Vanilla Cupcakes

I’m back! I was gone for about a week because I went up to Edmonton to mark English diplomas. I ended up working for about 12 days straight, and wanted to just take a little break.

After I got back, I wanted to make something, and I asked Paul if he was craving anything. His answer was just a simple vanilla cupcake. Hence, this recipe.

This recipe was also extremely easy. It uses simple, pantry ingredients and can be whipped up in about 10 minutes. It also uses only a few dishes, so you can have cupcakes in less than an hour!

This is going to be a short post, mostly because I’m still extremely tired, but these are a simple treat that yield a high reward.

Ingredients

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

2½ c. flour
2 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
½ c. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 c. water

For the frosting:

½ c. butter, room temperature
½ c. shortening, room temperature
4 c. icing sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla
2-3 tbsp. milk

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F and line two cupcake tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until combined.

Slowly add the water to the batter, and whisk gently until combined. The batter will be thin.

Fill the cupcake liners halfway, then bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the shortening and butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat until combined and fluffy.

Add two cups of sugar, and beat on low until sugar is combined. Add in the vanilla and 1 tbsp. of milk and whisk again.

Add the remaining icing sugar, and beat on low until well combined. Add more of the milk until the desired consistency is reached.

Fill a piping bag with a large star tip and ice the cooled cupcakes. Serve immediately.

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Olive Oil Cake with Limoncello Mascarpone Cream

I have to be honest. I didn’t come up with this combination.

I was visiting a friend of mine in Lethbridge, and we went on a dinner date to a new Italian restaurant in town. We split one of their desserts: an olive oil cake with a limoncello mascarpone cream sauce. It was absolutely heavenly.

Well, my friend Jericka told me I HAD to try and recreate the cake at home, and I was up for the challenge. I mean, it was just an olive oil cake. The cream part was a little more complicated. I wasn’t sure about all of the meshing of the flavours, but then sure enough, Jericka found a recipe for just the cream we were looking for.

The original recipe for the cake was found here, and the recipe for the cream was here. Not going to lie, I made a few changes that I have reflected below in the recipe. Looking at the comments for the cake, I reduced the amount of olive oil ever so slightly, and switched out the orange flavourings for lemon. For the cream, I just used the cream part of the recipe, and whipped it by hand for about 5 minutes. I didn’t want a full-on whipped cream, so I stopped when it was thicker, at just barely soft peaks.

The cake and the cream paired perfectly together, and reminded me exactly of the cake I was attempting to recreate. I call that a success!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch round cake or 1 10 inch Bundt with cream

For the cake:

2 c. flour
1¾ c. sugar
1½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 c. olive oil
1¼ c. milk
3 eggs
1½ tbsp. grated lemon zest (or ½ tsp. lemon extract)
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. limoncello liqueur

For the cream:

¾ c. chilled whipping cream
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. limoncello liqueur

To make the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Liberally grease a 9 inch cake pan that is at least two inches tall. If you don’t have a pan that tall, use a springform pan or a Bundt pan. Make sure every corner is sprayed down with oil. If using a circular pan, line the bottom with parchment. If using a Bundt pan, use A LOT of oil to make sure that the cake comes out. (Mine stuck a bit… just warning you.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, milk, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest (or extract), and limoncello. Add in the dry ingredients, and whisk together until just combined.

Transfer batter to cake pan, and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven, and cool in pan for 30 minutes. Remove from cake pan, and allow to cool completely.

To make the limoncello cream, in a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, sugar, limoncello, and cheese. Whisk vigorously until mixture thickens to soft peaks, about 5-7 minutes.

To serve, slice cake, and top with cream.

Champagne Pound Cake

Happy New Year!

It’s officially 2019, and what’s a better way to ring in the New Year than with a dessert that involves champagne! (And by champagne, I mean sparkling wine, because real champagne is expensive!)

Paul and I had a few people for New Years, and the next day, we found ourselves with two full bottles of leftover champagne. I decided that the best way to use this leftover champagne was with baking, and boy, was I right!

I found a bunch of recipes for champagne cakes and cupcakes, but the day I made this, I really didn’t want something too complicated. This recipe was perfect. Everything mixes up in the bowl of a mixer, it’s easy, doesn’t have too many ingredients, and cleanup was minimal. Win-win!

The only thing I changed was to reduce the rest of the champagne with a little bit of sugar to make a potent champagne reduction to use as a soaking syrup. Trust me, this recipe seems like a lot of ingredients, but it’s totally worth it.

Pop a bottle, celebrate the New Year, and eat cake!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 10-inch Bundt cake

For the cake:

1¼ c. butter, softened
2½ c. sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
¼ tsp. salt
3¼ c. flour
1 c. champagne

For the champagne soaking syrup:

1½ c. champagne
1/3 c. sugar

For the icing:

¼ c. champagne
1-2 c. icing sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan generously.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream the butter 1-2 minutes, until light and creamy. With the mixer on the slowest speed, slowly add in the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition so that each egg is fully incorporated before you add the next one.

