Posts Tagged With: Cake

“Cracked Earth” Chocolate Cake

Branden’s birthday was recently, so we had cake AGAIN.  So if you don’t like Carrot Cake (although, this one might make you change your mind), I have something else for you…

Last year, I told a story about how I once made a flourless chocolate cake FOUR years ago for Branden’s birthday but then lost the recipe for said cake during some moves.  Each year, I thought I found the recipe again, but it was never quite right.  Well my friends, I’m happy to say that four years and three flourless chocolate cakes later, I finally found the original recipe and its just as good as I remembered.  This cake is incredibly dense but its so chocolately and moist – it goes excellent with some fresh berries and homemade whipped cream.

Okay that’s all great and stuff, but I have to be honest…this cake is a complete pain in the rear to make – its so finicky and if you don’t follow the directions completely, it won’t turn out.  Forgot to temper the eggs?  You’re toast.  Didn’t achieve stiff peaks in your egg whites and struggle to fold them in to the chocolate?  Toast again.  Seriously, this thing is a pain and I whine each time I make it about how much I hate it and then I take a bite and then I’m swept into euphoria and amnesia.  This cake is heaven and worth ever bit of anger that I put into it!


Recipe from Tyler Florence

  • 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (might I suggest using Ghiradelli’s 60% cocoa chips?)
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 9 large eggs, seperated
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar + 1 TBS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9″ springform pan.

Put the chocolate and butter into the top of a double boiler and heat over (but not touching) about 1 inch of simmering water until melted.  Meanwhile, which the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl until light yellow in color.  Whisk in a little of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs – this will keep the eggs from scrambling from the heat of the chocolate; then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture.

Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form and fold into the chocolate mixture.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is set, the top starts to crack and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 20-25 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes, then unmold.

Serve at room temperature with fresh whipped cream and berries.


Categories: Desserts, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Say it with Carrot Cake!

FoodIsTherapy is a year old today!  ONE YEAR!  I can’t believe it!  The last year has been an interesting one and I thank you so much for following me along on my journey as a foodie.

So how about we celebrate?  Birthdays call for cake and boy oh boy do I have a cake recipe for you!  My father in law LOVES carrot cake, so I’ve been on the hunt for a really good recipe…and now my search is over.  Seriously.  This is the BEST carrot cake I’ve ever had!  YUM!!!

Enjoy!  And thank you again for your support over the last year – I hope you stick around for the next year (and maybe invite your friends, too)!

The BEST Carrot Cake (believe it or not, this is a Southern Living recipe – that I ever so slightly tweaked!)

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. grated carrot
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) flaked coconut
  • 1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

Stir together first 4 ingredients.

Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Buttermilk Glaze

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 TBS light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 c. sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Categories: American, Desserts, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Fastest Chocolate Cake. Ever.

I admitted the other day that I am a Pinterest addict.  I’m not sure that I’m ready to find a 10-step program though – I think I can manage on my own.  On that note, I’m not afraid to drag others down with me, so if you haven’t discovered the crack joy that is Pinterest, message me your email and I’ll send you an invitation.  You know you’re curious…especially when I mention that I found this crazy concoction on there.  Yup, Pinterest is a great way to find recipes…baaaaaad news, folks (not for the blog per say, but my productivity is definitely taking a hit).

Okay, enough about my problem.  I really wanted to bake for some odd reason last weekend.  Maybe it was the fact that Branden was glued to the TV watching college football and I had lost interest.  Unfortunately, I was kind of halted in my tracks for two reasons: 1. I still can’t stand for very long and 2. I apparently had a bit of a stomach bug that was making me a bit queezy.  Major bummer.  BUT, I still felt the need to be in the kitchen if only for a few minutes.  Enter Nutella Mug Cake.  Seriously.

This is the easiest cake you’ll ever make.  You literally throw all the ingredients into a mug, give it a stir, pop it in the microwave for a few minutes and TA-DA!  CAKE!  I made this over a commercial break.  Yes, a commercial break.  And clean up was a cinch: a mug, a fork, and a single measuring spoon.  Incredible.

I followed the recipe to a T except for one minor detail.  I don’t buy self-rising flour.  Ever.  I don’t like my flour having a mind of its own.  So I MacGyvered my own tiny bit of self-rising flour.  If you don’t like/have self-rising flour, use the 4 TBS of all-purpose flour plus a pinch of salt and pinch of baking powder.  Seriously, its the same thing but cheaper.  Want a more exact recipe for self-rising flour should you find yourself in this predicament again?  Well here you go…

1 c. Self-Rising Flour = 1 c. unsifted All-Purpose Flour + 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder + 1/2 tsp. salt


UPDATE, UPDATE!!  So Branden thought this thing needed more chocolate soooooo the other night I threw in a big ‘ole handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips and a couple drops of vanilla extract.  Bingo!  Chocolatey deliciousness right here, folks!  I think this is going to be the way we make it from here on out!

Categories: Desserts, Recipes, Snacks | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Mmmmm, Chocolate and Zucchini!

