I’m proud to introduce today’s reviewer, my friend Steffi! Not only is she one of “those people” who often concoct their own fancy recipes (you know: “those people” we like to befriend), she is your go-to source if you’re on the hunt for gluten free eats. Check out her recipe blog, Steffi’s Kitchen! (Fun fact: Steffi speaks German. I know…totally demotes my bragging rights for speaking Spanglish.)
For Father’s Day I needed something that would make my husband’s taste buds dance. My man is a chocolate lover whose sweet tooth is rarely satiated. I’m gluten intolerant and don’t really have much of a sweet tooth, so I bake only for holidays and birthdays. When I found this recipe on Pinterest from Foodess I instantly thought it would be right up Rhett’s alley.
The cake is extremely easy to make. As Jennifer mentions – it is very quick. From the time I pulled ingredients from the pantry to the time I put the cakes in the oven to bake only 12 minutes went by. The batter smells fantastic and it looks beautiful. The one thing I wasn’t too certain of is the coffee. Rhett is not a coffee drinker and doesn’t really care for the taste at all.
The cakes baked in exactly the amount of time the recipe listed. This shocked me. I find that baking times are always off when I bake. Sure enough, cake tester was inserted at 35 minutes and came out clean and clear!
I did two 9” rounds. I iced with buttercream and filled with choc mousse. Rhett said it was indeed the moistest cake he’d ever had. There is literally no trace of coffee flavor in the cake at all. I highly recommend this recipe for cake and/or chocolate lovers.
I’m going to keep this short…. This cake is so good. I’m not even one of those crazy-for-coconut people yet it might just be my new favorite.
I love her close-up photograph of the cream of coconut can, because my store sold it in a squeeze bottle instead and I was able to easily see how many ounces to use. My store also only sells regular, shredded coconut. In the end the taste is the same–only the look is different. No loss.
But back to my first point: this cake is so good. Do yourself a favor and check out Salad in a Jar‘s recipe right here.
Between lemons ripe-for-the-picking and lemon blossoms galore, it is lemon recipe time around here. The photo I pinned came from Sugar Baby Aprons and was so pretty. I knew this was the week to make it. Check out the recipe for Pink Lemonade Pound Cake right here.
Okay….did you do it? Did you see her photo? It’s like my cake photo above is looking in the mirror. Not! (I just said, “not.” Excuse me while I go turn on Debbie Gibson and hang up another poster of River Phoenix.)
Are you horrified at the comparison yet? It is truly laughable. Given the nature of her post (“I’m Dreamin of a Pink Christmas” with a string of pretty pink photos) as well as the genre of her blog (a store that sells retro-inspired aprons and sleepwear “where sex appeal never sleeps”), I don’t believe she took that photo after making the recipe. This is the internet. It happens. (I could also be wrong.) When you read the recipe you’ll see that the lemonade glaze isn’t exactly a glaze, like the one in her photo. It is actually poured into the bottom of the warm cake before it cools. (It makes it moist.) So the recipe and photo aren’t truly meant to match. (You can stop laughing at how horrible my cake looks in comparison now.)
Yellow cake batter + red food coloring = orange cake. (In case you were wondering.)
Verdict? Pass. I’m not eating her photo, after all. It was a solid recipe and very easy to make. My lemonade-loving kids especially liked it. The cake pretty much tastes just like lemonade: sweet and tart. (I added that glaze to make it pretty. It was just 1 cup of powdered sugar mixed with some fresh lemon juice and milk to a consistency I could pour.) So, what do you think?
I actually had to take my own photo of this recipe. Me! With my point-and-shoot! And my lack of perfectionism! But alas, the pin was quite boring: a fork and knife with a napkin. No cake. No frosting. No plates with puppies. While the pin photo was boring, the All Recipes Orange Buttercream Frosting was not. Check it out here.
