Tag Archives: cream cheese icing

Chocolate Candy Bar Cake

3 Nov

Chunks of rich, dark, chocolate. Sweet and tangy cream cheese icing. Moist, fudge-y cake. No honey, you’re not in heaven. This is for real. Today, we’re going to make the most delicious cake ever.

So last weekend, I was going to make Halloween- themed cupcakes for you guys. Then I found out I was supposed to make a birthday cake for one of my best friends. Obviously, I freaked out. A person’s birthday is the most important day of the year for them. And their birthday cake is one of the most important highlights of their day. It has to be just perfect. Also, the friend whose birthday it was is a baking goddess. She makes cakes with her eyes closed. No way was I going to disgrace her baking talents by handing her something made completely out of a box. This cake had to be perfect. And homemade. But I’d never made a huge birthday cake from scratch before.

So on Friday, I searched for cake recipes for hours. And hours. And didn’t find anything I liked. I didn’t sleep properly on Friday. The first thing I thought of when I woke up in the middle of the night was cake. On Saturday, I did exactly what I did on Friday- search for cake recipes. It was on Saturday night that I found the perfect recipe. Chocolate cake with cream cheese icing. And crushed chocolate candy bar pieces. Damn that’s good.

All of Saturday I freaked out about my cake choice. What if my cakes turn out to be ugly hills? Do my friends like cream cheese frosting? What if the cake looks messy? How will I get the cake to school? Oh my God I’m gonna drop the cake on the bus and everyone is gonna laugh at me. Oh my God the cake’s gonna taste bad and my friends will be so disappointed. Oh my God the cake’s gonna look ugly and no one’s gonna eat it.

I didn’t sleep very well on Saturday.

Sunday morning, when I woke up before the sun did, the first thing on my mind was cake.

You might be wondering why I was freaking out. Normal people don’t freak out that much. After all, you might be thinking, it was just a cake. No need to freak out. You see, I’m not normal. It’s best we clear that up now. It’ll save us lots of time in the future.

Anyways, I gathered up my guts and on Sunday I went and bought the ingredients for the cake.

And I baked that cake.

And surprisingly enough, the two cakes turned out fine. In fact, they turned out more than fine. They looked pretty damn good. They weren’t even hill-ish looking. Well, one was, but when I inverted it onto a plate, it became flat.

While the cakes were cooling, I made the icing. I found the icing a bit hard to make because I don’t have an electric mixer. And also, I probably shouldn’t have used a wire whisk to beat the cream cheese. Let me tell you, it wasn’t fun trying to get all that cream cheese out from the wires of the whisk. Once I got all the cream cheese out, I tried various spoons to mash it up to a smooth consistency. I finally settled on a huge spoon, which I used to mix. I added the rest of the ingredients, finishing with the Cool Whip. Once I had folded in the Cool Whip, I stepped back and paused. Then I took a spoon out of the drawer, and SLOWLY reached over into the bowl. And scooped a little bit of the icing and tried it.

“Mmm.” I said. “This is good. This is really good. Holy shit, this is good.” Then I did a little happy dance. I was ecstatic. I felt like I had cracked some secret code and that I could now join the group of “Super Icing Makers.” Never had my icing turned out this good.

I popped the icing and the cakes into the fridge.

Would you find me any weirder if I told you that I tried the icing about 20 more times that day to see if it was still as good as it was when I made it? Also, I made my entire family try it and give me their feedback. They all liked it. Then I calmed down. Only to try the icing another hour later to still if it was still good. Needless to say, by Sunday night, I felt quick sick. Maybe it was all that icing, maybe it was the butterflies in my tummy.

The next morning, I woke up at 6 am, and yes, the first thing on my mind was cake. I brushed my teeth and rushed downstairs, and yanked the cake and the icing out of the fridge. I tried some icing. Still good. The time had come. I took out a knife to spread the icing. I smeared icing on one cake, and sandwiched the other one on top, then put some more icing over it. I decorated the top with dark chocolate bits, and tried to spell the letter A.

I picked up the cake and carefully placed it in the cake box. Then I stepped backed and marveled at my creation. It looked good. The icing tasted good. The cake itself would probably taste good. But the big question on my mind was, will they like it?

I found out a few hours later. At school, when everyone surrounded the cake asking to dig in, I tried to stall for time by telling them I needed to take some more pictures for my blog. Everyone stood, waiting, with their forks ready. Eventually I gave in and let them hack away at the cake.

Trying to figure out if they liked it or not, I scanned everyone’s faces. I heard muffled “Mmms.” I guessed that was a good thing. I picked up a fork and dug in.

Mmmmm. It was good. Really good.

I almost fainted in surprise. I couldn’t believe I could make something this good! But I did, and if I can, you sure as hell can. Below are the ingredients for the cake. I got the recipe from AllRecipes.com. The original recipe included chopped pecans for the icing, but we all know how I feel about nuts around my cakes.

