Cakes

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple fluffy cocoa powder layer cake topped with a fluffy whipped milk chocolate buttercream. If you need a go to chocolate cake recipe, this is the easiest one for beginners to try at home! Learn how simple chocolate layer cake is at home. Recipe from thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

Happy Sunday, you crazy kids. I hope this weekend finds you at rest and hungry for dessert, because today we’re making a seriously simple one-bowl chocolate cake. We all need a no-fail, go-to chocolate cake recipe, and today’s recipe is becoming my new favorite. Before we dive in, I wanted to share a few other things I’ve been enjoying in my home, closet, toiletry bag, and more. Without further ado, here it is: my favorite things!

Things I’m Wearing:

After a few months of Alabama heat, I’m looking forward to anything that even slightly resembles fall and the cooler weather I hope it brings. On my wish list: new loafers. These Sam Edelman loafers, shown in both classic and updated looks, come in the softest black leather that didn’t even kind of pinch my heels. I love these with a pair of jeans or a tailored skirt! I’ve also been on the hunt for a new pair of white tennies. These classic canvas shoes from Superga come in a variety of colors, and, for those looking for a little more height, a platform heel option. Sign me up!

Things for the Kitchen:

Anyone else dying to start entertaining again? ME TOO. Although COVID has kept many of us from hosting friends and family, it can’t keep us from dreaming about those future gatherings. I’m been loving the glassware options available at Crate & Barrel lately, and the pieces below are currently in my shopping cart. I’m thinking a casual girls night-in: cheese and champagne for starters, Irish coffee and caramel corn for dessert. *Chef’s Kiss*

Things I’m Reading:

I’ve been a reading machine this year thanks to a few good friends who send their favorite book titles my way. This summer, I knocked out a few reads that I’ll be recommending to basically everyone from here on out. The titles below, The People We Meet on Vacation, The Four Winds, and Girl with a Louding Voice, are all way different from one another but wonderful in their own right. For a light read, go for the first option; for a beautifully written sob-fest, opt for one of the other two.

Things in My Toiletry Bag:

I’ve got two new faves to share here. First up, a travel blow dryer. Last New Year’s Eve, I traveled with friends to Blackberry Farm and fell in love with the blow dryer in the bathroom. I loved it so much that I called back last month to find out what kind it was so I could purchase it for home. This travel drier from GHD is high-powered and totally worth the splurge.

Another new favorite is this Osea Cleansing Milk. I’ve been trudging through the murky waters of adult-onset rosacea these past few months, and finding products that are gentle enough for my newly sensitive skin has been a challenge. I love this cleanser for its simple ingredients and calming effects. If anyone else has another favorite for rosacea- HIT ME UP!

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

With all the chocolate cakes on this site, do we really need another? Well, I’d argue YES. This is a one-bowl situation that is so simple I had to photograph my kiddos making it. Truly, it’s a measure and dump kind of thing. The end-product is a moist and fluffy chocolate cake that is sweet, not too rich, and the perfect vehicle for my favorite milk chocolate buttercream.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple fluffy cocoa powder layer cake topped with a fluffy whipped milk chocolate buttercream. If you need a go to chocolate cake recipe, this is the easiest one for beginners to try at home! Learn how simple chocolate layer cake is at home. Recipe from thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

To make it, we start with the dry ingredients. Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and leavening are stirred together in a bowl. Next come the liquid ingredients: buttermilk, oil, eggs, coffee, and vanilla extract. Stir the batter until no lumps remain and bake in two pans inside of a preheated oven. Once cooled, the cakes cake be leveled and frosted with an oh-so decadent whipped milk chocolate buttercream. Frost the cake in your desired manner and keep it at room temperature until you’re ready to serve. Lucky for you, this one-bowl chocolate cake stays moist for days.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple fluffy cocoa powder layer cake topped with a fluffy whipped milk chocolate buttercream. If you need a go to chocolate cake recipe, this is the easiest one for beginners to try at home! Learn how simple chocolate layer cake is at home. Recipe from thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

In a pinch, you can substitute regular milk for the buttermilk, hot water for the coffee, and dark or black cocoa powder for the regular unsweetened cocoa powder. You can also opt for dark or semi-sweet chocolate in place of the milk chocolate in the buttercream! One of my favorite things about this one-bowl chocolate cake is that it’s extremely adaptable- feel free to make it your own!

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple fluffy cocoa powder layer cake topped with a fluffy whipped milk chocolate buttercream. If you need a go to chocolate cake recipe, this is the easiest one for beginners to try at home! Learn how simple chocolate layer cake is at home. Recipe from thewoodandspoon.com by Kate Wood

I hope you’ve enjoyed this round-up of my favorite things. If you have time this weekend, give this one-bowl chocolate cake a try! It’s DIVINE. Happy Sunday and HAPPY BAKING!

If you like this one-bowl chocolate cake you should try:

White Chocolate Cake
Milk Chocolate Chip Cake
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake

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One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake features a fluffy milk chocolate buttercream and can be made from start to finish in a single bowl!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 120
  • Yield: 9 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale

For the cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 11/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 21/4 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • ½ cup black coffee, hot
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, gently melted
  • 11/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 31/2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk

Instructions

To prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 (8″) round cake pans with baking spray and line the bottoms with parchment rounds.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Add all of the wet ingredients and mix on medium speed for just shy of 1-2 minutes, scraping the bowl (and bottom of bowl!) twice throughout.
  3. Pour equal amounts of batter in both pans. Carefully place in the oven and bake for about 23-25 minutes, or until center is just barely set and toothpick comes out of cake almost clean. Allow to cool in the pans and on a cooling rack for 20 minutes and then remove from pans to continue the cooling process. Cake will stay fresh for several days if covered, or, for one month if wrapped well in saran wrap and frozen in freezer.

To prepare the frosting:

  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed for two minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar, beating on medium for another minute and a half. Add the salt, vanilla, and cream and beat to combine for 30 seconds. Fold in the melted (but not hot!) chocolate quickly until incorporated. If your chocolate was too hot and the mixture seems too thin and loose, you can place it in the fridge to firm up a bit or add a smidge of powdered sugar.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Use a serrated knife to cut the domes off the tops of the cake. Tops of the cake should be flat prior to assembling. Place a bit of frosting on you plate or cake board that you wish to frost your cake on and set your first layer on top. Use an offset spatula to spread a hefty dollop of frosting on top of the first layer. Place the next layer on top and repeat this process. Frost the sides of the cake and decorate as desired. Cake is should be stored covered tightly with plastic wrap and is best eaten within 2 days of making.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Berry Buckle

Berry Buckle by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple breakfast cake / dessert dotted with summer blackberries and blueberries and topped with an almond streusel. The cake bakes up well and is delicious served with whipped cream and ice cream. Learn how simple the recipe is at woodandspoon.com

Before I moved to the South, I didn’t know a thing about Southern hospitality. In my mind, hospitality was something reserved for the hotel industry and Martha Stewart. What could the word possibly mean outside of those two instances? In the 15+ years since that I’ve lived in the Deep South, I’ve slowly gotten to tiptoe in to warmth that is Southern hospitality, and I gotta say, it feels good. The kindness, the intentionality, and the service of it feels like living and breathing love. There’s nothing like it.

Berry Buckle by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple breakfast cake / dessert dotted with summer blackberries and blueberries and topped with an almond streusel. The cake bakes up well and is delicious served with whipped cream and ice cream. Learn how simple the recipe is at woodandspoon.com
Berry Buckle by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple breakfast cake / dessert dotted with summer blackberries and blueberries and topped with an almond streusel. The cake bakes up well and is delicious served with whipped cream and ice cream. Learn how simple the recipe is at woodandspoon.com

Just yesterday, Charlie’s daycare teacher offered to share some blueberries she had picked from the bushes on her property. A few hours later, she showed up at my door with a 12-gallon storage bin filled to the brim with hand-picked summer produce. No charge, no request for anything in return, just an offer from a friend who knew my baby loved blueberries. I spent the next few minutes filling bags with berries to share with my friends and tried not to get teary-eyed over the obvious symbolism that was playing out right in front of me. I was reminded that when we love others, whether via blueberries, our words, our actions, or some other form of hospitality, that love almost always gets passed on and affects so many more people that we initially imagined. It multiplies and grows.

