortcake – just a personal preference that I hope you like too. Here’s to enjoying all of summer’s delights!

Peach Shortcakes

Peach Shortcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. firm, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced ¼-inch thick, divided
  • 6 tbsp. maple sugar, divided
  • 2 tbsp. peach schnapps
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ cup maple sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in small cubes
  • 2/3 cup sour cream or buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ⅛ tsp. almond extract
Directions

    For the fruit:
  1. To prepare the fruit, combine about three quarters of the peach slices in a large bowl with the maple sugar. Toss to combine and let stand 30 minutes. Combine the remaining peaches, remaining sugar, and peach schnapps in a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high until the peaches are bubbly, about 90 seconds, stirring a couple of times during cooking. Crush the peaches with a potato masher. Let stand 30 minutes.
  2. For the shortcake:
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Combine dry ingredients (through salt) in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until blended. Add in cubes of butter and pulse until butter looks like small pebbles in the flour mixture, about 30 seconds.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk sour cream, egg and vanilla together until thoroughly combined; pour this mixture in a steady stream into the flour-butter mix in the processor; stop when the dough begins to come away from the sides of the processor and forms a loose ball.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured counter or large board, turning and kneading the dough 20-25 times.
  7. Scoop dough with a greased, ⅓ cup measuring cup and place 1 ½” apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 13-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  9. For the whipped cream:
  10. Add the heavy cream and sugar to a chilled bowl of an electric mixer; mix on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Blend in the almond extract.
  11. To assemble:
  12. Split each biscuit and place the bottom half on a serving plate. Spoon a few tablespoons of the crushed peach mixture over the biscuit, then top with some of the peach slices and a dollop or two of whipped cream. Place remaining half of biscuit on top.

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, August 2008

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Root Beer Float

Root Beer Float Print

It’s an oldie, but oh what a goodie! The Root Beer Float is such a classic that I couldn’t let the summer go by without including it in the mix of ice cream treats I’ve been bringing you. I used one of my favorite brands of root beer, but if you have your own root beer recipe – all the better. And of course, if you want to make this treat super easy, just use your favorite premium store-bought ice cream and your go-to root beer. To make this an “adult” drink just add in a shot of bourbon or vanilla vodka. Yum! Did you all know it was the hottest July in recorded history? I hope this Root Beer Float is part of your solution to finding relief from the sultry summer heat! Cheers!

Root Beer Float

Root Beer Float

Ingredients

    For the ice cream:
  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 cups maple-syrup sweetened condensed milk, cooled (*Recipe below)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped out
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla liqueur
  • For the float:
  • 3-4 16-oz. root beers, chilled

Directions

    To make the ice cream:
  1. In a large chilled bowl, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. In another large bowl, whisk cooled condensed milk, vanilla bean seeds, and vodka. Gently fold in whipped cream with a rubber spatula until completely combined.
  2. Pour into a 2-quart container ( a loaf pan works well) and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze 6 hours or until it firms completely. Makes about 4 cups
  3. To make the floats:
  4. Fill a chilled glass two-thirds full with cold root beer. Carefully add 1 scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, then add another scoop, being careful not to overflow the glass.
    *Maple Syrup Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2-14 oz. cans full-fat condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  1. Bring condensed milk to a boil in a sauce pan. Lower the heat and whisk in the maple syrup until fully incorporated. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it thickens as desired.
  2. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
  3. It makes about 16 ounces of maple sweetened condensed milk and should last a week or so refrigerated.
NOTES:
◊You can omit the liqueur if you want; it’ll just make the ice cream texture a little harder. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, instead.
◊The colder the root beer and serving glasses are, the better; the ice cream won’t melt as quickly in your float.

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Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Sour Cherry Hand Pies Print

When it comes to fruits and veggies, summer is truly the season of plenty and while its here I devour all it has to offer. A favorite summer fruit of mine are cherries, sweet or sour, they’re all good! And no one has to ask me twice to make any kind of hand pie, soooo…hello, Sour Cherry Hand Pies! I short-cut this recipe by using store-bought pie crust (love the Marie Callender’s!), but you can use this whole wheat crust recipe from my Apple Pie post if you have some extra time. Tart, juicy, sour cherry filling is surrounded by tender, flaky crust. Mmmm, good! Just like Summer, they won’t last long…better enjoy some Sour Cherry Hand Pies while you can!

