Archive for the 'Frosting' Category

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I picked this cupcake recipe out of the Magnolia Bakery cookbook, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from it.  I expected them to taste good, but I wasn’t expecting too much because these vanilla cupcakes have such basic, simple ingredients… nothing fancy like fresh vanilla beans or cake flour.  As it turns out, you don’t need all the bells and whistles (i.e. expensive ingredients) to make a delicious vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting.  I’m slightly ashamed to say this, but between the two of us, Eric and I ate all 12 of these cupcakes in just a 3-day period.  I usually have much more self control than that! :)  They really were that good though.  The vanilla cake is fluffy, moist, and has just the right amount of vanilla flavor.  And the frosting is incredible – it’s creamy, chocolaty, fluffy, sweet and rich.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to the vanilla cupcakes.  I can’t wait to make these cupcakes again!

A few notes:

  • This cupcake recipe calls for self-rising flour.  Self-rising flour is flour that contains pre-mixed leavening agents.  You can purchase it from the grocery store, but it is super easy (and probably cheaper) to make at home.  A recipe for self-rising flour is included at the bottom of this post.
  • I used a large round tip to frost the cupcakes.
  • I always store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator.  Before serving them, let them come to room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Vanilla Cupcakes

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups self-rising flour  (see below for recipe)
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature (I used eggs straight from the fridge)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the self rising flour and all-purpose flour; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth.
  4. Add the sugar gradually and beat for 3 minutes or until fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla.
  7. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
  8. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 full.
  9. Bake in a 350° oven for 20-25 minutes (a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean).
  10. Cool the cupcakes in the muffin tin for 15 minutes.  Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Yield: 24 cupcakes (recipe can be halved)

Source: Adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm **
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups sifted powdered (confectioners’) sugar

Directions

**Note: There are 2 ways you can melt the chocolate:

  • Place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for 5-10 minutes; stirring occasionally until the chocolate is completely smooth and no pieces remain; remove from heat and let cool 5-15 minutes or until lukewarm.
  • Or you can just melt the chocolate  in the microwave.  To do this, place the chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds.  Then stir the chocolate and continue microwaving in 5-10 second intervals until the chocolate is fully melted.
  1. To make the buttercream: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter using an electric mixer on MEDIUM speed for about 3 minutes or until creamy.
  2. Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth.
  3. Add the melted chocolate and beat well for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes.
  5. Gradually add in the sugar and beat on LOW speed until creamy and of desired consistency.

Yield: Enough frosting to frost 24 cupcakes or a 9-inch two layer cake.

**For icing a 3-layer cake use the following measurements: 2 cups unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons milk, 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 cups sifted powdered sugar.

Source:  The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

Self Rising Flour

Ingredients

  • 1 ½  cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

Directions – Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

Yield: 1 ½ cups of self-rising flour

Source:  All Recipes

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Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes

These little beauties are the perfect combination of a cupcake and a hot fudge sundae.  The recipe is from one of my favorite blogs, “Joy the Baker”- when I saw these on her blog, I couldn’t wait to try them.  They have all the yummy toppings you would find on a sundae, only instead of ice cream, the base is a vanilla cupcake.  The vanilla cupcakes are topped with a layer of chocolate ganache, followed by whipped cream, and finished off with sprinkles, nuts, and a cherry.  These cupcakes were really easy to make.  The cupcake batter takes mere minutes to whip up, and the ganache takes only a few minutes to make too.  You can use whipped cream from a can, but it’s so easy to make it yourself (and it tastes way better too).  The whipped cream recipe below, found in my trusty Williams Sonoma Baking cookbook, is amazing- the proportions of cream, sugar, and vanilla extract are spot on.  These cupcakes are the perfect thing to make to satisfy an ice cream sundae craving on a cold day (or any day!)  Enjoy!

Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • a scant ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or use a handheld beater and beat on slow speed until the mixture is a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
  3. Whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side or the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue mixing until the batter is smooth. Just a few minutes. Do not over mix.
  4. Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins, dividing between the 12 cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan, and then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Chocolate Ganache:

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Put chocolate chips in a small bowl.  Bring cream to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan.  Pour cream evenly over chocolate.  Let stand for one minute to soften, and then stir until smooth.  If frosting is too loose to spread, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, frosting will continue to thicken as it stands.

