Friday, April 27, 2012

Week 17: Hummingbird Cake

Greetings dear readers!
We are blessed to have woods on three sides of our property and have a wonderful variety of feathered friends.  I thought this month would be a great time to make a Hummingbird Cake since our hummingbirds return to our feeders every April.  We love to sit outside and watch these beautiful little birds.



I have seen this recipe for years and years  in Southern Living magazines and many, many cookbooks; but have never made it before today.  Southern Living says that the Hummingbird Cake is their most requested recipe.  I mentioned that I was baking it this week to three friends and they all three said it was their favorite cake.  My friend, Robbin, was actually baking one this week too!
I packed the finished cake in a cake holder and sent it with my husband on a men's retreat.



Hummingbird Cake
Southern Living, 1990 Recipe Edition


3 Cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 Cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 Cups mashed bananas
1 Cup chopped pecans


  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
  2. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  3. Once the cake is completely cool, frost with cream cheese icing.
Cream Cheese Frosting


1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16 oz.) package powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

 Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Stir in vanilla

Preparation

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
Happy Baking!
Julie

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Week 16: Easy Chocolate Cake

In our home this week we have been preparing for a high school graduation, working on a senior paper and other school work, celebrating a birthday (Samuel turns 19 tomorrow and has requested Paula Deen's Not Yo' Momma's Banana Pudding) and cooking a lot of food. Tomorrow I leave for a Knitting Friends retreat and have been preparing food for four of the retreat meals.
I thought it would be nice to leave a cake for David and Samuel for the week-end and decided to try Martha Stewart's Easy Chocolate Cake. In the middle of all the other cooking I was doing the word EASY jumped out at me. It is easy, chocolaty, rich and so pretty and shiny.


Easy Chocolate Cake (Martha Stewart's Recipe)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Directions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan; line bottom with wax paper. Butter paper; dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess; set aside.











In a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.











In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture alternating with sour cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture.


Spread batter into prepared pan. Tap pan firmly on countertop several times to force out large air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, Cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely (bottom side up). Set rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over; spread gently to coat entirely. Let stand until set. Garnish with chocolate shavings. Serve with whipped cream.


Chocolate Glaze Ingredients

  • 4 ounces coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Let cool until thick yet pourable, 2 to 3 minutes.

Voila'!
















Happy Baking!
Julie

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Week 15: White Texas Sheet Cake

I have been outside enjoying our beautiful spring weather and almost forgot to post this week's cake. White Texas Sheet Cake is a wonderful cake to make if you need to feed a crowd and are short on time. I got the recipe from a Goose Berry Patch cookbook that I picked up on a get-a-way with my husband years ago.
















If you like the chocolate or peanut butter Texas Sheet Cakes you will enjoy this one as well! I made this week's cake on Wednesday for our Student Ministries and they loved it (pic to prove it at the bottom).
Let me know if you bake this cake!






White Texas Sheet Cake

1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Bring butter and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Pour butter/water mixture over these dry ingredients. Let cool a few minutes.
Add eggs, sour cream and almond extract. Pour batter into a greased 15"x10" baking pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes. Spread frosting on top of cake.

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
4 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Combine butter and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat.
Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and almond extract; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until spreading consistency. Spread on cake!

Usually when I bake a cake the guys come home with a few pieces left - but not this week. So glad they enjoyed it!

























Happy Baking!
Julie

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Week 14: Southern Living's Cream Cheese Pound Cake
















We've been in celebration mode this week as Tuesday was my husband's birthday.
















For his cake he chose a regular pound cake. Since I had already made a Million Dollar Pound cake for week 2, I decided to make a Cream Cheese Pound Cake that I had made years ago after seeing the recipe in Southern Living. He actually enjoyed this cake more than the Million Dollar Pound Cake. It very well may be my new go-to recipe when I need to make a pound cake.

















Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 and 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks) at room temperature
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Using an electric mixer - mix butter and cream cheese until creamy.
Gradually add sugar and beat for 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, allowing each to incorporate before adding more. Stir in vanilla.

Sift flour and salt together and gradually add to the creamed mixture, beating until well blended. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan.

Bake cake at 300 degrees for an hour and 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Place pan on a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and complete cooling on the wire rack.Serve with berries or sliced peaches.

















Enjoy! Happy Baking!
Julie