Kicking off the week with something sweet. I sure need it. I’m having one of those moments/days/feels like a lifetime of stress and I just want to crawl into a big fluffy cocoon and never come out. Ok, it’s not that bad, but I’ve definitely been having moments. When even the idea of making a cake sounds stressful and I actually contemplated using a box mix. That’s when I know something is off.
Anyway, you take it one ingredient and one step at a time. You may not think you have time for it but it helps slow you down. And watching the mixer gradually turn liquid cream into frosting is one of the best sights ever…it’s worth slowing down for.
I’ll get back to feeling like I’m on top of things. I can’t not get there. In the meantime, you just have to try to not get so down on yourself. Focus at what’s hand. Surround yourself with only supportive people. (I’m lucky to have many.) Don’t sacrifice things that make you happy for time or punishment…you just might find that those are the things, like cake and cream or a Justin Timberlake concert, that can pull you out and get you back to your stride.
Dulce De Leche Cake
Start with a basic white cake – like Martha Stewart’s. Frost layers with dulce de leche – like La Salamandra. Top with this dulce de leche whipped cream.
Cinnamon Dulce De Leche Whipped Cream
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup dulce de leche
In a mixer using a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until whipped. Slowly beat in the vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. Gently fold in the dulce de leche.
There’s not much that cake can’t fix. A day-long headache. An awful date. A freezing cold day. Especially when it’s a no-fuss, classic cake. You know, the kind that you’d make with a box mix for a 5th birthday party. The kind you’d find at diner under a bright light and glass dome. They strike a cord in your soul somehow. There’s just pure good stuff waiting for you in that cake.
I went into this baking hour with hopes to make something dramatic. Multi-layers. Two different kinds of frostings. Designed and decorated. But with no surprise, I ended up with this. When it comes to dessert, actually most food, fancy isn’t my style. I want that comforting cake that can cure my bad day or cheer up a friend. The one that’s about how it tastes. And how it makes you feel. Eat it breakfast, or at 1am after a Story of My Life dance party with friends.
It’s simple. It’s warming. It’s not made from a box. And it’s right in front of you.
Whipped Chocolate Frosting
- 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy.
- Add chocolate, cream, and vanilla, and continue to beat until smooth.
- Add confectioners’ sugar in parts until it’s all incorporated.
- Frost on a cooled cake like this classic vanilla from Martha.
August is one of my favorite months to go home to New Jersey. Everything is SO green and the local produce is super ripe. Schools out and everything is so slow and relaxed. It was so wonderful to spend a few days at home last week. I couldn’t have picked a better time to be surrounded by family, warm memories, and some of my favorite foods.
I missed my little town’s annual peach festival by a few days, but I was able to still celebrate the sweet Jersey peaches that are grown nearby. My mom and I cooked a big family dinner and I knew that I wanted to contribue a peach dessert. This cake was perfect. Even better, we topped it off with homemade peach ice cream from Alstede Farms down the street.
Doesn’t matter if you’re in NJ, while you can still find ripe peaches, you should definitely make this cake for people you love.
Jersey Peach Cake
For the topping:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup golden brown sugar
- 4 ripe peaches, cut into 8 wedges each (I leave the skin on)
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup light cream
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- For the topping, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and stir constantly for 2 minutes, until sugar is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into a 9″ round cake pan and evenly spread over bottom of pan. Place peaches in a circular pattern over the bottom of cake pan. Set aside.
- Stir together flour and baking powder in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and cream, and beat well until combined. Gently stir in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Spoon the batter evenly over peaches.
- Place cake pan on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for 55 minutes, until top is set and springy and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before turning out upside down onto a plate. Allow to cool before serving. Serve with peach or vanilla ice cream.
I have a few other favorite peach desserts so if you’re still craving more, check out these other recipes:
peaches and cream cupcakes
vanilla peach popsicles
Why not throw a party and match your jewelry to your cake? I love this simple duo, especially the little gold dots that really make the cake and cuff special. Elegant and sweet.
Have a great Wednesday. Hope you have something fun planned tonight to get you through to the other side of the week.
Oh and ps. I’m over on Michaela Noelle Designs today sharing some things I love (and don’t love) right now. Check it out!
Good morning! Wake up! You have your coffee and probably some super healthy bland breakfast in front of you and you’ll looking at these photos and drooling, right? Ok let’s change that.
You know I support cake for breakfast every so often, and I think I recently discovered the perfect one. I made a simple light vanilla cake (you could even do a box mix), but the best part was the strong coffee flavored frosting that I quickly whipped up and slathered all over it.
This sponge-like cake pairs so well with the sweet creamy cream cheese frosting and delicious coffee flavor. I’d also love this frosting on chocolate cupcakes or a hazelnut pound cake. So someone should try those and get back to me!
Of course it wasn’t beyond me to to pair it with even more coffee and curl up on my couch on a weekend morning with the two in hand. JCrew Saturday pants + a stack of magazines + this cake + big mug of coffee + a cozy throw + West Wing + hilarious group texts about the night before. Sounds perfect.
Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting
Ok, let’s see if I can remember how I made this frosting. Something like this…
In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter and 8 oz (1 block) cream cheese. In a separate small bowl, dissolve some instant coffee or espresso in a little bit of water. I would say I used about a tablespoon and a half of water and about two teaspoon of instant French roast. It all depends on how strong you want your coffee flavor. Beat in the coffee mix and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Finally, incorporate about 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar to complete your frosting. Spread on a cooled cake and enjoy with more coffee.