Bourbon Caramel Apple Upside Down Spice Cake

I’ve been willing Fall to get here for the past few weeks. I am sure I have mentioned it before, it’s my favorite season. Cooler weather, the leaves changing, baking without overheating my house, the list goes on and on. There are a few flavors synonymous with this time of year, mainly pumpkin and apples. And while I normally like to welcome Fall with a new pumpkin recipe, I decided to go with the apples this year for a Caramel Apple Bourbon Upside Down Spice Cake. A bit of a mouthful!

A little backstory on this cake. I got the idea from watching a Fall themed movie on Hallmark Channel back in the Spring. I wrote the idea on a post-it and finally revisited it a few weeks ago. And of course, there were a few fails before I finally ended up with a cake that looked and tasted delicious. My first cake collapsed in the middle. My cake tester led me astray! The cake was slightly undercooked in the middle and there was no saving it. The fail though led me to change the flavor of the cake so it was kind of a good thing. Initially I doctored a French vanilla cake mix and decided the flavor just wasn’t right, so I switched to a spice cake instead. That definitely screams Fall more so than French Vanilla. So, I bought a spice cake Mix and made a few tweaks to it. I also decided to bake the cake in a tube pan to ensure it would bake completely without drying out. Well, it still wasn’t quite right. I used heavy cream when I made my bourbon caramel sauce and I just didn’t like the way it looked after flipping the cake. And while the cake tasted good, I just wasn’t getting enough spice from it.

Thankfully my third attempt was a success! First, I decided to omit the heavy cream from my caramel sauce. Second, I went with a yellow cake mix and added in cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves (those yummy warm spices of the season) to really get a strong spice flavor. And third, after I poured the caramel and arranged the apples in the pan, I placed the pan in the refrigerator while I made the batter for the cake. This allowed the apples to set in the caramel so that they wouldn’t move when I poured the batter into the pan. This actually happened with my second attempt at this cake. I had arranged my apples in a nice design and they moved all around once I poured the batter in. I didn’t take any chances with my third attempt though. I spooned the batter into the pan just to be safe.

Just look at how the apples looked before I added the batter. I definitely wanted that look on top of my cake once it was done.

And thankfully since I made those tweaks my cake looked amazing once I flipped it out of the pan. YAY!!!

And even better, the taste and texture of the cake was spot on.

Happy Fall Y’all!

Bourbon Caramel Apple Upside Down Spice Cake

Ingredients:

For the Bourbon Caramel Apple:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup bourbon

2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch)

For the Spice Cake:

1 15.25 box of yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

3 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup buttermilk*, at room temperature

1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Make your own buttermilk by adding 4 teaspoons of vinegar to a measuring cup and then adding enough whole milk to make 3/4 cup. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature, or until the milk becomes thick and appears curdled.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a tube pan with baking spray and set aside. You could also use a Bundt pan.

For the Bourbon Caramel Sauce:

In a small saucepan combine the brown sugar and butter and melt over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is melted and combined remove from the heat and add the bourbon. Return to the heat for about a minute and stir to combine. Let cool slightly.

Pour the caramel sauce into the prepared pan and arrange the apple slices in the sauce making sure to overlap them.

While you make the cake batter refrigerate the pan with the apples and caramel sauce so the sauce can set. This will help the apples stay in place when you add the batter.

For the Spice Cake:

In a medium bowl whisk together the yellow cake mix with the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on low speed, beat the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla extract until combined. Using a fine mesh sieve (or a sifter) sift the cake mix with the spices over the buttermilk mixture and then beat with the hand mixer on medium speed until just combined.

Remove the pan from the refrigerator and spoon the batter over the apples. Give the pan a few gentle taps on the counter to remove any air bubbles and then bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes and then invert onto a cake platter or other rimmed dish. Let the cake to cool to room temperature before slicing and enjoying. It’s important to let the cake cool before slicing so the apples can set on the cake. If you slice it too soon the apples will slide off.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula

Chocolate Kahlua Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

My first attempt at making this cake was a fail. I settled on using a box cake mix as my starting point and doctoring it with additional ingredients besides the ones called for on the box. I must have added in a few too many ingredients because the cake had a weird texture – kind of rubbery – and the bottom of it had a dense appearance. And the flavor just wasn’t there. Thankfully on my second attempt the flavor and texture were spot on.

