So, the original recipe I used said that there would be a ton of frosting leftover. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
I had to make two batches to cover the cake the way I wanted to. “The way I wanted to” originally being pretty rosettes, which I then over-thought and ruined by trying to add color. Don’t do that. Leave them as plain, white, pristine rosettes. Trust me. Simple is so much better here.
Speaking of rosettes – know of any good tutorials? I used this one: Rose Cake Tutorial. As is generally the case for anxiety-me, there isn’t enough detail in the steps in that one for my taste. I want to be walked through the most basics of basics in order to feel a little more confident. My hesitation shows in the results, sadly.
Anyhoo, I’ve always said that I’m much better at making food taste good than I am at making it look good. I mean, you can pretty safely call the below a “cake wreck,” but it was really delicious (and look at how thick the frosting is!).
Anyway, on to the important stuff. CAKE. Carrot cake. With Cream. Cheese. Frosting. I am convinced the frosting is why most people like carrot cake in the first place. I mean, the cake itself in this recipe is pretty great, the caramel is pretty nice too… but the frosting is the star. Rich, creamy, not too sweet. Just lovely.
I made this when Brie requested carrot cake for her fabulous birthday. I was happy to oblige, especially since this year’s birthday theme was SO much less complicated than the year prior. Last year, we did this:
Remember? The Chinese-inspired birthday? It was incredibly delicious, but wow – a lot of work to pull off. This time we went with a “movie theater food” theme: hot dogs, buttered popcorn, sloppy Joe nachos, homemade soft pretzels, and lots and lots of candy. Jr. Mints, the red licorice that comes from Trader Joes and is SO much better than Red Vines or Twizzlers, Sour Patch Kids, gummy bears, lollipops, chocolate covered raisins… I’m sure I’m forgetting some. Regardless, it was super easy to pull off and barrels of fun. (Someone snuck in some cream cheese wontons, because that’s how we do.)
Just a little caramel to add another layer of sweetness and moisture to your carrot cakes.
Recipe type: Dessert
1 cup brown sugar
½ stick salted butter
½ cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla
⅛ teaspoon salt
Whisk together ingredients over medium high heat for about 7 minutes or until it begins to thicken.
Allow to cool slightly, then drizzle over the center segment of your carrot cake. Allow to cool further as you frost the cake (if it accidentally solidifies completely during that time, heat it up slightly to make it a liquid again).
Once the cake is fully frosted, drizzle the caramel as generously as you would like over the entire thing. Yum!
This Valentines Day, while cooking for my fellow Qwertiers, I decided I wanted to do something rich and delicious for our dessert.
I started out knowing I wanted to make this delicious Chocolate Cake recipe from Add a Pinch that we had used before (the frosting is seriously good), from there I decided I wanted to include the ganache from my Irish Carbomb Cupcake recipe, and then the Irish Chocolate Mousse that Cat likes to whip out every now and then.
These three things together made for one seriously deadly cake. I would have liked to show you a picture of the whole cake, but it was so delicious it wasn’t in one piece long enough to photograph.
Since the frosting is a mousse with an egg base, the cake should be kept refrigerated; I’m not typically one to enjoy cold cake, but I’ll tell you a secret: pour a little heavy cream and/or Irish cream onto the cake and let it soak in for a minute before devouring.
Last year I had a Boston Cream Pie for the first time and absolutely loved it. Now I’m always on the look out for Boston Cream Pie anything. Boston Cream Pie cookies, ice cream, yogurt, and doughnuts among a sea of many other things. There’s even a Boston Cream Pie seltzer water, but you’ll have to ask Adam about that one. I wasn’t brave enough for that while we were on the East Coast.
I love this poke cake because it’s super easy, the longest part is waiting for the pudding to set up. This recipe is for all box mixes and canned frosting, but if you’re feeling up to it you can of course go all out and make everything from scratch. Just your basic yellow cake mix, vanilla pastry cream and chocolate ganache recipes are what to look for. There’s so many different flavors of poke cake you can make, you can also use jello instead of pudding. Have you had a poke cake before? What’s your favorite flavor? If I have anything to do with it, 2014 will be the year of the poke cake!
Served alongside the Easy Peasy Rum Cake at our holiday movie night in December, I discovered this gingerbread cupcake recipe when I was trying to figure out how to flesh out the holiday flavor offerings (gotta have chocolate, peppermint, ginger bread, egg nog, etc!). Thankfully, Sally’s Baking Addiction had posted this recipe the exact day I went searching.
I had never previously tried one of her recipes, but I have a lot of faith in my fellow food bloggers – and I was not disappointed after a few minor tweaks.
Moist, flavorful, indulgent – just perfect.
This holiday mug army was stationed behind the cupcakes, a cute addition to the table and useful receptacles we used to serve hot chocolate and homemade apple cider. Yum!
I sent Brie to the store to grab “some cute little gingerbread people,” and she came home with what was labeled “Ginger Family.” Not gingerBREAD family – just Ginger Family. Amused me perhaps a little too much.
