Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Happy Holidays! A time of get-togethers, good food and even better desserts! If you are looking for a delicious cake to make for any of your get-togethers that has a festive touch to it this Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake just might be the one. A delicious creamy cheesecake is sandwiched between two red velvet cake layers and then frosted with a tangy and slightly sweet cream cheese frosting!

To ensure that your cake layers and cheesecake are the same size, use the same pans to bake them. While two pans may be the same size, one may have straighter edges than the other. I baked my cake layers and cheesecake in 8-inch round cake pans. You could also use 9-inch ones but keep in mind that your cake layers and cheesecake won’t be as high.

And while I did have to smooth the sides of the cheesecake a bit to get it flushed with the cake layers once the cake was assembled, I am sure it would have been a lot worse if I hadn’t used the same pans for all the layers.

And after a crumb coat…

I finished frosting and decorating the cake.

This cake will take you 2-3 days to bake and assemble depending on when you bake and/or refrigerate your layers. I opted to bake my cake layers on day 1, wrapped them in plastic wrap once they cooled and then refrigerated them. The following day I made my cheesecake layer and refrigerated that overnight. And finally, on the third day I made the cream cheese frosting and assembled the cake. You could also opt to bake everything on the same day and then refrigerate overnight, or the cheesecake one day and then the cake layers the following day and then assemble the cake once the cake layers have cooled. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that the cheesecake layer will need to be refrigerated at least 6 hours before assembling. Regardless of the baking schedule you choose you will end up with a delicious cake that will be perfect for your holidays, any other festive occasion or just because!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Ingredients:

Cheesecake:

3 8oz blocks cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature

Red Velvet Cake:

1 15.25 of package of Red Velvet Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)

3 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk*

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 8oz block cream cheese, at room temperature

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 cups Confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

*Make your own buttermilk by adding 5 teaspoons of vinegar to a measuring cup and then adding enough whole milk to make 1 cup. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature, or until the milk becomes thick and appears curdled.

Directions:

For the Cheesecake:

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang, and set aside.  

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour with hand mixer on low speed until just combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and continue beating on low until incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time and continue beating until everything is combined.

Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan inside of a larger pan (larger cake pan or a roasting pan) and fill with water halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Afterwards, crack the oven door open and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and then refrigerate overnight.

For the Cake:

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

In a large bowl beat together the buttermilk, eggs and oil with a hand mixer on medium speed until well combined. Using a fine mesh sieve (or a sifter) sift the cake mix over the buttermilk mixture. Beat on medium speed until just combined and then use a rubber spatula to gently stir the batter together a few times. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 26-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you are baking the cake layers ahead of time wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

Add the cream cheese, butter and Confectioners’ sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on low until combined. Raise the speed to medium high and continue beating the frosting until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating on medium speed until incorporated.

If the frosting is too soft to use refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, or until desired consistency.

To Assemble:

Level the red velvet cake layers and crumble the cut pieces and set aside.

Spread a dollop of the frosting in the center of a cake board and place one of the cake layers on it. Spread a thin layer of the frosting on the cake.

Carefully remove the cheesecake layer from the aluminum foil and place it on top of the cake layer. Gently spread a thin layer of the frosting on the cheesecake and then top with the remaining cake layer, cut side down.

If need be, use a paring knife or long spatula to smooth the sides of the cheesecake to be flush with the red velvet cake layers.

Crumb coat the cake – cover the cake with a thin layer of frosting and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If the remaining frosting begins to get too soft place it in the refrigerator for the last 5-10 minutes.

Reserve about a cup of the frosting and then use the remaining frosting to cover the entire cake.

Sprinkle the top of the cake with the crumbled red velvet cake.

Transfer the reserved frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe dollops on top of the cake.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake

If at first you don’t succeed you must try again. That’s what’s been happening with some of the cakes I have been posting as of late. I have been trying to come up with recipes myself as opposed to relying on Google to give me a nice list of whatever idea pops into my head. On my first try it’s sometimes a complete fail, a great flavor but horrible texture or a so-so flavor and the right texture. And let’s be honest, if you can’t get the flavor and texture to be just right the cake is just not good to eat. That’s what happened with the first pumpkin cake I made for today’s Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake. I used an entire can of pumpkin puree for the cake and the end result was a cake that had an odd indentation around it, but tasted good. I had a feeling that it was the result of too much liquid (i.e. wet ingredients) in the cake and my suspicions were correct. I ended up tweaking the recipe a bit and ended up with a cake that had smooth edges and a much more cake-like consistency.

So, what makes this a tiramisu cake? Well, if you are thinking ladyfingers you won’t be finding any on this cake. It’s more about the flavor. The filling is basically the same filling that is used in your typical tiramisu… A custard that is mixed with mascarpone cheese and homemade whipped cream. To get that coffee flavor, each cake layer is brushed with a coffee and Kahlua mixture. And to top it off, the cake is covered in a Mascarpone Kahlua Frosting (YUM!). I had some leftover frosting after finishing the cake and I may have enjoyed a spoonful or two of it. It’s not sweet at all and the Kahlua gives it a very light coffee flavor. And finally, the cake is dusted with unsweetened cocoa powder to get that finishing look of Tiramisu.

