Funfetti Cake

It’s not my birthday, but is there ever a bad time for Funfetti cake? I thought not!

I’ve been in a cake-baking mood lately, but have had no time, so with the long weekend that I have this week, I decided to just go for it. I surfed around the internet (a.k.a. Pinterest) until I found a cake that caught my eye, and this was it!

I was extremely pleased with the results, because I had been searching for a Funfetti cake from scratch recipe that didn’t need a ton of egg whites (because I always find it hard to find something to do with the yolks). This recipe calls for cake flour, but I used regular all-purpose and it turned out just fine.

There was never a ton of Funfetti cake in my house growing up, unless someone went out and specifically bought the boxed version. If we were making cake though, it was going to be a chocolate boxed version. Now, the boxed versions of cake mix are great when you are in a pinch. But I’ve found that I can taste whether or not the mix came out of a box. It’s a gift?

Either way, I much prefer homemade cakes to boxed versions (who wouldn’t!?), and this one takes the cake… Sorry. I had to.

If you have a Funfetti fan in your life, this is the cake for them! I will also note that the icing recipe was at best, sparse to cover the cake, hence I kind-of went for the “naked cake” decorating look. It’s not perfect by any means, but I’m still growing as a cake artist. If I were to make this again, I would one and a half times the icing recipe, and I think that would yield the perfect amount of frosting to fill, and decorate.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 8-9 inch three layer cake

For the cake:

3 c. flour (cake flour or all-purpose)
2½ c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1½ c. butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
1¼ c. buttermilk, divided
5 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. confetti sprinkles

For the frosting:

2 c. butter, at room temperature
3¾ c. icing sugar
¼ c. heavy cream or milk, more or less as needed
1-2 tsp. vanilla
Food colouring, as desired

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8 or 9 inch cake pans. (I used my Miracle Cake Release. A 1:1:1 ratio of flour, vegetable oil, and shortening.) Set aside. I also used my homemade “Bake-Even” strips: strips of damp towel that are pinned around the sides of my cake tins. If you use these, the cakes will bake perfectly level, no cutting required!

In the bowl of a mixer, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine. Add the butter and 1 cup of buttermilk. Mix on low until incorporated, then on medium until mixture is light and fluffy.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ c. of buttermilk with the eggs and vanilla. Add to the batter in three additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the sprinkles, and divide the batter evenly between pans.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove pans from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Turn out of pans to decorate.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a mixer beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar, a half cup at a time, until fully incorporated. If the mixture is getting too thick, add a tablespoon or so of the milk or cream. Add in the vanilla and the food colouring, if using.

To frost, place the first cake layer on your serving platter. Top with about a half cup of icing, and spread evenly. Repeat with the second and third layer. After that, spread remaining icing around the top and sides of the cake. Decorate as you like. I used a few extra sprinkles, but small round ones instead of more confetti sprinkles.

Slice, and serve!

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Lemon Rhubarb Bundt Cake

I found something amazing to do with some of the rhubarb my parents gifted to me! This cake was the perfect option. It is sweet, tart, lemony, moist, and has a beautiful splash of rhubarb right in the middle.

You know me by now, and when friends come over, I love to have some baked goods of some kind to offer them. If I don’t have anything prepared and friends come over to visit, I actually feel bad! I’ve built up a bit of a reputation in that I always have something delicious to munch on if we have visitors, and if I don’t live up to the name, there’s a little bit of guilt.

Well, a friend of mine came over last night for a dinner/movie date. We made dinner, I made dessert, and then we just caught up over a movie and just had some relaxation time. It was awesome. I was looking for a sweet treat for dessert, and I had a ton (and I mean a TON) of rhubarb in my freezer. Bless those parents of mine, they gave me so much!

I took to Pinterest, and found this eye-catching recipe. It looked amazing, used mostly pantry staples, and seemed to yield some delicious results. Boy, were my expectations lived up to! This cake is phenomenal. It’s got a little bit of tartness, some sweet, and a whole lot of AWESOME. If you have some time, and some rhubarb, I highly suggest you go make this cake!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 Bundt cake

For the cake:

1 c. butter, softened
1¾ c. sugar
Zest of 1-2 lemons (I used the zest of 1 lemon, and about 2 tsp. of lemon juice)
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2½ c. + 2 tbsp. flour, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¾ c. buttermilk (or milk with 2 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice mixed in)
3 c. diced rhubarb

For the glaze:

Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 c. icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a Bundt pan (or use some Miracle Cake Release. 1:1:1 ratio of flour, vegetable shortening, and oil.) and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the butter, sugar, and lemon zest/juice and whip until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, combining after each addition. Add in the vanilla.

