easter egg surprise-inside cake

I have been so inspired by this never ending winter.  Not to make surprise-inside snowflake cakes, but to make flavorful and beautiful cakes that are reminiscent of Spring.

And warm weather.  And sunshine.  And warm weather.  And flowers.

And warm weather.  We got 14 inches of snow last night.  Please send warm weather.

Easter egg suprise-inside cake!

Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours

Cook Time:      1 hour

Cake:

2 packages (2-layer size) white cake mix

1 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Strawberry Extract

   McCormick® Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye

   McCormick® Assorted NEON! Food Colors & Egg Dye

 

Buttercream:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 tablespoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

2 to 4 drops red McCormick® Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye

1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons milk

 

Egg Surprise Inside Cake

Prepare one of the white cake mixes by following directions on box and adding strawberry extract. Divide cake batter evenly into five bowls. Stir 1/2 teaspoon of food color to each bowl. Add neon pink to one bowl, orange to the next (1/4 teaspoon yellow, 1/4 teaspoon red), yellow to the next, green to the next, and blue to the last bowl.

Place a medium resealable plastic bag in a tall drinking glass and let the edges of the bag drape around the outside edge of the glass. Pour the pink batter into the bag. Remove bag from glass. Twist bag around, then secure with a twist-tie or rubber band. Set aside. Continue with remaining four colors.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Cut off a 1/4-inch piece from the tip of one of the corners of the pink bag. Pipe a 1/4-inch thick line of batter lengthwise on the parchment paper. Continue with all the colors until the parchment paper is completely covered in stripes of batter. Lines of batter should be touching each other. (Place the bags of batter in separate glasses to keep them upright while piping out each color.) Use a second cookie sheet if necessary so that all of the batter is used.

Bake in preheated 350°F oven 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cake start to brown. Cool completely on wire rack.

Using an egg-shaped cookie cutter (approximately 2 1/2 inches across and 3 inches high), cut out egg shapes from the striped cake.

Prepare remaining white cake mix following the directions on the box. Pour about 1 cup of batter into 9×5 loaf pan sprayed with no stick cooking spray. Place the striped cake eggs standing up along the center of the loaf pan so that the entire center of the pan is filled with a line of cake eggs. (Cake eggs should be touching. Do not leave any spaces between them or the white batter will seep in between.) Carefully pour remaining white batter over the cake eggs, filling in the sides first and then pouring over the top.

 

Here is a quick video to show how I did the surprise-inside!
Bake in preheated 350°F oven 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into white cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

For the buttercream, beat butter and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy. Stir in red food color. Frost top and sides of cake with Buttercream.

Makes 12 servings.

Easter Egg Surprise-Inside Cake!

Tips:

  • For ease in cutting out egg shapes, freeze the cookie sheet with the striped cake for about 1 hour.
  • Press cake eggs gently into white batter. Use less white batter under the cake eggs so that they do not float up within the cake.
  • For Fruit-Flavored Buttercream, add 1 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Strawberry Extract or McCormick® Raspberry Extract or 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract or McCormick® Pure Orange Extract. If desired, tint lemon frosting with yellow food color or orange frosting with yellow and red food colors.

Chill cake until ready to serve!

Easter Egg Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

I designed and created this cake on my own, and am working with McCormick to bring you new, creative and beautiful recipes as often as possible!  (I was not compensated for the video.)

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

Such a fun treat today!

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

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

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

Thank you Sally, for sharing such a great recipe!

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

Sally Baking Addiction

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

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

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

 

Buy Sally’s book HERE!

 

boston cream pie surprise inside cake™

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boston Cream Pie Surprise Inside Cake™

 

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

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

These people are united in compassion and strength and love.

Boston Cream Pie Surprise Inside Cake™

 

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

There are three layers representing the three lives lost.

There is a heart.

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

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

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

“Frozen” Inspired Layer Cake

My daughter is obsessed with Frozen.

And I think there are at least 29,000,000 moms who can say the exact same thing.

