Mardi Gras King Cake

king cake sugared

Every year in one way or another I celebrate Mardi Gras. This has been happening for as long as I remember thanks to my mom.

She introduced me to the New Orleans culture and therefore this delicious holiday. I remember bring King Cakes to school since I was at least in 2nd grade (if not before).

king cake dough

Last year I made a few but this year the one I made definitely turned out much better. Proof that practice makes better (not yet perfect). Maybe not the case for this blog, but hopefully some more mental health related topics will come to me soon!

king cake dough finished

This is a fairly simple recipe that only takes a little patience to get right something I did not have a ton of last year. But this year. I had the whole day off yesterday so I had plenty of patience to work on this king cake.

king cake dough rolled

Filled with cinnamon, sugar, and butter. Absolutely delicious. Rolled up and formed into a circle. Nothing could be better!

king cake circle

Except to bake it and cover it in icing.

king cake iced

Yep. That is the way to go. Cover it purple, yellow, and green sanding sugar. Perfection. Couple it with some coffee in the morning, snack on it during the day, or a sweet treat after dinner. Really anytime can work. Enjoy!

Traditional King Cake

8 ounces of sour cream

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 cup butter

1 teaspoon salt

2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water (100° to me110°)

1 tablespoon sugar

1  large egg, lightly beaten

3 to 3 1/2 cups bread flour

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Purple-, green-, and gold-tinted sparkling sugar sprinkles

To make the cake:

Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.

Stir together yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (1 to 1 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Stir together 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.

Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cake on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes). Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.

King Cake Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Splash vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

To make the glaze: Stir together first 4 ingredients. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk, adding additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until spreading consistency.

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Red Velvet Cheescake Layer Cake

It is two for one Valentine treat day!

cheesecake batter

Not too much to chat about I just wanted to give you a special extra little treat. I hope you are having a great day!

red velvet layer

Red Velvet Cheesecake Layer Cake

Ingredients

For the cheesecake:

1  (12-oz.) package white chocolate morsels

5  (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the cake:

1 cup butter, softened

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

6 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 (8-oz.) container sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 (1-oz.) bottles red liquid food coloring

3 (8-in.) round disposable aluminum foil cake pans

For the white chocolate frosting:

2 (4-oz.) white chocolate baking bars, chopped

1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup butter, softened

1 (32-oz.) package powdered sugar, sifted

1/8 teaspoon salt

cake and frosting

To make the cheesecake:

Preheat oven to 300°. Line bottom and sides of 2 8 inch cake pans with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.

Microwave white chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl according to package directions; cool 10 minutes.

Beat cream cheese and melted chocolate at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in 1 Tbsp. vanilla. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake at 300° for 30 to 35 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecakes stand in oven, with door closed, 30 minutes. Remove from oven to wire racks; cool completely (about 1 1/2 hours). Cover and chill 8 hours, or freeze 24 hours to 2 days.

To make the red velvet cake:

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat 1 cup butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add 6 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Stir together flour and next 2 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in 2 tsp. vanilla; stir in food coloring. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch cake pans.

Bake at 350° for 20 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely (about 1 hour).

To make the frosting:

Whisk together chocolate and 1/2 cup boiling water until chocolate melts. Cool 20 minutes; chill 30 minutes.

Beat 1 cup butter and chilled chocolate mixture at low speed until blended. Beat at medium speed 1 minute. Increase speed to high; beat 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.

To assemble the cake:

finished cake

Place 1 layer Red Velvet on a serving platter. Top with 1 layer Cheesecake. Repeat with remaining layers of Red Velvet and Cheesecake, alternating and ending with Red Velvet on top. Spread top and sides of cake with White Chocolate Frosting. Store in refrigerator.

Vanilla Crumb Cakes

Every year for the past couple years I have made my friends treat trays for Christmas. I deliver them one by one in an effort to do a small catch up with my friends before moving on to the next person on my list.

It’s my way of putting a little extra Christmas joy in the holidays. batter

I always try to mix and match flavors and textures and make sure I add something savory as well. I would like to think if they were to eat the tray all at once they wouldn’t get bored with the flavors of the different items.

This recipe was my vanilla flavored and cake textured item.

batter in tinsThis was a simple batter to pull together. A couple whirls in the food processor, a whisk or two, and then folding it all together with a spatula.

Plus I found these adorable tiny loaf pans that would make a small cake fit perfectly on the tray!

loaf on tray

One extra plus, these cakes are extremely forgiving. In one batch I accidentally forgot to bring out the crumb mixture.. Yeah what is a vanilla crumb cake without the crumb?! A delicious, powdered sugar sprinkled cake!

See it really can be a no stress Christmas!

Vanilla Crumb Cakes

Yields 2 crumb cakes

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

To make cake:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Put sugars together in food processor bowl, pulse until combined. Add flour and nutmeg, pulse until blended. Put butter into flour mixture and pulse until crumbly. Remove and reserve 1/2 cup crumb mixture.

Combine buttermilk, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk in egg. Pour over crumb mixture in large bowl; fold with spatula until dry ingredients are moistened.

Spoon batter evenly into two greased small loaf pans. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture evenly over batter, pressing lightly into batter.

Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean.

Pecan Pie Cake

Well I did it! I completed my challenge. I got all three posts done over the weekend. I am pretty proud of myself (with this recipe and the completion of my challenge).

pecan pie cake

I made this cake for Thanksgiving and it did not disappoint.

IMG_2377

It may have a confusing name, but the name describes it perfectly. It is all the elements of a pecan pie in cake form. Pie + Cake = Delicious!

Pinterest never disappoints! I actually got a variation of this recipe from this site. I toasted my pecans and did not use the frosting because I am not really into whipped cream frostings. EndingTheSilence

Another great thing I found from the internet is a new program offered by NAMI. One of the presenters gave their opinion on the program and why it is so different from the other programs teaching about mental illness.

Pecan Pie Cake

Yields 1 Three Layer 9-inch cake

Pecan Pie Filling

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup dark corn syrup

1/3 cup cornstarch

4 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups half-and-half
pinch salt
3 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
To make the filling:
Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan until smooth.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, and boil for 1 minute,  or until thickened.  Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla.
Place a  sheet of plastic wrap directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from  forming, and chill at least 4 hours.
Pecan Pie Cake
3 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350. Sprinkle 2 cups toasted pecans evenly into 3 generously buttered 9-inch round cake pans; shake to coat  bottoms and sides of pans.

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Beat butter and  shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, and gradually  add sugar, beating well.  Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended  after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.
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Combine flour and  baking soda.  Add to butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk, beginning  and ending with flour  mixture.  Beat at low speed just until blended after each  addition.  Stir in remaining 1 cup pecans.
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Beat egg whites at  medium speed until stiff peaks form, and fold one third egg whites into batter.  Fold in remaining egg whites.
Pour batter into prepared pans.
To assemble the cake:
Put one layer pecan side up on plate, pour 1/3 of filling onto layer. Spread filling over layer without letting it flow over sides.
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Stack second layer on filling pecan side up, pour 1/3 of filling onto layer. Spread filling over layer without letting if flow over sides.
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Stack third layer on filling pecan side up, pour remaining 1/3 filling onto layer. Spread filling over layer. Decorate as desired.
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