Source: (for cupcakes & ganache) –  Joy the Baker; Originally from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

Sweetened Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup heavy cream, well chilled
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a deep bowl, combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla.  Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat at medium-high speed until soft peaks form and the cream is billowy, about 2 minutes.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use or for up to 2 hours.

Yield: 1 ½ cups

Source: The Williams Sonoma Baking Book, Pg. 377

To assemble the cupcakes:

Top the vanilla cupcakes with a layer of chocolate ganache, slightly sweetened whipped cream, slivered almonds, sprinkles and a cherry.  Serve immediately.

 

To assemble the cupcakes, spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache onto the cooled cupcakes with a spoon, knife, or offset spatula.

 

 

Next, pipe whipped cream onto the cupcakes. I used a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip to pipe the whipped cream. (You could also just put a dollop of whipped cream onto the cupcakes with a spoon, or fill a Ziploc bag with whipped cream, snip a corner off, and pipe it on).

 

 

Top with sprinkles, nuts, and a cherry, and then eat one!

 

Cinnamon- Spiced Whipped Cream

Cinnamon whipped cream is a wonderful alternative to regular whipped cream.  It’s sweet and fluffy and has a nice cinnamon flavor.  It went very well with the pumpkin pecan cupcakes that I recently made.  And it would also be great on top of a piece of pumpkin pie.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon- Spiced Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon and beat until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes longer.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Source: Williams Sonoma Holiday Entertaining Cookbook

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

In my opinion, coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven.  I love all things coffee related, so when I saw these cute cupcakes on the Brown Eyed Baker’s blog, I just knew I had to make them.  According to my #1 taste tester, these cupcakes were “freaking awesome.”  The cupcakes were chocolaty with a hint of creamy coffee flavor.  They were extremely fluffy, and so tasty (trust me, I just devoured one :) ).  The frosting was velvety, creamy, sweet, and deliciously coffee flavored.  I garnished the cupcakes with a few chocolate sprinkles, but I think a chocolate covered espresso bean would also be a fabulous (and yummy!) topper for them.  Even if you aren’t a fan of coffee, you will love these cupcakes!  Enjoy!

Mocha Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1½ teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature

Directions

  1. Mix the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until dissolved; set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda & salt.
  4. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee mixture and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, and ending with the flour mixture.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 liners. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Source: Brown Eyed Baker Blog, Originally adapted from My Baking Addiction

Note: I made the cupcakes the day before I made the frosting.  After the cupcakes had cooled, I stored them in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.

Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons espresso powder

Directions

  1. Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.
  2. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two.
  4. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.

Yield: Enough to frost 12 cupcakes

Notes:

  • Do not skimp on the whipping of the frosting.  It may seem like a lot, but it really does give the frosting a wonderful fluffy, silky, & delicious texture!
  • I stored the leftover frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  They kept very well this way!  Before serving, let them come to room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Source: Brown Eyed Baker Blog

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Last weekend I had a delicious chocolate cupcake from Sprinkles bakery and it inspired me to bake my own chocolate cupcakes.  This was my first time making chocolate cupcakes from scratch, and I’m very happy with how they turned out!  As a home baker, I like to have a collection of reliable, “go-to” recipes for certain common baked goods (including chocolate chip cookies, various cake/cupcake flavors, pie crusts, and sugar cookies).  Sometimes I have to try multiple recipes to find exactly what I’m looking for (I tried at least 5 sugar cookie recipes before settling on the one that I now call my favorite), so I consider myself lucky to have found this fabulous chocolate cupcake recipe on the first try.  I will definitely be making these cupcakes again in the near future!

The cupcakes were really moist and fluffy and had just the right amount of sweetness and chocolaty flavor.  The batter was super easy to mix up with just a wire whisk — no mixer required!  I made these cupcakes for a family dinner last weekend and everyone really loved them.  I frosted the cupcakes with a simple chocolate buttercream frosting that I whipped up in my stand mixer.  The addition of melted chocolate and a little milk gave the frosting a nice glossy sheen.  Like the cupcakes, the frosting had just the perfect amount of sweetness and chocolate flavor, and it complemented the cupcakes very well.  Try these cupcakes- you won’t be disappointed!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 12 cupcake molds or muffin tins with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. To make the cupcakes, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, and white sugar.  Whisk in the milk, coffee, and melted butter.  Then whisk in the dry ingredients.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tin, filling each about three-quarters full.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove the cupcakes from the pan and continue to cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

Source: All Recipes

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.  Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute).  Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Add the melted chocolate and 1 tablespoon of milk and beat on low speed until incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is smooth and glossy, about 2-3 minutes.  (If frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk and beat until desired consistency is reached.)

