Posts tagged cake

Hamburger cake

Hamburger cakeJust in time for Memorial Day–the hamburger cake! We had a blast putting this together as a family and the grandparents even joined in to add the finishing touch…the olive on top.

 

Here’s how to put the cake together.

First, the bun:

Mix up a boxed yellow cake mix and divide into two 8″-round cake pans. Bake until golden. One cake will be the top of the bun and the other the bottom. Let your kids choose which cake looks the most like a bun top. Put them in the fridge (the cake, not the kids).

 

Now for the meat:

Bake a brownie mix in a 9″-round cake pan (or you can use the same 8″, I just like having the “meat” hang over the side). Yup, in the fridge it goes. Note: You will have extra brownie batter if you use a family-sized brownie mix.

 

The fixins’:

You can’t have a decent burger without the fixins’ mayo, lettuce, tomato, and cheese. I bought 1 can of ready-to-go vanilla frosting. Divide the frosting evenly into four bowls.

 

In three of the bowls mix in 1/4 cup melted, colored chips (I buy mine at Jo-Ann Fabrics or Micheal’s) in red, yellow, and green.

Watching the hamburger cake

Spread the red-tinted frosting onto a piece of waxed paper making two, large circles for the “tomatoes.” Put the tomatoes into the fridge. For the lettuce smear the green-tinted frosting onto a piece of waxed paper with a spoon trying to make the texture uneven, like lettuce. Finally, the yellow-tinted frosting is smoothed onto a piece of waxed paper (you’ll cut it later so the edges don’t need to be even). Into the fridge for all the fixins’.

 

Burger assembly:

I recommend having a burger assembly team–there is flipping involved, folks! Make a circle just smaller than the bun bottom with a piece of cardboard. Put your bottom bun piece onto the cardboard circle (this will make assembly, cutting, and moving the cake much easier.)

Break up the green-tinted frosting lettuce into large pieces and lay half of them around the bottom of the bun. Spread a little bit of the leftover white frosting (remember that fourth bowl we haven’t used yet?) and carefully place the brownie “meat” onto the bun bottom–this will hold the “lettuce” in place.

 

Add more lettuce around the edges of the brownie “meat” and then carefully add more white frosting onto the center of the brownie. Lay the two tomato slices on top of the lettuce. For the cheese, use a kitchen knife to slice the yellow pieces into squares that look like American cheese. Place two pieces of your “American cheese” on top of the tomatoes. Use the rest of the white frosting to smear over the bottom side of the bun top for the “mayo.” It’s flipping time! Flip the bun top onto the cheese layer–carefully (this is a two- or three-person job). Gently push down on the bun top.

Hambuger cake full image

Finishing touches:

With the remnants of white frosting, stick crispy rice cereal pieces onto the top of the bun to look like sesame seeds. We had leftover red and green pieces from constructing the lettuce and tomato so we made it into a green olive for the top of the burger.

 

Voila! It’s hamburger for dessert.

Hamburger cake side view

 

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Molten Chocolate Cakes

If you’re looking for the chocolate dessert to serve on Valentine’s Day—here you go. Velvety and smooth on the inside, moist on the outside, saturated with rich chocolate throughout, this recipe defines decadent. But it’s not hard to make. And it doesn’t take forever either (not to mention you can make it a day or two ahead).

There are a few tricks to getting this recipe right. See molten cakes are almost like a cross between a custard and a cheesecake (uh, both chocolate). So they don’t cook quite like a cake would where you need to make sure that it’s done all the way through. But I need to take a step back before we get to the baking.

Prepping your ramekins (custard cups). You’ll need to coat the inside of the ramekins with baking spray (or you could brush with melted butter) and then add about 1 teaspoon of flour. Move the flour around the inside until its coated. This is exactly like flouring a bread pan but it gets trickier when it’s a 4-ounce cup! Now you can do this with muffin tins, I’m told. I haven’t tried it that way, but if you don’t have ramekins, that’s an option. This is the hardest part of the whole recipe.

Here’s the second hardest: figuring out when the cakes are done. Like a cheesecake, when you check for doneness you want the center to just jiggle. If the batter appears completely solid you won’t have the gooey chocolate center that makes molten cakes, well, molten.

Okay, I take that back, there’s one more hard part (promise, once you get the hang of this the recipe isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds). You have a few options with taking the cake out of the ramekin. Here’s what I do. I run a kitchen knife around the outside of the ramekin and then place the serving plate on top of it. Jiggle, then lift the ramekin. If the cake doesn’t seem to be releasing or it’s not releasing altogether, I try to put everything back into the ramekin, top it with whip cream and call it good. Or you can put the ramekin in the fridge for a while and then try inverting again. You can keep the dessert cold or put it in the microwave for 9 seconds.

Ready to start melting some chocolate? This recipe won’t disappoint.

Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes + 10 minutes baking

Servings: 4

Ingredients

8 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons flour

4 ounces chocolate (bittersweet is best but semi-sweet works too)

2 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

¼ sugar

½ teaspoon espresso powder (opt.)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat four, four-ounce ramekins with baking spray. Then place a small amount of flour in each one and make sure that the flour then coats the inside of the ramekin completely. Alternatively, you can use a muffin tin, but follow the same process.
  3. In a glass measuring cup or bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave (I usually set it for 60 seconds and then stir vigorously).
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl beat the eggs and egg yolks on high for around three minutes or until they start to become thick.
  5. Add the sugar into the eggs and continue beating about three more minutes (the mixture will lighten slightly in color).
  6. Blend the eggs into the cooled chocolate mixture. Beat for about two more minutes.
  7. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet.
  8. Pour equal parts of the chocolate mixture into each of the ramekins.
  9. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the chocolate barely jiggles on the center portion of each ramekin.
  10. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  11. At this point, you can either serve the chocolate cakes in the ramekins, or you can run a kitchen knife around the outside and invert onto a plate. You can also place the ramekins in the refrigerator and serve later cold or reheat for 10 seconds and then serve topped with whipped cream and dusted with cocoa powder.

Warning: These are rich!

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Chocolate upside down cake

I’ve been holding back, but now that it’s four days into February I figure it’s time to start talking chocolate.

Okay, you won’t score any presentation points for this cake. But what it lacks in showiness, it makes up in easy prep time—and most important gooey, chocolatey flavor.

I have a hand-written version of this recipe from my mother, even though I don’t ever recall her making it. I wish I did—this would have been my birthday cake request, hands down!

The recipe involves only a few extra steps then when you’re making a regular boxed cake mix. Before you pour the batter into the pan you melt butter with water and add in a little brown sugar. This goes into the bottom of a greased baking pan along with nuts, coconut, chocolate chips and mini-marshmallows. Okay, this cake won’t score any health points either, which is one reason I don’t make it very often.

After the butter the mixins’ are on the bottom of the baking dish, now it’s time to add the chocolate cake batter. That’s it. Well, almost, there’s still a little trick or two after you’ve baked it.

The first time I made this cake I really wasn’t expecting much—I mean it was way too easy and had “dump” in the title. But the cake has quickly become a favorite of my crew. Are you ready for the next reason it’s called “dump”? Once you’ve let the cake cool for 10-20 minutes you put a serving platter on top and then flip the entire cake over so that the chocolate chips, butter, coconut combination becomes a crust on top of the cake. Yeah, you’re mouth is watering now, huh?

Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes + baking time

Servings: 12+

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup water

¼ cup butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup coconut

2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup nuts (pecan or walnut)

2 cups mini-marshmallows

1 box chocolate cake mix

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease a 9×13” baking pan.
  • Prepare the chocolate cake batter according to the package directions.
  • In a small saucepan, heat together the water and butter until the butter has completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the brown sugar into the butter mixture.
  • Pour the sugar butter mixture into the baking pan.
  • Sprinkle the remaining ingredients (except the cake batter) onto the bottom of the baking pan.
  • Now pour the cake batter over the sprinkled ingredients.
  • Bake the cake for 55 to 60 minutes.
  • Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes, but not more then 30.
  • Place a serving dish or cookie pan over the top of the baking pan. Carefully flip the entire cake over.
  • Remove the baking pan. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.
  • *Note that the marshmallows melt into the cake.
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Easy Chocolate Bundt Cake

I’m ready to get baking, how about you?

After a long summer, I’m itching to heat up the oven and start baking cookies and cakes. Seriously, when does the snow start so I can justify cranking up the stove to 375 for an afternoon? I’ve had to temper my baking fixation with the occasional batch of blueberry muffins and of course a cobbler or two. But it’s just not the same as putting together something seriously sweet for a special occasion: my solution, an easy chocolate bundt cake.

I’m usually not the one to reach for a box instead of the flour, but with this cake you really can’t tell the difference so why go to all the work of making a cake from scratch? Plus, I pack on a smooth, gooey chocolate icing.

My mom has been making this chocolate cake since I was little. My copy has her handwritten instructions right from off of the box of a Duncan Hines cake mix. Of course, I’ve made a few adjustments to the original to put my own spin on the recipe. Around my house, this isn’t just cake—it’s comfort food. (Make your kids really happy by letting them have it in a bowl with milk for breakfast.)

And make a mental note for once the school year starts—this recipe comes together quickly so I always have the ingredients on hand for those times when one of my kids says, “Oh, yeah, mom I’m supposed to bring something in to class/soccer/girl scouts tomorrow. Can you make something?” One last note: It also freezes well, minus the icing, so you can even make one ahead if you can stand baking one and not eating it right away!

Recipe

Servings: 12 pieces

Preparation time: 15 minutes + baking time

Ingredients:

1 box chocolate cake mix (fudge is my favorite)

1 package instant chocolate pudding

½ cup oil

1 ¼ cup water

4 eggs

½ teaspoon almond extract

Optional add-ins: 1 ½ cups miniature chocolate chips, 1 cup coconut, 1 cup chopped nuts or all of the above (just avoid marshmallows, it doesn’t work well as a mix-in)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a bundt pan with cooking oil then dust the pan with flour (the flour should coat the pan). Remove any excess flour by turning it upside down and tapping the bottom.

In a large bowl, blend all of the ingredients together (except the mix-ins) using a handheld mixer on high speed. Add your mix-ins. Pour the batter into the bundt pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted near the center of the cake.

Let the cake cook for about 25 minutes and then invert onto your serving dish.

Chocolate Icing:

4 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon Espresso powder (optional)

2 ½ Tablespoons water

2 Tablespoons oil

2 Tablespoons corn syrup

¼ cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

2 cups powdered sugar

In a medium-sized saucepan, gradually bring all the ingredients to a medium-high heat and stir until smooth (about 4 minutes). Remove from the heat and add in the powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth. Allow the icing to cool until it thickens enough to pour over the cake. Dribble onto the cake allowing some icing to pool in the center. You can also garnish with nuts.

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