Archive for the ‘Cooking Tips and Techniques’ Category

Deep Dish Pizza Cake

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
It's, it's a Pizza Cake!

It's, it's a Pizza Cake!

A hot trend in cake decorating right now is creating a cake that mimics something from everyday life.  Food shaped cakes are some of the most popular. 

My brother-in-law, Joe, just celebrated a birthday… and what better excuse to bake a cake than for a birthday!  Joe, like everyone else in my family, has a love for great food.  He and my sister have traveled and ate their way around the globe.  However when it comes down to the basics, pizza is his go to food.  With that information in hand, I decided a pizza cake was the best bet for him.  This was a fun cake to make simply because…who doesn’t like pizza? 

I started with size and shape.  I knew the cake would be round, but how just how big of a round?  I opted for a 12” round not because there were going to be a ton of guests, but because I thought it would be the most realistic size for a pizza shaped cake. 

Cake baked, cooled, and sliced; I needed to get busy with my plan for decorating the cake to look like a pizza. It had to look realistic. So I started with the obvious…crust first.  In order to give the cake a great crust, I piped a very thick wavy line of buttercream all around the edge of the cake.  After the buttercream was piped, I placed it into the fridge to set up while I worked on the fondant.

A thick, wavy piping of buttercream helped form the "crust"

A thick, wavy piping of buttercream helped form the "crust"

I have been making my own marshmallow fondant for some time now and find that it works well for me. Plus, the cost of making your own fondant compared to purchasing fondant is like night and day.  Not to mention, marshmallow fondant tastes much better than “regular” fondant – which is normally inedible. 

Once the fondant was rolled, I brought the cake out and went to work covering it.  The crust of a pizza is a multitude of colors and shades. To give my pizza cake this illusion, I watered down some brown gel food coloring and started sponging it on with a crumpled paper towel.  The crust ended up turning out great; it looked just like a Papa John’s pizza crust.

Sauce was my next task.  I chose strawberry preserves to which I added a dash of red food coloring.  I spread the “pizza sauce” edge to edge. 

The pizza "sauce" is strawberry preserves.

The pizza "sauce" is strawberry preserves.

On to the cheese – most people’s favorite part!  I have seen cheese done several different ways, my way was to melt white chocolate and drizzle it in a caddywampous pattern over the top. Then, it was back to the fridge to set up.

Now on to the toppings!  So many to choose from, where do I start?  Of course I chose pepperoni, the classic pizza accompaniment.  Since Joe is a meat lover, chunks of sausage made sense.  I added black olives for their round shape and unique color.  And finally, green pepper, to add a hint of green which rounded out the overall look. 

Anyone order a pepperoni, sausage, black olive and green pepper?

Anyone order a pepperoni, sausage, black olive and green pepper?

All toppings where made out of marshmallow fondant and then hand painted with gel food coloring. A more random arrangement worked best when it came to the toppings.  The end result was a super realistic pizza cake which everyone adored.


The Grapefruit Martini

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
The Grapefruit Martini
The Grapefruit Martini

This oh so perfect cocktail with an addicting sharp grapefruit bite, the Grapefruit Martini, was inspired by the Grapefruit Gimlet served at Lola in Cleveland, Ohio.  Made with grapefruit, lime and ginger infused Ciroc Vodka; it is the perfect blend of tart, sweet, mellow goodness.   Not too girly, this concoction is the perfect cocktail to serve at your next party or gathering. 

What you will need to infuse the vodka
What you will need to infuse the vodka

Infusing vodka is incredibly easy to do.  We made our infused vodka by taking a bottle of Ciroc Vodka and pouring it into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.  We added the rind from one grapefruit and the rind from one lime.  We also added a sliced piece of ginger (about the size of your thumb) to the mix.  We let this sit for about 3 days.  The smell of this infused vodka is divine – citrusy and sweet.  I am sure you could use it in a number of different cocktail applications.