Berry Buckle by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple breakfast cake / dessert dotted with summer blackberries and blueberries and topped with an almond streusel. The cake bakes up well and is delicious served with whipped cream and ice cream. Learn how simple the recipe is at woodandspoon.com
Berry Buckle by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple breakfast cake / dessert dotted with summer blackberries and blueberries and topped with an almond streusel. The cake bakes up well and is delicious served with whipped cream and ice cream. Learn how simple the recipe is at woodandspoon.com

I’d like to be a person that grows love. The hospitality and generosity I received in that bin of blueberries reminds me that that every little thing can make a difference, and those simple offerings of kindness rarely affect just the person we’re sharing them with. They make a difference, and the world needs more of that love. So today (or sometime in the future!), when you have the opportunity to give generously yourself and your resources, I hope you’ll remember that hospitality isn’t a job set aside for a select few- it’s an opportunity for us all.

Berry Buckle by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple breakfast cake / dessert dotted with summer blackberries and blueberries and topped with an almond streusel. The cake bakes up well and is delicious served with whipped cream and ice cream. Learn how simple the recipe is at woodandspoon.com

Now that I have a few freezer bags full of blueberries, I’m looking forward to recipes that will honor the fruit in a way it deserves. This berry buckle is one such recipe, and it’s so delicious and simple that I think you’re bound to like it too. Here, a vanilla and almond-scented buttermilk cake is dotted with fresh berries and baked with a simple and buttery almond streusel on top. The end result is a cake that is equal parts breakfast and dessert, which we all know is my very favorite thing to make. Served with a dollop of whipped cream or simply a cup of coffee, this berry buckle is definitely the perfect treat to make this summer. Let me tell you how.

Berry Buckle by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple breakfast cake / dessert dotted with summer blackberries and blueberries and topped with an almond streusel. The cake bakes up well and is delicious served with whipped cream and ice cream. Learn how simple the recipe is at woodandspoon.com

To make this berry buckle, we start by creaming butter and sugar together until it’s pale and fluffy. A single eggs and extract come next followed by buttermilk and a few simple dry ingredients. The batter is spread into an 8″ or 9″ pan and then dotted with fresh berries- any of your favorites will do. The cake is partially baked before being sprinkled with the almond streusel.

After baking, this berry buckle tastes terrific served warm with ice cream or even on its own. If you happen to have some ripe summer produce on hand, this is definitely a terrible option for utilizing it. Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think! Happy Wednesday and Happy Baking!

If you like the berry buckle you should try:

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake
Blueberry Sour Cream Pie
Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Cornbread
Strawberry Almond Skillet Cake

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Berry Buckle

This berry buckle is a moist buttermilk cake dotted with fresh summer berries and a simple almond streusel!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 9 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale

For the streusel:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sliced or chopped almonds

For the cake:

  • 1/4 cup (55 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 gm) sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 11/4 cups (150 gm) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (120 gm) buttermilk
  • 11/2 cups mixed berries (I used 1 cup blackberries and ½ cup blueberries)

Instructions

To prepare the streusel:

  1. Stir to combine the flour and sugar. Use the back of a fork to cut the softened butter into the dry ingredients until it is incorporated in pea-sized crumbs. Toss in the almonds and set aside.

To prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 10” cast iron skillet and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and ¾ cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, almond extract, and egg and beat to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter and stir to almost combine. Add half of the buttermilk and stir to almost combine. Repeat this process once more until all of the flour mixture and milk has been combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in any unincorporated bits.
  3. Spread the batter out in the greased skillet. Arrange the berries all over the top of the batter, pressing them down gently into the batter. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, and then carefully sprinkle the streusel on top of the cake. Bake for an additional 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly prior to serving. 

Did you make this recipe?

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Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake

Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a creamy chocolate cheesecake made with mascarpone cheese, a chocolate sandwich cookie Oreo crust, and a rich caramel topping. The crust is scented with espresso powder and lends a buttery crunch to the otherwise smooth dessert. This is a decadent treat for chocolate lovers and a great alternative to a cream cheese cheesecake. Learn how to make it on thewoodandspoon.com

Can you even believe it’s been a year?

We’ve spent so much of these past 365 days talking about the pandemic that is seems redundant for me to spend even another second mentioning it here. The truth is, however, that what we’ve experienced has been life changing, and I think it’s really healthy to consider where we were a year ago, how far we’ve come, and what we need moving forward. While it would be easy to look at the past 12 months and try to wish it away or shove it all into the darkest corners of our past, I don’t want to waste this experience; I’d love for each of us to walk away from the pain and trouble of this pandemic as better, more resilient and loving versions of the selves that entered into it. So here’s what I’ve been chewing on.

Chocolate Mascarpone Cheese by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a creamy chocolate cheesecake made with mascarpone cheese, a chocolate sandwich cookie Oreo crust, and a rich caramel topping. The crust is scented with espresso powder and lends a buttery crunch to the otherwise smooth dessert. This is a decadent treat for chocolate lovers and a great alternative to a cream cheese cheesecake. Learn how to make it on thewoodandspoon.com

The single greatest take-away I have from this past year is that relationships mean everything. Most of us, prior to 2020, took even the smallest interactions and gestures of kindness for granted: a smile at the grocery store, a lazy coffee date with a friend, sharing a bucket of popcorn at the movies or a bottle of wine around a crowded dining table. The encouragement and solidarity we find in those interactions have the potential to nourish our souls in deep ways, and, for me, it wasn’t until those interactions were deemed unsafe that I began to realize how much I needed them. Texting, phone calls, and waves from a distant aren’t always enough; sometimes we need that face-t0-face talk with our best friend. We need to hug our grandparents and our little sisters. We need to care for one another with laughter and kindness and touch because we were created for relationship. The isolation of this year hasn’t just been a bummer for our social calendars- it’s left a wanting hole in most of us.

A few weeks ago, I met my grandparents in a drive-thru COVID vaccine line to give them their vaccination application paperwork. The parking lot was filled with maybe a hundred cars, most of which were occupied by one or two elderly people. I’m not sure if it was just me (#hormones), but the energy was almost palpable, and I teared up thinking of all the families who were going to be safely reunited with their grandparents soon. I took a lot of those relationships for granted, and I’m eager to learn from this experience by loving the people around me a little more generously.

Chocolate Mascarpone Cheese by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a creamy chocolate cheesecake made with mascarpone cheese, a chocolate sandwich cookie Oreo crust, and a rich caramel topping. The crust is scented with espresso powder and lends a buttery crunch to the otherwise smooth dessert. This is a decadent treat for chocolate lovers and a great alternative to a cream cheese cheesecake. Learn how to make it on thewoodandspoon.com

Another big take-away I have from this past year is that, in some cases, less really is more. I had the privilege of staying home with my kids those first couple of months of quarantine, and while, admittedly, I found lots to complain about in our newly scaled-back life, I was sincerely grateful for what I found in its place. Where there was once busyness and rushing in our normal day to day life, I found time– a pace of life I hadn’t walked out in years. I’m really grateful to have had those opportunities with my children, and, looking back, I realize that a lot of the “stuff” that filled our calendars before wasn’t really what my heart desired. What I wanted deep down and had the luxury of experiencing during quarantine was intentional relationship with my family, and moving forward, I hope I’ll remember some of that, particularly when the urge to do more (and all too much) sneaks in.

Chocolate Mascarpone Cheese by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a creamy chocolate cheesecake made with mascarpone cheese, a chocolate sandwich cookie Oreo crust, and a rich caramel topping. The crust is scented with espresso powder and lends a buttery crunch to the otherwise smooth dessert. This is a decadent treat for chocolate lovers and a great alternative to a cream cheese cheesecake. Learn how to make it on thewoodandspoon.com

The final big thing that this past year has reinforced in my mind is that we all need to show one another a whole bunch of grace. Each of our stories has read completely different these past 365 days, and it’s helpful for me to remember that my version of this experience has likely been vastly different from yours. We will all process the challenges and loss of this past year in our own way but we can offer one another grace in the midst of it all, particularly when it comes to areas where we don’t see eye to eye. My hope is that, after living through a year that pruned away a lot of the comforts and certainties and facades that many of us (raises hand!) clung to, we find that all that cutting back and stripping away made room for growth that our previous selves wouldn’t have made room for.

There’s been lots of learning this past year, and this is just a small glimpse into mine. It may have been overkill to share allllll of that, but my hope is that you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on your own story and pick out a few things you want to take with you from here on out. I’d love to here from you about this in the future, but, for now, let’s get to this chocolate mascarpone cheesecake.

