Heath Bar Cake

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

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

Heath Bar Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream!

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

Heath Bar Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream!

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

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

Chocolate Heath Cake

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

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

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

CelebratingJamie

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

Heath Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream!

Thank you Amber for organizing this whole wonderful event!

homemade carrot cake

Trying to find a real carrot cake recipe is not as easy as you would think.  My Mother-in-Law was having a big birthday party last Sunday and that was her only request.  Real carrot cake.  With real ingredients.

I have never been a fan of chunky carrot cake.  Chunky as in… no visible carrot pieces.  No nuts.  No raisins.  Never ever ever raisins in a cake.

I much prefer the box mix.  Because really, its all about the cream cheese frosting anyway.  As long as there is a cake with some sort of spice flavor under it I am good.

Chunky Carrot Cake with the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting!

 But I was wrong.

So, so so so wrong.

After searching for some time, I found a reliable source for the recipe.  My friend Shaina from Food For Your Family has a beautiful, real and raw site.  Raw in terms of ingredients (she uses real food… unlike me who just professed a love for box mix) and in terms of writing.  (Seriously, I have never been emotionally moved by a food blog as much as I am with hers.)

I changed up a few key ingredients simply because I did not have any on hand, but for the most part tried to follow her great recipe.  If you want the original in all its glory, be sure to visit her site!!

Chunky Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Rosettes!

 

For the exterior I did a version of my original Rosette Cake.  My beautiful mother-in-law was turning 67 (she really doesn’t look a day over 45!) and so piped out 67 flowers.  Some are with the 1M tip (remember you can always use a 2D tip in place of the 1M) and the rest are with #27 tip from Wilton.

Chunky Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Rosettes!

 

This is my favorite Cream Cheese frosting.  (Its the best ever.  Don’t click that link.  You will be ruined for all other cream cheese frostings forever.)

Homemade Carrot Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 1/4 cups grated carrots

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare two 8-inch round baking pans.
  3. Beat the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in mixer until it is a light yellow.
  4. In a separate bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and fold raisins, nuts, and the carrots.
  7. Divide the batter equally between the pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Cover in cream cheese frosting.
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Normally I would try to take a pretty picture of the cut-into cake, but since this was for an actual party there wasn’t that opportunity.  Plus this cake is so gloriously chunky and crumbly that there would be no such thing as a ‘beauty shot’.

I did grab a quick picture of my piece though, just before I gobbled it down in 30 seconds flat.

Chunky Homemade Carrot Cake with the Best Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Man it was good.  The flavor was  delightful.  The texture was exquisite. The last bite gratifying.

I think I just talked myself into making another one.

Countdown Cake Tutorial {surprise inside cake}

Here is the tutorial for the Countdown Cake!

My timing could be better, I know.  So I am doing something a bit unorthodox and posting to my blog twice in one day, just in case there are any of you who want to make the countdown cake!

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Here is a video tutorial on how to make the Countdown Cake.  The complete directions and instructions are listed below as the video is very quick and doesn’t cover the details.


You will need:

(Feel free to use box mixes)

1 chocolate cake recipe

1 white cake recipe

1 chocolate frosting recipe

Optional: Sprinkles

1 set of number cookie cutters, measuring about 1 1/2 inches high

sheet pan

9 inch round cake pan

baking spray

offset spatula

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Begin by making a chocolate cake in a sheet pan.  (You want the pan to be approximately 12 x 18 inches.)  Make cake then freeze cake for at least 2 hours.

Remove cake from freezer.  Using number cookie cutters, start by pressing a ’1′ (or number of your choice) into sheet cake.  If cake feels at all crumbly, put back into freezer.  Press ’1′ into cake and then remove cake from cookie cutter.  Set it on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Repeat this process for all numbers.  Make three sets of each number, even though you will only use two in the cake.  The extra set is ‘just in case’.  So you will press out three sets of 10, three 9′s, three 8′s, three 7′s and so on.

Place cut out cake numbers back into freezer.  You want them to be frozen when inserting into white cake batter.

Prepare white cake batter and pour HALF of the batter into a prepared 9 inch round cake pan.  To make this easier I pour my cake batter into a 4-cup measuring cup, then pour out approximately 2 cups into my cake pan.

Starting with the 10, place the 1 and 0 into batter filled cake pan.  Make sure there is at least 1/2 inches between the number and the edge of the pan.  Place two 10′s back to back so that its about 3 inches thick.  Now place two 9′s in pan directly behind 10.

