For the Orange Curd:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
9 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons orange zest
3/4 cup butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
For the Cake:
2 3/4 cup cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup fresh orange juice, pulp-free
For the Frosting:
12 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
For the Garnish:
1-2 small oranges, sliced thinly (cut the slices halfway through on one side and lay on paper towel to drain)
8 sprigs fresh mint
Orange Curd: Note: Make the orange curd several few hours ahead. If you have time, it’s best to make it the day before the cake so it can refrigerate overnight. If you can’t make the day before, no worries. Just be sure to refrigerate for 3 hours before layering the cake.
Put the lemon juice in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it. Let sit for about 15 minutes.
Next, whisk together the sugar, orange juice, egg yolks, orange zest and lemon zest in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Place over medium heat and add the butter and whisk until the mixture thickens and bubbles start to appear at the edge of the pan, about 9 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin mixture. Stir/whisk the mixture until the gelatin dissolves.
Transfer to a bowl. Cover the curd with plastic wrap so that the plastic is directly on the surface of the curd so that no air touches (prevents a skin from forming) and refrigerate overnight.
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9 inch cake pans and line the bottom of each with round parchment paper. Lightly flour the sides and bottom of each pan.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a mixer, cream together the butter, shortening, and zest. Gradually add the sugar, creaming until the mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions and scraping down the sides.
Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the orange juice to the creamed mixture, beating well on low speed after each addition. Pour equal amounts of the batter into the two prepared cake pans.
Bake 25-28 min, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for about 10 minutes. Loosen the layers by running a knife between the cake and the edge of the pan and place them on a cooling rack.
Cream the butter in the mixer. Add the confectioners sugar and salt and combine thoroughly. Add the orange zest and mix to combine. Then add orange juice and mix until well blended, scraping down the sides as needed. Refrigerate if not using right away.
Assemble the Cake:
When all the components are cool, put one cake layer on a cake stand Spread the orange curd over the cake to make a 1/4-inch layer. Put the second layer on top of the first and refrigerate the cake until the filling has chilled again and firmed up, about 15 minutes.
Frost the Cake
Loosen the frosting by beating with a spatula. Spread just a very thin layer of frosting over the whole cake (this is called a ‘crumb coat’ because it secures loose crumbs). Refrigerate the cake to let the frosting firm up, about 5-10 minutes. Put on the final coat of frosting, taking care to work gently, as the top layer of the cake tends to slide around a bit because of the orange curd. If it slides, just push it back.
Garnish the Cake:
Twist the orange slices into ‘S’ shapes and put seven or eight around the top of the cake. Tuck a pair of mint leaves into each orange twist.
1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon black food color
2 containers (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting
24 oval-shaped cookies
Chocolate sprinkles, (for decoration)
Miniature chocolate chips, (for decoration)
Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Tint cake batter grey with 1/4 teaspoon black food color.
Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
Tint 1 container frosting black with 1 teaspoon black food color. Frost cupcakes, reserving 1/4 cup of frosting. Spoon reserved frosting into small resealable plastic bag. Snip a small corner from bag. Pipe “RIP” onto top half of each cookie. Push tombstone cookies gently into cupcakes.
For the ghost, spoon remaining container of white frosting into large resealable plastic bag. Snip a corner from bag. For the body of the ghost, pipe 1/2-inch dollop next to tombstone. Pipe a smaller dollop on top, lifting while squeezing bag so that top of dollop is pointed. This is the head of the ghost.
Use chocolate sprinkles and chocolate chips to decorate the ghost’s face.
Makes 24 (1 cupcake) servings.
Tip: For easier measurement, 1/4 teaspoon food color = 20 to 25 drops
Black Magic Cake with Voodoo Frosting
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup strong black coffee (or 2 teaspoons instant coffee mixed with cup boiling water)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (1 cup regular milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar added)
1 cup chocolate fudge topping
1 tablespoon instant coffee
4 cups frozen non-dairy topping, thawed and divided (like cool-whip)
Cake: Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Batter will be thin. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack until ready to frost.
