Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

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blueberry lemon bundt cake by twocarolines.com

I’m in a wordpress meet-up that’s super fun and very well attended and I needed to bring a dessert that would be amazingly delicious, could feed a crowd, and wouldn’t take me all day.  This cake was all of that and more!  It’s so easy, no strange ingredients, and it’s a high volume cake that not only can feed a big room of word-pressers but it will make those you serve it to think you’re a cake genius!

Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries and zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

lemon glaze:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 (more if you like it thicker, which I do) cups powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.

  2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of sour cream.

  3. In a bowl, toss blueberries and zest with remaining teaspoon flour; gently fold into batter. Coat a 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray – for bundts I like to use the cooking spray that has flour for baking. Spread batter in prepared pan.

  4. Bake cake on bottom rack of oven until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes – mine was done in 60 but be sure to check for doneness, not bake times. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack; cool completely, top side up.

  5. For the glaze – mix the lemon juice and zest then add powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.  Pour over the top of cooled cake.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Cakes Book Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

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Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie by twocarolines.com

You are not mistaken, we’ve posted a peanut butter pie before.  Caroline King 1.0 made a gorgeous one a few months back and her chocolate peanut butter pie is amazing, but we can’t limit ourselves to just one! I mean, this is chocolate peanut butter we are talking about, we insist on making ALL OF THE THINGS that contain this magical combination.  I had heard rumor of this pie, and once I looked it up I was sure it would be good, made better only by a thin layer of chocolate ganache on bottom.  IT WAS AMAZING!  My husband declared it his favorite new dessert, he wouldn’t even let me share it!  It really was a triumph, so delicious, just smooth, rich, creamy, perfect peanut butter chocolate flavor.  And I added a touch of coarse salt in the crust which totally makes your mouth melt with yumminess.  I can’t wait for you guys to make it, you’re going to freak out for sure.

For the crust:
25 whole oreos (you could also use chocolate wafers, or chocolate graham crackers)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted

For thin ganache layer: (double if you want a thick one, but I thought this was the perfect amount)
3/4 cups chocolate chips or other chopped chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream

For the filling:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 package (8 ounces)  softened cream cheese
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 package (8 ounce) cool whip, thawed
chocolate curls for decoration

  1. For the crust – Crush the Oreos until they’re fine crumbs, I used a food processor which I think works the best.  Add the coarse salt. Pour melted butter over the top and stir with a fork to combine. Press into pie pan creating as even a layer as possible and bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes, or until set.
  2. For the ganache.  Heat up the cream in a heatproof container (I just use a handy pyrex measuring cup) for about 1 minute then add chocolate and heat on defrost or in 20 second increments until you can whisk it smooth.  Spread out in the bottom of your crust.
  3. For the filling – Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add in the thawed Cool Whip and beat mixture until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
  4. Pour filling into crust, evening out the top with a knife or spatula.  If you would like sprinkle the top with chocolate curls.  Chill for at least an hour before serving. Pie keeps well covered for a good 5 days, but don’t count on it lasting that long!

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie 2009

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Oreo Buttercream frosting

My youngest recently turned 1 year old, and like his sisters before him, we celebrate this milestone with the introduction to cake!  We’ve never really gone the smash cake route, but I know they are all the rage so we decided to see what all the fun was about.  Of course it would be a tragedy to make a super delicious cake and have it all get smashed into nothingness before any of rest of us got to have any, so we ended up making multiple cakes just to ensure our own consumption requirement.  This recipe will make two 6″ layer cakes, or one 9 inch layer cake.  You could also use this to make about 28 cupcakes, but if you do that, double the frosting so you’ll have enough to pile it on.  I used some left over cream cheese frosting to pipe my little #1.  The recipe for that frosting can be found in a number of places on the blog with a search.  The oreo buttercream was 100% my daughters idea and it was really delicious and easy to use because nobody cares if you pull up cake crumbs while frosting if your cake is full of cookie crumbs to began with.  We all loved it and I’m sure you will too!


Chocolate Cake:
1 box pillsbury devils food cake mix
1 3.4 oz box jello instant chocolate pudding (not the fat/sugar free)
1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs lightly beaten (room temp works best)
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 heaping cup chocolate chips

Oreo Buttercream: 
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon milk
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
about 12 oreos, divided

 

