How to Create Your Own Favorite Pound Cake Recipe

Have you ever wanted to break away from a recipe and make it your own?  Me, too.  And while I don’t claim to be a great baker, I have baked enough to know that recipes are often very similar and changes can be made without messing up the recipe. Something as simple as changing the flavoring in a cake can make a huge difference.

Do you remember a couple months ago I posted a recipe for a Cream Cheese Pound Cake? It is absolutely the BEST pound cake recipe ever.   If you haven’t tried it,  please take my word and do. In fact, it was so good I decided to experiment and you won’t believe the variations I have used to make this same cake.

And the great thing is: You can do it,  too!

Cream cheese pound cake3

To begin with I decided I wanted  to add coconut to my Cream Cheese Pound Cake. I added 1 cup sweetened coconut plus some coconut flavoring. It was wonderful. (Sorry. no pic)

Next,  I made the Cream Cheese Pound Cake  and iced with chocolate icing.  It was divine. I used HALF the recipe for my chocolate icing from my Chocolate Layer Cake. I don’t normally ice my pound cakes but this was nice.

Coconut marbled cake

 

I couldn’t resist making a cake chocolate ~ Cream Cheese Chocolate Pound Cake:  The cream cheese lends a cheesecake like flavor to the chocolate….Served with vanilla bean ice-cream…Perfect.

cream cheese chocolate pound cake4

cream cheese chocolate pound cake3

I always loved making a Marbled Cake with my Mama when I was a little girl….so, why not?  Marbled Pound Cake. You know, cause sometimes you want chocolate and sometimes you don’t….. ….Perfection.

marbled cake

 

Simply divide the batter  into 2/3 and 1/3 and add cocoa to the 1/3 portion. Spoon into greased and floured pan and swirl. Bake as usual.

marbled cream cheese pound cake

This was all working out so well that I decided to combine the two…. chocolate, coconut and the cream cheese pound cake…. “Almond Joy Pound Cake”….was born.   I added coconut flavoring to the batter and to the chocolate icing, topped with almonds and sprinkled with coconut. wow….

Almond Joy Pound Cake

I would say the Almond Joy is my favorite…but I really like a plain cream cheese pound cake with coffee, too….

The cream cheese becomes richer and more flavorful each day. This cake rises beautifully and stays moist until the very last slice.

 

Here is the scoop: Want to create your favorite Pound Cake Recipe?

Start with my Cream Cheese Pound Cake recipe:

Chocolate Pound Cake: Remove 1/3 cup flour and add 1/3 cup cocoa powder use vanilla flavoring

Coconut Cream Cheese Pound Cake: Add 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut and 2 tsp coconut flavoring in place of vanilla extract. For variation top with a Vanilla or Lemon Glaze

Almond Joy Pound Cake: Make Coconut Pound Cake above and ice with 1/2 recipe of chocolate icing that is flavored with 1 tsp coconut flavoring.  (Keep in mind that this icing will not take as long to cook since it’s only halftone recipe…. maybe 4 minutes.) Top with sliced toasted almonds and sweetened coconut.

Marbled Pound Cake: Remove 2/3 of batter to a separate bowl. To the remaining 1/3 batter add 2-3 TBLS cocoa powder and mix until combine. Spoon half the plain batter into well greased and floured pan. Spoon chocolate batter on top and remaining plain batter onto of that. Swirl with a kitchen knife in an “S” pattern. Bake as usual.

Or what about a Lemon Glazed Pound Cake?  Add Lemon Zest to batter and Lemon flavoring. Top with a Lemon Glaze found on my whipping cream pound cake recipe.

The sky is the limit. Don’t be afraid…experiment.  Just stick to the original recipe and switch it up a bit. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Happy Cooking!

 

 

Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

Browned Butter Cookies ad

It’s almost Fall Y’all!   I love baking in the Fall. I love homemade apple pies, sweet potato pie, sourdough bread ~ fresh from the oven, slathered with fresh butter! This week, I decided to make these delicious Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies. I’m not a fan of sugar cookies. They’re just too sweet to me. But these made a sugar cookie lover out of me!  A Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookie lover!  If you’re ready to kick off the baking season with me,  grab a stick of butter! Just make sure it’s real Butter!

browned butter browning

I’m surprised at how many recipes call for browned butter! I’m so thankful for who ever discovered how delightful it is to brown your butter first. If you haven’t done this before….just wait!

