Sofra's Gingerbread and a Holiday Baking Round-up

sofra's gingerbread | apt 2b baking co
oh lady cakes vegan ginger folk | apt 2b baking co
holiday baking | apt 2b baking co
holiday baking | apt 2b baking co
holiday baking | apt 2b baking co
holiday baking | apt 2b baking co
pistachio and matcha snowballs (gluten free)-1731.jpg
red velvet cake-0717.jpg
holiday baking | apt 2b baking co

Hi dudes, I'm just popping in with a quick hello because I have a lot of holiday elfing left to do before this weekend, so - Hello! and here are some seriously fun and delicious links to peruse. 

December is such a fun month to bake, and people are seriously BRINGING IT this year with their holiday posts!  Scroll down to the bottom for Sofra's Gingerbread from the new book Soframiz too, which is killer. Happy Holidays, All!

There are still a few spots for the Paris! Food and Photography Retreat I am co-hosting with Olaiya Land.

Shab E Yalda to my Iranian friends!

Sofra's Gingerbread

adapted from Soframiz

makes one 9x13-inch cake, about 24 servings

Sofra's book is full of middle eastern sweet and savory treats, but since it's the holidays and all, I made the gorgeous deep-dark gingerbread first that uses a full (bold!) 1/4 cup of ground ginger, hello spice!


1 cup stout

1 1/2 cups molasses

1/4 cup plus one tablespoon brewed coffee

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup raw sugar

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1 cup canola oil


1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup brewed coffee

In a large saucepan, combine the stout, molasses, and coffee. Bring to a boil, whisking to combine. Take the pan off of the heat and quickly whisk in the baking soda. The mixture will rise rapidly in the pot. Set aside until cooled and bubbles have subsided.

Preheat the oven to 350ªF. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Combine the sugars in a separate bowl.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk the eggs on medium, slowly adding the sugars. Increase to high and whisk until pale and tripled in volume, about 7 minutes. Lower the speed and slowly pour in the canola oil and whisk another minute. Add the cooled stout mixture and whip until fully combined. Add the flour, increase the speed to medium, and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.

To make the glaze, combine the confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Whisk the coffee until smooth.

Once the cake is cooled, spread an even layer of the glaze over the top of the cake. Cut into 2-inch pieces. The cake will keep at room temperature for 4 days.

Spelt Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns

Spelt Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns | Apt. 2B Baking Co.
Spelt Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns | Apt. 2B Baking Co.
Spelt Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns | Apt. 2B Baking Co.

Simply put, Fika is the Swedish word that means "to drink coffee," but the word represents a much warmer tradition. To Fika really means to truly take time for a break in your day to, to breathe and rest, to have a coffee and a little sweet (or savory), maybe catch up with a friend or loved one. It's a such lovely idea that I am trying to work into my life right now as holiday craziness seems to start earlier and earlier every year...

Fika is also the name of the adorable cookbook that my college pal, Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall released earlier this year. Fika is full of traditional and less traditional sweet and savory coffee and tea time treats (and illustrations by Johanna!). It also has a puffy cover, that my cat is cozily napping on as I write this post. 

Now let's talk buns! One of the most well known and loved Fika treats are cinnamon buns. Anna and Johanna's version of this classic recipe are swirled with a mixture of cardamom and cinnamon which is such a lovely and warming combination, perfect for this time of year. They are also totally beautiful and impressive looking! 

And one more thing!

THANK YOU all SO MUCH for your warm reception to my book, Sweeter Off the Vine. I can't wait to share more with you in the coming months. Pre-order links are in the sidebar! Thank you, thank you!


Spelt Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns

makes about 30 small buns

adapted from Fika by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall

The original recipe calls for 4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, but I couldn't resist adding in some spelt flour instead. I also swapped in brown sugar for the filling and added a bit of salt, because sugar always needs just a bit of salt. There are a lot of ways to form and shape these buns, you can even make loaves, but I loved the swirls and twirls of the of the technique I used. I linked to a post within the recipe so you can see the shaping method for yourself, rather than try to explain it, trust me, it is much easier to see something like this than try to explain it :) 


7 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 1/2 cups spelt flour

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt


7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup light brown sugar

4 teaspoons cinnamon

3 teaspoons ground cardamom

pinch salt


1 egg beaten, for egg wash

pearl sugar or sliced almonds

To make the dough: Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the milk and heat until warmed through. In a small bowl combine the yeast with a couple of tablespoons of the warm milk mixture. Let sit until foamy.

In the bowl of a standing mixer combine the flour, sugar, cardamom and salt. Add the yeast mixture and remaining milk. Stir until a dough forms. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 3-5 minutes. The dough should be tacky and soft, but not super sticky. If the dough is sticky knead in a bit more flour. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Make the filling and assemble: Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Stir the filling ingredients in a small bowl until well combined and smooth.

Divide the dough in half and roll one half of the dough to a rectangle roughly 11x17 inches with the long edge facing you. Spread half of the filling over half of the dough (lengthwise), making sure to spread it all of the way to the edges and fold the dough in half lengthwise. Slice the dough into 15-18 strips. Then check out this post on Pantry Confidential featuring Johanna Kindvall herself to see how she shapes the buns, scroll down towards the end of the post. Trust me, pictures are worth a thousand words here...Repeat with the remaining dough.

Cover the buns with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise for 45 minutes or until puffy. Preheat your oven to 425ºF.

After the buns have risen, brush them with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar or sliced almonds. Bake the buns for 8-10 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Serve warm or cool the rolls completely, then store them in an airtight container in the freezer. 

Spelt Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns | Apt. 2B Baking Co.