Category Archives: Cake

Another week another Acme Muffin Recipe – Blueberry Yum!

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The basics are almost always the easiest thing to bake and blueberry muffins are really no exception. There is no reason you should ever buy a box of blueberry muffin mix!

Acme Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
Heaping 3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp melted butter (cool)
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries

Sift together the dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl whisk together the egg and milk. Add butter to the egg mixture.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet into the dry. Mix until combined but not over mixed, it will still look a little lumpy.

In yet another bowl, toss the blueberries in 1 tsp flour, this helps them from bleeding in your batter. Fold the blueberries into the batter.

This batter made 11 standard size muffins.
Bake at 40″ degrees for 16-18 minutes.

Sweetapolita your chocolate cake kicked my butt

Tonight I was supposed to redeem the caketastrophy of eggless cupcakes from the weekend. I was determined to make Sweetapolita’s chocolate cake but I am not convinced I succeeded.

They are still flat. A little salty. But tasty. At some point I will frost them with that meringue buttercream. If they look pretty I will post. Tomorrow I am tackling coffee cake and chocolate chip cookies.

More to come!

Nothing but the crumb..

I have tasted New York style crumb cake before but I have never really thought to make one. I am not sure I succeeded tonight but I did make one. It is hot, really hot in my kitchen, so I am not convinced that baking was the right thing to do. Now, as I sit and type this plopped precisely in front of my very pathetic in-room air conditioner smelling the tempting aroma of vanilla and cinnamon wafting this way I think I made the right decision.

The final photo will have to be added tomorrow morning, you know the one, the glamor shot of the cut cake slice. It is a tricky cake and I can’t really tell if it is fully baked so said photo might never come and you will just have to assume I failed.

Cake Batter

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (you could use milk here, I think I should have added a tbsp or two more of the buttermilk to get the right consistency)

Crumb Topping

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

1.       Place rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour your pan (I used an 8 inch cake round)

2.       In a medium bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3.       In a second bowl, whisk together egg, milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.

4.       Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, and set aside.

5.      In a medium bowl, combine remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over flour mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over batter.

6.      Transfer pan to oven, and bake, rotating pan after 10 minutes. Continue baking until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.

Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Using a serrated knife or bench scraper, cut into 3-inch squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Red Velvet Logans

I had to come up with a red, white and blue something for a team potluck at work. Everyone likes when I bake so I couldn’t miss the opportunity. I pondered what to make when I decided to do a red velvet cupcake filled with homemade blueberry jam and topped with cream cheese frosting.
I had never made a red velvet anything so I asked my uber baker friend Logan if she had a favorite recipe. She obliged and that left figuring out how to make a quick jam. Apparently the addition of an acid takes a compote to jam status in just a few minutes.
The resulting cupcakes were delicious and not a single one was left at the end of the party.

Red velvet cake:
Yield: 3 cake layers or 30 cupcakes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups cake flour (you can easily make this recipe gluten free by swapping the flour for an ap gluten free flour substitute like gluten free pantry. I always add at least 1/4 tsp of xantham gum per cup of flour to help the texture)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil (swap for room temp coconut oil if that’s your thing)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring or 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring dissolved in 6 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.

2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.

3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.

5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.

Cupcake variation: Since this has been published, many readers have written in to express that it adapts well to cupcakes. The yield is approximately 30 cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way, and the baking time should be between 20 to 25 minutes, but check in on them 2/3 of the way through in case your oven gets the job done faster.

Blueberry Jam
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar plus a little more depending on the sweetness of your berries and what you like
Juice and zest of 1 small lemon

Smash the blueberries in your pot then add the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and let coo 10 to 15 minutes until thick. Then cool completely and put in the fridge.

I hallow out about two tsp of cake from each cupcake and then top with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting
8 oz cream cheese
4 Tbsp butter
1 lb powdered sugar plus probably a cup more
1 tsp vanilla

Beat this all for a good five minutes until smooth.

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Acme Baking Company Quick and easy – the cake, not me…

My mom used to make this cake all the time when we were kids. It’s really fast and easy and you almost always have the ingredients on hand. There is no greasing/flouring of pans, just make the batter and bake it off!

The base is a sour cream coffee cake batter with cinnamon added. The chocolate chips and sugar on top really make this a delicious treat.

Chocolate Chip Bit Cake

Cream together:
6 Tbsp soft butter
1 c. Sugar
2 Eggs
then add 1 c. sour cream

Whisk together:
1 1/3 c. Flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture. Pour into 9×13 baking dish (no need to butter or flour the dish).

Top the batter with 6 oz of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate – typically I use semi-sweet but it is equally delish with a good dark chocolate. The sprinkle the top with a couple Tbsp of granulated sugar.

Bake 30-35 minute at 350. Cool completely and enjoy! Don’t overbake or it will be dry and who wants a dry cake?

The cake will rise just slightly so you can use the disposable 9×13 pans that are only a little over an inch in depth.

Everyone who has ever had this has loved it! It was my great uncle’s favorite cake – good thing we never told him there was sour cream in there, he HATED sour cream.