Ciroc Vodka infused with grapefruit, lime and ginger
Ciroc Vodka infused with grapefruit, lime and ginger

If you are pressed for time you could skip the infusion aspect of this recipe and simple buy a bottle of Absolut Ruby Red.  We decided to sample both versions  of this cocktail – one with our infused Ciroc Vodka, the other with Absolut Ruby Red.  The infused Ciroc Vodka produced a much more smooth drink than the Absolut Ruby Red version.  We aren’t too picky though… we would be happy sipping either version.

Grapefruit Martini


  • 1.5 parts grapefruit infused vodka
  • 2 parts grapefruit juice
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Garnish – the grapefruit rind you used in your infusion

Shake vodka and grapefruit juice in a martini shaker and pour into a cold martini glass. Squeeze a bit of lime and garnish with a piece of grapefruit rind. Enjoy!

Beer Bottle Cap Cake

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009


My good friend Sherry decided to host a surprise 40th birthday for her husband Scott.  The party was to be a casual gathering amongst close friends.  I, being the girl who bakes, was in charge of all things CAKE related.  I got busy thinking about the cake…size, flavor, and of course, the shape. 

When baking a cake for a friend or family I always want to give it a personal meaning.  Scott, like many men I know, has an affection for sports and beer, Heineken Beer to be more specific.  What better way to celebrate such a milestone than with a beer inspired birthday cake? 

I set out to surf the Internet for ideas for this cake and I couldn’t believe how many I found!  There were bottles of beer cakes, ale flavored cakes, bottle cap cakes, beer can cakes and of course, cakes shaped like beer kegs.  I turned my attention to the bottle cap designs thinking this would be easier than some of the others to pull off. Sweet Retreat was an incredibly useful website, giving me clear step by step instructions on the process of building this cake.  Click here for their step by step Heineken Beer Cap Cake instructions.

Heineken Beer Cap Cake

Heineken Beer Cap Cake

I did choose to modify a few things in order to give it my personal stamp. Another difference, I don’t own an airbrush…yet.  I had to hand paint the cake which is nice for certain things but was not ideal for coloring this particular cake. 

I also decided to change up the lettering.  To do this, I looked for the Heineken Beer font online, downloaded it, installed it on my computer and then printed the letters in my desired font size.  From here I took the printed letters and covered them with sheets of wax paper, whipped up a batch of royal icing and began piping. 

When piping letters, be sure to pipe more than one of each letter as they will break every once in a while.   I let the letters dry overnight.  The next morning I lifted them off of the wax paper using an offset spatula and placed them directly onto the cake….great effect!  The cake was a hit and the party was too much fun.

My Attempt at Dessert Sushi

Friday, August 28th, 2009
Sushi anyone?

Sushi anyone?

As promised in my previous post, A Collection of Dessert Sushi, here is my version of dessert sushi in all its glory.  I used almond paste (marzipan) for the mock raw fish…which worked out well.  I could dye it any color I wanted, and craft it into any shape I wanted.  I was only limited on my imagination here.

I also did a lot of research at the grocery store on what type of “nori” to buy.  I tried the organic versions of fruit leather – these did not work.  Although some had a more realistic outer texure and color, they ended up being too thick and did not wrap properly.  The “fruit by the foot” did not work out well either.  The width of the roll was too thin.  I ended up purchasing plain old fruit roll-ups with no printing on them.  Which by the way, plain fruit roll-ups are hard to find.  They have certainly changed since I was young -  they are now tie dyed, multi-colored, printed with funny jokes and fake tattoos on them, incredible. 

As for my maki roll fillings, I used licorice and gummy worms.  These worked out well because of their length.  I thought the green apple licorice looked like a cucumber maki roll.  The flavor and texture was also a nice compliment to the crisp rice cereal.


Dessert Sushi
What you will need:

  • 6 cups of Rice Krispies
  • Bag of marshmallows – about 40 large marshmallows
  • 1/3 of a cup of butter (1/4 cup for your Rice Krispies Treats, the rest for your hands)
  • Tube of almond paste for sculpting
  • Food coloring
  • Various gummy candies for the maki roll fillings
  • Fruit roll-ups



1.)   Prepare your work area.  You will need a baking sheet that is topped with a piece of lightly buttered parchment paper.  Set aside.

