Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts


Ginger Cake with Lemon Sauce (updated)

What's Christmas without gingerbread? If you are a gb fan, you'll love this cake.
I've whipped up 10 of these cakes in the past few days. It's a one bowl, one pan cake. The glaze goes on while the cake is hot, so no need to wait for the cake to cool before glazing.
Instant gratification. It's a good thing.
In forty minutes your house can smell like Santa's kitchen and your tummy will start to look like his  be very happy. Hohoho.
Christmas is coming.

Ginger Cake with Lemon Sauce
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
3/4 cup dark molasses ( I like Grandma's brand)
1 cup sour cream (regular or light) I like regular
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 scant teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed will make the very best glaze)
dash of salt
In a large mixing bowl, combine in this order:
Eggs, oil, molasses (after measuring the oil, measure the molasses in the same cup and the molasses will slide out easily) and sour cream. Mix until ingredients are smooth. If a few lumps remain from the sour cream, they will blend out with the dry ingredients.
Dump the sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, soda and salt into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix all at once, for about one minute. 
Spoon batter into a greased 9”x13” baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.
A few minutes before the cake is done, prepare the sauce.
Mix butter, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium high heat until sugar dissolves. Let the sauce come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for about one minute.  Pour sauce over warm cake immediately after removing from oven.
Cake is best served when warm with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top. 
Serves 16.

-For those of you who have been with ABK for a while, I posted this in '08 but decided it could be simplified (consolidating spices and using pumpkin pie spice instead) and lightened up the recipe a bit by switching out the butter in the cake for oil and cutting the lemon butter sauce in half. I made the changes and the cake was better than my original version. A bit lighter, but still moist with great flavor.  
-*Make your own pumpkin pie spice for a fraction of the cost of pre mixed pp spice, recipe here:
-Make sure to check after 30 minutes, this cake bakes quickly and will dry out if over baked.
-This cake is best served within 8 hours of baking. 
-If the cake has cooled before serving, heat up individual pieces for about 15 seconds in microwave, then top with whipped cream. 


Pumpkin Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Last Sunday, we had a flop in the kitchen. Notice me, using the term "we" loosely.
Here's the scene  (in case you care). It's ten minutes before church starts. I realize I haven't placed the meat into the oven so we can eat when we get home. It's a 6 lb pork roast, frozen solid. I throw it into a pan, pour some liquid and other ingredients over it, cover and place in the oven at 350 degrees. A little too high to slow cook meat, especially frozen meat. But that's what the directions said. Or so I thought...
The result? You know that scene on Christmas Vacation where they all sit down to eat Christmas dinner and the turkey is so so dry it lets out a huge puff of air/steam/smoke when Clark cuts into it?? The family's all chomping on it, trying to chew it up, and can hardly choke it down. Yes.  That was our Sunday dinner.  Luckily, I had broiled a piece of salmon, Corrine made a great salad, and of course, we had my friend over: Dessert.

 I say, if all else fails, have a big helping of dessert. Or two.
Which reminds me. At one point in our marriage, very early on, Grant tried to tell me we didn't need to have dessert after every dinner.
Have you lost your mind??? That was years ago.  He saw the light and here we are (still married). Thirty-one years and counting. Um, yes, there's hope for your marriage.
Dessert to the rescue:  This cake may be served as a cake or coffee cake.  Serve it warm out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream or some whipped cream for dessert. Or in the morning as coffee cake.  It's a one bowl, throw it all in the mixer type of cake. Get out your bowl. This could be in your oven in ten minutes.
Have a great day!

Pumpkin Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Coffeecake
A Bountiful Kitchen original recipe
print recipe

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Spiced nut topping:
2 tablespoons butter, cold
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup pecans*
two dashes salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set the rack in center of oven.

To make topping:
Place all of the topping ingredients into a food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped and ingredients are mixed well. If you don't have a food processor, soften the butter to room temperature and chop the nuts. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

To make cake:
Place all cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix with electric mixer or stand mixer for about 1 minute or until all ingredients are incorporated.
I like to place the chocolate chips on top of all the dry ingredients so the chips will be coated with the flour and prevent sinking to the bottom of the pan. One bowl-one-mix cakes work best when all of the wet ingredients are placed in the bowl first, then the dry ingredients on top of wet ingredients.

Line the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and grease the pans, or use one 10-inch Springform pan.
Mix together cake ingredients as directed.
Mix together topping ingredients in separate bowl.
Pour the cake ingredients evenly into the prepared pan(s). Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cakes.
Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes for 8-inch pans, or about 45 minutes for 10-inch pan.
Remove from oven and let cool. Invert onto a plate, then turn over again onto a platter to serve.

-*For the pumpkin pie spice I used my simple, inexpensive, home made recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice.
-**If not using nuts in topping, add 2-3 more tablespoons of flour to topping.
-If you want to give away a cake and keep one for yourself, use two 8 inch cake pans. You may also use disposable pans, then there is no need to turn the cake out of the pan before serving or giving away.


Banana Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

Don't you love a good celebration? I baked up this cake to celebrate ABK's five year bloggeversary! Whoot. Not really.
I mean, I did bake this cake, but not for the bloggeversary. Just Sunday dinner. Since we all were busy running around, cramming in every possible end-of-summer activity in August, I thought celebrating A Bountiful Kitchen's five year mark should wait until after Labor Day.
You won't want to miss it.
Next week.
It involves a blender.
The. Very. Best. Blender.
You have to have a Pinterest account to enter the giveaway. We're having a little tutorial at the end of the week for those of you who haven't jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon. My oldest daughter, Corrine, who has her own blog  Mint Arrow  (finding the best deal on quality items, never paying full price-click on the link and check it out) is going to guest post on ABK and help you, if you are not yet  Pinterest addicted savvy.
Oh, and if you have bananas sitting on your counter attracting fruit flies, mash them up (the bananas, not the fruit flies) and make this cake. It takes one bowl and about 5 minutes to mix up.
It is divine.

Banana Chocolate Chip Layer Cake 
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3-4 medium bananas (equaling about 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups flour
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk, half and half or cream

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line (with parchment paper) two-9 inch round cake pans.
Place sugar, bananas, soft butter, oil, buttermilk and eggs in large bowl or stand mixer. Mix for about 2 minutes, until all ingredients are mixed well. Add all of the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips and mix for an additional one to two minutes on high speed. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly into the two prepared pans.
Bake on middle rack of oven for about 40 minutes, or toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Let cake cool, then frost with buttercream frosting.

Cream butter with all dry ingredients. Add vanilla, and milk a little at a time until desired consistency.
Place one of the cakes on platter, frost with 1/3 of frosting. Place second layer on top, frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Top with chopped nuts, if desired.

-This cake can also be baked in a 9x13 pan. Bake for additional 5-10 minutes, to insure middle of cake is cooked completely.


It's that time of year...Chocolate Zucchini Cake

On Tuesday, my friend Wendy gave me a couple of zucchini from her garden. I promised to make something yummy with the gift and post it.
The plan: to make something semi-healthy.
What got in the way of the plan: while out for my morning walk the next day, Melinda told me she made some of Laurie's Chocolate Zucchini Cake. So much for the plan.
Here it is. New and improved. Originally posted here (Aug 2010).
With frosting, this time around, for good measure.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Adapted a bit from Laurie Cutler by ABK
print recipe

½ cup butter
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups zucchini, grated*
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup chocolate chips
Whipping cream, or frosting (recipe below)

Cream together butter, oil and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beat. Add flour, cocoa, cloves, cinnamon, soda and salt and beat for additional 2 minutes. Add grated or blended zucchini and buttermilk. Blend well. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 325 for 45 minutes (check with a toothpick).
Best when served slightly warm with fresh whipped cream or top with frosting (below).

1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
milk or cream to thin, about 2-3 tablespoons
Beat all ingredients with mixer in bowl until smooth. Frost cake when cooled.

-You may also bake in two-9 or 10 inch pie plates.
*This recipe has been altered a bit from the original. The original recipe calls for peeling and seeding the zucchini, I leave the peel on and don't seed. And I usually pulverize the zucchini in a blender with about 1/4 cup of water. The total amount used in the recipe is 2 cups, meaning I place the zucchini in a blender with about 1/4 cup of water and pulverize the zucchini until it looks like baby food. Then I measure out 2 cups. If it turns out to be a little less than 2 cups, no big deal. 1 3/4 is fine! Also, I've increased the cocoa in the cake from 3 tablespoon (original recipe) to 6 tablespoons.


Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream Frosting

As a little girl, I absolutely loved strawberry shortcake. My mom used to serve us those little pre-packaged cakes with sliced strawberries and Cool Whip. You know what I'm talking about, right? There were 6 or 8 cakes to a package. I wished she would buy two packages so I could have one entire package to myself. I knew summer was just around the corner when we had those little cakes in the grocery cart.
A few weeks ago, I made a cake for Brett's (my BIL) bd dinner. I planned to take strawberry shortcake, but wanted to make the cake and whip the cream the night before, so we could just grab the cake and go when it was time to head out the door on Sunday. The wheels started turning and I thought it would be fun to create a strawberry shortcake with frosting, so it could all be prepared ahead of time, and seem more like a cake fit for a celebration. After some alterations to multiple recipes found online, I came up with this yummy twist to an old favorite.
Perfect summer birthday cake.
Love it.

Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream Frosting
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cup flour, sifted
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place rack in middle of oven.
Grease and lightly flour two-9 inch round cake pans, or grease and line with parchment.
Beat 4 egg whites until stiff in medium bowl, set aside.
Place baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour in a small bowl, mix with fork.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together for two minutes on medium speed with a mixer. Add one whole egg and vanilla. Beat for an additional two minutes.
Add half of the dry ingredients, mix well. Add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk, mix well. Repeat with both the dry and wet ingredients until all are mixed into the bowl, scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. Gently fold in the egg whites.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake on middle rack in oven for about 25-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Watch carefully, so cake does not overcook.
Remove pans from oven when done, let sit for five minutes.
Invert onto cooling rack. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
Serves 12-15

Whipped Cream and Cream Cheese Frosting

1- 8 oz  package cream cheese, regular or low fat, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond (optional)
2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold

Beat the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Add vanilla and almond. Mix until smooth. Taste and add 1/4 cup of additional powdered sugar if you like it sweeter.
Slowly add the heavy cream and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
Frost the cake with Whipped Cream Frosting and top each serving with strawberries.
Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

-This cake did not rise up very much at my altitude (abt 4400 ft.) . I'm going to experiment and will update the post if I am able to get a higher rise next time I bake.
If you are looking for a taller cake, double or 1 1/2 the recipe and make more layers. You'll have to increase the frosting as well to cover the cake. If you double the cake, 1 1/2 times the frosting.


Kash's Red Raspberry Dutch Oven Cobbler

If you are looking for a simple treat for camping, and you're willing to step outside the S'more box, you've come to the right place.
Are you in charge of dessert for your Lake Powell trip or your family reunion?  The possibilities are endless with this basic recipe (see suggestions below).  If it were any more simple it would be take out.
This treat is perfect paired with fresh raspberries and cream, or stacked (Dutch oven talk) with Kash's Black Cherry Chocolate Dutch Oven Cobbler, for your favorite chocoholic.

Red Raspberry Dutch Oven Cobbler
Kash Castleberry
print recipe

one 12-14 inch Dutch Oven
2 cans raspberry pie filling
1 yellow cake mix
oil for cake mix*
fresh raspberries and mint for garnish (optional)

Line the Dutch oven with foil for easy clean up.
Heat briquettes in chimney for 15-30 minutes
While briquettes are heating, place raspberry filling in Dutch oven.
Mix cake according to package directions, omitting eggs and adding extra 1/4 cup water instead. (eggs make the cobbler puff up too much while baking).
Pour cake mix on top of fruit. Place lid on Dutch oven.
Place 7-10 coals below oven, and 16 coals on top of oven lid in a circular fashion.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes for 14 inch or about 35-40 minutes for a 12 inch Dutch oven, checking after about 15 minutes. If desired, rotate lid 1/4 turn to left and Dutch oven 1/4 turn to the right for more even heating.
Serve with cream or ice cream, garnish with fresh raspberries and mint if desired.

