Flag Cake

Thoughts Before Baking:

We reviewed a 4th of July mystery on Tuesday and we have another coming Wednesday, on the actual 4th. I thought the best way to celebrate is with a recipe I made a few years back and really enjoyed. I found it in a magazine and it comes from Betty Crocker.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Betty Crocker or Other Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 1/4 Cups of Water
  • 1/3 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Container of Vanilla Frosting
  • 1/3 Cup of Blueberries
  • 1 Pint of Fresh Strawberries, pits removes and sliced in half

Directions:

  1. Cook cake mix according to box directions..
  2. Cool 10 mins and remove cake from pan.
  3. Cool for an hour.
  4. Place cake on try and frost top and sides.
  5. For flag design, arrange blueberries in the upper left corner to create stars.
  6. Arrange strawberries in rows to create stripes.
  7. Serve immediately. (Store covered in fridge)

Thoughts After Baking:

I loved this cake and thought it was absolutely delicious. You should add it to however or whichever way you choose to celebrate the festivities.

For more 4th of July recipes, go to Happy 4th of July Triple Berry Salad

For more Betty Crocker recipes, go to Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

For more holiday recipes, go to Fajitas

For more cake recipes, go to Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce

For more desserts, go to Chocolate Whoppers

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Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Thoughts Before Baking:

So I had thought I was making a pie for Saint Patrick’s Day as I posted Tuesday, but I realized that I had it wrong, I had a cake recipe, not a pie.

Oh well. Here we go. I got this recipe from The Kitchen McCabe.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 3 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg
  • 12 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 3/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 4 Large Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup of Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar (For sprinkling on top of the cake.)

Custard:

  • 6 Large Egg Yolks
  • 6 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1.5 Cups of Whole Milk
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Vanilla

Directions:

Cake:

  1. Grease and flour an 8″ or 9″ springform pan. If you do not have a springform pan then cover a pan with foil and grease it.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cloves, and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl. (Make sure the bowl is very large as everything will later be combined into it.)
  4. Cut the butter into the flour using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  5. Add the 3/4 cup of sugar to the flour mixture and mix in.
  6. Peel the apples and slice them into uniform pieces (about 1/4″ wide and then cut into three pieces.)
  7. Toss the apples into the flour mixture and combine thoroughly.
  8. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Add this to the flour mixture and mix. The batter should be thick and dough-like.
  9. Transfer the dough to the pan and fatten the top with the back of a spatula.
  10. Sprinkle sugar over the top of the cake.
  11. Bake for 45-50 mins. Test the center for doneness. The top of the cake should be a golden brown.
  12. Serve slices with the custard sauce.

Custard Sauce:

  1. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale yellow, 2-3 mins.
  2. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture.
  4. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the custard thickens, about 4 minutes. Custard should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  5. Mix in the vanilla and then transfer to a bowl or serving saucer.
  6. Serve warm or cold over the apple cake.

 

Thoughts After Baking:

So I tried making the custard, but the eggs cooked too fast and this is what they ended up being:

So I instead went with the glaze from A is for Applesauce Cake.

Otherwise, the cake was good. It wasn’t really sweet, but I enjoyed it. Good with tea or coffee.

For more Saint Patrick’s Day recipes, go to Irish Soda Bread

For more cake, go to Pumpkin Spice Cake

For more desserts, go to Rice Krispies Cookies

For more holiday recipes, go to Chicken Cashew Wrap

For more pinterest recipes, go to Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

Pumpkin Spice Cake

pumpkins

Thoughts Before Cooking:

This recipe comes from the Weight Watchers cookbook, Simply Delicious: 245 No-Fuss Recipes-All 8 Points or Less.

My mother was going to a party and since a lot of the women attending were trying to lose weight, she thought it would be the perfect thing to make. She wasn’t going to be able to bake it, but asked me to do it instead, supplying all the ingredients.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Cups of Granulated (White) Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup of Sunflower oil
  • 1/2 Cup of Fat-Free Milk
  • 1-15 oz. Can of Pumpkin Purée
  • 2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 Cup of Confectioner (Powdered) Sugar
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of Fresh Lemon Juice.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 10-inch bunt pan or two loaf pans with nonstick spray, then lightly dust with flour.
  3. Combine the flour, granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Combine the oil, eggs, milk, pumpkin purée, and vanilla in another bowl.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture; stirring until blended.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan or pans. Bake for 55-60 mins, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan for 15 mins, then remove and cool for 30 mins.
  8. Combine the confectioners/powdered sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Drizzle over the warm cake and serve at once. Or cool cake completely and drizzle with glaze just before serving.

