Sunday, April 26, 2009

Buttercream Icing

Several weeks ago, the prom committee at the high school I work at, asked if I could help prepare cupcakes. I love to bake, I love the kids, so of course I was happy to help. The added bonus, I got to spend a day baking with my two beautiful friends, Carrie and Mary. Carrie, an avid food blogger, took theis picture. My two daughters attend the same high school, so I learned what a huge success the cupcakes were at prom. Very impressive displayed on a stacked cake plate!

Buttercream Frosting

1 cup shortening (I prefer Crisco)
1 pound powdered sugar - sifted
1 teaspoon flavoring (almond is my favorite, but lemon and vanilla work well)
2 tablespoons water or milk (I use water so the frosting doesn't have to be refrigerated)
2 tablespoons meringue powder

Cream shortening, water and flavoring. Add sifted powdered sugar and meringue powder. Mix until blended. Add additional water until you reach the desired consistency. Stiff icing is good for some flowers, I like the soft consistency for icing cakes and a medium consistency was great for the cupcakes we made. If you want really white icing be sure to use a clear extract. Regular vanilla extract makes the icing off white.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Peanut Butter Cake

To me holidays are all about family, friends and good food. I usually host gatherings at my home and I love every minute of it. I spend lots of time finding the perfect recipes and use my family a guinea pigs, so to speak. One of the big hits this Easter was a Peanut Butter Cake. As a matter of fact, I made three cakes and the Peanut Butter Cake was the first to disappear. It does use a box mix (not my usual style) but it sure was easy. My husband and one of my girls are peanut butter freaks and I earned high praises from both of them. I topped this cake with chopped peanut butter cups and drizzled with a chocolate ganache to make it look extra special. I saw a picture of a cake decorated like this and thought it looked very beautiful.

Cake Ingredients

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1 yellow cake mix – butter recipe
2/3 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla

Frosting Ingredients

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

2. Cream 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each one. Add vanilla. Add cake mix and water. Mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until cake tests done. Allow cakes to cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

4. To Make Peanut Butter Frosting: Cream 1 cup peanut butter, and 1/2 cup butter together until light and fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar. Mix in enough cream to make the frosting of a spreading consistency. Apply to cool cake.