Category Archives: Cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake

vegan chocolate cake | pale yellowYesterday I discovered a new part of the beach!  Usually I walk downtown because there are more points of interest and I like walking to the jetties, but once and awhile I walk uptown on the beach.  Uptown is just houses, beautiful houses, but just houses.  I walked down to where the public city beach ends and the park begins, it was a beautiful sight.

vegan chocolate cake | pale yellowNow that I’ve reached the end of the beach I want to  climb the fence and keep walking.  It’s time to break all the rules!  We’ll see what happens, if I stop posting for a few days it’s probably because I got arrested.  No worries.

vegan chocolate cake | pale yellowDo you ever wake up and decide you’re going to make yourself a cake?  I had been thinking about layer cakes for a week, I was ready for this to happen.  It happens some days.  At least this cake is vegan and borderline healthy.  Vegan is healthy, right?  I’m going to pretend that it is; that’s just my style.

vegan chocolate cake | pale yellowDespite being vegan, this cake doesn’t taste vegan.  And there aren’t any weird vegan tricks.  Just a simple cake, with simple ingredients, and a little coconut whipped cream.  The cake is super moist and tender and squishy.  The chocolate is rich and flavorful.  A little whipped cream and fresh strawberries pair delightfully.  Spring time in a cake!  Plus, when you make yourself a cake you have lots of leftovers, perfect for freezing.  Now when I crave cake, I have a piece ready that just needs to be thawed!

vegan chocolate cake | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Graham Crackers
Two Years Ago – Cake Decorating 2 – Final Cake

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Vegan Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Shutterbean
Yield – 8 servings

Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup cold water

Topping
1 quart strawberries, cut into thick slices
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cans coconut milk, refrigerated
1 tablespoon sugar
splash of vanilla

  1. Cake – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and grease the bottoms and sides of a 8” and 6” round pan.  Cut circles of parchment paper and place on the bottom of each pan.  Grease the paper and then lightly dust each pan with cocoa powder.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, soda, and salt.  Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture.
  3. Stir together the oil, vanilla, vinegar, and water in a measure cup.  Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
  4. Divide the batter between the two pans, more in the larger pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and then remove the cakes from the pan.  Let the cakes cool completely on the wire rack.
  6. Topping – Slice the strawberries and add to a bowl, toss with sugar and vinegar.  Let sit in the fridge while the cakes cool.
  7. Carefully separate the solid cream from the clear liquid in the canned coconut milk.  Add the coconut cream to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Add the sugar and vanilla.  Beat until creamy and fluffy.
  8. Assembly – Level the cakes (eat the scraps) and place the bottom layer on a cake stand.  Smear a generous layer of whipped cream.  Arrange two-thirds of the strawberries on the whipped cream.
  9. Place the smaller layer in the middle and spread the remaining whipped cream on top.  Arrange the rest of the strawberries.
  10. Store in the refrigerator.vegan chocolate cake | pale yellow
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Chocolate Peppermint Roll

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale YellowI should be done with holiday recipes and start posting healthful food to get 2014 started right!  However, I’m not done!  January will bring more sweet treats and Monday will bring the last holiday themed recipe.  Promise!  I’ll be so busy packing and moving all January, I’ll probably just post cocktail recipes; that sounds closer to the truth.

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale YellowThe recipe was an accomplishment; I’ve never made a roll up cake before.  I’ve always loved the look of roll-up cakes but was really intimidated by baking a cake on a cookie sheet and then rolling it up.  Fear is gone!  Despite a few cracks, this cake was a piece of cake!  Pun intended.  I made this when Michelle was over helping me bake and she was all like, “I’ve made lots of roll up cakes, they’re easy!”  It was great having her on hand to lend some tips!

