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

Monday, March 27, 2017

Berry, Berry, Berrylicious Cake!

You knew it would not be long before I baked another cake. This may be one of our favorites. It contains five cups of berries! You're guaranteed berries in every piece and almost every bite!

The original recipe gives the option of using fresh or frozen berries, so frozen should work just as well.

It makes a nice sized cake. Inspired by Double Berry Cake at, I switched it up and added all kinds of berries. It's a great way to use them up. We enjoyed it for afternoon tea every day. Even the dogs got a bite and approved.

I made a cream cheese frosting for it. Frosting fans, please note that this makes enough for a very light amount of frosting. If you're frosting crazed, you may wish to double the frosting recipe.

However, it would be equally good plain and served with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. If you plan to serve with whipped cream instead of the frosting, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of sugar before baking.

Berry Berry Berrylicious Cake
Inspired by Double Berry Cake at

5 cups fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries,  blackberries)
1 tablespoon flour
2/3 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons sugar, optional (if using whipped cream instead of frosting)

Soften butter and bring 4 eggs to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x11 baking pan.

Wash the fruit, spread on a couple paper towels and dab with another paper towel to dry. Chop the strawberries into chunks. Pour all into a bowl, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour and turn to coat. Set aside.

Pour the vinegar into the milk and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cardamom. Stir well with a fork or whisk to combine.

Cream the butter with the sugar for five minutes until it is light in color and creamy. Beat in each egg. Alternate adding the flour and the milk in small portions. Add the vanilla and beat well. Add the fruit and stir in using the lowest possible mixer setting. Pour into prepared pan. (If serving with whipped cream, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar before baking.)

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool on a rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Place butter, cream cheese, and vanilla into mixer and beat together. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Beat an additional 5 minutes for great frosting. Spread on cooled cake.

Mix the berries with a tablespoon of flour.

Mix the flour and spice.

Beat, beat, beat!

Berries everywhere!
Pretty even without frosting.

Almost a berry in every bite!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake #Recipe @PegCochran

Yes, St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday but I had to take a dessert to a St. Patty’s Day-themed party last weekend and this was so delicious I wanted to share the recipe with you.  It comes from Bay Area Bites and I didn’t do anything to change the recipe (a first!)  Except I did use bourbon since I didn’t have any Irish whiskey but it was suggested that that would be a fine substitute.

I even invested (a whopping $9.99) in my first bundt pan for this cake!  

Making it was quite the adventure, I must admit.  First I solved a mystery! I invested in an oven thermometer because I suspected my new oven runs cool.  Does it ever!  It indicated it was pre-heated to 325 when the thermometer read only 225!  No wonder the chocolate roll cake I make every Christmas didn’t turn out this year—my oven was off.

I forgot to take my butter out to soften it so I had the bright idea of popping it into the microwave for ten seconds.  Good idea except I hit one minute by accident.  Yup—melted butter all over the inside of my microwave.  And those were my last two sticks so everything had to go on hold while I went to the grocery store.

Then I was about to put the cake in the oven when I noticed a bowl on the counter—full of the whiskey soaked raisins that were supposed to go in the cake!  I managed to gently stir them in and finally got the cake in the oven!

It was worth the effort—it was rich and moist without being overly sweet.   


Butter or nonstick spray for greasing pan
3/4 cup Irish whiskey
1 cup strong coffee
1 cup golden raisins
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting pan
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan.
Pour whiskey and coffee over raisins and set aside.
In a double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool.

Cream one cup butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
Whisk together the salt, baking soda, cocoa powder and flour. Stir one-third of the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, until just combined. 

Add one-third of the coffee-whiskey mixture and stir to combine. Repeat two more times, alternating flour and coffee. 

Fold in the soaked raisins at the end. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes. 

Transfer cake to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes then unmold. Optional: for a more potent whiskey flavor, sprinkle warm cake with about two more tablespoons whiskey. Let cool, then sift confectioners’ sugar over cake before serving.



Friday, January 13, 2017

Chestnut Cake with Maple Icing

I’m going to call this my snowstorm cake. Not because it looks like a snowstorm (although a dusting of confectioner’s sugar could take care of that pretty fast) but because I was snowed in all day this past Sunday (17.6 inches!), and I wanted to bake.

I had all the necessities—flour, butter, eggs—but I wanted to experiment with nuts. Except I forgot that my daughter had cleaned out my nut supply over the holidays when she was visiting. Which left one lonely little package of . . . chestnuts?

I have never cooked with chestnuts. I bought the package because I’d never seen it for sale before. Why not give it a shot? I set out to find a recipe for something baked that included chestnuts.

