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

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

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!!

I Am Baker

homemade spice cake mix

The Homemade Yellow Cake Mix, White Cake Mix and Homemade Brownie Mix on my site are so popular, I deciding that adding to the selection needed to be at the top of my list of things to do.  (Don’t worry, chocolate is next.  I am still experimenting! You will read why below.)

Homemade Spice Cake Mix

I have quite a few recipes that utilize spice cake mix, so instead of buying boxes I make up my own mix! It is easy peasy. And best part?  Wholesome and delicious!

As with all my homemade “box mix” cake mixes, you have some dry ingredients in an airtight container and then simply add the wet ingredients when you are ready to bake. The very same process as if you were to use a box of mix you purchased at the store.

One of the main differences is of course taste (so delicious) but also quality of ingredients. You have complete control over what you are eating and what you are putting in your body.

Homemade Spice Cake Mix

homemade spice cake mix

Ingredients

    Dry Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice*
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

Instructions

  1. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and sift to combine. If there are any lumps in your sugar be sure to get them out now. Pour all dry ingredients into a mason jar or air-tight storage container.
  2. *If you do not have pumpkin spice you can use: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp all spice and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
  3. When ready to bake:
  4. In a medium bowl add in eggs, milk and vanilla and beat together with fork. Set aside.
  5. In a stand mixer cream butter until light and fluffy.
  6. With the mixer on low, start by alternating the dry mixture and the egg mixture.
  7. Pour 1/3 of the dry mixture into the creamed butter, then add 1/2 of the egg mixture. Continue alternating until all ingredients used. Turn off mixer, remove bowl and continue stirring by hand if any ingredients are not fully incorporated.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes in 8-inch round pans. Increase time to about 30 minutes for 9x13 pan and keep a close eye on it.
  9. This recipe makes 14-16 cupcakes and they should bake for about 15 minutes.
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Quick Note: You can change the spice level to your tastes.  I prefer a subtle spice cake, one that does not over power a cream cheese frosting.  If you prefer a bold and zany spice cake, then feel free to play around with the amounts of spies added.

Not just any recipe can be turned into a homemade cake mix. The recipe really has to be conducive to the Single Stage or All-Ingredient method of baking.  If you need to harness the lightness and airiness of the Creaming Method (creaming butter and sugar together first) then the recipe will not work as well for a homemade box mix.

Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese!

 

I recently used the Homemade Spice Cake Mix to make cupcakes with a Caramel Cream Cheese frosting.  They were phenomenal!  I can’t wait to make my Velvet Spice Cake Surprise-Inside Cake with it next!

I Am Baker

Zucchini Banana Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

There is something utterly refreshing about walking out to the garden and choosing a vegetable that I can turn into a cake.   So often when I think about cake and baking I think sugar, sweet, over-the-top decadence.

Sometimes, however, it is nice to enjoy the beauty of a layer cake while still using wholesome and fresh ingredients.  Covered in massive amounts of sugary frosting of course.  More on that in a moment.

Banana Zucchini Layer Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting!

 

As per most recipes that I get my hands on, I had to turn it into a cake.  Because everything should be turned into a cake, right?

Here is the dilemma.  When I eat banana bread, I don’t want frosting!  I know, I know, that is just crazy talk.  The bread itself is so darn good, there is no need for a frosting.  But whoever heard of a layer cake without frosting?  Somethings should just never be done.

So I spent a good deal of time thinking about frostings and their consistency and flavors and tried to develop and frosting that would not only compliment the flavor of the banana zucchini cake, but also the texture.

Banana Zucchini Layer Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting!

 

I think I have found a winner.

Zucchini Banana Layer Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

    Banana Zucchini Cake
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, drained
  • Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream

Instructions

    For the Cake
  1. Heat oven to 350 and prepare three 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer on low speed add in the sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, and banana. Mix on medium speed for about 1 minute, or until fully combined.
  4. One cup at a time add the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Mix until just incorporated and remove bowl from mixer.
  5. Stir in the drained and shredded zucchini.
  6. *I prefer to not peel the green skin off on my zucchini, but you certainly can. If you have a very large zucchini, remove any seeds prior to grating.
  7. Bake for 22-26 minutes, or until inserted toothpick is removed mostly clean.
  8. Whipped Cream Cheese
  9. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat whipping cream on medium high until stiff peaks form; about 3 minutes. Place whipped cream into a separate bowl and clean out stand mixer bowl.
  10. In clean stand mixer bowl whip cream cheese with whisk attachment until light and smooth. Add in sugar, salt and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.
  11. Remove bowl from stand mixer and gently fold in whipped cream to cream cheese mixture.
  12. Can be used immediately. You can store in refrigerator until ready to use, just be sure to bring to room temperature before piping or spreading.
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Zucchini Banana Cake developed from this recipe: Zucchini Banana Oat Bread and the Craptastic Day.  Whipped Cream Cheese adapted from allrecipes.com.

Banana Zucchini Layer Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting!

