Monday, December 31, 2012

Week 52: Sour Cream Pound Cake

Less than two hours until we say, "Goodbye" to 2012 and I just pulled cake #52 out of the oven.
Each year David and I invite a few friends over to watch football and enjoy a New Year's meal.  I decided to make a pound cake. It is one of David's favorite cakes and I thought it would be a great end to this blog.  I had already baked a Million Dollar Pound Cake, a 7-Up Pound Cake and a Cream Cheese Pound Cake so I decided to try Paula Deen's Sour Cream Pound Cake. Her recipe called for one teaspoon of vanilla; but I added 1 teaspoon of pure almond extract along with vanilla.  I will serve fresh berries with this cake tomorrow.
Happy New Year and thank you for following this blog.  My blog for 2013 will be broader than just cakes... 52 Weeks of Favorite Recipes.  I will begin posting new recipes this week!!!   I hope you will follow along on this new blog.
















Sour Cream Pound Cake
          (Source: Paula Deen)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
3 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating each egg 1 at a time. Add the vanilla and pour the mixture into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 8 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. 

Happy Baking Dear Friends!
Julie

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Week 51: Red Velvet Cheesecake
















Does anyone else prepare the same menu every Christmas?  Yesterday I mentioned that maybe next year I would change up the Christmas menu a bit and the entire family said, "NO!"  I introduced the Red Velvet Cheesecake last year and no one complained when I baked it again this year.  Not only is it a beautiful holiday red; but it is so delicious!  Maybe even the Cake of the Year?!?  




















Red Velvet Cheesecake
(Source: Southern Living Magazine, April 2010)


Crust:
17 Oreo cookies
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
 
 
Stir together Oreo crumbs, melted butter, and 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of 9-inch springform pan.


Filling:  3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa 1 cup sour cream 
1/2 cup whole buttermilk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar 2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring


Preparation

  1. Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
  2. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

 














Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 Cup butter or margarine, softened
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners sugar


Combine butter, cream cheese, and vanilla in mixing bowl and blend until smooth.
Add sugar gradually until well incorporated.  Spread over chilled cake.



 















Merry Christmas!
Happy Baking!
Julie 

Week 50: Red Velvet Sheet Cake

I have been reading Pioneer Woman's blog for years.  Her posts always made me smile and brightened my day.  I was so happy for her when Food Network added her to their Saturday morning line-up.  She cooks delicious food!  Mid-December she made a Red Velvet Sheet Cake for a church pot luck and I knew I would bake that cake for week 50.  I've made several sheet cakes on 52 Weeks of Cakes and they have all been delicious; but I believe this one takes the prize!  Ree (Pioneer Woman) used a Classic Red Velvet Icing, but I used Cream Cheese Icing since it is a favorite with my gang.












Red Velvet Cheesecake
Source:  Ree Drummond... The Pioneer Woman

2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 whole eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 fluid ounces red food coloring
1 cup shortening
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar


Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly spray a large (18-by-12-inch) sheet cake pan (or you can use a slightly smaller jelly roll pan) with nonstick baking spray. Be sure to get in all the corners of the pan.
Sift together the cake flour and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda and eggs. Add the vinegar and stir. Set aside.
In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa and red food coloring. Set aside. Cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk/egg mixture until all combined. Pour in the red mixture and beat until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared sheet cake pan. Use a large offset spatula or knife to even out the surface. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
Place a large cutting board on top of the cake pan, then invert the cake, allowing it to turn out onto the cutting board. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.












Cream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1   8 ounce block of cream cheese, softened
1 pound box of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 Combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla in mixing bowl, blending until smooth.  Add sugar gradually until icing comes together.  Spread over cooled cake.









Enjoy!
Happy Baking!
Julie

Week 49: Brownie Cheesecake


I found the recipe for week 49's cake in Better Homes and Garden's Holiday Baking magazine.  I do not usually buy magazines at the grocery store but I am so glad I bought this one.  There are over 23 recipes in the magazine that I plan to try.  

The magazine uses a homemade brownie recipe for the crust; but to save time I just purchased my favorite brownie mix, baked them, let them cool and then made crumbs in my food processor.
This is one cake I will make again as it was enjoyed by all!

