Cupcake Pops

I made cupcake pops for my shower hostesses this past weekend. They came out awesome! Check out how I did it here!

Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

My office, before Thanksgiving, had a potluck dinner. We were asked to bring a dish, so of course, I was ready and eager to bake! I found this great pumpkin cake recipe off of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and went to work!

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Pumpkin Cake
Source: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

Ingredients:

¼ pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg (used 1 1/4 tsp. Penzey’s cake spice)
½ tsp salt
¾ cup 100% natural solid pack pumpkin
½ cup nonfat buttermilk
½ cup tightly packed light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Combine together in a medium bowl flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
  • Place pumpkin and buttermilk in a small bowl and combine thoroughly. Set aside.
  • In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugars. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl .
  • Increase speed to high and beat an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs and beat on medium for 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and beat on high for 30 seconds. With mixer on low alternate adding the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl.
  • Mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter, until smooth and thoroughly combined.
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  • Immediately pour the cake into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake on the center rack of a preheated 325F oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • Invert cake onto a plate or cake circle. Turn the cake upright and refrigerate until needed.
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I knew I wanted a cream cheese frosting for my cake. So, I adapted a Cream Cheese frosting recipe I found off of Allrecipes. I added 2 tsp. of Penzey’s cake spice to the frosting and mmm, it was good!

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from: Allrecipes

Ingredients:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tsp. cake spice (mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc.)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.img_7164

Overall, this was a very well received cake. Coworkers loved it (as did I, obviously). What? Someone has to taste test the tops!! Mmm…
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Blueberry Pound Cake

So, a few weeks back, I was in the grocery store…looking for cake mix for my first fondant cake, and these blueberries at $2/pint caught my eye. I had to buy them…just had to bake something with them. However, I had NO idea what to make. So, being on my diet, I looked at Cooking Light and searched blueberries…lo and behold, this recipe for a blueberry pound cake came up. It was on my “to make” list…

I finally had the opportunity to make this cake Monday, and with a few healthy substitutions for an already healthy recipe, it came out great. However, moreso like a sweet bread than a pound cake. Regardless, my stomach was happy and so was my diet!

I will admit, though, the cake looks purple because after I put all the ingredients in the pan, I forgot to put in an extra egg (that was called for)…so I mixed it in stupidly and realized OH NO! THE BLUEBERRIES!!!….thus my cake is purple….


The loaf :) I made this in a loaf pan instead of a tube pan because I didn’t have a tube pan..it worked out well!!

Blueberry Pound Cake (gone bread)
adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar (used 1 cup splenda, 1 cup sugar)
  • 1/2 cup light butter
  • 1/2 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided ( 1 cup WW flour, 2 cups AP flour)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton lemon low-fat yogurt (I hate lemon in desserts, so I used blueberry yogurt instead)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (omitted…I don’t want a glaze on it)
    4 teaspoons lemon juice (omitted…same reason)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg white, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 tablespoons flour and blueberries in a small bowl, and toss well. Combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in blueberry mixture and vanilla; pour cake batter into a 10-inch tube pan coated with cooking spray.
  5. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl; drizzle over warm cake. Cut with a serrated knife.


My end slice :)


Look at that crumbly goodness!

Makes 16 servings.

Nutritional Information:
Calories 278.9
Fat 8.5g
Fiber 1.8g

POINTS*: 6

**I’m not sure how accurate Cooking Light is here…because their dessert had less fat, 10 more calories and 0.3 less g fiber/serving (weird!)**

Last Class of Gumpaste and Fondant…

I will show the flowers I made for the Wilton class in a later post…I left my microSD card at FI’s…so be ready this weekend!!

For now, I borrowed my gracious sister’s camera to take a quick pick of my final class’s cake. For this, I used marshmallow fondant from Wilton’s forums (thanks to user bunnywoman). The great thing about this recipe, is you can mix the food coloring in right after the marshmallows are melted, which is way easier than kneading it in!!

I do have to thank Melissa at Made by Mel for inspiring me that this fondant won’t be quite so hard to make. Check out her cakes…she is amazing at cake decorating!!

I also added Amaretto candy oil to the fondant to give it more flavor…the fondant tasted like italian cookies to me! Without the oil, it reminded me of circus peanuts! Regardless, MUCH better than the boxed stuff and WAY cheaper ($20/box vs. same amount for $6)!!

Here is the recipe for marshmallow fondant. Don’t be intimidated by the stuff…it’s easy…but remember line EVERYTHING in crisco (don’t be scared of crisco..it’s your BFF with fondant) to avoid the stickies!!

Marshmallow fondant
(to cover a cake, you need about two batches)
1 cup mini marshmallows (appx. 10-11 large marshmallows…I learned this b/c the grocery store didn’t have mini’s…I know…WTH???)
1 tbsp water (if you want to use candy oil, subtract 1/8 tsp of water and add 1/8 tsp of candy oil)
1 1/2- 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Place marshmallows in a standard 1 cup measuring cup and push down and pack them in. Place in a microwave safe bowl and add the water. Put in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Just long enough for them to soften and puff up. Take out and stir with a spoon until it is combined well. At this point it looks kind of soupy. Then add the sugar and mix and fold until all is incorporated and it is no longer sticky. I take it out of the bowl when it gets to the point where most of the sugar is incorporated and I knead it in my hands. This takes roughly about 5-7 minutes. Take a fondant roller or a regular rolling pin and roll out just as you would Wilton’s fondant. You can get this fondant almost paper thin and it also repairs well. It’s cheap, easy to work with, and tastes great too.