 

Just look at that thick beautiful cream cheese whipped deliciousness.  It is light enough that it works with the zucchini banana cake, is a complimentary flavor, and delicious enough to make you lick your fingers.  Speaking from experience.

Our zucchini season is finally winding down and I will be sharing some fall favorites soon.  If you have special requests feel free to let me know!

I Am Baker

birthday celebration (with LOTS of desserts!)

This past weekend was a busy one, with lots of food, fun and desserts of course!

Parker & Inga Birthday Party!

 

My little guy is turning eight in about a week and my sweet niece turned nine last Friday!  We are also celebrating one year in our home as well as a long and beautiful summer.  School time is right around the corner, and we wanted to be outside with friends and family before the cold Minnesota winter drives us indoors.

But lets talk desserts!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

 

My mother-in-law made this beautiful Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  It was a hit!

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Dessert Pizza

I made my husband’s all time favorite Butterscotch Peanut Butter Dessert Pizza.

I actually made two for the party, but hubby didn’t get to eat any of it, so I made him another one that night.  (It only takes 15 minutes from conception to your first bite, so easy!)

White Cake Zucchini Cupcakes

 

Parker had requested a white cake with strawberries, so I made him these cupcakes.  They are my white zucchini cake recipe with strawberry buttercream and fresh strawberries on top.  I didn’t actually get to try one, but I heard folks enjoyed them.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Last but not least was the Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  I didn’t get to try this one either, as it went pretty fast, but I did get to try the cupcake version and those were amazing.

As for the entertainment…

Rettke Party 2014

 

Some of the talented kids from our church agreed to come and play.  This is Next Destination.  I think everyone would agree that they did an amazing job!

We also had face painting:

eddie-facepaint

Eddie

Inga face paintingInga

bouncy house

We also rented a giant bouncy house that the kids enjoyed for three days!  Seriously enjoyed.  On Sunday they spent a good deal of time trying to plan ways to save money so they can buy their own.

It was a wonderful time I we felt beyond blessed to have so many friends and family there.  And to get to enjoy good food together!

Can’t wait until next year!

I Am Baker

blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s to the garden I go!

And come back with loads of zucchini.  And then bake with it.  It’s in my blood people.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream

 

Finding new ways to use all the zucchini has proved to be much more fun than I thought!  I mean, eating cake everyday isn’t such a bad gig in life.

Add in blueberries and buttercream and you can officially chalk me up as satisfied.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream

 

I found this recipe over at allrecipes.com and it is officially labeled as Blueberry Zucchini Bread.  I studied the ingredients and thought, there is no way I can pass this off as bread!  Why not just make it in an 8-inch round cake pan and see how it goes.

It went.

Right into my belly.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream

 

This cake is moist!  Like amazingly so.  I popped my cake into the freezer right after baking only because I wanted a nice clean cut.  But I do recommend eating when it is still warm and the zucchini bits are lounging around the bursting blueberries in a delightful way.

Because this recipe is technically designed as a bread, this cake is pretty dense.  Densely packed with deliciousness that is. ;)

I am in full-on cheesy mode today.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream

 

blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups finely shredded and drained zucchini
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (you can reserve a few for garnish if so desired)
  • Lemon Buttercream
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest of (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. Grate a large zucchini (or two small zucchini) and place in a clean dish towel. Squeeze until most of the liquid comes out. You will want to have 2 total cups of shredded zucchini after it has been drained. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini.
  4. Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans.
  5. Bake 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  6. Lemon Buttercream
  7. Combine butter, sugar and salt and beat till well combined.
  8. Add lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat for another 3 to 5 minute or until creamy.
  9. Fold in zest*.
  10. *If you are piping this buttercream, I recommend leaving out the zest.
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Cake recipe adapted from allrecipes.com and frosting recipe from food.com.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream

 

I would really love to try this cake with raspberries, as my love for blueberries has inadvertently excluded all other fruit on my little baking blog.  Maybe even a berry medley!  Oh yeah.  Definitely.   Off to bake!

I Am Baker

White Zucchini Cake

It is full-on zucchini season here, and I have no less than (and not even kidding) 50 zucchini’s to use up.  That is a tease and a warning, all wrapped up into one.

I decided to try and re-do my white zucchini cake with yellow zucchini, then cover it in gobs of chocolate frosting of course.  The moisture and delicate flavor in zucchini always make cake amazingly moist!!

White Zucchini Cake

Will you indulge me for a moment?  I would like to share a little story with you.

As I was standing in front of my KitchenAid® mixer it occurred to me that I should add blueberries to my cake.  But then I thought about all the other blueberry desserts I do (seeing as it is my favorite fruit and all) and how they are probably the least popular theme on my blog.  It seems I am the only one who love blueberry brownies and blueberry pizza and rustic blueberry tart and blueberry pie muffins.

So I abandoned the idea.  Then it turned into “that” time of day where everyone says, “Mom, I am hungry.”  “Mom, I lost my ipad.”  “Mom, the snakes are missing.”  “Mom, Olivia is eating something brown.”  “Mom.”  “Mom.” “MOM.”

