Red Velvet Cheesecake-Vanilla Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cakes, Desserts

red-velvet-cheesecake-vanilla-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting-arriba

Adapted from Southern Living December 2016

Another Christmas, full of love, laughter and fun, has come and gone but not without my making a delicious dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner. This year choosing a dessert proved quite difficult. I had several suggestions but no one agreed on any single dessert. Though simple, I had thought of making a red velvet cake because it seemed like a Christmas-y dessert. However some thought that wasn’t very dessert-y, that it was more appropriate for an afternoon tea. I went with my mother and sister-in-law to the supermarket and the former offered if I wanted to get a Southern Living magazine. I accepted and started looking through the marvelous cakes once I got home. The decision was pretty unanimous in the end.

Cheesecake Layers

Ingredients:

  • 4½ 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 4½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 1-ounce bottles liquid red food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F (162.8C) . Line the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round pans with aluminum foil and allow 2 to 3 inches to extend over the sides. Lightly grease the foil.
  2. Beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until completely combined, about one minute.
  3. Add the eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, cocoa, red food coloring, vanilla and vinegar, beating on low speed until fully combined (do not overbeat).
  4. Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven at 325F for ten minutes. Reduce the heat to 300F (148.9C) and continue baking until center is slightly jiggly, about 1 hour and 5 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake layers stand in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the cheesecake layers from the oven and cool in the pans for 1 hour. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight.

red-velvet-cheesecake-vanilla-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting

Vanilla Cake Layer

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (4 ounces, 113 grams)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg whites

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F (162.8C). Grease one 9-inch round cake pan and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter with a stand mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about five minutes.
  3. Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Beat the egg whites in a bowl with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the batter. Gradually fold in remaining egg whites.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 33 to 36 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 32-ounce package of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy, about five minutes.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating on low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy.

red-velvet-cheesecake-vanilla-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting-cortado

Assembling the Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 red velvet cheesecake layers (recipe above)
  • 1 vanilla cake layer (recipe above)
  • Cream cheese frosting (recipe above)

Directions:

  1. Lift the cheesecake layers from their pans, using the foil sides as handles.
  2. Place 1 cheesecake layer, bottom side up, on a cake plate. Place the vanilla cake layer on top of the cheesecake layer. Top the vanilla cake layer with the remaining cheesecake layer, bottom side up.
  3. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting over the top and sides of the cake to seal in crumbs and chill the cake for 20 minutes.
  4. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.

 

Comments: This cake was a big success. The combination of red velvet cocoa, light vanilla cake and sweet cream cheese frosting was just right. I also garnished the cake with white chocolate curls. What I did was soften a white chocolate baking bar by heating it in the microwave at 50% power for 10-15 seconds. I then used a vegetable peeler to shave the chocolate and make the curls. I also sprinkled some gold sugar to give the cake a touch of color. Like all cake recipes, you get a lot of frosting when following the instructions but having more is better than having less and some people may prefer more frosting than others. Here are some general baking tips that may prove useful to you. While I was making the cheesecake layers, I ran out of sour cream. When I had looked at the package to see how much it had, I converted tablespoons to cups incorrectly and ended up buying less sour cream than I needed. However, I did have plain Greek yogurt in my fridge; plain yogurt is a good substitute for sour cream. I also did not buy buttermilk to make this cake; instead I measured 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and then added milk to it to create the ¾ cups I needed.

red-velvet-cheesecake-vanilla-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting-pedazo

Apple Rose Cake

Cakes, Sin categoría, Vegan

Torta de manzana con rosas II

Translated and Adapted from La Veganista Repostera by Nicole Just

A week ago would have been my rabbit’s 8th birthday. I had to make a cake for her; yes, I am one of those crazy people who make cakes on their pet’s birthday. I thought it would be a good opportunity to make something new from the vegan cookbook my aunts gave me for Christmas. I started skimming through and found this recipe. I loved the decorative roses, which made the cake look very impressive. It also had apples, a treat my rabbit really loved. It was decided for me.