See this post for more on Dutch oven cooking and heating up briquettes, etc.
*-We were at our cabin when I made this and I forgot to buy oil. So we melted a cube of butter instead of using vegetable oil. It baked up perfectly. Just in case you are worried about not getting enough sat fat in your diet. 
-If baking in an oven at home, I suggest baking in a large cast iron skillet or two 9 inch round cake pans at 350 for about 35-45 minutes, or until cake is done.
-Alternatives to the raspberry/yellow cake combo:
use a chocolate cake mix and raspberries.
lemon cake and lemon filling.
Strawberry cake and cherry filling.
Mix a few mini chocolate chips into the yellow cake mix.
Lay a few broken up Hershey bars on top of the cake after baking and let melt slightly.
Top with fresh raspberries, blueberries and serve with whipped cream for a red, white and blue dessert.
Use a spice cake mix and apple pie filling on the bottom layer.


Kash's Black Cherry Chocolate Dutch Oven Cobbler

We purchased our Dutch ovens about twenty years ago, with the thought in mind we would use the Dutch ovens for cooking in the wilderness.
Grant is a big time: camper/hiker/backpacker/bowhunter/all around guy's guy. Whatever that means. He loves anything that has to do with the out-of-doors. Me, on the other hand...
Let's just say a couple of days at our cabin fills my quota for getting in touch with nature. That said, once every three or four years, I dust off the Dutch ovens and channel my inner pioneer.

While I was at Stake Girl's Camp last week, my new friend Kash (who I was privileged to work with in the kitchen) provided this recipe and all of the ingredients (right down to the briquettes) for all the Young Women and their leaders at camp. Yikes. That was a lot of work. Thanks Kash.
The recipe was a winner! Everyone loved the gooey, rich, chocolaty-cherry dessert. It takes about two minutes to throw in the Dutch oven and cooks in about 30-40 mins. We made this at our cabin for the Fourth, and everyone loved it. I also made Kash's Red Raspberry Dutch Oven Cobbler, which I'll post next.
Get on your pioneer. You'll love this dessert.

Kash's Black Cherry Chocolate Dutch Oven Cobbler
Kash Castleberry
print recipe

one 12-14 inch dutch oven
2 cans cherry pie filling
1 box Devils Food Cake
1-12 oz can Black Cherry Soda ( I used Shasta)
1-12 oz bag chocolate chips, semi sweet or milk
heavy duty foil (optional)

About 1/2 hour before cooking:
Heat briquettes in chimney for 15-30 minutes until briquettes turn white. Directions here.
Line the dutch oven with heavy duty foil*. Spray foil lightly with cooking spray.
Spoon cherry pie filling into foil lined pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly on top of fruit.
Pour Black Cherry Soda over dry cake mix. Mix gently with fork so the soda doesn't mix too deep into the cherry layer. Don't worry about mixing too much, the moisture will even out during baking.
Place the dutch oven lid on.
Place 7-10 coals below the oven, and 16 coals on top of the oven in a circular fashion.
Bake 25-35 minutes for a 14 inch oven and 30-40 for a 12 inch oven.
Check after about 15 minutes. When cake is done, remove from heat and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Place lid back on and allow chocolate to melt.  Serve warm with cream or ice cream.
Serves 15-18.

-Dutch Oven purists will probably frown upon the use of foil to line the pan. I say easier is better while camping. You may make this dessert without lining the pan, but be prepared to clean up a sticky mess off the bottom of the pan :)
-I suggest preparing this dish before dinner. After the cobbler is done cooking, remove from heat.  It will keep warm for at least a couple of hours with the lid on.
-When we first started Dutch oven cooking, we (I use the term "we" loosely) thought if 10 coals on the bottom were good, 20 were better. Not so. If the recipe calls for 10 on the bottom and 16 on the top, follow the recipe suggestion. Or you'll have blackened cobbler.
-When baking in a Dutch oven, more of the coals should be on top (or on the lid) of the oven to prevent burning the bottom of the dish.
-Briquettes vs other brands-  Kash only likes to use Kingsford. I agree. We have experimented with other brands, Kingsford is best.


