There have been lots of exciting changes happening and I couldn't think of a more appropriate way to celebrate than with champagne cupcakes topped with candied grapefruit and swiss buttercream!
After one year hiatus, I am returning to full time corporate life. I also got myself a car (yay to independence!) and a sweet rescue puppy who we named Jax. So I guess its true- good things really do come in 3! I couldn't be more excited for all the changes and progression I am making with Eat More Cake too! Stay tuned for announcements to come :)
This recipe is super duper easy and fun! I added the candied grapefruit for texture and some tartness but its completely optional. Champagne cake is traditionaly pink but I decided to keep out the food coloring.
Champagne Cupcakes Recipe: yields 24-26 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1 cup Champagne (No need for expensive Champagne, I used a bottle that I had lying around the house)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degree F Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
2) In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar on medium speed for 5m minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Mix in egg whites one at a time.
3) With the mixer speed on low, add the flour and champagne in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour to prevent curdling.
4) Pour batter into prepared pans and fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
I had some Swiss buttercream in the freezer, This is a less sweet more buttery type frosting but you can make any frosting you prefer. Below is the recipe for a standard American Buttercream with a twist!
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
3-4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
In a mixing bowl, beat butter for 1 minutes. Gradually add the confectioners sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract and grapefruit juice. Beat for 5 minutes or until creamy and fluffy.
I don't think these baked doughnuts really need an introduction. Doughnuts are back! And there are ways to make them less of a guilty pleasure than the beloved store bought versions. Here is how:
1) You DONT have to fry them! I know I know, everything is better when its fried. Coming from the girl who could eat french fries with every meal and not bat an eyelash. BUT believe me, they are still Am-A-zing baked if you have star recipe (which i'm about to give you).
2) Sub the bad ingredients for a healthier version. Let me explain:
These are moist, not too sweet, not too dense, pillowy goodness. I opted for a maple glaze but you can absolutely get creative and add any glaze flavor you love! *Hint hint- salted caramel would be pretty scrumptious too.
Pumpkin Doughnuts: Yields 6 (adopted from the The Faux Martha)
3 tbsp. melted coconut butter (or unsalted butter)
½ cup all- purpose flour
½ cup cake flour (or sub for a total of 1 cup all-purpose flour)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon pumpkin spice
2 tbsp. buttermilk (*If you don't have buttermilk, combine 2 tbsp whole milk with 1/4 tsp vinegar, allow to sit for 5 min to curdle)
½ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
2 tbspoon honey or date paste (blended dates)
1 large egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
1) Preheat oven to 400 degress
2) Melt coconut (or butter) and set aside to cool
3) Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice in a bowl and whisk ingredients
4) In a separate bowl, combine canned pumpkin, sugar, egg, buttermilk, honey, and vanilla extract
4) With a spatula, combine wet and dry ingredients until combined. Be careful to not over mix, as this can create a dense doughnut
5) Spray the doughnut pan with coconut oil, using a piping bag or spoon, distribute batter evenly into baking pan
6) Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the doughnut springs back. Or insert toothpick, should come out clean. Allow to cool in the baking pan for 1 minute before cooling on cooling rack.
7) While doughnuts cool, make the glaze. No recipe here! Combine powdered sugar, milk and maple syrup to your desired consistency
Serve and Enjoy!
Worlds easiest cookie to make and only 3 ingredients! Not to mention, they are gluten free, grain free, and you can even make them refined sugar free.
As much as I don't like to confess this fun fact: In college, I had to have a scoop of peanut butter every single day. I tried every brand I could find and it wasn't until I studied abroad in Mexico and Spain that I finally broke this peanut butter obsession. I couldn't find it abroad....I looked every day.
Needless to say, my peanut butter obsession most likely inspired this very peanut buttery cookie. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe:
1 cup Peanut Butter (Choose your fav)
1 cup brown sugar (sub coconut sugar if you are refined sugar free)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2) In a mixer- blend the peanut butter and brown sugar until well combined. Beat in egg, baking soda and vanilla extract
3) Using a tablespoon or ice cream scooper, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Flatten on cookie sheet with a fork.
4) Bake for 9-10 minutes. They will be delicate, soft, flaky cookies so be gentle when transferring from baking sheet to cooling rack.
5) After the cookies have cooled, fill with peanut butter frosting and a dollop of your favorite jam. Sprinkle with Maldon finishing salt
Peanut Butter Frosting:
I actually don't have a recipe because you don't need one! Below are the ingredients in the frosting but play around with the ratio. If you want a sweeter frosting, add more confectioner sugar. If you want less sweet add more peanut butter and milk/cream to thin out the frosting.
