Pumpkin S’mores Layer Cake

I was planning on bringing you another savory pumpkin dessert this week, but I just didn’t like the recipe I made last week for a Pumpkin Black Bean Burger. While the burger wasn’t bad, it was just overpowered with cumin, which isn’t a bad thing, but I just felt that it shouldn’t be the only thing you taste especially after topping the burger with other things. All is well though as I am bringing you a cake that has a lot going on, but it adds up to one thing… Deliciousness! It’s a Pumpkin S’mores Layer Cake.

I made a few adjustments to the original recipe that I got from an issue of Food Network Magazine about two years ago. I came across it in my dessert binder while looking for another recipe. The original recipe called for the cake to be a four-layer cake. Baking two 9-inch cakes and then cutting them in half. I opted to bake the cake in three 9-inch pans to make it a three-layer cake and since I am not keen on meringue frosting, I whipped up the Marshmallow Whipped Cream Frosting I used for the S’mores Cupcakes I posted back in August.

So, you have a three-layer pumpkin cake that had graham crackers crumbs added to the batter separated by a chocolate filling that is made with chocolate and marshmallows and it’s all topped with a light and not overly sweet marshmallow whipped cream frosting… YUM!

 

Pumpkin S’mores Layer Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 whole graham crackers

2 1/4 cups flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup buttermilk*

 

For the Filling:

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

12 large marshmallows or 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 cup cold heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

For the Frosting:

2 cups heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 7oz. jars marshmallow cream

 

*Make your own by combining 1/2 cup whole milk with three teaspoons of white vinegar and let it sit for 10-15 minutes until it thickens and appears to curdle

 

Directions:

Begin by making the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray three 9-inch round baking pans with baking spray.

In a food processor pulse the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and pulse to combine.

In a large bowl beat the butter and both sugars with handheld mixer until medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and add in the pumpkin puree. The batter will appear curdled. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and finally the remaining flour mixture. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and tap the bottom of the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles.

Bake the cakes in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack and then invert the cakes on the racks to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling make the filling. In microwave safe bowl combine the chocolate, marshmallows, cocoa powder and 1/3 cup of the heavy cream and microwave in 30 second intervals. Stirring between each interval. Continue microwaving until everything is melted. Continue stirring the mixture until smooth and then stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature.

While the chocolate mixture is cooling, whisk the remaining 2/3 cup heavy cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Whisk a third of this cream into the cooled chocolate mixture and then gently fold in the rest with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

To make the frosting, add the heavy cream and vanilla extract to a large bowl and beat with a handheld mixer until soft peaks form. Add in the marshmallow cream and continue beating until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the cake, place one of the cake layers on a cake board or cake stand. Transfer some of the frosting to a piping bag and pipe around the perimeter of the cake and then spread half of the chocolate filling in the center. Repeat with another cake layer and then top with the final cake layer and then frost the cake with remaining frosting.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe modified from Food Network

Chocolate Pumpkin Flan

It’s Fall Y’all! And you know what that means… It’s time for some pumpkin treats. Truth be told I feel like Fall came out of nowhere this year. Between working from home and barely going anywhere due to the pandemic the days are just passing by quickly and rolling into each other. Now that September is winding down though I’m doing my best to be cognizant of the days/dates to make sure I get all of my holiday projects and goodies done. I’m kicking off Fall with a Chocolate Pumpkin Flan.

While traditional flan uses eggs as the base to make the custard, this flan uses a combination of cream cheese, eggs and pumpkin. One thing that does remain the same though is the delicious caramel sauce. And I am happy to say that I was finally successful in making caramel sauce. I have tried in the past and all I have ended up with is burnt sugar. I was determined this time to get it right. One thing that helped, besides having patience, was using a smaller saucepan. I normally use a medium sized one and I think that was preventing the caramel from coming together. By using a smaller one it was easier for the sugar to melt into the water and begin the caramelization process. I also resisted the urge to stir it and instead swirled the pan every few minutes to ensure it wouldn’t burn.  As with a traditional flan, once the caramel was done I poured it into the pan I was using and then poured the batter for the flan over it. Oh, one other thing this flan has that a traditional flan doesn’t have… melted chocolate. If you didn’t know, chocolate and pumpkin go together really well. After baking in a water bath, initially I was thinking that I could bake a 9-inch pan inside of a 10-inch springform pan, but, after I added the water it seeped right out so I ended up baking it in a water bath inside of my roasting pan, I let it cool and then refrigerated it overnight before unmolding it. It didn’t come out easily, but, once it did it thankfully didn’t break apart.

