• Sweet Corn Layer Cake with Blueberry Jam Buttercream

    Okay I gotta tell you, I made this cake two weeks ago and I really haven’t stopped thinking about it. I know that to some, a corn layer cake may seem like a weird concept. In fact, my uncle told me it was the only thing I’ve ever made that he wouldn’t eat, BUT. Trust me, you’re gonna want this. Adapted from this recipe from A Cozy Kitchen (once again!), it’s light and fluffy with a hint of sweet corn and a gorgeous texture. To top it all off, the frosting uses a whole cup of blueberry jam because sweet corn and blueberry is a perfect combination.

    This cake was inspired by a day trip my family took last summer to the North Fork of Long Island. It was a Saturday at the end of July, and we set off without any concrete plans and it made for the absolute best day. On a whim, we stopped at a roadside farm that was advertising “Pick Your Own Berries” and homemade ice cream. Honestly, how could anyone turn that down? After our baskets were full of blueberries and blackberries, we sat in the shade with our ice cream in the fanciest of flavors. For me, Basil, blueberry, and sweet corn were the three standouts. Even better though?When you mixed a scoop of the blueberry and a scoop of the sweet corn. The blueberry lends a sweet-tartness while the corn is rich and velvety, and I just need you to try it yourself.

    My dad has made it his summer mission to create a garden in our backyard, and I could not be more excited. It’s a dream of mine to be able to stroll outside with a pair of kitchen shears and snip some herbs for my french omelet like I’m Ina Garten, so you best believe that will be happening. In addition to the herbs, he’s growing peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers to start, so who knows? Maybe our bountiful harvest will find its way into one of these recipes.

    But I digress. Before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. Going on a coffee run on a misty summer morning before the heat of the day.
    TWO. Porch swings.
    THREE. Family recipes passed down for generations.
    FOUR. Farm stands.
    FIVE. An ice cold pitcher of watermelon juice that you may feel so inclined to add tequila to.

    Let’s bake!

    Sweet Corn Layer Cake with Blueberry Jam Frosting

    While it may seem like an unconventional pairing, this moist and fluffy cake has a rich, velvety sweet corn flavor that's complimented beautifully by the sweet-yet-tart blueberry jam frosting that so generously envelopes it.
    Prep Time45 mins
    Cook Time23 mins
    Total Time1 hr 8 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: blueberries, cake, corn, dessert, frosting
    Servings: 8 to 12 people

    Ingredients

    Sweet Corn Cake Ingredients

    • 2 cups cake flour
    • ½ cup cornmeal
    • 4 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
    • cups white sugar
    • ½ cup vegetable oil
    • 3 eggs
    • cups whole milk

    Blueberry Jam Frosting

    • 2 lbs powdered sugar (2 boxes)
    • 2 sticks butter, softened
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup blueberry jam
    • 4-5 Tbsp whole milk
    • 1 pint blueberries, for decorating

    Instructions

    Sweet Corn Cake Steps

    • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans, then add a circle of parchment paper to the bottom to further prevent sticking (as Ina Garten says, "what's the point of making a cake if you can't get it out of the pan?").
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and vegetable oil for about 1 minute. Add the eggs and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes.
    • With the mixer on low, add the dry and the wet ingredients alternatively, starting and ending with the dry ingredients until all are added. Mix until the batter is smooth. The batter will seem very thin but do not fret, this is correct!
    • Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans. At this point, I used my cake baking strips on the outside to ensure flatter tops for stacking, so if you decide to use those as well, place your cake pans on a sheet pan to bake. Bake the cakes for 20-23 minutes, until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean.
    • Cool the cakes for 5 minutes in their pans, then flip onto a rack to cool completely before frosting.

    Blueberry Jam Frosting Steps

    • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the powdered sugar and butter until combined. Add the vanilla and blueberry jam, mixing until the frosting is uniform in color and texture. If the frosting is too firm, add whole milk a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

    Frosting the Cake Steps

    • If you'd like, feel free to cut the cakes in half for a 4 layer cake, but I chose not to for this particular recipe. Place first layer on a cake board, stand, or plate and add about ¼ cup of the frosting to the top, smoothing with an offset spatula into an even layer. Repeat with remaining layers if you have 4, otherwise place the second cake on top and coat the entire cake in a thin layer (called a crumb coat) to seal. Chill for 15-30 minutes in the fridge so that the frosting is slightly firm to the touch.
    • Remove the cake from the fridge and coat with a second, thicker layer so that the entire cake is covered evenly. You may want to use a bench scraper or spatula to make the sides smooth and even, or use the bake of a spoon to give the frosting a more rustic, swirled design.
    • Top the cake with blueberries, sprigs of mint, sprinkles, whatever you feel like using to decorate, and voila! Enjoy!

