Cakes/Cupcakes

Triple-Chocolate Cake

In some homes, chocolate cake may not be a traditional Thanksgiving dessert but in my home, chocolate is always a welcome addition.  I came across this recipe for Triple-Chocolate Cake in Cooking Light Magazine last month and knew right away I’d be making it for Turkey Day.  This cake has cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, and milk chocolate and yes…it’s chocolatey!  The cake is made with egg whites instead of whole eggs and the middle layer of filling is made with whipped topping so the overall cake is light and moist.  The top glaze of bittersweet chocolate and cocoa is the richest of all layers but it doesn’t overpower this delicious cake.  I plan on saving a little bit of room after dinner tomorrow and sitting down with small plate of this cake and a little glass of milk.  I’ll be honest, this might even be my breakfast on Friday.  😉

The cake ingredients:

Combine boiling water, cocoa, and bittersweet chocolate in a bowl and mix until chocolate has melted.  Cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar, butter, and vanilla.  

Beat in egg whites one at a time, mixing thoroughly.  Add in sour cream and beat well.

In a smaller bowl, combine cake flour, baking soda, baking flour, and salt.  Alternate adding flour mixture and chocolate mixture into sugar mixture.

Pour batter evenly into two cake pans sprayed with non-stick spray and lined with wax paper.  Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.

The filling ingredients:

In a small saucepan, combine milk, sugar, and cornstarch.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook for one minute.  Remove from heat and add chopped milk chocolate.  Stir until chocolate is melted.  Cover and cool.

Once the milk chocolate mixture has cooled, fold in the whipped topping.

The glaze ingredients:

In a small saucepan, combine powdered sugar, milk, cocoa, instant espresso, butter, and a dash of salt.  Cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove the cooled cake from the pans.  Top one layer of cake with the filling and spread, leaving a small border.

Carefully place the other layer on top of the filling.

Pour the warm chocolate glaze over the top of the cake, spreading to cover the top.  Let glaze drip over the edges if necessary.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Frosting

I wanted to make cupcakes to take into work for Halloween but found myself not being satisfied with the chocolate cupcake recipes I was finding. So I decided to combine two recipes, one for the cupcakes and one for the frosting, to come up with these Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Frosting. The cupcake recipe comes from Shape Magazine and is lighter in calories than normal cupcakes but you would never know it. The cake, which includes a wee-bit of coffee, is light and chocolately, just what I wanted. And the frosting (which I colored orange), while not lighter in calories, is thick and sweet. I made these cupcakes while The Rocky Horror Picture Show blared on my television in the background and the whole scenario got me into the Halloween spirit. Happy Halloween!

The cake ingredients:

Cream butter together with the sugars (I forgot brown sugar in my ingredients picture).

Slowly add in the dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk.

Pour into cupcake pan lines with paper liners and back at 350°F for 20 minutes.

The frosting ingredients:

Cream together the butter and combine with the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.

Drop in food coloring, if desired.

Additions: None

Omissions:

  • Almond extract

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Shape Magazine and Coastal Living Magazine

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I admit that this wasn’t the first time I’ve made this Pumpkin Cheesecake.  The first time was about eight years ago and I remember two things vividly:  1) I went to the store to buy a springform pan and picked up the last one just as another guy was about to pick it up.  He wasn’t happy.  2) I left out the flour entirely.  It was good anyway.  If you like pumpkin cheesecake but don’t let yourself eat it because it’s too fattening, fret no more.

This is a lighter version to try.  I have to confess – I HATE fat-free cream cheese.  It feels like rubber, has an aftertaste, and seems like fake food.  But when it’s mixed together with either reduced-fat cream cheese or regular cream cheese, it blends in enough that you don’t really notice that it’s in there.  This recipe calls for both fat-free and 1/3 less-fat cream cheeses and when they are mixed together with the pumpkin, you’d never know the difference.  The crust is nothing more than butter and crushed reduced-fat vanilla wafers (if you want your home to smell good, throw vanilla wafers in the oven for an AMAZING aroma!)  My sister borrowed this recipe from me a long time ago and we both still talk about it.  It’s THAT good!

