Colored Flames

I found candles for Ryan’s birthday cake that claimed to burn with colored flames. I was a little skeptical, but decided to give them a try:

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They worked out pretty well! Now the children want to have colored flame candles on their birthday cakes, too!

Tasty Tuesday–Margarita Layer Cake

Last week, I tried a new recipe for my birthday cake. I was a little worried about it, because I tweaked the original recipe to the point where it was unrecognizable, and I’m not sure that birthdays are the right occasion for such baking experimentation. I shouldn’t have worried, though…this turned out to be one of the best cakes I’ve ever made! I’m planning on trying a strawberry-margarita version soon, by substituting a strawberry cake mix for the orange…this recipe has lots of potential for future tweaking!

Margarita Cake

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package orange cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup tequila

Lime Pastry Cream Filling

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest (from 2 large lime)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 large lime)

Tequila-Lime Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • Zest and juice from one lime
  • 3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 or 9 inch cake pans.
In a large bowl combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, water, 1/4 cup lime juice, and 1/2 cup tequila. Beat for 2 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove to rack and cool completely before frosting.
To make the lime pastry cream: In a small saucepan, bring the milk and lime zest to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar and flour (mixture will be thick). Pour the milk mixture into the bowl and whisk until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until smooth and thick, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Whisk in the vanilla and lime juice until smooth. Transfer the pastry cream to a clean bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the tequila lime whipped cream: Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add tequila, lime juice and zest, and powdered sugar (to taste) and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

To assemble: Spread a generous layer of lime pastry cream between cake layers. Frost top and sides of cake with tequila-lime whipped cream. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor. If you happen to have pastry cream and whipped cream left over (I had doubled the pastry cream recipe, which was unnecessary, but delicious!) you can fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream for a wonderful tequila lime mousse.

Stay tuned for the other margarita dessert I made last week…I may have reached the pinnacle of my baking career!

Lemon Lush Cake

This is a great recipe if you love lemons, or if you’re looking to make something that will look really pretty. I loved the way all of the layers looked before I added the frosting!

Lemon Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup limoncello liqueur

Lemon Curd Filling

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten

Lemon Pastry Cream Filling

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (from 2 large lemons)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)

Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 Tbsp. limoncello liqueur, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8 inch round pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk and limoncello, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

To make lemon curd filling: In medium saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Mix in 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thick (not to boil).

Pour mixture into medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming as it cools. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the lemon pastry cream: In a small saucepan, bring the milk and lemon zest to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar and flour (mixture will be thick). Pour the milk mixture into the bowl and whisk until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until smooth and thick, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Whisk in the vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer the pastry cream to a clean bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the lemon whipped cream frosting: Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and limoncello and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

To assemble: With long serrated knife, split each cake layer in half horizontally, making 6 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread with 1/3 of the lemon curd filling. Top with another layer, and spread with 1/2 of the lemon pastry cream. Add third layer, and spread with 1/3 of the lemon curd filling. Add fourth layer, and top with remaining lemon pastry cream. Top with fifth layer, and spread remaining lemon curd filling. Press on final cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake with whipped cream frosting. Refrigerate cake until serving time.

Tasty Tuesday–Mocha Mousse Cake

Cake

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist triple chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 4 eggs
Mocha Mousse
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Chocolate Whipped Cream Topping
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch processed unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Heat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour bottoms and sides of two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, 2 tablespoons liqueur and the eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans.
  • Bake 8-inch pans 34 to 40 minutes, 9-inch pans 31 to 37 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, to make mousse, in 2-quart saucepan, mix 1/4 cup of the whipping cream, the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup liqueur. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture simmers; remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips with whisk until chips are melted. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Pour into large bowl; cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  • In chilled medium bowl, beat remaining 1 3/4 cups whipping cream on high speed just until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • In another chilled medium bowl, beat topping ingredients on high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Trim off rounded top of one cake layer. Cut each cake layer horizontally to make 2 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on serving plate; spread with one-third of the mousse. Repeat with second and third layers. Top with fourth layer, cut side down. Spread topping over side and top of cake. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Store covered in refrigerator.

Tasty Tuesday–Coconut Cream Layer Cake

This cake smells and tastes like summer–it is seriously coconuty! I’m guessing you could also add some drained, crushed pineapple to the cake batter before baking to make a piña colada cake. Alternately, you could also fill the cake with a pineapple mixture (for example, folding some drained, crushed pineapple into about a 1/2 cup of the coconut whipped cream, or even simply using pineapple jelly), between the layers for a similar effect. In addition, to turn it into a booze soaked cake, you could replace some of the water in the recipe with rum. You could also just add some run extract for the full piña colada flavor without all the alcohol of rum itself.
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut cream
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two round cake pans.
In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, oil, water and 1 tsp. coconut extract. Beat for 2 minutes and pour into prepared pans. Bake according to directions on box, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack.
In a medium bowl, combine coconut cream with sweetened condensed milk and stir until smooth. Return cakes to pans and poke holes into them in even rows using a large fork or chopsticks. Pour milk mixture over, allowing it to soak into the cake. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
In a large bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and coconut extract and continue whipping until stiff.
Carefully remove one cake layer from pan and frost with coconut whipped cream. Top with remaining cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake.
Sprinkle top with flaked coconut.

Booze Soaked Cake #7–Pumpkin Spice

It’s been quite a long time, but I finally had an idea for a new booze-soaked cake! I’m working on ideas for two others…not sure when I’ll get around to them, though.

I saw a display of pumpkin pie liqueur, (sounds gross, right?), in the store last month, and the idea for this new booze soaked cake was born. I decided to use pumpkin spice creamer, a spice cake, and pumpkin spice jell-o pudding to complete the recipe. This is definitely one of my favorites, (although it still doesn’t match the peppermint chocolate version!), and it really tastes like fall! It’s definitely a seasonal cake, though, because the creamer, pudding, and liqueur are only available at this time of year.

Cake:

1 package spice cake mix
1 cup non dairy pumpkin spice flavored coffee creamer
1 cup pumpkin pie liqueur
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Filling/Frosting:

1 (3.5 ounce) package instant pumpkin spice pudding mix
1 cup non dairy pumpkin spice flavored coffee creamer
1/4 cup pumpkin pie liqueur
2 cups heavy cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour three 8- inch pans.

Mix together the cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin spice flavored creamer, 1 cup pumpkin pie liqueur, eggs and oil until blended. Distribute cake batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, making certain the cake layers do not overbake. Allow to cool completely before filling/frosting.

To make the pumpkin spice whipped cream filling/frosting: Combine pudding mix, 1/4 cup pumpkin pie liqueur and 1 cup pumpkin spice flavored creamer. Set aside for 5 minutes until thickened. Fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin spice mixture. Use to fill and frost the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tasty Tuesday–Best-Ever Carrot Cake

This is the best carrot cake recipe I’ve made (and I’ve tried a lot of them!). I like it for two reasons: the cake doesn’t have extra “stuff” added, (raisins, chopped nuts, pineapple, coconut, etc.), and the cream cheese frosting isn’t overly sweet (which has been a problem with most of the other recipes I’ve tried).

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 round cake pans. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cake.