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Entries in recipes (629)

Tuesday
Mar092010

Big Funfetti: Funfetti Cake Mix Cookie Sandwiches for Serious Eats 

Cookie sandwiches involve so much awesome. In one single unit, you to get two cookies and delicious filling, and you get to eat them all at once.

But there's always room for more awesome at the cookie sandwich party, as I learned when I prepared a batch of sweet sandwiches using Betty Crocker's Cooky Book and the finest of cake mixes—the kind with a built-in rainbow. What better pick-me-up for dull winter days than a double dose of dense, moist, lightly tangy, cakey cookies sandwiched with rich, sweet, buttery frosting?

Here's the recipe, but you can also find it (and more) over at Serious Eats!

Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies

Ingredients

For the cake mix cookies

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package funfetti or rainbow chip cake mix

For for the filling (optional):

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar, depending on your desired consistency

Procedure

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Note: the original cookie recipe called for 8 to 10 minutes at 375°F, but I found that baking slightly longer at 350°F worked better for my cookies.
  2. Cream the butter and cream cheese. Blend in egg and vanilla.
  3. Add cake mix in two parts, mixing well (it will be a super thick batter—if it is too stiff, add a small quantity of heavy cream to the batter and mix well).
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, drop balls of cookie dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between the cookies.
  5. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool cookies for at least 15 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack; the cookies are very delicate when they first come out of the oven and they will break if you try to transfer them too soon.
  6. Once completely cool, add a generous dollop of frosting to the bottom of half the cookies, and then sandwich the rest of the cookies on top to form something that vaguely resembles a whoopie pie, but tastes like something else entirely.
  7. If you want the filling, go ahead and prepare it by mixing the butter until fluffy in your electric mixer; add the vanilla and then the confectioners' sugar, bit by bit, until it has reached your desired consistency. Thin with cream or milk if desired, and adding a few drops of pink food coloring never hurts.

 

Monday
Mar082010

Gimme More: Pisco-Infused Alfajores Recipe

C is for Cookie, but A is for Alfajor.

Say what?

If you've never heard of them, alfajores are definitely one to add to your alphabet of sweets: a delectable type of crumbly cookie commonly sandwiched with indulgent dulce de leche.

Though most commonly associated with South American countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Paraguay, Chile, Perú and the South of Brazil, these cookies actually take their roots in the Arab World: per Wikipedia, "the name alfajor is derived from Arabic الفاخر, which means "fancy" or "great" sweets. The archetypal alfajor entered Iberia during the period of al-Andalus."

Though this sweet treat has a long history, I took a more modern approach by making a Pisco-infused batch (with thanks to Gran Sierpe, who kindly donated some Pisco, a Peruvian brandy, with which to test out some recipes). The brandy adds a slightly sophisticated bite to the sweet cookies, compelling you to take bite after bite to try to figure out the source of the je ne sais quoi.

Want to make your own? Here's the recipe I used.

Alfajores

Adapted from About.com's South American Food

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Pisco (I used Gran Sierpe)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup dulce de leche, OR 1 cup vanilla buttercream, for filling
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut, finely chopped (optional)

 

Procedure

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix briefly.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture, blending with your fingers until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and Pisco, and mix with your hands until the dough is homogeneous and smooth. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. For this step, either follow the original recipe by rolling out dough to 3/8" thickness, and cutting into 2 inch circles--OR, do as I did and roll the dough into a log and then slice cookies to your desired thickness (I liked fat ones, maybe 1/4 inch thick).  Place cookies on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes, until they are barely golden brown. Let cookies cook 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to rack to cool completely (they are quite fragile until they cool).
  7. To fill the cookies, spread one cookie with dulce de leche and top with second cookie (note: as I found out, buttercream works beautifully too--picture below). If desired, roll the edges in the coconut. Store in an airtight container.

Monday
Mar082010

Peppermint Sweet: Homemade Thin Mints a la Baking Bites for Serious Eats

Smug, smug little Girl Scouts. Those sweet little sugar pushers can be found all over around this time of year, lurking outside of drugstores and markets with their addictive little missives of sweet cookies.

Oh, they seem so friendly and accommodating now. But what happens in a month or so, when they're gone and you've got a serious jonesing for some Samoas or Thin Mints?

You make your own, that's what you do.

Armed with a recipe from Baking Bites, I tested out a batch of my favorite, Thin Mints. While I wouldn't say that they're a clone version of the boxed kind (the texture is a little different, and the taste a little...fancier), they will indeed give you that much needed fix. Now if only I could figure out how to make a little plastic sleeve for them to fit in...