Source: Adapted from Joy of Baking

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting with Mini Chocolate Chip Cupcakes & Dark Chocolate Garnishes

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting with Mini Chocolate Chip Cupcakes & Dark Chocolate Garnishes


This was my first time making chocolate whipped cream and it was a huge success.  I love my other chocolate frosting recipes, but when I made these cupcakes I was in the mood for something a little lighter than standard chocolate frosting, which is often very rich.  Whipped cream is such a perfect pairing for cakes and cupcakes, but I was craving chocolate, so I pulled out several of my baking cookbooks in search of a recipe for chocolate whipped cream.  The first ones I checked had nothing (Baking Illustrated & The Williams Sonoma Baking Book).  I found a recipe in the third one (Baking From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan), however it required 4 hours of chilling in the fridge, and I didn’t have that much time (I made these cupcakes on a whim).  Finally, I found a recipe that I could use, that would be ready in the time it took to whip the cream- perfect!  It’s so easy to make this whipped cream, and such a fun change from regular whipped cream, although it has the same fluffy airy texture.  It reminded me a lot of chocolate mousse (yum!) and it also tasted like hot chocolate to me.  (That’s probably because I used the same Ghirardelli chocolate powder that I use when I make hot chocolate).  Eric and I loved this frosting.  He raved about it, and was sad that I washed the mixer bowl before he got a chance to lick it clean (sorry babe!).

The more I make whipped cream, the more I realize that it really is very customizable.  For example, if you add crushed Oreo bits, you get Oreo whipped cream.  I already have so many other ideas for desserts that I want to make with this frosting.

For the cupcakes, I used my favorite white cupcake recipe.  And because I like to switch things up with my favorite recipes, I folded ½ cup of mini chocolate chips into the batter.  I also halved the recipe and baked them in my mini cupcake pan (it made 24 mini cupcakes) – the perfect little treat!

Then, onto the really fun part!  Playing with chocolate.  :)  I decided to make the cupcakes extra pretty by adding little dark chocolate garnishes to them.  This is a super easy way to dress up a cupcake and make it look fancy and whimsical.   All you have to do is melt chocolate chips in the microwave, pour the melted chocolate into a squeeze bottle, “draw” your designs onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper, and freeze until set.  It’s like edible chocolate art- yum!

For the cupcakes: I used this recipe, and folded 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips into the batter before filling the muffin tin.  As noted above, I halved the recipe, which yielded 24 mini cupcakes (or 12 regular sized cupcakes).

I found these cute black and white polka dot mini cupcake wrappers at Michael’s. Love them! (I have an embarrassingly large collection of cupcake wrappers… I can’t resist a cute design! At least they are cheap :) )

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 oz) heavy cream, chilled
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted before measuring
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted before measuring

Directions

  1. Using a chilled metal bowl and chilled beaters, whip the cream for 2 minutes until it just starts to thicken.
  2. Add the sugar and cocoa and continue beating until thick enough to hold firm peaks.

Yield: About 2 cups

Note: Cupcakes can be made & frosted ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.  I also recommend storing the whipped cream in the refrigerator if you aren’t going to serve it within an hour or so.

Source: Williams Sonoma Baking Cookbook (Pg. 317)

Dark Chocolate Garnishes


Ingredients

  • ½ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips, stirring every 15 seconds until the chocolate is fully melted (in my microwave, this took approximately 90 seconds). Pour the melted chocolate into a squeeze bottle.
  2. Line a small baking sheet (the baking sheet must fit in your freezer) with waxed paper.  If desired, place a piece of white paper with your “designs” underneath the waxed paper so that you can trace them (see photo below).
  3. Squeeze the chocolate onto the waxed paper lined baking sheet.  You can either trace your designs or draw them freehand.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until the chocolate is set.  Once hardened, remove the chocolate with a thin spatula and garnish cupcakes as desired.

