Tag Archives: frosting

Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake for #cheesecakeday

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July 30th: Cheesecake Day.

Otherwise known as the day on which my daily obsession becomes a justified necessity. Oh cheesecake, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

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If you’ve been following Wallflour Girl for any time, you’ll know that I have been writing and philosophizing and waxing poetic about a bunch of abstract topics lately. So if you’re looking for really elegant expostulations on the state of the human race and our speckle of presence in the wide universe, you’ll want to read those posts I’ve cited.

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There is nothing abstract about this post.

It is 100% pure chocolatey creamy cheesecake frosted tangible goodness, thank you very much.

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When I found out about the #cheesecakeday round-up these wonderful bloggers were doing on Facebook, I was thrilled, hungry, busy–and extremely nervous. It was Thursday, and I had exactly 6 days to develop, make, photograph, edit, and write about the perfect recipe. Six days. What’s a girl to do with six measly cheesecakey days, I ask you?

I hope you realize that question was a rhetorical one.

Make a damn good seven-layer fusion cheesecake…that’s what. This may be my favorite cheesecake, ever. Period.

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This cheesecake was born of an innocuous Friday night conversation over two plates of free Jewish diner cake. My friend and I had just watched Boyhood in theaters, so by the time we sat through 180 minutes of angst-laden adolescent and walked out at 10:30 PM, of course we had a big bad case of the HANGRAYS.

Luckily, our movie tickets got us free dessert with the purchase of a meal, so we ordered up a storm from the menu and promptly terrorized the bakery manager by raiding the huge desserts display outside the restaurant. This place has everything–red velvet cake, blackout cake, decker cake–but most of all, it had German chocolate cake, at which point I was all like “OH YEAH I LOVE THAT STUFF IT’S TOTALLY MY JAM Y’KNOW.”

Okay, so I had never tried German chocolate cake in my life. But it’s just one of those things you can’t imagine hating, ever, even if it kidnapped your pet turtle and gave you a massive wedgie. German chocolate cake is like a baby panda.

You don’t hate on something as epic and universally acclaimed as cake and baby pandas. You just don’t.

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As we chatted, my friend asked me if I had ever heard of a chantilly cake: he described it as a classic Hawaiian dessert that resembled German chocolate cake, with a custardy frosting and fluffy chocolate base but without the coconut. And of course, this sweet conversation got us talking about what I was planning to make for Cheesecake Day, which is how this epic layer cheesecake cake was born.

This is a creamy seven-layer cake with

four layers of insanely fluffy moist chocolate chiffon cake,

three layers of perfectly creamy, smooth New York style cheesecake,

a generous coating of cool, not-too-sweet chocolate whipped cream frosting,

a custardy smooth chantilly frosting, and

nicely toasted crunchy sweet coconut.

 

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This is, hands down, the best cheesecake layer cake I have ever made, and possibly in my top 5 desserts ever!

Sink your fork into absolute cheesecake indulgence today–or tomorrow, or the day after, or for all time eternal–and find out why we’re all SO excited to be celebrating Cheesecake Day over here today. Trust me, you NEED this recipe in your book!

Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake for #cheesecakeday

8-inch springform pan; 7-layer cake

This creamy twist on a Hawaiian classic cake beats out any cheesecake I've ever tried! With a perfectly textured cheesecake sandwiched between layers of fluffy rich chocolate cake, tempered by a cool whipped chocolate cream & chantilly frosting, this cake only gets moister with time. Don't be daunted by the multiple steps--it only took me 4 hours from start to finish. An instant Wallflour Favorite!

