Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Key Lime Cake

Key Lime Cake


My brother loooooves key lime pie. So much so, that I literally can't make a lime dessert without thinking about him! Last year around his birthday I made Key Lime Pie Bars which were a big hit! This year, since I've been getting more and more into cakes, I decided to make a key lime pie inspired cake.

And let me tell you - this is it. Bursting with fresh lime flavor, this cake will definitely satisfy any lime lovers out there! Lime cake, filled with fresh lime curd, topped with lime buttercream. Um, yeah. This is a perfect cake for the first day of spring, and how about for a cinco de mayo party?? If you can wait that long!
 

Now I can't jump to the recipe without first touching on the frosting for a second here. Because the frosting on this cake is so, freaking, good. I'm not usually the kind of person who could take a spoon to frosting, but you guys, I really could with this stuff. The fresh lime juice and fresh lime zest lightens the flavor, and it's really not very sweet.




Cake Ingredients: 

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
Juice and zest of 4 limes

Lime Curd Ingredients: 

1/2 cup sugar
Juice and zest of 3 limes
4 egg yolks
6 tablespoons butter

Lime Buttercream Ingredients: 

2 cups butter, softened
5-6 cups powdered sugar
Juice and zest of two limes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Cake Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line the bottoms of three 6" cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt.

In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just incorporated, being careful not to overmix. Add the sour cream, lime juice and zest, mixing until all ingredients come together.

Pour batter into the three prepared cake pans, and bake in the preheated oven for 22-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for about 5-10 minutes, and then turn them out on a wire cooling rack to cool the rest of the way. I like to turn my cakes upside down to help them flattten. When the cakes are room temp, I freeze them for 30 minutes to make frosting them easier.

Lime Curd Directions: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Be sure to whisk constantly so the mixture doesn't burn. Cook about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remember that the curd will continue to thicken as it cools! Remove the curd from the heat, and melt in the butter. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Lime Buttercream Directions: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Add 5 cups powdered sugar one cup at a time, starting your mixer on low and increasing to high with each addition. Add the lime zest, juice and vanilla extract, mixing on high speed for about 3-4 minutes. Add the additional cup of powdered sugar if necessary. Taste! If you'd like the frosting to taste even more like lime, add additional zest!

Assembly tips:

  • Cut the top of each cake so that they're flat. This will make frosting easier! I like to do this with frozen cakes and a sharp bread knife. 
  • Cover the first layer of cake with the lime buttercream. Pipe a border of frosting around the circumference of the cake. Spoon lime curd into the well you've created. Top with the second layer of cake, and repeat steps. Then top with the third layer of cake, and frost the cake with remaining frosting! 
  • If you want to decorate with graham cracker crumbs, this is what I do. I carefully transfer the cake to a rimmed baking sheet. Then I empty a generous amount of graham cracker crumbs into the sheet, and press them against the cake. Carefully brush/lightly blow away extra crumbs!


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Kirsten Bell
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Baileys Chocolate Truffles

Baileys Chocolate Truffles


One of the reasons that I love St. Patrick's Day so much, is that it's a great excuse for alllll of the Baileys recipes! Now you guys know that I love Baileys year-round (who doesn't!), but St. Patty's day is a perfect time to add it to brownies, cakes - and now truffles! If you're looking for an easy and delicious St. Patrick's Day dessert, these are it! Especially easy for a crowd, since all the prep is done way ahead of time!


There are many "steps" to making homemade chocolate truffles, but they're actually incredibly easy! People always seem to be impressed when I make them, and it's my little secret (that I'm now sharing with you), because they take less time than cupcakes! Plus I love playing with all the different flavor possibilities! Check out my Merlot Chocolate Truffles and Earl Grey Chocolate Truffles for inspiration!





Ingredients

1/2 cup Baileys
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions

Heat Baileys in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously until it reaches a low boil.

Pour the hot Baileys over the semi-sweet chocolate chips, in a heat safe bowl. Wait a few minutes, and then stir together. If the chocolate chips haven't completely melted, heat in the microwave in 10 second increments until the chocolate is smooth. Stir in salt.

Chill the chocolate mixture in the fridge for 1.5-2 hours.

Note: It's ready when you can easily roll the chocolate into balls, but it hasn't hardened so much that the chocolate can't be formed. I find that the chocolate near the edges of the bowl hardens faster, so sometimes I'll form that section into balls first, and then put the rest of the chocolate back into the fridge for another half hour.