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale Yellow2012 was the year of stacked cakes, 2013 was the year of bundt cakes, so maybe 2014 will be the year of rolled cakes.  I know I have a pumpkin one pinned for next fall and I have visions of strawberry shortcake dancing in my head.  It will probably happen!  I’ll just need to wait and see how my new kitchen is for baking; I’ve been very accustomed to my current set-up…

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale YellowDid you know this cake is gluten free?  True story; naturally gluten free!  I appreciate when recipes are naturally gluten-free or vegan or dairy free without any special ingredients.  I want to build my arsenal of allergies-friendly recipes that I can whip out whenever needed without having to buy weird stuff.  Everyone deserves to eat delicious treats!

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale YellowThis cake is quite delicious. The cake portion is soft and spongy with a rich chocolate flavor.  The eggs keep everything light and moist.  It’s hard to go wrong with a rich, minty whipped cream in the center!  To top of the cake there is a lovely ganache with peppermint pieces.  This type of dessert tastes as good as it looks and is a perfect center piece for any holiday table!

Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale YellowPrint the Recipe!

Chocolate Peppermint Roll
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Yield – 10-12 slices

Cake
6 eggs, separated
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Filling
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds scrapped out

Ganache
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup Andes peppermint pieces

  1. Cake – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.  Grease a 17×12” cookie sheet and line with parchment paper.  Grease and flour the parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. Separate the eggs.  Beat the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  3. While eggs are beating, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10-second intervals.  Add the chocolate in a slow stream while the mix runs on high.  The egg mixture should become even thicker.  Beat in the vanilla.  Transfer the mix to another bowl.
  4. Clean the bowl and beater well and dry.  Add in the egg whites and and a pinch of salt to the clean bowl.  Beat until frothy.  Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the stiff egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three increments.  Fold slowly to keep the air.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and rotate the pan to spread the batter evenly. Take care to not squash the batter.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is dry.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Filling – While the cake is cooling make the whipped cream filling by adding the heavy cream to a bowl of stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  9. Add in the sugar, peppermint extract, and the seeds from one vanilla bean.  Beat until the cream has stiff peaks.
  10. Allow to set in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
  11. Spread the whipped cream over the cooled cake.  Start rolling at the short end of the cake facing you.  Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake.  If it cracks a bit it’s ok.
  12. Once the cake is rolled, place it in the fridge for another 10 minutes to set.
  13. Ganache – Heat 2/3 cup heavy cream in a saucepan until it begins to simmer.  Pour over the chocolate and set aside for 3 minutes.  Stir until the chocolate is melted.
  14. Assembly – Pour the ganache over the cake and push to the sides.  Sprinkle the Andes mint pieces over the top.  Refrigerate the cake for several hours to firm up before cutting.Chocolate Peppermint Roll | Pale Yellow

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Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowJust because it’s December, doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up pumpkin treats.  Winter officially starts December 21st and I plan on squeezing in a few fall treats before then!  If you’ve moved on to peppermint, gingerbread, and eggnog, pin this recipe now and make it next fall!  Or just go buy a can of pumpkin because this bundt cake is delicious anytime of year.

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowThis fall I started going to a young adult group at my church and it has been a helpful setting to clear my mind and refocus my energy.  The group meets every other Wednesday which is perfect for the busy group. Each Wednesday people bring different snacks to share and I wish I could bring treats more often than I have.

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowOn one particular Wednesday the Bishop was coming; it was kind of a big deal.  I didn’t want to be a show-off, but  I did want to be impressive.  Side note – I love being a show-off; when I bake something incredibly delicious, I know it’s amazing, I’m just acting low-key and modest.  Second side note – I’m an a-hole sometimes.  Few things are more impressive than a good old fashion bundt cake.  There is so much elegance in simplicity and bundt cakes are the epitome of simplicity.

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowAll the ingredients are thrown together, baked in a lovely pan, and then glazed.  No fancy pipping or fondant; no layers or fillings – just delightful cake and a little frosting.  People tend to get excited by a bundt cake, myself included!