Continue placing numbers into pan in a circle, working back from 10.  Once you are about half way around the pan, check to make sure that you are working on the number 5.  10-6 should take up half the pan and 5-1 should take up the other half.  If you have any extra space, simply fill in with 1′s.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Mark your pan so that you know where the 10 is.  You can either make a dot with a black permanent marker or drop a small piece of chocolate cake on top of the batter where your 10 is.  (This will most likely be trimmed off when/if you level the cake.)

Carefully pour remaining batter over numbers making sure to cover them completely.

Bake cake for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Keep an eye on it and test to make sure center is completely cooked.

Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, then place in freezer for at least an hour. (You can freeze the cake up to 3 months, just make sure its properly covered.)

When ready to frost cake, remove it from freezer.  If needed, level cake.

Make note of where the “10″ is on your cake then remove cake from cake pan.  Place on cake stand and mark where your 10 is.  You can use a piece of tape on the cake stand to mark.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Cover cake in chocolate buttercream and then sprinkles, refrigerate until ready to serve.

When you are ready to cut into your cake, just make sure you make your cut where the ’10′ is.  Cut each piece about 2-3 inches thick.  You will then be removing the pieces in descending order.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to let me know!

Rainbow Birthday Cake

My little girl turned five this past week.  Five!  In the midst of extensive Christmas baking, I took a break from all this green and red and peppermint and made a perfectly perfect girly girl cake.

With Audrey’s help of course!  The last couple years I have let her “design” her cake;  she tells me what colors and themes she wants and I do my best to make it happen.

Like this Rose Cake.  And this Neapolitan Cake.

Swirly Rainbow Cake (Inside and Out!) #rainbow #cake #birthdaycake

 Her requests were pretty simple:

1. Lots of flowers

2. Every color in the rainbow.

3. Lots of frosting. (but no chocolate cake because her brother doesn’t like chocolate and she is very thoughtful like that)

Swirly Rainbow Cake (Inside and Out!) #rainbow #cake #birthdaycake

 

I even let her pick the cake stand, which just happens to be one of my all time favorites.  I found it in a specialty shop near our new home.  The owner of the shop did not want to let it go!  Even though there was a price tag on it, they had been using it for display for so long it had become part of the ambiance.  I tried so hard to not show my desperation, but in my head I was screaming, “I HAVE TO HAVE THAT CAKE STAND!”

I think her soul heard my souls cries.

Do you think I am being too dramatic?  Let’s see… what do most women love?

Ah yes.  Shoes.  Pretend I was talking about a pair of Jimmy Choo’s.

Swirly Rainbow Cake (Inside and Out!) #rainbow #cake #birthdaycake

 

Back to the cake.  Audrey did request a Rosette Cake, but… and this is hard for me to admit… sometimes I get tired of making that cake!  So I asked her if it would be ok to change things up a little tiny bit.

She refused.

I asked sweetly.  She said no.  She crossed her arms and stood up tall and looked me in the eye.

“I promise I will still try to make it pretty!” I pleaded.

“Oh sure mom!  Whatever you want.” And she happily flounced away in her princess dress.

Swirly Rainbow Cake (Inside and Out!) #rainbow #cake #birthdaycake

 

So this is my “compromise”.  I didn’t make the full on rosette shape, but still tried to make it “flowery”.  And it has every color in the rainbow.  Except Indigo.

Cause like, I prefer my rainbows with six colors ok?

Swirly Rainbow Cake (Inside and Out!) #rainbow #cake #birthdaycake

 Audrey loved her cake and loved being a princess for a whole day.

She loved the attention and the gifts.

But most of all, I hope she loved the love.

Swirly Rainbow Cake (Inside and Out!) #rainbow #cake #birthdaycake

 Happy Birthday Sweety!

Here is a recipe for How to Make a Rainbow Cake.

I shared a picture of Audrey blowing out the candles on this cake on my Instagram account.  I am iambaker.

Red Velvet Cake with Peppermint Whipped Cream

This cake is basically a wintery version of my Chocolate Pumpkin Cake.  I have been wanting to do another version of that cake for a year now, and this seemed like the perfect way to do it.

Red Velvet Cake Covered in Rich Chocolate Ganache and Topped with Peppermint Whipped Cream #cake #Christmas

Other than the flavors, I did a couple things different with this cake.

First I baked two full red velvet cake recipes.  Each entire recipe went into one 8×8 pan.  (Make sure the batter does not fill the pan more than half way.)

Also, I did not level my cakes.  This was not a good idea!  I highly recommend that you make sure your cakes are leveled to the same height.

Red Velvet Cake Covered in Rich Chocolate Ganache and Topped with Peppermint Whipped Cream #cake #Christmas

Bake two red velvet cakes in square pans.

Prepare Milk Chocolate Ganache.

Prepare Peppermint Whipped Cream.

You will also use straws, and offset spatula, a piping bag and 1M tip.

 

Red Velvet Cake Covered in Rich Chocolate Ganache and Topped with Peppermint Whipped Cream #cake #Christmas

 

To assemble this cake place your first red velvet layer on the cake stand.  Cover in about 3/4 cup of chocolate ganache.  I love the look of letting it spill over the sides, but you can do whatever you prefer at this step.  Place other red velvet cake on flat surface and cover with about 3/4 cup of ganache.  Set aside.

Cut a straw into four equal sections.  Place the straws into the cake.  I make sure the straws are at least 1-inch in from each side and in each corner.  The homemade whipped cream is not sturdy enough to hold the weight of the top layer of cake on its own, that is why I add the straws.  Just be sure to tell your family when you cut into the cake.

Cover cake in about 1 1/2 cups of peppermint whipped cream.  I level the whipped cream to the height of the straws with an offset spatula.

Take other red velvet cake and center it on top of the cake on your cake stand.

Using a 1M tip, pipe out nine fancy swirls at least 2 inches high.  Cover in red and chocolate sprinkles.

I would recommend serving right away, but cake will keep for one day in the fridge.

Red Velvet Cake Covered in Rich Chocolate Ganache and Topped with Peppermint Whipped Cream #cake #Christmas

The Peppermint Whipped Cream is amazing.  It’s subtle, not overpowering.  Light.  Refreshing.

Such a perfect compliment to the rich Red Velvet and chocolate ganache!

I can’t recommend this cake enough.  It is seriously the PERFECT cake for any holiday celebration!

vanilla poppyseed cake with raspberry topping

Its Dessert Week at iambaker!  This week I am sharing five incredible and unique fall desserts that are a perfect alternative to pumpkin pie and would be an ideal addition to any Thanksgiving gathering!

Vanilla Poppyseed Cake with Raspberry Topping #dessertweek #thanksgiving

 

Even though my blog claims, “i am baker”, what I really am is baker-in-training.  There are so many things that I am not good at, that I am learning about, and that are firsts for me.

Bundt cakes are not something I have ever been interested in making.  I don’t even have a rational reason as to why they are hanging out at the bottom of my want-to-make list.  When Kristen from Dine & Dish posted her stunning Pumpkin Spice Bundt with Creamy Pumpkin Glaze everything changed.  My bundt perception shifted, and I suddenly wanted (very badly!) to try my hand at making one.

Vanilla Poppyseed Cake with Raspberry Topping #dessertweek #thanksgiving

 

This bundt was a wonderful combination of so many things.  A light and fragrant vanilla cake peppered with black poppy seeds and covered in the sweetest glaze.

Paired with a slightly tart raspberry topping and its officially tastebud overload.

Vanilla Poppyseed Cake with Raspberry Topping #dessertweek #thanksgiving

 

vanilla poppyseed cake with raspberry topping

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil Substitutions
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection Poppy Seed
  • Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Raspberry Topping:
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen raspberries in light syrup, thawed
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. For the Cake, generously grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Mix flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
  3. Add milk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl.
  5. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes.
  6. Gently stir in poppy seed. Pour into prepared pan.
  7. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. For the Glaze
  9. Mix all ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat.
  10. Reduce heat to low; simmer 1 minute.
  11. Remove cake from oven. Pierce cake surface deeply with a fork, about every inch.
  12. Spoon half of glaze over hot cake in pan.
  13. Let stand 10 minutes. Invert cake onto serving plate. Spoon remaining glaze over cake. Cool completely before serving.
  14. For the Topping
  15. Mix raspberries and vanilla. Spoon sauce over each slice of cake before serving.
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I found this recipe on McCormick Gourmet and am sharing with permission.

