Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Honoring the Past: My Maternal Grandparents


Last October, I did a post paying tribute to my paternal grandparents and their favorite recipes.  Today, I thought I would share a few from my Mom's side of the family.

My Grandma Salazar was pretty much 100% Irish.  But she married someone who was 100% Hispanic (or is the current preferred term "Latino" these days?).  Quite a mix.  My Grandma Salazar was an amazing cook.  She loved to try all sorts of recipes...the trickier and fancier, the better.  She paid tribute to her husband's side of the family through her recipes.

I actually already shared a few of her recipes last September.  You can find those here.  If you go to that link, you will find the best ever recipe for Chicken Cacciatore.

Also, when I say "maternal grandparents," I pretty much only mean my Grandma because to my knowledge, my Grandpa never cooked anything.

So, without further adieu, here are a few more of my Grandma Salazar's most wonderful recipes.

Grandma Salazar's Enchiladas



2 cups chopped cooked meat (she traditionally used beef--such as beef stew meat, but pork, chicken, crab, or even shrimp would work in this dish.  To get the most tender meat, the slow cooker is probably the best way to cook it)
1/2 can minced green chilies
1 cup mashed avocado
1 small can chopped olives
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
Garlic powder, to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup salsa


Flour tortillas
Hot oil, for dipping
1 can enchilada sauce


Sliced black olives
Cheese (shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack)
Sour cream
Green olives, if desired
Lettuce, if desired
Diced tomatoes, if desired
Green onions, if desired


Combine meat, chilies, avocado, onion, chopped olives, cheeses, spices, and salsa.

Dip tortillas in hot oil for 1 second.  Dip in enchilada sauce until coated.  Place 1/4-1/2 cup filling on tortilla and roll up.  Place in 9x13" pan.  Brush ends with remaining enchilada sauce

Sprinkle with cheeses and olives.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Top with sour cream and green onions, lettuce, green olives, and diced tomatoes, if desired.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Source: To the best of my knowledge, my Grandma made up this recipe.

Notes: I cheated and used leftover shredded pork that I had made awhile back and frozen.  I also skipped the step where you dip the tortillas in hot oil (I figured I didn't need the extra calories).  As a result, they didn't taste exactly like the enchiladas my Grandma used to make.  But they were still pretty darned tasty!

For the meat, place cubed beef stew meat into a slow cooker with a little water (about 1/2 cup) or beef broth and cook on low heat until tender, about 8 hours.  You may season the meat with a little salt and pepper, if desired.


Grandma Salazar's Homemade Tortillas

Note: Don't double this as it will make the dough too hard to mix.  If a doubled amount is needed, make separate batches at the same time.


3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup lard (not shortening)
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon water


Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Rub in the lard using your fingers.  Rub until it is well blended and it will feel grainy. Add water gradually and mix constantly until dough forms a ball.  Put the dough on a lightly floured board.  Knead until it is elastic and smooth (about 5 minutes).

Dough might be a bit lumpy, but it is okay as long as it is mixed well.

Divide dough into 16 pieces, all the same size. Shape into balls and cover with a damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes.

On floured board, roll out one ball of dough to form a flat round. Roll it from the center out to the edge. Turn the tortilla 1/4 turn each time you roll. Keep rolling until it is thin and about 8" round.

If you get confident, you can pat the tortilla between your hands.

Dust off excess flour and stack between wax paper sheets while you make the remaining tortillas.

Heat a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the pan is ready, a few drops of water will dance off the surface. Cook a tortilla just until brown spots appear on the underside and the tortilla looks cooked and bubbles form (about 30-40 seconds). Press the bubbles down as they form. Flip over the tortilla and cook other side until it looks done.

Cool on wire rack and cover with a dry towel to keep from drying out.

Cook the rest and ENJOY!

Source: I think my Grandma got this recipe from her mother-in-law, but I'm not sure.

Notes: I am also not sure if this recipe was used as the base for the enchiladas above.  But knowing my Grandma's cooking, it probably was.

Grandma Salazar's Pizza

Grandma Salazar's Pizza Dough


1/2 pkg. (1 teaspoon) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 cup warm water
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour (divided in 2 cup increments)
1 teaspoon salt


Soften yeast and set aside (combine yeast and 2 tablespoons water and set aside). Meanwhile, pour 1 cup warm water into a large bowl.  Blend in 2 cups all-purpose flour and salt.

Stir in softened yeast, and add to flour-water mixture, mixing well.

Add about one cup of flour to the yeast-flour mixture and beat until very smooth. Mix in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn mixture onto a lightly flowered surface.  Allow to rest 5-10 minutes. Knead.

Select a deep bowl just large enough to allow the dough to double. Shape dough into a smooth ball and place in greased bowl (drizzled with a little olive oil to coat the bowl). Turn dough to bring greased surface to top. Cover with waxed paper and towel and let stand in warm place (about 80 degrees) until dough is doubled (about 1 1/2-2 hours).

