Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce

I’d never actually made a pound cake from scratch before so I looked around online for a few likely recipe candidates – finally settling on a few from allrecipes.com, and adding my own little tweaks. This isn’t a loaf pound cake, but a tube pan pound cake – MUCH bigger. And taller. And excellently dense, of course. I’m also glad I had the foresight to pull out our extra huge bowl to mix this in too – not surprising though, once you see the ingredients list! (Sorry – forgot to take an in-progress photo of the bowl of batter and beaters, etc.)

The batter was so thick that when I was putting the batter into the pan, it was much less of a ‘pour’ and more of a ‘scoop and drop’, but it worked out fine, as you can see:

Pound Cake baked in tube pan, out of the oven for a few minutes.

The cake came out really tall too, although that’s hard to see in the photo.

While the cake was cooling, I made an easy raspberry sauce – nicely raspberry-ish, but not overly sweet:

raspberry sauce, cooking on the stove

After the sauce was done I put it through a small strainer to take most of the seeds out so it was very smooth.

And the serving suggestion – slice a nice hunk of that cake and drizzle the raspberry sauce over it just before serving – yum! Would probably also be good with a dark chocolate drizzle or the like. Take a small slice unless you’re REALLY hungry – as with most pound cakes, this is very dense and filling.

Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce

2 cups butter, softened
2 3/4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
3 3/4 cups flour (use cake flour for a less dense cake)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. lemon extract

Grease and flour a tube cake or bundt cake pan.

Sift together flour, salt, and nutmeg in large bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter until soft and creamy. Gradually add 2 3/4 cup sugar, beating as you go, 5-7 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yellow of the yoke disappears.

Add flour mix alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour. (Mix on low speed, just until blended.)

Stir in the lemon extract.

Pour batter into pan, smooth out the surface. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Raspberry Sauce

1 pint raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup cold water

Put raspberries, sugar, and orange juice in a saucepan. Whisk corn starch in water, then add to ingredients in the sauce pan. Bring to a boil.

Simmer five minutes, stirring constantly, until desired consistency and thickness. (Sauce will thicken a bit more as it cools.)

If you want, you can also pour the sauce through a strainer to remove the seeds and make a smooth sauce.

Drizzle over slices of pound cake just before serving.

Happy Birthday, John!

Happy Birthday, John and Happy Solstice too! John requested a chocolate cake for his birthday this year (surprise!), so I thought I’d check out some new recipes online. I decided to try a Black Chocolate Cake Recipe since we’re both fans of dark chocolate. The only change I made in that linked recipe was to use butter instead of shortening. The cake layers came out great – quite dense and didn’t get all puffy/risen in the middle, so no leveling was needed.

For the frosting I used Caroline’s Chocolate Fudge Frosting Recipe, although as many commenters suggested on that site, I used less milk than indicated.

And here it is!

I also shaved some dark chocolate over the top of it to add even more chocolateness, which I’m sure it needed. (Don’t look at the plate around the bottom of the cake as I hadn’t tidied up yet when I took the photo. I said DON’T look!)

Maybe next time I try this recipe I’ll make a double batch of frosting and do some actual decorating around the edges and such.

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Orange Cake Again

Because it’s one of his favorites, I made another orange cake for John. This time though I changed the recipe a WEE bit – used orange extract instead of lemon extract and vanilla pudding instead of lemon pudding, and the orange flavor popped out MUCH more. (The updated recipe is here, FYI.)

And here’s a photo – it’s a bit rough, but very tasty – LOL:

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Chocolate Birthday Cake

John’s birthday is on the winter solstice, so we always have birthday cake during the holiday season. This year I just got a bit creative with a box mix:

Dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate icing (chocolate is a hard ‘color’ to get right in photos!). I trimmed the rounded top off the bottom layer, cubed it, and then sprinkled it over the finished frosted cake. Then I took a Special Dark bar and shaved the dark chocolate over the entire cake, as well as the cake plate. (Good thing John likes chocolate – LOL!)

Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Streusel Coffee CakeI had the urge to bake something the other day, and a recipe on the back of the Biscuit & Baking Mix (Bisquick, or store brand) seemed like it would be quick and painless, and would result in cake, which was the whole point, of course. I tweaked it a bit here and there.

John took one bite and his eyes lit up, “This tastes just like Drakes Coffee Cakes!” If you’re a fan of Seinfeld, you know that there is NO higher praise for a coffee cake. Even Entennmann’s brand, despite the fact that they have a display at the end of the isle. *grin*

Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups Biscuit & Baking Mix (Bisquick, or Generic)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
just a bit of powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the cake, stir all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly mixed. Spread batter into a greased 8-inch square pan. For the topping, mix all topping ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl, until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over the top of the cake batter.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Once the cake has cooled, powder the top of the cake with the powdered sugar so it makes a nice contrast with the brown sugar topping.