    For more blueberry content, look no further than here, here, and here!!

  • Roasted Rhubarb Sandwich Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze

    TODAY’S THE DAY!! At long last, I bring you our first rhubarb recipe of the season. I know you’re all just as excited as I am right???? Even if you’re not, once you see what’s in store you won’t be able to resist and that’s a fact. Let’s set the scene, shall we? It all started sometime last year, I was perusing my Instagram explore page as one does, and I came across this recipe. Except, as often happens, it was saved and then promptly forgotten about and it was soon buried under all the other recipes I save on a daily basis.

    Cut to two weeks ago, I am once again glued to my Instagram, and what do I see? The very same picture, except now I come to realize that the recipe is from one of my absolute FAVORITE blogs, A Cozy Kitchen! It was meant to be, and I simply had to try them out this time.

    This weekend I watched my sisters while my parents were away, and apart from getting up ungodly early on Saturday to take them to their SATs, I had a lot of free time to mess around with recipes I’d been saving. Obviously I started with this one, and oh boy did we start the weekend off right. The sweet-but-sour roasted rhubarb is such a surprise when sandwiched between a buttery scone dough, and the vanilla bean glaze is DECADENT. The recipe was so perfect that I changed very little, my only wish is that it made three times as many so I could eat these for breakfast forever.

    And how did the rest of the weekend go you ask? Well, I was determined to finally conquer my fear of grocery store seafood counters (is that a thing?), so I found a New York Times recipe for Seared Scallop Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes that seemed perfect. HA. The moment I began to sear my scallops, the ENTIRE house soon filled with smoke. I’m talking fire alarms on both floors, and a smokey haze within 5 minutes. Thank god I had my sisters on hand to open every window in the house and turn on every fan, but I cannot tell what happened! Some comments said don’t use a cast iron skillet, others said you should only use a cast iron skillet (????). I always thought that olive oil smokes easily on high heat, but the recipe requested it!

    Will I try it again? Who’s to say. Just know that if I do, it’s on the grill stovetop outside because I’m sure as hell not going through THAT mess a second time, I’m pretty sure the house will smell like scallops for weeks.

    But anyway, now that that’s settled, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. Comfortable silence.
    TWO. Being the only person awake and having the house to yourself for a while.
    THREE. Treating yourself to a face mask.
    FOUR. A house full of plants.
    FIVE. Turning up the air conditioner so that you can keep using a blanket, even in the summer.

    Let’s bake!!

    Roasted Rhubarb Sandwich Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze

    The perfect combination of rich vanilla and tart rhubarb, these scones prove that there's more to rhubarb than strawberry rhubarb pie!
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time25 mins
    Inactive Time20 mins
    Total Time1 hr 15 mins
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Keyword: breakfast, dessert, glaze, rhubarb, scone, vanilla bean
    Servings: 6 scones

    Ingredients

    Roasted Rhubarb

    • 2 cups diced rhubarb
    • ¼ cup white sugar
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
    • zest of ½ a lemon

    Scone Dough

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 Tbsp white sugar
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp kosher salt
    • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter cold
    • 1 cup buttermilk plus more for brushing on top

    Vanilla Bean Glaze

    • cups powdered sugar
    • 5 to 6 Tbsp heavy cream
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
    • pinch of salt

    Instructions

    Roasted Rhubarb Steps

    • Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss together the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, and lemon zest until all the rhubarb is coated.
    • Pour onto the prepared pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft and juicy. Set aside to cool.

    Scone Dough Steps

    • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a box grater, grate the cold butter onto a cutting board or plate and add to the flour mixture. Freeze for 5 minutes.
    • Remove the bowl from the freezer and toss the butter pieces with the flour so that they're spread uniformly. Press the butter into the flour with your fingers until it's mixed throughout.
    • Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the dough begins to hold together, then dump onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until the dough is fully uniform (about 4 or 5 times, it's important not to overwork this or it will get tough).
    • Press or roll the dough into a ¼" thick rectangle, with one long end closest to you (so it folds hot dog style rather than hamburger style if you know what I mean). Spoon the rhubarb filling onto the front half of the dough, then carefully fold the other half of the dough over the rhubarb filling. Trim the edges so that they're neat and even.
    • Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 6 or 7 large scones and transfer them to your prepared sheet pan. Place the entire pan in the freezer for 15 minutes, while your oven preheats to 400°F.
    • Remove the tray from the freezer, brush the scones with some extra buttermilk and sprinkle with demarara sugar (optional). Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and risen. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before glazing.

