I Am Baker

caramel cake with apple cider whipped cream

This cake.

It’s… well.   It’s one of the best tasting cakes I have ever had the privilege of making.

Caramel Cake with Caramel Frosting and Apple Cinnamon Whipped Cream!

But here is the thing… I am going to share TWO recipes for this cake.  The reason being is that when I made it from scratch I used Rose’s Caramel Cake.  I made it and loved it.  Then I made it again and tried to tweak the recipe, but to no avail.  Every change I made did not help, and more likely it took away from an already perfect recipe.

This was especially true about the caramel icing.  There was absolutely zero changes I could make to improve upon the texture, flavor and consistency of that sauce.  It’s down right amazing.

The Apple Whipped Cream I got from Rachel Ray was also hard to improve upon.  (I did add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, but that is totally an optional step!)

That is the from-scratch recipes if you are willing and able.  And I do recommend it, that flavors are sensational!

The recipe I am going to list below is the semi-homemade version, using a box mix, caramel sauce in the jar and Cool Whip®.  Just because I can’t post this beautiful and delicious cake in the completely from-scratch form doesn’t mean that I can’t provide some sort of recipe for you to use!

First though, the assembly.

Make the cake in two square 9-inch cake pans.  I prepared them by coating with Goop and then lined with parchment.

Allow cakes to cool to room temperature.  Level cakes to the same height.

Prepare caramel sauce and allow to cool to room temperature. (or get caramel sauce our of fridge and heat to lukewarm)

Place one square layer cake on cake stand and cover in approximately 1/2 cup of caramel sauce.  You will want to sauce to be warm enough to move, but not runny. (The consistency can all be controlled through temperature at this point.)  If your caramel sauce is too runny, allow it to cool more before finishing covering this layer of cake, we are trying to avoid a puddle of caramel around the base of the cake.  After you have poured caramel on cake, chill it for about 15 minutes in fridge or 10 minutes in freezer.  You want to ‘set’ the sauce as much as possible.

Once caramel sauce is covering cake and firm, you can prepare it for the next layer.

Prepare apple whipped cream. (or get out your Cool Whip®)

Cut a straw into four equal sections and place in the four corners of the cake.

Caramel cake with straws to support

This step isn’t pretty, but is essential for this cake.  The whipped cream is not sturdy enough to hold the weight of the cake above.

Add about 1 cup of whipped cream to the cake and smooth out.  You will want to whipped cream to be no higher than the height of the straws.

Place next layer of caramel cake on top of whipped cream layer and repeat the step of pouring the caramel icing over the cake.  Use a bit less at first, as you do not want it to drip too much.

Fill a piping bag with the remaining apple whipped cream and pipe out pretty swirls on top. (I prefer this open star tip from Ateco)

Sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp of cinnamon (it’s a small amount, feel free to adjust to fit your tastes).

Drizzle top with a very runny caramel sauce. (Add a bit of milk to room temperature icing and stir until combined.  Put in piping bag and cut off the smallest tip then carefully drizzle.)

Chill until ready to serve.

Caramel Cake with Caramel Frosting and Apple Cinnamon Whipped Cream!

caramel cake with apple cider whipped cream (semi-homemade version)

Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • One container of caramel sauce (sizes can vary, just make sure you have at least 16 ounces)
  • 1-3 cups confectioners sugar
  • One 32-ounce container of store bought whipped cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Apple extract or 1 tablespoon apple cider

Instructions

  1. Prepare yellow cakes according to the directions on the box in 9-inch square cake pans.
  2. Pour caramel sauce (about 16 ounces) into stand mixer. Add one cup of confectioners sugar and whip at medium speed until incorporated. You may add more confectioners sugar if needed; you are looking for a fairly thick consistency, one that is not overly runny.
  3. Place one layer of cake on cake stand and cover in about 1/2 cup of caramel frosting you just made.
  4. Open store bought whipped cream and add in 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 tsp apple extract or up to 1 tablespoon of apple cider.
  5. Place about 1 cup whipped cream on cake and level.
  6. Repeat with next layer of cake and caramel, then pipe mounds of remaining whipped cream.
  7. Chill until ready to serve.
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Caramel Cake with Caramel Frosting and Apple Cinnamon Whipped Cream!