Ingredients

    New York Style Cheesecake Layer
  • Adapted from Allrecipes
  • 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup + tablespoon milk or soy milk
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt (or low/full-fat; may also sub sour cream)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Chocolate Chiffon Cake
  • Adapted from Taste of Home
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules (optional)
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup + 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanhilla extract
  • Chantilly Frosting
  • Original recipe from Guava Rose
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Whipped Chocolate Frosting:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Instructions

    For the cheesecake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar until very light and fluffy, with no lumps remaining.
  3. Stir in milk.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, stirring in until just incorporated. DO NOT OVERBEAT.
  5. Stir in yogurt, vanilla, and flour until mixture is just combined and smooth.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and place the pan inside a larger one (to catch leaks). Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes, then turn off oven and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. Allow cheesecake to sit inside oven for another hour before removing and placing in refrigerator; the gradual cooling will prevent your cheesecake from cracking. (If your cheesecake does crack, though, there's nothing to worry about: it'll be stuffed inside scrumptious layers anyway!)
  7. Allow to chill completely (at least 3 hours) before assembling cake.
  8. For the chocolate cake:
  9. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan and set aside.
  10. In a medium bowl, stir cocoa powder and coffee granules into hot water until dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
  11. Using a colander, sift flour and cornstarch together into a large bowl. Mix in sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  12. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, oil, and vanilla. Gently fold this mixture, along with the cooled cocoa mixture, into the dry ingredients until smooth.
  13. In another grease-free bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer until they form stiff peaks, about 3-4 minutes. Fold egg whites into batter.
  14. Pour 1/4 cake batter into prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool before removing to a cooling rack, then refill with another 1/4 batter and repeat until you have four prepared cake layers. (Alternatively, you may bake all your batter at once, but make sure you adjust baking time accordingly!)
  15. Wrap cooled cakes in cling wrap and place in freezer until ready to use.
  16. For chantilly frosting:
  17. Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  18. Allow mixture to come to come to a slow boil, then continue stirring occasionally and boil mixture for 2 minutes before removing from heat.
  19. Quickly whisk in cornstarch, taking care to continue whisking until mixture is completely smooth. If lumps appear, strain your mixture through a sieve.
  20. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.
  21. For whipped chocolate frosting:
  22. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend for about 15 seconds, until frosting stiffens and becomes just spreadable.
  23. For assembly:
  24. Spread coconut flakes on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven (at 250 degrees) for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until flakes become golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool as you assemble your cake.
  25. Remove all cake and cheesecake layers from refrigerator/freezer. You should have 4 chocolate cake layers and 3 cheesecake layers. (If you do not, use a serrated knife at this time to slice your cakes into the appropriate number of layers.)
  26. Place one chocolate cake layer onto a large serving plate. Carefully top with a cheesecake layer, then continue layering until you have seven alternating layers.
  27. Frost entire cake with whipped chocolate frosting using an offset spatula. If desired, frost a circle around the top of the cake to hold in the chantilly frosting, which may leak slightly.
  28. Gently spread chantilly frosting on top of frosted cake.
  29. Top with toasted coconut flakes.
  30. Store cake in fridge or slice immediately for instant creamy gratification! Happy cheesecake day!
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/07/30/hawaiian-chantilly-layer-cheesecake-cake-cheesecakeday/

Need your cheesecake kick on Cheesecake Day? Check out these awesome features from other #cheesecakeday bloggers!

Baked Cheesecakes:

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Filed under Cakes & Cupcakes, Cheesecakes

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Abstract: To show how my dad–through his humbly-led life and unwavering, silent support of all we do–has kept my faith in family, dreams, and life alive. This one is for my dad: my biggest, silent fan.

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For the record: I wanted this to be a super elaborate, praise-to-the-heavens post to celebrate Father’s Day, much like I did with my Mother’s Day Post last month. However, my dad (summed up in 3 words) is a real practical man and dislikes reading anything that is longer than a page. So here’s me suppressing all my natural instincts and writing to the point for you, Dad.

Also, sorry in advance for already making this post too long, but you’d better be reading more than just the abstract (which I included anyway for you, just in case you don’t read beyond it).

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When I was 7 or 8, I went to a Father’s Day dance at the local YMCA and danced with my dad to Bob Carlisle’s “Butterfly Kisses.” My dad told me that letting go of his hand instead of holding on tightly was the easiest way to make sure my hand didn’t get all twisted up while he was spinning me around.

When I was 10, I got out of the car for summer camp one day and said I didn’t want to kiss him goodbye because my friends might see.

When I was 13, I told him that I couldn’t wait to grow up and do big people things, like driving a car. He told me to wait.

When I was 15, a close friend was critically hospitalized following an incident at home. I debated whether or not to visit the hospital that night and my dad told me quietly that I should. I did. We attended her memorial a few days later.

