Thursday, December 29, 2011

Banana Pudding

I recently had my son's girlfriend's family over for dinner. This was requested for dessert. I think I have finally found my true recipe for banana pudding with this one.


4 egg yolks
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box Nilla vanilla wafers
3 bananas
Cool Whip or whipping cream for topping.

In a sauce pan mix egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix well with a whisk. Stir constantly for about 10 minutes until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat. In a glass bowl start out with vanilla wafers, then bananas, then pudding. Repeat layers. Place in refrigerator for several hours until cooled. Top with Cool Whip or whipped cream and a final layer of vanilla wafers. Even better the next day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Christmas baking continues. I couldn't find my Mom's peanut butter cookie recipe. This isn't quite it, but I think this will do.


1 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw for a sparkly effect).

Mix sugars and shortening together until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Mix in peanut butter until smooth. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together. Add to creamed mixture. Scoop dough onto cookie sheet and criss-cross with a fork dipped in water. Sprinkle sugar over and bake at 375 for 13 minutes until lightly browned.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Extreme Brownie Cookies

My first Christmas party tomorrow evening. I am taking along these cookies. I found this recipe on Cook Eat Share of which I am a member. I'm not a big fan of chocolate, but if you are these would definitely do the trick. Here is my version.


1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
1 stick butter
3 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup toasted chopped pecans

Melt chocolate chips and stick of butter. Set aside to cool. Using a mixer beat the eggs and vanilla until frothy. Slowly add the sugar and beat until mixture ribbons off beaters (about 3-4 minutes). Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture. Mix flour, salt and baking powder. Add to batter and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. At this point the mixture is like thick cake batter. Chill until set. Scoop mixture into walnut-sized balls (I used a cookie scoop) and place onto parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes. Let the cookies cool a bit before taking them from the cookie sheet as they tend to crack. Makes 4 dozen.

Monday, December 5, 2011


I was looking for new cookie recipes for this holiday baking season. I got this one looking through the Pioneer Woman's website Tasty Kitchen. I couldn't find macadamia nuts in my little one-horse town so I substituted toasted pecans. These are a crispy/chewy chocolate chip cookie. I think the macadamia nuts would have made this a much better cookie but these weren't too bad. Here is my version as I made them.


2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup toasted macadamia nuts (I used toasted pecans)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In your mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth.

Mix in the flour mixture until just combined and then stir in the chocolate chips, coconut and nuts.

Take double the amount you would make for a cookie form it into a ball in your hands. Hold the ball with both hands and break it apart in half, like you are cracking an egg. Place each half, craggly-side up, on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, making sure to leave plenty of room for the cookies to spread.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cookies are just barely golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave on the cookie sheets to cool at least 10 minutes.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tres Leche Cake

We celebrated my son's birthday this weekend. Per his request he wanted a tres leche cake. I went in search of a recipe and found one on A Farm Girl Babbles which was interpreted from an Alton Brown recipe. I always thought a tres leche cake would be too 'wet' but surprisingly the cake soaks up all that liquid and makes a good cake.

Here is my version.


For the cake:
1-3/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the glaze:
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup half and half

For the topping:
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 9 x 13 pan with Pam.
Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low, and with the mixer still running, very slowly add the sugar. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix to thoroughly combine. Add the vanilla and mix again. Add the flour mixture to the batter in three batches and mix until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. It will seem like a small amount of batter for a cake. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Poke the top of the cake all over a lot with a fork. Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare the glaze.

For the glaze:
Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and the half-and-half in a medium bowl. If you have a bowl with a pour spout, that works great! Once combined, pour the glaze over the cake. It will seem like a lot of glaze. Take your time and let it keep soaking in as you pour. The cake will not completely soak up the glaze until it has sat overnight. Place it in the refrigerator and finish the following day.

For the topping:
Place the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment on low speed, whisk together until stiff peaks are formed. Increase mixer to medium speed and whisk until thick. Spread the topping onto the cake. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Sheet Cake

One of my favorite blogs in my Google Reader is Jenny from Picky Palate. She recently posted a recipe for this Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Sheet Cake. Pardon the picture, I dropped my camera and it sustained an injury so I took this with my Blackberry. We had a party at work for Halloween and I took this for dessert. Our theme was a Slumber Party and we all wore our comfy pajama pants and slippers to work. We had a popcorn machine and we hooked up a DVD player to a projector and watched Poltergeist. We also had nachos and pizza. It was a fun day and we all decided we'd love to wear our pajamas every day to work!


