Cake Pops

I hopped on the band wagon and made some cake pops. And it wasn’t too difficult!

First, let’s bake a chocolate cake. I recommend this recipe. I halved it, and had 3.5 dozen cake pops. Want to make them gluten free? Try black bean chocolate cake.

Once your cake is baked and cooled (feel free to speed the freezing by putting it in the fridge), crumble your cake, add cream cheese, powdered sugar, and butter. Chill! You could leave it for a day or two in the fridge, if you’d like. It won’t hurt it a bit.

Roll them out into adorable little balls of cake goodness. If you have lollipop sticks, stick one in the top of each cake ball. If not, toothpicks work surprisingly well.

IMG_0318Slide the tray in the freezer, and leave it for 30-60 minutes. The goal is that the cake balls harden enough to dip.

Melt some chocolate! I used white chocolate, but you could use milk or dark chocolate as well. For simple melting (no double boiler!), put your chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals. Between each interval, stir, stir, stir. When it’s smooth, it’s done.

Take a few at a time out of the freezer, and dip each one in the chocolatey goodness. I recommend using a cooling rack to let them set. Then the chocolate on the top doesn’t flatten out from being set on a cookie sheet.

Garnish with sprinkles! And enjoy. Don’t refrigerate, as it will cause the cake pops to sweat.

IMG_0328

Carrot Cake

When I was a kid, carrot cake was not something that interested me. Vegetables do not belong in dessert. Ever.

Oh how things have changed! This could quickly escalate to the status of Most Favorite Cake Ever.

As has become my MO, I consulted smitten kitchen to see what she had to offer. Success! Baby sister and I used the recipe for the cake, but baked it in a 9×13 glass dish.

Because we used the glass dish, we lowered the oven temperature by 25 degrees and increased the baking time to 45-50 minutes. Done to perfection!

For a great, basic cream cheese frosting, check out Simply Recipes. Creamy delicious!

Lemon Pound Cake

Pound cakes got their name from the ingredients they require: 1 pound each of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs. Let me tell you, that’s a lot of butter. That’s 4 sticks, people. Four whole sticks of butter in one cake. That’s a lot. But if that sounds like a good time to you, this classic recipe is where it’s at!

I wanted to try something a bit different than a classic pound cake. Rather than strike out on my own, alter a recipe, and undoubtedly create a disaster, I consulted my library-borrowed copy of Gourmet. Success! (side note: the library is a great place to try out cookbooks before you buy them!)

This pound cake uses cake flour, instead of the traditional all purpose. Don’t have cake flour? Never fear! Joy the Baker to the rescue! You need all purpose flour and corn starch, and you can make your own cake flour.

So, find ye a copy of Gourmet and go to town! The recipe is simple, and yields a light, tasty pound cake, with just a hint of lemon in it. Top with strawberries or blueberries for an extra dose of awesome.

Birthday Cake

Birthdays are the best. Once a year, you get a chance to celebrate you. Your life. Your experiences. Your relationships. Once a year, you have an excuse to call the shots. To tell your people where or what you’re eating. To make them do all sorts of ridiculous things in the name of the Birthday. And not feel guilty about it. Beautiful.

This year, I truly felt celebrated and special. It was such a delight! I have a jar of quarters sitting on my desk in honor of being 25. The wall behind my work chair is filled with signatures and encouraging notes from people that I care for. I had flowers delivered to me. And I baked a cake.

I was that person. The one who bakes her own birthday cake. In my defense, I had such a good time! I baked, then people came to my house and ate my cake. And stood in my kitchen. And sat at my table. We talked, and we laughed, and we ate cake. And it was a birthday. A celebration. The best present I could have asked for (besides this one, of course).

This cake was not overly complicated. The directions were clearly written. It comes from smitten kitchen, what do you expect? And tasty! I can’t even tell you. Classic, yellow cake, frosted with chocolate. Slightly sour, bitter chocolate frosting. But so unique!

(Coolest trick ever: parchment paper on the bottom of your cake. No more sticking cake bottom!)

Best Birthday Cake, indeed.

Here’s to birthdays! To celebrating life! To feeding people you love! To reveling!

(Lick your mixer beaters)

Strawberry Whipped Cream

I love me some strawberries. Especially strawberries with whipped cream on top.

Beautiful. Want to know what’s even more beautiful?

Strawberries in whipped cream. Whipped cream filled with strawberries. A match made in heaven. Yes, sir.

Strawberry Whipped Cream

Based on Cupcake Project

You’ll need:

  • 24 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 Tbs. pureed strawberries

The steps:

1. Process or blend about 8 large strawberries until they are reduced to a thick liquid.

2. Whip heavy cream until it looks like whipped cream. Stiff, but not too stiff.

3. Whip in sugar. Once combined, whip in strawberry puree.

Use immediately or store in fridge.

My recommendation: make a double layer chocolate cake (black bean cake, anyone?) and frost the cake between the layers, the top and sides. You’ll have just enough frosting left over for spatula licking. And spatula licking is the real reason we make cake, right? According to one very wise man, “It tastes like summer in my mouth.” Can’t ask for much more than that.

Top your pretty cake with the leftover strawberries. Store in the fridge until it’s dessert time!

I wanna know: What’s your favorite summer dessert?