Tag Archives: cake recipes

15 Angel Food Cake Tips and Tricks

Happy National Angel Food Cake Day!

Anyone who has tried to make angel food cake before knows…it can be kind of a bitch.  The possibility of getting a sunken cake with a dense sponge scares a lot of people from trying to make this light and delicious cake…but with these helpful baking tips, you’ll be able to create a heavenly dessert that comes out perfectly every time!

  • Use cake flour to keep your sponge nice and light.
  • SIFT, SIFT, SIFT!
  • Separate your eggs when they’re cold, otherwise the yolks will break easily.
  • And speaking of eggs, your egg whites need to be 100% free of yolks. If you get yolk in your egg white, toss it and start over.  To save on eggs, separate each egg in a container before dumping the egg white into the bowl…that way if you get a broken yolk, you only have to toss one egg, not the whole batch.
  • LET YOUR EGG WHITES COME TO ROOM TEMPERATURE. This is perhaps the best tip when it comes to making angel food cake.  They should be at room temperature about 30-45 minutes after you take them out of the fridge.
  • When it comes to beating those egg whites, use a very clean metal bowl…or copper if you have one. Don’t use a plastic bowl, as plastic retains oil and fat from previous dishes and that residual oil will prevent your eggs from getting fluffy.
  • There is such a thing as overbeating your batter. Beat just until soft peaks form.  If you overbeat it, the egg whites will deflate and your cake will become dense.
  • As much as you may want to, don’t grease the pan. RESIST, DEAR BAKERS!!  The batter “clings” to the side of the pan, which helps it rise.  Greasing the pan makes it hard for the batter to cling and your cake will not rise as much as it could.
  • However, since you’re not greasing the pan, make sure you do use a “tube” pan with a removable bottom so it’s easy to remove the cake.
  • Also, make sure your tube pan has a center tube that is higher than the remainder of the pan. This helps with cooling and removing your cake.
  • If you absolutely must grease the pan, do a very light coating and dust the grease with sugar so the cake can still cling to something as it rises.
  • Smooth the surface of your cake before putting it in the oven. Angel food cake batter won’t even itself out, like a traditional cake batter would, so if you want a smooth look, you have to do it yourself.
  • Avoid checking the cake and opening the oven door too much. Changes in temperature may cause your cake to fall, and an underdone cake is always at risk of falling.  Try cooking your cake to the minimum time listed on the recipe, then quickly checking for doneness.  Use the oven light if you have one.  If not, make sure you open and close the oven door quickly to avoid a huge change in temperature.
  • Before putting your cake in the oven, gently cut the batter with a metal spatula or knife to break up any air pockets.
  • Cool pan upside down to help cake rise and release from pan.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Pistachio Ice Box Cake

What is it about that artificial pistachio flavor that just tastes so freaking good?  Pistachio ice cream…pistachio cake…pistachio pudding…you’d think the toxic neon green color might deter me, but no.  I love me pistachio flavored anything.

And this Pistachio Ice Box Cake is no exception.  A play on the popular Watergate Salad (another guilty pleasure that I can just eat with a wooden spoon while sitting in my pj’s on my couch watching Gossip Girl), this cake combines only a few ingredients to create a tasty n0-bake summer treat that’s great for, well, anything!

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As is custom with most ice box cakes and pies, this treat gets better the longer it sits.  Since it’s made in a small pan, it doesn’t make many servings, so plan ahead if you plan on making this for a party.  However, because this recipe is pretty simple and VERY budget friendly, this is a great party treat if you double the ingredients and use a larger 9 in. x 13 in. pan instead.

Pistachio Ice Box Cake

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 2.50.16 PMIngredients:

  • 2 (3.4 oz) packages instant pistachio pudding
  • 2¼ cups cold milk
  • 16 oz. frozen whipped topping, defrosted
  • 18 to 20 graham crackers
  • Chopped pistachios for decorating

 

Directions:

  1. Like an 8 in. x 8 in. pan with plastic wrap. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together pudding and milk until combined. Refrigerate 5 minutes.
  3. Fold 8 oz. whipped topping into pudding until combined.
  4. Place one layer graham crackers in prepared pan. Top with half of pistachio pudding. Repeat layers, ending with a layer of graham crackers. Top with remaining 8 oz. whipped topping. Top with chopped pistachios.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Blueberry Muffin Cake

Crispy topping, large plump blueberries, and soft n’ moist n’ fluffy sponge…all the magical ingredients that make blueberry muffins so delicious. But sometimes, one blueberry muffin just isn’t enough…sometimes you just have to take your love of muffins to the next level and craft the most delicious and tasty Blueberry Muffin Cake.