Brownie Cheesecake
(Source: Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking Magazine, 2012)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 Crust:  3 cups brownie crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

Place 2 cups of the coarsely chopped brownies in a food processor.  Cover and process with on/off pulses to form crumbs.  Add melted butter and sugar and process just until combined.  Press mixture onto the bottom and 1 and 3/4 inches up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan.  Chill while preparing filling


Filling: 3  8 ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3 eggs, lightly beaten
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour 
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur 
1/4 cup buttermilk

In a small heavy saucepan cook and stir bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate over low heat until melted: cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  With the mixer running, slowly add melted chocolate, beating on low speed just until combined.  Stir in eggs and buttermilk.    
Pour filling into crust lined pan, spreading evenly.  Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan.  Top with the remaining 1 cup coarsely chopped brownie crumbs. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until 2 1/2 inch area around the outside edge appears set when gently shaken.
Cool in springform pan on a wire rack until completely cooled.
Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Enjoy!
Happy Baking!   
Julie 
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week 48: Pumpkin Cheesecake

I trust all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Thanksgiving is right at the top of my favorite holidays! We truly have so much to be thankful for!
I begin preparing the food for this special day a few days before Thanksgiving.  This year the very first thing I prepared was a delicious pumpkin cheesecake. 
















My dear friend, Amy Roland, shared this recipe with me years ago after her mother had prepared it for their Thanksgiving dessert.
As you can see I wrapped the spring form pan in several layers of heavy foil.  Then I set it in a large baking dish and poured water into the large pan, about half up the side.  Doing this prevents the cheesecake from wrapping and the several layers of foil keeps the water out of my cake.  I made this cake on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, put it in the refrigerator once it had cooled completely and gave a thankful sigh of relief knowing my dessert for Thursday was complete.  I do hope you will bake one for your family and friends.  It is truly a crowd pleaser!

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Source: Amy Roland


Crust:
1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
Combine crumbs, sugar and butter and press into a buttered, large  spring form pan.


3 bars of cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup regular sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 16 oz can of pumpkin
1 and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup whipping cream

Beat the softened cream cheese with the sugars until creamy.  Add eggs one at a time beating after each addition.  Add pumpkin, spice and whipping cream and mix well.
Pour into your pan and bake for 90 minutes at 325°.

Prepare topping of:
3/4 cups of brown sugar
6 T. butter chilled
1 and 1/2 cups of chopped pecans

Using a pastry cutter or two forks mix together and place on top of cheesecake and bake for another 15 minutes.

Happy Baking!
Julie

Week 47: Fresh Strawberry Upside Down Cake

Week 47's cake was baked by my sweet friend, Amy Swartz. Do you have a friend who enjoys all the same things as you?  Last December we were at her niece's birthday party and we sat next to each other during dinner.  I enjoyed our conversation so much and felt such a kindred spirit with her. Amy has baked just about all of the cakes I have featured on 52 Weeks of Cakes. When she shared this cake that she had made with me, I knew I had to feature it on my blog. She described the cake as, "Extremely simple and oh so good!" Amy had one piece of cake left and was kind enough to take this picture for me!

















Fresh Strawberry Upside Down Cake
Source: Amy Swartz


Ingredients:

2 cups crushed fresh strawberries
1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin mix
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 (18 ounce) package yellow cake mix, batter prepared as directed on package

Instructions:


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Spread crushed strawberries on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Evenly sprinkle strawberries with the dry gelatin powder, and top with mini marshmallows.
  3. Prepare the cake mix as directed on the package, and pour on top of the marshmallows. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the pan to loosen the sides, and turn the cake out onto a serving tray. Store cake in the refrigerator.
Thank you, Amy!

Happy Baking!
Julie

Week 46: Candy Snack Cake






















I made this delicious chocolate cake a few weeks ago.  I was wanting to bake a cake for my guys as they were watching college football and found this recipe on Pinterest.  It is very similar to a Texas Sheetcake; except the icing included three melted Snicker bars.  I will definitely bake this cake again!


















Candy Snack Cake
Source:  Paula Deen

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Chocolate Frosting, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 9-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Spread chocolate frosting over hot cake. Let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 (2.07-ounce) Snickers bars cut into 1/2-inch pieces 

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add cocoa, buttermilk and 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Stir in candy bars and allow to melt. Stir in remaining confectioners' sugar and immediately spread over hot cake.
Yield: 1 cup

Will add two pictures in a little while.
Happy Baking!
Julie

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week 45: Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

This easy cake is a family favorite. I made it during the week as we had new neighbors over for dinner and I needed a quick dessert.  I made a gooey butter cake for week 23 and many of you said this was one of your favorite cakes.  I so enjoy pumpkin in the fall so I thought our guests might too! Plus, I had several gluten free cake mixes on hand so I made this one gluten free so that I could enjoy it too!

















Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
Recipe from Paula Deen
Cake:
1 18 1/4-ounce package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
Filling:
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the cake, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Pat the mixture into a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking pan.
Prepare filling:
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.

Happy Baking!
Julie

Week 44: Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Last Sunday we had a reception for people who have been visiting our church so that they could learn more about us and meet the elder team.  I found a recipe in one of my Southern Living Cookbooks that I knew would be perfect for this occasion.




















When we have a large group over I like to make one big, wonderful dessert and then have some fruit and a bowl of mixed nuts on the table.  I make lemonade tea (my mother-in-law's wonderful recipe) and decaf coffee.  Our house was filled with sweet fellowship and this cake was enjoyed by all!

















Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake                                                                              (Source: Southern Living, September 2011)

  • CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • APPLE CAKE BATTER:
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup applesauce 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1 1/2 lb.)

 
  • PRALINE FROSTING:
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

  1. 1. Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
  2. 2. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
  3. 3. Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
  4. 4. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).
  5. 5. Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Week 43: Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake and Perfectly Chocolate Frosting

I baked this cake last week-end and failed to post it this week.  I am still getting used to new responsibilities and a new routine and have been quite neglectful in getting my weekly recipes on my blog... on time.  The purpose of this blog is to have a place that my sweet daughter and future daughter in loves can come to - to get my cake recipes and a few new ones that I have added this year in the years to come; so I guess I'm not late after all.
When I teach all day, the last thing I want to do when I get home is get on the computer.  I like to get on some comfy clothes, play with our sweet Millie dog, feed our backyard birds and get dinner started.
I found Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake and Perfectly Chocolate Frosting on Pinterest and it took me to Barbara Schieving's blog: Barbara Bakes. Barbara is a wonderful cook, so I knew the cake would be delicious! 
David and Sam spent a few hours watching football last week-end and I knew they would enjoy a chocolate cake.  I was right!  They have been enjoying it all week! 


















Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake
Source: Barbara Bakes

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
 1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; With a mixer, beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Carefully, stir in boiling water. The batter will be very thin. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with chocolate frosting.

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Happy Baking!
Julie

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Week 42: Caramel Apple Poke Cake

Oh readers! I am a week behind in posting this cake!  I made it last week-end for our fall festival and everyone enjoyed it!  Not only did it look delicious but it was an easy cake to make and I needed easy due to a very busy week-end and being fatigued. I am so enjoying my new role as a substitute teacher but my body is still getting used to a new routine.  I am thankful that this week-end allowed more rest.
I'll post week 43's cake tomorrow; but for now here is week 42's Caramel Apple Poke Cake!!!
















Caramel Apple Poke Cake
(Source: Lady and Sons Cookbook - Paula Deen)

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts 
1/2 cups diced apples, canned or fresh

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Cream together sugar, eggs, and oil.  Add flour; mix together until well blended.  Add vanilla, nuts, and diced apples.  Spread into a lightly greased and floured 13 x 9-inch baking dish; bake for 45 to 60 minutes.  Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  When cake is done, punch holes in it with a knife and pour topping over.


Caramel Topping:

1 1/2 stick of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1/8 cup of milk
Heat all ingredients together over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Let boil for about 2 minutes.  Pour over warm cake.


Happy Baking!
Julie














Sunday, October 14, 2012

Week 41: Chocolate Chip-Cookie Dough Cheesecake




















My daughter arrived home for fall break last night.  I don't remember having a fall break when I was in college; but whoever had this wonderful idea - I am most thankful.  Our house is alive with the sound of laughter and stories upon stories as Bethany and her two dear friends who drove home with her sit around our table sipping hot tea and eating cake number 41.  When I found this recipe I knew it would be the perfect cake to make for Bethany and friends.




















While we were waiting for the girls to arrive last night, David enjoyed a piece of the cake and said it was the best cheesecake he has ever had.  The girls have all said the same.  Not only does the cheesecake have three bars of cream cheese and two kinds of sugar; but it also has an entire roll of cookie dough.  The cookie dough bakes into the cheesecake making a wonderfully, delicious cake.



















Chocolate Chip-Cookie Dough Cheesecake
(Source: Better Homes and Garden 2012 Holiday Baking Magazine)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9 inch springform pan.

Crust:
  You may use regular graham cracker crumbs, crushed Oreos or chocolate graham cracker crumbs.  For this cake I used chocolate graham cracker crumbs.