Final verdict… It was delicious. It had the exact consistency of an egg custard flan but the flavor of pumpkin and chocolate with a hint of spice thanks to pumpkin spice. Which is just a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice.

So, even with all the craziness going on are you looking forward to the holidays? Me and a friend were saying the other day how when the summer started, we had no clue how the summer would be and what we would be able to do. And now here we are, the summer is over, and we made it through without doing anything really. With the extra time on the weekends I was able to get some projects done in my backyard and I am in the middle of remodeling my living room. All in all, I am sure most people are looking to put this year to bed. For now though, bring on the pumpkins, the mums and the scarves!

Chocolate Pumpkin Flan

Ingredients:

2oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1/4 cup water

1 12oz. can evaporated milk

1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened and cubed

4 eggs

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Microwave the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on high for 1 minute, or until almost melted. Stir until completely melted, set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan add 3/4 cups of the sugar and the water. Cook on medium heat until the mixture is golden brown and a syrup-like consistency. This will take 10-15 minutes. Do not stir the contents, instead swirl the pan every few minutes. Pour into a 9-inch round pan.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, combine the evaporated milk and cream cheese and mix together until smooth.  Add the remaining sugar, the eggs, pumpkin, pumpkin spice and melted chocolate and continue mixing until well incorporated. Pour the mixture over the syrup in the pan.

Place the 9-inch pan inside of a larger pan, a roasting pan is ideal, and fill the larger pan with enough water that it comes halfway up the sides of the small pan.

Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool completely on a wire rack and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before inverting and unmolding. Drizzle any remaining caramel sauce left in pan over flan. Slice and enjoy!

Recipe from Kraft Foods

A Bake ‘n Fill Fail

Recently while doing a little cleaning and organizing I came across something I purchased years ago and never used… A Betty Crocker Bake ‘n Fill Cake Pan. The pans were still in their plastic wrapping. Not really sure why I never used it, but having come across it I figured there was no time like the present to try it out. And obviously from the title of this blog post I wasn’t that successful! The cake part was fine, the fail was the filling… So, we’ll say it was a Bake ‘n Fail!

In case you have no clue what I am talking about. These pans were sold in a set by Better Crocker years ago. They first came out in the early 2000’s. Below is a link to the infomercial if you are curious. The whole idea was that you are able to create cakes with fillings (ice cream, fruit, another cake, etc.) or make a cool design like a baseball or a lady bug.

Betty Crocker Bake ‘n Fill Pan

I decided to follow a recipe for a Chocolate Mocha Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling that was in the recipe book that came with the pans. I began by prepping two of the pans – the inside of the tall pan and bottom of the insert pan (this is the pan that makes the cavity in the cake so it can be filled). Normally I spray my pan with baking spray, but, I decided to follow the directions and greased them with shortening and then coated them with flour. Next, I prepped the batter. I added all of the ingredients for it into a large bowl and beat them with a hand mixer until they were blended together. I then poured it into the tall pan.

Next, I placed the insert pan over the tall pan and locked it into place and then baked it in a 350 F preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Thankfully the insert pan has small holes in it, which I am assuming is to allow the cake to “breathe” while baking, but, I used them to insert a cake tester to see when the cake was done.

After removing the pan from the oven I let it cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes…

And then I removed the insert pan and let the cake cool completely in the pan for about an hour.