  1.  For the cake.  Preheat oven to 350 and spray then cut parchment circles for four 6″ cake pans, or use two, wash then repeat.  You can also bake this cake in two 9 inch pans or 28-30 cupcakes.  Whichever method you use, please check for doneness instead of bake times as bake times will vary quite a bit depending on what pan you use.
  2. Lightly mix together the cake mix and pudding mix then in a separate bowl mix your eggs water, oil (or butter) and vanilla well until all the eggs are incorporated.  Add the wet mixture into the cake mix making sure to mix it thoroughly for a few minutes, and then add the sour cream blending until no white streaks remain.  Last add the chocolate chips and just fold them in with a spatula so they are evenly distributed.  The batter is quite thick, but it bakes up really nice so don’t get scared.  Spread batter into your pans and even out the tops.
  3. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean (bake times vary for 9″ pans, bundts, cupcakes etc. so check doneness with a toothpick before taking out).  Once done let cool in pans for 5 minutes then turn cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely while you prepare your frosting.
  4. For the frosting: In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter until fluffy and creamy. Mix in vanilla, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and milk. In your food processor, finely crush 8 oreos. Stir oreo crumbs into frosting.  If you want your frosting thicker, add more powdered sugar, if it’s too thick, add milk just a teaspoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
  5. Once your cakes have cooled cut off the domes on top for a nice looking cake and start with one layer, cut side down on a plate or a cake board.  Put a generous amount of frosting on top and spread an even layer to the edges then put your next layer on top of that cut side down and use as much frosting as you need to cover your entire cake top and sides.  I like to use an off-set frosting spatula, but you could use a knife too.  To make the swirl I just used my spatula starting from the outside and turned my cake in a circle moving towards the middle.  To make the #1 I used some leftover cream cheese frosting, or you could use the vanilla buttercream from our quintessential cupcake recipe, just half it and save some for your next cake.  I piped it on with a star tip which is very easy and turns out looking clean and nice.  I also used some little crystal sprinkles around the edge just for fun.

Cake recipe adapted from “A Gathering of Friends” cookbook. Oreo Buttercream adapted from Creme de la Crumb blog.

Tres Leches Cake

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tres leches cake by twocarolines.com

Prior to this I had never even had Tres Leches Cake and didn’t think I particularly needed to, but I was randomly watching Pioneer woman one day while folding laundry and she whipped up one of these and it looked super amazing and unique.  I followed her recipe except for adding some cinnamon to the whip cream frosting because it’s an insanely delicious secret I learned from 1.0’s amazing Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Pie.  Also I used strawberries instead of maraschino cherries because those are kind of yuck but strawberries are summer fruit central and tasted delicious!  I fed this cake to a crowd and they went nutso for it – I always enjoy seeing my bakes disappear with a quickness.  I’m sure you’ll have a similar result because this cake was such a pleasure to eat.

Cake:
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs – separated
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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tres leches slice by twocarolines.com

For the tres leches mixture:
1/4 cup heavy cream
one 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
one 12 ounce can evaporated milk

For Icing:
1 pint heavy cream, for whipping
3 tablespoons sugar
1 (scant) teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
strawberries to decorate

  1.  For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch cake pan.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, set aside.  Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup of the sugar on high speed until the yolks are pale yellow. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.
  3. Beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Fold the egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.
  4. Bake until the cake is done, 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan, and then turn out (upside down) onto a rimmed platter.
  5. For the tres leches: Combine the heavy cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk in a small pitcher. Pierce the surface of the cake with a fork several times. Drizzle the milk mixture over the top and allow the cake to sit and absorb the milk mixture. Don’t worry about totally soaking the cake! That’s what you want.
  6. For the icing: Whip the cream with the sugar and cinnamon if using. Spread it evenly over the top and sides of the soaked cake and decorate with strawberries.  You can use as many or as few as you choose.  I was more minimal for pictures, then I gave the rest of the strawberries to my 3 year old and she plastered it how she saw fit, which tasted great!

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    Millies decoration for tres leches cake by twocarolines

  7. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Several hours is fine. The cooler the cake, the better!

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman tres leches cake on foodnetwork.com.

Baked Peaches with Crumble Topping

 

 

Two Carolines Baked Peaches with Crumble Topping.jpg

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and again—summer nights in Salt Lake City are magical. Especially when you are lucky enough to be with great friends in the prettiest backyard around. Considering that peaches are probably what unicorns would exclusively feed on—due to their otherworldly goodness—I thought that consuming any peach dessert in a dreamy backyard on a perfect summer night would be the best scenario possible, and duh, I was totally right! I looked up pies, galettes, crips, crumbles and the like. Something quick, easy but very peachy was the goal. I found a bunch of recipes for baked peaches and made up my own recipe based on a few others that I found. I highly recommend that you find yourself some peaches and a backyard crew and make some magic happen!

Ingredients
3 medium ripe but firm peaches, pitted and halved

Topping
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 coconut
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup melted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Place the peaches in a buttered 8×8 inch (or similar) baking pan.
  3. Mix together all the topping ingredients until well incorporated.
  4. Distribute the crumble topping evenly among the peach halves. If there is any extra, sprinkle evenly on the pan.
  5. Bake the peaches until they’re soft and the crumb topping is crispy and a light golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how ripe the peaches are.
  6. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and enjoy the taste of summer.

-CK 1.0

S’mores Brownies

Summertime and S’mores are MFEO – 💞and this dessert is such a perfect summertime treat, plus it’s easy and you don’t need a kitchen torch like you do for the s’mores cake I posted a few weeks ago.  If you want to make it super easy on yourself you could even use a brownie mix for your middle layer, but that seems silly to me when our recipe for Kristin’s homemade Brownies takes maybe 2 minutes more and is infinitely more delicious.  Either way, these are a guaranteed crowd pleaser for any summer soiree!