Milk/Cream (can use dairy free alternatives)
To all the momma bears and papa bears out there- add these PBJ Sammies (in cookie form) to your kiddos lunch box. They will love them, they will love you, and they will love their first day back to school.
As I always say, celebrate more and Eat More Cake, if thats what makes you happy!
I was recently asked how I make my cakes so light and fluffy. Yowza! For bakers that is one loaded question! There are several factors that contribute to creating a cake that is airy and light in texture, and I wasn't sure how to condense the answer in order to prevent an hour long monologue.
Alright so i've decided to share what I believe to be the most commonly skipped step that makes a world of a difference when it comes to cake texture. I want to start off by mentioning that baking is science. Unfortunately, the only way to truly get the results that you want is to experiment. Luckily there are a plethora of options and recipes at our fingertips now a days, but I still encourage you to experiment with the recipes, make adjustments to your liking of taste and texture and have fun!
I prefer my white cakes to be light and airy vs dense and moist (Nothing wrong with this type of cake) and have my go to recipe that works perfectly. This recipe also has a secret ingredient......wait for it.......whipped cream! Yup, thats right. Whip up that cream and fold it into the cake batter as your last step, You can thank me later :)
I am going to KIS (no, I didn't misspell KISS). But KIS- KEEP IT SIMPLE, for you all.
CREAMING the Butter and Sugar based on the recipe directions. If the recipe says to cream for 5 minutes on medium speed, or until light and fluffy.....DO IT! I seriously used to speed up this step by mixing on high for a few minutes and called it good. But don't- you are missing a crucial step that can't be reversed or made up for in another step of cake making. And simply put, here is why:
Creaming the softened butter and sugar creates air pockets in the mixture. The sugar aerates the butter and creates bubbles that allow for expansion of the cake (due to the work of your leavener) when baking.
Thats it! If you want more detail regarding what the mixture texture and color should look like, check out the detailed explanation from King Arthur Flour
If the recipe doesn't specify, then what do I do? I cream for 3-5 minutes on medium speed until the color changes from yellow to a palish yellow, almost white. It should be a light texture, not grainy. Another important component, ROOM TEMP BUTTER. Let it sit out for at least 2 hours before you begin.
I hope this helps you the next time you tackle cake making! Leave a comment and let me know if this tip was helpful. Any other tips your dying to know when it comes to baking??
I know what you're thinking- Paleo? Gluten Free? BORING! But I promise you my friend, this is anything but boring. This recipe adopted by Ambitious Kitchen is the closest tasting to the real deal.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar ( you can also sub for brown sugar)
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1./4 teaspoon salt
3 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt, for garnish *OPTIONAL
1/2 pack of Vanilla Pudding (powder mix, not the actual pudding) *OPTIONAL
Instructions: Yields 12-16 cookies
*If you can't have almond flour because of allergies sub for 1/3 cup coconut flour only. AND 2 eggs.
*You can use any chocolate your heart desires. But the quality of chocolate makes all the difference in this recipe. I used Theo Dark Chocolate.
Hero 1: Listening to the Voices- uncovering your talent
I see it, a cute storefront on the main street. Inviting the community to come in for a hot cup of coffee on that dreary Monday morning. Smelling cakes in the oven, tasting freshly made biscuits with jam, meeting with customers to help create a vision for a Winter Wonderland theme birthday filled with pink and gold cake pops and the sweetest smash cake frosted with Rose buttercream.
Working a corporate job (yes you can be corporate and creative!), I found this creativity spark after a long day. I always found myself wandering to this same vision. So I decided to explore that nagging voice. Not really sure entirely what it was or what it meant yet….
At the end of a long day- I simply found myself in the kitchen. Inventing, mixing, tasting, blending, and baking something delectable. I have no idea when these visions or thoughts arose for the first time. All I recall is that it was reoccurring, and when I found myself in the kitchen, I couldn't fail. Or at least if I did fail, it was a little secret between me, my spatula and my taste buds.
The first and biggest challenge I recall was the French Macaron. I was just beginning to teach myself how to bake, so naturally I chose one of the most difficult cookies to master. This was a calculated move, if I’m going to learn, I’ll learn by making Macarons and Croissants….you got this!
Well my first dozen batches of French Macarons didn't turn out with perfect feet (A sign of a successful cookie!) or beautiful crunch to a soft and chewy center. It took a lot of practice and perfecting of the recipe and technique. I’m talking ingredients wasted, batches over mixed, too much food coloring, the oven temperature was too high….too low, too much humidity. These cookies are like Goldilocks and the Three Bears on a quest for the perfect bowl of porridge. Although it took me more than 3 attempts to find it. But when I did…lets just say I turned on “MMMbop” (my happy song that brings me back to being 9 yrs old) and danced around the house!