Begin by browning your butter, gently. Use a stainless steel frying pan because it allows you to see exactly how dark your butter is. You don’t want to burn it. Just cook until a medium dark brown, stirring it continuously. Do not leave to answer the phone or door.  Butter burns really fast, so stay with it until  it’s browned.  Remove it from the burner. My husband had to stand outside and watch me finish my browning…yes, he did. He was thankful later. It will have a delicious aroma when it’s browned.

browned butter

Mix the brown sugar in with the browned butter…yum.

browned butter batter

Continue with the recipe. …then….  roll in sugar mixture before baking….

browned butter cookies

Cool on wire rack…..

brwoned butter cookies baked

Get ready for the most delicious cookie ever….

browned butter brown sugar cookies

Enjoy!

Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 14 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat 10 tablespoons of butter until melted and then continue to cook until browned, being careful not to burn! pour into heat proof bowl and add 4 tablespoons of butter, stir to melt. Allow to COOL for 15 minutes.
  2. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven 350*
  3. Add 2 cups of packed dark brown sugar to melted butter and mix with electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and mix with wet. Combine until smooth.
  5. Mix 1/3 cup white and 1/3 cup dark brown sugar in a small bowl. Mix with fingers until there are no lumps left. Keep this to roll dough in before baking.
  6. Preheat oven to 350*. Line two cookie sheets with parchment. Roll dough into 24 balls. About 2 tablespoons each. Roll into sugar mixture. Space 12 evenly on baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. Do Not Overcook!
  7. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack complete cooling.
  8. Adapted from Cooks Illustrated Recipe
http://joytomyheart.com/browned-butter-brown-sugar-cookies/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackberry Mousse

Easy Blackberry Mousse

Summertime and the blackberries are ripe…..well, I actually bought mine at the store. These days, you can find them year round in the freezer section, so you can make this anytime you feel like it. And I do.

I have this thing about blackberries. Maybe because I remember picking them in the Summer growing up. Or maybe it’s the blackberry cobbler my grandmother always made for our family reunions. Or all the jams I made with them when my babies were little. Whatever, I love anything blackberry. If you haven’t tried my ‘signature’ Blackberry Tea…please do! It’s the perfect Summertime drink.

This weekend we celebrated a couple of birthdays at my house and yes, we had birthday cakes…but, I decided to make Blackberry Mousse, too.

blackberry mousse 2

Not only is it a pretty little dish to set before your guests…it’s a delightful little dessert. And perfect for a Summertime Dinner Party.

The fun thing about this recipe is that any berry will work. You may use blueberries, strawberries raspberries or any combination there of. I used Blackberries…..because I’m partial to Blackberries….but I already said that.

This recipe can be made ahead, even the day before.  Just wait to add whipped cream on top and berries right before serving.

This is such a pretty dessert to serve to company.  I found the parfait glasses at GoodWill…. I’ll bet you can, too. You may need to make a couple of trips, like I did,  but you will eventually find enough for a party. 😉

blackberry mousse

Here’s the recipe ….happy cooking!

Blackberry Mousse

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 8oz blocks of cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 packet of unflavored gelatin powder
  • 3 TBLS warm water
  • GARNISH:
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 TBLS blackberry jam/jelly
  • whipped cream
  • mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Place blackberries in a saucepan with 1/4 cup of water. Heat over medium heat until berries hot. Press hot berries through a mesh strainer, mashing the berries with the back of a spoon to extract juice,
  2. Mix gelatin with 3 TBLS warm water until dissolved.
  3. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks are formed; Set aside.
  4. Cream sugar, vanilla, salt, gelatin and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  5. Fold whipped cream, cream cheese mixture and berries together until well blended.
  6. Divide into 8 parfait glasses, cover and refrigerate until time to serve.
  7. Toss with 1/2 cup fresh blackberries with warmed jelly to glaze.
  8. Just before serving add additional whipped cream, glazed berries and a mint leaf to each serving.
http://joytomyheart.com/blackberry-mousse/

 

 

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Cream cheese pound cake3

Don’t you love a good pound cake? I had cream cheese on my counter along with fresh butter at room temperature and they just seemed to be calling my name. I usually make sour cream pound cake and it’s my favorite,  but this cream cheese takes the cake. Oh, wait, it is cake…. 😉 [Read more…]