 

Vanilla Poppyseed Cake with Raspberry Topping #dessertweek #thanksgiving

 

As an aspiring food photographer, I can’t help but also love the color contrast.  The bright white and black contrasted with the deep red of the bursting berries.  It makes my mouth water!  Granted.  I have actually tasted this yummy cake so maybe its just my mind recalling the fabulous flavors.

I am officially converted into a Bundt Cake fan.

The images in this post were inspired by the food styling genius of Naomi from Bakers Royale.

cornmeal biscuits with strawberries

Its Dessert Week at iambaker!  This week I am sharing five incredible and unique fall desserts that are a perfect alternative to pumpkin pie and would be an ideal addition to any Thanksgiving gathering!

Cornmeal Shortcakes

As much as I love pumpkin pie, I also love offering up a variety of desserts at Thanksgiving. Well, anytime of the year really.  Desserts are my passion!

These fabulous biscuits are kicked up a notch by having cornmeal added to them.  As much as I love a biscuit that melts in your mouth, I adored the texture and flavor the cornmeal added.  With the addition of the strawberries and whipped cream… the classic shortcake was born!

Cornmeal Shortcakes

 

Cornmeal Biscuits with Strawberries

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and vanilla; stir to form a soft dough. (If dough is dry, add additional milk by tablespoonfuls.)
  3. Drop dough by 1/3 cupfuls about 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet, forming 8 biscuits. Flatten each biscuit slightly into a 2-inch round.
  4. Bake about 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, toss strawberries with granulated sugar and water in large bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  6. To serve, split biscuits. Place 1 biscuit bottom on each plate. Top each with about 1/2 cup strawberry mixture and biscuit top.
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I found this recipe on McCormick Gourmet and am sharing it with permission.

Cornmeal Shortcake

 

In McCormicks original recipe they use Tequila in the strawberries, which I think is kinda fabulous.  Since this was being served to kids I omitted it, but I can’t wait until I can use it!  Boozy Strawberry Shortcakes?  Amazing!

I also used Cool Whip for the whipped cream as that is a family favorite. If you are using homemade whipped cream be sure to serve immediately after assembling.  For an even more decadent treat, warm the biscuits just before assembling.  The strawberries and cold whipped topping will almost melt into the toasty biscuit creating the most fabulous taste sensation.

I just said taste sensation.

I need to make the tequila strawberries stat.  Maybe minus the strawberries.

If you are willing to share this post on Facebook, twitter, google+ (THANK YOU!) please feel free to use the hashtag #dessertweek.  Thank you so much for your pins and tweets and shares… they help so much!

The Perfect Chocolate Cake

It occurred to me that there are three things I have not done.

1. Updated the Best Chocolate Cake recipe.

2. Shared the perfect Chocolate Buttercream recipe.

3. Made a Chocolate Rose Cake.

The Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe and Perfect Chocolate Buttercream

Well, I will remedy those three issues all in one post!

I have made no less than 56, 743 rose cakes in the last 2 years and NOT ONE has been all chocolate!

What to the what?  Insanity.

The Best Ever Chocolate Cake and Best Ever Chocolate Buttercream

This best ever chocolate cake recipe was originally published on my blog in 2010 and is from The Barefoot Contessa who adapted it from Hershey’s.

The Perfect Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and mix until combined.
  2. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  4. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  5. (I prepared my cakes in two 8in round cake pans then divided each layer after they had cooled to create four layers)
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The Perfect Chocolate Cake and Best Chocolate Buttercream #chocolatecake #cake #buttercream

The Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks) at room temp.
  • 7½ cups powdered sugar (or one 2lb bag)
  • 1 cup good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream

Instructions

  1. ***THIS RECIPE IS FOR A CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM ROSE CAKE. You may need to halve this recipe if you are not making buttercream roses!***
  2. Place room temperature butter and vanilla into a stand mixer and beat at medium-high for about three minutes. You want it to appear lighter and fluffier.
  3. While butter is in mixer add powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt to a bowl and mix with a whisk. (sift)
  4. With mixer off, add in one cup of the powdered sugar and cocoa mixture. Turn mixer on to low and then slowly add in remaining powdered sugar mixture, one cup at a time.
  5. With mixer still on low, add in milk. Turn mixer to medium high and blend for at least two minutes.
  6. Frosting will appear very light, but it will darken as it sets.
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Recipe adapted from Savory Sweet Life.

