Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Cakes, Icing and Sauce | November 15, 2016 | By

Anybody else reeling in the seemingly unreal US election results?  Pretty crazy, this world we live in.  

I don’t do politics (my brain hurts from the politics of motherhood, let alone the presidential kind), but it’s hard to hide from the big things that go on. 

I’m going to try not to dwell on it too much, pray for the best, and eat cake.  

Cake helps most anxieties.  

My doctor (mainly, me) prescribes a good piece of cake and a warm drink to soothe any worry that may come my way.  It works.  Try it.  

Cinnamon Streusel Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

I went and threw three lovely recipes together.  That’s how I do.  I take parts of things I like from other recipes and turn it into something new and yummy.  That’s kind of how I dress too.  I little bit of this, a touch of that.  You get it.

Here’s the winning combination I was working from – amazing cake recipes from:  Liv for Cake, The Baker Chick, and Sally’s Baking Addiction.  

So, I started off really wanting to make Liv for Cake’s recipe, but realized that all the pumpkin I had was frozen, and I needed it now.  So many times, this has happened.  Learned, I should have.  But I have not.  (I’m pretty sure I’ve alluded to my enemy, the freezer, before.  It just can’t be beat.)
Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons
Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons
Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

Anyhow, I realized I needed to make a spice cake instead of a pumpkin cake.  I’m cool with that.  Sometimes I feel that there’s a little bit too much pumpkin around this time of year.  

Shame on me, I know.  

I can’t help it. 

Enter:  Spice Cake.  

I love me a good spice cake, and I’d make the Baker Chick’s version last year.  With a few tweaks, I made into [basically] a pumpkin spice cake, sans pumpkin.  Plus, some maple cream cheese frosting.  I didn’t want tooo much spice going on, so we nixed the spice in that step of the cake.  Add in some cinnamon streusel for some added crunch and yummy munch.  Wow.  It was soo good.  

We took it to a little dinner party (8 adults, 4 kids), and still had a bunch of cake left.  It is soo filling-ly yummy.  Seriously though, you need a glass of milk, or a cup o tea with this one.  You might also need help.  Because any leftovers call your name at any given time, and you might have to continue to cut yourself minuscule pieces of cake.  Over and over again.  (So you really should have just sat down for another real piece, right?  Does anybody else do this?!)

Anyhow.  Great for a holiday party, or just as an evening indulgence (breakfast?).  <— Def breakfast.  

Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Spice cake, topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting, and buttery crumble all throughout.
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Cake
  1. 1 cup butter or margaine, softened
  2. 1 3/4 cups brown sugar
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. 2 1/2 cups flour
  6. 2 tsp baking powder
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  10. 1 tsp ginger
  11. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  12. Pinch of cloves
  13. 1 cup milk
Streusel
  1. 1 cup flour
  2. 1/2 cup butter/margarine, softened
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. 1 pkg cream cheese, room temperature
  2. 1/4 cup butter/margarine, softened
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 2-3 tsp maple syrup or maple extract
  5. Pinch salt
  6. 3 1/2 - 4 cups icing sugar
  7. Milk, as needed
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch cake pans.
  2. Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla.
  3. Slowly add in dry ingredients, and milk, alternately.
  4. Once mixed smoothly, pour into prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until cake tester/toothpick comes out of the centre clean. Let cool in pans on a wire rack.
Streusel
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Stir dry ingredients together. Using the back of a wooden spoon, or your fingers, mix in the butter until the dry ingredients are no longer dry, and it starts to clump.
  3. Pour onto your baking sheet, spread out, and bake for 7-8 minutes. Let cool completely, then break apart into crumbs.
Frosting
  1. Mix cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Add in brown sugar, maple, and salt.
  2. Slowly beat in icing sugar, about 1 cup at a time. Add milk or icing sugar, as needed, to get a spreading consistency
Assembly
  1. Cut your cooled cake layers in half (so you end up with four layers). Place your first layer on a plate, cover with frosting, and sprinkle with some streusel. Repeat for two more layers.
  2. Place the top layer on, and cover sides sparsely with frosting (naked cake!). Add ample frosting to the top, and pipe a border around the edge. Fill the centre with the remaining streusel.
  3. Eat. With tea and/or coffee.
Notes
  1. Smart thing to do: Mix up your streusel after you put the cake in the oven, and pop the streusel in too, while your oven it on!
Adapted from The Baker Chick
Adapted from The Baker Chick
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
 What are your favourite holiday sweets?  I want to know!  ๐Ÿ™‚

*Shared on Buns in My Oven, Adventures of Mel, Nap-Time Creations, Gooseberry Patch, Ginger Snap Crafts, Honest Mum

Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons Streusel Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

A Naked Wedding Cake

Cakes, Icing and Sauce | September 13, 2016 | By

This is the story of a wedding cake. 

