Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

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Let it Snowcake!

December 14, 2010

Last week I was asked to make a cake by my friend Ashley for her mom’s birthday. Woot woot!

From a lot of baking and tweaking I’ve finally come up with what I think to be the best Pumpkin Spice cake. It was this cake that I had made for Ashley’s Birthday back in October and she requested for her mom’s cake as well. It has a warm spiciness of ginger and sweet cinnamon accompanied by a pleasant citrus zing.

For Ashley’s cake I had focused on making it very fall via warm colors and making some chocolate leaves. So when she asked me to winterize her cake, I ended up making some royal icing snowflakes and iced the cake in a pale blue. I also included some cupcakes in her order, as she was hinting she wanted some pre-party cake. Here are the results and the recipe for my pumpkin cake.

Thoughts:

-I usually don’t do the whole product placement dance but I do love pampered chef cinnamon plus for a few reasons. 1.) I’m not the biggest fan of cinnamon as I feel it is overused a lot. 2.) This blend is pretty tasty as the cinnamony-ness has been cut with ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and orange peel. 3.) I could only think of two reasons. You could replace it with pumpkin pie spice.

-A classic cream cheese icing would be just as well.

Yah Autumn!

Half of the royal icing snowflakes...so. many. snowflakes.

Extra mini-snowcakes (Ashley was fearful she would snack on the cake during her commute).

Pumpkin Spice Cake Laced with Citrus

For Cake:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon plus
  • ½ tsp fresh nutmeg (I’m kinda in love with fresh nutmeg)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • 1 ½ c granulated sugar
  • ¾ c vegetable oil (or canola)
  • ½ c unsweetened applesauce
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs

For Frosting:

  • 1 ½ stick cream cheese
  • ½ stick butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon plus
  • ¼ tsp fresh nutmeg
  • Zest of ½ orange

To make cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour 2-8” or 9” pans. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.

In another bowl mix together the oil, applesauce, and the sugar. Using an electric mixer on low beat in the pumpkin, orange zest, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Now gradually add the flour mixture on low speed, beating until just combined.

Spread the batter into the baking pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 min then flip onto a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting or else you’ll have a sad melty cake.

Cake prior to frosting.

Love that color contrast: orange cake + blue frosting = ❤

To make the icing:

In a mixing bowl put the room temperature cream cheese and butter. Beat together until creamy. When they are incorporated add the orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Blend together until it is a good spreading consistency. Add more powdered sugar if too thin; add some milk if too thick. Frost cake and decorate to your desires. Enjoy!

The finished cake yah!

~Erik <(^_^)>

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Though the Weather Outside is Frightful…

December 3, 2010

Much to my dismay, the temperatures have begun their yearly downward spiral.  Somehow it became December, and I’m still trying to figure out where October and November went.  After dragging myself to class today, I came home and promptly parked myself in my comfy armchair.

Then, like a conditioned Pavlovian response, all I could think about was a large mug of hot chocolate.  Not just any hot chocolate, but my Gramma’s homemade hot chocolate mix.  And, while this recipe is no great work of culinary genius, I do love it for its simplicity.  It always reminds me of when I was little, coming in from hours of playing in the snow—clothes completely soaked, lips blue, fingers numb—and my Gramma would make everyone a round of hot chocolate.  Nothing warms you up quite like it.

And since there is snow in the forecast today, I decided I wanted to share the recipe here.  Be warned, it makes A TON…but, it does make for a nice gift when given in a cute Christmasy tin.  Enjoy!

The Best Hot Chocolate Mix

  • 1 – 22 oz. container Chocolate Nesquik Powder
  • 2 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 – 16 oz. container Powdered Coffee Creamer
  • 1-8 quart box of Dry Milk
  • 1 box of Jell-O Instant Chocolate Pudding

Mix all ingredients together in a large container.  Prepare by filling cup 1/3 full with dry mix, and the rest with not-quite-boiling water.  Enjoy as-is, or with marshmallows, whipped cream, or a peppermint stick!

~ Josie