 

The Perfect Chocolate Cake and Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting #chocolatecake #cake #buttercream #rosecake

 This is one of the best chocolate cake recipes I have ever had the pleasure of eating.  Its moist and fudgey but still has a light cake crumb.  Its got a depth of flavor (which I would attribute to the coffee) and a distinct rich deep chocolate essence.

If you are planing on making a chocolate rose cake as well, here are some posts to help you along.

Original Rose Cake – Photograph Tutorial

Rose Cake Tutorial on Youtube

The Perfect Birthday Rose Cake

Royal Wedding Rose Cake

Gender Reveal Rose Cake

Neapolitan Rose Cake (one of my favorite cakes of all time!)

The Perfect Chocolate Cake and Perfect Chocolate Buttercream #chocolatecake #cake #buttercream #rosecake

Next time you want the Perfect Chocolate Cake, you simply must make this one.

You won’t be sorry!

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake Recipe!

Once you get your chocolate fix be sure to try the Perfect White Cake!

Dr. Pepper Cake {Pioneer Woman Recipe}

Today is a fabulous day.  I get to share a fantastic recipe with you as well as a fantastic person AND give away three copies of her new book.  Fab-u-lous.

Dr. Pepper Cake!

The Pioneer Woman has a new book out called A Year of Holidays.  I have to tell you, its my favorite book yet.  I was moved to tears when I read page 87.  Please, if you dont win a copy, go and buy it and tell me that you arent moved by it.  (those that know me best will understand why its so special to me!)  Not only does she get me with some tear jerkin’ emotion throughout the book, but she makes me laugh too!

This whole book just makes me happy.  Its a perfect package.  And I really, really want you to have one.

But first, this cake!

Dr. Pepper Cake

Ree shares a Dr. Pepper cupcake in the book and I adapted it into a cake version.  I have to tell you, this cake is seriously like nothing I have ever made before.  The ingredients and technique were new to me, which is not something I often say about cakes!

I had omitted some ingredients because I simply didnt have them on hand, so if you want to try this cake in its original glory, be sure to check out Ree’s version in her book.  While I thought this cake and frosting was amazing as is, I have a feeling the ingredients that I left out would have undoubtedly added awesomeness.  Pay close attention to her original frosting recipe too… I must make it exactly as she specify’s next time!!

Dr. Pepper Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup prunes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • Frosting
  • 4 cups Dr. Pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks) softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 cups powder sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 8inch round cake pans.
  2. Add prunes and dried cherries to medium saucepan. Pour in 1 cup of Dr. Pepper, then bring it to a slow boil over medium heat.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool, about 20 minutes.
  4. Boil 1/2 cup water. In a microwave safe dish, melt butter. Add cocoa to melted butter then add in boiling water. Whisk together until smooth, set aside.
  5. In small bowl add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  6. In mixer fitted with paddle attachment add flour, sugar, nutmeg, ginger, and all spice.
  7. With mixer on low, add in cocoa mixture.
  8. Pour in buttermilk mixture.
  9. Slowly pour in Dr. Pepper mixture and blend until fully combined.
  10. This batter was about 5 cups, so I evenly divided it into two 8-inch pans. (2 1/2 cups per pan)
  11. Bake for 30-34 minutes or until cake has pulled away from the edges and slightly cracked on top.
  12. Frosting
  13. Boil 4 cups of Dr. Pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat until it has reduced to about 1/2 cup. 20 to 25 minutes. (I actually had my temp on medium high and reduced the soda for about 1 hour) Set aside to cool completely.
  14. Add butter to mixer and then add in ginger, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
  15. Mix on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.
  16. With mixer on low, add in Dr. Pepper reduction and blend completely. Spread over cooled cake.
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Dr. Pepper Cake

 

Would you like to win a SIGNED copy?  Simply tell me in a comment, have you ever made anything from The Pioneer Woman’s blog or books?

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Dr. Pepper Cake

Some other ladies are also sharing a recipe from The Pioneer Woman!

Bev Cooks made Chipotle Chicken Chili

Recipe Girl made Pecan Pie

She Wears Many Hats made Perfect Cream Scones

Reluctant Entertainer made Mulled Apple Cider

Two Peas and Their Pod made Dulce De Leche Brownies

Add a Pinch made Rum Cake

Apple Cider, Scones, Chili, Brownies, cake… sounds like the perfectly balanced meal to me! 

