Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chocolate Layer Cake~ Super Easy

This is super easy. I really like boxed Devil's Food cake mix, I add chocolate chips into mine to make it more chocolatey!!

Spray your cake pans with non-stick and then flour them lightly! You need this if you bake them flat. 
Make box as directed and allow to cool until cake is cool to the touch. I used 2 9inch circle pans and I baked them flat- here is a really simple method:

Use 2 CLEAN towels and cut them into 2 inch strips, soak them in cold water and ring out, use safety pins to secure them around the pans. When the batter is in the pans, tap them on the counter lightly until you no longer see air bubbles surface. When you put your cakes in the oven, pull the shelf out and place the pans on. If you slide them, the towels make get stuck and pull off of your pans.

 2 cups of confectioner sugar
2 T butter (use real butter) softened
2T milk
1/2-1t vanilla extract (depends on how much vanilla flavor you like)
In a bowl, combine the sugar, butter, milk and vanilla, beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.This should take you about 5min for truly smooth frosting

So how to make the layers:
When the cakes are completely cool,  use 2 pieces of wax paper and 2 plates; layer in this order
wax paper
wax paper
plate on top

You are cutting your cake into 3 thin pancake layers. Repeat this next step.
Using a long serrated edge knife, slice the cake using the edge of the plate as your guide. Then carefully flip the thin pancake that you just make onto your cake platter. frost

Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Cupcakes


3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour add in 1/3rd cup oil.
Pour batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

The batter is somewhat thicker than typical cupcake batter but it tastes great.

Fluffy, light, delicious, peanut buttery... what more can I say? This is the frosting I used on top of the chocolate cup cakes and it was a hit. My niece was literally eating it out of the bowl.

2 cups confectioner sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup stick of butter room temp
4-6 T milk
1 bag of reeces mini bites

Place the confectioner sugar, peanut butter and butter in a medium bowl. Add in the Milk 1 T at a time and use a hand mixer to blend in between each addition of milk. Add more milk as you go until it is the desired consistency, for a thicker frosting use 4T for something smoother use 6T.
*You want the frosting smooth enough to flow through a decorating tip No.12 without getting jammed but also not so smooth that it loses it's shape on the cupcake. 
Top each with a mini bite

For added fun, I actually filled these cupcakes with left over frosting that I added 2 more T of milk to. I used a catheter syringe (thank you medical friends). If you cannot find one of these, use a turkey baster. You want to fill the cupcake until you see it puff out a bit.

Strawberries and Cream Pancakes

This is so delightful and simple. I use a boxed pancake mix, I have found that homemade mixes tend to be a bit too thick for my taste.

1 box of chocolate chip pancake mix
1 pint of strawberries
1 tub of coolwhip

Make the pancakes as directed, while they are cooking wash and slice the strawberries, remove Cool Whip from the freezer to give it time to thaw a bit.

When pancakes are finished, layer pancake, strawberries (about 4 per pancake) and cream in 3 stacks.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lavender Cupcakes- The Hummingbird Bakery

The cupcake sponge- compliments of the HummingbBird Bakery- This is not my recipe but I made them and they are tasty!

* 120ml whole milk
* 3 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
* 120g plain flour
* 140g caster sugar
* 1½ teaspoons baking powder
* 40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 egg
* 12 small sprigs of lavender (optional)
* 25ml whole milk
* 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
* 250g icing sugar, sifted
* 80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
* A couple of drops of purple food colouring (optional)
* A 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases
1. Put the milk and dried lavender flowers in a jug, cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if possible. Do the same with the milk and lavender flowers for the frosting, in a separate jug.
2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark three.
3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
4. Strain the lavender-infused milk (for the cupcake) and slowly pour into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed.
5. Add the egg and beat well (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).
6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
7. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Lavender frosting

1. Beat together the icing sugar, butter and food colouring, if using, in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
2. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Strain the lavender-infused milk and slowly pour into the butter mixture. Once all the milk is incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed.
3. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy (at least five minutes). The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
4. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the lavender frosting on top and decorate with a sprig of lavender, if using.


After the holidays my mantle was so bare so here is what I did to spruce it up...

Dollar Store Finds:
6 tea light medium height candle holders
6 pillar candle holders
2 tea light tall height candle holders
2 tea light short height candle holders
1 class ball
tall vase
white paper jack o'lantern
silver vase filler
styrafoam board
Large mirror

Take your 6 medium height tea light holders and flip them upside down- hot glue the pillar candle holders to the base of the tea lights

Use the rest to arrange as needed

The styrafoam board I cut out an L with OVE cascading down.