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

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!