Baking with B: Cherry Vanilla Cake

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a post about something I’ve made- and the truth is, I haven’t really been baking as much as I used to. Seeing all the fresh fruit around at this time of year, however, sparked my interest again. That, and having a friend who has a cherry pitter gave me a great deal of encouragement. (Don’t have one? I suggest you befriend someone who does, immediately.)

Cherry Vanilla Cake (serves 8-12)

2/3 c. butter, softened

4 eggs

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 c. milk

2 c. fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 c. butter, softened

2 c. icing sugar, sifted

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Melt butter, set aside. In a bowl, beat eggs and sugar until light yellow and very thick (use a mixer if you’re not brave enough to do it by hand). Stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture a little bit at a time, alternating with the butter and milk. Stir until thoroughly combined. Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cherries, reserving the remainder. Grease and flour two round (6-cup) cake pan. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake on low oven rack for 40-50 minutes. Let cakes rest in pan 10-15 minutes before turning them out on racks to cool.

Next, place the remaining cherries in a small saucepan and cook on low heat, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture resembles thick liquid (you may have to add a pinch of water or two to get the consistency needed). Remove from heat and cool.

To make buttercream frosting, beat butter until creamy and add sugar 1/2 c. at a time, until well combined. Add vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

Slice the top off of your first cake. Spread with buttercream frosting, and spoon over half of the cherry mixture. Place second cake on top and layer with the remaining frosting and cherries. Top with additional fresh cherries, if desired.

I love the combination of vanilla and cherry flavors, and using fresh cherries gives it a sweet-tart flavor instead of using something from a can. There’s so many fresh, local fruits in season though that you could swap the cherries out with virtually anything your little heart desires- this cake recipe is simple enough to support a dazzling array of flavors. This cake would be awesome served warm and as-is, but sometimes it’s nice to go the extra step.

Man, that felt good to share another baking post again. Hopefully I won’t be as long in sharing the next one!

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears  (usually) every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Honey Mandarin Orange Cake

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You know those moments where you just feel like baking something, and you kind of don’t want to grocery shopping, and you start hunting around in your kitchen cupboards for something- anything- that might give you inspiration?

Yeah. I had one of those moments this past weekend.

Lucky for me there was a tin of mandarin oranges lurking at the back of one of my shelves. It screamed to be used, so after a quick Internet search (and a search around my kitchen), I came up with my own version of the recipe originally found here.

The result? Sunshine in a pan. It’s dense and moist and actually not that sweet, so if you feel like it deserves some icing, I won’t stop you. Or make it many times over and tell me which way you like it best. I know I’m planning on it!

Honey Mandarin Orange Cake (serves 8-10)

1 c. butter, softened

3/4 c. liquid honey

4 eggs

3 c. flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 can mandarin oranges (about 234g, or 8.2 oz.)

1/2 c. vanilla yogurt

2 tbsp orange zest

Preheat your oven to 350F. In large bowl, cream together butter and honey. (B’s Tip: This will be scary and lumpy but it’s totally ok- it will work out fine. Trust me.) Add eggs and mix until fully incorporated. In a second bowl, mix together flour, baking power and salt. Slowly add to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated.

Strain juice from tin of mandarins reserving both juice and mandarins. Add juice to the batter, as well as the yogurt. Mix until well incorporated. Macerate remaining mandarin slices with fork and add to batter along with orange zest.

Pour batter into a greased 8-inch round pan and bake for 1 hour until top is golden and a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let stand in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

I can’t even begin to imagine all the ways you can add to this recipe, or the ways in which you could serve it. It would be great with ice cream or yogurt over top, or make your own icing and have fun adding other citrus flavors like pineapple, or mango. With a summery fun cake like this, anything goes!

Happy baking!

B

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Update: I’m so honored that the folks over at the Easy Recipes blog made their own version of the cake here. It’s a great resource for converting any recipe into the measurement of your choice. And they didn’t even pay me to say that.

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Blueberry Cake with Lemon-Yogurt Drizzle

BFoodPix-Blueberrycake-09I bet y’all want to know what I baked for Easter. It was never an elaborate affair in my household growing up, but now that I’m older and live on my own there’s something nice about having an excuse to have family members over for brunch. This past year the victim was my dad, and he claimed to love the quiche that I made him, although personally I think he liked this cake even more. Don’t tell him- the cake was ten times easier to make!

Blueberry Cake with Lemon-Yogurt Drizzle (serves 8)

Cake

Use your favorite vanilla cake recipe, your favorite pre-packaged mix, or the recipe for my classic vanilla cupcakes here. (Yes! They work in cake format as well.)

Filling

3/4 c. blueberry pie filling

Drizzle

1/3 c. Greek yogurt, plain

6 tbsp icing sugar

lemon juice, to taste

Preheat oven to 325F, then prep your vanilla cake batter. (You can use whichever recipe you’d like, although I highly recommend the one posted here. I may or may not be a little biased.) Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans and bake according to your recipe (approximately 25 minutes or so, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean). Let cakes stand in pan for ten minutes or so to cool before transferring them onto a wire rack.

B’s Tip: You must let both layers cool completely before assembling. Trust me on this one- you’re going to end up ladling out portions of your cake with a spoon if you don’t!

Transfer one cake onto a large serving dish or platter. Generously spread blueberry pie filling over top, taking care to leave approximately half an inch border around the perimeter so all the blueberry goodness doesn’t squirt out. Gently sandwich the second cake overtop of the first one. You may wish to add more blueberry filling to your middle layer by spreading more filling along the side of your cake using the tip of your knife.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt and icing sugar until a paste is formed. Add lemon juice as desired (if you’re using flavored yogurt, you may want to leave it as-is). Whisk until mixture is thick and runny, but still opaque. Let stand approximately 10 minutes and mix once more before drizzling over your cake in your favorite pattern, or spread using a flat knife or spatula for a more coated look.

I love the flavors of blueberry and lemon together, but this cake is so simple it’s easy to change out the blueberries for another favorite fruit filling. You may want to experiment with different flavors of yogurt, or another fruit juice to make another killer combo that will have people scratching their heads, wondering how you came up with such an awesome recipe. (Don’t worry- my lips are sealed.)

KBwB-BFlower-50Baking with B appears every other Monday (usually!) on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.