Archive for Cakes

Very Vanilla Pound Cake

Hi everybody!

I don’t know about you but here in Kentucky we’ve been getting some chilly nights lately…too chilly for this chick! 😉

Fall is staring us right in the face. Lots of people really LOVE this time of year. The cool nights. The crisp morning air. The leaves turning such beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red…And, then there’s me…

I do love the Fall colors, all the fresh apples that I can transform into yummy recipes and the weather hasn’t gotten tooo cold yet so this season does have its good points. But, it’s a big reminder of the frigid, dark days of Winter (for a really cold-natured soul like me).

Another plus for the Fall, though, is that I really look forward to Thanksgiving. Since I love to cook and bake, it’s the perfect holiday for me! I get so much joy from making a giant spread that my family loves to eat. It makes me truly happy! I hope you’ll take some of my recipes and create a big spread for your family too.

Today’s recipe is Very Vanilla Pound Cake. One day recently, I was looking for a nice dessert for company but one that we’d enjoy any day of the week too…one that wasn’t complicated but still tasted decadent. Then, I came up with this cake recipe that fit the bill! When I asked my hubby how it was, he said “Excellent!” (That reaction always makes me super happy!) I know ya’ll will enjoy it too!

Happy cooking!

~Renee

Whisking together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisking together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Adding the sugars.

Adding the sugars and butter.

The butter and sugars all creamed up and fluffy.

The butter and sugars all creamed up and fluffy.

Adding in one of the eggs.

Adding in one of the eggs.

Fluffy batter ready for the pan.

The eggs are all incorporated…looks yummy already!

Adding in the yummy vanilla.

Adding in the yummy vanilla. It never hurts if a little extra “accidentally” goes in there! 😉

Starting with the dry ingredients...

Starting with the dry ingredients…

...and alternating with the wet ingredients.

…and alternating with the wet ingredients.

I forgot what size my bundt pan is but it looked a little too full so I put some of the batter into a mini loaf pan...

I forgot what size my bundt pan is but it looked a little too full so I put some of the batter into a mini loaf pan…

and BOY am I glad I did! Crisis averted! LOL!

and BOY am I glad I did! Crisis averted! LOL!

The lovely, decadent finished product...no frosting needed! YUMMM!!!

The lovely, decadent finished product…no frosting needed! YUMMM!!!

 

Very Vanilla Pound Cake

3 Cups All-Purpose Flour (not self rising)

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1 1/2 Cups Butter, softened (3 Sticks)

2 1/2 Cups Sugar

1/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

5 Large Eggs, room temperature

1 Tablespoon Vanilla

1/2 Cup Cream

1/2 Cup Milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bundt pan or tube pan with Baker’s Joy or grease with butter and flour it; set aside.

In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together to combine; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar 1 to 2 minutes, til light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Alternately add the dry mixture and the cream/milk to the butter mixture. Begin and end with the dry ingredients, beating each addition til incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan. (If your pan is more than about 2/3 full, put some batter in a mini loaf pan or another small pan.) Bake at 350°F for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or til light golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2016

All rights reserved.

#cake #poundcake #dessert #vanilla #easy #yummygoodness #foodporn

 

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

Hi everybody!

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. Things’ve been “hopping” around here lately! We’ve had a trip to Atlanta and a dance recital that had lots of long practices leading up to it. How’re things with y’all? I hope you’re healthy and happy (and staying cool wherever you are).

Today’s recipe is Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes. It’s a pretty easy recipe and oh so good!!! (I mean, helloooo… there are OREOS in there for goodness sakes!) It’s really hard not to eat too many!

However, it IS easy to double the recipe if you’re having a party or going to a potluck. These babies will definitely be a big hit!

Enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

~Renee

Muffin cups lined with foil cupcake liners. (Paper ones are fine too but I like the look of these foil ones.)

Muffin cups lined with foil cupcake liners. (Paper ones are fine too but I like the look of these foil ones.)

Beating the cream cheese til it's smooth, scraping the paddle attachment and the bowl frequently so everything gets incorporated really well.

Beating the cream cheese til it’s smooth, scraping the paddle attachment and the bowl frequently so everything gets incorporated really well.

I'm pouring in the sugar a little at the time.

I’m pouring in the sugar a little at the time.

Adding the yummy vanilla.

Adding the yummy vanilla.

Adding the eggs, one at a time.