    Vanilla Bean Glaze Steps

    • In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste, and pinch of salt. Feel free to adjust as you see fit, adding more powdered sugar or heavy cream as necessary. The glaze should be thicker than a normal glaze, just barely pourable so that when you spoon it over a slightly warm scone, it spreads as it melts.

    Notes

    If you don’t have vanilla bean paste, do not fret! Regular vanilla can be substituted just as easily here, as can a whole scraped vanilla bean. Additionally, if rhubarb isn’t your thing, this recipe could just as easily be done with strawberries or blueberries, just adjust the sugar level and baking time as necessary. YUM! xoxoxoxoxo

    Looking for more rhubarb recipes?? Look no further than here, here, and here! Happy baking!

  • Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

    I will warn you all right now, I’m on something of a blueberry kick right now, so be prepared for several blueberry recipes to come. It seems like the time, right? To be fair, there’s really never a time that’s not for blueberries, but now that Memorial Day has passed and summer has ~unofficially~ started, I find myself craving blueberry desserts all the time. Not to worry, I’ll soon bring out the rhubarb recipes I swear it, but until then, this glorious cake will do just as well.

    It all started when I came across this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I was looking for something simple for a weeknight birthday cake, without sacrificing taste. Imagine my displeasure when I went to buy raspberries at the store and discovered that they were $6 per tiny package!! I may act like I’m made of money when I step into Sephora but alas I am not. I decided that blueberries would just have to suffice, added some cinnamon to the batter and the topping, and voila, a beautiful cake was created! The cinnamon is a lovely compliment to blueberries, the buttermilk makes this cake impossibly moist, and the cinnamon sugar sprinkle on top lends a satisfying crunch to round the whole thing out. We stuck in some candles and called it birthday cake for my wonderful mom, and it was a hit! Second only to how good it was the next morning, slightly warmed and with a cup of coffee. If I started my day like that every day, maybe I’d consider becoming a morning person. CONSIDER it, but don’t hold me to that.

    Some quick notes about Sweet D, you may start to notice some little updates here and there, the largest being my fancy new recipe blocks (see below), over the next few posts. In an effort to bring forth the best blog that I can, I’m learning some new bits and pieces, along with the help of my computer science trained (recently graduated!) brother, to make my site easier to navigate and really get myself out there. In the coming weeks I’m hoping to reorganize my Recipes page as well, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted. It felt like the right time to take Sweet D to the next level, because I love having my little corner to bake and write, and I’m hoping other people do too. I’m not always a huge fan of change, but this feels like a good one!

    Before we get started of course, here are 5 things to be happy about:
    ONE. Checking up on a friend “just because”.
    TWO. Reflections on wet pavement.
    THREE. Measuring and setting out all your ingredients before you start cooking.
    FOUR. Sitting on the porch just to enjoy the weather.
    FIVE. Finding a new song that you listen to over and over.

    Let’s bake!!

    Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

    A play on an equally beautiful recipe from Smitten Kitchen, this incredibly simple recipe is as good for dessert as it is for breakfast, with bursts of jammy blueberry and a crisp, cinnamon sugar top.
    Prep Time20 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert
    Keyword: blueberries, cake, dessert, fruit, spring baking
    Servings: 8 people

    Ingredients

    Buttermilk Cake Ingredients

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • ½ stick unsalted butter softened
    • cup sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • ½ tsp lemon zest
    • 1 egg
    • ½ cup buttermilk
    • 1 cup blueberries

    Cinnamon Sugar Topping

    • Tbsp sugar
    • ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon

    Instructions

    • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder + soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and the ⅔ cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
    • At this point, add in the vanilla and lemon zest, then the egg. Mix until all is well combined.
    • With the mixer on low, add the flour in three installments, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 installments. Mix until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
    • Drop the blueberries on top of the batter in the pan, it doesn't matter how you arrange them, they'll sink into the cake as it bakes. Mix together the cinnamon sugar topping and sprinkle evenly over the entire batter.
    • Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a plate to serve. Best eaten warm!

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoD