Southern Caramel Cake

Read more

Southern Caramel Cake is a tradition in the south and a new favorite of mine since I’ve discovered a shorter way of making it.

0301d

 Although I have been dreading making this cake because it’s not one you can just whip up and call it a day, I was so excited to eat it. There’s nothing quite like it. It doesn’t have frosting but the caramel is clearly the star.

0301e

0301f

I like caramel but homemade caramel and syrups have a particularly fresh taste to them. I’m sure if you wanted to shortcut this cake, you could buy a boxed yellow cake and caramel topping, but please don’t! Your taste buds will thank you for rewarding them with this delightful dessert.

0301a

The key to making it as flawless as possible is nailing the caramel and having perfect layers. Since you can’t hide the crumbs with a crumb coat after leveling it, flat layers are ideal. There are several tricks to making your cake bake without having a dome top. I chose a cake recipe that I’ve had experiences with baking pretty flat.

0301c

It is delicious and pairs well with the caramel. Some have suggested baking with parchment paper over the batter but I haven’t tried that method yet. Be sure to give this recipe a try, I’m sure you’ll find a reason to indulge in this rich, yet satisfying cake!

Southern Caramel Cake
Serves 12
The best and easiest southern caramel cake you'll ever make. Impress your family and friends with this delicious and rich dessert.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr
Cake
  1. 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  2. 1 cup all purpose flour
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  6. 2 cups sugar
  7. 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  8. 4 large eggs (room temp)
  9. 1 cup milk (room temp)
Caramel
  1. 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  2. 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. caramel popcorn (optional)
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 3 9 (or 8) inch baking pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, & salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time until well combined.
  4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk into the batter mixing well after each addition and ending with dry ingredients (dry ingredients, milk, dry ingredients, milk, dry ingredients).
  5. Pour batter evenly between the three cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on cooling rack.
Caramel
  1. In a large saucepan, over medium/high heat, mix together the cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, & salt. Bring to a boil while continuing to stir with a spatula. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan.
  2. Mixture will be pale and thin at first but will eventually get darker and thicker the longer it boils. This should take approximately 15 minutes.
  3. You will know it's done when the temperature is between 230-234 degrees F. Once temperature is met, stir in vanilla extract but do not stir too much.
  4. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then immediately assemble cake.
Assemble
  1. Once cakes are completely cooled and caramel is made, put one cake layer on a cake board or dish with the bottom (smooth edges) of the cake upward. Pour about 1/4-1/2 cup caramel over layer spreading evenly. Repeat with the next layer and add the top layer.
  2. Slowly pour caramel over top layer making sure to pour evenly so that all sides are covered. Do not smooth with spatula but allow the caramel to naturally fall.
  3. Cool, cut, and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Store at room temperature in a air tight container for up to 4-5 days.
  2. Once caramel is done and extract has been stirred in, do not stir or overwork it or it will cause it to separate.
  3. Sometimes there's extra caramel. The popcorn can be tossed in this and added to the cake after it has been iced.
She Bakes It http://www.shebakesit.com/

Banana Nut Bread (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)

Read more

Starbucks Banana Nut Bread…. say no more! One of my favorite fast food places to go for breakfast would have to be Starbucks. I can’t turn down a white chocolate mocha with peppermint, a turkey pesto melt, or their banana nut bread. Although banana nut bread is very “cake-like” I give it a pass because it is clearly a bread :).

0224e

If I could have it my way, I would buy this bread every morning or buy it by the loaf if they actually sold it that way BUT since they don’t, I came up with my own version based on the ingredients listed on their website.

0224a 0224b

 

I usually use butter and walnuts but couldn’t wait to try it with oil and a combination of walnuts and pecans. Because I am the worst pecan addict EVER, of course, I was all out. Although I was out and the bread pictured is missing what could be the best part of the bread itself, I could not leave it out of the recipe or it wouldn’t be a true copycat. So lets play make believe that we see pecans on the images and all will be good.

0224c

This bread is super easy to make and is so good. For a fraction of the cost but a lot more to show for it, this copycat is a great option to satisfy your Starbucks cravings. 

