SNOW DAY!!! John and I BOTH got the day off today – do you know how rare it is for either of our work places to cancel?! We are expecting about a foot of snow do fall today, so now we are stuck in one of the coziest situations I could imagine. Just the two of us (plus Riddle), in our pajamas, with no place to go. Even though I really don’t like the snow or the cold, there’s something about a snow day that is just so comforting!
We slept in (til 6:15!!) and decided that we deserved more than just a quick bowl of cereal or oatmeal to start the day. Coffee cake sounded great to both of us, but I didn’t want to make a huge coffee cake that would end up going to waste in a few days. So I went to my trusty America’s Test Kitchen The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook and found a recipe for a cinnamon pecan coffee cake – the perfect size for two people (or even four!). We ate half of it this morning and will be able to have leftovers tomorrow.
This coffee cake is SO GOOD. Nice and moist, plus a delicious crumbly topping. I always like to add more cinnamon than coffee cake recipes call for – I feel like a good coffee cake should be loaded with cinnamon flavor. I will be making this again very soon! Thank you, America’s Test Kitchen, for yet another perfect recipe! I tweaked it just a bit, but the basis of the recipe is all ATK!
Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake for Two
Active Prep: 15 min
Bake time: 30 min
TOTAL: 45 min
- 1 ½ Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 ½ Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 c chopped pecans
- ¾ c all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- ¼ c buttermilk
- ¼ c granulated sugar
- ¼ c light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease a 6-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper.
- Using a pastry blender, combine all topping ingredients except pecans. Blend together until the mixture resembles sand. Stir in pecans.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sugars, egg, and butter until combined. Slowly fold in the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle topping evenly over the top. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan and serve while still warm.
This week we found out if we are having a boy or a girl! To reveal the news to our family, we decided to make a “gender reveal” cake. We decided to make a chocolate cake (our favorite) with some of the most delicious cream cheese frosting to compliment it. Blue or pink frosting would be on the inside, and the outside would be white frosting. When we cut into the cake, it would be revealed whether we were having a boy or a girl!
The cake recipe is based strongly off of a Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe. I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder to give it that extra dark flavor, and I used hot coffee instead of boiling water to bring out the cocoa flavor even more. The result is a super moist cake packed with chocolately flavor. The cream cheese frosting recipe is the perfect balance for this cake. It’s not overly sweet, so it really compliments the chocolate cake.
So… was it a boy or a girl?! Check out the photos below! I added pink and blue sprinkles to the entire outside of the frosted cake to make it a bit more fun. Enjoy! 🙂
Dark Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Active Prep: 30 min
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
TOTAL: ~1 hr, plus cooling and frosting time
Dark Chocolate Cake
- 2 c sugar
- 1 ¾ c all-purpose flour
- ¾ c Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 c milk
- ½ c vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c brewed hot coffee
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate small bowl, beat together eggs, milk, and vegetable oil. Add to flour mixture and beat on low until just combined.
- Slowly stir in vanilla and coffee. Batter will be very thin. Pour into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 °F for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes, then remove from cake pans and cool on wire racks completely. Frost as desired with cream cheese frosting (recipe follows).
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 (8 oz each) blocks of cream cheese, softened
- 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 lb confectioner’s sugar
- ¼ – ½ c milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add softened butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium-high speed until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low and slowly add half of confectioner’s sugar. Add ¼ cup milk and vanilla, then continue adding the remaining sugar. Add additional milk if necessary to achieve desired consistency.
- Scrape down sides of bowl and increase speed to medium high for 1 minute until well-combined. Frost cake as desired.
It’s a boy!!!
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend! This weekend I had the honor of celebrating my great aunt’s 94th birthday! NINETY-FOUR!! And she is just as lovely as ever. She is more like a grandmother; in fact, my sisters and I call her just that – Grandma Blan. That’s a story for another day, though. 🙂
Growing up, Grandma Blan would always bring over the most delicious and beautiful baked goods and confections – I think that’s part of the reason why I love baking so much! She’s also send us care packages in college filled to the brim with all of her delicious treats!
For her birthday, I made a marble Bundt cake topped with a chocolate glaze. It was good – moist and flavorful and not overly sweet (I tend to like things on the super-sugary side, but I know not everyone is into that so I figured I’d tone it down!). I recommend serving this with some fresh whipped cream on the side for those of us who must have some type of frosting on their cake. 🙂
Special thanks to Foxy Folksy for the cake recipe! Head on over to her blog for lots of other great recipes and DIY ideas!
Marble Bundt Cake
Active Prep: 10 min
Bake time: 40-60 min
TOTAL: 50-60 min
- 1 ¾ c all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ c unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ c sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 c buttermilk
- 5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high setting until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat well, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
- Turn mixer to low and slowly add half of the flour, followed by half of the buttermilk. Repeat until all of the flour and buttermilk has been added and mixed in.
- Take one-third of the batter and put it in a separate bowl. To this bowl, add the cocoa powder and 2 Tbsp boiling water and mix well.
- Alternating between the vanilla and chocolate batters, place dollops of batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Shake pan lightly and tap down to get batter to settle. Use a knife to gentle cut through the batter a few times in different spots to create a marble affect – do not overdue this!
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until done. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 min. Invert directly onto serving plate. Decorate as desired (chocolate fudge glaze recipe below).
Chocolate Fudge Glaze
- 2 c confectioner’s sugar
- ¼ c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 5-6 Tbsp water
- In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. If needed, add additional water to achieve desired consistency.
I finally had time to make John’s birthday cake! I’m only 5 months late… sorry John! Since this cake was SO long overdue, I decided it had to be the absolute BEST chocolate cake I could make, and nothing less! It had to be moist, rich, and dark. And big. REALLY big… so I opted for four layers. Did we really need a giant 4-layer cake for just the two of us? Probably not… but now we have cake for daysss (and hey, no one is complaining!).
If you are a chocolate lover like me, you will absolutely love this recipe. The cake recipe is one of my favorites, adapted from Deborah’s recipe over at Taste and Tell. The frosting is made using the to-die-for Hershey’s recipe using Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder. This cake will satisfy even the most intense chocolate cravings! Enjoy!
Dark Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream
Active Prep: cake – 20 mins; frosting – 10 mins
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
TOTAL: ~1 hour, plus cooling and decorating
Dark Chocolate Cake
– 3 ½ c all-purpose flour
– 1 ½ c Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
– 1 Tbsp baking soda
– 1 Tbsp baking powder
– ½ Tbsp salt
– 4 c white sugar
– 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
– 2 c milk, at room temperature
– 4 large eggs, at room temperature
– 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
– 1 ½ cups hot coffee
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line four 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. (*Be sure to sift the cocoa powder or your batter may end up with unmixed chunks of cocoa powder in it – not tasty to bite into!)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until combined. Add the milk and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract. Slowly stir in the flour mixture.
- Once combined, add the hot coffee and mix slowly until just combined. Batter will be thin.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 °F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave cakes in pans for ~15 minutes, then turn them onto cooling racks to let cool. Frost and decorate as desired.
Dark Chocolate Buttercream
– 2 1/2 c (5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
– 3 1/3 c Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
– 15 c confectioner’s sugar
– 1 2/3 c milk
– 1 ½ Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the melted butter and cocoa powder. Stir on low until combined.
- With mixer on medium speed, add confectioner’s sugar and milk a little at a time, alternating between the two. Add vanilla. Turn mixer up to medium-high for 5-10 seconds, until frosting is well-mixed. Add additional sugar or milk depending upon the desired frosting consistency. Frost cake as desired. Makes ~10 cups frosting (enough for one 4-layer cake).