A-Carrot-closeweb

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream

This weekend I had the pleasure of making a baby shower cake for my long-time friend Tisa.  She is having her first baby and some of our high school friends were able to gather and celebrate this new beginning. Before the shower, I asked her what type of cake she wanted and her request was for Carrot Cake with the works. This recipe has excellent spiced flavors, paired with a moist crumb, sweet pineapple, golden raisins and crunchy walnuts.

Continue reading

A-almond-flavor-top2-web

Viennese Almond Flavor Paste Giveaway!

It’s not secret that I looooove the flavor pastes from Pastry Portal. The product is simply amazing and offers fresh, real flavors that you cannot get from an extract or flavoring.  And I must say that of all of the amazing flavors that I have tried, the  Viennese Almond Paste is my favorite! In fact, my mouth was watering as I was taking these pictures because the smell is so profound it was filling the room. And, because I want you to experience the incredibleness too, Ayi from Pastry Portal and I have teamed up to give away a jar of this paste that will keep you in a happy place for a very long time! Continue reading

A-maf2web

Mocha Almond Fudge Cake

There are times when I want something light and fluffy and there are times when I want something dark and fudgy and decadent. This Mocha Almond Fudge Cake is for those dark and fudgy kind of days. It is a rich mix of a fudgy chocolate almond-flour cake frosted with a sinful espresso buttercream and filled with silky hot fudge and crunchy salted and roasted almonds. Seriously, who can resist this combination! If Mocha Almond Fudge is your favorite flavor of ice cream and you need a fudgy chocolate fix you must try this! Continue reading

A-close-coconut-web

Coconut Cupcakes by Trophy Cupcakes and Book Giveaway!

Phew! The kids are back in school and the fall routine is beginning. To celebrate the start of my favorite cake season (hooray for apple and spice and nuts!) I am sharing with you an awesome Coconut Cupcake recipe (a little reminder of the sunshine we are leaving behind)  from the Trophy Cupcakes and Parties! book. I am also going to give away a copy of this incredible cookbook and idea book. Continue reading

A-sc-bite-web

Quintessential Chocolate Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting

If I had to pick just one chocolate cake from my entire repertoire of cakes to eat and serve this would be the one. While my American Mud Cake is rich and decadent and amazingly delicious, this Quintessential Chocolate Cake is so versatile and all-encompassing that you could serve it to anyone for any occasion. Need a great chocolate cake for your nephew’s birthday? This is it. Need a refined cake for your cousin’s wedding? This is the one too. This cake is rich and moist and fudgy but also light and delicate. It seems contradictory but try it and you will see what I mean. Continue reading

A-italian-slice-web

Italian Cream Cake

I will readily admit that I love most Italian foods. I love pasta and Italian breads, slow braised meats and Tiramisu. But despite my affinity for Italian cuisine I had little acquaintance with this Italian named cake. Now I am not sure of the exact origins of this nut-filled treasure (for all I know it may not be Italian), but this light, moist, flavorful Italian Cream Cake is so delicious I have to put it amongst my Italian favorites whether it is native or not.  Continue reading

A-marble-1-web

Marble Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting

Several weeks ago my lovely reader Georganne requested a recipe for a marble cake. While I was very interested in complying and creating a recipe that she would enjoy, I was concerned about the implications of working with two very different cake batters.  I had seen marble cakes that looked like the chocolate and vanilla cakes had very different textures. I wanted the chocolate and the vanilla to marry together in consistency but be stark in contrast of color and flavor. I wanted them to have a yin and yang relationship of harmony and distinction at the same time. So for a long time I pondered how best to approach this cake. Continue reading

A-lineup-web

How Different Flours Affect Your Cake

For the baker, there is a wide variety of flours to choose from when making a cake. Some of the options include: bleached cake flour, unbleached cake flour, pastry flour, self-rising flour, unbleached all-purpose flour and bleached all-purpose flour, not to mention starch substitutes and hybrid variations of some of those above. It can be a bit confusing which is the best flour for cake baking.  Here I hope to demystify some of the what’s and why’s of cake worthy flours. Continue reading

A-rose-quartet-web

Almond Rose Cupcakes with Strawberry Mascarpone Buttercream

If you are looking for a cupcake with a fun unique flavor this is a great one to try.  But don’t be frightened away by this uncommon flavor combination. These cupcakes have a light delicate crumb and can be made into an everyday almond or vanilla cupcake with the omission of extracts. The addition of mascarpone to the buttercream gives the icing a light whipped-cream like texture and the strawberry adds a fruity vibrancy to this noteworthy amalgamation. Continue reading