 Cake Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 (1.5 ounce) bars milk chocolate candy, coarsely chopped

 Directions:

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8.5 inch pans.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, milk, eggs, oil and instant vanilla pudding mix. Beat the mix until it’s blended. Scrape the bowl, and then beat for another 4 minutes on medium speed. I found that the batter for this cake was very dense, due to the added pudding mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

I know I said I didn’t want to make a cake from a cake mix but technically this doesn’t count since we’re not making the cake according to the instructions on the box. Instead, we’re making it a different way. Also, I really wanted to make this cake, even if it did call for cake mix because the cake itself looked just so damn good.

Bake the cakes in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before going anywhere near them with the frosting! That shit melts fast.

The first cake I baked turned out awesome. It was flat, just the way it was supposed to be. The second one I baked had a little hill. However, when I inverted it onto a plate, it became flat as well. I was beyond happy. I’m guessing it was the pudding mix in the cakes that make them so dense and mould-able for lack of a better word.

Yay both flat cakes!

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese with the two sugars in a large bowl until you have a smooth mixture. Fold in the whipped topping and chopped chocolate. I kept my chocolate in the freezer until I was ready to use it. Then I took it out and while it was still in its packaging, I beat it with a rolling pin. However, the chocolate pieces were still a bit large which kind of made it a bit hard to spread the icing onto the cake properly because the icing ended up kind of ripping the top of cake. So I used a spoon to scoop icing onto the cake and then I spread it lightly. Spread the icing between the layers and on the top and sides of the cake. I didn’t frost the sides because the icing was really hard to work with,

And that my friends, is how you make a very good cake.

I really didn't want to show the whole cake, because my icing skills are less than acceptable. Oh well.

Thank you, my lovely readers, for reading this post. You’re awesome.

And Anisa, if you’re reading this, this post is for you. Happy birthday, my gorgeous partner in crime. I love you.

Take care and I’ll see you soon my loves!

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Red Velvety Velvet Cupcakes!

22 Sep

When I was trying to choose a niche for my blog, I finally chose baking because although I’ve been baking for years, I wanted to try making more complex deserts than before and I thought a baking blog would be the perfect way to motivate myself. Today, I decided to make Red Velvet cupcakes using a recipe given to me by my good friend Khadijha (yes I know she has the same name as me). However, when I actually set out to make the cupcakes, I kind of wished I had picked something simpler to bake. Not only did the list of ingredients look daunting, I had never made Red Velvet cupcakes before, and I didn’t want to screw up. Not when I had to blog about my experience. Surprisingly though, the cupcakes turned out delicious and they weren’t hard to make at all! I totally recommend this recipe to you guys. So if you want to make Red Velvet cupcakes, keep on reading!

Cupcakes Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups of cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar
    *You can make your own buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to milk and letting it stand for about 10 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  •  8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 5 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

I’ll be honest. The first thing I thought when my friend showed me this recipe was WHAT THE HELL?   

And then, Oh wells. So I picked my lazy butt up and scoured my house, trying to find all the ingredients. Like the recipe says you can, I made my own buttermilk. Also, I just used any old cocoa powder I could find.

Tip: If you don’t have cake flour, you can make your own. For every 1 cup of cake flour you need, use ¾ of a cup (84 grams) of sifter bleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (15 grams) of cornstarch. I got this tip from The joy of baking.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Since I don’t have an electric mixer, I had to beat that shit by hand *flexes arm.*

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated into the mix. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.

In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring.

Now here’s where we get into the really technical stuff. Okay, so you’re going to add 1/4 of the dry ingredients and mix, then add 1/3 of the wet. Continue adding the ingredients in a dry, wet, dry pattern, ending with the dry ingredients.

Next, scoop the mixture into the cupcake moulds, filling them ½ to ¾ of the way up. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. I found a crumb on my toothpick after I poked it into one of the cupcakes, so I shoved the pan back into the oven. I’m a little obsessive like that.

If you want, you can rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking to ensure even baking of your cupcakes. But we don’t do that. We’re rebels.

Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. I didn’t have a wire rack so I just put them on a large platter.

Frosting Directions:

Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer (if you have one- HMPH!). Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until it’s well combined, which should take you about 2-3 minutes. Keep mixing everything until it’s all nice looking and stuff, and then increase the speed and then beat it some more until it’s all super smooth.

Next, take the icing and frost your cupcakes. You can do this part however you wish. I like to lick my fingers and then dip them in the icing and spread it on the cupcakes. It’s like my personal touch.

Ta-Da! And now you have a batch of royally red, scrumptious and delicious Red Velvet cupcakes. This was my first time making Red Velvet anything, so I’m proud of myself. These babies actually turned out pretty good. Mmmmm. Except, these aren’t exactly working with my diet. Shhhhh…

Pictures (try not to drool all over your keyboard):

Pink sprinkles! And you can see my homework in the background.

This is what I do to cupcakes when they're done modeling for the camera- SMASHHH EM!

And a heart for the lovely readers : ) (I made this on our glass kitchen table, hence it looks like a floating heart)

Take care, and I’ll see you soon my little Cuppycakes!