Pumpkin Spice Latte Bundt Cake

Are you one of those people who counts down the days until Starbucks brings back their Pumpkin Spice Latte for the Fall? Or, are you like me? You’re not a coffee drinker, but, tend to order at least one during the season because you’re into pumpkin and the taste isn’t that bad even though it is coffee. Either way, I have the dessert for you today to get your pumpkin spice latte fix without all the caffeine and you don’t have to wait for it to cool down to truly enjoy it. A Pumpkin Spice Latte Bundt Cake.

While you do need two different batters to get the pumpkin spice and latte portions of the cake, you don’t start out by making two separate ones. You start off by making the pumpkin spice one, dividing it in half and adding an espresso mixture and cocoa powder to one of them.

Next, the fun, and depending on how you do it the messy part. Initially when I tried this recipe I tried to halve it to make a loaf sized cake. Something went wrong and while it tasted okay, the texture was a little weird. It was kind of rubbery. When I added the batter to the pan I used two cookie scoops to alternate adding it in. I think I was low on patience that day because it felt like it was taking forever. So, the next time I made the recipe, per the instructions and used a Bundt pan I decided to add the batters to piping bags. Well, instead of using 16-inch ones, I opted to use 12-inch ones. Which were too small so as I was piping the batter into the Bundt pan it was overflowing a bit from the top of the bags. In the end though, very little batter was lost. Once I was done piping all the batter into the pan I tapped it on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and to make sure the batter had incorporated together and settled.

I baked it in a 350 F preheated oven for about 40 minutes and after letting the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes I inverted it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once it was cooled, it was time to enjoy a slice. And even though it was a bit of a mess to get the batters into the pan the cake did end up with a nice pattern.  And yes, the taste is very on point with your traditional Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons instant espresso

3/4 cup evaporated milk

2 1/3 cups cake flour*

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin

2 eggs

2 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder

*To make my own cake flour, I used 2 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour, removed 4 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of the flour and replaced it with the same amount of cornstarch. After whisking it together I then sifted it to make sure it was well combined. For future reference, when a recipe calls for cake flour, you can simply use all-purpose flour and remove 2 tablespoons per cup of flour and replace it with cornstarch. Whisk the two together and then sift.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray, or grease with butter and lightly coat with flour.

In a small bowl whisk together the instant espresso and 1 tablespoon of the evaporated milk, until the expresso has dissolved.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice & Kosher salt.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the pumpkin, eggs, egg whites, vanilla extract and oil. Beat on low until combined.

With the mixer on low, add the in the flour mixture in three parts alternating with the remaining evaporated milk.

Divide the batter in half. In one half add in the espresso mixture and the unsweetened cocoa powder. Fold the batter until the expresso mixture and cocoa powder is incorporated into it and no streaks of either remain.  

Using two cookie scoops, two large spoons, or two piping bags, alternate adding the batter to the prepared Bundt pan. Once all the batter has been added, tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles and to ensure the batter is well incorporated.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, before inverting and letting the cake cool completely.

Slice and enjoy.

Recipe from Better Homes & Garden

Apple Pie Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Fall Y’all! While I normally welcome my favorite season with a pumpkin dessert, I decided to switch it up this year with an apple one, well sort of. It’s a spice cake with an apple pie filling topped with cream cheese frosting. You get all the Fall feels with this cake… the warm spices – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves – from the spice cake, the deliciousness of apple pie and you can never go wrong with cream cheese frosting!

To start I made the spice cake. I whisked together the dry ingredients and then beat the wet ingredients together and then incorporated both until it was just combined. To make sure I don’t overmix my batter I normally use a hand mixer and beat everything for about 30 seconds to a minute and then finish mixing everything with a rubber spatula. Once the batter was ready, I divided it among two 8-inch pans that I sprayed with baking spray and baked the cakes for about 40 minutes. After letting them cool in the pan for a few minutes I transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely. I always like to make my cakes a day or two in advance of assembling them so I wrapped them in plastic wrap and refrigerated them until I was ready to use them.

For the apple filling you can either make it a day ahead or if you plan on making it the day you intend to use it, just make sure to let it cool completely. I opted to use Granny Smith apples since these are one of the best apples for baking and can be found at pretty much any supermarket. Since you are cooking the apples you want to make sure you choose a variety that won’t get too mushy after cooking. The Granny Smith apples held up well after being boiled and simmered, they were tender but still firm.   

