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Cranberry Upside Down Cake

4 Dec

Here is my first of several Thanksgiving posts (a little late…I know). I wanted to try a few new things this year, and found this yummy recipe. It is very easy to make, and the sugary cranberries on top looked festive and pretty. This cake recipe was a little different from the pineapple upside down cake I have posted, but tasted pretty much the same. From now on I’ll use the pineapple cake recipe….this one makes you beat egg whites. I hate that.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake
serves about 8/adapted from this recipe

Here’s what I used:

Topping

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 8 ounces fresh cranberries

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Here’s what I did:

Topping

  1. Combine butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Pour mixture into a 9 inch round cake pan (greased with spray).
  3. Spread cranberries evenly on top of sugar and butter and set aside.

Cake

  1. Blend together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a standing mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla and then yolks from the eggs (one at a time).
  4. Mix in the flour mixture alternately with the milk until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they hold a firm peak (ugh – I did this by hand and it was horrible).
  6. Fold the egg whites into the batter by hand.
  7. Pour the batter over the cranberries in the pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
  9. Cool cake in the pan for about 15 minutes, and then turn it out onto a serving plate.

Zucchini Cake

27 Jul


“Zucchini cake. Those two words should never be next to each other.” This is the text I received from my bf approximately three hours before he ate a substantial portion of this cake. It’s a sleeper – some of my family members said it was the best thing I’ve ever baked. Wowza. It was extremely easy and only requires one bowl. I even mixed by hand…with a spoon! I’ve been having trouble using all of the veggies I get every week from my CSA, and decided to start baking with them. This is the first in my “veggie fabulous” baking series.

Zucchini Cake
Serves about 16/adapted from this recipe

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • dulce de leche and powdered sugar to top

Here’s what I did:

  1. Mix together eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla in a large bowl.
  2. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
  5. Cool and top with dulce de leche and sugar – yum!

Blackberry Cake

24 Jul

Once I saw this recipe for yellow cake with berries, it was in my belly within 48 hours. The flavors were simple and delicious…a perfect summer treat.
Blackberry Cake
serves about 8/adapted from this recipe  

Here’s what I used: 

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 pint blackberries (rinsed, dried and coated in a little flour)

Here’s what I did: 

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt – set aside.
  2. Beat butter until smooth, and then mix in the cup of sugar.
  3. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Add half of the dry mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Mix in the milk.
  7. Add remaining dry mixture and combine completely.
  8. Pour batter into a prepared 9″ round pan.
  9. Sprinkle fruit on top of batter and cover with the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
  11. Cool in pan for about 15 minutes and then flip cake on a platter to cool completely.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

13 Jun


So what does a pacifist hippie bring to a UFC fight on a Saturday night you ask? Pineapple upside down cake – perfect choice. I was surprised at how easy it was to make – and was quite pleased that the texture of the brown sugar and butter topping came out so well. As I was making this I kept thinking how delicious some sort of peach upside down cake would be. Stay tuned – I’m about to turn all the summer fruit upside down.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
serves about 8/adapted from this recipe

Here’s what I used:

Topping

  • 20 oz. can of pineapple rings
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 8 – 10 maraschino cherries

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Here’s what I did:

Topping

  1. Drain pineapple rings, reserving two tablespoons for the cake batter.
  2. Place the four tablespoons of cold butter in a 9″ round pan (I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and melted the butter directly in the oven).
  3. Remove pan and sprinkle brown sugar over the melted butter.
  4. Place pineapple rounds over the sugar and add a cherry in the midde of each.
  5. Set aside.

Cake

  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a mixer – blend together with a fork.
  2. Add the milk and butter and mix thoroughly.
  3. Mix in the egg, reserved pineapple juice and vanilla – about two minutes.
  4. Pour the cake batter on top of the pineapples and gently cover all the fruit.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top of the cake is set and lightly springs back when you touch the middle.
  6. Cool on wire wrack for about five minutes and then upside down your cake on a serving dish.

Pineapple Coconut Cake

10 May


I have the best mom in the world. This cake was just a small tribute to the millions of amazing things she’s done for me over the years. She’s always been exactly what I need, and for that I am grateful. Oh, and this cake rocks.

Pineapple Coconut Cake
serves a bunch/adapted from this recipe

Here’s what I used:

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 can pineapple chunks (I used a 20 oz can)

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Here’s what I did:

  1. Toast the coconut at 350 degrees for about 5 – 8 minutes, stirring frequently, (check after 5…you do not want to burn coconut. It’s sad) – set aside.
  2. Lightly beat eggs, sour cream and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy – about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Keep mixer on medium speed, and gradually add 1/3 of the egg mixture and then 1/3 of the dry mixture – alternating until fully combined.
  6. Open pineapple and drain juice – pat dry.
  7. Mix the cooled coconut and pineapple chunks into the batter.
  8. Pour batter into a prepared bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Mix together sugar and lime juice, and pour over cooled cake.

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

11 Feb


I decided on peanut butter Oreos after an agonizing 15 minutes in the cookie aisle. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. These are: 1) super duper easy, 2) so amazingly good I am actually proud of myself, and 3) gone.

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes
makes 18 / adapted from this recipe

Here’s what I used:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 16 oz. plain cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 cup smashed Oreo cookies – or any damn cookie you want
  • 18 whole cookies

Here’s what I did:

  1. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Stir in the flour.
  3. Stir in smashed cookie bits.
  4. Drop one whole cookie in the lined muffin cups.
  5. Cover with batter – I filled each cup to the brim.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes or until cakes are set.
  7. Cool completely in pan.
  8. Chill for at least 2 hours before eating (I kept them in the fridge overnight).
  9. Remove liner and eat it!

Sprinkles Does Florida

11 Feb


Even on a family vacation in Florida I cannot give up baking. Luckily, it was my kick-ass sister-in-law’s birthday while we were there so I had a valid excuse to turn on the oven. I told her to pick the cake and I would bake it – she sent me a recipe that (gasp!) called for a box of cake mix. I was hesitant, but decided birthday girls should get whatever they want. (HINT – my birthday is next weekend.) The recipe included eggnog, and I could not for the life of me find any. So I improvised – I am not proud, but it worked and was completely yum. I made a brown butter frosting to round out the flavors.

“Eggnog” & Rum Bundt Cake
serves 12

Here’s what I used:

Cake

  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup half and half, 1/2 cup pumpkin spice non-dairy creamer, nutmeg and vanilla to taste (this is in place of the eggnog)
  • 1/4 cup rum (the Captain never lets me down)
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 box white cake mix

Frosting

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons cream
  • 2 tablespoons rum (this may be way too much for the average family but we like hardcore desserts)

Here’s what I did:

I used a handmixer for the cake and the frosting – unfortunately Lucy could not join the family for this trip.

Cake

  1. Prepare 12-cup bundt cake pan.
  2. Heat oven to 325°.
  3. Beat butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs and creative eggnog mixture (or actual eggnog if you so choose).
  5. Mix in vanilla, nutmeg, and cake mix to incorporate, then beat on high speed for about 2 minutes.
  6. Pour into the prepared bundt pan.
  7. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
  8. Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from pan and let cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

  1. Brown the butter in a small sauce pan under medium heat until dark golden brown.
  2. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Beat the powdered sugar, vanilla and rum into the butter until fully incorporated.
  4. Mix in the cream, one tablespoon at a time, until the right consistency is achieved.
  5. Frost cake and eat it!