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

sourdough cinnamon rolls2

I won’t waste your time explaining how delicious and easy these are to make. And I won’t tell you that this is one more wonderful way to use the extra sourdough starter that we usually have to toss at a feedings. [Read more…]

Blueberry Mousse Cheesecake

blueberry mousse cheesecake ad

Hope your Mother’s Day was great! Mine has been wonderful. All my children and grandchildren were here plus my parents. What a blessing to have 4 generations here for Mother’s Day Dinner….on the back porch. Plus we had a big reveal. I’m not quite sure how many knew and how many didn’t but my baby is having another baby. That much we all knew. [Read more…]

Sourdough Chocolate Sheath Cake

sourdough chocolate sheath cake

Who knew? I took my mama’s Chocolate Sheath Cake recipe and switched the buttermilk up with sourdough starter and voilà  ~ it worked. Which leads me to believe just about any recipe that uses buttermilk can be interchanged with sourdough starter. Maybe not all recipes…but cakes and breads, etc.  (So far I’ve had wonderful success with my buttermilk biscuits and pancakes!)  And taste-wise, I couldn’t tell any difference. Sourdough Chocolate Sheath Cake is awesome!!!  This is great news for those of us who struggle over throwing away extra starter at every feeding! [Read more…]

Chocolate Buttercream Roses

chocolate buttercream roses

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have become obsessed with making these roses.  Perhaps you saw my Raspberry Rose Meringue Cookies last week…Maybe I was meant to be a baker? I doubt it. Baking is not my forte..but I do LOVE making these roses….

Regardless, I’m just here to say….if you’re looking for a stunning Valentine’s dessert for the chocolate lover in your life…Chocolate Buttercream Rose Cake is it!  Who doesn’t associate roses with Valentine’s Day? And Chocolate? What more perfect dessert than this? And it’s mighty impressive, too, might I add!

I made this chocolate buttercream rose cake for my chocolate loving granddaughter’s 14th birthday a few weeks ago and thought what a perfect Valentine’s Cake for the chocolate lover.

DSCN3920

That’s Joe, along with everyone else (you can’t see), singing Happy Birthday to her! I love her happy face….and it’s mostly because she asked for chocolate buttercream and I delivered,  in a most spectacular way! At least that’s what I like to tell myself…

…ok, maybe it’s because Joe is so adorable…I’ll agree with that.

chocolate buttercream birthday cake

Anyway, she was happy and I was thrilled with how easy and perfect these roses turned out!

PLEASE don’t say you can’t. My mama used to say to me ‘Can’t never could”…and it stuck because I see very few things that I want to do, that I can’t do, once I make my mind up.

So remember this…if you want to do something, you have the ability inside to do whatever it is….yes, you do! Think of the NIKE ad…and JUST DO IT!

If you need a chocolate layer recipe you will love this one.  Now all you need is this wonderful chocolate buttercream roses recipe and you’re in business. Oh what? You still don’t think you can make the chocolate buttercream roses??? O, ye of little faith! Take a deep breath…..

First of all,  brush off any loose crumbs from the cake…then thinly frost it.   You must put a thin layer of frosting on the cake and between the layers. Not too thick. You just want a ‘crumb-coat’ that will make all the crumbs stay put when you decorate the cake.  Allow to dry a few minutes, then you may begin your roses.

(If you look closely you can see areas on my cake that don’t have roses on them and you can see the ‘crumb-coat’ is the same chocolate icing as the roses. If I hadn’t done that, you would see cake…oh me, that will never do. Of course, I could go back and fill in those places with a stroke of frosting or two…but since it all matched, I left it…)

To make a rose, make sure the icing is stiff enough to hold shape.  Use the largest star tip you have.  If you have not had much practice with a pastry bag, practice on a cookie sheet or wax paper first.

You want to squeeze and move at the same time to get the feel for how fast to move and how hard to squeeze. Kinda like patting your head and rubbing  your tummy at the same time…only easier…

chocolate buttercream roses2

Start with the bottom row of roses.  Begin your swirl in the center of each rose and with a continuous action squeeze and move in a spiral/circle, at the same time. Do one whole row first. You will notice from the photo that the second row of roses starts between the bottom row of roses and so forth.

If you make a mistake, buttercream is very forgiving. Simply scrap it off and start over. If you mess up the whole cake, scrap it off and start again… 😉 just be careful not to scrap cake crumbs! But I have confidence…you won’t!

