Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting*

images (5) Cream cheese frostings are simple to make and go with so many things. Just change the one ingredient and it can be slathered pretty much on anything you want a frosting for.

This one features peanut butter.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 c sugar of your choice (I used Stevia)
  • 1/2 c peanut butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Use a whisk and vigorously mix the ingredients until smooth and of one consistency.
  2. Refrigerate if you want to stiffen it up.

SERVINGS: Makes enough for a 8 x 10 cake

NOTES: You can change the peanut butter to lemon curd, or preserves of any type. Bananas would work. If using fruit, I’d chop it first and then drain really well first, maybe using just a couple of tbsps of juices to flavor the frosting a bit more.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Coconut Chocolate Ganache*

This would not be traditionally thought of as a “healthy” alternative, but plenty of folks do prefer using coconut products rather than dairy.

A regular ganache is made with chocolate and cream. This is made with chocolate and coconut milk.

Believe me, it’s utterly amazingly succulently terrific and the cream version doesn’t have a single step on this.

For those trying to cut calories, use the highest cocoa percentage you can tolerate. Seventy-two percent works for me, but sixty percent is also good.

Some recipes call for whipping the finally product but I found that unnecessary.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 oz or so of chocolate, whatever cocoa strength you desire from bittersweet to milk.
  • 1 can of coconut milk, chilled overnight in the fridge (this is essential!)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the chocolate over simmering water in a bowl or microwave it until it is melted.
  2. Open the can of coconut milk and with a spoon remove the solids (don’t worry if some of the liquid gets in too, it will be fine). About 1/2 of the can will be solid.
  3. Add to the melted chocolate and stir until the solids are also melted. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Cool to the appropriate consistency you wish, warm to pour over something, or refrigerate until its very thick for frosting. Warm slightly on the counter if it’s harder than you wish from refrigerating.

SERVES: enough for a 9 x 13 cake or 2 layers

HINTS: you could also use unsweetened chocolate and add sugar substitutes to really take down the calories, but I’m not sure about graininess problems, or about what combinations work best for taste.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Nana Cake with Peanut Butter Gobs of Frosting

banana cakeOkay, I gotta confess.

The cake here is ordinary. I don’t mean bad ordinary. It’s perfectly serviceable and good banana cake. Quick to assemble and all that and tastes just fine.

But the frosting is to die for.

Well, not literally since if you were dead you wouldn’t get to enjoy it.

So do think of using this on almost any kind of cake.

The flavor is subtle enough to that it will go with anything pretty much.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Banana Cake:
2 cups all-purpose  flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3  – 4 ripe

For the Peanut Butter Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the Greek yogurt and vanilla extract. Mix in the mashed bananas.

    4. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until flour disappears. Spread cake batter evenly into the prepared pan.

    5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely.

    6. While the cake is cooling, make the peanut butter frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter on high until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. Beat on high until powdered sugar is incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Beat until frosting is smooth and desired consistency.
    7. Frost the banana cake with peanut butter frosting.

SERVES: 10

NOTES: Don’t be overly concerned with the amount of bananas. At least 2 large and probably no more than 5 small. The frosting is really sufficient to cover a 9 x 14 pan very generously.

SOURCE: Two Peas and their Pod

OVEN: 350°

OVEN TIME: 20-30 min.

Pourable Chocolate Frosting

chocfrostThis is an excellent frosting and bonus, it’s pourable. It cooks up in a jiffy and then you just pour it on a warm or cooled cake. It obviously is best on a cake that is baked in a pan and will be served from it.

It will stiffen up enough to not run after it has cooled but it’s still very soft, so I wouldn’t try it on a layer cake.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 stick Butter, Salted (8 Tablespoons)
  • 4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder (again, I Recommend Using A Dark Cocoa Powder)
  • 8 Tablespoons Milk
  • 4 cups Confectioners Sugar (Powdered Sugar)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine everything but the powdered sugar in a saucepan and heat until the cocoa has melted out and everything is smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time and whisk until smooth.
  3. Cool very slightly then pour over the cake, using a knife where needed to spread.

SERVES: About 1 1/2 cups

NOTES: A nice addition might be some chopped nuts on top. Put on before the frosting has totally cooled and set.

SOURCE: Tasty Kitchen

Basic Caramel Frosting

caramelfrostThis is a basic recipe that you can find almost anywhere.

It is annoying only insofar as you need to use a thermometer in order to get the recipe right.