2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons melted butter

Combine all ingredients and press into your springform pan.


Cake Batter:

3  8 ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk

1 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, flour and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined.  Beat in milk until smooth.  Stir in eggs.
Pour half of the cream cheese mixture into a crust-lined pan, spreading evenly.  Gently drop half of the cookie dough by teaspoons onto cream cheese mixture in pan.



















Repeat with the remaining cream cheese mixture and the remaining cookie dough.  Poke dough down just below the surface.  Sprinkle top with chocolate chips.

















Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan.  Bake for 60-65 minutes.  Cool on cooling rack. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.

















Happy Baking!
Julie

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week 40: Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Dear readers, the cake I baked for week 40 is divinely delicious.
David and I stopped by the Starbucks counter on Friday night and he noticed the cinnamon coffee cake in the dessert display.  I told him I would make him one the next day.  When I pulled it out of the oven he could hardly wait for me to cut him a piece.  He said it was delicious!  The plain Greek yogurt makes it so wonderfully moist.  I have enjoyed sharing this cake with teachers, neighbors and friends.












Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
Source:  The Baker Chick

Streusel topping
2/3 cups granulated sugar
pinch of  salt (if you use unsalted butter)
3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling
1 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (for color not for taste- you can leave it out if you want.)

Cake
3/4 cup butter softened
1 teaspoon salt (1 ¼ teaspoons if you use unsalted butter)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt. (regular yogurt would also be ok.)
1 1/4 cups milk (anything from skim to whole)
3 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour

Directions
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan, or two 9" round cake pans.
2) Make the topping by whisking together the sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter, stirring till well combined. Set the topping aside.
3) Make the filling by mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Set it aside.
4) To make the cake: In a large bowl, beat together the butter, salt, sugars, baking powder, and vanilla until well combined and smooth.
5) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6) In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt and milk till well combined. You don't need to whisk out all the lumps.
7) Add the flour to the butter mixture alternately with the milk/yogurt mixture, beating gently to combine.
8) Pour/spread half the batter (about 3 cups) into the prepared pan(s), spreading all the way to the edges. If you're using two 9" round pans, spread 1 1/3 cups batter in each pan.
9) Sprinkle the filling evenly atop the batter.
10) Gently spread the remaining batter atop the filling. Use a table knife to gently swirl the filling into the batter, as though you were making a marble cake. Don't combine filling and batter thoroughly; just swirl the filling through the batter.
11) Sprinkle the topping over the batter in the pan.
12) Bake the cake until it's a dark golden brown around the edges; medium-golden with no light patches showing on top, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes for the 9" x 13" pan, 50 to 55 minutes for the 9" round pans. When pressed gently in the middle, the cake should spring back.
13) Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve cake right from the pan.





Happy Baking!
Julie

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Week 39: Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Cake



















Once again I found this week's cake from the magazine I mentioned in last week's post.  I took part of this cake to our church's Women's Fellowship.  My friend, Ana, said she couldn't imagine that chocolate and pumpkin would taste good together; but she had two pieces and asked for the recipe. We also included two pieces with a meal we took to a couple in our church who just had a new baby last week.  The rest of the cake is in our kitchen for my sweetheart to enjoy.


Recently I bought a new bundt pan at Wal-Mart.  It is a Nordic Ware Bundt pan and is actually the original Bundt pan created before 1950.  I love baking cakes in this wonderful, heavy pan.  I let the cakes cool 15-20 minutes and then turn the cake onto a cake plate.  With previous bundt pans I never knew if the cake would turn out whole or break; but with this pan I am 4 for 4 with every cake turning out perfectly.  I highly recommend this Bundt pan!

If you are looking for a delicious cake to make for a crowd this fall; I hope you will give this cake a try.
I wanted a more substantial chocolate icing than the recipe had so I used the chocolate icing from the Mississippi Mud Cake I made for week 3  (I will include both).












Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Cake
(Source: Better Homes and Gardens)

2 eggs (room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup shortening
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking sode
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
1/3 cup milk


Directions
1. Allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan; set aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves. In a small bowl combine pumpkin and milk. Set bowls aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In an extra-large mixing bowl beat eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, 3/4 cup shortening, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Alternately add flour mixture and pumpkin mixture to egg mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Divide batter in half.
3. In a small microwave-safe bowl microwave 1 cup of the chocolate pieces on 100 percent power (high) for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir melted chocolate into one-half of the batter. Spoon half of the plain pumpkin batter into the prepared pan. Gently spoon the chocolate batter over pumpkin batter in pan. Top with the remaining plain pumpkin batter. Using a table knife, swirl batters together to marble.
4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. If necessary to prevent overbrowning, cover cake loosely with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; cool completely on wire rack. 

