Cakes

Champagne Elderflower Cupcakes

Champagne Elderflower Cupcakes recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. these are simple cupcakes using boozy / booze champagne or sparkling wine or prosecco. There is a hint of lemon in these cupcakes that are also filled with a piped champagne custard. These can be made ahead. Topped with a whipped cream frosting/ icing that is light and kept cold. This is a great recipe to serve a crowd at a party or cocktail party. New year party, new year's dessert menu, boozy desserts, cake using wine or champagne. thewoodandspoon.com

So what are your plans for New Year’s Eve? Do you have the champagne iced down? Is your sequined dress polished and ready for dancing? Did you buy a new lipstick to ready your pucker for a midnight kiss?

Champagne Elderflower CupcakesChampagne Elderflower Cupcakes

Something about New Year’s Eve makes me jittery with excitement. The parties and bubbles and noisemakers and confetti make the world so shiny and glamorous for a brief moment. For a few hours, regardless of the year you’ve had, there’s laughter and excitement and so much hope for the coming year. I love an excuse for a party, but one that gives you the opportunity to celebrate time and the promises of tomorrow is beautiful, if you ask me. This year, Brett and I celebrating with some friends in a more relaxed fashion, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it soon. In the meantime, I’m excited to share these champagne elderflower cupcakes with you, as I’m sure your NYE party is looking for a little extra sugar, booze, and sparkle.

Champagne Elderflower Cupcakes

These champagne elderflower cupcakes are lightly flavored with champagne and elderflower liqueur. Filled with a champagne custard and topped with a zesty lemon elderflower whipped cream frosting, the cupcakes taste like a cocktail in cake form. What better time to try them out than New Year’s Eve?! While the champagne elderflower cupcakes are best eaten the day they’re prepared, they keep well in the fridge, so you can make them the morning of your party and still count on them being delicious once midnight rolls around. If you’re feeling extra festive, serve them alongside an elderflower and champagne cocktail- with only 2 ingredients and zero prep time, this cocktail is a cinch to throw together and will make your cupcakes shine.

Champagne Elderflower CupcakesChampagne Elderflower Cupcakes

All of my hopes, blessings, and love to you and yours this coming year. I wish you all of the best that life has to offer and pray that 2017 is your most delicious year yet. I can’t wait to share more with you in the coming year. Happy New Year and cheers to you!
Champagne Elderflower Cupcakes

 

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Champagne Elderflower Cupcakes

Scented with elderflower liqueur, lemon zest, and bubbly champagne, these champagne elderflower cupcakes are a festive dessert to include in your holiday and New Year’s Eve celebrations!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24
  • Category: Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 21/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 13/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup dry champagne or sparkling white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of elderflower liquor (St. Germain)

For the custard

  • 11/2 cups half and half
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup dry champagne or sparkling white wine
  • 21/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

For the frosting

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 21/2 tablespoons elderflower liquor
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Instructions

To prepare the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 24 cupcake tins with papers.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Turn the speed down to low and slowly add in the oil.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients and stir on low speed to combine. Add the wine and liquor, stirring briefly to combine, and then add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix just until combined- do not overmix. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold the batter to ensure it is thoroughly mixed.
  5. Put approximately 1/4 cup of batter in each cupcake liner (I use a large cookie scoop to fill mine), and then place the prepared pans in the oven. I typically bake one pan at a time to ensure even baking, but you can prepare them how you prefer. Rotate in the oven if you notice on side of the pan getting darker than the other. Bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack while you prepare the remaining elements.

To prepare the custard

  1. Heat the half and half in a medium sized saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat until it is hot (but not boiling). In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Add the wine and cornstarch, whisking until combined. Slowly add 1/3 of the hot half and half, whisking the whole time to ensure the eggs don’t get cooked. Pour the entirety of the mixture back in the saucepan and continue to cook it all on the stove over medium-low heat. You’ll notice that the mixture will begin to thicken and perhaps even bubble slightly. Remove from the heat when the custard is a thick pudding consistency. Whisk in the butter and vanilla and place the custard into a small bowl. Place a sheet of plastic directly on top of the custard, to prevent a skin from forming on the top, and place the bowl in the fridge to cool.

To prepare the frosting

  1. Beat the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, elderflower liquor, and zest and continue beating just until stiff peaks form. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chilled custard into the whipped cream.

To assemble the cupcakes

  1. Using a paring knife, cut a small, tablespoon sized whole in the top of each cupcake. This is where the custard filling will go, so feel free to make the hole somewhat deep but not wider than half the width of the cupcake.
  2. Spoon or pipe the custard into the holes in the cupcakes. About 1 tablespoon of custard should go in each cupcake.
  3. Pipe or dollop the whipping cream frosting on each cupcake. I used a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip to pipe my frosting.
  4. Store the cupcakes in the fridge. They are best eaten on the day they are assembled.

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Recipe Adapted From: Julie Richardson

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Elderflower Champagne

A sparkling cocktail to pair with your cupcakes!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounces elderflower liqueur
  • 3 ounces chilled champagne or dry sparkling wine

Instructions

  1. Pour the elderflower liqueur in the bottom of a champagne flute. Top with the champagne. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 71
  • Sugar: 1
  • Sodium: 4
  • Fat: 0
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 2
  • Protein: 0
  • Cholesterol: 0

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Ginger Molasses Bundt Cakes

Ginger Molasses Bundt Cakes Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Simple, one bowl recipe of flavorful and warmly scented cakes sweetened with molasses and spices including cinnamon and ginger. There is a simple white chocolate frosting glaze icing on top. you can modify these mini bundt cakes to be larger bundt cakes or even use a loaf pan, a round cake pan, or a square baking dish. Find the recipe and other fall / winter/ holiday recipes on thewoodandspoon.com

Guys, I gotta tell you, I’m feeling so merry that I could burst. All the gift wrapping and carols and tinsel and Charlie Brown Christmas has got me feeling more festive than Mrs. Claus herself. I’ve eaten more peppermint bark and cookies than I can admit without a small amount of shame, but honestly, who cares? IT’S CHRISTMAS! If you haven’t gotten in the holiday spirit yet, just hang in there, because everyone is bound to catch the fever at some point. And if you’ve hit a mental block or dead end in your Christmas shopping already, keep reading because I have got some terrific tips for you!

These past few weeks I’ve gotten a lot of questions from friends and followers about what type of tools an aspiring baker might need. There’s so much available in stores that sometimes it’s hard to pick out which items are necessary and reliable. So I have compiled a Christmas list for you, or for the aspiring home bakers in your life, of tools and kitchen supplies that you can count on to get the job done. These are items and brands that I have in my home and rely on every week, and while not all are essential, they’re all super fun and useful. You can check out the links for these items at the bottom of this post!Christmas List Gift Guide for Baker

And if you haven’t maxed out your tolerable intake level of gingerbread and other holiday spiced foods, I have these little ginger molasses bundt cakes for you too! I had been looking for a ginger cake recipe for some time and finally found one from David Lebovitz that I was quite fond of.  I wanted these cakes to have a more mild ginger flavor and not be so heavily spiced that people who weren’t as fond of ginger could enjoy them as well. I think these are spot on.

