classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting

eggboy is 30 today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yayayayy!!! we celebrated the other night with eggpop (whose birthday was yesterday) and the whole eggfamily and ate big bowls of goulash, tara's roasted carrots, and a citrus fennel salad. eggboy and eggpop both received antique books on sugar beets that i found at omnivore last month, and eggboy's gettin a little birthday trip in the new year to hawaii! and then we had cake, of course. eggboy's favorite cake is a classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting--he loves it so much that he made *me* one for my birthday this year--so i took the hint. i used sarah's recipe from her new book, vanilla bean baking book, and it was solid gold. (i wouldn't have expected anything less though because everything i've made from her blog and every recipe test she fed me over the last year was fantastic. my mom has this fear of making new recipes for the first time for special occasions because what if it doesn't turn out? but i've learned that i can trust sarah's recipes to come out amazingly every time and if you like baking and want a book full of reliable amazing beautiful recipes, you need her book, 100%).

so we had cake for breakfast! and listened to the beatles. and then ate muhammara and drove to fargo for the annual sugar beet farmers meeting (partayyyy)! and that's where we are now. we're getting ready to party with all of our farmer friends tonight but first we have to go to barnes and noble for more eggboy birthday books. the barnes and noble is a must-stop in fargo (aka the big city). 


p.s. i have a few #mollyontherange events coming up: fargo, grand forks, and d.c.! just when i thought i was going to stay put for a few weeks, the d.c. trip came up but i could not be more excited! see you guys there :) details this way

classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting

from sarah kieffer's the vanilla bean baking book

makes one 2-layer 8-inch cake


for the cake:

3 large eggs

2 egg yolks

1 tb pure vanilla extract

3/4 c sour cream

1/4 c buttermilk

2 c (284 g) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c (297 g) sugar

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 lb (2 sticks; 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces

for the frosting:

8 ounces (226 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

3/4 lb (3 sticks; 339 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 tb corn syrup

1/4 tsp salt

2 c (226 g) confectioners' sugar


for the cake:

adjust an oven rack to the middle position. preheat the oven to 350ºf. butter and flour two 8 by 2-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, sour cream, and buttermilk.

in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low until combined. with the mixer running on low, add the butter one piece at a time, beating until the mixture resembles coarse sand. with the mixer still running on low, slowly add half the wet ingredients. increase the speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. with the mixer running on low, add the rest of the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. increase the speed to medium and beat for 20 seconds (the batter may still look a little bumpy). scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and use a spatula to mix the batter a few more times.

divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. tap the pans gently on the counter 2 times each to help get rid of any bubbles. bake 17 to 22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until the cakes are golden brown and pull slightly away from the sides and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.

transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. turn the cakes out onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and let cool completely. once cool, the cakes can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated overnight or frosted.

for the frosting:

put about 1 inch or water in a medium saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil.

melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over the pan of boiling water, being careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. stir constantly until just melted and set aside to cool slightly.

in  the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. add the vanilla, corn syrup, and salt and beat on medium until combined. turn the mixer to low and gradually add the confectioner's sugar. beat at medium, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. add the chocolate and mix on low speed until no streaks remain.

layer and frost the cake. enjoy!


shallot mujadara with herby yogurt and almonds

i hope everybody had a glorious thanksgiving that was filled with pumpkin, gilmore girls, stretchy pants, enough leftovers to make a day-after-thanksgiving sandwich, and lots of niece/nephew puppies. eggboy and i are back from chicago and ready to hunker down for the winter! i have no traveling lined up for this entire month and ooh baby, i am going to clean. i have an exploding prop room, a closet with as many clothes on the floor as there are falling off hangers, and a pantry that has... ugh, i don't even want to know what it has. 

i'm not going to leave the house unless i absolutely have to. so get me a bulk bag of lentils and call me sia

did i ever tell you about the time when eggboy insisted that we buy the bulk lentils from costco? this was back when i lived in brooklyn. we were going through this phase where we ate deb's lentil soup with sausage and chard almost every other day so upon our very first visit to costco as a couple eggboy thought it would be cute and hilarious if we got the ginormous, dog-food-sized bag of lentils. we hauled it back, leaving a trail of dried lentils all the way to and from the subway, and then got to work making soup. in three days we were sick of them and never wanted to see another lentil ever again for as long as we lived.

(they're probably still in that apartment. (old roommate patrick, are those lentils still there?))

but then!

i tried mujadara for the first time and all bets were off. my eyes rolled to the back of my head and i was like ermagerrrddd i loooove mujadaraaaaa. it's rice, lentils, **tonnnnns** of crispy fried onions, and all of the cold weather spices that you want right now, such as cinnamon and cumin and allspice. it's so comforting. it kind of has the appearance of a side dish, but when you think about how it's got lots of lentils, you'll realize that you can totally get away with making this a casual main. yogurt and a sprinkle of toasted almonds add more protein, and fresh herbs and lemon add a nice pop of brightness. and my version is made with shallots since over the summer our garden yielded shallots galore. 

and my love of mujadara came just in time for the end of the year of pulses. have you been keeping up with your pulses this year?? i have. and not just because they present an easy way of keeping protein on hand at all times, reducing my need to put on pants and go to the grocery store. i've discovered so many great new ways to use beans, dry peas, and lentils, and i hope you have too! 

shallot mujadara with herby yogurt and almonds

serves 6-8


1 c brown or green lentils, rinsed

2 cloves garlic, halved

1/4 c canola or good olive oil

12 shallots (or more, mo' shallots mo' better)

