Test Kitchen–Yellow Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

I recently had to make a birthday cake to take to a celebration so I went looking for a yummy recipe.  And as I’ve said before, it’s photo’s that help convince me if I will or won’t make a recipe.  And that my friends is why I love Pinterest.  So many pictures, so many recipes, so many creative people! 

Once I found a convincing picture with a recipe that I was happy with, I pinned it on my Party! board went to work. 

I did make a couple modifications to this recipe.  I used margarine in the cake since I was nearly out of butter – I saved the butter for the frosting.   I also used skim milk instead of whole milk, and added an extra teaspoon of vanilla to the batter for good measure. 

I made a 6” double layer cake and 6 cupcakes from this recipe.  I baked the cupcakes for about 11 minutes, and the cake for about 26 minutes.

And how did this cake recipe fare in my book?  The cake was delicious and received a lot of compliments, but it was a bit heavier than I had expected.  I would have preferred a lighter version.  The frosting was perfect because the cream cheese helped cut the sweetness that you’d find in a typical buttercream frosting.

 

So, are you like me?  Do you need a picture of a recipe to convince you to try it?

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Tuxedo Brownies – You Just Might Have Seen These Before

 

Years ago when I started blogging I made one of our favorite treats and shared it here on my blog.  But since The Joy of Caking was literally unheard of back then, this recipe didn’t get near enough the attention it deserved.   Yes, these mini brownie cups filled with a delectable white chocolate and cream cheese filling are delicious and absolutely deserve a re-visit.  For my original post, I modified the  recipe slightly by making a chocolate, not white chocolate filling.  But as you can see, I filled this batch with the white chocolate filling.  Oh, so good!

I can’t take the credit for this recipe.  As I indicated in my original post, the recipe came from the Pampered Chef Celebrate Family, Friends & Great Food Cookbook. You can get the recipe by visiting my original post by following the link highlighted above.

I am sharing these brownies at a 4th of July celebration that we have been invited to and I’m sure they won’t last long!

And just in case someone doesn’t want one of these chocolaty little morsels, I also made white cupcakes using heavy cream and frosted them with white chocolate pudding frosting.

Which of these two desserts would you choose?

The Finger Lakes Foodie Award Winners to be Announced

So, the nominations and voting in the Finger Lakes Food Revolution Slice, Dice & Spice IV have ended.  The votes have been tallied, and all of  us who enjoy gastronomy are anxiously waiting to learn the winners of this years Finger Lakes Foodie Awards.

And just in case you missed it, here are the top two contenders in each category that are vying for this years awards.

A celebratory evening honoring the top nominees, the entire culinary  movement in the Finger Lakes, and the presentation of  winners of this years Finger Lakes Foodie Awards will take place from 6PM-9PM at Finger Lakes Community College on Monday, March 18th, 2013.

The evening will feature a cocktail hour highlighting wines from the Canandaigua Wine Trail  and tastes of Native American cuisine.   Leading revolutionary voices from the local movement, including Susan Noble of the Food Technology Farm in Geneva, Peter Jemison of Ganondagan State Historic Site, and Jamie Rotter of FLCC’s Culinary Arts Program will make short presentations during the evening, and the  John Nyerges Trio will  entertain guests with their live jazz music.

If you’re a foodie interested in the Finger Lakes Food Revolution then you are welcome to attend this celebration.  There is no charge to participate.  To make your reservation, please call or e-mail AJ Shear at Revolution headquarters with your intentions by March 11, 877-386-4669, aj@visitfingerlakes.com.

Before I close this post, let me just say this.  To me, the Finger Lakes agriculture, food, and beverage scene is about a group of people who have created a local culture that emphasizes on the delicious regional cuisine and extraordinary wines, brews, juices, and spirits that makes this area a very attractive and unique place to live and visit.  Their products are a reflection of dedication and hard work, which in my eyes, makes them all deserving of a Finger Lakes Foodie Award.

 

 

 

 

Celebration and Giveway!!!

It has finally arrived!  The big day… My blog is officially one year old!  If you didn’t see it already, check out my post on the 20 things I’ve learned about food blogging over the past year.  You  might find something on the list you can relate to.To make this a real celebration,  King Arthur Flour  is sponsoring an awesome giveaway!  In my opinion,  KAF is the absolute best baking company.  I drool when I look through their catalogue, or surf their website.  I’d love about ten of everything they sell.  And, as many of you probably already know, the quality of their products are superior.  The fact that they are an employee owned company makes their company even better. So, what is the giveaway?  Drum roll please…. One lucky winner will receive the following fantastic prize package.
1 package of assorted swirl cupcake papers
1 box of deliciously simple chocolate cake mix
A package of 9 sparkling bright-colored sprinkles
King Arthur also sent me an identical package.   I absolutely love it!!  I haven’t made a boxed cake mix in forever, and I forgot just how easy it is.  I threw all the ingredients into a bowl, and mixed them with my electric mixer.  In less than 5 minutes I was done.  The batter smelled so rich and chocolaty that I could hardly wait for the cupcakes to finish baking.   The cupcakes (all 24 ) baked perfectly, and are so moist and DELICIOUS!  (Confession) I’ve ate way too many of them.    This is the cake mix of my dreams!

