peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting {sally’s baking addiction}

Such a fun treat today!

Peanut Butter Cake with Rich Chocolate and Peanut Butter Frosting! #peanutbuttercake #cake

 

Not only do I get to share an amazing recipe from the new book Sally’s Baking Addition, but I get to give away one copy to a lucky iambaker reader!

If you haven’t yet seen Sally’s book you will want to click on THIS LINK right now and check it out.  It is full of fabulous recipes and ideas!

So go buy it OK?  It is one of those books that you will reach for again and again, and grow to love it more and more.

Peanut Butter Cake with Rich Chocolate and Peanut Butter Frosting! #peanutbuttercake #cake

 

The second this cake came out of the oven I knew I was in love.  It was pure bliss.

peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • DARK CHOCOLATE FROSTING
  • 2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.Prepare an 8 inch round cake pan.
  2. For the cake: Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  4. With mixer on slow, beat in eggs and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  5. Slowly beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until just combined.
  6. Do not overmix. Batter will be thick.
  7. Bake for 32-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool before frosting.
  8. For the frosting:
  9. Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside.
  10. With a stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until fluffy - about 2 minutes.
  11. With mixer on low, gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla.
  12. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too dark. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
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Peanut Butter Cake with Dark Chocolate Frosting

For the top I went to my go-to method for decorating a cake and that is a 1M tip.  I put 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup butter softened, 1 cup confectioners sugar, and 1-3 tablespoons of milk in the mixer and blended to a nice creamy consistency.  (add more or less milk to reach your desired consistency)

Then simply just piped out little piles of peanut butter frosting bliss and covered in chocolate sprinkles.

Thank you Sally, for sharing such a great recipe!

I would love to give away one copy of Sally’s new book!

Sally Baking Addiction

Simply tell me, “What is your favorite recipe on Sally’s Blog?” (Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Giveaway rules are HERE.  This giveaway is open to residents of the US and is open until April 18th, 2014.

Peanut Butter Cake with Rich Chocolate and Peanut Butter Frosting! #peanutbuttercake #cake

 

Buy Sally’s book HERE!

 

boston cream pie surprise inside cake™

When I realized what day today was I immediately started baking.

Baking for me is therapeutic.  It helps me to sort out my head and thoughts.Boston Cream Pie Surprise Inside Cake™

I can still remember the moment I heard of the Boston bombings.  Like everyone else, it was shock.  Horror.  Dismay.

I grieved for the three precious lives lost and felt such sorrow for the 264 others who were injured and suffered other life-altering wounds.

I sat in disbelief as it became apparent…  Someone did this on purpose.

But over the course of the next few days and weeks something else became apparent.

Boston Cream Pie Surprise Inside Cake™

 

Through tragedy, the people of Boston (and ultimately all of America) were united.

These people; the victims, the survivors, and every single person who stepped into the role of hero not by choice, but by circumstance.

These people are united in compassion and strength and love.

Boston Cream Pie Surprise Inside Cake™

 

I simply made a tradition Boston Cream Pie following this recipe, but made a couple little changes.

There are three layers representing the three lives lost.

There is a heart.

A sweet, small little heart, but that represents the unity and love that the people of Boston share.

I am so humbled by these people who have endured terrorism and hate, yet have chosen to come out of it with solidarity, allegiance and friendship.

You are most definitely #bostonstrong.  You are an inspiration.

green ombre cake

Disclosure: This is a paid post sponsored by McCormick. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Back in 2010 I made a green ombre cake (although I called it a graduated layer cake because I didnt know the word ombre existed and it was before the trend started).  I have always felt like that cake is ugly.  Seriously ugly.

Green Ombre Layer Cake

Wouldn’t you know, it’s one of my post popular posts to this day.  So today I am offering up a new and improved model.  Same general idea, but slightly better photography.

I also switched things up and used McCormick Green Food Coloring.  A 1 ounce bottle was the perfect amount for this cake.