Chocolate Mascarpone Cheese by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a creamy chocolate cheesecake made with mascarpone cheese, a chocolate sandwich cookie Oreo crust, and a rich caramel topping. The crust is scented with espresso powder and lends a buttery crunch to the otherwise smooth dessert. This is a decadent treat for chocolate lovers and a great alternative to a cream cheese cheesecake. Learn how to make it on thewoodandspoon.com
Chocolate Mascarpone Cheese by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a creamy chocolate cheesecake made with mascarpone cheese, a chocolate sandwich cookie Oreo crust, and a rich caramel topping. The crust is scented with espresso powder and lends a buttery crunch to the otherwise smooth dessert. This is a decadent treat for chocolate lovers and a great alternative to a cream cheese cheesecake. Learn how to make it on thewoodandspoon.com

I love cheesecake, particularly when it comes to ones that are made extra with comforting toppings. This chocolate mascarpone cheesecake is all the yummy, creaminess of a traditional cheesecake with the added taste and texture of mascarpone cheese. Add that to a chocolate cookie crust and gooey caramel, and you have yourself a winning combination.

The directions for this chocolate mascarpone cheesecake are pretty thorough, mostly because I know a lot of people struggle with making cheesecakes. There always seems to be sunken centers, fault line cracks, and soggy crusts, right? So, while the instructions may be over-the-top, I find the juice is worth the squeeze here, and that extra attention to detail yields a really fantastic end product. While the star of this show is definitely the cheesecake center, there is room to take some liberties when it comes to the topping. I used a cup of my favorite homemade caramel sauce for this cake, but you are welcome to sub in your favorite store-bought variety or recipe of your own. Or perhaps you want more chocolate? Try a ganache topping, a homemade fudge sauce, or maybe even just some fresh fruit. Make the cheesecake your own here.

Chocolate Mascarpone Cheese by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a creamy chocolate cheesecake made with mascarpone cheese, a chocolate sandwich cookie Oreo crust, and a rich caramel topping. The crust is scented with espresso powder and lends a buttery crunch to the otherwise smooth dessert. This is a decadent treat for chocolate lovers and a great alternative to a cream cheese cheesecake. Learn how to make it on thewoodandspoon.com

Phew. That was a lot of conversation today, but to sum things up– this past year has been a lot, love your people well, and don’t forget to make this chocolate mascarpone cheesecake. Happy Tuesday and happy baking!

If you like this chocolate mascarpone cheesecake you should try:

Simple Cheesecake Bars
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake
Brown Sugar Cheesecake
Peppermint White Chocolate Cheesecake
Honey Mascarpone Tart with Salty Graham Cracker Crust

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Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake

This chocolate mascarpone cheesecake is a rich and fluffy dessert with an espresso scented chocolate cookie crust and a thick caramel topping. 

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 180
  • Yield: 9 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale

For the crust:

  • 12 ounces (about 31 cookies) chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreo’s)
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  • 5 tablespoons (70 gm) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:

  • 1 pound/ 2 blocks (450 gm) of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 gm) sugar
  • ¼ cup (20 gm) cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs (170 gm), room temperature
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup caramel sauce (follow the link in the text of my post for my favorite recipe or use your own favorite recipe or store-bought variety here)

Instructions

To prepare the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9″ springform pan by wrapping it in sheets of aluminum foil. I use 3 layers of extra wide, heavy duty foil wrapped to the top lip of the pan. Spray the inside walls and bottom of the pan with cooking spray.
  3. Process your chocolate sandwich cookies in the blender on medium speed until they have been reduced to crumbs. Combine the crumbs with the espresso powder and melted butter in a small bowl until the crumbs are well moistened. Gently pat out your mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.

To prepare the cheesecake:

  1. Begin boiling some water in a kettle or saucepan for your water bath.
  2. Place the softened cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream on medium speed until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the cocoa powder and eggs.  Stir on medium until integrated. Add the cream and vanilla extract and stir to combine. 
  3. Strain the cheesecake batter through a mesh strainer (if desired) into a reserved bowl. Pour the strained batter on top of the crust. Gently rap the pan on the counter to help any air bubbles escape. 
  4. Place your springform pan into a slightly larger baking dish/pan and fill the larger pan with the boiling water you prepared for the water bath until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Carefully place both pans in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. After an hour of baking, the edges and top of the cheesecake should be set but still slightly jiggle in the center. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to rest in the oven for an additional hour. Remove from oven and aluminum foil, discard the water bath, and then place the cheesecake in the fridge to chill for several hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for several days.
  5. When ready to serve, top with warmed caramel sauce, slice and serve.

Did you make this recipe?

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Chocolate Tiramisu (and announcing MY FIRST BOOK!)

Chocolate Tiramisu by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a small batch tiramisu recipe made in a loaf pan, switched up with the addition of a chocolate ganache. Mascarpone cheese keeps this dessert true to the Italian classic and crisp ladyfingers soak in kahlua and coffee. Learn how to prepare make-ahead tiramisu on thewoodandspoon.com

Grab a fork and settle in, because we are CELEBRATING all sorts of things with a little chocolate tiramisu today.

First off, it’s my FIVE YEAR BLOG ANNIVERSARY. Yep, five years. It blows my mind in every possible way that this site has existed for that long. Together, we’ve made ____ recipes, welcomed two new babies, built a house, had a couple website refreshers, and shared wayyyy too much personal information. If you’ve stuck around with me since the beginning (Hi, Mom), thank you. Your support and emails and kindness have meant the world to me. To have a job that feels more like a hobby is such a blessing, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Although a lot has changed since day one of this site, my love of food and writing remains the same, and I’m thrilled to keep on keeping on here. Which brings me to celebratory item number two:

Chocolate Tiramisu by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a small batch tiramisu recipe made in a loaf pan, switched up with the addition of a chocolate ganache. Mascarpone cheese keeps this dessert true to the Italian classic and crisp ladyfingers soak in kahlua and coffee. Learn how to prepare make-ahead tiramisu on thewoodandspoon.com

I WROTE A BOOK. A real life book (!!!!) It’s been a long road, so I wanted to share a little about the process.

I started this blog in 2016 in hopes of becoming a cookbook author. At the time, I was following other bloggers who had been around a while and were finally landing cookbook deals of their own. I wanted in! So after lots of nervous back-and-forth with my husband, friends, and mother (Hi again, Mom!), I decided to dive in and start this site with the end-goal of writing a book.

Less than two years later, I had established a relationship with a publishing company and was writing a cookbook proposal with one of their senior editors. This was it! My dreams were coming true! We worked hard for months, but the day before my proposal was to be approved for contract, the publishing company was bought out by a giant media company. Immediately, all projects not under contract were suspended, and after another 6 months of back and forth, they were completely dissolved. I was crushed. It had been over a year of time and work and vulnerability with that company, and I was so disappointed to start over.

Chocolate Tiramisu by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a small batch tiramisu recipe made in a loaf pan, switched up with the addition of a chocolate ganache. Mascarpone cheese keeps this dessert true to the Italian classic and crisp ladyfingers soak in kahlua and coffee. Learn how to prepare make-ahead tiramisu on thewoodandspoon.com

My editor for the project was incredibly kind, and at her last day on the job, she connected me with a book agent out of New York. After some conversation and brainstorming, we began working together to iron out the existing proposal. We got a few nibbles from a couple of publishing companies, but ultimately, the project fell flat. By now, it’s January of 2020. It had been two years of proposal writing with no signs of success on the horizon, and here we were, back at square one.

Thank goodness we didn’t give up. Over the next couple of months, I wrote a new cookbook proposal from scratch, and the day after I submitted it to my agent, I began writing a second proposal. This one was different: a 365-day devotional for women. The Word document on my computer basically filled itself with 56 pages of stories and scripture and thoughts and questions, and less than a month later, it was ready to submit to my agent. We decided to move forward with the devotional, and within no time, I was negotiating offers from multiple publishers. Ultimately, my little project found a home at HarperOne, an imprint of Harper Collins, and in July, I dove head first into writing my very first book. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing more about the project, but for now, I’ll end with this:

Chocolate Tiramisu by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a small batch tiramisu recipe made in a loaf pan, switched up with the addition of a chocolate ganache. Mascarpone cheese keeps this dessert true to the Italian classic and crisp ladyfingers soak in kahlua and coffee. Learn how to prepare make-ahead tiramisu on thewoodandspoon.com

Don’t give up.
Take a chance on your ambitions.
Work hard.
Ignore the pessimists and self-doubt that tell you you’ll never reach the desires in your heart, and if there’s something in there worth going after, do it. When I take inventory of the most beautiful and life-giving things in my story, I’m reminded that absolutely none of it happened overnight, and so much of the deferred hope, perseverance, and effort that I experienced allows me to treasure those gifts for what they are. A closed door or setback in your story doesn’t mean the end of your story, and I really believe that when we push through the barriers and unbelief, we often find breakthrough and joy on the other side.

