• Sourdough Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

    Hello my loves! I’m back this week with a fun and fancy new cake recipe, because it’s never not the time for cake. This weekend, we hosted my sister’s birthday party in our apartment, and to be honest it felt like an Olympic Sport to me. 25 people in our little apartment? Bring it on. Food and cake and drinks to fill all these people? I’ve got this. After a very successful trip to Trader Joe’s, my biggest concern was making a cake that would provide a slice for everyone. A Sweet D cake was promised in the Facebook invite, so the pressure was on!! Then, earlier in the week I came across a cake recipe that clicked PERFECTLY. Specifically, this cake, which has a surprise visit from my sourdough starter!

    To keep you all updated, last week, I suddenly got very motivated to make my own sourdough starter, despite knowing how much of an undertaking it is. If you’re interested in taking the plunge yourself, I found that this article from King Arthur Flour to be very informative. To give you a brief summary, sourdough starter is made by combining parts of flour and water and allowing it to sit, with daily feedings of more flour and water, so that the natural yeast develops to produce a tangy, flavorful loaf of bread. But sparing you all the intricacies of sourdough making, part of the feeding process is that every day, all but 4 ounces of the starter is discarded before more flour and water is added. It requires a relatively consistent feeding schedule, which is how I ended up getting up at 6:20 every morning to feed my starter before work, like it was a small dog. Good times.

    Now, yes, starter is just flour and water, but throwing out large portions of flour can feel wasteful, so that’s where this cake comes in. Originally a recipe from one of my favorite food writers Posie Harwood, this deeply chocolate cake is both decadent and simple somehow. Now before you get worried that this is more bread than cake, rest assured. The sourdough starter only creates the most moist, intensely flavored cake you’ll ever have. As my sister said, “This is the platonic ideal of a birthday cake”. The original author recommends eating the cake on its own, no need for frosting. I’m sure she’s correct, but since this was a birthday cake, frosting isn’t just wanted, its required.

    I call this shot the “I forgot to take pictures until the cake was almost gone” shot.

    You may remember a few weeks ago when I took a cake decorating class with Claire Saffitz of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen. If you weren’t here for that, YES that happened and it was glorious. Among the bits and pieces that I took home from that experience was a recipe for Claire’s chocolate cream cheese frosting. I feel silly for saying that I never thought about making a cream cheese frosting that’s anything but vanilla, and now I feel silly because this is DELICIOUS. Together with the cake and this frosting, it’s an unstoppable creation that had multiple guests going back for seconds. Have I tempted you enough yet?

    Before we start obviously, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. Discounted Halloween candy on November 1st.
    TWO. A crystal punch bowl set with glasses and a ladle.
    THREE. A well organized cheese plate.
    FOUR. Vintage bar carts.
    FIVE. Pre-sliced carrot and celery sticks with little cups of ranch and hummus.

    Let’s bake!!

    Sourdough Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

    A moist, intensely chocolate cake slathered in maybe the best frosting known to man, you will want to keep sourdough starter at all times for this recipe alone!!
    Prep Time3 hrs
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time3 hrs 40 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: cake, chocolate, cream cheese, frosting, sourdough, sprinkles
    Servings: 24 people (max)

    Ingredients

    Sourdough Chocolate Cake

    • 1 cup discard sourdough starter
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • cup white sugar
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
    • 1 tsp salt
    • tsp baking soda
    • ¾ cup Non-Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
    • 2 eggs

    Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 6 oz. cream cheese; at room temperature
    • 2 cups confectioners sugar
    • ¼ cup cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
    • pinch salt

    Instructions

    Sourdough Cake

    • In a large mixing bowl (not your stand mixer bowl), combine the milk, sourdough starter, and flour. Stir until all the flour has been moistened, but don't worry about getting out every single lump. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dishtowel and allow to sit for 2 hours.
    • After the 2 hours is up, preheat your oven to 350°F and generously grease a 9 x 13" baking sheet, then line the bottom with parchment paper for easy release.
    • In your stand mixer or another large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
    • Add the sourdough mixture to the bowl and beat on low speed until it's totally combined into the batter. It's very sticky, so it does help to stop the mixer and scrape everything down a few times to make sure everything is incorporated.
    • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. You'll know it's done when the top is very shiny, and only slightly bounces back when pushed with your finger. Run a knife or spatula around the sides and allow to cool completely in the pan before frosting or removing from the pan.

    Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

    • In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and confectioners sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
    • Add in the cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt, and whip until smooth and evenly combined.
    • Frost the cake as desired- you could leave the cake in the pan and just frost the top, or your could flip the cake out onto a sheet tray and frost all sides. Top with sprinkles, candles, or whatever you want! Now eat up!! YUM!

    Want more cake? Look here, here, here, and here!

  • Julia Child’s Blueberry Clafoutis

    Hellooooooo my friends it’s September isn’t that wild? Are you ready for summer to be over? I am for sure, I really was that girl that got a pumpkin spice latte the day it came out, even if it was still August. I won’t apologize for it either so don’t even ASK. But, before we get to this fricken Blueberry Clafoutis, I hope we all had lovely Labor Day Weekends! I started mine off seeing the Jonas Brothers in concert (for the 4th time!!) and crying my eyes out, and finished by moving into my apartment! What a time to be alive, I can’t wait to start cooking in my tiny bb kitchen.

    Today’s recipe is a classic by Queen Julia Child, one that I’ve similarly tried before here, but this Blueberry Clafoutis is the real deal. Kind of like a cross between a pancake and a dutch baby, a clafoutis is maybe one of the easiest desserts to make. It can be done in one blender (or one bowl with a whisk and some determination), and be in the oven in 10 minutes. It can be customized with other fruits and spices however you’d like. Sound good? Cool cool cool we’ll get to that in just a second.

    Before we get started you know what’s coming next, here are 5 things to be happy about today!!
    ONE. Coming home from a long day and pouring yourself a glass of wine.
    TWO. A phone call that turns your day around.
    THREE. Having a crush.
    FOUR. Finding a new song that you never want to turn off.
    FIVE. Feeling a chill in the air.

    Let’s bake!!

    Julia Child’s Blueberry Clafoutis

    One bowl, 10 minutes, full of jammy blueberries and a custardy base, there's literally no excuse not to make this right NOW!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time50 mins
    Total Time1 hr
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: blueberries, clafoutis, dessert, french
    Servings: 12 people

    Ingredients

    • Butter; to grease the pan
    • cups whole milk
    • cup granulated sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla
    • pinch salt
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 pint blueberries
    • powdered sugar; for topping

    Instructions

    • Preheat your oven to 350°F and generously butter a medium-sized (I used 9×13 inch) baking dish.
    • In a blender or large bowl, add the milk, ⅓ cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour. Blend for 1 minute until smooth, or whisk vigorously until no lumps are present.
    • Pour a ¼-inch amount of batter into the baking dish and place in the oven for 2 minutes, until slightly set. Add the blueberries, sprinkle the remaining ⅓ cup sugar evenly over them, and then pour on the remaining batter.
    • Bake for 50 minutes, until set and slightly golden on top. Dust with powdered sugar before serving, warm, cold, or room temp!!
  • 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!!