Pistachio Chocolate Layer Cake

Cake, Chocolate | February 17, 2019 | By

Hey guys! I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and that you’re lucky enough to have this President’s Day off work, just in time to make this cake!

It’s my mom’s birthday, and normally I do some kind of chocolate marshmallow situation for her, but this year I’m switching it up.

This cake is pure you guys. The ground pistachios give the cake texture and a wonderful flavor, and the fudgey chocolate frosting is too good to be true. Here’s what I know to be amazing about the cake; it’s super easy to whip up, and it actually bakes up without a dome on top- no need to trim before stacking!

We’re using the reverse creaming method for the batter today, which is not my norm, but I actually really love the results in this cake. Just be sure to beat for a few extra minutes at the end to reach a light, fluffy batter.

And so this frosting. I don’t normally like American buttercream, as most bakers these days seem to agree, but I think it actually works really well for chocolate.

By using dutch cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate, as well as a pinch of salt, you don’t end up with something so terribly sweet as a vanilla option. In this recipe, I’ve also added cream cheese for a little tang, and for a super silky beautiful texture.

I’ve garnished the cake with whole shelled pistachios, but you can also use ground pistachios or even some pretty sprinkles! But honestly, the frosting carries this cake to the finish line, don’t even garnish if you don’t feel like it.

Pistachio Chocolate Layer Cake

Servings 16 slices

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups pistachios, shelled, and ground to a fine crumb
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tbs. canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbs. dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside. 

  2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the ground pistachios, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Beat in the softened butter until completely combined, several minutes. The mixture should be crumbly and slightly yellow in color from the butter. 

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, and buttermilk. Add the wet mixture into the dry in three parts, mixing well between each addition. Beat for several minutes after all the liquid has been added until the batter is well mixed, and slightly lighter in color. 

  4. Spread evenly in your prepared pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from pans and frosting. 

For the frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until combined. Add in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt, and beat until completely combined and smooth. Add in the melted chocolate, beating until combined. Then add in the heavy cream, and whip for several minutes until fluffy. Frost the cake as desired! 

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cake

Cake, Chocolate | February 10, 2019 | By

Hey everyone! I know I’ve been making a lot of bundt cakes lately, sorry not sorry, but this one. This is the one you guys.

This isn’t just chocolate cake. It’s not even just chocolate chip cake. It’s chocolate cake, spotted with chocolate chips and crushed Oreos, and topped with chocolate sauce. And if that’s not giving you enough motivation to bake for v-day, I don’t know what will.

I’m using this pretty heart shaped bundt pan today, but you can use any bundt you’ve got, as long as it’s at least 10 cups. It’s gonna be just as fantastic, I promise.

Another note on baking in bundt pans- I used to spend a good amount of time greasing every little pocket with butter and then flour, and often even then they would stick some. But I recently switched to using Pam Baking Spray, and I love it! It’s easy and fast, and I haven’t an issue with a cake sticking since.

So anyways, this cake recipe has kind of a long ingredient list, but it’s all pretty normal stuff, and it all builds up a very strongly chocolate flavor that you’ll love. Of course, you can also skip the Oreos or chocolate chips if you want, but together, it’s a really indulgent combo that I think you’ll love.

Also though, you could add in chopped pecans or walnuts, or even chopped up chocolate chip cookies! Whatever you decide, this cake is best served up warm, when the chocolate chips are melty and the sauce is hot.

No matter what you’re doing for Valentine’s Day this year, this is the dessert you want to be eating, I promise. Enjoy!

Cookies & Cream Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 cups roughly crushed Oreos
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 3 tbs. whole milk
  • 1 tbs. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan. Set aside. 

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder. Set aside. 

  3. In a large bowl, beat together the oil, sour cream, and sugar until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. 

  4. Add in about 1/3 of the flour mixture, and beat until combined. Then add in about 1/2 of the buttermilk, beating until combined. Repeat the process with the dry and wet until completely mixed in, reserving about 1-2 tablespoons of the dry mixture roughly. 

  5. Slowly beat in the hot water, and beat until the batter is smooth. Toss the crushed Oreos and the chocolate chips in the reserved flour mixture to coat, and then fold into the batter. 

