Archive for Cakes

Chocolate Cake Donuts

Moist chocolate cake…chocolate chips…chocolate ganache…enough said. 🙂

Seriously, though. If you are like me, you LOVE LOVE LOVE chocolate! Take a moist chocolate cake batter load it with chocolate chips, bake it into a donut, then dredge it in a rich, creamy chocolate ganache and you’ll be in Heaven!!

Give my recipe a try. I know you’ll love it! 🙂

Chocolate Cake Donuts

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INGREDIENTS:

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Dry Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder, or instant coffee granules

3 tablespoons buttermilk powder

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients:

2 eggs

3/4 cup water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate icing:

2 cups chocolate chips

8 tablespoons heavy cream

 Toppings (Optional):

 Sweetened coconut flakes

Toffee bits

Mini chocolate chips

Chocolate cookie bits

Multi-colored sprinkles

 

 DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your donut maker.  Mine has an orange light and green light.  The green light turns on when the donut maker is heated to the right temperature. 

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In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients:

Place the flour into the bowl.

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Add the cocoa powder.  It isn’t necessary to sift the cocoa powder; just dump it in the bowl.

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Add the brown sugar.

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Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder (or instant coffee granules).  You can omit the espresso powder if you’d like.  However, I find that the coffee enhances the flavor of the cocoa, making the donuts taste so much more rich and decadent. 

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Add the buttermilk powder. 

If you can’t find buttermilk powder in your grocery store, use 3/4 cup of liquid buttermilk INSTEAD OF the buttermilk powder and 3/4 cup water.  Add the buttermilk with the wet ingredients as described below.

Another easy substitution for buttermilk is to place 1 teaspoon of either white vinegar or lemon juce in a cup.  Mix in enough regular milk to make 3/4 cup of total liquid (milk plus vinegar).  Stir to combine, then let the mixture sit for a minute or so (it will thicken a bit).  Again, you’d omit the buttermilk powder and 3/4 cup of water if you did it this way.  Add the milk-vinegar mixture with the wet ingredients as described below.

I personally prefer to use buttermilk powder.  I don’t use buttermilk that often in my cooking (aside from the occasional pancake breakfast, and these delicious donuts, of course), so the powdered buttermilk works well.  Keep in mind that the powdered buttermilk must be refrigerated after you break open the sealed container.

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Add the chocolate chips.  I guess I should have named these Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Donuts, huh? 🙂

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Use a whisk to mix all of the dry ingredients together.  Or, you can use a fork.

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In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the wet ingredients:

Place the eggs, water, vanilla extract, and melted butter into the bowl; stir to combine.  Note: after melting the butter, let it sit for a minute or so to cool slightly.  You don’t want scorching hot butter when you mix it with the eggs or else you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.  That’s no bueno for these yummy donuts.

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Stir in the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.  Mix only until a batter forms; it’s okay if you have a few lumps.  I used a rubber spatula to stir the batter (so that the chocolate chips didn’t get stick in between the whisk wires).

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Spoon the batter into the wells of your pre-heated donut maker, filling according to manufacturer’s instructions.  I use a small cookie scoop to fill my donut maker with about 2 tablespoons of batter. My donut maker has a non-stick surface; if yours is not non-stick, spray each donut well with butter-flavored cooking spray.

I own a Sunbeam donut maker.  I’m pretty satisfied with this brand.  The only thing I’d like better is one that made more than five donuts at a time.  Otherwise, it’s a great machine.  You can find it (and other brands) at Target, WalMart, K-Mart, or your military Exchange.

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Bake per your donut maker’s instructions, or until the donuts feel slightly firm to the touch. My donut maker has a light that turns green when the donuts are done.

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Remove the donuts from the donut maker. These can get very hot, so be careful when taking the donuts out of the donut maker. I find it very easy to use two chopsticks (stick one chopstick through the donut hole and use the other chopstick to nudge the donut out of the donut well). 

You don’t have chopsticks, you say?  Use the ends of wooden cooking spoons instead, or the handles of forks or spoons.

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Place the donuts on a wire wrack to cool. Ensure the donuts cool completely before icing.

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To make the chocolate icing: Combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl.

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Heat for 45 seconds then remove from the microwave and stir with a fork (or use a whisk), mixing until the icing is shiny, smooth and creamy.

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If the chocolate chips aren’t melted enough after stirring (you still see chunks of chocolate), heat for another 10-15 seconds then stir again.

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After the donuts are cool, dip the top of each one in the warm icing.

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Place the iced donuts back on the wire wrack to allow the frosting to set (or you can just devour them at this point!). 🙂

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Optional:  Sprinkle your favorite toppings on top of the donuts immediately after dipping in the warm icing.