Just in case you haven’t heard it enough times, click here to listen to “Let it Go” while learning how to make your very own Frozen Inspired Cake.

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

So I decided to make a cake that would be easy enough for anyone to make, but that would remind little kids of their most beloved movie and characters, Elsa and Anna.

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Even though I leveled each cake and used the same amount of frosting in between each layer, my cake still turned out crooked and wonky.  I hope that it was just a fluke and that your cake will NOT turn out wonky.

I did a few things on this cake.

1. Made it in 6 inch round cake pans, which meant the cake would be tall and skinny.

2. Make it a different color layered cake to match Elsa and Anna’s dresses in Frozen.

3. Made “icicles” on the outside.

You will need:

2 white cake recipes

1 batch buttercream

Gel Food Coloring (see below for exact colors and amounts)

White Sprinkles

To make the I started by first prepared one white cake batter.  My white cake recipe yields about 4 cups of batter (as does a box mix if you prefer) so I divided that between three bowls. (1 1/3 cups batter per bowl)

You can also double the white cake recipe and divide the batter between six bowls.  I chose to make one cake, prepare the three colors and bake the three 6 inch cakes before starting on the next white cake.

To get the layers these vibrant colors I used AmeriColor gel food coloring.  They worked perfectly!

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

For ANNA’S colors I used the Super Black, Fuchsia, and Royal Blue.  I used about 1/4 teaspoon of each, but you can use as much as you want/need to to achieve the color you want.  (While the Fuchsia above looks pink, it turned out very true to the color in Anna’s dress after I added the full 1/4 teaspoon.)

For ELSA’S colors, I used Royal Blue and Sky Blue.  In three bowls each containing 1 1/4 cups cake batter you will add:

5 drops Sky Blue + 1 drop Royal Blue (If you want to have a more distinguishable difference between the layers, you can add 2 drops Royal Blue)

5 drops Sky Blue

1 scant drop Sky Blue

So each different color layer was baked in 6 inch round cake pan for approximately 25 minutes (20-30 minutes depending on your oven) and then cooled.

Once cooled I leveled each cake to approximately 1 inch high.  After adding in frosting between each layer, my cake was about 8 inches tall, which is vey tall!  And now I will show you why I wanted a tall cake.

(My daughter pointed out that Elsa’s original party dress was the same colors as Anna’s.)

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Icicles!  Well, kinda.  More like sparkly wanna-be icicles.  But definitely pretty enough for any Frozen Fan!

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Here is how to made the “icicles”.

First I started by covering my cake in a coat of white buttercream.  This crusting buttercream recipe works really well because it is very white, but you can certainly use your favorite recipe.

Get your icing as smooth and flat as you can.

Place in freezer for at least one hour.

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Get out a piece of parchment that is the length of your cake.  My cake was about 20inches around, but you will want to measure YOUR cake.  (You can do this by wrapping parchment around the cake and then marking where the ends meet.)

Lay parchment flat on table and start making icicle shapes pointing down.  There is no right or wrong, but I found that the more icicles the better.

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Starting at the top of your sheet, cut the “icicles” out.  (If you used a black marker like I did, be sure to cut out all areas that marker is on.  I did not do that.  The marker bled in a later step.  Don’t be like me.)

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Remove cake from freezer after it has been chilling for at least one hour.  (Again, please make sure you did not leave any black marker spots on your parchment.)

I held my parchment up to my cake to determine the height needed and trimmed a bit off of the bottom section.  I then started to carefully wrap the parchment around the cake.

Go slow, and smooth the parchment out as needed.  This does not need to be perfect, we just need the parchment to stick to the frosting right around where the icicles will be.

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Now get your “white sparkling sugar” or “shimmer white sugar” or “sparkling white sprinkles” (all can be found at grocery stores and Walmart).

Place your cake covered in parchment on a clean baking sheet.

Pour a generous amount of sprinkles into the palm of your hand and start pressing your hand into the cake where the frosting is exposed.