White Naked Wedding Cake - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those wedding pictures you saw in the last post… well, my mother catered the dessert at that wedding.  And I was volun-told to make the centerpiece cake.  You see, the bride didn’t really want a huge cake, but a dessert table, with multiple gorgeous (and amazingly yummy) cakes, and other sweets.  But she wanted a centerpiece cake that she could put her adorable pine cone toppers on.  (Super cute idea!)  In come me, not entirely knowing what I’m doing.  It was a tie between a textured cake, and a naked cake.  Most of the brainstorming pictures I’d been shown had a naked cake on the dessert table, so I went with that. 

The bride and her dad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For this cake, I made 6 layers of my grandmother’s famous birthday cake recipe.  It’s always a hit.  It’s right in between being a pound cake, and white cake.  Six layers.  I think I made 1.5 x the recipe twice.  (Because I only had three pans, I had to do it two times.  Once the night before, once the morning of.  

The frosting was also my grandmother’s, but instead of only using shortening, I mixed it with butter.  It makes for a less sturdy shortening buttercream, but a really creamy more sturdy butter buttercream.  Does that make sense?  I piped frosting around each layer, and filled each a little differently.  Some just had plain frosting, some raspberry jam, and some raspberry frosting.  I was just running with it.  

White Naked Wedding Cake - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

White Naked Wedding Cake - Dessert Table - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Did I mention that I was putting it together in between the ceremony and the reception?  Crazy, I know.  I wanted it to be as fresh as possible, and have zero chance of some kid or cat either knocking it over or eating the frosting off of it.  While also trying to wrangle three kids?  It was a pretty insane day.)

Anyhow.  It came together pretty well.  Then I came to the frosting the outside part.  Or the not frosting part.  So weird not lathering that frosting on.  I love me some frosting!  Anyhow.  I piped some extra on between each layer, and smeared it here and there, and then put a decent layer on the top.  Decorated with a few fresh flowers, and voila!

White Naked Wedding Cake - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hardest part was transporting a six-layer cake, on a stand, over super bumpy roads to the reception location.  Have you ever lifted a six-layer cake?  They are freaking heavy!  My wrists were about to give out when we [finally] arrived.  

White Naked Wedding Cake - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dessert table looked divine.  I had also made a few flour-less chocolate cakes for the gluten-free attendees, which turned out pretty great (if you ask me).  ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall, it was pretty great.  Beautiful wedding, beautiful bride, wonderful company, delicious food, scrumptious desserts, and a contra-dance to end it off!  A really super, wonderful night.  

Shared on What’s Cooking Wednesday on Buns in My Oven

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Haskap Buttercream

Cakes, Icing and Sauce | April 6, 2016 | By

So.  Again.  It’s been much too long.  I feel like that’s the song I always sing.  But, life gets ahead of you.  Plans change.  Seasons change.  And before you know it, almost a year has gone by since you’ve done a single, solitary blog post!

How can this be?!

DSC_7414

I’ve been doing some thinking in my brain (it’s really hard to make sense of what goes on there sometimes).  I’m thinking about evolving the blog a bit, which is why it has gone untouched for awhile.

Also, my dinosaur of a laptop died.  ๐Ÿ™  Wahhhhh.  A new one will hopefully be on the list of purchases for the next few months.

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Let’s get down to business.

There is good reason for this post today.  The cake – immaculate.  It looks soooo good.  It tastes even better!

I couldn’t let another recipe go by, unposted.  Especially this one.  Cake is kind of pound-cakey.  With a hint of lemon and lots of little poppy seeds, making for wonderful crunch.  The frosting!  It is smooth and sweet (like super sweet), with a haskap berry tang.

DSC_7419

I guess I should touch on haskap berries!  They’re high in anthocyanins, vitamin C, phenolic compounds and other antioxidants.  To me, it sounds like blueberries on steroids.  They’re a bit more sour than blueberries, and but are slightly more mellow.  Not sure if that makes sense…  My hubby says that they taste like a mix of blueberries and kiwi.  (But he’s weird, so who knows what they taste like to normal people!)

There’s a company in our area called Haskapa.  I used the jam that they sell in the buttercream.  ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s your lesson pour la jour.