Without further adieu, here are some pictures of the cake. My sister was the photog and she did a great job! :)


My first fondant cake!

I decided to take fondant and gumpaste and skip Course 3. I do not like the idea of making a tiered cake for the reason of WAY too much cake, but I plan on teaching myself the fundamentals of course 3 through the books, which are sold at Hobby Lobby. Here is my first cake, which I made for the second class. It’s LSU colors hehehe :) I’m definitely ready for football season. I’m gonna challenge myself to make a gumpaste tiger come football season. Geaux Tigers!

Faux Tiramisu Trifle..as sugar free as I could

Yesterday was mother’s day, and I got a call from mom to go to the grocery store to pick up a sugar free dessert for my grandma’s dinner that she was making. (Grandma is diabetic). I figured, I could make a great dessert for the family in a pinch that would go with the spaghetti dinner. It’s a faux tiramisu trifle! :)

Tiramisu Trifle

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. sugar free cool whip (ideally but the store only had fat free)
  • 8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese (it actually has 1 g less sugar than fat free!)
  • Sugar Free instant chocolate pudding mix (large box)
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • Sugar Free Angel Food cake
  • Grated chocolate (didn’t use for grandma’s sake but thought this would be great to add)

Directions:

Thaw cool whip and soften cream cheese. Fold 1/2 of cool whip into cream cheese and put aside. Prepare chocolate pudding by mixing 2 cups of milk with coffee, whisk, then add pudding mix and whisk for 2 minutes (this has less milk that required to keep it firmer). Cube angel food cake or cut into 3 rings. Layer trifle as such…cake, cream cheese cool whip, pudding…then when the last layer of cake is laid, add remaining cool whip on top. Add grated chocolate on top, and refridgerate until serving.

(Sorry, I’m not a writer, but this took 10 minutes to make and was WONDERFUL!)

I can’t calculate the recipe b/c Spark Recipes doesn’t have Sugar Free Angel Food Cake in it’s database :(.

Almond Pound Cake…mmm

I coordinated this round of the What’s Cooking? Board’s recipe exchange. Advantage of this is not only do I have a nice compilation of recipes, I get to choose the one for me to make. All the recipes looked delicious, but I wanted to surprise my fiance with a nice dessert one weekend I was over there.

I would have made a bundt cake, but I purchased a stoneware mini bundt cake pan on clearance off Pampered Chef for about $13, so I couldn’t resist. Next time I make these cakes, I will have to half the recipe. This batter made 12 mini cakes, which is more than enough and they are in the freezer for another night :).

These were a light cake with a subtle almond flavoring…great to add berries on top, for a spring cake.

Enough talking, here is the recipe from Delia of Kreeper’s Cooking.

Almond Pound Cake – from my mother in law, Billie Love

1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 t almond extract
1 t vanilla
3 cups flour
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan. Cream butter and shortening. Add sugar ¼ cup at a time, alternating with the eggs until all of the sugar and eggs are added. Mix in the almond and vanilla extracts. Sift dry ingredients and add ¾ cup at a time, alternating with the milk a little at a time. Continue to mix until both the milk and dry ingredients are added. Pour into the pan and bake for 1 hour. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let it stand for 10-15 minutes before flipping.

This is not at all Weight Watchers friendly, but the mini cakes are large, so if you eat half a cake, this could be reasonable for dessert.

Nutritional Info: (1 serving out of 12)

Calories 564.2
Total Fat 27.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Points: 14* (ouch)

Wilton Course 2…

This was a great course. It took me a while to catch up and learn these flowers but my favorite is highlighted in my final cake.

The filling is fresh blackberries (adapted from Katie’s recipe), the cake is Pillsbury mix (get over it LOL) and the frosting is white chocolate buttercream (oh yeh, yum!)

The coworkers are in for a treat Friday ;)

Mixing filling…looks like something out of Dr. Seuss

Cake from the top…I lovers the LSU colored pansies!

Cake from the side…check out that weave peeps!

A zoom in of those LSU colored pansies..nature has pansies colored right. Geaux Tigers (I need football season again..)

Camo Cake!

This is just a cake I was requested to make…it’s a simple camo cake made with thin consistency icing smeared all over :) I highly recommend to cake decorators to invest (not really invest but buy) the 8 in x 3 in pan. It’s one big cake that you just cut in half when it’s done. It cooks evenly and just (in my opinion) makes things simpler (less cleanup with one pan too!). I bought mine for 50% off last week, so for less than $4….not too shabby right?


Final Cake! :)

I’m finished with my Wilton Course I! Yay!! I may not be taking a course this coming month to help FI move in, since classes are offered on Saturdays (probably the same in Baton Rouge for me) and that would take away from some part of the weekend that we spend together (we only see each other on weekends)…

Anyways, pardon the crumbles…my icing was too stiff for the flimsy diet soda cake I made. I combined spice cake mix with Diet Dr. Pepper :)