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

Do this around entire cake.  If you need to, scoop up excess sprinkles from around cake stand base and from baking sheet and press into any areas of frosting that need to be covered.  Also be sure to cover top of cake.

Once you have covered everything, you can either place the cake back in the freezer or you can begin to remove the parchment.  Start by testing a small section; if you pull the parchment and some frosting comes up then the cake needs to be chilled. (Start with at least 30 minutes).  If you can safety remove the parchment without any frosting being removed, then proceed slowly.

How To Make Icicles ~ Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

My cake was nicely chilled, so the parchment peeled away very nicely, leaving a nice clean, sharp line. Nice.

Remove all of parchment and discard.  If you have any sparkles left over, they look great right around the base of the cake.

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

You can easily make this cake in 8 inch pans, it will just not be as tall.  (Just make the necessary adjustments for the height of your icicles.)  I would take a bit more care to make your layers neater… mine don’t look as good as I would like. (And I didn’t have time to re-do!)

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

(taken with my iphone)

If you do not want to put that much black food coloring into your cake here are two options.

1.  You can add up to 1/4 cup of cocoa powder.  Doing that can provide a base color, allowing you to add less food coloring.  (This will also give the cake a slightly chocolatey flavor.)

2. You can bake a separate cake that is a dark chocolate cake for the bottom layer.  (I would still recommend using a little black food coloring to achieve the same colors as in Anna’s dress.)

Disney's "Frozen" Inspired Layer Cake! #frozen #elsaandanna #elsacake #annacake #layercake

And that is how to make a “Frozen” inspired layer cake!

Do let me know if you have any questions.  This cake will lend itself to so many possibilities, and I do hope you are inspired!

today and tomorrow

I just need a moment to breath.

And I have a feeling you do too.

These last two months have been a whirlwind.  I have laughed and cried.  I have been humbled beyond words and I have felt so disappointed that I am ashamed it rocked me to my core.

The highest of highs and lowest of lows, so to speak.

For example, I worked my butt off on a cake.  From conception to completion, every detail was meticulously thought out.  I worked for DAYS to make sure this cake was perfect. TODAY Show CakeI am not kidding you when I say I put my heart into it.  As I placed the final coat of frosting and added the final details, I just knew this cake was going to be amazing.

I could just see it… the TODAY Show producers would see it and mouths would drop.  People would hover around computers to look at the pictures.

The call would be made, “Pack your bags, you are coming to NYC!” TODAY Show Surprise Inside Cake!It turned out beautifully.  Every painstaking detail!

I sat on pins and needles for days.

And days.

And days.

And never heard a word.  Not only were they not impressed, but there was no call.  I would not be making a morning show appearance.

I can’t say for certain why it hit me so hard, but I can’t help but feel like it had something to do with the expectations I had unwittingly placed on that silly little cake.  Its like my entire career as an author and baker was resting delicately on clouds of white buttercream. When reality set it, it was a crushing and embarrassing defeat.

Surprise Inside Cakes Cover

There is just something different about publishing a book.  I know people equate it to childbirth, and I can definitely understand why,  but for me it was very different.

Concerning my children, once they are in the world they are perfect and loved and there is no convincing me otherwise.  They, in their unquestionable perfection, are the greatest thing I have ever had a hand in creating.  And their perfection and amazingness truth is independent of me.  In that, there is no doubt.

With the book, the failure is a direct result of me.  My efforts.  Will someone hold it and understand my heart?  Will they look over the less-than-refined cakes and see the memories I hope will be made or the inspiration I desperately want to share?   Will they understand that I have never in my life been so vulnerable publically and that it’s absolutely terrifying?

KITM-book-signing-amanda-rettke

Well no, of course not.  It would be silly to expect people to read that deeply into my words and hear my heart.  It’s a book about cake.

The truth is, I am not a New York Times best selling author as badly as I wanted to say those words.

And that’s ok.