Fresh Apple Cake

Can you feel it??  Fall is in the air. The leaves, pumpkins, school back in session, crisp air, football.
I love football.
Especially UTE football. Went to the craziest game.
Lasted four hours. Yes, FOUR HOURS. Without OT.  A person sitting with our family asked if I was feeling sick. Jake said, "No, my mom always acts like this (covering or closing my eyes, head down, peeking through my hands) at the Utah/BYU game."  Such a great game. Read about it here. This pic was taken after the field was cleared twice, and rushed three times.
Like I said, crazy.

 I found this recipe in one of my favorite home magazines, House Beautiful. The author calls this a "no-shop" dessert. Meaning, every ingredient is one you should have in your kitchen at all times. I think it's wonderful served at breakfast too.
Apple cake= the perfect fall treat.
Try it, I know you'll love it.

Fresh Apple Cake
House Beautiful, Marcus Samuelsson
print recipe

2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs or graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Granny Smith, or other tart apples
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup half-and-half ( I used 1/3 skim milk, 1/3 half and half)
2 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Butter a 9" spring form pan and coat with graham cracker crumbs.
Toss together the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Set aside.
Peel and core the apples, then slice one apple into 16 wedges. Combine the cinnamon and 1/3 cup of sugar mixture in a medium bowl. Add the apples wedges and toss to coat. Roughly dice the remaining apple.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and the remaining sugar mixture on medium speed until light, fluffy, and lemon-colored, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour and baking powder. Slowly add the half-and-half and mix until combined. Fold the diced apple into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange 14 of the apple wedges fanned along the outer edge of the pan and place the two remaining wedges in the center. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the center is golden brown.
Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely. Run a small offset spatula around the edges to release the cake from the pan and remove the spring form. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, then cut into 12 wedges.


Fresh Strawberry-Jello Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting & Giveaway!

Guess what this week is? A Bountiful Kitchen's four year blogiversary.  Whoohoo.
Time to celebrate!  What says celebration better than cake, ice cream and presents?
Let's have a little giveaway. How about a couple of cookbooks -one from me, one from Tilly (mook) and gift certificates for ice cream and yogurt, also from our favorite, Tillamook! Here's the deal...

Two cookbooks:

 This one's from me. 

Guess who donated this one? 

Three of these, any flavor...

Twelve of these, any flavor and variety (light, regular)

The recipe- I made this yummy Strawberry cake a few weeks ago, by request for a family wedding celebration. It's really simple, and uses fresh strawberries in the cake and the frosting. Great for a summer celebration or a girl birthday. Or a Blogiversary ;)

The giveaway- Leave a comment, let me know- what's your favorite cake? Check back on Friday. I'll post the winner (one winner, chosen by Random Counter) and another celebration cake, made with Tillamook ice cream.  You're going to love it.

PS- I was not paid for this post, or given free products. The opinions stated are my own.

Fresh Strawberry-Jello Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
A Bountiful Kitchen, adapted (quite a bit)  from Paula Deen

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix*
1/4 cup flour
1  small (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
8-9 oz fresh strawberries (weight after trimming tops off) about 1 small basket, crushed or blended
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water 
1 teaspoon vanilla
Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened (make sure this is room temperature)
about 2-3 fresh strawberries, cleaned and trimmed, chopped
5 cups powdered sugar 
dash of salt
small amount of milk or cream to thin the frosting if needed
sliced or whole strawberries, for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper, grease pans.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, flour and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, water and vanilla; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, cool completely on wire racks.

Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in chopped strawberries.  Gradually add powdered sugar and dash of salt, beating until smooth. Thin with milk or cream if needed.

Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.
-This recipe was tweaked according to several suggestions by reviewers on the Food Network site. 
-*I used a Betty Crocker Cake mix. The suggested cake mix weight in the original recipe is 18.25 oz. However, I found only generic (store) brands in this size of cake mix. I opted to use a popular name brand instead. I also used Jello brand gelatin. 
-The cake will have a bright pink/red color. 


Pineapple-Coconut Cupcakes with Buttermilk-Cream Cheese Frosting

One of my favorite combos is pineapple and coconut. I never get tired of trying out new recipes with this combo. Sheri and I found this one a few months ago in Southern Living. I made it for a family party and have made it a few times since. It's a perfect recipe for wedding showers and/or baby showers.
Oh, speaking of.
In November.
It's a girl.

Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes with Buttermilk Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Southern Living
print recipe

24 paper baking cups
3 large eggs
8 oz sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coconut extract or coconut emulsion*
1/4 cup sugar
1- 18.25 oz white cake mix
Pineapple Glaze
Buttermilk Cream Cheese frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set rack on center of oven. Place liners in cupcake tin.

Beat eggs at medium speed with mixer for 2 minutes. Add sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla and coconut extract. Mix well. Add cake mix and sugar, beat on low speed until combined and sugar is no longer grainy, about 1-2 minutes.
Using a scoop (cookie, ice cream or small measuring cup) place batter into muffin tin lined with cupcake liners . Fill each cup about 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 for about 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.
While cupcakes are baking make Pineapple Glaze.

Pineapple Glaze

1-20 oz can of crushed pineapple, undrained
3/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Stir together the first three ingredients in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken. Make sure to cook until all of the cornstarch is dissolved, and the mixture starts to take on a glossy or translucent appearance.
Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla.
When the cupcakes are still warm, using a spatula, spread the pineapple glaze on top of the cupcakes.  Try to spread the glaze on so the middle of the cupcake is mounded with the glaze a bit.
Glaze all of the cupcakes. If there is any leftover glaze, go over the cupcakes again lightly, using remaining glaze. Set aside.
Prepare frosting.

Buttermilk Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz  cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1/4 to 1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of salt

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar alternately with buttermilk, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Add vanilla, and salt beating until blended.
The frosting should be soft, and not stiff. After the cupcakes have been glazed, frost with buttermilk frosting.
Immediately after frosting, top with a bit of coconut. 
If you would like to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, reduce the amount of buttermilk to two tablespoons. 


Molten Lava Cakes

What do you do to celebrate Valentine's Day? This year, we're doing something extra special.  Our 15 year old, Jake,  has a church basketball game at- get this, 6:30 PM, February 14.
Person who set up the church-ball schedule: IT'S VALENTINES DAY, EVENING. WHATEVER.
If you are looking for a special treat to whip up for your sweetheart on Feb 14, try these lava cakes. I've made them twice in the past two weeks. They're quick and easy and absolutely decadent.

Molten Lava Cakes
adapted from Paula Deen

6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, or semi sweet chocolate chips
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Generously grease 6-8 (6-ounce) custard cups. 
Melt the chocolates and butter in the microwave, or in a double boiler. Remove from heat.  Add the sugar to chocolate mixture. Mix until dissolved.  Whisk in the eggs and yolks until smooth. Add the vanilla. Fold in the flour, just until flour is no longer visible. 
Divide the batter evenly among the custard cups. 
Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes. The edges should be firm but the center will be soft. Remove from oven. Let sit on counter for about 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates.

-Use good quality chocolate. I like Ghiradelli Bittersweet, sold in the baking aisle. 
-Make sure to generously grease the cups, or you will have a hard time removing the cakes in one piece. 
-I tested this recipe twice, found the following: it yields either 6 large cakes, meaning 6 lava cakes for people who really like a rich, good size portion of dessert. If you are serving this with ice cream and berries, you can get by with a smaller portion, or portioning out the batter into 8 cups. 
Baking time- The original recipe calls for baking at 425, I found this a little too high, and adjusted to 400 the second time. Make sure the outer edges of the cake is done, or springs back when touched, and the center has a crust on top, but is still gooey. 
-If baking ahead, you may bake the cakes for about 10 minutes and let sit for a few minutes, run the knife around the edges and let cool. When ready to serve, invert and microwave for about 15 seconds, or leave in custard cups and cover with foil and warm in the oven at 275 for about 10 minutes. 


2011 Utah State Fair Winner: Pina Colada Cake

This recipe won the "King Arthur Flour Great Cake Contest" in the Utah State Fair last month. 
I made it last weekend. It was absolutely delicious! Coconut cake is one of my favorites. Combine it with pineapple filling? Oh goodness. I'm still thinking about it. We loved it. I know you will too. 