Punch dough down with fist. Fold edge toward center and turn dough over. Divide dough into two equal balls. Grease a second bowl. Place each ball of dough into a greased bowl. Turn greased side up. Cover. Let rise again until almost doubled (about 45 minutes).

Roll each ball of dough into a 14x10-inch rectangle 1/2 inch thick and place each on a prepared baking sheet. Shape edge by pressing dough between thumb and forefinger to make ridge. (For round pizza, roll dough into rounds.)

Note: Lightly flour the baking sheets or pizza pans to prevent the dough from sticking to the pan. You can also sprinkle cornmeal on the baking sheets or pizza pans in place of the flour to achieve the same purpose.

Source: I'm pretty sure that this is from The Culinary Arts Institute's "The Italian Cookbook" published in 1955 where the Chicken Cacciatore recipe came from.

Whew!  Now, it's time for the sauce!

Grandma Salazar's Pizza Sauce


1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3/4 cup chopped onions
3 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1 1/2-2 cups water
3 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper


Cook garlic cloves and onion in olive oil until browned. Slowly stir in tomato paste, water, salt, and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until thickened.

Pizza Toppings:

Homemade sauce
Shredded mozzarella
Diced bell pepper
Diced tomatoes
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
Crushed oregano, to taste
Finely sliced pepperoni
Italian sausage

Pizza Cooking Directions:

Bake pizza at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes (until cheese is melted and crust is nicely browned).

Source: I believe my Grandma made up the recipe for her Pizza Sauce, but my Mom will have to verify that.

Notes: I don't have a picture of this one yet.  We made it for New Year's Eve a few years back and it is a great pizza recipe.  I'll have to tackle it all from scratch sometime soon and post the pictures of the finished product.

Grandma Salazar's Rice Stuffing


2 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
7 1/2 cups chicken bouillon (broth or stock)
2 Tbsp. oil
1 cup chopped celery
Chopped giblets
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 cup dried parsley
2 cups chopped pecans
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. poultry seasoning


Cook rice according to package directions in chicken bouillon/broth/stock. Saute celery, giblets, onions, and parsley in oil.  Mix wirth rice mixture and add pecans, sage, and poultry seasoning. Makes enough to stuff a 20 pound turkey.

Source: I don't know if Grandma made this one up or found this recipe somewhere.

Notes: This isn't your traditional bread stuffing, but my Grandma didn't like to go the traditional route for holiday foods.  Besides, this is really tasty!  I need to add a picture of this one too!

Grandma Salazar's Macaroni Salad


2 Bay leaves
1 Tbsp. salt
2 cups elbow macaroni
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 tsp. grated onion
1/2 cup flaked cooked salmon (fresh or canned)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
Dash of cayenne
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. MSG
3/4 cup whipping cream


Boil water, bay leaves, and 1 Tbsp. salt. Gradually add elbow macaroni. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Rinse with running cold water.

Prepare the celery, onion, and salmon and set aside. Once the macaroni is cooled, mix these ingredients with the macaroni.

Blend together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, cayenne, 1/2 tsp. salt, dry mustard, white pepper, and MSG.

Whip 3/4 cup whipping cream until stiff. Mix the mayonnaise mixture with the cream. Mix together with the macaroni mixture and chill.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Again, as far as I know, my Grandma made this one up.

Notes: These flavors and ingredients seem like such a quirky combination to throw together, but this salad is soooo good.  It's really addicting.  But you have to like salmon to enjoy this salad.  Darn it, this one needs a picture as well!

Crab Dip


2 cups coconut
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp lemon juice (fresh)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups crab (cartilage removed--canned works great)


Mix all ingredients. Chill and serve with crackers or vegetables. Makes 3 cups.

Source: I believe my Grandma found this recipe in the newspaper.  It was in an article about President Kennedy's favorite recipes.

Notes: Again, this sounds like it would be so weird.  But trust me, this dip is FANTASTIC!  One of my holiday guilty pleasures.  I just can't leave this stuff alone.  I think it is particularly tasty on celery sticks.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Feel the Need...the Need for No-Knead!

Nothing hits the spot quite like homemade bread.  And nothing is better than finding an awesome recipe.  Unless it is an awesome recipe that is also easy.

I have been on the hunt for a great crusty bread that wasn't a ridiculous amount of work.

And I found it!  As my sister once said regarding a great recipe find "Cue the Barbra Streisand song...'Ooooh, this is it!  Oooh, I finally found [the one]!" ("the one" recipe instead of "someone"...Barbra Streisand was singing a love song...it wasn't about food).

Also, just like the line from Top Gun that was my inspiration for this blog post title, not only are these no-knead breads, but they are also speedy to throw together too.  So, you can feel the need for speed and the need for no-knead at the same time!

