Fall Favorites – Pumpkin Apple Cake

Fall is upon on us and that means baking season is here! Pumpkin, apple, pies, cakes, soups, casseroles, and all sorts of amazing dishes will be enjoyed at every day meals and special occasions.

And to celebrate the season I am going to be featuring a different recipe and a different blogger each Wednesday and Friday until we reach the holiday season. By that time you’ll have an arsenal of recipes for all of your holiday parties!

Because of my love of pumpkin and apple I have a cake that has both of them in it. It’s the best of both worlds! This pumpkin apple cake is sweet, dense, and delicious. It has rich pumpkin flavor with little bits of apple scattered throughout the cake. It’s the perfect end to a chilly fall day with a warm cup of chai… tea… coffee… or even warm spiced cider.

When I made the cake over the weekend I was going to leave it plain or just give it a dusting of powdered sugar and then my daughter stepped in. Cream cheese frosting was required to make it perfect. And just so you know, it was perfect. It added a little bit of extra… oohmp… to the cake.

pumpkin apple cake

 

Fall Favorites – Pumpkin Apple Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/3 cup apple cider or juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled apples (finely chopped, about 2 medium)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a 13x9 or bundt pan with vegetable pan spray.
  3. In large bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer until they turn a light yellow color. Gradually add sugars, oil, apple sauce, pumpkin, cider, and vanilla; beat thoroughly.
  4. Sift flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda together; add to egg mixture and mix well. Stir in apples.
  5. Pour into pan.
  6. Bake 55-60 minutes for a bundt pan and 35 - 40 for a 13x9 pan, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack if you're using a bundt pan.
  7. When cool frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting or glaze.
http://www.withjustabitofmagic.com/pumpkin-apple-cake

pumpkin apple cake 2

If you wanted you could even use a couple of 9in cake pans and make this into a layer cake. But in the essence of time and ease I used a 13×9…. meaning I wanted to be able to eat it sooner rather than later.

Are you interested in guest posting and sharing your favorite fall recipe here? If so, I’d love to have you here with me so just email me or leave me a comment.

Make sure to come back and check out all of the incredible guests that will be sharing their favorite fall recipes with you!

Summer fun with Betty

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Summer is upon us and that means all sorts of parties, family gatherings, and everyday fun with our families in our own backyards. But one of the things that gets me is the amount of time that is spent in the kitchen prepping for these parties and when it’s really hot out I’m not a big fan of being in the kitchen all day… even if I do have A/C.

But there are a few ways to cut corners and make things a little easier for everyone. For me it’s making a delicious cake (probably chocolate because it’s my favorite) using Betty Crocker cake mixes and one of the really fun cake recipes & designs that they have on their site.

I absolutely love the ice cream cone cupcakes but the ones on the site are a little boring… I think that they could be jazzed up a little bit. The white frosting is little lackluster so here’s what I’m thinking.

Frosting. All these need is a bit of color and some brightly colored sugar crystals and then they’d be perfectly set for any summer party! Pretty swirls of pink, yellow, and blue will brighten up the cupcakes up and made them ready for summer parties.

betty crocker

See… look how easy it is to make these cupcakes. I bet that cute cupcakes like these would be great for kids to help decorate too!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts & opinions are my own… and I do love Betty Crocker and cake.

Monday Menu ~ The Cake Fail

I had high hopes and they were totally squashed.

Last week I shared the incredible Lemon Ice Box Cake with you and because it used 12 egg whites I was left with 12 egg yolks that I didn’t want to just throw away. Like any other foodie I went in search of recipes that my family would like and I was happy when I found a cake that could use all of the yolks. I was pretty surprised too! It sounded delicious…. Daffodil Chiffon Cake.

I followed the directions to the letter and the batter was beautiful. Light, fluffy, and the palest yellow color.

the batter

I baked the cake according to the directions… 1 hour in a 350 degree oven. I’m pretty sure that an hour was to long because I took the cake out about 7 minutes early and it was done. I’m thinking that I could have taken it out probably 10 or more minutes early and it would have been a lot better.

I let the cake sit upside down while it cooled and when I pulled it out of the pan disappointment set in. It was to dark in color and very crumby…. I brushed off the excess and was hoping that it’d be alright once I frosted it.

Maybe you can help me. Here are the ingredients and instructions that I have for the cake, but there has to be something that can be done to make it better.

12 egg yolks
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. boiling water
1 1/2 c. sifted cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon flavor

Beat egg yolks until very thick and lemon colored. Add sugar in small amounts and keep beating. Add boiling water and beat 30 seconds, add sifted dry ingredients gradually, then add flavorings, beat all well (about 5 minutes). Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour in an ungreased 10″ or 12″ angel food pan. Cool upside down before removing.

While it was baking it smelled like scrambled eggs were cooking…. it was kind of gross. I checked the cake and it looked fine but there was a definite egg smell that I feared wasn’t going to go away once it was done.

There was one thing that did save the cake and that was the strawberry buttercream frosting that I made. It was wonderful and would have been even better if it were on a good cake.

3 sticks of softened butter

4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon milk – I left this out because the strawberry puree was enough

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons strawberry puree (if you want the frosting seed-free, you can put the puree through a sieve before adding to frosting)

strawberry puree

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. The butter will become very pale & creamy.

Add remaining ingredients, except strawberry puree, and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy and then add in the strawberry puree and mix until incorporated.

I will say that the cake, once frosted, look half way decent.

cake w/o strawberries

Of course after adding the strawberries on the top it looked even better.

topped with strawberries

 So tell me what I did wrong!!