Ginger Molasses Bundt CakesGinger Molasses Bundt Cakes

These ginger molasses bundt cakes are fluffy and moist, with warm flavors of molasses and brown sugar throughout. I used jarred ginger to help keep the prep time for this recipe under 10 minutes, but fresh ginger would be a home run here too. If you prefer a more strongly ginger flavored cake, you can add up to two more tablespoons of ginger to give them an extra zesty boost. The cakes are topped with a white chocolate glaze that sweetens them up a bit and make them look like little snow topped mountains. (Insert heart eyes).Ginger Molasses Bundt Cakes

Because most people don’t have a mini bundt pan laying around, you can also make mini muffins or an 8″ cake out of this recipe. I personally prefer the mini muffins to a large cake, but who I am to tell you what to do? 

Stay tuned for more Christmas cheer from this gal over the next few weeks, and please give these ginger molasses cakes a shot! If you have any questions about the Christmas wish list, drop me a line below in the comments section and I will do my best to answer them. Cheers to all and to all a good night!

Ginger Molasses Bundt Cakes

 

Christmas List Gift Guide for Baker

  1. Cake Pans
  2. Double Oven Mitt
  3. Parchment Paper and Rounds
  4. Cookie Scoops
  5. Stand Mixer
  6. Measuring Cups and Spoons
  7. Cake Turntable
  8. Dorie’s Cookies and Baking Bible
  9. Wooden Spoons
  10. Apron
  11. Cake Stand
  12. Offset Spatula
  13. Sheet Pan

 

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Ginger Molasses Bundt cakes

These ginger molasses bundt cakes and moist and fluffy cakes, fragrant from spicy ginger and cinnamon, and sweetened up by a white chocolate glaze.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Ingredients

For the cakes

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons fresh minced ginger (See Notes)
  • 1/2 cup mild molasses
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 11/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

For the glaze

  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

Instructions

To prepare the cakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the vanilla, ginger, molasses, sugars, and oil in a large bowl, stirring together until evenly mixed.
  3. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Once boiling, carefully add the baking soda and stir to mix in.
  4. Add the baking soda and water mixture to the bowl with the sugars and stir to combine. Add in the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  5. Grease (I use baking spray with flour) a 6 cake mini bundt pan and evenly disperse the batter in each cake pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes and then invert the cakes on to a cooling rack to continue cooling.

To prepare the frosting

  1. Once the cakes are cooled, prepare the frosting.
  2. Over a double boiler set on low heat, melt the chocolate chips with the heavy cream. Do no let the water get too hot as this will cause the chocolate to seize up. Instead, allow the chocolate to begin melting and move on and off the heat as needed in order for the chips to just barely melt. Do not increase the heat above low or allow the bowl to get too hot. Once melted, allow the chocolate to cool slightly and then whisk in the sifted confectioner’s sugar. Stir until combined and the drizzle over the cooled cakes. If the frosting is too stiff, you can heat slightly in the microwave about 15 seconds or add additional heavy cream, 1 teaspoon at a time.

Notes

  • Notes: I used minced ginger from a jar, but if you have fresh ginger on hand that would be lovely as well.
  • This recipe can also be prepared in mini muffin tins. Adjust bake time to about 15 minutes. Recipe makes about 30 mini muffins or 1- 8″ cake.

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Recipe Adapted From: David Lebovitz

Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake

Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a perfect make ahead Christmas / holiday / winter dessert made with Williams-sonoma peppermint bark. The chocolate cookies are like chocolate wafers and are made with hot cocoa mix. The filling is a mascarpone cheese whipped cream mixture that holds its shape as a frosting and helps to keep the cookies soft. the whole thing is topped by white chocolate and semisweet chocolate peppermint bark. Make this impressive layer layered dessert for you friends or next dinner party. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake

Can you just feel the excitement? Surely it’s not just me. At our house, the tree is up and our stockings are hung. I’ve already made an unnecessary amount of Christmas cookies and my kitchen smells like a cinnamon stick/ fir tree hybrid. My Christmas socks are back in rotation, and I’m about one Mariah Carey song away from my husband refusing to ride in the car with me anymore. Surely this holiday cheer isn’t reserved just for me- IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

This time of year always elicits a number of merry memories and feels for me, and as I grow older, I find myself trying to cultivate that same wonder and excitement for my own family. I want my babies to grow up on the sounds and smells and sights that make this time of year so rich. Fires crackling in the fireplace. Christmas lights glowing on street lamps at night. Cookies and milk and Nat King Cole. Candlelight services and that babe in a manger and the jittery excitement that makes sleep impossible on Christmas Eve. This time of year is filled with so many opportunities to love people and make memories, and it’s just one of the million things I can’t wait to share with my children as they grow up.

Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake

Growing up, there were always a few Christmas staples that I looked forward to every December, including Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark. I can close my eyes and distinctly remember those trips to the mall to pick up a tin or two to take home and pick at for the next few weeks days. To this day, it’s the go-to gift for my grandfathers each year and it’s a favorite to share as hostess gifts at holiday parties.  Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark is iconic, unmatched in quality and taste, and it’s one of those Christmas favorites that I know my kids will grow up on as well.

Ok, so now that you know how much I heart Peppermint Bark, let me tell you how excited I am to be partnering with Williams-Sonoma and TheFeedFeed to bring you today’s recipe. Literally, unless Ina Garten herself knocked on my door and asked me to help her and Taylor Swift make roast chicken and chocolate cake for Jeffery, I could not be more excited. Even as we speak, there’s fireworks and explosions going off in my heart and I can hardly even type because I can’t keep from throwing out some jazz hands. (!!!)

Peppermint Bark Icebox CakePeppermint Bark Icebox Cake

This is a peppermint bark icebox cake. Made with layers of hot cocoa cookies, peppermint and mascarpone whipped cream, and little crumbles of peppermint bark, this icebox cake is a dessert that will make all your days merry and bright. The lightly sweetened cream is rich in flavor and delicate in texture, making it a perfect match for the thin and crispy cocoa cookies. I used hot cocoa mix to produce the wafer thin cookies, and their chocolaty, slightly salty flavor is just to die for in this cake. The star of the show is the peppermint bark, which adds a creamy crunch to every bite and makes this a visually stunning and festive cake.
Peppermint Bark Icebox CakePeppermint Bark Icebox Cake

The cookies for this peppermint bark icebox cake can be made and stored in the freezer up to a couple of weeks in advance. In a pinch, you can substitute store bought chocolate wafers, but don’t underestimate the sweet and salty goodness you’ll miss out on with the homemade version. The cream, which takes only a few minutes to whip together, helps to soften the cookies as it refrigerates over night, so that when you’re finally ready to slice into the cake, the layers are creamy and cake-like, punctuated by the crunchy bits of peppermint bark.