2.)   This is the best time to make your mock versions of raw fish, tamago, fish roe, pickled ginger, wasabi and whatever else you want to craft out of the almond paste.  If you have ever worked with Play Doh, you will feel comfortable doing this.  Simply die the almond paste the color you want with your food coloring, and go to town.  It was fun trying to sculpt the perfect shrimp.   Have fun looking at pictures of actual sushi on the internet to come up with your own versions.  Set them aside.

3.)   Ok, now you will make your basic Rice Krispies Treat recipe.  In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

4.)   Add your rice cereal. Stir until well coated.

5.)   Using buttered spatula scoop the mix onto your buttered parchment paper, pat with your buttered hands into a thin layer, about ¾ of an inch thick.   This will form the “rice” for your maki rolls.

6.)   Immediately start making your rolls.  Place a layer of your gummy candies about an inch from the edge.  Now roll your parchment paper with the rice cereal over the gummy candies making your dessert maki roll.  Once it is in a roll form, slice the roll from the rest of the pressed cereal and set the roll aside to cool.

7.)   Make a few more rolls, leaving a few inches of the gooey rice cereal to work with.  You will make hand formed rice clumps to make mock nigiri sushi with the remaining rice cereal mixture.  Simply ball it up in your hand to form a little egg-like shape.  Your almond paste creations will sit upon these.


8.)   Once your rolls are cooled, it is time to add your mock nori to the roll.  Unfold your fruit rollups and cut them into strips that 1.5 inches thick. 

9.)   Cut your rolls into 1.5 inch thick pieces, now wrap these rolls with your strips of fruit rollup. 

10.) Finally, assemble your nigiri sushi pieces by placing your almond paste raw fish on top of these mounds of rice cereal.

Is that a real shrimp?  Sure looks real.

Is that a real shrimp? Sure looks real.

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Monday, August 17th, 2009
Shredded Chicken Tacos

Shredded Chicken Tacos

After an entire weekend of cooking and sampling recipes for the blog, I realized something – good recipes are hard to find.   It is difficult to find recipes that are not only nutritious, but that are also tasty and easy… recipes you won’t get bored with. 

I like simple flavors; I like rustic cooking; I like spicy; I like southwestern flavors; I like the combination of sweet and salty; but something I don’t like much…olives.  This is why the perfectly pretty and dainty tomato basil tartlets with olive tapenade didn’t make the cut.   I honestly couldn’t tell if I liked them or not.   I just couldn’t get around that overpowering olive flavor.  If I would have only gone with my gut and replaced the olive tapenade with a rich tomato sauce – you would be reading a different post.  But anyways, I digress…

Finally after a weekend of hot pans, mountains of dirty dishes and a load of unsatisfying cooking I made a real winner – shredded chicken tacos. Not your traditional ground beef hard shell tacos, but rather a shredded chicken taco with gooey Chihuahua cheese.  Mix in some crisp lettuce, diced tomato, fresh cilantro and a bit of Siracha and you are set. This is a recipe that is nutritious – it is tasty – it is easy.  It is all of those things and more.  Hold onto this one – you may end up using it often. 

Shredded Chicken for Chicken Tacos

Yield: 6 to 8 servings 
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 dried chili peppers
  • ¾ cup of your favorite beer
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1.    Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot or saucepan and add water to cover. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil. Partially cover and adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Skim any foam that comes to the surface. Cook until meat is very tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid and set aside to cool.

2.    Strain the solids from the simmering liquid and return to the heat.  Let simmer until slightly reduced.  Turn off heat and let cool. 

3.    While your simmering liquid is cooling, shred your chicken thighs.  Do so by pulling the pieces of chicken apart by hand – this seems to be the easiest and most effective way.

4.    Once your simmering liquid is cooled, add about ½ cup of it back into the shredded chicken and toss.  Your chicken is now ready; you can now assemble your shredded chicken tacos.

