Lemon blueberry Cake (and giveaway winner)

Brooke you won the bag of red fife wheat flour! I’ll get it to you soon. Message me on facebook and we will work out a time. Congrats.

If you didn’t win, go make the cake below. It will make you feel better. Guaranteed.

Some dear dear friends, who live in an hour away, had a baby girl (Darling) just three months before we had Little. I love them to pieces and wish they lived closer. We joke all the time that Little and Darling will be each others first dates- once they turn 16. They are so so so cute together.

I was honored when I was asked to make a cake for the grown ups to eat at Darling’s first birthday. Honored and nervous! What if it doesn’t turn out? What if no on likes it? What if something happens to it in transit? What if? What if? What if? As usual though, I tackled a recipe I had never made before (why do I do that to myself!?!).

The frosting job left something to be desired in my opinion but the cake itself was delicious. I hope to take a cake decorating class sometime in the near future. In the meantime we will have to settle for taste not looks.

Happy Birthday Darling. We had a lovely time at your party. Thank you for the snuggles and giggles. You are becoming a beautiful young lady!

Lemon blueberry Cake

Lemon Blueberry cake

Cake:
2 cups plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened about 20 minutes out of refrigerator
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8″ round cake pans with parchment paper, butter and flour. Sift dry ingredients into medium bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon flour mixture to larger bowl. Add fresh blueberries and toss to coat them with flour. Set remaining flour mixture and blueberries aside.

Stir whole milk, sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest in small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar, until pale yellow and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, until well combined. Mix in flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Divide batter equally among 8″ round pans.

Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks for about 10 minutes, then invert onto racks until completely cool.

Frosting (this is hands down one of the best frostings I have ever tried)

1 cup soft unsalted butter
2 teaspoons lemon zest
5 cups icing sugar (or 6 cups for sweeter version)
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons whipping cream (35% cream)
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
pinch salt
a drop or two of yellow food coloring

Cream butter and lemon zest in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, about 3 minutes. Slowly add icing sugar, mixing on low speed for about 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and beat on med-high for 3-4 minutes until very fluffy. If using color gel, add a drop or two, then beat until blended. Yields enough to frost outside of three layer 8″ round cake.

Lemon Curd (make a double batch):

3 large egg yolks, strained
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring with the wooden spoon until consistency is smooth.
Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly. Let cool; refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour.

A few notes: First- I made the cake and lemon curd three days in advance and refrigerated it. Nothing was lost in taste, moistness, or texture as everything was tightly wrapped. A total time saver, especially when I can generally only bake when Little is in bed. Second the lemon curd is SO strong. I would make 1.5 frosting recipes next time and only one of the lemon curd. I would then cut the lemon curd with the frosting and use that as the filling rather than straight lemon curd. Makes sense? Let me know if you try this and how it turns out.

Lemon blueberry CakeLemon blueberry Cake

 

Strawberry Cupcakes

About a month before I turned 29 I created a list of 30 things I want to accomplish before I turn 30. I was ambitious.  I wrote it all up on a piece of poster board and it hangs next to my kitchen. Close enough that I can check things off as I complete them and ever present to remind me to work on it. I am slowly checking things off. Some are easier than others. Perfecting 10 french macaroon recipes was a stupid one to put on there. Macaroons and I are not friends of late.

Easier ones included cleaning out my closet and giving away 27 things and giving away 15 cupcakes to 15 different people. I decided to tackle both of these last month and I hosted a clothing exchange party. Several sweet girlfriends brought the extra clothes from their closets and we all pawed through each others things looking for treasures. I came away with several skirts, sweaters, and tops. Oh and we drank champagne and ate these stellar cupcakes. What else says fancy party like a fancy cupcake?

Strawberry cupcakes and champagne

So I got rid of so many things out of my closet, added a few things that I will wear and got to sit around chatting with my girlfriends. I think everyone had a blast. I truly enjoyed it. It was wonderful to host a party in my new home and to stuff my face with these delicious treats.