Next I made the filling. In a saucepan I combined heavy whipping cream, sugar and coffee liqueur. I cooked it over medium heat until the sugar dissolved. After removing it from the heat I stirred in semi-sweet chocolate chips with a wire whisk until they were melted. And finally I stirred in vanilla extract before transferring the mixture to a large bowl to cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a chilled medium bowl I beat additional heavy whipping cream with a hand mixer until stiff peaks formed. I then folded the heavy whipping cream into the cooled chocolate mixture.

And finally I spooned the whipped chocolate mixture into the cavity of the cake and then refrigerated the cake thinking that the filling would firm up. It never did! I even put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes and that did nothing to it as well. So, I gave up and decided to invert the cake out of the pan and do my best not to make a mess. Well, taking the cake out of the pan was no easy feat. I had to pry a flexible spatula between the cake and the pan to loosen the cake. I was FINALLY able to invert the cake out and surprisingly didn’t make a complete mess with the mousse filling that was definitely not mousse-consistency.

While I thought about throwing in the towel at this point I decided to go ahead and make the frosting for the cake. I added additional heavy whipping cream to a small saucepan and heated until it was hot. I then stirred in semi-sweet chocolate chips and stirred the mixture until the chocolate was melted. After letting the mixture cool for a few minutes it was the perfect consistency to frost the cake.

I won’t show you what happened when I sliced into the cake. As you can imagine the filling just, I hate to use the word ooze, but, that’s pretty much what it did. It did taste good though! And I was able to spoon it over the cake after slicing myself a piece so it wasn’t a total loss. So, will I attempt to use the pan again? Absolutely, but, I think the next filling will be something like whipped cream folded with some fresh berries, or, I will use the filling I normally make for my other cakes. Oh, and yeah, I will be using baking spray next time. It hasn’t left a cake stuck in a pan for me yet!

Key Lime Bundt Cake

Happy Cinco de Mayo! How perfect that this year it lands on a Tuesday so you can make it a “Taco Tuesday” to celebrate!

Originally I was planning on making Coconut Lime Crumble Bars to celebrate the day, but, one of the necessary ingredients was macadamia nuts. I normally have walnuts and almonds in my fridge but neither seemed to be a good substitute. And since my grocery shopping hasn’t been as frequent as before and I’m sticking to the things I really need and with the prices of certain things currently inflated, macadamia nuts just didn’t make the list. So, I opted to make this Key Lime Bundt Cake instead. Not really festive for the day, but, the flavor does make up for it and I have all of the necessary ingredients on hand.

After baking and letting the cake cool…

I made the key lime glaze for it. I’ll admit, whenever I saw cake recipes that included a glaze I would normally omit them thinking that the cake would just be overly sweet with them, but, I have to come to realize that the glazes enhance or complement the flavor of the cake. After drizzling the glaze on the cake I popped it in the refrigerator for a few minutes so it could set.

And then it was time to enjoy a slice! The cake itself isn’t overly sweet and the lime flavor isn’t overpowering by any means. The glaze didn’t add any extra sweetness, if anything, it added to the lime flavor.

Key Lime Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

Cake:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 3/4 sugar

2 tablespoons key lime zest (or lime zest)

3 eggs, at room temperature

1/4 key lime juice*

3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups buttermilk**

 

Glaze***:

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons key lime juice

1 tablespoon milk

 

*Use can use freshly squeezed juice or use store-bought

**Make your own buttermilk by combining 1 1/2 cups milk (I used whole milk) with 7-8 teaspoons of white vinegar in a measuring cup. Stir together and let sit until thickened and slightly curdled.

***This makes more glaze than you will need for the cake, you can easily cut the ingredients in half and will still have enough glaze to drizzle over the cake.

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 12-cup Bundt cake with baking spray, or grease the pan and lightly dust with flour.

In a medium bowl combine the flour and baking soda and set aside.

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer beat the butter, sugar and lime zest together on medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add in the lime juice. Continue beating until everything is well combined.

Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it out evenly. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake rest 10 minutes in the pan and then invert on a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cake has cooled you can pour the glaze over it.

In a medium bowl combine the powdered sugar, key lime juice and milk and whisk together until the glaze is smooth and there are no lumps remaining. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and refrigerate a few minutes so it can set and then slice and serve.