Next, I made the cream cheese frosting. I let my butter come to room temperature and then took my cream cheese out for only about five minutes. I don’t like using cream cheese that is too warm because I find that the frosting gets too soft then. I added the butter and cream cheese to the bowl of my stand mixer and beat it on low for a minute or two to incorporate them. I then sifted 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar right into the bowl, beat it on medium for about 30 seconds to blend it all together. And then sifted in another 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and beat it on medium-high speed until the frosting was light and fluffy. Finally, I added in vanilla extract and beat everything on high for 30 seconds. I did find that my frosting was a little soft so I refrigerated it for a few minutes before using.

With all my components ready to go it was time to assemble my cake. I began by leveling the cakes. On the bottom cake, I spread a thin layer of frosting on it and then piped a dam around the perimeter of the cake so the apple filling wouldn’t “escape.”

I’ll admit that I didn’t pipe my dam perfectly, but, it did the trick and none of the apple filling escaped when I topped it with the other cake layer and finished frosting and decorating it!

Apple Pie Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the Cake:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoons ginger

3/4 teaspoons nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup sour cream

4 eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Apple Pie Filling:

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups water

For the Frosting:

2 8 oz. packages cream cheese

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray two 8-inch round pans with baking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves and set aside.

In a large, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and both sugars together until smooth. Add in the sour cream and continue beating until well incorporated. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beat well after each addition, and finally the vanilla extract.

On low speed beat in the dry ingredients until just combined.

Divide the batter among the two prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then remove from the pans and place on the wire rack to cool completely.

For the Apple Filling: Toss the apples in the lemon juice and set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine both sugars, the cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine and then add in the water and stir once again to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the apples and bring to boil once again. Lower the heat to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and let the apples cool completely before using. Can make a day ahead and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Frosting: Using a stand mixer beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed to incorporate. Add in 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar to mixture and beat on medium for 30 seconds, add the remaining 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and beat on medium-speed until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat on high speed for 30 seconds. Refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.

To assemble the cake: Level the cake layers if necessary. Lightly frost the top of the bottom layer. Fill a piping bag with the frosting and pipe a dam around the bottom layer (a ring of frosting around the perimeter of the cake). It may be necessary to pipe two layers of the frosting. Fill with the apple mixture and top with the other cake. Crumb coat the cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes (place the remaining frosting in the refrigerator during this time as well). Finish frosting the cake and decorate as desired.

Recipe first published on Bead Yarn & Spatula

Salted Caramel Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a great dessert to make during the summer months since you don’t need to turn on your oven. While traditional tiramisu is delicious, variations offer a nice twist and a melding of flavors. I’ve made a Pumpkin version, a White Chocolate Blackberry version and today I am sharing with a Salted Caramel version.

I always like to look at the back of my wrappers, packages and so forth when I buy things. You never know what delicious recipe you may come across. That’s exactly where I found this recipe. It was on the back of a package of ladyfingers I bought.

I started by prepping all the ingredients to assemble the tiramisu. First, I made the salted caramel. I must say, I have made caramel before and had more failures than successes and I was able to ace this salted caramel on my first try. So, this will definitely be my go-to when a recipe calls for caramel, I will just omit the salt. While the caramel cooled, I made instant espresso and allowed it to cool before whisking in Kahlua and I beat together mascarpone cheese along with heavy cream.

Then it was time to start assembling. I dipped 12 ladyfingers in the espresso mixture and then arranged them in an 8 x 8 baking dish and drizzled the top with a few tablespoons of the salted caramel.

I then spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top and then repeated the layers.

And finally, I dusted the top with cocoa powder before covering and refrigerating it for at least 4 hours before serving.  And I must say, this may be my favorite variation of tiramisu I have made to date.

Salted Caramel Tiramisu

For the salted caramel:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

For the Tiramisu:

1/4 cup sugar

8oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups brewed instant espresso, cooled

3 tablespoons Kahlua

24 Ladyfingers

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

Directions:

For the caramel: Clip a candy thermometer to a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and water to the saucepan and let simmer for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves over medium-low heat. Increase the heat to medium and bring the mixture to boil. Cook undisturbed until the temperature on the candy thermometer reaches 350 F.

Decrease the heat to low and slowly whisk in the heavy cream and cook for an additional 2 minutes until smooth, whisking constantly.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter and salt. Allow the caramel to cool for 25 minutes before using.

