It’s been ages since I did a recipe roundup and I thought what better time than now–Valentine’s Day–to do one! So here you go….my top three healthy, chocolate desserts perfect for the most perfectly perfect day of love and romance and all things hearts and pink.
First up, these Homemade Chocolate Candy Cups are so stinking easy and soooooo good. They’re fun to make because you can top them with whatever your heart desires…nuts, dried fruit, sprinkles, coconut, etc. So creative! And SO much better for you than anything you could buy at the store. 🙂
Second, this Dark Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cake is my all-time favorite cake ever. When I made this, we weren’t quite 100% plantbased, so there is a good amount of eggs in it but I plan on seeing if there are any substitutes that will work for making it completely free of any animal products! If you try to make it vegan, let me know! In the meantime, this cake is waaaaaaaaaay healthier than something you’d get from your local bakery, so make it and enjoy!
And lastly, these Ultimate Fudgy Vegan Brownies are my absolute favorite chocolate dessert on my blog–I have converted many non-vegan, SAD (standard American diet) friends to these brownies. Everyone who tries them loves them because they simply are the fudgiest, chewiest brownies you could possibly ever want.
Ditch the Russel Stovers and get in the kitchen! Enjoy!
Is it donuts or doughnuts? I literally spell it differently every time I type the word. I have no idea which one to choose. BUT WHO CARES because however it’s spelled we’re talking about DONUTS. Let’s just eat them and feel suuuuuuuuuper guilty later. Or not! Because these are actually healthy donuts!
Yep, vegan, refined-sugar free, oil-free, baked and SO FREAKING DELICIOUS. My favorite donuts are the cake type and this particular donut is just like a piece of moist chocolate cake with finger-lickin’ chocolate frosting slathered all over the top. Aaaaaaaaad it’s even made with BEANS. Yes. Indeed.
So healthy. So good. Make them for someone you love….Valentine’s Day is a GREAT excuse to eat chocolate. 😀 So indulge and enjoy!
I’ve been wanting to do a little something different lately because I feel like I get stuck on things like bars, breads and dips a lot! In all honestly they are EASY to make and I’m constantly just wanting something I can throw together since I’ve got kids! But then came along this recipe from Half Baked Harvest and it gave me an idea.
A few years ago, I made this crazy delicious Blueberry Lemon IceBox Cake and while it was good it was most definitely NOT vegan/plantbased and certainly not healthy so I thought I would give it a little makeover! I did the peach/raspberry combo that HBH did so beautifully with her cake and used Cadia Graham Crackers and So Delicious Coconut Whipped Cream. That’s right I BOUGHT the coconut whipped cream! I know, I know I could have just thrown a can of coconut milk in the fridge and whipped it up the next day with some agave and vanilla but I was seriously going for easy here and I’m not gonna lie, I LOVE this whipped cream from So Delicious. Better than my homemade stuff even. 😀
So while not the healthiest dessert due to the sugar in the graham crackers and whipped cream, albeit a small amount, it is an upgrade from my old recipe for sure! And we loved it! The graham crackers get nice and soft and “cake-like” after sitting overnight, sandwiched between the whipped cream. And the raspberry/peach combo is SO good. Simple, delicious and utilizes the last of those yummy summer fruits!
2, 9 oz. containers So Delicious Coconut Whipped Cream (I used the lite version)
12 sheets Cadia Graham Crackers (or similar healthy/low sugar/whole grain brand)
2 c. Chopped Peaches (about two large), plus more for topping
2 c. Raspberries, plus more for topping
Line a large, 6½x11x4-inch loaf pan with foil, both ways, letting the foil hang over either end of the pan. Spray lightly with coconut oil cooking spray.
Spread a layer (about ⅓ of a container) of coconut whipped cream in the bottom of your pan. You want to have enough whipped cream left to use some for spreading on the top of the cake after it has set overnight and been flipped out of the pan.
Place 4 sheets of the graham crackers on the top of the whipped cream (they may overlap a bit in the middle and that's ok!).
Cover the graham crackers in another layer of whipped cram and sprinkle the whipped cream with half of the raspberries and half of the peaches.
Gently spread a layer of whipped cream over the fruit. Cover with 4 more sheets of graham crackers, a layer of whipped cream and the remaining half of the peaches and raspberries.
Cover the fruit with another layer of whipped cream and 4 more sheets of graham crackers.