And I was on my last nerve.

White Zucchini Cake

But, as I mentioned, I was standing in front of my mixer and it was on low and it was in the process of combining the butter, cocoa, milk and sugar I had added.  Chocolate frosting was in my immediate future, and that seemed to make things bearable.

Then it was all five kids in front of me at once.  And then my husband came home.  And then it was not bearable anymore.

Intuitive to the child-induced twitch that had me unable to see out of my left eye, my husband gathered up the kids and said, “When you are done with that cake, come and get us and we will have dinner.”

And they left.  And I had a moment to breath.  And so I took my time in frosting that white zucchini cake.  And I decided that the blueberry idea I had earlier was not such a bad idea after all.  And then I took my sweet time in adding blueberries, one at a time, all lined up just-so, all around the cake.  Then I did another row for good measure.

And we ate dinner and all was right with the world.

White Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Blueberries

 

White Zucchini Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (1 stick)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp good quality vanilla
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup drained (mostly dry) finely shredded zucchini
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • pinch of table salt

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8in baking pans.
  2. In mixer with paddle attachment, combine butter, sugar, vanilla and egg whites. Beat on medium speed for 30 seconds, then on high for 2-4 minutes. You are looking for a light and fluffy sugar mixture.
  3. In separate bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Alternating as you go, add the flour mixture and milk to sugar mixture. Mix on low until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and zucchini, folding in by hand.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 25-30 minutes.
  5. Frosting
  6. Add room temperature butter to mixer with paddle attachment and cream for 1 minute.
  7. Add in cocoa, sugar, vanilla and salt and mix on medium speed. You will be mixing that for a total of 3-5 minutes.
  8. After about 30 seconds, turn mixer to low and add in heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time. You can use more or less cream to reach your desired consistency. When I am using the icing to do a rough frost (like in the images with the recipe) I will use all the heavy cream so my frosting is very creamy and easy to spread.
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I love (and I do mean love) the little bittersweet burst of flavor from the blueberry in contrast with the rich buttercream, but if you want to save time, feel free to throw them onto the center of the cake and call it a day.

White Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Blueberries

 

So let me tell you a few things about this cake.  It is moist.  As in, probably the most moist cake I have ever made.  The cake melts in your mouth, and the frosting and blueberries put it right over the top.  I am talking amazing.

Like one of my Top 10 Desserts EVER amazing.

White Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Blueberries

If you do not have yellow zucchini you can swap out green zucchini.  If you do not want green flecks, you can simply peel the zucchini first.

The moral of the story with this cake is this: Make one and all the noise in your life will be dulled for a moment.  And your taste buds will be happy.  And your belly satisfied. And your heart full.

#socheesy #icanthelpmyself

I Am Baker

cherry limeade cake

After having recently made these Cherry Limeade Cupcakes, I haven’t stopped thinking about them.  Maybe ‘thinking’ isnt the best world.  More like obsessing.  It is by far one of the best cupcakes I have ever tasted, and now… it’s a cake.

Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

A simple cake adorned with cherries.  It really is simple too; easy to assemble, easy to bake, easy to decorate and so easy to eat.  As a matter of fact, this is the second Cherry-Limeade Cake I have made in 3 days.

It’s that good.

Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

As if the cake itself being awesome wasn’t enough, that frosting.

At a very weak moment in my life I may or may not have piped it directly into my mouth.  Like, 13 times.  Give or take.

Cherry Buttercream Frosting!

 

The combination of the tart lime cake and the sweet cherry buttercream is enough to make you weak in the knees.

So just sit down while you eat it ok?

limeade cake with cherry buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp lime juice, divided
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • Frosting
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together room temperature butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add in eggs, one at a time and mix until just blended.
  4. Add in vanilla, 2 tablespoons of lime juice and milk and mix for about 30 seconds on low. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Remove from mixer then fold in lime zest with spatula.
  6. Divide batter evenly between two cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-22 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick is removed clean.
  7. Transfer cakes tin to a wire rack.
  8. Use pastry brush to brush remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice over the top of the each cake.
  9. Let cakes cool completely and dry before topping with cherry frosting.
  10. Frosting
  11. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
  12. Add almond flavoring and cherry juice continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more juice if needed for spreading consistency.
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Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

The main difference between the cake and the cupcakes was texture;  I found the cake to be a bit more dense.  I also added an additional tablespoon of lime juice to the cake.

A couple tips for success:

It is important that your ingredients are at room temperature before assembling and baking.

Don’t over mix cake batter!  (Not speaking from experience or anything, ahem.)

Make sure the lime juice is fresh squeezed.

Brush the lime juice onto the cakes while they are still warm.

Cherry Limeade Cake!

 

I absolutely insist that you make this cake immediately.  Well, not immediately immediately, but sometime in the near-soon future.  Of just call your bestie and tell them to make it for you.  Besties are good like that. :)