Vanilla Almond Buttercream Frosting

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Vanilla Almond Buttercream

This weekend I wanted to play a little with baking a cake and decorating it since it has been a while since I’ve made and decorated one. I decided upon a vanilla cake, baked it, then the big decision was what kind of frosting I would use. I prefer buttercream, but it doesn’t set up as well as the frostings I’ve made with shortening. I really don’t like the frostings made with just shortenings, so I decided to do a mixture. The recipe was inspired by the recipe I found on I Am Baker‘s website.

To make the buttercream, you will need:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening (I realized I put in a whole stick when I only needed half, but it still turned out pretty well with the whole stick)
1 two pound bag of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup milk (I used Vanilla Silk Milk)

Directions:
1. Put the butter, shortening, vanilla extract, and almond extract in the mixer and cream together about 30 seconds.
2. Dump the entire bag of powdered sugar in, along with the milk. Mix until creamy and desired texture. You can add more milk if you’d like your frosting to be thinner.
3. Enjoy!

I kept my frosting a bit stiffer since I knew I’d be decorating the cake using rosettes.

Vanilla Almond

Baking love,
Heather

Oreo Icebox Cake

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Complete Cake with words

I came across a recipe for an Oreo Icebox Cake on Cookies and Cups’ website and I thought this would be the perfect dessert for a lunch with friends! This super delicious cake was so easy to make…give yourself five minutes (plus six hours for it to sit in the refrigerator) and you have an awesome dessert to share!

To make the 8×8 cake you will need…

8×8 pan (or, if you’d like a bigger cake, follow Cookies and Cups recipe!)
1 package Double Stuff Oreos
1 cup milk
2 small containers of Cool Whip (or one big one)
Chocolate Syrup

Oreo Icebox Cake with words

Directions
1. Dip the Oreos in the milk and cover the bottom of the pan.

Oreos with Milk with words

Milk and Oreos with words

2. Cover the Oreos with one of the small containers of Cool Whip or half of the big one.

Cake with Cool Whip with words

Coolwhipped Oreos with words

3. Repeat one more time so you have two layers of cookies and two layers of Cool Whip.

4. Put some chocolate syrup on top.

5. Put the cake in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

6. Enjoy!

Complete Cake

This super simple cake was a big hit and definitely a recipe that I will be using again in the future!!

Baking love,
Heather

Cake Decorating Week 4

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Week 4 Cake

This week was my final week in the first course of cake decorating and we were able to decorate one last cake. I made the vanilla cake recipe I found at Sweetapolita, but, unfortunately, mine didn’t turn out quite right because I did not have any whole milk on hand. I’ll be trying this recipe again when I do have whole milk! After the cake was baked, I cut it into two tiers and put pudding in the middle.

On to the cake decorating…

We started class by making ribbon roses, which actually turned out to be pretty easy to make. Mine were kind of melty though, because my frosting was to loose. When I make these again I’m going to make sure to have stiff frosting- the people who had used stiffer frosting had much better results!

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to decorate my cake, but I decided to put all of my roses on (the instructor told me after-the-fact that I should put a clump of frosting down on the cake where the roses were going to go to give them more height and dimension). I wrote “Congratulations” on it only because it was one of the things we practiced…I didn’t really have anyone to give the cake to and since I wasn’t completely happy with how the actual cake tasted, I decided I wouldn’t be sharing this cake with others! Decorating the cake was still fun and I’m looking forward to starting the second course next week!

Week 4 Cake 2

Baking love,
Heather

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Finished Cake

Since I made the cake pops for Beryl’s Momtographie class, I had to get them to her and she invited us over for dinner. I, of course, offered to make dessert! I found a recipe on About.com for an Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake with Silky Glaze and decided this may be the perfect dessert.

To make the cake…
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Chop up 6 ounces of chocolate (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate).
Chopped Chocolate

3. Melt the chopped chocolate and 1 stick of unsalted butter (I recommend chopping up the butter into smaller pieces as well) over medium low heat, stirring frequently.
Chocolate and Butter

4. Stir in 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and reduce heat to low. Stir constantly for about 1 minute until the sugar starts to dissolve.

5. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 3 eggs one at a time.
All Mixed

6. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa into the mix. Whisk until the batter is smooth.

7. Pour the batter into a 7-inch tart pan or into a 6-7 inch pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray in the bottom.
Before Oven

8. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, but check at about 22 minutes. You will know the cake is done when the center is just firm to the touch. Do not over bake or the cake will become dry!
Out of Oven

9. Cool the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. While the cake is cooling, make the glaze.

10. Melt 2 ounces of chopped semisweet chocolate and 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in the same pan used for the cake. Once melted, remove the pan from the heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of milk and 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey. Stir until smooth and glossy and let sit for 3 minutes.

11. When the cake is cooled, flip it onto a plate or cake board (mine broke a bit when I flipped it so be careful). Pour the glaze right in the middle, then use a spatula to move the glaze so it is evenly spread over the cake and running slightly over the edges.
Finished Cake

12. Enjoy!

Everyone seemed to like the cake and my husband, who does not like chocolate that much, had TWO slices! The cake was super moist and seemed almost like a brownie. If you are looking for a delicious flourless cake, this one is a great choice!!

Baking love,
Heather