DSC_7416

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Haskap Buttercream
BEST CAKE EVER. Do you need a better description than that?
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Cake
  1. 1 cup, plus 2 tbsp butter, softened
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 4 large eggs
  4. 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  5. 2 tsp baking powder
  6. ยฝ tsp baking soda
  7. ยฝ tsp salt
  8. 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  9. 1ยฝ c buttermilk, or 1 1/4 cup milk with 1/4 cup lemon juice
  10. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 3 tbsp lemon juice
Haskap Buttercream
  1. 1 cup butter, softened
  2. 2-3 heaping tbsp haskap jam (depending on preference - I used 3)
  3. 2 tbsp milk
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. 4 cups icing sugar
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until they're nice and fluffy (and yummy). Add the eggs, two at a time, and beat well. Add vanilla and lemon juice.
  3. Mix together dry ingredients. Alternate buttermilk and flour mixture, and mix until batter is light and soft-looking. It's really as easy as that!
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, and then check every 3 minutes for up to 12. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Haskap Buttercream
  1. Beat butter until creamy. Add in jam and vanilla. (You can always add more jam in later, if you want more yummmmmy taste.)
  2. Alternate icing sugar and milk, until you have a nice, rich buttercream. If it seems to runny, add more icing sugar. If it's too thick, add some more milk. Again. Super easy.
  3. Frost cake as you wish! (With ALL the icing!) Or leave some in the bowl to eat as a snack. You will need a glass of milk. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You could totally use blueberry jam, or something similar, if you don't have haskap.
Adapted from Oh Honey Bakes
Adapted from Oh Honey Bakes
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
 Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Haskap Buttercream

 

To the kids!  I couldn’t post after almost a year and not include some kids pictures, so here they be!

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Jude – The Easter Egg Fiend

 

DSC_7395

Cael – enjoying a nice sunny day. (Which are few and far between.)

DSC_7263

Briar. Growing up so much!

Mocha Cake with Mocha Sour Cream Frosting

Cakes, Icing and Sauce | February 25, 2014 | By

Alors.  It has been much too long since I last posted.  Which really seems to be a theme for me.  And may very well continue to be a theme.  But such is my life.  Full of procrastination and lovely things.  I believe that it was early December the last time I posted, and while I will try not to bore you with too many details, and update on life is needed!

Mocha Cake

*Warning:  You may be bombarded with pictures in this post…*

December went by in a flash, as it is wont to do.  So much food, and great company, so many lights, presents, and giggles.  Jude loved his first Christmas, and Cael really appreciated it this year for the first time.  Christmas morning was exciting for all of us.  Not to mention how cute they were in their pajamas opening their stockings.

(Side story:  I had sewn stockings for the three of us, and had material for one for Jude.  However, the closer it got to Christmas, the more determined those stockings were to not be discovered.  So.  No handmade stockings being filled this year.  About 2 days after Christmas, guess what I found?  You guessed it.  Right [not] on time….  Story of my life.  But it’s okay.  They’re actually somewhere that I WILL find them next year.  I will.)

January brought in much more snow and Jude’s first birthday!  This little dude decided he would learn to walk that week, and he hasn’t looked back.  Watch out world.  Jude is here.  And he is 100% mobile.  We had cake and friends over to celebrate.  You’d have thought it was Cael’s birthday though, when you walked in, because he was loving the party for all he was worth.

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{Homemade Ice Cream Cake for birthday numero uno}

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February.  (How in the world is it February?!) It is flying by like every other month seems to.  My mother turned the big 5-0.  And we partied!  Surprise party, actually.  Much of that week was planning, booking a surprise flight for one of my brothers, cooking, and trying to conceal it all.  Turns out, she had no sweet clue.  We [somehow] sat 35 people in my parent’s living room for a meal, plus probably 15 kids and other adults roaming the house.  Much fun, but I was zonked when it was over.  Lots of help from my brothers and friends, which was amazing.

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{Mom’s 50th – an inferno}

The week following, was Hubby’s birthday.  A cake was baked.  And this will be the foodness I’ll be sharing.  Because I’ve made it many times before, and it’s a hit every time.  First though.  I’m super thankful for my hubby.  He is great.  The best friend ever.  Best everything ever.  And I really don’t know what I’d do without him.  Happy birthday to him!

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Now, on to the cake.  It’s a chocolate cake, coffee infused.  Sour cream frosting, also with chocolate and coffee.  It makes for a moist, deep chocolate, coffee-laden cake.  And it’s good.  The boys like it, hubby likes it, I like it.  We are all happy.

