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Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

Recently, my friend’s husband hired me to make her birthday cake, requesting only that it be “chocolate and good.”

That meant I had lots of options.  Since I had recently created some chocolate cake goodness for the auction, I had an idea.

I used THIS cake as my inspiration, keeping the cake and ganache parts the same, but changing up the frosting a bit.

Instead of strawberries, I put about 15 Oreos in the food processor, pulsed them until finely ground, and folded them into the frosting.

Wow, that’s some creamy, Oreo deliciousness.

And the finished product doesn’t look too bad either.

A reminder too, that if you don’t have 3 6-inch pans like the cake recipe calls for, use two 8-inch ones.  Your result will still be amazing, just not quite as tall and skinny.

Cookies and Cream Swiss Meringue Buttercream
inspired by Sweetapolita

printer friendly recipe

Yield: ~5 cups

5 large, fresh egg whites (150 g/5 oz)
1 1/4 cups (250 g/9 oz) sugar
3/4 lb (3 sticks/340 g/12 oz) butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
15 Oreos, finely crushed
pinch of salt

Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease.

Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 150°F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.

With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes or so). *Don’t begin adding butter until the bottom of the bowl feels neutral, and not warm.

Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). *If mixture is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and continue mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together.

Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.

Add the crushed Oreos, and blend until combined.

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I hate photographing inside with florescent lighting and having to use a flash.

Gross.

But it’s the best I could do.  By the time the cake was complete the sun was on it’s way down, a one year-old was incessantly pulling on my pant leg and we had to get this creation to the auction.

And that’s where the bad lighting and photographing took place.

So I made this cake for the silent auction/dinner we had at church on Friday.  The winner not only took home the cake, but also four more desserts of their choosing to be delivered once per week for the next month.  I’ve done something like this every year since we’ve been a part of the auction, and it’s always exciting to see who the winner is and what sweet treats I get to create for them.

One of the reasons I like this cake is its size: just six inches in diameter.  So it’s not a huge triple layer cake.  And each of those layers get cut in half so even though it’s a pretty tall cake, it’s still not huge.   If you don’t have six inch cake pans, however, just use two nine-inch pans and increase the baking time a little.

The frosting is amazing.  This was my first attempt at swiss meringue buttercream, and I’m SOLD.

So. incredibly. good.

(and not hard at all.)

While I have not sampled this amazing creation in its ‘sliced,’ fully assembled form, I can report that all of the components: cake, buttercream and glaze are DElicious. I had to sample to make sure the cake was worth auctioning, right?

I made just one adaptation from Sweetapolita’s original creation, replacing the coffee in the chocolate cake for just hot water.  Her awesome post can be found HERE.  And she has a WAY better picture too.

For ease of printing, I have created a printer friendly recipe of all three components of the recipe.

I just finished making a second one for a sweet husband who saw the cake at the auction and ordered one to surprise his wife for Valentine’s Day. I know, time is short, but you can get this made for someone you love!  Try it.

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Vanilla Bean Cake

We celebrated this little cake eater’s first birthday on Saturday.

He did not disappoint when it came to diving into that cake.

Can you blame him? It was delicious!

Little Noah got a three layered 6-inch round cake, and I made an 8-inch cake for the rest of us.

The cake was filled with one of my favorites: instant fudge frosting, and then frosted with a basic vanilla buttercream.  Since there’s butter in that buttercream (duh!) the frosting was a little yellow.  I wanted a white contrast with the sprinkles so I added some Americolor white food coloring.  Did you know they make white food coloring?  It really does make a difference.

I ordered up a bunch of sprinkles from Fancy Flours (love them!) and made my own custom mix that matched the colors of the invitation.  It was an embarrassingly easy way to decorate, with results that I absolutely loved.

Back to the cake for a second. Simply put, it is moist, dense and delicious.  Thin slices seem to go a long way.  If you’re looking for a white cake to bake, this may just become a new favorite.

