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Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake

14 Nov

Hi again!

I made cake!!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake!!!

My 2nd oldest turned 15 yesterday, and this was his birthday cake. (Happy Birthday Tyler!)

I think he asks for it every year.  I should remember, but when you have 6 kids, sometimes your brain falls out.  Well……not literally, but you know what I mean.

I hope the fact that I have forgotten a few of their cake preferences from year to year doesn’t cause any serious counseling sessions.  I mean……what if they end up on the long couch with a box of tissues and crying, because……well……birthday cakes are something a Momma should remember!?!

In my defense, this is offspring birthday cake number 69!!  Kinda understandable when you look at it that way, huh?

Anyway…….I make it at least twice a year, so someone likes it!!

I remember my Mom making it, and passing the recipe on.  It was one of the first cakes I ever made.   Apparently, it’s a keeper.   It comes right from The Cake Doctor by Anne Byrn.  The only thing I change is the almond extract…..# 2 child has a severe tree nut allergy, so I leave that part out.  I will give you the recipe with it, though!

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Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake

for the cake

  • 1 box of devil’s food cake
  • (1) 21 oz can of cherry pie filling
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

–  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick spray.

–  Mix all of the ingredients for 1 minute on low.  Scrape the bowl, and then continue to mix an additional 2 minutes, on medium speed. (Batter is thick.)

–  Pour and smooth into prepared pan.

–  Bake 25 to 30 minutes on center rack.  It’s done when the sides separate from the pan and the middle bounces back when pressed lightly.

for the glaze

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

–  In a medium saucepan, boil sugar, butter, and milk for 1 minute on medium heat.  Stir constantly.

–  Remove from heat and stir in chips.  Continue to stir until all of the chips are melted.

–  Pour over cake, glaze will thicken.**

*  I kept this cake in the pan and poured the glaze over.  For a prettier presentation, turn the cake out onto a cake plate.  To keep the mess down,  slide a 6 inch piece of wax paper under each end of the cake, and then pour the glaze over.  That way the paper catches the excess.  After the glaze is poured and firm, remove the wax paper.

**  You can poke holes into the cake (not all the way to the bottom) and the glaze will go down into them.

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I made this last year for a teacher appreciation luncheon, and they held my cake taker hostage until I shared the recipe.  It’s GOOD! (And easy……good and easy=win win!!)

Enjoy!!

Love, Lara

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Chocolate and Cookie Dough Layer Cake with Cookie Dough Buttercream Frosting

6 Nov

Hi again!

I made cake!!

Chocolate and Cookie Dough Layer Cake with Cookie Dough Buttercream Frosting!!!

I didn’t take a lot of pictures of this cake because it was for a friend, but I decided that I really needed to share it.  It’s one of those cakes that you have to eat in moderation….it’s sweet and rich and ridiculously yummy!!  Everyone will want the recipe…..amazing!

First, make (2) 9 x 13 cakes.  I used chocolate because that is what the birthday boy wanted, but you can choose whatever flavor you would like.  Feel free to use a cake mix, or go ahead and make your own “from scratch” recipe….the choice is yours!!

Next is the “oh my” part of the recipe!  Pipe cookie dough onto one of the cake layers.  I found that the dough was too thick to spread, so I put it in a bag and squeezed lines of cookie dough onto the cake.

Then, top with the second layer.  Looks amazing already, huh?!?

Frost!!

You will be so glad you did!!

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Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup mini-chocolate chips

–  In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugars.

–  Add milk, flour and salt.  Mix on medium speed until combined.

–  Fold in chocolate chips.

Cookie Dough Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. milk

–  In a medium bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

–  Slowly add in powdered sugar and milk until thoroughly combined.  Continue beating until smooth.

–  Spread onto cake, or pipe onto cupcakes.

*Cookie dough and frosting recipes slightly adapted from Chef in Training

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This cookie dough can be used for so many different things!  My kids love when I roll it into balls, and dip the balls into chocolate.

Cookie Dough Truffles!!

There is an entire cookbook full of recipes made with cookie dough, it’s called the Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook by Lindsay Landis. (Imagine that!!)  I LOVE it!  If you have a thing for cookie dough, I’m thinking you should check it out!

Enjoy!!

Love, Lara

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

1 Nov

Hi again!

I made cupcakes!!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes!!!

I made them last week for a birthday party…along with these cupcakes, that I shared on Monday!  Sorry for posting 2 cupcake recipes in one week, I’m hoping you like them enough that you don’t mind.  My plan had been to share them with you next week, but today ended up being super busy and I didn’t have time to bake something new.

My little guy had an EEG.

Pretty cute, huh?  They made him look like a mummy too! Pretty fitting for Halloween!!

He was a trooper, and actually laid down calmly for the entire test…….whew, was I relieved!  He deserved a cupcake! 🙂  Instead, he got a new racecar and lunch at McDonald’s.

You get the cupcakes….the recipe, anyway!!

Start with a cake mix.  I love doctoring up cake mixes.  It’s such a simple way to make something a little more special!

Throw in a few additional ingredients and you have a super cupcake!

Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting, and you have a FABULOUS cupcake!!

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Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

     for the cupcakes 

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

–  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill cupcake/muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners, set aside.

–  In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and spice.

–  Beat on low for 30 seconds.  Scrape the sides of the bowl,  continue to beat for another minute on medium or until all the ingredients are well combined.

–  Fill each of the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

–  Bake 16 to 22 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  (I press the middles, if they bounce back they are done.)

–  Cool completely on a wire rack.

      for the frosting

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

–  In a medium bowl,  beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.

–  Slowly add powdered sugar to creamed mixture.

–  Whip for 3-4 minutes, or until fluffy.

–  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

*Cake recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes.

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I hope they give you cupcake fever!!

Enjoy!!

Love, Lara

Frosted Pumpkin Cake

26 Oct

Hi again!

I made cake today!

Frosted Pumpkin Cake !!

It’s like a pumpkin roll without the roll…..does that make sense??  It’s dense and moist….ALMOST a bar, but a little too cakey to be a bar. 

SO…..now that you are totally confused……. just make it.  You’ll see!  And you’ll be glad you did!

I originally intended on adding a marshmallow layer in the middle of the cake. Too bad I had already put it in the oven when I noticed the cup of marshmallows still sitting on the counter. Right where I left them!  Ugh….FAIL!

I made a marshmallow cream cheese frosting instead.  Woot!! Woot!!

I think the kitchen fairies must have sprinkled me with temporary memory loss dust so I would forget the marshmallows, because it was pretty tasty……1 bite……turned into 2……2 bites……turned into……well……lunch! 

Oh my waistline…..but it was GOOD!

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Frosted Pumpkin Cake

     For the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of pure pumpkin

– Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.

– In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice together. 

– In a separate bowl, mix eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil until combined.  Add pumpkin and thoroughly mix.

– Sift flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix completely.

– Pour into the prepared pan.  Bake 22 – 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

     For the frosting

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Marshmallow Fluff

– In a medium bowl, beat until combined and fluffy.  About 3 minutes.

– Smooth onto cake.

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So, it  turned out to be a win-win!  The cake was super, and I can look forward to making it again…..with marshmallows! 

Enjoy!

Love, Lara

Easy Apple Spice Cake

23 Oct

Hi again!

I made cake!

Apple Spice Cake!!

It was super easy, and I needed super easy today!

Today was an errand day, which usually means I follow a list and go from place to place, bribing a very strong-willed 3-year-old into good behavior.  You know……with ring pops, crabby patties, and if I need to pull out the big guns….lunch at that mouse place we Moms love! 

So, I had just finished diffusing a temper tantrum over a little blue phone in the check-out lane at Wal-Mart.  I mean, do they really need to have all that junk right there at the finish line??  Seriously, as a Mom; that’s where I can see the light….we are ALMOST done.  Whoever does their marketing should get a raise…..I think they count on the fact that by the time you arrive at check-out,  mothers and children are both at the end of their rope and 9 times out of 10 said “junk” will end up on the conveyor belt to your wallet!  I won this time….the mean little lady at the register may have been shaking her head, and she did have to yell  “HEY”, when he tried to wing the phone back into its smart little spot…..but the score was still Mom 1 – Little man 0!! (Overall, I’m a bit behind….don’t judge!)

Anyway, we get to the car.  I have him fastened safely into his car seat, and I start to load groceries.  Some crazy person behind me decides to peel wheels and leave the lot at 150 mph.  Erghhh….who does that anyway?  Then another genius did it, and I kinda felt like I was in some action packed movie.  So I look up, and right in front of my car is a guy with DEA written on the back of his jacket. And honest to goodness, I thought to myself, “what a dweeb, they really shouldn’t sell that stuff to the public.”  (In hindsight, that’s when I probably should have figured it out, but I’m sheltered here ok?)  Here comes the good part….cars flying in, guns drawn, “FREEZE, GET ON THE GROUND.” , and I finally understood.  I was smack dab in the middle of a bust…Wal-mart at noon, SERIOUSLY?  HOLY COW!

So of course being the protective Mama I am….I jumped on top of my “sweet” little 3 year old….because when you are playing super hero, that’s what you do!  When everything looked calm, and I could see Mr. Innocent until Proven Guilty was in hand-cuffs;  I loaded the rest of the groceries and went on my merry way.  I did snap a picture, but I figured that Mr. DEA would show up at my door and try to take my evidence or something, and I’ve had enough for one day! 

We went straight home.

And made cake. 

I had originally planned on making 3 layered bars of pure yumminess, but decided those could wait.  I needed simple, homey and comforting. 

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Easy Apple Spice Cake

  • 1 box of Spice Cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can Apple pie filling

–  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.

– Mix Spice mix and eggs with a mixer until completely combined.

– Mix in apples until evenly coated. (I used my stand mixer and it chopped the apple up into bite size pieces.)

– Pour into prepared pan, and bake about 25 minutes.  Start checking at 20 and pull it out when the top bounces back when pressed.

– Cool, and cut. 

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Once again….EASY! 