Mocha Cake | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

So, the cake is actually the same as this chocolate cake, with one exception.  Instead  of the hot water, you use strong, hot coffee.

Mocha Cake
Moist coffee chocolate cake. So good. Tangy frosting. Yum!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups brown sugar
  2. 1 cup canola oil
  3. 5 HEAPING Tbsp cocoa
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 2/3 cup hot coffee
  6. 1 cup milk
  7. 2 tsp vanilla
  8. 2 cups flour
  9. 2 tsp baking soda
  10. Pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour 2 9' round pans or a 13x9 baking dish.
  2. Blend together the oil and sugar. Add eggs, salt and vanilla.
  3. Stir in cocoa and hot water. Mix in 1 cup flour and baking soda. Stir in 1 cup milk. Add remaining flour, mix. Stir in remaining milk. Batter will be runny and oh, so chocolaty.
  4. Make sure to lick the bowl out when you're done. Pour into greased pans.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until middle is set. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Take cakes out of pans.
  6. Cool completely before frosting (or you will have a mess!).
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
On to the frosting.  Sour cream makes for a great tang and texture.  It’s actually lovely.  And I probably ate some of it by the spoon. No, maybe not ‘probably’, more like ‘most definitely’.

Mocha Sour Cream Frosting
Sweet and tangy with a great coffee and chocolate flavour!
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  3. 4 tbsp hot coffee
  4. 1/3 cup sour cream
  5. 2 cups icing sugar
Instructions
  1. Melt butter and chocolate chips on stovetop or in the microwave.
  2. Stir in coffee and sour cream until smooth. ย Add icing sugar. ย This will probably be runny... ย Throw it in the fridge for a bit. ย Until it comes to spreading consistency.
  3. Eat it with a spoon, or frost your cake!
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/

Then I actually took the time to photograph it.  Which really hasn’t been happening much at all lately.

Mocha Cake | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shout out to the doily you see:  I have a post about it here.  I just have it folded over a bit to fit the table.  Love it though.  I’m definitely going to make another.  Supplies are had, time is needed.   (Which should be my new mantra…)

Mocha Cake | Whisks and Wooden Spoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!  It really feels good to be back.  And thanks to the lady who asked me recently if I’ve been writing… it inspired me.

Linked up on Honest Mum

Fondant and a Wedding Cake

Spring is here (for today anyway)!  It’s sunny and a high of 12C.  Not warm to some of you, but it feels pretty great to me!

Wedding Cake

So this has been a long time coming.  I’ve been meaning to post it since early December, but of course, haven’t.  A friend of ours got married, just a small, very quaint wedding, and she asked me to make the cake.  Numero dos on the wedding cakes for me.  First one was for a friend in August, but that one was with buttercream.  This was my first attempt at fondant [EVER], and I made the fondant myself from scratch.  Which was pretty sweet, slightly nerve-wracking, and yummy!  I liked the taste quite a bit more than pre-made, bought fondant.

I used a pound cake recipe for the cake, and made 4 layers (2 bigger, 2 smaller).

Bottom layers

Then I made a peanut butter cream filling for in between layers.  Coated it with buttercream, and then layered the fondant on top.

Fondant, second layer

Then decorated with blue coloured buttercream.  It was quite the process, even for a small cake.

Wedding cake

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

You can find one very similar to the one I used at HowDoesShe.  Check it.

Hats!

{Daddy and baby strutting their hats.}

Hershey’s Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

I had a great weekend.  I know this post is late in coming, but I have been feeling slightly exhausted…  So that’s my excuse.  There you have it folks, Kayleigh is exhausted.  But getting better.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to my weekend.  My parents went away for the night on Friday, so I was going to keep my youngest brother for the night.  I had the [brilliant!] idea of inviting his best friend over, and her little sister ended up joining us too.  So I actually had some female company for once, and we weren’t outnumbered, which was really weird, but great.

This is our story.  Friday night, we had s’mores on my new fire pit thing (that my wonderful parents-in-law bought me for my birthday) – the kids loved it.  And I LOVED watching them have fun.  They snuggled up on the driveway with blankets and roasted marshmallows and stuffed their faces.

Then we came inside and they snuggled in to watch ‘The Quest for Camelot’ (my most favourite movie ever).