For the tiramisu:  In a large bowl combine the sugar, mascarpone cheese and heavy cream. Using a hand mixer on medium-high speed beat the mixture until soft peaks form.

In a medium bowl stir together the cooled espresso and Kahlua. Dip half of the lady fingers in the mixture and arrange them in an even layer in an 8-inch square baking dish.

Drizzle the arranged ladyfingers with 3 tablespoons of the cooled salted caramel. Top with half of the mascarpone mixture.

Repeat the layers one more time. Store the leftover salted caramel in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Dust the top of the final layer of the mascarpone mixture with the cocoa powder. Cover with a piece of wax paper and aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Red White & Blue Roll Cake

Are you looking for something fun to bake for the 4th of July? A lot of the fun desserts you may come across may involve using berries to create a flag design, which is always delicious and inventive, but why not try something a little different. How about a Red White & Blue Roll Cake?

All you’ll need is a white cake mix, eggs, water, oil and sour cream. It’s pretty much just like making a box cake except you’ll need more eggs and the sour cream. You’ll also need something for the filling. I made a marshmallow whipped cream for my filling, but, you could use store bought vanilla frosting or any other flavor you choose. You could also do a fruit compote.

 After making the batter I divided it in three (about 1 1/3 cups each) and tinted two of them blue and red respectively and left the third one untinted.

Next, I transferred the batters to pastry bags – I used 16-inch ones –   and snipped off the ends of each. I didn’t cut the holes too big so I could control the amount of batter I piped. If your hole is too big you might end up with a big mess while piping. I then started piping the batter into a 12×18 inch baking sheet I lined with parchment paper and sprayed with baking spray. You could also use two smaller baking sheets as well. I was concerned that I would run out of batter before I was done piping, so I made my stripes a bit thin. Once I was done though, I still had some batter left over so I went back and filled in any gaps I had.

I then baked the cake in a 350 preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

While the cake was baking I laid out a clean kitchen towel on my counter and dusted it with confectioners’ sugar. Once the cake was done, I immediately flipped it onto the towel. I removed the parchment paper and using the towel I rolled the cake from short end to short end. I placed it on a wire rack and let it cool for 30 minutes. And as the cake was cooled I made the marshmallow whipped cream for the filling.

Once the cake was cooled I unrolled it (and yes it did break a little), frosted it and then rerolled it again. I refrigerated it for a few hours before slicing and enjoying.

Red White & Blue Roll Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1 box white cake mix

6 large eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup water

1/4 vegetable oil

Red & Blue food coloring

For the Filling:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 7oz. jar marshmallow crème

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 12×18 baking sheet with baking spray, line with parchment paper and then spray the parchment paper with baking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the eggs on medium until thick and pale (about 6 minutes). Add in the cake mix, sour cream, water and oil and beat on low for 30 seconds and then medium for 1-2 minutes until the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter in three, about 1 1/3 cups each. Leave one untinted and tint the other two blue and red respectively. Transfer the batter to pastry bags or resealable plastic bags. Cut a small opening in the bags and pipe the batter diagonally into the prepared pan.

Once done piping tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. If you have batter left-over you can use it to fill any gaps.

Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.

While the cake is in the oven, lay out a clean dish towel and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Once the cake is done, flip it out on the prepared towel. Remove the parchment paper and roll the cake from short end to short end. Roll the towel up with the cake. This will prevent the cake from sticking to itself. Place on a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes.

While the cake is cooling make the filling. In a chilled bowl beat the heavy whipping cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add in the marshmallow crème and vanilla extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Carefully unroll the cake and spread the filling on top. Re-roll the cake, this time without the towel. Refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing and serving.

Marbled Pound Cake

If you can’t choose between a vanilla or chocolate cake, then a marbled cake is for you! And if you are thinking that it might be double the work because you have to make to separate batters that’s not the case at all. With today’s recipe I started off by making the vanilla batter and then dividing it in half and adding cocoa powder to one of them.

Once I had the two batters ready it was time to fill my prepared pan. I used a cookie scoop and a 1/4 cup measuring cup to drop alternating scoops of the vanilla and chocolate batter in the pan to get the marble effect.

After tapping the pan a few times on my counter to release any air bubbles I used a small off-set spatula to smooth the top of the cake. I then placed it on baking sheet and baked it in a 325 F preheated oven for 70 minutes.

After letting the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, I transferred it to a wire rack to cool completely.  