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowThis particular bundt cake is super flavorful with fall spices and is moist and tender from the pumpkin.  Cream cheese frosting is a little tangy and pairs perfectly with the pumpkin cake.  Bonus – the cake keeps wonderfully in the fridge!  I made the cake Sunday and didn’t serve until Wednesday.  Considering there was little to no cake left at the end of the evening, I’d say it was a success!  Plus the Bishop took the first piece!

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Banana Bread with Hazelnuts and Chocolate

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Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from My Baking Addiction
Yield – 12-16 servings

Pumpkin Cake
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 ounces canned pumpkin

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and spray a bundt pan liberally with Baker’s Joy.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and oil until well combined.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Whisk together the flour, soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add the dry ingredients and pumpkin in alternating batches while the mixer in on low speed.
  4. Once all the ingredients are well combined, pour the batter into the bundt pan evenly.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove the cake.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature, 1/3 fat
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon whole milk
ground cinnamon and nutmeg for topping

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Beat in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and milk until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.
  4. Spread over the top of the cooled bundt cake and push the frosting over the edges.
  5. Sprinkle the top lightly with cinnamon and freshly ground nutmeg.
  6. Wrapped well the cake will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting | pale yellow

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Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale YellowTwo recipes this week and neither left the apartment.  Why didn’t the sumbitches cookies or this cake leave the apartment?  They were just too. damn. good.  We ate them all.  No sharing this week.

Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale YellowAlso, there was a bit of emotional eating going on.  Our lease isn’t being renewed so in the next 4-5 months we will all being looking for new places to live.  To say I love my apartment and the neighborhood is a huge understatement.  For the past four years I’ve been living in a unicorn apartment; it’s so magically awesome you have to see it to believe it exists!  I’ve managed to build a little grown-up home here.  I am sad to leave.

Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale YellowEvery time I walk down Fifth Avenue I become really nostalgic and start saying goodbye to all the stores and restaurants I love.  Goodbye Key Foods, goodbye Bogota.  Goodbye Pizza Town, goodbye Chocolate Room.  Goodbye nail place, goodbye wine & liquor store.  It’s bad.  Considering 4 months ago I was moving out of Brooklyn completely, I shouldn’t be such a mess.  Plus, I still have four months.  It’s been real Park Slope.

Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale YellowI know that however hard change is, I’m usually rewarded with something better than I could have ever managed.  I need to accept that and have faith, but it’s not always easy.  Cake helps.  Cake with brown butter helps even more.

Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale YellowThis is a perfect fall treat!  The apples were picked just a few weeks ago and there are plenty of complimentary warm spices like cinnamon and ginger.  It’s amazing how moist and tender bundt cakes manage to be.  The entire cake is flavorful and delicious.  Bits of apple throughout provide even more moisture and flavor, not to mention beauty.  Despite the cake portion being amazing, the frosting pushes the cake off the charts.  I was licking the frosting bowl it was so good!  Brown butter creamed with powdered sugar is sweet, nutty, and tastes like magic in your mouth.  I’m drooling just thinking about it.  Do yourself a favor and make this apple cake now!  Or at least make the frosting and just dip apple slices in it, almost as good.

Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale YellowOne Year Ago - Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Chips – GF

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Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
Adapted from Cookies and Cups
Yield – 10-12 servings

Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
3 medium-large apples, I used Golden Delicious
2 1/2 cups flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and liberally coat a bundt pan with Baker’s Joy.  Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined.  Add the soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger to the bowl and mix.
  4. Chop the apples into a medium dice and toss with 1/2 cup of flour.
  5. Turn the mixer on low and add the rest of the flour and mix until just combined.  Fold in the apples.
  6. Spread the mixture evenly into the bundt pan and bake for 55-65 minutes.
  7. The cake is done when a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  8. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then remove from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Brown Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 apple, thinly sliced

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and cook until the butter has browned.
  2. Add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until combined.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and cream.
  4. Drizzle the frosting over the top and push the frosting over the edges.
  5. Use a mandoline to thinly slice the the apples and then arrange on top.Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

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Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

chocolate sour cream bundt cake | pale yellowI bought a bundt cake pan after wanting one for years and years and after owning one for five months I’ve made ONE bundt cake.  Shameful.