How to Make a Green Ombre Layer Cake!

 

I made one white cake recipe (you can certainly use a box mix here!) and divided it into six bowls.

The first bowl I left plain, the second I used 2-3 drops, the third was 4-5 drops, the fourth was 1/4 teaspoon, the fifth was 1/2 teaspoon, and the sixth was about 1 teaspoon. (I just poured out the rest of the bottle.)  However, McCormick has this amazing Green Tinting Guide that is the perfect way to know exactly what colors you are making!

McCormick Green Tinting Guide

I love this great chart!  You really can’t go wrong when it’s laid out so simply and beautifully.

How to Make a Green Ombre Layer Cake!

 

It should look roughly like this after you have added food coloring and thoroughly mixed the coloring into the cake batter.

I then poured the batter into prepared 6-inch round cake pans.  I only have three, so I baked the cakes three at a time for about 18 minutes at 350 degrees.  Be sure to start checking your cakes at 15 minutes and remove when an inserted toothpick is removed clean.

How to Make a Green Ombre Layer Cake!

 

After the cakes have cooked and cooled, I stack them on my cake stand.  Start with the darkest layer, and cover it in about 1/4 cup of white frosting. (This buttercream recipe works well because it is so white)

Place the next darkest layer on top and add more frosting.  Repeat until you have stacked every layer and be sure to end with the white layer on top.

Cover the cake in a crumb coat of buttercream, chill for about 30 minutes in fridge, and then cover in a final smooth coat of buttercream.

Green Ombre Layer Cake covered in Green Sprinkles

 

For the outside decoration I pressed three different color green sprinkles into the upper edge of the cake.  I tried to get the darkest color at the very edge, then the medium green in the middle, then a lightest green trickling down a bit.

A nod to the ombre interior.

Green Ombre Layer Cake covered in Green Sprinkles

Do you ever want to get really clean cuts when presenting a cake?  Here is my trick.

VERY chilled cake.  VERY hot knife.

I will freeze my cake for at least 2 hours before serving.  I will then place a very sharp knife into a glass of boiling water.  Remove the knife, wipe dry and make your first cut, then dip back into the boiling water to clean and re-heat.

Green Ombre Layer Cake covered in Green Sprinkles

When the cake is kept chilled it also decreases the chances of color bleeding.

Don’t you love fun tips that make our lives easier???

Green Ombre Layer Cake

McCormick also has a great recipe for a Green Ombre Cake that is three layers.  They take it a step further and add extra vanilla for a punch of flavor.  Love that!

This cake is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  Wouldn’t it be fun covered in rainbow sprinkles??  And maybe you can add vodka to the frosting?  Like that new Cake flavored vodka?  HOW AMAZING WOULD THAT BE?!?

Sorry.  I will stop yelling now.  I dont’ know what it is about St. Patrick’s Day that makes me want to consume massive amounts of colorful sweets and booze! ;)

 

 

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreos and Chocolate Chip Cookie

You may have noticed.

I know I have.

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreos and Chocolate Chip Cookie!

 

My blog has turned into a den of gluttony.  A shameful place to gorge on insane amounts of calories.  A sinful stuff fest.  Can it be stuffed into something?  Then I will do it.

I feel as if I need to share a behind the scenes with you.

I have been baking like CRAZY.  Cake after cake after cake.  Most of these cakes are for jobs or editorial images only so I haven’t been able to share on my blog.

And after a long week of intricate designs and complicated recipes and cake…

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreos and Chocolate Chip Cookie!

 

I just want to indulge.  I want mindless.  I want stuff stuffed into intimate cheesecake crevices.  I want to ignore calories and complicated instructions.

Cheesecake.  Oreo.  Cookie dough.  Can of cherry stuff.

Yum.

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreos and Chocolate Chip Cookie!