1 tb cumin seeds

1 tb coriander seeds

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp allspice


a dash of nutmeg

1 1/2 c basmati rice

kosher salt

for the herby yogurt:

1 c yogurt

1/2 c herbs (mix of cilantro, parsley, mint), finely chopped, plus more for garnish

juice from 1/2 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt and pepper

for serving:


1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted


in a medium saucepan, cook the lentils in 3 cups of water with 2 cloves of garlic for 15 minutes, until tender. remove the garlic cloves, drain and set aside.

heat the oil over medium high heat, fry 1/2 of the shallots until crispy and remove to a paper towel lined plate. sprinkle with salt. reduce heat to medium and add the remaining shallots. cook, stirring until golden. add the spices and cook for 2 more minutes. add the rice and 1 tsp salt,  and toast, stirring, for 2 minutes. add 2 1/4 cups water and lentils and bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 25 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. 

to make the herby yogurt, combine the yogurt, herbs, lemon, garlic, a pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper.

transfer the rice to a serving platter, top with the fried shallots, herbs, sumac, and almonds. serve with yogurt. enjoy!



this post was sponsored by usa pulses & pulse canada! hooray for 2016 being the international year of the pulse! pulses are good for the health as well as the environment, so all year long (and beyond!), eggboy and i will be challenging ourselves to eat pulses at least once a week and throughout the year i’ll be sharing recipes for all sorts of pulses. if you’d like to join in on the fun, head over to and take the pulse pledge with us!!

#mollyontherange tour scenes

happy almost thanksgiving, friends!!! as the molly on the range tour winds down for the winter, i would like to take a mascara-less moment to be all verklempt and thankful for all of the wonderful huggable beans who i encountered these past few months all around the country. these wild months turned me into a person who purchases wellness shots of turmeric and wheat grass, but most importantly they were months that made my heart so full with warm fuzzies that it can only fit into metaphorical yoga pants these days. 

throughout my signings and demos, i collected new blogs to read, handwritten letters, gifts of custom sprinkle mixes and books and macaroni wall art (!!), and tips for new hotdishes to try. there were home cooked meals, potluck meals, and meals i would have never discovered were it not for local friends who showed me the way. and then there were the tofu macaroni t-shirt homies who i still can't stop giggling about. i saw so many old friends and made so many new ones that i think i started to build new muscles from hugging everyone so tightly (sorry if i was ever smelly). and with that i am packed with enough glee to last for a good long time. through this winter's hibernation at least. and ok maybe when it fades i'll write another book... is that how all of this works?

i am so so massively ginormously thankful for all of you who i got to spend time with during the molly on the range tour and i wish everybody the happiest, turkiest of thanksgivings!!! 


an extra special thank you to the photographers who captured the moments above:

photos 1, 2, 3, 19, 21, 23, 25, 29, 33 by 2nd truth photography with food styling + catering by quince mn at the pinch of yum studio for the motr + of a kind #akseverday event for // photos 6 + 30 by donny tsang at ellen bennett's #bennettbrunches series // photo 4 + 12 by liz clayman at the west elm + food book fair event with deb // photo 17 by donny tsang at the food52 motr launch party 

pumpkin donuts with spiced buttercream

here is a pumpkin recipe that will do you some good if, for example, you bought twelve too many cans of pumpkin for thanksgiving because despite your husband's questionable track record of pies he still insists on making one every year but with some great luck he nailed it this time thus alleviating your need for backup pumpkin. so now you have all of this pumpkin! 


maybe you are on #teamcake but are so humble that you don't want your handsome show-stopping pumpkin cake to overshadow your husband's pie so you are in the market for something smaller and humbler. 


you just like donuts.


you want to get started baking now and need something that will freeze and defrost really nicely just in time for the post-turkey bird festivities.

ok i'll shut up now because it's true that you don't ever need a reason to want a soft pumpkiny donut that's topped with artful plops of pumpkin spiced buttercream. and i realize that baked donuts might just be differently shaped cupcakes, but i get so much satisfaction out of popping these little guys out of the pans and seeing the cloudy light get swallowed up through their holes. and how do you make a good cake donut better? top it with good buttercream, of course. if you and i have ever talked buttercream (or if you've read the butter section in molly on the range), you know that i'm an advocate for using the best butter available for it since it's basically just butter and sugar. you *want* the good buttery flavor, and for this i turn to the butter from my new cow friends, kerrygoldit's grass-fed and it's what i use for all of my buttercreams. 

so go forth into this thanksgiving week like the pumpkin champion that you are and get donut-ing! 

pumpkin donuts with spiced buttercream

makes 18-20 large donuts


1 3/4 c flour

1 1/2 c sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp ginger

pinch cardamom

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c oil

1/3 cup water

1 c pumpkin puree

for the buttercream:

1 c kerrygold unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 c powdered sugar

2 tb milk

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch each of nutmeg, cloves, ginger


sprinkles, optional


preheat oven to 375ºf. grease a donut pan and set aside.

in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and cardamom. in a separate bowl, beat together eggs, vanilla, oil, water, and pumpkin. whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until batter is combined.

using a pastry bag, pipe batter into donut pan, filling the cavities halfway. bake donuts until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, begin checking for doneness at 12 minutes. remove from oven and let cool slightly. turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

note: if you're making these in advance, transfer cooled donuts to a gallon ziploc bag (or wrap a pan of them in plastic wrap) and freeze for up to two weeks. defrost at room temperature for a couple of hours before frosting.

make the buttercream

beat together frosting ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth.

add frosting to piping bag. pipe onto cooled donuts and decorate with sprinkles as desired.



thank you for kerrygold for sponsoring this post!