Confetti Snack Cake

Confetti Snack Cake

Ingredients

Cake Cake Cake
4 egg whites, room temperature
¼ cup room temperature unsalted butter
¼ cup neutral oil, such as canola or safflower oil
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine grain sea salt
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
½ tsp almond extract
cup rainbow sprinkles (I found a nice big container in the aisle with ice cream toppings at my local Mega Market)
Cream Cheese Frosting (bookmark this for when you need an emergency small batch of frosting. You never know 😉)
4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature (this is ¼ of a block of cream cheese, or 2 oz)
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk or cream

Directions

Cake (Cake Cake)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 8×8” square pan with baking spray. If you plan to remove the whole cake from the pan to serve, line the pan with parchment paper, leaving some to overhang the edges to easily remove the cake. Or you can skip lining entirely and just leave the cake in the pan for frosting and serving. And eating in one go with a fork.

Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a large-ish bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) combine the butter and oil with these dry ingredients until it has the texture of wet sand. This should take 2-3 minutes.

Mix the almond extract with your buttermilk and add them both to the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula until it is all combined. You’re not going to get rid of all the lumps and that’s okay. Those lumps are just some larger butter bits. Trust me, those butter bits will incorporate into the cake during baking and all will be well.

Gently fold the egg whites into the batter just until you don’t see any streaks of white. Fold in the sprinkles (also gently), just until evenly dispersed. You don’t want to over-stir the sprinkles because they will start to melt and smear into less attractive color streaks 😖

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bang the pan on the counter a few times (startling your pets and family members) to remove any big air bubbles.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the cake from the pan (if you want) and allow to fully cool before frosting.

Using your hand mixer again (you did wash the beaters, right?), beat together the butter and cream cheese. Beat in the sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Add the milk or cream and mix in. Beat all together on high speed until fluffy and light.

Slather the frosting all over the top of your cake, making nice swirlies if you are so inclined. Sprankle with more sprinkles if desired.

Cut a slice and light a candle on top. It’s someone’s birthday somewhere. Google it if you need to. Make a wish and blow out the candle. Consume. Feel good about it 🌈

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Ingredients

1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup dark cocoa powder ( i use a blend of dutched and natural cocoa)
1 tsp espresso powder or instant coffee crystals
¼ tsp fine grain salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 bananas, mashed
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup peanut butter, warmed until liquid
1 banana, split down the center

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8X8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and allow to cool for a few minutes. Stir in the sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt until combined. It will be very thick!

Stir in the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Next mix in the vanilla and the two mashed bananas (i just peeled mine and mashed them up with a fork). You might see little chunks of banana peeking out here and there. That’s nice ☺️

Sprinkle the flour, baking powder, and baking soda fairly evenly over the top of the batter and fold it in gently. The point is to get it all mixed in without over-mixing, which can leave you with tough brownies. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Spoon warmed peanut butter in five or six plops over the top of the batter. Using a knife, toothpick, or skewer, swirl the peanut butter all throughout the brownie batter. Place the two slices of banana on top of the whole thing, with the seedy inside facing up. It’s decorative, tasty, and SCREAMS banana.

Bake for 45-55 minutes at 350° or until the center is no longer jiggly and a toothpick (or knife) inserted in the middle comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.

Allow to cool for at least 30-45 minutes before slicing. You can practice your swivel hips while you wait. Enjoy your brownies. Get all shook up! 🕺🏻

Mixed Fruit Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Mixed Fruit Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Ingredients

Buttermilk Cake
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine grain kosher salt (table salt is actually more salty than kosher salt, but if that’s all you have, just use ½ of a teaspoon. No need to buy special salt if you don’t use it often enough. Even if you should 😉)
2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
Zest of one lemon (you’ll use the lemon juice in the glaze)
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp lemon extract
3 large eggs at room temperature
¾ cup buttermilk at room temperature
3 cups mixed fruit (I used blueberries, blackberries, and peaches, but you can use any semi-soft fruits you have on hand. Berries and soft peaches just work especially well!)
Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tbsp cream cheese at room temperature
Juice of one lemon (told you you’d use it! No waste!)
1 -2 tbs milk (if needed, to make the glaze more… glazey in consistency)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray the inside of your bundt pan with non-stick spray and lightly flour the interior, tapping off the excess flour.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sprinkle 2 tbs over your chosen fruit and toss gently to cover. This will keep the fruit from completely sinking to the bottom of your cake. Set the fruit aside.

Cream together the butter, sugar, and zest until light and fluffy. I find it easier to cream everything quickly if I cut the butter into pieces before adding the sugar and zest. It shouldn’t take any longer than 2-3 minutes to cream after that.

Add the extracts and mix in. Add the eggs, one at a time. Allow the eggs to incorporate completely before adding the next one.

At this point i like to take the bowl off the stand mixer and add the last ingredients by hand. Why? Because the more you mix flour into a cake mix, the more “tough” it becomes as you build nice strong 💪gluten strands. Hand mixing discourages that.