chocolate sour cream bundt cake | pale yellowI see many more bundt cakes in my future, at least one a month!  Sunday I’m going apple picking and I know this cake is going to shoot to the top of the priority list.  Apple picking is one of my most favorite fall activities and I’m excited to partake in the ritual.  This past weekend I went to a county fair for work and was able to eat some roasted corn.  That was a perfect fall treat, but I want more!  Especially off the clock.

chocolate sour cream bundt cake | pale yellowSpeaking of work, since I’ve been driving to work, I’ve found myself listening to podcasts more and more.  Round trip, I’m in the car almost an hour and a half per day, so that’s about a podcast and change everyday.  I’ve exhausted all my usual listens and have been giving some new podcasts a chance.  The Alton Brown Podcast is informative and interesting because it’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Food Network.  I’ve been obsessed with the Food Network since I was like 12, so this is kind of weird.  I feel like the hosts are saying things they think, but don’t say in front of the camera.  Definitely worth a listen.

chocolate sour cream bundt cake | pale yellowI’ve also been listening the naughty, but classy ladies, Georgia and Alie.  Most of the time I laugh but sometimes I disagree; they did not say kind words about ladies who own turtles.  Much disagreement there!  However, on one episode Joy the Baker was their guest and they asked her if she could recommend one recipe from her cookbook, what would it be.  It was this bundt cake!  Since the idea was planted and I own the cookbook, there should be no surprise about what happened next.

chocolate sour cream bundt cake | pale yellowI made the cake.  It was the right decision Joy!  The bundt cake is easy to throw together, no mixer, and fantastic.  The cake itself is rich and deep in chocolate flavor without a dry crumb in sight!  I still can’t get over how moist and flavorful the chocolate cake is to eat.  A little tangy sour cream chocolate frosting on top provides even more moisture, flavor, and deliciousness to the table.  A chocolate sour cream bundt cake is a fantastic suggestion!

chocolate sour cream bundt cake | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Pumpkin Bread Muffins

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Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook, page 179
Yield – 12-14 servings

1 1/4 cup hot coffee
1 cup cocoa powder, Hershey’s Special Dark
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Glaze
3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter
6 ounces chocolate chips, bittersweet
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons hot coffee
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
sprinkles, optional

  1. Cake – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and liberally spray your bundt pan Baker’s Joy, set aside.
  2. Brew the coffee and measure in a 2-cup pyrex cup.  Add the cocoa powder and whisk to combine.  Whisk until smooth and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and soda.  Set aside.
  4. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale yellow.  Whisk in the sour cream until smooth and then whisk in the oil.
  5. Add all of the egg mixture to the flour bowl, whisk to combine.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture.  Make sure there are no streaks.
  6. Pour into bundt pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  7. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Say a little prayer and invert the cake onto the wire rack and let cool completely before glazing.
  8. Glaze – Set up a double boiler and melt the butter and chocolate.  Mix in half the coffee and a pinch of salt and then whisk together.  Whisk in the sour cream and then the rest of the coffee.  Allow to cool and thicken.
  9. Spread the glaze over the top and then sprinkle with sprinkles.chocolate sour cream bundt cake | pale yellow

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Lemon Bundt Cake

lemon bundt cake | pale yellowApparently bringing a bundt cake to the Belmont Stakes is kind of a big deal.  If you’re not familiar with the Belmont Stakes it’s the third race in the Triple Crown Series and takes place on Long Island, not far from NYC.  I know very little about horse racing and am not that attached to the sport.

lemon bundt cake | pale yellowHowever, I am attached to pretty dresses, lovely hats, and getting dressed up for a sunny summer day – Belmont is all about the lovely hats!  I’m also all about picnics.  The horse race is a perfect location to hold a bountiful feast while enjoying people watching and betting on a horse race or two.

