Apple Custard Cake

The apples are falling off the tree, so it’s time to do some apple baking.  This is an old  tried and true recipe from the days when heavy cream was not something to be frowned upon.  2 % evaporated milk can be substituted for the cream with good results.  It’s delicious warm from the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a dollop of whipped cream.

Apple Custard Cake

Crust

2 cups flour

½ cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ cup butter

1 egg, beaten

6 cups peeled and sliced apples

Mix together flour, sugar and baking powder.  Rub butter in until crumbly, then mix in beaten egg.  Press into greased 9”x13”.  Layer on sliced apples.

Custard

1 cup sugar

½ cup flour

½ -3/4 tsp cinnamon

½ cup melted butter

½ cup evaporated milk or heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla

Stir together sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Add melted butter, cream and vanilla, mixing till smooth.  Pour over apples.

Topping

¾ cup flour

¾ cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

Stir together flour and sugar.  Rub in butter till crumbly.   Sprinkle over custard.  Bake in 350 degree F oven for about 50 minutes, till golden brown.

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

It’s pineapple day today.  It’s also Adam’s birthday, which is why it’s pineapple day;  he likes pineapple!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

3 tbsp butter

1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 (398 ml) can pineapple slices

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 egg

4 tbsp oil

1 cup buttermilk

maraschino cherry halves (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a 9″ square cake pan, measure the 3 tbsp of butter.  Pop into oven to completely melt the butter, 3-4 minutes.  When melted, stir in the brown sugar, spreading the mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.  Making sure the pineapple slices are well-drained, arrange them in the pan.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In a smaller bowl, mix together egg, oil and buttermilk.  Add this mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring gently just until combined.  Carefully spoon the batter over the pineapple slices in the pan, making sure not to disturb the pattern of the pineapple.  Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.  When the cake is done, remove from oven and immediately invert pan onto serving tray.  Do this very carefully to avoid burns!  Place cherry halves into the pineapple rings, if using.  Best served and eaten warm, with ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Chocolate Cherry Tunnel Cake

I had a near disaster this morning, but thankfully, all is not lost.  My written recipe sadly lacking in detail  (I thought I remembered from last time!), I used the whole can of pie filling instead of the 1 1/4 cup the recipe actually calls for.  So unfortunately, my presentation is off.   I have a messy layer of cherries instead of the graceful tunnel that should have been.   The yumminess factor, however, was not compromised (for which we are grateful).  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for additional  calories flavor.

Chocolate Cherry Tunnel Cake

1 3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup natural bran

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

4 tbsp canola oil

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup cherry pie filling

In large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients.  In another smaller bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing gently just until combined.  In a greased and floured bundt pan, layer a scant half of the dough, then gently add the cherry pie filling in a ring on top of the dough, trying not to touch the sides of the pan with the cherry filling.  Then add the rest of the dough over the cherries, smoothing carefully.  Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.  When cake is done, let cool in the pan for about 7 minutes before inverting onto serving plate.  Let cool about an hour, then glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

4 tbsp butter

3 tbsp cocoa

1 cup icing sugar

2-3 tbsp very hot water

Melt butter, whisk in cocoa and icing sugar.   Add hot water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.  Glaze will set quite quickly, so no dawdling!

Vanilla Bean Butter Wedding Cake

My husband’s granddaughter got married this weekend.  It was a lovely day with a touching ceremony, a delicious celebration dinner, lots of visiting and joyful dancing.  My contribution to the festivities was to bake and decorate the wedding cake.  I had lots of time over the summer to test recipes.  This is the final version that I used to make all the layers of the cake.

Vanilla Bean Butter Cake

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 3/4 tsp baking power

1 tsp baking soda

2 pinches salt

Combine dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer.  Then add:

1/2 cup butter, cubed and softened

1 cup buttermilk

1 generous tablespoon vanilla bean paste (I use Madagascar Bourbon for intense flavor)

Beat for one minute at medium speed.  Add:

1/3 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

Beat for two more minutes at low speed, scraping bowl once or twice.  Divide batter into two prepared 8″ layer pans (use parchment paper or grease and flour).  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.  Cool five minutes in the pans then invert onto cooling racks.

When it was time to assemble the cake, I used vanilla buttercream to fill each layer, then covered them in almond paste, followed by fondant for the icing, and finally, I added colored sugar crystals and pearls handmade from fondant as decorations.

Congratulations Mychele and Evan!

Happy Birthday to me…..

Raspberry Trifle Cake

1 cup butter , softened

1 cup white sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and drained

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well.  Add vanilla.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.  Add to creamed butter mixture.  Fold in raspberries.  Divide  batter into two 8″ greased and floured (or use parchment paper circles cut to fit) layer cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened (low-fat does not make good icing)

1/3 cup margarine

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

3-4 cups icing sugar, sift after measuring (amount depends on desired consistency)

2-3 drops of almond extract (helps reduce the sweetness factor)

1/3 tsp glycerine (keeps the icing from getting hard and crusty)

Chocolate Cake recipe here.


Carrot Cake disguised as Wedding Cupcakes

My son was recently married, so now we have a new daughter (in-law)!  I made the wedding cake.  The bride asked for cupcakes with a small cake to cut into for  pictures.  She’s a fan of carrot cake,  so that made it easy.  Carrot cake is a nice firm cake, very well suited to the extra handling that comes with wedding cakes.  This is my refined version, I’ve reduced the sugar, fat and eggs significantly from the original recipe, but it hasn’t lost anything, except some calories!

Carrot Cake

2 cups flour

1 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup coconut (I use sweetened flaked)

3 cups grated carrot

3 eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 – 1/2 cup milk

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.   In a separate smaller bowl, stir together eggs, oil and milk.    Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, stirring (use a folding technique) just to combine.  Pour batter into greased and floured pans and bake for about 30 – 40 minutes till golden brown.  This recipe will make  two 8″ layers, OR about 18 large cupcakes OR a 6″ x 3″ round layer pan (which is what I used for the wedding cake).

The cupcakes were decorated with cream cheese icing, and the little cake with fondant.

Cream Cheese Icing

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened (low-fat does not make good icing)

1/3 cup margarine (I use heart smart Becel)

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

3-4 cups icing sugar, sift after measuring (amount depends on desired consistency)

For the wedding cupcakes, I added:

2-3 drops of almond extract (helps reduce the sweetness factor)

1/3 tsp glycerine (keeps the icing from getting hard and crusty)

Beat together cream cheese and margarine.  Add flavors and glycerine, if using.  Gradually add icing sugar, mixing well after each addition.  Icing may be thinned, if necessary, with a small addition of corn syrup.

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

My niece Becca is keen on learning all manner of new and exciting things and last week she came for a bit of cake decorating practice.  I baked this cake.  It’s a decent-tasting chocolate cake and took well to the rigors of technique practice.  We had a fun but tiring afternoon.  It turned out to be her birthday cake.  (If you decorate your own cake, you get to do whatever you want!)

Never Fail Chocolate Cake

1/3  cup cocoa with hot water to make 1 cup

2 ¼ cups flour

1 cup white sugar

2 tsp baking powder

¾ tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

2 eggs

1/2  cup canola oil

1 1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare the cocoa mixture and set aside to cool slightly.  Butter and flour two 8” layer cake pans. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl, mix together eggs, oil, milk, vanilla and cooled cocoa mixture.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and add in the wet mixture, gently stirring and folding to mix well.  Divide batter between layer pans, bake for about 30 minutes.

Blueberry Bliss

Don’t be put off put the long list of ingredients.  Once you’ve made this cake, you’ll see how quick and easy it really is.  I also like that it’s so versatile.  It can be dessert with whipped cream or ice cream, or breakfast, or coffee break!  And when you see how fast it disappears, you’ll want to double the recipe next time.   Enjoy!

Quick Coffee Cake

Batter:

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 egg

4 tbsp canola oil

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

Fruit:

1 can cherry (or your favorite flavor) pie filling  OR about 1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries, OR sliced fresh strawberries

Topping:

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

3 tbsp butter

Butter and flour a 9″ x9″ cake pan.  If using fresh fruit, wash and slice as needed.  Then make the topping .  Stir together the 1/3 cup flour and sugar and cut in the butter to make crumbs.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine  the dry ingredients for the cake batter.  In a smaller bowl, stir together egg, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.  Pour into flour mixture.  Stir just to combine.  Pour into prepared cake pan.  Layer on the fruit.  Sprinkle on the crumbs.  Bake  at 350 degree F until light golden, about 35-40 minutes.  Note:   fresh fruit takes longer to bake than pie filling.

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