When I was 22, my dad introduced me to this song, Cats in the Cradle.

When I was in the cafe writing this post yesterday afternoon, I cried and had to get up to go to the bathroom so my friend wouldn’t see.

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My dad–like most human beings–is not a perfect person. He is an amazing man, and he is also wonderfully, delightfully flawed. I love him just the way he is.

He can be grumpy, yes. We joke about his grumpiness all the time, and though he can be even more so now that I’m no longer around, I wouldn’t change him for the world, any more than I would change my mom or my brother or anyone else dear to me.

If I had to be stuck on a desert island with one other person, it would probably be my dad. He’s innovative and fearless–he once fought off a guy in a huge wolf costume who was scaring my brother and me at the Universal Studios House of Horrors….at least, until the worker supervising the area said to him a loud voice, “Sir, PLEASE DON’T TOUCH THE ACTORS.”

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My dad is the world’s most incredible sideline supporter. More importantly, almost nobody knows or appreciates this fact because he doesn’t tell anybody about it. He never complains, even when he has to drive an hour-and-a-half home and back to bring the case of cupcakes I had left behind on my last day of work.

So this is my declaration to the world that thinks my dad is just your average, matter-of-fact, serious, tech industry guy: my dad happens to rock, thank you very much.

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When I told him I had gotten into my English grad school program, all he said was, “Well, good job.” No fanfare, no streamers, nothing that would have made you think he was saying anything more exciting than, “I’ll have the Peking duck.”

But if you know anything about my dad, there’s a little inflection to his tone that makes you feel as warm inside as if he had shouted his felicitations off the roof of the Empire State Building for the city to hear. My dad is proud of us, but he’s not a bragger, and I learned early on in life that that was one quality towards which I would always aspire.

I’ve mostly fallen short–I still like talking a lot about my achievements with friends and family–but there he is, always: unwavering, silent, strong, and a supporter to beat all the rest.

Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

My dad is an extreme pragmatist, but I would also call him a positivist. Even though the two terms don’t always go together, he always emphasizes the importance of living for the moment–as long as you know that your choices won’t leave you or your family without bread on the table at the end of the day. My dad may be in the tech industry, and like all Asian parents he’s a realist when it comes to getting a solid job. Oddly enough, though, I felt comfortable enough pursuing my PhD in English because he never questioned me about my motives–he accepted that I would need to explore on my own (though he entertained his share of private concerns, I’m sure) and simply let me do the things I had always wanted to try.

I am 110% grateful for his ability not to grow hysterical when I am, his knack for listening without saying a word in a way that I would never be patient enough to do, and–probably most of all–his willingness to put everything down at the most trivial phone call from us and drive right over.

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The world deserves to hear everything about him, but I know I can’t write everything–anyway, he wouldn’t want to read it. But this is the man who will wait for 4 hours outside after driving me to meet up with a friend without once complaining; in fact, he’ll joke about being my “personal chauffeur” (our shared, extremely DRY sense of humor is another topic for another time, but we are so related). In many ways, he lives for his family, and I can’t ever, ever thank him enough for teaching us that.

So I’ll end this already beyond-the-limit post by just saying this as I finish up:

Dad, I don’t care if you never share this post with anyone, because you probably won’t. But there’s one thing you should know.

I may not be silent. I may not be patient. And sometimes it may feel like I need your support more than you need mine.

But I am also–and always–your very biggest fan. I love you!

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Even though I don’t think he’d go out of his way to eat these cupcakes (he’s not a big sweets fan), they’re not overly sweet–just simple, fluffy vanilla cupcakes with an easy chocolate buttercream frosting. But this unassuming pairing is one of the most amazing things I have made in a long while, and so it’s the perfect treat to be posting for my dad today. Since I was delivering these cupcakes long-distance, I also created these styrofoam cut-out cupcake holders to protect them from jostling against each other–something I thought my innovative dad might find amusing. All you have to do is cut out the bottom of the cup and slip in a cupcake–and push it up from the bottom when you want to eat it. Neat, huh? I hope you guys love this recipe as much as I do!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad, and to all of the fathers out there who are celebrating today!

