Tag Archives: Cake

SMS: Whole Orange Poppyseed(less) Cake

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Whew!  After a crazy fun weekend with my friend Dana, who came to visit, it took me a couple days to get caught up on schoolwork, sleep, all those important little details.  And laundry.  Which is why I’m just getting around to posting this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe, and why I’ll be quick.  Our recipe this week was chosen by Melissa of Lulu the Baker.  She’s such a sweet person, just celebrated her blog-iversary, and has a super cute site (or maybe that’s just my love of polka dots talking).  Anyway, check her out, and you can also find the recipe for this cake there.

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I was really happy with how easy this recipe was- the hardest part was splitting the batter evenly, as I made three mini loaf pans.  They were 3 inches by 5 3/4 inches, and took 27 minutes to bake.  I chose to omit the poppy seeds, becasue they’re not my favorite thing in the world, and also because I didn’t have any.  The only other little change I made was to use some simple syrup I already had in place of the syrup we were supposed to make with orange juice.  I didn’t think the orange taste in this bread was as strong as I had expected, so next time I think I’ll actually use the orange syrup, or maybe a little bit of orange extract in the batter.  However, the orange I used in the batter didn’t have that super strong orange smell when I cut it, so it might have just been the orange.

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All in all, though, I really enjoyed this.  It was more dense than I expected, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  I loved how citrus-y it made my apartment smell, and I was happy with how well it divided into three loaves.  I have one out now, and I think I’m going to take the other two home this weekend, one for my parents and one for my grandparents.  I wonder what could be mixed in mixed in with this besides poppy seeds?

Check out the rest of the SMS’ers at the blogroll and see what everyone else is up to.  And if you’re interested, we’re baking out of the Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy- you should really go pick up a copy!

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Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

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When I was pretty young, maybe six or seven, my family’s summer trip was to a small town in Wisconsin where we spent several days at a bed and breakfast.  I don’t remember a whole lot about the trip, aside from our room having a lofted section, which was just the coolest thing ever, and a fishfry that took place late into one night at the building next door.  My strongest memory, however, is of the raspberries.  It was in the middle of berry season, and there were raspberries everywhere.  They were the biggest berries I’d ever seen in my life, and the sweetest, too.  One morning for breakfast, I just had a big bowl of raspberries, blueberries, and whipped cream- because you can do that when you’re six and on vacation.  My family remembers the raspberries well, and my dad claims they’re the best he’s ever had in his life.  And to this day, raspberries are one of my favorite fruits.

So when I saw this recipe for raspberry buttermilk cake on Smitten Kitchen, I was, well, smitten.  In addition to being full of my favorite fruit, which happened to be on sale for a steal, it didn’t have too much butter or sugar, so the berries would really shine through.  After I made it, I’d say it’s pretty heavenly.  It’s not overly sweet, and is very tender.  It was even still good a couple days later, although it was best the first day.  I think it would be perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but want to know a secret?  I ate it on its own for breakfast, and that was fine by me!

The only change I made to the recipe was to bake it in four 4-inch pans, which baked for about 19-25 minutes.  If you want to make the recipe in 4-inch pans, though, I’d say be really careful on the bake times, because my oven’s a little bit crazy so I don’t know how accurate those times are.  My first two were done in 19 minutes, but the second two were still liquid at that point.  If you don’t feel like dealing with that, just bake the cake in the 9-inch pan.  Just go make this cake, now!  Sub in whatever berries or fruit you like best if you’re not a big raspberry person.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

from Gourmet magazine, via Smitten Kitchen with my changes in italics

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (about 5 ounces)

1) Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. I used four 4-inch diameter Springform pans.

2) Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3) Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer (by hand) at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.

4) At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined. I missed this step and just added the buttermilk all at once, then the dry ingredients.

5) Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

6) Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes (19-25 minutes). Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.

