Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cake by twocarolines.com

Pumpkin Spice Cake by twocarolines.com

Yes the pumpkin spice thing is really popular this time of year and probably getting a bit played, but don’t front like you don’t want to put this in your mouth.  Also, let’s not pretend you don’t have more than one can of pumpkin in your pantry right now dying to come out and make your house smell good.  I made it for my brothers family and they felt strongly that this was a cake you could easily eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, it didn’t last long.  It’s the perfect cake for Fall, all warm and cozy and tucked in nicely with a magical sweet/sour/touch of cinnamony cream cheese sweater.

pumpkin spice set up twocarolines.com

Pumpkin Spice Cake set up by twocarolines.com

Pumpkin Cake:
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if you have it)
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cardamon

pumpkin spice cake prebake twocarolines.com

pumpkin cake before the bake by twocarolines.com

(if you don’t have all of these spices don’t get stressed out, just use a little more or less of something you do have until it tastes good.  I think clove is such a strong flavor that I used less of that and added cardamon which I love in baked goods, you could even use a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice instead of those last 3 if you’d like)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable or coconut
1 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature, yolks and whites seperated

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup (or one stick) butter at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (but keep some extra on hand to make sure you get the right consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of cinnamon

For the Cake:

  1.  Preheat oven to 325 and position a rack in the center.  Butter a 9 inch round cake pan (if yours is 9.5 or 10 that’s okay, just start checking for doneness 10 minutes earlier). Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and butter that too.  If you’re making the frosting same day you might want to take out your butter and cream cheese so they can come up to room temp before it’s time to make frosting.
  2. Sift (if you’re really concerned about lumps, but I didn’t sift the first time and it was just as good) the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a bowl and set aside
  3. In a large bowl mix pumpkin, oil, sugar and salt for a good 3-4 minutes until it’s all combined.  Remember to periodically scrape down the sides of your bowl.
  4. Mix in egg yolks one at a time then add the dry ingredients but stop mixing as soon as the flour mixture is just combined.
  5. Whisk the three egg whites until they are frothy and white.  Fold them into the batter using a rubber spatula until they are no longer visible, but just barely, you want your whites to stay fluffy so your cake is springy.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake on the center rack in the oven.  Begin checking the cake after 40 minutes, could take up to 45 – the center will continue to set as the cake cools in the pan, but still don’t take it out until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let the cake cool at least 20 minutes before inverting it to a wire rack to completely cool.

For the Frosting:

  1. Beat together the butter and the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.  Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until the frosting is smooth with no dry traces of sugar.   You can use a little extra powdered sugar if you like your frosting thicker and sweeter, but I like the sourness of the cream cheese to come out as much as possible.  Add a pinch of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla and beat until incorporated.

I liked it best served with chopped walnuts, but the original recipe (link below) made carmalized pumpkin seeds, which would probably be boss, but I don’t usually have those lying around and nuts can be somewhat polarizing in a family with kids so I usually add them at serving time for grown ups and littles who have refined taste.  Let us know how you like it

Recipe adapted from Food 52 Sarah Jampel’s Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing and Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

 

Two Carolines Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Winter brings out my love of comfort food. I just want to consume classic, easy, basic foods. I have been thinking about Pineapple Upside-Down cake for a while now because of that delicate caramelized layer of brown sugar and butter and fruit. I researched a lot of options and landed on this divine recipe that I slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour. If you are feeling like rewarding your tastebuds with joy, I suggest giving this little number a go.

Ingredients

Topping

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 20-ounce cans pineapple rings in juice, drained

Cake

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish.
  2. To make the topping: Melt the butter, and mix with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.
  3. Cut the Pineapple rings in half and arrange on brown sugar mixture in staggered rows or in any pattern you desire. (I had a few rings leftover that didn’t fit)
  4. To make the cake: Beat the butter and sugar until fairly smooth.
  5. Beat in the egg, then the salt, baking powder, vanilla, and coconut flavor.
  6. Add the flour alternately with the milk, mixing at medium speed and beginning and ending with the flour. Once the last of the flour is added, mix briefly, just until smooth.
  7. Spoon the thick batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges of the pan. 
  8. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. (Mine took closer to 40 or so minutes)
  9. Remove the cake from the oven, wait 3 minutes, then turn the pan over onto a serving plate (You’ll need a big one for this size of dish). Wait 30 seconds, then lift the pan off. If anything sticks in the pan, just lift it out and place it back on the cake.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.

-CK 1.0

 

TwoCarolines_Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.JPG

Coconut Caramel Chocolate Chip Cake

Two Carolines_Coconut Caramel Chocolate Chip Cake.JPG

I’ve come to realize that kitchen experimentation is my favorite part of baking and cooking. I love food science and playing mad scientist, hoping it works out. Actually, if I didn’t love that so much, you might see more recipe posts from me on here, cause if I try something and I’m not enthused, I would rather throw it away than let people try it. Both literally and proverbially. But, you guys… I had a MAJOR success recently! I was trying to think of a dessert to make went through a list of favorites, but wanting to try something new. I saw an old classic recipe for chocolate chip bar cookies that I love and that’s super easy, and I thought that they would be good with coconut and things just kept going from there and before you know it, I was pouring caramel and coconut on top and broiling it. It could have been soup or success and I’m happy to report that it was success! I’m so happy with it that I want y’all to try it and tell me what you think!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 overripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Caramel topping (original recipe from Ree Drummond)

  • 1 packed cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Coconut for topping (as much as desired, I used about a cup)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Prepare 11×9 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Beat butter until soft and creamy. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Mix in banana, then eggs, vanilla and coconut until well combined. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and gently combine with the above mixture.

