Cake Recipes & Ideas
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Recipe: Apple Carrot Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping and Molasses Cream Cheese Icing
As winter finishes itself off, we often find ourselves with a few remnants of winter eating lingering in the back of the refrigerator: hardy, woody carrots, soft and wrinkled apples. We didn’t want to waste these last, sweet bites of winter. They are perfect for baking, and we shredded and diced them into a moist, tender cake that is deceptively whole-grain and not too sweet and not too rich. It’s a treat, for sure, but it’s all full of good things.
Mar 23, 2009
Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guinness Cake is the Best Way to Enjoy Guinness, Period
As a person of Irish heritage, I always feel a little treacherous admitting this, but honestly I don’t really like to drink Guinness. Still, once a year I do consume a bit of Guinness to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day — not in a pint glass, but in Nigella Lawson’s dark, moist Chocolate Guinness Cake. This cake couldn’t be easier to make—it’s a single layer with a crown of fluffy frosting, and you toss it all together on the stove top.
Mar 17, 2009
How To Make an Anatomically Correct Lego Cake
Speaking of birthday cakes, I made one last weekend. This particular cake was for a friend’s son, who was having his eighth birthday. My friend’s son is madly into LEGOs, and when he saw a building block cake on LEGO’s website, he fell in love. My friend, who is a magnificent cook but doesn’t bake, asked if I would try it. Sure! Why not? I went looking online for LEGO cake inspiration and discovered many, many cakes — but a dearth of really practical directions.
Mar 3, 2009
Is This the Easiest Cake Ever?
Last week, we spotted something called a Nantucket Cranberry Pie over at the blog Cooking Books. It’s a recipe from Laurie Colwin, and it involves so few ingredients and so little effort, we had to make it immediately. Yes, we know those don’t look like cranberries. Bear with us…There were no cranberries to be found at the grocery store (nope, not even frozen), so we went with a mixture of frozen cherries and blueberries.
Feb 27, 2009
Pretty (and) Easy: Polka Dot Cake from Country Living
We aren’t really whizzes with a pastry bag. In fact, we don’t own one. But we think we could get this look using a plastic bag with the corner snipped off. These dots don’t have to be too precise, or even the same size, to be charming…Polka dots are just cute; there’s no way around that. Dots of varying sizes all over a layer cake is simple enough to do, and they can hide imperfections in your icing (if, say, you have a few crumbs that got rustled up).
Feb 23, 2009
Recipe: Sticky Toffee Cakelets
Back in LA for two weeks, I’m having flashbacks to the work I did here a few years ago on my book, The Greyston Bakery Cookbook (Rodale).One of the groups of recipes I added to the book that were not based on products from the Bakery were the individual cakes, which I affectionately called cakelets: Chocolate Molten Cakelets, Steamed Lemon Cakelets, and Sticky Toffee Cakelets. Any of these would be great for Valentine’s Day. Today I’m sharing the Sticky Toffee Cakelets.
Feb 10, 2009
Cocktail Party Tip: Serve Cake Bites on Washi-Tape Toothpicks!
If you’re wondering what kind of dessert to serve at a cocktail party (or really, any party!) let me offer this suggestion: cake bites! This is a fun little way to serve cake without fussing with plates, forks, or even cupcake wrappers, and their poppable nature makes them tailor-made for a cocktail party. Get a recipe: Essential Recipe: Chocolate Layer Cake Making cake bites is super easy: just bake a sheet cake in a larger pan than usual.
Jan 30, 2009
How To Make Whipped Chocolate Ganache
A chocolate ganache is just chocolate melted and beaten into heavy cream. It’s a magic substance; it can be a glaze, a filling, a coating, a solid truffle — it just depends on the ratio of cream to chocolate. I like a ratio of a bit more cream to chocolate for a whipped filling; this ensures that it doesn’t get too hard and difficult to spread.
Dec 9, 2008
Recipe Rescue! How to Save a Broken Buttercream
If you’ve been baking long enough or simply made enough frosting, surely you’ve had your lovely buttercream break into greasy, grainy clumps of sugary butter at least once. If not, at least tell us you have because it’s certainly happened to us – and significantly more than once, too!
Nov 13, 2008
Recipe: Basic Cooked Buttercream Frosting
Also called mousseline buttercream, this frosting is like classic buttercream‘s dolled-up older sister. It requires a little more skill and finesse to pull off, but the bonus is a frosting that will hold its shape and taste fabulous.Mousseline buttercream is made by cooking sugar and water to the softball stage (238°) and then pouring this slowly into the whipped eggs while the mixer is still running. Once this is cool, the softened butter is added.
Nov 6, 2008
My Tussle with Royale Icing
Oh yes I did. Last Monday night I whipped up some sugar cookie dough, and bought some colorants for royale icing that would transform my plain Jane cookies into some hopeful sunrise cookies for election day.I was inspired by all the Obama cookies I found online and in particular the one I featured in my election night menu ideas post. Plus, with an invitation to an election party featuring “Real American Food” I figured some sugar, white flour and dye was in order.
Nov 6, 2008
Recipe Review: Dark Gingerbread Pear Cake
We recently linked to a gingerbread-pear cake in our daily Delicious Links, and lo and behold, we found ourselves with that very same cake in the oven a few nights later. We wanted, you see, to give you a personal opinion.I have a Thing for gingerbread. Gingerbread cookies and gingerbread men – crispy, soft, and chewy – all kinds. Gingerbread lattes, gingerbread bread pudding – mmm, sometimes.