lemon bundt cake | pale yellowThis year I accompanied Andrea and her friends, and they coordinated one awesome picnic!  Everyone brought awesome goodies and we had tons of dips, salads, meats, cheeses, bread, spreads, etc.  Our little menagerie attracted much attention from those who passed by, they were totally jealous!

lemon bundt cake | pale yellowI don’t want to say the bundt cake was the star of the show, but it certainly stuck out, not everyone brings a bundt cake to the race.  A bundt cake is also a perfect distraction to bring in restricted items like wine.  Just kidding, who would be bring in restricted wine…

lemon bundt cake | pale yellowI think I over cooked the bundt cake for about five minutes so it was a little drier than I would like. This was my first time using a bundt cake, I’ve wanted one forever, so I’ll attribute the dried cake to inexperience with a bundt pan.  However, the flavor and texture were lovely.  The cake was sturdy enough to be carried around and eaten without a plate, yet had a soft and tender crumb.  The lemon flavor was sweet and tart and not at all over powering.  I look forward to making more and more bundt cakes in the future!

lemon bundt cake | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Beef Taco Salad

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Lemon Bundt Cake
Adapted from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Yield – 12-16 slices

Baker’s Joy cooking spray
zest of 1 lemon (save for later juicing)
1 3/4 cup sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups powdered sugar
juice of 2 lemons

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously spray your bundt pan with cooking spray.
  2. Add the sugar and lemon zest to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Massage the zest and sugar together for one minute.
  3. Add in the butter and beat on high for several minutes until pale yellow with the paddle attachment.  Beat in the eggs one at a time and then beat in the vanilla.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  4. Sift together the flour, powder, soda, and salt onto parchment paper.
  5. Add the dry ingredients in three additions with the buttermilk in two additions in between.  Beat on low until just combined.
  6. Increase the speed and beat for 2 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  8. Let cool for 2 minutes in the pan and then remove the cake from the pan.  Cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Make the glaze by whisking together the sugar and lemon juice.  Pour over the cake and let dry.

lemon bundt cake | pale yellow

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Red Velvet Poke Cake

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

This cake was the first non-vegan thing I ate.  I secretly sat on the counter top scraping the bits and pieces out of the pan as I cut a perfect slice to photograph.  I had a guilty smile on my face the whole time, I just couldn’t help myself; cream cheese, butter, eggs, it was too much for my vegan belly to reject.  I wanted butter so bad.

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

I made this cake in honor of Chelsea’s 29th birthday, hence the rainbow sprinkles.  Chelsea is all things bright, loud, and colorful, and I wanted this cake to be a reflection of her.  She also happens to love red velvet so I knew she would enjoy this cake.  Conveniently, she was in town for the week staying with us.  I’m thankful we were able to celebrate a birthday with a good friend who now lives far away.

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

For the past five years Ruth, Stacey, and I have all celebrated the same birthdays within a year.  Stacey’s birthday is in January so it always signaled the start of a new round of birthdays and a new number candle to buy.  With Stacey living far away, we did not have a chance to buy the “9” candle yet.  Luckily, Ruth was able to stretch her muscles and grab a new candle on the way home.

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

This is a rich cake, and how can it not be?  When a caked is baked and then doused in sweetened condensed milk, you just know it’s going to be amazing.  The cake is dense and the milk keeps everything nice and moist.  According to Ruth on a Monday after a long day of work, “the corner is even more moist than it was a few days ago.”   And the frosting, oh my the frosting.  So sweet and creamy, and everything a former vegan needed.  This is some real good frosting.

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

In conclusion, if you would like an easy, delightful cake to make for a large crowd this is the cake for you.  The flavors are simple and pleasing, sweet and rich.  You can decorate the top with whatever sort of sprinkle to fit any occasion.  Make this cake, you’ll be happy, and so will your friends.

red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

One Year Ago: My Favorite Brownie Recipe

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Red Velvet Poke Cake
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield – 9×13” cake (15-20 servings)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
big squirt red gel food coloring
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

  1. Preheat the to 350 F and grease and flour a 9 x 13” pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale yellow for about 3 minutes on medium-high speed.  Add in the eggs one at a time and beat on high speed.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the cocoa, water, and vanilla.  Add the paste to the egg mixture and beat in until well incorporated.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and pour in half the buttermilk and then half the flour.  Repeat with the second half of buttermilk and flour.  Mix for 1 minute until smooth.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  5. Add in the salt, baking soda, and vinegar.  Beat together for 2 minutes on high.
  6. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  7. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over and then slowly pour the sweentened condensed milk over the top.
  8. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
colored sprinkles

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk for for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar slowly and beat on high to mix thoroughly.  Scrape the bowl as needed and then mix in the vanilla.
  3. Spread evenly on the cooled cake.
  4. To make a rainbow with sprinkles use foil to expose one strip of frosting at a time and the n sprinkle generously with sprinkles.  Repeat as desired.red velvet poke cake // pale yellow

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Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

chocolate hazelnut cake // pale yellow

On January 8th, I celebrated one year of blogging.  There was not a party, nor was there a big to-do on the blog.  I simply made myself a cake, a cake just for me, filled with my favorite flavors.  A bit of hazelnut, a bit of booze, some nuts, and lots & lots of chocolate.

chocolate hazelnut cake // pale yellow

Cakes are more work than cupcakes and not as easy to share, so I don’t make them as much.  However, cakes are awesome when it comes to presentation.  Nothing says celebration like a beautifully done cake.

chocolate hazelnut cake // pale yellow

After the photographs I sat on the couch and ate a slice of cake.  It was a quiet, peaceful moment, just me and my cake.   I need to embrace more of those moments.  The rest of the cake was carried off to work and shared during a lunch time meeting.

chocolate hazelnut cake // pale yellow

The cake was well received, very well received.  The chocolate cake is moist, tender, and deeply chocolate.  When I say this is a chocolate cake recipe to make you give up boxed mixes forever, I mean it.  Each layer of cake is further moisten and flavored with Frangelico liqueur.  I know cakes in bakeries often have simple syrup or liqueur in-between layers to keep them from drying out.  I knew it was going to be a few days between constructing, photographing, and consuming the cake, so I wanted to make sure the cake tasted fresh: worked like a charm.

chocolate hazelnut cake // pale yellow

Nutella buttercream.  There is absolutely nothing but joy that can come from those words.  I used my favorite swiss meringue buttercream and added a jar of nutella, the buttercream can absorb all the nutella in the world.  The pale brown color pairs perfectly with the deep brown of the cake.  And the sweet, delicate chocolate hazelnut flavor is outstanding.

chocolate hazelnut cake // pale yellow

Decorating the cake was an ease by piping stars and adding hazelnuts on top, I wanted people to know the internal flavor from the outside.  I added the cigar-type cookies on the outside for flavor, texture, and effect.  A little crunch on the outside of the cake is delightful for the mouth and the eyes get to appreciate the beauty of the cookies surrounding the cake.

chocolate hazelnut cake // pale yellow

Overall, this cake was made out of love for myself and all the work I’ve put into the blog.  I hope that shows.  Happy Blog-o-versary Pale Yellow!

chocolate hazelnut cake // pale yellow

One Year Ago: Butterlane Cupcake Class

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Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Yield – 6” round cake, 8-12 servings
Adapted from Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream

3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
1/3 cup hot water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Grease a 6” round pan with shortening.  Cut a round piece of parchment paper and place it in the bottom.  Grease the parchment paper and add a couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder inside.  Shake the pan to evenly distribute the cocoa powder and knock out the extra.
  2. Add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix together on low with the paddle attachment.
  3. Beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix until just combined and scrape down the sides.  Turn on the mixer and add the hot water slowly until well combined.
  5. Fill the cake pan and bake 30-35 minutes.  Check the cake after 25 minutes with knife and bake until the knife comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Hazelnut Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 ounces egg whites
5 ounces sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cup (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 vanilla bean
1 jar (13 ounces) nutella

  1. Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Place the mixing bowl in a double boiler.  The pot only needs to have a thin layer of simmering water.
  2. Whisk the egg whites frequently while they heat.  Cook until the mixture is no longer gritty.
  3. Attach the bowl to the mixer and whisk on high speed for 6-10 minutes or until the bowl is cool to the touch.  The egg whites should have whipped into a stiff, shiny, meringue.
  4. With the mixer still going on medium speed, add in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time.  The frosting may get a little loose, but just keep beating, it will all come together and get stiff.
  5. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out, add the seeds to the buttercream and beat to combine.
  6. Pour in the nutella, beat until well combined.

Assembly
1/4 cup Frangelico liqueur (a little bottle is plenty)
1 tin Dark Chocolate Pirouline Cookies
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts

  1. Use a cake leveler to make a flat top on the cake.  Eat the scraps.
  2. Eyeball the cake into thirds.  Use the cake leveler to cut one-third of the cake.  Place the first third upside down on your serving plate.  Place strips of parchment paper under the edge of the cake to keep the plate clean.
  3. Use a pastry brush to moisten the cake layer with Frangelico.  Take a generous dollop of buttercream and place it on the cake layer and spread evenly.
  4. Slice the remaining cake in half and carefully place a half on top of the cake.
  5. Again moisten the layer with Frangelico and spread an even layer of buttercream on top.
  6. Place the last layer of the cake upside down so the bottom of the cake is now the crumb-free top.
  7. Add a large scoop of frosting on top and smooth over the edges.  Frost the sides.  Try to make the sides a even as possible.
  8. Trim the cookies so they have different heights and alternate the heights along the side of the cake.
  9. Add the remaining frosting to a piping bag with a large star tip and pipe large stars on top.
  10. Add a hazelnut in the center of each star.
  11. Refrigerate the cake to help everything set and hold together.  Bring to room temperature before cutting and serving.chocolate hazelnut cake // pale yellow

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Lemon Loaf Cake

Lemon Loaf Cake // Pale Yellow

Many years ago I made this lemon loaf cake several time with great success.  I remember wanting to make a lemon pound cake, but without all the butter.  I made this cake before I knew the about the awesome world of baking & cooking blogs, luckily, Ina Garten and Food Network were there to help me find this recipe.  This cake is moist, rich in lemon flavor, and has zero butter.  I’ve been wanting to post this recipe for awhile, but I have been looking for the right occasion to make it.

Lemon Loaf Cake // Pale Yellow

Every year the family Christmas party has a theme for a white elephant gift exchange.  This year’s theme was kitchen gadgets,  I was ready to rock this.  Last year my gift for the “Great Outdoors” theme was lame and I wanted to bring my A-game, plus, when you bake as much as I do, people have expectations.

Lemon Loaf Cake // Pale Yellow

My thought was to choose a recipe, not too challenging, and buy the necessary gadget to go with it.  I thought about this for a few days and decided on lemon loaf cake, lame gift giver no longer!  These are the actual gadget I gave: a beautiful loaf pan, lemon/lime juicer, and zester.  I also included a few lemons, the recipe, and a loaf of this wonderful cake.

Lemon Loaf Cake // Pale Yellow

My mom should have taken this gift, because as it turns out, she does not have a 9″ loaf pan.  Instead I made three mini loaves.  This turned out better because I was able to give one mini-loaf away, eat one loaf that day, and share the last loaf with my grandparents at lunch the next day.  My brother ended up with the gift which is funny because he doesn’t really enjoy lemon and his girlfriend is gluten-free…

Lemon Loaf Cake // Pale Yellow

Whether or not you were the lucky recipient of this gift bag, make the lemon loaf cake.  It is light and tender with plenty of citrus flavor.  The lemon truly shines in this recipe.  After all the heavy recipes of the Christmas season, this cake is a simple and much needed reprise.

Lemon Loaf Cake // Pale Yellow

One Year Ago: Mini Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

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Lemon Loaf Cake
Adapted from Food Network (Ina Garten)
Yield – 1 loaf (10-12 slices) or 3 mini loafs (24 slices)

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 + 1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 + 1/3  cup lemon juice, freshly juiced (4 lemons)

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly juiced (1 lemon)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.  Grease the parchment paper.  Or grease and flour 3 mini loaf pans.
  2. Sift together the flour, powder, and salt onto parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, oil, and lemon juice.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet with a rubber spatula until just combined.  Pour the batter into the pan.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Bake the mini loafs for 25 minutes.
  6. While the loaf cools, cook together 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar to make a simple syrup.
  7. Pour the syrup over the cake and then allow to cool completely.
  8. Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Pour over the top of the cake.  Allow the glaze to harden.

Lemon Loaf Cake // Pale Yellow

(My gift wasn’t the most awesome, someone brought a wine rack with bottles of wine.  Booze always wins in my family.  Always.)

 

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Chocolate Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream in Jars

I have seen cakes and desserts in jars all over the blog-o-sphere and Pinterest and it’s finally my turn to take a stab at it!  The adorable-ness factor is huge, as is the portability.  My mom loved the mason jars and she made sure to get them all back.  When I saw mason jars on sale at Target, I knew I was ready to try my hand at desserts in jars!

I sort of cheated here.  This recipe has my favorite chocolate cake recipe I used in the Mint Chocolate Cupcakes.  Even though I gave you a half recipe, I actually made a full recipe, made 12 cupcakes, and poured the rest into pan to bake for these desserts in a jars!  What can I say?  I’m a crafty lady!

These little guys were brought over to share with my brother at his new apartment.  He’s a big boy now and moved out of the parent’s house into his own place!  I’m so proud! It’s weird though because my parents turned his old room into the guest room, so at night I would often turn into my old room, not the room I was sleeping in!  Change is hard.

Desserts in jars are the way to go, I finally understand the hype.  But remember, the jar is just the delivery method, the inside, tasting portion is full of endless possibilities! This recipe is a bit of a riff off of strawberry shortcake but with chocolate cake.  The cake is moist, the strawberries fresh & sweet, and the whipped cream ties everything together.  These cakes lasted an easy four days in the fridge.  If you make 12, the portions are a little skimpy, so as my dad said, just eat 2!

Print the Recipe.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries & Whipped Cream in a Jar
Yield – 9-12 8 ounce jars
Adapted from Chocolate Cupcakes

3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa, I use Hershey’s Special Dark
3/4 cup sugar
5/8 teaspoon (1/2 +1/8 teaspoon) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons 2% milk
1/3 cup hot water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Grease and coat a 12×9” pan in shortening and cocoa powder.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, soda, powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Measure the milk and oil.  Add the egg and the vanilla to the mixing glass and beat together with a fork.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined and then scrape down the sides.
  5. Add hot tap water and whisk until the batter is well combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted insides comes out clean.
  8. Once cool, cut into 2 inch circles and the crumble the rest.

16 ounces strawberries
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Wash and hull the strawberries.  Slice and place in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar over the strawberries and toss lightly.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to macerate the strawberries.
  3. Whip the cream until you reach soft peaks.  Add in the powdered sugar and the vanilla.  Whip until stiff.
  4. Add the whipped cream to the a piping bag.
  5. Set up an assembly line; empty jars, cake rounds, strawberries, whipped cream, and cake crumbles.
  6. Add the chocolate cake rounds to each jar.  Push down with your fingers.
  7. Spoon the strawberries evenly into each jar, add the juice too!
  8. Pipe a layer of whipped cream in each jar.
  9. Top with a sprinkling of cake crumbs.
  10. Pipe a whipped cream star on each.
  11. Screw on the lids and refrigerate until you are ready to enjoy.

Note – I made 12, 8 ounce jars, but they were loosely packed.  If you wanted more cake/filling per serving, divide everything into 9 jars.

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