I wouldn’t change a thing in the world about this recipe, unless I could insert a mandatory cup of coffee and background music of the “Christmas Vacation” theme song. This peppermint bark icebox cake is a delicious reminder of why this is the most wonderful time of the year, and I know you won’t regret making it. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Oh, and P.S., when you go pick up your peppermint bark, do yourself a favor and buy and extra tin… or four. Whatever. Do what you gotta do.

Peppermint Bark Icebox CakePeppermint Bark Icebox Cake

All of my gratitude, hugs, high fives, and holiday blessings to Williams-Sonoma and my friends at Feedfeed for inviting me to be apart of the #barkyeah campaign. It’s an honor to promote a product that has played such a delicious role in my Christmas traditions and I’m thrilled to share it with everyone!

Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake

*This post is sponsored by Williams-Sonoma and Feedfeed, but as always, all opinions are my own.

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Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake

This peppermint bark icebox cake features layers of hot chocolate wafer cookies and peppermint mascarpone cream, and is sprinkled with small bits of Williams-Sonoma peppermint bark.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 11/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup hot cocoa mix
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the icebox cake

  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 pound of peppermint bark, finely chopped.

Instructions

To prepare the cookies

  1. Beat together the butter and sugar until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until thoroughly combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the flour, hot cocoa mix, salt, and baking powder. Stir on low until well combined.
  2. On a clean surface, pat the dough out into a flat, round disk. Allow to chill in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. On a clean surface with a heavy dusting of cocoa powder, roll out the dough until 1/8” thick. If the dough feels too sticky, allow to chill a bit more in the fridge or add more cocoa powder to your surface or rolling pin. Cut 2-1/2″ round cookies out of the dough with a biscuit or cookie cutter. Place 1-1/2″ apart on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven about 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature prior to using in the icebox cake.

To prepare the icebox cake

  1. Add the mascarpone cheese, cream, sugar, and extract to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low for a minute to combine and then slowly increase the speed, whipping just until stiff peaks form.
  2. Prepare an 9″ springform pan by spreading 3 tablespoons of cream on the bottom of the pan. To begin forming your cake, arrange one layer of cookies over top of the cream, breaking the cookies as needed to fill in large gaps. Spread 1/5 of the cream (a heaping 3/4 cup the mixture) evenly over top of the cookies. Sprinkle a small handful (approximately 1/5) of the peppermint bark over top of the cream. Repeat this process 3 more times, stacking layers of cookie, cream, and bark. Add one final layer of cookies and the remaining cream to the top of the cake, smoothing out the top until flat and even. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 12 hours, to allow the cookies to soften and the flavors to blend together.
  3. When ready to eat, decorate with any remaining peppermint bark, or even Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Snow. Slice and serve chilled.

Notes

 

  • For a taller cake, use a smaller (7″-8″) springform pan, lining the sides with a tall sheet of acetate which will serve as extended sides to the pan. You’ll end up making about 6 layers of cake using this method.
  • In a pinch, store bought chocolate wafers can be used instead of the cookies. You’ll need approximately 18 ounces of wafers.

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Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake

Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake This is a rich, fluffy, and moist dark chocolate cake make with dutch process / special dark cocoa powder. The cake recipe is a one bowl, simple, easy, make ahead cake recipe. The cake is filled with chocolate cookie crumbles made like milk bar crumb. There is also a sweet and salty caramel in the middle and a fluffy chocolate frosting made from melted semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chips. You can make this a naked cake or frost the outside as well. Find the recipe for this celebration / birthday cake / chocolate lover best cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Chocolate Caramel Crumble CakeChocolate Caramel Crumble CakeHere in America, it’s the morning after election Tuesday, and let me just say that I’m thankful. 

I’m thankful to live in America. I’m thankful for the right to vote. I’m thankful for the freedoms and liberties that my country and its leaders have afforded me.

To be honest, though, I’m mainly thankful that my hope is not dictated by politics. My joy and peace do not stem from a winning vote. In fact, I can list a million things that I have to be thankful for right at this very moment, and not one of them has anything to do with whoever ends up living in the big house on Pennsylvania Ave. Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake

Instead of spending our time chit-chatting about politics, let’s skip right to dessert. On days like these, we need something sweet like chocolate caramel crumble cake to remind us that it’s all good. To remind us to take life one slice at a time. So if you’re not too busy planning your retirement to Canada, let’s settle in and discuss this cake, shall we?

Chocolate cake is no stranger to me. My favorite chocolate cake is regularly in rotation around our house and I’d cast all of my votes on this beauty if I could. There are so many things you can do to a really good chocolate cake recipe to make it feel like a million bucks, but if you ask me, you can never go wrong with salty caramel and chocolate crumbles. So let’s hang out there today.
 
This chocolate caramel crumble cake is a three layer chocolate cake with drizzles of homemade salted caramel sauce and crunchy chocolate shortbread crumbs in between. I prefer to make this salted caramel sauce, and the chocolate crumble recipe was modified from my favorite shortbread crust recipe that can be found here. Once the cake has been stacked, the whole thing is coated with a sweet and silky whipped chocolate frosting that is made with a combination of cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and real bits of heaven (so you know it’s good.)
chocolate crumble cake stop motion 
I made little stop motion video of this chocolate caramel crumble cake so that you could watch the assembly yourself. This recipe makes enough frosting to coat and decorate the entire cake, but a naked cake never hurt anybody either. So if you prefer a naked cake, you can check out more photos and written instruction on how to stack one here.
If this election has you all hot and bothered for more cakes, you can find a few more cake recipes here including the pumpkin and burnt sugar cake I made a few weeks ago. You can also check out my instagram for more chocolate cake decorating inspiration- I even made this cake for my birthday a few weeks ago!
 chocolate caramel crumble cake
Happy Wednesday to all you Republicans, Democrats, and Independents out there. No matter who you voted for, this cake is for you! Cheers!
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Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake

Chocolate caramel crumble cake is a three layer chocolate cake stacked with coats of fluffy chocolate frosting, drizzles of salty caramel, and sprinkles of chocolate cookie crumbles.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

For the chocolate cake

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

For the chocolate crumbles

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the chocolate frosting

  • 21/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 11/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 11/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup prepared salted caramel sauce

Instructions

To prepare the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 (8″) round cake pans with baking spray and line the bottoms with parchment rounds.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, loosely combine all of the wet ingredients and these to the bowl of the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed for just shy of 2 minutes, scraping the bowl (and bottom of bowl!) twice throughout.
  3. Pour equal amounts of batter in to all 3 pans. Carefully place in the oven and bake for about 30 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. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.