In a separate, medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour (the first amount), baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, ideally in 3 portions of each, until everything is fully incorporated.

Toss the rhubarb with the second measurement of flour to coat rhubarb evenly. Fold into the cake batter with a spatula.

Transfer cake batter into prepared pan, and smooth evenly with a spatula. Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Mine took even longer, because my oven tends to run a bit cool.)

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool about 30 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and let cool. If you glaze your cake while warm, the glaze will be a bit runnier, but you can still do this.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, and 2 c. of the icing sugar. Add more icing sugar for a thicker glaze, depending on how much juice you got from the lemon. (I needed to add an extra half-cup or so.) Pour the glaze evenly over the cake.

Slice, serve, and enjoy!

 

 

 

Peach Upside-Down Cake

This cake is a perfect summer dessert! I haven’t turned on my oven very much, but the weather is finally cooling off a bit, so I can turn on my oven and not feel as guilty (or as warm!)

Paul made us dinner last night, and we invited some dear friends over. When we went to Jamaica, we tried authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken and fell in love. It’s delicious! Spicy, slightly charred, moist, jerk chicken is totally worth it. Well, being the chef he is, Paul found some Jerk spice to bring home and try to replicate that authentic Jamaican flavour. Well, friends, let me tell you, he succeeded!

It was Paul’s first time using the spices, so it was a bit of an experiment, but apparently there is a method to making great jerk chicken. We actually asked around when in Jamaica about how to make our own jerk chicken at home, and they gave us an answer. Paul marinated the chicken for about 24 hours (the first step to great chicken!), then he started it in the oven in a jerk liquid (not part of the original cooking method, but he wanted to make sure the chicken was moist), then finished the chicken on the BBQ. The Jamaican natives said to cook the chicken over a wood-fired barbecue, but as we have an absence of mango wood in Canada (the preferred wood to make jerk chicken), he just went with the barbecue.

Like I said, it worked! Those flavours really brought me back to Jamaica, and it was incredible. He whipped up some Cajun-spiced rice, and some veggies, and oh boy did we ever have our own little feast. Now, in my mind, a “feast” or dinner party of any kind is not complete without dessert. I had went to the Farmer’s Market and found some delicious fresh peaches and wanted to use some in a dessert.

I took to Pinterest (like I said, addicted!) and found this recipe for a Peach Upside-Down Cake. It was super simple to whip up, and didn’t take very long at all. It requires pantry staples, so the only thing you might have to go out of your way to get are peaches, and this cake works well with fresh or frozen peaches. That means if you don’t have access to fresh B.C. grown peaches like I do, you can still make this delicious concoction with the frozen variety and it works just as well.

Okay, okay. I’ve been blathering on for long enough. We want cake!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 8-9 inch cake (depending on pan used)

¼ c. butter
½ c. brown sugar
1½ – 2 c. fresh or frozen peaches, sliced thinly (for fresh peaches, pit and peel the peaches before slicing)
1¼ c. flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. butter, softened
¾ c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In an 8 x 8 square baking pan or a round 9 inch cake pan (I used the round cake pan), place the first measurement of butter. Place pan in oven and let butter melt, watching carefully so it doesn’t brown.

Once butter is melted, add in the brown sugar and mix with a spatula until all brown sugar is moistened and evenly spread across the bottom of the pan. Place peach slices in the brown sugar mixture, placing evenly. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the second measurement of butter and the sugar. Beat to combine until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla, and beat again.

Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture, beating after each addition until just combined. Spread batter evenly over peaches in the prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack in pan for about 5 minutes, then invert onto serving tray. Cool for 10-15 minutes more. Serve warm.

Death by Chocolate Cake

I am a huge chocolate fan, and this cake is EXTREMELY chocolatey. As in, you-need-a-really-small-piece-and-a-big-glass-of-milk-to-go-with-it chocolatey. It’s a very rich cake, but so worth it.