Cover with foil and let set in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight.
Place a plate or cake stand over the to of the loaf pan and gently flip over. Carefully remove the pan and then gently and slowly peel away the foil.
Quickly cover the top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle/decorate with the extra fruit. Slice and serve immediately.
There was no wondering what the theme would be this year for Eli’s 3rd birthday party–CARS! He is obsessed, particularly with the Cars cars…Lightening McQueen, Bobby Swift…the whole gang. But I wasn’t really down with having a Cars birthday party or even Hotwheels–not my style at all. But after a little Pinterest time, I stumbled across the vintage race car theme and LOVED it.
I went simple (at least for me) and did a couple of banners for decor, car cake, chocolate dipped pretzel rods that were “dip sticks” and mini chocolate doughnuts that were our “spare tires”. I actually loved how this one turned out and I’m finding that simple can be a lot better sometimes!
Here are some pics from the day…
Dipsticks! (aka chocolate dipped pretzel rods)
The Vintage Race Car Cake…
Some more of the decor…
And last but not least the birthday boy playing lawn games with his cousins. This must have been a good shot. 😉
Check out the link below for more party inspiration!
We recently celebrated Avery’s 5th birthday party and I wanted to share a few pics of the festivities. I went super simple this year especially where the dessert table was concerned. I ended up doing Sixlets in her party colors, white chocolate unicorn pops and a unicorn cake. Time and budget were limited this year but it forced me to keep things simple which was a GOOD thing. 🙂
Here are a few pics! And if you’re interested in her previous parties, I have links to all of them at the end of the post!
Birthday Girl! 🙂
More table pics.
Unicorns taking a nap?? Or maybe telling secrets… 🙂
Birthday girl focusing hard on coloring her unicorn.
Believe it or not, I have ANOTHER kid…who I’ve never blogged about. 😀 Until now! I’m still in the process of digging up his first birthday pics but in the meantime we’re just gonna skip ahead to his SECOND birthday.
We did an alphabet theme for this one because the child knew his alphabet forwards and backwards way before he turned two. And boy themes are TOUGH…farm animals, cars, jungle, cartoon/tv shows…ugh. Not my style so much but the alphabet theme turned out cute! Here are a few pics from our fun day…
It was a fun party with beautiful weather and awesome friends! And a certain two year old ate WAY too many chocolate letters off of the chocolate chip cookie bars while mom wasn’t looking but hey, it was his birthday and c’mon chocolate is just GOOD. 😉 We love you E!
Since birthday parties are rolling around again, I thought I’d finally get around to posting LAST year’s birthday party pictures. I’m so on top of it! Avery decided on a Kitty Cat theme which was super fun to come up with all the decor and treats for. All the little desserts were made by me except the AWESOME cat cake. Goodies included chocolate cherry mice, feline faces, cat claws, meow mix and hair balls!
If you are looking for a super decadent, rich, absolutely DELICIOUS and most importantly HEALTHY chocolate cake–look no further! I can honestly say this is maybe the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had and I can only guess it has something to do with the crazy amount of avocado in it! Yes, avocado!
I just love avocado. Although you’d NEVER guess it was in this cake. All you’ll taste is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! Oh and some strawberry. 😉 Avocado is so great for chocolate desserts, like this Chocolate Avocado Pudding and I’ve also seen chocolate frosting recipes that use it in place of butter although I have yet to try it myself! It really is the ultimate super food!
What makes this cake even better is the fact that it is totally dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free! Enjoy a big ‘ole slice without any guilt!
½ c. Special Dark Cocoa Powder (or use another ½ cup regular)
½ t. Sea Salt
1 t. Espresso Powder
2 t. Baking Soda
1 c. Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chunks (optional)
Chocolate Whipped Cream
1, 14.5 oz. Canned Full-Fat Coconut Cream, chilled in fridge (unopened) for at least 5-8 hours or overnight
2-3 T. Refined Coconut Oil, softened
Pinch Sea Salt
2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 t. Cocoa Powder
2 T. Agave
2 Packets Truvia (or use couple teaspoons of powdered stevia, etc)
1 c. Sliced Strawberries
½ c. Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chunks, melted
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two, round 9x9-inch pans with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat the avocado puree, xylitol, sucanat and agave until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated.
Beat in remaining ingredients (except chocolate chunks). Stir in dark chocolate chunks.