Roll 1/2 Tbs balls of the chocolate ganache - I usually get about 30. Put the rolled truffles into the freezer for half an hour. I like to do this so they're easier to dip!

Melt the bittersweet chocolate chips in the microwave (again, in increments) until smooth.

Dip the ganache balls in the melted bittersweet chocolate. Chocolate dipping tools are super handy for this step, but you can also use a spoon or long skewer.

After dipping the truffles, put them back into the fridge until the chocolate has hardened, usually about an hour. Enjoy!


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Kirsten Bell
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The Ultimate St. Patrick's Day Dessert: Lucky Charm Cake!

The Ultimate St. Patrick's Day Dessert: Lucky Charm Cake!


This cake is seriously what my childhood St. Patrick's Day dreams were made of. Ombre green vanilla cake. Rich vanilla frosting. Covered with ganache drip and garnished with lucky charms marshmallows. I mean...come on! Every kid needs this St. Patrick's Day dessert - even if they're just kids at heart!


I love that this cake is so festive and fun, and it's also really easy! And if you're looking for a more "adult" cake, be sure to check out my Espresso Cake with Baileys Frosting!

Whenever I make cakes, I separate it all into steps. First I bake the cake, let it cool to room temp, wrap it in plastic wrap or freezer bags and put it in the freezer. I'll tell you why. Frozen cakes are wayyyy easier to frost than room temp ones. And I am ALL about easy. 

Then usually the next day, I frost it and do any fun decorating like the ganache drip. Done and done! By separating the cake basically into two parts, I find it's way more manageable for me and my schedule.










Cake Ingredients: 

2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup full-fat vanilla yogurt (greek or regular is fine)
1/2 cup buttermilk

Vanilla Buttercream Ingredients: 

(Note: I use a lot of frosting - see the photos below! You can cut down as needed!)

2 cups butter, softened (4 sticks)
6-8 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream, if needed
  
White Ganache Drip Ingredients: 

1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup white chocolate or white candy melts

Cake Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line the bottoms of three 6" cake pans with parchment paper.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the sugar until combined. Add in the eggs, vanilla, yogurt and buttermilk and mix on low until all ingredients are incorporated. Then add the flour mixture, mixing on low until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

If you want a green ombre cake: Distribute the cake batter evenly into three large mixing bowls. I used a 1/2 cup measure to ensure my cake layers would be exactly even. Add green food dye in varying degrees to each bowl. Remember that the dye will lighten slightly when the cake bakes. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool about 10 minutes in the cake pans, and then invert the cakes onto a cooling rack with the "top" of the cake down. This will help flatten the cakes. Once the cakes come to room temperature, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at least 1 hour before frosting.

Buttercream Directions: 

Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add vanilla extract. Increase the speed to high, and mix about 2-3 minutes.

Ganache Directions: 

Put your frosted cake into the freezer for at least 10 minutes. Melt the chocolate or candy melts in a small bowl with the heavy cream. Drizzle the ganache down the sides of the cake, and spread across the top! You can use a spoon for this step, but I prefer to use a squeeze bottle. Garnish with lucky charms marshmallows.

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Kirsten Bell
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Espresso Cake with Baileys Frosting

Espresso Cake with Baileys Frosting


I love Baileys in my coffee. It's one of my favorite weekend morning treats! So the flavor combination of espresso and Baileys was really a no-brainer for me! This cake is perfect for St. Patrick's Day, but honestly it's really amazing all year round! I can't wait to make this for my birthday next year!


For the cake, I wanted a rich and delicious espresso flavor. Think sitting in a Parisian cafe drinking a cappuccino. If you're a Baileys in your coffee kind of gal, you definitely need to try this cake! Cover with festive sprinkles for St. Patrick's Day, or serve on its own - either way you really can't go wrong! Want to make it even fancier? Consider drizzling dark chocolate ganache down the sides! Yummm!


Cake Ingredients: 

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2/3 cups sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons espresso powder

Frosting Ingredients: 

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup Baileys
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups powdered sugar

Cake Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350, and grease three 6" cake pans. Line the bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper. 