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So I ran into a slight problem making this.

oopsmybad

It turns out I accidentally did too much pumpkin purée. When my mom said she was going to supply the ingredients, I thought she meant exact, and I didn’t even look at the ounces on the can. It came out horrible and mushy gross. It was also really flat.

 

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First Time

But as that was my fault, I made it again and this is how it came out the second time:

pumpkinspicecake

Much Better!!!

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Thoughts After Baking:

So yes, the second time was much better than the first. When this cake was made the right way it was phenomenal. I just loved it!

eatingcake

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For more cake recipes, go to Orange Chocolate Cake

For more pumpkin recipes, go to Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats

For more low-calorie recipes, go to Pasta with Prosciutto, Cherry Tomatoes, and Asiago

For more desserts, go to 1-2-3-4 Peanut Butter Cookies

For more recipe reviews, go to Caesar Salad

Sleeping Beauty

sleepingbeauty

I’m not talking about that Sleeping Beauty. I’m talking about this one:

sleepingbeauty

Sleeping Beauty by Phillip Margolin

Lawyer Miles Van Meter is on a book tour to promote his bestseller, Sleeping Beauty, a true crime account of the attack on his twin sister Casey that left her in a coma.

Aw...

Aw…

As Miles begins discussing the case, talking about everything that happened, little does he know that afterwards; something extremely important to the case will be revealed.

unsolvedmystery

We travel to six years earlier and to an event that would change the course of someone’s life forever.

suspense

Ashley is seventeen years old, soccer star, and just your average girl next door. After winning the state championship, her best friend decides to stay the night. But what should have been a fun time with friends turns out to be night filled with horror.

Sabrina the teenage witch salem dum di dum dum dum

But somebody else decides to crash the party.

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A serial killer kills Ashley’s father, along with raping and murdering Tanya. After taking care of Tanya the serial killer does something completely unusual, takes a break and eats some cake left out downstairs.

chocolatecake

How weird is that? Does killing activate his sweet tooth? Is he so confident in his success he can just break to celebrate?

HMMM

While he is occupied, Ashley is able to escape.

run-away_monty-python

After the ordeal, Ashley is ready to give up on everything. That is, until she and her mother receive an invitation and scholarship for the prestigious private school, Oregon Academy. They decide the best thing for everyone is a new start, and accept. There they meet Casey Van Meter who shows them the school and introduces the pair to their onsite writer, Joshua Maxfield. Ashley’s mother, Terri, decides to stay on for the summer to attend Joshua’s writing class while Ashley helps out in the summer soccer camp.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

Terri attends the writing class and becomes horrified when she hears Maxfield read a story that is full of details of her daughter’s case, including the part about eating sweets which was never publicized.

thenannygasp

Terri notifies the police and starts researching into Maxfield. When Terri discusses it with Casey, Casey rebuffs her; only to call Terri later and stranglely, ask to meet up at the boathouse to reveal some information.

Very fishy

Very fishy

Later that same night, Ashley is walking around when she has the misfortune to hear screams and discover her mother’s and Casey’s stabbed bodies.

luke-noooo-o

She also sees Maxfield with a knife.

AAAAHHHHH

While a huge manhunt after Maxfield commences, once again Ashley flees for her life.

runaway

Within this story are a lot of twists and turns, secret adoptions, revealed identities, psychotic killers, and more.

urkelgif interesting hmm

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Thoughts After Reading:

I HATED this book.

Hate him.

The plot wasn’t bad but the way it was told was horrible.

IDon'tlikeit

It keeps going back and forth in time which is so confusing and makes it so hard to focus on what was happening and when it happened.

What'sHappening?BigBangTheory

At times I thought it was boring and a bit too unbelievable. Really stretching it there.

no-way-gif-gifs

I thought that the end twist was good, but the path wasn’t done well. It was just too confusing and made the book horrible to me.

thumbsdown

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For more stand alone mysteries, go to Ticker

For more serial killers, go to The Alchemy of Murder

For more mysteries, go to A Murder in Mohair

Orange Chocolate Cake

chocolate

Thoughts Prior to Cooking:

When I read Bloom and DoomAudrey goes to visit her grandmother’s best friend, Mrs. June. While there, she is served Orange Chocolate Cake. When I read that, I was intrigued and decided to make it. The book however, did not carry a recipe so as I  read several recipes to find the one that sounded the best, and chose this one.

