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Category Archives: Dessert

The Chocolate Cake

Now, before I lose this recipe again, I am going to put it here!!!

This is an amazing cake.  Seriously moist, and super flavorful.  There are a few tips that I think are necessary to making it though…

Mostly, it involves the actual baking process.  The recipe says to use 2, 8 in pans… however, the first two times I made this I almost lit my oven on fire from the excess batter running over the edges during baking.  This stuff expands… a LOT.  So, my solution is to split the batter into 3 layers.  The cooking time was adjusted down to 25-30 mins with the smaller volumes.  Also, the parchment lined pans is awkward and tedious, but necessary, the cakes are so moist that they would just fall apart if you tried to flip them out of the pan.  I pull them out with the parchment then peel the parchment off once I get them lined up on the cake plate. Fast forward 7 years and I just used my 9 in springforms for two nice sized layers. I did line the bottom of the oven due to drippage, but it was better than the overflow from 8 in pans. Next time I will just wrap the bottom of the springforms with foil.

I have also added some simple syrup to the recipe to make it even better.

Anyway, the recipe can be found here:  Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (used instant decaf coffee – needed for icing)

Simple Syrup: * vanilla/almond/lemon/anything else optional

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp extract * optional

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 sticks + 2 TBSP butter
  • 8 oz semisweet baking chocolate
  • 1 extra large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 2/3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 TBSP instant decaf coffee powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, grease and line two springform pans with parchment paper. Cover the bottoms of the pans with aluminum foil. There will be leaks.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Turn mixer low and stir until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the wet ingredients.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then on low slowly add in the coffee, Mix until just combined.
  6. Pour into baking pans and place bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
  7. Watch out for leaks. There will be leaks if using a spring form, but these will be hard to get out of a regular round.
  8. Once out of the oven, pop off the springforms once the cake has pulled away from the edges. Allow them to cool. While you make your simple syrup and frosting. Then flip one of the layers over onto the cake round and remove the bottom of the pan and parchment. Flip the other layer over onto the bottom that you just removed from the other layer.
  9. Simple syrup: Add sugar and water to a pot. Over medium-high heat stir the mixture until the sugar begins to dissolve.
  10. Allow the mixture to boil for 2-3 minutes once the sugar has dissolved.
  11. Remove from heat and let cool. Then add in any flavoring.
  12. Pour ~1/3-1/2 cup into a smaller bowl. Apply to both layers using a pastry brush.
  13. Frosting: Use a double boiler to melt chocolate. Stir until just melted then set aside.
  14. In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy – 3 minutes or so.
  15. Add in egg and vanilla and continue to beat for an additional 3 minutes.
  16. Turn the mixer to low then slowly add in the confectioners sugar (I like to sift it onto a paper plate for easy of addition)
  17. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until smooth and creamy.
  18. Dissolve the instant coffee in 2 tsp of hot water.
  19. Turn mixer down to low speed then add chocolate and coffee to the mixture. Beat until well combined, but do not whip.
  20. Frost this delicious beast.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

We went blueberry picking today, and I needed something to do with 5 lbs of blueberries. So, cupcakes! I used this recipe from The Recipe Critic

Ingredients: (see the below for frosting ingredients)

Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 TBSP fresh Lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh Blueberries

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl sift together Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt
  • In a large mixing bowl beat Eggs ad Sugar  on medium speed for about 2 minutes until light and creamy
  • Add in Butter and Vanilla Extract and beat on low for about 1 minute, until well blended.
  • Add in the dry ingredients continuing to beat on low speed until just incorporated. Don’t over-mix!
  • Add Sour Cream, Lemon Zest, and Lemon Juice and beat until smooth.
  • Fold in the blueberries.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full with batter.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 300 g (2 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 1 TBSP Heavy Cream

Directions:

  • Beat Butter on medium speed for approximately 30 seconds, until creamy
  • Add in Powdered Sugar, Vanilla Extract, Lemon Juice, and Heavy Cream. Beat on high speed for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Frost cupcakes using a piping bag.

Funfetti Cake 2.0

I like this recipe better than the other confetti cake recipe I’ve used in the past. There is something about the texture of that cake that I don’t like. I suspect it’s the shortening because it always leaves me feeling like there is a coating of grease in my mouth, and even though it seems moist, it always feels dry.

This recipe from Sugar Spun Run is more like a traditional white cake recipe that I think of for a Funfetti cake, and I think it’s just the thing.

The only things I did differently are:

  1. 3 tsp Vanilla and 1 tsp of Lemon extract
  2. I used 3 9 in springform pans at 350 convection. It took 30 min for two of them to be done, the third was a little bit thicker and took 35 mins.
  3. I also added 1/2 cup of sprinkles to the frosting.