1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
3.4 ounce box Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
1/2 cup sour cream
15 ounce can pumpkin
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a large jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Place cake mix, eggs, oil, milk, pudding, sour cream and pumpkin into a stand or electric mixer, beating until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly.
Place butter into a microwave safe bowl and melt, about 30-40 seconds. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to bowl, mixing until combined. Drizzle mixture evenly over cake then take a knife and run it through to swirl.
Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and remove. Place powdered sugar and cream into a large bowl and mix until creamy and smooth. Drizzle over warm cake then let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares. Refrigerate if not serving same day.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Church Lady Strawberry Cake

Sorry for the messy picture but I forgot to snap one before everyone dug in. I call this Church Lady Strawberry Cake because I think it is in most every church fund raiser cookbook I own. Another birthday at work and the birthday girl said she liked strawberry so I brought this.


1 package white cake mix
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry Jello
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup mashed strawberries with juice

Strawberry Icing
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup mashed strawberries with juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cake mix and dry Jello in a large bowl. Beat in oil, eggs, water, vanilla and strawberries. Pour into 9 x 13 pan sprayed with Pam. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and frost with strawberry icing.

For icing, beat the cream cheese and confectioners sugar together until smooth. Add strawberries and juice and vanilla until creamy. Frost top and sides of cake.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

A birthday in August for a coworker and I thought I'd try my hand at a chocolate chip cheesecake. My first time trying one and it was pretty good. This one doesn't rise really high and is a pretty dense cheesecake. It reminds me a little of the cheesecakes you buy at Sam's or Costco.


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press onto bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Set crust aside.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk. Beat well. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat on medium speed until smooth. Toss 1/3 of the miniature chocolate chips with the 1 teaspoon flour to coat (this keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the cake). Mix into cheese mixture. Pour into prepared crust. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips.
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour. Turn off oven (do not open oven door) and leave the cake in the oven to cool in the oven for another hour. Remove from oven and cool completely. Refrigerate before removing sides of pan. Keep cake refrigerated until time to serve.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Banana Bars

I needed a dessert recently and had some ripe bananas to put to use. I found this recipe on a 'Best Ever Cookie Collection' site. I love a quick recipe that doesn't even require a mixer.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas (2 to 3 very ripe medium-sized bananas)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the bananas , vanilla and pecans. Stir until well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it out evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled you can sprinkle with powdered sugar. I just made a quick cream cheese frosting for them.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Baked Toasted Ravioli

I had my son, his girlfriend and his 2 boys over for dinner. I served this as an appetizer with my homemade pizza and salad. I've had these in a restaurant when they were fried which are delicious but baking them wasn't too bad either.


1 package frozen cheese ravioli, thawed
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg

Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with foil and place racks on cookie sheet. Dip thawed ravioli in egg and then bread crumbs. Spray with Pam Olive oil spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve with jarred or homemade marinara sauce.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I haven't taken anything to work in a while. I was bored today and although we are suffering with triple digit heat I decided to bake! Well, crank the A/C down a bit and pretend it's not sweltering and voila cookies are done. I found this recipe on I think the addition of some toasted coconut and/or craisins would have given them a bit more flavor but I went with what I had on hand.


1 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Add the oats, white chocolate chips and pecans. Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Sunshine

This is a recipe from my friend who made it while I was on my trip to Oregon. She used roasted corn from Trader Joe's for this. I love Trader Joe's. There is a rumor that we are getting one in Houston and I can't wait! This truly does taste like summer and sunshine. Very yummy.


2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 or 3 carrots shredded or use bagged shredded carrots
5 or 6 ears of corn cut from cob or use a bag of frozen
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in a 10-inch skillet. Add chopped onion. After cooking for 1 minute add carrots. Cook 8 minutes. Add corn. Cook for 5 more minutes. Add milk salt and pepper.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lavender Sugar Cookies

Back in June I took a trip to the Texas Hill Country to see the Lavender Festival. Sadly due to the drought and excessive heat this year the lavender fields were dry and not blooming.