Divide batter evenly between the two pans--it will be VERY thick. Bake for 22-25 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Chocolate Whipped Cream
Place the metal bowl and whisk of an electric mixer in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (if you don’t have an electric mixer, a bowl and whisk should work as well).
Place the thick cream part of the chilled coconut milk (you can just discard the liquid if there is any or save for smoothies, etc) into the chilled electric mixer bowl and whisk the coconut milk, coconut oil, salt, vanilla, cocoa powder, agave and truvia on medium/high speed until fully combined and thick. Refrigerate or use immediately on cake.
Remove chilled cakes from pans and peel away parchment paper. Put one cake on a large plate or cake stand. Spread ½ of the whipped on the first cake layer.
Top with the second cake layer and spread with the remaining whipped Cream
Place strawberry slices around the outer edge and drizzle with melted chocolate. Serve immediately or refrigerate covered until ready to serve.
I can’t believe I’m already writing a Fourth of July blog post! This last couple of months have flown with my daughter turning two and having a baby…suffice it to say I’ve baked nothin’ in the last few weeks and don’t have any super-fabulous, totally-original July 4th recipe to share with you BUT I do have some past inspiration from my blog and others that are patriotic AND delicious! So here are 10 gorgeous red, white and blue desserts that you can feel proud serving this Fourth of July holiday! Enjoy!
I’m currently sitting at home typing this blog post as fast and furious as I can before my kids wake up from their naps. That’s right I said kids…as in plural, as in I now have more than one! Our little boy was born at home a little over a week ago on Sunday, May 17th and it’s been non-stop crazy since then. But in a good way of course. 🙂
So since I’m pressed for time I’m sharing a super simple, completely decadent buttercream frosting recipe with you today! I had initially planned on blogging about the whole scrumptious cake you see above but to be honest I was a tad disappointed with how the yellow cake turned out. Heavy, dense and slightly dry…bummer. I still think this is the best Yellow Cake recipe I’ve found to date so I’m sticking with that one as my go-to for now. The Nutella buttercream however was a whole different story. Not only was it good, it was GOOD. Forget putting it on the cake, I about made myself sick eating it with a spoon. But it was so, so worth it. Try it on homemade Yellow Cake, sandwiched between Chocolate Chip Cookies or even spread over Sugar Cookie Bars.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and Crisco together on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder on low speed until combined. Slowly add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Beat in Nutella until frosting is well combined and smooth. Use on cupcakes, cake, cookies or eat with a spoon.
Makes enough for a round, 9-inch three-layer cake or 48 cupcakes.
I have been looking forward to my daughter’s first birthday party since the day she was born. And let me tell you…I spent WAY too much money and time on it! Hah! But I can also say it was totally worth it. 🙂 I LOVE planning dessert tables so Avery’s party was my excuse to go ALL. OUT. But first…a theme. Omg the freaking theme. I cannot tell you how many Pinterest boards and Google pages I searched for the PERFECT theme. Ya know, the one that someone hadn’t already done 50,000 times. Yeah…not finding it. Barbie, Paris, owls, hearts, rainbows, ladybugs, cupcakes…done, done and SO done. I was really wanting something unique but in the end I settled on Sprinkles and Confetti! Rainbow Sprinkles and Confetti. I figured it would be cute and fairly simple.
Ok, would have been simple if I hadn’t made it super complicated. I’m talented like that. In the end we had somewhere around 100 confetti filled balloons, seven different sprinkle coated desserts and one very happy birthday girl!
We had so much stuff dipped in white chocolate and sprinkles…Oreos, strawberry wafers, pretzel rods, strawberries, donut hole “cake” pops. And of course we had gumballs, homemade marshmallows and a gorgeous cake with a balloon on the top! It was fun seeing everyone enjoy all the treats but especially fun to see Avery eat her first homemade marshmallow! She loved it. 🙂
She also loved her second smash cake. Think she might have preferred the bad-for-you version a little bit more than my healthy one. Hah!
It was the best birthday party and even though I went totally overboard and she won’t remember one single thing, I’ll treasure it forever and obviously show her all the pictures from her fabulous party! 😉
I haven’t done a recipe roundup in QUITE awhile and thought it was high time I bring you some of the best, brightest and cutest dessert ideas from around the blog world! If only I had more time I’d make every. single. one. of these but we’re a little short on time these days so I will probably have to be satisfied with picking up some mini robin eggs at the store and eating ALL of them while I drool over these pics. Doesn’t sound like too bad of an idea, huh?
