Hey guys, just a simple chocolate cake over here today. And if your January has been anything like mine, this is just what we need.
January is about the time we (you’re in this with me now, right?) get generally bummed that the holiday season is over, and also that days off work have become fewer and far between.
But let’s talk about brightening our spirits with a kitchen win today instead, ok?
You might have heard me talk about chocolate cake before, but it’s been a point of frustration for me on many levels. For some reason chocolate cakes always sink and air pocket much more at altitude than butter cakes, and it’s hard to bring out a full-bodied chocolate flavor.
But this is my favorite attempt yet. It’s got just the right texture, a super chocolatey flavor, and maybe best of all, it’s simple. Why make things complicated- it’s January after all.
I’ve chosen to frost this with a Swiss meringue buttercream, also chocolate, but this cake can pair with any flavors you might be feeling. Vanilla, peanut butter, caramel- they are all welcome on this sweet bake. In fact, those sound great, maybe I’ll do that next.
We’re using dark cocoa powder for a strong chocolate flavor, and sour cream to add moisture. Buttermilk ties the batter together, and brings out the flavors even more. By the way- if you don’t have buttermilk, add a tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of whole milk and stir, you got this.
Also, side note, and by the way not an ad, but I tried Pam’s new baking spray for these cakes, and worked so well guys, it’s definitely worth a shot!
Let’s get through this January with chocolate cake, it’s the right thing to do.
I’m a bit behind on my blogging schedule, mainly because I’ve had some exciting things happen in the last couple of months! First- I finished all the content for my upcoming book and turned everything into my publisher. Super exciting/terrifying to have sent it all off! I’m also really excited to share these pretty promo cards they made for Sugar High:
Second bit of a news is a fun one. I’m so excited to say that my husband and I are expecting our first child! I’ve nicknamed the little lime-sized baby “Muffin” for now. Life is wild.
Onto this pretty pound cake! Since the holiday season is officially upon us, it’s time to think about sweet treats that travel well, and please crowds. This chocolate chip pound cake is perfect for any such an occasion.
I love pound cake because it stands alone- you don’t need to make frosting or cream or anything to go with it, although if you’re feeling up to whipped cream, go for it. It’s just lightly sweet, very dense, and provides us with a perfect little snack anytime. Or a breakfast. Yes, I eat cake for breakfast, it’s fine.
This is a classic recipe, and you can find my bundt cake version over here. I’ve made this one in the form of a single loaf- a bit less cake overall, and the addition of chocolate chips gives it just the right twist.
You can actually alter this recipe in so many yummy ways. For example, top it with sliced fruit before baking, or fill it with berries, or lemon zest and juice. Whichever way you make it, it’s still going to have that perfect tightly-knit crumb that you’ll keep coming back to.
I hope you’re starting off your holiday season brightly this year! Personally, I’m one of those Christmas fanatics that starts listening to Christmas music on November 1st, and shopping later that day. However you prefer it though, treat yoself with something sweet all season!
Have you ever had olive oil cake before guys??
I am personally obsessed with olive oil. It’s one of my favorite things ever when you go to a restaurant and get free bread with olive oil. Don’t lie to me, you love it too. I understand. I have a whole collection of different flavors on my counter right now- side note- have you guys ever been to one of those olive oil shops? It’s amazing.
This is my first time making olive oil cake, and now I think it’ll be a go-to for me!
Anyways, olive oil cake is also super easy to make, and you can flavor it with whatever you want. Some of the most popular things I’ve seen included lemon, orange, almond, ricotta, or even just plain. Since it’s not very sweet, it’s easy to add in whatever you feel like, or whatever you have.
This time I’ve chosen to go with blueberry almond for this version. The blueberries play off of the fruitiness of the olive oil, and sliced almonds add beautiful texture throughout. The top of the cake is crunchy and sweet with the addition of coarse sugar on top before baking.
This is an easy, classy dessert you guys. It’s impressive, and all your friends will think you are sophisticated as heck! Hope you guys enjoy this one!
I’m sharing something really fun today. A few weeks ago, I decided I would attempt to make a succulent decorated cake as a thank you to a friend who happens to love succulents. He and his wife bought me an adorable wood cupcake stand at Magnolia Market when they were visiting! (EEK, I dream about going there). Sidenote- this friend, Chaz, always calls succulents “succies,” which we all thought was something he had made up, but it turns out that’s a real thing (what??). Seriously, search for it on Instagram and get amazed.
I want to preface this by saying that I have never once made a frosting rose or flower or plant or anything event remotely like this before. It took some practice and trial and error, but I’m so excited about the end result you guys, I was standing in my kitchen that night thinking “wait… wait. I made this??”
So, today I’m not actually including a recipe, I’m just sharing some pictures and the links to the tutorials that I used, as well as the list of tips that I used. The tutorials that I used were honestly way better than anything I could put together on my own to post here since this was the first time I’ve worked with literally any of these tips, or a flower nail even.
So, here’s a few tips that I came up with during my adventure here:
- Use a flower nail. Seriously, I considered trying to pipe the plants directly on the cake, and now that I’ve used the flower nail it seems like it would be IMPOSSIBLE without it.
- Do it on a day when your house isn’t too hot. Mine was pretty darn toasty as we hadn’t gotten our swamp cooler up and running for the season yet, and I really think it would have been easier if my frosting didn’t keep melting.
- Freeze your flowers before placing them on the cake. Again, I’m just not sure how people do this otherwise, but it was a huge help to me when it came to taking them off the parchment and placing them on the cake.
Let’s start with the tutorials that I used:
- Tutorial one- From Wilton: There’s a video on the sidebar that was super helpful to me in figuring out how to stripe the frosting, and how to generally hold and use all the tips for each type of flower/plant.
- Tutorial two- From Craftsy: Another SUPER helpful page- this one has fantastic step-by-step photos on how each part of your piping adventure should look!
And now let’s move on to the tips that I used on this cake:
- Wilton 233: For the grassy-looking stuff that is filling in most of the cake.
- Wilton 352: For the spiky-looking green plants.
- Ateco 61: For the roses.
- Wilton 21: For the multi-colored wavy blob thing in the back. (clearly this wasn’t my fav plant on the cake ha).
I hope you guys try this out! It’s probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done as a baker, and now I’m pretty pumped to find other occasions to do it again!
I guess you could say I’m on a bit of a cake kick lately. I’ve almost completely finished the cake section of my cookbook, and I think my office may or may not be getting sick of it haha. Today, it’s a cake just for you guys though!
So, here’s the deal with this cake. There’s a certain cake that a certain fancier grocery retailer sells in the springtime- it has chantilly cream and lots of berries, and it’s SUPER popular. Secret time- I have never had this cake. But, I wanted to create something similar, or at least what I think is probably similar based on what I know of said cake.
Anyways, my version has a sweetened vanilla custard cream, strawberries, raspberries, and fluffy white cake. It feels springy to me, and the cake is soft and lightly sweet. The cream is fluffy and smooth, and it’s overall a simple and tasty combo.
I’m writing this on a Sunday evening, and I’ve been baking all day long- much more than just this cake. I’m exhausted, and pretty unsure if I’ll ever get up from my current spot on the couch, snuggling with my pupper. Well, back to pretending tomorrow isn’t Monday- enjoy guys!