 

Candy Corn Cake {cake decorating tutorial}

I have something very serious to talk with you about today.  There is a great travesty occurring in our nation. A great injustice!  And I cannot, no I WILL NOT sit idly by for one moment longer.

And please forgive my boldness as I callously divert from the true spirit of this blog.  I try so very hard to have fun here.  To keep things light.  But enough is enough.  This has to stop.

Candy Corn Cake & cake decorating tutorial! #cakedecorating #halloween #cake

I am taking a stand.

There is the little tiny candy that I hold near and dear to my heart.  I have loved it from the moment I tried it.

Candy Corn Cake!  Full frosting tutorial!  #halloween #candycorn #cake

Its candy corn. To be more specific Brach’s Candy Corn.  The REAL stuff.

There is only one real candy corn.

 

That stuff?  Over on the right?  IMPOSTOR.  I dislike them very much.  I dislike them on a crutch.  I dislike them on a spoon.  I dislike them under the moon.  I dislike them all the way to mars and back!  I would not eat them, not for all the money in a sack!

Why oh why are the grocery stores carrying them?  Why do companies even try to replicate the awesomeness that is Brach’s Candy Corn?  It must be stopped!!

(Brach’s has never heard of me, I am seriously just a big -weird- obsessed fan.)

So anyway.  While I dislike the fake version, I have intense adoration for the real stuff. Hence this cake.  Which I am pretty sure has been made a million times before.  Except this is kinda  new way to frost a cake. At least I haven’t seen much of it around, so I figured why not a tutorial?

(A word of warning, this post has numerous images.  Many more than I usually post, so I apologize for any slow loading times!)

CANDY CORN CAKE {cake decorating tutorial}

You will need: (please feel free to substitute a box mix here!)

3 white cake recipes

2 buttercream recipes

Yellow and orange gel food coloring (I use Ateco or Americolor)

9 inch cake pans

#32 tip, pastry bags, coupler set

Rotating Cake Stand (optional)

Prepare cake batter.  Tint one recipe cake batter yellow and place in a prepared 9-inch cake pan.  Prepare another white cake and tint orange; place in prepared 9 inch cake pan.  Make last white cake and place in prepared 9 inch cake pan.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes longer than the recipe directions call for.  When cakes are done baking remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature in pan.  Carefully remove cake from pan and determine which is the shortest cake.  Level all the cakes to that level.

Next came frosting.  There are two full buttercream recipes here, which is a lot of frosting.  Divide one batch equally into two parts then tint one yellow and one orange, trying to match the shade of your cooked cake.  Leave remaining batch of buttercream white.  Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Candy Corn Cake: Frosting Tutorial #halloween #cakedecorating #buttercream

 

Start by placing your yellow cake on the cake stand.  Cover in approximately 1/2 cup of yellow buttercream.  Carefully place orange cake on top.  Cover with approximately 1/2 cup of orange buttercream.  Place white cake on top.  Smooth out an excess frosting.

As you can see above, I chose not to do a crumb coat.  I wanted to be sure I had enough frosting!  With the two recipes of buttercream it turns out I did, so I would recommend covering your cake in a crumb coat of white buttercream.

For the frosting.  My trick is this:

Great trick for changing out frosting bags when decorating a cake! #cakedecorating #halloween

I place all my frosting into plastic disposable pastry bags.  I then get a new clean bag with the tip I am using, in this case a #32 tip, and coupler set.  Cut off about 2 inches from the tip of the bag with your first color and place the frosting into the bag with the couple set and #32 tip.  Pipe out decoration and then when the frosting runs out, remove empty frosting bag from bag with tip and coupler.  Grab new frosting bag, cut off tip and drop into bag with tip and coupler.  When you have a new color change out your frosting tip.  Easy peasy!  Moving on.

Candy Corn Cake Tutorial: the frosting #cakedecorating #halloween #buttercream #cake

Starting with the yellow frosting in the bag with the #32 tip; place your tip at the very base of the cake.  Apply pressure and then swoop UP.  If you are at all uncomfortable with the motion, practice on a piece of parchment paper until it feels right.

At this point you can determine how big you want each dab to be; just try to remain consistent around the entire cake.  Continue this motion around cake until you have completely covered the bottom of the cake.