You may be wondering if I’m getting sick of zucchini yet and the answer is no.  Maybe by the end of the week after I’ve made zucchini fritters, savory zucchini muffins, zucchini bread, and tropical zucchini bread in addition to the zucchini lasagna and zucchini fingers I’ve already made this week (I just have to find the time)…

Today’s recipe is a sweet dish instead of my other savory ones from this week.  This is absolutely delicious and can pass as coffee cake for breakfast…I made it in a bundt pan, so why not?  I can confirm that it goes great with a cup of coffee at about 7:30 a.m. – I’m not sure my co-workers were as enthusiastic though…most shied away from it (avoiding the fact that it was sitting on my desk altogether with).  Too funny!

This is a seriously moist cake, thanks a bunch to the zucchini and quite frankly, you can’t even really taste it!  I would equate this to an even better zucchini bread – when you add chocolate, things always seem better.



  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted these…I’m sometimes funny about nuts in desserts despite really liking nuts on their own)


  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 8 teaspoons fat-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation Preheat oven to 350°. To prepare cake, coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust pan with 1 tablespoon flour.

Place sugars, cream cheese, and vegetable oil in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Lightly spoon 2 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour and next 5 ingredients (2 1/2 cups flour through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in zucchini, 2/3 cup chocolate chips, and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare glaze, combine 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons cocoa in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine milk, 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, coffee, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a 1-cup glass measure. Microwave at medium 45 seconds or until chocolate melts, stirring after 20 seconds. Combine powdered sugar mixture with chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over cake.

Yield: 16 slices at about 285 cal/each.  Not too shabby for yummy cake!

Courtesy of Cooking Light, June 2002

Categories: American, Desserts, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

The Elusive Flourless Chocolate Cake

So funny story…

Three years ago, I decided I would make Branden a flourless chocolate cake for his birthday.  It was delicious so the next year, I decided to make it again.  One problem: where did I put the recipe?  I thought I found it, but as I began baking the cake, I realized the recipe was actually different.  This cake was also good and I made sure to remember where I got the recipe from…or so I thought.  I kid you not, I actually found a THIRD recipe for flourless chocolate cake in my cookbook collection that I thought was the one from the prior year (or even the first year), but it was indeed different which became obvious when I started combining the ingredients.

So the track record remains that every year I make flourless chocolate cake for Branden’s birthday and every year its a slightly different variation.  Don’t ask me for the other versions because I still have no idea where those recipes are but I do know where this once came from!  This year’s is brought to us by Williams-Sonoma’s Baking cookbook.

Just like the other cakes I’ve made, this one was moist, dense, and packed plenty of chocolate flavor.  Unlike other recipes I’ve tried in the past, this one uses almonds that are ground into a flour.  I’m normally against nuts in my chocolate not because I don’t like nuts (I happen to really love all varieties of nuts), but I’m a purest when it comes to chocolate– don’t mess with a good thing by tainting it with nuts.  That being said, the almond “flour” in this cake helped the cake maintain some moisture and gave it a little extra boost of flavor.  Be careful though, it is not obvious that there are nuts in this cake (visual or taste), so make sure that those you serve it to are aware of the nuts in case they have food allergies!

  • 1/2 c. walnuts or whole, unblanched almonds
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 5 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 8 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
  • Whipped Cream (see my recipe below)
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 300°F.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper cut to fit.  In a food processor or blender, process together the nuts and granulated sugar until powdery.
  2. Place the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler placed over (not touching) barely simmering water.  Heat, stirring often, until the butter and chocolate melt.  Remove from over the water.
  3. In a bowl, using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  4. Whisk the egg whites into the chocolate.  Using a rubber spatula, stir one-fourth of the whites into the chocolate mixture.  Gently fold in the ground nut mixture.  Add the remaining egg whites, folding gently and thoroughly.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, using the spatula to scrape all of it into the pan.
  5. Bake the cake until it puffs up a little and jiggles only very slightly when the pan is gently shaken, 30-35 minutes.  If the center looks soupy, bake for another 5 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then release and lift off the pan side.  Using an icing spatula, gently slide the cake from the bottom of the pan onto a cardboard cake circle or serving plate.  Be careful, as the cake is very fragile when warm.  Place on a rack and let cool completely.  Cover the cake with a clean, slightly damp kitchen towel so that the outside does not dry out as it cools.
  6. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the top of the cooled cake with confectioners’ sugar.  Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.  Store in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

Lauren’s Whipped Cream:  Word of warning – I usually do this by taste, so don’t be afraid to change it to meet your liking

In a mixer, whip together two cups of heavy whipping cream, 1/8 cup of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of vanilla until soft peaks form.  Serve immediately.  Looking to liven it up a bit?  Add a tablespoon of Grand Marnier instead of vanilla!

