RSS

Category Archives: Cakes

The Cake Slice Bakers: Cold Oven Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Have you ever heard of a cake being baked in a cold oven?  Well, if you haven’t you are not alone.  When this month’s cake was announced I was surprised to learn you do not pre-heat the oven.  This “technique” is supposed to result in a crisp crust on the pound cake.  This pound cake was delicious and not as dense as your typical pound cake.  The recipe calls for lemon zest along with fresh ginger.  I left out the ginger as I don’t like it and quite honestly why make something the baker herself won’t like? LOL  I wish I would have added more lemon zest and some lemon juice as the flavor was not as pronounced as I would have liked.  I did add a lemon glaze on top (lemon juice + powdered sugar) but it still wasn’t enough lemon flavor for me.  Granted, this wasn’t supposed to a lemon pound cake but I am a lover of lemon desserts!  As usual I shared this with my co-workers and everyone loved it.  Click here to see what my fellow bakers thought about this cake.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh lemon zest
Method:
Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position.  Grease a 12 cup bundt pan and dust with flour.  Combine the butter, cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
With the mixer on medium-speed add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla, ginger and lemon zest.  Turn the mixer to low-speed and add the flour mixture, half a cup at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Mix batter for 30 seconds on medium-speed.
Spread the batter into the bundt pan and place the cake in a cold oven.  Turn the oven to 325 degrees F and bake without opening the oven door until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 65-80 minutes.  Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert it onto a cooling rack.  Cool completely before slicing and serving.  Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Cakes

 

First Time for Everything

This adventure started with someone asking me for a favor.  The question of the day was “would you make my engagement cake?”  The anxiety started when I realized the party was for 40-50 people.  My baking supplies consist of some 8-10″ cake pans, a 9×13″ pan and a bundt cake pan so you can understand the anxiety.  I calmed down a tad when I got an update on the count…it was now down to close to 35 people.  Even with the lower amount I still did not have the resources to make one cake to feed the entire crowd.  I wanted to help out but the only way was to make to separate cakes.  The soon-to-be bride agreed so a chocolate layer cake and strawberry cheesecake it was.  I knew I would use Dorie Greenspan’s Tall and Creamy Cheesecake recipe as I used it before with much success.  I am not a major fan of chocolate cake so I do not have a “go to” recipe. After some time on the internet I came across a recipe that many people claim to be the best chocolate cake recipe.  Initially I found it on Leigh Anne’s blog Your Homebased Mom but also saw it on several other blogs.  I was hesitant at first because this meant I would have to use a cake mix.  The recipe doctors up a cake mix by adding sour cream, instant chocolate pudding mix, chocolate chips, extra eggs and milk.  The verdict?  There was no reason to doubt as the cake was delicious.  I frosted it with a mocha buttercream…so good!  Now, I wish I could say the decorating process went just as smoothly.  I was quite nervous about this part as I never did much decorating other than frosting a cake in a “homely” manner.  Again I searched the internet for some tips and came across one where you use a foam paint roller to smooth the buttercream once it sets.  The problem came when time was passing me by and the frosting still needed to firm up some more.  I thought I would speed up the process by placing it in the freezer.  I left it in there much longer than I should have and the buttercream was rock solid.  I tried to let it “defrost” a bit to be able to smooth it out with the paint roller method but it would not budge.  As if this was not enough I now had to pipe directly onto the cake because my initial idea did not work.  The plan was to pipe “Congratulations Marley & Jesus” in melted chocolate onto a silpat and freeze it.  Once frozen I was planning to peel it off the silpat and put it on the cake.  My hands were shaking like a leaf but I managed to get it on there.  Even though it didn’t turn out exactly as I would have liked everyone loved it and that’s the most important part!  Besides, don’t you think the perfect (crack-free) cheesecake makes up for my lack of decorating experience?

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Cakes

 

The Cake Slice Bakers: Heath Bar Crunch Cake

I was happy to see that I had everything on hand for this month’s cake with the exception of the instant espresso powder.  I am not a coffee drinker so it is simply not something I keep at home.  I was off to the grocery store to get the espresso powder and found that the smallest jar was $3.  Yes, it’s not much money but since I would not be using it again and other bakers said it was too intense with the coffee I made an executive decision and decided to leave it out.  I ended up swapping it out for 1 tbsp of cocoa powder.  I made some other minor changes which included adding some sliced almonds to the streusel to make up for not quite 1 cup of heath pieces.  The last of my changes were adding a handful or so of semi-sweet chocolate chips and some more almonds to the batter.

I made the cake for one of my co-worker’s to celebrate his birthday this past Friday.  I did not try the cake myself but got some great reviews from the birthday boy along with my other co-workers.  I hope my fellow bakers enjoyed it as much as my co-workers did.  Check them out here to find out what their thoughts were.

For the cake:

  • 1  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1  1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

For the streusel:

  • 1 cup chopped heath bars
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Method-Streusel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9″ springform pan.  Combine heath bar pieces, sugar, flour and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work mixture with your fingers until it resembles large crumbs.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Method-Cake

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and espresso powder in a medium mixing bowl.  Combine butter and sugar in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer and cream at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  With the mixer on low-speed add egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low-speed add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/2 the milk, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Repeat, alternating the flour and milk, ending with the flour.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, leveling it with a spatula.  Scatter the streusel evenly over the cake and bake for 55-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes.  Release the sides of the pan and use a spatula to slide cake off the pan bottom onto wire rack to finish cooling.  Store cake in a cake keeper or wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on February 20, 2011 in Cakes

 

Daring Bakers: Biscuit Joconde Imprime/Entremet

The January 2011 Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog Acro.  She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.

My initial reaction to this month’s challenge was one of shock but then the creative juices started flowing.  I was thinking of doing a layer of lemon curd, raspberry mousse and lemon mousse.  I was pretty much set on the flavors until I bought the almond flour needed for the joconde imprime.  The almond flour was $10 and it was just going to be too costly with the ingredients needed for the mousse and curd.

So, it was time to move to plan “B.”  I was making this month’s dessert for a special dinner for my friend and I since both our birthdays are in January.  It just happen to be that Haagen Dazs was on sale and we both love ice cream cake and so plan “B” was born.  I decided on dulce de leche, vanilla and mango ice cream with crushed coconut cookies in between each layer.  I would have preferred to make my own fillings but this was simply a better option due to cost and time.

I wish I could say this challenge was a success for me like last month’s fantastic stollen.  I think pretty much everything that could have gone wrong did.  Let’s start with the fact that my joconde imprime stuck to the silicone liner.  I thought nothing was supposed to stick to those darn things!

Needless to say I was extremely frustrated after peeling the joconde imprime from the liner.  I worked so hard at piping my design that I about cried.  After calming down I decided to do my best and just make it work.  After softening the dulce de leche ice cream I spread it in my springform pan (w/o the bottom) and layered the crushed cookies on top.  I popped it in the freezer to harden before adding the next layer of ice cream.  Well, it seems that the baking sheet I had the pan resting on was slanted and some of the ice cream leaked out all over the freezer.  Fast forward to my birthday dinner with my friend and cutting into our ice cream cake.  We were anxiously awaiting beautiful layers of creamy caramel colored dulce de leche, vanilla and golden mango ice cream.  Instead I cut into what ended up being a tan-colored cake!  I have no idea what happened but there was no distinction between the different layers.

Yes, it tasted good but how could anyone go wrong with Haagen Dazs ice cream?  I might as well have scooped the ice cream into a nice bowl and added the cookies.  The most upsetting part of the entire experience was that my joconde imprime…..I have no idea what went wrong.  If you want to see hundreds of successful and GORGEOUS finished desserts then head on to check out all my fellow daring bakers right here.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on January 27, 2011 in Cakes

 

The Cake Slice Bakers: Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cake

When I first joined the group and noticed we post on the 20th I thought it was kind of cool since I would eventually be posting on my birthday.  Well, the day has come…..today I am 29 yrs old!  Thanking the Lord for another year of life and looking forward to His plans for my life in 2011.  Now on to the task at hand…posting about this month’s cake.

I was very excited to try this cake as it instantly reminded me of this s’mores bar I had while participating at a taste test panel.  I still have yet to try an actual s’mores but that bar was amazing and I guess that is what I was hoping for.  I baked the cake for my new Bible study this Monday and the ladies loved it which was great.  The ladies kept on describing it like a delicious giant cookie which is exactly what it tasted like.  I had a small piece once I got home and to me it was like a chocolate chip cookie with an almost buttercream frosting (not as sweet).

When I made the frosting I actually added more marshmallow fluff hoping it would make the flavor stand out but nope.  Maybe I should have just lathered on the fluff by itself?!?  Overall this was a yummy recipe just not what I was expecting.  I will make it again but in a round baking pan and just call it a chocolate chip cookie cake!

Check out the other bakers here.

For the cake

  • 8 whole graham crackers, finely ground (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff

Method-cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8″ square baking pan and dust it lightly with flour, knocking out any extra.  Combine the cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.  Combine the  butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream (w/ paddle attachment) on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  With the mixer on low-speed add the whole egg, egg yolk and vanilla.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat until smooth.

