Posts Tagged ‘frosting’

by Caitlin Saniga

Oatmeal raisin cream pie cookies

I was feeling nostalgic over the weekend and decided to make something along the lines of the classic Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies, like the ones my mom used to pack in my lunch in grade school. These came out better than expected, flavor-wise (definitely better than Little Debbie’s), but they took a little work to achieve the proper cookie sandwich appearance. A couple of tips: If your cookies come out of the oven rounded on top, they won’t fall flat, which means they won’t sit flat when you flip them upside down and slather cream filling on them. Take the opportunity when they’re still warm to gently press them flat. That way, they’ll maintain their nice, rough texture while achieving functionality. Also, don’t spread on the filling until the cookies have cooled completely. Otherwise it will soften, and the weight of the top cookie will squeeze it out of the middle, which is lame.


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by Caitlin Saniga

This cake takes commitment, but if you follow the directions closely, it’ll be the best damn cake you’ve ever made. This particular carrot cake was made for my neighbor Katie to celebrate her daughter’s first day on earth. Katie had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, so she had to ignore her many cravings for sweets (which was torture!). So of course she wanted cake on her baby’s birthday!


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 sticks (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel (from 1 orange)
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped


  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I used all but about 1 cup from a 2-pound bag. It was plenty sweet!)
To make the cake:
Today would have been my dad's 59th birthday. Carrot cake was his favorite. I wish I could have made this for him.

Today would have been my dad’s 59th birthday. He was the greatest. Carrot cake was his favorite. I wish I could have made this for him.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger and allspice.

Beat the butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat for 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, water, orange peel and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, and add the flour mixture, then the finely chopped pecans.

Scrape the batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake, rotating the pans on the oven racks halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn them right side up, and let them cool completely.

To make the cream cheese icing:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and vanilla until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the butter, beating until incorporated.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the sugar, beating until incorporated.

To assemble the cake:

If your cakes are rounded on top, use a serrated knife to trim the tops of 2 cakes so they are flat. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup of icing over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup icing over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides. Gently press the almonds onto the sides of cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 10 servings.

Recipe adapted from: MarthaStewart.com

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by Sarah Steimer

Why the candles? This was Bill’s choice for a birthday cake this year (back in October) — not a bad choice at all for a fall birthday. I always make single-layer cakes when I’m cooking for a small crowd, but this could clearly be doubled to make a more traditional double-layer cake.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Grease and flour a 9-inch or 8-inch round cake pan (I use butter to grease the pan).

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

Beat the butter and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric beater until fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Alternately at the flour mixture and the buttermilk in three batches, starting and finishing with the flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let finish cooling.

For the icing:

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • about 1 cup powdered sugar

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Stir in the milk. Return to a boil, stirring constantly, and remove from heat. Let the mixture come down to room temperature.

Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until the frosting comes to your desired consistency.

Once the frosting has cooled completely, ice the cake and serve.

Serves 8-10.

Recipe adapted from: Dramatic Pancake

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by Caitlin Saniga

I love how simple this cake is. I told myself, “I want cinnamon cake,” (had never had such a cake before), opened my cupboards and found all of the ingredients I needed.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Just a note: I use a 6-cup/8-inch Bundt pan, so that’s why my cake looks a bit small. If you follow the recipe, you’ll end up with with a regular 10-inch size.

To make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 10- inch Bundt pan. Stir together the flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butterg, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for at least 1 minute after each egg. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Pour the batter into a prepared pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool in a pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack.

To make the frosting:

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an upright mixer. Using the paddle attachment, soften the cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Add the confectioners’ sugar a bit at a time, and continue beating until smooth. Add the vanilla, and stir to combine.

Transfer the frosting to an oven-safe dish and place in the warmed oven to soften further, about 5 minutes.

To assemble the cake:

Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Pour the frosting over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Serve immediately, or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Cake recipe adapted from: AllRecipes.com

Frosting recipe adapted from: MarthaStewart.com

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