Chocolate Tiramisu by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a small batch tiramisu recipe made in a loaf pan, switched up with the addition of a chocolate ganache. Mascarpone cheese keeps this dessert true to the Italian classic and crisp ladyfingers soak in kahlua and coffee. Learn how to prepare make-ahead tiramisu on thewoodandspoon.com
Chocolate Tiramisu by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a small batch tiramisu recipe made in a loaf pan, switched up with the addition of a chocolate ganache. Mascarpone cheese keeps this dessert true to the Italian classic and crisp ladyfingers soak in kahlua and coffee. Learn how to prepare make-ahead tiramisu on thewoodandspoon.com

I’m planning to share more about the book next week, but for now, thank you for your love and support. You guys are the best little band of chocolate and sugar lovers, and I couldn’t be more grateful to call you friends! Now, let’s get to this chocolate tiramisu.

I’ve never actually had chocolate tiramisu until I prepared this particular recipe, and truly, I’m wondering why it’s not made more frequently. I mean, we all love classic tiramisu, right? This is no different, just a little extra chocolate. Here, a chocolate ganache, mascarpone, and whipped cream come together to make an espresso-scented treat that is altogether rich and creamy and comforting. The tall slices make for an elegant dessert that requires very little time and effort. If you’re looking for a simple yet impressive make-ahead dessert, I hope you’ll take a chance on this chocolate tiramisu. Truly, it’s delightful.

There’s another delicious recipe and more on the book coming next week. In the meantime, if you get an opportunity to make this chocolate tiramisu, tell me about it! Happy Saturday to you and HAPPY BAKING!

Chocolate Tiramisu by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a small batch tiramisu recipe made in a loaf pan, switched up with the addition of a chocolate ganache. Mascarpone cheese keeps this dessert true to the Italian classic and crisp ladyfingers soak in kahlua and coffee. Learn how to prepare make-ahead tiramisu on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like this chocolate tiramisu, you should try:

Classic Tiramisu
Tiramisu Cream Puffs
Tiramisu Cake
Kentucky Coffee
Toffee Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Chocolate Tiramisu

This chocolate tiramisu is a small-batch recipe made in a loaf pan and flavored with the addition of chocolate ganache.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 360
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ cup (85 gm) semisweet chocolate, chips or chopped
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided 
  • 1 cup (240 gm) warm espresso or strong-brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua or rum/coffee liquor
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup (50 gm) granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1820 ladyfinger cookies (hard or soft is fine)

Instructions

  1. Prepare an 8”x4” loaf pan by lining it both ways with plastic wrap, extending the plastic beyond the sides. Set aside. 
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, gently heat the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of whipping cream, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Do not overheat. Once chips are completely melted, remove from heat to a bowl and set in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the elements. 
  3. Combine the espresso and kahlua in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until thickened and pale, about 2-3 minutes. When a beater or spatula dipped into the mixture is removed it should gradually pour off in a thin, viscous ribbon. Add the mascarpone and beat on low till combined. Stir in the slightly cooled chocolate and cream mixture. Set aside. 
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the remaining heavy whipping cream and vanilla on medium speed to stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the egg yolk mixture until smooth and fluffy, being careful not to overwork. Set it aside.
  6. When you’re ready to assemble the tiramisu, dust the bottom of your prepared pan with a thin layer of cocoa powder. Working quickly and carefully, dip both sides of your lady fingers into the coffee/kahlua mixture and arrange them in a single layer in the bottom of your dusted dish. You want to fill in any larger holes but don’t worry about breaking up your ladyfingers to squeeze them into tiny holes. Spread 1/3 of the cream mixture on top of the lady fingers and dust the cream with another layer of cocoa powder. Repeat your process twice with another layer of ladyfingers, cream, and cocoa powder for a total of three layers. Allow to set up in the fridge for 6 hours for cool removal from the pan. Alternatively, you can prepare this up to a day or two in advance, keeping covered and stored in the fridge. When ready to serve, invert the pan onto a serving platter and peel back the plastic wrap. Dust with additional cocoa powder or grated chocolate if desired and serve slices. 

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Champagne and Strawberries Cake

Champagne and Strawberries Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple champagne scented layered cake topped with a real strawberry American buttercream and made extra moist with a champagne simple syrup. Two layers make up this small 6" cake which is perfect to gift or share with a valentine. Learn how to make this romantic date night in cake on thewoodandspoon.com

I recently saw this quote on Instagram that said “Women don’t want flowers for Valentine’s Day. They want sushi, a fun face mask, control over the tv, and for someone else to put the kids to bed. It’s me. I’m women.” I laughed, because, in a way, it’s totally true. Most of the women I know (particularly Moms) do in fact want to be on the receiving end of thoughtfulness and recognition on Valentine’s Day, but most of us are starved for things much more valuable (but less expensive!) than a few dozen roses. We want our favorite meal, some personal space, and the ability to do exactly what we want to do when we want to do it. We want to watch our favorite show without flipping back to “the game” or without someone asking them to get them a cup of water. For those of us whose lives are run by school schedules and bedtimes, ever at the mercy of someone else’s fever or teething pain, we just want a day a few minutes that are exclusively ours to do exactly as we please.

Oh, and flowers. We also want flowers. Is this too much to ask?

Because it’s been a while since we did a “favorites” round-up on this site, I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve been loving lately. It’s definitely too late to pass on as a last-minute hint to your special someone, but there’s no time like the present to treat yourself. Take a look at some of my current faves, and who knows! Maybe they’ll be one of your faves soon too!

“Cravings: Hungry for More.” First up is Chrissy Teigan’s second cookbook. Is the book a few years old already? Yep. But is it currently $12 on Amazon and worth all that and then some? Absolutely. This cookbook is one of my favorites time and time again. Not only is she hysterical, but the food is delicious and rarely that difficult. If you’re a home cook with a hankering for American meets Thai food, this will be your jam.
Tata Harper Skincare. Does anyone else’s skin freak out in the winter? (Cue everyone raising their hands.) Yep, me too. I’ve been totally digging Tata Harper skincare lately, and because they just started selling discovery kits, you can try it out too! Tata’s products are clean with better-for-you and natural ingredients that actually work. I’m obsessed.
Tonic and Rye Cocktails. At our most recent trip to Blackberry Farm, my favorite cocktail was their tonic and rye, a citrusy and refreshing spin on this winter bourbon drink. I’ve made an embarrassing amount of these at home since finding the recipe online, and now you can too!
Fun Mom Hat. Anyone else love that scene in “Mean Girls” where Regina George’s mom says, “I’m not a regular mom. I’m a cool mom!” Well, this hat feels like the updated version of that. My kids can barely read, but you can bet they know what this hat reads because, well… I’ve reminded them like a million times. This hat is comfortable and comes in all sorts of colors too!
Lake PJs. At the end of last year, I did the very adult thing of investing in pajama sets. Truly, the only person I know that wears matching pjs all the time is my Nana (and she happens to be the coolest!), so I’m considering this a very stylish and put together decision. I love all the Lake pajamas for their thick and soft cotton, and this newest floral print is adorable.
Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Pans. Goldtouch pans from WS were one of the first things on my wedding registry, and I’ve been loving them ever since. That is, until now, because now there’s goldtouch PRO, and obviously I need that in my life. I whole-heartedly recommend these (Especially their half-sheet, quarter sheet, cooling racks, and muffin tins!) for all things baking!

Champagne and Strawberries Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple champagne scented layered cake topped with a real strawberry American buttercream and made extra moist with a champagne simple syrup. Two layers make up this small 6" cake which is perfect to gift or share with a valentine. Learn how to make this romantic date night in cake on thewoodandspoon.com

So true, you may not get any of the above favorites in time for Valentine’s Day, but I do have one additional happy for you today: champagne and strawberries cake! It’s pink, lightly sweetened, and even mini in size for our stay-at-home 2021 Valentine weirdness, and the flavoring feels just right for February 14th, doesn’t it? Champagne and strawberries always feels like a romantic and festive combo in my mind, and in this cake, it works like a dream. Here, champagne-scented cake layers are baked soft and fluffy into two 6″ layers. A champagne simple syrup is added later for extra flavor and moisture. The frosting here, though, really is the star. Fresh strawberries and pureed, cooked down, and combined with a smidge of powdered sugar and butter. The end-product American buttercream truly tastes like strawberry ice cream, and that is in no way disappointing. The cake layers come together with a thick slather of buttercream, and then you’re free to decorate as desired!

Champagne and Strawberries Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple champagne scented layered cake topped with a real strawberry American buttercream and made extra moist with a champagne simple syrup. Two layers make up this small 6" cake which is perfect to gift or share with a valentine. Learn how to make this romantic date night in cake on thewoodandspoon.com

To add words to this champagne and strawberries cake, I printed a text template in a word document that was sized to fit on the 6″ cake. After chilling the cake thoroughly, I gently centered the paper on the cake and used a toothpick to lightly trace the text, indenting in through to the cake. I went back over my light trace with the toothpick a second time and then piped the text on using a number 5 piping tip. Voila! My piping skills are not great, so I was thrilled to figure out a way to get some pretty writing on this pretty little cake.