The end result, a pumpkin cake that is perfectly complemented by the traditional flavors of Tiramisu.

If you are looking for a more traditional Tiramisu with the flavors of pumpkin instead, check out the recipe below from a few years ago.

Pumpkin Tiramisu

Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake

For the Pumpkin Cake:

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

1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

For the Tiramisu Filling:

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup + 1 tbsp sugar

1/3 cup whole milk

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the coffee soak:

1/4 cup coffee

2 tablespoon Kahlua

For the Mascarpone Kahlua Frosting:

1 1lb. mascarpone cheese

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups Confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons Kahlua

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Unsweetened cocoa powder, to dust on top of the cake

Directions:

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray 2 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray.

In a large bowl whisk together the cake mix and pumpkin pie spice. Add in the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, eggs and milk. Beat with a hand mixer on low speed for 30 seconds and then increase the speed to medium and beat until just combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 24-28 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

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

For the filling:

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until blended. Whisk in the milk and stir constantly until it boils. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a container and cool to room temperature. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and then cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Beat the heavy cream and vanilla together until stiff peaks form.

Beat the mascarpone cheese and chilled egg yolk mixture together until blended. Fold the whipped cream mixture in until no streaks remain. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the frosting:

Add the mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, Confectioners’ sugar, Kahlua and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Start the mixer on low and beat for 30 seconds to 1 minute to allow the ingredients to come together. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer to medium high and continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. At first there may seem like there is too much heavy cream but as you continue to beat it, the heavy cream will be incorporated, and the frosting will become light and fluffy.

To assemble:

If necessary, level the cake layers. In a small bowl whisk together the Kahlua and coffee and brush it on the top of both cake layers.

Place the bottom cake layer on a cake board or serving platter. Transfer about a cup of frosting to a piping bag and pipe a dam around this bottom layer and then fill with the tiramisu filling. Place the second cake layer on top and then crumb coat the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then finish frosting the cake with the remaining frosting. You should have enough frosting to pipe decorative dollops on top of the cake. Finish the cake by dusting the top with cocoa powder using a fine mesh sieve.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

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

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

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

Rum Cake

I might be a little late to post this cake. Typically, Rum Cake is made around the holidays and I had every intention of making this around Christmas, but plans changed. Let’s be honest though, Rum Cake is good anytime of the year. Anything good is good anytime! I will let you know upfront that this is a semi-homemade Rum Cake and is truly simple and easy to make. I’ve seen recipes online that contain nuts, additional extracts and so forth, but, not with this one. Do not fear though, it does not skimp on flavor nor deliciousness.

To make the batter for the cake I combined a box of yellow cake mix along with a small box of vanilla pudding mix, rum, water, vegetable oil and eggs. I then poured it into a Bundt pan that I sprayed with baking spray.

After baking for about an hour in a 325 F preheated oven the cake was done. I placed it on a wire rack and immediately made the rum sauce to pour over it.

In a medium saucepan I combined a stick of unsalted butter along with sugar and rum and cooked it over medium heat until the butter had melted, the sugar dissolved, and it began to boil. The mixture was the consistency of a thin syrup.  Just a note, you don’t want to make the sauce before the cake is done. It may become too thick to pour onto the cake it and it won’t get absorbed as well.

While the syrup and cake were still hot, I poured the syrup over the cake. I use a butter knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan so that the syrup could go down the sides of the cake as well.

I let the cake cool in the pan for about 45 minutes and then inverted it onto a wire rack to cool for a few minutes more before transferring it to a cake board and then covering it with plastic wrap to refrigerate. In case you are wondering, yes, the cake did absorb all of the syrup. When I flipped it onto the wire rack there was none left in the pan and the cake did not feel sticky or anything.

After refrigerating overnight, it was ready to be served. And it was a hit with everyone who tried it!

Rum Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1 Box yellow cake mix

1 small package of vanilla pudding mix*

1/4 cup light rum**

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs, at room temperature

 

For the Rum Glaze:

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup light rum

 

*I used Jell-O

**I used Bacardi Gold Rum

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray (or lightly grease and then coat with flour) and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the ingredients for the cake and using a handheld mixer beat on medium speed until smooth. Transfer to the Bundt pan and bake the preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack while making the rum glaze.

Wait until the cake is done to make the glaze. In a medium saucepan combine the ingredients for the glaze – butter, sugar & rum – and cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil. Once the mixture begins to boil it’s ready. Use a butter knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Pour the hot mixture over the cake and along the sides of the cake.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 40 – 45 minutes and then invert onto the wire rack to cool completely.

The cake is best served cold so once it has completely cooled wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe from Hallmark Channel

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.

 

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