Oct 20, 2008
Tip: Use an Apple Corer to Give Cupcakes a Filling
Whether or not you think cupcakes are a waning fad, as long as there are children in the world and muffin pans for sale, we think they’ll stick around. If you’ve got an apple corer handy (’tis the season, right?), you can make those cupcakes a little more sophisticated and surprising…Once the cupcakes are baked, twist an apple corer down through the top, without hitting the bottom, and burrow out a little tunnel.
Oct 16, 2008
Recipe: Sticky Spiked Double-Apple Cake with a Brown Sugar-Brandy Sauce
It’s harvest time, which means apples, which means that we’ve already made our harvest apple traditional recipe once – and we’ll make it again. What’s this recipe? An outrageously amazing apple cake, spiked up with brandy and drizzled brown sugar sauce. And when we say outrageous here, we mean it. This recipe is from Regan Daley’s fabulous dessert cookbook, In the Sweet Kitchen (see our review here).
Oct 16, 2008
Good Question: Easy, Transportable Birthday Cake?
Birthday party in the park! Here’s a good question from reader Theresa.I am organizing a birthday picnic BBQ for 2 friends next weekend. We’re expecting about 20 guests. Our picnic site is at a park so we have no access to a refrigerator or freezer (just coolers). Could you suggest a birthday cake (or cupcakes? Pies?) that is tasty, easy to make, transportable, and won’t melt at the sight of the sun? Thanks so much!Theresa, a birthday park in the picnic sounds like a blast.
Jul 11, 2008
Fourth of July Flag Cake: A Pretty, Round Alternative
Yesterday we took a “Hot or Not” vote on flag cakes (at the time we’re writing this, it’s pretty much a tie), and then we saw this smaller, round version. Just as festive, but not quite as kitschy. We vote “hot.”See another photo, without the raspberries, below…In the interest of full disclosure, our (Elizabeth’s) sister made this cake. So call us biased.
Jul 4, 2008
Living the DIY Wedding: Angel Food Wedding Cake
That being said, I had no intention of making a towering wedding cake. I just wanted dessert. Dessert around which some tiny semblance of ritual could occur. I looked at recipes for simple cakes, quick cakes, yellow cakes, and chocolate cakes. My trusted catering friend Katy phoned in every day from Portland, Oregon to see how I was holding up. When it came to the cake, she left no room for error and told me exactly what to do. “White cake is much more elegant than yellow.
Jun 27, 2008
Good Question: Help! Why Do Cupcakes Always Get Stuck In These Silicone Muffin Cups?
I received some silicone muffin cups last year as a gift (the fluted stand-alone kind that look like a muffin tin liner). I’ve tried to make several batches of cupcakes in them and every time, not one of the cupcakes has slid out easily; they all break or stick to the sides. I’ve Googled this and rarely find any reviews or blogs where people have this problem. They all swear by silicone’s non-stickiness, so I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Any thoughts?
Apr 15, 2008
Recipe: Coffee Cake with Coffee Glaze
Not to be confused with breakfast coffee cake, our Coffee Cake with Coffee Glaze is a fluffy, moist, and coffee-scented dessert with a sweet, creamy glaze icing. We wanted a lightly coffee-flavored cake with all the moistness and sweet fluffiness of our favorite coconut cake. It took some real testing to get there (we’ll show you our testing process later this week).
Jan 30, 2008
Recipe: Orange and Nutmeg Blueberry Cake
Blueberries are good hot, like when they’re baked into muffins or a cake and they pop just enough to let their juice ooze out in spatters of purple juice. We love them in this cake – it’s a dead easy butter cake, so soft and moist, with orange zest and nutmeg to bring out the flavor of the berries. Good for breakfast, with a crumble on top, or for dessert with homemade ice cream.
Jul 11, 2007
Recipe: Pecan Cake
Rather to my surprise, this cake turned out deliciously light and soft. It has a very airy, tender texture, with a mild sweetness that reminded me vaguely of maple syrup.There is no butter – all the fat comes from eggs and buttermilk, so this is light enough to serve for breakfast with fruit and cream; and yet it’s unusual and grown up enough for an after-dinner dessert, served with dark chocolate or espresso sauce.
Feb 13, 2007
Recipe: Joan’s No Fail Bundt Cake
It’s the Jewish New Year so it’s time to celebrate and reflect. This weekend, since I didn’t have time to make my traditional, from scratch honey cake, I opted for a no-fail bundt cake recipe. I recently learned that the bundt pan was created by Nordic Ware here in the United States after a couple of ladies from the Minneapolis chapter of the Hadassah society asked Nordicware founders, Dave and Dotty, to make a pan similar to the ones their grandmothers used in back in Germany.
Sep 25, 2006
Recipe: Bermudian Rum Cake
We celebrated the birthday of a Bermudian friend a few nights ago. On the menu were Dark & Stormies and Rum Cake, of course. Being with child, I did not gulp a D&S, but I did enjoy the cake. The recipe, in its original form, comes from the birthday boy’s mother in Bermuda, who gets it from Bacardi.
Apr 26, 2006