On my second attempt I kept things a bit simpler. Along with the eggs and oil measurements suggested on the box, I swapped the water for coffee and added in sour cream, Kahlua and vanilla extract. Adding the coffee helped to really enhance the chocolate flavor, as did the Kahlua. While box cake directions say to mix everything together at once, I opted to beat together all my ingredients except for the cake mix until they were well incorporated and then sifted the cake mix over the mixture and beat it in on low speed until it was just combined. More or less following the method of most cakes that are made completely from scratch.  

Once my cake layers were baked and cooled, I wrapped them in plastic wrap and refrigerated them overnight. I find that it’s easier to level and frost cold cake layers. The cakes are less likely to break apart and there’s much less crumb.

The next day I made the frosting. Contrary to my recipe directions below, I added all the ingredients for the frosting into my stand mixer at once. Either works. If you follow method, I suggest beating everything together on medium speed until the ingredients are incorporated and then raise the speed of your mixer to medium-high for at least 5 minutes to get the frosting light and fluffy. Don’t fret if the frosting appears to be curdled or separated. Just keep beating it, it will come together. I probably beat mine for just shy of 10 minutes. I made this frosting on a fairly warm day so it was a bit soft once it was done so I popped it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so it could firm up. I checked it every 10 minutes to make sure that it wasn’t getting too firm. I didn’t want to have to wait for my frosting to “defrost” after all that.

Once it was ready, I transferred about a cup of the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and set it aside. After leveling the cakes, I spread about half of the remaining frosting on top of one of them and then placed the other one on top. And finally, I frosted the entire cake with the remaining frosting. My plan was to make this a naked cake so I was well aware that I wouldn’t have enough frosting to completely cover it.  

Once the cake was frosted, I piped dollops of frosting around the cake leaving space between each to fit a strawberry. I opted to slice my strawberries in half, but you could place whole strawberries between the dollops as well. Just make sure to leave enough room. You could also omit the strawberries altogether and just decorate the top of the cake with dollops of frosting.

And then it was time to enjoy a slice. This cake was delicious! The frosting reminded me of strawberry ice cream. Not overly sweet with just the right amount of strawberry flavor thanks to the fresh strawberries added to the frosting. And it was the perfect accompaniment to the chocolate cake.  

Chocolate Kahlua Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

3 large eggs

1 cup coffee

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup Kahlua

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 15.25 package chocolate cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Devil’s Food)

For the Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup diced strawberries

3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Additional strawberries for topping

Directions:

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

In a large bowl combine the eggs, coffee, vegetable oil, sour cream, Kahlua and vanilla extract. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until well blended.

Sift the cake mix over the mixture and then beat with the hand mixer on low speed until just combined. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely on the racks.

For the Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, diced strawberries and heavy whipping cream and beat on medium-high speed until the ingredients are incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too soft to spread refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm up.

To assemble the cake: If decorating the top of the cake, fit a piping bag with a large star tip and fill with about a cup of frosting and set aside. Level the cake layers if necessary. Spread about half of the remaining frosting on top of one of the cakes and top with the other. Then frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Finally, pipe dollops of the reserved frosting on top of the cake leaving space between each to place either a whole or halved strawberry. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula

Tres Leches Bundt Cake

Happy Cinco de Mayo! To celebrate the day, I’m sharing a recipe that’s a slight twist on the traditional Tres Leches Cake, a Tres Leches Bundt Cake. I love a good Tres Leches Cake, but I thought that a Bundt version would absorb the tres leches topping a little better so that the cake wouldn’t be as wet. And I was right! One thing though, since the Bundt cake is a bit denser than a regular cake it’s best to pour the tres leches topping over the Bundt cake while it’s still warm and the crumb of the cake is soft. If you wait until the cake is room temperature or cooler the cake will still absorb the topping, but, it will just take a bit longer and it might not spread throughout the cake as well. If that does happen it’s all good as you can use some of the reserved tres leches topping to drizzle over your slice. And while the recipe didn’t call for it, I decided to spruce up the top of the Bundt cake with a little whipped cream and sliced strawberries. It was also a good way to hide the holes I poked in the cake for the topping.

Tres Leches Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

3 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Tres Leches topping:

1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 12oz. can evaporated milk

1/4 cup whole milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray and set aside.

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

Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer) on medium speed beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until it is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts alternating with the milk.

Transfer the batter to the prepared Bundt pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted come out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving dish. While the cake is still warm poke holes into it using a fork or a skewer. Make sure to poke the holes all the way thru the cake.

In a small bowl whisk together the condensed, evaporated and whole milk until well combined. Pour about 3/4 of the mixture over the cake. Make sure you pace pouring the milk mixture over the cake to give it time to be absorbed by the cake. Once the cake has absorbed the milk mixture cover it and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. Reserve the remaining milk mixture to drizzle over slices of the cake.