TIPS: You want to cakes to be as level as possible so nothing goes sliding off with that beautiful caramel.  The caramel will become more runny the warmer it gets.  If you are able to give your cakes a slight concave in the center that would work as well.

The caramel is the trickiest part.  Once you are able to determine the best consistency to work with you will be set!  I found that the best way to practice was to use cupcakes and my guinea pigs.  (plus… yum!  Will share that recipe soon!) If you need this cake for a special event, be sure to practice first!

If you make the cake from scratch, you will have THREE layers of cake (lots of batter, never fill your pan more than 1/2 full).  I don’t recommend making this cake into a three layer (stability is an issue), so freezing the extra layer is a great option.

In the semi-homemade recipe I added powdered (confectioners) sugar to store bought caramel sauce.  I KNOW!  I know.  This is nuts.  But what I was going for in consistency.  The sauce needs to be a little thicker so that it does not simply spill out over everything.  You can skip adding the powdered sugar and just use much LESS caramel sauce so that spilling over is not an issue.

Apple Extract is not easy to find, I had to order some. (Pure Apple Extract from OliveNation).  You can substitute apple cider, but make sure that you start with teaspoons and taste test after each addition.  Be careful to not add too much liquid to the store bought whipped cream as it could become too runny to pipe.

This cake is WORTH the work!  It’s amazing.  Delicious!  Those flavors are genius and wonderful and a must for fall and holiday gatherings.

I styled this cake exactly like my Chocolate Pumpkin Cake and Red Velvet Peppermint Cake.  It’s a show stopper for sure!

I Am Baker

Puppy Chow surprise-inside cake

I love this cake.

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

Every little thing about it.  From the amazing chocolate flavor to the chocolate sprinkles to the glorious surprise waiting inside.

Delicious. Beautiful. (in my opinion!) and Easy.

Let’s get to it!

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

After assembling the layers of this cake I covered it in a thin coat of buttercream.  I used about 1 cup of chocolate sprinkles and gently pressed them into the cake.

After the cake was covered I used a fondant smoother to press them in further and to get the clean, sharp lines you see here.  Although I lightened it a bit (we are already losing light so quickly here in Minnesota!) this picture is basically straight out of my camera.

But lets take a step back.  Just how did I assemble it?

Puppy Chow Surprise Inside Cake HOW TO

I started with three 6-inch chocolate cakes.  After chilling them, I used a 3-inch round cookie cutter and cut out the center of one of the cakes.

I then placed a thin layer of chocolate buttercream around the edge of the cake with the center cut out.

Puppy Chow Surprise Inside Cake HOW TO

Next, I placed the cake with the center cut out on top of one of the other layers, frosting side down.  We want the frosting to act as a glue.

I filled the cake with that fabulous Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow.

Added another thin layer of chocolate buttercream around the edge.

Finally placed the last layer on top.

I chilled my cake at this point, as I find it easier to cover in frosting when the cake is stable and firm.

Cover with thin layer of chocolate buttercream and then sprinkles. (as directed above)

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

And now we are back to here.

Ready to see the surprise?

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

So fun right?

And totally delicious.  Pumpkin. Chocolate.  More chocolate.  Crunchy Chex® cereal bits.  It’s stinkin awesome!!!

For a cake.  I mean, it’s not world peace or anything. #da

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

Here is the nitty gritty:

Prepare a batch of Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow. (Give yourself a few hours for it to cool and harden.)

Prepare a chocolate cake (you can use box mix or this wonderful Chocolate Cake recipe) in three 6-inch round cake pans.
Remove cakes from pans and chill until they are very firm.

Prepare chocolate buttercream.

