Posts Tagged ‘chocolate cake’

Master Paul’s 14th Birthday Cake

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

This past week the cake hotline rang with a request for a birthday cake.  This cake was for a young man with simple tastes who was turning 14.  I took a moment to figure out the cake plan. 

Chocolate and Strawberry are two flavors I knew he enjoys; this one was going to be a cinch!  A rich chocolaty layer cake filled with sliced strawberries and Swiss meringue buttercream, frosted with a sinful chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and some homemade chocolate covered strawberries.  No frills, simple and classic, the kind of cake you might see in a coffee shop bakery cabinet.  It is the perfect cake for any occasion.

Sliced strawberries and whipped cream fill this chocolate cake...

Sliced strawberries and Swiss meringue buttercream fill this chocolate cake...

My sister presented me with a copy of Martha Stewart’s new cupcake cookbook…love it!  I made her classic Swiss meringue buttercream and then jazzed it up by folding in some melted, cooled chocolate.  This frosting is so good you could serve it all by itself!

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Makes about 6 cups


  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6oz. melted and cooled semi sweet chocolate


1. Beat butter with electric mixer until fluffy and pale. Transfer to small bowl.

2. In double boiler over simmering water, whisk sugar and egg whites until warm and sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to clean bowl of electric mixer; beat on high with whisk attachment until fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes.

3. Reduce mixer to medium-low; add butter a scant 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Fold in the cooled melted chocolate.

4. Switch to paddle attachment; beat on lowest speed 3 to 5 minutes. Leave at room temperature if using same day. Or store airtight in refrigerator up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature; beat until smooth.


Happy Birthday Paul!

Chocolate Cupcakes, Cream Cheese Frosting

Monday, May 25th, 2009
Chocolate Cupcake with Cream Cheese Icing

Chocolate Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Some think Memorial Day Weekend is time to relax, I feel the opposite.  No rest for the Cake Lady!  Grandma Marion is turning 87!  Holy Moley!  My family and I spent our relaxing Sunday celebrating Grandma’s birthday and putting in my mother’s garden. 

I love Sunday’s at my parent’s house, they just feel good.  Growing up, my sister and I spent every Sunday at my mom’s parent’s house swimming with our cousins and then having a huge feast towards the end of the day.  Thinking about it brings a smile to my face. 

Another thing that brings a smile to my face is Grandma Marion.  Chocolate is the way to her heart so I baked her some extra large chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting…YUM!  Once again, Ina Garten provided me with a great recipe which I swear by – Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cupcake Batter

Chocolate Cupcake Batter

The cake comes out just the right, great texture and the perfect amount of chocolate.  Cream Cheese Frosting, who doesn’t like that?  Simple and easy, plus it compliments the chocolate oh so well. These chocolate cupcakes are sure to be crowd pleasers.

More Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

More Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 8oz. package of cream cheese (not whipped)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 8oz. powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


 1.) Make sure cream cheese and butter are room temperature. Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add vanilla, blend. 

2.) Slowly add powdered sugar and blend until smooth.  Quick note; this is not a stiff frosting and does not pipe well.  I use this frosting for cupcakes and simple cakes…Tastes great!

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

Giant Sandwich Cookie Cake Pans

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009
Giant Sandwich Cookie Pan From Williams Sonoma

Giant Sandwich Cookie Pan From Williams Sonoma

I love new kitchen gadgets, so of course I absolutely love these giant sandwich cookie cake pans from Williams Sonoma.   I first discovered these on Baking Bites, a great site BTW.  Yum…a cake that tastes like a creme filled chocolate cookies and looks like one too,  on the recipe hunt now.  I think I know what Jody is getting for her birthday :-) .

Baby Shower Cake for Miss Amy’s Shower

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Amy's Baby Shower Cake

Amy's Baby Shower Cake

Early I signed on to handle all things cake related for my friend Amy’s baby shower. I should add I’ve been tooting my own horn amongst my non-baking friends about how good I have become at this whole cake thing. Let’s just say the expectations were a bit high and I have lost a tad bit of sleep over the whole baby shower cake. Prior to this cake, all cakes I have ever baked have been for my immediate family or a single close friend.

This cake was different. Not only did it have to be 2 tiers it also was to be displayed in front of a gathering of women. Oh, and I forgot to mention the cake had to be chocolate…my sworn enemy.

Chocolate cake and I have had a long history of not getting along. I would say a good 80% of the recipes used have come out DRY!  The kind of cake that looks and smells great while baking, but when it comes to eating it is more of a disappointment.

I spent the weeks before the cake scouring the Internet for just the right recipe. There are thousands of recipes to look through so which one would I choose? I look for a couple things: Who’s recipe is it?…Is the recipe overly complicated?…What kind of feedback has the recipe gotten? These three steps generally make my selection process a whole lot easier. Ina Garten otherwise known as “The Barefoot Contessa” is who I borrowed this chocolate cake recipe from….I’m not sure I’ll be giving it back!