Mix the flour and the buttermilk into the creamed butter and sugar in turns. Start with ⅓ of the flour, ½ of the buttermilk, then flour, buttermilk, and flour. With each addition, only mix until it is just incorporated.

Gently fold in the mixed fruit with a silicone spatula until it is just mixed in and very little of the flour is visible.

Using a spoon, or an ice cream scoop like I do, evenly distribute the cake batter into your prepared bundt pan. Place a folded towel on the counter and give the pan a few good hits on the counter to make sure the thick batter pushes into all the pan crevices. Bam! Bam! Get some frustrations out. Bam!

Bake at 350° for 60-75 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Mine usually takes the complete 75 minutes, but sometimes less, so start checking at 60 minutes and recheck every 5 minutes until you get a clean stick. Cake happens fast. You gotta watch keep checking!

Allow to cool for about 15 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from the pan in whatever way you are comfortable 😉(I say that because is anyone EVER removing a bundt cake from its pan?) Let me tell you how I remove a bundt cake from the pan that has worked 99% of the time (and the other 1% just gets a creative glazing). I gently tap the side of my pan on the counter on all sides of the pan, around and around. This helps each section to loosen from the pan. Then I place the wire rack on top of the pan and flip. Perfect (almost)) every time!

While your cake is cooling, you can prepare the glaze. You want to add it to a completely cooled cake or it will all run down to the bottom, and that’s not good bundting. Just saying.

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and lemon juice with a hand mixer until completely mixed. The glaze needs to be thin enough to pour over your bundt, but thick enough to stay there, so add one tablespoon of milk at a time until you get a consistency you like. I like it to be a little thicker than pancake syrup, if that makes sense. I also like to pour the glaze into a measuring cup with a spout to make it easier to get an even pour.

That’s it! A mixed buttermilk bundt cake that you’d feel good serving for breakfast OR dessert. Not that I ever had a problem eating cake for breakfast 😆

Coconut and Lemon Curd Cake

Coconut and Lemon Curd Cake

Ingredients

LEMON CURD
½ Cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
Zest from the lemons (before juicing them, of course!)
1 Cup granulated sugar
5 Large egg yolks (we’ll use the whites in making the cake and the buttercream frosting, so just keep them in the fridge for now. We’ll need 3 for the cake and 2 for the buttercream, so put them in separate containers.)
½ Cup unsalted butter (one stick) cut into pieces
Pinch of salt
COCONUT CAKE
“Dry Ingredients”
¼ Cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ Cup vegetable or canola oil
1 ¾ Cups cake flour
¾ Cup granulated sugar
2 tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Fine grain salt
Wet Ingredients
1 Cup canned coconut milk (save the remainder for the buttercream)
½ tsp Coconut extract
3 Large egg whites, whipped to soft peaks
Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream
2 Large egg whites
½ Cup granulated sugar
1 Stick of unsalted butter, softened, but still cool-ish, cut into one tablespoon pieces
¼ tsp Coconut extract
2 tsp Coconut milk
Don’t Forget
Sweetened cocnut flakes

Directions

Making the lemon curd

Zest the lemons directly into the sugar, scrinching it with your fingers to get all the lemony flavor into the sugar. Stir your zesty sugar with the lemon juice, egg yolks, and a small pinch of salt in a medium saucepan.

Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken. Continuing to stir, drop in your butter piece by piece, waiting for each bit to melt before adding the next one. Continue to cook until the mixture coats the back of your spoon and running your finger through leaves a nice clean trail. Lick your finger. It’s worth it! You’ve made lemon curd!

Transfer the curd into a bowl, using a small strainer. Press the curd through the strainer with a rubber spatula to remove the zest (it’s fulfilled its zippy destiny) and any possible egg or shell bits. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and refrigerate while we make and cool the cake.

Lemon curd is fantastic on this coconut cake, of course, or dolloped on a scone, on toast, or just eaten with a spoon! If you decide to just make the curd without cake follow through (but why? 😩), it will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. As if.

Let’s make some Coconut Cake!

In a stand mixer, mix together all the truly “dry” dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder) for about a minute. Add your softened butter and oil and mix on low speed until it’s the texture of wet sand and all the dry ingredients are coated in delicious fat.

Now… add coconut milk and coconut extract into the mixed dry ingredients and combine on medium speed for about one minute. There will still be some lumps in the batter, but that’s fine. They will all bake together smoothly. Trust me on this 😉

If you haven’t already done so, whip your 3 reserved egg whites in a bowl with a hand mixer until you get nice soft peaks. You should be able to (but don’t) hold the bowl upside down over your head without egg white falling on you (really, don’t).

Add about 1/3 of this fluffiness into your batter and mix in well. This will “loosen” your batter a bit, so you can better fold in the rest of the whites. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold gently until fully incorporated. If there are a few white streaks left, that’s fine. We just don’t want to deflate the whites. They are going to give your cake such delightful fluffiness!