Follow directions above for assembly.

Chill cake until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

And there you have it!  How to prepare a Chocolate Buttercream Sprinkle Covered Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow Surprise-Inside Cake!

Say that three times fast. ;)

If you like this cake be sure to check out my new book, Surprise-Inside Cakes!

I Am Baker

candy corn cupcakes

This post is sponsored by McCormicks.

What’s for dessert?  Cupcakes.  Glorious dual-toned, frosting piled high, covered in an obscene sweet glaze decadent cupcakes.

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

Imagine if you are in grade school, and have been sitting in class all morning.  The tick-tock of the clock is constant, and you are full of energy, waiting so impatiently for the lunch bell to ring.

Consonants and pronouns and quizzes and tests are just another thing keeping you from a cold milk, peanut butter & jelly and being able to talk with your friends about whatever you want.

Finally!  Lunch time.

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

Opening your lunch box yields the greatest surprise of all time… a CUPCAKE!  And not just any cupcake, a cupcake covered in more frosting than you have ever seen!  On top of that frosting is a sweet sticky orange glaze.  Without hesitation you stick your finger into it, as knowing what it tastes like suddenly becomes the most important thing in the world.

The first taste is utterly sweet… and confusing.  What is it?  Familiar, but hard to place.  You pull the entire cupcake out of your lunch box and see all the glorious color.  Candy Corn!  That glaze tastes just like candy corn!

Everyone is oohing and aahing.  They all want some, but it’s all yours.

You sit back, revel in being the coolest kid at the lunch table and think to yourself, “I am totally going to clean my room when I get home. My mom rocks.”

candy corn cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Yellow & Red McCormick® Food Coloring
  • Candy Corn Glaze
  • 1 bag candy corn, 11 ounce size
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla.
  2. Divide batter in half.
  3. Tint one batch yellow with 1/3 teaspoon yellow food color. Tint second batch orange with 1/4 teaspoon yellow food color and 1/8 teaspoon red food color.
  4. Fill each paper-lined muffin cup 1/3 full with orange batter. Gently add yellow batter on top of orange batter, filling each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
  5. Candy Corn Glaze
  6. Reserve 1/4 cup of candy corn then place the remainder of the 11-ounce bag in a medium saucepan. Pour in 1/4 cup water and heat on low for about 10-15 minutes. You will want to candy corn to be melted completely.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. You will want to cover cupcakes while glaze is still warm, but not hot.
  8. Using a spoon, drizzle glaze over frosting.
  9. Decorate tops of cupcake extra candy corn pieces. (not shown in picture)
  10. Can be done 1-2 days in advance.
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Recipe shared with permission from McCormick.

At least, that is what I envision would happen.  More likely than not, the cupcake would get schmooshed on the way to school and frosting would be all over the lunchbox, the sandwich, the milk, the apple.  My precious little darling would have her lunchbox held up to her face unabashedly licking every last bit of frosting from every last surface.  She would then have frosting in her hair, on her eyelashes, all over her face and hands.

Maybe this is better suited as an after school snack!

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

A couple things:

The first time I made this glaze (candy corn schootcharoo bars) I played around with it quite a bit.  I think it works best at a lukewarm temperature for drizzling over cupcakes.  The cooler it gets the more firm it gets and therefor harder to drizzle.  Once you are done covering the cupcakes I would place an remaining glaze in an air tight storage container and clean out the pan.

I did my candy corn cupcakes in opposite color order.  This was entirely for vanity purposes!  I just liked how it looks with the orange on top and bottom and the yellow breaking it up a bit.  The recipe is written how I did it, but if you want a traditional candy corn cupcake, be sure to put the yellow batter on the bottom.

While this recipe is written to use a box mix, you can most certainly use your favorite white cake or yellow cake recipe.

I love this buttercream recipe for bright white frosting.

If you want to use a bit less frosting I think this style of cupcake decorating would be lovely and would allow the glaze to pool just beautifully on the cupcake. (and would be more lunch box friendly!)