To prepare the crumbles

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar on medium low speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low until large crumbs begin to form. Chill the crumbs in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set the crumbs.
  3. Spread the crumbs out onto a quarter sheet pan and bake in the oven, tossing occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, or until crumbs are baked and set.

To prepare the chocolate frosting

  1. Whip butter in the bowl of a stand mixer over medium speed (I use 4 on my Kitchen Aid) for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla, and salt and beat for an additional 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the melted chocolate, beating until throughly combined for an additional 1-2 minutes. Place in the fridge if it is too soft. This is enough frosting for a 3 layer, 8″ cake.

To assemble to cake

  1. Spread a small dollop of frosting on a cake board and place one chocolate cake layer on top. Spread 3/4 cup of frosting on top, spreading it evenly to the edges of the cake. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of caramel and sprinkle with 1/3 of the crumbles. Repeat this process once to assemble the second layer.
  2. To finish the cake, set in place the final cake round. Spread 1 cup of frosting on top and decorate as desired, garnishing with the remaining caramel and crumbles.

Notes

  • Cakes can be made ahead and frozen. See my blog post for chocolate cake for more tips on cake baking.
  • Frosting can be made ahead and frozen. Bring to room temperature and re-beat prior to using.
  • Store bought caramel is fine, but see the link in my post for my favorite salted caramel recipe.
  • Chocolate crumbles can be made ahead and frozen.
  • You can half this recipe to prepare a smaller 6″ cake.
  • This cake can be frosted and decorated as a traditional cake as well. Instead of preparing it as a naked cake, you can pipe a dam of frosting on top of each layer of cake and fill with caramel and crumbles. Once the cake is stacked, coat it in a thin crumb coat and place in the fridge to set up. You can finish it by frosting and decorating as desired.

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Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a naked pumpkin layer cake with moist, fluffy layers make with cinnamon and pumpkin puree. The cake is filled with a sweet and salty pecan filling. The frosting is a southern style, almost caramel flavored frosting make by caramelizing sugar until it is almost burnt. The whole thing is layered together for an impressive layer cake that takes like fall. It is a great birthday , celebration, thanksgiving. Make this show stopper for your next event. Thewoodandspoon.com

It’s happened to all of us. You find a delicious looking recipe, get psyched up to make it, do the grocery shopping, log the man hours and then… the final product sucks. The cake fell, the cookie was dry, the pie didn’t set up, etc., etc., etc. Isn’t that the worst?

Well, I’m over it. I’m not spending all of my free time testing recipes and spilling my guts on this blog (read: embarrassing myself in front of the world) to have any of the recipes on this site belly-flop in your kitchen. I’m determined that YOU WILL HAVE SUCCESS!

Enter: my recipe tester. I have solicited the help of fellow baking enthusiast// butter and sugar boss-lady to test the majority of my recipes before they make it to your computer screen. Together, we are going to produce face-melting treats, and you, my friends, will be happier and more successful in the kitchen because of it. CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

This pumpkin pecan cake with burnt sugar frosting is the first recipe I sent to my little kitchen elf. It’s almost laughable because this recipe was not an immediate success. This cake, admittedly, is a bit of a bear to make if you have zero kitchen experience or ambition, but trust me when I say that the juice is worth the squeeze. Plus, we’re all grown ups here- we can totally do this. Are you up for the challenge?

This pumpkin pecan cake with burnt sugar frosting starts by making a burnt sugar syrup that is used both in the frosting and as a moistening syrup for the cake. This syrup, as well as the salty pecans scattered between the layers of cake, can be made ahead of time, so take heart in knowing that you can easily break this baking up over a couple of days. The pumpkin cake layers, an adaptation of Rosie Alyea, are quite simple to make and incredibly moist. When you’re ready to assemble the cake, you simply whip the syrup into a cream cheese buttercream and voila: pumpkin pecan cake with burnt sugar frosting.

Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

And as if one pumpkin recipe wasn’t enough, there just so happens to be more to go around. I’m sharing today’s recipe in collaboration with Sara, Aimee, and a whole bunch of other bloggers who are slinging pumpkin dishes on their sites today. Check out the full list of those participating in the #virtualpumpkinparty on Sara and Aimee’s sites!  

 

Happy fall y’all and cheers to you! For more cake recipes, click here!
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Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

This pumpkin pecan cake is a 3 layer, 8″ cake made up of pumpkin cake layers, salty buttered pecans, and coats of burnt sugar frosting.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 90
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the pumpkin cake layers

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 11/4 cups canola oil
  • 11/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 11/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the burnt sugar syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn syrup

For the burnt sugar frosting

  • 1/2 cup burnt sugar syrup
  • 3 sticks (1-1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 11/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups powdered sugar

For the salty pecans

  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 cup of pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/23/4 teaspoon salt (add based on your preferences)

Instructions

To prepare the pumpkin cake layers

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 3-8″ cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of them with parchment paper rounds for easy removal.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and eggs on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed, just until combined. Be sure not to over-mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in any ingredients that may have gotten stuck to the sides of the bowl.
  3. Evenly distribute the cake batter amongst the 3 pans. Bake in the preheated oven about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting. (See notes)

To prepare the burnt sugar syrup

  1. Place sugar in a cast iron or stainless steel skillet and allow sugar to melt on medium-low (I use 3-4 on my stovetop) heat for about 15 minutes, stirring as seldom as possible. Over-stirring the syrup can cause it to crystallize which is NOT the goal. Continue to cook on medium-low heat until the sugar has melted completely and it becomes a dark amber color. Cooking time may vary depending on your stovetop. Be sure to cook until it is dark and fragrant but has not begun to heavily smoke.
  2. Carefully and slowly add hot water and stir slightly to combine with the sugar. The mixture will bubble up and steam, so take care not to burn yourself. Cook on low heat for approximately 3 minutes and then add the corn syrup. Set aside to cool in a heat proof container (I use a covered mason jar) until room temperature. At room temperature, the syrup should be the consistency of molasses. See notes for help on the syrup if needed.

To prepare the burnt sugar frosting

  1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 2 minutes. Do not over-beat, but scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure that no clumps remain and the mixture is evenly combined.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of the cooled burnt sugar syrup and the vanilla and beat on low to combine, about 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the salt and powdered sugar. Beat on medium-low speed until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add additional powdered sugar to thicken the frosting as needed.
  3. Use frosting immediately or refrigerate up to 1 week. Reserve the remaining 2 tablespoons of burnt sugar syrup to use as a moistening syrup for the cakes.

To prepare the salty pecans

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the butter, pecans and salt on a sheet pan. Bake in the preheated oven, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes or until the nuts have been evenly toasted. Allow to cool.

