It’s been “caketastic” around the Pleasants house for the past week. I’ve been on a personal baking bonanza and I think we will all agree that it has been absolutely great! It’s definitely not the most weight conscientious thing to do but it has all been delicious! Let’s not forget about those incredible peach pies I made last week. I’ve been enjoying my latest baking adventures. I can also see where I’ve improved and what more I probably need to do to hone my baking abilities. The three recipes that I used are all great recipes especially for a home cook like me. I wouldn’t say I’m a beginner baker because I’ve been baking for quite some time. I would say that I’m not a consistent baker. I bake mostly for holidays. I had almost called myself a beginner baker but then I remember those Caramel Apple pies I made when my husband and I first got together. That was at least 15 years ago maybe longer. So I’m definitely not a beginner baker but I would love to be better. I used to do a lot of boxed cake mixes and pre-made pie crusts and dough but I’ve felt comfortable enough to experiment with making my own doughs and batters.
Our week of Cake Cake Cake starts off with a breathtakingly moist chocolate cake! I was tired of the boxed cake mixes and wanted to tackle the chocolate cake from scratch. I must say I hit this one out the park thanks to NellieBellie.com . I found this recipe on you know it…Pinterest! The pin boasts that it’s “the best, homemade chocolate cake” so that made it worthy of at least one try. It also didn’t hurt that I had everything on the ingredient list in my cabinets and refrigerator. That always makes me happy! A tip this recipe stresses is to let your ingredients come to room temperature prior.
This is a really easy cake mix for any level baker. I was very much at ease following the recipe which instructs you to mix and beat the batter after the addition of every ingredient including adding the eggs one at a time. I used my standing mixer, although a hand mixer would do, and if not, by hand always works. This batter was smooth and not too thin or too thick. It poured beautifully into the cake pans that I had previously sprayed with baking spray. The recipe will advise you to use parchment paper and next time if I have some on hand I would give it a shot, otherwise as you can see from the last picture above, the cakes came out perfectly. They released from the pan easily and held its shape. After allowing the cakes to cool I fixed the chocolate frosting recipe that accompanies this delicious cake. 3 ingredients is all you need for a great frosting and I could not believe it. Two sticks of softened butter (please be sure to soften it – key to consistency), cocoa powder and powdered sugar. This frosting was light and tasty. It spread easily and smoothly on the cake layers and I didn’t need a ton of it. The first mistake I can tell you I made was not allowing my cake layers to cool long enough before I started frosting the bottom layer. So when I saw it melting, I threw it in the fridge to finish cooling. So next time I will be patient and allow the cakes to cool completely so I will get that visibly fluffy layer of frosting in between my cake layers. Otherwise this came out perfect. The cake and frosting were both perfect. This poor cake didn’t stand a chance in our house. It was gone and we were all a little sad that it went so fast.
Next up on our Cake Cake Cake week were the cupcakes that I made for the kids and their friends.
The recipe I found for my vanilla cupcakes is courtesy of LiveWellBakeOften.com . I found this recipe to be simple too although I thought the full fat sour cream was random. Lucky for me I actually had some in the refrigerator so I was able to stay on task and whip these up pretty quickly. These tasty treats whip up with only 8 ingredients for the batter. The vanilla frosting is as simple with half the ingredients. The consistency of both the batter and frosting were good. The batter was kind of thick so it scooped well in the ice cream scooper. If I had to change anything I might use milk instead of the sour cream or add some in addition to the sour cream. These cupcakes weren’t dry but they were definitely on the verge of being dry and it only took them about 17 minutes to bake up. Once my frosting was ready I decided to use the piping bag to decorate them. That has never been my forte’ and I wanted them to be cutesy since the kids would be sharing them with their friends at the playground. I did alright if I must say so myself. I went a little farther and added crumbled Oreo’s and gummy worms to the tops of most of them. The kids loved them. Okay, the adults loved them too. They were sweet but not overly sweet and they were the perfect size bite of cake.
The same day, yes I said, same day I also made my first pound cake from scratch too. That recipe came compliments of TheStayatHomeChef.com . It’s appropriately titled “Classic Pound Cake” and it is most definitely classic. Here’s a little knowledge in case you didn’t know but it’s called a pound cake because it is made with a pound of all the ingredients. Yep 1 pound of butter, 1 pound of sugar, 1 pound of eggs and 1 pound of flour is all you need for a piece of classic nostalgic pound cake like some good old lady you know makes. It was a ton of batter and it was heavy. It took me a little while to get it all blended and mixed well. The recipe notes also include variations for Vanilla, Almond, Sour Cream, Cream Cheese, Rum, Lemon and Cornmeal pound cake. I’m a vanilla fanatic so I went in that direction. In addition to the 4 pounds of ingredients I also added 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract to the batter. I popped it in the oven and then I had to leave to go to PTA so I left my husband in charge of seeing it through and taking it out. After fulfilling my PTA duties I was back at home to finish dinner (Gumbo – yes that too was homemade) and see how my lovely pound cake turned out. First let me warn you, you need a back brace to pick it up. The cake released easily from the bundt pan onto the cooling rack. I was impressed because it looked official. I knew that somebody’s momma would be proud of this and then I remembered that I am somebody’s momma and I was proud. If it tasted as good as it looked, I was winning.
The recipe notes also provided a quick vanilla glaze to cover the pound cake. It took literally two minutes to whip up the glaze with powdered sugar, water, and vanilla extract. I did decide to incorporate some heavy cream when I thought it needed more liquid. The cake absorbed the glaze while the remaining pooled and cooled on the bottom of the cake dish. This pound cake was a WINNER! Hands down I am probably the most pleased with the pound cake. All 3 of these baked goods were delicious and exceeded my expectation. I think my Granny would be the most impressed with the pound cake – like this pound cake was better than some of these so-called professional bakers I know pound cake. I gave myself a pat on the back for my effort and my family sang my praises too.
If you must know I’m still baking away too, just a few hours ago I baked up two apple pies! But you’ll have to wait for the next blog post to hear about that! Thanks for stopping through, I hope I inspired you to bake up something tasty too!
Oh and here’s a picture of the gumbo that I also made that night. That’s another blog post in the making too.
Till Next Time…Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!
A Very Pleasant Mom…Tameka