Then came bedtime (midnight).  (One of my other brothers decided to crash here that night too (he was in for it… keep reading, haha)).  One slept on a couch, two on the floor, and my brother took the other couch.  I didn’t hear them at all until 7 the next morning (I got to sleep in!!).  However, my brother wasn’t quite so lucky.  Apparently, they had been awake since 5:30.

Anyhow, I got them settled into another movie (Robin Hood) and they enjoyed some ‘baby tea’** while I started cleaning up and getting ready for breakfast.   After the movie, breakfast still wasn’t ready, so they took some chalk to the driveway and coloured it up.

**Baby tea is really milked down, sugared up tea.  About 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 cup tea and fill to the top with milk.  Kids love it, and get to feel ‘grown up’ too.

Breakfast menu – Homemade waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, smoothies and perked coffee (for those old enough to have it).  Breakfast went great.

The youngest girl told me that ‘You make the best waffles ever!’  Then she thought about it for another minute, and decided she’d better not say that, so she changed to, ‘You make the second best waffles ever (after Mommy)’.

I thought it was pretty cute.  After breakfast, we went for a walk, and then made cards for my Dad for his birthday.  Then their mom came and picked them up, and I had to get started on my dad’s birthday supper and cake!  Whew.  What a day.

So – my father had a birthday and I want to share his cake with you!

He requested a Hershey recipe that he loves to make (and eat too, apparently!).

The link to the recipe is here.  I’ll type it out for you too though.  I did make a few changes to the buttercream icing, so I’ll give you my version of that.  ๐Ÿ™‚  Hope you enjoy!  The icing is amazing – just to warn you.

Oh oh oh!  And I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer for the first time ever!  It was really awesome.  I can’t wait to use it again.  I know, I know, you’re probably asking yourselves why I haven’t used it before.  Well, I am slightly old school, and a tad lazy.  Old school:  I tend to use a wooden spoon or a hand mixer for a lot of things (but I just couldn’t for cake, it needed a REAL tool).  And lazy:  I just didn’t want to drag the mixer over to my counter (it won’t reach the plug in my under-sized kitchen) and then have to clean all the parts…  *sigh.  But it was totally worth it.

Hershey’s Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup boiling water

I’ll give you my directions, as I make things differently than most recipes tell you to…  I just can’t follow directions!

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cream together sugar and vegetable oil.  Add eggs, vanilla, and salt, and beat well.  Add cocoa and boiling water.  Mix until combined.  Mix in milk.  Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and stir until smooth.

Pour into two 9×9 cake pans that have been greased and floured.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let them cool for about 10 minutes, and then take them out of the pans and cool them on wire racks.  Frost with One Bowl Chocolate Buttercream Icing.

One Bowl Chocolate Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup margarine, softened

2 2/3 cups icing sugar

3/4 cup cocoa
 
1/3 cup milk
 
1 tsp vanilla
 
Beat butter until smooth.  Add the rest of the ingredients, and beat until smooth.  If it’s too runny, add more icing sugar, and if it’s too thick, add some more milk!  Easy as that.  Now frost that cake.
 
It’s sooo good.  I hope you really like it.  And I’d use the icing on just about any recipe that you need chocolate icing for – it’s super good.
 
Happy birthday Daddyo!
 
What kind of cake is your absolute fave?

Cream Cheese Trifle Cake

So, it was my birthday yesterday, and I had a request for a birthday post.  I do realize that it’s not my birthday today, so technically, this is the day-after-my-birthday post.  But I warned her that I would probably be late in doing this…  I enjoyed every second of my birthday doing other things.  ๐Ÿ™‚

{I think Cael had a good day too.}

I’m getting on in my journey towards 30, which is pretty crazy.  I had decided a long time ago, that I really wanted to reach 20, but after that, I would just stay 20 forever.  So let’s just say I’m 20.  And I’ll say that forever.  Sounds pretty good to me.  What do you think?  Will it work?  Will it have staying power?

Aging is not actually something that bothers me.  I love getting older.  And I think I always will.  It means that I’ve made it through another year.  And this past year was pretty exciting.  I had my first baby [EVER!], and we bought our first house.  I’d say that’s a fairly productive year (if you were going to ask me what I thought…).

So to my birthday!  It was awesome!  I always feel let-down by birthday (well, not always, but sometimes).  Because you wait for them all year, and then they’re not entirely awesome, and then it’s a day gone and you have to wait 365 more days until the next one.  But yesterday when I woke up, I decided that I was going to make it a good day.  It’s all about how you think, and how your heart is.  Wake up with a prayer and sunshine outside your window, and I’d say it’s going to be a pretty good day.  I got an awesome hug from my hubby first thing, and then went to my mother’s house for a shower!  For those who don’t know, we don’t have a shower at our new house, so this was a really great thing.