Notes:

  • These chocolate garnishes melt quickly.  Make sure you store them in the freezer until you are ready to remove them from the waxed paper and assemble the cupcakes.
  • The chocolate garnishes can be made a few days ahead of time and stored in the freezer.
  • If you don’t have a squeeze bottle, you can use a ziplock bag (snip the corner off) or a pastry bag.  You can purchase squeeze bottles at craft stores.

I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips to make the garnishes.

Squeeze bottle filled with melted chocolate.

K for Karen – To make this design, I printed out a “K” on my computer and traced it with chocolate. I think it would be really cute to make chocolate monogrammed cupcakes for a party.

My favorite chocolate design.

My other favorite – sometimes the best designs are the ones where you just scribble!

A heart that I traced from my computer print out. It turns out, hearts are much easier to draw freehand.

Yellow Layer Cake with Rich Chocolate Cream Frosting

Yellow Layer Cake with Rich Chocolate Cream Frosting


Recently I purchased the cookbook Baking Illustrated.  I love Cook’s Illustrated cookbooks because they are chock-full of helpful information, and they are a great resource to have in the kitchen.  There are so many recipes in this book that I can’t wait to try!

The first recipe I made from this book was a Yellow Layer Cake with Rich Chocolate Cream Frosting.  It turned out really well!  The cake was soft, buttery, and delicious.  It tasted similar to pound cake to me.  This frosting was really good too—it was rich, chocolaty, and creamy.  It was very different from my other chocolate frosting recipe—both recipes are great, but this one was much richer and thicker whereas the other one is fluffier and sweeter.

The cake recipe posted below serves 8-10 people and makes a 9-inch two-layer cake.  Because I was just making this cake for Eric and me, I halved the recipe.  Instead of using two 9-inch cake pans, I used two 6.5-inch round cake pans, which worked perfectly.  I purchased these little 6.5 inch cake pans at Sur la Table last week, which was a genius idea if you ask me.  I rarely bake cakes because I end up with way too much leftover cake.  And as much as I like cake, there’s only so much a household of two can eat.  These little cake pans solved that problem- now we can indulge in dessert, but not have too many leftovers (or too many calories).  Enjoy!

Yellow Layer Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups (7 ounces) plain cake flour, sifted, plus more for dusting the pans
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (10 ½ ounces) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 16 pieces (Note: Adding the butter pieces to the mixing bowl one at a time prevents the dry ingredients from flying up and out of the bowl).

Directions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans and cover the pan bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.  Then grease the parchment rounds and dust the cake pans with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. Beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract with a fork in a small bowl (a glass pyrex measuring cup worked well for me).  Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer.  Beat the mixture at the lowest speed to blend, about 30 seconds.  With the mixer still running at the lowest speed, add the butter 1 piece at a time; mix until the butter and flour begin to clump together and look sandy and pebble, with pieces about the size of peas, 30-40 seconds after all the butter is added.  Add 1 cup of the egg mixture and mix at the lowest speed until incorporated, 5-10 seconds.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Then add the remaining egg mixture (about ½ cup) in a slow steady stream, taking about 30 seconds.  Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Beat at medium-high speed until thoroughly combined and the batter looks slightly curdled, about 15 seconds.
  3. Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans.  Then spread it to the sides of the pans and smooth with a rubber spatula.  Bake until the cake tops are light gold and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the pan perimeters to loosen.  Invert one cake onto a large plate, peel off the parchment, and then reinvert onto a wire rack.  Repeat with the other cake.
  4. Once the cake has completely cooled, assemble and frost the cake.  Then cut the cake into slices and serve.

Yield: 9-inch, 2 layer cake;  Serves 8-10 (Note: To make a 6.5-inch, 2 layer cake, halve the recipe)

Rich Chocolate Cream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; pour over the chocolate.  Add the corn syrup and let stand 3 minutes.  Whisk gently until smooth; stir in the vanilla.
  2. Refrigerate 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring every 15 minutes, until the mixture reaches a spreadable consistency.  (Note: This frosting does not keep well, so it should be served within a day).

Yield: About 3 cups (enough to ice one 8 or 9-inch layer cake)

Source: Baking Illustrated Cookbook (Pgs. 347 & 351)

Tip (from Cook’s Illustrated on TV): Slide pieces of parchment paper under the cake before frosting & decorating to keep the cake plate clean. Once you are finished decorating the cake, pull out the parchment paper, and voila! – clean plate and perfectly frosted cake!


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