I would also like to mention that my sweet brother-in-law whom I left Little with for less than 20 minutes FED him some of these cupcakes. Little enjoyed them thoroughly, mom missing out on his first bites of cake not so much.

Strawberry cupcake

These cupcakes are dense. And when I say dense I mean dense. They aren’t too sweet and are just perfect with the plain cream cheese frosting.

Enjoy. Throw a party and make these for your friends.

(Also writing this has made me miss all my girlfriends. If I made cupcakes, popped a bottle of champagne, and invited you over would you come sit on my porch and chat with me?)

Strawberry cupcakes

Strawberry Cake

1 cup butter
2 & 1/2 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/4 cups pureed strawberries (I just used my immersion blender. About 1 lb of strawberries)
3 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/3 cup butter, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few drops of red food coloring
4 cups +/- Powdered Sugar

2-4 Tbs milk

Strawberry Cake Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat butter with sugar for 3 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time, then the vanilla,  and strawberries, beat for another 3 minutes. Sift dry ingredients and add to butter/egg mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just till combined. In another bowl and clean beaters, beat egg whites till stiff and add in an increment of 3 to cake batter, being sure to fold in thoroughly but gently. Pour in to cupcake pan or greased and floured cake pan. If making cupcakes fill to 3/4 full as these do not rise much. Bake for 18 or so minutes for cupcakes and 20-25 minutes for 9 inch round cake pans.

Frosting Directions

In a medium bowl, add cream cheese and butter, whip till light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar while mixing. Add food coloring. If too thick add milk one tablespoon at a time.  You are trying to achieve a medium stiff consistency. Whip for several minutes.

 

Tough Day Buttermilk Rosemary Pound Cake

Little is 8 months old. He has slept through the night three times. In February. Most nights I get an ok amount of sleep. Last night was not one of them.

Little with pan and a wooden spoon

He has been teething for a year. Never mind he isn’t a year old. He has been teething for a year. I promise.

So, I’m tired. Out of patience. And outside it looks like this.

Kitchen window to garden

Yes, I live in Oregon and I KNOW it rains a lot here but it is May (almost June!) and we had a week of 75+ degree weather at the beginning of the month. I was happy about the rain at first. As you can see through the window that is my garden. My garden is loving the rain. I loved the rain. Now I want my sunshine back.

Tired and cranky and so over the weather. Also I think I should have indulged in a second latte instead of tea.

Bah humbug.

While counting down the minutes to nap time today I gave up. I let Little crawl all over the dining room and kitchen keeping an eye on him while I threw this together. The fact that I only had 1/2 cup of buttermilk didn’t deter me. I simply added a 1/2 cup of regular milk and a teaspoon and a half of lemon juice. Eh. That will do, I figured.

buttermilk rosemary pound cake (batter)

So now I have cake. And it is delicious. A far cry from yesterday’s whole wheat vegan yumminess, this is packed with all the things you shouldn’t eat but certainly make up for teething babies, lack of sleep, and not enough coffee.

Go make this. It comes together in a flash, requires no thinking whatsoever, and is guaranteed to improve your day.

buttermilk rosemary pound cake

Rosemary Buttermilk Pound Cake

3 Cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 Teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
1 Cup of butter
3 Cups of white sugar
6 Eggs
3 Teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP of fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 Cup of buttermilk (1 cup milk minus 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice can substitute here).

Directions

Preheat oven to 325° F. Butter a 9-inch or 10-inch loaf pan. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar till light and fluffy (2 minutes). Mix in the eggs, one at time, mixing well and scraping bowl well after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice, vanilla extract and chopped rosemary. Gently mix in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Begin and end with wet ingredients. Do not overmix. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 90 minutes. Do not open oven door until after one hour. When cake begins to pull away from the side of the pan, it is done. You can test with a toothpick to make sure it is done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

buttermilk rosemary pound cake