Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Buns was among the choices to bake at the Cake Slice. This was an easy choice for me.Who doesn't love Cinnamon Rolls?! I love the gooey, iced soaked middle of the rolls! 

This recipe called for mashed potatoes. Yeast LOVE starch! This dough rises into a gooey mound, making the dough sticky and a little harder to work with. But its okay, they turn out delicious!

If you love the cinnamon filling then I suggest you double the ingredients, it was not enough for me! Although the rolls were delicious, they screamed for more butter and cinnamon!

If icing is your thing too, then double it! The recipe gave the rolls a thin icing layer, not enough for me! The rolls screamed for an extra layer of the buttery icing, which by the way was delicious! 
So go ahead and plan to bake these for Christmas morning, if you have stockings to fill early in the morning then just stay up and start the dough. I promise you your family will be forever grateful!
I didn't have the chance to type up the recipe but I found it at Dinner at Sheila's! Before I forget, I omitted the raisins, but if you love raisins in your rolls then go ahead and add them, I don't prefer them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Honey Beescotti: #CreativeCookieExchange

Biscotti is the theme for December's Creative Cookie Exchange. I pulled several baking books out and decided on a recipe from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. Marvelous baking book by the way. I took a chance with this recipe, only because the recipe calls for Candied Orange Peel, and the fact that my husband is not a huge fan of citrus desserts.

Candied Orange Peel is not easy to find. Having no luck and giving up several stores later, I decide to make my own. Its very simple, and the cost is very affordable. After your peels are done you are left with a delicious orange syrup! I saved it and used it to sweeten my tea, and even used it as syrup for pancakes! Delicious!

The recipe suggest Chestnut Honey, I used clover. Caraway seeds and almonds were also on the list of ingredients, I left these out simply because I'm not a fan of caraway seeds and I overlooked the almonds in the recipe which I had none on hand. Vanilla and almond extract were also among the ingredients. 

The recipe was pretty simple to put together, and the aroma through out the house was heavenly! Scents of honey, orange, vanilla, and almond made the house smell incredible!

Over all I was completely satisfied with the recipe, and my husband didn't mind the orange peel, and thought it complimented the cookie very well. 

Honey Beescotti from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. chestnut honey (or any flavor, inculding clover)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract 
3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped candied orange peel
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. caraway seeds (I omitted)
1/2 c. whole natural almonds, coarsely chopped ( I omitted )

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

1. In the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, honey, and salt until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until combined. Add the candied orange peel and beat on high speed for 20 seconds.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and caraway seeds.

3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the almonds. 

4. Turn the dough out onto the prepared cookie sheet, flatten, and refrigerate until firm, about one hour. 

5. On a lightly floured board, divide the dough in half. Using a little extra flour if the dough feels sticky, roll each half into a log about 14 inches long. Refrigerate the logs until firm, about 30 minutes. 

6. Position a rack in the center of you oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the cookie sheet with clean parchment paper. 

7. Place the logs four inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the logs are lightly golden and slightly firm. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Turn down the oven to 275 degrees F. 

8. As soon as the logs are cool enough to handle but still warm, about ten minutes, carefully peel them off the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Using a serrated bread knife, gently score the logs at 3/4 inch intervals on a 45 degree angle. After scoring, cut through each score line in one motion with a sharp chefs knife, slicing the logs into pieces.

9. Carefully transfer the cookies to a freshly lined cookie sheet browned side down and not touching one another. Bake for an additional 25 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue to bake for 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool on the pan to room temperature. 

The biscotti will keep in an air tight container at room temperature for at least one week. For longer storage, tightly wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 weeks. Do not unwrap before defrosting. 

Biscotti (or mandelbrot or any other twice baked cookie by any other name) are one of the perfect Holiday tin cookies! They last forever, and there are so many ways to make them festive. So we’ve got you covered--sweet, savory, low fat, loaded with decadence, you name it, we’ve got it! Happy Holidays! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Friday, November 20, 2015


November is always a exciting time for the "Cake Slice Bakers". November is when we start baking from a new book. Maida Heatter's Cakes was the new selection for this season. 

For my first bake I decided to go with Kugelhopf. A raisin-nut coffee cake, made with a yeast dough. In the last six years with the Cake Slice, I've only encountered two Cake recipes calling for yeast. Kugelhopf was one of our four selections this month, and I could not pass up the opportunity to bake with yeast.
I used a bundt pan to bake my cake, although I wished I would have had the lovely Kugelhopf cake pan.

This cake is a pretty simple recipe. I do recommend you purchase the proper pan. I had overflowed batter drip all over my CLEAN oven, not very happy about it, but my lesson learned. 
The recipe suggest the cake be eaten the next day, but do I listen? No. Not very impressed with the warm slice I had. I could not taste anything but the rum infused raisins. Not very pleasant. The next morning I decided to try another slice before I gave this cake a unfair review. The cake was ten times better, I could no longer taste the alcohol of the rum, and the cake sliced nicely. I liked it so much better. The cake is a slightly dry cake, it does get drier with time. The next time around I would definitely double the raisins and almonds in the recipe, I felt it lacked flavor. Nevertheless the cake was not wasted, my husband was never more delighted he had almost entire cake to himself to eat all week long.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Polvorones: #CreativeCookieExchange

I just joined a baking group called "Creative Cookie Exchange". A group of dedicated cookie bakers. Every month this group is given a theme for our monthly cookie bake, we post on Tuesday following the 15th of each month. 
This months theme is Cinnamon! Awhile back ago I came across this recipe while I was searching for the Ultimate Polvoron recipe. I have made these in the past and while pleased with previous recipes it wasn't exactly what I was searching for. I wanted a more authentic cookie recipe. 

Thank goodness I came across "Mexico in my Kitchen"! Her recipe was a great success! My quest is over, I can rest assure no other recipe can beat the authenticity of this one. 
Keeping in mind our theme for the month I tweaked the recipe by adding 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and decreasing the vanilla to 1 teaspoon, and omitting the zest. I gave them a dusting of powdered sugar after they were completely cooled. 
For the recipe please visit "Mexico in my Kitchen". 

Are we the only ones who start craving cinnamon when the weather gets colder? We can’t be! And we are talking anything sold under the word cinnamon--cassia, “true Cinnamon”, Ceylon Cinnamon, Vietnamese Cinnamon--if it is sold as cinnamon it is what we want! Check out all of our cinnamon cookies below! Hint: A lot of them could be used for your holiday cookie table! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Blueberry Mini Cheesecakes

Blueberry Mini Cheesecakes is my final selection for this seasons "Cake Slice" bakers. October is when were allowed to select any recipe from the current book to bake ending the season. The Southern Cake book from Southern Living was a pleasure to bake from this year. I had successful results each and every time I made a recipe. 

 Not having luck baking cheesecakes in the past, I decided to give this recipe a try. I'm glad I did. I loved this cheesecake recipe so much I made it three times! The second time I placed it in a water bath to bake. Giving me a beautiful result! I had no browned edges! I also chose a traditional graham cracker crust. Not having a food processor really makes it difficult to finely grind any ingredient. I hope the next time I make the recipe my food processor issue is resolved, I would love to try this recipe with the almond crust, I know it would be heavenly.

For the third bake I chose to swap the blueberries out for Oreo's! I used between 10 and 12  crushed Oreo cookies for the batter, I can't remember exactly. I also decreased the sugar in the batter to 3/4 cup. The cookies are sweet enough to make up for the sugar. The crust was also made of Oreo's. The lemon zest was omitted. I topped it with fresh whipped cream and crushed Oreo's. I strongly suggest you bake in a water bath. It makes all the difference.
May I just say that this Oreo cheesecake will leave you speechless. I made it for a dinner I was invited to and it was the star of the show! Everyone kept mumbling how good it turned out while they ate their slice. Really. Its heavenly. At home I keep getting request to make it again, and some have already requested it as their birthday cake! 

Next month we will start baking from a new book. I look forward to baking and making new friendships  with the new members that have jouned our group, and will miss those who have chosen to leave this season. Anne from "From my Sweet Heart" joined our group in 2012, Kim from "The Ninja Baker" and Sandra from "Sweet Sensations" both joined in 2013, they are leaving the group this season. Their bakes were always picture perfect, and a delight to read. I will miss them terribly, and hope that they return again to bake with us in the near future. 
For those of you interested in joining the Cake Slice, a group of dedicated bakers, please contact Laura, our group administrator, with enquiries.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Chocolate Zucchini Cakes

 The Cake Slice bakers are just around the corner from selecting our new baking book for the season. Next month we get to bake any recipe we choose to end the season.

This month we had four wonderful selections to choose from. Our selections this month included Baby Sweet Potato Cakes, Caramel Coconut Cake, Black Forest Pound Cake. 

The batter to this point was incredibly delicious! 