Gooey butter cake again? YES. And this time with Nutella. NUTELLA. In OOEY GOOEY BUTTER CAKE. Can your mind even comprehend?! I’ve made all kinds of gooey butter cakes, but this one might be my favorite. It’s rich, decadent and perfect with ice cream. A great, chocolatey addition to any holiday spread!
1, 18.25 oz. Box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 Large Egg, at room temperature
½ c. Unsalted Butter, melted
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Filling
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
3 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. Nutella
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
3¾ c. Powdered Sugar
½ c. Unsalted Butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.
For the Cake
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg, butter and vanilla and mix well. Pat into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.
For the Filling
Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs, Nutella and vanilla. Dump in powdered sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well. Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes (mine is done around 40), until a tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Fall is in the air! Cooler weather, leaves falling, sweaters and boots, bonfires, apple and pumpkin EVERYTHING. I love it! Definitely my favorite season. So I thought I’d start things right with this recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Cake. I saw this recipe on The Picky Apple and since it had over HALF A MILLION pins on Pinterest, I thought it might be a good one to try. The bottom is like a yummy custard type pumpkin pie and the top is cakey and slightly crunchy from the pecans. So good! I topped mine with homemade cinnamon whipped cream, Bourbon Salted Caramel from Fat Toad Farm and organic dark chocolate chips. If you’re looking for a delicious fall recipe, this is the one!
Pumpkin Crunch Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, Bourbon Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Chips
1, 15 oz. Can Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1, 12 oz. Can Evaporated Milk
3 Large Eggs, room temperature
1½ c. Sugar
1 t. Cinnamon
½ t. Salt
1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
1, 18.25 oz. Spice Cake Mix
1½ c. Pecans
1 c. Unsalted Butter, melted
Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10½ inch springform pan or 9x13 cake pan. I used a springform pan which did leak a little so I put a large, round baking pan under it.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Pour into the pan and sprinkle the cake mix on top (I only used about ¾ of the cake mix because I used a springform pan), then the pecans and drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for 1 hour or until the middle of the cake is firm (mine took about 1 hour and 10 minutes). Cool completely. Top with cinnamon whipped cream, caramel and dark chocolate chips.
My love affair with ooey gooey butter cake is well-documented here, here and here. I love it and I’m not ashamed. And I’ll probably keep coming up with more versions as long as there’s a semi-creative bone in my body! Hope you guys don’t mind. Actually I know you won’t mind once you taste this Banana Split Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. It. Is. Divine. Literally like a banana split in cake form and so, so, SO good. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
2 Ripe Bananas, mashed (not brown ripe like for banana bread and not green...just nice and yellow)
1 c. Maraschino Cherries
1 c. Pecans, toasted and chopped
8 oz. Pineapple Tidbits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
For the Cake
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, egg, butter and vanilla on medium speed until well combined. Pat into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.
For the Filling
Still using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat in mashed bananas. Dump in the powdered sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well. Beat in cherries, pecans and pineapple tidbits until just combined. Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is firm in the middle.
I wanted something dark, decadent and over-the-top chocolate for Easter Sunday dinner. And this Rocky Road Cake TOTALLY fit the bill. I know, I know…it’s springtime and desserts should be light and fruity. But when is chocolate ever out of season?! Yeah. Never. And judging by all the “mmmm’s” and “oh my gosh, this is so GOOD”s that I got, I think I picked the absolute perfect dessert to make.
I used dark unsweetened cocoa for both the cake and frosting (the recipe just called for regular unsweetened) and I loved how rich it made the cake but think next time I’ll use the regular cocoa for the frosting so it’s not quite so rich. I also used homemade marshmallows instead of store-bought which I think makes it so good but feel free to use some from the store. It’s definitely extra work to make you own marshmallows but SO worth it. I was also really skeptical about the cake. Just by reading the recipe it seemed way, waaaaaayyyy too simple to make. However, this cake was delicious. More like a cakey brownie, it was the perfect foundation for the gooey marshmallows and thick, fudgey frosting.
Are you sold yet?? This cake is GOOD. So goooooooood. Make it! You’ll be glad you did. Oh, and ice cream! Ice cream is a must. Enjoy!
