Cake 47: Lemon Raspberry Cake

After the move I just plain did not have the brain power to come up with a new original or mashup recipe, so we borrowed recipes from my friends Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker this time around. My brother Cody did most of the heavy lifting, as he’s spending a lot of time learning new things in the kitchen with me lately, and it turned out just phenomenally. Really great stuff. I served this at my mom’s latest Scentsy party!

Lemon Raspberry Cake Recipe Ingredients

Courtesy of Martha Stewart

  • 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs, 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Lemon Raspberry Cake Recipe Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 9-inch round cake pans. In one bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, then whisk in the lemon zest. In your kitchen mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar for about two minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, then beat in the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Alternate adding the dry ingredients (in 3 parts) and the buttermilk (in 2 parts), beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend just until combined, do not overbeat. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth it out with a rubber spatula. Bake about 32 to 35 minutes, or until your cake tester comes out clean and the cake just starts to pull away from the edges. Cool in pans. While they’re cooling, stir the 2 teaspoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, then poke holes in the cake with a skewer and brush the lemon-sugar mixture over it. Cool completely before turning out of pans.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting Recipe & Raspberry Filling Ingredients

Courtesy of Betty Crocker

  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
  • 1 1/4 cups butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Lemon Buttercream Frosting Recipe Directions

In your kitchen mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the softened butter, lemon peel and lemon juice for about 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar about a half cup at a time, whipping until light and fluffy. Crumb coat each cake layer with frosting and refrigerate for a bit. Add another layer of frosting, then top one layer with the raspberry preserves, going to about a half inch from the edges (so it doesn’t glorp out of the layers when you’re frosting). Stack the other layer on top, then frost the entire thing. Garnish with fresh raspberries and lemon peel (or a lemon twist if you’re lucky enough to have a cool zester thing and some talent).

Cake 46: Carrot Cheesecake with Bittersweet Chocolate Drizzle

Sorry it took me so long to post this. My move to Kansas City has kept me very occupied as you can imagine. I made this cake last week to serve at an Independence Day dinner at my grandparents’ house, and it was a hit! I sort of combined my recipe for New York cheesecake with my carrot cake recipe and added some nutmeg. I used fresh carrots from my own garden! I really enjoyed this cake, and am glad the idea came to me at the last possible second before the event. I’m a happy camper about it.

(Also – holy smokes, I only have 6 weeks left of the 52 cakes project. Just wait till you see what I have in store for week 52 – though admittedly, it may take me several weeks to even pull off what I have in store for the grand finale. After that, I plan to take a breather for a while, and then I think I may start a 52 cookies project!)

Carrot Cheesecake Recipe with Chocolate Drizzle Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups grated finely chopped carrots
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 4 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon oil

Carrot Cheesecake Recipe Directions

Put 8 sheets of graham cracker in the food processor to grind until you get 2 cups of fine crumbs for the cheesecake crust. Melt 1/4 cup of butter. In a small bowl, mix the two with a spatula, and then press into a prepared 10″ round spring form pan. I prepared my spring form pan with butter and flour, as well as a 9″ round parchment paper sheet that I had on hand. (This makes a LOT of batter, and I had enough to make a tiny crustless cheesecake with the leftover. If you use a 9″ spring form pan, you may wish to reduce the amount of graham cracker crust and carrot cheesecake batter you make or you’ll end up with enough for two whole cakes!) Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. Put your oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put a cake pan filled with water on the bottom rack. In your kitchen mixer, beat the cream cheese with the paddle attachment until it’s light and fluffy, and add the sugar gradually, beating until smooth. Mix in the milk, then add the eggs one at a time beating just until blended. Add the Greek yogurt, vanilla extract and flour and beat until blended. (I bet you could leave out this flour and be just fine if you’re going gluten-free.) Stir in the finely grated carrots, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over your graham cracker crumb crust. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool completely at room temperature. Melt the bittersweet chocolate with a teaspoon of oil in a double boiler, stirring constantly over low heat. Drizzle over the cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate the cheesecake and chill for 6 hours.

Cake 44: Fig Walnut Torte

This fig walnut coffee cake torte was inspired by the “Apricot-Walnut Coffee Cake” recipe in Sarah Kramer’s La Dolce Vegan, but it’s using the ingredients I have in the house, which alas are not vegan, and I have fig preserves instead of apricot preserves. I would argue this is a pretty guilt-free cake, especially if you make it the proper vegan way from the original recipe.