Add in the flour, a cup at a time, and the salt, beating until just combined.

Take off of mixer, and add in the champagne, and fold in with a rubber spatula until batter is smooth.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 and a half hours, until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean. Start checking at 45 minutes.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

As the cake is baking, combine the champagne and sugar for the soaking syrup in a small saucepan, and reduce on medium heat until about a quarter of the mixture remains.

Brush the syrup over the warm cake, top and bottom, to help it absorb.

When cake is cool, whisk together the champagne and the icing sugar to a thick, yet pourable consistency and drizzle over top of cake.

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze

This cake has it all. It is rich, it is light, it’s fluffy, moist, chocolatey, and most of all, it hits the spot like nothing else. So good!

The other night, I was really craving a dessert, but I didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. I looked up easy desserts, and this cake came up. I actually used two different recipes to create this recipe together. The cake I got from here, and the glaze from this website. Together, it worked perfectly to create a moist, fluffy bundt cake with a luscious chocolate glaze.

It’s also a win-win because the cake whips up in one bowl, just like the glaze! Such an easy recipe. You can’t go wrong at all! It seriously only takes about 10 minutes to put together, not including baking time. Go make this cake!

Paul even said that this is the cake he imagines Bruce Bogtrotter from Matilda eating. I tend to agree. This is a beautiful cake that will satisfy any and all chocolate cravings you might have, and it’s so simple, you have no excuse that you can’t have cake in an hour!!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 10-inch Bundt cake

For the cake:

2 c. sugar
1¾ c. flour
¾ c. cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 c. strong brewed coffee
1 c. buttermilk
½ c. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla

For the glaze:

2 tbsp. melted butter
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
1¼ c. icing sugar
2-3 tbsp. warm water
1 tsp. vanilla

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan or tube pan. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and whisk well to combine.

Pour into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely before glazing and serving.

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl, combine the butter, cocoa powder, icing sugar, and vanilla. Whisk into a thick paste. Add the water, a half tablespoon at a time, whisking until it reaches the consistency that you want: a thick, yet pourable, glaze.

Transfer the cooled cake to a serving plate, then slowly drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides.

Slice, and serve!

Basic Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

It feels like it’s been a really long time since I’ve made cake. In reality, it’s only been since September, because I made myself a birthday cake, but it still feels like it’s been a while.

I was rooting through the fridge today and noticed that we didn’t drink our milk in time, and we were left with about a third of a container starting to go bad. Now, I know that you can bake with sour milk and it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. So, what I did was look up a few buttermilk recipes. I mean, if you don’t have buttermilk, you add in lemon juice or vinegar anyways to curdle the milk. You are essentially making sour milk when you use buttermilk or a substitute.

So that’s what I did! I used our sour milk (and added a little bit more lemon juice to make sure it really had that buttermilk quality) in this buttermilk cake batter. I love vanilla. It smells absolutely heavenly, and it is just a beautiful, classic flavour.

This is in no way a sponsored post, but my parents used to sell Watkins growing up. My mom always baked with the Watkins spices and extracts, and they have such amazing flavours! In particular, she ALWAYS had some of their clear vanilla AND their dark vanilla on hand, just in case she needed either. Now, as an adult, I still have a soft spot for Watkins spices and extracts, and I try to have a bottle of clear vanilla at all times as well. (P.S. Watkins – if you’re reading this, big fan! I’m always open to talk sponsorships! 😉 Hah!) I even have some of their current, off-the-wall extracts like bubblegum, pistachio, pumpkin spice, and root beer. Highly recommend for their extracts!

Either way, I thought that my Watkins vanilla would be perfect for this buttermilk vanilla cake, because it is supposed to be beautiful, pure white inside. Let’s just say the smell emanating from my oven was PHENOMENAL, and I was a happy camper when these cakes emerged!

With the fact that it’s another easy recipe (again, 15-minutes-or-less batter assembly time), it can use sour milk, and it gives me an excuse to whip out my fancy clear vanilla, I loved this!

If you need a little bit of simple vanilla cake, this is for you!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 8-inch cake

For the cake:

½ c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1¼ c. buttermilk

For the frosting:

1½ c. butter, softened
5-6 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. buttermilk

To make the cake, preheat oven to 375°F, and grease 2 8-inch cake pans.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture in to the egg and butter mixture, beating after each addition and alternating adding with the buttermilk.

Divide batter between greased cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool in pans for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, whip the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment for 1 minute. Add in the icing sugar 1 cup at a time. Mix and incorporate between each sugar addition.

Add in the vanilla and buttermilk, and beat again, for 4-5 minutes, until frosting is light and creamy.

Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before frosting cake, and whip once more before frosting.

To frost the cake, put one cake layer on a platter, and trim tops if necessary for a flat top. Spread about half of the frosting on the first layer. Top with second cake layer, and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.

Slice, serve, and enjoy!