Slowly mix in chocolate chips until thoroughly incorporated.

Bake on middle rack for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.

While cake is baking, make the caramel mixture by mixing the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter, salt and vanilla in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it starts to come to a rolling boil. At this point take off heat and wait for cake to come out of the oven. Once the cake is out, turn the oven to broil. Poke small holes all over the cake and pour caramel sauce evenly over the top. Top with as much coconut as you desire (should be evenly distributed all over the cake) and return the cake to the hot oven. Watch while the caramel sizzles and the coconut starts to turn golden brown. One coconut is evenly browned, remove cake from oven and cool at least 20 minutes before serving. Best served warm.

-CK 1.0

 

Swedish Sticky Cake – Kladdkaka

Two Carolines Swedish Sticky Cake.JPG

One of the things I miss the most about living in Berlin is my little group of amazing friends. From that group comes one of my favorite people in the world—we’ll call her Girl Swede. She and I used to bake together a lot and she taught me so many of her Swedish traditions and makes the most amazing Swedish treats. This Sticky Cake was the first thing she ever made for me and I was hooked! Girl Swede correctly explained that it was such an easy and quick treat to make and it is commonly enjoyed during Fika (a Swedish coffee break that is accompanied by delectable pastries). So, if you are wanting a super simple but decadent, chocolatey, chewy, kind of sticky treat–make this. I guess you could also invite others to join you, instead of hoarding this all to yourself but, I’ll let you decide…

Swedish Sticky Cake, a.k.a. Kladdkaka

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • eggs
  • 1 1⁄3cups white sugar
  • 1tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Lightly grease an 9-inch cake pan.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside. Stir the eggs into the sugar until smooth. Add the flour mixture, and stir until combined. Pour in the vanilla extract and butter; stir until well combined. Pour into prepared cake pan.
  3. Bake on the lower rack (important!) of the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the center has slightly set. Allow cake to cool for 1 hour in the pie plate. The cake is equally delicious if served warm or cold, find your sweet spot! Also, this can be good garnished with ice cream or whipped cream or powdered sugar dusted on top—I like how this is like a brownie and I’m a purist, so I served it plain.

Original Swedish recipe found here.
This American version was found from here and very slightly adapted.

-CK 1.0

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

 

TwoCarolinesPeanutButterBananaChocolateChipCake

The above title is a list of a few of my favorite things and they taste way better than raindrops on roses. (Confession, I’ve never seen that whole movie—don’t freak out on me!) If you are still reading, congratulations, you are about to try one of the best recipes I’ve ever cobbled together. I’ve tweaked this recipe quite a bit over the years with suggestions from my sisters who have also made it and it’s definitely near the very top of the King Family favorites arsenal. This cake is moist deluxe and so flavorful and just a little bit rich. It may have even been referred to as Hype Cake before. So, get ready and be prepared to get some hype people and devour this cake!

For the cake:
4 very ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup peanut butter (use creamy or crunchy according to texture preference)
2 cups chocolate chips

For the topping:
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Butter a 9×13 square pan. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork or potato masher. Add the eggs and vanilla, and stir well to combine. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon—then add to the banana mixture. Add the peanut butter and when that is combined, add the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and granulated sugar. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the pan, then sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

-CK 1.0

Coconut Crunch Cake with Dark Chocolate Sauce

IMG_7959

IMG_8764It was one of those times when you come across something in a magazine and your mouth starts salivating so much you may or may not have drooled onto the table. This recipe was the catalyst for a whole folder of cut-out “I want to eat that” things. Of course I kept wanting to make it, but then found myself needing to do something faster, or missing one ingredient, and in the end, what I needed to make it happen was another Caroline. When Caroline 1.0 came to visit us in June we started talking about what we wanted to bake together, because the only thing better than one Caroline in the kitchen is two Carolines in a kitchen. Things got delicious fast, and this was our result.

Coconut Crunch Cake with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Cake:

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup cream of coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs

Topping:

2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (8 oz by weight)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 10-inch spring form pan. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl stir cream of coconut and vanilla

Beat butter and coconut oil on medium-high until smooth. Slowly add sugar; beat until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each and scrape down the bowl a few times. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with 2 batches of cream-of-coconut mixture. Beat until just combined.

For the topping – whisk egg whites and salt with a mixer until thick and frothy, about 1 minute. Stir in milk and vanilla. Fold in coconut.

Spread batter in pan. Dollop topping over batter; carefully spread in an even layer. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 1 hour (tent with foil if browning too quickly). You may want to make the chocolate sauce now while your cake is baking so it will have time to cool.

Let cake cool completely; remove from pan. Cut into wedges, drizzle with sauce, and serve with extra sauce on the side.

Chocolate Sauce

1 cup chopped dark chocolate (you can also use chocolate chips or semi-sweet if you want your sauce sweeter)
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
One 5 ounce can evaporated milk

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until melted and thoroughly combined, about 7-8 minutes. Let the mixture cool for at least 20 minutes before using. Keeps for at least a month in the fridge.IMG_5576

Coconut Crunch Cake: Martha Stewart Living 2015, Chocolate Sauce: adapted from Mrs. Rowe’s little book of Southern Pies