There have been interviews and reviews and thankfully, the amazing and supportive blogging community has stepped forward and shared some of the most kind and humbling posts I could ever imagine.  Every single one of those posts and a treasure to me! (See them here)

I heard a quote once that has really stuck with me as a blogger, and now author.  (It was said by Ellen DeGeneres and I can’t remember it exactly, so this is a paraphrase.)

“Never believe the worst of what people say about you.  Never believe the best either.”

As much as I want to believe the best of what others say, it holds no more truth than the worst.

What I am learning is that it is important to trust and value the opinions of those close to you.

Flowers from my Husband

 

That when my husband surprises me with flowers and says, “I am so proud of you,” that is something I can let fill my soul.  

So instead of never sharing this cake with the world and acting like everything is fine and dandy and that rejection and hurt don’t come ’round here, I choose to be real.

TODAY Show Surprise Inside Cake!

I made a surprise inside cake for the TODAY show.  And they didn’t care about it one way or another.

But that doesn’t it make it any less valuable or significant to me.  

 

If you would like to support this sometimes maker of pretty cakes and accidental writer, you can get my book HERE.

(And if you want to join in the twitter conversation.)

sugared spring biscuits

There is really nothing better than a lazy weekend morning with the family.  I love waking up a few minutes before everyone else and starting a big hot breakfast.

What I love even more is seeing the smiling faces emerge from their bedrooms when they start to smell the delicious aroma of fresh baked goods.

Pastel Sugared Biscuits

So while I want to make sure I am making something easy enough, mostly I want to make something that looks pretty.  I can’t help it!  Even better when it represents the beautiful pastel and white colors that we so often associate with Easter.   I think that Easter is my favorite holiday!

What’s even better is when I can put something together really quickly, and then sit back and enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee.

It’s all about priorities.

Pastel Sugared Biscuits

 

To make this easy and fun Easter breakfast start with fun pastel colored sanding sugar. (I got all of mine at Target for under $4)

1 can of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits

bundt pan

Pastel Sugared Biscuits

 

I poured about 1/4 cup of sanding sugar into a bowl.  I then opened my  Pillsbury biscuits and removed the biscuits from the can.  There are 8 biscuits in each can, so I made two of each color.

Simply place the biscuits in the color of choice, then rotate it onto the sanding sugar until every bit of the biscuit is covered.

Pastel Sugared Biscuits

 

Next, place all the biscuits into a well prepared bundt pan (I sprayed mine with baking spray) and bake for about 12-14 minutes.

Remove biscuits from the oven, allow to cool for about five minutes, then serve on a pretty cake stand or plate.

We enjoyed the biscuits the best when they are still warm!

Pastel Sugared Biscuits

 

This is such a fun and easy way to spend time with family!  The kids love the sanding sugar part, and we had plenty of smiles and giggles while making ours.

Sugared Spring Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 can Pillsbury Grands Biscuits
  • Sanding sugars in pink, yellow, blue, green
  • bundt pan

Instructions

  1. Remove biscuits from can and place on clean surface. One at a time, dip biscuits into sanding sugar. Two biscuits will go into each color.
  2. Place sugar covered biscuits into a well prepared bundt pan.
  3. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 325 degrees in a convection oven, or 350 degrees in a regular oven.
  4. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, then serve. (Can be served immediately, but they are very hot, so be careful with kids!)
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Pastel Sugared Biscuits

This recipe was my conception and execution (and pleasure in eating!), but I was given some biscuits to bake with.

Want other great ideas for your Easter celebration?  Check these out!

sweet paul {kitchen aid mixer giveaway}

I sat down and read Sweet Pauls new book, Eat & Make, from cover to cover.  I found myself laughing and giggling, feeling inspired and motivated, as well as hungry and desperate to bake!

Sweet Paul book "Eat & Make"

 

Paul Lowe, the author, was raised in Norway and I absolutely loved the antidotes and stories from his youth.  His Mormor’s fish pie has rocketed to the top of my “must make” list.

