Monday, October 18, 2010


I recently made a few cakes, with the help of my two year old for a charity fund raiser. My cakes seem to always place, but I think the judges are biased cuz my cakes taste good, cuz they aint always perty!
Both cakes are fabulously moist and fairly simple. The chocolate frosting is insanely rich, so you can only eat a small slice!

Italian Wedding Cake

source-Sandra Lee

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup sweetened flake coconut, divided in half
2 cups chopped pecans, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, buttermilk, egg whites, and extracts. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in crushed pineapple, coconut, and 1 cup pecans-to decorate like mine only add 2/3 cup. Divide batter into 2 prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until tester inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then turn out on to wire racks to cool completely.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1-(2/3 to decorate like mine) cup pecans and frosting. Frost the top of each layer stack on top of the next layer. Use remaining frosting to frost the entire outside of cake.
*To decorate cake toast the remaining 2/3 cup pecans(in their whole form) in a pan over medium until fragrant. Toast coconut in the same fashion until lightly brown. Bake a border on the top and fill middle with coconut.
*For my frosting I cream 8 oz softened cream cheese with a stick of butter. Then I added 2-4 cups powdered sugar, depending on the consistancy you like. Last, I added about half a teaspoon of vanilla.
Chocolate Cake
adapted from the blog Simply Recipes

3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp salt
¾ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
2 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup + 2 Tbsp water
1 cup + 2 Tbsp canola oil
5 large or 4 extra large
¾ cup water
1 ½ tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and cocoa.
Add 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of water and 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Mix for 1 minute. Add eggs, 3/4 cup of water, vanilla. Mix 5-6 minutes with a whisk, 3-4 minutes with a hand mixer, or 2 minutes with a KitchenAid mixer.
Pour into three 9" cake pans, bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Test by placing and removing a toothpick through the center at 22 minutes. When toothpick comes out clean, loosen from pans cool on rack until almost cool. Once almost cool, wrap in plastic wrap, put back in pans(to hold shape) and freeze for an hour before frosting.
Chocolate Frosting
adapted from
14 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped-I used ghiridelli chocolate chips
9 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
9 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

To make the frosting, melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. You can also use the microwave on a low setting, stopping in intervals to mix. Set aside to cool until just barely warm. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate and vanilla. Then the sour cream. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and well blended.
*To make the frosting raspberry, add 1/2 or seedless raspberry jam, or more to taste.
*This stores well in the fridge if covered tightly, but it takes time to come back to room temp.

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