Tag Archive for 'cream cheese frosting'

The Lost Boys’ Cake

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If Peter Pan could grow a vegetable it would be corn. Candy Corn. I contemplated for weeks about what type of Peter Pan inspired food I could make as I anticipated the upcoming performance of ‘Peter and the Star Catcher’ and despite wanting to create a recipe that incorporated Peter Pan Squash, it just didn’t seem fitting. I can’t imagine Peter or the Lost Boys wanting to voluntarily eat veggies. It had to be something that captured the hearts and palates of big kids everywhere. Nothing screams I am a big kid more than the seasonal candy corn. It almost sounds like a legitimate vegetable and not at all like the amazingly sweet convection we know it to be. I am certain that if Peter Pan were to cultivate and eat a vegetable he would probably have stalks of candy corn.

I tested out my theory and made this cake, and the photos alone spawned lots of interest from my contemporaries. And here, all these years, I thought I was the ONLY closet candy corn eater. Evidently that is not the case and I have a whole new world of food to share with friends.

Continue reading ‘The Lost Boys’ Cake’

Passion Chiffon Cake

Chiffon, genoise or buttersponge cakes were hugely popular only a few decades ago, and while this may not be a leading edge recipe on the cake baking trend curve today, this retro recipe is a keeper. “What is a chiffon cake?” you ask. Chiffon cakes are foam cakes, that are leavened primarily with beaten egg whites, similar to angel food cakes. While chiffon cakes may look delicate, once the basic cake is in place, you can infuse it with all kinds of different flavors. Unlike angel food cakes, chiffon cakes, contain both egg yolks and vegetable oil. These two ingredients keep the cake moist, soft and tender and result in a cake that tastes great, is highly versatile, sturdy and keeps well. They are typically baked in tube pans, just like angel food cakes, but can also be baked into sheet cakes and cupcakes.

Legend has it that the chiffon cake was invented in Los Angeles in the late 1920s by a baker/caterer named Harry Baker. The light and airy, yet moist, cake was coveted. Despite its popularity, Baker kept the recipe a secret for 20 years before finally selling the recipe to General Mills, which introduced it to the American public (via Betty Crocker) in 1948.

While this recipe isn’t one that you can quickly toss together, it is well worth the extra steps. Note that there are three recipes below to compile this master piece, and corresponding directions to follow. I recommend that the filling, frosting and cake are compiled in that order to allow for proper set-up time of each recipe.


Passion Fruit Chiffon Cake

Passion Fruit Filling

Filling Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup passion fruit nectar or puree
4 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean—split, seeds scraped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon

Filling Directions

In a medium size saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Next mix in the passion fruit nectar, egg yolks and vanilla seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, after approximately 6 minutes the mixture should reache a thick consistency. Remove from the heat; whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated. Scrape the filling into a glass bowl, press a sheet of plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate until chilled, about 2-3 hours.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Frosting ingredients

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz cream cheese (I like whipped), room temperature
2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsps passion fruit nectar or puree
food coloring (optional)

Frosting Directions

Cream the butter and cream cheese together, for approx 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. Add the powdered sugar, continually tasting to get to desired sweetness. If using food coloring, add a few drops until reaching the desired color.


Passion Fruit Chiffon Cake

Cake Ingredients

1 TBS cake flour
2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
7 TBS canola oil
1/3 cup passion fruit nectar or puree
2 TBS water
1 TBS orange juice
1 tsp orange rind, finely grated
1 tsp coconut extract
3 egg yolks
8 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar

Cake Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Coat bottoms of 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans); line bottoms with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray and dust with 1 TBS of flour.

In a large size bowl, lightly spoon 2 cups cake flour into dry measuring cups. Combine 2 cups cake flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk until well mixed.

In a medium size bowl, add oil, orange juice, passion fruit juice, water, coconut extract, orange rind, coconut extract, and egg yolks, stirring with a whisk. Add oil mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

Note: this step is the most critical to a successful chiffon cake; if the eggs are not correctly whipped the layers will not properly rise. In a large bowl, add egg whites and beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 TBS at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into flour mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.

Divide cake batter equally among prepared pans. Remove any air pockets by cutting through batter with a knife. Bake for 20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove cake from pans. Remove wax paper from cake layers. Cool cake layers completely on wire rack.

To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread half of filling over cake layer. Top with second layer, remaining half of filling, and then top with the third layer of cake. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish as desired. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Scratching That Summer Itch


With summer in full swing, tomatoes on the vine and cup cakes on the brain – I was craving a funky combo that I sampled last summer. It was not a culinary feat, but sometimes comfort food is the best way to scratch that itch, and today was THAT day. This simple, yet tasty recipe, Tomato Bisque Spiced Cup Cakes, may sound bizarre but this seemingly healthful recipe will impress your constituents and critics. (Just in case you don’t want to confess that your serving cup cakes with tomato in them, I’ve switched up the name to give it an Italian flair.)

Torte Piccolo Con Pomodoro

Cupcake Ingredients

1 box (18 oz) spice cake mix
1 can (10 3/4 oz) Campbell’s® Condensed Tomato Bisque Soup
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
18 (2 1/2-inch) cupcake liners

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

1 cube butter, softened (not melted)
1 cup cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 TBS vanilla
pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

Cupcake Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place liners into 18 muffin-pan cups.

Combine the cake mix, soup, water and eggs in a large bowl and mix according to the package directions.

Spoon the batter into the muffin-pan cups, up to the rim of the liner.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely.

Frosting Directions

In a medium-size bowl, mix butter, cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar on high for 2 minutes.

After frosting, you can sprinkle the cupcakes with toasted chopped pecans or walnuts.

Yields: 18 cupcakes

Red Velvet Cup Cakes & Creamy Cheese Frosting

Had a craving, had to make them. And they turned out looking pretty good. If you tasted them, tell me about it!

Thanks for all of the responses on the cup cakes. For those that crave this deceivingly chocolaty treat, which does involve more steps than you will find in my cook book, here is the recipe:

Red Velvet Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, room temp
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/3 cups flour
2 TBS of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of buttermilk*
1 1/2 TBS of red food coloring (see below for options)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp of distilled white vinegar

Frosting ingredients

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz cream cheese (I like whipped), room temperature
2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

* If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, can make it by adding 1 TBS of distilled white vinegar to milk and letting it stand for approx 10 minutes.

* If you “don’t do” red dye – then you can substitute red beat juice to get the desired color. The end result will be a bit more purple-ish vs. a deeper red. You may want to sample the batter to see if you need to adjust the flavor with a pinch more sugar.

Cup Cake Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for three minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated into the batter.

In a medium-size bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring. Then blend into the butter and sugar mixture.

In another large bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add one fourth of the dry ingredients at a time and mix very well.

Scoop into cupcake papers 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for one minute in the pan before transferring.

Makes approx 30 cup cakes.

Frosting Directions

Cream the butter and cream cheese together, approx three minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Then add the powdered sugar, continually taste to get to desired sweetness.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes – have fun with the designs