Recipe from A Classic Twist

Spice Market Carrot Cake

I’ve been using the same recipe for carrot cake for years. It’s a basic recipe with the only add-in being walnuts. No pineapple, coconut and/or raisins that you find in some recipes, but it’s delicious and moist nonetheless. I did try a different recipe a year or two ago and it just wasn’t that good. One of the reasons it never made it on here. I recently came across a recipe though that was completely different from any one I had seen before, a Spice Market Carrot Cake, that I instantly knew I wanted to try. I decided to make it for Easter this year. Which led me to wonder why is carrot cake so popular for Easter? Does it have anything to do with rabbits and their affinity to carrots? While I couldn’t find a definitive answer, I did learn this tidbit…  Carrot cake became popular in the 1970’s during the dieting craze. People apparently thought that by using carrots in a cake it would make the dessert seem healthier. I can get behind that. It’s like the theory that chocolate is a vegetable (some say fruit) since it’s a product of the cacao bean.

So, what makes the Spice Market Carrot Cake so special? It has a Moroccan-inspired flair thanks to the addition of ras el hanout – a Moroccan spice blend – and dried fruit (for the cake I made I went with apricots, but, you could use pitted dates instead).  Thankfully I didn’t need to go in search of ras el hanout and was able to make the blend myself using allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric and nutmeg. And to top the cake off, a twist on the traditional cream cheese frosting that I personally think is the best frosting for carrot cake, a Ginger-Orange Cream Cheese Frosting that includes ground ginger and the zest and juice of an orange.

This cake was a hit! All the flavors worked well together, and while I normally love nuts in my desserts, especially walnuts, I didn’t miss them one bit in this cake!

Spice Market Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon ras el hanout*

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten

3 cups (1 lb.) finely shredded carrots

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup honey

1 cup chopped dried apricots

For the Frosting:

1 orange – remove 2 teaspoons of zest and squeeze for 2 tablespoons of juice

1 8oz package cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 – 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

*To make the ras el hanout stir together 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon & turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper, coriander, nutmeg and allspice.  

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 3 8-inch round baking pans with baking spray.

To make the cake: In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, ras el hanout, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl stir together the eggs, carrots, oil and honey.

Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until combined and then stir in the chopped apricots. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and then bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

I like to wrap my cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before frosting, but, you can frost them once they are completely cooled.

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the orange juice and ground ginger and continue beating until both are incorporate. Switch the speed to low and gradually add in 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Continue beating until well incorporated. Gradually add in an additional 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is spreadable. Stir in zest.

Frost and stack the cakes and then decorate as desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens

Almond Tiramisu

If you love the flavor of a Good Humor Toasted Almond Bar you are going to love this dessert. The recipe calls it a Toasted Almond Cream Cake but I am calling it an Almond Tiramisu since the ingredients and assembly are quite similar. Where it differs is that instead of dipping the ladyfingers in a coffee mixture you dip them in a milk mixture that contains Amaretto. You can use any type of milk that you like as well. As with your traditional Tiramisu this one also has a layer of mascarpone cream, it’s just given an extra almond flavor kick with almond extract and some more Amaretto. There’s also a layer of coarsely chopped almond slices and Amaretti cookies, that also get used for the topping.

When you slice into it, you can see those perfect layers of deliciousness that you get from any Tiramisu… The layers of ladyfingers and cream.

Looking for more variations on Tiramisu. Check out these recipes:

Salted Caramel Tiramisu

Pumpkin Gingersnap Tiramisu

Pumpkin Tiramisu

White Chocolate Blackberry Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Tiramisu Pudding Cakes

Tiramisu Cheesecake

Almond Tiramisu

Ingredients:

7oz. package of Ladyfingers – about 24 cookies

Mascarpone Cream:

8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur

Amaretti Topping:

20 Amaretti cookies*

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Dipping Mixture:

1 1/2 cups milk**

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur

*If you can’t find Amaretti cookies, you can substitute with almond cookies or biscotti

**I used whole milk, but you can substitute with the milk of your choice

Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor add the Amaretti cookies and the sliced almonds and pulse until both are coarsely chopped. Set aside.

Mascarpone Cream: In a medium bowl stir together the mascarpone and almond extract until well combined. In another bowl beat the heavy cream along with the sugar, vanilla extract and Amaretto with hand mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Fold a quarter of the whipped cream mixture into the mascarpone mixture until incorporated. Continue to fold in the whipped cream mixture in batches until the two are well combined and no streaks remain. Set aside.