Love, your baby dragon and Daddy’s girl.

Ala

Simple Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes

The perfectly light, fluffy, and classic vanilla cupcake that makes delicious simple. Perfect with a class chocolate buttercream frosting, too! Original cupcake recipe via Sally[http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/04/20/very-vanilla-cupcakes/}.

Ingredients

    For the vanilla cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the chocolate buttercream frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlua (can substitute with vanilla)
  • 1 tablespoon soy milk or milk, as needed

Instructions

    For the vanilla cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tin cups with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter and sugar.
  3. Stir in egg whites, yogurt, and soy milk. Add vanilla extract and mix in.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold in very gently until mixture is just incorporated into wet batter.
  5. Divide batter between 12 liners, filling each liner approximately 2/3 of the way up. Bake for 17-19 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean with moist crumbs clinging to it. Allow to cool completely before frosting with chocolate buttercream frosting (instructions below).
  6. For the chocolate buttercream frosting:
  7. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, cocoa, and confectioners' sugar. Add vanilla and Kahlua (if using). To thin out your frosting even more, add milk as needed, up to 1-2 tablespoons.
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/06/15/simple-vanilla-cupcakes-chocolate-buttercream-frosting/

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Two-Toned Red Velvet & Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

As I’ve grown older and the weary years have coated my hunched back like a film of unwanted snail slime, I’ve come to the wary conclusion that there are two sides of me: the one that you know, and the one that you wouldn’t want to know for all the holy flying bats in the world–though what you would want to do with a colony of holy flying bats, I haven’t the faintest idea. You tell me.

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Of course, unless you’re my mom and have witnessed the stormy tantrums I still throw all the time used to throw as a kid in the Polly Pocket aisle of Toys R Us, I’m pretty much an “As Seen in Stores” kind of girl. Peppy, extroverted, painfully enthusiastic at times, and totally predictable.

But at rare little moments of extreme environmental stress or unceasing irritation, my trigger–like any normal human being’s–will trip. And boy, you don’t want to be the person standing in front of it when it does. If you’re the one who tripped it up, all the bleaker for you. My judging glare is not something you want to experience from the receiving end. Nor is my adult, I-will-smack-you hands-on-hips gesture when I appear, glowering, in your doorway.

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On the latest battlefront, my neighbors have been demons from the darkest depths of Dante’s nine circles of hell. Zac Efron (who, by the way, visited us for the premiere of Neighbors last month) has got nothing on my. Freakin’. Neighbors. Continue reading

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Filed under Brownies & Chocolates, Cakes & Cupcakes

Biscoff Oatmeal Cookie Pies with Whipped Coconut Filling

Some days I feel like I’m photographing a food porn commercial. Like, there is SERIOUSLY SOMETHING ILLICIT ABOUT WHAT I’M DOING AND I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT IT IS.

Does anybody else ever feel this way?

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I am pretty sure my neighbors feel this way about what I do all the time. Continue reading

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cookies, Uncategorized

The Best Bananas Foster Toffee Coffee Crunch Cake

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One of the things I love most about blogging is licking the bowl afterwards having the chance to sit down and tell a story. Food blogging in particular trains us to write good content: it gives you brain fuel (i.e. cake), patience (actually waiting for your cake to cool completely before frosting it), creativity (transforming your 5th over-crumbly cake into gorgeous cake balls), and really good storytelling skills (explaining to your parents the philosophical implications of writing your baking blog when you really should be reading Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter).

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As I slipped into the final books for my Part I Exam children’s literature list, I’ve been thinking more and more about the relationship between text and pictures. A few of my most recent conference proposals deal with the tension nonsense illustrations evoke when read against nonsense language, as well as the stories that text and pictures tell–collaboratively or competitively–when viewed in conjunction. After all, who could forget the full-page spreads of the gigantic yellow-eyed horned monsters we meet alongside Max in Where the Wild Things Are, or that now-famous red-and-white striped hat when the Cat sallies into the rainy-day room?