Magnolia Bakery in my very own kitchen

>Oscar Sunday was last week and I opted to bake my contribution to the party. I knew I wanted to do cupcakes but what to do what to do!

Enter the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook that has been on my shelves for years and never used. The decision. Lemon Cupcakes and Chocolate cupcakes. I thought I was going to do cream cheese frosting on both but it just didn’t taste right on the lemon so I whooped up the lemon with a lemon curd filling (from the book) and a lemon buttercream frosting.

The lemon curd was to die for so that is the recipe I am going to post. To fill cupcakes I used some weird tool in my kitchen that was for juicing lemons. I think there is a tool made specifically for this task so I might have to buy one because the idea of filled cupcakes is a winner in my book.

Lemon Curd
6 egg yolks at room temp
1 1/2 Tbsp grate lemon zest
1/2 c. lemon juice (freshly squeezed of course)
1/4 tsp lemon extract (this really added a nice balance)
3/4 c. sugar
cook all of that for about 20 minutes (stirring constantly) over medium heat. It will get thick and bubbly (you’ll think it is thick enough earlier but just keep going for about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and add 1 c. of cold butter cut in small pieces one piece at a time and stir until each piece is incorporated.

Place in a heat proof container and chill until firm (the recipe calls for overnight, but I only had a couple of hours)

I made about a dozen cupcakes and I only needed about half of the mixture to fill them. The rest was consumed on toast, biscuits, pancakes..you name it!

Happy Birthday to you…

Sometimes being able to bake something that impresses people can be the most wonderful thing in the world. Not everyone understands the love that goes into something or that it could easily take 5 hours to make a cake from scratch, there are skills and challenges in every attempt.

And most importantly, people don’t realize that you could put in all this effort and have a massive failure on your hands. I am so glad that wasn’t the result this week when I took on the challenge of making a birthday cake for a co-worker.

Let me preface this by saying, I have never made a multi-layer cake and had it turn out pretty. I almost never make layer cakes because of this but I was not going to let the stop me when I found a recipe for a Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake.

OMG! So f’in good!

Are you ready? I think you are. Now there was a tiny little warning at the bottom of the recipe that said “This cake is a lot of work”. I would like to go on record and say that was an understatement, but that all of that work was well worth it! The cake was a huge success and when the left overs made their way to the office kitchen they were gobbled up. When I went to collect my carrier there was a note..”This cake was delicious, can I please have the recipe.”

That is the best compliment!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

Prep 3 8 or 9″ cake rounds -butter, then put in parchment rounds, butter again and then dust with flour.
Preheat oven to 325

3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 1/4 c. hot water
2/3 c. sour cream
Mix together in a bowl until completely blended, then set aside

2 2/3 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Sift together in a bowl and set aside

3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
Blend together until creamy and smooth using your beater blade (mine never got perfectly smooth)
Add 1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
Cream together
Add 3 large eggs at room temperature one at a time
1 Tbsp vanilla
Mix together until smooth – remember to scrape down the sides to make sure everything get mixed together

Alternate additions of the flour mixture and the cocoa liquid mixture

Divide between the three pans, spread out in the pans then tap the pans a couple of times on the counter to get some bubbles out.

Place in the oven and bake about 30 minutes (until toothpicks come out clean)

While the cakes are baking you have a good amount of work to do.
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
put in 2 qt sauce pan, stir together without splashing. Then turn the burner on high and just let the mixture come to a boil and boil until it is a light amber color. Remove from heat and let it cool for a minute or so (it will darken)
While you are cooking that mixture – heat up 1/2 c. heavy cream and 1 tsp sea salt (I did this in a double boiler so I didn’t have to watch it like a hawk) stir to make sure the salt is dissolving
Once the caramel mixture has cooled for a minute add the warmed heavy cream mixture and 1/4 c. sour cream
Stir and pour into a heat proof container. Let it come to room temp and then cover and refrigerate.

Next!
Another caramel sauce
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
Stir and then put on high heat – cook until it is a light amber color. Remove from heat and let cool for a minute then add 1 1/2 c. warmed heavy cream

Put 1lb of dark chocolate pieces (chips or chopped chocolate) in a large heat proof bowl. Once you have the caramel sauce cooked and slightly cooled, pour it over the chocolate. Wait a minute or so and then start stirring the mixture so the chocolate melts.

Transfer the chocolate caramel mixture into your mixer bowl and turn the mixture on low to keep it moving. Do this until it is cool to the touch (this took over an hour for me) then add 2 c. of unsalted butter cut into cubes (using your beater blade).

Once the butter is incorporated and smooth, switch to the whisk blade and whip until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Construction of the cake
Put some frosting on the plate or container so the cake won’t move around then put 1 cake layer on, top with 1/4 c. of the first caramel sauce and then top that with a round of frosting. Repeat all the way to the top layer.

I put all the frosting in a really large zip lock bag and snipped a big bit of a corner off (I didn’t have any pastry bags that were really big so this was my easy cheat). This makes it really easy to frost this cake. I make a nice big swirl on each layer and then smooth over with an offset spatula (knife).

Oh yeah – because I am lazy I decided to melt some dark chocolate and just drizzle it on some parchment paper to make the decorative stuff on the top.