Candy Corn Cake Tutorial: the frosting #cakedecorating #halloween #buttercream #cake

For the next row, place your frosting tip right in between the dabs from the bottom row.  Repeat the same motion as you did above and do this around the entire cake until you have two full rows of mini scallops.

You will be doing three full rows of yellow, so once you have completed the second row, go back in and do a third in the exact same way.

Remove yellow frosting from your bag with the coupler set.  Change out to a clean #32 tip and then add orange frosting.

Just a note: I pipe one handed and was able to turn my cake around with the other hand.  If you want to make the piping even easier, place cake on a rotating cake stand.

Candy Corn Cake Tutorial: the frosting #cakedecorating #halloween #buttercream #cake

This is how the cake should look at this point. (Of course, yours will be neater since you did a beautiful crumb coat!)

Candy Corn Cake Tutorial: the frosting #cakedecorating #halloween #buttercream #cake

The orange dabs are done in the exact same way as the yellow.  Do one row, go back in and add another row, then finish with a third row.

Candy Corn Cake Tutorial: the frosting #cakedecorating #halloween #buttercream #cake

This is how the orange layer looks when done.  You can see it will overlap onto the white layer of cake and that is great.

Candy Corn Cake Tutorial: the frosting #cakedecorating #halloween #buttercream #cake

If you are anything like me you will want every single dabs to be perfectly uniform and placed just right.  Well, I got over that pretty quick!  In my humble opinion, imperfections are beautiful too.  If you have a dab you dont like, simply remove it carefully then go back in and pipe another one.  This cake is very forgiving!

Candy Corn Cake Tutorial: the frosting #cakedecorating #halloween #buttercream #cake

For the white layer, do the dabs exactly as you have done wit the yellow and orange.  I did two rows of white dabs around the cake.  Looking back at the finished cake I could have fit three in, but didnt.  Be sure to carefully look at your cake and see what will work best.

Candy Corn Cake Tutorial: the frosting #cakedecorating #halloween #buttercream #cake

The third row I started at the very edge of the cake then swooped IN, towards the center of the cake.  I went around the cake until I reached the center.

If you are a faithful iambaker reader you will recognize this technique from this Mini Heart Surprise Inside Cake I did!

Candy Corn Cake: frosting tutorial #halloween #cakedecorating #buttercream #cake

Keep going around and around the cake until you reach the center.

Candy Corn Cake: frosting tutorial #halloween #cakedecorating #buttercream #cake

When you get to the center just take extra cake to make your final dabs as uniform as you can.  Even if they are not its ok, the over effect is still quite lovely.

Candy Corn Cake: frosting tutorial #halloween #cakedecorating #buttercream #cake

And this is how the top looks all completed!  Can you see the reflection of the yellow and orange in the cake server?  I totally planned that. #totalydidnotplanthat

So lets re-cap.  All impostor candy corn is wretchedly bad.  Brach’s candy corn is the real, the best, and the only candy corn allowed in this house!

Candy Corn Cake! #halloween #cakedecorating #buttercream #cake

As you can see, I may have a small obsession with them.  It is my understanding that some people even add peanuts to theirs.  And M&M’s or some such nonsense.  I am afraid this is the dividing line between us.  Difference in political and religious beliefs?  I can handle that.  Nuts in my candy corn?  Get outta here.

No nuts!  No M&M’s!

Candy Corn inspired cake! #cakedecorating #halloween #cake #frostinglesson

Just candy corn.  Lots and lots and lots and lots of CANDY CORN!

And cake.  Always lots of cake.

Candy Corn inspired cake! #halloween #cakedecorating #cake #buttercream #beautifulcakes

My apologies for this longest and most picture heavy post I have ever had the pleasure of assembling.  Please do let me know if you have any questions.

And lets brainstorm for the next cake!  Should we tackle this one for Christmas?  Red, white and green?  Should we take on New Years and make it black, white and gold?  How about Fourth of July with red, white and blue?  How about a rainbow with all the beautiful colors??  The possibilities are endless!  Cant wait for the next one, which you are sure to see very soon!

Candy Corn Cake! #halloween #cakedecorating #buttercream #cake

For the record, I have enjoyed candy corn with salty peanuts before and they were ok.  I may have gotten a little intense up there.;)

Feel free to check out my other Candy Corn Cake!  Its based off of the Indian Candy Corn.