Last week I was fortunate enough to travel to the Portland, Oregon area to visit a friend and got to see the most beautiful lavender fields. They were amazing. The area is so lush and I have never seen such beautiful flowers. It was a welcome escape from the horrible summer we are experiencing. The weather there was just wonderful and I enjoyed every minute. My friend is a superb cook and thought these cookies would be a good showcase for our lavender. These cookies are taken from a recipe of Penny McConnell from Penny's Pastries in Austin, Texas.


Butter Sugar Cookie Dough

1 cup butter, salted
1 cup granulated sugar (7 oz.)1 large egg
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups (15 oz.) unbleached flour, unsifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
We added 2 teaspoons culinary lavender to these cookies.

Cookie Glaze

3 to 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon flavoring (almond, orange, lemon, etc.) We used lavender syrup.
1/4 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or in a heavy-duty mixer, combine butter and sugar using low speed with mixer. Do not over mix. Add egg, whipping cream, vanilla and almond extract all at once to butter/sugar mixture. Mixture will probably look curdled. Mix just until combined.

In separate bowl, mix flour with baking powder. Add dry ingredients to liquid. Mix to form dough. Give dough a quick knead, then roll out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Bake on parchment-lined sheets until set and very lightly browned around edges about 12 minutes. Cool before decorating. Mix up glaze and drizzle over cooled cookies.

This dough rolls out beautifully. A good tip is to use powdered sugar instead of flour to roll out to keep the cookies from tasting too doughy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Banana Split Cake

Finally a birthday at work to give me a reason to bake. Although the birthday girl did not want a lot of attention, it really became a 'Monday Cake' instead. This is a Southern Living cake.


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups mashed banana (about 4 bananas
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple drained (save juice)
1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained.
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Jar of hot fudge sauce

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together eggs, oil, and buttermilk. Add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in banana and next 3 ingredients.

Drain pineapple, reserving liquid. Drain cherries and pat on a paper towel. Chop cherries (save about 6-8 for top of the cake). Stir pineapple and cherries into banana mixture. Spoon into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (This took a bit longer than an hour in my oven. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and cool on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Add pineapple juice until a nice consistency to pour over the cake. Pour hot fudge sauce over and garnish with chopped pecans and cherries.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Toasted Pita Chips

This is another recipe I have had in my files forever and never got around to trying. I recently found some really healthy pita bread made with oat bran and lot of other healthy things so I thought it would be a good time to try this out. Served with some roasted garlic hummus and it was pretty good.


4 pita bread rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sesame seeds
Garlic powder
Sea salt

Cut pitas in quarters. Split each quarter in half. Brush outside with cooking oil; sprinkle with sesame seeds, parsley, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper. Place on 15x10x1 inch foil lined baking sheet. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Check often to make sure they are not getting too brown.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

School House Rolls

When I was in elementary school the lunch ladies would make the most wonderful yeast rolls. Sometimes I would just have rolls for lunch with a glass of sweet tea. Over the years I have looked for a recipe to make them. When I visited my friend's Mama last month I was talking about these rolls and she had a clipping from their local paper that had a recipe for these rolls. They are pretty near to what I remember, except for the wheat flour. If I made them again I might try to use all white to see if that recreates from my memory the lunch ladies rolls from the past. These are a really dense, yeast-flavored roll. I'm usually challenged by yeast but this recipe doesn't involve a lot of steps and has such a quick rise time, they were really easy. I guess lunch ladies don't have a lot of time to wait around for rolls to rise when they are feeding lots of hungry kiddoes!


