A “Sweet” Post – my 2019 baked treats

I enjoy making cakes and cupcakes, and 2019 was a good year of baking for me. Here is a post showing off my treats, including my first wedding order!

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Angel Flake Coconut Cupcakes

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I got this recipe from a recent edition of Relish magazine, a small weekly publication that comes with my Akron newspaper.

This cake has a light and delightful flavor of coconut, and I love the coconut flakes mixed in with the batter. While mixing the batter, it was thick due to the added pudding mix and I was a bit concerned, but the cake was so soft and light! I am definitely keeping this recipe, and I will make it for Easter as a cake. I may experiment with different pudding mix flavors with the batter and frostings in the near future.

The frosting is made with Cool Whip, so this cake will need to be refrigerated.

 

Ingredients:

1 package of yellow cake mix and whatever’s needed with it (oil, water, eggs)
2-2/3 cups coconut flakes
1-1/4 cups cold milk
1 package Coconut Cream instant pudding
1 package Vanilla instant pudding
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tub Cool Whip, thawed

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F.

2. Prepare the yellow cake mix as directed and also add 2/3 cup coconut flakes, 1/4 cup milk, and the dry coconut pudding mix. The batter will be thick. Pour into cake pans (or, in my case, cupcake tins). Bake cake according to directions, and cupcakes need about 19 minutes.

3. To make the frosting, whisk the dry vanilla pudding with 1 cup milk. Mix in the Cool Whip. Set it in the refrigerator to thicken as your cake cools. This will be a soft frosting and isn’t pipeable, so just use a knife to spread it. Sprinkle the remaining coconut flakes on top.

Vanilla Cake (from scratch!) with Kahlua Buttercream Frosting

A baking first for me: cake from scratch.

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It was my mother’s birthday last week, but yesterday was when her parents came over for birthday cake. I offered to make her cake, and after some suggestions we decided that we’d try to make a vanilla cake from scratch. She had a recipe in her cookbook for a white cake; she had never tried it, so I figured that I’d give it a go.

The recipe was originally using almond and vanilla extracts; we’re not fans of almond flavoring, so we just replaced it with more vanilla.

We got mixed reviews on the cake. I’m not sure if it’s because we didn’t let it warm up to room temperature (it had been in our freezing sunroom), but the cake seemed dense and thick. Look in the photo below to see what a cut of the cake looked like inside. The batter seemed oddly sticky, whereas I’m used to runny batter when using mixes. Taste-wise, it tasted good. Nice vanilla taste, and wasn’t too sweet.

UPDATE: We put our cake slices in the microwave for a few seconds, and the cake was perfectly fluffy and light, so our problem was that we chilled/refrigerated the cake. I suggest keeping your cake room temperature as long as you can.

I baked this cake on a jelly roll pan, and then cut it into thirds to make a three-layer cake.

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White Vanilla Cake

2 3/4 cups sifted flour
4 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
2 t vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter
4 egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease and flour pans. (Or, if you’re baking a cake like how I did, a sheet of parchment paper on a jelly roll pan will be enough.)

2. Sift flour with the baking powder and salt in one bowl.

3. In another bowl, combine butter with vanilla and cream until soft. Work in 1 cup of sugar until fluffy.

4. In a third bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, then beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar.

5. Add the flour and milk alternately to the butter mixture. Fold in the egg whites into the batter gently until egg whites are blended. Pour into pans.

6. Bake for 25 minutes or until it tests done, when a knife comes out clean. (If you bake in a jelly roll pan, it will be done in approximately 15 minutes.)

… but I’m going to guess that you’re more excited for the frosting. Boozy frosting? Yes please!

When I first made this recipe last week for cupcakes, I followed the recipe exactly. The Kahlua was DEFINITELY present, and perhaps a bit too boozy (like, I could feel it hitting me and making me feel a bit buzzed haha). When I made the frosting this weekend for the cake, I omitted one tablespoon of Kahlua and substituted it with one tablespoon of vanilla extract; it tasted much smoother, not as boozy, but still incredibly delicious. I imagine this frosting being great on Devil’s Food cake. Oooo baby!

Kahlua Buttercream Frosting

1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups (plus extra) powdered sugar
3 T Kahlua
1 t vanilla extract
3 T instant coffee granules

1. Cream the butter until smooth, then gradually add the sugar. Start off with the initial 1.5 cups.

2. In a small bowl, combine the Kahlua, vanilla, and coffee granules until the coffee dissolves.

3. Add the liquid to the butter-sugar mixture and mix well. Add additional sugar until the desired consistency is achieved.

* To frost the cake above, I doubled this recipe. *

For a bonus, here are the cupcakes I made last week for my mom’s birthday-day. It’s French Vanilla cake mix, with a Ferrero Rocher baked in the middle. Kahlua Buttercream on top. This was pretty much heaven in cupcake form. PERFECTION.

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