I'm telling you, this is like a crusty loaf of artisan bread that you would buy in a bakery.  And it couldn't be easier.  Plus, when you read the ingredients, you're going to say to yourself "That's it?  It sounds too good to be true."  The recipe author noted that "This crusty bread gets its complex flavors and chewy interior from a long, slow fermentation--just like you'd get from an artisan bakery."  The recipe includes two different versions: white crusty bread and herb crusty bread.  The white bread is so good.  It is really yummy plain or with a little butter spread on it.  The herb bread is also super delicious.  It tastes very similar to the bread that you get at Macaroni Grill.  I made an absolutely fantastic tomato sandwich for lunch one day using the herb bread.  I spread the bread with a little bottled pesto, topped it with tomato slices and a basil leaf.  Holy cow, it was good!

Above: Here is the non-herb version of the bread.  Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of the herb bread.  I guess I'll just have to make it again to get pictures of it...poor me.  :)  By the way, my bread had that little circle formation at the top because some of the dough stuck to the kitchen towel when I transferred it to my Dutch oven.  I saved what I could and just plopped it on top of the ball of dough in my Dutch oven.  I guess I'll just have to make another white loaf of this bread too so that I can get some more pictures...ah shucks. :)

And just for fun, I'm also sharing another no-knead bread recipe.  This one isn't a crusty artisan-style bread.  But it is a quick, easy and great alternative to your traditional kneaded white bread.  It is dense and dinner roll-like.  It is great plain and fantastic with butter and jam too.

So, enjoy some homemade bread sometime soon...because it is soooo easy!

No-Knead Artisan Style Bread


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 2/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, optional
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, optional
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, optional


Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine.  Add the water and herbs, if using, and mix well.  The dough will be very sticky and shaggy-looking.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 18-24 hours.

Generously flour a work surface. The dough will have risen and will be covered in bubbles. Transfer the dough to the work surface and dust it with flour. Fold the dough in half, and then form the dough into a ball by stretching and tucking the edges of the dough underneath the ball.

Liberally flour a kitchen towel (do not use terrycloth). Place the dough ball on the floured towel. Cover with another floured towel. Let the dough rise for about two hours.

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F. (230 degrees C). Place a lidded Dutch oven or deep heavy duty casserole dish (with lid) into the oven to preheat.

Carefully remove the hot baking dish from the oven. Remove the lid and gently turn the dough ball into the ungreased baking dish, seam-side up; shake the dish so the dough is more evenly distributed.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake until the crust is golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Remove the loaf from the baking dish and let it cool on a rack before slicing.

Recipe notes: Store in a paper bag.  Wrap cut end with plastic wrap.  This will keep the crust crispy (if you put the loaf into a plastic zip-top bag or wrap it completely in plastic wrap, the crust will become soft and chewy and will lose it's crusty texture).  This is best eaten the day of or within a day after baking.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by Jewissa.  You can find the recipe here.

Yield: One 1 1/2 pound loaf.

Notes: I made this twice.  Once without herbs and once with herbs.  It is absolutely delicious both ways.  It just depends on what you're in the mood for!

Above: Here is the bread made with herbs in it.

The first step is so easy.  It takes only 5 minutes to throw together.  Then you let it rise for 18-24 hours.

When the recipe says to "generously flour a work surface," they aren't kidding.  You need a LOT of flour on the work surface and I would suggest sprinkling the top of the dough with flour too.  Oh, and flour your hands too.  It is a very wet and sticky dough.  Even after it rises for the second time, it's still wet and sticky.

The first time I made this, I used a kitchen towel (not terrycloth) and it stuck to the dough a little bit after rising.  The second time I made this, I used waxed paper and it worked a lot better for me.  Just less of a mess.

I cooked it in a Dutch oven (like the kind you use when you go camping...not the fancy, ceramic $50-$100 Dutch ovens).

After making this, I did some more online research and found a number of similar (in most cases, almost exact) recipes.  Everyone had great success with it.  Many people tried different variations.  Such as adding cheese, chopped olives, etc.

Apparently, this recipe is verrrry popular!  And for good reason!  Some of these recipes feature variations (such as different add-ins or baking it on a baking stone instead of in a heavy pot).  Some of them also vary the amount of water or yeast that is used.  But I think this is a no-fail recipe and can be tweaked and experimented with quite successfully!

I can't wait to try it again and again...and try different variations myself!

Here's what appears to be the version that started it all from the NY Times.  I tried it, so I will include the recipe below:

Above: Here is the finished product of the recipe by Jim Lahey from New York Times.

No-Knead Bread, recipe by Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery


3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed, optional


In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt.  Add 1 5/8 cup water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably 18 (and as long as 24), at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot; seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is okay. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15-30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1 1/2 pound loaf.

Source: New York Times (the original link can be found above...right before this recipe).

Notes: I really liked this recipe. It is almost identical to the first one I tried, but it calls for instant (or rapid-rise) yeast instead of active dry yeast, a little more water and less salt.  I liked the taste of the bread with less salt.

