Showing posts with label birthday cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday cake. Show all posts

Thursday, August 6, 2015

One More Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Icing #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I know, you've seen a lot of strawberry recipes come out of this blog--and strawberry season is almost over! But I couldn't resist sharing this last cake. If we were forced to choose, I think it was our favorite.

And also in the good news department, I made it as a sheetcake. So not only does it serve a good-sized crowd, there's no fussing with layers. I'm pretty sure Hayley Snow will be making this for a special wedding pre-celebration in KILLER TAKEOUT (coming next April.) Not saying whose, in case you haven't finished FATAL RESERVATIONS...

And it would be perfect for reading while snacking on Daryl's new book, FUDGING THE BOOKS, and Peg's BERRIED SECRETS! Congratulations you two!!

For the strawberry cake:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries 

Butter well a 9 by 13 inch pan, and heat oven to 350.

Using an electric mixer or food processor, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Add the flour to the butter mixture, alternating with adding the buttermilk. (I used a cup of milk with one tablespoon of cider vinegar instead of buttermilk.) 

Pulse in the chopped strawberries until they are small pieces and the batter begins to look pink.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out dry. Cool the cake on a wire rack.

For the strawberry icing:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/3 cup sugar

Beat the cream cheese with the strawberries until mostly smooth. Add the vanilla and half the sugar, beat that in. Whip the cream with the remaining sugar until thick. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese/strawberry mixture. Spread the icing on the cooled cake and refrigerate until serving. Decorate with strawberries if desired.

FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! 

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Birthday Pound Cake with Peaches @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE:  I had the delightful assignment of making a birthday cake for an 80th birthday party a couple of weeks ago. When I asked what flavor the birthday boy would like, here's what he said: fruity, juicy, chocolate-y, any or all!


That leaves the door wide open, right?  I wanted something that would leave leftovers and provide a foil for the last of our stunning fall peaches. But special enough for a wonderful man. Company pound cake came to mind...

You can find a recipe for a pound cake in just about any general or dessert cookbook. They all have lots of butter, eggs, and sugar in common. But a few things make this one different.

I borrowed the sour cream idea from Southern Living, and then added my favorite flavoring combination--vanilla and almond. The eggs I used were extra-large and that made for a very fluffy cake. Be sure to butter the bunt pan liberally. And consider using the sprinkled sugar technique that Krista (?) introduced a couple of months ago. I didn't remember until too late and so the cake came out a little patchy. In the good news department, that allowed me some little pieces to sample:).


    •    1 1/2 cups butter, softened
    •    3 cups sugar
    •    6 large eggs
    •    3 cups all-purpose flour
    •    1/2 teaspoon salt
    •    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    •    1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
    •    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    •    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    •    6-8 ripe peaches, peeled, sliced and mixed with a teaspoon or so of sugar


Prepare the peaches and let them sit at room temperature while you make the cake. Beat the butter until soft, either with a hand or stand mixer. Slowly add the sugar, continuing to beat until light and fluffy. 

Beat the extracts and the eggs in, one by one, mixing after each until yolks disappear.


Sift the dry ingredients together, and then add this mixture to the batter, alternating with sour cream. Begin and end with the dry.


Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup tube pan.


I know, it's kind of ugly:)

Bake at 325 for about an hour and ten minutes. Check the doneness with a wooden skewer. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then turn the cake out onto a plate. 

but who cares once the peaches are loaded on!

Serve with sliced peaches.

The birthday boy still has what it takes--we love you Joe!

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out in December.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Carrot Cake for Carrot Cake Lovers (and Haters) @LucyBurdette

 LUCY BURDETTE: I cracked myself up with the title for this post, because one of my favorite Key West characters is the Cat Man, Dominque, and his flying house cats. They put on a show every night at Mallory Square. All the while he's setting up his carriers full of cats and stools and rings, he's announcing in a funny French accent:

 "Cat show for cat lovers, in five minutes!"

So, "Carrot cake for carrot cake lovers, in five minutes"...but in this case, it's for carrot cake haters too:)

Jeff with our daughter Molly

Last week I described the recipe for the stuffed shrimp that I made for my son-in-law's birthday. The other special request he had was for carrot cake. Now I am not a big fan of carrot cake--in fact I had never made one. And if faced with a supermarket carrot cake, I will always pass a slice by. However, I do believe that the birthday person should have the homemade cake of his or her dreams. So I began to search for a recipe online, and also consulted carrot cake experts floating around on Facebook.

Most of the carrot cake recipes I read used oil instead of butter. While oil in a cake seems like sacrilege to me, I bowed to the majority opinion that in carrot cake, the oil helps the lightness and texture. In the end, I chose to make the cake with 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce. I also added pineapple and raisins and skipped the nutmeg while doubling the cinnamon.

I have to admit that the end result was delicious! (The cream cheese icing helps a lot...)

1 or so pound carrots, washed, peeled, cut into chunks
1 cup pecan halves, toasted
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
4 oz unsweetened apple sauce
2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins, optional
1/2 cup crushed pineapple in juice


8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar
 orange zest

Grind the carrots in a food processor until fairly fine. This should measure about 3 cups. Grind the pecan halves until fine. Set these ingredients aside. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter or oil a 9 x 12 inch pan.



In a large bowl, beat the two sugars with the oil and the applesauce. In a second bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and flour. In a third bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla. 

Add the dry and egg mixtures alternately into the sugar mixture, beating after each addition. At the end, stir in the carrots, nuts, raisins, and pineapple until well combined.


