This is from David Leibovitz – it is perfect. You need time to make this as everything needs to chill between steps. I did it over 2 days. So worth all the work!
2 c whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, (split vertically) or 2 tsp vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c flour
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 c whole milk
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c heavy cream
2 tbsp light corn syrup or golden syrup
4 ozs bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
For the custard filling
Add the milk to a medium saucepan and use a paring knife to scrape the seeds from the half vanilla bean into the milk. Add the vanilla pod to the milk and warm over medium-high heat with a pinch of salt. Turn off heat.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth, then whisk in the flour. Gradually pour about 1 cup (250ml) of the warmed milk into the yolks while whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan.
Turn the heat back on to medium-high heat and cook the custard, stirring the mixture with a whisk constantly (don’t vigorously whip it, which will make it harder to see what’s happening, and tire you out – just stir it) for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to the next-to-lowest temperature and continue to cook, stirring constantly with a whisk for 8 minutes. The mixture will continue to bubble gently as you cook it, but will not break due to the flour. Place a mesh strainer over a medium bowl and keep it nearby.
When the custard is thick, scrape the mixture into the strainer and press it through with a flexible spatula. Stir in the cold butter and vanilla extract (if using extract instead of the vanilla bean), until smooth. (Even if using vanilla bean, I often add around 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract to round out the vanilla flavor, so you can use both bean and extract.) Butter a piece of parchment paper and place it butter-side-down on top of the cream. Chill thoroughly, for several hours or overnight. (The vanilla bean can be rinsed thoroughly and dried, and used for something else.)
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC.) Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of two 9-inch (23cm) cake pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, warm the milk and the butter until the butter is melted. Remove from heat, add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and set aside. Cover to keep warm.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or with a hand mixer, or by hand in a bowl with a whisk…and a lot of moxie) whip the eggs and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, gradually dribble in the warm milk and butter until combined, then the flour mixture.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and give it a few stirs by hand with a flexible spatula to make sure everything is incorporated, then quickly divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans. Smooth the tops and bake until the top of the cakes are golden brown and the center springs back when you touch it and the cake feels done, about 20 to 22 minutes. Don’t overbake. Let the cakes cool completely.
To finish the cake
Run a knife around the cakes to remove them from the cake pans and peel off the parchment paper. Put one round of cake on a serving plate. Remove the custard filling from the refrigerator, which likely has stiffened up, so give it a few good stirs with a whisk or spatula to loosen it up and remove any lumps. Spread it over the top of the cake on the plate. Top with the second round of cake. Chill the two-layer cake while you prepare the glaze.
To make the glaze, gently warm the cream, corn syrup and chocolate is a small saucepan, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the glaze is thick yet spreadable. Pour it over the center of the cake and use a spatula or butter knife to coax it toward the edges, letting it drip down the side.
Refrigerate the cake until firm enough to slice, which will take at least 2-3 hours. If you try to slice it before the filling is well-chilled it’ll be messy to slice so patience pays off.
I doubled the fruit in this recipe and not mix the sugar with the berries as they were already sweet. This a super simple, tasty cake! This cake serves 8.
½ cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus more for greasing
5 ounces/145 grams frozen and thawed or fresh, hulled strawberries (about 1 cup)
⅔ cup/150 grams packed light brown sugar
½ cup/120 milliliters whole milk, at room temperature
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup/130 grams all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch (square or round) baking dish with butter. Set aside.
Using your hands or the back of a fork, mash the berries to release all their juices, and stir in 1/3 cup of the brown sugar.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, milk and salt, then add the flour and baking powder and continue whisking just until the batter is smooth. Transfer the batter (it’s not much) to the greased baking dish, and spread evenly into corners.
Spoon the strawberries and all their juices over the top of the cake batter. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or just when a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes before spooning into bowls. Serve warm with ice cream.
Thus cake comes together in minutes and is so moist! You don’t even have to wait for the cake to cool to frost.
1 cup butter, cubed
1 cup water
1/4 cup baking cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons 2% milk
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toasted pecans for garnish
In a large saucepan, bring the butter, water and cocoa to a boil. Remove from the heat. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; add to cocoa mixture. Stir in the sour cream until smooth.
Pour into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
In a small saucepan, melt butter; add milk and cocoa. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pour over warm cake. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread out walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing once, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, heat a 10″ ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium. Add 2 Tbsp. butter and swirl to coat; arrange apple halves cut sides down in a single layer in skillet. Cook apples, undisturbed, rotating skillet on burner as needed for even browning, until cut sides are golden brown, 5–10 minutes (the timing depends on the juiciness of the apples; juicier apples will take longer). Turn apples over and cook on rounded sides just until they start to release their juices and the tip of a knife slides through with slight resistance, about 5 minutes. Transfer apples to a plate, arrange cut sides up, and let cool.
Add ¼ cup brown sugar and 1 Tbsp. water to skillet and set over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula until sugar is dissolved, then cook, swirling skillet occasionally (do not stir at this point), until thick and bubbling in a thin layer, about 1 minute. Let caramel cool in skillet.