Then, I made the frosting and filling for my birthday cake!  Mom had already made the chocolate cake.  I made myself a hot chocolate, and helped myself to lots of the chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Then I had my dad’s amazing chili for lunch, and Cael, Mom, and I walked back to my house, stopping to visit my grandparents along the way.

Keep reading, the awesome continues.

{Don’t you love the scarf?!  It was a gift from an amazing family.}

After I put Cael down for a nap, I was going to go outside to clean up a garbage mess that some rambunctious raccoons had made through the night.  BUT, on my way down the driveway, an amazing family came barreling up in their minivan. With tidings of the best coffee ever, homemade birthday cards and origami, a present AND cookies.  Like, the best day ever, right?

Over coffee and cookies, we hung out and talked for quite awhile.  Eventually, I lost track of a few of the boys in the family, and they came in my door bearing a bag with all of the garbage!  They picked it up for me!  Yay!  So happy at this point.

Soon came suppertime at my parent’s house, with all my family, and a friend.  Do you know what the best dinner ever is (in my books)?  It consists of BBQ chicken, BBQ potato slices, vegetables, Greek salad, corn bread, and butternut squash.

{Dad makes these – my Grampie’s recipe.  Don’t they look awesome?  And my crazy little bro… haha}

Followed by my favourite cake EVER.  Let me describe this cake to you.  This chocolate cake recipe, made into three layers.  The layers are filled with whipped cream, and then the whole cake is iced with chocolate cream cheese icing.  Pretty close to perfect.  Mind you, the cake never stands up quite straight, but that does nothing to how wonderful it tastes.

Then, there were presents.  Enough said.

Around 9 o’clock, I convinced my hubby to watch a chick flick with me.  Flicked through Netflix, and chose Vanity Fair.  I must say, it was pretty good.  He was bored, but oh well.  My birthday, right?  ๐Ÿ˜‰  (Thanks babe for watching it with me.)

So there you have it.  That is most of my birthday summed up in, well…  I guess it wasn’t really summed up.  Quite detailed actually.  Oh well.

Here’s the recipe for the cake!

Cream Cheese Trifle Cake

One chocolate cake, made into three layers

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)

Whipped Cream Filling (recipe follows)

Place first cake layer on a plate, top with whipped cream.  Repeat for next layer.  After you’ve placed your third layer on, coat the entire cake with the chocolate cream cheese icing.  The more you can slap on, the better.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

1 pkg cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup margarine, softened

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 heaping Tbsp cocoa

3 cups icing sugar

Cream the cream cheese, margarine, and vanilla together.  Add cocoa and sugar, and beat until smooth.  Frost that cake!

Whipped Cream Filling

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup icing sugar

Whip together until firm peaks appear.  Fill that cake!  Do it.

Enjoy.  It’s really the best thing since sliced toast bread.  (That actually went through my brain, I had to write it.  Toast is completely different from bread, right?)

30 Day Challenge

Day 4 – Your views on religion

Religion, as such, is not something I believe in.  Religion is performing acts to achieve a purpose, normally eternal peace, life, etc.  Works does not get you these things.  Obedience does not get you these things.  The sole way to salvation is through Christ Jesus; believing in Him, that He died for you, that you’re a sinner and he can reconcile that.

“I am the way the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me”  John 14:6

He is the only way.  You can never work your way into heaven.  There is no possible way we can be good enough on our own.  Only through Christ’s death and His covering of our sins, can we come to God.

Spring Cupcakes

Icing and Sauce | April 27, 2012 | By

So, the title of this should really be – How to make a disastrous mess.  Because I did.

Man, did I ever.

And of course, who should come home to catch me red-handed in messiness?  But my hubby.

‘WHAT are you DOING?  Why don’t you put a tray underneath, so that you don’t make such a mess on the counter?’

It’s a good question really.  And the only real, true answer is…  I’m stubborn.  There you have it folks, I confess; stubborn to the bone.

You see, I tried a new icing recipe.  I’m constantly using our ‘Buttercream’ Icing recipe.  I use that about 90% of the time. So I thought I’d mix things up.  I used a royal icing.  And instead of following the recipe (as usual…) I made a few changes.  Which resulted in a runny mess of icing.  If it calls for meringue powder, use it.  Just saying.  Anyhow.  This is what I used for icing.  It worked in a sense, but not at all how I had envisioned them to be.