And then it was time to slice it. And as cheesy as it sounds, I get a slight tinge of excitement when I bake a cake that is supposed to have a surprise inside or look a certain way and it works. The joys of baking! As you can see, the marble look was just about perfect with this loaf cake. Even more exciting though, was how delicious the cake was. I used to love the Marble Loaf Cake from Entenmann’s, but I feel like they changed their recipe because it doesn’t take like how I remember. Thankfully I have a replacement now that I can make myself.

I actually ended up baking two loaves and decided to slice the second one and freeze it. This is the perfect type of cake to freeze, it has no frosting and is moist but dense enough to withstand being frozen and thawed. I wrapped each of the slices in plastic wrap and then placed all of them in a resealable bag in my freezer. When I am ready to eat a slice, I will leave it out on my counter for a few hours so it can defrost.

Marbled Pound Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1/4 cup cake flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

3 eggs, at room temperature

1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature*

3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

*To make your own combine 1/4 cup whole milk with 1 teaspoon white vinegar. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes then stir to combine.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a loaf pan with baking spray, or, lightly grease with butter and then coat with flour.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cake flour and salt, set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter of medium-high speed until creamy.

With the mixer on low add in the sugar. Continue mixing on low until the butter and sugar are incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until the mixture has become light and fluffy (about 5 minutes.) Scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition until just combined.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts alternating with the buttermilk.

Divide the batter in half and add in the cocoa powder to one half. Mixing well to incorporate it evenly among the batter.

Using a 2 ice cream scoops (or 2 1/4 cup measuring cups, or 1 of each) alternate scoops of the vanilla and chocolate batter into the prepared loaf pan. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles and using a small off-set spatula or butter knife smooth the top of the cake.

Place the loaf pan on a baking sheet and baked in the preheated oven until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 70 minutes.

Let the cake cook in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from pan and let cool completely before slicing.

Recipe from Zoe Francois

Mascarpone Cake

After making the Tiramisu Cheesecake I posted two weeks ago I still had about a cup of mascarpone cheese left. While I could have used it to spread on toast or crackers, I decided to bake something else with it. I came across a recipe for a Mascarpone Cake that sounded simple and delicious, so I decided to give it a try.

This is one of those recipes that most people love… It comes together in one bowl. No need for sifting or mixing your dry ingredients in one bowl and then combining them with your wet ones in another. You simply mix all of your wet ingredients first and then add the dry ones at the end. And after baking and cooling it’s time to enjoy.

This cake tasted just as the recipe sounded… delicious. It was reminiscent of a pound cake for me, just not as a dense. And not sweet at all. If you do you need a bit for sweetness to it, you can follow the original recipe and dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar once it has completely cooled.

Mascarpone Cake

Ingredients:

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a tube pan with baking spray (or coat with butter and lightly dust with flour) and set aside.

In a large bowl beat together the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, mascarpone cheese and oil and continue beating until combined. Add the flour and baking powder and beat until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared ban and 30-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe from An Italian In My Kitchen

Blackberry Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Today I am sharing the cake I made for Easter. I wanted to make something Spring-y this year and something that wasn’t the typical yellow or chocolate cake. Not that there is anything wrong with those. You can never go wrong with a classic! After searching around the internet for some ideas I settled on a Lemon cake with a Blackberry filling and Cream Cheese Frosting. I used to love lemon flavored desserts and then I went thru a phase where I just didn’t care for them. I must have eaten a lemon dessert that rubbed my taste buds the wrong way. Thankfully this lemon cake was just the right amount of lemon without being overpowering or sweet.

Now, this cake was almost a complete failure!  I made my blackberry filling a few days before and I followed a recipe I found online that seemed good but turned out to be overly sweet and was more syrup-like than a cake filling. I soon realized that the amount of sugar that the recipe called for was more so for a pie filling that also required a lot more blackberries than I was using. Now some people have that much of a sweet tooth but not me. Thankfully I bought two packages of blackberries in case of a mishap. The second time I added less sugar and I didn’t strain the blackberry mixture to remove the seeds. I did that the first time and I think that contributed to it being more of a syrup as well.  And once I refrigerated the mixture it was the perfect consistency to fill my cake.