Meanwhile, pulse toasted walnuts, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and 1½ tsp. cinnamon in a food processor until combined and nuts are finely ground. Transfer walnut mixture to a medium bowl.
Combine granulated sugar, remaining ¼ cup brown sugar, and remaining 8 Tbsp. butter in food processor (no need to wash it) and process in long pulses until mixture is light and smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and process in long pulses, scraping down sides of processor once, until mixture is smooth. Add half of walnut mixture and pulse to combine, then add yogurt and pulse just until incorporated. Add remaining walnut mixture and pulse just to combine.
Arrange apple halves cut sides down over cooled caramel in skillet, spacing evenly. Fold batter a few times with spatula, scraping sides to make sure everything is well mixed. Scrape batter over apples and work into spaces around apples. Smooth surface (it’s okay if there’s only a thin layer of batter in places; it will rise in the oven).
Bake cake until it is browned across the entire surface and the center springs back when gently pressed, 30–40 minutes. Let cake cool in skillet 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula or a small knife around the sides of the pan to loosen. Set a wire rack upside down on skillet and flip over to release cake; carefully remove skillet. If any apples or cake stick to skillet, scrape them off and press back onto the top of the cake.
Serve cake warm or room temperature. Slice into wedges and top with dollops of whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.
Do Ahead: Cake can be baked 2 days ahead. Let cool completely. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.
So the kids don’t like nuts so only 1/2 nuts! This is a family fav my Moms BFF was from Texas and shared the recipe with my Mom.
2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more, room temperature, for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans (4 ounces)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch cake pan. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low. Whisk in cocoa, then 1 cup water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Pour over flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes.
Icing: In a small saucepan, bring butter, cocoa, and cream to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Let stand until warm before using.
Transfer cake in pan to a wire rack; let cool 15 minutes. Pour glaze over cake. (For a more elegant presentation, remove cake from pan using parchment and place on a serving platter before glazing.) Sprinkle with pecans and let cool before serving.
This cake is from the NYT – it so light and magical – the orange zest, chocolate bits and early gray are a winning combination. I upped the cream cheese and cut the cake in half because I like frosting in the middle of my cake.
FOR THE FROSTING:
¾ c heavy cream
2 tsp loose Earl Grey tea
¼ c confectioners’ sugar
1 c cream cheese
FOR THE CAKE:
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
1 ½ c all-purpose flour
1 tbsp loose Earl Grey tea
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 c sugar
2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ c whole milk, at room temperature
¼ c chopped dark chocolate
Prepare the frosting: In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 c heavy cream to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the tea, remove from the heat, cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Strain the tea through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids, and chill the remaining cream until completely cold, at least 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, tea, baking powder and salt.
In large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the orange zest and beat to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the flour mixture on low, until just combined, then beat in the milk. (Don’t overmix.) Add the chocolate and fold it in using a spatula. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake just until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Then tip the cake out onto the rack to cool completely. Slice in half, flipping one half onto a plate.
To finish the frosting, add cream cheese with confectioners sugar and best until light and airy. On low speed add the cream and beat slowly increasing the speed until smooth.
Spread 1/3 the frosting on the first layer. Flip the second layer on top. Top the cake with the remaining frosting to serve.
Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days; let come to room temperature before serving.
This one is adapted from Skinny Taste. It is so moist and dense! I doubled the frosting and sliced the cake in half to make it 2 layer cake. I baked it in a springform pan to make it easier to release.
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
1/4 c flaked coconut
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp canola oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c grated carrots, peeled
20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1/4 c chopped walnuts
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 – 8 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, salt, and spices; stir well with a whisk.
In a medium bowl, combine oil, eggs, and vanilla; stir well.
Add grated carrots and pineapple; mix well.
Fold wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, batter will be stiff and dry but keep folding it and it will all come together. Fold in 1/4 cup chopped nuts.
Bake at 350° for about 40-50 minutes, depending on pan size or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and cake is pulling away from sides of pan. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.
To prepare frosting, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread frosting over top of cake.
Run a knife along the edge of the cake and release the pan. Use a serrated knife to cut the cake in half. Carefully flip the top half onto a plate. Spread about 1/2 the cream cheese frosting onto the layer. Then flip the second layer on top and spread with frosting.
This cake come from the NYT! It’s supper moist and easy! Next time I would use 2 c butter for the butter cream.
1 c unsalted butter softened, plus more for preparing the pan
3 c all-purpose flour
1 ⅓ c whole milk
¼ c fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c sugar
4 tsp packed finely grated lemon zest
4 large eggs, at room temperature
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM:
¾ c unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 1/4 confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
4 to 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Make the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, butter and flour the paper.
In a measuring cup with a spout, combine the milk and lemon juice. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds after each. Scrape down bottom and sides of the mixer to ensure the mixture is well combined.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the bowl in three additions. Mix until just combined, then use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any large air pockets. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake completely on a rack before frosting.
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: Combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low until combined, then turn the mixer up to medium-high and stream in 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Whip the frosting until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, adding additional lemon juice as necessary until frosting is smooth and spreadable.
Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and serve. Store leftover cake at room temperature, covered for up to 2 days.