Posts filed under ‘Cakes’

Devil’s Food White Out Cake

Every year before my birthday, I agonize over what kind of cake I’m going to make. There is only one requirement – it must involve some sort of chocolate. I ended up choosing Dorie’s cake this year because I thought it would be very similar to my favorite cake. Turns out – it was very similar, but it didn’t surpass my old favorite. However, this cake was delicious and definitely a made for a pretty presentation.

Devil’s Food White Out Cake
For the cake:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup boiling water
4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

For the frosting:
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large)
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

 Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To make the cake: sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugars and continue to beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate. When it is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. At this point, the batter will be thick, like frosting. Still working on low speed, mix in the boiling water, which will thin the batter considerably. Switch to a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl and stir in the chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with the rubber spatula.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Don’t worry if the tops have a few small cracks. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)

When you are ready to fill and frost the cake, inspect the layers. If the cakes have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. With the same knife, slice each layer horizontally in half. Set 3 layers aside and crumble the fourth layer; set the crumbs aside.

To make the frosting,  put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.

When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable — don’t try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting. Although you could keep it in the fridge in a pinch, it’s really better to use it right now.

To assemble the cake, put a bottom layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or on a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a long metal icing spatula, cover the layer generously with frosting. Top with a second layer, cut side up, and frost it. Finish with the third layer, cut side down, and frost the sides and top of the cake. Don’t worry about smoothing the frosting — it should be swirly. Now, cover the entire cake with the chocolate cake crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the filling with your fingers.

Refrigerate the cake for about 1 hour before serving. The cake can either be brought to room temperature for 30 minutes or sliced straight from the refrigerator.

 The frosted cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days; let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, or longer if you have the time.

Source: Dorie Greenspan via npr


March 18, 2011 at 6:04 am Leave a comment

Apple Cake “Tatin”

My Mother-in-law came to visit for a week recently and I wanted to have a nice dessert planned for while she was here. This dessert was discovered on a whim because I wanted to use up some apples. I must say, this was a huge success. It looks quite impressive, but is really quite easy to throw together. Everyone loved this dessert. Serve it with some homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to really bring it to the next level.

Apple Cake “Tatin”
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish
1 granny smith apple, peeled and sliced into 12 pieces
1 3/4 Cups granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 Cup sour cream
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Confectioners’ sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the apples in the dish, cut side down.

Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color, about 360 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Swirl the pan but don’t stir. Pour evenly over the apple slices.

Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.

Pour the cake batter evenly over the apple slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If an apple slice sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Source: Ina Garten via the Food Network

February 24, 2011 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Banana Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting

My daughter takes after me – she likes her bananas under-ripe. Once bananas start to get little brown flecks in them I don’t want anything to do with them (eating plain of course, the riper the better for baked goods!). Since, Alana and I eat bananas for breakfast every morning we rarely have enough left over for baking, but when we do it’s a real treat. Sometimes, we just want something a little different than our old standby banana bread. This fit the bill and was a nice change. Moist and delicious!

Banana Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting
for the cake
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 ripe bananas
4 tbsp yogurt or sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup milk chocolate chips

For the frosting
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp (or more!) milk


Preheat oven to 350 F.
To make the cake grease a 13 x 9 baking dish. Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer and mix well. Mash bananas and add to butter mixture. Stir in yogurt and eggs, mixing well. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the batter, stirring until blended. Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

To make the frosting melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or the top of a double boiler and cool slightly. Place butter and chocolate in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Add powdered sugar and continue mixing. Add the milk about 1/2 tsp at a time until the frosting is a spreadable consistency. Pour over cooled cake; slice and serve.

Source: Cate’s World Kitchen

February 22, 2011 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

S’mores Cake

Last year for my birthday I made my all-time favorite treat into a cake. Very suiting for me since I love all things s’mores. I mean, what’s not to love about graham cracker cake, fluffy marshmallow filling, and chocolate ganache flowing over everything. Nothing that I can think of! It was delicious and I think this would make a show-stopping summer cookout dessert.

for the cake:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
3 large egg whites, room temperature

For the filling:
Marshmallow fluff

For the milk chocolate glaze:
8 oz. milk chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
2 tbsp. light corn syrup

For decoration:
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup marshmallow fluff
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tsp. heavy cream or milk
Small rectangles of graham cracker and milk chocolate, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper (this is easily done by turning the pan upside down and tracing over the parchment with a knife). In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs,  , baking powder, and salt. Combine ingredients and set aside.

In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside. Replace the mixing bowl and fit the paddle attachment. Cream together the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks until well combined. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Add in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk on low speed, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mis until incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold in about one third of the egg whites. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until completely incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Remove the parchmentpaper and let cool completely.

Transfer one cooled cake to a cardboard cake serving platter. Carefully spread a layer of marshmallow fluff over the cake top with the second cake layer and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

To make the milk chocolate glaze, combine the chocolate, cream, butter and corn syrup in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water. Heat until the chocolate has melted, then whisk the ingredients together. Pour glaze over the top of the chilled cake, allowing it to run down the sides. Place in the refrigerator to chill until set.

 To make the marshmallow frosting for decoration, combine the butter and marshmallow fluff in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until well combined.  Stir in the cream or milk to smooth the frosting out a bit, adding a tiny bit more liquid if necessary.

Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag.  Pipe dollops of frosting around the edges of the chilled cake and decorate with segments of graham cracker and milk chocolate.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Allow to sit at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving.