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

These sweet little treats are definitely perfect for the occasional seasonal indulgence.  The bright colors and billowing frosting take ‘eating with your eyes’ to a whole new level!  And of course, are the ideal treat for anyone who loves candy corn!

I Am Baker

peanut butter chocolate chip coffee cake

This is one of those cakes that I inevitably end up having for breakfast but that should never be served for breakfast.  It is a full on honest-to-goodness cake with sugar and butter and decadent frosting.

But it has coffee in it.  So I make it in the morning loving that I have a very good reason to brew myself another cup.

I am an adult and can totally do that ok?!  Just don’t tell my mom, she would kill me!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting!

So why coffee in a peanut butter cake? Because instead of adding regular old chocolate chips, I prefer to use good quality chopped chocolate. (For this one I used Scharffen Berger 62% Semi-Sweet.)  And we all know that coffee amplifies the flavor of chocolate!

When you chop chocolate as poorly as I do with a huge Chefs Knife (a Chef I am not, I just like to use their cool stuff), there is inevitably a tablespoon or two of smaller, fine crumbles as well as chocolate dust.  I absolutely love that in this cake and love that every single bite is infused with the beautiful rich chocolate.

But then I kick it up a notch and add coffee.  Not just any coffee, but strong coffee.  And not with any ole machine, but with the brand new Keurig 2.0.

Keurig 2.0

The Keurig’s are more like a computer now; highly intelligent and full of brilliant options I didn’t know I wanted but can now not possibly live without.

Like the STRONG button.  I use it every single time even when I am not technically supposed to.  Which I weird I even think that I am technically supposed to drink coffee a certain way and then go so far as to make myself feel guilty for not adhering the the imaginary guidelines I have set in place.

keurig-2-0-machine-story-top

In summary (where is that cake recipe???), not only is Keurig my go-to coffee maker for amazing coffee, hot chocolate and a variety of other drinks, it is my go-to machine in Baking.  And if you like coffee and try this cake or my Perfect Chocolate Cake with the “strong” coffee, you will be as hooked as I am.

It’s a game changer baby.

Peanut Butter Glaze Frosting

I decided to make a simple glaze to combat the rich chocolate flavor of the cake.  Well, it was supposed to be simple.  It was supposed to drizzle.  But I skimmed the recipe (bad baker!) and instead of 2/3 cup added 2-3 cups.

So thick and creamy ruled the day and not soft drizzles.  Just be sure if you make it you try the soft drizzles first ok?  The warm glaze seeps into every nook and cranny of the cake and adds the amazing moisture and flavor that makes me long to just eat it directly on my treadmill so I can do it without guilt.  Well, when the treadmill is on that is.  You know, being used for exercise purposes.  Like it is intended to be used.  #whatever

Peanut Butter Glaze Frosting

peanut butter chocolate chip coffee cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons coffee
  • 1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, the baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  2. In a separate bowl with a handheld mixer cream together the brown sugar, the peanut butter, and the butter.
  3. Beat in the egg, vanilla and the coffee.
  4. Add in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition, and gently stir in 1/2 cup of the chopped chocolate.
  5. Pour batter into a prepared 8-inch round cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 28-34 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool slightly then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. If you are adding peanut butter glaze, turn the cake out directly onto a cake stand and add glaze while cake is still slightly warm.
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Adapted from Cooking Channel.  Click here for Peanut Butter Glaze recipe.

Peanut Butter Glaze Frosting

My favorite way to eat this cake is warm and for breakfast.  Do not be like me.  You make yours in the afternoon and enjoy it for dessert as it was meant to be.

If you do end up with any extra glaze, be sure to save it.  It goes great on everything!

I Am Baker

spumoni cake

Kinda.  I mean, in all honesty this cake was inspired from some ice cream I saw at the grocery store.  But when I saw it the first thing I thought was… Neapolitan Cake.  I need to make this “spumoni” into my Neapolitan Cake!

