BANANA BUNDT CAKE with PEANUT BUTTER BUTTERCREAM GLAZE ~ Save Room for Dessert

I brought this cake to work for a meeting, a breakfast meeting, and it was gone in moments.  To me peanut butter and banana have a wonderful affinity for each other.  If you want to really pump it up, toss in some chocolate chips to the cake batter…whatever you choose to do, be sure to save room for dessert, even if it’s 9:30 am…

Banana Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Buttercream Glaze

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature.

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

4 very ripe bananas, mashed, about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups

1 cup sour cream

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray or generously butter a 12-cup Bundt pan (After a disastrous cake inversion, I now use this)
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  • Beat butter until creamy; add sugar and vanilla, beating until fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after you plop in each egg
  • Unless you want to be splattered with batter, reduce the speed to low and add the bananas.
  • Then, add in half of the dry ingredients, the entire cup of sour cream, and then the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. During the baking time, check after about 30 minutes, and if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.
  • Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before inverting to cool completely.
  • Pour on Peanut Butter Buttercream Glaze or just dust with powdered sugar.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Glaze
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk, or more
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt

  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat butter and milk until butter melts.  Add peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until mixture is smooth.
  • Add 1 cup powdered sugar, mix well.  Add more powdered sugar or milk to achieve desired consistency.

Cake recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Save Room for Dessert…Cajun Cake

AKA, dump cake, which is a rather unattractive moniker for such a delicious, yet easy, cake.  Growing up in largely Cajun town of LaPlace, La, I ate this cake often, and I’ve never tired of it.  Nor will you, I dare say.

My version is an adaptation from an old cookbook of my mother’s, Cajun Cooking.  I pumped up the flavor using brown sugar for some of the granulated, as well as adding both vanilla and a pinch of salt, which rounds out the flavor.  Also, because we’re all about the icing, I doubled the icing recipe.  The unattractive moniker of “dump cake” originates from the instructions – dump all recipes in a bowl and mix.  Whatever name you prefer to use, be sure to save room for dessert when this delicious cake is on the table…

Cajun Cake
2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16-oz crushed pineapple with juice
2 large eggs
Coconut-Pecan Icing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter or spray an 11×7 baking dish and set aside.
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
While cake bakes, prepare Coconut Pecan Icing.

Coconut-Pecan Icing
12-oz can evaporated milk
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups packed shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cups toasted and chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bring evaporated milk, butter and sugar to a boil, reduce heat and cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, and add coconut, pecans, vanilla, and salt.
Pour hot icing over warm cake; allow cake to cool to room temperature before serving.

Magic Brownie Bars

Hello Dollies, Seven Layer Bars, Magic Bars, these delights have many names and all of them delicious.  This is my take on this old favorite, and it’s super quick and easy to put together as it starts with a brownie mix of your choice.  Actually, all of the ingredients used to build these bars can be individualized.  I used three types of chips, but you could use just one, two, or even use more than three!  Have fun and make them taste like magic!

Magic Brownie Bars
1 family size brownie mix
1+1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
1 cup coarsely chopped & toasted pecans
2/3 cup each semi-sweet morsels, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups coconut nut
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 13×9 pan with parchment or foil, so that edges extend on sides of pan.
Toast pecans in 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes, toss with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle on 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.
Mix brownie mix, melted butter, and egg together to make a stiff dough; press into bottom of prepared baking pan.
Layer the following ingredients onto brownie bottom: graham cracker crumbs, pecans, semi-sweet morsels, butterscotch chips, and white chocolate chips, and coconut.
Pour entire can of sweetened condensed milk over top.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes, remove from pan, and cut into squares.

Save Room for Dessert…Christmas Cake
I love fruitcake, in fact, I’ve always loved fruitcake, even as a kid.  Weird kid, I know.  Anyway, I’m not naive enough to believe that everyone loves fruitcake; I suppose it’s likely that more people dislike fruitcake than not.  However, this cake, which I’ve cleverly renamed as Christmas Cake, could possibly turn a fruitcake hater into, well, maybe not a fruitcake lover, but perhaps someone who likes fruitcake.  It’s chockful of big red raisins, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.  Everyone who takes a bite always says the same thing, “this tastes like Christmas!”  And, it does, it’s a wonderful cake.  The recipe is actually an adaptation of many war cake recipes that I found a few years ago when I was doing some research for a library program.  During war, items such as butter, milk, and eggs are rationed, so cakes from war times were made sans expensive ingredients.  All of the recipes I found contained shortening, some used brown sugar, others used granulated sugar, none of them had eggs or milk, but they all had nuts and raisins.  I’ve made many versions of the cake, and this is my favorite version thus far.  I use butter rather than shortening and granulated sugar instead of brown.  Dried cranberries have been added along with the raisins, and while walnuts were very common in the original recipes, I used pecans.  I also add an entire ground orange, which appeared in a few of the recipes, but not all.  I love the hint of citrus flavor.  For an impressive look, not to mention, truly over the top deliciousness, drizzle on a brown sugar glaze…drool-worthy.