The assorted swirl wrappers so colorful.  I used each and every color.  They are made of a heavier grade of paper, and are imported from Sweden.  I noticed the heavier paper helped prevent unwanted movement when I was filling them with the batter.  And, the sprinkles are so bright and cheery – I guarantee you will use them for many celebrations to come.  I tried to decide which one was my favorite color and couldn’t.  They all are so eye-catching. 

I know the winner of this package will absolutely love it.  It’s practical,  super delicious, and FUN!

This giveaway is valid  for US residents only. You must have a valid US street address for shipping purposes.  Sorry PO boxes and  international friends!

To Enter:

1.  Link to the KING ARTHUR FLOUR and find something  you LOVE.  Then leave me a comment describing it.

2. For a second, third and/or fourth chances to win FOLLOW King Arthur on FacebookTwitter, and The Baking Circle community.

3. For additional chances to win, SUBSCRIBE to The Joy of Caking by Email, RSS, or Twitter.

Leave a separate comment for each activity that you complete.  You must do this to create extra entries.

The  contest will close on Sunday, March 27th, at 6PM Eastern Time. The winner will be selected by random drawing and will be notified on March 28th.  At that time, the winner will need to provide their address.

Thank you so much for helping make this a great celebration!  Please keep following, and watch for changes I’ll be making to my site as I roll into year number two.

Friday my blog turns one! But wait, there’s more.

Let’s celebrate!

Friday, my blog turns one, and it’s time to celebrate!! Follow along, because at the end of this post I’m going to let you in a little secret that has to do with my celebration.

I have been thinking about what a one year post should be say for a while now. Should it be serious? Or funny? Just to warn you, I sometimes have a warped sense of humor – yes, unfortunately it’s true. Should the post be festive? Or low-key? Long, or short? Showcase all of the goodies I’ve made? Or, should I create something entirely new and exciting?

The more I thought about it, the more I felt as if I had cornered myself into writing something like a commencement speech at a high school graduation ceremony. You know the kind I’m talking about. Where you share words of inspiration, promote enthusiasm, urge everyone to follow their dreams, and remind your peers they are about to embark on a wonderful journey. That didn’t fit, as most of you have already embarked on the journey of blogging.

My mind was digesting all of my ideas when it suddenly hit me like a lead balloon. I would share 20 things I’ve learned about food blogging over the last year. So, without further adieu, here they are in no particular order.

1. Foodies are passionate. But, so are people who raise chickens (right Molly?)

2. It’s the post that you don’t expect to get much traffic that sends your numbers to the moon.

3. The post you write that you think is super awesome, probably isn’t.

4. Your spouse is your biggest fan. Thank you! X0X0

5. Friends come and go at your blog, just like they do in the real world.

6. There are cliques in the foodie world. That’s life.

7. It takes a long time to learn Twitter lingo. By the way what is  #FF?

8. Not all advertisers will deliver what they promise. They know who they are.

9. If you bake something and it doesn’t turn out, it’s not the end of the world, it’s just the end of your next post.

10. When an editor of a well-known food magazine follows you on Twitter, it’s a HUGE compliment. When they tell you they were drawn in by your photo‘s, it’s even BIGGER.

11. You will grow as a baker/cook, writer and photographer.

12. You probably will never be as successful as Julia and/or Juliet but if you happen to hit it big – enjoy the ride! I’m still waiting for the ride…

13. If you bake/cook , blog, and sample frequently, you will gain weight. This I know…

14. Family and friends will love you for all the desserts you share – right down to the last bite.

15. Your oven/stove, camera, and computer are tools of the trade. Pray none of them break, because if they do, it will throw you off your game.

16. Blogging takes a lot of your time. Maybe, too much of your time.

17. You will get writers block, go into a funk, or become bored. It’s only temporary.

18. You will make friends from all over the world that you wouldn’t have made otherwise.

19. Without question, the BEST baking supply company in the world is KING ARTHUR FLOUR.

20. Food bloggers have the best giveaways.

Maybe these 20 things aren’t a one size fits all, but I’m sure you will relate to something on the list. Blogging has been a great adventure for me. When I started I was anxious, and felt as if I had walked out onto the edge of a diving board for the first time. I wondered should I turn around and retreat, or take the plunge. I took the plunge, and I’m sure glad I did.

With all that said, now comes the very best part. On Friday, I am having one heck of an awesome giveaway to celebrate. I promise you that you won’t want to miss it. And yes, there are clues in this post.

This could be a clue

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration With Vanilla Mini’s

  

Many people will celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with corn beef and cabbage. I’ve decided to celebrate mine with these delicious mini vanilla cupcakes. I know I’m a week early, but I’m gearing up for the big day!

Rather than bore you with a bunch of gibber jabber, I’m just going to share some of my pictures of these little gems with you.

How are you going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year? With your favorite Leprechaun, wearing all the green you can find in your closet, eating Irish stew, watching a parade, or drinking the traditional green beer, or Irish whiskey?