 

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreos and Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ingredients

  • 1 6-ounce package of Oreo premade pie crust
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 13-14 Oreos (I used the vanilla and chocolate variety)
  • 1 36-ounce container Nestle cookie dough
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 21-ounce can cherry topping

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and in a medium bowl, combine with Oreo crumbs. Press into a well prepared 7-inch springform pan and create a bottom crust.
  2. Press Oreos into crust, vanilla side down.
  3. Scoop out mini balls of cookie dough and press onto each individual cookie.
  4. Prepare Cheesecake:
  5. Place cream cheese in stand mixer and mix for 30 seconds to a minute on medium-high speed. You want to cream cheese to be creamy in texture.
  6. Add in sugar and then eggs, one at a time. Scrape bowl with spatula and mix for about 30 more seconds on medium, until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  7. Pour cheesecake mixture into pan with Oreos and bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees. (I baked for 40 minutes at 325 degrees in my convection oven.)
  8. Chill for two hours before serving.
  9. When ready to serve, pour cherries over cheesecake.
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Cherry Cheesecake with Oreo and Chocolate Chip Cookie!

 

As you can see, I opted for easy.  Store bought pre-made ingredients.  I also chose to only put the cookie dough over each cookie, instead of making it a whole layer.  Since we are big cheesecake fans here, it just made more sense.

And don’t look to close at the picture above or you will see it PRE Oreo crust layer.  I went back and removed all the cookies and added that.  Seeing as the cheesecake would seep all the way to the bottom, I needed a delicious place for it to land!

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreo and Chocolate Chip Cookie!

 

This dessert was completely inspired by these Chocolate Chip Oreo Filled Cheesecakes by Lauren’s Latest.

 

 

blueberry banana banana bread cake with brown butter glaze

If you read here you may know this already, but I am a huge fan of banana bread and blueberries.  Like, HUGE.  It would probably be my request for last meal should I ever end up on death row.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

 

And if that should ever happen, please, someone teach my children that its ok to use shortening in buttercream and still call it buttercream.

And also, if that should ever happen, please take a picture of me because I am sure I will be skinny.  I heard that people who don’t eat a cake everyday weigh less than people who do.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

 

But anyway.

Since I am still legally allowed to eat a cake a day I will start with this bad boy.

But before I show you the recipe, I need to talk about the star of this show.

Brown Butter Glaze!

Brown. Butter. Glaze.

I um… well… it has left me speechless on more than one occasion but that doesn’t translate well for a blog post for I will try to describe it.

Its yummy.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

 

I had a hard time not pouring it ever EVERYTHING.  Mostly because I ran out so quickly, but thankfully it is easy to make so yippee!

brown butter glaze

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Its best to use an aluminum pan or pan that does not have a black bottom. You will want the butter to smell nutty and be a dark brown color.
  2. In a medium bowl, add sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk. Stir. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth that has been doubled over.
  3. Carefully pour butter over the sugar mixture. The cheesecloth should catch the very dark and burnt bits.
  4. Stir until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add more milk. Use immediately.
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This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart.

In the small, teeny-tiny, microscopic chance that you want to make this without the glaze, I will not be mad.  ONLY because the cake in itself is quite delicious.

blueberry banana banana bread cake

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Put bananas in a large bowl and shmush with a fork. Melt butter, then pour over bananas and incorporate with fork.
  2. Add in sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Pour flour, cinnamon, baking soda and pinch of salt over banana mixture. Add blueberries over flour and stir all ingredients until just combined.
  4. Pour mixture into a prepared 8-inch round pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes. (At the 30 minute mark, I have covered the cake with foil to prevent the edges from burning.)
  5. Can be served immediately.
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Recipe adapted from the always amazing Simply Recipes.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze!

 

If you want, you may simply omit the blueberries.

Just don’t tell me.

homemade yellow cake mix

Did you know I bake lots of cakes?  Like, lots and lots of lots of cakes?  I had a homemade white cake recipe that I love, but have been on the search for a good yellow cake recipe.

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

 

There are a couple reasons that I finally ended up in this recipe.