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This is what the donuts look like in the inside — moist and chocolaty, with the added bonus of chocolate chips.  imageServe with a tall glass of milk or a cup of your favorite coffe and ENJOY!

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Pumpkin-Carrot Crunch Cake

Fall is one of my favorite seasons, not just because of the beautiful fall colors and cooling temperatures, but because I love the smell of the house when I bake up a batch of pumpkin anything.  I say anything because my family loves most everything made with pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie, Pumpkin Turnovers (Pastit or Buchi Buchi), and one of our favorites — Pumpkin Carrot Crunch Cake.

This recipe is my take on the popular Pumpkin Crunch Cake that you must have seen making its rounds on the internet.

I make mine differently.  One thing I do differently is instead of sprinkling dry cake mix over the pumpkin filling, I make a cake and nut layer by mixing together melted butter, chopped nuts and the cake mix, then spreading it onto the bottom of a pan, making a delightful crust of sorts.

My pumpkin filling is essentially a custard, forming a rich and creamy layer on top of the cake and nut crust.

And finally, the top layer is not just plain old Cool Whip Whipped Topping, but a thicker version made so by adding sweet vanilla pudding to it.

My version also uses carrot cake instead of regular yellow cake mix, although yellow cake is perfectly fine if that’s what you prefer.  We love carrot cake in our house, so I incorporated two favorites into one, and voila, there you have my Pumpkin Carrot Crunch Cake!

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.  🙂

PUMPKIN CARROT CRUNCH CAKE

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INGREDIENTS:

Pumpkin Filling:
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cake & Pecan Crust:
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1 box super moist carrot cake mix
Whipped Topping:
  • 16 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding & pie filling
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the Pumpkin Filling (pumpkin, eggs, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt). Set aside.

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3.  Finely chop the nuts using a food chopper or processor.

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4.  In a separate bowl, mix together the ingredients for the Cake & Pecan Crust (melted butter, chopped nuts, and cake mix).  Spray the bottom and sides of a 13×9 cake pan with cooking spray (butter flavored, or the one for baking that has flour in it).  Spread the cake mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9×13″ pan.

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5.  Pour the pumpkin filling over the cake and pecan mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes to an hour.  The cake is done when the sides are set (the pumpkin filling will look firm and dry from the edge of the pan inward about two inches) but the middle will still be jiggly.  When you take the cake out of the oven, it will continue to cook as it cools.  Allow the cake to completely cool on the countertop.  Top with Whipped Topping when the cake is completely cooled.

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6.  To make the whipped topping, place the Cool Whip into a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle the dry pudding mix over the Cool Whip.  Add the milk.  Using an electric mixer, mix until all the ingredients are combined.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes to set.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

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7.  After the cake has cooled, top with the whipped topping mixture.

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8.  Serve and enjoy!

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Bacon Maple Pancake Muffins

My daughter and I came up with this recipe when we were looking for something to cook for breakfast that wasn’t the traditional fried eggs with bacon (and a side of rice, of course).

We also didn’t feel like having just plain old pancakes either, but we knew we wanted bacon.  Pancakes appealed to us, but again, we wanted something new and different.

That’s when our bacon maple pancake muffins were born.  I already had a very good pancake recipe, but I wanted to incorporate the taste of maple syrup into all aspects of what would become such pretty tasty meal that could very well double as dessert if so inclined.

I did a lot of research on how to make this turn out more than just a plain baked pancake batter.  I found out that maple syrup is slightly acidic, and therefore, I needed to counteract that by adding a bit of baking soda to my batter, in addition to baking powder, in order to get my muffins to rise properly.  As you can see in the photos below, these muffins have an nicely rounded dome.

I also didn’t want to serve these with a side of syrup, like we do with ordinary pancakes.  So my daughter and I decided to make a maple buttercream frosting to go on top.  I guess with the addition of the frosting, these muffins can also be called cupcakes.

What’s the difference between muffins and cupcakes, you ask?  Well, one school of thought is based on the ingredients used.  I’ve read that using more than a stick of butter and one egg makes a recipe a cake.  In my recipe, I use one stick of butter and one egg, so that’s why I call them muffins.  On the other hand, like I mentioned above, another school of thought is that if you add any type of frosting to this, it’s a cupcake.  So…what does that make my recipe….maybe I should call them muffincakes or cupcakins.  Hahaha … or maybe not.  😉

I think we should just call it DELICIOUS.  Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.  🙂

Bacon Maple Pancake Muffins topped with Maple Buttercream and Bacon Sprinkles

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Scroll all the way to the bottom for my complete recipe.  Each of the following photos describes my step-by-step process.

 

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Fry bacon until crisp.

 

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Mix the dry ingredients together.