Shredded chicken thighs

Shredded chicken thighs

Shredded Chicken Taco Assembly

What You Will Need:

  • Flour or corn tortillas, 6 inch in diameter
  • Cheese, shredded –  I like Chihuahua cheese for this recipe
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • Tomato, seeded and diced
  • Cilantro, the leaves removed from the stems
  • Sour cream
  • Siracha, or your favorite hot sauce
Chihuahua cheese for chicken tacos...delicious

Chihuahua cheese for chicken tacos...delicious


1.)   Wrap your tortillas in foil and place them in an oven at 350 Degrees to soften for 5-7 minutes. 

2.)   Lay your softened tortilla down on a plate, add your shredded chicken and top with your favorite toppings.  Be sure to add hot sauce.   

3.)   Eat and repeat.


Basic Cupcake Baking Tips

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
Jumbo Chocolate Cupcakes

Jumbo Chocolate Cupcakes

Our Basic Cupcake Making Tips

Downsize your favorite cake…

You can turn almost any cake recipe into cupcakes. I recently decided to turn a chocolate cake recipe that was a success into something even more spectacular – cupcakes.  King size cupcakes that is, which in turn equals about 2 ½ regular cupcakes.  Almost any cake recipe can become a cupcake – jumbo, regular, or mini.  Just be sure to keep watch over your oven; baking times vary.  The safest bet is to a keep your eye on them.

What to do after baking…

After baking I am quick to remove my cupcakes from the pan, maybe a bit too quick.  I fear by letting them sit in a hot pan they will “over-bake”.  Once they are out of the oven, I use my offset spatula to pop them right out.  Then I immediately place them on a cooling rack.

I must admit, I am a “last minute” kinda girl and have often been tempted to frost early…this is a no no!  Unless your recipe calls for it, do not try frosting before the cakes are completely cooled – it never ends well, trust me. 

The subject of frosting…

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, you can frost. A generous amount of frosting is always good, but don’t go overboard.  Frosting tends to be extremely sweet, so a little goes a long way.  Try to create a balance of cake and frosting.

Directly after frosting, I get the cupcakes into the fridge. This helps set the frosting.  Buttercream, in my opinion, tastes best when it’s not too cold.  It can become hard and unappealing if it’s too cold – it is butter, after all.

It is best to keep your cupcakes chilled up until 15-30 minutes before serving.  Letting them come to room temperature will ensure that the frosting tastes its best.

Cupcake liners and wrappers…

Lastly, I need to mention cupcake liners and wrappers.  When baking a chocolate cupcake, plain wrappers work the best. The pretty printing on some wrappers just disappears with chocolate cake – so it can be a waste. It is best to use the fancy printed liners and wrappers with a lighter colored cupcake.


The cupcakes pictured are chocolate cake with a decadent chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream, topped with a chocolate covered strawberry, YUMMY!

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

I am currently in South America – Buenos Aires to be more precise.  So far, I am pleasantly surprised.  The people are warm and inviting; the food has been amazing; our hotel is surrounded by small shops, markets and trendy restaurants.  More details on my trip, the food and everything else that goes along with the travel experience to follow in a later post. The point of this post is to discuss cooking with the ancient “grain” quinoa, from South America, and it just so happens I am in South America.  There…I have made the connection.  On we go.

I discovered quinoa (pronounced Keen – wah) a few years back while looking for a vegetarian filling for stuffed peppers that was more nutritious than rice. For most, quinoa is known as a type of grain, not entirely true though.  If you want to get techinical, quinoa is actually a seed; it is referred to as a grain because of its cooking characteristics. 

Quinoa has a very delicate flavor and a lovely texture.  People have said it is similar to couscous – I disagree.  The texture is soft, yet there is slight bite from the spiral tail of the quinoa.  Spiral tail?  Yes, as quinoa cooks the outer germ around each grain twists to form a white spiral tail.  This tail is what gives it a pleasant bite or crunch.  The texture combination is why I love quinoa – it is heartier, more nourishing than other grains.  And thanks to its recent exposure in cooking magazines and shows, you can easily find quinoa at most supermarkets and at natural foods stores. 