For the full writeup and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Saturday
Feb272010

An Educaketion: An Oscar-inspired Battenberg Cake for Serious Eats

Really, Battenberg Cake is a perfect food analogy for the film An Education.

It starts out with an unlikely pairing—only instead of May-December lovers, it's two cakes, one a light, girly pink; the other a rich, refined Madagascar vanilla (which in my version includes worldly splash of amaretto).

And like the film's main characters, both flavors breathe new life when put together. You get a delicious shot of sweetness from the pink cake paired with the intensity of the amaretto-infused cake. It's beautifully rounded out by a thick slather of preserves (and, if you're feeling decadent, a smear of buttercream frosting), all blanketed in a rich layer of marzipan.

Of course, unlike the film, you don't have to take the bitter with this sweetness. Dramatic, layered with sweet subtleties, and ever-so-British: consider this An Educaketion.

For the full writeup and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Friday
Feb262010

Cinematic Sweets: Inglourious Custards for Serious Eats

In the film Inglourious Basterds, a group going by the same name is set on taking down an evil regime in a blaze of glory. It's pretty intense.

And should you desire something intensely delicious as you watch, I couldn't imagine a more enjoyable treat than these Inglourious Custards.

These mini custards are an ideal cinematic snack: perfect portions of smooth, creamy vanilla custard in lightly crunchy phyllo cups which act as a vessel (a forgiving one, at that, if your custard hasn't set completely) as well as adding taste and flavor contrast. They're compulsively eatable: in fact, they go down so easily you'll be ready for a sequel in no time.

For the full scoop and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Wednesday
Feb242010

Go Nuts: Peanut Butter Blondies with Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe

CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post and recipe from Cake Gumshoe Julia, a 26 old wife, exercise fiend, and baking enthusiast. Her writing can be find at her site, Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body.

 Do you love peanut butter?

Did you know I love peanut butter?

I mean LOVE peanut butter. Not in a romantic way, but in a mouth watering, makes my taste buds sing kinda way. As I am getting older, not old, just older, I'm growing out of the idea that a dessert has to be based around chocolate. I now understand that a freaking amazing, mouth watering, makes you jump in the air with excitement, dessert can be based on something other than chocolate: peanut butter.

Saturday morning I woke up super early with lots of excitement and anticipation about what I would bake that day--and I realized it must be Blondies. And I could add peanut butter and make them extra delicious. I felt content with my decision. And after you make these, you will understand why I was so content. I can't say I am in love with these, because I am in love with my husband (ahh, how romantic of me). But I can say, with confidence, that these are one of my all time favorite desserts.

Peanut Butter Blondies

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Frosting

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

 Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly until smooth.
  3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter.
  4. Allow to cool while combining the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt – in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the brown sugar and peanut butter mixture, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared dry ingredients, and stir to create a thick, smooth batter.
  8. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly to the edges of the pan.
  9. Sprinkle with the milk chocolate chips, lightly pressing them into the batter.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan.
  11. Mix all the frosting ingredients in a bowl with a hand mixer. Beat for about 2-3 minutes; until all the ingredients are incorporated. Spread onto the cooled blondies.
  12. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Cut into 15 large squares, serve and enjoy with a glass of ice cold milk!

These are rich, dense, and simply delicious!

Thursday
Feb182010

Ringing It In: Olympic Ring Cookies for Serious Eats

The Olympics: a time to celebrate the infinite abilities of the human body and spirit.

Of course, if you're more of an armchair athlete, you'll be happy to have plenty of cookies to keep you company while watching those sporty types do their thing.

While my original hope was to link the cookies together in the tradition of Betty Crocker's Magic Rings, it didn't quite work out; however, when trimmed while still warm and fitted together, they form a lovely Olympic ring, served as a unit that is basically an excuse to eat five delicious cookies at once. And with cookies like this--lightly chewy in the center, crisp on the edges, and full of butter-sweet flavor, you may just find yourself going at these like it's an Olympic sport.

For the full post and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Tuesday
Feb162010

Up In Eclair: Oscar-Inspired Eclairs for Serious Eats

Up in the Air, or as I like to call it, that movie with George Clooney and airplanes, is a bittersweet tale of a dude who leads a largely empty life, traveling around the country for a job where he fires people, never really cultivating any real bonds or finding any real fulfillment.

Oh, George. Clearly, you don't know that so many voids can be filled with delicious eclairs, and so I'd like to present a sweet cinematic pairing: Up in Eclair. In deference to the film, the pastry is light as air and shaped like the planes which permeate the plotline. The lemon filling is sweet with a tinge of sour as a nod to the bittersweet story, and for your eating pleasure, the icing on top brings it all home for a sweet ending.