Graham Cracker crust:



18 full graham cracker sheets
1/3 c sugar
3/4 c melted butter

Brownie Layer:
1 cup butter (melted)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (NOT soda)
2 teaspoons vanilla
optional – 3/4 cup chocolate chips, chopped walnuts or other additions

Meringue Layer:
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  1. To make the graham cracker crust, preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Butter a 9×13 inch pan and line with parchment paper.  Put graham crackers into a blender or food processor and mix until they are sandy crumbs then add sugar and butter mixing until combined.  Add mixture to the prepared pan and smooth with a dry measuring cup to create an even layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Clean mixer bowl for re-use and keep oven set to 350˚ to bake the brownie layer.
  2.  For the Brownie layer – mix sugars and butter until very well combined then add eggs one at a time until totally incorporated.  Next add salt then pile the cocoa, flour and baking powder all on top of your mixture and whisk until smooth.  Last add your vanilla and any additions (if using) until uniform, and spread on top of your graham cracker crust.
  3. Bake for anywhere from 25-30 minutes depending on how done you like your brownies.  If you enjoy a gooeyer texture opt for a shorter bake time, but go all the way if you like your brownies more done.
  4. To Make the Meringue Topping:  Set up a clean double boiler – I always use the metal bowl of my kitchenaid mixer on a pot of boiling water and it works perfect. When the water is simmering, add egg whites and sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes – you want them warm to the touch and smooth so you can tell the sugar is dissolved.   Put bowl back into your mixer, or if not using just transfer to a cool enough to touch bowl then, add the vanilla extract and cream of tartar. Whip (with the whisk attachment) on high for about 5-7 minutes, or until the mix starts to become stiff and glossy. You’ll know the mixture is ready when it will hold a stiff peak without deflating. Add topping to prepared brownies and smooth with the back of a wooden spoon, creating some peaks for decoration.
  5. To Brown Meringue:  If using a broiler, set oven rack about 8 inches below the flame and preheat for about 5 minutes. Add brownies and keep a close eye on them, adjusting the pan as needed so that they brown evenly – I was at my Mom’s and didn’t have a torch so I used this method which worked fine but wasn’t quite as pretty as the torch method.  If you are using a kitchen torch, torch topping by moving the flame in circular motions so not to stay in one spot for too long (it will burn) over the meringue until the surface is evenly browned.

Recipe adapted from feed feed Ultimate Smores Brownie

Sour Cream Cheesecake

I’m such a cheesecake kid, but I get upset when cheesecake is done wrong which I think is WAY too common.  When cheesecake is just sweet mush with no tartness at all, or way too dry, or lacking flavor in general, it gives me the sads.  This amazing Sour Cream Cheesecake is none of those things, it has an incredible texture, soooooo creamy, I don’t know how it’s possible that it can be so creamy dreamy and still be totally set, but it is!  Plus the flavor is perfection – sour notes from the cream cheese and sour cream but balanced perfectly with the sweetness from the sugar and heavy cream.  And I’ve never met a recipe that bakes at only 250, so I was curious, but I put my trust in Alton Brown who is obviously a kitchen genius and the result was brilliant. I can’t wait to make it again, it really wasn’t a difficult recipe and people went crazy for it, I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

For the Crust:
33 graham cracker squares, crumbled
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus additional, for brushing the pan
1 tablespoon sugar

For the Cheesecake:
20 ounces cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup heavy cream

  1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Brush some of the melted butter around a 9 by 3-inch cake pan. Adhere parchment to the bottom and the sides.  You can also use a springform pan that you line on the outside with foil so your water bath doesn’t leak into your cake.
  2. In a small bowl, combine crumbled graham crackers, the remaining melted butter, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom of the parchment-lined pan pressing into an even layer on bottom and up on the sides as far as you can, mine reached a good 1/2 inch or so. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool.
  3. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat sour cream for 10 seconds. Add the cream cheese and sugar and mix on low for 30 seconds and then turn up to medium. Scrape the bowl.
  4. In a separate container, combine vanilla, eggs, yolks, and heavy cream. With the mixer on medium, slowly pour the liquid mixture in. When half of it is incorporated, stop and scrape. Continue adding the mixture until the rest of the ingredients are incorporated. Once completely combined, pour into the cooled crust.
  5. Lower oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Place cheesecake into a preheated water bath, in the oven for 1 hour.  Turn the oven off and open the door for one minute. Close the door for one more hour. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours to completely cool before serving.
  6. When ready to serve, place the entire cake pan with foil around bottom if in a spring form into a hot water bath for about 15 seconds. Unmold onto a cake round or serving dish.
  7. To slice, place your knife into a hot water bath and wipe dry each time you make a pass through the cake.  Serve with fresh fruit – my favorite was raspberries, but the crowd preferred strawberries.Recipe adapted from Alton Brown Sour Cream Cheesecake