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

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.

Happy Baking!

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

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.

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!

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


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!

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!

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!