Torta de manzana con rosas

Ingredients:

  • 150 grams whole wheat flour
  • 150 grams all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 120 grams sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla powder
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 170 grams unsweetened soy yogurt
  • 130 milliliters soymilk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 5 large Honeycrisp apples

Torta de manzana con rosas, close-up

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, sugar and vanilla powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix half of the lemon juice with the lemon zest, soy yogurt, soymilk and oil. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170C (350F). Grease a cake pan with a 26-centimeter (about 10-inch) diameter and set aside.
  4. Using a potato peeler, peel the apples. Roll up the strings of apple peel, making about 8-14 rosettes. Place the roses in a large bowl with 1.5 liters (6 1/3 cups) of cold water and the remaining lemon juice. Dice the peeled apples into 1-centimeter cubes. Set aside.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the soy yogurt mixture. Then stir in the apple dice.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Place the apple roses on top of the batter, pressing in a little.
  7. Place the cake pan in the lower third of the preheated oven. Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. If the roses begin to darken, cover the cake with aluminium.

Torta de manzana con rosas, pedazo II

Comments: The cake was really delicious. It came out moist with a great blend of flavors. Those apple roses really make it look quite impressive. No one need know that they are not very difficult to make. Though the recipe says 5 apples, I ended up using just 3. When I had finished mixing in the third apple, I thought it had plenty and adding any more would be too much. You can use your own judgment as you add in the apple. The recipe actually just said to use “sweet-tart apples.” I looked at a sweetness to tartness wheel for apples and found that the Honeycrisp was right in the middle. I had originally thought about using these because they are good baking apples, and the skin would make nice roses. Some other varieties are close to the middle are Red and Golden Delicious.

Torta de manzana con rosas, pedazo

Blueberry Streusel Buttermilk Coffee Cake

Cakes

Blueberry Streusel Buttermilk Coffee Cake

Adapted from Seriously Simple Parties by Diane Rossen Worthington

Who can say no to a coffee cake? I’m afraid no one can. There’s just something irresistible about that crumby, sweet, cinnamon-y, melty feeling on your tongue. Tie that with a super moist blueberry cake and you’re done for. Honestly. Coffee cakes are very versatile; they are great for breakfast/brunch, 5 o’ clock tea or dessert.

The Streusel

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

Blueberry Streusel Buttermilk Coffee Cake II

Directions:

  1. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and pecans in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the butter. With two knives or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles large bread crumbs.
  3. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

The Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 ½ cups fresh blueberries
  • Streusel (recipe above)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Grease a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan and set aside.
  2. Combine 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until very light. Add the lemon zest and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well before adding the next one. Don’t overbeat as this will make the cake tough.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, alternately mix in the flour mixture and the buttermilk in thirds, beating until the batter is blended. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup of flour and the blueberries. Toss until the blueberries are well coated. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
  6. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and sprinkle with a third of the streusel. Cover with the remaining batter and smooth out to make an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining streusel evenly over the top and pat it down gently.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 50-60 minutes or until the cake is firm and the streusel is crisp and golden. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.
  8. Cool the cake for 15 minutes in the pan. Invert the cake onto a plate or wire rack and then reinvert it onto a serving platter so the streusel side is on top.

Blueberry Streusel Buttermilk Coffee Cake IV

Comments: This is not a particularly difficult cake to make but it does require some time. However, the results are well worth it. If you do not have a Bundt pan, you can bake the cake in a 9×13-inch baking pan. In this case, you will spoon all of the batter into the pan and then sprinkle evenly with the streusel. The cooking time is also reduced by about 10 minutes. To serve, you just cut the cake into squares; no inverting or reinverting required. I prefer to use fresh produce but if blueberries are not in season you can use frozen ones. Frozen berries will be more evenly distributed while fresh ones will fall to the bottom of the cake to create a delicious jam-like layer. This cake can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored at room temperature. Because of the buttermilk, I recommend storing leftovers in the refrigerator.

Blueberry Streusel Buttermilk Coffee Cake III

M&M’s Pumpkin Cake

Cakes

M&M's Pumpkin Cake

Adapted from Family Circle November 2009

Need I say that one of my favorite things about autumn is the pumpkin-everything? I think I’ve already mentioned it. Last weekend I hosted a Halloween party at my house. I’ve had my eye on this cake for many years and I finally had the opportunity to make it. It was the highlight of the party. Everyone was impressed when I brought it out and they melted in their seats at the very first bite.

The Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Coat two 1.5-liter Pyrex bowls with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin, milk and vanilla to blend.
  3. Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the pumpkin mixture, ending with the flour mixture. Beat just until smooth.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared bowls. Bake in the preheated oven in the center of the oven for about 55 to 65 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  5. Remove the bowls from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a plate and remove the bowls. Cool completely.