#1 Its a one-bowl recipe.

#2 It uses whole eggs, not 8 egg yolks.

Oh, and one more.

Its yummy.

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

 

homemade yellow cake mix

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Measure flour into quart size mason jar.
  2. Add sugar on top, then baking powder, then salt. Place lid on jar. (My ingredients JUST fit)
  3. When ready to prepare cake batter:
  4. Place softened butter into stand mixer and mix on medium for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Place dry ingredients into stand mixer and combine with butter for 30 seconds.
  6. Add milk, oil, vanilla and eggs and mix on medium-high for one minute.
  7. Pour batter into prepare pans. Bake at 350. For 9-inch pans its 20-25 minutes. For cupcakes start checking around 15 minutes. Cool before frosting.
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Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

 

Making a homemade cake mix is so cheap and easy and the best of all worlds when it happens to be super delicious.

I couldn’t help but pair it with a rich chocolate buttercream, as that is my favorite combination.  (What is your favorite frosting with yellow cake?)

If you want to give this for a gift (I would LOVE this as a gift!) simply print out the ‘wet’ ingredients and the directions and attach to the jar.  Be sure to add some instructions though.  Something like, “After cake is cooled call me and I will be right over.”

Or something like that. :)

 

gender reveal surprise-inside cake

So I have a little announcement for you that I have known about for a few months now.

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

When I first found out I was freaked out.  I mean… this was big news for our family and I didn’t know if I should smile or run into my closet and eat cake.  (In all fairness I eat cake in my closet a couple times a day anyway so that is not a good indicator of stress for me.)

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

OK, ok, I will stop teasing.  I am NOT pregnant!  We are done having kids and are totally smitten with the five we are lucky enough to be blessed with.

However, I AM introducing a new partnership in my life.

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

Its with Craftsy!  If you are into crafts or quilting or cake decorating on any level you are probably very familiar with Craftsy.  If you are not please drop everything and go watch some free classes on how to do awesome stuff with cakes.

It’s life changing stuff.

I teamed up with Craftsy to offer some classes on how to make surprise-inside cakes!  My class is called “Decorating From the Inside Out” and it launches March 11th.  The classes are in high-definition and are interactive.  I will be there answering questions and helping you out along the way!  Another fun feature?  Once you purchase my class it will NEVER expire.  You can watch it as many times as you want!

The classes I am teaching are for cakes that have never been taught on my blog! But a couple are in my book, so when you get it and see a cake you want to make just think, “Hey, there is a video of Amanda making this cake on Craftsy and I can go watch it right now!”

How cool is that?

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

And now for this sweet cake.

One of the methods I teach in the course is a twice-baked cake, a method that I first started playing around with in 2011.   You can use shapes or letters and make WORDS!  This particular cake is not in the course (It’s just a special treat for my blog readers!) , but the methods I teach will provide you the knowledge to make any design you can think of.

So can you tell what the fictitious expectant mom is having?  A Baby Boy!  How adorable is that little guy in there?

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

And it could not be easier to do.

Not only will I teach you how to make a fun surprise-inside cakes, but I will teach you creative and easy buttercream techniques.  Like this very fun and personalized “dot” technique.  I am such a sucker for polka dots and absolutely love incorporating them into everything I do.  When you buy my course you will get to SEE how I make these dots and just how easy it is!

And there is so much more.  Part of me is completely mortified that the sweet folks at Craftsy let me blabber on camera and do weird dances (Yes, I seriously shook my booty, please don’t tell anyone) and the other part of me is so darn excited to share new tips with you that I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO SIGN UP!

Since the class isn’t available for a couple more weeks, I thought it would be fun to give you a chance to win!

To be entered to win simply click on this link:

CRAFTSY COURSE GIVEAWAY

If you already have a Craftsy account then you can use your existing login information to be entered. (If you have trouble seeing the giveaway page, using Google Chrome should help.)

One entry per person, the giveaway is open to everywhere.