Its no wonder by husband surprised me with a box of macarons from Lady Yum on our wedding day as my 'Something Blue'
But I was my worst critic. I never saw it as failure. It was my escape from daily pressures, and daily failures. When I had my apron on, all I felt was imagination and pure bliss.
What good are our ideas if they just stay in our imagination? I am not knocking the importance of imagination, without it little girls wouldn’t have the ability to believe that they are all princesses in their own right.
But turn it into something for someone! Our ideas are given purpose if we act on them. Find out your WHY and let that fuel your vision. Mine simply put: I love to give. And sweets remind me of celebrating. So spreading the joy of celebration, even in those small every day moments that you don’t think need celebrating.
The Takeaway: Knowing what fuels those visions, your WHY and what to do with them.
What are your natural talents? What makes you happy? Feel confident? What do you want to share with others and bring to the world? What does it look like, feel like, sound like, taste like? What actions have you taken to master your craft? Why are you doing it?
Thank you for stopping by! As always, I encourage you to Eat More Cake, if that’s what makes you happy.
Photography by: Kelly Lemon Photography
I had a late night chocolate craving so I whipped up this delectible Molten Lava Cake for T W O in only 5 minutes! The recipe was adopted by Christina Lane's Dessert for Two Cookbook and its the perfect indulgence after dinner because its takes no time to make and is perfectly portioned for you and your partner, friend, dog, child....or whoever wants to indulge with you (you can eat both too, I won't tell)
This is all you need: 1 bowl, a whisk (or spoon) and 5 staple ingredients that are most likely already stocked in your kitchen. I added finely chopped sage to my sugar to bring in another depth of flavor and had no regrets! Top with raspberries, whipped cream or your favorite ice cream.
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used 70% dark bakers chocolate, good chocolate makes all the difference!)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (not required, but did you know that espresso powder helps bring out the chocolate flavor in baked goods?)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (you can make gluten-free by using gluten-free 1:1 flour)
1) Preheat oven to 425, spray two round ramekins. Don't have ramekins? You could use a cupcake pan.
2) Combine chocolate and butter (cut butter into small pieces) and melt in the microwave in 20 second increments. Stir and continue until melted. You may also melt in a small pan on your stovetop but I wouldn't suggest this, as it will only generate more dishes. Ugh!
3) Stir the sugar and espresso powder into your melted chocolate and butter mixture. I also chopped 1 sage leaf and mixed in with the sugar.
4) Stir in the egg and egg yolk until combined. Stir in flour.
5) Pour batter evenly into both ramekins and bake for 12 minutes
6) Serve immediately with ice cream, whipped cream or your favorite berries
You asked, so I delivered! The gluten free, vegan, paleo protein packed snack. I created these snacks before my trip to Thailand a few months ago. Little did I know that they would make for the perfect snack to hold me over on a long international flight, since I usually don't eat the airplane food. Unless I'm on Alaska Airlines and Tom Douglas is cooking :)
You ready for the best part?? They only have 3 ingredients (well 4 including the chocolate, which is completely optional) and take less than 10 minutes to prepare. Second best part- you really can't mess these up. Adjust the recipe to your liking of the texture, sweetness and flavor. I chose to finish mine with Maldon Sea Salt and toasted coconut. oh wait....third best thing: they kinda sorta taste like a peanut butter cup, only better. You're welcome.
Peanut Butter Bon Bon: yields 16-18 balls
3/4 cup organic peanut butter (smooth or creamy)
1/4 cup organic coconut flour (plus 2-3 additional tablespoons depending on texture)
2-3 tablespoons of organic honey or maple syrup
**I had vanilla protein powder and decided to add 1/4 cup for additional protein. This is completely optional
1) Combine peanut butter, coconut flour, and honey. Mix well until you reach the desired texture. You want them to be sticky but roll easily into a ball.
2) Line a pan with parchment paper. Using a small scooper, scoop an even level of peanut butter. Using the palm of your hand, roll into a ball and place on the lined parchment paper.
3) place in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Just long enough to make them firm for dipping into the chocolate
4) Cut chocolate into chunks (or using chocolate chips) and melt in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring each time **I used dark bittersweet chocolate
5) Dip half of the peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate. Place back onto the parchment paper to set. Sprinkle with desired toppings (Be creative!)