Forming the Pumpkin

Ingredients:

  • 2 round cakes (recipe above)
  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • Red and yellow liquid food coloring
  • 6 bags White Candy Corn M&M’s
  • 1 Milky Way candy bar

Directions:

  1. Trim the top of the cakes with a serrated knife to make level.
  2. Tint the frosting orange with the food coloring according the directions on the package.
  3. Place one cake layer, cut-side up, on a serving platter. Spread the cut side with ½ cup of the frosting. Place the other cake layer on top, cut-side down. Trim any excess to make round.
  4. Spread a thin layer of frosting on half the cake from top to bottom.
  5. Separate all the orange M&M’s and place in a bowl and separate about 34 yellow M&M’s as well.
  6. Start with the nose by placing 3 yellow M&M’s in the center of the frosted area on the cake. Make sure to place 2 on the bottom and 1 on top, forming a triangle. Place 2 orange M&M’s above the nose, then begin the eyes. Attach 3 yellow candies along the same line as the orange candies above the nose, to the left. Place 2 more yellow candies above that row and end with a single yellow candy. Repeat on the other side of the nose. Below the nose, make an upside-down triangle using 3 orange candies. Make a yellow candy mouth by arranging candies in a “V” around the orange triangle. Use additional yellow candies to finish the mouth according to the picture. Fill in with more orange candies close together on the frosted area. When that area is covered, spread another area with the frosting and add more candies. Repeat until the entire cake is covered with orange M&M’s.
  7. Cut the candy bar in half crosswise on the diagonal to fashion a stem. Press the candy bar half, cut-side down, into the top of the cake for the stem. Refrigerate to firm the frosting.

Comments: The cake itself is not too difficult to make. The instructions are quite straightforward. When making the pumpkin, it is extremely important to make the two cakes perfectly flat to be able to form a nice sphere. My favorite store-bought frosting is Betty Crocker’s Whipped Frosting, which is the one I used. It is light, doesn’t have a exceedingly sweet flavor and is very easy to spread. I had quite an adventure with the M&M’s, to be perfectly honest. I initially bought 3 bags of the White Candy Corn M&M’s but I quickly ran out and had to buy 3 more. I was still not able to cover the top of the cake but it looked all right. These M&M’s are seasonal and come only in the candy corn colors (orange, yellow and white), hence the name. I was afraid they might have a strange, artificial candy corn flavor but it’s just white chocolate. They are really good and go perfectly well with the vanilla frosting and pumpkin cake. I had to adjust the amount of M&M’s used for the face; the recipe said to use 34 and to start the mouth by forming the “V” with 7 yellow candies around an upside-down triangle of 6 orange candies (not 3). I used less because of the size of my cakes after trimming but it still turned out great. Adjust the amount to fit your cake. For the stem, I used a Milky Way bar but you can use whatever chocolate candy bar you like. To cut the cake, slice the top cake first and then continue with the bottom. This cake turned out really moist and the combination of flavors was exquisite. I highly recommend this for your Halloween party next year or just for funsies if you’re really into pumpkin and Halloween (like me).

M&M's Pumpkin Cake, close-up

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Cakes, Vegan

Chocolate Cake (Happy Herbivore)

Adapted from Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon

It was Sunday morning on Father’s Day. I was planning on making crumpets for the planned brunch but I forgot I had to let the dough rise. So I scrambled through my recipes, looking for something I could quickly whip up. However, everything had eggs or the vegan recipes had banana. I only had 1 egg left in the refrigerator and 0 bananas. Fortunately, I found this recipe in one of my vegetarian cookbooks. It was really spongy, moist and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Grease an 8-inch square baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder together.
  3. Add sugar, milk, applesauce, balsamic vinegar and vanilla. Stir until just combined.
  4. Transfer the batter into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Comments: The secret to this cake is the balsamic vinegar. I did some research because I was curious about the effects of vinegar in making a cake. I found that it’s what makes a vegan cake moist. I topped the cake with Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips; use vegan chocolate chips if you are vegan. You can of course also use semisweet chips and I’m sure white chocolate chips would go great with the cake as well. You may also want to substitute the chips for frosting instead.

Chocolate Cake (Happy Herbivore), pedazo

Rich Marbled Chocolate Cake

Cakes

Rich Marbled Chocolate Cake, pedazo lado

Adapted from Crazy for Chocolate

While on my spring break, my friend’s parents invited my parents and me over for dinner. Of course, they asked me to bake a dessert. I already had my eye on this one and I chose to make it because, after all, who doesn’t love chocolate? It’s quite simple and looks really nice, a good crowd-pleaser.