To assemble the cake

  1. Level all cake layers prior to stacking.
  2. Mix 2 tablespoons of the remaining burnt sugar syrup with 1/2 tablespoon of water to create a moistening syrup. You can microwave it on low for 10-15 seconds to help melt the syrup. Stir to combine.
  3. Using a pastry brush, “moisten” each cake layer with 1/3 of the syrup.
  4. Use a small dab of frosting to adhere the first layer of cake to an 8″ cake board or a serving plate. Spread 1-1/3 cups of frosting on to the first layer of cake and smooth until flat. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nuts evenly on the frosting. Repeat this entire process once for the second layer of cake and then place the final cake layer on top. Smooth 1-1/2 cups of frosting on top of that final layer and smooth over the top.
  5. Use a small amount of frosting to apply a thin coat of frosting on the sides of the cake to “crumb coat” the cake. (See notes). Refrigerate briefly, about 30-45 minutes, to help set the frosting, and then continue covering and decorating the cake with frosting as desired. Garnish the top of the cake with the remaining nuts. Enjoy!

Notes

Notes

  • You can store your syrup in the fridge to help maintain freshness, however, keep in mind it will firm up quite a bit in the fridge. Simply microwave at brief, 15 second intervals until it becomes soft enough to pour. Do not add hot syrup to your buttercream.
  • If you happen to cook your syrup too long and it becomes hard once cooled, you can microwave it at brief, 15 second intervals with a tablespoon or two of water. Once able, stir it all together to thin out the syrup a bit. The syrup should be molasses consistency at room temperature.
  • I briefly freeze my cake layers to ensure they are sturdy. It makes frosting the cake cleanly a bit easier.
  • If frosting becomes too soft while using, refrigerate briefly to thicken up. Likewise, if frosting is too hard, allow to warm slightly at room temperature, or add a small bit of water a teaspoon at a time to thin out slightly.
  • A crumb coat helps to lock in any cake crumbs and prevent them from showing up in the final coat of frosting applied to the exterior of the cake. This isn’t necessary, but helps to keep your cake neat and pretty!

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Recipe for cake layers adapted from: Rosie Alyea

Apple Crumb Cake

Apple Crumb Cake Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a fun and simple way to use apples or pears or other fall produce. A simple fluffy cake recipe sweetened with applesauce and chunks of peeled apples. The topping is a crumble streusel that adds a bit of crunch to every bite. This cake is a great breakfast coffee cake or dessert to share with friends. Find the recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

I have a black thumb.

For three years, I’ve tried to cultivate a healthy garden of herbs and veggies and I’m starting to realize that I’m the problem. I’m the weakest link.

Pepper and parsley plants tremble at the thought of being planted in my backyard. Squash and zucchini don’t stand a chance. Even basil, supposedly the easiest and most forgiving of plants to attempt in a home garden, can’t survive a summer at my place. I fry those suckers every time.

If we were in hunter/gatherer times now, I would not be a surviver. You would find me somewhere in the woods, gagging on grass and brown, spotty tomatoes that undoubtedly had already been predigested by a worm (or something worse). I seriously lack gardening skills.

I blame my own laziness (who wants to water a garden?!) and basic agricultural know-how. It’s really much easier to just buy my produce from the store and farmer’s market, but I’m convinced that growing my own food would be so much more healthy and rewarding. 

My husband says we will someday plant a real, legit garden and so long as he’s okay with sewing the man hours, I’m fine with reaping all of the rewards. When that day comes, I’ll request an apple orchard and if the tree survives long enough to produce fruit, you better believe I’ll be making this apple crumb cake.

Apple Crumb Cake

This apple crumb cake might be the most fool-proof recipe on my blog to date. It’s extra fancy because it works with a variety of different types of fruit, so if you happen to be one of those weirdos who doesn’t like apples, you could totally use pears, berries, plums, etc. 

This time of year, apple desserts and crumb cakes kinda feel like a dime a dozen, but I really stand behind this fluffy friend. It’s moist and fragrant thanks to the applesauce and spices, and the crumb topping is delicious. In fact, if you decide to pick all the little crumbles right off the top of this apple crumb cake and nibble away like a little church mouse, I would not blame you. 

Apple Crumb Cake

Apple crumb cake is the perfect ode to October, the changing seasons, and those gorgeous little apples my green-thumbed friends are picking this time of year. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers to you and happy Monday!

Apple Crumb Cake

 

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Apple Crumb Cake

This apple crumb cake is moist and fragrant, simple cake specked with bits of apples and topped with a sweet and rich crumb topping.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Category: Cake

Ingredients

For the streusel

  • 1/4 cup (50 gm) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (60 gm) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (110 gm) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 (160 gm) cups all-purpose flour

For the cake

  • 1/2 cup (110 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 (150 gm) cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of boiled cider (optional)
  • 1 cup (240 gm) of no sugar added applesauce
  • 1 1/4 (155 gm) cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 gm) of small diced apples (about 1 granny smith)

Instructions

To prepare the streusel

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Stir in the butter to combine. Add the flour and stir just until combined.
  2. Set aside while you prepare the cake.

To prepare the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9″ springform pan with baking spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring briefly to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla, cider, and applesauce. Beat to combine. In a separate bowl, toss together the dry ingredients and then add to the bowl of the stand mixer. Stir just until combined and then gently fold in the chopped apple.
  3. Spread the batter on the bottom of the pan and smooth. Then, crumble the streusel evenly over the top of the cake.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before removing the sides of the springform pan. The cake can be eaten warm or at room temperature, but is best enjoyed within 3 days.

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Recipe adapted from: Ina Garten

Concord Grape Upside Down Cake

concord grape upside down cake recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a buttery golden single layer cake made with juicy seedless concord grapes. The cake gets baked in the oven and gooey pieces of fruit keep the cake moist for days. This is a great cake to eat for breakfast or dessert or tea time. Make this cake in a springform pan. Find the recipe and how to roast grapes on thewoodandspoon.com

Have you ever met someone that speaks your language?

No, I’m not talking English, French, or (to speak of my suffering initiative at learning a second language) Spanglish. I’m talking your heart language. Someone who gets stuff the way you do.

Humor me for a minute.

When my friend Lauren texts me a picture of the Kate Spade “Eat Cake For Breakfast” bag or says “OMG, me too!” for the millionth time in our conversation, it’s because she speaks my language. Or when my friend Kate posts this video of cats trotting on a treadmill to my Facebook wall for the millionth time… I’m sorry, but that mess gets me every time. Or when I tear up a bit during deep conversation with my mom because she’s somehow managed to put words to feelings I’m experiencing and it’s like I’m being realized for the first time… she’s speaking my language. 

concord grape upside down cake

What I mean is that sometimes a person’s passions, thoughts, and joys align perfectly with your own, and when it happens, it’s an incredible sense of relief/satisfaction because you realize that you’re not alone, that someone sees you, and that there’s someone who identifies with who you are. If you haven’t experienced this yet, you will. Give it time. And if you have, you know exactly what I mean.

This is how I often feel about my friend Rayne. She’s newer on the lineup of people I would categorize as “Best,” but she’s essential in that I think she gets it. Rayne can speak almost every dialect of my heart language fluently and does so with seemingly little effort. This girl loves well, is tremendously thoughtful, and has helped grow in me a spiritual strength, resilience, and faithfulness just by living it out in her own life. She lives in the proverbial presidential suite of my heart and if you knew her, you’d know she wouldn’t accept anything less. Really, she’s just the best. 

My prayer for you today is that you all would have a showering (excuse the pun) of Raynes in your life- if not today, someday soon. That there would be a life on this earth that you find so beautiful, rare, and exciting that you can’t help but love and celebrate them to the fullest measure. I think we all need a person that brings us that much joy, so my hope for you is that you’ll find yours. 

concord grape upside down cake

One thing that Rayne and I don’t see eye to eye on is upside down cake. I don’t always get it but she lovvees it. A few months ago, she was trying to convince me that pineapple upside down cake was an underrated, top 5 dessert, and honestly, I think I tuned her out because ew. Just ew. Never one to turn down a challenge though, I started researching upside down cakes and finished my investigation rather surprised at the delicious outcomes. 

So today, in honor of Rayne, I have two things for you:

First, a letter. For you, for your heart friend, for whoever. Download this free letter template and write to someone who speaks your language. Tell them you see them and that they mean something to you. And tell them why. It feels good to receive gratitude and it feels even better to give it. So make it rain (Rayne?) some love on someone today.

Second, a recipe for this concord grape upside down cake. If you’ve never roasted grapes, that in and of itself is worth it because the change in flavor is extraordinary. This is a messy cake and it’s not much to look at but it pairs beautifully with cheese and wine so there’s that at least. Similar to my favorite Kate Spade bag, I absolutely adore eating this at breakfast, because cake without frosting usually just reads “BREAKFAST” to me. Whenever you eat it, definitely share a slice with your friend and let them know they’re worth making weird fruity cakes for. 

concord grape upside down cake

I’d love to hear how you celebrate the people you love. If you have any ideas, or recipes you like the share with your favorites, please tell me about them in an email or the comments section below. 

Happy Tuesday and cheers to you!

Click here to view the free downloadable letter template!

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Concord Grape Upside Down Cake

This sweet concord grape upside down cake made with a warm, honey caramel and sweet roasted fruit is delicious, rustic option for breakfast, dessert, and everything in between.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups seedless concord grapes
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Stir 6 tablespoons butter, brown sugar and honey in heavy medium skillet over low heat until butter melts and sugar and honey blend in, forming thick, smooth sauce.
  3. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides.
  4. Top with the grapes.
  5. Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl.
  6. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 6 tablespoons butter in large bowl until light.
  7. Add sugar and beat until creamy.
  8. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in extracts.
  9. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, mixing just until blended.
  10. Spoon batter evenly over plums.
  11. Bake cake until golden and tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool in pan 30 minutes.
  12. Using knife, cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Place platter atop cake pan. Invert cake; place platter on work surface. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently lift off pan.
  13. Serve cake warm with whipped cream.

Notes

  • Be sure to purchase SEEDLESS concord grapes. This is one case where seeds simply will not do! Other varieties of grapes would lack the sweet, grape-like flavor we want in this cake so be sure you purchase the right kind.

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Recipe Adapted From: Bon Appetit

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Guys. Please tell me I’m not the only one. Please, please tell me that I am not actually the sorriest person on the planet.

The other day, I was vacuuming the nursery when I came upon a stubborn bundle of fuzz that refused to be sucked into the vacuum even after rolling over it five or six (read: fifteen) times. Instead of tossing the fuzzie in the trash, I picked up the little guy with my toes and then dropped it back on the ground to attempt to vacuum it up from a different angle.

WHAT. IS. THAT. 

What degree of laziness does one have to have if they are willing to relocate grunge on floor to avoid a short walk to the garbage can to throw it out?

[Throws hands in the air] I disgust myself. 

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake Cherries

But this is the kind of stuff that is all over my life right now. With a handful of balls in the air and more than a few hats that I wear on a daily basis, I find myself halfway-ing a good number of areas of my life. I work out, but I fail to eat right. I buy a birthday gift but forget to mail the card. I play with my babies, but get tired and end up relying on Mickey Mouse to drag us through the final hours of the day. I’m still trying to get the hang of balancing all of the things that I want to make time for and as a result, some things just don’t get the attention they require.

Between work and babies and all of the other things that end up receiving little nuggets of my time, this blog is often one of the many forgotten outcasts of my life. Since starting this little corner of the interwebz, I have had the intentions of working on a number of photography and web-based skills (computer hacking skills…nun-chuck skills…. bow-hunting skills), but that list of tasks has long been shuffled under a mound of other things. Finally, this past weekend, I set aside some time to tick a few things off of my list and I am thrilled to share the results with you.

I made a stop motion film! 

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Okay, I understand this is not a huge deal and I can totally hear every teenager on the planet whispering, “that’s so easy” under their breath. Also, there’s no need to point out the flaws because I totally see them. But for me, this took a bit of learning and I am so excited to have even attempted it. I’d officially like the thank The Academy, my Canon camera, and both of my babies (for napping at the same time last Saturday) for giving me the opportunity to shoot and stitch this little guy together.

You’ll see that the video is a stop motion film of the building of a naked black forest ice cream cake. Naked cakes are my favorite to make, so naturally, naked ice cream cakes are pretty much the center of my  universe. I love them almost as much as I love my own children. Not really, but close.

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

This black forest ice cream cake was created using my favorite chocolate cake recipe and a frozen, ice cream-esque filling that I adapted from Ina Garten’s mocha icebox cake. While a traditional black forest cake is filled with Kirsch soaked cherries and lightly sweetened whipped cream, my version boasts boozy bourbon cherries (because the South, y’all!), hot fudge drizzles, and simple, creamy layers of ice cream. The whole thing is stacked together and left in the freezer for a rainy day.
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake
You can totally shortcut any and all portions of this recipe and substitute store-bought favorites. Instead of homemade cake, try a box mix. Instead of making the ice cream filling, set a quart of your favorite grocery store variety on the counter to thaw out slightly before making the cake. I always have a jar of fudge sauce in my fridge and try to prepare the cakes the night before, so day-of labor is minimal at best. 
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake I recommend that you read through the full list of instructions before starting. The process is simple in nature, but lengthy in detail so make sure you know what you’re doing before you get started. Also, I’ve included a couple of snapshots in this post to illustrate the two methods of building a naked cake. Have fun watching the short little movie, and I sincerely hope it inspires you to make a naked cake of your own. Happy Monday!
 

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Needed:
3 prepared 6″ chocolate cake layers (I bake a half batch of this recipe in 3- 6″ pans)
1 recipe of ice cream filling, unfrozen (see below)
1 recipe of bourbon soaked cherries (See below)
1/2 cup chocolate fudge sauce (I like this recipe, but store bought is fine)
 

Directions:

1. Line a 6″ cake ring  with an acetate sheet collar (see notes). Alternatively, you can line the sides of a 6″ round cake pan with a collar of wax paper or parchment paper to use as a guide/mold for building your cake. This is not a necessary step, but certainly makes building your cake much easier. If using the cake pan, line the bottom with a small piece of parchment to ensure easy removal from pan.
2. Place one leveled cake layer in the bottom of the cake ring. Using a pastry brush, soak the first layer of cake with approximately 1/3 of the cherry syrup. Smooth 1 cup of the ice cream mixture over the top of the first cake layer. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cherries on top of the ice cream and then drizzle with 1/4 cups of hot fudge sauce. Repeat this process once.
3. Place the final cake layer on top of the built cake. Soak with the final third of cherry syrup and smooth 1-1/2 cups of the ice cream mixture on top.  
4. Cover the cake loosely, and place in the freezer to set up for 4 hours or until firm. 
5. Remove cake from freezer 10-15 minutes prior to serving for easy slicing. Uncut, the cake will keep in the freezer for 3 weeks. 
 
Notes:
1. I use 3″ x 20″ wide acetate sheets to line my cake ring. As a result, I end up requiring two sheets total to cover the height of my cakes. See here for additional instructions on building cakes with acetate sheets. 
2. If you prefer to not use acetate sheets and cake ring as a supportive mold, you can build the cake as I did in my video! Keep in mind that you have to work quickly as all that fluffy ice cream likes to squish out the sides. 
 

Ice Cream Filling

Ingredients:

8 ounces of mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean 
2 tablespoons of good quality bourbon, optional (I use Blanton’s)

To prepare the no churn ice cream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the mascarpone, sugar, whipping cream, vanilla and bourbon. Whip with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Set aside until ready to use in your cake.

Bourbon Soaked Cherries

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) of stemmed and pitted dark cherries
2 tablespoons of good quality bourbon (I use Blanton’s)
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

To prepare the cherries:

Roughly chop cherries into small bits. Place in a bowl and stir together with sugar and bourbon. Set aside for 30 minutes prior to use to allow the cherries, sugar, and bourbon to produce a syrup. When ready to use, strain the cherries from the syrup, reserving both for the cake. (Note: with this preparation the cherries freeze into icy bits of booze and fruit. If you’d prefer a sweeter, softer filling, you can cook the ingredients above with an additional 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch over low heat, stirring and smashing the cherries regularly until it has thickened to a jam-like consistency. Allow to cool before assembling with cake.)

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Lemon Almond Poppyseed Bundt Cake

Lemon Almond Poppyseed Bundt Cake Recipe Recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a simple, fluffy, golden and white almond cake speckled with poppyseed and lemon zest and juice. The cake is spongy and perfect for breakfast or dessert. The whole thing is topped with a simple sugar glaze icing and slivered almonds. Find this springtime bundt cake recipe on thewoodandspoon.com.

We have officially survived one whole week at home with two children under two. I’m thrilled to announce that last Saturday, after a very long feeling 10 days, we were able to bring baby George home from the NICU. Pulling into the driveway with our little guy in the backseat felt surreal, and I was relieved to have my baby home, healthy, and unplugged from all the machines and wires he was connected to during his stay in the hospital.

Once home, our first order of business was to introduce George to his big sister, Aimee. I’ll be sure to share photos of that exchange later because it was really just so sweet. Aimee has been a dream with George, and while she sometimes has the tendency to love him a little too hard (read: squish/ smother/ trample him in every way possible), her affection for him is an answer to prayer and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Lemon Almond Poppyseed Bundt Cake Recipe
Can I tell you one of my favorite parts about bringing a baby home… and please don’t judge me?
I really like the food. Yes, the food.
I’m not sure if bringing a meal is a thing people do everywhere or if it’s just another one of the awesome ways that Southerners dominate in the field of hospitality, but where we live, if you have a baby people will bring you meals. It’s an excellent deal for us, if you ask me.
Let me be clear: I would not survive without the carbs and generosity from our friends here in Selma. What’s that saying about, “Man cannot live on bread alone?” Well, we probably wouldn’t even have bread in the house by now if it weren’t for all the croissants and Sister Shubert rolls that people have been dropping by our house. It’s magical.
Since this is our second go-around with the having a baby thing, I’m starting to develop a mental list of recipes I’d like to keep in my arsenal to potentially share with friends when they have babies. The recipe for this lemon almond poppyseed bundt cake is definitely one that I am mentally bookmarking. Bundt cakes, in my opinion, are terrific because they easily pass as a dessert, but also make a convincing argument in the breakfast department too. This lemon almond poppyseed bundt is no exception. It’s sweet, light, and fluffy like you would expect of any respectable cake, but its fragrant lemon and almond aromas and the little speckles of poppyseeds somehow remind me of a breakfast loaf that you might enjoy with a strong cup of coffee early in the morning. And because we all know that new parents operate on adrenaline and caffeine, this cake is a shoo-in gift for new parents.
Lemon Almond Poppyseed Bundt Cake Recipe
A while back, my friend Lauren asked me to work on a lemon poppyseed cake recipe and after several tries and errors, this cake was the ultimate product. I have baked this batter in round cake pans and I’m pleased to announce that it works just as splendidly. While I haven’t tried this recipe in a 9″x13″ pan, I feel confident that it would bake up well and would be terrific  with the almondy glaze poured right over top of the warm cake.
If you don’t know any new parents that you can share this lemon almond poppyseed bundt cake with, let me recommend weekend brunch, housewarming parties, bridal luncheons, church picnics, and whatever other events your social calendar has to boast as the perfect opportunity to test out this recipe. Bundt cakes are versatile and almost always appropriate to bring as a special treat for sharing.
Lemon Almond Poppyseed Bundt Cake Recipe
So give this lemon almond poppyseed bundt cake a try and bless someone this week with the gift of food. Everyone loves a thoughtful friend, and friends who bring food are always invited back. And to all of our friends and family who have dropped by to share a meal: YOU ARE ANGELS. My thighs won’t thank you later, but our family is grateful for your love and generosity.
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Lemon Almond Poppyseed Bundt Cake

A light, sweet, and fluffy bundt cake scented with almonds, lemon, and little speckles of poppyseeds. This is the perfect cake to share or gift your friends and family!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 21/4 cups cake flour
  • 13/4 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 11/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, but not warm
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons poppyseeds

For the glaze

  • Juice and zest of two lemons
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons of milk milk

Instructions

To prepare cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with baking spray or grease lightly.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed for one minute until thoroughly mixed. While stirring on low speed, add small cubes of butter, one at a time, until all 1-1/2 sticks have been added. Continue to mix on low speed for another 1-2 minutes until butter is uniformly dispersed in the dry ingredients.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the buttermilk, extracts, and lemon juice in a measuring cup and pour this into the stand mixer bowl, reserving 1/3 cup of the mixture. Beat on medium speed for two minutes until smooth and uniform. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the remaining milk mixture while mixing on low speed. Slowly pour in the egg whites and eggs, increasing the speed back to medium. Beat for another two minutes, scraping the bowl as needed to ensure that all of the batter is uniform. Add the lemon zest and poppyseeds and mix on low until combined, about thirty seconds.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until the center of the cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack.

To prepare the glaze

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk. If the consistency is too thin, allow to set out briefly or add additional powdered sugar. Add additional milk if the glaze is too thick. Drizzle over the top of the cooled cake.

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Blueberry Cornbread

Blueberry Cornbread Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a cornmeal and flour skillet cake made with fresh blueberries and sugar. A simple, one bowl cake recipe made in a cast iron skillet, speckled with summer berries and sprinkled with powdered sugar. You can serve this with honey butter or whipped cream as dessert, or eat thick slices of it for breakfast. Find the recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

I know what you’re thinking. “Blueberry cornbread? Is that a thing?”

As it so happens, blueberry cornbread is officially a thing and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Cornbread is one of the many things I received an education in when I moved to the South. In my 10+ years here, there have been a number of other learning opportunities and today, I wanted to share a few fun facts about Southern culture. If you’re not from the South, my money says you may learn a thing or two, but if you’re a born and bred Southerner… well, just try not to laugh too hard at my ignorance.

  1. Tea, in the South, is offered two ways: sweet and sweeter. Unsweetened tea is a beverage kept around only for our Northern friends and those trying to “watch their sugar.”
  2. You can fry anything. I tried my first fried pork chop when I was having Sunday “dinner” (this is actually a lunch hour meal) with my husband’s family. Not surprisingly, it was delicious.
  3. God comes first, football is second. When I first moved to Alabama, I kept hearing people saying “ROLLLL TIDE.” It took a while to figure out why this one liner was exclaimed loudly with such frequency around here, but after unknowingly posing that question to a group of excited University of Alabama fans, I was brought up to speed. It took even longer to understand why we say “WAR EAGLE” when Auburn’s team mascot is clearly a tiger. Actually, I’m still kinda working on figuring this one out.
  4. Grits. Okay, so I know grit dishes are trending on menus all over New American restaurant menus now, but 10 years ago, I had never tried them even once. The South knows how to do them right, and I prefer mine thick with a healthy addition of cheese and black pepper.
  5. Camo is a color. My husband’s wardrobe is approximately 20% camouflage. He’s earned this right because he’s an actual hunter. I don’t always mind it, but I’m considering creating a line of hunting gear that reads Gail from “The Hunger Games.” [Insert all of the heart eyes]
  6. No one is too old to be called ma’am. I’m 28 years old, and I get called ma’am daily. Here, this is good manners- a sign of respect. It’s also grounds for feeling like an old lady.
  7. Lace is appropriate for little girls AND boys alike. Most of these delicate clothing items are handmade or have been passed down multiple generations. But to my Yankee friends: if you see a cute little one wearing an all white outfit with a scalloped lace collar, don’t assume this is a girl.
  8. It’s not pop or soda… it’s Coke. Yes, Coca-Cola is king in the South and if you ask your server for a “pop” around these parts, you’re likely to get chuckled at. Don’t even think about asking for a Pepsi.
  9. Similarly, “sneakers” are not a thing here. All athletic shoes are tennis shoes. Whether or not you’ve ever seen a tennis court has no bearing on what your shoes are called… it’s just always “tennis shoes.”
  10. People are nicer here. I felt kinda like a big turd when I moved to Alabama because everyone was always SO NICE. People walking down the street would smile, tip a hat, or say “hello.” We’re talking complete strangers here. When I go back home to Florida, I get weird looks when I smile and wave at people passing by, and that secretly makes me happy because who doesn’t deserve to be treated with that kind of out of the ordinary friendliness? Next time you visit the South, prepare to have your socks knocked off by kindness.

Blueberry Cornbread

Another thing I’m learning about the South? Cornbread.

 

I’m really okay with this aspect of Southern cuisine. I like my cornbread buttery and fluffy, but down here, you’ll find everyone has their own spin on it. This variation, blueberry cornbread, is a more delicate, sweet confection than its savory counterparts. A little honey, a scattering of blueberries, and more than a pinch of baking powder make this bread closer to a dessert cake than a side or breakfast item. This recipe for blueberry cornbread is adapted from one of my very favorite cookbooks, “Vintage Cakes,”  by Julie Richardson that features a number of Southern favorites. I love that this cornbread feels casual enough to serve for breakfast but is still decadent enough to call dessert. And the fact that is comes together in a cast iron skillet makes me feel all kinds of Southern. 

Blueberry Cornbread

I photographed this cornbread a day or two after making my favorite strawberry shortcake that we talked about a couple of weeks ago. Because I still had some leftover honey whipped cream, I added a dollop to the top of the warm cornbread and HOLD THE PHONE– It was next level. I highly recommend whipping some up while this cake is in the oven.

Blueberry cornbread is a sweet and buttery skillet cake that is perfect for your next down-home, Southern affair. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

Print

Blueberry Cornbread

Blueberry cornbread is a sweet and buttery skillet cake that is perfect for your next down home, Southern affair.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups of blueberries
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a 10″ cast iron skillet, melt the stick of butter over medium-low heat just until melted. Swirl butter in the pan to grease the sides and bottom and then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, pour the butter and stir to combine with the honey. Add the eggs and buttermilk and whisk together to combine.
  4. Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  5. Fold in half (1 cup) of blueberries and pour batter back into the skillet.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries over the top of the batter and finally, sprinkle the brown sugar over the batter.
  7. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out nearly clean with just a few moist crumbs.
  8. Allow to cool slightly and serve with honey whipped cream (see link in text above), if desired.

Notes

  • Be sure you are using a 10″ skillet. This batter will bake out of the pan if you use one that is too small.
  • If your edges begin to brown too quickly before the center is becoming adequately baked through, tent the edges with a bit of aluminum foil to protect them from additional heat.
  • This cake will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature but is best eaten the day it is made.

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Recipe Adapted From: Julie Richardson