This giveaway is open until March 3, 2014.

Official Rules here.

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!!

I hope you like my newest original surprise-inside cake and I hope you will love my new course on Craftsy!

Here is a link to the Chocolate Frosting recipe!

My Birthday Cake

Every year I make myself a birthday cake.  I have absolutely no problem with this as I enjoy making cake, but I do hope that as my kids get older and more confident in the kitchen that they will consider surprising dear-old-mom.

This years cake is nothing like I have ever done before.  I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed and sassy lately and this cake is a pretty good reflection of those emotions!

Oreo Ice Cream Cake covered in Whipped Cream

Its based the design for this cake on one I have been thinking a lot about lately.  My mom made it when we were little in a metal 9×13 cake pan.  She called it Better-Than-Sex-Cake.

I asked her, “What’s sex?”

She paused.  Squinted her eyes, smirked a little and said, “Eat your cake dear.”

I was eight so that was just fine by me.

Oreo Ice Cream Cake covered in Whipped Cream

Her cake had Oreo’s and ice cream and hot fudge and peanuts and a little caramel and whipped cream.

My cake is Oreo, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, Oreo, cream cheese frosting, and brownie/Oreo crumbles topped in whipped cream.

To decorate I put Cool Whip into a pastry bag with an 8B tip and piped out dollops.  I saw this cake on Martha Stewarts site and used it as my inspiration.

Whipped Cream Dollops using a 8B tip

 

I gotta tell you, if you are using this type of decorating start by making them with whipped cream.  Its SUCH an easy medium to work with and is so forgiving.  It took maybe four minutes to frost my entire cake.

Oreo Ice Cream Cake covered in Whipped Cream

This cake is far from pretty to look at inside.  Its a massive jumbled mess of the most rich ingredients known to man.

And that is exactly what I was going for.

Let me break down the layers a bit more.

I used a 9×9 pan and laid a piece of parchment in the bottom.  The parchment was longer on the ends so that it stuck out the sides of the pan.  I then placed 2 packages of Oreo pie crust, which is 12 ounces of Oreo crumbs, into a bowl.  To that bowl I added 2 tablespoons of melted butter and combined with the Oreo.  Take a 1/4 cup of crumbs out of the bowl and set aside.  I then pressed the remaining mixture into the bottom of my pan.

For the ice cream layer, I bought a rectangle box of ice cream.  I removed the entire ice cream from the box and cut 1/2 sections length wise.  I used about six, and then strategically placed them into the pan right over the Oreo crumbs.  They laid completely flat.

I then poured about 1/4 cup of hot fudge over the ice cream and smoothed it with an offset spatula.  Pour the 1/4 cup of Oreo’s that was set aside over hot fudge.

Put the pan in the freezer for at least two hours.

Next I prepared the cream cheese layer.  This was 1 8oz. block of cream cheese at room temperature combined with 1 cup of powdered sugar.

I removed the pan from the freezer and smoothed the cream cheese over the top of the Oreo Layer.

Now this is the crazy part.

Oreo Brownie in a Skillet

 

Remember this thing?  (Oreo Skillet Brownies) I made one, let it cool, then put the entire thing (no ice cream) into my KitchenAid food processor.  And reduced it to crumbs.  Awesomely awesome brownie-Oreo crumbs.

To that I added 4 tablespoons of melted butter (right into the food processor) and pulsed for about a minute.

That brownie mixture was then pressed into my pan, right on top of the cream cheese layer.

Oreo Cream Cheese Brownie Ice Cream Cake

This is the cake removed from the pan, flipped out onto a serving plate.  The brownie is on the bottom now and the Oreo layer on top.

Are you still with me?  Cause I am pretty sure this cake is certifiable.

Oreo Ice Cream Cake covered in Whipped Cream

I couldn’t get a perfect looking piece, and to be honest I didnt really try that hard.

This stupid little birthday cake is my greatest creation OF ALL TIME.