Categories: Desserts, Recipes | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Lemon-Raspberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Confession: I really don’t like to bake.  I much prefer cooking because its not a science and I can make things my own.  Baking is too technical and there’s not a lot of wiggle room unless you’ve got time on your hands to make several attempts.  That being said, I unfortunately stumbled across this recipe when I was asked to make a birthday cake a few months back and now I find myself looking for excuses to bake it again.  And I don’t even usually care for cake…

Another confession: this cake is a pain in the butt and not for the faint at heart.  The cake part isn’t too bad, but the frosting…oh, the frosting.  The first time I made this frosting recipe, it resulted in me having an exhausted meltdown (ironically, the frosting melted down, too) in my kitchen at 9:00 on a Thursday evening and making Branden go out and get me more butter for a second attempt because I could NOT wait until the next day!  If you know me, you know that I can get a bit crazy when I’m exhausted.

A couple notes about this recipe. 

  1. I’m not usually a huge fan of cake- not that I don’t like it, there’s just other desserts I’d rather have than cake (like chocolate), however I can’t resist this cake.  This cake is INCREDIBLE!  The wheat flour makes the cake a little less fluffy than a normal cake, but gives it great flavor that couldn’t be accomplished with just all-purpose flour.  The cake is extremely moist, especially with the addition of raspberry jam filing.
  2. The frosting is a pain to make (and will take quite a bit of your time), but its worth it if you do it right.  Follow the instructions to the “T” and you won’t be disappointed!
  3. I’ve never used the meringue powder called for in the frosting recipe– I’ve always used the egg whites with success.
  4. I cannot, CANNOT stress enough the importance of letting the egg/sugar mixture for the frosting reach room temperature for before adding the butter.  The first time I made this recipe, I ended up starting over because the butter was too cold and the sugar mixture was too warm.  Let’s just say it was a disaster (and I giant waste of eggs and butter).

Lemon-Raspberry Cake

Makes three 8″ or two 9″ rounds or one 9×13″ sheet cake. Serves 16

  • 2 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 c sugar (either superfine or granulated)
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1/4 c seedless raspberry jam
  • Fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour the pans or line the bottom with parchment paper
  2. Whisk together flours, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Cream together butter, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides occasionally. It should take at least 5 mins and the butter turns from yellow to white.
  3. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest.
  4. Mix half the flour mixture at a slow speed, then add the lemon juice and milk. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until completely combined. Scrape sides again and mix until completely combined, being careful not to over-beat.
  5. Pour batter evenly into the pans. Level the top of the batter with a spatula or back of a spoon. Bake the cakes the amount appropriate for the size: 8″ rounds = 20-22 mins; 9″ rounds = 27-30 mins; 9×13″ sheet cake = 35-38 mins. The cake is one when it begins to pull back from the edges of the pan and is an even golden brown color on the top. The center won’t spring back when done, but neither will it leave a dent.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack 20 mins before removing the layers from the pans. Chill the cakes before assembling to make them easier to handle.
  7. To assemble, once the cakes are chilled, spread the tops of the cake layers with raspberry jam. Return the layers to the freezer for about 15-20 mins before filling with frosting and stacking layers. This allows the jam to set and the layers won’t slide apart while you’re frosting the cake.
  8. Use the lemon buttercream frosting recipe below to spread a thin layer of frosting over the raspberry jam, stack the layers and frost the outside of the cake. Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to use the cake, then take it out of the refrigerator a couple of hours in advance and serve at room temperature, if possible.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 c egg whites (whites from 3-4 large eggs) or 1/4 c meringue powder dissolved in 1/2 c cool water
  • 1/4 c light corn syrup
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/2 t cream of tartar (if using egg whites)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c vegetable shortening
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice (divided into 2 Tbsp each)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  1. Place corn syrup, sugar, water and 2 Tbsp lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Stir until combined and the sugar is dissolved. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes with the pan covered to wash off any sugar crystals on the sides. Uncover and cook to the soft ball stage (240 F)
  2. Place egg whites (or reconstituted meringue powder) in the bowl of an upright mixer (such as a kitchen aid). Beat on a low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar (if using egg whites) and salt. Gradually increase the speed and continue beating until soft peaks form.
  3. As soon as the sugar reaches soft ball stage, remove from heat. Turn off the mixture. Very carefully, pour about 1/4 of the hot syrup down the inside of the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on high speed and beat well. Add the syrup in two more additions, stopping the mixer every time so the hot syrup doesn’t splash and burn you, working as quickly as possible. If the sugar is slightly overcooked and hardens a bit, return it to the heat for a moment to remelt it.
  4. Continue to beat the meringue until it cools to room temperature. This takes about 20 mins of continuous beating. If you need to hurry it along, place the bowl in an ice bath for a few moments while mixing by hand then return it to the machine. If you add the butter before the meringue is cool, the butter will melt and the frosting will collapse.
  5. When meringue is cool, if you have two mixers, mix the butter and shortening together before adding it. Otherwise, beat in the soft butter a bit at a time. If the frosting starts to separate, continue beating without adding any more butter until it looks fluffy again. Beat in the shortening. Beat in the vanilla, remaining 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp lemon zest.  If the frosting is too soft, refrigerate before using.
Categories: Desserts, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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