Spumoni Rose Cake!

So I did.  I mean, kinda.  I got the colors right… but I think that’s about it.  The ice cream container says that it is chocolate, pistachio and amaretto ice cream with mixed fruit.

I made a chocolate, pistachio and cherry almond cake.  So it’s basically the same thing, right?

Spumoni Rosette Cake!

My saving grace of this dessert is the flavor.  Everything works so amazingly well together.

To make this cake I baked two separate cakes, one is the “white” cake and I will share the recipe below.  The other is the Best Chocolate Cake.  I prepared the chocolate cake as directed and had 2 layers in 8-inch round cake pans.  One layer is used in the spumoni cake, the other layer I snacked on for 2 days.  But you should freeze yours for a later date.

I then made up a small batch of cherry buttercream, of chocolate buttercream, and of pistachio buttercream.  I recommend printing off each of those recipes if you want to make this cake.

Spumoni Rosette Cake!

I have a post on how to make the rosettes here, and a video showing how to make the Rose Cake here.

Ok!  Now for recipes.

As I mentioned, click here for the chocolate cake.  You will use one layer for this Spumoni cake.

spumoni cake

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Cherry Cake
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • Pistachio Cake
  • 1 package pistachio pudding (3.4 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer cream butter.
  3. Add in egg whites, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
  4. Add 1/3 cup milk at a time, alternating with dry ingredients.
  5. Remove bowl from mixer and halve the batter. It is approximately 4 cups of batter, so remove about 2 cups and place in a bowl.
  6. Cherry Almond Cake
  7. To the batter left in the stand mixer add finely chopped cherries, cherry juice and almond extract. Mix by hand until fully incorporated. Pour into prepared 8-inch round cake pan and bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes.
  8. Pistachio Cake
  9. For the 2 cups of batter in the separate bowl, add in pistachio pudding mix and vanilla. Stir by hand until fully incorporated. Pour into a prepared 8-inch round cake pan and bake for 22-26 minutes.
  10. My pistachio cake needed to bake for a bit longer than the cherry cake, but you can certainly bake them at the same time and just remove the cherry one first.
  11. Prepare chocolate cake. (recipe linked to above) Bake as directed when the other cakes are done.
  12. Allow all cakes to cool for about 5 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack.
  13. Prepare chocolate, cherry and pistachio buttercream. (recipes linked to above) Place buttercreams each into a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip.
  14. Once chocolate cake is cooled, level the chocolate cake, the cherry cake and the pistachio cake to the same height.
  15. To assemble cake, place chocolate cake on cake stand and cover in about 1/2 cup of chocolate buttercream. Place cherry cake on top of chocolate and cover in cherry buttercream. Place pistachio cake on top of cherry. (I did not do a crumb coat.)
  16. Starting at the bottom and with chocolate buttercream, cover bottom layer with rosettes. (video and picture tutorial linked to above). Next do a row of cherry buttercream rosettes. Next a row of pistachio buttercream rosettes. The entire sides of the cake should be covered.
  17. Finish covering the top with pistachio rosettes and chill until ready to serve.
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Spumoni Rose Cake!

There are definitely a lot of steps in this cake.  I have made it both from scratch and with cake mix, and while the cake mix is faster, it was not as flavorful.  However, it will definitely work in a pinch!

Spumoni Rose Cake!

This cake is absolutely perfect for anyone looking for something a little different.  The flavors are unique and (as I mentioned already, I just can’t stop) work so well together.

It was worth all the work!

Spumoni Rose Cake!

And it’s kind pretty if I don’t say so myself.  I know there were a lot of recipe’s and steps and directions in there, but if you have any questions please do feel free to ask!  I am happy to walk you through it.

Like this cake?  You should check out my new book Surprise-Inside Cakes!

I Am Baker

first came the chicken, then the cake

There has been quite a bit of drama around our sweet chickens, but none like this.