Christmas Cake
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 navel orange, ground in food processor
2 cups raisins
2 cups dried cranberries
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
Brown sugar glaze, optional

  • In a large pot, combine water, sugar, butter, raisins, dried cranberries, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer; continue to cook for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat, and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
  • When mixture is cool, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Butter & flour a Bundt pan and set aside.
  • Whisk flour and baking soda together.  Add to cooled mixture, mixing well.  Stir in pecans.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees for 75-90 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 15 minutes in pan before inverting onto a dish.  Cool completely before drizzling with glaze or slicing.
Save Room for Dessert…Eggnog Coffee Cake

I was browsing through my recipe binder, you know, the kind filled with yellowed newspaper clippings, handwritten recipes jotted onto scraps of paper, and occasionally, a nicely done recipe card.  Today’s post is a recipe written in my own handwriting on a piece of paper from a yellow legal pad.  No idea of its origins.  Maybe from my brief foray into law school?  Who knows, what I do know is that it’s super yummy, moist, perfect for dessert with a cup of coffee, and luckily, everytime I come across the recipe, it’s the holiday season, and eggnog is readily available.  It goes together super quickly, and needs no other adornment in addition to the yummy streusel.

Eggnog Coffee Cake
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, divided
1 cup eggnog
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter and line a 9″ cake with parchment paper, or butter and flour the pan; set aside.
Using a pastry cutter, combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter together until crumbly.
Measure out 1 cup of the mixture and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg; set streusel aside.
Add baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg to the remaining crumb mixture; beat in the eggnog, egg, bourbon, and vanilla until well mixed.
Pour batter into prepared pan and top with streusel mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Serve warm.

It’s a Red Velvet Birthday Cake!

Greetings all!

What a great time we had while celebrating my friend and neighbor’s birthday.  Actually, it was the somewhere between 15th and 20th anniversary of the first time she turned 29, so this is really her anniversary of her birthday cake… but I digress.

Here it is in progress, all 4 tiers of it (special day, special cake).

I have a set of oval cake pans.  So a smaller base, but taller cake makes for a special presentation.

Just a couple of hints, the butter cream frosting I used needs to be just slightly chilled, while the cake must be completely cooled before you start frosting it.  Think about it, a warm cake will melt the frosting.  And a harder cold frosting will tear holes in the cake while you frost it.

Also, I used a full bottle of the red food coloring to get the red cake look.  The more, the merrier!

The pink frosting has a bit of peppermint flavoring added.

The clowns are made with a large tip at the end of a pastry bag.

Make the body from a big glob of starred frosting, then add the arms and legs.  the clown heads are from broken toys.

Red Velvet Cake is legendary for it’s chocolate richness, buttercream icing decadence and the beauty of the red cake contrasted with the white icing.  Bobby Flay did one of his Throwdown shows about Red Velvet cake a few years ago.  A simple Google search came up with that recipe on the Food Network Website and I stuck to it…

Ingredients For the Cake  

  • 3 3/4 cups AP Flour
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • The Frosting Recipe Follows

For the cake:

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans and line each pan with a round of parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl
Cream the butter, sugar and oil in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla, vinegar and food coloring.
Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches alternating with the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pans. Let cool completely before frosting. Slice each cake into 2 layers and frost.

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
Combine the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove the vanilla bean and discard. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened to a paste, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours.
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and the sugar is totally dissolved, about 6 minutes. Add the cold paste, a few tablespoons at a time to the butter mixture and whip until light and fluffy.


Just as good as it looks!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!

… I CAN COOK THAT!

And so can you!

RUM RAISIN CARROT CAKE with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Save Room for dessert new badge
RUM RAISIN CARROT CAKE with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
CAKE
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup butter, softened
3 Jumbo eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup golden rum*
3 cups grated carrots
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained well
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • Pour rum over raisins and set aside for at least an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour 2-9 inch cake pans.
  • In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugars.
  • In another bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and 1 egg. Add additional eggs and beat until well creamed.
  • Add dry ingredients gradually until well blended.
  • Add carrots, pineapple and walnuts until well blended.
  • Drain raisins and fold in last.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool 10 minutes.
  • Invert cakes onto rack and cool completely.