2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons yeast (3 packets)
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup powdered milk
24 ounces (by weight) or 4 cups white flour
6 ounces (by weight) or 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
Plus some additional flour to achieve correct consistency.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine warm water and oil in bowl of a mixer. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, yeast, salt, powdered milk, white and whole wheat flour. Using a fairly heavy duty mixer slowly add flour to liquid beating with each addition. Add sufficient white flour so that the dough is not sticky. Knead dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 15 minutes in a warm place. Punch down , cover and allow to rise another 5 minutes. Shape into 2 ounce pieces of dough (about 1/3 cup) and place in a greased a 9 x 13 baking pan. (I got an additional pie plate of about 5 rolls too). Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until nicely brown. Baste with butter when you take them from the oven.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Cupcakes

When my friend came to visit last month I asked her to show me a little about cake decorating. She is a pro. Off we went to Hobby Lobby to buy some supplies. I think decorating cakes is best left to the experts, me not so great. I tried my hand at making some 'grass' for these cupcakes. Our Texas Coast humidity was in it's Easter finest and I think the icing could have been a bit stiffer to make a better showing, but for a first time it wasn't too bad. Unfortunately the cake portion of this recipe from Joy of Cooking was a bit dry. My son reminded me of a trick to brush simple syrup on the cakes to help with that.

(from Joy of Cooking)

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. With a mixer beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. With mixer on low alternately add the flour and milk just until mixed in. Evenly fill the muffin cups with batter and bake for 17-20 minutes until just set and a toothpick comes out clean. When the cupcakes are cool, frost with buttercream frosting.


2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk or cream.

Cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla and milk. Mix until light and fluffy. Can add food color and decorate as desired.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Peach Cobbler

Last month for a birthday I was asked to make peach cobbler. I am as challenged with pastry as I am with yeast breads. This is a good recipe and if you are good at making lattice this is worth trying.


6 cups sliced peaches, fresh, canned or frozen, drained.
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Whisk together flour and salt. Cut in butter with hands or pastry blender. Add ice water and press together to form a ball. Chill dough for about 1/2 hour. Roll out onto floured surface and cut into strips.

In a saucepan put peaches, butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon and bring just to a boil. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Top with pastry. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Miss Dorothy's Pimento Cheese

When I started my job eons ago our receptionist's name was Dorothy. She was a prim and proper lady from the top of her perfectly coiffed bun to the tips of her high heel shoes. Like we do now, we have gatherings for birthdays, showers, retirement parties and the like. Miss Dorothy always made her pimento cheese. I have to admit that I have never been able to completely match hers, but this is a close second. We always called her our Yellow Rose of Texas and she was a special lady. We had a wedding shower Friday and I decided to take this. Pardon the picture because I took it last minute before we made sandwiches out of it.


12 oz. mild cheddar cheese, grated
2 green onions chopped fine
4 oz. jar diced pimentos (no need to drain)
About 1 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 boiled eggs, chopped very fine
2-3 tablespoons milk

Grate cheese into a bowl. Add pimentos, onions, eggs, and pickle relish. Stir in mayonnaise. Take a knife and cut through mixture making the mixture creamier. It helps to put a few tablespoons of milk and stir to make it even creamier. Can be served as a dip with chips or spread on bread for sandwiches.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pink Lady Cake

Another birthday at work last week. I have a recipe for a strawberry cake that is made from a cake mix and jello but went in search of a scratch cake that was comparable. The first one that came up was from a well known blog Smitten Kitchen. I searched further and it seems this particular cake has been done a lot. It comes from a cookbook called Sky High: Three Layer Irresistable Cakes. I need to check the library for this book. If this cake is any sampling then it must be a good one. This cake gets mixed up in an unusual way. The recipe seems long, but I believe it's worth every step. This is definitely a cake to try.


For the cake:
4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups granulated sugar
5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
3 drops red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray or butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment or waxed paper and spray or butter the paper. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. (I just used a whisk.)

Add the softened butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. The batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point.

In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, vanilla and red food coloring and blend. Add the whites to the batter in two or three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans.

Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the layers to cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert and turn out onto wire racks and peel off the paper liners. Let stand until completely cooled before assembling the cake, at least an hour.

I made a standard cream cheese frosting and added 2 tablespoons of strawberry juice for the frosting.

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk or cream
2 tablespoons strawberry juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream ingredients together and frost layers and cake.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Marilyn's Birthday Cake

I posted last year about reconnecting with a dear friend from long ago. I went to visit her in Oregon in September last year and just recently she came to visit me here in Texas. We had so much fun reminiscing and talking about all kinds of things and catching up. Her Mama and Daddy live in San Antonio so we went there and I got to do the tourist thing with a trip to the River Walk (along with the entire state of Texas who were visiting there for Spring Break I do believe!) This is the cake that Marilyn says is what she has for her birthday. I have to say I think this is one of the best cakes I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. The picture was taken with one of her Mama's orchids. I don't know which is more beautiful! I don't know how we ever lost touch with each other, but I hope to spend the next 30 years making up for that!