1, 10.5 oz. Bag Miniature Marshmallows or 2 c. Homemade Marshmallows
2 c. Sugar
½ c. Dark Unsweetened Cocoa
½ c. Unsalted Butter
½ c. Whole Milk
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
¼ c. Powdered Sugar
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan.
Whisk together melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Whisk in cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder and flour just until combined. Pour into pan and bake 25-30 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Sprinkle with marshmallows and pecans and return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt marshmallows slightly.
For the Frosting
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and beat in vanilla and powdered sugar with a wooden spoon. Continue beating with the spoon until frosting becomes glossy and holds shape. It will take about 15 minutes but if you place the pan in a bowl of ice, it will speed things up significantly. Pour over the cake before it gets too stiff and let it cool completely. Cut into squares and serve with ice cream, if desired.
Doesn’t the title of that cake just sound divine? I have always loved sweetened condensed milk and quite truthfully could eat it by the spoonful and have. Healthy, I know. So what is a sweetened condensed milk cake like? It’s…different. But in a good way!
This recipe is by one of my favorite foodie personalities, Claire Thomas, of The Kitchy Kitchen and I think she describes the cake perfectly when she says it has a sweet, eggy flavor and is like a less buttery, denser brioche. So almost like a very dense sweet bread. I did a dusting of powdered sugar and lemon zest but I think next time I’ll do a little orange zest in the batter and orange marmalade with homemade whipped cream to top it off. Or do a lemon curd with it! It’s so different and so good and just a beautiful, simple cake. Perfect Easter Sunday dessert!
Homemade Orange Marmalade (or lemon curd) (see link above)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch bundt pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and beat until pale yellow and smooth, then pour in the melted butter, salt and vanilla and beat until blended. Whisk together the flour and baking powder and with the mixer on low, add a little at a time until just incorporated. Pour into the greased bundt pan and bake for 60-75 minutes ( mine took 60) until cake is slightly browned and a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely and remove from pan. Top with powdered sugar and citrus zest and serve with lemon/orange curd and homemade whipped cream.
I started pinning things for Valentine’s Day on Pinterest and couldn’t stop. Thus, this blog post. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to make everything I was pinning so I decided to just put them all into one massive blog post and let you decide what to make! In my opinion, anything pink, red, strawberry, raspberry, cherry or chocolate says Valentine’s Day! And that’s pretty much what you’ll find in this post. Lots of pretty, delicious, Valentine’s Day-perfect treats and ideas! How to choose?! I hate making decisions. Especially when it comes to dessert. They all look amazing.
Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a fabulous New Year’s Eve and are, ahem, recovering from whatever merriment you may have participated in! I had a laid back, quiet evening in with my hubby and have to say it was very, very nice. Sometimes you just need to relax and rest!
Last year I made a few baking resolutions for myself and have to confess I am not too proud of how (un)successful I was with them. Let’s review, shall we?
1. Bake more international desserts. Ummm, yeah. Massive failure on this one. Early in the year I actually attempted to make Brazo de Mercedes, a delicious Filipino dessert and a favorite dessert of mine, period. It’s an airy, spongy, meringue-like cake spread with a lemon custard and rolled up. It’s divine. And I was doing ok until I got to the rolling part…one crack led to another and before I knew it, custard was oozing everywhere. And that was the beginning and end of the international dessert experiments.
2. Bake more classic desserts. This one I actually accomplished…sort of. I didn’t do nearly as many as I wanted but I did manage to bake a delicious Coconut Cake, a Hummingbird Cake and a Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake. I really love cakes so I’m going to try and do a few more classics this year and probably a few not-so-classics.
3. Bake more challenging desserts. Hah. Hah. HAH. I have no patience and in fact have quite a collection of one-pan, easy, no-bake desserts on my blog so that should tell you everything you need to know about that particular resolution.
4. Bake more healthy desserts. I’m pleased to say this resolution is one that I did accomplish. Probably because we eat fairly healthy in our household so making these desserts meant we could actually eat them and didn’t have to send them away to my husband’s office to be devoured. I managed to make them quite regularly for the blog and as a matter of fact the first recipe of the new year later this week will indeed be HEALTHY. Yay!
So what are my baking resolutions for this year??? I only have one.
