Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Butterscotch Buttercream

I tend to place chocolate cakes into two categories: liquid fat and solid fat cakes. Liquid fat cakes contain either oil or melted butter and tend to have a more open crumb while solid fat cakes, with batter  that can hold tiny air bubbles, tend to have a finer more delicate crumb. This is a solid fat chocolate cake with a tender, fine crumb and rich chocolate flavor. Continue reading

White Mocha Cake with Espresso Caramel Buttercream

If you voted on Facebook for my birthday cake of choice this was the winner! This cake is not for the faint of heart. It is loaded with white chocolate, espresso, half and half and butter; a delicious combination that results in a tender, beautifully textured cake full of my favorite flavors. If one shot of espresso is not enough, I added a buttercream infused with an espresso caramel sauce. It’s like caramel that has gone to the dark side. Together this cakey team is a force (lol!) to reckon with. Continue reading

Essential Vanilla Cupcakes

Oh vanilla cupcakes, you look so sweet and innocent but can be such a bugger sometimes! One would think such a recipe would be easy to conjure but cupcakes come with their own set of challenges. One time I baked close to 10 batches of cupcakes trying to find ones that had the perfect dome (not an easy feat!). These Vanilla Cupcakes are my go-to recipe for birthday parties and class functions.  They are light, moist and flavorful; they have the just-right amount of dome and are sturdy enough to hold up to all types of fillings and toppings. They will quickly become your Essential Vanilla Cupcakes too! Continue reading

Raspberry Pinot Noir Cake

I have the huge blessing of living in a rural agricultural community that is known for its incredible Pinot Noir.  Just beyond my home in any direction are numerous small vineyards and wineries that hand craft lovely wines  characteristic of our region . Two friends of mine, Brad and Kathleen McLeroy of Ayers Vineyard, (who also happen to have children in classes with each of my children!) pour their hearts into making fabulous Pinot Noir.  For quite some time now I have wanted to try making a cake with a Pinot Noir and since I had an amazing bottle of the Ayers Perspective Pinot Noir on hand I decided to dive in and give it a go! Continue reading

Size Matters

Yes, when it comes to cake pans, size does matter. It is a natural inclination to want to vary the size of tin that you bake your cakes in, but for some cake recipes the outcome of going either larger or smaller in pan size without adjusting batter volumes will yield results that are less than desirable. Continue reading

Easy (Almost) French Buttercream

Do not tell anyone that is actually French about this recipe. My methods might get me burned at the stake for my heretical behavior. This recipe does not solely include egg yolks (sacrilege!) and instead of carefully cooking a temperature-specific sugar-water syrup on the stove top, I have skipped steps and used a microwave (sacré bleu!).  While the methods may be unconventional, this French Buttercream is a rich, creamy, and flavorful and easy enough for anyone to enjoy.

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The Upper Crust

If you have been baking for any length of time you probably noticed that when you store cakes and cupcakes the top crust gets soggy, sticky and/or moist. I have always been curious as to how this affected the rest of the cake, so I finally decided to satisfy my curiosity and test it out.

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Sour Cream Vanilla Bean Cake with French Sour Cream Buttercream

This recipe is near and dear to my heart. It was one of the very first cake recipes that I developed on my own and years later is still one of my favorites. This rich cake is tender and beautifully textured with a crumb that is light but tight enough to work beautifully for carving and stacking.  This may become your go-to cake also!

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Vanilla Cake

Sometimes cake has a mind of its own and just when you think you can tweak a little something the whole cake goes crazy! I have been making this cake for years  but when I went to make it for this post, with some minor adjustments, it was not being friendly. Five cakes later and very little sleep to be had, this final cake is tender, moist and delicious. Continue reading