Vanilla Bean Cake
Yield: three 8-inch round layers

printer friendly recipe

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature 2 2/3 cups (540 g) granulated sugar
9 egg whites room temperature
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 vanilla bean, split & scraped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350.  Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment rounds, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the egg whites gradually, mixing until fully incorporated.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Mix vanilla extract and scrapings from the vanilla bean into buttermilk.  Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated or finish by hand gently.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. If possible, weigh the batter in each cake pan on a digital kitchen scale to ensure even layers.  Smooth with small offset palette knife, and bake for about 30 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick or skewer comes clean.

Let pans cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely.

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Well, it’s taken FAR too long to get to this point, but this, my friends, is Double Batch’s 100th post!

So to celebrate and say thanks for reading, I’m giving away a little something.

Isn’t she lovely?  It’s the Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Original bunt pan.  I’ve got one, and it’s pretty sweet…at least for a bundt pan.

I do love a bundt cake, simply because they rarely require any frosting.  Sure, you might add a glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar, but that’s much more simple (and faster, and cleaner!) that having to frost a double layer cake.  The shape of the cake is all the decoration you need.  Love that.

Here’s how to enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post telling me about what your favorite camping food is.  We’re heading up to the mountains next week (yes, with an 8 month old), and I always love new food ideas.
  • For additional entries, comment on up to 5 posts on this blog.  I’d love to get feedback on recipes that you’ve made and liked or just want to make. Each comment will earn you an entry.
  • You have until noon (PST) on SATURDAY to enter.  I’ll announce the winner on Sunday.

Now, to the heart of this 100th post, I’m sharing with you one of my most favorites.

This recipe is always a winner.  Lemon and blueberry were just meant to go together.  My recipe gives instructions about a glaze to finish it off, but if you’re in a hurry or glazing just isn’t your thing, dust the cake with a little powdered sugar.  Either way, you’ll LOVE this sweet creation!


Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
adapted slightly from Martha Stewart

printer friendly recipe

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries and zest

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

2 cups blueberries

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Lemon glaze (optional, see below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla.

Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of sour cream.

In a bowl, toss blueberries and zest with remaining teaspoon flour; gently fold into batter. Coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake cake on bottom rack of oven until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.

Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack; cool completely, top side up. Dust with confectioners’ sugar or glaze when cooled.

For the lemon glaze:  Whisk ¼ cup fresh lemon juice and 2 cups confectioner’s sugar (add more for thicker glaze) together. Mix until all the sugar has dissolved and there are no longer lumps. Drizzle glaze over the cake.

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I was hanging out at my friend Julie’s house the other day as she unpacked her groceries from Costco.  Along with gallons of milk (she’s got 5 boys), dried fruit and a bunch of other stuff that will be devoured in no time, out came a couple racks of ribs.

You see, Julie has got this Mother’s Day thing down.  She buys what she wants to eat for Mother’s Day and then lets her husband and boys do the work.  Everybody wins.  It’s what she likes and saves her husband time in deciding what to make, gathering ingredients and cooking.  Just one of the reasons I think she’s a genius.

So, here’s my question: what do YOU want for dessert on Sunday?

If you’re tempted by the rich combination of peanut butter and chocolate, let me suggest you hit print immediately and leave this winning recipe out for your husband to conquer.  If you’re feeling extra generous, you could even pick up any needed ingredients for your grateful baker.  Let him off easy, though and don’t expect any of the fancy piping.  But if he really loved you…

Happy early Mother’s Day readers! If you need any other dessert inspirations for your spouse or children to whip up for you, check the index for lots of ideas!

Reese’s Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
printer friendly recipe

Ingredients:
For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional)

For decorating:
1 ½ – 2 batches peanut butter frosting (click on the link)
miniature Reese’s cups, halved and/or chopped

For the cake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350.  Butter two 9-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.  Place the pans on a baking sheet.

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

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly blended into the butter.  Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients).  Mix each addition only until it is blended into the batter.  Scrape down the bowl and add the melted chocolate, if using, folding it in with a spatula.  Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans.

Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans.  Transfer to wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners.  Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on cake plate or other serving plate.  Spread peanut butter frosting on top of the cake layer.  (If desired, sprinkle with chopped Reese’s cups.)  Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting.  Frost the top and outside of the cake with remaining peanut butter frosting.  Decorate with halved and chopped Reese’s cups as desired.

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Ice Cream Roll

What are you making for dessert on Sunday?  It IS Easter you know.

Of all the Sundays, you need a sweet creation to celebrate.  Allow me to persuade you to try a little something of the ice cream and cake variety, won’t you?

There are a number of things I love about this recipe, aside from the fact that it’s DElicous: it takes few ingredients, it’s easy and fast to put together, and it’s impressive in presentation with that ice cream and cake all rolled up together. It’s also not super heavy; so after eating all of that ham and potatoes (or whatever you have on Easter) you can still find room to end the meal with this sweetness.

The flavor possibilities are only limited to the flavors of ice cream in your grocer’s freezer.  I usually go with vanilla, but if I’m making a double batch, I’ll also do a chocolate.  I’ve done mint chip, rocky road, cookies and cream, and strawberry as well.  After slicing, you can top with berries, chocolate sauce or whipped cream.  Again, lots of possibilities!

If the ice cream roll isn’t your thing, here are a few other suggestions for your Easter dessert:

Cheesecake – read the post and you’ll understand how good it is.  It’s the best I’ve ever had, for sure.
Easter Basket Cupcakes – I’ll be making these for family and friends in the next couple of days.  It’s tradition. They’d make great little favors next to each plate for your guests.
Carrot Cake – keeping with the bunny theme of Easter, of course.
Lemon Truffle Pie – this creation just looks like spring with that layer of yellowy lemon.

p.s. This recipe will also make your mom feel incredibly loved when you make it with her favorite ice cream flavor for Mother’s Day in a few weeks!

Ice Cream Roll
from my mom’s recipe archives

printer friendly recipe

4 eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
more granulated sugar

1.5 or 1.75 quarts ice cream

Heat oven to 400.  Grease jelly roll pan (10×15) and then line with waxed paper cut to fit the pan.  (I’ve tried parchment, it doesn’t work nearly as well.)

Beat the eggs until foamy in a large bowl.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until thick and creamy.  Stir in the vanilla.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.  Add to egg mixture.  Lightly fold until no dry flour shows.  Turn the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly into the corners.  Bake about 10-12 minutes or until the center ‘springs’ back.  Do not allow it to brown.

Loosen the cake around the sides of the pan.  Turn the cake upside down onto a clean dishtowel that has been dusted with granulated sugar.  If there are any crisp cake edges, cut them off with a serrated knife.

Starting at one short end, gently roll up the cake with it still attached to the towel.  Allow the cake to cool while wrapped. (It cools quickly.)

Once cooled, unroll the cake and spread ice cream evenly onto the surface.  I like to let the ice cream soften just a bit and then mix it up in my KitchenAid.  It makes spreading a lot easier.

Reroll the cake, wrap in foil and freeze until ready to serve.  When you’re ready to serve, cut into generous slices, add your favorite toppings and enjoy.

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Remember last year’s festive green Jello?  Well, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day this year I bring you another easy, quick cake mix creation.  In fact, I’ve even created a ‘cake mix inspired’ category, so you can find all of them easily.

This cake is delicious!  I loved the lime flavor and color contrasted with the white cake.  And, of course, I love how it can be made during a little mister’s naptimes if needed.  It’s that quick!

A reminder that if you want to make your cake mix creation extra delicious, replace the water with milk and add at least a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

I’m so LUCKY to have great readers.  THANK YOU!

Wearing O’ Green Cake Recipe
adapted from Taste of Home
printer friendly recipe

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) white cake mix
2 packages (3 ounces each) lime gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water

TOPPING:
1 cup cold milk
1 small box (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix

1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Green sprinkles

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.

In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in cold water and set aside.

With a large fork or wooden skewer, poke holes about 2 in. apart into cooled cake. Slowly pour gelatin over cake. Cover and refrigerate.

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Decorate with sprinkles.

Cover and refrigerate until serving.

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