Half-Pound Cake?

On my second attempt to make a cake from scratch, I went looking for a pound cake recipe. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough eggs for most of them (a smart man would have tried something else at this point) but I found this one and thought I’d give it a try.

The batter for the exact recipe was pretty bland, it didn’t taste like a pound cake or much of anything for that matter. I added a little extra brown sugar and some cinammon which gave the batter a much better flavor.

The cake baked up nicely, but there is no way I would call it a pound cake. It was not nearly dense enough for one thing. It tasted a lot more like a coffee cake, and if I make it again, I would add a crumbled mixture of flour, butter, brown sugar, and cinammon.

Raspberry Swirl Cake

We got some rasberries at our local Farmer’s Market last week, and thought it would be fun to bake them into a cake.

I know I promised to do more cakes from scratch, but it was late so I opted out for the yellow cake mix on the shelf. I pureed the rasberries and added a little sugar and a dash of cinammon. I didn’t measure anything, I just kept adding sugar until I thought they were sweet enough.

I made the cake batter and added 3/4ths of it to the pan. Then we added the rasberry goo (Kristen helped) and with the remaining batter.

The cake came out great, one slight problem was that some of the pureed rasberry sank because it was heavier than the batter. If I do this again I would cut back a little bit on the water in the batter so that it will suspend the rasberry better.

Mmmmm Cake

I decided to bake my first cake from scratch last night. I did a search online for a recipe that matched my ingredients on hand and came up with Elizabeth’s Extreme Choclate Lover’s Cake

I had always heard that making cakes from scratch was difficult, but I found this reamarkably easy, except for being a little dish intensive. It took three bowls to make the mixture, one for the melted chocolate (I used the microwave), one for the brown sugar and liquid ingredients, and one for the flour, baking soda and salt.

I didn’t have any sour cream, so I substituted milk, and since milk isn’t as dense I cut back on some of the water. I thought the batter tasted a little dusky, so I added a little confectioner’s sugar and a little cocoa powder as well. My final result was a slightly thicker batter than the recipe described, but it baked nicely and rose like crazy.

We didn’t have any Baker’s chocolate to make the frosting, so Kristen made a light buttercream frosting with the remains of the cocoa powder.

The resulting cake was delicious. It has a lot more body and flavor than any of the cake mix cakes, and was far more rich than any of the supermarket/bakery cakes we get around here.

So now I will be delving deeply into the world of hommade cakes. I’ve always been a cake lover so I suppose this was inevitable. Soon I will be filling the recipe list with Bundts, Pounds, Marbles and Crumbs. Remember, you’ve been warned. 🙂

Orange Dreamsicle Birthday Cake

Yesterday, I had to keep John out of the kitchen while I was making his birthday cake for today (he’s a solstice baby!). Usually I try to make him either an interesting chocolate concoction (the best homemade chocolate cake I’ve made so far was a chocolate mayonaisse cake) or some kind of orange cake, which he’s liked since he was a kid. I’ve made a few orange cakes from scratch, with reasonable success, but haven’t found an orange cake mix in the store for years…

Duncan Hines Orange Dreamsicle Signature Dessert - image used without permission and does not imply endorsement of this site by Duncan Hines, etc.…Until I saw this Duncan Hines Orange Dreamsicle Signature Dessert mix in the store. I grabbed it a few months ago and have kept it in a non-descript paper bag in the back of the cabinet until now. (It’s not easy hiding cooking things when your partner likes to cook too!)

For various technical reasons with our kitchen at this time, I chose to go with the 9×13 sheet cake (keeping it in the glass baking dish) instead of making two round layers. The cake mix is a basic orange-flavored cake mix. Then, you mix boiling water with a powdered orange gelatin-ish packet (in a bowl, of course), and then add cold water too. After a few minutes, which you can spend poking holes in the cake, you slowly pour the gelatin mixture over top of the cake and let it soak in, and then chill it for an hour to set. The ‘frosting’ is a white mousse mix that you just add milk to and whip up.

Although buying it all in one box was certainly convenient, you could get a cake mix, a package of jell-o, and white mousse mix and create the same effect. Or do the cake and mousse from scratch too. Cake, poke holes, add liquid jello, chill, frost with mousse. Doesn’t seem like there’s too much that can go wrong with any variations.

So, how did it come out? Very tasty! The only problem was that the gelatin made it rather sticky and it stuck to the bottom of the pan a bit, making it hard to get a picture-perfect piece for a photo, so I can see why they tell you to turn it out of the pan you baked it in, maybe onto a cake plate or flat tray. In any case, here’s the birthday boy’s piece:

I’d definitely do some variation on this cake again. I REALLY like the white mousse and orange cake combination. The gelatin made the cake, as John suggested, a bit like a pineapple upside down cake because of the moist texture, but it was all quite light and festive and delicious in the end.