The ingredients:

Mix together crushed vanilla wafers and melted better and pat into a springform pan.  Bake at 400 degrees and cool.

Cream together the cream cheeses until well blended.

Add in sugars, flour, salt, spices, and vanilla.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, then the pumpkin.

Pour into the springform pan over cooled crust and bake at 325 degrees.

Allow to cool and top with whipped cream, if you so desire.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Texas Sheet Cake

Some of you may have never heard of Texas Sheet Cake but it’s a thin, rich chocolate cake that I remember my mom making frequently when I was little.  The cake itself isn’t uber-chocolatey like a death-by-chocolate cake but it doesn’t need to be.  The batter is spread out onto a cookie sheet, baked thin, and covered with a velvety, sinful layer of more chocolate goodness.  The frosting is the real star of this show.  Butter, cocoa, and buttermilk are cooked together and then blended with powdered sugar, vanilla, and walnuts.  As it cools on the cake, it thickens while still staying creamy and decadent.  Texas Sheet Cake isn’t just a chocolate cake – it’s THE chocolate cake to make.  Think of it like a lighter (in texture, not calories!) version of a frosted brownie.  Whether you made it with your mom like I did or if you’ve never tried it before, please put it on your to-do list. 

The cake ingredients:

Bring butter, water, and cocoa to a boil in a saucepan.

Add in the dry ingredients.

I’m pretty sure I used sour cream instead of buttermilk here now that I look at the pictures, but the cake turned out phenom anyway!

Pour the batter into a sheet pan and bake at 375ºF (Tip: make sure  your pan isn’t as shallow as mine was or you might end up with frosting all over your counter…just sayin’!)

The frosting ingredients:

Add butter, cocoa, and buttermilk to a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add in walnuts.

Carefully pour the cooked frosting over the cooled cake (again, make sure your pan is deep enough to contain the frosting!).

Once the frosting has cooled, dig in!

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Reduced-fat sour cream for buttermilk in the cake 

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

Buttercakes with Sour Cream Frosting

Because MLB playoffs are in now full swing (bahaha! pun intended!), I made these Buttercakes with Sour Cream Frosting with the sole purpose of celebrating this time of year that we in Philadelphia call “Red October” (it’s a Phillies thing).  While I would love to tell you about the amazing Phillies game I witnessed in person on Saturday evening, I’ll tell you instead about these yummy, baseball-themed cupcakes.  They really are nothing more than frosted yellow cupcakes but the cake batter smelled so good, I wish I could’ve stuck a wick in it and called it a candle.  Having never tried sour cream frosting before, I was a little skeptical.  But the sour cream toned down the sweetness of the powdered sugar, similar to cream cheese frosting, and I loved it.  Whether you want to make cupcakes to celebrate a birthday, a shower, or your favorite team, these cupcakes are winners!

The cake ingredients:

First, cream together the butter and sugar.  Make sure the butter is room temperature – it’ll blend better.

Next, incorporate the eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla.

Carefully add the dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, until fully blended.

Look at the adorable baseball-themed cupcake liners I found!

Fill the liners 2/3 full and bake at 350ºF.

The frosting ingredients:

Cream together the butter and sour cream.  Again, use room-temperature butter.

Slooooooooowly, add the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.

If you don’t have a pastry bag to frost the cupcakes, you can use a freezer bag with the corner cut off (like I did!), or spoon it on.  Just make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely first.

Decorate as you wish and enjoy!

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Reduced-fat buttermilk

 Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I know cupcakes are nothing new and that people have been baking them for birthday parties for a very long time.  Yet these days, it seems cupcakes have become sort of hip and everyone is making them.  Me included.  My sweet tooth loves a yummy cupcake with the individual portions of soft cake and creamy frosting.  I found these Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting when I was looking at other food blogs.  I came across a beautiful blog called Glorious Treats and stopped immediately when I came to these cupcakes.  I’ve been experimenting with making my own peanut butter frosting and haven’t quite gotten it right.  I think this one does.  I took some to my work and everyone who tried them took one bite and walked away with a smile on their face.  Sinfully delicious.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions: 

  • Reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1/3 less fat cream cheese

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  http://glorioustreats.blogspot.com/

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