Good news… I managed to transport the snickerdoodle cake all the way to my parents house without it toppling! That being said… while the cake looked pretty…
it will probably not become a regular in my line-up. I’ll give it a solid A for flavor because it was definitely snickerdoodle and quite tasty. For texture though, I’m going to have to give it a C. The cake itself was very very dense… it reminded me a lot of a muffin or a loaf of banana bread. I prefer a softer, fluffier cake. And the frosting, while good, got a bit crusty. Now, I think that may just be the nature of buttercream. Every traditional buttercream I’ve made (i.e. primarily composed of butter and powdered sugar) has gotten that dry texture after a few hours… and I used to be fine with it. But the thing is, I’ve found a better frosting, and now normal buttercream is just disappointing to me. So, while this cake was quite tasty and was fun to make– I’m going to have to put it in the pile of recipes that probably won’t make the cut for a second try.
Speaking of second-trys though, (or is it tries?) there was some interest in recipes for the other things I’ve made, so I’ll explain below what I made, and what I thought of it.
First up, the lemon blueberry cake.
This. Was. Awesome. It was the first cake I ever made from scratch and it will definitely become common in my house because everyone loved it. Even my cake-snob husband (he thinks pies are always better than cakes… but you can’t decorate a pie which makes them way less interesting to me). I used the recipe linked above for the cake, but did not use the frosting in that recipe. It seemed a bit too lemon-y to me, and I’d been dying to try Swiss Merengue Buttercream, which I’d read about. I was a little intimidated because the frosting is much more involved than just dumping a bunch of stuff in my kitchen aid… but it was surprisingly easy (if a bit time consuming).
The frosting was amazing. It is super light, soft, and fluffy. Best of all, it stays soft and fluffy without getting the buttercream “crust” which I really loved. Also, it is far less sweet than traditional buttercream, which I appreciated. Especially when you do fancy frosting that uses a lot more frosting than you usually would.
I actually just used store bought chocolate cake for these. I just get whatever dark chocolate kind was on sale… and it was good. The frosting is Swiss Merengue Buttercream with fresh strawberry puree mixed in. The recipe is basically the came as above, but I just blended some strawberries into a mushy pulp and added about 2/3 cup to the recipe. Both pretty and delicious. And again… I loved that they were distinctly strawberry flavored without being overly sweet.
Last but not least, the nutella cupcakes:
I actually made these twice. The first time, I used a box chocolate cake mix, but otherwise followed the recipe above. This includes hollowing out the center of the cupcake to spoon in straight nutella, and making the nutella flavored buttercream. These were also a hit, and I liked that the buttercream stayed softer (I’m guessing because of all the nutella mixed into it?). The second time I made these, I made my own chocolate cupcakes with this recipe, and omitted filling the cupcakes– opting to simply top them with the nutella flavored buttercream. I didn’t miss the filling at all because the frosting is plenty flavorful, and it saved me both time and $2.99 in an extra jar of nutella, so I will probably not fill these in the future.
And now some honesty about chocolate cake. The homemade chocolate cupcake linked above was good. But really? Not any better than the store-bought mix. And not because it was in some way lacking… I just happen to think that the store bought dark chocolate box mixes are really good. And cheap. And easy. So I’m probably over making home-made chocolate cake/cupcakes. One thing I do always do though– which I don’t know if it helps or not but my cupcakes are always fantastic I think– is I always replace the water in the chocolate cake mix with strong brewed coffee. I can never taste the coffee in the final cupcake, but my cupcakes are always super tasty and moist.
So… that is it for now! Everything I’ve baked recently. Moving forward I’ll be better about documenting each recipe as I make it. Anyone else make anything tasty lately? Feel free to share some links!