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.
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.
One of my new favorite things is brown butter. It’s so nutty and sweet and has the most unique warm flavors. I want to put it in and on everything – pasta, rice kirspies treats, and this perfect fall frosting. I made my favorite pumpkin cupcake recipe a couple weekends ago for a party but I wanted to do something different than a plain cream cheese frosting. Remembered my love for brown butter. Adding extra cinnamon. And voilà! I think I just whipped up the best frosting ever.
Seriously. Best. It would also go well with a great vanilla cake or banana cake. So go make this frosting soon…and report back. Do you love the brown butter as much as I do?
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- In a large bowl, beat together eggs, pumpkin, sugars, and oil. Slowly add the flour mixture until fully combined.
- Divide batter into cups and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool.
Cinnamon Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Brown the butter, then set aside to cool completely. (It might look congealed a little but it’s ok to use.)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat browned butter and cream cheese. Add in cinnamon and vanilla.
- Slowly incorporate confectioners’ sugar until sweetened to your liking. Frost cupcakes.
*Forgive the crappy photos, I baked these during a day of drinking at a beer festival :)
Obligatory pumpkin post? No way. Are you kidding me? I love this stuff!
Well it’s officially fall now. It’s chilly and dark and warm apple cider is necessary to survive an apartment with the air conditioning still on. While I’ve started to enjoy my tall boots and chunky sweaters – I’m really for some actual fall. No more of this rain business. I’m looking for a crisp day full of sunshine and golden leaves…a day just like this one last year.
I’ve done pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin cheesecake so I wanted to try something different this time around. Whoopie pies have all the flavors of a cupcake that I love but just with a little twist. Also they were easily portable (lined up in a little box) to bring to work. I halved this recipe but that was just silly because it only made nine pies and of course that’s not enough.
What’s your favorite, go-to fall recipe? Pumpkin recipe? Let’s share!
Oh, coffee. How you fuel me.
I never really thought of myself a big coffee drinker. But really, I can’t function without it, even though I don’t drink that much of it. I rarely even finish the two cups I make every morning. But still, just the smell, the quick taste of it, gets me going.
Recently, (and I’ve been strangely over excited about this) I’ve been making my own iced coffee. First, I bought a pitcher and some colorful tumblers (of course, the outfit always comes first). You can double brew the coffee and keep it in the fridge for a few days. I even made some coffee ice cubes so my iced coffee doesn’t get watered down. Add a big splash of skim milk and I’m ready to start the hot summer day!
Anyway…getting to the sweet stuff…. I’ve been looking for a new frosting for my go-to one bowl chocolate cupcakes. Inspired by my coffee love, I whipped up this mocha beauty.
Truly, these are cupcakes for breakfast. :)
- 8oz (1 package) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee, dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- Chocolate (I used leftover Easter candy) to grate and decorate