  6. Pour into your prepared pan, and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a serving platter. 

For the sauce:

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the milk, butter, salt, and vanilla until just boiling. Whisk in the chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Pour over the cake while still hot, and serve warm. 

Vegan Pound Cake

Cake, High Altitude Baking | February 4, 2019 | By

Hey everyone! We’re back on the basics today with a simple vegan recipe that you can twist and turn into anything you want!

When I started looking into vegan pound cake recipes, I didn’t find a lot of options that really fit what I wanted here. I want to give you guys basic recipes that you can easily make at high-altitude, but also simple, workable recipes on other diets.

As you know, I’ve been messing around a little bit with vegan baking recently, and make a vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe that you’ll absolutely love. But cakes are a whole new beast for vegan high altitude baking you guys.

In cakes, one of the most important ingredients is the eggs. and when we’re talking about egg replacements, it’s really important to get something that makes sense for cakes. So today, we’re using silken tofu.

And listen, I’m not a tofu person. But, unlike soaked chia seeds (another egg replacement option), silken tofu keeps a smooth, creamy texture and it blends really well into cake batter. And otherwise, we’re using vegan butter baking sticks, which work REALLY well for a substitute for butter.

I think replacing milk in a recipe is probably the easiest part. I’m using vanilla almond milk, but really you can use any dairy-free milk that you prefer!

So, here’s what we’ve got: A dense crumb, lightly flavored, VERY dairy-tasting pound cake without any of those products. It’s impressive, and you can switch it up any way you’d like. You could bake the batter into cake layers and stack them with frosting. You can bake them in a tube pan like I did, or a bundt pan, or in two loaf pans.

You can also definitely add goodies in here. Remember though, it’s just like a normal cake batter, and if you add in anything, you’ll want to dust it with flour first to avoid ingredients sinking to the bottom of the cake.

I’d suggest chopped berries, crushed Oreos, chocolate chips, or even brownie chunks! You can also add different extracts for flavor, like almond or orange or lemon. And you can even fold in some crushed freeze-dried berries for a fun twist!

This is a versatile recipe you guys, I hope you enjoy it!

Vegan Pound Cake

Servings 16 slices

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups silken tofu, blended until completely smooth
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and generously grease a 10-12 cup tube or bundt pan. Set aside. 

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 

  3. In a large bowl, beat together the vegan butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the blended tofu and vanilla extract, and beat until combined. The mixture may be lumpy. 

  4. Add in about a third of the flour mixture, and beat to combine. Then add in about half the almond milk, and stir to combine. Repeat until you've used all of the flour mixture and milk. Beat for several more minutes until the batter is smooth. 

  5. Spread into your prepared pan. Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool and enjoy plain or with coconut whipped cream or vegan frosting!

Vanilla Pear Fizz Cocktail

Cocktails | January 26, 2019 | By

Hey everyone! It’s the weekend, and I’ve got the prettiest pear cocktail ready for you guys today using Black Box Spirits Vodka!

Pears are in season right now, so this recipe calls for fresh Anjou pears, cooked in a syrup with vanilla bean seeds, and blended to a smooth puree. Real talk, I don’t like pears normally. I know, I know, we’re all shocked.

But when you combine lightly cooked pears, a bit of lemon juice, and vanilla, the combo is refreshing and sweet and I LOVE it. The lemon juice brings a touch of bright, freshness to the cocktail, but it doesn’t make things taste lemony at all.

I’m delighted to be working with Black Box Spirits for this recipe, if you guys haven’t tried their products, today is the day. They come in boxes, with a tap right on there, and honestly it’s so perfect. It’s easy to store, the tap works beautifully, and you don’t have to deal with pulling down a heavy glass bottle from a high shelf.

Not to mention, uhm, the alcohol! I don’t normally drink liquor straight, but I wanted to try this vodka to see what I could expect when mixing it into a cocktail, and to decide how strong to make it. It’s really easy to drink, and the vodka blends well into this drink! Dangerous if you ask me. 🙂

So anyways, back to the cocktail mix. I used a whole vanilla bean in this recipe, plus a dash of vanilla extract because I REALLY love vanilla. If you’d like it to be a little lighter, just go for the vanilla bean. I love the little black flecks in this drink, it’s so pretty!