(He calls it pedestrian, I call it perfection!)

Eat & Make by Sweet Paul

I was also completely enamored with his Pavlova with Vanilla Cream & Blackberries.

I think I would feel like royalty if I ate this.

Eat & Make by Sweet Paul

 

And Baked French Toast with Strawberries & Vanilla Syrup?  As a self-professed breakfast lover this delights me in every way.  The stars mean my kids will love it as much as I do!

This book has already brought me so much joy that I have ordered more copies.  I have 2 for me (one in my kitchen and one on the coffee table!) and many more to give away to friends and family.  Especially since I have so many Norwegian relatives!

You are going to love this book.  Here is the link to Amazon but you can certainly find it wherever books are sold!

I would get it right now, so that you can also feel the love and joy that this book shares.

Just in case you want an extra copy, I am giving an Eat & Make book to one special iambaker reader.

Simply tell me, “What do you love about the Sweet Paul magazine/blog/book?”

As if that wasnt amazing enough, Sweet Paul and I are teaming up to give one lucky iambaker reader a KitchenAid mixer!

KitchenAid Mixer!

 

To be entered it’s the same question as above, “What do you love about Sweet Paul’s magazine/blog/book?”

Here are the OFFICIAL RULES.  This contest is open to US Residents only.  A winner will be chosen on April 8th, 2014 and will be notified by email.

There is a PromoSimple Entry form below.  Please be patient while it loads.  Thank you!


rose cake party with chinet

Do you have that one chore that you simply detest? For me, it’s washing the dishes. I would rather iron every single one of my husband’s shirts with military precision than do dishes. Rose Cake Party Especially baking dishes. I bake all the time, and after the preparation and assembly and decoration, the last thing I want to do is dive into a sink of batter bowls, dried frosting tips, and sticky crumbly side plates. Rose Cake PartySo at my most recent get together I decided to change things up a bit.  I embraced easy. Sitting alongside my beautiful crystal cake stands covered in rosette cakes I placed Chinet® Cut Crystal® tableware. I used their new side plates, silverware and cups.

I also used a dinner plate for an extra special purpose, but I will show you that in just a second.  (Can you find it in the picture at the top?)   Chinet New Cut Crystal   It all fit together quite beautifully.  The sunny day, the shabby chic cakes, the glass cake stands, and the side plates, utensils, and cups created a lovely and magical setting.

I gave Olivia a cup to play with and she would not let it go! OliviaShe was the belle of the ball with her ruffles and chubby cheeks, sipping out of her crystal glass.

It’s basically the baby version of Cinderella. ;) Green Rosette Cake on Chinet New Cut Crystal And what do you think of my new cake stand?  I wanted the cakes to be at different heights on my table, so I used traditional cake stands for the pink and yellow rosette cakes and a Chinet® Cut Crystal® plate for the green rosette cake.

At first glance you cannot tell that it is plastic!  Chinet® Cut Crystal®This party was such fun, not only because of the delicious cake and drinks, but because of the ease of clean up.  I almost did not want to throw the plates and silverware away.  It is beautiful, easy to use, durable and cheap!!  Which is something every party planner wants to hear.

I have such faith in the new Chinet® Cut Crystal® line that I brought it to my last book signing!

You can check out my own Pinterest Page for more ideas and to see what I think the perfect party looks like.

Would you like to win a $100 Visa Gift Card?  Just tell me:

How do you make your occasions perfectly coordinated?

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card and a Chinet® Cut Crystal® party pack.

Sweepstakes Rules:
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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 4/1/2014-5/7/2014.

Be sure to visit the Chinet® Cut Crystal® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Here is a tutorial on How To Make a Rose Cake.

Also the badge at the bottom is missing.  Here is the code for you to put it back up.

 

Also the badge at the bottom is missing. Here is the code for you to put it back up.

Decadent Homemade Brownies

If you have purchased my new cookbook, ‘surprise-inside cakes‘, you may have noticed something.  There really aren’t that many recipes.

Which is weird for a cookbook.  The few recipes it does have are recipes that I truly adore, and today, I am sharing one!

In the book there is a cake called the Neapolitan Hi-Hat cake.

Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cake!

 

You are all pretty familiar with my Neapolitan obsession, so it was a natural progression for me to have it in the book.

And while I love the beauty of neapolitan, the dark brown chocolate, the like pink, the crisp white… what I want to talk about today is the flavors, or the recipe.

When you have mile-high sweet and sugary whipped cream and strawberry cake amazingness, you really need a dark and high quality chocolate to pair it with.  That is how my Decadent Brownie recipe was born.

Decadent Homemade Brownies

 

This is the deconstructed hi-hat, with no hat. ;)

I made up the recipe from my book, topped with a bit of whipped cream, and added a couple strawberries for texture and flavor.

Decadent Homemade Brownies

 

While I love a good fudgey brownie, this cakey brownie with a crispy crust and bits of semi-sweet chocolate is my newest obsession.

Ob. Sesh. On.

Decadent Homemade Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulate sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate (about 2 ounces) finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8-inch round cake pan.
  2. In stand mixer, combine sugars, butter and vanilla and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time until well blended.
  3. Sift flours, cocoa and salt in medium bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture to butter mixture with mixer on low speed and blend until ingredients are fully combined. (no more than 1 minute)
  4. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in finely chopped chocolate by hand using a spatula.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let brownies cool to room temperature in pan.
  7. Cover in whipped cream and strawberries.
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Decadent Homemade Brownies

 

Sorry for my bad spelling above.  I promise I won’t start saying what-evs and obvi and talking about cake swag.  But if I do, just chalk it up to YOLO.

;)

this and that

I have been baking up a storm and have so many new designs and recipes to share.  So excited!  Think you can guess what is in this cake?  It’s coming to the blog soon!

surprise inside cake

Since I have been getting quite a few inquires of late I thought I would create a blog post to answer them all.  If you have any additional questions after this, please feel free to leave a comment!

WHERE CAN I BUY YOUR BOOK?

First off, thank you so much for being interested!  If you are in the US you can buy it here.  If you are outside the US, I have this page that shares where most folks can purchase.  If you do not find your country, please let me know.

***Surprise-Inside Cakes is on sale right now on Amazon for $16.50, which is almost half off the cover price!

ARE YOU HAVING ANYMORE BOOK GIVEAWAYS?

Yes, I most definitely will!  But for now I have this PRESS page that lists any current giveaway’s for the book.  That will give you many, many more chances to win!

ARE YOU COMING TO MY CITY FOR A BOOK SIGNING?

Only if you live in Minnesota!  :)  We are doing some local signings soon.  If there is a demand in the future I would be more than happy to!

Other Fun Stuff:

I am having a contest on Instagram!  Take a snap shot of you with your Surprise-Inside Cakes book and post it to instagram.  Use the hashtag #surpriseinsidecakes and you will be automatically entered to win a $50 giftcard!  You can enter up to five times if you own five books, so could potentially win as much as $250!

Instagram Contest Surprise Inside Cakes

 

Winner will be notified on Instagram.  There will be one winner every week for the next five weeks!

I am now an instructor at Craftsy!  (Learn more about it here.)

Decorating from the Inside Out

I would love for you to see first hand how I create my surprise inside cakes.  And just in case you like that Rainbow Heart Cake that is on the cover, I make that cake in the class!!

We have gotten really good feedback so far, which is such a relief to hear.  Having people enjoy it and actually learn something was the goal, and it seems that they are!

I hope you will join in the fun!

And lastly, did you want to get your copy of Surprise-Inside Cakes signed?  If you send it to me I will sign it and return it to you!

Amanda Rettke

PO Box 261

St. Francis, MN 55070

Please indicate who you would like to made out to and if you want any specific message.

THANK YOU all so much for your support!  I am so humbled by your kindness and willingness to buy the book.  It means the world to me!