Adding the eggs, one at a time.

In goes the sour cream!

In goes the sour cream!

I'm adding in the little pinch of salt. I use Redmond Real Salt. It has minerals in it...that's not dirt or anything yucky! Heehee!

I’m adding in the little pinch of salt. I use Redmond Real Salt. It has minerals in it…that’s not dirt or anything yucky! Heehee!

Here's where I chopped up all those delicious Oreos. Check out my beautiful hand-made cutting board!

Here’s where I chopped up all those delicious Oreos. Check out my beautiful hand-made cutting board!

I'm letting my Kitchen "stir" in the chopped Oreos.

I’m letting my Kitchen Aid “stir” in the chopped Oreos.

For any kind of cupcakes, I always use an ice cream scoop with a lever. It makes things easy! (and uniform!)

For any kind of cupcakes, I always use an ice cream scoop with a lever. It makes things easy! (and uniform!)

Ahh... I can't wait to eat one!!! (Yes, they do sink a little in the middle but that's normal.)

Ahh… I can’t wait to eat one!!! (Yes, they do sink a little in the middle but that’s normal.)

Well, I couldn't possibly decide which picture is better...so I added them all! :-)

Well, I couldn’t possibly decide which picture is better…so I added them all! 🙂

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

22 Oreos (15 whole, 7 coarsely chopped)

2 (8oz) Packages Cream Cheese, softened

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

3/4 Cups Sugar

2 Eggs, room temperature

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

Pinch Salt

Reddi Wip Whipped Topping (optional, for serving)

 Preheat oven to 275°F. Put liners in 15 muffin cups. (Paper liners are fine but I used foil ones.) Place one whole Oreo into each liner; Set muffin tins aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese til it’s smooth. Blend in vanilla. Add the sugar, a little at a time, beating til incorporated each time you add sugar.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add sour cream and salt. Beat til well combined. Stir in chopped Oreos. Divide the batter between the cookie-lined muffin cups.

Bake at 275°F til filling is set, approximately 22-24 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking time.

Cool cupcakes completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. (Overnight is better!) Serve with Reddi Wip whipped cream, optional.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2016

All rights reserved.

#oreo #cheesecake #cupcakes #dessert #creamcheese #reddiwip #greatfood #yummygoodness

Chocolate Mint Oreo Cupcakes

Hi Everyone,

It’s been really busy around here lately, but I figured it’s about time for another yummy recipe!

This is a cupcake recipe I came up with a while back. (Shame on me for not sharing it sooner!) It’s a variation of the Oreo Cupcakes I posted previously. This one features a mint chocolate cupcake with mint flavored Oreos added to the batter. OMGosh…SOOO yummy!!! (Not to mention really pretty too!)

Happy Cooking!

~Renee

Creaming the butter and sugar

Creaming the butter and sugar

Adding the eggs, one at a time

Adding the eggs, one at a time

Adding in the vanilla (and peppermint extract)

Adding in the vanilla (and peppermint extract)

Whisking the dry ingredients together

Whisking the dry ingredients together

Alternately beating in the cocoa mixture...

Alternately beating in the cocoa mixture…

...and the milk

…and the milk

Chopping up those yummy mint Oreos on the hand made cutting board made by a friend of ours.

Chopping up those yummy mint Oreos on the hand made cutting board made by a friend of ours.

And, folding them into the batter

And, folding them into the batter

I've made the frosting and now I'm folding in the Oreos.

I’ve made the frosting and now I’m folding in the Oreos.

To borrow a term used by Rachael Ray...YUMMO!!!

To borrow a term used by Rachael Ray…YUMMO!!!

Chocolate Mint Oreo Cupcakes

3/4 Cup Butter, softened

2 Cups Sugar

3 Eggs, room temperature

1 tsp Vanilla

1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

3/4 Cup Cocoa (I sift mine)

1 tsp Baking Soda

3/4 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 1/2 Cups Milk

8 Mint Oreos, chopped (more if desired)

Frosting Ingredients:

1 Cup Shortening

4 to 4 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar, sifted

1/4-1/2 tsp Peppermint (to your taste)

6 Tbls Milk

6-8 Mint Oreos, finely chopped or crushed

Extra Oreos for garnish, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. (I made about 15 cupcakes.) Set aside.