 

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In a separate mixing bowl, roughly cream the butter and sugar together.

 

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I left a stick of butter on the countertop overnight to ensure it was softened in the morning.  You don’t need to use a whisk or mixer to cream the butter with the sugar.  I used a fork to do this since the butter was so soft.  *Note:  Do not use melted butter.

 

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Mix the egg into the butter-sugar mixture.  I pulled out a whisk to mix in the egg, but you can do this with a fork as well.

 

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This is what the egg-butter-sugar mixture looks like after mixing.

 

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Pour in the milk, maple syrup and vanilla exract.  There’s no need to mix — you’re going to dump this in with the dry ingredients and mix it there.

 

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In this step, stir the dry ingredients together to ensure the baking soda, baking powder and salt are mixed in with the flour.  The only equipment you need for this step is a mixing spoon.  Do not use an electric mixer — you only need to stir this for a few times to get the proper consistency.  In fact, over mixing this batter will make your muffins turn out tough and dense.

 

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Pour the liquid ingredients into the the bowl with the dry ingredients.

 

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Use a mixing spoon to mix it all together.  About 50 strokes should do it.  It’s okay if there are a few lumps in the batter.

 

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Crumble your cooked bacon ahead of time.  Half of it will go into the batter, the other half will be used to sprinkle on top the frosted muffins.

 

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Fold the bacon crumbles into the batter.  This is important:  DO NOT let the batter sit.  You want to bake this as soon as possible after mixing.  This is because once you’ve added the wet ingredients to the dry, the baking soda and baking powder start to work their magic and the batter will begin its “rising” process.  You don’t want it to rise while sitting in your mixing bowl–you want this magic to take place in the oven so that you have nice tall muffins with a rounded top.

 

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It’s a good idea to line your muffin tin ahead of time, so that you can immediately scoop your batter into them as soon as you’re done mixing it.  You’ll have just enough batter to make 12 muffins.  Use slightly less than 1/3 cup of batter in each muffin cup.

 

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Bake the muffins anywhere between 15-20 minutes.  The baking time will vary, depending on your oven.  My oven (not to mention I live at a relatively high altitude) tends to take a little longer to bake things.  I check for doneness about 2 minutes prior to the minimum cooking time.  In this case, I used a toothpick to test for doneness at the 13-minute mark.  My muffins were still a bit wet, so I baked them for an additional 5 minutes.

 

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The extra 5 minutes of baking did the trick.  The muffins should be a golden brown.  A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean, although a few crumbs sticking to it is okay.  Let the muffins cool completely before adding your frosting.

 

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Make the frosting while the muffins are cooling.
I also left these two sticks of butter out overnight to completely soften.

 

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You WILL need an electric mixer to make the frosting.  Because the butter is already soft, you don’t need to beat it.  I just turned my mixer on to low speed for a few seconds to spread the butter out a bit.

 

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Mix in the maple syrup and milk.

 

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Sift in the powdered sugar — I used a strainer to do this, but a flour sifter works well too.

 

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This shows 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar.  My recipe calls for up to 4 cups of sugar — I only used 2.  You can use 3 or even the entire 4 cups of sugar if you like (it will be really sweet if you do).  The added sugar also serves to make your frosting stiffer, which is what you want if you plan on using a piping bag and decorating tip to decorate your muffins.  I didn’t want to do this with this batch — a softer frosting was good enough here since I only planned on using a small cookie scoop to scoop out enough frosting to top each muffin.

 

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Mix the sugar into the butter mixture until smooth and creamy.  Frost your muffins once they are completely cooled off; the frosting will melt if the muffins are still warm.

 

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I used a small cookie scoop to place even amounts of frosting on each muffin.  Slightly spread out the frosting to ensure the top of the muffin is covered.

 

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I suffer from a mild case of OCD.  I wanted to ensure that each muffin had equal amounts of bacon crumbles, so I broke each of remaining 6 bacon strips in half, then made 12 little piles of bacon crumbles.  (Don’t judge me.  LOL)

 

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Top each muffin with bacon crumbles.

