Coca-Cola Cake 

For years I have enjoyed the Coca-Cola Cake from “Cracker Barrel”. It is served warm and with a side of vanilla ice cream if you like, and I always do, and it is fabulous! It got me thinking that perhaps I could make my own? I have been playing around with recipes for awhile with this cake and I just could not get the taste I was looking for. Until I figured out the appropriate ratio of sugar, Coca-Cola, buttermilk and the secret to frosting the cake while still hot! This cake may very well be BETTER than Cracker Barrel’s version PLUS it makes a whole 9×13-inch pan full! That is dangerous for me! Most of this will be sent to my taste testers – I mean, what is left – I will not share how many pieces I have already eaten but let me say, I HIGHLY recommend you make this cake! Serve warm and with vanilla ice cream. What I do, is cut a piece, plate it, microwave it and immediately scoop some vanilla bean ice cream alongside. Fabulous!


Coca-Cola Cake

For the cake…
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 (4 oz.) stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk with 1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting…
1 (4 oz.) stick unsalted butter
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. 

In a large bowl whisk together the white granulated sugar and white all-purpose flour. Add in the marshmallows. 

In a saucepan mix the Coca-Cola, unsalted butter and vegetable oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat and pour over marshmallows and dry ingredients. Beat well and continue to beat until marshmallows have melted. 

Combine the baking soda with the buttermilk. Add to the mixture and beat. Add in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract. Beat well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. 

With about 10 minutes of bake time left on the cake, start the frosting. In a saucepan combine the stick of unsalted butter with the Coca-Cola and unsweetened cocoa powder. Bring to a boil over medium heat. 

Pour this mixture into a bowl containing the powdered sugar. Beat. Add in the milk. Beat again. Add in the pure vanilla extract and beat until creamy. Add more powdered sugar to get desired consistency. 

Frost the cake while the cake is still hot from the oven. Allow to cool before serving. 

Enjoy! 

TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…
















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Chew This! Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes 

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com

My newest column features my “Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes” which when served in gold wrappers and a huge strawberry on top of each for garnish, makes one glamourous dessert! These were so fun to develop and my taste testers loved these! Do not worry about the champagne in these – the alcohol bakes off – while leaving a special “bubbly” flavor. Feel free to replace with white grape juice if you so desire. These are perfect for baby showers, birthdays or just an everyday celebration!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature contains information on where I buy the lemon sugar that I feature so often in my recipes.

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!


Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_37f30710-8ac4-5f04-b1a7-75f7f6c097d9.html

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Banana Brownies with Caramel Frosting

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com

My newest recipe is a recipe that I am in love with! Banana brownies with caramel frosting! How fabulous does that sound!? I am currently really involved with developing recipes for brownies that are not chocolate. I have made strawberry brownies, lemon brownies, orange brownies, these banana brownies and yesterday I started developing a recipe for pumpkin brownies. In the future I am thinking about blueberry brownies and pineapple brownies. My recipe today is so quick, so easy and beyond flavorful! The caramel frosting that goes on top really transforms these into that “much buzzed about” dessert that your friends and family will be talking about well after the dessert course is served. Highly recommend that you try these! 

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature answers the question on how I transform my chocolate chips cookies into something “special” once in awhile – with that sweet and salty touch. 

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!


Banana Brownies with Caramel Frosting

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_81e9fff1-9bc3-5891-ab3f-0f61f72c50a2.html

Enjoy!

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Sour Cream – Banana Cake

This is the best banana cake I have ever had! The bananas – the sour cream – the cinnamon – the frosting! Delicious!

Sour Cream – Banana Cake

For the cake…
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
4 large bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups white all-purpose flour

For the frosting…
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F and spraying a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. 

In a large bowl mix together the white granulated sugar, softened unsalted butter and sour cream until light and fluffy. 

Beat in the two large eggs. 

Mix in the mashed bananas, pure vanilla extract, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon. 

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour. The batter may still have white steaks throughout – this is desirable. 

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread out the top to ensure the cake is even. 

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. 

To make the frosting, combine the melted unsalted butter and confectioners’ sugar. Halfway through the mixing add in the whole milk and pure vanilla extract. 