Pina Colada Cake
Lisa Blodgett

2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
5 egg whites
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed with a mixer for 1 minute. Add sugar and beat for another minute. Add coconut milk and coconut extract to butter mixture. Gradually add flour mixture into the butter mixture and beat for 2 minutes. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Grease and line two 8-inch cake pans and divide batter evenly between them. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 23-28 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes to cool before removing cake from the pans.
Pineapple Filling:
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
In a saucepan combine all ingredients over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently until mixture gets a glossy look. Set aside to cool.
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons coconut milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 16-ounce container whipped topping, or 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
Beat cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Add coconut milk, powdered sugar and coconut extract. Mix well and then fold the whipped topping or cream into the mixture.
To assemble, cut both cakes open, making four 8-inch rounds. On top of one, place half the pineapple filling and top with a cake layer. Next add a layer of frosting, then a cake layer. Place remaining pineapple mixture on the cake and top with the last cake layer. Frost the sides and top of the cake. Sprinkle with coconut.
This is best when refrigerated for at least four hours.


Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Here's the problem I have almost every time I make cupcakes. Well two problems.
1. They always seem a bit dry, even after following baking instructions perfectly.
2. They often sink in the middle.
Do you have the same issues? I mean, with cupcakes? Research time. I looked into this sinking problem. Googled "Why do my cupcakes sink in the middle?"  I found lots of solutions to my problems (if only all of the answers to life's questions were found on GOOGLE). After reading,  I felt the recipe had too much fat for the amount of flour, egg, etc. So, I adjusted the egg and flour. This is a common problem when baking at our altitude (4400 ft.).  For this recipe, I added a 1/4 cup of flour and another egg (yolk only).  To combat the dryness issue, I  removed 1/2 cup of butter and added 1/2 cup of sour cream.  First batch (without adjustments) yielded crater cakes, second batch- YUM.  If you are looking for answers to cupcake questions/problems etc, Cupcake Bakeshop by Chokylit is a good resource.
After working with this recipe, I was able to come up with a recipe that works wonderfully with our altitude and my oven :) Hooray!
Loved these.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Add the eggs and yolk one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, sour cream and buttermilk, beat until all wet ingredients are incorporated. Add dry ingredients all at once, beat until batter is smooth, about 1 minute.
Scoop batter into cupcake liners.  Fill about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the middle.

Peanut Butter Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk or half and half (added 1 tablespoon at a time)

Place butter, peanut butter and vanilla in a large bowl, mix well.  Add salt, powdered sugar and milk or half and half and beat until smooth.

-To insure proper rising of your cake, make sure the normally cold ingredients (butter, eggs, sour cream, buttermilk) are at room temperature.
-I like to use an ice cream scoop or large cookie scoop to place the batter into the cupcake liners.
-This recipe yields about 18 cupcakes.  The frosting will cover the 18 cupcakes. I swirled the frosting onto the cupcake with a butter knife.  If you like to pipe the frosting, or like a lot of frosting on the cupcakes, double this frosting recipe.
-If you are piping the frosting on, don't add too much milk or half and half. Add the liquid a tablespoon at a time.

linked to:


A Dog and a Cake

Mr. J , 8 weeks old. 