Quinoa - Close Up

Quinoa - Close Up

Quinoa is high in fiber, calcium and iron, low in fat and is very easy to digest.  Compared to other grains, quinoa is the highest in complete protein which makes it an ideal ingredient for vegetarians.  Quinoa is so nutritious in fact, that it was used to sustain Incan armies who would march for several days on a simple mixture of quinoa and fat, or “war balls” as they called them.  As I stated previously, quinoa is an ancient grain; records show that quinoa has been cultivated in the South American Andes since around 3000 BC.  Quinoa has only been grown outside of South America for a relatively short period of time.  In the US, most quinoa comes out of Colorado.

So, how do you cook this stuff?  I cook my quinoa in a saucepan, a 2:1 ratio of liquid to quinoa.   For the liquid, I usually substitute stock for water as the grains absorb so much of the flavor.   Rinse your quinoa before cooking to remove any leftover residue.  I bring my stock up to a boil, add the quinoa and reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover.  I usually let it sit for about 10-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.   Then I fluff with a fork and set aside.  Don’t worry too much if there is a bit of excess water on the grains – it tends to evaporate as it sits.  If you feel compelled, you can always drain in a wire strainer.  I suggest reading the instructions on your box as each variety of quinoa cooks differently.  Trial and error works best when cooking quinoa. 

Uncooked Quinoa and Vegetable Stock

Uncooked Quinoa and Vegetable Stock

Quinoa can be used in hot and cold salads and casseroles, or you can add quinoa to soups and stews for more substance.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found on EpicuriousQuinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro.  I used roasted red peppers and ancho chili powder for an even richer, smokier “southwest” flavor.  The fresh cilantro adds a bright flavor to the recipe, you notice it immediately – it screams “fresh”.   

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans
Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, drained
  • 3 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • Feta cheese, cut into small cubes


1.) Prepare your quinoa to the package directions. Rinse before cooking.  Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool.

2.) Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

3.) Stir in the roasted red peppers, ancho chili powder and cumin and salt.

4.) Remove the mixture from heat, place in a large bowl and let stand to cool.

5.) Once your onion mixture is cool, add the black beans, ¼ cup of the cilantro and quinoa.

6.) Just prior to serving sprinkle in the remaining ¼ cup of cilantro and feta cheese. This dish is served at room temperature.  Taste again, season with salt and pepper as needed.

Cooking with Orzo

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
Orzo Salad With Radicchio

Orzo Salad With Radicchio

I love pasta – all shapes and sizes of pasta, especially orzo.  Orzo in Italian literally translates to barley, which is what it was originally made from.  In the US, orzo is known as rice shaped pasta – which is exactly what it is.  It is a pasta that is made from hard wheat semolina that looks like a piece of rice.  Its unique size and shape make it so versatile.  It makes excellent warm and cold salads; add a protein and it would make a satisfying main; add it to soups to make them a bit heartier.   It is a great partner with several different flavors and ingredients.

When it is cooked properly I like to describe it as having a “creamy bite” –  a creamy texture with a nice bite.  Like all pasta, cook it al dente.  Use a large pot;  just like you would cook any other pasta,  you want to give the orzo space to move around in the liquid. 

Orzo, Up Close

Orzo, Up Close

I usually cook my orzo in a mixture of equal parts water and chicken stock.  It adds extra flavor to the orzo.  You could certainly try other stocks to achieve different results…orzo is a blank canvas.

Once the orzo is cooked, it is time to give it a quick rinse and then drain thoroughly.  There is nothing worse than a “wet” orzo salad.  If it is warm and wet, it is sure to end up a gummy mess. 

Draining can be tricky.  The best method I have found is to drain it in a wire strainer or sieve, shaking it around well.  I’ve gone as far as to pour the cooked, pre-drained orzo out onto a large tea towel to remove extra moisture. It’s a pretty good method actually – make sure your tea towel is large, spread the orzo out onto the towel and gently pat the grains down with a paper towel.  Fold up the edges of the tea towel to make for easy transport.