Champagne and Strawberries Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple champagne scented layered cake topped with a real strawberry American buttercream and made extra moist with a champagne simple syrup. Two layers make up this small 6" cake which is perfect to gift or share with a valentine. Learn how to make this romantic date night in cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Happy Friday and happy Valentine’s Day to you! I hope you get EXACTLY what you want this Sunday, and moreso than that, I hope you feel really loved by someone special in your life- a spouse, a child, a friend, a parent, whoever. Enjoy this champagne and strawberries cake and HAPPY BAKING!

Champagne and Strawberries Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple champagne scented layered cake topped with a real strawberry American buttercream and made extra moist with a champagne simple syrup. Two layers make up this small 6" cake which is perfect to gift or share with a valentine. Learn how to make this romantic date night in cake on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like this champagne and strawberries cake you should try:

Raspberry Champagne Pop-Tarts
Champagne Elderflower Cupcakes
Champagne Popsicles
Strawberry Rhubarb Cake

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Champagne and Strawberries Cake

This champagne and strawberries cake features fluffy champagne cake layers, a champagne syrup soak, and a real strawberry American buttercream!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 120
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale

For the cake:

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 gm) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120 gm) vegetable oil
  • 11/2 cups (190 gm) cake flour
  • 11/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (120 gm) champagne or sparkling wine 

For the buttercream:

  • 11/2 cups (200 gm) fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 cup (230 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt 

For the syrup:

  • 1 cup (240 gm) champagne or sparkling wine
  • ¼ cup (50 gm) granulated sugar

Instructions

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease 2- 6” pans. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of the stand mixer, beat to combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed for one minute. Add in the oil and beat to combine again. Add in half of the flour as well as the baking powder and salt. Stir on low to combine and add in half of the champagne. Stir and repeat this process with the remaining flour and champagne. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in any unincorporated bits. Divide the batter between the two pans and then bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely. In the meantime, prep the buttercream and syrup.

To make the buttercream:

  1. Use a blender or food processor to puree the berries. Add them to a small saucepan and cook down on low heat, stirring regularly, until halved down to ¼ cup total mixture. Set aside in a heat-safe container to cool in the fridge. When ready to frost the cake, cream the butter in a stand mixer set to medium speed for 4 minutes until pale. Add the powdered sugar, ¼ cup of the strawberry mixture, the vanilla, and salt. Stir to combine. Add in water, milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time to get the mixture to the appropriate consistency. 

To make the syrup:

  1. Bring the champagne to a boil in small saucepan, reduce heat to low, add in the sugar, and cook for an additional 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Set aside in a heat-safe container to cool completely. You won’t use all the syrup.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Trim the domes off of the cakes using a serrated knife. Use a pastry brush to paint the cake tops with the cooled syrup. Spoon a bit of frosting onto a 6” cake board or plate and place your first cake layer on the center. Spread a thick layer of frosting on top of this first layer and place the second layer on top. Spread the frosting all over and decorate as desired. Cake is best eaten within two days of making and should be stored covered at room temperature. 

 

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Brown Butter Cake with Candied Pecans

Brown Butter Cake with Candied Pecans by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple brown sugar mini layer cake with brown butter buttercream and candied pecans throughout. This small batch recipe makes a small layer cake to serve just a few and makes for a festive offering for fall, winter, and holiday celebration desserts. Learn how to candy nuts and stack a naked layer cake on thewoodandspoon.com

It’s here! It’s here! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I don’t know about you, but I fall into the camp of people who really like Christmas- the lights, the music, and the wonder of it all has always captivated me in a special way, and even though things are different this year, the feeling remains the same. COVID can’t rain on this parade, and we’re going to kick off the festivities with a seriously yummy treat: brown butter cake with candied pecans.

Brown Butter Cake with Candied Pecans by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple brown sugar mini layer cake with brown butter buttercream and candied pecans throughout. This small batch recipe makes a small layer cake to serve just a few and makes for a festive offering for fall, winter, and holiday celebration desserts. Learn how to candy nuts and stack a naked layer cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Brown Butter Cake with Candied Pecans by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple brown sugar mini layer cake with brown butter buttercream and candied pecans throughout. This small batch recipe makes a small layer cake to serve just a few and makes for a festive offering for fall, winter, and holiday celebration desserts. Learn how to candy nuts and stack a naked layer cake on thewoodandspoon.com

I know- this site has been pecan-heavy this year. We’ve made cookies and tarts and loads of other sweets, but you can’t blame me- pecans reign supreme here in the South. Today’s recipe is a small, 6″ naked layer cake made with brown sugar layers, a brown butter buttercream, and sugared pecans throughout. Here, we have all the cuteness and festivity of a layer cake packaged in a smaller, more manageable-for-a-few-sized dessert. Let me tell you how to make it!

Brown Butter Cake with Candied Pecans by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple brown sugar mini layer cake with brown butter buttercream and candied pecans throughout. This small batch recipe makes a small layer cake to serve just a few and makes for a festive offering for fall, winter, and holiday celebration desserts. Learn how to candy nuts and stack a naked layer cake on thewoodandspoon.com

First, we start with the cake. Butter, oil, and two kinds of sugar are creamed together in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Eggs and vanilla come next, followed by the dry ingredients. Bake the batter in three 6″ pans and then set aside to cool. In the meantime, you can get started on the pecans! A little butter is melted down and stirred together with Diamond of California Pecans Halves. Toss in some cinnamon and sugar and bake in the preheated oven until toasted. Allow to cool and just try not to eat them all in the meantime. Finally, with a little brown butter we whip up a frosting with powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Voila!

Brown Butter Cake with Candied Pecans by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple brown sugar mini layer cake with brown butter buttercream and candied pecans throughout. This small batch recipe makes a small layer cake to serve just a few and makes for a festive offering for fall, winter, and holiday celebration desserts. Learn how to candy nuts and stack a naked layer cake on thewoodandspoon.com

To stack this cake, I used a piping bag outfitted with a large round tip. Squeeze rounds of buttercream all over the tops of each layer as your stack the cake, being sure to scatter in some of the chopped candied pecans as you go. If you’re like me and want a little extra frosting, you can frost this cake as you normally would. Decorate the top with extra pecans and save any leftovers for sharing with friends and family in the coming weeks.

Brown Butter Cake with Candied Pecans by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple brown sugar mini layer cake with brown butter buttercream and candied pecans throughout. This small batch recipe makes a small layer cake to serve just a few and makes for a festive offering for fall, winter, and holiday celebration desserts. Learn how to candy nuts and stack a naked layer cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Brown Butter Cake with Candied Pecans by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple brown sugar mini layer cake with brown butter buttercream and candied pecans throughout. This small batch recipe makes a small layer cake to serve just a few and makes for a festive offering for fall, winter, and holiday celebration desserts. Learn how to candy nuts and stack a naked layer cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Many thanks to my friends at Diamond of California for sponsoring this post! They have long been my go-to brand for all things nuts, and this cake is no exception. Be sure to search “diamond” in the search tab of my site to see other recipes made with their yummy products over the years! Happy December and Happy baking, y’all!

Brown Butter Cake with Candied Pecans by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a simple brown sugar mini layer cake with brown butter buttercream and candied pecans throughout. This small batch recipe makes a small layer cake to serve just a few and makes for a festive offering for fall, winter, and holiday celebration desserts. Learn how to candy nuts and stack a naked layer cake on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like this brown butter cake you should try:

Cinnamon Sugar Cake
Bourbon Caramel Cake
Brown Butter Balsamic Caramel Cake
Brown Sugar Pound Cake

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Brown Butter Cake with Candied Pecans

This brown butter cake has simple fluffy layers with a brown butter whipped buttercream and candied cinnamon sugar pecans throughout!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 120
  • Yield: 78 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale

For the cake:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 13/4 cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the candied pecans:

  • 21/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Diamond of California Pecan Halves

For the buttercream:

  • 11/2 cups unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon milk or heavy cream

Instructions

To prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease three 6” round pans and cut out parchment paper rounds to fit into the bottom of them. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, canola oil, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth, about a minute and a half. Add the egg and yolk and stir until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in any unincorporated bits. Add half of the cake flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir on low to combine. Add ¼ cup of the milk as well as and vanilla. Stir on low. Add the remaining cake flour and milk and stir on low just until combined. Fold in any unincorporated bits. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake in the middle of the oven for about 22-25 minutes or until the cake has puffed, turned golden, and a toothpick inserted just barely comes out clean. Don’t overbake! Set aside to cool completely.