Source: Annie’s Eats as seen on Baking Bites

February 8, 2011 at 9:22 am Leave a comment

Tall and Creamy Cheesecake

tall & creamy cheesecake sideThis recipe was featured awhile ago by the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers. I thought the cheesecake looked divine back then, but I already had my favorite cheesecake recipe. So, I put it in the back of my mind and didn’t think about it again until last week.
tall & creamy cheesecake whole

My niece is visiting from Chicago and she has a very long list of all the things she wants to make with me. Cheesecake was the first thing she wanted to tackle. I immediately pulled out my favorite recipe, but decided we should try a new one. I must say I am so glad we decided to try a new recipe. This cheesecake is fantastic. The cheesecake itself is light and fluffy and much different than other cheesecakes I’ve tasted. So if you’re like me and think you already have your favorite cheesecake recipe give this one a try anyways. You will not be disappointed.

Tall and Creamy Cheesecake
For the crust:
1 3/4 Cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
2 lbs (four 8oz boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 Cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 Cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two.

To make the crust:
Butter a 9 inch springform pan and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminium foil. Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and stir until all the dry ingredients are moist. Turn the ingredients into the springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs over the bottom and half way up the sides of the pan. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven. Center a rack in the oven, preheat to 350 degrees F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F.

To make the cheesecake batter:
Put a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Working with a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until soft and creamy; about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat for another 4 minutes, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition — this will create a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.

Put the foil wrapped springform pan into a roasting pan that is large enough to hold the pan with some space around it. Give the batter a few stirs with a spatula to make sure there is nothing left unmixed. Scrape the batter into the springform pan. The batter will reach the rim of the pan. Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into it to come halfway up the sides of the springorm. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top should be browned and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven and prop open the door. Allow the cheesecake to sit in its water bath for one hour.

After one hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the sprinform pan out of the roaster. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack. When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Source: Smells Like home

June 29, 2009 at 7:53 am 6 comments

Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake


A couple weekends ago my grandparents headed home to Chicago. We miss them a lot and really enjoyed having them around for awhile. It became tradition during the time they were here that I would always make some type of dessert for the weekend. For their last weekend I wanted to make something extra special. I gave them a couple options and let them decide. This was the winner and I’m so glad they chose it. I have been wanting to try this recipe for quite some time. The cheesecake base is absolutely fabulous and would be wonderful by itself, but add the brownies into the mix and oh-my-gosh! It is over the top delicious. Everyone really enjoyed it! I can’t wait to use this cheesecake base again.

Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake
For the Brownies:
4 oz unsweetend chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 Cup butter
1 3/4 Cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup flour

For the Crust:
1 1/2 Cups finely ground chocolate cookies (such as teddy grahams)
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 Cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt

For the Cheesecake:
3 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Cup sugar

For the ganache:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 Cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter, cut into two pieces

To make the brownies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with foil, leaving the ends overhanging the sides of the pan. Grease the foil and set aside.

Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl on high for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the butter is melted. Stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add salt and flour. Mix well. spread into prepared pan.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool in a pan on a wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles. Cool brownies, then cut into 3/4-1″ squares for use in the cheesecake. Set aside 2 cups for the recipe, and will have many extra brownies left over (they freeze well!).

To prepare the crust, combine all crust ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Press onto the bottom and one inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.

For the cheesecake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating on low speed, scraping down the bowl between additions. Add vanilla and sugar and beat until well combined.

Fold in brownie cubes very gently and pour mixture into cookie crumb crust. Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes or until cake is set 3 inches from edge, but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken. Allow to cool completely.

To make the ganace, put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil, then pour half of the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds. Working with a whisk or rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together in small circles, starting at the center of the bowl and working your way out. Pour in the remainder of the cream and blend it into the chocolate, using the same circular motions. When the ganache is smooth and shiny, stir in the butter piece by piece. Don’t stir the ganache any more than you must to blend the ingredients. Let sit until it thickens to desired consistency. Then pour on top of cooled cheesecake and spread evenly. Chill to set.

Source: Annie’s Eats and BrownEyedBaker

April 5, 2009 at 8:55 pm 4 comments

So you say it’s your birthday…

This past weekend I celebrated my brithday. I agonized over which cake to make for days before deciding to use my all time favorite frosting. I used to ALWAYS ask my mom for this frosting on chocolate cake for my birthday as a kid and  my old favorites always win with me. I had several offers to make a cake for me (mom, grandma, and hubby) and I appreciated every one of them, but I truly wanted to make my birthday cake. I am SO glad I did because this was fabulous. I am disappointed because I didn’t get any great pictures, but the recipe is too good not to share.


Black Magic Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Marshmallow Frosting
For the cake:
2 Cups sugar
1 3/4 Cup flour
3/4 Cup cocoa
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 Cup buttermilk
1 Cup strong black coffee or 2 tsps instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:
1 1/2 Cup heavy whipping cream
1 Cup frozen raspberries
1 tsp raspberry extract
6 Tbsp powdered sugar

For the frosting:
1 oz unsweetend chocolate, melted
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
2 egg whites, at room temperature
dash salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

To make the cake preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes (batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

To make the filling combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar, raspberry extract, and raspberries in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at high speed until stiff peaks form, refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the frosting: heat corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Once boiling remove from heat. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat egg whites at high until foamy; add salt and continue beating until soft peaks form. Slowly pour in hot syrump and continue beating 6-8 minutes until frosting is fluffy and forms pointed, stiff peaks when beater is rasied. Beat in vanilla.

To assemble the cake slice cooled cakes horizontally to form 4 even layers. Layer cakes with an even layer of raspberry filling in between each. Spread frosting on top and sides of cake. Spoon melted chocolate into a small decorating bag with small writing tube. To make feather design, pipe chocolate in parallel lines across the cake. Then, draw the tip of a knife across lines at evenly spaced intervals, first in one directing, and then in the other.

Source: Cake from Hershey’s, Filling adapted from Cooking this and that, frosting from Mom.

February 24, 2009 at 8:58 pm 9 comments

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