Lithuania: No Bake Cookie/Cake -Tinginys

Edited and written by Catherine Cunningham. Published October 12th 2021

Original recipe Ethnic Spoon.

Tinginys got their names for being, well, lazy. Known to be a simple and basic treat they actually were quite easy to make. Starting from indigenous berries and nuts from all sorts of Lithuanian trees, Tinginys were more of a nutty snack than a cookie-like treat. Then it switched to the lovely treat it is today back in 1967! A chef wanted to make the classic dish, yet she added too much sugar, so she then added a few crushed biscuits to fix the texture, and little did she know, she would create the favorite quick dish of Lithuania. 

While McVities Digestives weren’t the intended biscuit of choice, it is the closest thing we have to the original biscuit! 

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

¼ cup of milk

¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of Kosher salt

4 oz of unsalted butter 

Two cups of McVities tea cookies (chocolate digestives, they should be crumbled into medium size chunks) 

  1. Place the crumbled digestives in a bowl. 
  2. Wisk the cocoa powder in milk, and then whisk until there are no lumps remaining. Next, add in salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the sweetened condensed milk, and melt in the butter. Add in the cocoa powder mixture next.
  4. Stir often to combine, allowing it to cool, about 3-5mins until it begins to thicken.
  5. Now, pour the chocolate mixture over the cookies and stir to coat evenly. 
  6. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, and pour the mixture. Try to evenly distribute throughout. Try to form a cylinder in the pan. 
  7. Place in the refrigerator and cool overnight. 
  8. Slice and serve! 


Edited and written by Catherine Cunningham. Published October 3rd 2021.

Original recipe by The Sunday Baker.

Generationally loved, this coffee cake has no known origin. All we know is that everyone in Denmark sees this cake as the best and easiest thing to buy! It doesn’t have the normal coffee cake crumble on top, but a large and in charge brown sugar butter top! It’s gooey on top, something American coffee bread is not! 

There is no direct translation of Brunsviger to English, however to every dane, Brunsviger simply means, like coffee cake! This can even be a birthday cake, just decorate it with some birthday candles! 

I love coffee cake as much as the next girl, however while I have made the traditional coffee cake, this is totally out of my wheelhouse. First, this is a yeast bread, making it maybe even a yeast coffee cake if you will. While I loved the experimental part of this dish, it was a little nerve racking because I was stressed on time. The yeast took longer than I planned for so the bubbling of the dry yeast wasn’t as showing stopping as I was expecting it to be. I would definitely advise you to prepare for that.  


1 cup of whole milk, warmed to 105°F

2 1/4 teaspoons of dry active yeast

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter

For the topping: 

2 cup of dark brown sugar

12 tablespoons of unsalted butter 


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the yeast and warm milk together and set aside. The yeast should start to foam after a few minutes.
  2. Add the sugar, egg, and butter to the milk and yeast when the yeast is fully foamed. Set the mixer on medium for a few minutes to combine. 
  3. Next, add in the flour and salt, and slowly work the mixer up to medium speed. Continue/knead until everything combines, forming a dough.
  4. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.
  5. Allow the dough to rise, cover the bowl with a damp towel and set in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes. It will double in size.
  6. Grease a 9 inch by 13 inch pan and line with parchment paper. Then, transfer the dough to the pan, gently stretching it to the edges of the pan.
  7. Set the pan in a warm place and leave the dough to rise until puffy and roughly doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  8. For the topping, melt the butter with the brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat and stir frequently. Set aside to cool slightly.
  9.  Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit, once the 45 minutes is up and it is ready to be baked!  
  10.  Now press your fingers into the dough to form deep dimples. Enough where they make little craters, but don’t reach to the bottom of the pan. Pour the topping over the dough, make sure to fill the dimples and avoid the sides of the pan.
  11.  Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes (The dough will be puffed and the topping will be bubbling and gooey).
  12.  Let the cake cool and serve warm or at room temperature. 

Netherlands: Traditional Dutch Apple Pie

Edited and written by Catherine Cunningham. Published September 26th 2021

Original recipe by Nutmeg and Vinegar.

Traditional Dutch Apple Pies don’t originate from the Netherlands, but it is the first/oldest recipe we have from the first Dutch cookbook in the dessert section. Dating back to 1514, this recipe has been changed over the decades because of World War Two. Before the war, the recipe required you to puree the apples, but since the war has been over, it has stayed pretty much the same. 

Apples are a large part of the dessert scene in the Netherlands, and because it’s fall time and apples are in their peak, I decided an apple pie was definitely the right recipe for this week’s country! The appelkruimeltaart was almost going to be this week’s dish, they have more of a crumb topping. However, because the newer recipe, unlike the older ones (before WWII) have a lattice pie crust topping, I decided I wanted to explore that realm more. I honestly just want to make a beautiful pie with a gorgeous lattice! 

After the love and boom of the apple pie spread in the Netherlands, the pie traveled down to North America, by European settlers in the 17th century. And wow do I understand the hype! Making this apple pie in a springform pan was life changing, I will never make another pie without my lucky springform! With the apple pie being so warm and thick, the crust makes the pie the whole package. Because the pie is so thick, dusting the pan with flour and a little bit of butter will allow the pie to pop out just fine!