The Unbaked Cake

The Unbaked Cake

The Cake

Ingredients:

  • 125g (4 oz.) dark chocolate, chopped, or dark chocolate chips
  • 125g (4 oz.) butter, softened
  • ½ cup (125g/4oz) white sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1¼ cups (155g/5 oz.) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup (80mL/2¾ fl oz.) milk
  • 1 tbsp milk, extra
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a deep 20cm (8 inch) round cake pan.
  2. Place the chocolate in a microwavable bowl and melt the chocolate according to the directions on the package.
  3. Using electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and creamy. Add the eggs gradually, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  4. Using a metal spoon, fold in the sifted flour alternately with the milk. Add the extra tablespoon of milk and vanilla. Stir until combined.
  5. Divide the mixture in two and add the melted chocolate to one portion. Mix well.
  6. Spoon the two mixtures alternately into the prepared pan. Swirl the mixture with a skewer. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Leave the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove it from the pan and let it cool.
The Baked Cake

The Baked Cake

The Chocolate Icing

Ingredients:

  • 100g (3 1/3 oz.) white chocolate, chopped, or white chocolate chips
  • 4 tbsp cream
  • 100g (3 1/3 oz.) dark chocolate, chopped, or dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Place the white chocolate and 2 tablespoons of cream in a small microwavable bowl. Melt the chocolate according to the directions on the package.
  2. Repeat the melting process with the dark chocolate and remaining cream.
Icing the Cake

Icing the Cake

Assembling the Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cake (recipe above)
  • Chocolate Icing (recipe above)

Directions:

  1. Let the cake cool completely.
  2. Place alternate blobs of the white and dark chocolate mixtures on top of the cake.
  3. Swirl with a skewer for a marbled look.
The Finished Cake

The Finished Cake

Comments: The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon of brandy, which I substituted for the extra tablespoon of milk. I was originally planning on not simply omitting it but the tablespoon of liquid improves the consistency of the batter. I did not have an 8-inch cake pan available so I ended up using a 9-inch one. If you do so, the cake will not be as tall and you must shorten the cooking time to around 30 minutes. The cake is best if eaten on the same day it is made. Finally, when you are spreading the icing over the cake, make sure to work fast because it solidifies quite quickly and it becomes harder to spread.

Rich Marbled Chocolate Cake, pedazo

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Cakes

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake, decorated

Adapted from www.sallysbakingaddiction.com

The start of a spring break…too short but a lot of much needed free time. It was my mom’s birthday on Thursday and she had her party on Saturday. I decided to bake her birthday cake and knowing how much she loves lemony things, I found and choose this cake. It’s not hard to make and it is really good. Because of the buttermilk, it comes out spectacularly moist. The frosting is not too sweet and surprisingly light and fluffy, perfect for my mom. Everyone LOVED the cake.

The first layer, frosted

The first layer, frosted

The second layer

The second layer

The Cake

Ingredients:

  • 230g butter, at room temperature
  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 375g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240 mL) buttermilk
  • zest and juice from 3 medium lemons
  • 275g frozen blueberries, non-thawed
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350C (177C).
  2. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter on high until creamy.
  3. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium-high until creamed, scraping sides as needed.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined.
  5. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low for five seconds then add the buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice. Remove from the mixer and stir lightly until everything is just combined.
  7. Toss the blueberries in 1 tablespoon of flour and carefully fold into the batter.
  8. Spoon the batter evenly into 3 greased 9-inch cake pans.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 21-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Remove and cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake, sides

The Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz (224 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (115g) butter, at room temperature
  • 420g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain.
  2. Add confectioner’s sugar, cream, vanilla and salt with the mixer running on low.
  3. Increase to high speed and beat for about 3 minutes.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake, frosted

 Assembling the Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 9-inch lemon blueberry cake layers, cooled (recipe above)
  • cream cheese frosting (recipe above)

Directions:

  1. Place one layer on the cake stand. Evenly cover with the cream cheese frosting.
  2. Top with the second layer and cover with the frosting.
  3. Add the third layer. Top with the frosting and cover the sides.
  4. Add any desired garnishing such as lemon slices, candied lemons or blueberries.

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake, decorated II

Comments: So that the cake doesn’t fall apart when you cut it, put it in the refrigerator at least 45 minutes before serving. Since it is refrigerated, it makes a nice cake for spring or summer. The quantities are very important for this cake in order for it to not be crumbly and dry; therefore, weighing the ingredients is a much better and accurate method for this recipe. You also do not want to overmix at any point. If you don’t have 3 9-inch cake pans, you can always buy the disposable ones. I can’t stress enough how moist and delicious this cake was. Indulge!

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake, pedazo

Ultra Choc-Chip Cake

Cakes

Ultra Choc-Chip Cake

 

Adapted from Crazy for Chocolate

I made this cake for my father’s birthday. As the name clearly states, it is very chocolatey and the chocolate chips add an extra touch to it. You can decorate it with the chocolate zig-zags to make it extra pretty.

The Cake

 Ingredients:

  • 125 g (4 oz) butter
  • 1 cup (185 g/6 oz) Brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup (40 g/1 1/3 oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 cup (125 g/4 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup (60 g/2 oz) cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup (185 ml/6 fl oz) buttermilk
  • ½ cup (90g/3 oz) dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease an 8-inch round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar with an electric beater until light and creamy. Add eggs gradually, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.
  3. Sift the flours into a medium bowl. Add the baking soda and cocoa powder until combined.
  4. Using a metal spoon, fold the flour and cocoa mixture alternately with the buttermilk into the butter mixture. Stir until combined and smooth. Add the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. Leave the cake in the pan for 30 minutes. Then transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

The Icing

Ingredients:

  • 100 g (3 1/3 oz) butter
  • 100 g (3 1/3 oz) dark chocolate, chopped

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small microwavable bowl according to the microwave instructions on the chocolate’s packaging.
  2. Allow to cool.

Assembling the Cake

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate cake (recipe above)
  • Icing (recipe above)
  • Chocolate zig-zags, optional (instructions below)

Directions:

  1. Once the cake and icing are cool, spread the icing evenly over the top of the cake.
  2. Top and decorate with the chocolate zig-zags.

The Chocolate Zig-Zags

Ingredients:

100 g (3 1/3 oz) dark chocolate or chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Wrap a rolling pin with baking paper.
  2. Place the chocolate in a microwavable bowl and melt it according to the directions on the packaging.
  3. Pour the chocolate into an icing bag or piping bag. Drizzle the chocolate over the wrapped rolling pin in zig-zag patterns.
  4. When set, carefully lift off with a flat-bladed knife.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator between sheets of greaseproof paper.

 

Comments: This is a beautiful, delicious, decadent cake. It is also quite simple. The only suggestion I can make is to add confectioners’ sugar to the icing. The picture in the book shows the cake with a nice, thick layer of frosting. However, if you follow the directions for making the icing, you get an icing that’s more like a ganache. If you like the ganache, that’s fine; next time I make this cake, I will try adding confectioners’ sugar to get something more like a frosting. It is also essential that you keep the zig-zags in the refrigerator because they will melt.

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake

Cakes

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake

 

Adapted from Southern Living Vol.48 No.12

 I made this exquisite cake last year for our 2013 Christmas dinner. So, yeah…it’s definitely not for you if you are on a diet, but, seriously, can you resist? It is beautiful, elegant, delicious, and perfect for the holiday season. It also combines two favorite desserts into one: red velvet cake and cheesecake. It is very big, so make sure you have guests before attempting it. You should definitely start this the day before.

Cheesecake Layers

Ingredients:

  • 2 8-inch round disposable aluminum foil cake pans
  • 12 oz white chocolate chips
  • 5 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F (150C).
  2. Line the bottom and sides of the 2 disposable cake pans with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides. Lightly grease the foil.
  3. Microwave the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl according to the directions on the package. Cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Beat the cream cheese and melted chocolate at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating well. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into the prepared pans.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until almost set. Turn the oven off. Let the cheesecake stand in the oven, wit the door closed, for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely (about 1½ hours). Cover and chill for 8 hours or freeze for 24 hours to 2 days.

Red Velvet Layers

Ingredients:

  • 3 8-inch disposable aluminum foil cake pans
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1-oz bottles red liquid food coloring

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C).
  2. Beat the butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
  3. Stir together the flour, coca and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in the food coloring. Spoon the batter into the 3 greased disposable cake pans.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 24 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake, cortada

White Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 4-oz white chocolate baking bars, chopped
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 32 oz powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the chocolate and the boiling water until the chocolate melts. Cool for 20 minutes, then chill for 30.
  2. Beat the butter and chilled chocolate mixture at low speed until blended. Beat at medium speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and salt, beating at low speed until blended. Increase the speed to high and beat for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy.