Dipping Mixture: In a shallow bowl combine the ingredients for the dipping mixture and whisk together.

To Assemble: Dip the rounded side of half of the ladyfingers in the dipping mixture and then arrange them in the bottom of an 8 x 8 – inch square baking dish. Top with half of the mascarpone cream and then sprinkle with Amaretti / almond mixture. Repeat the layers once more, ending the remaining Amaretti / almond mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Slice into squares to serve.

Recipe from Mangia Bene Pasta

Strawberry Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner you may be on hunt for a pink or red dessert. You can always turn to a tried and true Red Velvet cake but what about something a little different like a Strawberry Cake. Now, strawberry cake can pose some issues. Basically, how to get the strawberry flavor into the cake without it ending up being a soggy mess thanks to the extra moisture of the strawberries. You could dice up some strawberries and add them to your batter, but, that’s not really a strawberry cake. There’s also the option of reducing the strawberries into a syrup and then incorporating that into your batter. But, a much more simpler way is to use freeze-dried strawberries. For this cake, I simply processed the strawberries in my food processor to turn them into a powder that I then incorporated with the rest of my dry ingredients.

Once my batter was ready I decided to bake it in a 6-inch heart pan. If you don’t have a heart pan on hand you can bake it in a 6-inch round cake pan instead. You could also do an 8-inch pan, but, your cake won’t have as much height to it and you will also have to adjust your baking time.

Typically, most strawberry cakes are topped with a strawberry buttercream. I opted not to do that for one simple reason. I only had enough freeze-dried strawberries to make the cake! So, I did a little brainstorming and thought that a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting would work well with the cake. I came up with a frosting that still has the flavor of cream cheese with just the right amount of lemon. I literally could eat this frosting by the spoonful.

To frost the cake, I decided to go a little fancy and use a small star tip to decorate and then sprinkled some Valentine’s Day sprinkles around the perimeter.

And I am happy to say that the cake and frosting worked well together! You can’t tell from the picture, but, my cake was a very light pink. If you want a cake with a deeper pink or red hue you can add in some food coloring once you are done making the batter to get to the color you want.

Strawberry Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

For The Cake:

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 oz. freeze dried strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1/4 cup milk, at room temperature

1/2 tablespoon lemon zest

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

1 8oz. block cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 6-inch pan with baking spray or coat with butter and then dust with flour.

Using a food processor pulse the strawberries into a powder. 

Whisk together the strawberry powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add in the sour cream, milk, lemon zest & vanilla and continue mixing until well combined. Add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

Using a handheld mixer (or stand mixer) beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. With the mixer speed on low add in the sugar until well incorporated. Raise the speed to medium and add in the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract until all incorporated.

Cannoli Cake

Happy Holidays! Are you in the throes of holiday baking and eating your way through more sweets than you would like to admit? Well, today I am bringing you a cake that you would be a nice addition to your holiday dessert table and to be honest is my favorite cake flavor… A Cannoli Cake! And it doesn’t skimp on the flavors and ingredients of the delicious handheld dessert… Ricotta and chocolate chips.

The cake itself is made with a French Vanilla box mix (I used a Duncan Hines mix) and the cannoli flavors comes from the filling made with ricotta cheese, cinnamon, three different extracts, confectioners’ sugar and of course chocolate chips. It’s all topped off with a mascarpone cheese frosting and sliced almonds and mini chocolate chips are used to decorate it. It sounds like a lot, but, trust me it’s not. All of the flavors/ingredients work well together and you won’t feel guilty for enjoying a slice because it’s just so good!

Cannoli Cake

Ingredients:

1 package French Vanilla Cake Mix, plus additional ingredients to prepare per packaging

Filling:

2 cups ricotta cheese

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon rum extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Frosting:

2 8oz. packages mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons whole milk

1 cup sliced almonds

mini chocolate chips, for top of cake

Directions:

Prepare and bake cake mix per package directions using two 8-inch round baking pans sprayed with baking spray. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Make the filling: In a large bowl fold together the ricotta cheese, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, and all extracts until well incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

Make the frosting: In another large bowl, using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat the mascarpone cheese, confectioners’ sugar, almond & vanilla extracts and milk until creamy.

Place one of the cake layers on a cake board or serving plate and spread 1 cup of the filling over it. Top with the other cake layer and spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake within 1inch of the edge. Frost the sides and top edge of the cake with the frosting.

Press the almonds on the sides of the cake and the chocolate chips around the edge of the top of the cake.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe from Taste of Home

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.

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