But I like that I have both versions of the recipe on hand depending on what kind of yeast I have in my fridge.

This was delicious!

Here are some more versions for you to check out and glean ideas from:

Here's a version I found on the Martha Stewart website. This one is apparently supposed to be the same one as the NY Times recipe above...it is attributed to Jim Lahey as well.  However, there are some differences--perhaps missprints--it says to bake the bread at 500 degrees instead of 450 degrees F.  I did so and my bread crust got burned on the bottom and I had to cut it off.  It also used less water and somehow (perhaps from getting burned?) the bread's flavor wasn't quite as good.  But all of the reviews on the site were positive, so maybe I was the only one who botched it.  But the original New York Times recipe and the recipe from Allrecipes.com have been easy and no-fail for me so far, so I'm sticking with them.

Here it is from Steamykitchen.

From Taste and Tell.

From Simply So Good.

From Yum Sugar.

From From Away.

From Cooking for Seven.

From Wee-Eats.

From The Italian Dish.

From Artisan Bread in Five.

From A Garden for the House.

From Please Note Paper.

From Dishing the Divine.

From Budget Bytes.

Heck, just check out the Pinterest page that comes up when you search for "no-knead bread!"

This many people can't be wrong!  Trust me, this is the easiest, tastiest, best crusty artisan-style bread you will ever eat or make!

No-Knead Bread


3 packages dry yeast (about 6 3/4 teaspoons)
3 3/4 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
10 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons stick margarine, melted (I used butter)
1 tablespoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking spray


Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups  and level with a knife.

Add flour and next 4 ingredients to yeast mixture, stirring until well-blended. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Spoon dough evenly into 3 (9x5 inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Let rise 20 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped and are nicely browned.

Yield: 3 loaves, 16 servings per loaf (serving size 1 [1/2 inch] slice).

Nutrition information: 111 calories, 1.9 g fat, 2.9 g protein, 20.1 g carb, 0.8 g fiber, 9 mg chol, 1.2 mg iron, 166 mg sodium, 6 mg calc.

Source: The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook, ISBN: 0-8487-1945-X.

Notes: This was just a good, easy, hit-the-spot kind of recipe.  Plus, since it makes three loaves, it makes a great gift too!  Give a loaf with a jar of homemade or nice store-bought jam and voila!  The perfect gift!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Whole She Bang!

It's not very often that we give you the whole menu at once.  But here was Sunday's dinner for over 20 people from beginning to end; some tried and true, some exciting and new.

Cajun Chicken Sandwiches


6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz. each)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. celery salt
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. pepper
6 kaiser rolls, split and toasted
12 slices tomato
6 lettuce leaves
Spreadable cream cheese


Flatten chicken to 1/2 in thickness.  Brush both sides with oil.  Combine the seasonings; rub over both sides of chicken.  Arrange in a 13 x 9 in baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill.  Grill covered over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.  Serve on rolls with tomato, lettuce, and cream cheese.

Cook's note:  I believe the source of this was a Taste of Home magazine.  I cooked the chicken on the grill using Reynolds Non-stick foil (such a great product!!!) until done and then just seared it for a second on the grill.  I think that chicken cooked directly on the grill can dry out quickly.  The creamed cheese cools the Cajun spices a bit.  All in all, this is a really fresh tasty sandwich.

Awesome Ham Pasta Salad


8 oz. ziti pasta
1 lb cooked ham, cubed
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 large green bell pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
15 small, sweet pickles, chopped, juice reserved
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sour cream
2 1/2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1 T. white vinegar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente, drain.

In a large bowl mix together the drained pasta, ham, peppers, onion, pickles and tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, beef bouillon granules, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and 1/2 c. of the reserved pickle juice.  Fold into the salad and toss gently until even coated.  Chill overnight to allow the flavors to blend.  (Recipe recommends serve near room temperature, but I didn't do that due to the mayonnaise in the dressing.)

Cook's Note:  Source is Allrecipes.com, posted by Karena.  Well, Jonathan is allergic to eggs, yet he devours everything in sight, often before we can stop him, we tried using Vegan mayonnaise.  It tasted really good and wasn't that much more price wise.  I loved that you could make this salad the night before, very handy for pot luck!

Nina's Cucumber Salad


1/2 c. reduced fat sour cream
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. chopped, fresh dill
3 cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion
Coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste


Mix sour cream, lemon juice and dill together in a bowl.  Add cucumbers and onions; stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cook's note: Allrecipes.com posted by Brandilynn7

Cool Lavender Lemonade


7 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. frozen lemon juice from concentrate, thawed
4 mint sprigs
3 lavender sprigs (2 T. dried lavender flowers may be substituted)
Garnishes:  Lemon slices, lavender and mint sprigs


Bring 7 c. water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Stir in 1 c. sugar, stirring constantly 1-2 minutes or until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat.  Stir in lemon juice concentrate, mint sprigs, and lavender sprigs.  Let stand for at least 2 hours.

Pour lemonade mixture through a wire mesh strainer into a large pitcher, discarding herbs.  Serve over ice.  Garnish, if desired.

Cook's note:  Source myrecipes.com (Southern Living March 2006).  I was very excited to use some of the fresh herbs from my garden.  The mint in my garden is taking over the back yard.  But this was quite yummy.

Slow Cooker White Chocolate Raspberry and Cream Cake


1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake
1 box (4 serving size) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 whole eggs
1 egg, separated
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. frozen raspberries
1 box (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4  c. sugar


Spray 4 1/2 qt. slower cooker with baking spray with flour.

In large bowel, dump cake mix, removing and setting aside 1/2 c. of the dry mix.  Add pudding mix, melted butter, 2 whole eggs, 1 egg yold and water to cake mix in large bowl.  Stir until well mixed.

In small bowl, sprinkle 1/4 c. of the reserved cake mix over frozen raspberries.  Stir to coat.  Fold raspberries into cake mix mixture.  Pour batter into slow cooker.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining 1/4 c. cake mix, the sugar, and 1 egg white.  Use knife to fold cream cheese mixture into batter in slower cooker, leaving ribbons of cream cheese running through batter.

Cover, cook on High heat setting 2 to 3 hours or until cake is set in center.  Turn off slow cooker; remove cover.  Cool completely before serving.

Garnish with barely sweetened, fresh whipped cream and fresh raspberries for a stunning presentation.

Try using a chocolate cake mix instead of white for a fun twist on this delicious recipes.

Cook's note:  Source Betty Crocker, from blogger Brooke McLay from Cheeky Kitchen.

I used fresh raspberries because I could.  It worked great.  Also, I doubled it because we have so many people.  I turned it to low part way through and had to watch the cooking time.  We served it with vanilla bean ice cream and it was yummy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bundt Cakes: Part 4

We're almost done!  Here are some additional bundt cakes that we made for my brother's wedding reception.  Yum, yum, yum!

Oh, and I haven't mentioned this before, but these bundt cakes all make between 12 and 16 servings (depending on how large you cut each slice).

Chocolate-Mint Swirl Cake



2 packages (3 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 drops green food color


1 box devil's food cake mix
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs

Chocolate Mint Glaze:

2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 or 2 drops green food color
1 tablespoon corn syrup
3-4 teaspoons water


Heat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 12-cup fluted tube cake pan, or spray with baking spray with flour.  In small bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on high speed until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 egg, 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract, and 3 drops food coloring until smooth; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cake mix, 1/3 cup flour, 1 cup water, the butter, and 2 eggs on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes.  Pour into pan.  Spoon cream cheese filling over batter.

Bake 44-52 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Cool in pan 15 minutes.  Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack or heatproof plate; remove pan.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In 1-quart saucepan, heat chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted; set aside.  For glaze, mix powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, 1-2 drops food color, the corn syrup, and enough of the 3-4 teaspoons water to make a thick glaze that can be easily drizzled.  Drizzle over cake.  Immediately spoon melted chocolate over glaze in 1/2-inch-wide ring.  Working quickly, pull toothpick through chocolate to make swirls.  Refrigerate until serving time.  Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes: Sprinkling with coarsely chopped chocolate mint candies makes this already incredible cake even more decadent!  The shortening keeps the melted chocolate chips smooth.  Butter and margarine contain more water than shortening, so they can't be substituted.

Source: Betty Crocker website, found here.

Notes: This one was fantastic...I think most of our family got to try it at the reception.  Besides that, it's a super pretty cake.  It would also be great for holidays...Christmas because of the green and the mint flavoring or St. Patrick's Day because of the green.

Brickle Bundt Cake


1 1/3 cups (8-oz pkgs) Heath Bits 'O Brickle Toffee Bits, divided
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 container (8 oz.) dairy sour cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
Powdered sugar glaze (recipe below)


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 12-cup fluted tube pan or a 10-inch tube pan.  Set aside 1/4 cup toffee bits for topping.  Combine remaining toffee bits, 1/4 cup sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon; set aside.

Beat remaining 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter in large bowl until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, alternately with sour Cream, beating until blended.  Beat 3 minutes.  Spoon one-third of the batter into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with half of toffee mixture.  Spoon half of remaining batter into pan.  Top with remaining toffee mixture.  Spoon remaining batter into pan. Pour melted butter over batter.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.  Cool completely.

Prepare glaze; drizzle over cake.  Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup toffee bits over top.  12-14 servings.

Powdered Sugar Glaze


1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.  Add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary, until of drizzling consistency.  Makes about 1/2 cup glaze.

Source: Hershey's website.  Recipe originally found here.

