Baking Weekend

Some people clean when they’re nesting; I bake. Ironic, given that I can’t eat much of what I make, no? But the children certainly don’t mind!

I started with an old family favorite–a Guinness cake for St. Patrick’s Day. My children have been calling this a “donut cake” for years…the bundt pan is still something of a novelty to them, since the only time I ever get it out is, well, St. Patrick’s Day! But every time they laugh about the cake with the hole in the middle, I think of that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where Maria is trying to figure out what the heck Ian’s mother has brought to their  “meet the family” party, and I laugh, too.

From there, I went fancy. Since Turkey’s birthday fell on Sunday this year, I thought it would be fun to bring cupcakes to Sunday School. We had seen Giada De Laurentiis make some beautiful, filled, cupcakes not too long ago, and I have a cupcake filling tip that I’ve never used before, so…

They were just as delicious as we had hoped. The strawberry/mascarpone filling was amazing, and the glaze, which was a vanilla simple syrup mixed with powdered sugar, was the perfect topping. Not too heavy, not too sweet, but very complimentary.

Frankly, I wish I had some more of the filling to eat…it was that good on its own!

Turkey’s cake was equally fancy. He had deliberated for quite some time about whether he wanted a shaped, decorated cake, or a round cake in a special flavor. The decision was, once again, made thanks to Giada. This time, we saw her make her husband’s favorite cake–an orange cake with a raspberry filling and frosting. This was my first experience using crème fraîche in a frosting, and while it did take some effort to track a container of it down, I certainly wasn’t disappointed with the results…it was well worth the hunt!

I’m already planning on trying a few variations on this cake in the future…I think both an orange/strawberry and a lemonade/raspberry version would be excellent. Not sure when I’ll get around to either of those, as the next cake I’m hoping to make is a carrot cake for Easter, (if I’m up to it!), but I’m very intrigued by the possibilities!

I haven’t spent this much time in the kitchen since Christmas, but I’m not complaining…it sure beats cleaning!

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