Pour this into the oiled pan. Bake at 350 for about 35-45 minutes until the top springs back when touched and a toothpick or knife stabbed into the cake comes out clean. (You will have to keep an eye on this.) Cool.    


Beat the cream cheese with the butter, orange zest, and vanilla. Gradually beat in sugar until it's the consistency you like. I used about 2 cups. Frost the cooled cake. 

Refrigerate, but let it sit out 30-45 minutes before serving. (Some bakers say the cake tastes better the second day, which is when we ate ours. Though it's a big cake, so we also ate it on the third day!)

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE will be out on February 4, but you can pre-order it now.

Follow Lucy on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest! She loves it when you pin her stuff:)

And don't forget to enter the Goodreads giveaway for Murder with Ganache.

And oh heck, why not a giveaway here today too? Just share this post to Twitter or Facebook, and then let me know you've done so in the comments. Your name will be entered in the drawing--thanks! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Yellow Birthday Cake with Strawberries and Cream

LUCY BURDETTE: As long as I can remember, the birthday tradition in my family has been choosing the cake of your dreams:). This chocolate lovely is the one most of my family prefers.

 As a kid, I always wanted angel food cake with a whipped cream frosting. 

Now I've grown into a yellow cake recipe I found years ago on a Softasilk flour box. The cake itself is light and pretty simple. And then you whip cream and frost it, with fruit and cream stuffed in the middle of the two layers and more fruit decorations on top--strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, or some of each!

By the time you read this, my whopper birthday will be in the rearview mirror--thank goodness! Now I can relax and enjoy the year and the cake...Hope you will enjoy it too. (And it's a mystery why my cake in the picture is upside down:).


1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
2 and 1/4 cups cake flour
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 cups whipping cream
sliced strawberries, or blueberries, or raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 9 inch cake pans. Beat the sugar and butter until fluffy. Then add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each. Mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the butter/sugar mixture in three parts, alternating dry ingredients with the milk and beating on low until everything is combined.   Split the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick tester comes out clean. You can tell the cake is done when the edges pull away from the pan and the center springs back when lightly touched. Cool ten minutes in the pan, then turn the cakes out onto plates.

While the cake cools, whip the cream. You may add another 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tsp or more of sugar, if desired.  Center one of the layers on a nice plate. Frost the top with whipped cream, then a layer of fruit. Add a few more dollops of cream to cement the layers, then carefully place the second layer on top. Frost everything thickly and decorate! If anything is left of this cake, or if you are preparing it ahead of the celebration, it should be refrigerated. 

Aside from the cake, here's another way we celebrated the birthday season: This is me with my lovely stepdaughter after the "Duck" tour in Key West--a little goofy:). No end to the silly and fun things you can find to do on this island!

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West Food Critic mysteries. TOPPED CHEF will be on bookshelves in May! To help celebrate this big birthday, please "like" her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter or best of all, pre-order the book! 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Irish Birthday Cake

I've mentioned before that I have no shame when it comes to convenience foods.  One of my favorites is the boxed cake mix.

Oh, sure, I make cakes from scratch, too.  Some of those recipes are wonderful and worth the little extra effort.  But the boxed cake mix makes life so much easier when you need a dish in a hurry.

What's more, there are so many ways to spruce up a boxed mix to make it extra special.  When I was young, my mom made something she called "poppyseed bread."  There was nothing "bread" about it; it was cake, pure and simple.  It started with a box of yellow cake mix, some coconut instant pudding, and a mess of poppyseeds.  I could eat a whole loaf in a single sitting.

In fact, there are so many ways to trick out a boxed cake mix, there's even a book called The Cake Mix Doctor.  I highly recommend the chocolate cake made with sour cream and raspberry puree.  Delish!

Recently, I attended a birthday party (sort of a grown-up slumber party:  a handful of girlfriends, take-out pizza, some schlocky chick flicks, and CAKE).  I chose this cake for a couple of reasons:  (1) it was fast to whip together; (2) I had a bottle of Irish cream liqueur in my pantry, and I'm not much of a drinker; and (3) it looked so, so good.

Dang, it was awesome.  The crumb is dense and moist, almost fudgy.  The Irish cream in the cake itself is just a subtle note, but the liqueur in the buttercream gives it just the right depth of flavor, that heady hint of whiskey and a finish reminiscent of good French roast.  Yum.

Delicious, dense, fudgy cake!

As an added bonus, I got the recipe from the Betty Crocker website (in the interest of time and tidiness, I left off the chocolate glaze and it was still heavenly).  It was such a hit, I think I'll be perusing the company's website for more delicious dishes I can whip up in a pinch.

What about you?  What's your favorite convenience food?  Or are you a "strictly from scratch" person?

Simple, ingredients
Irish Birthday Cake

1 box devil's food cake mix
1 box (4 serving size) chocolate instant pudding
4 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 c. Irish cream liqueur
1/3 c. oil

Irish Buttercream

1 c. softened butter
4 oz. softened cream cheese
3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. Irish cream liqueur
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350; spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray.

Combine all cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mixing until well-combined.  Divide batter between pans and bake 35 - 45 minutes (until tester inserted near center comes out clean).  Cool 10 minutes on wire rack, then remove cake from pans and cool completely.

Sour cream creates a silky batter
For buttercream, cream butter and cream cheese.  Beat in powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy.  Add liqueur and vanilla and combine.

For pretty frosting, start with a thin "crumb coat", refrigerate for 30 minutes, and then use the rest of the frosting.  This keeps the crumbs from popping through and leaves the finished cake pristine!

Place one cake on a platter and top with 1/3 of the frosting.  Top with second cake and use remaining frosting to cover top and sides.  Chill until ready to serve.