Peach Vanilla-Bean Bundt Cake with Peach Soaking Syrup



3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups diced fresh peaches


1/3 cup fresh peach puree, strained
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice


Place rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and lightly flour inside of 10-inch bundt pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Using either a stand mixer (paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, bean the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Gradually add sugar and beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating for 30-40 seconds after each addition.  Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.  Beat in vanilla bean.  At low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream.

Scoop half of the batter into pan and spread with spatula.  Sprinkle with peaches.  Scoop remaining half of batter on top of peaches.  Smooth with spatula.

Bake cake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then invert it onto another rack.  Place the cake, on the rack, over a baking sheet.

While cake is baking, make syrup.  Combine peach puree, sugar, and orange juice in a small non-reactive saucepan and cook over medium-heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 3-4 minutes. Remove pan from heat.  Using a pastry brush, dab syrup generously all over surface of the warm cake, allowing it to soak into the cake before reapplying.  Let the cake cool completely.

Source: I found this on Pinterest.  It comes from a blog called "Week of Menus" and you can find the original post here.  Sadly, we didn't get a picture of this one and it makes for one pretty cake.  So make sure to check out her blog because her pictures are fantastic.

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake


Cream Cheese Filling:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apple Cake Batter:

1 cup finely chopped pecans, optional
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1 1/2 lb)

Praline Frosting:

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar


Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth.  Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.

Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.  Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in apples and pecans.

spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan.  Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan.  Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife.  Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).

Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 tbsp milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3-5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly.  Pour immediately over cooled cake.

Source: Southern Living, September 2011, found here.

Notes: This cake was fantastic. The cream cheese swirl was wonderful, the cake was flavorful, and the frosting was super yummy. What more could you want?

Maple Bundt Cake


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1/2 cup packaged dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 10-inch Bundt pan.  Dust with flour, and tap out excess.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sat.

Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 3-4 minutes.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in 1/2 cup maple syrup and vanilla.  Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, beating until just combined after each addition. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto rack to cool completely.

Just before serving, beat cream with a mixer or a whisk until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and beat until soft peaks form. Spoon whipped cream over cake, and drizzle with maple syrup.

Serve immediately.

Source: Martha Stewart website, found here.

Notes: We opted for a sweeter maple frosting instead of the maple whipped cream. We found a maple frosting recipe through Pinterest. It was a recipe for maple-frosted donuts. The maple frosting recipe is below.

Maple Icing


1/3 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons mapleine (found by the flavor extracts and seasonings)


In a small saucepan, mix butter, brown sugar, and milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Add the mapleine and powdered sugar and blend well with a hand mixer. Add a little more powdered sugar if needed.

Source: As mentioned above, we found this recipe through Pinterest. It is from a blog called "Di's Favorite Recipes" and you can find her post as well as the recipe for her maple frosted donuts here.

Above: This one was a popular cake and by the time I got around to snapping a picture of it, it was half gone!

Banana-Cinnamon Bundt Cake



1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup water
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Cinnamon Glaze:

1/2 cup Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting
2-3 teaspoons milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. (325 degrees F for dark or nonstick pan).  Grease and lightly flour a 12-cup fluted tube cake pan, or spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat cake mix, water, bananas, butter, cinnamon, and eggs with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Stir in walnuts, if using.  Pour into pan.

Bake for 47-57 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack or heatproof serving plate; remove pan.  Cool completely, about 2 hours.  In small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until thin enough to drizzle.  Drizzle over cake.  Store loosely covered.

Recipe notes: Firm, bright yellow bananas can take a week or more to ripen enough for baking.  You know they're ready when they have lots of dark brown spots and are soft to the touch.  Have too many perfectly ripe bananas?  Toss them in the freezer, unpeeled.  When you're ready for them, just thaw, cut off the top of the peel, then squeeze the banana straight into your mixing bowl.  Dust the top of this sweetly glazed cake with ground cinnamon for a pretty and flavorful touch.

Source: Betty Crocker website, found here.

Sour Cream Pound Cake


2 sticks butter, at room temperature (do not substitute)
6 eggs, room temperature
8oz sour cream, room temperature
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a tube pan or a bundt pan (the tube pan is preferable, but the bundt pan works well too). Use the second rack from the bottom in your oven.

In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold the baking soda into the sour cream. Add half of the flour and half of the sour cream into the mixer. Beat well. Add in the remaining flour and sour cream and the vanilla and almond extract. Mix well. Pour into pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center tests done. Cool in pan 10 minutes, invert onto rack to cool completely.

Source: We found this recipe through Pinterest. It came from a blog called "The Cutting Edge of Ordinary" and you can find the original post here. The author of this blog got the recipe from a fundraising cookbook called The Pimental Family Cookbook.

Notes: This pound cake was perfect. A solid, wonderful recipe. A definite keeper.

Bundt Cakes: Part 3

I am going to quickly share my meager cake contributions to my brother's wedding reception.

I made a total of six cakes (nothing compared to my mom's 27 cakes). And yes, we ended up with extra cakes after the wedding reception...so we all got to sample many of them. Poor, poor us. :)

I made a Neapolitan cake, banana cake, lemon cake, French vanilla pink swirl cake, strawberry pink swirl cake, and a chocolate chip cake.