Once cake is baked, remove and cool completely before frosting. 

Cut and enjoy! 

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Chew This! Spring Celebration Cookies 

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday!!! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com 

The first day of SPRING is tomorrow and I just can not believe it! It seems winter lasts SO LONG compared to the spring and summer months. Enjoy every second of the spring and summer because it is fleeting for sure. Why not start the celebration with my delicious and fabulous “SPRING CELEBRATION COOKIES”!? The cookies are tender inside and stable outside while the frosting on top is thick and flavorful! 

Feel free to leave the frosting off these cookies and serve as is – but part of the fun and celebration is the colorful frosting! Use any food color you desire – and any color that you want to match your mood. Experiment and enjoy!

Also in this column is my “Ask and Answer” feature about how you can make “steak house style” baked potatoes at home! No wrapping them in foil, poking the outsides – just follow my recipe and you will love it! The skins are flavorful and crispy and the inside is fluffy and tender. 


Spring Celebration Cookies

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_43048498-019b-5792-99f0-575ac046db52.html

Enjoy!

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Bakery Style Chocolate Fudge Brownies 

This recipe is a take on one of the most popular bakery style brownies around. They are thick, fudgy and full of flavor. The frosting is thick and rich. Both pair together beautifully. The secret to these brownies is the cake flour! I am highly recommending you try these ASAP!

Bakery Style Chocolate Fudge Brownies 

For the brownies…
4 large eggs
2 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 cups cake flour
1/4 cup water

For the frosting…
8 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon simple syrup
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk

For the simple syrup…
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3 tablespoons hot water
3 tablespoons white granulated sugar

Start by making the brownies. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour.

In a large bowl combine the large eggs, white granulated sugar, salt, unsweetened cocoa powder, pure vanilla extract and baking powder.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the solid vegetable shortening. Do not boil. Once melted, add in the light corn syrup and stir together. Cool slightly then add to the above mixture, stirring everything together well.

Next, add in the cake flour and stir until everything is well mixed. Once well mixed, add in the water. Stir the batter until smooth and glossy.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Before starting on the frosting, prepare the simple syrup. Combine the light corn syrup, hot water and white granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium/high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is bubbly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before using.

To make the frosting, combine the unsweetened cocoa powder, vegetable oil, solid vegetable shortening, light corn syrup and pure vanilla extract in a bowl. Once a thick paste is formed, add the instant coffee granules, light corn syrup, melted unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of the simple syrup. Stir this together before adding in another 4 tablespoons of the simple syrup. Stir this together well. Next, add in 2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar with 2 tablespoons of the whole milk. Mix together until the frosting is smooth and combine. Next add in the remaining 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar along with the remaining tablespoon of whole milk. Mix together until the frosting is smooth and combined. If the frosting is thin, add in a little more confectioner’s sugar. If the frosting is extra thick, add in a little more whole milk. You are looking for a spreadable consistency that resembles ice cream. Use this whole batch of frosting to frost the cooled brownies.

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Chew This – Chocolate Fudge Whoopie Pies 

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you already know, I write a food column in “The Courier-Tims” called “Chew This” that appears on the 1st and 3rd Sunday’s of each month. I LOVE it! It never gets old to me seeing my work, photos and column in actual print! It gives me a thrill each and every time. If you live in the Henry County area, please pick up a copy! If not, you can subscribe ONLINE! Check out http://thecouriertimes.com for more details! If you are wanting to subscribe, and are having trouble, please let me know and I will help you!

Today’s column is all about the “Chocolate Fudge Whoopie Pie”! I LOVE a good, classic, Amish style Whoopie Pie. I have been tinkering with developing a recipe for quite some time, and I think I really nailed it with this one! The addition of the instant coffee granules, really makes a difference! As does my recipe for the perfect Whoopie Pie filling! I really hope you will try this recipe, because I just know that you will be delighted! 


Chocolate Fudge Whoopie Pies

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/article_a3f0a59e-58f0-11e6-a0b5-133790724150.html

Enjoy! 

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For a peanut butter filled version use the following recipe instead of the traditional vanilla filling.

Peanut Butter Whoopi Pie Filling

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
4-5 tablespoons milk

Combine melted unsalted butter with the smooth peanut butter in a medium sized bowl until combined. Stir in the pure vanilla extract and marshmallow fluff. Slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar alternatively with the milk until the consistency is that of a thick spreadable ice cream.

TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…











Zebra Blondies

I love this recipe! Feel free to add white chocolate chips to the blondie batter, pecans or even chocolate chips! These are quick, easy and fun! Perfect for a party, get together or pitch-in. No matter what the occasion, people will go crazy over these…


Zebra Blondies

For the blondies…
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting…
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white whole milk

For the chocolate ganache…
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening

Start making the blondies by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl cream together the softened unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Once mixed, add in large eggs and beat well to combine. Next, add in the pure vanilla extract and stir together well.

Finally, add in the white all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt, all at once. Combine just until the flour is dissolved, being careful not to over mix the batter.

Spread this mixture into the prepared baking pan, and spread out evenly with the back of a wooden spoon or clean fingers.

Place in preheated oven for exactly 24 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the softened unsalted butter, powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract and milk. Whisk together until thick and smooth.

To make the ganache, melt the chocolate chips and solid vegetable shortening in a small microwave-safe bowl for about 90 seconds. Stir well until the chocolate is fully melted, shiny and glossy looking.

When ready to frost blondies, frost evenly. Spoon chocolate ganache over the frosting in “stripes” making a zebra pattern. This is best accomplished by swishing a spoonful of the chocolate ganache evenly over the frosting.

Place in refrigerator for about 2 hours, then remove and serve.

Enjoy!

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Cookie Icing 

Not very long ago, I had an idea to frost my soft and chewy snickerdoodle cookies. Why? Well, why not? I am actually going to experiment with frosting my chocolate chip cookies also. And can you imagine a peanut butter cookie with a soft and whipped chocolate frosting? Frosting or icing – whatever you call this – call it delicious. And for the record – I usually say “frosting”, but to me, this time, I feel this is more of an “icing”. Just saying…

Cookie Icing

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 1/2 tablespoons whole white milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Start by combining the powdered sugar and solid vegetable shortening with a fork. Be sure the shortening is incorporated with the sugar. The final result will look like little pebbles and very sandy.

Next, add in the white whole milk and pure vanilla extract. Beat this until smooth and creamy. Spread on cooled cookies and store them in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

For my “Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle” recipe, please click here – https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/10/05/chew-this-snickerdoodles/

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Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Honey Frosting

I am a huge fan of cupcakes! I love making them, eating them – but not decorating them… I am not the World’s Best Decorator by any means – I think it is because my focus is always on the eating of the dessert – and less on how it looks. Regardless, the perfect garnish can hide some imperfections – like the sliced banana garnish I use for these!

This recipe was inspired by Martha Stewart. You can Google her version of the recipe and see what changes I made. I added more cupcakes to the total amount baked, changed some of the measurements and added some flavorful ingrediants. I am always looking on how to improve a recioe – and in this case – I have done it!

Instead of making banana bread next time you have some ripe bananas to use – make these moist and delicious cupcakes!

Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Honey Frosting

For the cupcakes…
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
4 ripe bananas, mashed 
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

For the frosting…
4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
1 tablespoon pure honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 12-cup cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Lightly spray cups with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, mix together the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon. 

Next, add in the melted and cooled unsalted butter, mashed bananas, large eggs and pure vanilla extract. 

Gently fold everything together, being very careful not to over mix the batter. Gently fold until all the white streaks of flour have disappeared. 

Next, divide the batter evenly between the cupcake tins. This batter makes 18 cupcakes and you need to fill them each 3/4 of the way full to the top.

Pour a small amount of water into the remaining 4 empty cupcake cavities. 

Place in preheated oven for exactly 27 minutes.

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool while you make the frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the melted and cooled unsalted butter with the honey, ground cinnamon and salt. Add in enough powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. You’ll want a frosting that is thick, ice cream consistency, but yet easy spreadable. 

To frost the cupcakes, divide the frosting evenly between the cupcakes, and frost accordingly. 

Enjoy!

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