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In a lovely recent comment that made my heart giggle and feet flutter, a reader wrote that my use of text on photographs was the best she had ever seen (!). I was obviously elated–not only because of the tiny ego boost this prompted, but because I truly believe that the interplay between text and images is a crucial one for storytelling–and I’m glad that it has caught somebody’s eye, both figuratively and literally. Sometimes it can be difficult to hear their murmurs over the incessant buzz of daily life and the roaring internet. In a new year and with new updates around every corner, I hope you continue to find the whispered tales these photo-stories tell worth listening to.

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Like the crosswords where food and writing meet, this bananas foster cake has carried me through a-many difficult days of studying and writing as the exam deadline rushes in like a vortex (exactly one month to go–when did this happen?!). In case you’re wondering how I managed to photograph a whole, intact cake with another slice on the side, I was actually requested to make this cake twice, back-to-back–it was that delicious! Even if you hate bananas as a rule (like I do), you’ll find this cake a refreshing delight: filled with bananas drowned in rum or Kahlua, crunchy toffee pieces, subtle smoky coffee frosting, and plenty of moist banana layers, this cake is a whole story in itself.

So I decided to write one for it. And I hope you’ll love it.

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Until the next story,

Ala

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Tuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!

The Best Bananas Foster Toffee Coffee Crunch CakeYield: 1 awesome 9-inch, 3-layer cakeFor the banana cake: (Slightly adapted from this recipe)
Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed (I used 3 large bananas or 4 medium bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups and 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease 3 round 9-inch springform pans (I only have one so I baked the cake layers three separate times in the same pan) and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together bananas and lemon juice. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream butter and white sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes of vigorous hand mixing.
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla extract.
  6. In three alternating batches, stir in buttermilk mixture and dry ingredients mix until just combined.
  7. Add and stir in banana mixture.
  8. Spoon 1/3 of your banana cake mixture into each of the prepared springform pans.Coffee
  9. Bake in preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes (cooking times will vary according to your oven temperature). Your cake will be done when it is lightly brown around the edges and golden on top; a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  10. Allow your cake to cool completely before removing from springform pans and assembling.

Coffee Kahlua Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Kahlua (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon instant ground coffee granules

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Gently mix in powdered sugar until incorporated.
  3. Add vanilla extract (use extra if you are omitting Kahlua).
  4. Pour Kahlua (if using) into a small bowl. Dissolve coffee granules in Kahlua. (If you are omitting Kahlua, you can dissolve the granules in vanilla extract). Stir Kahlua-coffee mixture into the frosting.

Bananas Foster: (adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons rum or Kahlua
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 bananas, sliced into 1/3″ pieces

Directions:

  1. In a large pot over the stove, melt butter.
  2. Add brown sugar, rum or Kahlua, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil. When it begins to bubble, add in bananas and stir until thoroughly soaked.
  4. Allow bananas to steep in boiling mixture for 30 seconds, then turn off heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. You may want to reheat the syrup immediately before serving with cake.

Assembly:

Ingredients:

  • 3 9-inch round layers of banana cake (recipe above)
  • 1 serving coffee Kahlua frosting (recipe above)
  • 1 serving bananas foster (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup chopped saltine toffee cookies (I used homemade ones)or any  toffee pieces of your choice

Directions:

  1. Place a cooled 9-inch cake layer on a round cake tray. If the top of your cake is not even, use a serrated knife to gently cut across the top (parallel with the base) to create a smooth surface.
  2. Frost with a thin layer of coffee frosting.
  3. Top with second cake layer and frost.
  4. Top with third cake layer.
  5. Frost completely with remaining coffee frosting. You may reserve 1/2 cup frosting for piping if you wish.
  6. Top cake with banana pieces from the bananas foster recipe. Reserve the rest for serving with the cake.
  7. Sprinkle edges with toffee pieces.
  8. Cut into slices and serve!

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes

Summer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Am I the only one who not only does not want autumn to come, but would happily embrace summer (and all its fruity, sunshiney glory) the whole year round?

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If you’re following other food blogs, you’ve probably seen hints of pumpkin and warm cinnamon spices creeping slowly but steadily into recipes in recent weeks. I mean, I’m all about individual choice and stuff, but here, at least…

NO WAY. And more summer please.

Hence these prototypically summery lemon blueberry cupcakes during the last week of August. Because I’m a summer rebel and I’m trying going to convert y’all with these, too.