Topped with vanilla glaze, this light and fluffy Blueberry Muffin Cake recipe is one you’ll find yourself coming back to again and again. The streusel topping of this cake adds the perfect amount of sweetness and texture. Serve it as breakfast or dessert…or breakfast dessert!

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Blueberry Muffin Cake

Ingredients:

Topping

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Cake

  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (reserved) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon milk

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray 9 in. round pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine crumb ingredients. Use pastry cutter to combine. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Add egg. Alternate mixing in flour (reserve that 1 tablespoon for later) and milk, finishing with milk. Add baking powder and salt. Mix until mostly smooth.
  5. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon reserved flour over blueberries and toss to coat. This will help keep berries suspended in the cake. Fold berries into cake batter.
    blueberry-muffin-cake-berries
  6. Spread batter into prepared pan. Top evenly with crumb topping.
  7. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
    blueberry-muffin-cake-baked-crumble
  8. Allow cake to cool 15 minutes in pan. Carefully remove and let cool completely on cooling grid.
  9. Once cooled, mix ingredients for glaze. Drizzle on top of cake.
    blueberry-muffin-cake-slice.png

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Cranberry, Orange and Almond Breakfast Cake

This past Sunday, I woke up to a cold and blistery day. The wind was howling at 40+ miles an hour and large rain drops were pounding on the windows. Since it was a rare lazy Sunday when I didn’t have anything to do, I decided to whip up a nice breakfast cake to start the day off right.

I had some cranberries in my freezer from Christmastime and thought it was about time I put them to use. I also had some oranges and almonds left over from other baking adventures, and flipped through my recipes to find the perfect way to marry all these things together.

I finally landed upon a recipe for this Cranberry, Orange, and Almond cake that I saved in my files years ago. As I was making it, the smells of orange and vanilla fumigated my whole kitchen, and I couldn’t WAIT for this cake to come out of the oven!

This cranberry cake is filling enough to be served for breakfast and sweet enough to be served as a dessert. The cranberries burst with a delicious tartness that’s matched with the sweetness of the orange…and it goes perfectly well with a cup of tea, a good book, and a rainy Sunday morning.

cranberry-cake

Cranberry, Orange, and Almond Breakfast Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sliced raw unsalted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup regular butter, melted and cooled (a stick and a half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries (1 1/2 cups)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Grease a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. Combine almonds, 2 tablespoons butter, and brown sugar in a bowl.  Mix to combine.  Place in refrigerator until ready to use (this is the topping to your cake).
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Mix to combine.
  4. Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl on medium high speed until mixture is lighter in color and has increased in volume, about 5 minutes.
  5. Turn mixture to low and slowly add butter.  Turn mixture to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes.
  6. Add vanilla, zest, and orange juice and mix to combine.
  7. Slowly fold in half of the flour mixture into the egg and sugar mixture.  Once it’s combined, fold in the rest of the flour.
  8. Dust cranberries with 2 tablespoons flour, if desired.  This will help suspend your cranberries in the cake so they don’t sink to the bottom.  Once they’re lightly coated, fold them into the cake batter.
  9. Pour batter into your prepared pan and top with the refrigerated almond mixture.  Bake on middle rack for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  If your cake looks done around the edges but still needs to cook because the batter is wet in the middle of the cake, simply cover the cake with aluminum foil and let bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until your cake is done.
  10. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes

One of my all-time favorite flavor combinations is sweet and spicy…and there’s nothing that will get your taste buds in a frenzy like chili and chocolate.  Spicy chocolate is a genius invention and one of my go-to guilty pleasures.  If you haven’t tried it, I recommend you give it a shot.  To get the full sensation, melt some dark chocolate in a double boiler.  Create medallions on wax paper by spooning the chocolate on the wax paper when it’s melted.  Sprinkle each medallion with a little cayenne pepper and use a toothpick to swirl the powder into the melted chocolate.  Let harden and enjoy.  It may not seem spicy at first, but these little guys have a kick…and will bite back!

So when I was given the task of baking some yummy treats for my bother’s fiancee’s bachelorette party, I just had to try making spicy chocolate cupcakes!  What better way to top off a ladie’s night?  Oh, and I did make these weenie cake pops, which I thought you might enjoy!  HAHA!  I mean, it was a bachelorette party!