I came up with some odd and interesting ideas, both sweet and savory, but the only one that grabbed my attention was a 1999 recipe from Bon Appetit (I used to love that magazine!) for a cake flavored with maple syrup. Aha! I had plenty of maple syrup (which I bought in Granby, Massachusetts, from the Parker family, whose sugar house I visited because I always wanted to see how maple syrup was made). So I was off to the races.

As you may have noticed, we here at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen seldom leave a recipe alone—we tinker with it, we swap out ingredients, and we have fun. That’s true in this case. The original recipe called for mashing up half the chestnuts and combining them with some of the other ingredients. I tried, really, I did. These chestnuts, soft and lovely though they might be, would not mash. I gave up and just threw the chopped bits in (the other half of them get scattered on top but then disappear into the batter). It all came out fine.

And wait until you get to the icing part—it’s wicked! And easy.

Chestnut Cake with Maple Glaze

For the Cake:

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-3/4 cups peeled roasted chestnuts (12 oz) or jarred chestnuts (8 oz)
3/4 cup plus 1 Tblsp light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (real) maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8x8x2 baking pan. [Confession: I don’t have one, so I used a 9" springform pan, which is roughly the same volume. It worked fine.)

Sift together the dry ingredients.

Coarsely chop the chestnuts. Split into two equal parts.

The chestnuts (they are peeled)
A single chestnut
The chestnuts, chopped

Mix 3/4 cup brown sugar, butter, maple syrup and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer, or mix with hand-held mixer. Beat until well-blended.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each.

Beat in flour mixture. Stir in half the chopped chestnuts.

Spread the batter in the pan. Sprinkle the top with the remaining chopped chestnuts, and the extra Tblsp of brown sugar.

Ready for the oven

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tester comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan on a rack.


For the Icing:

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 Tblsp maple syrup

In a small bowl, blend the powdered sugar, melted butter and maple syrup and beat until there are no lumps and the icing forms thick ribbons.

Pour over the cooled cake.

Let stand until icing is set (about 20 minutes).

My verdict? The chestnuts have a mild pleasant flavor and add an interesting chewy texture to the cake. I would make this one again, if I ever find a package (or a jar or can?) of chestnuts again. The icing I would eat with a spoon any time!

In case you haven't heard, I'll be starting a new Victorian Village series--the first book will come out in 2018. It's so new, there are no pretty pictures yet! It's about a magnificent mansion that hasn't been touched for a century, in a small town that's desperate for a new venture to bring in tourist dollars and keep the town alive--and the woman who comes up with an idea to save the town.

But before that, Cruel Winter! Coming March 14th.

Yes, it does snow in Ireland! Spoiler alert: the snow melts.

Find it for preorder at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A 107-Year-Old Recipe to Ring in the New Year!


For New Year's Eve, I usually like to make an extravagant dessert. But I ran across this cake on Pinterest, posted by Katy at . She found it on another blog. Amazingly, it's from a 1910 McCall's cookbook! I had to try it.

I generally follow the directions the first time I make a recipe. But the instructions threw me for a little loop because the butter and sugar weren't creamed like they are for most cakes. Hmm. So I studied it a bit and decided to try it their way. The sugar, flour, and baking powder are sifted together and then beaten with the softened butter and liquids. I expected a lumpy bumpy mess. It worked beautifully. You won't believe the smooth luscious batter.

Except for the sifting, it's almost a dump cake. Unbelievably easy. In fact, I would recommend this for beginner bakers. Just be sure to use softened butter and do the sifting, and it should come out great.

The recipe called for using a hand mixer, but I made it in my KitchenAid stand mixer, so my instructions are for that.

The recipe calls for 8-inch cake pans, but that's one size I don't have. I baked it in two 9-inch cake pans and that worked fine. One more great thing about this cake is that I was able to cut and serve it immediately after frosting it. So this is a great choice if you're in a hurry. Easy to bake and no set-up time. That may vary depending on the frosting you use, though.

Katy used a Hershey's frosting, but I used one my mom's favorites that is made with whipping cream. This cake is neutral in a lovely sort of way, and I kept thinking it would make a great birthday cake. You could use whatever frosting the birthday girl or boy likes best and dress it up with fun sprinkles or M&Ms. I had a few sugar pearls left over from Christmas cookies so I just sprinkled them randomly to dress it up a bit.

Old Fashioned Butter Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1  1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch cake pans. I used parchment paper on the bottoms.

Sift the flour and measure two cups of it. Place the SOFTENED butter in a mixing bowl. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt over it. Add the milk and vanilla. Using the paddle insert, stir on the lowest speed until it begins to blend. Then raise the speed and beat about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides, add the eggs and beat another two minutes. Pour into the cake pans. Bake 25 - 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack.