Today I found our very first egg!  After many long months of caring for and nurturing our chickens, we finally have a real honest-to-goodness egg.

Farm Fresh Egg

To be honest, I had forgotten all about this part.

The chickens have found their way into our hearts and lives and seem more like pets.  We have a small coop, but they spend  a majority of their day roaming the property, eating the crawling and flying bugs alike, and making quite the mess in the garden.  Literally eating and pecking at every single tomato on our 42 tomato plants.  Guess no canned tomatoes for us this year!

Note to self: Next year a fence around the garden is a must.

Note to self: Chickens who feast in the garden and free range are happy fat chickens.

What to do? What to do.

Fancy Rooster Feathers

Well hello Mr. Fancy Pants Rooster.  (He likes to wonder up and down the stairs of our deck.  I chuckle every single time I see him going down those stairs.  Don’t know why it’s so funny to me!)

Rooster is not giving us eggs, as roosters tend not to do, but he does wake us up with his morning cock-a-doodle-do.  And afternon cock-a-doodle-do.  And evening cock-a-doodle-do.  He sure likes of sound of his own doodle.

And he does get pretty aggressive with the guineas as well as other chickens, which I dislike immensely.  Apparently the whole “pecking order” thing is very much alive and well and I am too much of a city girl to appreciate it just yet.

Rooster

But never with us.  He is a gentle friend with the kids, letting them play with his tail feathers and eagerly running to them when they change out the food and water.

He is a classic Rooster, as they say.  But one of kind with us.

Our First Egg

As for this glorious thing, I have big plans.

I just need a few more eggs and I will be making this:

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix!

From scratch Yellow Cake!  Can’t wait to see the beautiful color of my cake after using organic fresh-from-the “farm” eggs!

I Am Baker

pumpkin puff pastry

I have officially jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon and I am so excited about it!  This faux Toaster Strudel® recipe is absolutely amazing, and the perfect way to start any day!

Pumpkin Puff Pastry!

It all started with a homemade puff pastry.  I have made it three times in the last couple days and love it more and more each time.

Puff Pastry Dough

The great thing about this puff pastry is that it takes just minutes to pull together!  I was shocked at just how easy and fool proof it is.  Every single time I have made it, the dough has been perfect.

A word of caution:  This dough feels like silk.  I wanted to keep kneading, to let my hands linger in the velvety soft exquisiteness, but you must resist!  Over kneading is a no-no. ;)

pumpkin puff pastry

Ingredients

    Pastry
  • 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cold tap water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Filling
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

    Pastry
  1. Measure water and add salt; stir to dissolve and set aside.
  2. Put flour and cinnamon into food processor.
  3. Coarsely dice all butter and place in food processor on top of flour. Pulse for about 3 seconds four or five times.
  4. Drizzle water into food processor on low speed. Watch closely as dough will start to pull together very quickly. Once the dough forms a ball stop the processor.
  5. Flour work surface and scrape dough from work bowl.
  6. Roll dough into a rough rectangle, dusting with more flour if the dough gets too sticky.
  7. Fold the dough in half, then in half again, then in half again. If you are able fold it over one more time, then wrap in plastic and chill for one hour.
  8. Filling
  9. Put pumpkin puree in a bowl and mix well with sugar and vanilla.
  10. Cream Cheese Glaze
  11. Beat cream cheese with handheld mixer until creamy.
  12. Add in remaining ingredients and mix on slow until fully combined. (You may add more or less milk to reach desired consistency.)
  13. When you are ready to assemble to Pumpkin Puff Pastries:
  14. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. You want the dough to be thin, only about 1/8 inch thick.
  15. Using a pizza cutter, trim off the rough edges and then cut into small sections, about 4 inches by 5 inches.  I divided the dough into thirds lengthwise, and then halves width wise.  You can see that my rectangles are not perfect and that is just fine.  
  16. Beat egg in a bowl and grab a pastry brush.  Brush the edges of the pieces of dough lightly with the egg.
  17. Add about 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree to half of the rectangles, spreading to about half an inch from the edges.
  18. Top with the remaining pieces of dough.  
  19. Use a fork to press the edges together going in about 1/2 inch from the edge. (The first couple times I made this I just barely made marks with the fork and when they baked you could not tell.  I prefer the look of a larger fork impression.)   
  20. Generously brush the entire top of the pastry with the egg.
  21. Place strudel on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  When done pastries should be golden brown and puffed up.
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Puff Pastry recipe barely adapted from Food Network.