Assembling the Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cheesecake layers (recipe above)
  • 3 red velvet layers (recipe above)
  • White chocolate frosting (recipe above)

Directions:

  1. Place 1 layer of red velvet on a serving platter. Top with 1 layer of cheesecake.
  2. Repeat with the remaining layers of red velvet and cheesecake, alternating and ending with red velvet on top.
  3. Spread the top and sides of the cake with the white chocolate frosting. If desired, garnish with white candy leaves (recipe below). Store in the refrigerator.
So you get an idea of how tall it is...

So you get an idea of how tall it is…

White Candy Leaves

Ingredients:

  • Bay leaves
  • 2 oz vanilla candy coating

Directions:

  1. Wash the leaves and pat dry. Melt the vanilla candy coating in a saucepan over low heat until melted (about 3 minutes). Stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Working on parchment paper, spoon a 1/8-inch-thick layer of the candy coating over the backs of the leaves, spreading to the edges.
  2. Transfer the leaves gently, by their stems, o a clean sheet of parchment paper, resting them candy coating sides up. Let stand until the candy coating is firm (about 10 minutes). Gently hold each leaf at the stem end and carefully peel the leaf away from the candy coating. Store the candy leaves in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week.

 

Comments: Overall, a wonderful and heavenly dessert. It can feed many, it tastes great and it looks fantastic. I do recommend that you buy the disposable cake pans to keep the size of the layers the same and it makes your job faster than having to clean pans in between cooking layers. Since this is a very tall layered cake, I have some suggestions for cutting it. After cutting once through the cake, dip the blade of the knife in warm water and wipe clean. Then finish cutting the first slice. Repeat this process of dipping the blade in the water before cutting more slices. Most importantly, indulge!

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake, pedazo

 

Mrs. Billett’s White Cake

Cakes

Mrs. Billett's White Cake, fancy

Adapted from Southern Living December 2012

 This is the cake I decided to make for Christmas 2014.  It’s luscious, delicate and absolutely delicious. I think it’s the best white cake I’ve ever had and it makes the perfect dessert for winter. Everybody loved it and even the frosting was perfect. It looks very impressive with the layers and looks great with the fondant or marzipan decorations.

The Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 5 egg whites

Directions:

  1. 1.     Preheat the oven to 350F (177C). Grease 3 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. 2.     Stir together the milk and vanilla.
  3. 3.     Beat the butter at medium speed with an electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed until just blended after each addition.
  4. 4.     Beat the egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the batter.
  5. 5.     Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  6. 6.     Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. 7.     Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely (about 40 minutes).

 

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 1 (32-oz) package of confectioner’s sugar
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. 1.    Beat the butter and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer for 1 to 2 minutes until creamy.
  2. 2.     Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar alternately with the milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.
  3. 3.     Stir in vanilla.

Mrs. Billett's White Cake, Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Assembling the Cake

Ingredients:

  • White cake (recipe above)
  • Vanilla buttercream frosting (recipe above)

Directions:

  1. 1.     Place one of the prepared cakes on a serving platter. Use a frosting knife or spatula to spread some frosting over this layer. Start in the middle of the cake and work your way out, leaving about 1 centimeter (1/2 inch) border.
  2. 2.     Top the frosted cake with another cake. Repeat the frosting process described above.
  3. 3.     Finally, place the final cake on top and frost the top and sides of the entire cake.
  4. 4.     Add any other desired decorations (suggestions below).

 

Mrs. Billett's White Cake, bottom

Mrs. Billett's White Cake, 2 layers

Mrs. Billett's White Cake, frosted

Mrs. Billett's White Cake, decorada

Comments:

Making the cake itself is really quite simple. Possibly the trickiest part is making sure you put about the same amount of batter in each pan. I suggest you make the entire recipe for the frosting. It sounded like a lot so I started out with half of the recipe but it was too little; I ended up making more. The recipe suggests decorating the cake with fondant snowflakes. However, I did not find any fondant and ended up using marzipan, which works well too. I rolled out the marzipan on a surface dusted with some confectioner’s sugar. Then I used star cookie cutters to cut out shapes. I dusted the stars with more confectioner’s sugar and let them dry for several hours. I later brushed some milk over the shapes and sprinkled them with golden and silver sugar crystals and more confectioner’s sugar. Once they were dry, I arranged them around and on top of the cake.

Mrs. Billett's White Cake, pedazo