And the first cake I made was a fail as well. I followed a recipe that called for altering a box cake mix and I have done this before with no issues. Well, this time my cake looked more like a pancake. Or an inflated pancake I should say. And even though I added in a good amount of lemon zest and fresh lemon juice my cake just tasted sweet with barely any lemon flavor. Granted the recipe I was following did call for a lemon box cake and I used a white box cake because I was concerned that the lemon would taste a bit artificial but that doesn’t explain why my cake had no height. As it was cooling on my kitchen counter, I was staring at it from my couch in my living room and I was trying to figure out how to get more height out of it. Ultimately, I decided to toss it and just bake a lemon cake from scratch.

After baking and cooking the cake, I wrapped the layers in plastic wrap and refrigerated it overnight. After whipping up a batch of cream cheese frosting it was time to assemble the cake. I spread a thin layer of frosting over one of the layers of the cake and then piped a dam around the cake and filled it with the blackberry filling.

Next, I topped it with the other lemon cake layer, crumb coated it and finally frosted and decorated the cake.

The components of this cake worked well together. If you are not a fan of blackberries you could use raspberries instead and if you want to up the lemon flavor you can add lemon extract to the frosting as well.

Blackberry Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

For the lemon cake:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 3/4 cups cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 1/2 cup sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Zest from 1 lemon

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup whole milk

For the blackberry filling:

6oz. fresh blackberries

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

For the cream cheese frosting:

2 8oz. blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray or coat with butter and lightly dust with flour. Set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.

Using a hand mixer or electric stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice. The batter may appear to break apart at this point. It will come together once the flour is added in. With the mixer on low, add the flour in three parts, alternating with the milk. Continue mixing until the ingredients are just incorporated.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then remove from the pan and let cool completely on wire racks.

For the blackberry Filling:

In a small bowl combine the water and cornstarch and set aside.

In a small saucepan combine the blackberries and sugar over medium heat. Stir until the blackberries begin to breakdown and the sugar has melted and it turns into a sauce and begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and add in the cornstarch mixture. Stir to combine.

Transfer to a small container, with a lid, and stir in the lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the cream cheese frosting:

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until well incorporated. Add in the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds.

To assemble the cake:

If necessary, torte the lemon cake layers. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese frosting over one of the layers. Transfer about a cup of the frosting to a piping bag and snip off the end and pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of the layer with the frosting. Fill in with the blackberry filling. Top with the other cake and spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake (crumb coat). Refrigerate for 15 minutes and then finish frosting the cake as desired.

Recipe for the Lemon Cake from Food Network

Passion Fruit & Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Can you believe that Easter is just a little over a week away? Where is the time going? Today’s cake would be perfect for your Easter dessert. Coconut is a great Spring flavor and passion fruit is a flavor that’s not too common but pairs well with coconut. If passion fruit isn’t your thing you could try a key lime curd instead. Coconut and lime pairs together deliciously.

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To begin, I made the passion fruit curd. I wanted to make sure that it would thicken enough so I made it two days before assembling the cake. I have never seen passion fruit at any of the supermarkets I go to, so I opted to buy frozen passion fruit pulp  and let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight. If you are thinking of using passion fruit juice, I would just advise on using one that is 100% passion fruit juice, not a blend of other fruits. I began by combining egg yolks, passion fruit juice, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stirred it until the sugar dissolved and the mixture was thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Since it can sometimes be a little difficult to determine this with the spoon I am stirring with I normally take a small spoon and run the back of it in the mixture to make sure it is thick enough. Once it was, I removed the saucepan from the heat and added in unsalted butter that I cut into chunks, stirring between each addition to make sure the butter was completely melted. I then strained the curd through a fine mesh sieve two times before placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of it and refrigerating it until I was ready to use. A quick tip, the second time I strained the curd I did so into the container I was planning on refrigerating the curd in.

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Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take pictures while making the cake layers. I intended to take pictures of them once they were cooled and I was ready to use them, but I was running short on time. The weekend I made this week I decided was also a good weekend to finally paint my hallway. I had been intending to do it ever since I finished my living room remodel, but the paint cans just sat on the floor with me walking by them everyday and the task on my to-do list every week. Well, the paint cans just started to annoy me, and I didn’t have anything to do so I went ahead and started to paint. Initially I was going to prime beforehand, but I had a lot less primer than I thought and since the paint I was using was paint and primer combined I decided to just use that. Well, I ended up needing a another can of paint. And painting the second coat took a lot longer than I was anticipating so my cake suffered. I shouldn’t say suffered, but it didn’t get the full attention that I was planning on giving it! But back to the cake… I used a recipe that I have used in the past for coconut cupcakes and just baked the batter in two 8-inch cake rounds.

After making a batch of cream cheese frosting it was time to assemble the cake. I sliced the small dome that each of the cakes had to flatten them and then piped a cream cheese border around one of the cakes to create a dam for the curd. I then filled the cake with the curd and placed the other round on top. I crumb coated the cake and after refrigerating for about 20 minutes I finished frosting the cake. I love cream cheese frosting, but I always find that it’s not the easiest to work with when it comes to piping. The cream cheese really makes the frosting soft, so I popped it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before filling a piping bag fitted with a large tip to pipe the rope border around the cake. It didn’t come out as neat as I liked but it was all good. I then sprinkled the top and sides of the cake with coconut and it was good to go. Note to self, don’t ever plan on painting and making a cake on the same day!

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So, the flavors of the cake – passion fruit, coconut, and cream cheese frosting – worked well together. If you want to up the coconut flavor in the cake, you can substitute coconut milk for the buttermilk. For this recipe you could use a cup of coconut milk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to get the same consistency as the buttermilk. And you could swap out the almond extract and use coconut extract instead. One more suggestion, I would slice this cake while it’s on the colder side. Once it gets too warm the passion fruit curd makes it difficult to get clean slices of the cake. You could always slice while the cake it’s cold and then let the slices come to room temperature before enjoying.

Passion Fruit & Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

For the Passion Fruit Curd:

1/2 cup passion fruit juice*

7 large egg yolks

1 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks

For the Coconut Cake:

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract**

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk***

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, plus more for decorating cake

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 8oz. blocks cream cheese, at room temperature

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

*I used frozen passion fruit pulp that I refrigerated overnight to defrost

**If you are not a fan of almond flavor you can reduce the amount or substitute with coconut extract

***To make my own buttermilk I combine 1 cup whole milk with 5 teaspoons of vinegar in a measuring cup and let it sit for 15 minutes until it thickens. You could also use a cup of unsweetened coconut milk with a tablespoon of vinegar.

Directions:

For the curd (make a day or two in advance to assembling the cake): In a medium saucepan combine the passion fruit juice, egg yolks and sugar. Over medium heat stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and add it the pinch of salt and the chunks of butter, one at a time. Stirring between addition to ensure the butter has melted before adding an addition piece. Strain through a fine mesh sieve 2 times. Place in a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray, or grease and lightly dust with flour. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (you could also use a hand mixer) using the paddle attachment cream together the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In three parts, add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, alternating between each. Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the shredded coconut and divide the batter between the two prepared pans.

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

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer (you could use a hand mixer) using the paddle attachment cream together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract on medium speed. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

To assemble the cake: If necessary, torte the cakes. Transfer some of the frosting to a piping bag with the end snipped off and pipe around the perimeter of the cake to create a dam. Fill the cake with the passion fruit curd and top with the other cake. Frost the cake with a crumb coat and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Use remaining frosting to finish frosting the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Passion Fruit Curd Recipe from Garlic and Zest

Coconut Cake Recipe from Food Network

Chocolate Comfort Cake

Similar to the Rum Cake I posted last month, this Chocolate Comfort Cake was made by doctoring a box cake mix. While some frown upon using a box cake mix there are some advantages to doing so, especially when you are doctoring them. They can save you time and by having all of the dry ingredients pre-measured and combined it can ensure a foolproof cake.

So, how can you doctor a cake mix? Add an extra egg for a cake that is richer. Swap out the water with milk or buttermilk, or with coffee for a chocolate cake. Add in cream of coconut or orange zest to a white cake, or a flavored extract. All of these will alter the flavor and texture of the cake to make it more homemade.

Using a dark chocolate cake mix I added in sour cream, freshly brewed coffee and a package of chocolate pudding mix to spruce it up.

Once the batter was prepped I poured it into a Bundt pan I sprayed with baking spray.

And after baking for about 55 minutes it was ready. I was concerned that the batter would overflow while baking but thankfully it didn’t.

After letting it cool in the pan for a few minutes I inverted it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled it was time to enjoy a slice and this is definitely a comfort cake. Thanks to the add-ins it didn’t taste like a box cake at all.

 

Chocolate Comfort Cake

Ingredients:

1 package Dark Chocolate cake mix

1 small package of chocolate pudding mix

4 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

3/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup brewed coffee

1/2 cup sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray (or grease with butter and lightly coat with cocoa powder) and set aside.