To prepare the pecans:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, stir together the butter and vanilla and then toss in the pecans. Add the sugar mixture and toss to evenly coat the nuts. Spread the nuts out on the baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Once dry and aromatic, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve. 

To prepare the buttercream:

  1. In a small saucepan, dice ½ cup (4 ounces) of the butter and place on medium-low heat. Allow the butter to melt, sizzle, and begin to foam, stirring regularly all the way. Once the butter begins to bubble, stay next to the pan, stirring all the while, and watch as the buttercream turns pale golden to a fragrant amber-colored mixture. Remove from heat, being sure not to burn the butter, and place in a heat-safe bowl to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, add the brown butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and add in the remaining butter. Cream on medium speed until smooth, about one minute. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and stir to combine. Add the cream and whip for 1 minute to fluff up.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Use a serrated knife to trim the domed top off of the cakes. Chop about ¾ cup of the pecans. Add the frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe rounds of frosting all over the top of the first cake and sprinkle pecans on top. Repeat this process with the remaining two layers, stacking the cake as you go. Serve and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

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Brown Butter Balsamic Caramel Cake

Brown Butter Balsamic Caramel Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a two layer cake with fluffy brown butter layers, a balsamic vinegar scented caramel filling and a sweet and simple buttercream made with more of that same caramel. The cake is flavorful and sweet, not at all bitter, and the balsamic adds a lingering scent that is absolutely addictive. Learn how to make this sophisticated and delicious celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Happy Friday!! I didn’t plan on sharing this cake recipe today, but as luck would have it, it’s ready! Hooray! I’ll keep it short and simple and get right to the main event: brown butter balsamic caramel cake.

Brown Butter Balsamic Caramel Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a two layer cake with fluffy brown butter layers, a balsamic vinegar scented caramel filling and a sweet and simple buttercream made with more of that same caramel. The cake is flavorful and sweet, not at all bitter, and the balsamic adds a lingering scent that is absolutely addictive. Learn how to make this sophisticated and delicious celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

I know what you’re thinking: balsamic caramel? I get it, so hear me out. About a year ago, we did a how-to on caramel here. We walked through the ins and outs of how to make it and since that time, we’ve flavored caramels with all sorts of stuff- coffee, peanut butter, maple syrup, and more! But today, we’re venturing into new and exciting territory, going where no man (or woman!) has gone before on this site: balsamic caramel. With the addition of a smidge of high-quality balsamic vinegar, we can ever-so-slightly modify the taste and scent of ordinary caramel, taking it from something yummy and sweet to a filling that is intoxicating, interesting, and down-right sophisticated. Combine that with brown butter cake layers and buttercream and you have yourself a winner. Lt’s talk about how to make it.

Brown Butter Balsamic Caramel Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a two layer cake with fluffy brown butter layers, a balsamic vinegar scented caramel filling and a sweet and simple buttercream made with more of that same caramel. The cake is flavorful and sweet, not at all bitter, and the balsamic adds a lingering scent that is absolutely addictive. Learn how to make this sophisticated and delicious celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Brown Butter Balsamic Caramel Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a two layer cake with fluffy brown butter layers, a balsamic vinegar scented caramel filling and a sweet and simple buttercream made with more of that same caramel. The cake is flavorful and sweet, not at all bitter, and the balsamic adds a lingering scent that is absolutely addictive. Learn how to make this sophisticated and delicious celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

The cake layers are straight-forward. We start by browning butter in a pan (more on that here!), cooling it, and whipping it into a cake batter. The cakes bake up into thick, 9″ wide layers, and are allowed to cool. In the meantime, we can work on the caramel. Butter and brown sugar melt down and cook in a pan until thick and golden. Carefully stir in some heavy cream, salt, and that smidge of balsamic for flavor and allow it to cool completely in the fridge. Once it’s room temperature, we can make the buttercream and begin the assembly!

Brown Butter Balsamic Caramel Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a two layer cake with fluffy brown butter layers, a balsamic vinegar scented caramel filling and a sweet and simple buttercream made with more of that same caramel. The cake is flavorful and sweet, not at all bitter, and the balsamic adds a lingering scent that is absolutely addictive. Learn how to make this sophisticated and delicious celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Trim off any domed tops from the cakes and spread a smooth layer of buttercream on top of the first layer. In order to put some caramel within the cake, we’ll need to pipe a dam around the perimeter (more on that here!) and pour in some of the cooled caramel. Place the second layer on top and decorate as desired with any remaining frosting. I opted to top the cake with extra caramel and some toasted hazelnuts, but this is all totally up to you! I do LOVE how this brown butter balsamic caramel cake came out looking though, don’t you?

Brown Butter Balsamic Caramel Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a two layer cake with fluffy brown butter layers, a balsamic vinegar scented caramel filling and a sweet and simple buttercream made with more of that same caramel. The cake is flavorful and sweet, not at all bitter, and the balsamic adds a lingering scent that is absolutely addictive. Learn how to make this sophisticated and delicious celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

I know next week will be all about pumpkins, pies, turkey dinners, so for now, let’s just give thanks for this beauty of a cake. I’ve got another yummy recipe in store for y’all next week, even amidst all the holiday excitement! If you get to make this cake, let me know what you think in the comments below! Happy Friday and Happy Baking!

Brown Butter Balsamic Caramel Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a two layer cake with fluffy brown butter layers, a balsamic vinegar scented caramel filling and a sweet and simple buttercream made with more of that same caramel. The cake is flavorful and sweet, not at all bitter, and the balsamic adds a lingering scent that is absolutely addictive. Learn how to make this sophisticated and delicious celebration cake on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like this brown butter balsamic caramel cake you should make:

Bourbon Caramel Cake
Molten Caramel Chocolate Cakes
Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake
Cinnamon Sugar Cake

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Brown Butter Balsamic Caramel Cake

This two layer cake has fluffy brown butter layers, a balsamic vinegar caramel filling, and a simple American buttercream flavored with that same tangy caramel!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 9 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale

For the cake layers:

  • 1½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 23/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the caramel:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (or more, according to your taste)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

For the buttercream:

  • 11/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cups prepared caramel
  • 21/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. To prepare the cake, cube the butter and place it in a medium, light-colored, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium low heat. Stir regularly to allow the butter to melt evenly. It will begin to sizzle, foam, and then brown. Continue stirring and scraping the sides of the pan as the butter browns and remove to a heat-safe bowl when the butter has golden flecks throughout and the pan smells fragrant. Allow to cool completely to soft, room temperature. I prefer to speed this process up in the fridge.
  2. When ready to bake the cake, ensure that your butter is room temperature and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9” pans with baking spray and cut out rounds of parchment paper to fit directly into the bottom of each pan. Cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 4 minutes. The mixture will be light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. Add half of the flour, the powder, soda, and salt. Sitr on low to combine. Combine the milk, vinegar, and vanilla and add half of that mixture. Stir on low and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining dry ingredients followed by the remaining wet and use a rubber spatula to fold in any unincorporated bits. Do not over mix. Divide the batter between the two pans and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Bake time differs from oven to oven. Remove from oven when done and allow to cool completely.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the caramel. In a medium, heavy-bottomed pan, combine the butter and brown sugar and stir regularly until the mixture has melted. Bring to a rolling boil and use a rubber spatula to barely stir the caramel on the edges of the pan toward the middle. Cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully stir in the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a heat-safe container and allow to cool completely.
  4. When ready to frost the cake, cream the butter for the buttercream on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add the caramel and powdered sugar and whip for an additional minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again to incorporate.
  5. Use a serrated knife to level the cakes and place a schmear of buttercream on a prepared cake board or plate. Place the first layer on top and smooth a large plop of buttercream on this first cake. Place a cup of the buttercream in a piping bag or Ziploc and snip the end off to make a ½” sided opening. Pipe a dam around the perimeter of the top of the cake and spoon some of the remaining caramel inside. Place the second cake layer on top and lightly press down to seal it to the bottom cake. Be sure no caramel smushes out. Finish icing with the remaining buttercream and decorate as desired! I used toasted hazelnuts and extra caramel! Enjoy!