This recipe comes from Trisha’s Table: My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life by Trisha Yearwood, on the Food Network website.

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Ingredients for Orange-Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed Orange Juice, plus 2 tablespoons finely grated zest
  • 2/3 Cup of Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1 cup Confectioners/Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Orange Juice

Directions:

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the softened butter and 1 tablespoon of the cocoa to make a thick paste.
  3. Use this paste to paint the inside of the pan. Set aside.
  4. In an electric mixer, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and remaining 1/2 cup cocoa and mix until blended.
  5. Add the orange juice, yogurt, vinegar and vanilla and mix until just combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Fold in the orange zest.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, 45 minutes.
  8. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. For the chocolate glaze: Mix the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa together.
  10. Whisk in the orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches a good consistency to drizzle.
  11. Drizzle the glaze over the cake.

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chocolatecake

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Thoughts After Baking:

This cake was pretty amazing.

joker-yum

It was more of a spice cake then chocolate and was fantastic.

fantastic

The only thing that went weird was the frosting. It was super dryso I had to add vanilla extract. I think the glaze from the Applesauce Cake would be better.

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For more cake recipes, go to King Arthur Carrot Cake or Cupcakes

For more chocolate recipes, go to No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

For more dessert recipes, go to Happy 4th of July Triple Berry Salad

For more Food Network recipes, go to Garden Pasta Salad with Bocconcini

For more recipes, go to Basil Spaghetti with Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes

King Arthur Carrot Cake or Cupcakes

cake1950s

Thoughts Before Cooking:

I didn’t care for the recipe in Carrot Cake Murder, but I had a super big craving for it.

I shopped around until I found the King Arthur website‘s recipe. Now I love the King Arthur Recipes, I used to have a cookie, bar cookie, brownie, and biscotti cookbook; but I’m unsure where I put it in my latest move.

Aw+man+i+missed+the+porn+raid+again+i+am+_9614058b2062adb4c677dd212977b011

When I find it I will finish making the recipes and post the ones I’ve already made.

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Cake Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of Vegetable Oil or Safflower Oil
  • 2 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Ginger
  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
  • 3 Cups of Grated Carrots
  • 1.5 Cups of Chopped Pecans or Walnuts (Optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 8-0z package of Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons of Vanilla or Vanilla Extract
  • 2.5-3.5 Cups of Powdered Sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease two 9″ pans, a 9 x 13 pan, or line your cupcake pans.
  3. Mix together the oil, sugar, salt, eggs, cinnamon, and ginger.
  4. Mix the flour and the baking soda separately, then add it in to the previous mixture.
  5. Add carrots and nuts, mixing until well-blended.
  6. Pour into prepared pans.
  7. Bake the cake 35-40 mins or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
  8. Let them cool completely before frosting.
  9. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  10. Add the salt and vanilla.
  11. Beat in the sugar.
  12. Add milk or cream if frosting is too stiff, if too thin add more sugar.
  13. Frost the cake or cupcakes.

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6edb8f0f-5495-4672-b27a-aed390672967

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Thoughts After Baking:

This was fantastic!

fantastic

The cake was perfect, not to sweet but not bland.

loveitSupernatural

And the frosting was absolutely delicious. And with the two combined it was beyond words!

wow

I kept eating and eating them, I just couldn’t stop.

stopeating

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For more cupcake recipes, go to Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cupcakes

For more cake recipes, go to A is for Applesauce Cake

For more dessert recipes, go to Wookie Cookies

For more recipes, go to Brussels Sprouts, Turkey Sausage, & Pesto Pizza Casserole

A is for Applesauce Cake

apples2

Thoughts Before Baking:

So I have wanted to make an applesauce cake ever since I was a child. I used to love reading the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, and one of the things the mothers were always making for their children was applesauce cake.