Ingredients

  • 9 Tbsp butter softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil vegetable oil would also work
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 4 cups+ 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 9 egg whites room temperature preferred
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles

Buttercream

  • 1 lb unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 cups (750g, 27oz) powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and prepare 3 8-inch round cake pans by generously greasing and flouring. Be sure to shake out excess flour.
  • In stand mixer, beat butter on medium-low speed until creamy.
  • Add sugar and oil and beat until all ingredients are well-combined and creamy.
  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and then stir in your vanilla.
  • In separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Measure out your milk.
  • With mixer on medium speed, gradually alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until each one is almost completely combined before adding the next.
  • Pause occasionally to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
  • In separate bowl, combine your egg whites and, with a hand-mixer on high-speed, beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Using a spatula, gently fold your egg whites and sprinkles into your batter. Take care to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that ingredients are well-combined, and take care not to over-mix.
  • Evenly divide cake batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake on 350F for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake layer comes out clean or with few crumbs (should not be wet). For best results, rotate your cake pans halfway through baking to ensure even baking.
  • Cakes will be a light golden brown when done baking.
  • Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Run a butterknife around the inside rim of each pan and invert each onto a cooling rack.
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

  • In stand mixer, beat butter on medium-speed until creamy.
  • Add salt and beat again for about 20 seconds.
  • Gradually, about 1 cup at a time, add powdered sugar, waiting until each cup is completely mixed before adding the next cup.
  • Tbsp at a time, add the heavy cream on medium-high speed, waiting until each addition is well-combined before adding the next 2 Tbsp.
  • Add vanilla and stir on medium-high for 30 seconds.
  • Transfer one layer of your cooled cake to serving platter. Use frosting to ice the top. Add the next layer, ice the top of that. Add your third layer on top and ice the top, and then do a thin “crumb coating” around the entire cake.
  • Transfer to freezer for 10-15 minutes, then remove and apply a clean, thick coat of frosting around the entire cake.

Cinnamon Sugar Rice Crispy Treats

So I found these amazing individually wrapped Churro flavored rice crispy treats at Geisslers. Needless to say, my first thought was, well these would be super easy to make ourselves and for a quarter of the price. So yeah, here’s what I came up with.

Ingredients:

115 g (1 stick/8 TBSP) Unsalted Butter
566 g (2, 10oz bags) Mini Marshmallows, divided into about 450g and 110g
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
255g (1, 9oz box) rice crispy cereal
0.25 cups white sugar (could use a coarse turbinado type sugar too)
1.5 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Prepare a 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper
  • In a large sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt the Butter and 450g Marshmallows until smooth, remove from heat.
  • Add in the Salt and Vanilla extract, stir to combine.
  • Add in the Cereal, stirring until combined.
  • Allow to rest for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in 110g Marshmallows, stir to combine.
  • Turn mixture out into prepared pan and press down into place.
  • Allow to cool for 3-5 minutes *but not completely. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the top. You want it to melt in a little bit.
  • Allow to set for at least 1 hr then store in an airtight container.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Rob absolutely loves Snickerdoodles and asked for me to make some this year. I have honestly never made them before. I came across this recipe and gave it a whirl. I think over time I will alter it some, but I wanted to get the basics down before I forget!
Prep time: 30-40 mins
Cookies
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar (light brown sugar will work, too)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In a mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar.
  4. Next add vanilla extract and eggs one at a time, mixing after each.
  5. With mixer on low-speed, gradually add the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until incorporated, do not over-mix though.
  6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 15 minutes to chill. Can also place in the refrigerator if you plan on making the cookies later. You do not have to chill the dough, but it is much easier to roll into a ball if it is chilled a little.
  7. To make the cinnamon sugar, mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  8. Measure about 1 TBSP of dough, roll into a ball and then roll in cinnamon sugar and place on prepared cookie sheet. Squish the cookies down to flatten them a bit.
  9. Bake for around 12 minutes +/- (original recipe said 8-10, wasn’t enough for me). You do not want to over bake as snickerdoodle cookies are known for their soft and chewy texture. Cookies will look puffy when they are done, remove from oven and let cool slightly on baking sheet then move to cookie sheet to cool completely. Cookies will flatten a little as they cool.

Cookies and Cream cake

Rob fell in love with an Oreo cake sold at Stop and Shop. The cake is light and fluffy, and the icing has little crushed up Oreos in it. Even I have to admit, it’s a damn good cake for a grocery store cake. But, it is a grocery store cake, and I set out on a personal mission to make a better one. This is definitely it. The recipe is only slightly modified from this one over at HonestandTasty.com. Its super easy to make and well worth the effort!