Recipe from Life In The Lofthouse

Banana Cake with a Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

Has your cooking and baking gotten a tad bit creative in these crazy times? As we all try to adhere to social distancing our runs to the grocery store may have become non-existent or minimal. On those times we do go our selections may be slim pickings or restricted. So, what are we to do? We have to make do with what we have at home or get creative with what we can get on our grocery runs.

I recently picked up a bunch of bunch of bananas on one of my runs and I always make the mistake of getting a few too many or not eating them fast enough. I prefer my bananas to not have any spots on them. So, with three overripe bananas staring at me I decided to make a banana cake. And initially I was thinking of making a whipped cream frosting to top it, but, then I remembered I had a slightly used container of mascarpone cheese in my fridge that was quickly approaching its expiration date, so I decided to make a Mascarpone Whipped Cream frosting instead. Now, I wasn’t all that sure how the two flavors would go together, but, since mascarpone is closely related to cream cheese (both are essentially the same but mascarpone has a higher fat content than cream cheese, hence it having a richer and creamier taste) and a lot of banana cakes do have a cream cheese frosting I figured they would work together. So, if you don’t have either mascarpone or whipped cream on hand but you do have cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar you could easily just make a cream cheese frosting to top the cake. Or, to make things even easier, and just as delicious, you can enjoy the cake on its own without frosting. Hopefully that wasn’t too much information or rambling.

Once I had baked the cakes I let them cool completely before refrigerating them overnight before frosting them.

I wasn’t sure if I had enough frosting to fill and cover the cake so I decided to just lightly frost the cake and use the remaining frosting to pipe a few swirls on it.

Final verdict… The two flavors worked well together.

 

Banana Cake

  • Servings: 10 to 12 people
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Ingredients:

3 overripe bananas, mashed

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature*

*To make your own buttermilk combine 7 teaspoons of white vinegae with 1 1/2 cups whole milk in a measuring cup. Stir to combine and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. The buttermilk is ready when the mixture begins to curdle.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray (or coat with butter and flour) and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter on high speed until creamy. Add both sugars and continue beating until creamed together. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs and vanilla extract and continue beating until well combined. Add the mashed bananas and beat until just combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three parts alternating with the buttermilk. Do not overmix the batter, a few lumps is okay.

Divide the batter amongst the two pans (about 3 cups each) and bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

3/4 cups confecitioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8oz. mascarpone cheese*

*You can substitute cream cheese for the mascarpone cheese, or just make a cream cheese frosting with the addition of the heavt cream

Directions:

Remove the mascarpone cheese (cream cheese) from the refrigerator 15 minutes prior to making the frosting. You want the cheese to be softened but still cold.

In a medium bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat together the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla exract on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add in the cheese and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

 

 

 

Spring Striped Cake

Happy first day of Spring! I hope you are all safe and healthy. I am sure Coronavirus / Covid-19 has changed the way you do a lot of things these days. I started working from home this week and while the first day was a bit of a challenge using my desktop and laptop in tandem, the second day was much better since I had my desktop and two monitors from work set-up at my kitchen table. Which also means I can enjoy some sunlight during the day… There’s no sunlight to be seen at my job. I must say, and I am sure most (if not all) of you would agree, it’s so surreal how many things have closed, been cancelled, rescheduled and so forth. It’s the best choice though if we want to contain this virus.

Back to Spring though, to welcome the season I decided to make a Spring themed cake. Spring themed because I used Spring colors. I decided to gives stripes another try. I tried them for the first time back in October for a Halloween themed cake. They were not pretty though! But, I figured since it was a Halloween cake the smudged stripes went with the holiday.

I decided to keep the cake small so I made a two-tier 6-inch cake. I made a cookies and cream cake by preparing a box of white cake mix – instead of using just egg whites though I used the whole egg – and then folded in a cup of Oreo cookie crumbs. To make the crumbs, I placed about 15 Oreos in a Ziploc bag and then used a rolling pin to crush the cookies. I actually have a whole post dedicated to making a Cookies and Cream Cake if you want the specific directions. After baking, cooling and filling (with additional Oreo crumbs) the cake I crumb coated it and then finished frosting it. Then using a cake comb I created stripes on the cake. I then placed it in the refrigerator overnight so the frosting could set (i.e. harden). You cannot create stripes on a cake that has just been frosted. You need the base frosting to be hard so you don’t scrape it completely off when smoothing the stripes.

