Monday, June 23, 2014

Having our cake and definitely eating it too!

If you haven't figured it out by now, I love to bake.  I love all kinds of baking and trying all new kinds of baking.  But through the years I have learned that cake is not my forte!  I can bake cookies, brownies, breads, biscotti, but cake for some reason always gives me a hard time.  Frostings, ok, but cake...  I'll take that box of Betty Crocker.  So, why did I decide to make 2 challenging ones within a week?  I have no idea.  LoL! 
The first one happened for Father's Day.  I asked the hubs what he wanted me to make and he wanted burgers (I could do that!) and white cake.  If anyone knows this man of mine, then they know he is as simple as they come when it comes to food.  Every birthday its white cake and white frosting.  BORING!  So I made the suggestion for a Neapolitan Cake I found on Pinterest.  Remember me saying I'm terrible at cake?  Yeah, I guess I'm a glutton for attempting past failures over and over.  I figured three layers of three different flavors, I have three kids, each get a layer to make and all is happy and equal.  Ha!  I had my work cut out for me!  BUT.  All in all I think it turned out pretty darn good!  Probably one of the best cakes I've made.  :)
Now, where I got the recipe from, she makes 5 layers.  I did 3 whole layers instead of all the cutting layers in half and all that jazz.  Each flavored cake made 2 cake layers, so I used one and wrapped and froze the others.  So, quite literally, I have a whole cake in freezer.  She also used jam inbetween layers and did a strawberry buttercream.  I did regular buttercream between and all over our cake.  Without further ado, here ya go!

Neapolitan Cake
adapted from Sweetapolita
Strawberry Cake

2 cups white sugar
1 (3oz) package of strawberry gelatin (JELL-O)
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs, room temperature
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry puree made from frozen sweetened strawberries (or you could use unsweetened and add a tablespoon of white sugar) (I used fresh strawberries from the market, added 2 T sugar and processed them until they were fully pureed.)

1. Prepare two 9″ round pans (butter and flour, or parchment lined).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Mix vanilla and milk together. Combine and whisk dry ingredients, adding to creamed mixture and alternating with milk/vanilla until just combined. Blend in strawberry puree. Pour into prepared pans.
3. Bake in 350 F for about 25 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes, then inverting onto wire rack to finish cooling.

Chocolate Cake


  • 1 3/4 cups (220 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder - Extra Dark
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (9 g) salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (237 mL) strong, hot black coffee or espresso
  • 1 cup (237 mL) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (119 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure vanilla extract

  • Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 x 9" (or 3 x 8" for slightly shorter layers) cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper.
    2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift all dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients to mixture and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer). 
    3. Divide among prepared pans. Batter will be liquidy.
    4. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean, about 35 minutes. Try not to overbake. 
    5. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.
    Vanilla Cake

    1/2 cup butter
    2 cups white sugar
    3 1/2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    1 1/2 cups ice water
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 egg whites beaten stiff

    Add sugar to the butter and beat until light. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with ice water and vanilla, beating thoroughly after each addition. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour into greased layer pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Cover with Angel Feather Icing and be tactful about the number of candles.

    Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (227 g/2 sticks/8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cups (750 g/1 lb + 10 oz) icing sugar (confectioners')
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) whipping cream (35%)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) water
  • a pinch of salt

  • Directions:
    1. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and icing sugar on low speed until just combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until well-incorporated, about 3 minutes.
    2. Add the vanilla, water, whipping cream and salt, and whip on med-high speed until fluffy and smooth--about 3 more minutes. If consistency is too thick, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time, then whip again for 30 seconds or so. If your frosting is too thin, you can add more icing sugar a few tablespoons at a time until you achieve desired consistency.
    I used the buttercream inbetween each layer of cake and all over.  I had more than enough to be generous with it.  I had some left over so I used a ziplock bag, snipped the corner off and dotted around the bottom and top.  Then I took a cookie cutter I had of a helicopter and put sprinkled inside of it and when I lifted it back up we had a sprinkle helicopter on top.  It looked cute!  I baked 2 flavors of cake 1 day and did the third and frosting the next.  It worked out well and the kids had fun each baking their own special layer for daddy. 

    Next, I had my Bible study ladies over for a fellowship and fun night.  I asked everyone to bring a food that was something momma made, family tradition or something like that.  My mom is such an incredible cook, I wasn't going to try to copy her.  But every year for my birthday I would ask her to make German Chocolate Cake.  She isn't a big baker, but does have a few goodies up her sleeve!  This is one.  It is my absolute favorite!  And no store bought one can  hold a candle to it.  Yum!!  Just don't count the calories and double the frosting.  Yes, you heard me, double the frosting.  Just do it.  Eat it.  And never speak of it. 


    1 (4 ounce) package Baker's German sweet chocolate
    1/2 cup boiling water
    1 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    4 eggs, seperated
    1 tsp vanilla
    2 cups all-purpose flour (I used GF flour and it turned out perfect!)
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup buttermilk

     FROSTING (this is a single recipe...  you know you want to double it.)
    1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    4   slightly beaten egg yolks
    3/4 cup butter
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 cups shredded coconut
    1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

    -Preheat Oven at 350ºF.
    - Melt chocolate in water, cool.
    - Cream butter and sugar.
    - Beat in egg yolks.
    - Stir in vanilla and chocolate.
    - Mix flour, soda, and salt.
    - Beat in flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk.
    - Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
    - Pour batter into three 9-inch layer pans, lined on bottoms with waxed paper.
    - Bake for 30 minutes or until cake springs bake when lightly pressed in center.
    - Cool 15 minutes; remove and cool on rack.
    - Combine evaporated milk, sugar, slightly beaten egg yolks, butter or margarine and vanilla in saucepan.
    - Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat.
    - Stir in shredded coconut and chopped pecans. 
    - Cool until thick enough to spread.

    If you happen to find yourself in a world where you cannot find German chocolate or sweetened coconut like I did, here's what you do...
    For sweet German chocolate simply use semi sweet chocolate and add 1 T sugar per ounce of chocolate.  So for this recipe I added 1/4 cup sugar to the boiling water and 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate.
    For sweetened coconut, I could only find dehydrated or desiccated coconut.  I followed the directions HERE and it worked perfectly!

    Happy Cake Making!!

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