Tag-Archive for ◊ frosting ◊

29 Jan 2011 Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been in a funk all week.  I made two more cakes from that book I was all aglow about last weekend.  I’m no longer glowing.

First off, I wanted to make the Red Velvet cake; the picture looked so great, and it was front and center on the cover, so I had high hopes.  The recipe was a bit odd though.  Red Velvet cake is supposed to have three things: 1) a very, very light chocolate taste 2) a very bright red color and 3) a pronounced tang from the addition of buttermilk and vinegar.  This cake was good on point one.  The recipe called for ¼ cup of cocoa powder, which is good.  I have seen some recipes for as little as 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder.  I wanted some chocolate taste in the cake!  The recipe also hit a high note on the red color.  The color in the picture looked good, and recipe only called for one tablespoon of red food coloring.  I have seen some recipes call for as much as three tablespoonsful!  My first hint of trouble was with point three, no buttermilk and no vinegar!  The recipe called for sour cream, but I was still going to go with it, thinking the sour cream would have enough tang.

Once I started making the cake, the trouble began.  First, the directions called for “a food processor”.  Um no.  The directions then said, ” Cream the butter in a mixer on medium speed”.  Not a food processor, a mixer.  Bad mistake. THEN, the directions called for two 8 or 9 inch cake pans, but the pictures of the cake-both on the cover, and next to the recipe-were of a three layer cake.  Uh-oh.  Having only two matching 8-inch cake pans, and two matching 9-inch cake pans, not three matching of either size, I decided to bake the cake in the  9-inch layer pans thinking the recipe probably meant to three 8-inch pans or two 9-inch pans.  I thought wrong.  I had too much batter for two 9-inch pans.  The pans were this close to overflowing.  The cakes baked up huge, and domed.  I am pretty sure the cake needed to be baked in three 9-inch pans.  Not sure how many 8-inch pans.  How could there be two such glaring mistakes on one recipe, especially in a book based on recipes that had been tested and that explicitly stated (and the specific reason I bought this book) that recipes with problems had been “rebaked” until they were right?

BUT, after baking, the cake looked good, but a bit crisp on the outside (probably due to over-baking because each pan held too much batter) and seriously domed.  Never mind, I thought.  I can fix it.  I trimmed off the over-browned sides of the cakes, and cut off the domed tops.  The cakes stacked nicely together.  Firm enough for a stable two layer cake, I thought.  I wasn’t overwhelmed when I tasted the discarded domed top, but I thought that was because the cake was still a bit warm from the oven, and didn’t have frosting on yet.

I mixed up the frosting for the cake.  It went on lovely and I spread it on thickly, but I definitely had enough left over for a third layer! Nevertheless, I though the cake was beautiful.  Look at the picture! I was all excited to kick off my Valentine’s Day marathon chocolate posts with this cake…, until I tasted it.  The frosting was to die for, but the cake was No Big Whoop, in fact, it was a Bad Whoop.   The light chocolate taste was good, and there was a bit of a tang, but it wasn’t a good tang.  The cake just wasn’t good. The color was red, but with a bad tasting cake, it made things worse.  I tested the cake on twelve of my favorite testers, my Dining For Women group. Most said the cake was OK, but nobody wanted me to make it again.  Everyone would prefer a chocolate cake, or a yellow cake, or a lemon cake or a carrot cake or a coconut cake.  No one wanted any more Red Velvet cake. The next morning I tasted the cake again, and I knew it was all over.  It just was not a good tasting cake.  Remember the red velvet armadillo groom’s cake in “Steel  Magnolias”?  Did you want a piece? This cake tasted as bad as that cake looked!  It was a tragedy.

I did get three requests for the Cream Cheese Frosting though. The frosting I will make again.  So the frosting recipe I will share.  I hope you have a good cake recipe to use it on!

Cream Cheese Frosting

From “All Cakes Considered” by Melissa Gray

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar (about 7 ½ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream the butter and cream cheese together at medium speed.  Gradually add in the powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).  Add in the vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Makes enough frosting to decorate a three layer cake.