Well, that may be an overstatement.  But it is pretty darn delicious.  Just please, do not ever, for all that is holy in this world, try to figure out how many calories are in one piece.

Better Than Sex Cake

We are better off not knowing.

 

surprise-inside cakes {a sneak peak}

The time is ticking slowly.  So slowly that I can’t seem to make proper sense of my emotions.  Is it normal to be on pins and needles for days on end?  Is it normal to wake up excited, then nervous and then immediately excited again for something that hasn’t even happened yet? And then, in an instant, the time is gone.

In the blink of an eye, I am closer to the goal than I have ever been.

As you may already know, my book is coming out in March of this year.

Surprise Inside Cakes Coverphoto credit: Susan Powers

Things that will happen between now and then:

I WILL GET TO HOLD A FINISHED BOOK.  It’s a moment that I have looked forward too and dreaded simultaneously, but more so anticipated.  It’s as if, in my head, none of this is real until I am holding it in my hands.  Evidence for the last three years of time and effort if you will.

I. Can’t. Wait.  (if you follow me on Instagram I will be sharing the big moment!!!)

THERE WILL BE HONEST REVIEWS.  In less than two months people will have actually held the book and be providing real and honest feedback.  I have read the brutal honesty that people express on Amazon’s review pages and it’s terrifying.  What if they just don’t “get” the concept?  What if someone makes a cake and it doesn’t turn out?  What if they try and recipe and its a hockey puck?  (Not a surprise-inside hockey puck mind-you, but a burnt and un-edible hard cake.)  What if the book just really isn’t that good but I am too close to the project to see that?  I am trying to develop a thick skin so that when/if bad reviews happen, I take the criticism and use it to do better next time.  It is my hope that people who like the book and learn from it and like it will share their reviews too!!

I WILL BE THANKING YOU OVER AND OVER AGAIN.  A few of you have already purchased your copy through pre-order.  I just want to truly express to you how thankful I am for that.  I know who you are and you have officially made it onto the awesomly-awesomest-awesome person list.

It blows my mind that people are willing to invest their hard earned money into something that I did.  Nights are spent wondering if I did enough or wrote enough or shared enough new methods and treats so that you could really get your money’s worth.  Please do let me know what you think when you get your copy!

I WILL FINALLY GET TO BLOG ABOUT THE IDEAS I HAVE BEEN SITTING ON FOR YEARS!  I don’t know if its a ‘blogger’ mentality, but once I have an idea I immediately start thinking of new and better versions of that idea.  The cakes in the book (most of which were completed and photographed over the course of 2 months in early 2012) have been contemplated for years now, and I have new fun ideas about them!  And yay… they can now start making their way to the blog!

Because I just adore you all to pieces and am consistently so thankful and grateful for you, here is a sneak peak of the book!  You know that Rainbow Heart Cake on the cover?  Here is how it appears in the book!

Surprise Inside Cakes Special Preview- Rainbow Heart Cake!

 

Each cake has its own “chapter” if you will.  Each “chapter” includes a pretty picture of the finished (and cut into) surprise inside cake, a quick description of either who the cake is dedicated to (like my fabulous food blogging friends in the dedication above!), of the inspiration behind it, or just a quirky story.

You are also told what recipes you will need to prepare to make the surprise inside cake and all the tools necessary.

Surprise Inside Cakes Special Preview- Rainbow Heart Cake!

 

The level of detail is extreme.  I wanted you to feel comfortable with every single step!  So not only is there very detailed written descriptions but there are many, many, many images to accompany each cake in the book.

Susan Power’s was the photographer for the book, and she did all of the “finished” shots.  I took all the pictures of the step-by-step shots, like what you see above.  So it’s always my fat hand tinkering around in those shots! :)

Surprise Inside Cakes Special Preview- Rainbow Heart Cake!

 

After sharing every detail in preparing the cake you are shown a picture of the final product.  And guess what???  I also share a few new frosting techniques in the book and give tutorials and step-by-step instructions for them!  Its truly decorating from the inside-out!  (The above cake is my Original Rose Cake design and that can be found here.)