Royal Icing

4 cups icing sugar

2 egg whites

Water

Food colouring

Blend together the egg whites and icing sugar.  Add enough water to make the icing come together.  It should be slightly runny, but not overly runny (ie – more like molasses than oil).  Divide icing into bowls, and add food colouring, as desired.

For my cupcakes, I used this chocolate cake recipe.  It made about 2 1/2 dozen regular-sized cupcakes.

I dyed the icing four different ‘springy’ colours.  Then I bagged them (be careful if your icing is runny – it’ll run right out of the bags – no squeezing required!).  To achieve the tye-dye look, I put a circle of one colour (a 1-inch circle, filled in) on top of the cupcake.  Then I squeezed 2 or 3 other colours on top, and just let it run down the cupcakes, to create the effect.

If you’re smart, you’ll listen to hubby and put a tray underneath the cupcakes BEFORE you frost them.  But if you don’t, hey, that’s cool too.   ๐Ÿ™‚

Cael thinks they’re pretty good…

30 Day Challenge 

Day 2 – Where you’d like to be in 10 years.

Okay, so it’s most definitely time for day two of the 30 Day Challenge.  This one will be a tad more difficult than the last one… but here goes!

Realize that these are dreams, and I realized that some of them may be slightly far out…

In 1o years, I’ll be in my thirties…  man, that sounds old.  I will still be happily married, my little boy will be in the double digits, and he’ll probably have 2 or  3 (or 4?) little brothers and sisters.  We’ll be living in our house (made by us), which will have an amazingly big shower, and a kitchen with lots of counter space.  I will bake for my kids, and they’ll learn to bake with Mommy too, and love doing it (and I’ll have learned patience…  hopefully).  I’ll own a business, and bake for pay.  Yes, those are the dreams.

Where will you be in 10 years?

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cakes, Icing and Sauce | March 12, 2012 | By

When I think of velvet, I think of really uncomfortable dresses.  I’m not sure why, something from my youth triggers it, but I just can’t remember what exactly.  Anyhow.  When I put that velvet picture in my head and add the words ‘red’ and ‘cake’…..  Well, it just doesn’t seem quite right.  Downright awful actually.  But, I was wrong.  There.  I’ll admit it [for once].  I.  Was.  Wrong.


A friend asked me the other day what was so big about ‘Red Velvet Cake’.  I responded that I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t think it was anything too crazy.  So, I proceeded to look them up (I had before, but hadn’t looked at it too hard…).  Anyway, it wasn’t anything too crazy, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I found a recipe on Bakerella, but I tweaked it a tad, and made it into cupcakes instead of just a regular cake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes  (adapted from Bakerella)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 Tbsp cocoa, heaping

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup canola oil

1 cup milk

1 Tbsp vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp red food colouring

Preheat oven to 350.  Pour milk and vinegar into a measuring cup, set aside for 10 minutes.  Line cupcake pans with liners.

Whisk eggs lightly.  Add remaining liquids and whisk until blended.  Stir in cocoa and sugar.  Add flour, salt, and baking soda.  Mix until smooth.  Pour into cupcake pans.  Bake for 20 minutes (or until tester inserted in middle comes out clean).

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Anyhow.  It was kind of a busy day making these.  I had two younger brothers to feed, and a baby who just loves attention.  But!  I prevailed, and they turned out pretty good I must say.

After I had delivered my cupcakes to my friend (who had mentioned them to me), I got home to less cupcakes than were there when I left.  Turns out they were too good to just look at.  An additional brother landed home while we were gone and just couldn’t help himself.

{I attempted to fill the cupcakes with the boiled icing… didn’t work too well (it’s just not the right consistency – too fluffy), but it kinda worked…}

A piece of interesting factual information for you about red velvet cakes – they are called red velvet because of their colour.  (Duh, right?)  The cake turns red because of a chemical reaction between the cocoa and the buttermilk (or vinegar).  It also turns red because of added RED food colouring.  Apparently, most cocoa used to be lighter than it is now, and it turned cakes more red, but cocoa is darker now, and while it still turns slightly brown-ish red, colouring is needed for the full effect.  You can still buy the lighter cocoa though.

{Just for extra prettiness, I put an espresso candy on top with a sprinkling of cocoa.}

I also did something different for icing.  Seven minute icing.  It’s a type of boiled icing.  And it’s pretty good.  But I’d never made one like this before.  One reason I really like it, was because you don’t need to use a double boiler (which you normally do).  But, it’s not quite the same.  (Not as good as my mother-in-laws, that’s for sure!)