Icing used in the magazine's recipe:
In a small microwave-safe bowl microwave the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate pieces and 1-1/2 teaspoons shortening on 100 percent power (high) for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Drizzle melted chocolate over cake.

Icing I used:
 1 (16 ounce) box powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup cocoa
4 tablespoons butter, softened

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Spread over the cake. Frosting will harden as it cools.

Enjoy!
Happy Baking!
Julie

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Week 38: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake

While at the grocery store yesterday a magazine caught my eye... Better Homes and Gardens' Holiday Baking... 112 Recipes to Bake and Share.  I had not chosen my cake for week 38 so when I turned to the recipe index and counted 24 cake recipes I knew there was a good chance I would find this week's cake.  Out of the 24 cake recipes nine are cheesecakes; five of which you will see here before year's end.
I baked the Snickerdoodle Cheesecake yesterday.  It is not only delicious; it is a beautiful cake with cinnamon sugar sparkling on top!
















This cake is a true winner and a wonderful cake to bake to welcome fall!













Snickerdoodle Cheesecake
(Source: Better Homes and Gardens)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Crust:
1  10 ounce package shortbread cookies, finely crushed
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

Stir together crushed cookies and 1 tablespoon sugar.  Stir in melted butter until combined.  Press mixture onto the bottom and up the sides a bit of a lightly buttered, 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

Cake Batter:
2  8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1  8 ounce carton sour cream
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sour cream, the 1 cup sugar, flour, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Stir in eggs. Pour batter onto the shortbread crust, spreading evenly. 
Stir together the 1 tablespoon sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over the cake.

Place the pan on a shallow, foil lined baking sheet and bake 40-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the cake, comes out clean.
Cool completely on a cooling rack and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Enjoy!

To make this cake gluten free use Pam's gluten free shortbread cookies for the crust and Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix for the flour called for in the cake batter.


Happy Baking!
Julie

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Week 37: Uncle Bob’s Fresh Apple Cake

Hello, dear readers.  It is so hard to believe that fall is right around the corner.  While driving home from being with friends Thursday evening,  I noticed that daylight was getting shorter.  It is also a lot cooler when I go outside in the mornings to feed our backyard birds.
Fall is such a wonderful time with the cooler weather, colorful leaves, football, pumpkins and apples!
I found this week's cake on Pinterest.  It is from Paula Deen so you know it will be wonderful.  Right now it is cooling on a cooling rack, looking ever so lovely and delicious!


















This is the second cake I made this week.  A few weeks ago I took Bethany's queen comforter to the laundromat.  There is a sweet, older man who works there and is always so helpful.  Once I put the comforter in the dryer I left to run a few errands.  When I returned to the laundromat the kind man had it all folded and wrapped in plastic and brought it to my car and put it on my backseat.  I told him I wanted to bake him a cake for his kindness.  I asked him what his favorite cake was and he said, "Just plain pound cake, ma'am."  So I made the Million Dollar Pound Cake in two loaf pans and Samuel and I dropped one of them off to him on Thursday.  He was so happy.  The neat thing about this man is that I have heard from several friends on different occasions how kind he has been to them.  I told him that people are talking about him because of how kind he is to others.  If you live near me and need to visit a laundromat be sure to go to the large one behind Suntrust, downtown.
I'm not sure what we'll do with this cake.  I may cut it up and take it to church tomorrow morning or share it with some ladies I will see this week.  It made our home smell heavenly while it baked and I think it's a great cake to usher in fall!

Uncle Bob's Fresh Apple Cake
Source: Paula Deen


3 cups diced Granny Smith apples, about 2 apples
1 cup lightly toasted chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs


Directions

Cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a Bundt pan or tube pan.
In a bowl, mix together the apples, walnuts, vanilla, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and beat until completely combined. Fold in the apple mixture.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to fully cool in the pan, about 1 hour, and then turn it out onto a plate.
Drizzle the apple cake with some of the honey glaze, serve and enjoy
Honey Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons milk

 Glaze: Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and stir until smooth.  Drizzle over cake.


What is your favorite thing about fall?