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I love summer berries and all of nature’s sweet fruit,and I firmly believe that they appear between the months of May and August (or even longer, if you’re lucky like me!) for a reason. Summer is the best seasons, so let’s not quibble.

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Don’t get me wrong–I love fall. But I am the kind of girl who either likes seasons and holidays when they’re supposed to come (i.e. no Christmas music in November, please), or writes a pumpkin dessert post in the middle of April because heck, nobody else is doing it. And if I want pumpkin in springy April, I’m going to make it. I’m sure I’m not the only person on the planet who has completely atemporal taste buds.

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But that whole summer-is-ending-and-hooray-for-fall-thing? Again, personal preference–but I’m not buying it.

So you get lemon. And blueberry. And REALLY GREAT MOIST CUPCAKES.

You will become a summer re-convert, I promise.

Summer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting 9-082413

Aside from the obvious perks, another reason why I love summer is because it allows me to do proper photoshoots in summer lighting

If you’ve seen my last few posts, you may have noticed less props and way, way less photo prep. As a result, I haven’t been able to submit a lot of my photos to Foodgawker and Tastespotter like I usually do, which makes me a little sad. This is because by the time I get home from work and finish my study quota for the day, the daylight has usually faded and the result is lots of crappy photos shot under our kind of anti-photo florescent kitchen lights.

So basically, sunlight rocksAlthough so would having a pair of literarily-inclined elves who could do my reading for me. That would also rock very much.

Summer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting 10-082413

After reading through nearly ten consecutive pumpkin posts on other blogs, I finally ran home from work on Friday and sat down to photograph these cupcakes. They look yummy, don’t they? Trust me, they taste even better.

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(On My Kitchen Table:  Assorted poems by Romantic authors such as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and–most recently–Lord Byron. Don Juan is longer than my mom’s rants, period. Somebody get me a cupcake and a massive paper shredder, please.)  

Summer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting 16-082413

So what do you think: is it time for summer, or fall?

Summer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting 78-082413

Love,

Ala

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Summery Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemony Frosting
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (I used the zest from one HUGE lemon)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) lemon juice, depending on taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Cream together butter and sugar until light & fluffy, about 3 minutes with vigorous beating by hand.
    3. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
    4. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt until just incorporated.
    5. Add lemon zest, milk, and lemon juice. Stir in slowly until well combined (note: make sure not to stir vigorously, though–doing so will toughen up the gluten and create a much tougher cupcake).

Fold in fresh blueberries.

  1. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners and fill each liner 3/4 way with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, make lemon frosting (recipe below).
  2. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before frosting; top with blueberries. Then sit back, take a bite, and enjoy your gorgeous summer!

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, as needed

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Mix in sugar (you may need more or less, as desired). Gradually add vanilla and lemon juice, stirring until you reach the desired consistency. You may not need all of the lemon juice. Frost your cupcakes and delight your summer guests!

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes

LWOM: Healthy Apple Spice Bars with Caramel Penuche Icing

It was a Wednesday, and as a consequence, Piglet was sitting on a log. Mind you, this was his Wednesday log, which is different from his Thursday or Saturday log, although sometimes you found it hard to tell the difference, and so did Piglet.

“Tiddly pom, hum,” he said, since it seemed like the right thing to say when one is sitting on a Wednesday log.

Healthy Apple Spice Squares with Caramel Penuche Icing 1--022613

Speaking of the right thing to say, it was an afternoon perfect for soft, warmly-spiced apple bars frosted with caramel penuche icing and–

“Excuse me?” said Piglet.

“Excuse me,” I said,  startled.

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“Were you speaking just now?” he asked, looking up with a slightly mesmerized expression, as I’m sure you’re wearing at this very moment. Because his attention was fixed on this gif right above us, too.

“I think so. Or at least the gif above you was. It was one or the other of us, you know.”

“Oh. I thought somebody must have been.” He paused and twiddled the daffodil that he had been twiddling after his thumbs had been all twiddled out. “And…and who were you speaking to?”

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“Why–to the readers, I suppose,” I said.

“Oh.” The flower wiggled its petals and worried its stem. There was a pause.