Seven Minute Icing (adapted from bakedbree)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2/3 cup water

Pinch cream of tartar

4 egg whites

Pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan, combine sugar, water and cream of tartar.  DO NOT stir.  At all.  Okay?  Bring to a boil, and boil for about 10 minutes.  While you’re waiting for that, put the egg whites and salt in a mixer, and whisk until whites are peaking.  Pour sugar water over egg whites and beat the frosting for 7 minutes (hence the name of the icing…).  Add vanilla extract.  The icing will be really nice and fluffy.  And it will taste sooo good.

I had a LOT of icing left over from the cupcakes…  And my hubby just so happens to LOVE (that’s right folks.. another baked good he’ll actually eat) chocolate cake with boiled icing.  So.  After my cupcakes were made, iced, and delivered.  .  .  .  .  .  (it took awhile)  .  .  .  .  …….  I set out to making a chocolate cake.  (Needless to say, I didn’t get a whole lot else accomplished this day!)  I made this chocolate cake recipe and slopped ALL the rest of the icing on it.  It was pretty delicious.

Notice I [attempted] to pipe the icing onto the cupcakes…  it didn’t work so amazingly well.  Boiled icing isn’t quite the right consistency… but it worked.  Just thought I’d give a warning there.  You WILL make a mess if you attempt to do that.  I would suggest using a flat spatula, and smoothing it on instead (as I did on my cake).

Anyhow.  There was my greatest adventure for the week.  (Notice I said week, not weekend.  I had quite the spree on the weekend, but we’ll talk about that later, when it’s not so fresh on my mind.)

Ever tried a red velvet cake before?  

Buttercream Icing and a Cake

Cakes, Icing and Sauce | February 18, 2012 | By

As I said on Thursday, here is my next cake post.  Last post, you saw my cake in the oven.  Here it is now, just about to be frosted:

Add another, layer, smoother on the frosting, and smooth it out.  Voila!  Next step accomplished!

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – here’s the finished product!

Want a close up of those roses?  Not near as good as my teacher (my grandmother), but still pretty snazzy I think!

I made a white cake (family recipe) and just regular icing.

ICING (“Buttercream”)

1 1-kg bag of icing sugar

1 1-lb block of shortening

1 tsp almond extract

2 tbsp milk or water

Just beat all of these ingredients together.  If it’s too thick, add more liquid.  If it’s too runny, add more icing sugar.  Easy as pie (or cake… haha)!  This is a great recipe for decorating with.  Just add food colour to change it to whatever colour your heart desires (or your cake is in need of).

Do you ever get sick of cake?  Personally – no.  Well, depends on what kind of cake I suppose.  I’m personally not a fan of carrot cake, I think I’d literally get sick if I took a bite of one of those.  But any other type of cake (pretty well), I don’t even think it’s possible to get sick of it.  It’s a staple.  Didn’t you know that Canada’s Food Guide has an extra category for ‘Daily Cake Intake’?  (Not really, but I wish it were so!)

I LOVE to decorate cakes. I don’t do it often enough (therefore don’t get enough practice), and have a tendency to go too fast, but they seem to turn out alright.  I’d love to do it more often though.  Anybody need a cake?  Contact me.  Those in the local area anyways.  I have done a few different cakes.  I’ll share some pictures of past cakes/cupcakes soon!

So, my grandmother had asked me to make a cake for a combined birthday supper for my mother and her sister.  She said I ‘made them look better’.  When I arrived with the cake, she even told me it looked professional!  Wowzers.  My self-confidence blew right up at that one.  ๐Ÿ˜‰

There’s a story behind this.  My grandmother has decorated cakes for a long time as a side-income.  She was amazing at it.  She made my birthday cakes for me from the time I was 1, until I was 17.  Always sooo yummy, and always looked too good to eat.  She’s since had a few medical problems, so she doesn’t do it anymore, but I’ve inherited a lot of her tools  and her love for doing it.  Food really should be an art, and this is one way to express that.

Meet my Nannie.  She’s the best.

Random, yes.  But have you ever tried a dragon fruit?  They’re pretty good.  Kind of like a mild kiwi.  Not to mention, they look gorgeous.  I just couldn’t let this photo opportunity pass.

This week is my hubby’s birthday.  I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen for his birthday yet.   I’ve got planning to do.  But I’ll let you know once I figure it out…

Just a question…  Do you need something sweet after a meal?  Always seem to?  I do.