THE GINGER FAMILY COMETH!
If you top your cupcakes with cookies, make sure to place them immediately before serving – otherwise they start to get moist and stale overnight.
Break out your cutest cupcake liners and pre-place about 16 of them in your muffin pans.
Bring egg to room temperature by submerging in warm water for about 5 minutes or until it is no longer cool to the touch (you can also leave the egg out overnight in advance, if you're a good planner type).
Bring milk to room temperature by liiiightly nuking in the microwave until tepid/lukewarm (NOT hot).
Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl for about 5 minutes.
Beat in egg until fully combined.
Add in milk, molasses, and vanilla and beat for about a minute (the result will be kind of chunky, but don't you worry!)
In a clean, medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
Mix ⅓ of dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined. Repeat with next third and mix again. Repeat with final third until just combined.
Fill your cupcake liners about ½ - ⅔ of the way full.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Allow to cool, then top with some fabulous frosting (recipe below)
I am head over heels for winter holidays. I love colder temperatures, I get the warm fuzzies thinking about how much I love and appreciate my family and friends, I like shiny things like lights and sequins, and the food is just fantastic. So many luscious sweets and treats that feel way too heavy any other time of the year.
I also adore making my annual holiday cards – it’s one of the few creative projects I do each year that’s completely indulgent and exactly what I want. Every year, my pets are featured, and this time around I imagined what would happen if Cheeto, my Jack Russell Terrier mix, ever ran into Santa.
Poor Santa. Maybe next year, he’ll try bringing the cookies to her.
Anyway – the big problem with this time of year is that I am always pressed for time. Work is busy, the social calendar is full, and there’s whole lot of effort going into pulling off holiday decorating, preparing gifts, and clean clean cleaning for hosting holiday parties. As much as I love the festive food, there isn’t always much time to pull it off.
That’s why I love this rum cake recipe so very much. It’s quite tasty and uses a cake mix as a base to save precious time.
Vanilla pudding mix helps keep it moist, as does the rum glaze it gets soaked in. Mmm, rum glaze.
We served it alongside a bunch of other goodies at a holiday movie party last weekend. Check out the spread here:
There were cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, gingerbread cupcakes, sugar coated roasted pecans, kettle corn, regular popcorn, hot chocolate, and spiced apple cider. We showed these holiday cartoons/shorts (a few are a little risqué, so probably don’t watch them at work) before diving into the main feature – White Christmas.
Yes, we made the shelves in the background into a second tree. Our first tree is in the living room, and her name is Carlotta. I’m not entirely sure why I started naming our Christmas trees, but if we’re going to display their slowly drying corpses in the living room for a whole month, I think they, at the very least, deserve a name.
Whoops, got a little dark on you, didn’t I? To make up for it, here’s a puppy in a bowl:
Anyway, the night was a grand ole time and the cake was, as usual, a hit. Let’s dive into how to make it, shall we?
A festive holiday treat that's light on effort, heavy on impact.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Rum Cake
A few Tablespoons of flour for coating the bundt pan
1 box yellow cake mix
1 pox instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup rum (I use Meyers)
½ cup butter
¼ cup water
1 cup white sugar
Thoroughly coat your bundt pan with PAM and a light layer of flour. Sprinkle bottom of pan with chopped walnuts. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
In a big bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and ½ cup of rum. Mix well.
Bake for about 60 minutes, or until a tester (toothpick, butter knife, etc.) comes out clean.
Combine butter, ¼ cup water, 1 cup sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for about 5-7 minutes while stirring constantly. Add remaining ½ cup rum and stir for an additional minute. Remove from heat.
This next part takes a little finesse! Carefully remove the cake from the cake pan to make sure the top doesn't stick. Then, even more carefully, slide it back into the cake pan.
Poke several holes in the base of the cake and pour about 75% of the glaze into the pan. Allow it to soak in fully, then turn the cake out onto a serving dish.
Pour the remaining glaze over the top of the cake and serve.
An ex boyfriend volunteered me to make a dessert for a dinner party at a professional colleagues house. I wanted to try something a little new, but still simple. I’d had a handful of Pampered Chef recipe cards for about a decade, but never really explored any of them. This Chocolate Mousse Cake just jumped out at me!
Who doesn’t love chocolate?
… well that’s a lie, I’m not the biggest chocolate fan, but this was so moist and delicious!
We created this space in 2013 as a home for recipes, reviews, and entertaining tips for those on the nerdier end of the spectrum. We're on vacation at the moment, but there are usually new posts every Thursday. Sometimes more, if you're lucky.
With our powers combined, we represent a culinary school grad, an aspiring astronaut, a culinary school dropout, social nerds, gamers, cinephiles, bibliophiles, laqueristas, food fanatics, social anxiety disorders, and more. It’s fun stuff. Oh! And Brandie is wife to Adam who is brother to Brie who is cousin to Cat! Clearly nerdiness runs in this family.
This site uses affiliate links. Clicking on or purchasing via an affiliate link may result in commissions for this site.