Sunday, November 30, 2014

Coconut Buttercream

Yield: Approx. 4 cups; enough to frost double-layer 8"round cake or 24 cupcakes with average sz swirl

  • 2 sticks butter, salted, softened
  • 4 c. powdered sugar (1 lb.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, clear
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1T whole milk or Coconut Milk

  1. Cream butter in a stand mixer (at least 4 minutes).  
  2. Add about 1 c. powdered sugar until smooth.  
  3. Add vanilla and coconut extract, mix well.  
  4. Add remaining powdered sugar. Mix on med high until smooth and puffy (approx 6 minutes).  
  5. Add milk to desired consistency and taste. 
  6. If adding that now. 

Hot tip:  Margarine is not a very good substitute.  Vegetable shortening is a doable substitute for half the butter - the flavor is different and careful if adding coloring.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Orange Cream Cheese Buttercream

Yield:  Filling, crumb coat, and frosting for 6" layer cake

  • 8 oz (2 sticks)  butter, salted, room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese, slightly softened
  • ½ t. orange extract
  • 5 c powdered sugar   

  1. In stand mixer, thoroughly blend butter and cream cheese
  2. On medium, add half powdered sugar
  3. Add orange extract
  4. Add remaining powdered sugar
  5. After completely mixed, scrape sides of bowl, and set mixer to high for 1-2 minutes
  6. Ready to frost!

Cranberry Orange Layer Cake

Yield:  triple-layer, 8" round cake or approximately 24-30 cupcakes

  • 1 c sugar, granulated
  • ⅓ c orange juice, fresh squeezed 
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, large
  • ¾ c vegetable oil
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1½ c fresh cranberries
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 2⅓ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. baking powder  
  • ¼ t. salt   

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare cake rounds with non-stick cooking spray or line cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, powder, salt) in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl, beat together: sugar, orange juice, buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla. 
  4. Hand stir in dry ingredients until barely smooth (do not overwork the batter). 
  5. Fold in cranberries and orange zest.
  6. Divide evenly among 8" rounds or fill cupcake tin 3/4 full.
  7. Bake cakes approx. 40 minutes; bake cupcakes approx. 33-35 minutes.
  8. Cool cake rounds for 10 minutes before removing cake to cooling rack; remove cupcakes after allowing to cool 4-5 minutes.
  9. Batter has a slight rise.
  10. Frost when completely cool. Buttercream suggestions: Vanilla or Cream Cheese Buttercream...with just a hint of Orange.  Recommended: Orange Cream Cheese Buttercream

Friday, November 21, 2014

Apple Pie Filling

Yield: Approx. 14 oz (enough to fill a triple-layer cake)

  • ½ c. brown sugar, packed (light or dark)½ 
  • ½ c. sugar, granulated
  • 4 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz. butter, salted (not margarine)
  • 1 large apple, brunoise (cut into tiny, tiny cubes)
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 ½ t. vanilla extract, dark
  • ½ t. sea salt

  1. Over medium heat, whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, heavy cream, butter, and apple.
  2. Continually whisk for 5-7 minutes, it should thicken during this process. 
  3. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt - whisk for another 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Remove from heat.  Let sit a few minutes. 
  5. Refrigerate until cool and slightly firm. 

Brunoise, a precision cut which produces small cubes.  Small is necessary considering the smoothness of slices when serving the cake.  There is very little 'precision' in home baking...just do your best.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Almond Layer Cake

Yield: double-layer, 8" or 9" round cake or approx. 24 cupcakes

  • ½ c. cake flour
  • 1 c. milk, room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 t. almond extract
  • 1 t. vanilla extract, clear 
  • 1 ¾ c. granulated sugar
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 ½ sticks softened butter, salted

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake rounds with non-stick cooking spray or line cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners (approx. 24).
  2. Make sure milk and eggs are room temperature.
  3. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into medium bowl and mix with fork until blended.
  4. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter, cut into cubes and continue beating on low for about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 minute. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and hand stir until barely integrated.
  6. Pour batter evenly between two prepared cake pans or cupcakes to 2/3 full
  7. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 27 to 30 minutes or 20-23 minutes for cupcakes.
  8. Turn out cakes or remove cupcakes after 10  minutes; allow cake to cool to room temperature.
  9. Frost cakes with favorite frosting, which might include: Almond, Chocolate, Nutella, or Coconut Buttercream

Walnut Cake

Yield: Triple-layer, 8” or 9" round cake or approx. 30 cupcakes or 9½ doz mini-cupcakes

  • 2 ⅔ c.  cake flour
  • 1 t.  salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2 ½ t. baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ c. sugar
  • 4 t. vanilla extract, clear
  • 1 c. oil
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1 c. walnuts, chopped (not too course, not too fine)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F . Prepare cake pans with non-stick spray or cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. In medium sized mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients; set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar – beat thoroughly until smooth. Add oil and vanilla – beat on high until frothy.
  4. Alternating…add flour mix and buttermilk; set mixer to low.
  5. Batter will be thin.
  6. Divide batter among cake pans or fill cupcakes ⅔ full.
  7. Bake for 22-25 minutes; cupcakes 15-17 minutes.
  8. Cool completely. Frost with luscious Vanilla Buttercream.

Hot tip:  When filling cupcakes with this batter, first pour batter into a measuring cup with a spout then fill each cupcake...this reduces drips and mess and puts more yummy goodness in the pan and not on the counter.

Hot Tip:  This doesn't lend itself to substituting half of the oil with applesauce - some of the sparkly vanilla flavor is lost.  The cake turns out wonderfully, but the flavor is diminished a wee bit.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cream Cheese Cheesecake

Yield:  One 8" or 9" round

  • 3 bricks of Cream Cheese (8oz each), room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14oz)
  • 2 t. vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Prepare 8" or 9", round or square Spring Form pan with non-stick cooking spray
  2. In a stand mixer set to medium, beat together: cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, and milk. Let run for a few minutes (3-4) - mix must be very smooth (no lumps)
  3. Pour into pan, bake for 45 minutes for a larger pan, 50 minutes for a smaller pan
  4. When done, set pan on cooling rack (center may be jiggly) until completely cooled.
  5. Best results for using in between layers of cake...refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.

Yes...this cake has no crust.