Other than that, it’s simple and really is delightfully caramelly good.

So drag out the thermometer and make it.

It will work well with plenty of different cakes, even chocolate if you have some adventure in your heart.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 c cream
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Bring everything but the vanilla to boil in a saucepan (add a pinch of salt), and boil for 12-15 minutes until the temperature reaches 210-212°. Take off heat and add the vanilla Cool for a bit but not until it starts to harden up too much.
  2. Pour over the cake and spread around evenly.

SERVES: 1 c

SOURCE: Lottie + Doof

Mandarin Orange Pineapple Cake

pig-pickin-cakeFor reasons that are completely baffling to me, this is also called a Pig Pickin’ Cake. For such an elegant looker and taster, I wonder why.

You can make this all Midwesterny if you wish. That’s my satirical way of saying you can make it with boxed cake mix and cool whip, but this recipe gives you a better cake made mostly from regular ingredients except for the pudding mix that you use.

The frosting is what uses the instant pudding mix, and frankly I think it’s a good recipe to use in other things. Skip the pineapple and insert some cocoa powder and sugar and I think it would work fine.

So get going and make this up. It’s really easy and so much better than the boxed variety.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 11 1/2 ounces (about 2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring pans
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 11 1/2 ounces (about 1 2/3 cups) sugar
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1 inch pieces, plus more for greasing pans
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 yolks, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 tablespoons zest from one orange
  •  
  • For the Whipped Cream Frosting
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained of all its liquid

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Set oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three cake pans and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

    In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Reduce mixer speed to medium and add eggs and yolks, one at a time, mixing well between each addition until incorporated and scraping down sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Once eggs have been added, mix in vanilla. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk a third at a time on low speed, mixing until just incorporated. Add mandarin oranges and zest. Beat on high speed until oranges are crushed and well incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. Divide batter equally among 3 cake pans and bake until golden brown and springy to the touch and cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, 25-27 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool cakes in the pan for 15 minutes then carefully release from the pan onto cooling racks to cool completely. Do not assemble cake until it has completely cooled.

  3. For the Frosting: Pour cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. Turn mixer to high and begin beating. Add sugar while mixer is running. Once soft peaks form, turn mixer to low and add vanilla pudding mix. Mix pudding for 1-2 minutes then stop mixer, scrape down the sides and gently stir to incorporate any remaining pudding powder.

  4. Fold in pineapple and frost cake adding a thin layer of frosting between the layers to leave enough to cover the top and sides of the cake completely. Store covered in the refrigerator.

    SERVES: 12

    SOURCE: Serious Eats

Devil’s Food Cake with Espresso Ganache

cakeDid I ever mention that I love chocolate?

There is hardly no bad chocolate except that cheap Easter bunny crap that tastes more like candles than food. Except for that, chocolate is great in all its permutations.

But I like rich chocolate.

I like dark chocolate

And I like coffee.

So what’s not to like here?

This turned out nicely all around. So do make it.

And then send me a piece okay?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (16 oz), room temperature
  • 3/4 cups demerara sugar (have no idea what that is, I used my regular sugar)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Ganache

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan with butter then coat with a dusting of flour. Shake out excess flour and set aside.
  2. Chop the unsweetened chocolate into small bits and place in a small bowl with the cocoa. Pour boiling water over chocolate. Mix well to combine and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift the flours, baking soda, salt, and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add demerara sugar, honey, and cream and mix for another 2-3 minutes. Scrape sides of mixing bowl. At medium-high speed, add eggs one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds in between each addition. Scrape sides of bowl again, then add Greek yogurt and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  5. With the mixer on low-speed, add 1/2 of the flour, then add half of the chocolate mixture, and mix to combine. Repeat ending with the flour mixture. Be careful not to overbeat. Remove the bowl from the mixer, scrape sides and mix well by hand until incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into the bundt pan, evening out the top of the batter. Bake on the middle rack for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven, rest in pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to let cool completely.
  7. For the ganache: In a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate together, stirring every minute or so until melted. Remove from heat and stir in brewed coffee, and vanilla. Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl and whisk well. Let cool to room temperature.
  8. Once cake is cooled, place on a cake platter and drizzle with ganache.

SERVES: 14 slices

SOURCE: The Haas Machine

NOTES: You can if you wish do this in a baking dish, like a 9 x 13. I would check it for doneness at 30-35 minutes. Be sure to really grease and flour the pan if you use the bundt pan or it will stick.