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Apple Crisp Cheesecake

Apple Crisp Cheesecake by Wood and Spoon blog. This autumn dessert recipe from Kelsey Siemens features a spiced graham cracker crust, a salted caramel cheesecake filling, fresh apples, and a crumbly brown sugar streusel topping. Served with salted caramel and loads of warm fall flavors, this cake is a terrific make ahead dessert for the holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Learn how to make homemade cheesecake on thewoodandspoon.com

If only every day could be a vacation day. *Le sigh*. Brett and I just got back from a quick trip to South Carolina for my birthday, and I was reminded why it’s so important to get away. It’s like a mental reset or a breath of fresh air, and if there’s anything we need in these last few months of 2020, it’s that. New perspective. I’m sure I’ll tell you all about the trip really soon, but for now, we’ll stick with dessert.

Apple Crisp Cheesecake by Wood and Spoon blog. This autumn dessert recipe from Kelsey Siemens features a spiced graham cracker crust, a salted caramel cheesecake filling, fresh apples, and a crumbly brown sugar streusel topping. Served with salted caramel and loads of warm fall flavors, this cake is a terrific make ahead dessert for the holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Learn how to make homemade cheesecake on thewoodandspoon.com

This apple crisp cheesecake is from Kelsey Siemens’ new book, and it is FABULOUS! Kelsey, otherwise known as the farmer’s daughter, has been a long-time social media and blog friend, and her new book is filled with all the beautiful photos of food and rural farm life that I’ve come to love about her pages. The Farmer’s Daughter Bakes features seasonal fruit-based treats from blueberry lemon curd muffins to cherry turnovers, but with fall in the air, I knew I had to opt for the apple crisp cheesecake. Let me tell you all about it.

Apple Crisp Cheesecake by Wood and Spoon blog. This autumn dessert recipe from Kelsey Siemens features a spiced graham cracker crust, a salted caramel cheesecake filling, fresh apples, and a crumbly brown sugar streusel topping. Served with salted caramel and loads of warm fall flavors, this cake is a terrific make ahead dessert for the holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Learn how to make homemade cheesecake on thewoodandspoon.com

This apple crisp cheesecake starts with a spiced graham cracker crust. Once lightly baked, the crust is topped with cheesecake filling flavored with salted caramel sauce. Next comes spiced apples and a brown sugar crisp topped made with extra salt and just enough butter. Once all stacked together, the cake is baked until set, fragrant, and loaded with texture. Truly, it’s nothing short of wonderful.

Apple Crisp Cheesecake by Wood and Spoon blog. This autumn dessert recipe from Kelsey Siemens features a spiced graham cracker crust, a salted caramel cheesecake filling, fresh apples, and a crumbly brown sugar streusel topping. Served with salted caramel and loads of warm fall flavors, this cake is a terrific make ahead dessert for the holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Learn how to make homemade cheesecake on thewoodandspoon.com

This apple crisp cheesecake would be perfect for the upcoming holidays and will welcome any fruit you happen upon at any local apple orchards. I also think it would go terrifically with pears or even a substituted butterscotch sauce in place of the caramel! I’ll let you decide. Give Kelsey’s book a look here and do please try this fabulous recipe! I really think it’s a winner. Happy Wednesday to you all and happy baking!

Apple Crisp Cheesecake by Wood and Spoon blog. This autumn dessert recipe from Kelsey Siemens features a spiced graham cracker crust, a salted caramel cheesecake filling, fresh apples, and a crumbly brown sugar streusel topping. Served with salted caramel and loads of warm fall flavors, this cake is a terrific make ahead dessert for the holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Learn how to make homemade cheesecake on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like this apple crisp cheesecake you should try:

Apple Crisp Ice Cream
Brown Sugar Apple Bundt Cake
Caramel Apple Pie
Apple Crisp Ice Cream
Apple Crumb Cake
Brown Sugar Cheesecake with Oatmeal Cookie Crust

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Apple Crisp Cheesecake

This recipe found in “The Farmer’s Daughter Bakes” is a salted caramel cheesecake with apple pie filling and a spiced crumb topping!

  • Author: Kelsey Siemens
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 180
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale

Crust:

  • 11/2 cups (150 gm) graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons (28 gm) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) melted unsalted butter

Cheesecake:

  • 3 cups (696 gm) cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 gm) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (120 mL) full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup (120 mL) salted caramel sauce, plus extra for serving
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Apple Filling:

  • 34 medium tart apples, such as Elstar, Pink Lady, or Granny Smith (4 cups when prepared)
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon 

Crumb Topping:

  • ½ cup (63 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (110 gm) packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (68 gm) rolled oats
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) melted unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
  2. To make the crust, in a medium bowl stir together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, salt, allspice, and melted butter Press firmly into a 10-inch springform pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. To make the cheesecake, make sure the cream cheese us at room temperature, or even a bit softer, otherwise you may end up with a slightly lumpy batter. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and sugar on medium-low until completely smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the yogurt, salted caramel sauce and vanilla extract, and mix on medium until completely combined. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, until completely incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl throughout this process. Try not to overmix the batter and stop mixing once it’s smooth. Scrape the cheesecake batter onto the crust and set aside. 
  4. To make the apple filling, peel and chop the apples into ¼-inch cubes. You should have about 4 cups of apple cubes. In a medium bowl toss the apple pieces with lemon juice, flour, and cinnamon. Spread evenly over the cheesecake layer.
  5. To make the crumb topping, in a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, oats, and melted butter until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle evenly over the apple layer. 
  6. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until the apple pieces are easily pierced by a fork. If the crumb layer starts getting too brown while baking, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. Remove from the oven when done and immediately run a thin knife along the edges to help it release from the pan. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes, release the springform pan and remove. This helps the cake cool faster. Cool the cake for at least 1 hour and then move to the fridge for several more hours or overnight before serving. Once chilled, move to an airtight container to store until ready to serve. Drizzle with additional caramel sauce, if desired. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. 

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Bourbon Caramel Cake

Bourbon Caramel Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a fluffy brown sugar bourbon cake with a Southern old fashioned caramel frosting made with brown sugar. This is a small batch cake that only serves a few, perfect for weeknight baking. This rectangular cake makes sweet and salty layers that are perfect for fall and holiday baking. Learn how to make old fashioned icing on thewoodandspoon.com

Happy Birthday to me! Today I turn 25 a hair over 30, and if you know me, you know there’s few flavors I love as much as bourbon and caramel. It seemed only appropriate to combine the two to make one phenomenally fall dessert, and I have to say- it was worth the effort. This bourbon caramel cake is right up my alley, and I think you’ll love it too. Let’s dive in.

Bourbon Caramel Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a fluffy brown sugar bourbon cake with a Southern old fashioned caramel frosting made with brown sugar. This is a small batch cake that only serves a few, perfect for weeknight baking. This rectangular cake makes sweet and salty layers that are perfect for fall and holiday baking. Learn how to make old fashioned icing on thewoodandspoon.com

Look, I’m not above celebrating my own birthday. I know it may seem a little narcissistic, but let’s be honest: 2020 has been a wild one. Sometimes we need a happy celebration to take the edge off, and birthdays are the perfect excuse. So yes, I’m totally celebrating myself (and bourbon! and caramel!) with this little bourbon caramel cake, but I’d welcome you to insert your own celebration to the equation. Whatever great thing you have going for you in life, I’d challenge you to sprinkle it with all the love and candles and cake you can muster. If, at the heart of it, there’s a whole bunch of gratitude and joy, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Bourbon Caramel Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a fluffy brown sugar bourbon cake with a Southern old fashioned caramel frosting made with brown sugar. This is a small batch cake that only serves a few, perfect for weeknight baking. This rectangular cake makes sweet and salty layers that are perfect for fall and holiday baking. Learn how to make old fashioned icing on thewoodandspoon.com

So onto this bourbon caramel cake. Here, fall flavors, a hint of booze, and rich textures are all packaged into a small batch cake recipe that is more petite than the cakes we normally share around here. My guess is that most of our celebrations are including fewer people these days, so you can count on this treat for about 9 servings, 6 if you’re serving crazy, sugar-hungry people like me. The cake layers are bourbon and brown sugar-scented with all the soft and fluffy texture to boot. The frosting, an old-fashioned Southern-style caramel icing, sets up thick and adds loads of flavor and sweetness to the tender cake. Let me tell you how to make it.

We start with the cake! This one is simple with butter, oil, and two kinds of sugar creaming together. Next, we add eggs and then begin alternating the wet and dry ingredients. Cake flour contributes soft texture and bourbon adds the warmth and flavor. The batter is baked in a 9″ square pan and then allowed to cool. When you’re ready to frost the cake, you can start making the icing. Butter and brown sugar melt and cook over the stove until it’s bubbly throughout. Heavy cream barely thins out the mixture that is then put in the bowl of a stand mixer to whip with powdered sugar until somewhat cool. Next, a small bit more of butter is added and stirred until smooth. Admittedly, this icing is kinda tricky to work with.