For the crust:

5 cups of all-purpose flour

28 tablespoons of butter (3.5 sticks)

1 ⅓ cups of sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of salt

For the pie filling:

5 apples

2 tablespoons of cinnamon

3 teaspoons of ground ginger 

1 ½ cups of sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 325 Fahrenheit 
  2. Lightly butter a 9 inch springform pan. 
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt together.
  4. Next add the diced butter and the ¾ of the egg and work it into the flour until it starts to resemble breadcrumbs.
  5. Knead the dough a little, form it into a ball, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Peel the apples and cut them into quarters. 
  6. Then slice the apple quarters, put them in a bowl and add the sugar, cinnamon and the three teaspoons of ground ginger. 
  7. Take half of your dough out of the fridge and press the dough in your springform with your fingers. Thicker on the bottom and make sure to cover the sides. Also lightly flour your pan. 
  8. Add your apples and spread them evenly.
  9. Now, take the leftover dough and form strips by taking little pieces of the dough, and form ‘snakes’, and press them flat. (The most traditional dutch way). The strips shouldn’t be too large. 
  10. Lay the strips on your pie (lattice technique) and seal them together by pressing the ends to your crust. 
  11. Brush the leftover egg over the top and bake the pie for about 60 minutes until golden. 
  12. Enjoy! 

France: Orange Madeleines With Dark Chocolate

Note: While this recipe was awesome, they are highly addictive and I recommend doubling the recipe if you are making them for more than four people. 

Edited and written by Catherine Cunningham. Published September 18th 2021.

Original recipe by Sugar Spun Run.

French little butter cakes might be the best way to describe Madeleines, but they actually originated from the recipes of an Irish refugee who moved to France. Discovered all the way back in the 18th century, French Madeleines have been copied by all sorts of European countries. Some have the dignitary too at least switch up the recipe, maybe even ratios, but really, they stayed the same. Why mess with perfection! 

Enjoyed with coffee or tea, I would say this treat counts more as a snack than an extravagant dessert. However, they still are one of France’s most iconic desserts and even represented France in the Café Europe in 2006. Austria hosted a large gathering of all the European countries, asking them to bring a dessert that best showed off their cultural dessert cuisine. 

Butter, butter, and more butter! This recipe loves it’s butter, yet the batter shouldn’t be too thick or too thin. If it starts to become too thick, add a SPLASH of milk and mix, make sure to proceed with caution. I love this recipe! It’s so simple and quick, and honestly, hard to mess up! I would rate this clean up a 10/10, the trick of using flour and butter to make sure the Madeleines don’t stick is brilliant. It makes it very easy for them to push out of the pan and it barely takes five minutes to do so! 


10 tablespoons of unsalted butter (cut into pieces)

2 large eggs 

½ cup of granulated sugar 

3 tablespoons of light brown sugar 

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon of salt

1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour 

2 teaspoons of orange zest 

For the pan: 

1 tablespoon of unsalted butter

1 ½ teaspoons all-purpose flour

For the dark chocolate covering: 

1 ½ cups of dark chocolate chips 

1 tablespoon of unsalted butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 fahrenheit and whisk together the 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 1 ½ teaspoons of flour. Then use a pastry brush to grease every cavity of the madeleine pan. Set aside. 
  2. In a small pot, melt the remaining 10 tablespoons of butter. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Next in a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugars, vanilla extract, and salt together. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  4. Sift the flour into the egg mixture. Do it carefully and slowly, about ⅓ of the flour at a time, gently stirring into egg mixture after each addition.
  5. Drizzle the cooled melted butter around the edge of the batter and add the orange zest. 
  6. Gently fold into batter using a spatula until ingredients are thoroughly combined (but do not over mix). 
  7. If it’s too thick, add a splash or two of milk. AT MOST! The batter shouldn’t be too thick or thin. 
  8. Drop the batter by tablespoons into the prepared pan. And even it out so they can rise easily in the pan. 
  9. Place in the oven on the center rack. Bake for 9 minutes (they should be light brown). They should also spring back when you touch them lightly. Remove to a cooling rack to cool immediately.

For the chocolate dip:

  1. To melt the dark chocolate, add it to a heatproof bowl and set it above a cooking pot with 3-4 inches of water and make sure it’s simmering water. Add the butter to the heatproof bowl and stir until the chocolate melts.
  2. Once it’s ready, let it cool for a minute. Dip each Madeleine in melted chocolate and set them aside for 30 minutes.

Spain: Almond Flour Cake – Tarta de Santiago

Edited and written by Catherine Cunningham. Published September 13th 2021

Original recipe The Bossy Kitchen.

Tarta de Santiago means an almond cake for St. James. Most are topped cakes with a cross of the Knights of Santiago of powdered sugar, but today we will just use powdered sugar for a topping. The Order of Santiago was the Spanish group of knighthood. Forming all the way back in the fifteen hundreds, and it has been popular ever since.  