With the mixer on low-speed add a third of the flour mixture and half of the milk, stirring until combined.  Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, ending with the flour.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes (mine was done @ 30 min).  Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.  Invert it onto a wire rack and then turn it right side up to cool completely.

Method-frosting

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat (w/ paddle attachment) until creamy.  With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Stir in the vanilla and the marshmallow fluff and beat until smooth.  Use immediately or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

* I doubled the recipe with no problem and baked it in a 9×13 baking pan.

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on January 20, 2011 in Cakes

 

The Cake Slice Bakers: Cranberry Cake

I was excited about this cake after the somewhat disastrous cake from last month.  Unfortunately I had some major issues with my sink as well as a major ant infestation so I was unable to bake this cake on time.  The ants seem to be gone now and the sink is in a much better state so I can finally share my cranberry cake experience with you guys!

The one issue I had with this cake is that it definitely was not done in the 70 minutes stated in the recipe.  Mine still wiggled in the middle when I took it out at the 70 minutes so I raised the temperature to 325 and let it go another 10 minutes.  When I checked it with a toothpick it still was not done…the problem is I had to meet a friend for dinner.  I turned off the oven and just left the cake in there hoping it would finish baking.  When I got back home I checked it with a toothpick and it was all done.  I tried a piece the next day for breakfast before taking it to work to share with my co-workers.  The almond streusel was super yummy but the cake itself was another story.  Even though my toothpick had come out clean it was as if the cake was still underdone.  I was hesitant to take it to work thinking everyone else would feel the same way I did.  Much to my surprise everyone told me it was amazing!  What I thought was an underdone cake was a super moist one to everyone else! LOL

Check out the blogroll to see how my fellow cake slice bakers liked this cake.

Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman

Streusel

  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar

Cake batter

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups (1  1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries

Method-streusel

Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Grease a 10 inch round springform pan.  Combine the butter, almonds and brown sugar in a medium bowl.  Work the mixture between your fingers to form large crumbs (didn’t really happen) and refrigerate until ready to use.

Method-cake

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Combine the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until the mixture is lightened and increased in volume, about 5 minutes.  With the mixer on low-speed add the butter in a low stream.  Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for another 2 minutes.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

Gently but thoroughly fold in the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.  Then stir in the cranberries and scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the pan with a spatula.  Sprinkle the streusel over the batter and bake the cake until it is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  About 1hr to 1hr and 10 minutes.  Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Release the sides of the pan and use a large spatula to slide the cake from the pan onto the wire rack.  Cool completely before cutting into wedges and serving.

Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on December 25, 2010 in Cakes

 

The Cake Slice Bakers: Cinnamon Pudding Cake

What do you picture when you read the words “cinnamon pudding cake?”  Do you picture a warm, moist and gooey cake?  A nicely spiced cake fit for the holiday season?  Well, this is what I think most of us Cake Slice Bakers were expecting.  Unfortunately things don’t always turn out as we imagine.

Many of my fellow bakers found this out when they baked the cake earlier this month.  The cake was being described as dry and simply not worth making again. There was lots of brainstorming as to how we could tweak the recipe to have a better end result.

I had decided on the changes I would make and was ready to make the cake.  Now there were a few of my fellow bakers that really enjoyed it so I was unsure which way things would work out for me.  I made the cake last night and it fell somewhere in the middle for me.  I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it either.  There was a lot of the brown sugar “caramel” sauce when I turned it over and the cake came out very easily. The cake was light with a good cinnamon flavor and the sauce had the perfect amount of sweetness.  I served it with some vanilla ice cream which accompanied it quite nicely.  In my opinion this cake should be eaten with the ice cream…it would be pretty mediocre on its own. Even though my friend and her kids loved it I don’t plan on making this again.

Check out the other Cake Slice Bakers here to see their adventures in baking this month’s cake.

Adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman

Caramel Topping

  • 1  3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1  1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp rum (couldn’t taste it in final product)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I actually forgot to add it)

The Cake Batter

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Method – topping:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray the bottom and sides of an 8 in square baking pan (I used 9″ round cake pan) with nonstick cooking spray.  Combine the brown sugar, water, butter, rum and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally, then set aside to cool.

Method – cake:

Sift all the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.  Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add the egg and beat until combined.  With the mixer now on medium-low speed add 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by 1/2 of the milk and the tsp of vanilla.  Continue by beating in the rest of the flour and milk, starting and ending with the flour.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.

Add the batter to the prepared pan and smooth with a rubber spatula.  Place pan on a baking sheet and then pour caramel topping over the batter.  Carefully transfer cake to the oven and bake for 35 minutes.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, invert it onto a large rimmed serving platter and serve warm.

Let any leftover cake cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for up to 3 days.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on November 20, 2010 in Cakes