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy, then beat in the sugar. Mix the espresso powder into the buttermilk. Add the eggs, vanilla, sour cream and buttermilk mixture into the butter mixture, and mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool 10 minutes in the pans, and then let the cool the rest of the way, upside down on a cooling rack. Once completely cooled, wrap each cake layer in plastic wrap, and put in the freezer.

Frosting Directions:

Whip the butter until light and fluffy, and add the Baileys and vanilla extract. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, until you've reached the desired consistency. Once all the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to high for about 3-5 minutes.

Frost the cakes, and top with festive sprinkles! I used these ones.





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Kirsten Bell
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Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Oh hey chocolate fans, today I'm sharing with you a cupcake recipe that is going to blow your mind. To start off, I'm not a huge fan of beer. I really want to get more into it - maybe that will be a new goal for the year! But even though I'm not there yet, I loooove these Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes. The dark beer adds a deeper flavor to the chocolate, and makes these stout cupcakes taste even more chocolately.

Also check out my Triple Chocolate Guinness Brownies with Baileys Ganache recipe! Believe me, it's just as decadent as it sounds! Soooo good!


These are actually my most requested cupcake from friends and family! They're so easy to throw together, and are perfect for a St. Patrick's Day party dessert, but let's be real - I eat them all year round!

FYI - I'm going to be sharing a recipe video for these cupcakes in the next few days on Instagram!







Cupcake Ingredients: 

1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking sod
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz Guinness (or other stout beer)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 cup sour cream

Frosting Ingredients:

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cupcake Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Whisk together dry ingredients, flour through salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine egg and sour cream until well mixed. Add butter, vanilla and Guinness and mix again until combined. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Fill each cupcake liner to about 2/3 full, and bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

Frosting Directions: 

Beat together the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.


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Kirsten Bell
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake


Peanut butter and chocolate are one of my very favorite flavor combinations. As a kid peanut butter cups were my very favorite candy, and that's what inspired this cake! Dense, rich chocolate paired with light and creamy peanut butter buttercream. If you know a chocolate peanut butter lover, you've got to make this cake for them!


The peanut butter buttercream is where I spent the most time in the recipe for this cake. I wanted the peanut butter flavor to be present and strong enough, but I didn't want it to be overpowering. I've had peanut butter frosting before that had so much peanut butter and so much powdered sugar, that it was almost tacky in my mouth. While I have to admit I have eaten spoonfuls of peanut butter before (guilty!), that's not the feeling I wanted in a cake.

I'm so happy with how it turned out. It's creamy and melt-in-your-mouth good, with all the peanut butter flavor we all love!

Side note: be sure to use creamy peanut butter, even if you normally prefer crunchy. The peanuts in the crunchy peanut butter will not only be difficult to frost, they'll actually pull at the cake itself and make it a crumbly mess.

This is a really quick and easy cake to make! I like to break up the different steps, which makes it even easier. The day before serving, I bake the cakes. Then I store them in the freezer overnight, wrapped well in plastic wrap AND a freezer plastic bag. I don't want the cakes drying out! Then the next day, all I have to do is frost it, and do the ganache drip. You can also prepare the frosting the day before (or up to 4 days in advance), if you'd like.







Chocolate Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (I used dark chocolate cocoa powder because I wanted them really intense)
  • 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Buttercream Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste 
  • optional garnish: mini peanut butter cups
Dark Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
Cake Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line the bottom of three 6" round cake pans. Set aside.

In a small pan, heat the butter and water until the mixture is steaming and the butter is melted. Take off the burner and let cool.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through baking soda.

Mix together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add the butter mixture once cooled. If the butter mixture is still too hot when you mix these together, the egg will cook.

Add the dry ingredients into the now combined wet ingredients in two batches. Fold together until just combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes - until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them upside down on a cooling rack to cool completely. This will help create a flatter top for each layer.

After the cakes have come to room temperature, wrap well in plastic wrap and set flat in the freezer for at least an hour. This will make frosting easier, and will help the ganache set more quickly. 

Peanut Butter Buttercream and Dark Chocolate Ganache Directions: 

Whip the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, and then add the vanilla extract and salt as needed.

For the ganache, melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream together in a small bowl. Spread the peanut butter buttercream between each cake layer and the outside of the cake. Drip the chocolate ganache over top. I like to fill this squeeze bottle with the ganache. I find it more easy to control the drip that way, versus a spoon! Decorate with peanut butter cups!



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Kirsten Bell
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