I chose this delicious Chocolate Zucchini Cake. A first for me. 

I did make a slight change to the recipe, due to ingredients on hand. I omitted the chopped chocolate, and made changes to the cocoa powder, using 3/4 cup special dark cocoa, and 1/4 cup regular cocoa powder. 

  The chocolate flavor came through just lovely. I knew the dark cocoa would do the trick.

Loved how dense the cake turned out. It was super moist and the chocolate was flavor was perfect! No icing was needed to bring this cake to the next level, it was perfect! For the recipe please visit Southern Living. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Another delicious Cake Slice bake! All thanks to Laura, our cake group administrator, who now has the task of selecting our Cake Slice choices of the month. Every month our bakers chooses from four recipes selected. We no longer vote, but simple choose one. This way we have more flexibility and we cover more delicious cakes from our current book "The Southern Cake Book" by Southern Living.

My selection this month is Peach Upside-Down Cake! A first for me. I chose a delicious freestone peach for my recipe. Clings are actually my favorite. As kids we use to pick Cling peaches during summer break, it was hard work, but much needed money for our school clothes, along with the lesson of  the value of a dollar. I'm forever great full to my mother for instilling these values in her children. I've never forgotten the hard work in the fields, and appreciate the hard work of our farm laborers. My Mother is an incredibly hard working person, and couldn't be more prouder to have her as a Mother. 

The batter was like silk, and the flavor was incredible! 

We have two more bakes before we start our new book in November. We are still deciding what baking books will be up for vote, and will release the winning selection in November. If you wish to join the Cake Slice bakers, I should have the information next month on how to join. We bake once a month, and blog and post on the 20th of each month. Keeping the selected recipe secret until the revealing day.

I doubled the recipe, and had no problems. I did swap the vanilla bean for vanilla extract. I used a 12" cast iron skillet, and lowered the temperature to 325 degrees half way through. I loved everything about this cake, from the delicious caramel like sauce, to the buttery silky cake! You must try this recipe! I've been trying to keep this from being devoured in one day, but my family keeps nagging me for another slice, and might just have to give in. 

Please visit my Cake Slice friends for their baking adventure this month!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake

Mexican Hot Chocolate was a favorite growing up. We always paired it up with Bolillo, Mexico's version of French bread. There is nothing better than a hot cup of hot chocolate to warm you up during those cold winter nights.

This month I was torn between two recipes, this delicious pound cake and a Key Lime Ice Box cake. The other two Cake Slice selections were Lane Cake, and a Tiramisu cake. With ingredients limited this month I decided to bake half a recipe. This recipe called for chocolate syrup, which I omitted only because quite frankly I dislike this sauce, I've never learned to like it. I did double up on the melted chocolate squares and the cinnamon. It was perfect. The batter was absolutely delicious! I even gave my husband a blind fold taste test and had him guess what the flavor of the cake was to be. He guessed correctly! Everyone loved the cake, and agreed it was Mexican Hot Chocolate! 
Hurry over and visit my Cake Slice friends for their baking adventures this month! 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Caramel Cake

Caramel Cake was my choice this month for the Cake Slice Bakers. Other choices were Pink Lemonade, Hummingbird cake, and a Blueberry Coffee Cake.
My choice this month was based on what ingredients I had on hand. This recipe was quite easy to make, and the result was delicious. 

The cake was moist and flavorful! The frosting was easy to make, and was rich and buttery. This cake was a success, my family was quite happy with this months choice. For the recipe please visit Southern Living
Please visit the Cake Slice Bakers for their cake adventures this month. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Strawberry Mousse Cake

Five and a half years, 55 cakes later, the opportunity to bake a Strawberry Cake with the Cake Slice Bakers has arrived! My daughter recently had a birthday in April and I begged her to choose this cake. She didn't budge. A coworker was lucky enough to have a birthday a few days apart, and I decided to bake this for her.

As I prepped for the cake, I realized this was going to be a four layer cake, also a first for me with the cake slice. I read through the recipe carefully, wanting to avoid any error, since the cake was for a birthday celebration. I decided the filling was not going to be enough for me to layer in between the four cake layers. I doubled it. You can't have enough decadent mousse in a cake, it's one of my favorite fillings for a cake.

I loved how the cake layers baked up. I loved the flavor of the cake. A perfect balance of vanilla and almond. The buttercream was also delicious. Loved everything about it. 

The only thing I would do different the next time around is cut the recipe in half! It was an enormous cake! Four layers, and 8" high! I honestly thought was going to collapse on the way to work! It made it safely! 
Pleas visit the Cake Slice Bakers for their baking adventures this month!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mama Dip's Carrot Carrot Cake

I chose to bake this month's Cake Slice choice for my husband's birthday. He's a HUGE nut fan. Big. Really BIG. So huge that quite frankly its a little annoying. Constantly always reminding me to double, even triple the nuts in my recipes. Not going to happen. Although I love nuts myself, I like to stick to the amounts in recipes. If I don't, then whats the point if I'm going to over power the other flavors with just nuts. 

His birthday landed on a Friday this year. I wanted to surprise him with a dinner and this fabulous Carrot Cake. So I chose the previous weekend before his birthday. I knew he would be tucked away in our bedroom all weekend long studying. It would give me time to sneak in his dinner and cake. A few times when he came out for a quick break, he kept mentioning how it smelled wonderful, and wanted to know what I was cooking up. Dinner, I replied. What are we having?, he asked. Food, I replied. After asking a few times and getting short answers he stopped.

Dinner was a success, completely surprising him. With all the stress he had with studying he completely forgot about his upcoming birthday. He loved his cake. We all loved the cake. I baked the recipe according to the recipe. My only adjustment was with the frosting. Adding two pounds of sugar would have resulted overwhelming. I decreased the sugar to 3 cups, the cream cheese to 1 pkg. , increased the butter to 2 sticks, and decreased the vanilla to 1 teaspoon. Perfection. Creamy, and light! 
Don't forget to visit my Cake Slice friends to see what they whipped up this month!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Amaretto-Almond Pound Cake

My choice this month for the Cake Slice was Amaretto-Almond Pound Cake. The other choices were Banana split cake, Luscious Lemon cake, and a Cinderella Cheesecake. It was a tough choice this month trying to decide which recipe to choose. In the end I baked the one I had ingredients for. 

Nut cakes are always a hit with the hubby. I don't think he could ever get quite enough of them. He's always hoping my Cake Slice choices consists of nuts. And constantly reminds me to double, even triple the nuts in the recipe. Not going to happen. 

The cake baked nicely. And the glaze gave it the final finish it needed. I suggest saving a tad bit of it to brush on top of the cake after its inverted. This would give it a better presentation. 

We had 1/2 the cake while still warm, then finished it off the next day. I preferred it the next day. The texture was dense and the flavors were perfectly balanced. 
Don't forget to visit the rest of the Cake Slice bakers for their baking adventure. For the recipe please visit Southern Living

Friday, February 20, 2015

King Cake

King Cake was among the choices this month on The Cake Slice. This cake is made during the Mardi Gras season which starts on January 6th and ends on Fat Tuesday. 
This year for my King Cake I decided to give this recipe a try. It's slightly different from the traditional King Cake I grew up with, which is baked with a streusel topping and candied fruit. 
This recipe consists of a yeast dough rolled up with butter, sugar and cinnamon. A delicious glaze finishes off the cake after its baked. I made half the recipe only because it seemed quite a bit of cake, and because I honestly thought this cake was going to end up really rich and overwhelming. It didn't. It was the best King Cake I have ever had. It was light and had the perfect balance of cinnamon swirled in the cake. My whole family loved it! 
The only slight change I made was in the glaze, leaving the lemon juice out. Don't forget to visit the rest of the Cake Slice Bakers for their baking adventure this month! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream cake was my choice this month for the Cake Slice Bakers. Among the other other 3 choices there was Swoon pies, Ambrosia Cake, and Chocolate Velvet cupcakes. All the choices were potentials for me, but the one that kept just calling my name was the Italian Cream Cake.

Nobody really knows exactly how or where this cake exactly originated from. Over the years I've heard of this cake, but didn't exactly picture this cake to be made of coconut, pecans, and frosted in cream cheese. In my mind I pictured a white sponge cake of some sort, the cake layers brushed with a liqueur simple syrup, sandwiched with light whipped cream custard. 
After a little research on the history of this cake, the only thing that could be found was that its believed it was created by a Italian baker who lived in the south. All the recipes I compared all consisted of the same ingredients. 

After reading all the great reviews, I proceeded with confidence. After all, what's there not to love about pecans, coconut, and cream cheese? The result? Delicious! Tender white coconut layered cake, filled with creamy, nutty, cream cheese frosting! Loved, loved, loved this cake! For the recipe please click here!  
Please visit my fellow Cake Slice bakers to see what choice they whipped up this month!