Puff Pastry Dough

I think that I ended up liking the ‘rustic’ look best.  Sure, you can get out your ruler and make a perfect rectangle and measure each perfect little pocket of pumpkin loveliness OR you can eyeball it and enjoy it just the same.

For the delectable frosting drizzle: Place cream cheese in a pastry bag and snip off a very small portion.  Apply pressure to bag and drizzle over each pastry while it is still warm.

This recipe makes roughly 10 pumpkin pastries.  I had about 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture left over, and that will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Pumpkin Toaster Strudel

Just look at those flakey layers of buttery deliciousness!  My third attempt at these is when I decided to add cinnamon to the dough.  I have to tell you… it is incredible.

Homemade Pumpkin Toaster Strudel!  (from scratch puff pastry)

The slight cinnamon flavor in the buttery pastry paired with the barely sweetened pumpkin filling seriously creates something magical.

Here is another plus, without the frosting these pastries have just 1/3 cup of sugar in the entire recipe!  If you use a small amount of frosting you can actually feel good about giving them to your family for breakfast. :)  (Note, I was not able to use a sparse amount of frosting.  I mean, cream cheese.  Obvi.)

If you are a pumpkin fan, a breakfast pastry fan, a butter fan, a fan of food in general, you will want to try these!

I Am Baker

Logo Surprise-Inside Cake

I have been partnering with McCormick for a few years now. It is a match made in heaven! I get to use amazing quality products and share delicious and creative recipes and they… um… they… well. I am starting to think that I got the better end of this partnership.

Don’t tell them I love my work so much ok?  Our secret!

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

McCormick is celebrating their 125th birthday on Sept. 28th. I don’t know about you, but I had no idea that they had been around for 125 years! There is something to be said for longevity and dependability in a huge company like that.

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

In honor of their big day I decided to make them a cake. It’s what I do ok? I wanted it to be fun, really fun, and really personal. The outside of my cake is covered in hundreds of rainbow sprinkles! Don’t you love the clean lines and color in this cake?

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

Add to that a fancy little white frill around the top and we are golden.  Golden I tell you!

Or rainbow.  More like rainbow.

Add to that a fancy little white frill around the top and we are golden.  Golden I tell you!

And here is the surprise! I made the McCormick logo inside the cake!

It was not easy. But it was a labor of love.

Add to that a fancy little white frill around the top and we are golden.  Golden I tell you!

I have to tell you, when I cut into the cake I was so pleased! SO pleased.   could not contain my excitement and I texted off a picture to a close friend. She was as excited as I was and that’s when I knew that this was a special cake. And who better to honor?

While I happen to think that this may be one of the prettiest cakes I have ever made, it is also the tastiest. I prefer this amazing White Cake recipe, but with a twist.

McCormick Extra Rich Vanilla

McCormick just released this wonderful new Extra Rich vanilla that is 25% richer than classic vanilla extract. It adds something really special to my cakes and frostings!

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

If you want to know more about how I made this surprise-inside cake please do check out my book, Surprise-Inside Cakes! I also have a little video here that helps to detail the process.

Happy Birthday McCormick!  Looking forward to another 125 years!

I Am Baker

pumpkin rose cookies

Making things into roses is kinda my thing.  I have an Original Rose Cake, Neapolitan Rose Cookies and Red Velvet Rose Cookies.  I recently decided to re-vamp my Pumpkin & Brown Butter Sandwich Cookie’s and make them into rose cookies!