You can top this however you like.  I just put a dollop of whipped cream on top and sprinkled it with Cinnamon-Sugar.  It would be lovely served warm with Vanilla Ice Cream, or drizzled with Caramel. 🙂

Enjoy!

Love, Lara

Halloween Oreo No-Bake Cheesecake

18 Oct

Hi again!

I made cheesecake!

Halloween Oreo No-Bake Cheese Cake!

It’s kinda delicious…..like…..I kept tasting the filling off of the mixer paddle (just to make sure it was as delicious as I thought) delicious…..know what I mean?  And I don’t do that, like ever!  After about ten finger-licks, I do believe that I can say yes…..it is pretty fabulous. And, I added 100 calories to my food log, so I don’t really feel guilty about it at all!

I’ve been trying to use up my Halloween-themed stash of goodies, and I have bunches of Halloween Oreos. (I love Oreos, and anything Cookies-n-Cream.)  So, I started there.

I also had a baggie of left-over Oreo halves.  I made these cute owl cookies from The Domestic Rebel, and they are made with only the frosted side of the Oreos. 

So, because I’m all….  “waste not – want not”…… I decided to make Oreo crumb crust with the other halves.  Kinda smart, huh?  I mean, there really would be no justification for throwing any part of an Oreo away, but who wants to dunk half a cookie….not this gal, so crust just seemed like the only logical answer!

Don’t tell anyone, but I have never made a real baked cheesecake.  For some reason, it totally intimidates me.  Just the thought of taking the time to put it together and then it cracking just totally geeks me out.

No-bake was my answer! 🙂

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Halloween Oreo No-Bake Cheesecake

  • (2) 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1-2 cups of whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 package  Halloween Oreos, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • drops of orange food coloring

–  Crush half of the Oreos (about 15) in a food processor (or with a rolling-pin) until pretty fine.  In a mixing bowl, mix the melted butter and crumbs together.

– Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, set aside.

– In a medium bowl, whip cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.  Add whipped topping.  (I have a house full of children who do not love a strong cream cheese flavor, so I used the entire 2 cups.  Add the whipped topping slowly, until it reaches the flavor you desire.)

– Mix the food coloring into the whipped mixture until you have the shade you desire. 

– Roughly chop the remaining Oreos and fold them into the whipped mix.

– Spread mix over the prepared Oreo crust.  (I dumped the entire bowl on thick and then spread it. It prevents the crust from rolling up into the top layer.)

– Refrigerate a few hours, until firm.

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If you really want to make this super easy, you can buy an already prepared Oreo crust, OR TWO!!! ( I would probably cut the filling in half to fill only one.)

Totally YUM!

Enjoy!

Love, Lara

Caramel Apple Milky Way (Better Than ___ ) Cake

6 Oct

Hi again!!

Have you had a Caramel Apple Milky Way bar yet?  They are perfectly yummy!  AND…they are mini,  so that means little calories, right? (win, win!)

The first time I saw these was here.  I had to make them, so I promptly ran out to the store and was told they were sold out.  I then proceeded to stalk every grocery store around until I found them.  I bought 2 bags……after tasting one, I knew that was not going to be nearly enough; so I headed back and bought a few more. ( I’m not telling how many so no need to ask!! ) And good thing, because they don’t seem to last very long anywhere.

They are good.  Really good.

As I said in a previous post….I had never had a Milky Way or a 3 Musketeers bar until a year or so ago.  Although good, I enjoy other chocolates a bit more.  Until these.

I’ve been baking them into cookies and brownies ever since.  And now this…….

I have made this Better than Sex Cake from Allrecipes.com a few times.  I thought I would try making it more “Autumny”. (yea, I know that’s not a word….I have a bad habit of adding  y’s to all my adjectives)

The outcome was fabulous.

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Caramel Apple Milky Way (Better Than ___ ) Cake

  • 1 box Spice cake mix (and the ingredients to make it)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of caramel ice cream topping plus 2 tbsp. for decorative drizzle
  • 1 bag of Caramel Apple Milky Way bars cut into 4’s
  • 1 (8 oz.) container of Cool Whip

* this cake is easiest left in the pan because it’s messy.  I’m sure it would work if you flipped it out as well.

– Bake cake as directed in a 9×13 pan. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes

– While the cake is cooling combine milk and caramel in a small sauce pan.  Heat over low heat until smooth and combined.

– Poke holes into the entire cake about an inch apart. Do not go all the way through to the bottom.

– Slowly pour warm milk mixture over the top of the cake making sure it fills the holes.

– Sprinkle the candy over the top ( I cover it with foil and let the chocolates melt.)

 

– Cool completely, then top with whipped topping and decorate with additional candy and caramel drizzle.

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If you check out the original recipe,  you will notice that I changed the milk and caramel amounts….as written there is not nearly enough to fill all of the holes.  The recipe also called for slits to be made in the cake and I am just not a big fan….but you can decide on your own which way you like it best.

I’ll let you fill in the  “Better than ______”  blank yourself!! 🙂

Have a wonderful week-end!

Enjoy!!

Love, Lara

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