*As an option you could soak the raisins in orange juice instead and then substitute 1 teaspoon maple flavoring for the rum.

FROSTING
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

  • In a medium bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  • Add powdered sugar gradually until well blended and smooth.
  • Ice first layer and then add 2nd cake top and ice again including sides of cake.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour to set icing before serving.
Try a New Recipe: Oatmeal Scotchies

These cookies are one of my favorites; crispy, chewy and wholesome-tasting. My grandma always used to make them for me, and still occasionally makes them when I see her. She lives far away, otherwise I’m sure she would bake me cookies whenever I asked. (And since I moved away, sometimes I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a box of cookies in the mail). I love my grandma! I finally got the recipe from her again a couple years ago, to include in our family cookbook.

Guess what? My grandma is here! And she brought me some of these cookies, so I have to share them with you before I eat them all…

Oatmeal Scotchies
Makes about 48 3-inch cookies or 30 4 1/2-inch cookies.

2 cups unsifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 ½ cups quick oats, uncooked
One 12-ounce package (2 cups) butterscotch chips
½ teaspoon orange extract or vanilla

Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, eggs and water; beat until creamy. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in oats, chips and extract. Drop by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit on pan for a minute or two before removing to racks to cool.

Deep South Caramel Cake: Lovin’ From the Oven
Every week, I try to bake a recipe that is 50 or more years old. I have a huge box of old books, newspaper clipping and hand written recipes that belonged to my grandmother and another that belonged to an old family friend. It’s a veritable treasure trove of great recipes. This week, I just didn’t get around to posting it over at my blog , so I am posting this one over here. This recipe came from the 1950 Pillsbury Bake Off.
The baker who entered this recipe said, “A rich brown-sugar caramel frosting completes this queenly cake. For company, you can bake it in three layers. For family, you can half the recipe and bake a square loaf cake.”
Deep South Caramel Cake:
3 cups flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening or butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups water

1 tsp vanilla

Cream the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat for 1 minute. Combine the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl and the water and vanilla in another. Add them alternately with each other. Pour into three well greased and lightly floured 9 inch round pans. Bake 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. (Note: If using half the ingredients, bake in a 9X9 pan for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean).

Caramel Frosting:
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the brown sugar and salt; cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Blend in powdered sugar gradually. Add vanilla and mix well. This with a small amount of milk if necessary.
Try a New Recipe: Shortcakes

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!

If this recipe doesn’t scream SPRING, I don’t know any other way to say it…

Come on, Spring!

I often make Strawberry Shortcakes for ranch dinners. They are always delicious and receive many complements. I like the fact that they can be prepared 2 hours in advance, and I just put them in the oven toward the end of dinner. I will definitely be making these again when we get more strawberries. These shortcakes are lovely, golden brown and sparkly with the sugar on top.

An impressive dessert, despite the fact that they are so simple! I believe these are the best Shortcakes I’ve ever had!

This recipe is from the cookbook The Best Recipe, by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated magazine. They test each recipe different ways to come up with the best result, and explain their process before the recipes. It’s a handy reference, and some of their recipes are truly the “best.”


Shortcakes
Serves 6

Start the recipe by preparing the fruit, then set the fruit aside while preparing biscuits to allow the juices to become syrupy.

1 recipe Fruit Fillings for Shortcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface and biscuit cutter
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon half-and-half or milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 cups Whipped Cream

1. Prepare fruit and set aside to macerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and 3 tablespoons sugar in work bowl of food processor. Scatter butter pieces over mixture, tossing to coat butter with dry ingredients. Cut butter into dry ingredients with five 1-second pulses. (I don’t know if it was just because I made a double batch, but it took me a lot more than 5 pulses). Continue cutting in butter until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses (again, it took me a lot more). Turn mixture into medium bowl.

3. Mix beaten egg with half-and-half; pour into bowl with flour mixture. Combine with rubber spatula until large clumps form. Turn mixture onto floured work surface and lightly knead until it comes together.

4. Pat dough with fingertips into 9 by 6-inch rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, being careful not to overwork dough. Flour a 2-3/4-inch biscuit cutter; cut out 6 dough rounds. Place rounds 1 inch apart on small baking sheet; brush tops with egg white and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. (Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours before baking.)

5. Bake until biscuits are golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Place baking sheet on wire rack; cool cakes until warm about 10 minutes.

6. When biscuits have cooled slightly, look for a natural crack around the circumference of the biscuits. Gently insert your fingers into the crack and split the biscuits in half crosswise. Place each cake bottom on individual serving plate (or bowl). Spoon portion of fruit and then dollop of whipped cream over each cake bottom. Cap with cake top and serve immediately.