Holidays · kid-friendly · Recipes

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

This past weekend, we went to a potluck with a loose Mexican food theme. Our friend Terri (hi, Terri!) made the most delicious and simple enchiladas, and our friend Seth brought an amazing guacamole with chopped mangoes (!) in it. We also had margaritas, chili, rice, and corn bread. I could eat a meal like that every day of the week!! I’d volunteered to do dessert, but as the day drew closer I realized I didn’t have enough rhubarb handy to make the crumble I’d envisioned for the 10-12 people expected, so I had to go to plan B. I racked my brain trying to think of something festive but light that could feed a good-sized crowd, including many toddlers. Then I remembered how well this orange creamsicle cake turned out a couple years ago, and in that vein made an even EASIER dessert with crushed pineapple and angel food cake. It has just two ingredients, not including any whipped cream you might want to add, and it came out so delicious! Perfect for summer and so easy, it’s definitely something I’m going to make again and again.

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package angel food cake mix
  • 1 large (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple
  • whipped cream if you want it for topping!

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 and butter or Pam-spray a 9 x 13 baking dish (I used glass).

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry cake mix with the crushed pineapple, juice included. (Don’t add water per the box instructions!) Stir until evenly combined. Pour into your baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes (mine took closer to 30 — make sure it doesn’t burn!) It’s done for sure when a toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean. Let cool and serve!

Notes: I could only find pineapple chunks, so I buzzed them through the food processor quickly to pulverize them. The consistency you see there in my photos is what you want. I didn’t serve this with ice cream, but I think it would go well together! Because I was taking this to a potluck, I just bought a can of whipped cream, though I usually prefer to just make my own (especially ever since Mark got me a stand mixer). You could also make this in a cupcake tin with liners instead of a glass baking dish. Just be sure to cross-reference the cooking time on the side of the cake mix box if you drastically alter the pan size.

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Enjoy! And have a wonderful weekend!

Holidays · Recipes

Orange Creamsicle Cake

OK, I made up that name. I have been craving an Orange Julius SO BAD LATELY (and no, I’m not pregnant, just eating like it…and possibly stuck in the 90s) so when I decided to make a simple cake for Easter at the last minute, it had to meet two criteria: involve fewer than five ingredients, and taste like an Orange Julius. I think this is a success story.

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I found a Pinterest recipe that looked promising, then made it even more citrus-y by making up a light orange icing. That was the critical element! Fresh, juicy and bright, this cake is a definite winner.

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I had two tough critics to please — my Easter guests, the husband and the brother — and both loved it. They are both chocolate freaks and not fruit lovers, so I considered that a victory. I hope you like it, too.

Orange Creamsicle Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • 1 small container of orange juice, no pulp
  • (you’ll use 1 cup for the cake, 2 TBSP for the icing)

  • 1 small (6 or 7 oz.) container Greek yogurt (I chose 2% Fage)
  • 1.5 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • optional: one orange for zest and/or garnish

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DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, orange juice and Greek yogurt. Mix by hand until well combined and no longer lumpy.

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9×9 glass baking dish.

Pour the cake mixture into the pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes; let cool.

Check with a toothpick that the middle is set. Serve cool or at room temp with whipped cream! If you like, garnish with orange zest, peel or confectioner’s sugar.

TO MAKE THE ICING

I winged this, based on past experience which told me that citrus juice + confectioner’s sugar = icing (if you get the ratio right). Here, I used 1.5 cups of sugar to 2 TBSP orange juice, and a dash of zest from a fresh orange I had lying around (optional). Just mix until a paste forms and spread on the cake.

I iced the cake in the morning and then sat it back in the refrigerator while we went to church, so it was ready when we got home. I thought this cake actually tasted best a little on the cool side, so I kept it in the fridge during supper and served it right to the table with whipped cream on the side. (Since it was a rush job, I didn’t have time to make fresh. It was still tasty!) You could certainly serve at room temp if you prefer. I’m sure it would also taste fine with Cool Whip, and my brother had the awesome suggestion to make a simple fruit sauce like you would with strawberry shortcake, just sliced fruit with granulated sugar sprinkled on top until the juices come out. I’m definitely going to try that next time! Maybe, like Mark suggested, for Georgia’s 1st birthday party.