Check out the full post and recipe over at Serious Eats, part of the Movie Awards Season Recipe Series brought to you by Hyundai

Sunday
Feb142010

Sweets for the Sweet: Valentine's Day Cupcake Tutorial from Hello Naomi

Now would be an appropriate time for me to act very high and mighty on the subject of Hello Naomi in a "I discovered her way before the fact" sort of way. After all, she was first featured on CakeSpy over 2 years ago, while she was still a student and baked only as a Flickr-posting hobbyist. But I'm not gonna be like that--I can share.

Of course, awesome like hers couldn't be contained, and now she's moved on to wonderful things including starting her own baking business, and she's also dipped into party planning and works with a company that does invitation design

And happily, she's offered up a sweet tutorial for Valentine's Day Cupcakes. It's not too late to whip up a batch for your sweetie!

Valentines Day Cupcake Tutorial

Makes 12

What you will need:

 

  • 12 vanilla cupcakes (here's Naomi's recipe)
  • 500g ready to roll white icing (fondant)
  • Red gel food dye
  • Blue food dye
  • Circle cutter (the same size as your cupcake tops)
  • 2 size heart cutters
  • Non-stick small rolling pin
  • Plastic mat
  • Pure icing sugar for dusting
  • Water or cake decorating glue w/ small paintbrush

 

 Procedure

  1. Divide the fondant into 4. Using a plastic mat, dye one lot of fondant red, one pink, one blue and leave the other white. Colouring is done by kneeding drops of colour into the fondant until mixed through evenly. Pink is made by using a small amount of the red dye, red is eventually achieved by using a fair amount of dye (using a gel dye is much faster than using liquid dye). Use sifted icing sugar to soak up any moisture from the dye and prevent sticking. Wrap each colour in cling wrap. Wipe mat after each colour.
  2. Roll out the white fondant until aprox ¼ inch thick. Dust icing sugar on the top and bottom if sticking and dust away excess.
  3. Cut out 3x circles using the circle cutter. Using a pallet knife or flat knife lift each circle, lightly wet the back using a paint brush and place onto a cupcake. Smooth the top and edges using the palm of your hand. Wrap excess fondant in cling wrap.
  4. Repeat for 3 pink cupcakes and 6 blue ones.
  5. Once all the cupcakes are covered it is time to decorate them. Roll out the remaining pink fondant and cut out 3 large hearts. Lightly wet the back and place in the middle of 3 blue cupcakes. Roll out the remaining white fondant, cut out 3 large hearts, lightly wet the back and place in the middle of the remaining 3 blue cupcakes.
  6. Roll out the red fondant, cut out 12 hearts, lightly wet the back and place in the middle of each cupcake.
  7. Package them in a cute box with tissue paper, alternating designs, and give them to someone special!

About the contributor: Naomi was studying her PhD in Computer Engineering when she discovered her love of cake decorating. By posting photos onto the photo sharing website flickr under the user name ‘hello naomi’ she quickly became well known for her original designs and demand quickly grew to the point where she decided to start a business in 2009. Since then she has also ventured into party planning, collaborating with Imprintables invitations to form scissors.paper.cake.

Sunday
Feb142010

Sweet Cakes: Naomi Henderson's Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Hello Naomi's Vanilla Cupcake Recipe 

Perfect for use with this tutorial for Valentine's Day Sweetheart Cupcakes!

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (350°F ) . Line a 12 hole cupcake trays with standard size papers.
  2. Sift the flours together and set aside.
  3. Soften butter in the microwave.
  4. Warm the milk in the microwave to luke warm.
  5. Place the softened butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer (med-low speed) for 1 min until smooth.
  6. Beat on med and add the sugar 1/3 at a time beating for a minute between additions. (The fluffier the butter and sugar is, the fluffier and higher your cupcakes will rise)
  7. Add the vanilla seeds or extract and beat though
  8. Add the eggs one at a time mixing on med-low and for a minute in between additions.
  9. Once the eggs are mixed remove mixing bowl from stand and using a wooden spoon mix in 1/3 of the flour. Mix until there are no lumps.
  10. Add 1/2 of the milk and mix until well combined.
  11. Add another 1/3 of the flour, mix until no lumps. Mix through the rest of the milk until well combined and then mix through the rest of the flour until there are no lumps.
  12. Spoon mixture into cupcake papers about 2/3 full using an ice cream scoop. Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes until golden (rotate tray after about 15 min).
  13. Remove from trays and cool on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes before decorating.
  14. Frost as desired, or according to this awesome tutorial!

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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