I served the Red Velvet cake, with another one made from the same book .  More problems with the recipe but well worth a rebake.  Version Two of the Drunken Monkey cake is sitting on my counter right now.  A definite improvement over Version One in looks. Taste testing tomorrow.  I sure hope it is good enough to post. Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

30 Oct 2010 Doggie Cupcakes

No recipe with this post, I just wanted to brag on my daughter Abby.  Look at the cute “Pupcakes” she made for her nephew’s second birthday party!  Isn’t she talented?  She got her inspiration from Martha Stewart’s book, “Cupcakes”.  BTW, these cupcakes were not cheap.  By the time she bought the ingredients to make the cupcakes and to decorate the cupcakes, she had spent $50.  (I know because she charged it on my credit card.)  $50 divided by 24 cupcakes is just over $2 a cupcake!  (But there are enough leftover ingredients to make another batch or two.) They also took a lot of time, it took her and a friend about 4 hours, just to decorate the pupcakes.

15 Jun 2010 Homemade Frostings for Cynthia
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I received a request for some homemade frostings for a little girls birthday cake. Here are a few…, Vanilla Bean Butter Cream, Vanilla Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter, Creamy Mint and Maple. Hope one of them pleases the princess (and her Mama) on her (their) special day!

Vanilla Bean Butter Cream Frosting

1 lb. box powdered sugar
1/2 cup to 1 cup butter (taste preference. I always use 1/2 cup–but sometimes I make a cream cheese frosting by using 1/2 cup butter PLUS 8oz. Cream Cheese)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod (optional–if you have them, use them…but they can be expensive to buy)
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream (might need up to 4 T…, just keep adding 1 T. at a time until you get the spreading consistency you need)

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Peanut Butter Frosting

¾ cup peanut butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 lb box powdered sugar
8 – 10 tablespoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, mix peanut butter with vanilla. Then add in 1/3 of powdered sugar, then ½ milk, then 1/3 powdered sugar, then ½ milk, then remaining powdered sugar until you have a smooth spreadable frosting.

Creamy Minty Frosting

1 1/2 1-lb. boxes powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. peppermint extract (not mint extract, peppermint extract)
1/4 c. milk or cream, approximately
1 box Andes Mints, unwrapped and chopped

Combine powdered sugar, butter, extract, and milk/cream in a mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, adding more milk or cream, 1 tsp. at a time, if needed to bring mixture to spreading consistency. Spread the frosting on the cake and then sprinkle with chopped Andes mints.

Maple Frosting

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon imitation maple flavor
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

In small bowl, combine all frosting ingredients except powdered sugar and walnuts; beat at low speed until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until mixture is of spreading consistency. Frost cooled cupcakes. Immediately sprinkle with 1/4 cup walnuts. Store in refrigerator.

09 Jun 2010 Guest Recipe: Mini Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes

WHOOOHOOOOO!!!! My friend Louise is generously sharing this recipe with us. These little cupcakes are TO DIE FOR. Honestly. I want these for my birthday this year! Louise pulled these lovelies together with the help of Paula Deen, Ina Garten and a good dose of her own creativity.

Louise writes “The recipe for these cupcakes is both very easy and very yummy! For over-the-top goodness, frost with the Peanut Butter Frosting–you can even crown them with chopped, salted peanuts for that salty, sweet thing!” Please, crown with chopped salted peanuts.

My daughter Abby made these for the French exchange students in her dorm.  She not only got kissed,  on both cheeks, by both exchange students, but they also made her  famous.  Students stop her in the hall and ask for these cupcakes.  Dorm residents knock on her door and ask for these cupcakes.  Louise’s Mini Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes have defiantly been the highlight of her year at college so far <Sigh.  And to think I sent her there to STUDY. ..to graduate…with a degree…in Biology…in Forensic Genetics…>

Mini Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes

from Paula Deen

1 (18 1/2-ounce) package chewy fudge brownie mix (I’ve used Duncan Hines and Ghirardelli, either was fine)
24 miniature peanut butter cups
Peanut Butter Frosting, recipe below
Chopped, salted peanuts

Cupcake Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line mini-cupcake pan with paper liners. Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Fill the cups half full with brownie batter. Press 1/2 peanut butter cup into the batter in each muffin cup until the batter meets the top edge of the peanut butter cup. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, until the cupcakes are set. When they can be handled safely, remove them from the muffin tins and let cool completely on wire racks.

When cool, frost with Peanut Butter Frosting. Top frosted cupcakes with chopped, salted peanuts for extra yumminess.

Peanut Butter Frosting

from Ina Garten

1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Skippy)
5 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp kosher salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/3 cup heavy cream

Frosting Directions

Place the confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.
Frost cupcakes when cool, and top with chopped, salted peanuts.