I found the original recipe here, and the only thing I changed was double the recipe, so I got a three-layer 6-inch cake, and cupcakes. I made a teeny error in judgement though, and only made 12 cupcakes. I could have easily gotten two dozen cupcakes from the recipe. They rose like crazy, and I had a dozen monster cupcakes. (Paul wasn’t complaining!)

I’m posting the original recipe, and it makes one triple-layer 6-inch cake. If you are a chocolate fan, then go and make this cake! You will not be disappointed. Rich chocolate cake with a creamy, silky chocolate buttercream icing. Oh, yes. Death by Chocolate indeed!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 triple-layer 6 inch cake

For the cake:

1⅓ c. flour
⅔ c. cocoa powder
1½ c. sugar
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1¼ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
2 eggs
¾ c. milk
⅓ c. vegetable oil
1½ tsp. vanilla
¾ c. strong brewed coffee, hot

For the frosting:

1 c. butter, softened
3½ c. icing sugar
½ c. cocoa powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
¼ c. heavy cream

To make the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 6-inch pans and dust with cocoa powder (or brush pans with Miracle Cake Release). Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-low until yolks and whites are combined, but not over-mixed. Add in the milk, oil, and vanilla, and mix. Slowly pour in the dry ingredients while the mixer is on low. When the batter is cohesive, slowly add in the coffee and mix on low. When batter is smooth and thin, stop the mixer. (The batter will look VERY thin. It’s okay, trust me!)

Pour batter evenly into the prepared plans (recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes if you don’t make a cake), and tap lightly on the counter to remove any air. Bake in the preheated oven for 32-35 minutes, or until centers are set, and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely on wire rack.

To make the frosting, cream the butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer, and add 3 cups of the icing sugar, and all the cocoa powder into the mixer. Mix on low until combined.

Turn mixer to medium and add vanilla, salt and cream. Beat until fully absorbed and creamy. Add more icing sugar or milk if needed.

To assemble the cake, place a cake layer on cake stand, and spread an even layer of icing on the first cake layer. Top with second layer of cake, another layer of frosting, and top with last layer of cake. Finish cake with remaining frosting, covering the top and sides of the cake evenly.

Store cake in the fridge until needed, then take out about 30 minutes before serving. Slice, and serve.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Okay friends, I apologize. I’ve always heard tell how crazy busy May and June are for teachers, and we haven’t even hit June yet and I get it! May has been a non-stop whirlwind of things going on.

I have school, which in and of itself encompasses a lot of time, planning, effort, marking, dedication, and planning. Wait…

Either way, because we are a high school, we are trying to plan 3 different end of year field trips for the various grade levels, plan and organize a graduation, finish up classes, prepare students for writing diploma exams, and to top it all off, there are renovations going on at my school right now, AND it is the middle of the job search process to see if I get to come back next year. Yeah, things are a bit crazy around my neck of the woods at the moment.

I took some time during the weekend though, to de-stress, and when I say I am “de-stressing”, that just means I’m baking. This coffee cake was exactly what I wanted, because I wanted something a little sweeter for breakfast on Saturday morning, but didn’t want the traditional waffles or pancakes. I opted for this coffee cake. It was very moist because of the sour cream in the cake batter, and Paul seemed to enjoy it as well – always a bonus!

The only thing I changed was that I actually put all the filling in the middle, and none on the bottom or top of the cake. Feel free to do that if you want, but I found that with all of the filling in the middle, the cake had a beautiful cinnamon ribbon throughout the whole cake, and I wasn’t complaining about that!

I found the original recipe here, and I really didn’t change anything else other than the filling location in the cake. The batter is thick, though, so be prepared with a good spatula. Also, true to the name, Paul and I loved this cake with a cup of coffee (or in my case, tea).

Ingredients

Yield: 1 bundt cake

For the cake:

¾ c. butter, softened
1½ c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1½ c. sour cream
3 c. flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt

For the filling:

½ c. brown sugar, packed
1½ tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (or brush with Miracle Cake Release) a 10-inch bundt pan. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the filling ingredients, and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in vanilla and eggs and beat until combined and smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in alternating increments the flour mixture and the sour cream to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half, or all, of the filling mixture. (Your choice – as I stated, I put all of the filling mixture in the middle.) If you only put half the filling in the middle, top with the other half of the batter, and sprinkle the remainder of the filling on top of the batter. If you put all of the filling in the middle, top with the other half of the batter.

Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling fully.