Pumpkin Spice Trifle Goodness

Wow. I can’t believe that I haven’t posted anything for about a month. Things have been pretty crazy with all my classes and college but nevertheless, here is something quite amazing to make up for the long hiatus! Trifles are so versatile which is one of the characteristics that makes them so amazing. More of a fan of red velvet cake? Well just throw in a couple chunks of that and a pudding layer and you will be good to go. If you want a healthier version, try pineapple cake and top it with various fruits. Not only does it look great, but it is the perfect easy dessert to make for a large group. Food really does bring people together so take advantage of this recipe to invite over a couple of friends :)

Ingredients:

  • Ready Made Pumpkin Cake (recipe found here)/ Spice box cake mix
  • 1 box vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice mix
  • 2 (12 oz) containers of Cool Whip topping
  • Optional: crushed gingersnaps for topping

Directions:

  1. Bake the cake using either of the above options
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the milk and pudding mix until thickened
  3. Fold in 1 container of Cool Whip, 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, and all the brown sugar and pumpkin spice (leave the other container of Cool Whip for the layer of whipped cream)
  4. In a large trifle bowl, layer the cake, pudding pumpkin mixture, and whipped cream till you fill up the bowl
  5. Top with the crushed gingersnaps and a couple dashes of pumpkin spice too

Pumpkin Spice Cake

OMG its almost October! First off, if you know anything about me, it’s that I’m really obsessed with pumpkin. Not so much the actual pumpkin, but more the pumpkin spice flavor. I’ve had many a highlight day when I randomly find a pumpkin flavored dessert in season. Recently Starbucks got the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Spice Frapp back in! As well, Sprinkles Cupcakes also has Pumpkin Cupcakes every Tuesday and Thursday depending on locations. Einstein’s Bagels has Pumpkin Bagels and Muffins. The list could really go on and onnnnnnn….. ANYWAYS.. I know y’all really want the recipe for the deelish cake below which is of course pumpkin spice flavored! It’s one of my favorite recipes that I’ve made many times. The last time I made it was hilariousss because of course what did i forget?? Only the most important ingredient that makes it what it is- the pumpkin spices.. Lol.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups canned/homemade pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 2/3 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Preheat: 350 F

  1. Beat eggs, sugar, and oil together. Add pumpkin and mix well.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and you are good to go!
  3. Pour the batter in a greased pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Larger Version of My Strawberry Chocolate Bundt Cake

Let me just warn you. If don’t own a bundt cake pan and go out to buy one now, you will not be able to stop making bundt cakes! Trust me, there are plenty of flavors out there for you to try. Oh and plenty of toppings as well. The options are pretty much endless. Whenever I have too much free time on my hands I like to bake something. It takes forever though to choose the perfect recipe from foodgawker.com, so due to my laziness I decided to use my classic chocolate Hershey’s cake recipe. Yup, and I just had to use that bundt cake pan! After the cake was done, another dilemma came up. What frosting to use?! For some reason, I am a fail at frostings and have yet to find the perfect healthy one. My original one I’d use is basically butter and powdered sugar but I’ve been trying to experiment with different recipes to find something different. If you are lazy, the easiest frosting is just to melt baking chocolate squares and pour that allll over the cake, as I did :) My only mistake that I realized later was that after you refrigerate it, that the chocolate will harden and make it even tougher to cut the cake. Not too big of a deal, certainly didn’t stop me from eating it haha. For the end, I topped it off with sweetened coconut and my favorite- the glazed strawberries.

P.S. and yes, those mini strawberry chocolate bundt cakes I made in an earlier post helped inspire this! I just had to make the big version :)

OMG almost forgot, but this recipe was not just any chocolate cake, it was a TRES LECHES CHOCOLATE CAKE! Really Easy. Just mix a combination of evaporated milk (1 12oz can), sweetened condensed milk (1 14 oz can) , and heavy cream (1 1/2 cups) and pour it over the cake. Let it soak for a couple hours. And by the way, the measurements for the milk mixture to soak it in do not have to be exact. There are many variations as to how much you put of each type of milk, but I chose these.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

If you are ever in a rush and need to make a quick dessert that doesn’t turn your whole kitchen upside down, then make a pineapple upside down cake where your dessert is the only thing that gets turned upside down. You could choose to make your pineapple cake homemade, but I chose the lazy version of this which is the Duncan Hines box cake mix. I really want to make this recipe from scratch and with fresh pineapples too, but for now this easy go-to recipe will have to do :)

Ingredients:

Cake

  • Duncan Hines Pineapple Cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil

Topping

  • 1/2 cup butter ( 1 stick)
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 (20 oz) can pineapple slices
  • maraschino cherries

Directions:

Preheat: 350 F

  1. For the topping, melt the butter in a skillet over low heat
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar
  3. Spread sugar mixture in bottom of cake pan and then arrange the pineapple slices and cherries to your liking and set aside
  4. For the cake, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, and oil in a large mixing bowl
  5. Beat at medium speed and then pour the batter over the pineapples in the cake pan
  6. Bake for an hour or until toothpick comes out clean
  7. Invert onto a plate and enjoy :)

Mini Chocolate Glazed Strawberry Bundt Cakes

Wowwww. So just typed up this blog post but it didn’t save. Oh well, anyways… I just bought these mini bundt cake pans and I’ve been so obsessed with them! We were having dinner at a family friend’s home so my mom asked me to make some dessert. Perfect opportunity! Guess I’ll just make some bundt cakes. For the recipe below I used my favorite chocolate cake- Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake found here. I didn’t know what to put in the hole of the bundt cake so I tried mini chocolate chips, but they were too dark. To brighten it up a bit I then tried this raspberry jam, but the colors still didn’t look right. In the end, I decided that what I needed was- FRUIT! The bright colors complement the darkness of the chocolate perfectly. I originally wanted to use raspberries, but the grocery store was out of them :( Guessed I’d just have to do with strawberries. I got some and then saw some strawberry glaze on my way out so I just bought that as well.