2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar til light and fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating til well incorporated. Stir in vanilla and peppermint extract.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Beat this cocoa mixture into the batter alternately with the milk. (Each time, beat til ingredients are just moistened.) Gently fold the chopped mint Oreos into the batter.

4. Fill cupcake liners about three-fourths full. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes or til cupcakes spring back when lightly touched in the center. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely then frost.

For Frosting:

1. In large bowl cream the shortening til light and fluffy. Add peppermint extract and 2 cups powdered sugar, beating til smooth. Beat in the milk and enough powdered sugar to reach desired spreading consistency.

2. Fold in the crushed mint Oreos. Frost each cupcake. Garnish with extra Oreos, if desired.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

You know sometimes you have those bananas that start turning pretty brown before you’ve had a chance to eat them? You hate to throw them away but they really aren’t good for a banana sandwich any more…well, this recipe is a great way to use them!

It’s pretty simple and oh-so-delicious! Everybody who’s tried it LOVES it! I think I love it a little TOO much…oh well…maybe I’ll burn those calories off somehow! 🙂

I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do!

Happy Cooking!

~Renee

Creaming together the butter and sugar.

Creaming together the butter and sugar.

Beating in the eggs.

Beating in the eggs.

Here, I'm adding in the sour cream and vanilla.

Here, I’m adding in the sour cream and vanilla.

Adding the dry ingredients and beating well.

Adding the dry ingredients and beating well.

Now, I'm folding in the mashed bananas. (The riper the bananas, the better!)

Now, I’m folding in the mashed bananas. (The riper the bananas, the better!)

Getting it spread in the pan...mmm...I can hardly wait! :)

Getting it spread in the pan…mmm…I can hardly wait! 🙂

Making the frosting:

Now...on to the frosting! I'm creaming the softened butter and cream cheese together.

Now…on to the frosting! I’m creaming the softened butter and cream cheese together, along with the vanilla.

A little at a time, I beat in the powdered sugar til the frosting is the consistency I want.

A little at a time, I beat in the powdered sugar til the frosting is the consistency I want.

I'm spreading on that yummy frosting...almost time to dig in!

I’m spreading on that yummy frosting…almost time to dig in!

And, the best part...I get to enjoy every morsel (at least of this piece)!!!

And, the best part…I get to enjoy every morsel (at least of this piece)!!!

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 Cup Butter, softened

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

2 Eggs, room temperature

1 Cup (8oz) Sour Cream

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Salt

2-3 Ripe Bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)

1/2 Cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Frosting:

1 (8oz) Package Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 Cup Butter, softened

2 tsp Vanilla

3 3/4-4 Cups Powdered Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray or Baker’s Joy; set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar about 30 seconds or so til light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix thoroughly. 

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Beat into the butter mixture.

4. Fold in the mashed banana and nuts (if using).

5. Spread batter in the prepared 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes or til cake is golden brown and center springs back when lightly touched. Remove cake from oven and cool in the pan.

To Make Frosting:

In a medium mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and cream cheese together, along with the vanilla. Gradually beat in enough powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency. Spread frosting over cooled cake. 

Store cake in refrigerator.

**RECIPES AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

Oreo Cupcakes with Oreo Frosting

I haven’t posted in almost 2 weeks, but now I have a super-good cupcake recipe for ya! I’ve been thinking about this recipe for quite a while and finally got around to it. (I shouldn’t have procrastinated so long!)

If you’d like, you can put half an Oreo (with or without the filling, your choice) in the bottom of the cupcake liner to add an extra sweet touch. (I may do that next time!)

Warning: These are addicting! (And, I had so many great pics…sorry for the overload!)

Happy Cooking!

~Renee

 

Here, I'm creaming the shortening and sugar.

Here, I’m creaming the shortening and sugar.

I added the milk then blended it in well with the mixer.

I added the milk and vanilla then blended it in well with the mixer.

Blending in the flour, baking powder and salt.

Blending in the flour, baking powder and salt.

Separating the egg whites from the yolks.

Separating the egg whites from the yolks. I CAN do it the “old fashioned” way, but was in a hurry. LOL

IMG_0505

Adding the egg whites to the batter.

Chopping up those yummy Oreos...

Chopping up those yummy Oreos…

...and folding them into the batter. (Mmm...smells heavenly!)

…and folding them into the batter. (Mmm…smells heavenly!)

Now to divide the batter between the 24 lined muffin cups.

Now to divide the batter between the 24 lined muffin cups.

