Thursday, February 26, 2009


How cute are these?! Cute chocolate and vanilla flowers...or something like that-only rather than smelling them, I'd much prefer eating them. Anyway, I've been on a mission to find the quintessential most fudgiest, most chocolaty, most sinful, most sink-your-teeth-into-heaven kind of chocolate cake. And folks, I think I just found one and it has been staring me in the face for years. Right there on the back of the Hershey's cocoa can. This cake is just that; fudgy, chocolaty, rich, dark, and sweet. This recipe satisfied 6 regular sized cupcakes and one rather large 8X8 cake which I then cut in half (cross-sectioned) and then created 2 layers from each half resulting in a wondrous very high 4 layer cake. I frosted the cupcakes with chocolate and vanilla buttercream using large open and closed flower tips.

The cupcakes and frosting were a cinch to whip up and I highly recommend you do so! The cake baked very dark and rich and the buttercream was a great compliment. Oh, and did I mention that I filled these bad boys? Yep. Nutella. I filled each cupcake with Nutella to the brim for an extra blast of chocolate-ness. One more thing, this is a one-bowl recipe. I repeat, one bowl recipe! If that doesn't have you rushing into the kitchen as we speak then I don't know what would! Ready. Set. Go.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake from Hershey's

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (Cake may be left in rectangular pan, if desired.) Frost with ONE-BOWL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING. 8 to 10 servings.

ONE-BOWL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING *for the vanilla buttercream I eliminated the cocoa*
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter in medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Whitney of What's Left On The Table is to thank for this weeks TWD recipe. Although the original recipe called for chopped Heath Bar bits on top thus resulting in a Caramel Crunch Bar; I went with chopped cappuccino and butterscotch chips on top. That explains the renaming of this recipe above. A buttery shortbread kind of a crust smothered in milk chocolate and topped with cappuccino and butterscotch chips. Yum. This recipe was sinfully easy and even more sinful to shovel down my gullet. The crust has bits of finely chopped chocolate, of your choice, throughout, which created a super chocolaty treat. I went with milk chocolate as opposed to bittersweet chocolate because, lets face it, I prefer a less sophisticated chocolate in a bar such as these. I want to get the closest to an original Hershey's bar as I can! I put these in the freezer and slowly but surely they are vanishing before my own eyes. Eeek.

You can find the recipe here! Be creative and switch up the toppings. Butterfinger, anyone?

Monday, February 23, 2009


In addition to the cupcakes below I made a birthday cookie cake for the boys. I used this very basic cookie dough recipe, flattened it on a round pizza pan, baked it, cooled it, and lastly, decorated it. This was SO GOOD. The cookie was super soft and chewy with chunks of milk chocolate chips. This was probably the biggest hit of the night and it was so easy to make. I used canned chocolate and vanilla frosting (the nerve!) for the border piping and decorations. I'm trying to work on my handwriting so I used a plain round tip for the happy birthday slogan. How'd I do?

If you need something quick, fun to make, and very tasty then go with this cookie cake. You can change it up and add peanut butter, nuts, raisins, oats, etc. I will definitely be making this again in the near future!

Friday, February 20, 2009


My dogs are 1!! Happy Birthday to Boomer & Bentley!! Since I don't have any children yet (I'm still young!) my dogs are my children for the time being. I got Boomer and Bentley last April when they were 8 weeks old and 10lbs each. My have they grown into beautiful big boys weighing in at 70lbs a piece! Wednesday was their 1st birthday and in honor of them, I'm throwing them a birthday bash tonight filled with cupcakes...and cake...and crunch bars...and cookie cakes...and--yea, you get the point.

Here are some before and after photos:

Baby Boomer & Bentley at 10 weeks old

Grown up Boomer & Bentley at 1 year!
And yes, I realize that they are bigger than me. And I swear, I'm totally sane.

