12.29.2012

White Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

One thing I look forward to every year and every Christmas is going to my grandmother's house on Christmas night with all of my dad's side of the family. I love it when we have these family get-togethers. My grandmother's house is always packed with people and food and Christmas decorations and music. It's such a fun time. We all talk about our jobs or classes, recent trips and vacations, and just catch up. 


12.26.2012

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I've got to be honest. I'm not really a big fan of gingerbread. At least, I wasn't until I made these gingerbread cupcakes. I like the taste and smell of gingerbread and I like gingerbread lattes at Starbucks around the holidays and things like that, but I guess I don't like the usual hard gingerbread cookies. So I thought I'd try them in cupcake form!



I originally wanted to make these cupcakes because gingerbread is such a popular flavor during the Christmas season. But before I could make them, I saw several versions throughout the baking world and Pinterest. I decided I still wanted to do something gingerbread and thought about making whoopie pies. But then I saw some of those on Pinterest, too. So I went back to my original idea and made some cupcakes. 

12.23.2012

Red Velvet Oreo Poke Cake & Cupcakes

I wanted to make this red velvet poke cake for several reasons. First of all, it's a poke cake. Cake with holes all in it and covered in pudding? Um, YES. Second, it's red velvet. My favorite. Third, it's easy to make red velvet cakes look Christmasy. And fourth, I wanted to make something for the very nice ladies my dad works with because they read my blog and leave me comments!


12.21.2012

Peppermint Bark Surprise Cupcakes

I haven't made surprise cupcakes in a while, but I've known for weeks that I was going to make these when Christmas time rolled around. I meant to post this last week when I made them, but I've got a new laptop! So it's taken me a few days to get everything transferred over from my old one.



I love peppermint bark. I mean, it's just chocolate. Like, plain chocolate. With some crushed up candy canes on top. Last year I made cupcakes with pieces of homemade peppermint bark on top, but this year I decided to try something crazy. Peppermint bark inside the cupcakes. I love the little Ghirardelli peppermint bark squares and thought they'd be the perfect size for the "surprise".

12.14.2012

Chocolate Kahlua Cake with White Russian Frosting

Like my last couple of posts, this recipe comes from about a week to two weeks ago. There was a lot of food going on for about four or five days and I'm still not quite sure how I got through all of it without gaining a billion pounds. At least I don't think I gained a billion pounds. If I did, it was totally worth it.



12.07.2012

Newspaper Cake (DIY Edible Newspaper)

My friend Luke is a pretty cool guy. He's really into creative writing, like me, and is partially responsible for my new obsession with food and recipe poems. He's also really into erasures, or black-out poetry. For example, he'll pick up our school newspaper on campus, choose an article, and color over all the words except for a few, and the few remaining words create a new story or poem. Anyway, Luke's really good at it. At his apartment, there's a wall where we all hang up our poems, black-out poems, and other kinds of art work. It's so fun. :)



Unfortunately, this will be Luke's last semester here. He's moving back home and going to a school there. All my friends and I are super bummed he's leaving, and this past weekend we threw him a going away party. We each wrote him a note and put it in a little box for him to keep. Luke's birthday is the week after finals end, and he might be back home at that point, so we also made the going away party a birthday party. So, of course, I had to made him a cake.

I wanted this cake to be really awesome. Not because I wanted everyone else to think the cake was awesome, but because Luke really deserved it. He's such a nice, friendly, and upbeat kind of guy, even though he's been through some tough things. When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he said funfetti, which totally fits his personality. But I knew it needed to be more than that.


I really didn't think I was going to be able to pull off this edible newspaper, but it worked! You really only need two things to make it: sugar sheets and edible ink markers. And I got both of them at Michael's.

For the cake, I used Sweetapolita's homemade funfetti cake recipe. I've never made a funfetti cake from scratch and considered using a box mix, but I really wanted this cake to be 100% homemade.

I used the chocolate frosting recipe from my Triple Chocolate Cake post. I used chocolate milk in that frosting, but I used regular milk for this cake.

To make the newspaper, you'll need two packages of sugar sheets. Unfortunately, there's only one sheet per package. I had originally decided to buy two sheets in case I messed one up, which was very likely, but it turned out better than I expected. So I used both sheets so the newspaper would look like it had more pages when I folded it in half.