Bourbon Caramel Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a fluffy brown sugar bourbon cake with a Southern old fashioned caramel frosting made with brown sugar. This is a small batch cake that only serves a few, perfect for weeknight baking. This rectangular cake makes sweet and salty layers that are perfect for fall and holiday baking. Learn how to make old fashioned icing on thewoodandspoon.com

Find the right consistency for this icing is the trickiest part as the icing is applied best when warm but not too soupy. I’d encourage you to play with it a bit to find the right texture and gently reheat and icing that sets up too quickly. Work fast and know we’re not aiming for perfection here- just a really yummy cake. If you have any celebrations coming up, I’d encourage you to give bourbon caramel cake a try~ I know I’ll be celebrating with a slice, and I’d love for you to join me. Happy Thursday and happy baking!

If you like this bourbon caramel cake you should try:

Brown Butter Bourbon Madeleines
Bourbon Bundt Cake
Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake
Molten Caramel Chocolate Cakes
Almond Toffee Cake

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Bourbon Caramel Cake

This bourbon caramel cake has fluffy bourbon brown sugar layers and an old fashioned Southern caramel frosting!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 120
  • Yield: 9 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale

For the cake:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 13/4 cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream, plus more to thin out icing
  • 21/2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

To prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 (if using a dark pan like me. Otherwise, you can go up to 350 but bake time will be shorter). Lightly grease a 9” square pan and cut out a sheet of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of it. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, canola oil, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth, about a minute and a half. Add the egg and yolk and stir until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in any unincorporated bits. Add half of the cake flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir on low to combine. Add ¼ cup of the milk as well as the bourbon and vanilla. Stir on low. Add the remaining cake flour and milk and stir on low just until combined. Fold in any unincorporated bits. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven for about 35-37 minutes or until the cake has puffed, turned golden, and a toothpick inserted just barely comes out clean. Don’t overbake! Set aside to cool completely.
  3. When ready to frost the cake (see notes), remove the cake from the pan, use a serrated knife to trim off any dome, and cut in half lengthwise to create two 4.5”x9” cakes. Prepare your frosting as follows.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine ½ cup butter and the brown sugar over low heat and stir the mixture until the butter and sugar are combined and smooth but the mixture hasn’t begun to boil. Turn the heat up to medium and stop stirring. Cook until bubbles appear on the sides and middle of the pot. Remove from heat and carefully stir in ½ cup cream. Whisk the cream in to incorporate, but be careful, as the mixture may splatter. Place back on heat and bring to a bubble again then remove from heat. Pour the mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer and add the powdered sugar. Beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture has cooled to a warm temperature. Add the remaining butter and beat ad additional minute. At this point, assess the texture. The frosting should be slightly warm and very loose. The frosting will set up as it cools, so you’ll need to add a bit of additional cream or milk to thin it out. I usually find 2 tablespoons is the perfect amount, but you can decide. Dollop a little bit of frosting on your serving platter or plate and place the first “layer” of cake down. Spread additional frosting on top to adhere the second layer and observe how it sets up as it cools. At this time, if the frosting sets up too firm and you want to add a little more milk, you can gently reheat it for a few seconds in the microwave and then add additional milk. Frost the cake and allow to cool before enjoying! Please note this frosting is way different to work with from traditional buttercreams, but you can briefly reheat the frosting to get it smooth enough to frost again. Just don’t overheat!

Notes

  •  I like to work with chilled cakes. You can pop these layers in the freezer to achieve, if desired. 

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Simple Cheesecake Bars

Simple Cheesecake Bars by Wood and Spoon Blog. These are easy dessert squares made with a pecan graham cracker crust and a fluffy, whipped cream and cream cheese filling. These treats set up to a creamy, soft cheesecake bar that goes great with a number of toppings: caramel, chocolate, strawberries, cherry sauce, and more. This recipe serves a crowd and can easily be adapted to fit your favorite flavors. Learn how to make them easily on thewoodandspoon.com

The other day, a friend and I passed The Cheesecake Factory, and we both had our own stories to tell. Back in high school, The Cheesecake Factory was where it was happening, and nothing said “Friday night” like a trip to the movies and a 1,600 calorie slice of cheesecake to-go. Truth be told, I’d still dominate a whole cheesecake on my own weekly if I wasn’t utterly concerned about my waistline, but lately I’ve really been digging the simplicity and adaptability of these simple cheesecake bars. If you’ve never made something similar (but surely you have, right?) these almost no-bake treats are the way to go, and I can’t wait to tell you all about them!

Simple Cheesecake Bars by Wood and Spoon Blog. These are easy dessert squares made with a pecan graham cracker crust and a fluffy, whipped cream and cream cheese filling. These treats set up to a creamy, soft cheesecake bar that goes great with a number of toppings: caramel, chocolate, strawberries, cherry sauce, and more. This recipe serves a crowd and can easily be adapted to fit your favorite flavors. Learn how to make them easily on thewoodandspoon.com

Simple Cheesecake Bars by Wood and Spoon Blog. These are easy dessert squares made with a pecan graham cracker crust and a fluffy, whipped cream and cream cheese filling. These treats set up to a creamy, soft cheesecake bar that goes great with a number of toppings: caramel, chocolate, strawberries, cherry sauce, and more. This recipe serves a crowd and can easily be adapted to fit your favorite flavors. Learn how to make them easily on thewoodandspoon.com

These simple cheesecake bars are a great option as we transition into fall. If you’re not quite ready to dive head-first into pumpkin spice and apple pies, these fluffy and flavorful squares are the way to go. Here, a press-in graham cracker and pecan crust comes together with a little butter, salt, and sugar, and is baked briefly in a small square pan until set. On top of it, a whipped filling made with cream cheese, sour cream, and whipped cream is spread out, and the bars set up to a semi-firm consistency in the fridge. The filling stays airy and whipped, even after refrigeration, but it will set up plenty for you to slice pretty squares to serve all your friends. The best part here is the topping: you get to choose! Caramel, chocolate sauce, fresh fruit, sprinkles, whipped cream, or candied nuts would find a welcome home on these simple cheesecake bars, so you can go with whatever feels right.

Simple Cheesecake Bars by Wood and Spoon Blog. These are easy dessert squares made with a pecan graham cracker crust and a fluffy, whipped cream and cream cheese filling. These treats set up to a creamy, soft cheesecake bar that goes great with a number of toppings: caramel, chocolate, strawberries, cherry sauce, and more. This recipe serves a crowd and can easily be adapted to fit your favorite flavors. Learn how to make them easily on thewoodandspoon.com

These bars can easily be made ahead but keep best refrigerated. Bonus: you can even freeze them! I froze a batch in the freezer, thawed in the fridge overnight, and sliced up delicious squares the following day. These simple cheesecake bars are truly one of the easiest make-ahead options I can think of. When you’re ready to serve, simply adorn the with your favorite toppings, or let friends and family decorate them on their own.

Simple Cheesecake Bars by Wood and Spoon Blog. These are easy dessert squares made with a pecan graham cracker crust and a fluffy, whipped cream and cream cheese filling. These treats set up to a creamy, soft cheesecake bar that goes great with a number of toppings: caramel, chocolate, strawberries, cherry sauce, and more. This recipe serves a crowd and can easily be adapted to fit your favorite flavors. Learn how to make them easily on thewoodandspoon.com

I hope you guys have a terrific week regardless of what you have going on. Give these simple cheesecake bars a try and let me know what you think! Happy Tuesday and Happy Baking!

If you like these simple cheesecake bars, you should try:

Brown Sugar Cheesecake with Oatmeal Cookie Crust and Butterscotch
Peppermint White Chocolate Cheesecake
Carrot Cake Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts
Blood Orange Cheesecake
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake

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Simple Cheesecake Bars

These simple cheesecake bars feature a pecan graham cracker crust and a fluffy cream cheese and whipped cream no-bake filling! 

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 180
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

Scale

For the crust:

  • 1 cup (99 gm) graham cracker crumbs
  • ¾ cup (100 gm) finely chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons (100 gm) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces regular cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 11/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Toppings of your choice: fresh berries, caramel, hot fudge, fruit, etc!

Instructions

To make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 or 9” square pan with aluminum foil that extends up the sides for easy removal. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and stir to combine. Press the wet crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the bottom is set. Allow to cool completely.

To make the filling:

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, stirring to combine. Add the sour cream, stirring to combine. In a separate bowl, whip the cream in medium speed until thickened to stiff peaks. Fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture until smooth, being careful not to overwork the whipped mixture. Spread the filling on top of the cooled crust and smooth with an offset spatula. Allow the bars to cool in the fridge to set, about 4 hours and then cut to serve with the toppings of your choice!

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