I didn’t put the cake in the fridge and it didn’t seem to need it (if it was warm outside I might have).

Good Luck and Enjoy!

A girl on a chocolate mission…

Baking to celebrate seems logical, right? A girl at my office recently was hired permanently after years on the books as a temp. I promised her that in celebration of her hiring I would make her cupcakes. Her request? Chocolate with cream cheese frosting, easy enough! Except, wait, hold up! I don’t have a good chocolate cake recipe, could it be? I had success with the Guinness (Luck O’the Irish) cupcakes and the Last Chocolate Standing cake recipe wouldn’t really make a good cupcake to frost.

It could be and it is! I spent my morning combing the web for a good recipe with the perfect balance of easy and tasty. I trust Ina Garten and tried her “chocolate syrup” cupcakes..they were a little disappointing. (Ina’s are the short cupcakes, they have an odd texture and a really sticky crown)

The recipe I ended up with was a mixture of a number of recipes, does that mean I can call it my own?

It’s pretty darn tasty (I haven’t even frosted them yet), the recipes yields exactly 1 dozen cupcakes.
It is so good it might be my new favorite recipe – plus it’s super easy!
Are you ready?

Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
1 c. sugar
1 t. vinegar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt

Mix the wet together with a beater and then add the dry ingredients, mix until blended. use cupcake liners and fill about half way. You should get exactly 12.
Bake 350 for 20-25 minutes (mine were done at 20) don’t over bake!
These are delicious and not dry at all.

Now all I need to do is frost.. maybe I’ll post frosted pictures but you’ve all seen a frosted cupcake before.

The downside! I started a new diet so while I tasted both cupcakes I need to leave it at that and stay away. Time to clean the kitchen!

The last chocolate standing

>
This weekend was my last hurrah before really hunkering down and focusing on getting done with some important projects.
As mentioned in a previous post, last week was my birthday week and was feted with all kinds of ridiculousness. It was raining and cold out today so I decided to bake a chocolate cake (the one thing I can’t ever imagine giving up). I have not have much luck in the past with cakes from scratch but this one turned out fabulously. I used the Swans Cake Flour Easy Chocolate Cake recipe. I nixed the frosting because, unlike most, my favorite part is actually the cake.
Absolutely delicious! Now I need to focus on finding people with a penchant for sweet treats so I can bake and get things out of my house.
I had an interesting conversation at work where I was told “they” are trying to focus on health and maybe I should not bring in baked treats! That’s what I get for working with a bunch of women.
After searching the web over I did not find this recipe, so I am posting it here. It was a light cake, very sweet – I would probably lower the brown sugar if I were to make this again. It was a tender cake for sure!

Swans Down Cake Flour Easy Chocolate Cake
1 stick butter
1/2 c. light brown sugar (i told you it’s alot)
3/4 c. sugar (i amended the original blog post when I baked this cake again with white sugar instead of all brown sugar..which resulted in a much better cake)
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 ounces melted dark chocolate (cooled)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 c cake flour
1 c. sour cream
1 c. boiling water

Blend butter until smooth, add brown sugar and then eggs 1 at a time. Mix in vanilla and cooled chocolate. Then add baking soda and salt. Alternately add the cake flour and sour cream beating until smooth.
Add boiling water and stir with a spoon until completely mixed.
Bake 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. I did mine in a 9×13 pan (greased and floured) because I am lazy and just wanted cake. It would easily make 2, 8 or 9 inch rounds.
ENJOY!

PS. the bowling party was a hit, the hangover the next day could have been skipped but the night was great. Next year will be the big 35 and I need to do something BIG BIG BIG for that one.. any suggestions?

>Homemade Hot Fudge…for PMS..

>It’s hot as heck in Southern California today but those lovely hormones that bounce around monthly in women have compelled me to make and devour the best hot fudge ever.

When my American dream starts to unfold, I will be hosting an online community that brings together my customers and the world wide web in ways never done before. I also intend to regularly post recipes in the store and offer suggestions to those looking for easy to dos, delicious delights, and impressive treats!

But for today.. I will post my super secret (no more) hot fudge sort of recipe.. good luck with it.. it’s really easy, I promise!

2 – 4 ounces of good semisweet dark chocolate (I use Scharfenberger from San Fran)
1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream (this one will really be as needed to get a good creamy consistency)
2 tbsp sugar (again this is sort of to taste but start with 2 tbsp, I generally think I end up with 3)

Put this is a small saucepan and heat over low/medium heat until melted and smooth – be patient, this will take time. Stir continuously. It will likely take about 5 minutes to get it totally smooth. Do Not Boil or Simmer – just allow to melt over low-ish heat.

When completely melted and smooth add the following

2 tbsp butter (it’s best to use butter here rather than margarine) stir until completely melted

remove from heat and add

1 tsp vanilla

Pour over ice cream, cake, your fingers! It’s really oh so very good. Put any left overs in a covered container and refrigerate up to 1 week. To reheat put desired amount and microwave safe container and heat for 30 seconds or less.

I think it is almost better the next day!

If you make it, let me know what you think!