These banana cupcakes are one of several desserts that I made for the party. I used this basic banana cake recipe and added mini chocolate chips. I topped with whipped cream, Hershey's chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry! For the whipped cream I literally just dumped whatever I had left in the carton, whipped it up, and added an extremely large amount of powdered sugar until it was very sweet! I put the cream in the fridge for about 20 minutes before decorating and it piped beautifully. The cold whipped cream also enabled the chocolate sauce to hold its drizzle. These tasted exactly like a banana split and were really easy to make. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater for being bold enough to
choose this cake for our TWD selection this week. You see people, this cake is the cover to the bible
that is Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan. This very cover is the cover that
inspired so many to purchase the book, bake the recipes, and experience the mind blowing delectable
outcomes! Again, thanks Stephanie! So, where do I start? This cake was a true winner. The chocolate
layers were as rich, moist, and chocolaty as can be. I used Lindt bittersweet chocolate as well as chopped
Trader Joe's milkchocolate throughout the batter. Now the frosting...oh the frosting. Billows of
marshmallow meringue blanketed the surroundings of the chocolate layers like white on rice. I used
my mini kitchen blow torch to brown the top of the cake which, by the way, was baked in a 5 inch pan
so that I had enough batter to make these......

Cupcakes! Yes, delicious little mini devils white out cakes topped with swirls of browned marshmallow
meringue and a sprinkle of chocolate flakes. Talk about the perfect the little treat. These tasty little
cakes definitely suffice. In conclusion folks, this cake is a keeper! This is the kind of recipe I will print
from the book,laminate, frame, and hang in my kitchen as a story in the bible of Dorie Greenspan which
should never be forgotten! Please do yourself a favor and check out the recipe at Stephanie's blog here!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Voting Begins on Sunday March 1st @ 8pm thru Friday March 6Th at 12noon at No One Puts Cupcake In A Corner. Click here to vote for me on March 1st!

The ultimate caffeine cupcake. Espresso, mocha, and cawfee (for all my fellow NY'ers) oughta give you a lift on those dreadful early mornings when it's still dark out. You know the ones. I experience them daily. 530AM visits to the gym. Not a pretty sight.

This month's Iron Cupcake secret ingredient is, as you can see, coffee. I love the flavor of coffee in baked goods and especially ice cream! Coffee has such a powerful rich flavor and paired with the right ingredients can create a delightful treat.

Daniel Boulud is a famous French chef with restaurants all over the country, most notably NYC--lucky for me, I live here! One of my most favorite restaurants belongs to him, Cafe Boulud, which is this fantastic French cuisine restaurant with the most mouth-watering unique dishes. While searching around for the quintessential coffee flavored cupcake, I stumbled upon Daniel Boulud's chocolate coffee cupcake recipe. How can a girl resist? I was sold.

This cupcake has a chocolate coffee base to the actual cake. It is filled with an espresso buttercream which I created myself for an extra umph and then topped with a mocha ganache and white chocolate whipped cream (which was to die for). I sprinkled cocoa powder on top and added a chocolate covered espresso bean for garnish. Holy DELICIOUS! These cupcakes were a real hit and boy was I glad that I entrusted my Iron Cupcake entry with Mr. Boulud himself. I served these in coffee mugs on tea plates adorned with cappuccino chips. If you're looking for a coffee kick, go with these!

Prizes provided by Etsy artists:
A pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES
Also, CAKESPY, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice!
SWEET CUPPIN CAKES BAKERY AND CUPCAKERY SUPPLY will be adding some prizes for February.
Corporate prize providers:
HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers

Chocolate coffee cupcakes with Mocha Ganache and White Chocolate Whipped Cream

(Recipe By Daniel Boulud)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup instant coffee powder
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter -- at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Mocha Ganache
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup coffee beans -- crushed
8 ounces milk chocolate -- finely chopped (I used Starbucks Mocha chocolate bar)
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar -- sifted

Espresso Butterceam (my own recipe)
1 cup butter, softened or at room temperature
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3-4 Tablespoons Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso & Cream, or until desired consistency

White Chocolate Whipped Cream
8 ounces of white chocolate chopped (I used Lindt)
2 and 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make the chocolate-coffee cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 30 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

Combine the milk, cocoa, coffee and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, constantly whisking, until the cocoa and coffee have dissolved. Let cool and pour into a liquid measure.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk mixture in three batches, ending with the liquid. Fill each muffin cup halfway with the batter. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the mocha ganache:( I whipped the ganache once cooled to make it fluffy)
Combine 1 cup of the heavy cream and coffee beans in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and let infuse for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean sauce-pan and bring back to a boil. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the hot cream over it, stirring slowly, until the ganache is smooth. *If you want a fluffier ganache which makes for easier and more attractive application, wait for the ganache to cool to room temperature then put in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on high speed until desired consistency* Spoon enough ganache over each cupcake to fill the liners to the rim.