Fig Walnut Torte Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white fig preserves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Fig Walnut Torte Recipe Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9-inch round cake pan. In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In your food processor, blend the butter, tofu, sugar, milk, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. Add to the dry ingredients mixture and mix with a spatula until blended. The batter will be a little thick. Spread half of the cake batter into the pan, top with the preserves, and half the walnuts, then the last half of the cake batter and top it off with the last of the walnuts. Bake for about 30 minutes (or 35 minutes if you’re using an 8-inch pan) until it becomes golden brown and your tester comes out clean, and it’s just starting to pull away from the edges. Cool completely in the pan. Then turn it out onto your dish and serve!

Cake 43: Chocolate Pistachio Cake

Looking back, I think it would have been better to somehow use pistachio pudding mix or the pudding itself, in addition to the whole shelled pistachios. It would’ve really brought out the pistachio flavor instead of just being a standard buttercream with pistachios in it on a plain chocolate cake. I may also consider adding pistachios into the batter. Worth trying! The cake was still tasty nonetheless.

Chocolate Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

Chocolate Cake Recipe Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9″ round cake pans – I used butter and cocoa powder instead of flour to prepare my pans. Allow the eggs and butter to come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Give them a good stir with a whisk and then set aside. In your kitchen mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, then gradually add the sugar a bit at a time and beat until completely combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then beat for another 2 minutes or so until you get the light and fluffy butter-sugar mixture. Add the eggs one at a time and beat just until blended, then add the vanilla. Alternate adding the dry ingredients mixture and the milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour the chocolate cake batter into a prepared bundt pan until no more than 2/3 full, and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Let the cake cool 15 to 20 minutes or so, and run a knife around the edges before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. I was not able to ice my cakes for two days after I made mine, so I wrapped them in plastic wrap and stored them in the refrigerator. They did great.

Pistachio Buttercream Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 to 1 cup de-shelled pistachios

Pistachio Buttercream Recipe Directions

If any of you try it, please take pics and send your recipe over and I’ll amend this post! Whip the butter in your mixer for a minute or so, then begin adding the powdered sugar about a half-cup at a time mixing on a medium-high speed. Add the vanilla extract, and if you want a more spreadable consistency, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the texture you want. Add 1/2 to a full cup of crushed, de-shelled pistachios as you see fit.

Cake 42: Raspberry Thin Mint Cheesecake

We received a care package from Mark and Deedee’s family in Seattle while my husband was home on R&R and it included two boxes of my favorite Girl Scout cookies – Thin Mints! (Read my attempt at making homemade thin mint cookies.) I have been thinking about it for a while, and finally with the right supplies, was able to make a thin mint cookie crust for a classic New York cheesecake, which also happened to be the type of cake my husband requested for his time home from Afghanistan. Lucky break.

I apologize for not posting this much sooner – we’ve been enjoying two weeks of R&R from his deployment and I even took lots of time off work to spend with him, so I’m just now getting around to it!

Thin Mints Crust Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups Thin Mint cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Thin Mint Crust Recipe Directions

Put enough Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies in the food processor to grind until you get 2 cups of fine cookie crumbs for the cheesecake crust. Melt 1/4 cup of butter. In a small bowl, mix the two with a spatula, and then press into a prepared 9″ round spring form pan. I prepared my spring form pan with butter and flour, as well as a 9″ round parchment paper sheet. Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan.

New York Cheesecake Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flour

New York Cheesecake Recipe Directions

Put your oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put a cake pan filled with water on the bottom rack. In your kitchen mixer, beat the cream cheese with the paddle attachment until it’s light and fluffy, and add the sugar gradually, beating until smooth. Mix in the milk, then add the eggs one at a time beating just until blended (don’t overbeat). Add the Greek yogurt, vanilla extract and flour and beat until blended. Pour over your thin mint cookie crust. Bake for 1 hour, or until the middle is just a little jiggly and doesn’t seem quite set. Turn off the oven and let it set for about another half hour. Remove from the oven and cool completely at room temperature. Chill for 6 hours.

Raspberry Sauce Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 6-ounce package of fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Raspberry Sauce Recipe Directions

Thanks, mom-in-law, for teaching us how to do this part. Couldn’t be easier. Cook down the fresh raspberries, sugar and almond extract over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly until the raspberries break down. If you wish to have a smooth, seedless raspberry coulis, simply press the sauce through a sieve with a spoon. My husband said he was just fine with the seeds so we kept them in. Pour over the completely cooled cheesecake, garnish with fresh mint (ours is mint from the garden) and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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