Well I decided it was time to stop thinking about making it and actually try it.

lets-do-this-ucas-gif

This recipe comes from myrecipes.com

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Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 8 Tablespoons (1 Stick) of Unsalted Butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup of Thick Applesauce
  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Ground Cloves

Glaze:

  • 6 Tablespoons of Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Cups of Confectioner’s Sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan, lining the bottom with parchment and butter paper.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in egg and set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir baking soda into the applesauce. Set aside.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, and nutmeg.
  7. Pour the batter into pan and bake until top springs back when pressed (about 50 minutes).
  8. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 mins.
  9. Make the glaze by mixing the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar. Spoon glaze over cake.

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Thoughts After Baking:

It was amazing!!!

fantastic

I took it to a pot luck and it was instantly gobbled down.

cake1950s

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For more cake recipes, go to Lemon Meringue Chiffon Cake

For more dessert, go to Lemon Bars

For more recipes, go to Breakfast Omelet

Lemon Meringue Chiffon Cake

lemon

So the title recipe of this book is Lemon Meringue Pie, something I was planning on making. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do that recipe or any other from Lemon Meringue Pie Murderso instead I decided to use this delicious recipe.

Thoughts Before Baking:

This recipe comes from a 1971 Betty Crocker cookbook. One year my sister and I made dinner and dessert for my mother’s birthday, and when I asked what cake she wanted, she said this one.

lemoncake

The picture looked great, and as I love lemon cake too, I thought this would be a winner.

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Ingredients:

Cake:

  • Betty Crocker Lemon Cake Mix

Lemon Filling:

  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Can (6 oz) Frozen Lemonade Concentrate, Thawed
  • 4 Egg Yolks, slightly Beaten

Meringue

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Grated Lemon Peel
  • 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice

Directions:

Cake:

  1. Bake the lemon cake according to package directions.
  2. Split the batter to make three layers.

Filling:

  1. In a medium saucepan mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. Add enough water to the lemonade concentrate to measure 2 cups.
  3. Gradually stir the lemonade into the sugar mixture.
  4. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute.
  5. Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Stir the remaining half into the hot mixture in saucepan.
  6. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
  7. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat; and cool completely.
  8. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the lemon filling, setting it aside.
  9. Use the rest of the lemon filling to fill the layers.

Meringue:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Beat the 4 egg whites until foamy.
  3. Beat in 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time as you continue to beat until stiff and glossy. Do not under beat
  4. Fold in 1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  5. Frost the sides and top of cake with the meringue.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light brown.
  7. Thin reserved filling with hot water, and spoon over cake allowing some to drizzle down the side.

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Thoughts After Baking:

This recipe is long, complicated, hot, and quite a lot of work. But you know what? It is all worth it. This cake is so delicious, once a piece passes your lips you will forget how tired you are. And how many dishes you need to wash.

eatingcake

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For more cakes, go to Strawberry Shortcake

For more desserts, go to Pumpkin Rice Krispies

For more recipes, go to Dinomite’s Fluffy Bites

Strawberry Shortcake

strawberry-shortcake-clip-art

Thoughts before cooking:

In Strawberry Shortcake Murder, they give a recipe for Hannah’s shortcake. But like in Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, I didn’t like the recipe they gave for their titular treat. It just wasn’t how I like my shortcake. So here is recipe my family likes to use.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 Boxes of Fresh Strawberries
  • 1-2 Cans of spray Whipped Cream
  • 2 1/4 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of White Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/3 Cup of Shortening
  • 1 Beaten Egg
  • 2/3 Cup of Milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease and flour one 8-inch round cake pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour; baking powder, and salt.
  4. With a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk.
  6. Stir until combined.
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until brown.
  9. Let it cool.
  10. Wash and slice your strawberries
  11. Slice cake in half, horizontally, making two layers.
  12. One one layer, place strawberries, covering them with whipped cream, and another layer of strawberries.
  13. Place the second layer of  cake on top of the strawberry/whipped cream. Cover in whipped cream, and top with strawberries.

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Thoughts after cooking:

It was my first time making this cake and I loved it. I made for my niece’s birthday, and our only problem was that her birthday party occurred on cake one of the hottest days of the year. The cake melted, but it was so good we ate the whole thing.

eatingcake

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For more recipes inspired by the Hannah Swenson Mysteries, go to Butter Berry Cookies

For more dessert recipes, go to Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cupcakes

For more recipes, go to Broccoli & Tortellini Salad with Pesto