 

Banana Nut Bread (Starbucks Copycat)
Serves 12
A delicious take on Starbucks' popular banana nut bread.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
8 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 8 min
Prep Time
8 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 8 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (~3 bananas)
  2. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  3. 1 3/4 cup flour
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. 2 tsp cinnamon
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1/3 cup canola oil
  8. 1 cup sugar
  9. 1 egg
  10. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  11. 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mash together bananas with the vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, & salt). Set aside
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, and egg. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until well incorporated making sure to scrape down the sides. Mix in banana mixture and stir in the walnuts and half of the pecans.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pan and top with remaining pecans.
  6. Bake for 50-60 mins until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Once done baking, remove from oven and allow to cool in loaf pan.
She Bakes It http://www.shebakesit.com/

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Read more

These banana cupcakes are so delicious that they will make you want to slap your mama! Well, not really but who knows, you may not be able to contain the urge :). I truly have a weakness for banana desserts (let’s face it, maybe all desserts) and these cupcakes are no different especially when combined with my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe.

0215b

I don’t normally buy bananas because my toddler and I are the only ones in the house that eat them and we feel that they attract unwanted fruit flies but after making a banana pudding and having a few left over, I thought it would be a great idea to make banana cupcakes for my son’s class.

0215a

Because no one likes an overly energetic toddler, let alone 30 overly energetic toddlers, I thought it would be wise to make mini cupcakes instead of regular ones. Thank God I did because I ate a good 6 before making it to his daycare. Before attempting to make tons of mini cupcakes, be sure to have a least 2 mini cupcake pans. It was no fun making these little boogers having to keep rotating out the baked cupcakes with new liners. Save yourself the time and headache and invest in at least two.

0215c

I was so excited while making these that I attempted to record the process and edit it to add to this post. This failed miserably, so much so, that I refuse to upload it. It shall remain in my lessons learned folder, never to see the lights of the internet. But like I said I was extremely excited to share these with my son’s class only to find out that they were not allowed to serve the kids home baked goods. It was perfectly fine to package them up and send them home with the children or buy store bought desserts but I guess after thinking about it, it made sense. 

This was a good and a bad thing all in one. The good part is that I got to take home tons of cupcakes but the bad part was that I would have to eat them all or throw them away. Because I just hate wasting food, I took the challenge of eating them all over the course of a few days. I only shared 3 with my son.  

Banana Cupcakes
Yields 36
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup mashed & ripe bananas (approx 2 bananas)
  2. 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  3. 3 cups flour
  4. 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  7. 2 cups sugar
  8. 3 eggs
  9. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  10. 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  11. cream cheese frosting
  12. handful of banana chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees and line cupcake tins with liners.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together bananas & lemon juice. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, & salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract & eggs adding each egg one at a time.
  5. Add banana mixture & mix until well combined. Alternating the flour mixture with the buttermilk, add to batter making sure to end with the flour mixture (flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour).
  6. Pour batter into cupcake liners and bake for about 40-45 mins out until inserted toothpicks comes out clean.
  7. Once completed, allow to cool and frost with cream cheese frosting. Top with a banana chip.
Notes
  1. Make 36 regular sized cupcakes and 72 mini cupcakes
Adapted from Food
Adapted from Food
She Bakes It http://www.shebakesit.com/

 

Southern Red Velvet Cake

Read more

Red velvet cake is a delicious southern tradition. It’s a bright red buttermilk cake with a hint of cocoa topped with creamy and tangy cream cheese frosting. Definitely a crowd pleaser! 

0127a

What can be more southern than a red velvet cake? No matter where I go, red velvet cake has always been the number one requested dessert. Maybe it’s the sexy red or the buttermilk cake with a hint of cocoa taste, either way, it is always a hit! I personally don’t care for chocolate flavored cakes but I LOVE cream cheese frosting so that makes this cake a winner in my book.

Traditionally red velvet cake isn’t as bright as many know it to be today. It was originally made without dye and the hint of red was a result of the chemical reaction caused by the ingredients. It was also made with frosting that involved cooking on the stove, but throughout the years, there have been many interpretations.

Depending on who you ask, there’s only one way to make a “REAL” red velvet cake. I believe that a red velvet cake should always consist of buttermilk, cocoa, and vinegar but my preferences include pecans and my favorite cream cheese frosting. My husband loves it any way it comes, as long as it’s not store bought or made with box mix.

0127c

I’ve decorated this cake many different ways before and I absolutely love the contrast between the bright white and deep red. Although this recipe makes a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake, I decided to only make a mini one for my husband and I.