1 cup (8 oz.) cold butter, diced
2 cups (14 oz.) sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups sifted cake flour (10.5 oz)
1 1/4 cups (10.75 oz) coconut milk

1 cup (8.5 oz.) coconut milk
1 cup (8.5 oz.) half-and-half
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup (3.5 oz.) sugar
1/4 cup (1 oz.) cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 cup (8 oz.) whipping cream

Set oven at 350 degrees. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment paper, grease again. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy - about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down after each addition. Add vanilla. Add half of dry ingredients (which have been combined), add half of the coconut milk, then other half of dry ingredients, then remainder of coconut milk. Be sure to scrape bowl down after each addition. Pour batter into cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until layers test done. Cool.

Whisk sugar and cornstarch together in a medium-size bowl. Add eggs and whisk until smooth.
Place coconut milk and half-and-half in a saucepan and heat to simmer. Ladle out about 1/3 of the liquid and stir into the egg mixture. Pour egg mixture back into saucepan and heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Let boil for 1 minute, stirring all of the time. Add vanilla and coconut and stir until combined. Place plastic wrap over custard so that it is touching the surface. Refrigerate until cool. Whip cream and fold into the cold pastry cream.

1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
In double boiler, combine ingredients except vanilla, and beat over boiling water until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla last - takes about 5-7 minutes using electric mixer.

3 cups coconut, toasted in oven - at 300 - watch closely and stir a couple times (10 minutes.

Split cake layers in half. Fill with coconut pastry cream. You will have four layers. Frost with Boiled Icing, then cover in toasted coconut.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Bake Sale

My little community has a bake sale the weekend before Valentine's Day to earn money for the Heritage Society. Here are my contributions for the sale.


2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 squares unsweetened chocolate squares
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 sticks butter
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs

In a saucepan, melt 2 squares chocolate, butter, and cocoa powder until melted. Set aside. In a bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Add chocolate mixture, sour cream, water and eggs. Add vanilla. Mix until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into a bundt pan that has been well greased. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Remove from pan. I melted some chocolate chips and drizzled over or you can dust with powdered sugar.


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 24 oz. carton frozen strawberries, thawed and drained
1 cup oil
4 eggs

Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt. Add oil and eggs and blend well. Add vanilla. Mash the strained strawberries and add. Pour into a greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. Can make a glaze with the strawberry juice and powdered sugar and pour over.


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs. Add dry ingredient. Beat until well combined. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. Glaze with cinnamon sugar glaze.

6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a saucepan melt ingredients together. Poke holes in cake with a fork and add glaze over cake.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hot Fudge Sundae Sauce

I love to bake and I asked my 5-year-old grandson what he wanted for dessert when coming for dinner. Thinking I could do anything he requested he cream........vanilla. So much for having to come up with a stellar dessert. Anyway, not to be deterred I pulled out a recipe I've had in my files forever for this hot fudge sauce. I did go 'all out' for my grandson in buying Gold Rim Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (a Texas tradition). Still, no sauce for him. A real purist it would seem. I think the others enjoyed the sauce.


2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter
1-1/2 cups evaporated milk (I used half and half)
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a slow boil and cook for 8 minutes. This stays well in a mini-crockpot for warming.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Happy New Year. Hope everyone had a great holiday and looking forward to the new year and new beginnings. I recently made this for a coworker's birthday. It was a request from the birthday girl, and I this fulfilled the wish pretty well.


2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
Small can crushed pineapple, drained
Large can pineapple rings, drained
Maraschino Cherries
Pecans (Optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put 1 stick of butter in a 9 x 13 pan and melt in oven. Add brown sugar, crushed pineapple and pineapple rings, placing maraschino cherries inside rings. Set aside.

To make cake, in mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients together and add, alternating with buttermilk, ending with flour. Pour batter over topping and bake for 35 minutes until golden brown. Turn cake upside down on platter.