I didn't have time to try out any new cakes, so I made some tried and true favorites (many of which I had already blogged). But for your convenience, I am posting them again here.

Also, (and as noted in each recipe) because the wedding day was so crazy, I didn't have time to make glaze for each cake from scratch. So, I bought canned frosting, microwaved it and stirred it until it was a smooth, glaze-like consistency and drizzled about 1/3 of a can on top of each of my cakes. It worked great and still tasted fantastic! And it saved me a ton of time and energy.

Neapolitan Cake


1 box white cake mix
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional (vanilla may be used as a substitute)
10 drops red food color
1/4 cup chocolate-flavored syrup
1/2 cup chocolate frosting


Heat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease and lightly flour a 12-cup fluted tube cake pan, or spray with baking spray that contains flour.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, and egg whites with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour about 1 2/3 cups batter into pan.

Into small bowl, pour 1 1/3 cups batter; stir in almond or vanilla extract and food color.  Carefully pour pink batter over white batter in pan.  Stir chocolate syrup into remaining batter.  Carefully pour chocolate batter over pink batter.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted 1 1/2 inches from side of cake comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack or heatproof serving plate; remove pan.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In microwavable bowl, microwave frosting uncovered on High about 15 seconds or until frosting can be stirred smooth and is thin enough to drizzle.  Spread over top of cake, allowing some to drizzle down side.  Store loosely covered.

Source: Betty Crocker website, found here.

Notes: My only problem was that my strawberry extract bottle lid, unbeknownst to me, got damaged during our move to our new house and the rest of my strawberry extract evaporated!  I, of course, didn't discover this until I was actually making this cake.  So, I improvised.  I had some strawberry syrup (like the kind you use to make pink milk or drizzle over ice cream).  I put about 1/4 cup of that into my cake batter that was supposed to be pink.  Since it turned the batter pink, I omitted the food coloring.  This batter became slightly more runny than the other batter, so my swirl layers didn't turn out quite as crisp and pretty as they would have if I had followed the recipe exactly.  But that was an operator error, not a recipe error.  It still tasted fantastic though.

Banana Nut Bread using Yellow Cake Mix


1 (18.5 oz) box yellow cake mix

3 eggs
1/3 cup oil or applesauce (your choice--it tastes great both ways)
3-5 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix mashed bananas with eggs, oil or applesauce, cake mix, and nuts. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans or a bundt pan* and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then move to a wire rack and cool completely.

You can creat a glaze with water or milk and powdered sugar which can be poured over the cake/bread when it has cooled completely. Do not pour the glaze over a warm cake or it will soak in.

Recipe Note: For a Bundt pan, bake for approzimately 45 minutes.

Source: I had a roommate who made this all the time. I asked her for the recipe and she simply told me that she found it online. I did a Google search and found a number of recipes. Betty Crocker has one on their site. You can find it here.

Notes: I chose this banana bread recipe from the myriads I found online because this one was the simplest and most straight forward. It is awesome. I usually make it in a bundt pan because it looks so nice with the glaze on it. You can also get creative with the nuts. Don't feel like you can only use pecans or walnuts. This bread is awesome with sliced almonds and chopped macadamia nuts as well.  And don't feel like the nuts are necessary at all.  I have to skip them now because of my son's tree nut allergy and the cake/bread is still great.

Rather than making a glaze, in the interest of time, I used canned white frosting (about 1/3 of a can) and microwaved it.  I stirred it and heated it until it was smooth and of a glaze consistency.  Then I drizzled it on my cake.

However, if you make a glaze, start with about 2 cups of powdered sugar and about 3 tablespoons of milk. Add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, if needed. Adjust milk and powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.

Originally posted on our blog here.

Lemon Yogurt Cake/Bread


3 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
3/4 c. canola oil
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. lemon yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
Optional: 1 tbsp grated lemon peel


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Sift all dry ingredients and set aside.

Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl.

Add sugar and oil, cream well.

Mix in exact amount of yogurt.

Add the rest of the ingredients.

Pour into two well-greased loaf pans (or one bundt pan).

Glaze for Lemon Bread


3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice (lemon juice can also be used)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond flavoring, optional
1/2 tsp butter flavoring


Mix all ingredients together. Pour over semi-cooled lemon bread.

Source: This recipe came from my good friend, April Farmer. It is a recipe that they use at the bed and breakfast that she works at. She shared it as part of a dinner she brought to me after I had my second son. It was so good we had to restrain ourselves from eating the whole loaf that very night!

Notes: It seems that I very rarely have orange juice on hand, so the glaze I make is a little different. I use 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 1 tsp vanilla flavoring (since my son is allergic to tree nuts). It is a little more tart than the other glaze is, but I like tart! I think it works well. After seeing how pretty the lime zest looks on the glaze for the lime bread, I would definitely add lemon zest to this glaze as well.