Mocha Frosting

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup high quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour the coffee into the cream and stir to dissolve. Pour into mixing bowl. Beat until it just begins to take shape, then add powdered sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Beat until it holds a peak.

Spread over one layer of the cake. Top with the other layer and frost the sides and top.

Coming February 7th!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hot Chocolate Cake #Recipe @PegCochran #Christmas Week

What's Christmas without something chocolate?  I saw this recipe online on a couple of blogs and thought it was so cute.  I used a chocolate cake recipe I've been using for years that originally came from Land of Lakes butter.  Then I combined that with the filling for another cake.  A delicious combination!

Cake Ingredients

4 egg whites (reserve two yolks)
1 cup sugar 
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Spray 15x10x1 inch baking pan (jelly roll pan) with cooking spray.  Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and spray paper with cooking spray.

Beat eggs whites until they form stiff peaks (don't over beat or they will be dry) 

Combine 2 egg yolks, sugar, butter and vanilla and and beat until creamy.

Add rest of cake ingredients and beat until well mixed.  Fold in approximately 1/3 of the egg whites and incorporate into batter (this will lighten the batter.)  Fold in rest of egg whites gently.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes until cake pulls away from sides of pan and top springs back when gently touched in the center.  

Loosen sides of cake by running a knife along them.  Let cake cool 10 minutes.

Sprinkle a dishtowel liberally with powdered sugar and a bit of cocoa.  Invert cake onto dishtowel and carefully and slowly peel away the parchment paper.

Lightly spray another piece of parchment paper the size of your pan and place sprayed side down on top of cake.

Starting at the short end, roll cake up in the towel.  (Cake should still be slightly warm or it won't roll.)  Place seam side down and cool completely--about 30 minutes.

Carefully unroll cake, remove parchment paper.  Spread filling evenly over the cake.  Roll cake up starting with the shorter end.  Place on a cake dish seam side down.

Filling Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1 1/2 cups Cool Whip (in the tub)
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Beat cream cheese and sugar until light and smooth--about two minutes.  Add marshmallow fluff and beat until combined.  On low speed, beat in Cool Whip just until combined.

Scrape down sides of bowl and fold in mini marshmallows.

Spread filling on unrolled cake then roll up again.

Drizzle chocolate sauce over cake and decorate with mini marshmallows.


From our house to yours --wishing you the very 
best this holiday season!

Books make great stocking stuffers!


Saturday, November 19, 2016

#Thanksgiving #Pumpkin Crunch Cake #Recipe @PegCochran


What would Thanksgiving be without pumpkin pie, right? But if  you have a big crowd coming, it can be difficult to make enough pies to satisfy everyone's desire for a second piece.  This cake has all the flavors of a pumpkin pie but with an extra added twist of a layer of cake and a chopped pecan topping.  Extra bonus--it's a breeze to make.

I found this recipe on, but there are a lot of versions circulating on the web including a few YouTube demonstrations.  


1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups of white sugar (I cut back to 1 1/4 and it was plenty sweet)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I made my own--see recipe below)
1 teaspoon salt
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan

Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, spices and salt and mix well.

Layer pumpkin mixture in bottom of baking pan.

 Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture and tap down lightly.

Sprinkle pecans over cake layer.


Pour melted butter over top of cake.

Bake for 60 to 80 minutes (mine took 80 minutes.)

You can see the layer of pumpkin topped with a layer of cake.

Add whipped topping if desired.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

What is the must have dessert on your Thanksgiving table?

Pumpkin Pie Spice

3 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger, 
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice 
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves 

Out Now
On her blog, The Farmer’s Daughter, Shelby McDonald is growing her audience as she posts recipes, gardening tips, and her experiences raising two kids and running Love Blossom Farm in the small western Michigan town of Lovett.

Working the farm is demanding but peaceful—until that peace is shattered when the minister’s wife is murdered on Shelby’s property during a fund-raiser for a local church. But the manure really hits the fan when Shelby’s good friend veterinarian Kelly Thacker emerges as the prime suspect. Shelby decides to dig in and find the murderer by herself. As more suspects crop up, she’ll have to move fast—before someone else buys the farm. . . .


Coming in May

It's June in Cranberry Cove and Monica Albertson's plan to sell cranberry relish to chain stores is taking off. The cranberry bogs are in bloom, and local beekeeper Rick Taylor and his assistant Lori Wenk are bringing in bees to pollinate the blossoms.  When a fatal prick fells Lori, the buzz is that Rick is to blame.

In trying to clear her friend’s name, Monica discovers that more than a few people in Cranberry Cove have felt the power of Lori’s venom, and it looks as if this time she may have agitated the hive a bit too much.  With the fate of the farm on the line, Monica must get to the bottom of the crime before another victim gets stung.