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Gooey Butter Cake

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I’m beginning to feel badly for starting a cooking blog during the two craziest months of the year.  I was running a big dance event when I started this, then had finals, and now I’m studying cramming for the LSAT, the Law School Admissions Test, which I’m taking on June 8th.  I’ve been super lax in commenting on the other SMS’ers posts, and this week completely forgot to post the cherry pie!  I have a whole bunch of recipes I’ve made and taken pictures of in the last month, but haven’t gotten around to posting them, so I’m going to try to kick my butt and get them up.  In the meantime, I’m really sorry for being an absent commenter, and I will try harder to get posts up and comment on everyone’s pages, pinkie promise!

Anyway, I made this cake about a month and a half ago.  Mike’s on the school’s Formula SAE team, which builds racecars and takes them to competitions around the country.  In April he was in Virginia for a week with the team at their biggest competition of the year.  There were 21 total teams there from universities around the country, and U of I came in third!  When Mike got back, I made him a tray of butter cake, since it’s just about his favorite kind of cake there is.  I think it’s a local Springfield thing, because I’d never heard of it before we started dating.  In fact, the cookbook I have describes it, saying “Some people say Gooey Butter Cake was the result of an accident in a Springfield bakery.  Others say it was created in St. Louis.  Whatever the source, buttery, rich Gooey Butter Cakes are a Springfield tradition.”  It’s basically a very thin, buttery cake with a nice vanilla flavor, which is then topped with a sort of cream cheese icing, and then baked.  It is very rich and sweet, with a nice bit of “crunch” from the topping to contrast the gooeyness of the insides.

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Your ingredients.  You can make this using a boxed cake mix, or not.  I used the boxed cake mix for speed, and because I couldn’t find dry milk powder that day.

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I love this stuff.  It’s a cooking spray with flour mixed in, so you don’t have to grease and flour a pan separately.  It just cuts down on a lot of time.  There are a lot of companies that make it, and I don’t really notice a difference between brands.

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Mix all of your cake ingredents, or your cake mix, and press the dough (it will be very stiff, which is why I don’t consider it a batter) into your greased pan.

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Whip your cream cheese until it is creamy, then add your eggs and vanilla.  If you’re lucky, they’ll make a smiley face!

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Add your powdered sugar, and mix well.

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Pour the topping over the unbaked cake dough…

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and spread it out to the edges of the pan.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  The topping will be browned and shiny from the baked sugar.  If your oven heats unevenly, turn the cake halfway through.  I didn’t, which is why one side of the cake is browned and the other isn’t.  Oops!

I don’t have a picture of the inside of the cake (it’s not nice to bring people cakes with a slice cut out), but the layers kind of meld together, although the top of the cake is usually more gooey than the bottom.  And goodness gracious, is this stuff good!

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This book is called “Honest to Goodness”, and is produced by the Junior League of Springfield, Illinois.  Mike’s mom gave it to me for Christmas a couple of years ago, and it’s full of wonderful recipes, everything from down-home classics to more upscale recipes.  It also has a lot of little tidbits about the Lincoln family, including excepts from letters they wrote and menus for various state dinners.  It’s really a wonderful book!  If you’d like to get a copy for yourself, you can order one following the directions here.

Gooey Butter Cake

Makes one 16×11 inch cake

3 c. cake flour

1 ¾ c. sugar

1/3 c. dry milk powder

2 ½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. butter, melted

2 eggs

1 ½ tsp. vanilla

Topping

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 pound powdered sugar

Sift together cake flour, sugar, dry milk, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Add melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.  Beat together to make a thick batter.  Spread into greased 16×11 inch jelly roll pan (I think my pan is 17×12 inches, but it works fine).

Prepare topping by beating cream cheese until creamy; add eggs and vanilla.  Blend in powdered sugar.  Spread topping on cake batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until top is golden brown.  Cool and cut into 2-inch squares.

An 18 1/4 ounce yellow cake mix, without pudding added, may be substituted for dry cake ingredients.  Reduce melted butter to 1/2 cup and omit vanilla.  Prepare cake batter by combining cake mix, melted butter, and eggs.  I made this with a cake mix with pudding added once (I wasn’t paying attention when I was shopping), and I think I actually liked that one better).

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