Thats it. Super simple and easy. You can also make ahead and freeze for several months. Makes for the perfect post-workout snack as well! Let me know what you think :)
The Oregon Coast Road Trip: December 27 2015-Jan 1 2016. #Brandicebetrippin
2015 was an adventurous year for us. For starters, we got married! But what better of a way to end the year than with another adventure road tripping the Oregon Coast? I had never been to the Oregon Coast so we drove from Seattle, WA to San Jose, CA for Christmas (stayed in Ashland, OR) and drove 2,028 miles roundtrip back home. The journey home was so much fun and not to mention, breathtakingly beautiful! Need an itinerary for your own trip? This was ours:
Day 1: We started our road trip visiting my sister and her fiancé in San Francisco. We planned on leaving by 7am but had to make a stop at Craftsman and Wolves for coffee and a pastry. Driving through SF is never a quick endeavor so an hour later, we headed out crossing the Golden Gate bridge.
This was the first of many breathtaking sunsets. Just outside of Crescent City, CA, about 20 minutes south from the Jedediah Campgrounds.
We didn't make any stops along the way until we reached our campground in Crescent City, CA. However, you could drive along Highway 101 and never even realize you are driving through the Redwood State Park. Make stops along the way for hiking or driving through a gigantic tree. We decided to skip this, mainly because we felt it was just a tourist trap and we needed to get to our campground before dark.
Day 2: This was our fellow neighbors campground. But the sunrise was too perfect to pass up the photo op! We survived the night of camping in 35 degrees. Yup, it was almost freezing. I should note that this is maybe my 3rd time camping....EVER. I braved the harsh conditions but was rewarded with a warm breakfast of eggs and bacon. My husband called the shots and said no more camping for this trip. Hooray!! So there you have it- our recent investment in a nice tent and air mattress and lugging it around over 2,000 miles for one measly night of camping. Hey, at least we tried. This was at the Jedediah Smith Campgrounds Crescent City, CA
This was our cute little camp site. It looks warm but don't be fooled.
Exploring Redwood State Park, CA
Love me some foggy roads. On our way to Bandon, OR. Not BRANDON. Although I thoroughly enjoyed calling it Brandon while we were in Bandon haha.
Day 3: We woke up early, grabbed a cup of coffee and breakfast sandwich at the Bandon Coffee Cafe. Everyone was so friendly! Then we headed about 10 minutes west to visit the Bandon Ocean State Wayside- Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. Here you will find some of the most spectacular rock formations and beaches.
We enjoyed our coffee and walk along the beach. It was cold and windy! But so worth the view.
Next stop- Lincoln City. On our way out, we stopped for a late lunch (around 3pm to catch the sunset at 4:30) at the Pelican Brewery in Pacific City. We almost skipped coming to this place but its a must see! The sunset was so beautiful and the Pelican Brewery has awesome beer and food. This beach reminded me of the beaches in CA. It looked completely different than the other beaches we visited along the Oregon Coast. Even though it was only about 38 degrees with the chilly wind, we caught some surfers enjoying the waves.
We stayed at the Salishan Spa and Gold Resort in Lincoln City. It was the most fancy place we stayed all week but we stole a deal because of the off season. So we decided to sleep in and enjoy the gym before heading out to Cannon Beach.
On our way, we stopped at the Cape Kiwanda State Park for some easy hiking and seal watching. And don't miss the Tillamook Cheese factory! We sampled our favorite cheese and left battling over an ice cream cone. It was well worth it....We love Tillamook cheese :)
We made it to Cannon Beach! And found some hooligans roaming. Enjoying the last sunset of 2015 :) We stayed 1 block from the ocean at Blue Gill Inn. Cannon Beach is the cutest beach town ever with small boutique shops, wineries, and lots of art galleries.
Our livers hurt, the wind was piercingly cold, the apartment looked like someone threw up New Years glitter but we raged into 2016 with this awesome group.
This pretty much sums up the entire weekend. Sand angels anyone?
Final sunset of 2015 and the first time as The Wards!
Cannon Beach, OR
This is a very personal writing that I have decided to share. I went back and forth whether I wanted to post this for you all to see (i'm not even sure who or how many people even read my blog) but thats besides the point.
After some time, I came to the conclusion that someone else out there may have felt or is feeling this way too. After I wrote this and shared it with my husband and parents, I felt liberated. I only hope that this writing may provide the same relief for someone else struggling with these thoughts and find acceptance instead of regret about their wedding.
I promise you, this writing is not as negative as the title implies. Thats just a little rhetoric for ya :) WARNING- its a wee bit lengthy!
September 13, 2015- Wedding Day
Its true what they say, your wedding day is one of the most euphoric, beautiful and memorable days of your life. Your favorite people in one place, celebrating the Union of two people and two families.