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

Ingredients

  • 2 packages Marie Callender’s pie crust (2 rolled crusts per package)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup*
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups pitted, sour cherries, cut in half
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons of cold water
  • Directions

    Preheat oven to 375°F

    1. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, ground cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Slowly pour in maple syrup, whisking until thoroughly blended.
    2. In a medium saucepan, cook cherries with maple syrup mixture over medium heat for 15 minutes or until cherries are softened. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
    3. Combine egg yolk and water to create egg wash. Set aside
    4. On a lightly floured counter top or board, unroll one of the pie crusts. Cut 5-inch diameter rounds from each pie crust. (I used a plastic storage bowl as my cutter).
    5. Fill the center of each crust round with 1 ½ -2 tablespoons of the cherry mixture; brush the edges of the crust with egg wash, then fold the crust in half and press the tines of a fork down on the edge to seal in the fruit.
    6. Chill hand pies for a half hour in the refrigerator before baking.
    7. Remove hand pies from the refrigerator and brush the tops of each pie with remaining egg wash. Cut a couple of small slits on the top of the hand pies for the steam to escape during baking.
    8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hand pies have turned golden brown.
    9. Cool hand pies for 10 minutes before serving.
    10. Yields: 8 hand pies

      *NOTE: If you don’t have maple syrup on hand or you’d rather use granulated sugar, just substitute 1/2 cup granulated sugar for the maple syrup.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

No-Churn Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream Print

Yep, I’m back with yet another no-churn ice cream recipe. But, hey, July is National Ice Cream month, so how could I not?!! Especially when it’s this No-Churn Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream. The hazelnut flavor is subtle, just enough for you to know it’s there, enhancing that dark chocolate richness. Of course, another benefit of this no-churn method is that it eliminates the need for the bulky ice cream machine insert that takes up valuable real estate in your freezer; and I don’t know about you, but I never seem to have enough room in that space. I hope you’ll try this yummy, creamy, No-Churn Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream and add it to your collection of summertime treats!
Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup maple syrup-sweetened condensed milk. (Recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (Guittard or Ghiradelli are good)
  • 1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Maple Syrup Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2-14 oz. cans full-fat condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  1. Bring condensed milk to a boil in a sauce pan. Lower the heat and whisk in the maple syrup until fully incorporated. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it thickens as desired.
  2. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
  3. It makes about 16 ounces of maple sweetened condensed milk and should last a week or so refrigerated.

Directions

  1. Combine 1 3/4 cups maple-sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until the chocolate chips are melted. Whisk in the next 4 ingredients (cocoa through vanilla extract); bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, stirring for 2 minutes. Let cool for 30-45 minutes. Whisk in the hazelnut liqueur. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
  2. In a large chilled bowl, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined (you shouldn’t be able to see any whipped cream streaks).
  3. Pour into a 2-quart container (a loaf pan or rectangular Tupperware-like container works well) and cover surface of cream with plastic wrap (make sure it’s touching the cream to help avoid ice crystals).
  4. Freeze 6 hours or until it firms completely.
  5. Yields: About 6 cups

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No-churn Cherry Amaretto Ice Cream

No-churn Dark Cherry Amaretto Ice Cream Print

It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy, especially when you’re slurping down this dreamy, No-churn Dark Cherry Amaretto Ice Cream! Sweet cherries swirled in a creamy, hint-of-almond, base – Yes, ma’am! The no-churn part of this recipe helps to make the process pretty easy and 6 hours of freezing time isn’t that long to wait – just whip it up in the a.m. and it’ll be ready to go for your weekend B.B.Q.s or movie night! For many people, ice cream is a year-round treat, but summer is pretty much the only time I indulge in ice cream, mostly due to the fact that it’s so cold and because I live in the Northern Rockies where winter is essentially six months long, so…. After the long wait for the frosty stuff, let me tell ya, the flavor and texture of this ice cream did not disappoint. I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

Cherry Amaretto Ice Cream-M

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups maple syrup-sweetened condensed milk. (Recipe below)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 cups pitted, dark (sweet) cherries, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cherry juice
  • 1 small vanilla bean (3 inches), cut in half with seeds scraped out
  • 2 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted (for sprinkling), optional

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized, sauce pan or skillet set over medium heat, add cherries, maple syrup and cherry juice.
  2. Cook cherries, smashing them (I used a potato masher) to release their juices. Once the cherries are soft and a lot of juice has been released, remove from heat. Strain the cherries (save the juice for another use*), and put both the mashed cherries and cherry juice in the fridge to cool.
  3. Mix together the maple-sweetened condensed milk, cooled, mashed cherries, vanilla bean seeds, and amaretto liqueur.
  4. Whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold whipped cream into the cherry mixture. Be sure to fold the whipped cream until all of the white streaks disappear, but use a light hand when incorporating it because you want to retain as much volume as possible.
  6. Pour into a freezer-safe container (Tupperware or a loaf pan works well),cover with plastic wrap that touches the surface of the cream, and freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.

    *Maple Syrup Sweetened Condensed Milk

  • 2-14 oz. cans full-fat condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  1. Bring condensed milk to a boil in a sauce pan. Lower the heat and whisk in the maple syrup until fully incorporated. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it thickens.
  2. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
  3. It makes about 20 ounces of maple-sweetened condensed milk and should last a week or so refrigerated.

Yields: About 6 cups

Adapted from: Nutmeg Nanny

*NOTE: I recommend making the maple syrup-sweetened condensed milk ahead of time to speed up the day-of ice cream making process.