I only drew on the top half of one sheet because I wasn't sure how long the edible ink markers would last. Each time I finished a column on the "newspaper" I folded the sheet to make sure it was long enough.

Don't fold the sheets all the way, though! The sheets will break along the crease. I wish I had known that before I folded them. I would have rolled up some parchment paper or something to keep it from laying completely flat.


Luke seemed to really enjoy his cake, and I hope he really did. On the left column of thenews paper, I wrote some quotes so he will know how much we'll miss him. For the middle column, I drew a picture of a Christmas tree because the weekend before, all my friends I had pitched in to buy one and we decorated it with all homemade ornaments. And on the right column, I wished him a happy birthday and that I was sad we all weren't going to be celebrating it on his actual birthday with him.


12.04.2012

Triple Chocolate Cake

Happy Tuesday! I originally wrote this post after Thanksgiving, but didn't have my pictures edited yet. Then I had a billion things due last week for school and now, a week later, I'm finally getting to post this! So let's just rewind to the week after Thanksgiving really quick.

After Thanksgiving number one on Thursday, Thanksgiving number two on Friday, and gameday on Saturday (Iron Bowl), plus now another gameday (SEC Championship), I think I'm done with big meals for a while. At least until Christmas.

Like I mentioned, my family has two Thanksgivings. I think most families just have one. I say I think because we've always had two Thanksgivings, so I don't really know how it is for everyone else. But we usually have Thanksgiving with my dad's side of the family on the actual day of Thanksgiving. And it was so good. So much food. On Friday, we had my mom's side of the family over for lunch. It was also my aunt's birthday, so of course, there was cake involved.



For this cake, I was told to make chocolate. That was the only request. But a regular chocolate cake didn't sound like enough. Actually, I'm not sure if the cake I ended up making had enough chocolate. I love the way it turned out, but there's always a little more room for chocolate, right?

I've had this idea of a triple chocolate cake for awhile. When I searched the internet to see what was already out there, I mostly just saw cakes or cupcakes with chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, and ganache. They were triple chocolate cakes because the cake, frosting, and ganache were all chocolate. But I was thinking about three different types of chocolate inside the cake.



Really it turned out to be three different forms of chocolate. In this cake, there's cocoa powder, melted chocolate chips, and chocolate milk. 

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CAKE

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (milk chocolate chips would probably be good too)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup oil
1egg
1 cup strongly brewed coffee
1 cup chocolate milk
  • Preheat the oven to 350. Spray two 8 inch cake pans with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.
  • Next, make a strong pot of coffee. Make enough for at least one cup.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips according to the directions on the bag.
    • I used a large glass bowl and continued to add ingredients to it, but you can melt the chocolate in a small bowl and then transfer it to a larger bowl or a stand mixer bowl once it's cool if you want to.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Carefully whisk them together.
  • In the same bowl as the melted chocolate (if it's big enough) or in the medium sized bowl or stand mixer bowl you transferred it to, add sugar, oil, and the egg. Mix well.
  • Add half of the flour mixture, half the cup of coffee, and half of the chocolate milk. Mix until combined.
  • Repeat the last step and add the rest of the flour mixture, coffee, and chocolate milk. Mix until full incorporated.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of each cake and it comes out clean. After 5-10 minutes, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE FROSTING

1 1/2 cups (three sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3-5 tablespoons chocolate milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • In a medium sized bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Add cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons chocolate milk, and vanilla. Mix well and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, mix until completely incorporated, and scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. 
  • If the frosting is too thick, add chocolate milk one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. If the frosting isn't thick enough, add confectioner's sugar 1/2 cup at a time until it's thick enough. 
Usually, I'm not very good at frosting cakes in this style. What I mean by that is, I'm not good at making the frosting completely flat and smooth when I spread it on a cake. But I really wanted this cake to look like a classic birthday cake, so I decided to give it another try and I think I'm getting better at it.

Follow me on Instagram! @collegiatebaker

I strongly considered adding ganache or chocolate shavings to this cake. Before I made it, I had a picture in my head of a cake covered in chocolate shavings. Like allll over it, not just sprinkled on the top. But with all of the cooking, pie-making, and house-cleaning, I kind of ran out of time. YOU should give it a try though, and tell me how it works out. :)