It’s birthplace was the region, Galicia, yet the news traveled fast about how amazing it was, and soon after that all of the other regions in Spain decided to have their own version of St. James cake! 

Used as a holiday treat, and with almonds being very popular in Spain, it’s almost impossible to get any store bought almonds around Christmas time. With that, almond flour and the use of almond extract became the new go too. The traditional recipe does not include a drizzle of honey on top, but I added it to the recipe because I truly recommend the extra little sweetness on top! 

The production for this cake was truly painless! I even had a blast. When mixing in the eggs with the almond flour, I could already see the batter starting to expand and absorb air. With the air starting to mix in, I wanted to make sure I didn’t over mix the batter. Thankfully I didn’t, but I will say that once you finish baking the cake and you pull it out of the pan, it does somewhat deflate. This cake is very delicious, not in any way a “birthday cake”. More of a cake after lunch, maybe with tea. 


2 ⅔ cups of blanched almond flour

1 ¼ cups of granulated sugar 

5 large eggs 

Zest of 1 lemon

4 drops of almond extract  

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Powder sugar for dusting the cake 

Shaved almonds for the top of the cake

Honey for the top of the cake

Butter to butter the pan 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 fahrenheit. Line an 8 inch round cake tin with parchment on the bottom and rub the sides with a little butter.
  2. Next crack the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar. Whisk the two together until well combined and the batter starts to become lighter in color. 
  3. Add the lemon zest, cinnamon, almond flavor, and almond flour, then mix until combined, but don’t overmix and get all of the air out of the mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if it’s ready (if it comes out clean).
  5. When it’s ready, remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool for a few minutes. 
  6. Lastly, dust it with powdered sugar, shaved almonds, and a drizzle of honey, if you please.

Portugal: Mini Milk Tarts – Queijadas de Leite

Edited and written by Catherine Cunningham. Published September 6th 2021.

Original recipe by Home Made Interest.

Starting with our first destination in Europe, Portugal! Tart puff pastry treats are very popular in Portugal with egg tarts taking the crown for the most beloved. However, while they might be the most asked for at the many padarias (bakeries) in Portugal, they are the most difficult to make. Milk tarts are the next best thing that you can make without shedding a tear, as long as it is done correctly! 

Creamy on the inside yet paired with the crispy outside, these popover-like treats are an easy staple to make in Portugal. Queijadas de leite are loved and made by “the typical” Portuguese family households. This popover-like tart is usually the foundation for every Queijadas and has multiple different ways to make them, with other mix-ins and flavors. 

Milk? Why is it called milk tarts… it’s because of the four cups of milk! In this recipe it’s a must for the batter to create the creamy middle, and with the sugar topping it makes the best bite all in one. Be prepared for the batter to be very liquidy, and make sure to clean up around the edges of the cupcake tin. Just the smallest spot of batter can become annoying to scrub away. 

The first time I made them didn’t go as well as I had hoped for. The butter wasn’t cooled enough and I over buttered the pans. To really perfect this recipe, I redid it and added my edits. After take two and just a few more moments in the oven, it was great enough to call it complete. Practice makes perfect, and I’m thrilled I was able to have the extra time in the school kitchen and time in my own kitchen to really fall in love with the recipe. 

Even though I did say this recipe is easier to make, time is helpful to have. This is about an hour long process, including baking time. Luckily these can be made up to two days in advance, as long as they are refrigerated. Take your time with the whisking of this recipe and smile through the clean up, it honestly doesn’t take much work for this recipe to be delicious, just patience. And four cups of milk! 


2 cups of granulated sugar 

1 cup of all purpose flour 

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup of unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

4 cups of whole milk

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon 

1/4 teaspoon  of ground nutmeg 

For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping

1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

Just a pinch of ground nutmeg

Lastly, 2 tablespoons of Brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 fahrenheit and lighty butter two cupcake tins (enough for everything to be covered but not have a thick layer of butter). 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the 2 cups of sugar, the flour, and the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg all together. 
  3. Next whisk in the already beaten eggs, whisk well. While whisking the mixture, gently add in melted butter, and then stir in the whole milk. It’s okay if the batter is liquidy.
  4. Slowly pour the filling into the buttered cupcake tins, filling each a bit more than ½  full. 
  5. Now, in a small bowl combine the brown sugar and spices for the cinnamon sugar topping. 
  6. Bake until the sides and tops are dark golden brown for about 30 to 35 minutes. 
  7. Remove the pans from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. While still hot*, run a sharp knife around the sides and use a thin flat decorating spatula to carefully remove each tart. Be delicate!  

*Tip!: These milk tarts need to be removed from the pan while still hot. Otherwise the sugar topping will harden and the custard will set into the pan, (which is not the goal). 

  1. Sprinkle generously with your cinnamon sugar topping and allow it to cool to room temperature. The center will harden while it cools down.
  2. Serve these the same day at room temperature or store in the refrigerator to enjoy chilled. 

10. Enjoy!!