Archive for the ‘Cakes’ category

Coconut Layer Cake

May 17th, 2011

This year was my first mother’s day with only one grandma.  Since it was also that same grandma’s birthday two days after the holiday, I decided to throw a special little party for her, my mom and my godmother.  Coconut is my grandma’s absolute favourite, so I scoured my cookbooks and the internet for just the right dessert.

Coconut Layer Cake

Everyone came over for afternoon tea and I served a fancy coconut layer cake with tea or blueberry lemonade.  The cake recipe came from Martha Stewart and the lemonade recipe can be found below.  The cake was a two day preparation, but still simple enough for a layer cake.  I’d never made seven-minute frosting before, but was quite pleased with how easily it came together and how lovely it looks once spread over a cake.  Turns out it was my great-grandmother’s signature icing, so maybe I have it in my genes.

Coconut Layer Cake

Blueberry Lemonade

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 – 1/2 cup berry sugar
1 large bottle spring water

Using a blender, liquify the blueberries in lemon juice.
Add the sugar, starting with a 1/4 cup and increasing to taste.
Pour the blueberry concentrate into a large glass pitcher and top with spring water.

Cranberry cake

January 17th, 2011

Epiphany cake

With Christmas being as busy as it was this year, I didn’t get around to making my mom’s traditional cranberry cake until well into the new year.  Maybe we can call it a late Ukrainian Christmas cake.  Or if I’d made it without the green cherries, an early Valentine’s fruit cake.  Hmmm… I may have to make another one next month, maybe with a little splash of food colouring for extra pinkness.

1 cup white sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp butter, softened
hot water
juice and zest of 1 orange
1 cup fresh cranberries, cut into halves
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup red and green cherries, cut into halves
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

Cream together sugar and egg using an electric mixer.
Put butter into a 1 cup measure, and fill remainder with hot water.
Add butter and water to creamed mixture along with the orange zest and juice.
In a small bowl, coat fruit in 1/4 cup flour.
Add fruit, remaining flour and baking powder to creamed mixture, stirring gently until blended.
Pour batter into a greased and floured large Bundt pan.
Bake for 1 hour at 375ºF, checking at 45 minutes for doneness.

Vodka Berry Cheesecake

November 2nd, 2010

Vodka berry cheesecake

It’s been a long time coming, but here it is – the vodka cheesecake I made for my sister’s birthday back in October.  She wanted a vodka-themed party with penne alla vodka for the main course and plenty of vodka-based drinks throughout the evening.  Luckily, I was able to find the perfect dessert inspiration on Epicurious. Instead of making a dozen individual tarts, I modified the recipe so it would make one big cheesecake, smothered in vodka-soaked raspberries.  Simple, easy and divine.

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

In a large bowl, combine the three crust ingredients until evenly blended.
Press the crumb mixture into a greased springform pan, packing firmly along the sides and bottom.
Bake at 350°F for15 minutes.
Set aside to cool completely before pouring in the cheesecake filling.

1/3 cup vodka
1 tbsp vanilla
1 package unflavoured gelatin
4 packages softened cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream

In a small bowl, stir the gelatin through the vodka and vanilla until completely dissolved.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together all of the filling ingredients, pouring the gelatin mixture in last.
Scrape the cheesecake filling into the chilled graham cracker crust.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.

4 cups raspberries
4 tsp vodka
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup berry sugar

In yet another bowl, stir together all four ingredients until sugar is evenly distributed.
Let sit for 15 minutes before spooning over top the cheesecake (possibly with a big dollop of whipped cream).

Cheesecake crust

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake

October 18th, 2010

Gingerbread cake with whipped cream

I took a week off work recently, and rather than doing piles of yard work as I had originally planned, I spent most of the week baking.  Many of the recipes I tried were from Dorie Greenspan’s fabulous Baking book, from which I’ve taken many delicious cakes and cookies since I got my copy in 2006.  This gingerbread cake was very tasty, though it got a bit dark around the edges in the time it took to set the middle completely.

You can get the recipe from Google Books, including the frosting, which I didn’t use on my version. Instead, I topped each slice with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

Chocolate gingerbread cake


June 8th, 2009


For my birthday, I got a gift certificate from my favourite Lethbridge store – The Sous Chef. This fabulous little downtown shop stocks everything from Portmeirion porcelain dishes and gorgeous German glassware, to high-end knives and pans and every kitchen garden you could ever need. I’d been thinking about buying a madeleine pan for a while, and finally had an excuse to do so.

This makes enough for 24 Madeleines – 2 pans worth, in most cases.

2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
zest of one orange
1 cup icing sugar

Stir together flour and baking powder, set aside.
Beat eggs and orange zest together for 5 minutes.
Gradually mix in icing sugar, then beat for another 5 minutes.
Fold in the flour mixture, then the melted butter, mixing until smooth.
Spoon the batter into greased Madeleine forms – about 3/4 full.
Bake for about 8 minutes at 350°F or until the edges are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let the cakes sit in the pan for at least 2 minutes before flipping them out onto a cooling rack.
Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

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