This week, I made Chatelaine’s Ultimate Vanilla Cake (recipe found here: www.chatelaine.com/recipe/desserts/vanilla-cake )
I deviated a little from the original recipe, though: instead of making the whole cake in one day, I made the cake the day before, cooled then leveled it, and then freezing it overnight. 3-4 hours before serving, I took the cake out from the freezer and frost it. This made the frosting much easier!
tracing out parchment for baking
Frosting the cake
It’s been a while since I did my last bake – it has been busy finishing up the semester with projects and finals. I wanted to make this beautiful cake to celebrate the end of my courses/semester – it’s a combination between a vanilla and chocolate cake. My favorite part is when I swirl the batter around before I put it in the oven!
Before swirling and baking
- 8 oz unsalted butter, softened (plus a bit more for greasing the baking pan)
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups milk, plus 1 tbsp (divided)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cake flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- Preheat oven 350F
- Butter a 13x9x2 baking pan
- In a large bowl, cream togther butter, sugar, and salt until soft and well-combined
- Whisk in eggs (one at a time) utnil incorporated
- Whisk in 1 1/4 cups milk and vanilla
- Add cake flour and baking powder; whisk until combined
- Spoon half of the batter into the pan randomly (in blobs) – leaving space in between
- Whisk the cocoa and remainign 1 tbsp millk into the remaining batter
- Spoon the chocolate batter between the empty pots
- Swirl! Swirl the batters together with a butter knife or a small spatula (make sure you don’t do it too much, or else they will just meld together)
- Bake on a center rack until lightly golden/or just firm (toothpick/cake tester comes out clean); about 25-30 minutes
- Set on a wire rack to cool
- Frost (optional)
I don’t know where you are, but here in Vancouver, it definitely feels like Spring! While the rest of Canada is shoveling piles and piles of snow, we are strolling and biking amongst cherry blossoms! Here’s a cake to celebrate early spring (it was also our 3.5 year wedding anniversary – I wonder when celebrating 0.5 years becomes excessive? #dontcare) !!
- 3 cups all purpose flour (plus a little more for coating the pan)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- Zest of 2 lemons (can substitute with orange zest)
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (or add 2 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice to 3/4 cups milk)
- 2 cups fresh blueberries (frozen/fresh)
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a bundt pan thoroughly, then sprinkle with flour and shake out excess.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl
- Combine sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Then use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until well-mixed.
- Use an electric mixer (large bowl) to beat the sugar and zest mixture with the butter, until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk.
- Fold in the berries
- Spoon batter into the pan
- Bake in the preheated oven until toothpick/cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour.
- Cool (about 10 minutes)
- Remove cake from the pan onto the rack and cool completely.
- Dust with powdered sugar just before serving. Garnish with berries/lemon!
Gandalf turns 2 today! This little rascal has been such a joy in our life and in his two years of his life, he has experienced so much already! That includes 2 moves, and a trek/camp across the country! What a trooper.
Camping – can you spot Gandalf?
We made him a small little cake that is doggie friendly (note, no wheat and sugar). He ate it all in …2 seconds. See recipe below.
Just a few of Gandalf’s favorite food: apples, bananas, peanut butter
“Can I eat it yet?”
- 1 egg
- 3 Tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/4 apple, finely chopped
- 1/4 banana, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine and mix all the ingredients together until smooth.
- Grease a ramekin or a jumbo muffin tin.
- Fill it with the batter.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely, and then let your pooch enjoy it!
To start off strong, my first bake challenge is an OT cake. That is, an O-shaped Green Tea chiffon cake. This green cake is to celebrate the end of OT (occupational therapy) month, and was inspired by another OT. Plus, the aim of my PhD (and hence this 200bakechallenge) is to improve people’s lives through OT research! Listen to this impressive rap song about OT!
I used matcha green tea powder, and the recipe can be found here. I was a little nervous because it was my first time making chiffon cake, but it turned out well 🙂
If you are reading this blog for the first time and wondering what this 200bakechallenge is all about, everything will be explained here!