To make the White Chocolate Whipped Cream:
Put the white chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl. In a small sauce bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 1-minute, then whisk until smooth. Let the white chocolate cream stand until cooled to room temperature.
In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters beat the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream and vanilla until softly whipped. Stir in the white chocolate cream and beat until fairly stiff. taking care not over beat, which would cause the ganache to separate.


Next up: Southern Coconut Cake.

This month's Cake Slice Baker's entry was this Southern Coconut Cake from the book Sky High Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes. This cake is clearly Valentine's Day appropriate based on the colors and decorations I used. As far as the actual cake went, it was really delicious. The cake was very light and not overly sweet while the icing was fantastic. I got many compliments today at work with every one of them relating back to the "lightness" of the cake. I once again quartered the recipe and baked it in an 8inch heart pan. I tinted the frosting pink and used red fondant to cut out the mini hearts. In the center of the cake, using my angled spatula, I etched a heart and then filled with red sugar crystals.

Check out all the other amazing cake slice bakers and their versions of this southern coconut cake!

Southern Coconut Cake

Makes an 8-inch triple layer cake (I made 1/4 the recipe to fill an 8inch heart pan)

For the cake:

5 large egg whites

½ cup of milk

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

3 cups of cake flour

2 and 1/3 cup sugar

4 ½ teaspoons of baking powder

½ teaspoon of salt

2 sticks of unsalted butter (8oz.) at warm room temperature

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Butter the bottoms of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a parchment circle and butter the circle.
  2. Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk slightly. Add the ½ cup of milk and the vanilla and whisk to mix thoroughly; set aside.
  3. In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, beat dry ingredients well in order to break up any lumps. Add the butter and coconut milk on low speed and beat just to combine. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the egg white mixture in 2 or 3 additions, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Divide the batter among the pans.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake taster inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Then turn the cakes out and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To assemble the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on an 8-inch cake round. Cover this layer with 1 cup of the buttercream frosting. Spread it evenly all the way to edge of the cake. Then sprinkle ½ cup of shredded coconut on top. Add the second layer and repeat the process. Top with the final layer of cake and frost the top and sides of the cake.
  7. Place the remaining 1 ½ cups shredded coconut on a large baking tray. Pick up the cake and hold it on the palm of one hand over the tray. Using the other hand scoop up the coconut and press it to the sides of the cake. Continue with this process until the sides of the cake are covered. Set the cake on a serving plate and sprinkle any remaining coconut on top of cake. Chill cake for at least one hour to allow frosting to firm up a bit.

Cream cheese buttercream frosting

12 ounces of cream cheese* slightly chilled

1 stick of unsalted butter plus 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter (7 ounces) at room temperature

1 cup of confectioners sugar, sifted after measuring

2 teaspoons of vanilla

1 cup of granulated sugar

¼ cup of water

3 egg whites

  1. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium speed until slightly fluffy and smooth. Add the butter 1-2 tablespoons at a time, mixing until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Set aside at room temperature while buttercream is made.
  2. Combine the granulated sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Continue to cook without stirring until the syrup reaches the softball stage 228 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  3. Meanwhile, place the egg whites in mixer bowl and have the mixer ready to go. When the syrup is ready, turn the mixer on med-low and begin mixing the egg whites. Slowly add the hot syrup to the whites taking care not to pour onto the beaters, it may splash. When all the syrup is incorporated, raise the speed on the mixer to med-high and beat the egg whites until mixture has cooled and stiff meringue forms.
  4. With the mixer on low, begin adding the cream cheese mixture by the spoonful. When all is incorporated, raise the speed to medium and whip until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Cake Garnish:

2 ½ cups of sweetened flaked coconut for garnishing cake

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Truffles come to mind when I think about Valentine's Day. I think about all the pretty boxes of chocolates out there from Godiva, Hallmark, Russel Stover, et al. I enjoy eating them even more! Anyyyyyyyyyyyyway, day 2 of V-Day treats were these cake ball truffles. While shaving off the tops of the layers from this cake, I saved it, crumbled them up and then mixed in this cream cheese frosting.

I used small heart cookie cutters to make the heart shapes, froze them for a bit, dipped them in milk chocolate, drizzled white icing and placed a small little candy heart on top. I put all of these in a Valentine decorated tin with a bow and served them at work. They were a HUGE hit. These are such a great way to show your loved ones how sweet they are!


Valentines Day was always a holiday that I never really cared for. I've felt this way whether I was single or not. I'm not a pink and hearts kind of girl and I was never a fan of holidays that put the focus on me, i.e my birthday, etc. I always got a bigger high out of giving, rather than receiving, therefore I'm displaying my distaste for this holiday by baking Valentine's Day treats all week for my office.

Day #1 of VDT (Valentine's Day Treats) are these red velvet cupcakes with a vanilla bean buttercream and fondant heart garnish. I don't know about you but what says Valentines Day better than red velvet...? Exactly. I took this recipe from the amazing Baked cookbook. The preparation for this red velvet was unlike any other I've ever made. The cocoa powder and food coloring "bloomed" in boiling hot water for about 10 mins and the baking soda was mixed with cider vinegar and added in last. The end result? Delicious.

I thought I'd switch it up a bit and rather than using the traditional cream cheese frosting I went with a vanilla bean buttercream which I kind of just put together last minute. On some of the cupcakes I piped the buttercream with a fondant heart on top and for the remaining cupcakes I added red decorating sugar to the bowl of buttercream to give it an extra kick. Not only would I highly recommend making these cuppies but I also would highly recommend buy this book! More VDT to come...

Red Hot Velvet Cake With Vanilla Bean Buttercream
Adapted from BAKED cookbook
(Makes 3-8inch cakes or 24 cupcakes)

For The Cake:
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red gel food coloring
1/4 cup boiling water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

For The Buttercream:(my own recipe)
1 cup of butter, at room temperature
4 cups of confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise-or more to taste-use the empty beans to make vanilla sugar
1/4 c. milk

Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and boiling water. Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir the buttermilk and vanilla into the cooled cocoa mixture.

Sift the flour and salt together into another medium bowl. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, to the egg mixture in three separate additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until incorporated.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda and stir until the baking soda dissolves; the mixture will fizz. Add to the batter and stir until just combined.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes *(cupcakes took about 18 mins), rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment

Make the buttercream:
Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Add the vanilla bean. Gradually add the sugar and beat well being sure to scrap down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk until desired consistency.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Rad. Remember the word rad? It was big time back in the late 80's and it was surfer/west coast lingo for "cool" or, according to the dictionary is slang for wonderful. While the word rad is completely outdated it totally applies to this cake. This. Cake. Is. Rad. I'm in love with the color schemes! Didn't you hear..? Brown, pastel blue and purple are the new "it" colors. OK, I completely made that up but they really should be because they look so darn rad together. If you haven't already noticed, I'm quite into this cake...And the taste...oh, the taste. Fluffy white cake engorged in homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. What's better?

I made this cake for a 65Th birthday this past weekend. I tripled this recipe using a 10-inch square spring form pan to create 3 layers. This recipe set up just like boxed cake mix, only you actually make the "cake mix". I made a few extra "cake mixes" to keep on hand when I'm in a rush. They are really great to have in your kitchen. Just add the wet ingredients and you're done. I used this vanilla buttercream recipe to decorate. This cake was fantastic! I even had some batter left over and made 1/2 dozen cutie cupcakes.

Say it with me folks, rad.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I had some extra batter left over from my rejection cupcakes last week and made 1/2 dozen of these pretty purple lined chocolate cupcakes. I'm not really a purple kind-of-a gal but I got all these great colored liners and figured I'd use them. I may not be into purple but I'm definitely into coordination so I paired these cuppies with purple sprinkles. I slabbed some classic white frosting on top and wallah, I had myself some pretty cupcakes. That's all for now...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Lets just say that I've had the desire to make these cookies for over a year now. You can imagine my excitement when Jessica of Cook Book Habit chose them as this weeks TWD selection. Can we say yum.These cookies were soooooo awesome. Crunchy, chocolaty, and crispy with an overwhelming, yet delicious, taste of chocolate bound by mini chocolate chips. These cookies were a cinch to whip up and baked beautifully. I have the entire bag in my freezer for frequent snack breaks! The next time I make these-and yes, there will be a next time-I'm going to substitute the mini chocolate chips for toffee bits. Mmmm.

Check out Jessica's blog for the recipe!

Monday, February 2, 2009


The next cake I made from our fabulous group, The Cake Slice Bakers, was this sweet potato cake with an orange filling and chocolate cream cheese frosting. I saw sweet potato cakes popping up all over the web on my favorite blogs this year but never tasted it before. I love sweet potatoes, love cream cheese frosting, and love orange flavoring so how could I go wrong here?

Well, I'm so glad I made this cake because it was absolutely delicious. While it tasted very similarly to a pumpkin cake, the sweet potato really mended well with the orange tang and spices which included nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.

Now for the frosting...ahhh, this sweet scrumptious frosting really did the trick. I really whipped it up good so that it would have more of a light whipped cream consistency rather than a thick dense cream cheese texture. For whatever reason I piped "CAKE" with a wanna-be flower and garnished the borders with shells. This is a cake that I would absolutely make again. Enjoy.

2 medium or 1 large sweet potato (12 ounces)
3 cups of cake flour**
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of cloves
5 eggs, separated
2 and 1/4 cups of sugar
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 and 1/4 cups of milk

(**The recipe calls for cake flour and if you only have all-purpose flour on hand, you can substitute 3/4 cup (105 grams) all purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch.)

(*If fresh sweet potato is not available where you live you may use canned sweet potato, yams, and pumpkin puree)

Makes a 9-inch triple layer cake, serves 16-20 people

1. Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Prick the sweet potatoes in 2-3 places, place on a small baking dish and bake for 1 hour or until the potatoes are very soft. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

2. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F degrees. Butter the bottoms and the sides of the pans and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper also.

3. When the sweet potatoes are cool peel off the skin and remove any dark spots. Cut the potatoes into chunks and puree in a food processors. Puree until smooth. Measure out one cup of potato puree and set aside.

4. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves. Set aside.

5. In the bowl of electric mixer add the egg whites and attach whip attachment. Beat on medium speed until egg whites are frothy. raise the speed to high and gradually beat in 1/4 cup of sugar. Continue to beat until the egg whites are moderately stiff.

6. In another large bowl with the paddle attachment, combine the sweet potato, butter, vanilla, and remaining sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl after each egg yolk is added. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and milk in alternately in 2-3 additions. making sure to begin and end with the dry ingredients.

7. With a large spatula, fold in one fourth of the egg whites into the batter to lighten. Then fold in the remaining egg whites until no streaks remain. Making sure to not over mix or this will deflate the batter. Divide the batter among of the three pans.

8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake layers cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then turn out the cake layers onto a wire rack and cool completely at least 1 hour.

9. To assemble the cake, place one layer flat side up on to a cake stand. With a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip and filled with chocolate cream cheese icing, pipe border around the edge of the cake. Fill the center with the orange cream filling smoothing it to the edge of the border. Place the second layer on top and repeat the process.Place the third layer on top and use all the chocolate cream cheese frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Cream Frosting:
makes 3 cups
10 ounces cream cheese*** at room temperature
1 stick of butter at room temperature
16 ounces of powdered sugar; sifted
1 and 1/2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate melted and slightly cooled

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar to cream cheese butter mixture. Making sure to scrape down the sides the sides of the bowl. Then beat until light fluffy 2-3 minutes.

2. Measure out 1 cup of frosting and set aside.

3. Add the melted chocolate to the remaining icing in the bowl and beat until well combined.

Orange Cream Filling:
1 cup of reserved cream cheese icing from above.
2 tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 teaspoon of orange extract

1. Stir together all the ingredients until well mixed.


Well, a new year calls for the joining of new groups. As if I haven't dedicated enough of my time to my interactive baking groups, I decided to go ahead and join another; The Cake Slice Bakers. Of all the various baked goods out there, I definitely enjoy baking/creating cakes the most so I knew this group would be for me. Plus, it didn't hurt that I already purchased the book that we are baking from (Sky High Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes) months ago. Now I have a real opportunity to actually bake the cakes that lie within the pages of this monstrous book. I'm a few cakes behind so I did my best to catch up this weekend.

First up was this banana cake with praline filling and white chocolate ganache. This cake was outstanding. The cakes in this book are all 8 to 9inch triple layer cakes and being that one of these would feed a family of 100 I decided to scale them all down to a single 6inch-3inch deep cake round which was then cut into 3 layers by halving the recipe and then halving them again (thus creating 1/4 the recipe). I have never scaled a recipe down this much so I was a bit skeptical but it came out perfect! After baking a few of these cakes scaled down I realized how much I love love love mini cakes like this. They are so cute and fun and make for a great gift. The guys in my garage were very grateful :)

The Cake:
makes a 9-inch triple layer cake
(I made 1/4 of the recipe by scaling down-notes in red)

3 cups of cake flour* 3/4 c
3 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder 3/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp
1/2 teaspoon of salt 1/8 tsp
3/4 cup of milk a little more than an 1/8 c
1/2 cup of ripe mashed bananas 1/8 c
8 ounces of softened unsalted butter 2 oz
2 cups of sugar1/4 c
7 egg whites 1 egg white + 3/4 egg white

Praline Filling: (I made the full amount)
1 cup sugared pecans, cooled
1 and 1/2 cups white chocolate ganache

Sugared Pecans: (I made the full amount)
1 and 1/2 cups pecan halves
3 cups vegetable oil
1 cup confectioners sugar

White Chocolate Ganache: (I made the full amount and saved the extra)
8 ounces of white chocolate chopped
2 and 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper or wax paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside dry ingredients. In a food processor or blender, process the milk and banana into a smooth light puree. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. On medium high speed, beat in egg whites 2-3 at a time until smooth. Scraping down the sides of the bowl between egg additions.
  4. With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and banana puree alternately in 2-3 additions, beating until just blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium-high speed for 1-minute. Divide the batter among the cake pans.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of each cake. Let the cake layers cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto a wired rack and remove the paper liners. Then cool completely one hour.
  6. To assemble the cake, put one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Cover the top evenly with half of the praline filling, leaving a 1/4"-inch margin around the edges. place the second layer on top, again flat side up, cover it with remaining filling. Finally add the third layer and frost the sides and top with the white chocolate ganache. Garnish with sugared pecans.
Praline Filling
  1. With a large chef's knife chop the pecans. Or pulse in a food processor being careful not to turn into paste.
  2. Add the sugared pecans to the white chocolate ganache and stir to mix well.

Sugared Pecans
  1. Place the pecans in a medium sauce pan, add water to cover, and heat to a boiling. Boil the pecans slowly until they are swollen and soft 5-8 minutes. Drain the nuts well in a sieve for about 5 minutes. (Do not pat dry; the nuts must remain damp.)
  2. While the nuts are draining, heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan or deep fat fryer t0 350F degrees.
  3. Set half of the nuts aside. Dust the remaining nuts in the sieve with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Shake the sieve to coat the nuts evenly, letting any excess sugar fall away. Immediately add the coated nuts to the hot oil. Fry until golden brown about 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon scoop the nuts out and drain them on several thickness of paper towels. Repeat the process with the remaining nuts.

White Chocolate Ganache
  1. Pu the white chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl. In a small sauce bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 1-minute, then whisk until smooth. Let the white chocolate cream stand until cooled to room temperature.
  2. In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters beat the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream and vanilla until softly whipped. Stir in the white chocolate cream and beat until fairly stiff. taking care not over beat, which would cause the ganache to separate.