 

 

Monday Menu ~ Lemon Ice Box Cake

A while back I saw a cake on Pinterest that looked simply amazing and of course I repinned it in hopes that I’d actually make it one day. Well, I didn’t make it. Instead I decided to make my own cake that was sort of similar. It was something that I’ve had in mind for a while and thought that it’d be better in the spring or summer instead of the dead of winter. And this is the result… a Lemon Ice Box Cake.

Light, fluffy, not to sweet, and full of lemon flavor!

This past Christmas I received an angle food cake pan that I had been wanting for a while and it was finally put to use when I made my first ever angel food cake. I was really nervous because after all the reading that I had done there were so many things that could ruin the cake…. because if the cake failed then I would have nothing to post! I can’t stress how worried I was… especially since my 2 year old refused to nap and insisted on helping me with everything.

I took my time and made adjustments based on all the various reviews and recipes that I had read on the Internet and am pleased to say that it turned out incredible! It was absolutely perfect!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – or any flavor you prefer
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Frosting

  • Heavy whipping cream – I used a pint and a half
  • Powder sugar – I’ll be honest…. I didn’t measure this. I added some mixed, tasted, and added more until it was to my liking
  • Lemon curd – I used a 10 oz jar of Dickinson’s Lemon Curd

Method

For the cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.

In a large bowl, use a  whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, extract, and cream of tartar.

frothy eggs

After 2 minutes, switch to a mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed.

beaten egg whites

Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.

adding in flour

Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan.

in the pan

Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).

cake is done

Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan. This is really important! You need to do this so the cake doesn’t sink.

cooling upside down

Once it’s cool run a knife along the edge to release it from the pan.

For the frosting

In a mixer whip the cream until it almost to the stiff peaks point and then add in the powder sugar. Mix just until combined and then add in the lemon curd. Continue to whip until it is thick

Put it together

2 layers

I sliced the cake so there were three layers and frosted each layer and then covered the rest of the cake. Note… you need to somehow mark the cake so you can line up the layers exactly so the cake is level. I didn’t do this so it looked lopsided when I was done with it.

Once it’s frosted put it in the fridge for a little while just to make sure that it’s well chilled.

Eat it

ice box lemon cake

This is the best part! Slice it up and sit back and enjoy this light cake. This is perfect for the spring or summer when you want dessert but it’s just to warm to eat something heavy or it’s to hot to bake! Make the cake early in the morning and then once it’s frosted pop it in the fridge till later in the evening.

You could add any flavoring to the frosting that you like if lemon isn’t your thing. I think that I’ll try it with strawberry next time!

Now I have 12 egg yolks left and have to figure out what to do with them! Any suggestions?

 

Monday Menu ~ Simple Pumpkin Cake

Yes, it’s Monday again…. the weekend is never long enough! But that’s alright because I have a great recipe for you all to try this week.

It’s a really simple, easy, and quick cake to make. What’s even better is that it’s healthy for you!

Curious yet?

Alright, so here are the ingredients.

1 box cake mix – any flavor you want. You can even use a reduced sugar cake mix.

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

2 eggs or 1/2 cup of egg beaters – these are optional. You can make the cake without the eggs and it turns out just fine.

1 tsp (or more if you like) pumpkin pie spice – leave this out if you want

pumpkin cake ingredients

The ingredients

Now it doesn’t get any easier than this….

Preheat over to 350 degrees and spray your 13×9 cake pan or cupcake pan.

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. It will be really thick and this is alright so don’t worry.

pumpkin cake batter

The batter

Spread the batter in the pan evenly and bake for 25 – 30 minutes for the 13×9 and about 15 minutes for cupcakes.

For my cake I wanted the pumpkin flavor to really stand out so I used a yellow cake mix and it was pretty good. I think that I would have liked a spice cake better though just because there would have been more of the flavor that I was looking for. The yellow cake gave it a sweeter flavor than I wanted… but it was still good.

We left ours plain…. no frosting at all. But you can add a frosting, glaze, or fresh fruit.

Note: When you use a chocolate cake mix you can’t taste the pumpkin and it has more of a dense brownie taste. You can also use this to make cookies.

Give it try and let me know what you think?

The Monday Menu – Bread Machine Cake

Welcome to my first official post of the Monday Menu! I hope that you’re just as excited as I am about this new weekly feature and that you find a new recipe to try!

Also, if you have a recipe that you’d like to share let me know because I would be more than happy to have you as a guest poster here!

This weeks recipe is one that I’m not sure is one of the better ones, but I’m posting it in hopes that you’ve tried something similar and have had better results or have an idea to improve it.

Bread Machine Chocolate Cake

1/3 cup melted butter
2 large eggs — beaten lightly
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I didn’t have chocolate chips so I used Hershey’s syrup and I didn’t measure it either)

bread machine cake ingredients

The ingredients

Measure all ingredients except chocolate chips into baking pan. Bake on Cake setting. Add chocolate chips (Hershey’s syrup) when Bread Machine beeps.

My bread machine has a cake setting and it lasts about 2 1/2 hours which I thought was to long and I’m not sure why it needs that long either.

I let the cake go through the entire cycle and took it out as soon as it was through. It felt really heavy… a lot heavier than I had expected it to be. More like a bread than a cake.

Bread Machine CakeI figured since I went through all the work we’d give it a try and surprisingly it wasn’t that bad. Yes, it was very dense and not the cake like texture that I was hoping for, but the flavor was still pretty good.

Bread Machine Cake

I decided to save the bread cake! I sliced it and then placed it on the bottom of a dish and then topped it with a Jello Mousse Temptation kits. That… was a good idea! But of course I didn’t take a picture of that.

Okay, so have you made a cake in your bread machine? Did it turn out?

If not, what suggestions do you have for me?