Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Tuesday was back to school day for Courtney.  As hard as that is for me to believe, it is even harder to believe that she's a sophomore already. 

It was sad to see our summer come to an end but to tell you the truth - it is Mia who is taking it the hardest.

She's been seriously moping around the house since Tuesday morning when Courtney pulled out of the driveway.

We are slowly getting back into our morning school routine.  No more leisurely breakfast while relaxing on the couch.

I try and pack in some protein in the morning but it's also nice to have a little treat before sending everyone out the door.  This sour cream coffee cake recipe came from is a perfect little back to school treat.  It makes going back to school just a little bit easier. 

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsalted butter (one stick), room temperature
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups sour cream, divided
3 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla


1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pre heat oven to 400. Butter and grease a 9 inch cake pan.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

Mix together the topping ingredients and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar.

While beating, add the eggs, blending well.

Add one cup of sour cream and the vanilla and lemon zest.

Then on low, add the dry ingredients.

Pour into buttered baking dish.

Top with other cup of sour cream and topping mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. The sour cream on top won’t fully cook, so don’t worry if that comes off with the toothpick.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Carrot Cake

I normally reserve carrot cake for Easter time but I'm really not sure why I associate the two.  Maybe it's because the Easter bunny likes carrots?  Perhaps it's because of it's simple white design with carrot accents.  Or maybe it's just because I have a plethora of carrots in the springtime.  For whatever reason - I tend to reserve my carrot cake for Springtime.  Not anymore though.  I'm breaking with my weird seasonal carrot cake tradition and baking carrot cake in the middle of the summer!  (I know - living on the edge.)

This recipe came from my Cook's Illustrated magazine.  It was intended to be a 4 layer rectangle cake baked in a sheet pan but I worked my culinary magic on this recipe and converted it to a three layer cake. 

Carrot Cake
2 1/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tesapoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups oil
5 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
6 carrots, shredded

1 1/2 cups butter
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup dried buttermilk
3 teaspoons vanilla
18 ounces cream cheese


Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon , nutmeg, salt and cloves.

Combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in mixing bowl.  Whisk until smooth.

Stir in carrots.

Fold in dry ingredients with a rubber scraper.

Pour into 3 greased cake pans.

Bake 30 minutes at 350.

For frosting, combine butter, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla and salt in mixer.

Add cream cheese, 1 ounce at a time.  Beat until creamy.

Spread frosting between the cake layers.

Cover sides and top with a thin coat of icing.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Spread remaining icing over cake.  Tint a small amount green and another small amount orange to make carrot decorations if you like.

 Super cute and super easy to make.  (Even in the summer.)


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cookies and Cream Cake

Anyone remember my cookies and cream cupcakes ? I used a white cake as the base and folded crushed cookies into the batter to make a black and white swirled cake.

I decided go a different direction with my cookies and cream cake.  I turned it inside out - fluffy white frosting with bits of crushed cookie sandwiched between layers of dark chocolate cake and topped with cookie halves. I wonder which version will go over better?

It should be no surprise to you that the key ingredient in cookies and cream cake are Oreo cookies and Oreo pudding. 

Cookies and Cream Cake
1 cup butter                       
3 cups brown sugar                   
4 eggs                          
3 teaspoons vanilla                  

3 cups flour
¾ cup cocoa                       
3 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups brewed coffee
1 1/3 cups sour cream

Cream butter and sugar.  



Add eggs, one at a time.  Stir in vanilla.  

Add dry ingredients, alternating with sour cream. 


Mix in coffee.

Pour into 3 greased cake pans.

Bake 35 minutes at 350. 

8 ounces container Cool Whip
1 package Oreo pudding
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup milk
Oreo Cookies

Crush 2 sleeves of Oreos in food processor.

Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and pudding.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Fold in cookie crumbs.

Start by placing 1 cake layer on a cake circle.  Top with a cup of frosting.

 Repeat layers.

Spread a thin layer of frosting over entire cake and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Spread rest of frosting over chilled cake and top with cookie halves.

If you're going to drop brand names - why not drop them all in one blog post, right?  I should get some endorsements from this post, don't you think?