Total hands on time: 1-1:30 hours

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water
FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 2.5 sticks  Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2.5 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 9  TBSP Heavy Cream
  • 30 oz Powdered Sugar
  • 18-20 Newman O’s + a few extra for decorating the top of the cake
INSTRUCTIONS
FOR THE CAKE:
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Spray 2, 9 inch round springform pans with Baking Pam, then top with 9 inch round Parchment circles. Respray with Pam. Wrap the bottom of the springform pans with aluminum foil to protect against drips.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Sift together into another bowl or onto a large paper plate.
  4. In the bowl of the stand mixer add oil, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients, combine and mix on low speed. Don’t over mix.
  6. Add water and mix again to combine it all together. Don’t over mix.
  7. Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 28-30 minutes or just until a toothpick/fork poked into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes before removing the outside of the springform. Once cool, flip cakes onto a sheet of parchment and remove the bottom of the springform and parchment paper.
FOR THE FROSTING:
  1. Place Newman O’s into a sealed plastic bag, and crush them up with mallet or rolling pin. Set aside.
  2. In the stand mixer combine butter, vanilla extract, heavy cream.  Mix to combine.
  3. Add in the powdered sugar and mix for 3-5 minutes to whip it well.
  4. Add crushed cookies into frosting and mix in.
  5. Frost the cake, then devour!

Lemon Cake

The perfect spring cake recipe. I ran across this on Pinterest and it actually turned out perfectly.

Ingredients:

For the cake

  • 270 g (2 1/4) cups cake flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tSP kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 8 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp pure lemon extract

For the icing

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
  • 350g (2 3/4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice, (from about 1/2 a large lemon), plus 1 TBSP if needed
  • 1 TBSP freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F

  • Grease two 9 inch round springform pans, parchment paper is not needed.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together Cake Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt
  • In a separate medium bowl whisk together the Buttermilk and Egg Whites
  • In the bowl of the stand mixer, add Lemon Zest and Sugar. Using your fingers, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until sugar is moist and well combined.
  • Add the Butter to the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed for a minimum of 3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the Lemon Extract.
  • Add in 1/3 of the Flour Mixture, then beat on medium speed until combined.
  • Continue on medium speed and add in 1/2 of the Buttermilk Mixture.
  • Add another 1/3 of the Flour Mixture, then add the remaining Buttermilk Mixture. Beat until smooth.
  • Stir in the remaining Flour Mixture, then continue mixing on medium speed for at least 2 more minutes until well combined and very airy.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and use a spatula to level off the tops.
  • Bake for 35-40 mins until springy and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 10 mins before removing the springform pan. Then remove the cakes from the bottom pan, and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

Prepare the icing:

  • Use the stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
  • Mix the Cream Cheese and Butter on medium speed for at least 3 minutes until well combined and smooth.
  • Reduce to stirring speed and add in the Powdered Sugar, Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest, Vanilla, and Salt. Once the sugar begins to incorporate increase the speed to medium.
  • Mix on medium speed for at least 3 minutes until the ingredients are well combined and frosting is light and fluffy.  May add additional Lemon Juice if needed to thin.
  • You may need to put the cake in the refrigerator for an hour or so to set the icing.

Chocolate Cake

https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/ultimate-chocolate-cake

Cupcake notes:

Baking time: 20-22 mins

Fill cupcake paper with 40g of batter… I used the ¼ cup measuring cup filled about three quarters full.

When I stored them in a tupperware container, the cupcake wrappers all popped off overnight. Probably because it’s such a moist cake.

Polenta Cake

  • .5 cup cake flour
  • .5 cup fine grind yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • .25 pound plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 25 cups powdered sugar
  • .25 cup almond paste
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • .5 teaspoon almond extract
  • .125 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Sift flour, cornmeal, and baking powder into large mixing bowl
  3. In separate bowl, combine butter, sugar, and almond paste
  4. Using handheld mixer on medium speed, beat ingredients until very fluffy, light, and pale in color (6-8 minutes)
  5. While beating at medium, add egg yolks one at time, mixing well. Keep scraping the sides of the bowl.
  6. Add whole eggs, one at a time, similar to above.
  7. Beat in almond and vanilla extracts.
  8. Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture 1/3 at a time. Ensure all is thoroughly incorporated after each addition.
  9. Grease 8.5×4.5×2.5 loaf pan with butter and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  10. Pour batter in. Do not level.
  11. Bake until wooden toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 15 minuites.
  13. Turn out on wire rack and let cool completely.
  14. Sieve powdered sugar over before serving.

New York Cheesecake

This is an old recipe my mom used to make. Who knows where it came from, but I remember this was my birthday “cake” of choice when I didn’t go with Funfetti Cake.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup + 3 TBSP Sugar, divided
  • 3 TBSP butter, melted
  • 5, 8 oz packages Cream Cheese, softenend
  • 3 TBSP Flour
  • 1 TBSP Vanilla
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 21 oz can Cherry Pie Filling

Directions:

  1. Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    • Mix Crumbs, 3 TBSP sugar, and butter.
    • Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan
    • Bake for 10 minutes
  2. Make the Cake:
    • Beat Cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour, and vanilla until well mixed and light and fluffy.
    • Blend in the sour cream.
    • Pour over prepared crust
  3. Bake 60-70 minutes until center is almost set.
  4. Cool, then run knife around rim to loosen. Refrigerate 4 hrs or overnight to set.
  5. Top Pie with cherry filling.
  6. Store in the refigerator