Having tried many prepared orzo salads from specialty markets and grocery stores, I am convinced the best tasting are the ones you make at home.  Usually the store bought orzo salads tend to be gummy or contain way too much oil.

This orzo salad recipe was adapted from a friend’s recipe.  Thanks Cindi – love this orzo salad!

Orzo Salad with Radicchio
6 servings

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo
  • 1/3 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (or less, depending on how much oil the sun dried tomatoes added)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped 
  • 1 1/2 cups radicchio, finely chopped (about 1 small head)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced


1.) Cook orzo until firm to bite, but tender. 

2.) Rinse and drain orzo well. 
3.) Transfer the orzo to a large bowl.  Add sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and kalamata olives.  Mix and let stand until cool. 

4.) Add the radicchio, pine nuts, Romano cheese and fresh basil.  Taste, and then season with salt and pepper.    

Grandma Garretson’s Chocolate Cake

Friday, May 8th, 2009
Grandma Garretson's Chocolate Cake in Cupcake Form

Grandma Garretson's Chocolate Cake in Cupcake Form

I love receiving recipes – so of course, I was pleasantly surprised when my sister in law, Geri, sent me the recipe for her grandmother’s chocolate cake. 

My sister came over to help me prepare the cake – we decided to make an evening out of it.  We called this evening a  ”study in gum paste” since we were going to decorate the cupcakes with gum paste flowers. 

The evening started with a quick trip to the local Hobby Lobby for gum paste making tools.  Cupcake wrappers, gum paste mix, gel food coloring, and a set of gum paste tools and we were out the door.  I already had the gum paste flower cutters from a previous occasion.

Then, off to the local grocery store for snacks and wine – yes, I did mention we made an evening out of it ;-)

Wine of the Evening - Oberon

Wine of the Evening - Oberon

Once we were home, Jody began preparing the cake batter, which we must note, turned out very thick – almost similar to a brownie batter.  We decided to do cupcakes instead of cake, since cupcakes are so much cuter.   

Very Thick Chocolate Cake Batter

Very Thick Chocolate Cake Batter

We smoothed the batter out with a spatula – then into the oven.  At that point, I was already working on mixing up the gum paste.  I have worked with gum paste in the past, but had forgotten how labor intensive it really was.  We dyed it four colors with the gel food coloring – green, two shades of blue and an orangey-yellow. 

Colored Gum Paste

Colored Gum Paste

Jody then prepared the icing for the chocolate cupcakes that were now cooling on the stove.  This icing comes out very shiny – similar to a ganache.  The end result is a very delicate looking cupcake.    The chocolate cupcake was very chocolatey and very tasty, and suprisingly moist for how thick the batter was.  If you are a chocolate lover, these are for you.

Overall, we found that working with the gum paste was harder than we expected…but as you can see from the photos – they were adorable.  I have a new appreciation for gum paste or sugar flowers – it truly is an artform.

Thanks again Geri for sending me this recipe – we are sure it will be enjoyed by many.

Gum Paste Flowers on Chocolate Cupcakes

Gum Paste Flowers on Chocolate Cupcakes

Grandma Garretson’s Chocolate Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. boiling water
  • 1 cup cocoa


1.) Mix sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until blended.

2.) Add flour, buttermilk, soda and salt. Mix well.

3.) Combine the boiling water and cocoa in a separate bowl. Add to large bowl and mix.

4.) Spoon cake batter into cake pans. Cake batter with be thick, so you will need to smooth it out with a spatula.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until a toothpick comes out clean in center. For cupcakes, our cook time was about 15  – 18 minutes.

Chocolate Icing
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 c. cocoa


1.) Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.

2.) Place on med heat until it comes to a boil. Let boil for one minute.

3.) Spread on top of warm cake.  Decorate how you like.  Enjoy!

Our Cute Flowered Cupcakes

Our Cute Flowered Cupcakes