Once my cake was ready I divided my remaining frosting into three and tinted them – one pink, another yellow and the last one a teal color (I combined green and blue to make this color).

And then I started filling in the stripes. You need to fill them in generously to get a smooth look when smoothing the cake with a flat edge.

After smoothing the cake a few times and filling in any gaps in the frosting my stripes didn’t look that bad. I definitely need to practice them a few more times though.

I used the remaining tinted frosting to create a swirl border on top of the cake. I wasn’t too happy with the way it came out though because I forgot colors 101, mixing certain colors together will create new ones. So I had hints of orange and purple in the border. Oh well!

Be safe, stay healthy, stay home and bake!

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake

I’ve mentioned it quite a few times before that one of my favorite things about going apple picking is getting freshly made apple cider doughnuts. I posted about a baked version last year. And while those were good, there is something about a fried doughnut that just can’t be topped. If you are not sure about frying doughnuts (I tried once and it was a fail) check out my post for Apple Cider Fritters. They’re bite size and so good you may end up guilty of eating one too many. So, when I came across a recipe for a twist on my favorite doughnuts in a cake form (including a cinnamon sugar topping) I knew I had to try it. Well, at first I was going to pass on it. I try to stick with recipes that require ingredients that I have on hand or that I know I will use again. So, when I saw that this recipe included wheat flour as one of the ingredients I was a tad bit skeptical. I know, wheat flour isn’t something that is all that odd, but, there aren’t many recipes I come across that require it so I was a bit concerned that it would end up just sitting in my cabinet or refrigerator indefinitely. I also wondered why both? Which of course required a Google search. And what I learned is that using a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flour produces a cake that is lighter in texture and rises better. And by mixing the two you also get the added benefits of more fiber and nutrients thanks to the whole wheat.

So, a slightly funny story while making this cake. One of the ingredients is unsweetened applesauce. I had a jar of it in my refrigerator from another recipe but I never actually checked it until it was time to add it to the batter. So, I had all of my wet ingredients in a bowl and was about to add in the applesauce when I saw there was mold on top of it. Okay, not so funny. I didn’t bother to check it since it wasn’t set to expire until next year. But, this will definitely be a lesson to me to check those odd ball ingredients just in case. This is a good example of what I was saying before, buying ingredients that will sit without being used for a while. I ended up covering the ingredients with a piece of plastic wrap and ran out to the store to buy a new jar of applesauce. Hopefully the same thing won’t happen to this one. I guess I better come up with recipes for whole wheat flour and applesauce ASAP.

Letting the ingredients sit for a bit of time didn’t have any affect on the final cake. It did somehow separate while baking, but, I doubt it was because of the time my ingredients were left sitting. If you are having trouble seeing it in the picture below it’s on the right-hand side.

After adding a cinnamon sugar coating to the cake and letting it cool completely it was time to slice in to the cake and enjoy a piece. It didn’t taste exactly like my favorite apple cider doughnuts, but, it was just as good.

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 cup apple cider

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray or coat with butter and flour.

In a large bowl whisk together both flours along with the baking powder, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, apple cider, olive oil, applesauce, vanilla and eggs. Once well blended add to the flour mixture and whisk both mixtures together until well combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack set over a large bowl or rimmed baking sheet to cool for 15 minutes. While the cake is cooling mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon and melt the butter.

Invert the cake onto the wire rack. Brush sections of the cake with melted butter and the sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Continue doing this until the entire cake is coated with the butter and cinnamon sugar. Let the cake cool completely before serving.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Monday has become my day for sharing new pumpkin recipes with you. That’s not a bad way to kick off the week if you ask me. Today’s recipe is a Pumpkin Cinnamon Pudding Cake. It’s a nice light dessert that creates its own sauce for drizzling while baking. I found the recipe during a recent cleaning/organizing frenzy. I went through a bunch of holiday baking magazines I had sitting on a bookshelf for quite some time (some for almost 10 years.) I had flagged recipes in each of them and then never made them. I found quite a few pumpkin recipes, some cookie recipes, and some other goodies that I am hoping to try out sooner rather than later.

