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. :)

I Am Baker

baking with twin cities live

I had so much fun hanging out with Elizabeth and the crew from Twin Cities Live.  They are such a classy group of talented individuals, I always feel at home and totally comfortable there!

The more I get to hang out with Elizabeth the more I love her.  She has a fabulous blog called Home to Homestead which is really quite amazing.  She is also PREGNANT with her first baby and is due in December!!  I see some baby inspired cakes in her future… :)

This is my most recent segment.  Please ignore the ridiculous red apron I am wearing!  It was a last minute decision and I should have taken off my big coat with buttons and buckles on it first.  So yeah, it’s definitely not my best look.  I promise I am not 12 months pregnant.

Hope you enjoy the surprise inside cake!  I based the concept off of this cake that I did in 2011.

Easy Ring Pop Cake!

 

This was the other cake, and this design could not be easier. Simply buy some ring-pops, then insert them into the cake.   I used all red, or “ruby” ring-pops in my cake, but you can use any color or flavor you would like.  Kids love getting their pop out of the cake and having a extra special treat!

***Here is one of my other recent segments with them.

I Am Baker

Patriotic Cake {surprise inside cake}

So I do this thing with cakes where I hide surprises on the inside.  I have been doing it for about 4 years now.  I even wrote a whole book about it.

It’s kinda my thing.

Red White and Blue Surprise-Inside Cake!

I can’t help but love this cake.  I am so excited by this new way to share a surprise-inside and so excited that the idea police haven’t taken away my oven yet.   I mean, some of my ideas are crazy weird and should never be attempted in real life.

But occasionally this happens and for a moment all is right with the world.

Red White and Blue Surprise-Inside Cake! #usa

 

Yay!!  I spelled out USA in a red, white and blue cake!!

Whoops!  My ‘s’ is backwards.  Well, on one side of the cake it is anyway.

Red White and Blue Surprise-Inside Cake! #usa

 

In the piece it reads right.

I based the design of this cake off some of my previous cakes, and used this surprise-inside cake method to get the letters into the cake.

I also teach a class on Craftsy on how to get letters inside a cake!  It is a full 20+ minute video tutorial, going over every single detail and showing you step-by-step how to spell out what ever you want in a cake.

I wish I had the time to really perfect this cake before sharing, but I have another appearance on Twin Cities Live tomorrow and have to bake FIVE cakes to get ready!  (One of them is a surprise-inside of course!)  Talk about procrastinating… I just had to get this one done before starting them though!

This is the very first ever (anywhere) surprise-inside cake with letters stacked out vertically in different layers.  I am so, so so excited about where this simple design will lead me and can’t wait to share those ideas with you!

Want more Surprise-Inside Cakes?  Check out my new book.  It is the ONLY book in the world about surprise-inside cakes!

And be sure to check my Facebook page tomorrow when I update it with a link to my Twin Cities Live segment. :)

I Am Baker

Vanilla Bundt Cake with Vanilla Frosting

I have probably made three bundt cakes in my life, and I totally plan on rectifying that this year.  I declare 2014 the YEAR OF THE BUNDT!

My bundt cakes will be overly a-bundt-ant.

Ha, ha, see what I did there??

Vanilla Bundt Cake on MacKenzie-Childs Cakestand

 

This is simply a vanilla bundt cake with vanilla glaze.  Well, maybe there is a bit more to it than that…

But what I really want to talk about here is that cake stand.  I am completely smitten with it!  The designer is MacKenzie-Childs, and this particular stand is called “Flower Market”.

MacKenzie-Childs Flower Market Cake Stand

 

There is something so beautiful to me about the bold geometric design paired with the delicate yet colorful beautiful flowers.  This cake stand is one of my most prized! (It is available in two sizes and both are wonderful!)

I really wanted to make sure that the cake could stand up to the elegance of it; that the cake was subtle in beauty, but delicious and bold in flavor.

Vanilla Bundt on MacKenzie-Childs Cake Stand

 

Vanilla Bundt Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Vanilla Glaze
  • 2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour Bundt pan.
  2. Beat granulated sugar, butter, and eggs in stand mixer at medium speed until well blended. Change speed to low and add milk and vanilla; change back to medium speed and mix well. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat about 1 minute or until smooth.
  3. Pour into prepared pan.* Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Gently loosen cake from pan with knife and turn out onto wire rack; cool completely.
  4. Vanilla Glaze
  5. Put powder sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in medium bowl and mix until fully incorporated. If glaze is not runny enough, add more milk. You will want glaze to be thick enough to hold it's "drip" on the cake, but runny enough to pour.
  6. *If making surprise-inside cake see additional directions in blog post.
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Two things:  I made a Surprise-Inside Cake in my bundt!  I was so inspired by the flowers on the cake stand and plates that I added a two-toned blue flower with a yellow center to my bundt cake!

To make the flowers I followed this general design for a surprise-inside cake.

If anyone wants to know how to do this flower specifically, let me know in the comments and I will put together a tutorial.

 

Vanilla Bundt Surprise-Inside Cake on MacKenzie-Childs Cake Stand

 

Also…

MacKenzie-Childs is giving one lucky i am baker reader a $1000 Gift Card!

Now YOU can shop at MacKenzie-Childs to your hearts content.  Just look at this page.  It’s like a dessert makers DREAM!

Just answer the question in the giveaway entry form below and you will be all entered!

This giveaway is open until June 21st.  $1000 gift card provided by MacKenzie-Childs.  I was provided with some product, but all opinions about the product are my own.

Official Rules HERE, although this giveaway is open to world.

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

I Am Baker

the last first birthday cake

Last Saturday was a bittersweet day.

Surprise-Inside First Birthday Cake!

 

My sweet baby Olivia turned one.

I sat in the chair and watched her play with a wonderful contraption that grandma had bought her, full of bells and whistles and shiny moving parts that can keep a little one entertained for hours.

She moved the pieces with her fingers then would stop to watch her fingers, all at once discovering her ability to maneuver the toys parts and her ability to make her hands do what her brain told them to do.  I could almost hear her thoughts as she went back and forth between wonder and excitement and the simple music of the pieces clinking together.

Surprise-Inside First Birthday Cake!

 

She noticed me watching her and dropped her toy to the side.  She quickly crawled over to my feet and reached out, grabbing my legs to assist her as she pulled herself up.  Standing before me and doing her little toddler dance of bending her knees and rocking back and forth, I knew she wanted on mommy’s lap.  I happily obliged and immediately asked for a kiss.

She nodded her head back and forth ‘no’ as is her habit whenever mommy asks for a smooch.  Then she leaned in to give me one anyway, which erupted into a frenzy of kisses all over her pudgy cheeks and forehead.

She giggled and fell into my arms, both of us sighing and smiling.

Surprise-Inside First Birthday Cake!

 

My sweet baby, no longer a baby, but now a curious and eager toddler, ready to explore the world on a new level, is ready to leave the onesies and bottles behind.

But I am not.

My husband and I decided that we were done having children.  And honestly, five is enough.  It’s more than most.  It’s our perfectly complete family and honestly it’s five more blessings more than I ever deserved.

But saying goodbye to being pregnant and bringing life into the world and nursing and rocking a baby to sleep in the wee hours of the morning… that is not something I am ready for.

Thankfully, there isn’t much time to sit around and mourn the loss of  a role that I was blessed with many times over.

Thankfully, my husband and children remind me often that life changes, people grow, and it’s best to adapt with a smile rather than fight it kicking and screaming.

Thankfully there are many more stages and wonderful life experiences in store.

Surprise-Inside First Birthday Cake!

And thankfully, we get to celebrate them with cake.

The above cake is a “first birthday” surprise-inside cake that I made for Olivia.  To make your very own “number 1″ surprise-inside cake you can follow the directions HERE.  (The link leads to my Countdown Cake with written directions as well as a video tutorial.)

It is a vanilla cake covered in the best basic buttercream and topped with mini rainbow coated chocolate chips.  The pink #1 is also vanilla cake (tinted pink with Ateco food coloring) and McCormick Strawberry Extract added.