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

Chocolate Buttercream Roses

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsalted butter...yes, 4 sticks, softened...not melted
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 TBLS Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions

  1. You will need this whole recipe to cover a cake in roses.
  2. Place softened butter and vanilla in mixing bowl and beat on medium high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Turn off the mixer and add cocoa and 1 cup powdered sugar to mixture. Slowly turn on mixer to incorporate sugar. Continue to add one cup powdered sugar at a time until all is incorporated. You want it stiff.
  4. Chocolate will look light but it will darken.
  5. Frost a thin 'crumb' layer all over and between layers of cake.
  6. Fill pastry bag with frosting using largest star tip you have.
  7. Then begin with the bottom row.
  8. Start in the middle of the rose and make a large dot them in a continuous motion swirl all around the 'rose' until it is the size you'd like.
  9. I made each rose as tall as one layer of cake.
  10. Try to keep them all somewhat uniform in size.
  11. Try to end each rose at the same place on the rose.
  12. Go all the way around making your first row of roses.
  13. On the second row, place your next row of roses, between the roses you just made.
  14. Do the same for the third row.
  15. For the top, begin on the outer edge and make a row all the way around the top, then move toward the middle making rows until you are in the center.
  16. You may go back and fill in with a little 'swish' if there are any bare places on the cake.
  17. It is very forgiving...if you make a mistake, scrap it off and start over. 🙂 It's just icing....
  18. Practice makes perfect.
  19. Enjoy!
  20. Adapted from www.iambaker.net
http://joytomyheart.com/chocolate-buttercream-roses/

 

See, it was not hard at all….. Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day! LOVE

Inspiration from Amanda at www.iambaker.net …Now, she’s a real baker~!!!

Chocolate Buttercream Roses would also be great on party cupcakes!… Just sayin’

chocolate rose cupcakes

Enjoy!

The Easiest ever White Chocolate Mousse

raspberry meringue bowls with white chocolate mousse

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and I’m feverishly working on a menu for our little dinner party. In all my searching,  I found a recipe that I will probably incorporate into something….and so I thought I’d share….stay tuned in a couple of days to find out just how I plan to use this delicious white chocolate mousse. [Read more…]

Raspberry Rose Meringue Cookies

Raspberry rose meringue cookies1

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and these little goodies are perfect for any Valentine in your life!  Raspberry Rose Meringue Cookies look pretty on the table and they are easy to make.

I know I often say ‘It’s easy to make’ and so I’m guessing you know by now, if it’s not easy for me, I’m not sharing with you.

Recently I posted a recipe for Chocolate Pecan Meringue Cookies. This recipe is similar except it is piped through a pastry bag to make the rose design.

I’ll be having some friends over for our annual Valentine’s Day Dinner Party. I made these ahead because they freeze so nicely and they look special. I always want my friends to know they are special to me! So once a year, at least, they come over to get spoiled. Besides, who wants to go out on the busiest date night of the year and wait for a table to eat mediocre food? Not me…and not our friends!

These are fun and pretty and I made enough for Valentine gift bags for each guest to take home…and since they freeze so well….what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get them done and out of the way….then on Valentine’s Day put them out on a pretty little plate and show your loved ones how much you truly want to be their Valentine!

raspberry rose meringue cookies3

raspberry rose meringue cookies2

P.S. They won’t keep them in the refrigerator…they’ll become soft. Store them at room temperature in an air-tight container or freeze them.

Raspberry Rose Meringue Cookies

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon raspberry extract
  • 5-6 drops red food coloring, more or less, according to your preference of color.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175*
  2. Beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until frothy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add powdered sugar a little at a time while whipping.
  4. In crease speed of mixer and beat until stiff about 5 minutes.
  5. Add raspberry extract and food coloring. Beat just until mixed well.
  6. Spoon into a pastry bag with your largest star tip.
  7. Line baking sheet with parchment
  8. To pipe the rose, hold the bag vertical in the center point of the rose.
  9. Gently squeeze the bag and move outward in a concentric motion while continuing to hold the bag vertically. Lift the tip to finish.
  10. Mine are about 2-3 inches wide. Space them about 1/2 inch apart.
  11. You want to work fairly quickly because meringue will fall and you want this in the oven asap.
  12. Bake 175* about 2 hours.
  13. Cool completely.
  14. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.
  15. They will keep for a couple of weeks.
  16. Or they freeze beautifully.
http://joytomyheart.com/raspberry-rose-meringue-cookies/

 

Enjoy! Happy Valentine’s Day!