It’s summertime and we’ve been eating lots of ice cream around here! The other day I was craving the Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream from Baskin Robbins which I haven’t had for YEARS and decided to recreate the coffee and chocolate ice cream concoction. So I whipped up a coffee ice cream and topped it with a hot fudge sauce and some roasted almonds…all dairy and refined sugar FREE, of course.
The coffee ice cream turned out fabulous and I may share that recipe another day but for now I wanted to share this awesome Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce! The recipe I adapted it from called it a hot fudge sauce but when I warmed it up I got it a little TOO hot and it got too thin for my liking so I did away with the “hot” part and just left it at fudge! If you warm it up just a bit, it maintains a nice, thick, creamy texture and it really is perfect on ice cream or fruit!
Free of all the nasty chemicals, refined sugar, processed oil and whatever else goes into the store-bought kind and this one is spoon-licking good! And yes, it’s totally ok to just eat it straight from the jar. 🙂
A few days ago I posted some dreamy ice cream treats, one of which happened to be a Strawberry Icebox Cake. As I mentioned in that post, I have wanted to make an icebox cake forever and decided that now was the time! Add in the fact that I had been OBSESSING about making something with blueberries and lemon and voila! This delicious dessert was born.
So, was an icebox cake everything I thought it would be? Ummm, YES. And more. I can see why these things were so popular with our grandma’s back in the day…super simple to make and unbelievably delicious. Once the cake sets overnight, the layers of graham crackers get perfectly soft and the thick, whipped cream filling is almost mousse like sandwiched between everything.
In my humble opinion this is THE perfect summertime treat…simple, gorgeous and bursting with fresh blueberry and lemon flavor! Enjoy!
Note: If you don’t like lemon, feel free to omit it or substitute almond flavor, etc. It’s a very versatile recipe!
4 c. Fresh Blueberries (reserve about ½ c. for garnishing the top of the cake)
Line a large, 6½x11x4-inch loaf pan with foil, letting the foil hang over either end of the pan to use as "handles". Spray lightly with cooking spray.
In a chilled bowl of an electric mixer (I chill my bowl and my whipping beater in the freezer for at least 30 minutes), whip 3 cups of the heavy whipping cream on high speed until thick and slightly stiff. Beat in ¾ cup powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons of vanilla. Beat in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
Spread a layer of whipped cream in the bottom of your pan. Place 4 sheets of the graham crackers on 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 cream and cover the whipped cream with a layer of blueberries. Gently spread a layer of whipped cream over the blueberries. Cover with 4 more sheets of graham crackers, a layer of whipped cream, blueberries, whipped cream and 4 more sheets of graham crackers. Cover with foil and let set in the fridge for 24 hours.
Before inverting the cake onto a plate, whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until thick and stiff. Add the remaining ¼ c. powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of vanilla. Place a large plate or platter over the top of the loaf pan and gently flip over. Carefully remove the pan and then gently and slowly peel away the foil. Quickly cover the cake with the whipped cream (see note below) and garnish with reserved blueberries. Slice and serve immediately.
Note: I only covered the top of my cake with the fresh whipped cream because I thought all the layers were pretty and wanted them to show.
This recipe was inspired my two things: 1. The abundance of strawberries AND strawberry recipes right now and 2. my brand spankin’ new cupcake carrier! That’s right, I FINALLY am the proud owner of a collapsible cupcake carrier (yes, I had to improvise for quite awhile to transport them!) all thanks to my boss. A couple of weeks ago it was Administrative Assistant’s Day and my boss was out of town so obviously I knew I wouldn’t get anything and it wasn’t a big deal to me. But he got back the Friday of that week and when I came back from lunch, this beauty was sitting on my desk. Ain’t she purty? And can I just say this thing ROCKS?? It’s both a cake and a cupcake carrier. I was a little skeptical it would work, but it totally does and I highly recommend getting one if you don’t have one yet!
As for the recipe, do you know how hard it is to find a strawberry cake recipe that doesn’t call for strawberry Jello and a white cake mix? It’s dang near impossible! But a couple of years ago and did manage to find one and for the life of me I can’t remember the website I got the recipe from but all I know is it’s titled Katie’s Strawberry Cake, so whoever Katie is, thank you!! I was so happy when I found the recipe that I made it three times within two weeks…yes, it’s that good.
The method of this cake is a little different because you beat the butter into the dry ingredients and then add the liquid but have no doubt, it totally works. I absolutely loved these cupcakes…there were small pieces of fresh strawberry in every other bite and the chocolate cream cheese frosting was to-die-for. The only thing I’d do different is maybe just leave the chocolate out of the frosting next time and do a plain, vanilla cream cheese frosting, as the strawberry cake is such a delicate flavor it almost overpowers it. But it’s still delicious.
If you are looking for a true “from scratch” strawberry cake, look no further! This one definitely fits the bill.
Simple Strawberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1 c. Strawberry Puree, room temperature (see below for recipe)
¼ c. Whole Milk, room temperature
6 Large Egg Whites, room temperature
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
2¼ c. Cake Flour
1¾ c. Granulated Sugar
4 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Salt
12 T. (1½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into 1" chunks
2 c. Sliced Strawberries
2 T. Granulated Sugar
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, softened
1, 8 oz. Cream Cheese, cold
¼ c. Crisco
¼ t. Salt
3 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
5 c. Powdered Sugar
4 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
For the Strawberry Puree
Place strawberries and sugar in food processor or blender and puree.
For the Strawberry Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, combine the strawberry puree, milk, egg, vanilla and whisk well. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and whisk thoroughly. Beat the butter into the dry ingredients on low speed and mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.
Add liquids to the butter/flour mixture and beat a medium speed for about one minutes or until evenly combined. Stop mixer, scrape down sides of bowl and beat for 30 more seconds. Place three tablespoons of batter into each muffin tin.
Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for a few minutes and then remove from pans and let cool completely.
For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream the butter, shortening, cream cheese, salt and extracts on medium speed until combined. Beat in the powdered sugar and then the melted chocolate and beat until combined (do NOT overbeat or the cream cheese will break down). Frost cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting.