Zebra Cake

Still totally loving Cake Keeper Cakes. Every recipe a winner. There was no picture of this cake in the book so I was a little hesitant at first. How could this possibly look like a zebra? What if it doesn’t? What if it just blends together?

And so what if it does? It will still be a cake. It will still be good. It will be a tie dyed cake instead of a zebra, but really, who cares. This blog has taught me to celebrate the mistakes – and those of you who follow me with any regularity know – I am not hesitant to share them. I think it’s important to share our flops. I am not sure about everyone else’s kitchen but not everything that comes out of mine is perfect. When it isn’t perfect, I want to know why. I depend on my blogging friends to help me untangle whatever went wrong – with the exception of rolling out anything – TOOOOOOO SCARY!

I am very pleased to say – that even without a photo in Lauren Chattman’s book – this cake was simple and BEEEE-U-TIFUL!

  • 2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C milk – whole or 2%
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

 

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with a circle of parchment paper and lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until mixture is light and creamy and the sugar has mostly been dissolved, about 5 minutes with an electric mixer. Mixing on low, stir in milk, butter, vegetable oil, and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.

NOTE: I had a little trouble with one of the cakes from this book. The trouble was sever overflow. I think the problem was not using a handheld electric mixer, but using my beautiful pink Kitchen-Aid instead. I think the Kitchen-Aid over beat my batter.

Stir dry ingredients into wet, 1/2 C at a time.

Transfer 1/3 of the batter into a bowl, add cocoa powder and whisk to combine.

NOTE: I used the bowl I had combined the dry ingredients in. How many bowls can you use for one cake?

Place 1/4 C of vanilla batter into the center of the pan and let it spread slightly on its own. Place 2 T of chocolate batter in the center of the vanilla. It will push out the other batter and, as it sits for a moment, will also spread itself. Alternate two batters, repeating the technique until all the batter has been used up.

NOTE: Here come the scoops again. I have a large scoop that I use for cupcakes. I used a 1/4 C measure and filled it with water, poured it into my large scoop and it fit! I did the same with a 2 T measure. This made the process of striping so much easier!

Bake for about 40 minutes, until the cake is light gold and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen, invert the cake, remove the parchment paper. Reinvert on to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.

NOTE: LOOK! STRIPES!!! And it isn’t really chocolatey at all. Not overly sweet. Very, very tender. I may make a chocolate glaze for the next time.

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Snacking Cake

I’m not quite sure what it is about being stuck inside on cold, snowy, icy, wintry days that make me want to bake. Perhaps, sheer boredom. Perhaps, having to share a TV and knowing that THEY don’t watch anything I do! Perhaps, the kitchen is the only place I am not followed. Following me in the kitchen always involves my barking orders oops! – asking for help emptying the dishwasher, passing a Swiffer over the floor, putting away things left out when hastily grabbing a snack.

Well, snow storm number 6 had me jonesing for cake! I need a cake. I don’t want to bundle up with 7,000 layers and trudge – and trust me, in Brooklyn, with the amount of snow we have still on the ground and in 10 foot piles on every corner, TRUDGE is all we do! – to the market to but a cake.

I grabbed Lauren Chattman’s Cake Keeper Cakes to find something simple and quick to bake. I know I only recently baked a disaster from this book, but I have so many earmarked and they can’t possibly ALL be bad. By the way, Lauren Chattman NEVER responded to my email asking about the cake. Very bad form!

I love graham crackers and chocolate together. The Marshmallow Fluff just put it over the top for me! And to make things better, I had all the ingredients I needed!

FOR THE CAKE

  • 8 whole graham crackers, finely ground (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 6 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips

FOR THE FROSTING

  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 C confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C Marshmallow Fluff

Preheat oven to 350

Butter an 8×8 square baking pan and dust with flour, shaking out any excess.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides as you go. With the mixer on low, add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Scrape down the side, in necessary, and beat until smooth.

With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixer, then 1/2 the milk, stirring until combined. Repeat with remaining flour and milk, ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the baking pan and smooth out the top. Bake for about 35 minutes and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack, turn right side up, and let cool completely.

FROSTING

Beat butter in a medium bowl until creamy. WIth mixer running, add sugar. Stir in vanilla and Marshmallow Fluff and beat well. Use immediately or store in bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge.

NOTE: RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO EAT THE FLUFF BY THE SPOONFUL. Put away the bread and the peanut butter. Step away from the counter.

Cut cake into squares and serve with a dollop of frosting.

NOTE: Tha cake is very nice. The graham crackers give it an interesting texture and very homespun, old fashioned flavor. Very comforting. The frosting is SERIOUSLY sweet! Perhaps a little too sweet. Fortunately the cake isn’t frosted until you eat it so we did without the frosting after the first round and drizzled chocolate syrup on top with a little dollop of FLUFF.

Rich Yellow Loaf Cake

My dear husband likes plain cake. No frosting. No icing. No drizzles. I can occasionally sneak in some fruit or a chocolate swirl. But at night, to have with his tea, he prefers plain.

I was delighted to find this recipe for Rich Yellow Loaf Cake while flipping through Lauren Chattman‘s Cake Keeper Cakes. This would be the perfect cake for my husband.

If you don’t own this book yet, you should. Every recipe is wonderful. The pictures are beautiful, it’s well written and the instructions are easy to follow. I have made and tasted a number of things from this book and each is better than the one before.

This cake came together very easily and quickly. No fussy ingredients. Popped it into the oven, sat on the sofa and waited. About halfway through the cooking time, I really started to smell the cake. I knew there was something wrong. Open the oven and what do I see?

Sigh. Over flow everywhere! I scooped up what was on the bottom of my oven. Slid a cookie sheet on the rack under the cake and hoped for the best.

I followed everything to a T. I wrote to Lauren Chattman through her blog, but she had not responded (at the time of this writing it was 3 weeks ago) and I doubt that she ever will.

Anyone out there have any ideas why my cake escaped its loaf pan? Yes, I used the right sized pan. Yes, it says 1 tablespoon of baking powder. No, I didn’t over beat it.

I have to say, even with this disaster, the cake was REALLY good! I would love to make it again, if I can solve the problem!

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 C milk
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 2 C cake flour
  • 1 T baling powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 C sugar

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease and dust with flour a 9X5 loaf pan.

Lightly beat yolks, milk and vanilla together. In a separate, medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

Combine butter in sugar in large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.

NOTE: This may be where my disaster began, I used my Kitchen Aide and not a hand electric mixer. But without feedback, one will never know!

With the mixer on medium-low speed, pour the egg mixture into the bowl in a slow steady stream. Stop the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixer 1/2 cup at a time. Scrape down the sides after each addition. After the last of the flour mixture has been added, mix four 1 minute on medium speed.

Scrape the battered into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top. Bake cake until it’s golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert cake onto a wire rack, turn right side up and let cool completely.

NOTE: Despite the over flow, this was a delicious cake, one I would love to make again. Hopefully Lauren Chattman will answer, or perhaps one of you can come up with a solution!

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