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and beat with a hand mixer on low speed for 30 seconds and then on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack completely.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Hidden Heart Bundt Cake

Two years ago, I made my first Hidden Heart Cake in a loaf pan. This year, I decided to make another one, but, with a small twist. Instead of a loaf pan I decided to make it in a Bundt pan. I also made it more festive for Valentine’s Day by drizzling it with chocolate ganache and topping it with Valentine’s Day themed sprinkles.

To start I had to make a pink cake for the hearts. After prepping a mix of white cake per the box directions I tinted it pink. I then poured it into a Bundt pan that I sprayed with baking spray. Once it was done, I let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, I wrapped it in plastic wrap and refrigerated it overnight. It’s easier and cleaner to cut up a cold cake. I will point out that I was a bit concerned after making this first cake. It didn’t bake up with a lot of height so I was worries that the chocolate cake wouldn’t be able to completely cover the hearts, but, after a little more thinking I realized it shouldn’t be a problem since the hearts would be taking up some of the pan so the chocolate cake would bake up higher.

The following morning, I cut the cake into slices (about 2-inches each) and then using a 2-inch heart cookie cutter I cut hearts from those slices. If you like making cake pops, you could use the leftover cake to make some.

I then prepped a box of chocolate cake mix per the box directions. I poured some of the batter into the bottom of my Bundt pan that I once again sprayed with baking spray. I did this to ensure that the top of the hearts would be covered by the cake.

Next, I arranged the hearts in the pan upside down. Remember, Bundt cakes are baked upside down and then you invert them once they are done.

And finally, I poured the remaining cake batter into the pan making sure to cover the hearts and getting the batter on the sides of the hearts closer to the outside of the pan.

I baked the cake in a 350 F preheated oven for about 30 minutes. And once the cake had cooled in the pan for 15 minutes, I inverted it onto a wire rack to cool completely. You can see in this close-up shot that a little bit of the pink did peek through, but I knew I would be able to cover that with the chocolate ganache I was planning on pouring over the cake.

To make the ganache, I combined chocolate chips, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a microwave safe bowl and microwaved it for 35-second intervals, stirring between each, until the chocolate chips had melted, and the mixture was smooth. I wanted the ganache to be a little thicker before I poured it over the cake, so I refrigerated it for about 15-20 minutes, stirring it every five minutes.

Before pouring the ganache on the cake, I lined a baking sheet with wax paper and then placed the wire rack the cake was cooling on on top of the wax paper.

Once the ganache was thick enough, I drizzled it over the cake and sprinkled the ganache with Valentine’s Day sprinkles. I then placed the cake in the refrigerator for a few minutes so the ganache could set.

And then it was time to slice it and I happy to say that the cake came out perfectly. It tasted good and the hearts were distinguishable when the cake was sliced.

Hidden Heart Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1 box white cake mix, plus the ingredient to prepare the batter

1 box chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare the batter

Pink food coloring

 

For the Ganache:

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Valentine’s Day themed sprinkles

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 10-cup Bundt pan with baking spray, or grease with butter and dust with flour.

In a large bowl prepare the white cake mix per the directions on the box. Once prepared add in pink food coloring and stir to incorporate the color. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Cool the cake for 15 minutes in the pan and then invert on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight*.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. And prep the Bundt pan once again.

Remove the pink Bundt cake from the refrigerator and slice the cake into 2-inch thick slices. Using a 2-inch heart cookie cutter cut hearts from the slices. Set aside.

In a large bowl prep the chocolate cake mix per the box directions. Pour enough batter into the pan so there is about a 1/2-inch layer of cake batter on the bottom. Arrange the cut hearts upside down in the pan. They should fit in perfectly and be snugged next to one another. Pour the remaining batter over the hearts, and make sure to get it into the sides of the pan. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted towards the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cake has completely cooled make the ganache.

Combine all the ingredients for the ganache in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 35-second intervals, stirring between each internal. Once the chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is smooth let cool for a few minutes before placing in the refrigerator so the ganache can thicken up. Refrigerate for about 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Place a piece of wax paper on a large baking sheet and place the cake on the wire rack on top. Once the ganache is thick, drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle the cake with Valentine’s Day sprinkles and then place in the refrigerator for a few minutes so the ganache can set.

Slice and enjoy!

*It’s not necessary to refrigerate the cake overnight. You can slice the cake the same day you bake it once it’s cool. I just find it easier to work with the cake once it’s cold.