My vanilla bean was a little dried out, but it’s an easy fix. You can simply cut the vanilla bean width wise (not down the length like you would to scrape out the seeds) and put it in with the pears to cook away. This softens the bean right up, and then you pull it out, slice it down the middle, and scrape out the seeds like you normally would! Good as new.

So anyways, enjoy this one guys, it’s one of my new favs!

This post was sponsored in partnership with Black Box Spirits. 

Vanilla Pear Fizz Cocktail

Servings 2 cocktails

Ingredients

For the Pear Puree:

  • 1 large Anjou pear, peeled and cored
  • 3 tbs. sugar
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cocktails:

  • 5 oz. pear puree
  • 5 oz. Black Box Spirits Vodka
  • 1/3 cup club soda

Instructions

For the Pear Puree:

  1. Chop your peeled and cored pear into small cubes. It does not have to be perfect. Slice your vanilla bean pod in half width-wise.

  2. In a small saucepan, stir together the chopped pear, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla bean pod. Cook over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the pears have softened. 

  3. Remove from the heat, and pull out your vanilla pod halves. Slice them in half length-wise and scrape out the seeds with the back of your knife. Stir into the pear mixture, along with the vanilla extract. 

  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender, and blend until completely smooth, about a minute. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. 

For the cocktail:

  1. Add the pear puree and vodka to a shaker with ice. Gently shake 2-3 times. Divide evenly between two cocktail glasses with ice. Top with the club soda, using more or less as needed. Add a slice of a pear or lemon peel for garnish, and enjoy! 

Blood Orange Cake

Cake | January 20, 2019 | By

Hey everyone!! I hope you and the weekend had a long, good time, and that you’re making a Sunday cake like me today.

I’m about to go meet up with a friend and I just recently bought this adorable little 6 cup bundt tin, so I figured today is the right time to give it a go. If you don’t have an adorable half-size bundt pan, it’s okay! Bake up this cake in a loaf pan instead, or double the recipe and make it in a regular size bundt!

I know I’m making a lot of pound cakes lately guys! Here’s why- one, they are really simple recipes that come together quickly, and I’m still getting into the swing of full time work with a commute and a baby at home- life is crazy! But also, I think these cakes are incredibly satisfying and versatile. It’s the perfect gift cake, it’s the perfect coffee cake, and you can flavor pound cake any which way- now my blog is a case study to that fact!

Blood oranges are in season right now, and we all know how pretty they are. This icing is colored only by using blood orange juice and it turns it this pretty pink color that is total perfection. Hey fun fact- did you guys know I don’t like fruit? I’m a child haha. But I do love fruit flavors so it’s wonderful in cake. Ya know, when you’ve stripped out any nutritional value and covered it in sugar.

So, this is a classic pound cake recipe, and we’re replacing the milk in the recipe with blood orange juice. We’re also throwing in a ton of orange zest to bring out a little more of that citrus flavor to the whole thing.

And to top it off, a pretty pink blood orange glaze. It’s super easy to whip up- you just whisk orange zest, orange juice, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Drizzle it over your cooled cake and it brings a lovely brightness to the whole thing. To be honest though, you don’t even need the glaze. The pound cake is simple and lightly sweet on it’s own.

Enjoy it you guys, and I hope this takes you smiling into the week!

Blood Orange Cake

Servings 8 slices

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Zest of 2 blood oranges
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup blood orange juice (takes about 2 blood oranges)

For the glaze:

  • 3 tbs. blood orange juice
  • Zest from 1 blood orange
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 6 cup bundt pan or a loaf pan. Set aside. 

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 

  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and orange zest until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, beating the batter between each egg addition.

  4. Add in about half of the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Then add in the blood orange juice, and stir. Add in the remaining flour, and beat for several minutes until the batter is completely smooth.

  5. Pour into your prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before icing. 

For the glaze:

  1. Whisk together the orange juice, zest, and powdered sugar until smooth. Add more powdered sugar if needed to reach your desired consistency. Drizzle generously over the cake. 

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