Tag Archive: Cake


I’ve been meaning to share this with you forEVER, but kept forgetting to take pictures when I’d make it. I finally remembered, so here it is!

queen-mums-peach-cakeI’m not the biggest cake person, but I love a good coffee cake! The Jewel (haha! If you’re from Chicago, it’s The Jewel, not Jewel) makes some great coffee cakes, and to this day I get one every time I’m back home.

This is one of my favorite cakes – and one that I think you’ll like too. My sweet friend Becky, who we call Queen Mum, brought this to me after surgery several years ago. One taste and I was hooked! She was nice enough to share the recipe with me, and I’ve made it many times over the years. It’s really very easy, which is hard to believe after you taste it.

This is a delicious peach coffee cake with pecans (such a great combination!) and a not-so-crumby topping that makes it even better. You can wait for this to cool before serving (well, maybe you can) or you can serve it while it’s still a bit warm.

All I can say about this is: You’ve got to try it!

Stuff You Need:

1 package yellow cake mix

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 cup sugar

1 21 oz. can of peach pie filling

1 cup chopped pecans, divided

 

Topping

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup butter – NOT softened

1/2 cup oats

 

Now What?

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 x 13” pan or 2 9 x 9” pans.

In large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, lemon extract, pie filling and ½ cup pecans. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. The peaches will be chunky, so don’t worry about smooshing them all the way.

Pour into a greased and floured pan.

Combine sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining nuts. Cut in butter to form crumb topping. Drop pieces evenly on top of cake.

NOTE: Neither the Queen Mum nor I have had the topping turn out as a “crumb” topping. Don’t worry about it – it tastes wonderful!

Bake 40-45 minutes. Let cool, and enjoy!

MUFFINS: This recipe makes great muffins! Use the foil muffin liners, not the paper muffin liners as this is a very moist cake and it will soak through the paper liners.

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Honey Bun Cake

Honey Bun Cake“What did you bring me?” That’s my son-in-law’s usual greeting for me. The last couple of times I saw him I didn’t have anything for him. My daughter’s no slouch in the kitchen but I like baking for him, so this time I sacrificed my beauty sleep and dragged myself out of bed early Saturday morning to bake for him. Seriously – this is a sacrifice. I love my sleep.

If you like glazed donuts or those commercially baked honey buns, you’ll like this. I made these for my friend’s birthday one year. Actually, I made 2 pans to take to work for her birthday – one with nuts and one without. She immediately took a pan to her car so she didn’t have to share!

Chunky Monkey

Chunky Monkey. Cute, isn’t he?

You’ll be pleased with how simple this cake is to put together. The hardest part is putting on the topping – and doing it right. 😀  As many times as I’ve made this, for some reason this time I mixed all the topping ingredients together. It made a cinnamon mud and that just didn’t look right, so I went back and read the instructions. Good idea, huh? I had forgotten it was just a matter of drizzling and sprinkling the topping ingredients and then swirling them with a knife.

My only excuse for making it harder than it had to be was that the oven was fired up long before my brain was!

I’m not a donut fan but I really like this cake. It’s good warm, and it’s good after it cools. It holds well due to the sour cream and oil that are added. This also travels well, and would be great for a picnic or BBQ. Enjoy!

Honey Bun Cake

from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn

Stuff you need:

Cake:
1 (18 ounce) package plain yellow cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

Filling:
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 – 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon [I use 2 Tablespoons. We like cinnamon!!]
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

Glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted [Or be lazy like me and just stir well.]
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Now what?

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 9×13″ baking pan with vegetable oil spray.
Place cake mix, sour cream, oil and eggs in large mixing bowl.
Blend with electric mixture on low speed for 1 minute. Stop machine and scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula.
Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping sides as needed. The batter should look thick and well blended.
Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula.

Time for the filling!
Drizzle the honey on top of the batter.
Next sprinkle on the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans.
Using a butter knife, swril through the batter to slightly blend the topping with the batter.
Bake for 38-40 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger.
Remove from oven and place on wire rack while you prepare the glaze.

For the glaze, place the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla in small mixing bowl and whisk or stir until smooth.
Pour the glaze over the top of the hot cake in the pan, spreading it to the sides with a spoon.
Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes more, and then serve warm.

Carrots are good for your eyesight. Walnuts are good for your heart. Pineapple has anti-inflammatory properties.

