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?


Maple Sour Cream Cake Recipe Review

I eagerly strolled out into my kitchen today to make a cake recipe that I found on Technicolor Kitchen’s blog.  The original recipe came from Food 52.

The photo’s of this Maple Sour Cream Cake on Technicolor Kitchen’s blog looked so delicious (all of her baked goods do) that I don’t know who could resist making such a beauty.

And then there was reality…

Sadly, this cake turned out nothing like I was expecting.  Either in taste or texture.  The cake was extremely heavy and oily, browned too quickly when it was baking,  and tasted much more like egg than anything else.

So, was it something I did?  Let’s take a look, and feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

I used olive oil instead of canola oil.  It should be noted that I usually bake with olive oil and generally don’t have any issues with it, but I suppose that could have been a contributing factor.   I used an electric mixer in place of a whisk – ??  And for the actual baking, I ended up lowering the heat to 325 degrees because the outside was getting too dark too fast (I did follow the baking instructions to the letter). 

It’s inevitable that when you  try new recipes there will be some that you are tickled with, and others that you aren’t.  I like to use these experiences to try and improve on the concept of the recipe.  I’ll do a little experimenting and see if I can shape this recipe to fit my expectations of  what I think a Maple Sour Cream Cake should be.

What’s the last recipe you can remember making that didn’t turn out a thing like you expected it to?

Devil’s Food Chocolate Doughnut Holes

I have decided to make a few sinful treats to share on my blog during these cold winter months.  With the holidays nearly over, and with winter arriving with a vengeance, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen again.

I know that lately I’ve been a slacker where baking is concerned, and for that I apologize.

Now, let’s talk doughnut holes.

There is little that is  more inviting than freshly made doughnut holes sprinkled in powdered sugar, or dipped in a sweet, sugary glaze.  Grab a piping hot mug of cocoa, coffee, or tea to go with them and life is good!

These doughnut holes are baked.  So, while there is some guilt involved in consuming these little gems, you can reassure yourself that you did your very best to cut some calories out of them by not frying them.

*This recipe was designed for use with babycakes pop maker.

Devil’s Food Chocolate Doughnut Holes

1/2 c. granulated sugar

3 tbsp. cocoa

1 egg

3 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 c. hot water

1/4 c. sour cream

3/4 c. flour

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, add sugar, cocoa, egg, olive oil, baking soda, baking powder, salt and hot water; mix with electric mixer until thoroughly blended.  Add sour cream and flour; beat until  smooth and creamy.  Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Follow the instructions that came with your babycakes maker for baking.  Makes 2.5 dozen.

*For best results, store in airtight container overnight and sprinkle with powdered sugar, or dip in powdered sugar glaze the following day.  Store in non-airtight container once sugared or glazed.

So, what’s the next sinful treat I’ll be sharing?  I’m not sure, it’s going to be hard to top these – seriously!

If you haven’t had a chance to review the other baked doughnut hole recipes I’ve introduced here at The Joy of Caking – then please check them out.

1.)  Vanilla Orange Cinnamon Baked Doughnut Holes

2.)   Baked Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes

3.)   Maple Apple Doughnut Holes




Creamy Harvest Tomato Soup

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With an extremely hot summer, our garden was didn’t fair so well.  It’s much quicker to tell you what we actually harvested, than what we didn’t. Tomatoes…

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With that said, I am not a huge tomato fan.  I love pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce,tomato soup, sun-dried tomatoes and ketchup.  I actually can’t imagine life without those foods.  I just don’t care for fresh sliced tomatoes. Odd? Probably…

So what does one make when they have an over abundance of sun ripened tomatoes that they don’t particularly care for?  They make a delicious, creamy tomato soup and serve it with gooey grilled cheese sandwiches.

Creamy Harvest Tomato Soup 

9 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 medium onion, diced

1 tbsp. olive oil

4 c. chicken stock

1 tsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tbsp. white wine

1/2 c. sour cream

Pinch of salt

2 dashes of black pepper

In a large stock pot, add olive oil and onion. Cook onions until soft and tender, stir often to make sure they don’t overbrown. Add chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, wine, sugar, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a full boil on high heat, reduce heat and simmer until liquid has reduced about 1 quart. Cool for 20 minutes.

In a blender, puree soup stock in small batches and return to large saucepan.  Add sour cream; cook on low heat until soup is re-warmed and sour cream is completely mixed in.  Add salt and pepper.

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What’s your favorite thing to make with fresh tomatoes?


Get Out Your Soup Making Pot

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One thing I’m going to try to make more of this fall is homemade soup, and the first soup on my list was Buffalo Wing Chicken Soup.

My inspiration to make this soup came from the RiverPark Grille in Waterloo, NY.  My husband nearly always orders this when we visit there.  And I’m always up for a few tastes of his, but on occasion, I’ve found it a bit too spicy for my blood.  That doesn’t seem to slow him down though.

I did some searching on-line and tracked down a recipe from the cool blog, sports-glutton.com (check it out).  I used the sports-glutton’s recipe as a guide but I did adapt it to fit our tastes. 

This is a great game day soup, but it’s not for those who are watching fat and calories. 

** I have adjusted this recipe since first publishing it.  This version is not as heavy and thick as the picture depicts.

Buffalo Wing Chicken Soup

1 small – medium onion, diced

1/4 c. celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 c. margarine

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

4 c. chicken broth

1 c. skim milk

1/2 c. light cream

1/4 c. sour cream

3/4 c. mozzarella cheese, grated

1/4 c. Mexican cheese, grated

Pinch of salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/3 c. Frank’s Hot Sauce

3 c. cooked chicken, cubed (I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken)

In a large stock pot, add margarine, onion, celery and garlic.  Sauté on medium heat until veggies are light golden brown.

Add flour to margarine and veggie mixture; stir completely.  Once veggies, butter and flour are completely mixed, add chicken broth and milk, whisk all ingredients together and bring to a boil on medium heat for one minute; stirring constantly.  Remove from stove, puree ingredients, and return to heat.

On low heat, pour in light cream, sour cream, cheese, hot sauce, and salt and pepper.  Cook until cheese is completely melted. 

Add chicken to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.  Pour into bowls and serve with a dollop of  your favorite blue cheese dressing.  Drizzle hot sauce on top.

** Cooks note:  My suggestion is to start out with a 1/3 cup of hot sauce.  If it’s not spicy enough, turn it up a notch like I did.

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What is the first soup you’re going to make this fall season?