You may be wondering how exactly this cake created its own sauce. Well, after making the batter for the cake I spread it into an 8x8x2-inch baking pan I sprayed with baking spray and then sprinkled the top with brown sugar and cinnamon. Next, I poured a mixture of boiling water and butter over the top of the cake prior to baking. While baking the water combines with the sugar and cinnamon to create a sauce under the cake. You may be tempted to reduce the amount of brown sugar you sprinkle over the cake thinking a cup is too much (I did!), but, the end result isn’t overly-sweet. Since the cake itself isn’t that sweet it offers a perfect balance for the cake.

After baking the cake in a 350 F preheated oven for about 35 minutes I let the cake cool on a wire rack before enjoying.

And the best way to enjoy this cake is warm with the sauce drizzled on top with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream on the side. I made the mistake of letting the cake cool for too long before enjoying a piece so I placed it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm it up and then added my ice cream.

If you are really in a pumpkin mood you could also make my No Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream from last week to go along with this cake. The best part, you can try both recipes with just 1 can of pumpkin puree.

 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 3/4 cups light brown sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray and 8x8x2-inch square pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the 1/4 cup butter and 3/4 cup of the brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, pumpkin puree and vanilla and continue beating until the mixture become light and fluffy again. Add the flour and stir with a spoon until just combined. Transfer the mixture to prepared pan and spread it into an even layer with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the batter and then sprinkle the remaining cinnamon over the sugar.

In a measuring cup combine the boiling water with the 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until the butter is melted. Pour this over the batter in the pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes and then spoon the cake into a bowl and top with vanilla ice cream and drizzle the syrup from the pan over it.

Recipe from Mixing Bowl Magazine from Fall/Winter 2010

New York Knicks Themed Cake

I recently got a request for a basketball themed birthday cake, specifically a New York Knicks themed one. The recipient sent me two pictures of what they wanted… One was simply a round cake with the Knicks logo on top and the other was a jersey themed cake. I opted to go with the latter.

At first I thought I would have to carve the cake on the sides and on the top to replicate the armholes and neck hole, but, after going through some pics on Pinterest and envisioning the cake in my head I realized I wouldn’t have to. Which was a good thing, I have never carved a cake before and I don’t think the first time I attempt it should be for someone’s birthday cake.

To make things simple I opted to use a box cake mix for the cake. While the directions on the box said one would suffice to make a 9×13-inch sheet cake I wanted to be sure the cake would have some height to it so I opted to use one and a half boxes of mix. I thought using two full boxes would be too much and the cake might overflow while baking and I also had a Halloween theme I wanted to try with the cupcakes – that’s coming in a later post. I prepped the cake mixes per the directions in two separate bowls and then with one I filled the cavities of a 12-cup muffin tin with a 1/4 cup of batter in each. I then poured the remaining batter into the bowl with the full amount and folded the two together before pouring it into a 9×13-inch pan I sprayed with baking spray. Once the cake was done I let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack to cool completely . Once it was cool I wrapped it in plastic wrap and refrigerated it overnight.

And while I used a box cake mix for the cake, I opted to make the frosting from scratch. I made a simple vanilla frosting that I planned to use for both the cake and cupcakes. After torting the cake, I placed the cut side down on a cake board and spread a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides. Then it was time to decorate. I opted to decorate the cake as the home jersey for the Knicks in white. Initially I was thinking of decorating it by using fondant paneling as I did with the YouTube themed cake I made earlier this year. And I even started doing so by cutting strips of white fondant and placing them on the sides of the cake. But, when it came to placing the top piece on I decided to cut it a little longer and wider than what I needed. And I am actually happy I did so. When you looked at the cake along the sides it almost looked like the jersey was draped and it gave the cake nice round edge.