Banzai Carrot Cake

Banzai!

Translation: If you eat this carrot cake, you’re doing good things for your body! It’s health food!

If that doesn’t convince you and you need another reason to try this cake, I’ve got a very convincing one. Cream Cheese Frosting.

Sensei Phil didn’t have anything particular in mind for his Banzai Birthday treats. Knowing he’s not a chocolate person, I suggested one of my favorite cakes – Carrot Cake! I thought our karate group would enjoy it. The consensus was the cake is good and the frosting is Banzai-worthy!

Carrot CakeThis is a delicious AND nutritious cake, and you should try it. There are a couple things you should know:

  • I bought already-shredded carrots in the produce section. I’m too lazy to shred them myself.
  • You can use pecans instead of walnuts, or eliminate the nuts if there is a nut allergy. Personally, I’d add the nuts if you don’t have to leave them out.
  • This is a great way to sneak fruit and vegetables into your family’s bodies. The ingredient list can be your secret!  😉
  • The frosting amount shown is 1 1/2 times the original recipe. What can I say? I like cream cheese frosting. If I hadn’t used it all on the cake, I would have eaten it right off the spoon. You can make 2/3 of the frosting if you want – it’ll give enough for the cakes. But why would you do that? The frosting is why we eat carrot cake, right?

Make this. Eat it. Feel healthier because you ate stuff that’s good for you. Then have another piece. Carrot cake is health food, and the cream cheese frosting is just plain awesome!

Carrot Cake

Slightly adapted from Food.com

Stuff you need:

CAKE
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

FROSTING (See TIP 2 for a lighter frosting.)
12 ounces cream cheese, softened — the blocks, not the whipped stuff
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups icing [powdered] sugar

Optional for decoration: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts

Now what?

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans or one 9×13 inch pan.
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; make a well in the center and add sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix with wooden spoon until smooth.
Stir in carrots, coconut, walnuts and pineapple.
Pour into pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes for the rounds or 45 minutes for a 9×13. The cake will bake up fairly dark, and the centers will sink a little.
While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth; add the vanilla then the icing sugar and beat until creamy.

To frost: If using the round cakes, no need to frost the sides. Plop half the frosting on one cake and spread. You’ll have a nice, thick layer of icing. It’s OK if a little goes over the edges. Place the second layer on top and frost with the remaining frosting.
Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and add a few chopped walnuts for decoration, if desired.

TIP: If you’re transporting the layered cake, put a dab of frosting on the plate before you put the first cake layer on it. It’ll act like a glue to hold the cake layer in place.
TIP 2: If you are one of the few people who don’t care for the thick cream cheese frosting, there’s a lighter version that’s also delish. Beat 8 ounces softened cream cheese. Beat in 1 jar (7 oz.) of marshmallow fluff. Frost your cake then lick the spoon and bowl clean!

The Tale of a Whale

Patty, my Very Special Friend, got married recently. Patty, or Happy Patty as my son calls her, is a former coworker with a quirky sense of humor and a unique laugh that makes everyone around her laugh with her!

Patty and I have shared meals at various venues over the years, but my favorite was probably our dinner at an ice cream place. Our conversation ran the gamut of subjects, and I think we were there for 2-3 hours — long after our ice cream was gone.

When Patty asked me to make the groom’s cake for her wedding, I was honored! I love participating in the celebrations of friends, and this was sure to be something out of the ordinary. Patty and her special man, Brian, asked me to create a replica of a cake from an episode of The Simpsons. I don’t watch the show so before I agreed to do it, I asked for pictures. It looked like something I could handle, and I was in!

I mixed up a triple batch of vanilla cake plus lots and lots of frosting! I can never judge how much frosting I need, so copious amounts of blue and white were mixed up. In fact, I had so much frosting left over, I took some to the office with the cut out portion of the cake, and still had enough left over for my grandkids to use. 

I’m proud to say the whale cake was a hit with the happy couple — so much that despite requests from my co-workers at the reception, Brian wouldn’t allow it to be cut for the guests at the reception. I hear the whale got eaten up at the family brunch the next morning, but I think he would have enjoyed a trip to the Keys with the honeymooners, don’t you?

I was thrilled to have a small part in Patty & Brian’s special day. I wish years and years of happiness to this wonderful duo!