Pour the batter into an 8X8 pan (a round cake pan will work well too, as long as it’s at least 2 inches deep). Smooth the top and bake in a 350° oven for 24-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool on a rack.

Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Place the egg whites and sugar in a large metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water, making a double boiler. With the water simmering, whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture becomes very thin and opaque (not quite clear, but clear-ish) and warm to the touch. If you have a food thermometer, it should read about 160°, which will get rid of any wee little buggers that live in raw eggs.

Remove from the heat and using a hand mixer (this is too small an amount of ingredients to use in a big stand mixer) whisk on high speed until stiff peaks are achieved. The holding a bowl over your head test works even better here. This should take about 5-7 minutes and, at the end, the sides of the bowl should be about room temperature.

On medium-low speed, begin adding the butter, one piece at a time, only adding another piece when the previous piece has been fully mixed in.

At some point in the “add the butter” process, this is gonna look like a soupy mess 😱 You are going to think that you messed up so bad that you should never be allowed to make anything harder than canned soup, ever again. Don’t spiral! It’s fine. Just keep mixing and adding butter (just keep swimming 🎶).

When all the butter is completely incorporated, you can increase the speed to medium-high. After a few minutes, everything should come together and you’ll have smooth buttercream. Add in your coconut milk and extract and mix for another minute. Done!

Once you’ve mixed it all together, if it still seems a little thin for your liking, you can put the whole bowl into the fridge for about 15-20 minutes and then mix it again for a few minutes.

I know this can seem hard and stressful, especially the first time you make it, but making Swiss meringue buttercream is easier than it sounds. It has a delicious flavor and silky texture and it never gets the hard crust on it that American buttercream does. It only took making it one time for this to become my go to frosting. It’s the one I use on almost all of my cakes and cupcakes!

Coconut Cake! Assemble!

Take your lemon curd and spread it in a thin layer over the top of you cooled cake. I put about 1/4 inch layer, but you might want more or less. If there is leftover curd, oh dear, I guess you’ll have to eat it 😉

Next, spread your buttercream over the layer of lemon curd. I found dropping dollops over the top of the cake and using an offset spatula to spread it was the easiest way to do this. Finally, sprinkle with a blanket of coconut flakes, in your desired thickness.

Slice, serve, and Happy Eating!

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

Cake
Dry Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsweetened Dutched cocoa powder (It will say “Dutched” on the label. In this recipe, if you can’t find Dutched cocoa, it’s okay to substitute regular cocoa powder. No harm no foul, but the Dutched cocoa will give your cake deeper chocolate flavor and darker color, which I prefer.)
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp fine grain kosher salt
Wet Ingredients
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk (whole fat if you can find it, otherwise low fat. Don’t use nonfat 😖)
¼ cup neutral vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup hot coffee with 1 tsp instant coffee or espresso mixed in
Chocolate Ganache
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into tiny bits. Don’t use chocolate chips though. There are all kinds of stabilizers in there to keep them “chippy” in cookies, but are not friends with ganache.
8 oz heavy cream
Oh, and also optional, but really required for maximum happiness
SPRINKLES!!!

Directions

Let’s Make Cake!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray sides and bottom of an 8×8-inch baking pan with with nonstick spray.

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Add in egg, milk, oil, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. When mixed in, stir for about a minute or until smooth. It’s going to look quite thick, almost brownie batter thick.

thick chocolate batter

Add in coffee. and stir gently until completely incorporated. The batter will be very thin, but trust in the cake. It’s going to be fluffy and delightful!

chocolate cake batter

Pour batter into prepared pan. (Ignore the foil collar I McGyvered for my pan. I thought it would do something, but I don’t think so. Long, boring story. Carry on.)

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean-ish. If there are a few stray crumbs on the stick that’s fine. There will be carry over cooking as it cools. Wet stick – no bueno. Cook 5 more minutes or until you get a good stick.

Allow to fully cool on a rack until time to frost. About 30 minutes to an hour. Time enough to make and cool some ganache.

baked chocolate cake

Chocolate Ganache

For ganache, heat up cream to almost boiling. Bubbles should be simmering around the edge of the pan. You can also heat the cream in the microwave for 45 seconds to a minute. You’re still looking for bubbles, but keep your face pressed to that tiny window. Cream can boil over quickly! Pour over chopped chocolate in a bowl and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes. Using a whisk, slowly stir in one direction until smooth. Allow to cool for about 30 min to an hour. It should be thickened but still pourable.

Pour over the center of your cooled cake and use an offset spatula to cover cake edge to edge. Allow to set for at least 30 minutes.

Toss on some sprinkles if the mood strikes. I’m always in the mood for sprinkles! Cut into as many pieces as you feel is appropriate for you. Nine pieces if you’re feeling sharey, four pieces if not. Or if it’s been a rough week, just stick a fork in there and get busy . No judgement. Just cake.