I blended the frosting ingredients together then stirred in the finely crushed Oreos. (I forgot to take a pic of that step...oops!)

I blended the frosting ingredients together then stirred in the finely crushed Oreos. (I forgot to take a pic of that step…oops!)

Ahh, the wonderful finished product...so pretty and oh-so-yummy!!! :)

Ahh, the wonderful finished product…so pretty and oh-so-yummy!!! 🙂

Oreo Cupcakes with Oreo Frosting

2/3 Cup Shortening

1 2/3 Cups Sugar

1 1/4 Cups Milk (20% is fine)

2 tsp Vanilla

2 1/4 Cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour

3 1/2 tsp Baking Powder (I prefer non-aluminum)

1 tsp Salt

5 Egg Whites, room temperature

8 Oreos, coarsely chopped

Frosting Ingredients:

1 Cup Shortening

4 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

2 tsp Vanilla

1/2 tsp Almond Extract

6 Tbls Milk

6 Oreos (without cream), finely chopped/ground

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put cupcake liners in 24 muffin tins; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar for about. Add the milk and vanilla; Blend well. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed til just combined, about 30 seconds. Add the egg whites and mix on medium speed til nice and smooth, approximately 2 minutes.

3. Divide batter between the 24 cupcake liners. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or til a toothpick comes out clean and cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and put cupcakes on a wire rack to cool.

4. When cupcakes are completely cooled, blend the frosting ingredients together til smooth. Stir in the finely ground Oreos. Frost cupcakes and enjoy!

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2015

All rights reserved.

 

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Since Fall is rapidly arriving, I’ve been thinking about making things using pumpkin. We just harvested some from our garden and I’ve been ITCHING to get busy! So, here’s the first of who knows how many…

Enjoy!!!!

 

Here are some of the pumpkins we grew this year...along with a couple cantaloupes and a watermelon...

Here are some of the pumpkins we grew this year…along with a couple cantaloupes and a watermelon…

First, put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together.

First, put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together.

Then, using a mixer, blend together the butter and sugar til they're creamy.

Then, using a mixer, blend together the butter and sugar til they’re creamy.

Next, beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Next, beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Add the pumpkin and beat well.

Add the pumpkin and beat well.

Alternately blend in the flour mixture and milk.

Alternately blend in the flour mixture and milk.

Pour the batter into a Bundt cake pan or tube pan. (I think mine is a 12-cup.)

Pour the batter into a Bundt cake pan or tube pan. (I think mine is a 12-cup.)

After the cake is done and completely cool, mix the glaze ingredients and pour them over the cake. You only need to pour it over the top...it'll go down the sides nicely.

After the cake is done and completely cool, mix the glaze ingredients and pour them over the cake. You only need to pour it over the top…it’ll go down the sides nicely.

It's really moist...and SO GOOD!!! (Like I used to tell my girls when they were little...yummy yummy to my tummy!!!)

It’s really moist…and SO GOOD!!! (Like I used to tell my girls when they were little…yummy yummy to my tummy!!!)

Pumpkin Pound Cake

3 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Ginger

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

2 Cups Sugar

1 1/2 Cups Butter, softened

6 Eggs, room temp.

1 Cup Pumpkin, cooked & mashed*

3/4 Cup Milk

Glaze Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

3 Tbls Butter, softened

1/8 tsp Cinnamon

3-4 Tbls Milk

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour Bundt cake pan (or tube pan); set aside.

2. Put the first 7 ingredients into a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

3. Using a mixer, cream together the 1 1/2 cups butter and 2 cups sugar in a large mixing bowl. (Beat at medium speed and scrape bowl as necessary.) Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin; beat til well mixed. Add flour alternately with milk, beating at low speed til well mixed.

4. Pour batter into prepared 12-cup Bundt pan or tube pan. Bake 60 minutes or til a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan then remove cake and place on a wire rack to cool completely. 

5. When cake is completely cool, mix together the powdered sugar and 3 Tbls softened butter. Add enough milk for desired consistency. Pour over top of cake and allow to run down the sides a little.