Which is kinda weird, I admit.  I mean, the correlation between roses and pumpkins is not exactly obvious.

Except here at iambaker! Then it’s like, da.

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

I simply used my Homemade Spice Cake mix and added a can of store bought pumpkin puree.

The cookies are basically the same as the Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Buttercream, only I made then a tad fancier.

I’m so fancy.  You already know.

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

Just kidding.  That’s a song that I heard once by accident.  Think it was made for the young kids to listen to.

I am more of a worship music kinda gal.  And 80′s Hairbands, monster ballads and stuff.  Yup, I am weird.

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

Ok, back to these beauties.

Spice Cake Mix + 15 ounce can Pumpkin Puree + Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting =

AWESOME

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

To get the rose effect I placed (1/2 at a time) of the pumpkin cookie batter (it is thick) into a pastry bag with a Ateco 846 closed star tip. I then piped out rosettes onto a parchment lined baking sheet. These cookies do not spread, so whatever design you pipe out is what it will look like when done baking.

Allow to cool and pipe out a dollop of frosting onto one cookie, place another cookie on top, then take a bite!  Er, I mean, set aside and make another. Although I did take a lotta bites. They are kinda irresistible.

You can pair these with that fabulous Caramel Cream Cheese or feel free to use any fabulous cream cheese frosting recipe.  (Or the brown butter buttercream I have linked to above!)

I Am Baker

happy birthday! {naked cake}

Did you know that September 16th is the most popular birthday??  In honor of everyone who is lucky enough to celebrate this awesome day as well as all the September birthdays, I am sharing a fun “naked” cake!

Calm down now, this is a G rated post.  A naked cake simply refers to the fact that the sides of the cake are left bare, or free from frosting.  Or, naked!

A Naked Cake in honor of all the September Birthdays!

I am absolutely positively thrilled with how these turned out and I have to tell you, it is thanks to a good recipe!

A Naked Cake in honor of all the September Birthdays!

Achieving the “perfect” colors in icing is often complicated and difficult to replicate.  With the help of McCormick, the recipe is specific down to the very last drop.  If you decide to try this cake, you are destined to get the exact same results that I did!

A Naked Cake in honor of all the September Birthdays!

Another reason to celebrate!  What do you think of the fun design?  Two cakes, one with pink, orange and yellow and the other with green, blue and purple.  A Rainbow!

Rainbows are my happy place. #obsessed

pink, orange & yellow naked cake recipe

Ingredients

  • ngredients
  • 1 package (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract
  • McCormick® Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Orange Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Coconut Extract
  • 2 teaspoons pineapple juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix as directed on package. Pour batter evenly (about 1 1/4 cups each) into 3 (9-inch) round cake pans sprayed with no stick cooking spray.
  2. Bake 25 to 29 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean.
  3. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
  5. For the Frostings, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy.
  6. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently.
  7. Add water; beat until light and fluffy.
  8. Divide frosting evenly among 3 bowls.
  9. Tint and flavor each bowl of frosting. F
  10. or Pink Lemonade Frosting, stir in lemon extract and 7 drops red food color.
  11. For Burnt Orange Frosting, stir in orange extract, 36 drops red food color and 30 drops yellow food color.
  12. For Piña Colada Frosting, stir in coconut extract, pineapple juice and 30 drops yellow food color.
  13. Place a cake layer on serving platter and spread with Pink Lemonade Frosting.
  14. Top with second cake layer and spread with Burnt Orange Frosting.
  15. Top with remaining cake layer and spread with Piña Colada Frosting. Do not frost sides.
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Recipe shared from McCormick with permission.

A Naked Cake in honor of all the September Birthdays!

If you stop by McCormick there is a complete chart with all the frosting as well as a very detailed recipe you can download for both cakes!  I can’t help but be impressed with the level of detail they have provided.  It really takes all the stress out of baking and leave you with all the FUN!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all the September Birthdays!!