Thursday, April 29, 2010

Strawberry Cream Cake

My mom invited us over for dinner last Friday night and it was my job to bring dessert. I love nothing more than bringing dessert! It was a nice day, and I was in the mood for something light (well, light considering it was still dessert!), and something non-chocolate. A rare event in my life! During a recent read through of my favorite food blogs, I had seen a recipe for a Strawberry Cream Cake posted on My Baking Addiction. It's a recipe from Ina Garten that Jamie had made for her Easter dinner and it looked so incredibly yummy, and perfect to accompany the grilled turkey my mom was making. Thanks Jamie for another wonderful baking idea!

The cake itself
was delicious on it's own. It's a heavier cake than I normally like, more of a pound cake than anything. It has lemon and orange zest in it so it's infused with a delicious citrus flavor that pairs nicely with the whipped cream topping and strawberries. When I tasted the batter I couldn't wait to try the cake it was so, so good.

A side note regarding zest ....
My husband recently asked what this was. As I was explaining to him that you take the lemon or orange and run the peel of the fruit along the grates of the zest, he asked "so, you're making me eat the peel of the fruit? Gross!" Now any time I say there's zest in something, he has to point out to everyone that they're eating lemon peel or orange peel. Thanks for that! Next time I won't be so specific in explaining how I make something when he asks!

Back to the cake ....
My only issu
e is that the cake sunk in the middle when it was baking. I'm not sure why this happened, but I will blame it on my oven. I will blame most everything on my oven because we don't get along most days! It's a very hot oven; very temperamental when it comes to baking. You'll see in my next post the issues my oven and I have when it comes baking cookies. I usually have pretty good luck with cakes though. Especially since I figured out my oven runs about 30 degrees hotter than normal, but this time my luck ran out. My cake didn't rise very well. But, I figured the whipped cream frosting would cover that up so I didn't worry about it too much!

The frosting is just heavy cream, sugar and vanilla w
hipped into oblivion .... or, more accurately, whipped into frosting. Then I topped each layer with fresh strawberries that luckily were on sale! Yummy! I also added a little orange zest into the whipped frosting to nicely compliment the cake.

If you're looking for a delectable, light cake to make this spring and summer I highly suggest this cake. It was easy enough to make, and the results are fantastic. My dad ate two huge pieces! We pretty much finished the cake that night for dessert. I will definitely be making it again this summer, and hopefully my cake won't sink next time!

Here is the link to Jamie's version and recipe:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Banana Blueberry Muffins

Last week I was in the mood for something other than cereal for breakfast. At the same time I didn't really want anything heavy like french toast, pancakes and bacon. So, I decided to make some blueberry muffins, and since I had a slightly overripe banana, I threw that in too for Banana Blueberry Muffins. I used a recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook that I've used a few times that always turns out, and put a brown sugar cinnamon streusel on top. Yummy! And just what I was craving!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Banana Bread

I lo
ve, love, love banana bread. However, I've only attempted baking it twice. Wait, scratch that, I had to do a do-over this weekend so now three times! The first time I made it I used a recipe out of my Betty Crocker cookbook. This time I used a combination of that recipe along with one I found on the My Baking Addiction website (thanks Jamie!). I liked the ideas she had of using brown sugar and cinnamon, but I liked parts of the Betty Crocker recipe as well. So, in the end I made my own recipe that tasted super delicious!

My first batch didn't cook for some reason. I made a full batch, used a 9x5 loaf pan and also added frozen blueberries. It cooked for almost two hours and it was burnt on the sides and uncooked in the middle. Boo! But I think that happened because of two things. First the frozen blueberries. Maybe if I would have thawed them or used fresh it would have cooked better. Second, I put way too much batter in the pan. It just couldn't cook properly.

My second batch turned o
ut much better. I made half a batch, used a 8x4 loaf pan, and didn't add blueberries. (Mostly because I didn't have any left!) It cooked within 50 minutes and smelled so, so good. The taste was super delicious. A nice banana-y flavor with cinnamon and brown sugar spices. Yum!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010


I love Easter. What's not to love about a holiday that gives you an excuse to wear bunny ears?!

This year I started off with making sugar cookies. My plan was to decorate them all fancy schmancy so they looked like cute little bunny rabbits, eggs and flowers; however, the first batch of frosting I tried tasted so gross I had to toss it! Being that it was 9 p.m. at night, I resorted to the store bought frosting in my cupboard! Yep, I cheated! Better Crocker knows how to make a yummy tasting frosting though!

For Easter day I was asked to provide the cake. I was happy to make something fun and delicious! I started off with making a chocolate cake using a recipe adapted from Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman). I used her chocolate sheet cake recipe, but added a chocolate pudding dry mix to it as well, which gave it more of a brownie like taste and texture. I frosted the cake with a whipped creme type frosting (Cool Whip, powder sugar, vanilla pudding and milk), then decorated with coconut, Robin's Eggs and Peeps. So cute!

Next year I plan to attempt something more fancy! Although this cake is cute and it tasted yummy, I don't feel like it's as good as I can do. Plus, I love a challenge!