spice cake

This cake could be frosted, but there might not be enough left to frost after everyone discovers how yummy it is.  So, if you frost it, do so quickly.

There are no prep pictures of this cake because I threw it together on a whim one evening after a bout of tears in the grocery store parking lot.  We’d been decorating for Christmas and we opened up several boxes of things I’d brought from my mom’s house last fall.  It was hard.  Really hard.  Walk-away-to-get-my-car-keys-to-go-to-the-grocery-store-for-some-obscure-item-so-I-can-sit-anonymously-crying-in-the-parking-lot hard.

And if there’s anything to make me feel better in an emotionally charged moment, well, it’s a good cry in a parking lot and baking a cake!

As I said above, if you want to frost it, don’t let anyone near this cake until you’ve done so.  I planned on it (a nice brown butter drizzle would have been excellent), but it was sliced and packed into lunch boxes before I had a chance.  After that, consensus was just leave it be.  It’s perfectly delicious without frosting and frosting is messy in lunch boxes, anyway.  This cake would make a wonderful addition to a holiday brunch buffet, in which case I’d definitely frost it to give it that finishing touch.  I think you’ll love it either way.  Enjoy!

Spice Cake (recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook)

Ingredients:

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c low-fat buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Grease a 13×9 baking pan, or grease and lightly flour a 9″ bundt pan; set aside.  Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high-speed for 30 seconds.  Add sugar and vanilla; beat till well combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Add dry mixture and buttermilk alternately to beaten mixture, folding in after each addition just until combined.  Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in a 350° oven for 35 to 40 minutes for the 13×9 pan, or 45 minutes for the bundt pan, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.  Cool sheet pan completely on wire rack.  If using bundt pan, cool for 10 minutes on wire rack.  Remove cake from pan and cool thoroughly on wire rack.

sliced©zouptonuts

DSC_1539

***Baker’s Notes:  The original recipe suggested baking in either the sheet pan or 2 8 1/2 inch cake pans, but I wanted a bundt cake.  Mine is a 10 1/2″ bundt pan which can hold between 10 and 15 cups of batter.  This recipe makes about 8 cups of batter, so my bundt pan wasn’t anywhere near full to capacity.  Therefore, the finished cake was a little thinner than if I’d used a smaller bundt pan.  My baking time was 45 minutes.  If you use a smaller bundt pan, just make sure to check the cake at about the 45 minute mark.  It may need a little more time.  When the cake begins to pull away from the edges of the pan, you’re just about there.

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not-so-quick and dirty ice cream cake

I usually do all my cooking and baking from scratch.  But my niece was coming into town over Thanksgiving, at which time we’d also be celebrating her 24th birthday.  When I asked her what kind of cake she wanted, she immediately said, “Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake.”  So, the first thing I did was pick up the phone and call TCBY, which no longer makes ice cream cakes, but they’d be happy to slap some mint chip fro-yo in a chocolate graham cracker crust for me.  Yeah.  No thanks.

Baskin Robbins never even picked up the phone.

Sweet Republic offered a gourmet style mint chip ice cream cake with real mint leaves.  Elegant, but a bit too frou-frou.

So I decided to make my own, all while up to my eyeballs in pumpkin pie and stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes and….well, you get the point.  There was simply no time to bake from scratch.  So I caved!  I bought a box of Betty Crocker cake mix and set out to create my own semi-homemade loveliness for a sweet, young woman who deserves better, but knew it was made with every ounce of love I could muster.  And she loved it!!!

This cake was so easy to make I really don’t know why you’d spend a bunch of money on store-bought (outside of Moomer’s in Traverse City, Michigan, which is worth it’s weight in gold).  It was my first attempt at an ice cream cake and I wouldn’t hesitate to use this recipe again. My only suggestion would be to assemble all the layers and freeze them before frosting.  That way you won’t have as much trouble with the ice cream melting while you frost.  It was delicious.  Time consuming, but absolutely delicious (for a box).  Enjoy!!

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist cake mix (I used Double Fudge)
  • Eggs, water, and oil per directions on the box

Filling:

  • 1 half-gallon Dreyer’s Slow Churned Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, slightly softened 

Frosting:

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar (or, to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preparations:

Step 1:  Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottoms only of two 9-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with waxed paper. Make cake batter as directed on box. Spoon evenly into pans.

Step 2:  Bake as directed on box for 9-inch rounds. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans to cooling racks. Remove waxed paper. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Step 3:  Line 9-inch round cake pan with foil. Spoon and spread ice cream evenly in pan. Cover with foil; freeze until completely frozen, about 2 hours.

Step 4:  On serving plate, place 1 cake layer with rounded side down. Remove ice cream from pan; peel off foil. Place on top of cake. Top with remaining cake layer, rounded side up.

Step 5:  In medium bowl, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and food color on high-speed until stiff peaks form. Frost side and top of cake with whipped cream. Freeze about 2 hours or until firm. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.