You spend a year planing for this day. Looking at pictures on Pinterest, magazines, going to wedding shows, and viewing others wedding videos and photos in hopes of finding the perfect idea of what your day will look and feel like.
Well no one prepares you for how you should or will feel after that most amazing day is over. Post wedding depression- is a real thing.
Through out the entire wedding planning process, I really wanted to stay focused on the task. And that to us was creating a wedding that portrayed our lives together- displaying the things that we love, our passions, and allowing our families talents to shine through. We wanted the day to be fun and stress free for our guests but not over the top. We wanted to show people that a planning a wedding didn't mean you had pay for a gigantic wedding cake or hire a planner or spend thousands on a videographer. You can do a lot of it yourself, or at least with the help of your village.
And after it was all over, I look back and I'm happy. I'm overjoyed with how perfect and beautiful the day turned out. But I also find myself revisiting certain moments that, well simply put, didn't exactly happen the way I imagined. Admittedly, feelings of regret surface, and sometimes sadness.
I feel beyond guilty for having these thoughts. And I'm even more angered that I do, and haven't really done anything about them. I don't want to think about my wedding day and allow disappointments or false expectations to cloud my beautiful memories. ' So this is me, embarrassingly admitting that I struggle with ill feelings about our wedding. In desperation to purge those thoughts, I bear my open mind now.
And so here I go:
My dad didn't cry on my wedding day. In fact, he showed little emotion at all. He actually seemed uninthused the entire day. And I wasn't sure why. I noticed it that day and I noticed it in our wedding photos. Was his mind elsewhere? I wasn't sure. All I knew is that I was his first daughter walking down the aisle and I imagined it would be a more emotional day for him.
But then I realized, I am my fathers daughter. I too had similar facial expression in our wedding photos. I look serious when I first looked saw myself in the mirror in my wedding dress. I look slightly unamused walking down the aisle, with a smirky teeth- less bearing grin on my face. I never smile like that. My voice soft, faint and squirmish as I said my vows and my eyes wondering during the ceremony, afraid to gleam into my soon to be husbands eyes. I was nervous, I didn't want to cry (mainly to prevent my makeup from smearing) but also to keep my composure. I didn't want my emotions to shed. I knew my father was having the same battle internally. We both enjoy one on one conversations with people, deep rooted friendships, loyalty to our families and loved ones but deep down we are introspective, deep, loving people with quiet souls. When we feel like talking, we will
be heard. But we do not enjoy being the center of attention.
He is a gifted guitarist, musician, and lyricist. He spent months writing a beautiful song that he performed at my wedding. He taught himself this magnificent talent. It's something he always wanted to do but life never allowed him to until several years ago. I've had the privilege of seeing him challenge himself with something he never thought was possible. His song was his emotion on my wedding day. And it was beautiful.
While I was waffuling in confusion about my fathers lack of emotion, squinty eyes and stoic voice, It wasn't until I took a step back to look at my wedding from a different lense to come to terms that I am my father. In that moment, I understood him and I love him for that.
AND, I shared several emotional moments with my mom. She has been a best friend growing up, I call her almost every day just to tell her the little things that no one else would care about. "Mom, I just spend hours making my first croissants at home" followed by several pictures of my craft and her excitement "yummmm!" On my wedding day I could really see the emotion in her. She gave me a kiss on the cheek in the bridal suite and whispered "you look beautiful, my beautiful daughter" we laughed and cried as memories of my compassionate, selfless, strong willed mother raising three kids, flooded my mind.
So I conclude, with this: just because you see all those perfect wedding photos of a father kissing you softly on the cheek as he hands you over to your future husband and gives a heartfelt "she is the apple of my eye" speech in this wedding videos.....that is NOT real life for everyone. We don't have to have those exact moments on our wedding day in order to sum up all the years and memories you have growing up. Your father loves you, and found the day he gave you away to your husband to be one of the most memorable of his life. There is no picture perfect moment that will justify that on your wedding day, he will do it in his own way.
This really isn't about my father. He was purely one example of how I allowed the wedding expectations, the media, and the countless pictures available to us on the internet, to flood false fabrications of reality into my mind.
And so I write this as a reminder to myself, that the expectations of what I was going to experience on my wedding day and the reality of what happened is just as beautiful. What you desire is only a desire. And what you experience is your reality, uniquely defined by you. Not pictures you have seen it should be like or videos of the perfect day. The perfect day is what you make of it, and how you hold onto the precious moments that did happen with out yearning for those that didn't.
He was happy after all! Thank you dad for writing and singing (he has never sung before!) your song.
Hello! I'm Candice and I love baking. This blog is dedicated to all things sweet, exploring your passion, staying inspired and encouraging you to Eat More Cake!