Tag Archives: Cake

Merry Happy

29 Dec


Phew. I’m awhirl with emotions. It’s been a great year, and I’m sad to see it go, but there’s still so much to celebrate!


Please forgive my delinquency. Not to make excuses, but in addition to the usual distractions, I’ll be starting a new job next week! Change is in the air, and blogging about cake has suffered for it. Eating cake has not, and as small amends, I’d like to share my favorite recipes from this holiday season.

Lately, recipe edition:

1. Nantucket Cranberry Pie– The Pioneer Woman strikes again. I’ve made this pie for no less than four occasions this holiday season (one of which being “I just wanted pie”). It’s tart, it’s sweet, part pie, part cake. All delicious.

2. Vanilla Peppermint Cupcakes– Oprah did good on this one. I followed the recipe exactly, except for the frosting. I used 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar instead of 3 1/2, and they turned out just sweet enough for my taste. The peppermint is just enough to feel seasonal without being too overwhelming.

3. White Chocolate Ginger Ice Cream– From David Lebovitz. My favorite part of Thanksgiving dessert. The ginger perfectly balances the white chocolate for one darn good ice cream. A+++ will make again (sorry, eBay humor).

4. Vegetarian Lasagna– I love this recipe for a go-to winter meal. It feels lighter than other lasagna, but still has all the cheesy goodness.

I hope it’s been a magical season for you and yours, and I look forward to getting back to regular blogging again in 2014! Happiest of holidays from me to you. xo!


Birthday Cake!

3 Mar

“Birthday cake is just about the happiest outcome flour can hope for.” Amen. There’s nothing quite as good as birthday cake, and no better excuse to make it than my sweet husband’s birthday!


He’s a pretty traditional guy. Doors are opened for ladies (check), Fridays are for bow ties, and birthday cake has yellow cake and chocolate buttercream frosting. End of story.


For his 33rd (er…fifth 29th) birthday, I also spelled out his name in sailing flags (a good nautical theme never goes amiss in this house).


My awful confession is that I didn’t even finish putting the cake together until the day after his birthday! Hand over wife-of-the-year award any time. However, a tasty piece of cake and a cold glass of milk makes for a great Sunday breakfast. mmmm


I used Smitten Kitchen’s best birthday cake recipe and Savory Sweet Life’s chocolate buttercream recipe to make the magic. The cake was moist and flavorful and the frosting was sweet, but without the grocery-store-cake-sugar-coma effect.


So after assembling, slathering, sprinkling and slicing, we had our cake…and ate it, too. Birthdays are best as two day affairs, right? Happy Birthday, David!


Birthday Cake

Yields two 9 inch cakes and 4-5 cups frosting


4 cups plus 2 tbsp cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs, room temp

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups buttermilk


3 sticks butter, room temp

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp table salt

3 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

6 1/2 tbsp heavy cream (or milk will do)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and set aside. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 3 mins). Add one egg at a time and mix until incorporated after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Alternate adding your buttermilk and flour mixture, starting and ending with the flour (1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk) (add at low speed to avoid a flour dusting).

Once your ingredients are fully mixed, pour into buttered 9 inch cake pans and bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean. Once removed, let your cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then run a knife around the outside and invert to remove from the pan, and let cool completely for 1 hour.

For your frosting, beat butter in stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Sift flour and cocoa powder (I’m a big fan of sifting here, keeps you from having lumpy frosting!) into your stand mixer on low speed and mix until incorporated. Add your vanilla, salt and heavy cream/milk and beat on medium speed until evenly combined. If your frosting is too thick for your liking, add more cream/milk. If it’s too runny, add more powdered sugar.

Slather on your frosting and eat cake for breakfast! Or any ol’ time.


1 hour

Lemon-Lavender Pound Cake

26 Jan
There are multiple reasons you have to make this pound cake, not least of all because it tastes good. Hear me out. It’s winter. It’s cold. You’re longing for spring, and struggling to get the proper doses of sunlight, activity and citrus. Let me help you with one of these.

Good news is, it’s winter citrus time! The winter season is actually when citrus fruits are at their best. Ergo, make the cake, eat the citrus, prevent scurvy. Let’s make a day of it– National Scurvy Prevention Cake Day. It’s for your own good.

DSC_0332 DSC_0338
Just the colors of this loaf make me happy. Pastel yellows and purples tell of a time when the grass is green, the flowers are in bloom and Game of Thrones is back on HBO. Come to me, spring!

Let’s talk about the lavender, though. You might think of soap scents rather than culinary flavors, but lavender adds a sweet yet spicy (think rosemary) taste to baked goods. It’s a great complement to the lemon and honey in the cake and glaze. And personally, I like steeping the lavender in milk. I find it really brings out the flavor while keeping flowery bits out of your cake.

The recipe is a twist on the classic pound cake from Martha Stewart, and a great reminder that Winter Spring is coming.

Lemon-Lavender Pound Cake

Makes 1 5×9 loaf


1/2 cup milk

3 tbsp dried culinary lavender

1 stick plus 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp lemon zest

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

3 large eggs, room temp

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp honey

2 tsp lemon juice


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Put milk and lavender into small saucepan and heat over medium high until scalding in temp. Remove from heat and strain milk into clean bowl. Squeeze the strained lavender in your hand to extract additional milk. Leave your bowl to cool.

In stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on high until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Zest you lemon and mix with flour and salt in medium bowl. Add eggs separately to stand mixer and beat each time until just incorporated. Add vanilla extract and mix well.

Alternate adding your flour mixture and lavender-infused milk into the stand mixer, starting and finishing with the flour. Mix until all ingredients are well-incorporated, then pour batter into loaf pan greased with cooking spray or butter.

Cook at 325 degrees for 80 minutes, or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let your loaf cool on a wire rack in the pan for another 30 minutes.

For the glaze, sift powdered sugar into medium bowl, then add milk, honey and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. Remove your cake from its pan then pour the glaze over top. Slice and enjoy!

2.25 hours

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