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Posts Tagged ‘cake’

A new cake

picture of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

I've been looking for a recipe for a good pumpkin bundt cake for an event later this month. I think I found it this weekend. I made this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bundt Cake which calls for an unusual ingredient: wheat bran. I happened to have some from Bob's Red Mill (available locally at Ingles) out in my freezer. It was delicious and I would highly recommend that you try it if you need a new fall dessert. I found the recipe over at the Joy of Baking website--many good looking recipes there.

A few tips for making bundt cakes:

I actually got rid of my first bundt pan because I could never get the cakes to come out of the pan--they would stick horribly to the top of the pan. A friend shared her secret with me--use a flexible plastic knife like you get at a fast-food restaurant to run around the edge and center of the pan before removing the cake from the pan. This knife will bend and you can reach the curved part of the pan. I also have a can of Baker's Joy pan spray that has oil and flour in it that I reserve for use when making bundt cakes. Be sure to let the cake cool in the pan for 10-20 mins. before trying to remove it from the pan. Hopefully these tips will help you to make a beautiful cake.

Edited to add: I have also made this cake with mashed sweet potatoes, which we actually liked even better. I subbed 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes plus 1/4 cup water for the pumpkin. Makes a delicious cake.


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Banana Snack Cake

This was Rob's last week at his summer job with IT on campus. He starts in with teacher meetings next week. I've been going to make something for him to take to work for the last couple of weeks and finally made this old favorite:

picture of Banana Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

Banana Snack Cake

1 cup sugar
2 sticks margarine or butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsps. baking soda
1 cup (about 2 medium) mashed bananas
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal (dry)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees and then grease and flour a 9" x 13" pan. In mixing bowl mix sugar, margarine, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Add the soda to the buttermilk and stir to combine and then add this to the creamed mixture along with the bananas. Mix in the flour, salt, and oats. Stir in the chocolate chips and then spread in the baking pan. Top with the nuts if you are using them. Bake for 30-35 mins. Enjoy as is or top with whipped topping or ice cream.


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The wedding cake

picture of Cake with flowers

DD Nora wanted me to make a key lime cake with coconut icing for the wedding. She had a recipe for the icing, but not for the cake. I did a lot of experimenting over the last few months before finally coming up with a recipe we approved of. Many of the recipes I found contained lime gelatin, but we didn't care for the color of that cake and the flavor wasn't quite what we were looking for either. I'm definitely not a professional baker and assembling the cake outdoors on a very windy day was rather daunting, but fortunately it all stayed together.

Today I'm going to post the recipe I used for the wedding cake. One thing that we discovered added a nice lime flavor was the lime oil. I ordered this from the King Arthur baking catalog. I had experimented with lime zest, but the oil was definitely our preferred flavor booster.

Key Lime Cake

1 box Duncan Hines lemon cake mix
3 Tbps. instant lemon pudding mix (dry)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
5 Tbsps. key lime juice (I used bottled juice)
3 drops green food coloring
1/4 tsp. lime oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease, flour, and line baking pans with waxed paper. In a large bowl stir together the cake mix, instant pudding, water, oil, eggs, key lime juice, food coloring, and lime oil. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then on medium for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans and then bake according to the time recommended for the size pans you are using. (For 8" round pans it takes about 35-45 mins.) Test to see if the cake is done. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 mins. and then carefully turn out onto cooling racks. While the cake is cooling you can make:

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
dash salt
1 tsp. coconut extract (I used McCormick)
5 cups powdered sugar (sift)
1/4 cup cream (approximately)

In mixing bowl cream butter, shortening, salt, and coconut extract. Add powdered sugar and cream and mix well. This should be plenty for a two layer 8" or 9" cake. Frost cake and then you can add fresh coconut on the sides and top of the cake if you wish. This frosting is delicious!

I had not used coconut extract much before, but have decided it is a wonderful flavor even if you don't like actual coconut. I recently tried this frosting on a chocolate mayonnaise cake and it was a great combination.

As we cleaned up from the wedding I was very happy to see this:

picture of Cake Toppers

Aren't the little cake toppers that Nora painted cute?


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For the Birds

picture of Bird House

We've been having some bird activity around here this week. A couple of house wrens have been building a nest in our birdhouse. We read that they sing the most when they are nesting and we enjoy hearing them sing first thing in the morning and throughout the day.

Here's a picture of a house wren:

picture of House Wren

picture of Wren Nest

We have also had a very distinguished bird visitor at our feeder for the last several days; a Rose Breasted Grosbeak. He is very beautiful and we have really enjoyed seeing him.

Here's a picture of a Rose Breasted Grosbeak:

picture of Grosbeak

Last week when I stopped by Walgreens to pick up a few things I found that they had the Easter Peeps on sale for 18 cents a box. I bought a few boxes and used them to make this sunflower cake:

picture of Sunflower Cake

If you are interested in making it some time you can find the recipe here.

I don't think I will make the cake again, but I will post the recipe for the chocolate frosting that I used, as it's a good one:

Good Chocolate Frosting

1 stick margarine or butter
1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup milk (may not need all)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Melt the margarine and then stir in the cocoa. Pour into a mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar alternately with the milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Frost cake immediately as this hardens as the butter cools. This is enough for a layer cake or two dozen cupcakes.


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A good apple cake recipe

We love apples here at our house. I always start getting excited about driving up to NC to look for apples about mid-August. Not many of the apple barns are open that early, but you can usually find some. We like to eat the apples raw, in salads, and in a variety of desserts. We generally buy more than we actually need and when they start to shrivel I make applesauce. One of my first blog posts was about canning applesauce. I get carried away when I find apples for $10 a bushel and just can't resist buying them.

I saw a recipe for an Upside Down Apple Cake recently and it sounded really good to me. That recipe had quite a bit of butter in it, so I did a little research and found one that was a bit more reasonable. I tried it this week and it made a very attractive and delicious cake. We ate ours with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Here's the link - I wish I could have baked one for DD Megan who is celebrating her birthday today. Maybe I can make her a belated cake when I visit next month.

If you enjoy cooking you should peruse the Simply Recipes site. I have tried several of the recipes there and have enjoyed them. Her site is very well organized and there is a picture of each recipe.

Some tips about the cake recipe: I cooked the apples in the caramel sauce until the caramel was reduced quite a bit. It had small bubbles throughout. The time probably depends a great deal on how juicy your apples are.The apples I used were called Honey Crisp. I also recommend putting the cake pan on a baking sheet. My pan was pretty full with the apples and the cake batter. It didn't run over in the oven, but a drop of caramel did bubble out. I was a bit concerned about the cornmeal in the cake batter, but you wouldn't know it was there unless someone told you.

picture of Upside Down Apple Cake

Do you have any favorite apple memories or recipes?


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