“Not to me?” he asked finally.

“Well, not at first,” I said, but I added kindly, “But it could have been to you.”

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Piglet considered this. He considered saying “Oh, hooray, and three cheers for Piglet!” but decided that might make him sound what he called “over-eager.” So he said instead, rather randomly, “You know, people like to talk to Pooh very much.”

“I know,” I said. Because it was true.

“But he can be a bear of very little brain–as he says himself, of course,” Piglet finished hurriedly. And then he added, so as not to sound too self-interested, “I admire your the pig cup in your pictures. And the apple spice bars look very nice, too. There’s something about pigs that are very pleasing and nice and…and un-bear-like, you know.”

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“Of course,” I said.

“I mean,” he went on, speaking now to the stem of his greatly worried daffodil, “what does one DO as a Pooh bear?”

“Eat, I suppose. And think about eating. And other Pooh-like things.”

“Right,” Piglet replied. “

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We waited. The daffodil jiggled a little bit as he thought about this carefully.

“Do you think, hypo-thack-tikly speaking, (which was a grand thing to say, because Christopher Robin said it all the time), one–say, perhaps, a pig, or a tiny pig–that one could become a Pooh?”

Healthy Apple Spice Squares with Caramel Penuche Icing 7--022613

“Well,” I said. “When one wants to pretend like one’s a grown-up, Piglet, what does one do?”

“Wear grown-up clothes and do grown-up things like cook and stay up late and cross the street without holding anybody’s hand,” Piglet said proudly, for he had done all of these things before when he wanted to feel grown-up.

“Precisely,” I said. “And so if one–say, a tiny pig–wanted to be a Pooh Bear, what would one do?”

Healthy Apple Spice Squares with Caramel Penuche Icing 9--022613

“Aha!” Piglet said suddenly, jumping up from his Wednesday log and casting a longing look at the pan of apple spice bars with rich caramel penuche icing sitting in front of him.

And do you know what happened then?

I’ll let you decide. Although, if I were you, which I am decidedly not (but if), I would look below for a clue.

Healthy Apple Spice Squares with Caramel Penuche Icing 11--022613

Done just like a Pooh bear.

Ala

What character would you be from the 100 Acre Woods?

(I apologize for the blurry, pixelated gif this time–it was a rushed day! But I’ll get it right next time around :] )

This post is part of the Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt (LWOM) series here at Wallflour Girl, where Ala takes a popular or classic literary character and uses him/her/it to tell a story about her recipes.  Ala is an English literature graduate student with a strong interest in children’s literature, Victorian lit, and everything in between, beyond, bubbly, or burgundy. Ala does not own the rights to any of these characters or original literary texts, although she does own a really cute Winnie-the-Pooh balloon-shaped stuffed-animal. This series is intended to offer you a glimpse into her world through our shared love for food. Please let Ala know what you think of these stories–she’d love to hear what you think (and I’m sure Piglet would, too).

Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Healthy Apple Spice Bars with Caramel Penuche Icing
Apple spice bar recipe adapted from Allrecipes
Caramel penuche icing recipe originally posted at lifesabatch (and it’s delicious!)
 
Apple Spice Bars:
Yield: 30 large bars (or 9×13-inch pan)
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup applesauce (I used unsweetened)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add egg, mix in until combined. Stir in applesauce. Add remaining (dry) ingredients and stir until the entire mixture is just combined. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until bars are golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Caramel Penuche Icing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a medium pot and bring it to a boil. Add sugar and return mixture to a boil for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Add milk, then return to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool a few minutes before mixing in powdered sugar.
  2. Pour over cooled bars. Enjoy!

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

“Sorry–It’s Still Summer!” Cinnamon Rolls (Raspberry Cheesecake Rolls with Lemon Icing)

With the plethora of pumpkin and autumnal recipes hitting the web these days, I thought we all needed a little reminding that it is not, in fact, autumn everywhere in the world. In some places, it’s legitimately springtime, and in others, it’s legitimately autumn but actually not because it doesn’t feel like autumn. It feels, in fact, like summertime. Still. In October.

So I say…

Why fight it? And if anyone says otherwise, you can just say what I say–

“Sorry–it’s still summer! And summer says I’m making these rolls.”

