Monday, April 30, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Hello everyone! Since I was first introduced to Pinterest, I have been addicted! I see so many good ideas and wonderful recipes to try; sometimes all I need is an excuse to make them! This weekend one of my friends came over to visit our new family addition. It was the perfect excuse to bake something, don't you think? :)
That same day I had re-pinned a post I saw for this wonderful cinnamon roll cake. I took a quick look at the ingredient list and thought: perfect! I have all the ingredients at hand! I double checked with my hubby to see if this was a good choice for a treat (and I assumed that it was a go by the little puddle of drool pooling on the floor as I showed him the pictures), and set on to start the cake.
The recipe is pretty straight forward, and the end result was oh so yummy! The original post recommends that the cake be served warm, and I would second that motion. When the cake is warm, it really resembles a cinnamon roll straight out of the oven. The recipe says to add nuts as an option, and I added some walnuts for a little crunchiness. It was nice, I think I could go either way on the nuts. 

Cake batter:
-3 cups AP flour
-1 cup sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-4 tsp baking powder
-1 1/2 cup milk
-2 eggs, room temperature
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly

Cinnamon mixture:
-1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
-1 cup brown sugar
-2 Tbsp AP flour
-1 Tbsp cinnamon
-2/3 cups nuts (optional)

-2 cups powdered sugar
-5 Tbsp milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13; baking pan, set aside.
With an electric mixer, mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in the 4 Tbsp of melted butter. Pour batter into the greased baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, 2 Tbsp of flour, cinnamon, and nuts until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoon, and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick come out nearly clean from center.
As the cake comes out of the oven, place powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl to start the glaze. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve cake warm (we like it straight out of the oven) or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from  Six Sisters' Stuff

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stationery card

Fresh Lime Boy Birth Announcement
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Favorite Chocolate Frosting

Oh my, two posts in one day! :) I am trying to make up for lost time...
This post though is about a chocolate frosting that I have tried recently and made some modifications to suit my needs/wants. Whenever needing a plain chocolate frosting recipe, I've used this one recipe, which is pretty reliable. What I don't really like about it is how fast it sets! So you better be ready to frost your cake/cupcake when you are finished with the frosting or else it hardens and then you are out of luck.
So I figured it wouldn't hurt to try another recipe... and when I read this one from Annie's Eats, I knew I had to try. I tried, my husband tried, my brother-in-law tried... and our verdict was that, although nice and smooth/silky, it was a little too sour. So, second time around trying this recipe, I made it with heavy cream instead of sour cream. I like it this way much better! But both recipes deliver a nice not over-the-top sweet, very chocolate-y frosting :) This has definitely surpassed my previous frosting choice!
Oh, and a side note: do NOT skip on the sifting step of the confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder... I did that the first time and the frosting came out with little clumps... that got stuck when trying to pipe through a star tip. Second time around, I sifted both items and got much better results!
And a second side note: both cupcakes shown above (and below) were decorated with the same tip! If you start from the center and go outwards, you get the rose look (on the left in the picture below)... if you start making your "swirl" from the outside in, you get the ice cream cone-like piping (On the right in the picture below)... Neat huh?
Chocolate Frosting
Melt the bittersweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (make sure to not let the boiling water touch the bowl!). Set aside to cool until just barely warm. 
While the chocolate is cooling, in a separate bowl, sift and whisk together the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Gradually mix in the sugar/cocoa powder mix and add about 2 Tbsp of the heavy cream. Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate, until the mixture is smooth and well blended. If necessary, add another 1 Tbsp of heavy cream (depending on your desired consistency of frosting). 
Frost cupcakes immediately before the chocolate hardens and the frosting sets.

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats

My favorite vanilla cupcake

Wow... it has been a while since I last posted. Things got away from me, busy life took over, and now it seems like forever since I last wrote a post. 
As an update to our personal life, I am due any day now (!) and looking very much forward for baby #2 to arrive. I am officially on maternity leave and hope to take some of this time to post some of the stuff I've made but just not posted. 
On to the recipe though! I have been looking and looking for a good, reliable, and simple vanilla cupcake (or cake for that matter) recipe. I've tried many but never found one that would truly deliver the same results every time. I like the little dome on top of the cupcake, and I like the cake itself to be moist but with good consistency. AND (not to be picky or anything), I like it when it doesn't take a whole bunch of bowls, I don't need to whip up the eggs separately (which does deliver a good fluffy cake, but man... the extra work...), and I don't have extra mess to clean up!
So, have I finally found the recipe "of my dreams", you ask? I think so! :) So far this recipe has made me very happy, and I can officially say that I can retire the cake box mixes for vanilla/yellow cakes (I've already done that with my chocolate cakes/cupcakes!).
So here is the recipe, from one of my all-time favorite food bloggers Annie from  Annie's Eats . I didn't modify/tweak this recipe at all; it's that perfect (I just omitted the lemon zest for the same reason Annie did too)! :) You can basically pair this cupcake with any frosting you want, which I chose (this time) to frost with a nice chocolate frosting (another recipe that has become my go-to one!)
Vanilla Cupcakes
Make 12 cupcakes

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup milk
1-1 ½ recipes easy vanilla buttercream frosting (or any other frosting you want)

Get your ingredients ready!
Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.  Set pan aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
 In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla extract. 
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter (about 2/3 up the cup) and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan 5 minutes.  Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Prepare frosting.  Decorate cooled cupcakes as desired.

Recipe from Annie's Eats