Anyway, back to these chocolate cakes.  I didn’t want the spice to be too overwhelming, so I just added it to the icing.  If you want a little more heat, add it to the batter.  It’s really up to you.  Just remember, when it comes to cayenne pepper–a little goes a long way!

Spicy Chocolate Cakes

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Frosting:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine boiling water and cocoa, stirring well until all the cocoa is dissolved.  Let mixture cool completely.
  3. Place sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat until well blended, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and stir with a whisk until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  6. Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of one cupcake comes out clean.  For these cakes, it’s best NOT to use cupcake liners, since the icing is poured onto the cool cake and hardens over time.  You can place cupcakes in liners once the icing has set.  Let cake cool completely before frosting.
  7. To make icing, melt the butter in a pan.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Use a tablespoon to skim off the foam on top of the melted butter and discard.  Set aside the clarified butter, also discarding the milky liquid in the bottom of the pan.
  9. In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
  10. Remove the chocolate from the heat and pour the clarified butter into the chocolate.  Stir until smooth.
  11. Add cayenne pepper and mix until combined.  Add more to taste if the heat isn’t strong enough for you!
  12. Let icing sit for about 5 minutes to thicken.
  13. Place cakes on a cooling rack with a pan underneath to catch extra icing.  Pour icing over cooled cakes and let sit for at least 2 hours to let icing set.
  14. If you have extra icing, you can drizzle it over the cupcakes after the first layer sets.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Pistachio Cupcakes

Hey everyone!  First of all, I’m so sorry I’ve been absent recently!  I’ve been crazy busy and haven’t had much time for blogging this past week, but I have something to make it up to you…

This past weekend was my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower…and I was in charge of the sweet table.  This is part of the reason I’ve been absent…since most of my free time was spent baking!  I experimented with some different flavors and techniques and, as a little treat, I’m going to share with you my recipe for pistachio cupcakes.  This is a great cake to make for a bridal or baby shower.

I made little mini cupcakes, but you can easily make larger ones or even make a full cake.

I also included some stamped orange sugar cookies, which were a HUGE hit!  Maybe I’ll share that recipe with you guys, too… 🙂

The shower theme colors were hot pink, green, black, and white…so I had a lot of fun with the dessert table!  Here’s how it all came together:

ANYWAY, let’s get to those cupcakes, huh?  Here’s a recipe that nut lovers are sure to go, well, “nuts” over!

Pistachio Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcake:

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 package instant pistachio pudding
  • 1 handful crushed pistachios (optional)
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup club soda

Frosting:

  • 1 tub whipped frosting (white)
  • 1/2 package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 2-3 drops green food coloring
  • 1 handful crushed pistachios (optional)


Directions:

1.  To make the cupcakes, place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Mix gently to combine.  Continue to mix until everything is incorporated and you have a smooth batter.  If you want your cupcakes to be a darker green, you can add some food coloring, but the pudding mix adds just enough color to make it a soft pistachio green.

2.  Pour it into prepared muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees F for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool completely before frosting.

3.  For the frosting, combine the frosting, pudding mix, and crushed pistachios in a bowl and mix until combined.  If you want to darken your frosting, add green food coloring.  I added 2 drops to get the nice green tint.  Decorate to your heart’s content!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Chocolate Pomegranate Cake

My manfriend will be the first to say that I am addicted to pomegranates.  I love them.  Whenever I’m at the store and pomegranates are on sale, I stock up like they’re going out of season permanently. I don’t know if it’s the tangy taste or the fact that those beautiful jeweled seeds look stunning on almost everything, but pomegranates are a great go-to for my snacking needs.

I don’t know what it was that inspired me to create this cake, but somehow I got the idea to mix chocolate, orange, and pomegranate together for the ultimate in flavor explosion.  What resulted was a delicious chocolate cake that would be the perfect ending to a light spring or summer meal.

You can use whatever chocolate cake recipe you’d like…you could even make it from a box if you so desire.  If you do make a box cake, try substituting the water with orange juice.  It will create an even taster cake!

After your chocolate cake is baked and completely cooled, blend and strain 2 cups of pomegranate seeds (probably 1 large pomegranate).  Add 1 tablespoon of juice to 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar to create a glaze.  The amount of glaze you’ll need will depend on how big your cake is.  For my 9×12 cake, I used about 10 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 4-5 tablespoons of pomegranate juice.  Pour over the cake and let set, about 1 hour.

Once your glaze is set, simply decorate with more pomegranate seeds, orange zest, and shavings of white chocolate.  This is a moist and delicious light dessert that everyone is sure to love!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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