Homemade Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 white chocolate baking squares
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Directions:

Mix together all the ingredients and pour onto each bundt cake in a circular fashion. If the glaze is too runny, add more confectioner’s sugar to it. You can adjust the ingredients based on what you have available (it is usually made only with the sugar and milk but I added the other ingredients myself).

Chocolate Galore!

Oh birthdays, birthdays, birthdays. You gotta love them, especially when you are on the receiving end of it haha. I always love coming up with a homemade cake idea just because there are so many distinctive ones out there, plus they beat those grocery store artificial cakes without a doubt. Well, if you love chocolate, then you are in the right place!

Chocolate Kit-Kat M&M Surprise

Basically, it consists of two 8 inch round cakes stacked with icing in between (I used the Hershey’s Chocolate Cake recipe). Break the Kit Kats in twos and surround the cake with them (shouldn’t take more than 12 packs of the normal sized ones). Take any color ribbon you have on hand and tie it around the Kit-Kat edges to keep them together from falling off. Finally, I iced the top and scattered M&Ms all around.  Ta-da! That’s it, a lot simpler than it looks :)

 

When in Doubt, Make Cakeballs!

Cakeballs: simplicity and flavor all packed in one bite. I first encountered these in high school when someone brought them in a plastic container for a birthday. Asking for directions on how to make these, I basically heard: bake a cake, mash it, mix in icing, form balls, dip in chocolate. Pretty simply, right? Well not really haha. When you actually go through the steps, it’s much more time consuming than you would think. I think it’s all worth it in the end though, for sure. For detailed steps, check out my previous blog post on The Legendary Cake Ball.

So a couple weeks ago, one of my best friends was coming for the summer from school in Ireland. I wasn’t really sure at first what to make as a welcome-home present, so of course I had to make some cakeballs! You can never go wrong with them, everyone loves them. By the way, these were red velvet flavored with cream cheese icing- my absolute favorite flavor of cake ball :)

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

Have you ever thought of making those recipes that you see on the back of food product boxes? The thought never crossed my mind until recently and before then, I never gave much credit to these recipes because well they weren’t exactly authentic. I proved myself wrong when I tried the recipe for the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake that I found on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa.

Surprisingly, it actually tasted so much better than the generic cake box mixes! The ingredients were pretty simple too which I liked because you most likely always have them on hand, therefore making this recipe a convenient choice. I chose to use a bundt cake pan because it looks unique and is perfect for any occasion. I wanted something quick and easy so I picked mint flavored white chocolate candy coating for icing, which really is a unique flavor because no one expects that burst of minty sharpness when biting into a normal chocolate cake. You could add peppermint extract to normal white chocolate chips if you still want the minty flavor but couldn’t find the mint candy coating. This recipe also asks for a LOT of sugar (2 cups) so you could reduce it to 1 1/2 cups or even 1 cup and it would probably taste just as good if you want it to be healthier, though I haven’t tried that yet..

Here is the recipe for Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F
  2. Combine all your dry ingredients in a bowl and mix
  3. Add in the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes
  4. Stir in the boiling water (the batter should become thinner)
  5. Pour into pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into middle comes out clean.

The Legendary Cake Ball

Red Velvet. Pumpkin Spice. Chocolate Espresso. There are soo many cake flavors to choose from when it comes to making a cake ball, one of the simplest yet most unique desserts to make. The funnest part is decorating them however you like with whatever color candy coating you fancy.

These cake balls were so fun to make because they were the first different color candy coating that I used other than the typical white or milk chocolate candy coating. I chose green though because I made them for one of my really close friends who moved to Ireland for med school. To make the letters and designs on the cake balls, I just put some of the melted candy coating in a ziploc bag and cut the corner off.

Ok so here is the recipe for the Legendary Cake Ball

Ingredients:

  • One cake mix
  • 1/2 a can of frosting
  • 8oz bag of chocolate candy coating
  • Sprinkles, nuts, etc

Directions:

  1. Bake the cake mix according to its own directions and wait until it cools completely
  2. In a large bowl, crumble the cake mix
  3. Add a 1/2 can of frosting and mix until the frosting is distributed
  4. Use a small scoop or your hands to form balls from the cake-icing mixture
  5. Put them on a tray and place in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until firm enough to be dipped
  6. Melt the candy coating in a double boiler or microwave (be careful that you do not overheat the chocolate because it will turn into a grainy/lumpy texture)
  7. Dip the frozen cake balls into the chocolate and place on baking sheets
  8. If some of the cake balls start to fall apart, put them back in the freezer until firm again
  9. Decorate as you desire

Hospital Themed Fondant Cake

This yummy creation was made by a group of me and a couple of good friends a couple years ago for a creative book review project. While everyone else did the typical project of a poster or what not, we decided to combine our love for food and baking with education. We had a blast making it and just deciding how to place all the props everywhere. The cake overall is supposed to symbolize a medical mystery novel we read and it is really a “hospital” with a sort of a graveyard setting around it. The fondant is a homemade classic white with gel food coloring to give it a spattered and imperfect look. One look at this mouth watering cake and we just had to sample it to make sure it tasted good. Thus, our cake developed a little side crevice for our bloody skeleton to rest in, which complemented the rest of the design nicely. As for the rest, the luscious flowing river is blue icing with a bank of oreo crumbles, not to mention the green sprinkle full grass.

Fondant recipe coming up soon!