Happy Baking!
Julie

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Week 36: Brown Sugar Pound Cake

I woke up this morning remembering I had not shared the cake I baked for week 36.  It was a delicious cake... one I will make again and again.  It is the Brown Sugar Pound Cake.  The icing is a caramel icing and is made on the stove, stirring constantly for 6-7 minutes.  I served it to our community group on Wednesday night. Its amazing how quickly a cake can disappear.  This is definitely a cake you should add to your recipe files.














Brown Sugar Pound Cake

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
5 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or 12-cup Bundt pan.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

At medium speed of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars for 4 or 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer running at low speed, add the oil and beat until incorporated; then, beat in the eggs, one at a time.

At low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat only until ingredients are blended; do not overbeat. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour into your prepared tube pan, and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove cake from oven and check doneness with a cake tester or toothpick. If your tester does not come out clean, bake for an additional 5 minutes, then test again.


Brown Sugar Icing


1 pound light brown sugar (16-ounce package or about 2-1/4 cups plus 2 teaspoons
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 5-ounce can of evaporated milk
dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a heavy saucepan, bring to a boil the brown sugar, butter, milk and salt, stirring frequently (see Note, below). Once you have a full, rolling boil, cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in the baking powder and vanilla.

Beat, right in the saucepan, with a portable electric mixer, for 6 or 7 minutes, or until frosting begins to thicken. Working quickly, drizzle the frosting over the cake.
Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

Happy Baking!
Julie

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Week 35: Root Beer Bundt Cake

A fond memory I have of my childhood is my dad taking our family to the A&W Drive-In restaurant.  There were three sizes of frosty glass mugs they would serve root beer in... my dad would get the largest, my mom the medium size and my sister and I would get the small mugs.  They actually brought the glass mugs to our car!  They also had three different size burgers as I recall.





















 Root beer has always been a favorite drink in our home so when I saw the Root Beer Bundt Cake on Eggs, Cream and Honey I knew I had to bake it.  My bundt pan is on its last leg, though, so I baked it in three round cake pans.  I think the bundt pan would be better because the icing was not a thick icing (I used all the powdered sugar I had) so my layers weren't very stable (i.e. they slid around).


















Root beer Bundt Cake
(source: eggs, cream and honey)


2 cups root beer
 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 1/4tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs (at room temperature)

Preheat oven to 325f. Spray inside of a 10″ bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter and dust with flour.
In small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy-do NOT over beat, as it will cause cake to be tough.
Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 35-40 min, rotating the pan half way through baking time, until a sharp knife inserted into cake comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen sides of pan and turn it out onto rack.


For the Root Beer Fudge Frosting:
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate melted
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

 To make the frosting: Put all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth. Use a spatula to spread the frosting over the top of the bundt in a thick layer. Let the frosting set before serving with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
















I am looking forward to Fall and baking cakes with apples, pumpkin and spices.  Thirty-five cakes down and only seventeen to go!  Have you baked any of the cakes on 52 Weeks of Cakes?  If so, which one?  What have you been baking in your kitchen?

Happy September!
Julie

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Week 34: Grandma's Chocolate Cake

I made this week's cake for our church's annual summer gathering.  A dear couple in our church prepares fried fish, chicken, hushpuppies, corn on the cob... in other words a delicious feast and several people prepare desserts.  This year most of the desserts were chocolate.  I was reading through some old Southern Living cookbooks and came across Grandma's Chocolate Cake.  It is similar to the Texas Sheet Cake; but after the cake is baked you top it with miniature peppermint patties and put it back in the oven for two minutes for the patties to melt so that you can spread the chocolate minty goodness all over the cake.  Then you top all with chocolate icing.  This is truly a delicious and easy cake.






























































Grandma's Chocolate Cake
Source: Southern Living

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter
1 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (12 ounce) package miniature chocolate-covered peppermint patties, unwrapped
Chocolate Icing

Combine first 4 ingredients, and set aside.
Combine butter and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.
Remove from heat; stir in baking soda.  Add flour/sugar mixture, stirring well.  Set aside to cool a bit.
Stir in eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract.
Spoon batter into a greased and floured 13x9x2-inch pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Top with candy; bake 2 additional minutes.  Gently spread
melted candy over warm cake.  Spread chocolate icing over top.

Chocolate Icing

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine butter and milk in a large saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil, and remove from heat.
Combine powdered sugar and cocoa; add to butter mixture.  Add vanilla, stirring until smooth.
Yield: 2 cups

Happy Baking!
Julie