In my new book Surprise-Inside Cakes I share many more cakes and techniques as well as snippets and humorous stories about life as a mom and wife.  It’s a great gift for a new mom, for any mom, or for anyone who likes cake!

 

I Am Baker

chocolate ooey gooey cake

I just posted the buttery Ooey Gooey Butter Cake a couple days ago.  The recipe was so fascinating to me that I immediately had to make it in chocolate!

Chocolate Ooey Gooey Cake #cake #chocolate

 

While I really enjoyed this chocolatey richness of this dessert, I think “taste wise” the same results can be achieved by simply making brownies or a rich chocolate cake.  However, I will happily taste-test my theory a few more times.

Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake #chocolate #cake

 

One thing I do absolutely love about this dessert is the texture.  The thin top layer of delicate chocolate flakiness resting precariously over the ooey gooey molten cocoa flavored lava lusciousness is pretty darn amazing. They battle it out in your mouth, the sweet rich velvet like cake and the crispy top layer of crust.  Just to be clear, there are no losers in that battle.

 

This recipe is just barely adapted from Food Network.

chocolate ooey gooey cake

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus 8 more tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus additional butter, for greasing pan
  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 egg, plus 2 eggs
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 convection) and prepare and 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Combine the cake mix, 1 egg, and 1 stick melted butter, and stir until well blended. Pat the mixture into prepared cake pan and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining 2 eggs, and the cocoa powder.
  4. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the powdered sugar. Mix until everything is well combined. Slowly add the remaining 1 stick of melted butter and vanilla and continue to beat the mixture until smooth.
  5. Pour filling over cake mixture in pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the cake; the center should still be a little gooey when finished baking. Let cake partially cool on a wire rack before cutting into pieces.
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Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake #chocolate #cake

 

Many wise readers informed me on the Ooey Gooey Butter cake that there are many, many different flavors you can try.

I just want you to know, I am willing to sacrifice time and resources to sample every single one of them.  I do it all for you. ;)

I Am Baker

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

I had never tried an ooey gooey butter cake prior to this one.  I have seen them online of course, but never sampled one for myself. Ooey Gooey Butter Cake #cake #sweet #butter #dessert #mothersdayideas   I saw all the “It’s very sweet” warnings and promptly ignored them. I mean, I have made this. And this. And this. I think I can handle sweet. Ooey Gooey Butter Cake #cake #sweet #butter #dessert #mothersdayideas Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I am not kidding, I got a toothache after I had one bite. It’s that sweet. Ooey Gooey Butter Cake #cake #sweet #butter #dessert #mothersdayideas   I mean, I am not one of those people who regularly uses those words: ‘too sweet,’ ‘too rich,’ ‘too chocolatey.’ I kind think those can be a bit of an oxymoron. But, in this case?  It applies.   Ooey Gooey Butter Cake #cake #sweet #butter #dessert #mothersdayideas I wonder if there are any from scratch ooey-gooey cakes?  I might be interested in trying one! I used this recipe from allrecipes.com. 

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

Ingredients

    Cake
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted
  • Filling
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 stick California butter (1/2 cup), melted
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. (I set my convection oven to 325)
  2. In a bowl, combine cake mix, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla and melted butter. Mash together with a fork until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  3. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray or use a round piece of parchment in the bottom of the pan. (Using a springform pan would be an excellent option as well)
  4. Press cake mixture into bottom of prepared pan and get as flat as possible.
  5. Place cream cheese, remaining eggs, vanilla and melted butter in stand mixer and beat on medium speed until creamy.
  6. Add in confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time (and on low speed) until all sugar has been added.
  7. Pour cream cheese mixture over cake mixture.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes. I moved mine from the oven when the edges were brown, but the center was still a bit giggly. You do not want to over cook.
  9. Allow to cool before serving.
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Ooey Gooey Butter Cake #cake #sweet #butter #dessert #mothersdayideas   And this is about how much I could eat in one sitting.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, it tastes great!  Like, really, really great.  Fantastic!  AMAZING!  It is just one of those dishes best served with a cup of black coffee and your dentist’s business card.

Like this recipe?  Check out my book, Surprise-Inside Cakes!~