And do you know what?  ALL this detail and ALL these images are provided for every single cake in the book!

And there are more.  Many many more!  I promise, you have NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THESE CAKES.

Um, I might be a little excited.  Can you tell?

When you are ready to order your copy you can do it here:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/zX1V9k

Apple: http://goo.gl/yxbknv

Barnes and Noble: http://goo.gl/fmylI5

IndieBound: http://goo.gl/vq6CsU

Books-A-Million: http://goo.gl/HrRbnS

Google Play: http://goo.gl/HwbxbL

Kobo: http://goo.gl/3fRK0f

HarperCollins: http://goo.gl/EZE1nH

For all you international folks, have no fear!  The amazing team at Harper Collins is putting together all the information you will need to order your copy.  I will hopefully have it for you in a couple weeks.  The book is being sold everywhere in the world, so you WILL be able to get one!  (Thank you for your patience on that!)

And again, THANK YOU.  Thank you so much for all you do and give and share.  You are a blessing and a light in this world!

Heath Bar Cake

This post is special for a couple reasons.  One, this cake is AH-mazing.  Two, it’s celebrating a very special lady!  Jamie from My Baking Addiction is having a baby!

I have been a fan of Jamie’s since the first day I started blogging.  Her photography skills, style and charm are second to none.  I am sure you have seen her blog before, but in the small chance you haven’t, stop right now and go see it!  She is so talented.

Heath Bar Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream!

Jamie is expecting her first baby very soon!  Some blogging friends have come together to honor her, to uplift her, and to let her know just how loved and admired she is.

Heath Bar Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream!

This cake is completely inspired by Jamie’s Heath Bar Cupcakes.  The second I saw them I wanted to make them into a cake!  And it was definitely a labor of love.  If you want to make it I will let you follow Jamie’s beautiful recipe.  (The only change I made was the cake-recipe below).  If you want to know how I switched her cupcake recipe into a cake recipe, just watch the little video below!

Just looking at that cake with the sweet vanilla buttercream covered in rich chocolate ganache lovingly sprinkled with buttery Heath chips… it just makes me happy.  It’s perfection.  Well done Jamie.  Well done.

Chocolate Heath Cake

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I use decaf)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and mix until combined.
  3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans (it will be very thin) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
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This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe.  Jamie added heath chips to her cake batter and I didn’t do that; instead I sprinkled them over the top.  Either way seems wonderful, so you really can’t go wrong!

This cake was truly inspirational.  It sounds weird to say it… but I felt so happy and full of life and joy while preparing it!!  Maybe thats because I was also thinking about what a beautiful and wonderful mom Jamie is going to be.  So excited for her!

The whole experience was so inspiring that I actually made a little video!  This video is more for fun than anything, but you will also get the general idea how I assembled the cake.

CelebratingJamie

Since this shower is also a party, you simply must visit the other guests!
Amber from Bluebonnets & Brownies | Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes
Julie from The Little Kitchen | Pistachio Pudding Cupcakes
Jen from My Kitchen Addiction | Sugar and Spice Cookies
Shaina from Food for My Family | Vanilla Raspberry Mini Meringue Kisses
Glory from Glorious Treats | Modern decorated cookies
Cheryl from TidyMom | Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
Katie from Good Life {Eats} | Raspberry Hibiscus Soda
Aimee from SimpleBites | How to freeze a big batch of homemade waffles
Amanda from I am Baker | Heath Bar Cake
Steph from Steph Chows | PB oatmeal cookies
Allison from Some the Wiser | Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
Megan from Stetted | Strawberry Jalapeno Palmiers
Shelly from Cookies & Cups | Bacon Cheddar Scones
Emily from Jelly Toast | Meyer Lemon Scones
Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | Samoa Layer Cake

Heath Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream!

Thank you Amber for organizing this whole wonderful event!