As you can see I decided to pair it with white cake. (Nothing fancy; just the boxed mix.) I am a lucky gal to have two orange trees in the backyard. This frosting was a better use of their creation than dropping on the ground for fruit flies. The recipe calls for two whole tablespoons of zest. Let me tell you something: that’s a lot. I just zested the entire orange and called it a day. (I use a microplane because they’re awesome.) I had full intentions of adding the food coloring to make it orange, but the zest gave it such a pretty, butter-yellow tint. Why mess with that? (And really, it was the zest and not the butter that made it butter yellow. I know because it was orange until all the powdered sugar went in.)
Verdict? Pass! My man, my mom and I all loved it. It was sweet without being over-the-top sweet. The zest made it pretty and fresh. The preschooler thought it was “too orangey” and the boy said it was “too orange-ish but not too orange-ish to eat.” But kids eat things like Pixy Stix and call them delicious. I take that to mean Orange Buttercream Frosting is for the grown-ups. (More for me!)
Don’t you hate when you have to choose between cake batter and a milkshake? Oh wait…that’s never happened. And thanks to A Beautiful Mess you will never be put in that nightmare of a situation. I made the Funfetti version, but she includes recipes for both Devil’s Food and Pineapple Upside-Down cake batter shakes, too. Check them out here. (Don’t you just love how she decorated the rims of her glasses? She gives you the tip on how to do it.)
The kids were really gearing up for this one. Who am I kidding? I was gearing up for it. I even put out the blender and box of Funfetti long before dinner was even finished cooking. But I wonder if adorable Elsie of A Beautiful Mess owns a giant blender or one of those fancy milkshake makers you see in diners. As soon as I dumped the box in the blender I thought, “Oh no…what have I done?” By the time the oil and water went in, I knew there was no way the full amount of milk would make it if our milkshakes were to actually contain ice cream. I halved the milk and barely fit the lid on. Eventually I just took a wooden spoon and mashed up the ice cream against the blades and sides of the blender. (Warning: Don’t do that with the blender on, please. Also, don’t make this milkshake in the bath tub or operate heavy machinery when taking certain prescription medications.) In the end it seemed like it would’ve been too thin if I had added all the milk, anyway. Good thing there was no room.
Verdict? Pass. The boy’s first words after sipping: “All milkshakes should be made like this!” Big girl and I loved it, too. (Little girl lost her special treat privilege. It happens.) My critique is that about halfway through I thought, “I’m drinking a glass of cake batter.” At the same moment, the kids’ tummies must have had similar thoughts because we all left them unfinished. My tip: make them for a big group of friends and put them in itty-bitty glasses.
One of my favorite desserts is Jello Poke Cake. (If you haven’t experienced that boatload of mushy goodness, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW. Check out the recipe here, then go to the store and buy the ingredients and make it. You can come back and read this review when your newly made recipe is setting in the fridge. You’re welcome.) Puddin’ Poke Cake, as you may have guessed by now, is the same idea only uses pudding instead of Jello. Genius. I attribute that genius to The Country Cook, where she includes the recipe here.
The way she spins it, she bakes a chocolate cake and uses Oreo-flavored pudding. I didn’t even know such a flavor existed. (It really does.) I didn’t bother crushing Oreo cookies on top because then I wouldn’t have any Oreo cookies to eat the normal way. (As in, not crushed on top of a dessert.)
Here’s the downside: the pudding didn’t drip down into the holes to saturate the cake. It was just a chocolate cake with Oreo pudding for icing. (The things I complain about! “…just a chocolate cake with Oreo pudding for icing.” *Snort.*) Next time I will make deep craters all over the puppy instead of cute little holes. (And just so we’re clear, I didn’t abuse a puppy.) I’ll also whip up that pudding and pour it over the cake pronto, instead of waiting the two minutes A Country Cook suggests.
Verdict? Pass. You betcha’. You think I’m going to let a little issue like a lack of pudding marbleization throw this chocolate-Oreo-mushiness under the bus? You’ve got another think coming.
But truly, what is your opinion? Have you tried A Country Cook‘s Pudding Poke Cake? Let us know on the poll below!