After getting the white fondant done it was time to decorate with the blue and orange fondant to create the armholes and neck hole. At one point I was thinking of doing this part with frosting, but, I am happy I nixed that idea. The fondant gave it a much cleaner look and it was easier to correct any mistakes in measuring and placing. I rolled the fondant into strips and then cut them to form the curves. I let the pieces sit on the cake for a few minutes so they could take on curved shape while drying out a little to make it easier to adhere them to the cake with a dab of water. Next, I added the last name, which was a little tricky since I had limited space for all of the letters, but, I was able to make it work. At this point I took a break from decorating and placed the cake in the refrigerator to continue working on it the next day.

To create the numbers for the cake I purchased Wilton fondant molds. At first I had no clue how to use them. I knew I couldn’t use them as regular cookie cutters but I tried to anyway and it was a fail. I had a feeling that I would have to get the fondant into the crevice and then freeze it, but, just to be sure I did a quick Google search and my suspicions were correct. So, I pressed small amounts of fondant into the crevices and then placed the molds in the freezer for about a half hour. Once the fondant had frozen it was easy to remove it from the molds and I had a perfect 4 and 0.

Now, to create the basketball on the cake I got pretty creative. I could have just done it with a mound of frosting, or shaped one of the cupcakes I made, but, while at the craft store picking up supplies for the cake I though why not cut a Styrofoam ball in half to create the perfect round shape. I was pretty sure I had Styrofoam balls at home from other craft projects, but, I wandered over to the aisle anyway and found something even better, a half round ball Styrofoam that I wouldn’t have to cut.

I began decorating it by creating the lines on the basketball. I tinted chocolate frosting with black food coloring (it’s much quicker and easier than using vanilla frosting) and simply piped the lines onto the Styrofoam. Next, I tinted about a cup of vanilla frosting with copper gel food coloring and using a small star tip I filled in the Styrofoam ball between the black lines with small stars. I decorated it on wax paper and then placed it in the fridge for an hour or so so the frosting could firm up before transferring it onto the cake.

So, I had the numbers on the cake and the basketball, but, I felt like it needed something more..

To finish the cake I added the New York Knicks logo to the top. I could have been super creative and made it myself using fondant, but, I made it myself by printing it off the internet and then cutting it out. I definitely think that was the finishing piece the cake needed.

Everyone loved it and can I just say, there I something that is so delicious and comforting about a simple yellow cake.

 

A Classic Pound Cake

You may or may not have noticed that I recently streamlined my category groups. I realized that I had too many and that some of the categories only had one or two posts under them. So, I took some time to clean it up. Which meant pretty much re-categorizing about half of my posts. While doing so I noticed how my picture quality has improved since I started blogging. Not to say that they are anywhere near perfect now, but, I have definitely gotten better from the beginning in terms of background and lighting.  It also gave me the chance to see some of the baked goods I have shared with you – some that I can’t believe I haven’t made again and others that tasted good but I am sure I won’t be making again. This all led me to realizing that there was one recipe I haven’t shared… my go-to pound cake recipe. I have been making this recipe for a few years now. I actually posted an almond variation of the recipe a few years ago and today I am finally posting the original recipe.

This cake is super simple to make, moist, delicious and will be sure to please all palates. You can’t beat that!

And while it’s delicious on its own, adding fresh whipped cream (and fresh berries when they are in season) is a nice addition. Since its Fall I decided to whip up pumpkin spice whipped cream to go along with it. I’ve shared my recipe below, but if you have a favorite whipped cream recipe you swear by simply add in a teaspoon or two of pumpkin pie spice to give it a nice twist.

 

Classic Pound Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 8oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 eggs

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the flour and baking powder and set aside.

Using a handheld mixer cream together the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until well blended. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. With the mixer on low gradually add in the flour mixture until incorporated.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for about an hour or until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting it on a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Kraft

 

Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream

  • Servings: About 2 cups
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Ingredients:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Place the beaters of a handheld mixer and a metal in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.

Place the whipping cream, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract in the chilled bowl and beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat. Refrigerate until ready to use.