Because I’ve been dying to do a cake wrapped in chocolate, I thought, what would look cooler than a white cake wrapped in red. I made sure to ice the cake smoothly then, on a table, lay out foil about a little bigger than the circumference of the cake. I wrapped a piece of parchment paper around the cake so that it could bee the exact size. I cut the parchment paper to the height and design that I wanted. I then placed it on the foil and with melted candy melts in a sandwich bag with a snipped tip, I randomly swirled designs on the paper.

0127b

Once the melts are almost dry, carefully wrap the parchment paper around the cake, making sure to line it up with the bottom of the cake. When you have gently pressed the chocolate or melts into the frosting, slowly and carefully begin to pull away the parchment paper and you will have a chocolate wrapped cake.

Just because it’s almost Valentine’s day, I decided to cut out a heart and repeat the process for the topper. One of my mistakes in some areas was not building the chocolate up enough so make sure not to have too many thin areas and it should turn out beautifully. 

 

Southern Red Velvet Cake
Serves 12
Red velvet cake is a delicious southern tradition. It's a bright red buttermilk cake with a hint of cocoa topped with creamy and tangy cream cheese frosting. Definitely a crowd pleaser!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  6. 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  7. 1 cup buttermilk (room temp)
  8. 2 large eggs (room temp)
  9. 2 tbsp red food coloring (1oz)
  10. 1 tsp vinegar
  11. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  12. Cream Cheese Frosting
  13. Pecans (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 8 or 9 inch cake pans and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and extract. Slowly add dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Evenly distribute batter into cake pans. Bake for 30-33 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool and frost.
Adapted from Cakeman Raven
Adapted from Cakeman Raven
She Bakes It http://www.shebakesit.com/
Cream Cheese Frosting
A deliciously creamy and smooth cream cheese frosting that pairs well with almost any cake.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 16 oz cream cheese (cold)
  2. 12 tbsp softened butter
  3. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1 tsp lemon juice
  5. 7 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Cut cream cheese into cubes and beat on high until smooth making sure to scrape sides of the bowl. Add butter and cream together until smooth for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add extract and lemon juice. Mix well.
  3. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until light and fluffy for about 3 minutes.
  4. Frost cake.
Notes
  1. If making a 6 inch cake, cut recipe in half.
She Bakes It http://www.shebakesit.com/

Boneless Buffalo Chicken Bites

Read more

Mess free, boneless buffalo chicken bites. Perfect with fries or as a football party appetizer!

Boneless Buffalo Chicken Bites
Boneless Buffalo Chicken Bites

I don’t entertain nearly as much as I’d like, but these buffalo bites are easy to whip up and are a great alternative to the traditional wing. I haven’t met one person who doesn’t like chicken, not that I was looking or anything. I said that to say this: Chicken is almost, always at any and every party. It’s on the cheaper side and can be prepared in almost anyway imaginable. 

0124c

I thought of this recipe  while making Crafty Morning’s 3-Ingredient Orange Chicken Sauce recipe. It was delicious and went well with brown rice and green beans, as does most Asian inspired recipes. While eating it I couldn’t help but think that this would be a nice appetizer at a home football party if it had buffalo sauce on it topped with blue cheese and dipped in ranch dressing.

0124d

My husband was in love with the idea and couldn’t wait to try it, therefore, I had to hurry and make it that week for dinner. 🙂 It was perfect and mess free. So much better than the messy fingers that come with eating wings! This recipe is definitely one for the book.  

0124b

 

Buffalo Chicken Bites
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1-2 lbs chicken breast
  2. salt & pepper to taste
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 1/4 cup flour
  5. 1/4 cup cornstarch
  6. vegetable oil
  7. 1 cup buffalo sauce
  8. 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  9. Ranch dressing for dipping
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, heat about 1 inch of oil on med/high heat while prepping chicken.
  2. Wash and dice chicken into 1 inch pieces and season with your choice of spices.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together eggs and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together flour and cornstarch and set aside.
  4. Dip chicken into eggs and then into flour mixture in groups of 4-5 pieces. Once all chicken is coated evenly, drop chicken into grease and cook for about 5-10 minutes making sure to flip over meat at least once.
  5. Remove from grease with a splotted spoon and onto a towel lined plate so that the towel soaks up the excess grease.
  6. Once chicken has cooled for about 5 min, transfer fried chicken to a medium bowl and toss with buffalo sauce. Serve on plate with bluecheese sprinkled on top and ranch dressing as a dipping sauce.
Notes
  1. .
She Bakes It http://www.shebakesit.com/