I usually make this in loaf pans, but it is such a great, dense, cake-like bread that I thought it would work perfectly cooked in a bundt pan (as the recipe states as a possibility).  Rather than doing the lemon bread glaze, I used a container of white frosting (I only used about 1/3 of the container), microwaved it until it was a smooth glaze-like consistency and drizzled that over the top of the cake.

I made this a few weeks later as a lemon-lime cake for a wedding rehearsal dinner for my step-brother.  I used lemon yogurt, lime juice in place of the lemon juice, and added lemon and lime zest to the batter.  I also sprinkled lemon and lime zest on top of the glaze drizzled on top of the cake.  It turned out great.  You can even add lemon and lime juice to your glaze to add an extra lemon-lime citrus kick.

I have yet to try the following idea, but I want to experiment with other yogurt flavors as well because this recipe is so versatile.  You could successfully do so many flavor combinations!

Rather than making a glaze, in the interest of time, I used canned white frosting (about 1/3 of a can) and microwaved it.  I stirred it and heated it until it was smooth and of a glaze consistency.  Then I drizzled it on my cake.

Originally posted on our blog here.

French Vanilla Pink Swirl Cake



1 box French Vanilla cake mix
Water, vegetable oil, and egg whites called for on cake mix box
1 teaspoon red food color, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

White Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk or water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, if desired
1 teaspoon red food color, divided


Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 for dark or nonstick pan). Generously grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube cake pan. Make cake batter as directed on box, adding almond extract (if desired). Divide the batter into thirds. Pour the first third of batter into pan (white batter). Pour the other two portions of batter into two small bowls. In the first small bowl, stir in enough food color to achieve your desired shade of deep pink. In the second small bowl, stir in enough food color to achieve your desired shade of light pink. Carefully pour dark pink batter over white batter in pan. Carefully pour remaining light pink batter over the dark pink batter.

Bake and cool cake as directed on box.

In small bowl, mix icing ingredients. If necessary, stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and spreadable. Divide into thirds. Using food color, dye icing to desired shades so that you have one third white icing, one third dark pink icing, and one third light pink icing. Spread over cake (starting with dark pink layer first, followed by the light pink layer, and finally, the white layer). Sprinkle crushed or whole candy on top, if desired. Store loosely covered.

Makes 12 servings
Nutrition information: 240 calories, 8 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Notes: As mentioned above, this recipe is so versatile, you could make it to suit any holiday.  Shades of green (or just green and white) for St. Patrick's Day.  Pastels for Easter.  You name it!  Adapt it to suit your needs, whims, or desires!

Rather than making a glaze, in the interest of time, I used canned white frosting (about 1/3 of a can) and microwaved it.  I stirred it and heated it until it was smooth and of a glaze consistency.  Then I drizzled it on my cake.

The Strawberry Pink Swirl Cake that I made is exactly the same as the one above.  Except that I didn't have a white layer of cake at all.  I did light pink, medium pink, and dark pink.  And since I made this the same day as the Neapolitan cake and discovered that I was out of strawberry extract, I used my strawberry syrup for this cake as well.  In this case, it worked better than the Neapolitan cake and the layers turned out quite pretty.

Stacy's Chocolate Chip Cake


Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
Flour for dusting the pan
1 bar (4 ounces) German chocolate
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil, such as canola, corn, safflower, soybean, or sunflower
4 large eggs
1 package (6 ounces; 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Lightly mist a 10-inch tube pan (or three 8-inch loaf pans) with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour.  Shake out the excess flour.  Set the pan aside.

Break the German chocolate bar into four pieces.  Grate the bar using a food processor or a hand grater until the bar is finely grated.  (If you are using a food processor, insert the steel blade and drop the chocolate pieces into the processor one at a time.) Set the grated chocolate aside.

Place the cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.  Stop the machine, fold in the grated chocolate, and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  The batter should look well blended, and the chocolate chips should be evenly distributed.  Pour the batter into the prepared tube pan (or divide it equally among the loaf pans), smoothing it out with the rubber spatula.  Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 58-60 minutes for a tube pan (50-52 minutes for loaf pans).  Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes for a tube pan (5 minutes for loaf pans).  Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a rack, then invert it again onto another rack so that it is right side up.  Allow the cake to cool completely, 30 minutes more, then serve. (Cool loaves out of the pans, on their sides.)

Source: The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook, ISBN: 0-7611-1790-3.

Notes: This is one of my old favorites.  When I went grocery shopping for the ingredients, I did it from memory and apparently my memory wasn't so good (how good is your memory when you are shopping with two toddler boys?).  I forgot to get the German chocolate bar.  So, I just skipped that ingredient.  The cake still tasted delicious and looked beautiful.

I am totally going to try making this in loaf form.  This would make a fantastic, economical, and easy Christmas gift for friends or neighbors!