*Can also use 1 cup canned pumpkin

**PHOTOS AND RECIPES BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

Creamy Almond Pound Cake

I had a hard time deciding on a name for this yummy pound cake. I mean, there are so many wonderful ingredients that I wanted to show off in the title…but it’d be wayyy too long to call it Buttery Cream Cheese Sour Cream Almond Vanilla Pound Cake so Creamy Almond Pound Cake won out. At any rate, it’s SUPER DELICIOUS!!! 🙂

Creaming together the cream cheese, sour cream and butter. (Sorry the picture turned out a lil blurry...it's hard to take a pic with my left hand, let alone with the mixer vibrating me!.)

Creaming together the cream cheese, sour cream and butter. (Sorry the picture turned out a lil blurry…it’s hard to take a pic with my left hand, let alone with the mixer vibrating me!.)

I took this one after I had blended in the sugar. The mixture's light & fluffy.

I took this one after I had blended in the sugar. The mixture’s light & fluffy.

Next, I mixed in the eggs, one at a time.

Next, I mixed in the eggs, one at a time.

Next, I mixed in the flour and cinnamon. (Make sure on this step you don't over mix.)

Next, I mixed in the flour and cinnamon. (Make sure on this step you don’t over mix.)

Ready for the oven! I don't have a very big bundt cake pan, so I used the extra batter for a couple small pound cakes too.

Ready for the oven! I don’t have a very big bundt cake pan, so I used the extra batter for a couple small pound cakes too.

You gotta be careful with this stuff...you might just get addicted! Mmmmmm!!!

You gotta be careful with this stuff…you might just get addicted! Mmmmmm!!!

Creamy Almond Pound Cake

1 1/2 Cups Butter (3 sticks), softened

4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

3 Cups Sugar

1 tsp Almond Extract

1 tsp Vanilla

6 Eggs (at room temperature)

3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan with cooking spray or Baker’s Joy (my preference). Set pan aside. *

2. In large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, sour cream and butter til light and fluffy. Beat in sugar, almond extract and vanilla til well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, til well incorporated. Beat in flour and cinnamon.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, or til a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

4. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes. Then, turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

5. ENJOY!!!

*Note: If your Bundt pan isn’t big enough, you can also make a “loaf” cake or two like I did.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

Hot Fudge Cake

I’ve made this dessert quite a few times…everybody loves it and I get a lot of requests for it. (It really is THAT good!!!) However, since we had some friends over last night for supper around the firepit, my daughter Hannah talked me into cooking it over the fire. (That’s why the pictures change from my usual 9 x 9 pan to the cast iron dutch oven.)

I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out, but it actually went extremely well…thanks to the wonderful rack my hubby made for suspending the pot over the fire instead of having to deal with the flames IN the fire. (I’ll post pics at some point, but didn’t have time last night.) Thank you Honey! You’re the BEST!!! 😉

Mixing up the flour, sugar, 2 Tbls cocoa, baking powder, and salt. You don't even have to grease the pan!

Mixing up the flour, sugar, 2 Tbls cocoa, baking powder, and salt. You don’t even have to grease the pan!

Next, I'm mixing in the milk, oil, and vanilla...

Next, I’m mixing in the milk, oil, and vanilla…

...til it's nice and smooth.

…til it’s nice and smooth.

Hannah talked me into cooking it over the fire in my cast iron dutch oven. It was easy since I now have a nice rack to hold it up off the fire a bit. Thanks honey!!!

Hannah talked me into cooking it over the fire in my cast iron dutch oven. It was easy since I now have a nice rack to hold it up off the fire a bit. Thanks honey!!!

There's not much that's more delicious than Hot Fudge Cake with homemade ice cream!!!

There’s not much that’s more delicious than Hot Fudge Cake with homemade vanilla ice cream!!! (Recipe also on here!)

Hot Fudge Cake

1 Cup All-Purpose Flour

3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

2 Tbls Cocoa

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 Cup Milk

2 Tbls Vegetable Oil

1 tsp Vanilla

1 Cup Chopped Nuts, if desired

1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Cocoa

1 3/4 Cups Very Hot Water

Ice Cream (for serving)

Heat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, granulated sugar, 2 Tbls cocoa, the baking powder, and salt in an ungreased 9 x 9-inch square pan. Mix in milk, oil and vanilla with fork until smooth. Stir in nuts. (I usually leave them out.) Spread in pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa. Pour very hot water over batter. (Don’t mix it!)

Bake 40 minutes. Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes and top with ice cream. Spoon sauce from pan onto each serving.

**PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

*Recipe by Betty Crocker

Boston Cream Cupcakes

Making these cupcakes was different for me…I had never made filled cupcakes before. I did pretty well with filling them but ended up not getting enough in the middle. They were still delicious but I wanted more filling! (When I ate mine, I put extra pudding on it!) So first off, let me offer you a tip: When you make these and you get to the filling stage, make sure you push the tip into the cupcake almost to the bottom and you can turn it back and forth a little bit to get more filling in there.

I doubled the recipe and there are a lot of pictures to show you all the steps.

I'm creaming together the shortening and sugar.

I’m creaming together the shortening and sugar.

I added the eggs and vanilla...

I added the eggs and vanilla…

...now blending it together with my mixer.

…now blending it together with my mixer.

Now, I'm adding the flour...

Now, I’m adding the flour…

...and alternating with the milk.

…and alternating with the milk.

Dividing the batter between the muffin cups.

Dividing the batter between the muffin cups.

Just gotta get every little drop! :)

Just gotta get every little drop! 🙂

Nice and golden, just out of the pan.

Nice and golden, just out of the pan.

Mixing up the pudding to fill them with. I may or may not have licked the bowl afterwards...

Mixing up the pudding to fill them with. I may or may not have licked the bowl afterwards…

Filling the cupcakes. I felt a little awkward here since I hadn't ever done this before. It turned out to be pretty easy once I got started...I just wish I'd gotten more pudding in there! (Next time!!!))

Filling the cupcakes. I felt a little awkward here since I hadn’t ever done this before. It turned out to be pretty easy once I got started…I just wish I’d gotten more pudding in there! (Next time!!!)

The finishing touch...the chocolate ganache.

The finishing touch…the chocolate ganache.

Boston Cream Cupcakes

3 Tbls Shortening

1/3 Cup Sugar

1 Egg

1/2 tsp Vanilla

1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

3 Tbls 2% Milk

2/3 Cup Prepared Vanilla Pudding

1/2 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

1. In a small bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.

2. Fill paper lined muffin cups half full. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

3. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert a small tip. Fill with pudding. Push the tip through the top to fill each cupcake.

4. Place chocolate chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature or until ganache thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Spoon over cupcakes. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: 1/2 dozen.

**PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

*Recipe from Taste of Home

I had a hard time deciding on a name for this yummy pound cake. I mean, there are so many wonderful ingredients that I wanted to show off in the title…but it’d be wayyy too long to call it Buttery Cream Cheese Sour Cream Almond Vanilla Pound Cake so Creamy Almond Pound Cake won out. At any rate, it’s SUPER DELICIOUS!!! 🙂

Creaming together the cream cheese, sour cream and butter. (Sorry the picture turned out a lil blurry...it's hard to take a pic with my left hand, let alone with the mixer vibrating me!.)

Creaming together the cream cheese, sour cream and butter. (Sorry the picture turned out a lil blurry…it’s hard to take a pic with my left hand, let alone with the mixer vibrating me!)

I took this one after I had blended in the sugar. The mixture's light & fluffy.

I took this one after I had blended in the sugar. The mixture’s light & fluffy.

Next, I mixed in the eggs, one at a time.

Next, I mixed in the eggs, one at a time.

Next, I mixed in the flour and cinnamon. (Make sure on this step you don't over mix.)

Then, I mixed in the flour and cinnamon. (Make sure on this step you don’t over mix.)

Ready for the oven! I don't have a very big bundt cake pan, so I used the extra batter for a couple small pound cakes too.

Ready for the oven! I don’t have a very big bundt cake pan, so I used the extra batter for a couple small pound cakes too.

You gotta be careful with this stuff...you might just get addicted! Mmmmmm!!!

You gotta be careful with this stuff…you might just get addicted! Mmmmmm!!!

Creamy Almond Pound Cake

1 1/2 Cups Butter (3 sticks), softened

4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

3 Cups Sugar

1 tsp Almond Extract

1 tsp Vanilla

6 Eggs (at room temperature)

3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan with cooking spray or Baker’s Joy. (my preference) Set pan aside. *

2. In large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, sour cream and butter with a mixer til it’s creamy. Add the sugar, almond extract and vanilla; mix til light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, til fully incorporated. Mix in flour and cinnamon just til well combined.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes or til a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

4. Allow cake to cool 10 minutes. Then, turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

5. ENJOY!!! 🙂

*Note: If you don’t have a big enough cake pan, you can also make a small “loaf” cake or two like I did.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

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