There are some bloggers who say, “Oh look, the calendar says it’s autumn–I guess it’s time to make autumn recipes! Hooray!” Don’t get me wrong–I love pumpkin and apple and cinnamon and pecan and the list could go on and on of recipes. I love them all; I’ve even posted my own fair share of them recently, like this pumpkin spiced granola or this delicious pumpkin pull-apart bread.

But if summer wants to overstay its equinox and beat me on the brow with high-90′s weather as I trudge to my classroom with enough brick-like books for a mason to build a house with, I say we fight back.

With…cinnamon rolls. Raspberry cheesecake ones, more specifically.

And tangy sweet lemon glaze. Very importanto.

Funflour Fact #6: Speaking of made-up sort-of-sounds-legit words (“importanto” is not, to my knowledge, a real word), did you know that the Spanish word for “pelican” is “pelicano,” and that words with the same etymological origins are called “cognates”?

What’s also very importanto is trying your hand at new things, like this fun challenge Julie is hosting over at Willow Bird Baking!

Flour Power: Feeling up for a challenge? Don’t forget to head on over to Julie’s blog and check out all the entries, and submit one of your own, too!

If you haven’t guessed it already, the theme is…da da da…autumn!

Just kidding. It’s cinnamon rolls. I haven’t reached that blessed pinnacle of ironic wit at which I could make that sort of a joke entry and get away with it yet. Soon. Soon.

Go wild, go crazy, or go summery, if you’re like me and clinging onto those last (blazing) streaks of sunshine.

And once you’re done being a wild child, bake a batch of these–because I guarantee you that they are “berry” blazing summery good!

Happy reading, and happy eatings!

“Sorry, Sir–Still Summer!” Cinnamon Rolls (Raspberry Cheesecake Rolls with Lemon Icing)
Yield: 6 cinnamon rolls
Base recipe adapted from Allrecipes
 
For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons  (or half an average packet) dry active yeast
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

How to make the dough:

  1. Heat up milk in saucepan until warm enough that you can comfortably dip your finger in for a few seconds without scalding yourself. Transfer to a large bowl and dissolve white sugar. Stir in yeast and allow to sit in a warm spot for 10 minutes. This is the proofing step–your mixture should foam slightly and give off a “bread-y” smell. (If it doesn’t, your yeast is no longer active, so you might have to toss it out and try again.)
  2. Mix in melted margarine and salt. Add flour gradually and stir in until a dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead by pulling dough away from your body, then folding it back in on itself. Rotate dough a quarter of a turn after each pull. Knead until pressing two fingers gently into dough creates two indentations that hold their shape–then you’ll know that your dough is smooth, elastic, and ready to go!
  3. Place into a well-greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Place in a warm spot and allow dough to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Turn out onto lightly-floured board and punch down dough. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Roll out dough into a 9×13″ rectangle and spread filling evenly over dough (see below). Starting from one of the short ends, roll up dough until it forms a tight spiral. Be careful not to push too hard though, or your filling will spill out! Cut into six even pieces and place them seam-side up in a greased 9″ baking pan. Place in a warm place and allow dough to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  5. Bake cinnamon rolls in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and immediately pour glaze over hot rolls so that it melts into the dough; allow rolls to cool slightly before spreading on frosting (see below).

For the filling:

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened (you’ll be using the other 2 oz. for the icing, so keep it handy)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup raspberry preserves, adjusted to taste
  • Splash of vanilla

To make filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl until creamy. Add preserves and vanilla, then stir until mixture is fluffy. Spread onto dough (step 4, above).

For the glaze (to pour over rolls while hot):

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Splash of vanilla extract

To make glaze: Combine all ingredients and stir until it forms a thinnish glaze. (Feel free to add more lemon juice or powdered sugar as necessary to adjust the consistency.) Pour over cinnamon rolls immediately after they come out of the oven to allow glaze to soak into dough.

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Splash of vanilla extract

To make frosting: Whip cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until your frosting is fluffy; add more sugar or lemon juice as necessary to reach desired consistency. Spread over warm rolls immediately before serving.

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Fruit Desserts