I am a newlywed on a budget, just trying to make healthy and inexpensive meals for my husband and I to enjoy. He eats a lot, so cost is a big factor. Though I work 3 jobs, I manage to find time 6 nights a week to cook a full dinner for us both. I am constantly looking for new recipes that are moderately healthy, taste great, and won't break the bank.

On the side, I also own a brownie business called Gersheybars. My passion and love for cooking started when I was just a small child, baking with my mom and grandmother. The brownie recipe has been passed down through 5 generations and I am thrilled to finally have an outlet to share them with everybody else. Friends and family have helped spread the word and made my business as successful as it is today.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Justin's Birthday Cake!

He requested a GIANT cupcake this year for his birthday. So off to Michael's I went, coupon in hand, and picked up the pan to make said cake. I made a chocolate mocha cake, and plan to do chocolate icing on the bottom, and vanilla buttercream on the top. I haven't iced it yet, that's tomorrow's project. But I ended up with the giant cupcake and 12 regular sized cupcakes leftover. Damn tasty.

For the cupcake pan, the bottom part bakes much slower than the top, because of the cavity size difference. I filled the bottom about 2/3 full, baked for 10 minutes, then filled the top and continued baking for 40 minutes at 325. It came out perfectly. You'll see in the pictures, where the nonstick spray discolored the cake slightly, but it's getting covered in icing, so I don't care too much...

Cake recipe:
From Sandra Lee
  • 1 cup ground espresso
  • 2 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 boxes of chocolate cake mix (I used a Dark Chocolate mix)

1. Brew espresso and water in standard coffee pot. Set aside.

2. Combine other ingredients in large bowl and mix on low until combined. Slowly add in hot coffee, while mixing on medium. Mix for 2 minutes until batter is light and fluffy.

3. Fill pans accordingly. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then invert to wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Recipe
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • food coloring, if desired.

1. Combine butter and vanilla in medium bowl. Use whip attachment and mix on medium-high for 4 minutes, until butter is light and fluffy.

2. Add in confectioners sugar and milk. Whip another 5 minutes, until frosting is fluffy and sugar has completely dissolved (taste the frosting -- if it's still grainy, mix a little bit longer). Mix in food coloring, if desired.

** Depending on the thickness you require (thicker for piping, thinner for frosting), you may need to add milk and/or sugar to achieve the desired consistency.
We also had some incredible, homemade cinnamon ice cream.

  • 3 cups half and half
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Heat medium sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Add sugar and half and half. Stir occasionally, and remove from heat just as it begins to simmer (takes about 10 minutes or so). Slowly combine half of the mixture with the beaten eggs, whisking quickly to combine, preventing the eggs from scrambling. Pour egg mixture back into saucepan with remaining half and half mixture. Bring to 170 degrees, over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add in vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk quickly to combine. Set aside to cool. When mixture reaches about 70 degrees, refrigerate 2-3 hours.

2. Pour cooled mixture into ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

** Note: I used the Kitchenaid 2 quart ice cream maker. This recipe has to be made in 2 parts, because it is too large an amount for the KA attachment. If you place the full recipe in the ice cream maker, it won't freeze properly.

Finished cake, without the candles

Unfinished...still needs frosting!

Leftover batter I made into cupcakes. Also added some chocolate chips to them.


ITP Foodie said...

Wow! That must have taken awhile to frost- it looks great!!

Ally said...

I love it, nice job!

Heather said...

Ha, that is awesome! How much did it cost for the cake pan? Did you frost it with a spatula, or did you use a piping bag?

I have never even seen a cake like that, but I love it.

Kolohe said...

Listen, folks: I was lucky enough to be present at the bday party and have not one, but two, rounds of this cake/ice cream combo. The cake was delicious and the ice cream was remarkable. I don't usually stray from my chocolate based ice creams, but I would toss them all for this concoction. Try it and you will be a happy person.

Court Cooks said...

I have given you a blogging with a purpose award on my blog. I really enjoy reading your blog (esp all the Thai recipes)

Dr. Kat said...

Ok...Love the cupcake cake. I think I had a nightmare nt too long ago of a "hello" one that size chasing me :-)
Oh, and thank you for using cake mix jazzed-up