Frosting: For layer filling, combine hot fudge and instant coffee granules in a medium sauce pan; heat until coffee crystals are dissolved. Cool for 15 minutes and then fold into fudge mixture 2 cups of the whipped topping. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Place first cake layer on a serving plate and spread with 1 cup filling. Top with second layer. Add remaining 2 cups whipped topping to the remaining fudge mixture and mix well. Frost top and sides of the cake with topping mixture.
Keep cake refrigerated.
Serves 8 -12
Tip: Garnish with chocolate curls, chocolate coated coffee beans or grated chocolate.
Fudgy Rum Chocolate Cake
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 teaspoons rum
2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons arrowroot
1 cup heavy cream
One 10-ounce package frozen strawberries in light syrup, thawed
One pint vanilla ice cream
One pint fresh strawberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees °F. Lightly butter and flour an 8-inch round loose-bottomed cake pan.
Melt the chocolate and allow it to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Place the melted chocolate into a mixing bowl and blend in the instant coffee, rum, and boiling water.
Break the eggs into a second mixing bowl. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
In a third bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar with the arrowroot and whisk that mixture into the egg mixture. Using an electric beater, beat the egg mixture until it is about double its original volume, that should take about 4 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream until it is stiff and stands in peaks. Combine the chocolate mixture with the egg mixture. Then fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 1 hour, or until the center of the cake is fully cooked.
Remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a rack.
Meanwhile, puree the defrosted strawberries in a food processor or blender until you have a sauce.
Cut the cake into slices. Place some of the berry sauce on serving plates and shake the plates until you have a thin coating of the sauce covering most of the plate. Put a piece of the cake onto the sauce.
Put a scoop of the ice cream on the cake and garnish each slice with the fresh berries.
Makes 10 servings
Three Tier Candied Pecan Cake
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
3 large egg whites
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 Anjou pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch wedges, and tossed with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 cup chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
Garnish: 1/3 cup chopped pecans
Candy The Pecans: Preheat oven to 400°. Toss toasted pecans with butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring to coat halfway through, until toasted, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
Make the Cake: Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Sift flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Beat butter and 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in candied pecans.
Beat egg whites in a clean bowl with a mixer on high speed until frothy. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter using a rubber spatula. Fold in remaining egg whites in 2 additions.
Divide batter among pans. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the pear filling: Brown butter in a skillet over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Cook pears, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes.
Make the bourbon whipped cream: Whisk cream, bourbon, and confectioners’ sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
Trim tops of cakes to create a level surface using a serrated knife. Transfer 1 cake to a platter. Spread half the pears over the top. Top with another cake. Spread remaining pears over the top. Top with remaining cake. Spread whipped cream over the top. Garnish with chopped pecans.
Servings: 10 Yield: Makes one 8-inch cake
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1 (21 ounce) can blueberry pie filling
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
Gummy worms for garnishing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 10-inch Bundt pan with cooking spray.
In a blender, puree blueberry pie filling until smooth. In a large bowl, combine pie filling, cake mix, eggs, oil, and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer about 2 minutes on medium speed.
Stir in walnuts and pour into prepared Bundt pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool slightly then remove from pan and continue cooling on a wire cooling rack.
Before serving, top with dollops of whipped topping and decorate with gummy worms.
1 box Duncan Hines orange cake mix
1 small box sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 small box sugar-free orange gelatin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups skim milk
Mix ingredients together and pour into three greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes, or until cake tests done.
1 (15 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (8 oz.) ctn. sour cream
1 (12 oz.) pkg. frozen coconut
2 cups granulated sugar
Combine ingredients. Reserve 1 cup of the mixture to mix with whipped topping later to cover cake.
Spread remaining filling between layers and on top of cake. Combine the 1 cup reserved filling with 8-ounce container of light whipped topping and cover the entire cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
10 oz maraschino cherries
White cake mix
Reserved juice from cherries
Enough milk to make 1 cup liquid
1 stick butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 round cake pans.
Drain the cherries and reserve juice. Slice the cherries in half.
Put the cake mix in a mixer bowl. Add enough milk to the cherry juice to bring the liquid to 1 cup. Pour that into the cake mix. Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and mix until well combined.
Pour into the prepared cake pans. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when you test the center.
Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then remove to cooling racks.
After completely cool, frost with your choice of frosting or Cool Whip.