 

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♬ ♩ ♫  ♪     Ta daa!!!!!!     ♬ ♩ ♫  ♪

 

imageThis is what the inside looks like — fluffy and moist.  And, as you can see on top, there is ample frosting on top.  These muffins are delicious without the added frosting, by if you are in mood to indulge, don’t skimp on the frosting.  All in all, these muffincakes are absolutely DELICIOUS!  Decide for yourself; give my recipe a try.  🙂

 

Bacon Maple Pancake Muffins with Maple Buttercream Frosting
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These muffins are the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Perfect for breakfast, they also double as a dessert.
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Muffin Batter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter (softened (at room temperature))
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 thin slices maple bacon (cooked and crumbled)
Maple Buttercream Frosting
  • 2 sticks butter (softened (at room temperature))
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2-4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
Topping
  • 6 thin slices maple bacon (cooked and crumbled)
Instructions
Muffin Batter
  1. Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir to mix all the ingredients together. Set aside.
  2. In a smaller mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and milk (there is no need to stir).
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Using a mixing spoon, stir to combine, about 50 strokes. Do not over mix; a few lumps remaining are okay.
  4. Fold in the bacon crumbles.
  5. Pour slightly less than ⅓ cup of batter into each well of a muffin tin lined with paper liners. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Check for doneness at around 13 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean (a few crumbs are okay). The muffins should be golden brown in color when done. Do not over bake.
Maple Buttercream Frosting
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add the maple syrup and milk to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix to combine.
  3. Mix in the sifted powdered sugar, starting out with only 2 cups of sugar. Add more sugar to make a stiffer frosting (which is good if you're using cake decorating tips). Less sugar yields a creamier frosting. Frost the muffins after they've completely cooled off.
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Strawberries & Cream Dream Cake

I asked my kids what to name this dessert.   Strawberry shortcake seemed too simple a name for it.  They asked, “why NOT just plain old Strawberry Shortcake?”  “No,” I answered.  “This dessert is…well…dreamy.”  And there you have the story behind the name.

It’s super simple to make, but you can tell your friends you slaved in your kitchen all day long.  😉

There are very few store-bought products I buy that I don’t say to myself, “Why did I buy this?  Homemade is so much better.”  Sara Lee Pound Cake is one of those products–I love Sara Lee pound cake, as a base for Latiya, eaten by itself, or in a heavenly, dreamy, strawberry delight.  I have an awesome recipe for homemade pound cake, but why bother when you can buy one that tastes delicious?  I take that back…my homemade version is worth the effort, but when you’re pressed for time and want to quickly prepare something this yummy, there is no need to make one from scratch.

I do indulge a bit with this recipe by using heavy whipping cream in addition to Cool Whip. You most certainly can use regular milk instead of heavy cream, but your cream filling won’t turn out as thick.  I like the addition of Cool Whip  because I can lighten this recipe by using Cool Whip’s lightened or lower calorie versions instead of using nothing but heavy whipping cream.  While an all-whipping cream version is so delicious, my waistline won’t be as dreamy.  You can also lighten this further by using a sugar-free and fat-free instant pudding mix (see, you CAN have your cake and eat it too, and not feel guilty about it either).

Here’s my recipe…don’t just dream about it.  Make it.  Enjoy it.  🙂

Strawberries & Cream Dream Cake

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Ingredients:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 small box (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 16 ounces Extra Creamy Cool Whip whipped topping
  • 1 small tub fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 family size (16 oz.) Sara Lee pound cake
Directions:

1.  Pour the whipping cream in a mixing bowl.  Add the instant pudding mix.  Using an electric mixer, mix on the highest setting (I use setting #6, the highest setting for my handheld mixer).  The mixture will thicken quickly.

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2.  Once the whipped cream mixture develops stiff peaks, add in half of the Cool Whip.  Mix on low speed until the Cool Whip is combined.  Mix in the rest of the Cool Whip.

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3. Slice the pound cake into 1/4-inch slices, then cut the slices in half.  The resulting pieces should look like what’s in the photo below.  Layer half of the pieces of cake on the bottom of a shallow pan (a 9×13 pan works well).

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4.  Spread half of the whipped cream mixture on top of the cake pieces.

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5.  Spread half of the sliced strawberries over the layer of the whipped cream mixture.

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6.  Add another layer of cake on top of the strawberries, using up the remaining pieces of cake.

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7.  Spread the remaining whipped cream mixture on top of the cake.

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8.  Spread the remaining strawberry slices on top of the whipped cream mixture.

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Ta daaaaa!!!!  Chill, or serve immediately.

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Easy Shortcut Chamorro Cake

This is an absolutely delicious cake, a favorite on Guam.  This is absolutely fantastic served without any frosting; however, it’s also delicious served with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or as a base for Latiya.

This is my shortcut version, but be checking back for my “regular” Chamorro Cake recipe, which I’ll post soon!

CHAMORRO CAKE

Chamorro Cake Cupcake with a
Marshmallow Plumeria Topping
(Marshmallow Plumeria design
by Arlene Sablan Aguon)

Ingredients:

  • 1 box butter (yellow) cake mix
  • 1 8-oz container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (use 1 teaspoon for a stronger lemon flavor)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Mix all ingredients together; pour the batter into a 13×9 pan.

3.  Bake for 25 minutes (check at 20 minutes). A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs sticking to it.

Enjoy!

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