1. Make what I ENJOY baking.
What a concept, right?! I have realized that the resolutions from last year that I succeeded in are actually things that I truly enjoy making and eating. Too often I think I have to push my limits and do things that require extreme skill and time. Or I get consumed with trying to figure out what recipe will get “pinned” the most on Pinterest or trying to figure out what other people want to bake at the time, what’s trendy, what holiday it is…you get the point. And I’ll still keep all those things in mind but I won’t let it dictate what I put on Desserted Planet. I’ll do things that I genuinely enjoy and get pleasure from making. I’m pretty excited about it!
So what are your resolutions, baking or otherwise? I’d really love to hear them!
Hey friends. I’ve got a cake recipe for you today. Not just any cake recipe. Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake. This cake…oh my goodness, where do I start? I am such a sucker for layer cakes. Especially ones with homemade orange marmalade in between the layers. Such as this one.
Luckily, my friend Shawna, who happens to have this fantastic gourmet cooking club that I’m a part of, is also a lover of layer cakes. And we happened to have cooking club this past weekend. So when I saw this cake from Southern Living show up in my email a couple of weeks ago, I immediately knew what I’d be taking. And I won’t lie, on our way to cooking club I was having my doubts and second guessing my choice of cake. I kind of started thinking maybe I should have done something with chocolate and peppermint (one of my all time favorite combos) or something a little more holiday-ish. But my doubts were all put to rest after cutting into this baby. Everyone loved it! I have to admit, this is a GOOD cake. The yellow cake is so moist and delicious with coconut mixed in and the orange marmalade and pecan cream cheese frosting just make the whole thing an amazing combination of flavors and textures.
A couple of notes about the cake. You’ll want to make it in stages since it has a few components. It’s nothing complicated, just plan ahead. I made the cake layers one day and froze them. One trick I learned for cake is that after it has baked, let it cool off for about 5 minutes, wrap it tightly in a couple of layers of foil and then put it in the freezer. It traps the moisture and makes the cake SUPER moist and it only takes a couple of hours on the kitchen counter for it to defrost. Next day I made the orange marmalade and then a couple days later I made the glazed pecans and frosting and put the whole thing together.
All in all, this was an absolutely divine cake. Perfect for holiday parties and festivities. Everyone will rave!
2 c. Fresh Orange Juice (I used 10 large oranges to get two cups of juice)
3 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
¼ c. Unsalted Butter
2 T. Granted Orange Rind
1½ c. Pecan Halves
⅓ c. Light Corn Syrup (I used Lyle's Golden Syrup)
Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting
1 c. Pecans, toasted and choppped
½ c. Unsalted Butter, softened
8 oz. Cream Cheese, cold
¼ c. Shortening
¼ t. Salt
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
4 c. Powdered Sugar
⅓ c. Flaked Sweetened Coconut, toasted
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2, 9-inch round pans and line with parchment paper.
Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until blended.
Whisk together flour, soda and salt. Add to sugar mixture alternately with milk, begginging and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in one cup flaked coconut and grated orange rind.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Divide batter evenly between the two pans.
Bake for 25-28 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks or remove from pans, wrap in foil and store in the freezer until ready to use.
For the Orange Marmalade
Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 3-quart saucepan; gradully whisk in fresh orange juice. Whisk in lightly beaten eggs. Bring to a boil (5 to 6 minutes) over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and grated orange rind. If the mixture ends up with pieces of cook egged in it (mine did) simply push it through a very fine mesh sieve with the back of a large spoon in to a bowl. Cover, placing plastic wrap directly on curd and chill for at least 8 hours or until ready to use.
For the Glazed Pecans
Combine pecan halves and corn syrup, stirring to coat pecans. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange pecan halves in an even layer in pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Stir using a rubber spatula and bake 3 minutes more. Remove from oven and arrange in an even layer on another piece of foil and let cool completely.
For the Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream Butter, shortening and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in salt and vanilla. Gradually beat in powdered sugar on low speed until creamy and well blended. Stir in pecans.
Split cake layer in half horizontally. Place a layer on a plate or cake stand and spread with a thin layer of frosting and then marmalade. Top with a cake layer. Spread with another thin layer of frosting and marmalade. Top with third cake layer and spread again with frosting and marmalade. Top with final cake layer and frost sides and top of cake with the remaining pecan cream cheese frosting. Garnish with glazed pecans and toasted coconut. Serve with remaining orange marmalade.