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Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie Print

I have never made a Key Lime pie. Crazy, right?!! I’ve wanted to make one for a while now but the idea of changing the granulated sugar that’s normally used in the recipe to maple syrup or honey was more of a challenge than I was up for. Then in a surge of energy and because I’ve been on a serious citrus kick lately, I decided to take the challenge on. And now with the task complete, I’m so glad I took the time and effort to make it happen. The custard turned out creamy, with an almost curd-like texture and with the not-to-sweet, bright lime flavor you’d expect. Keeping the pie free of refined sugar, the graham cracker crust was made using honey and molasses sweetened graham crackers; you can usually find them in your local health food grocery store. If you’re a long-time fan of Key Lime pie or have just been wanting to give it a try, I hope you’ll try this naturally sweetened version!

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used Mi-Del brand)
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar*
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For the custard:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup*
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest
  • For the meringue:
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons powdered maple sugar*
    • Directions

      Preheat oven to 375°F

        For the crust:
      1. In a medium bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, maple sugar and melted butter, mixing with a fork to combine.
      2. Pour crumb mixture into an 8″ spring-form pan, patting firmly into the pan with your fingers.
      3. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
      4. For the custard:
      5. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl. Set the whites aside (they should be room temperature before whipping).
      6. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Gradually stir in the water, whisking briskly to ensure you don’t have any lumps, then stir in maple syrup. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Cool for 10 minutes.
      7. Gradually stir the cooled, cooked syrup mixture into the beaten egg yolks, beating constantly. Return the mixture to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the butter, lime juice and lime zest. When done, the consistency should be similar to pudding or a fruit curd.
      8. For the meringue:
      9. Beat egg whites until light and frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Beat in the maple sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
      10. Pour the lime filling into the prepared crumb crust. Then pile the meringue on top, spreading it to the edges. Use the back of a spoon to swirl peaks into the merigue. On the middle rack of the oven, bake pie at 325°F for 10 – 12 minutes or until meringue top is golden brown.
        1. *NOTE: If you don’t have a problem with consuming cane sugar, just substitute equal amounts of granulated white sugar for the maple syrup and maple sugars (In the “For the custard” section of Ingredients, add an additional 1 cup of water to compensate for the liquid that’s in the maple syrup).

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies Print

When I want a cookie, my first choice is that most classic of cookies: the Chocolate Chip Cookie! Whether its chewy or soft, with nuts or without, chocolate chips or chunks, or flat or rounded – it doesn’t really matter because while we all may have our absolute favorite, let’s face it – they’re all pretty easy to love.

I knew going in that making refined-sugar-free chocolate chip cookies would be a bit of a challenge; and sure enough, by the fourth batch, I was feeling like I needed to go back to school to take a chemistry class. Persistence paid off, though, and the end result was a slightly rounded, nicely sweet, golden-brown cookie studded with delicious chocolate morsels. Mmmm, just barely out of the oven, all melt-y and gooey-that’s cookie heaven!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard. So good!)
    • Directions

      Preheat oven to 350°F

      1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
      2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
      3. In a large bowl combine the butter and maple syrup, adding syrup a little at a time and beating on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the molasses, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, beating well to combine. Beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
      4. Scoop heaping 1 tablespoon-sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheets.
      5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
        1. Makes: 30-36 cookies

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Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze

Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze Print

Carrot cake is one of those classic, been-around-forever desserts that I’ve had more than my fair share of; I really don’t think I’ve ever had one I didn’t like. Oh, for sure there have been favorites, but in my experience, carrot cake is tuck-in-worthy in pretty much all of its variations. Having said that…I bring you my new favorite: Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze! This one is about as healthful a carrot cake as I think I’ve ever laid lips on. The requisite oil is coconut oil (sooo good for you!), there’s walnuts in there with essential fatty acids (need those EFAs!), and whole wheat flour to increase the fiber and lessen the effects of the sweeteners in the recipe. Speaking of which, as usual, only unrefined sweeteners were used here. Sometimes people hesitate to eat a dessert that’s called “healthful”; they think that means it won’t be nearly as yummy as the full-fat and full-sugar kind. Thankfully, that perception is changing because of all the easy-to-find, tasty, healthful desserts. Lucky you! This is one of those tasty ones!!

Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze

Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze

Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze

Ingredients

      Cake:
    • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
    • 3/4 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, plain (or fat-free sour cream)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup white whole Wheat flour
    • 1 cup white flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 3 cups shredded carrots
    • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
    • Orange Glaze:
    • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup sugar-free orange juice
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
      • Preheat oven to 325ºF

        Directions

          Cake:
        1. Toast walnuts for 5-6 minutes at 350ºF. Set aside to cool. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and walnuts. Set this aside also.
        2. In a large mixing bowl, blend together oil, honey, and syrup. Add yogurt, eggs, and vanilla, mixing until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and beating on medium speed until completely combined. Stir in carrots. Pour batter into well greased and floured Bundt cake pan. (I use Baker’s Joy oil/flour spray on my Bundt pans and it works like a charm.)
        3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool about 30 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and continue cooling.
        4. Glaze:
        5. Combine cornstarch and salt in a small saucepan. Combine the juices and honey and slowly stir them into the cornstarch mixture until smooth. Add orange zest and cook over low heat until it thickens. Cool and drizzle over cake.
        6. Barely adapted from: Skinny Ms.

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