Speaking of her little self, check out that baby of mine on Easter!

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I hope you all have a lovely week and that the rain clears out of Boston and other parts of the Northeast some time soon. Just like babies have to sleep through the night eventually, at some point it has to become summer this year. Right?

If you liked this recipe, and enjoy easy dessert recipes, check this out. Or, if you’re a bit more advanced (I’m not), there’s this lovely cake. And I’m dying to try these.

Recipes

Cherry Vanilla Upside-Down Cake

As most of you know, I’m not a big baker. I only do it when forced, and I tend to rely on the same old recipes over and over and over…and over. So I really love an easy crowd-pleasing recipe, like this Vanilla Bean Cake baked upside down with cherries in the bottom of the pan. It’s simple, fast, and tasty: just my style. How fun would this be for the Fourth of July or any other summer cookout? Tastes amazing with ice cream.

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Cherry Vanilla Bean Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box of vanilla cake mix, such as Trader Joe’s Vanilla Bean Bourbon Mix
  • 1 jar of cherries, such as Trader Joe’s Dark Morello in light syrup
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of cold milk

Directions

Drain the jar of cherries into a small bowl, reserving all the cherry juice for drizzling later. Set the bowl of cherries aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Meanwhile, mix the batter: melt the stick of butter and combine with the two beaten eggs. Stir, then add the dry mix, turning by hand until just combined and lumps are gone.

Pour the cherries into the bottom of a square glass baking dish. Pour the batter on top.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to one hour in a glass baking dish (mine took a bit longer, but that’s how my oven is). It’s ready when the center is set and a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

To serve, drizzle some of the remaining cherry juice over top of the cake, and serve with whipped cream.

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Things didn’t go as planned? That has happened to me before when making an upside-down cake. It seems like it should be so easy, yet things can quickly go wrong when you use a different-sized pan than usual, it’s really hot outside, or you just forgot to leave enough time for the cake to cool before you need to leave for the party. The last time I made this, the center totally collapsed on me! Luckily, the rest was edible and I concealed the sunken middle with whipped cream and cherries for presentation’s sake, but if a similar cake disaster ever strikes you, here is a great resource for fixing things quickly.

Cherry Vanilla Upside-Down Cake

Enjoy! Light, fruity and delicious on a hot summer day. Vanilla ice cream is practically required 🙂

dessert · Holidays · kid-friendly · Recipes

Strawberry Yogurt Cake

‘Tis the season for fresh strawberries! What better occasion than my mom’s birthday to try a new recipe? This moist cake is made with Greek yogurt, whole wheat flour and a delicious lemon frosting that comes together for a perfect warm-weather, light-eating dessert.

I found this recipe on the blog one perfect bite. It was easy, and gave me the perfect opportunity to use my new KitchenAid stand mixer.

To start, rinse and chop the strawberries. Set aside and preheat the oven to 325 F. Then, grease and flour a Bundt pan. Next, sift together 2 1/4 cups of the flour, all the baking soda and the salt, and set aside. With your mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Next, in thirds, alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.

Then, toss the reserved strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Gently mix them into the batter.

Scrape the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

To make the glaze, simply mix the confectioners sugar and lemon juice until they form a paste-like consistency. Then, drizzle over the top of the cake and serve!

Since the recipe called for 8 oz. of Greek yogurt and 12 oz. of strawberries, I had extras of both because yogurt is sold in 7 oz. cups and strawberries in 16 oz. containers. So, I blended the extra into a smoothie.

Strawberry Yogurt Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat but you could use regular)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • 12 oz. fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

Sift together 2-1/4 cups of flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and vanilla extract.

In thirds, alternate beating in flour mixture and yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.

Toss strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Gently mix them into batter.

Scrape the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Once cooled, combine confectioners’ sugar and reserved 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake. Enjoy!