Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was baking the Iced Pumpkin Cookies for my friend's Bake Walk I realized that I still had some leftover pumpkin. Not wanting the pumpkin to go to waste, I went ahead and whipped up these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies as well! I added a little bit of cayenne to give them a little more spice - they were delicious! Also very cake-like.

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on preference
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp milk
1 Tbs vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350º for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

CREDIT: Submitted by "Jennifer" on

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

A friend of mine asked if I could bake something for the "Bake Walk" they were doing as part of the Fall Festival at her church at the end of October. I wanted to make something seasonal, so chose these pumpkin cookies. The only change I made was to add cinnamon to the icing. They're very cake-like!


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 Tbs milk
1 Tbs melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350º. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency. Sprinkle in cinnamon and mix to taste.

CREDIT: Submitted by "Gina" on

Monday, October 27, 2008

Greek Lemon Cake

October 27th was mine and Hubby's 1 year wedding anniversary. We did not follow tradition in eating the top tier of our wedding cake on our anniversary because I've heard so many horror stories about how dry and tasteless the top tiers are after one year. Besides, that just gives me an excuse to bake us a fresh "top tier" for our anniversary! Our wedding cake was a lemon cake with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting. Although I have the recipes that we used for our wedding cake, I wanted to try a new recipe, so chose Greek Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.

3 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 cup lemon yogurt
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease two 9" round pans (or one 10 inch tube pan). Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Set mixture aside.

Separate the eggs (keep the yolks!). In a large bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Set aside.

Cream butter or margarine, 1 1/2 cups sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, and lemon juice together until fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with the yogurt to the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites and pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350º for 50 to 60 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

CREDIT: Submitted by "Carol" on

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe goes with Greek Lemon Cake.

4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs lemon juice
Up to 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar**

** NOTE: This is how much powdered sugar the original recipe calls for. I know that I did not use this much powdered sugar, but unfortunately, cannot remember how much I did use, since it has been so long that my computer has been down and haven't been able to post these!

Beat cream cheese and butter in a bowl until combined. Beat in powdered sugar and lemon juice.

Gradually beat in additional powdered sugar till frosting is of spreading consistency.

CREDIT: Submitted by "Amanda Howell" on

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rainbow Cake

Our friend Jeff celebrated his 42nd birthday in October. There was a huge surprise birthday party for him and I had volunteered to make the cake. His wife said that his favorite flavor is white cake with chocolate icing, and Hubby had the bright - literally - idea of dyeing the cake and turning it into a rainbow cake.

This was a HUGE cake - a 12" square as the base, then tiers of a 10" round, 8" round, 6" round, and 3" round (or...jumbo cupcake on top!)

We used the "Cake Mix From Scratch & Variations" recipe from, except that we made 5 batches since we had such a large cake.

The recipes below are for a regular cake (one 9"x13" pan or two 9" rounds).

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3 egg whites, beaten until soft peaks form
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

In clean bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

In large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in shortening until fine crumbs are formed.

Add milk and vanilla. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then high for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl frequently. Fold in egg whites.

Pour batter into greased and floured pan. Bake in preheated 350º oven for 25 to 30 minutes (may be more or less, depending on the pan size used).

CREDIT: Submitted by "Janet" on


1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs milk

Mix together all ingredients. May need to add more milk (slowly) until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.

NOTE: When I made this, I also added 2 squares of melted unsweetened chocolate to enhance the chocolate flavor and decrease the sweetness.

CREDIT: Submitted by "Nancy Dorman" on

We can't take credit for the rainbow cake idea. Hubby is a member of the Something Awful Forums and got the idea from this thread. The vertical stripes look difficult, but are rather easy, if you follow the proportions outlined below.

How Do I Know How Much Batter To Dye Each Color?
This cake took all night and I enlisted Hubby's help. We began by calculating - yes, calculating - exactly how much of each color batter would go into each pan. We chose to use 5 colors - red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. In order for the bands of color to be about equal proportional, we actually had to use more of the blue (the outer band) than the red (the inner band).

Here are the percentages that we used of each color, with red being the inside band and blue the outside band:
Red - 10%
Orange - 15%
Yellow - 20%
Green - 25%
Blue - 30%

I'll go ahead and include our "master table" that we used to know how much of each color to use in each pan. Note that this probably won't make sense, but hopefully it will help!

The easiest way is to determine the total batter capacity of the pan and multiply the total capacity by the percentage of cake batter based on color.

Example: An 8" round pan holds 3 cups of batter. 3 cups x 10% red = 0.3 cups or approximately 1/3 cup red batter. 3 cups x 15% orange = 0.45 cups or approximately 1/2 cup orange batter.

Ok, So How Do I Get Those Cool Vertical Stripes?
Ok, now that we know how much of the batter to dye each color, let's go on to the method. Once you have all of your colored batter separated and your pans prepared, pour your first color directly into the center of the pan (your first color is the one towards the outside of the cake and the one that has the most batter from your calculations). Continue to pour the rest of the colors directly into the center of the pan until you have poured all of the batter in. Now, very carefully transfer to the oven and bake - it's that easy! Or, at least, I can say that it was easy since Hubby did that part!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Poppy Seed Cake

My mother, the quintessential chocoholic, surprised me this year by not wanting a chocolate birthday cake. She requested her Aunt Alma's Poppy Seed Cake. After calling a few family members, we were able to dig up the recipe.


2 cups flour (sifted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
4 egg whites (save yolks for filling)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup poppy seeds (2.6 oz bottle)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk

In small bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix in poppy seeds.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and 1/2 cup milk; mix until blended. Add flour mixture alternating with remainder of milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

In separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar. Fold into other mixture. DO NOT BEAT.

Grease and flour either 3 - 8" round pans; or 2 - 9" round pans. Pour batter evenly into pans and bake at 350º for 15 to 20 minutes, or until very lightly brown. Cool completely.

3 cups milk
1 cup sugar
9 Tbs corn starch
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup nuts (optional)
1/3 stick butter

In large saucepan, mix sugar and corn starch together.

In separate bowl, beat egg yolks with milk; add to sugar mixture.

Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until filling is a pudding consistency.

Cool and spread between layers of the cake reserving a spoonful to dollop on top of iced cake for decoration.

Even though traditionally, the custard is meant to be a filling and the cake to be topped with buttercream icing, Great Aunt Alma likes the custard so much that she tops the whole cake with it! After custard has cooled, spread it between the layers of the cake and on the tops and sides of the cake. Keep cake refrigerated.