A year ago, Jack entered our lives.  Brooke and Grant met Jack's mother at The Trouthunter (read about their wonderful food, beautiful views here) in Island Park, Idaho, while on a fly fishing trip.  She (the dog, not Brooke) was preggers.  Brookie bonded with Jack's mom immediately. Tom (owner) told Brookie in a few weeks, his dog would be having puppies. That's the day the campaign began.
"WE" needed a dog (because our long time pup, Hershey passed a few months earlier). Well, actually Hersh was no longer a pup, but for some reason, people in our house called him pup his whole life. Even when he was 12, or 72 (dog) years old. Is he 72 dog or human years when he is 12  years (by the calendar) old? Because dog years are more difficult than human years?? Yeah, I guess all of that napping and eating wears on you. If you're a dog. Confusing.
Anyway, over the course of two months,  I caved, and on August 3, 2010,  Jack joined our fam. Since then, he has become the new baby. It's been said labs are either chewers or diggers.
Hersh was a digger. Jack- well, I think it's safe to say, is a chewer. Here's the list, to date Not that I'm keeping track, or anything like that:
  • chew toys, he pretty much shreds these in a matter of hours, sometimes minutes, even the toys that say, "Will last for months!"
  • shoes, socks, towels
  • flowers, plants
  • bbq tools
  • 12 foot umbrella on patio table (my neighbor witnessed him on top of the patio table, with a piece of the umbrella in his mouth, running in circles, umbrella spinning and shredding).
  • cushions on patio furniture
  • patio lounge chair
  • two large pillows for dogs
  • mats for inside his kennel
  • new PB pillow
  • new PB blanket
  • 3 rugs
  • electrical connection on trailer
  • new dining room chair
  • basketball(s)
  • football(s)
  • base in entry
  • upholstery on chair
  • electrical connection to ice cream maker
  • hoses
  • firewood
  • sprinkler heads
Maybe I should call my insurance agent?
The most memorable Jack-offense (for me)  took place last May. My friend's son was coming home from a 2 year mission, and I wanted to make him a birthday cake.  I baked up my all time favorite cake, Laurie and Amy's Amazing Chocolate Cake, which btw, if you haven't tried it, is the best chocolate cake.
In the world.
I had just finished frosting the cake, and decided to run upstairs to change clothes before delivering the cake. I was upstairs for maybe a total of 3 minutes. When I came down the stairs, Jack was licking his chops. And looking very guilty.
"What are you doing??"  I said.  
He started to back away from me. First clue something was wrong.
I looked around and couldn't see what he was up to. Then it hit me. THE CAKE.
I looked over on the island counter, nothing. Had he pulled it onto the floor?
I ran all the way around the island, nothing.
What? He devoured the whole cake in 3 minutes? Not possible.
I glance to the right, there it is. Was. Sitting on the kitchen table.  Looking like this:

Can you say melt down?
Lots of screaming. Asking questions. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS???  Yes, dog interrogation.
I text my friend. Sent her the pic of the cake, and a pic of the dog, with the message: I'M KILLING THIS DOG.

After I threw the gnawed cake in the garbage, I made myself a sandwich, said a few more choice things to Jack, put him in the backyard and went up to my bedroom  where I got into my bed, (with my clothes on)  and ate my sandwich.  I called a few friends who listened to me rant about my dog, then I did what every sane person would do to have closure. I baked another cake.

I'm re-posting this cake because it really is the best chocolate cake Jack or I've ever eaten (trust me I'm an expert in this field). Moist, chocolaty, dense with thick butter cream frosting. Oh, and I had to document that crazy cake story for posterity. 
You can read the original post here

Laurie and Amy's Amazing Chocolate Cake
print recipe

1 3/4 cups boiling water
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, OR chocolate chips (for a double recipe, use 15 oz. chocolate chips, which equals 2 1/2 cups.)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
10 oz (2 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with circles of wax paper or baking parchment.
Pour the boiling water over the chocolate chips. Add cocoa and stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool. Cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and half of the chocolate mixture. Beat on low to combine, then on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining chocolate mixture and beat on low until mixed.

Pour batter into pans and bake 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out completely clean. Cool for 10-15 minutes; remove from pans. Wrap in double layers of plastic wrap while still warm and freeze. Double recipe makes two 10" layers plus two 8" layers or four 9" layers. Never fill pans more than 2/3 full.


1 1/4 cups plus 2 T. butter, softened
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (For really dark frosting, use part Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa, about 4 T.)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup plus 2 T. Milk

When cake is frozen solid, frost between the two layers and spread a thin layer over the whole cake. Freeze again for about 20 minutes. Frost again. Repeat if desired. (Frost the last time on the day you plan to serve the cake and let it stand at room temperature to thaw.)

-*The best kind is Saco Premium Cocoa, which comes in a round container with a picture of a baker on the front.
-I doubled this and it made 4 perfect 9" layers.
-I liked the frosting best with about 1/2 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa and 1/2 cup regular unsweetened cocoa.
-If you don't have time to frost and freeze the cake, freeze the layers, and frost the cake while still frozen. Use about 1/4 of frosting between layers, 1/2 on sides of cake and remaining 1/4 of frosting on top of cake.
-A few good decorating/cake baking tips can be found at: