Iced Lemon Pound Cake

October has begun and so has fall. The avalanche of pumpkins, apples and cinnamon has already hit us. And here I am…still hanging onto my summer desserts.

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

 

I’m not ashamed of it. Not one bit. I would gladly eat a slice of this moist, buttery lemon cake any day of the year.

 

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

 

I love my monstrous frosted layered cake creations but sometimes, just sometimes, I crave the comfort of a simple, homely, fresh out of the oven cake. A cake that doesn’t ask for planning or fancy detailing. A cake that can be whipped up in minutes.

This lemon pound cake is just that.

Simple, delicious, and ridiculously easy to make.

 

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

It has a soft, fluffy, moist texture with a bright lemon kick from the tangy glaze on top. It’s buttery and lemony and it literally melts in your mouth. And it couldn’t be easier to make.

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

Here are some tips to remember:

  1. A pound cake gets its fine, dense (not heavy) texture from the all the mixing. The mixing incorporates air, creating volume, which then levels the loaf. So make sure you beat the sugar and butter well and again after the addition of each egg.

  2. Buttermilk gives you a moist, flavorful cake. The acidity in the buttermilk reacts with the baking powder making the cake lighter in texture. To make homemade buttermilk; combine ½ cup whole milk with 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice.

  3. The cake gets most of its flavor from the lemon zest so make sure you do not skimp on the zest. Only use the thin, yellow zest layer of the lemon, which contains the lemon oils, and avoid the white layer which tastes bitter.

  4. Grease your loaf pan very well. I like to oil the pan, line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, and then coat the pan with flour. This ensures that the cake will pop right out of the pan in one piece.

Once the cake is slightly cooled, I like to top it off with a thick lemon glaze. The glaze gives the cake a burst of citrus flavor and takes on a beautiful almost matte finish once it hardens.

 

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

It has become go-to lemon pound cake recipe. Maybe it will become yours too. 🙂

Lemon Pound Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes                                                                        Yields: one 9 inch loaf
Cook Time: 45 to 55 minutes
Ingredients:
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon (around 1 teaspoon)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature (see notes below)
For the glaze:
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon milk
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Dust with flour, shake off the excess.
In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar. Add in the butter and beat with a hand mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and lemon juice. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on low, add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until almost combined, then add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with another third of flour mixture and then the last half of the buttermilk, ending with the last third of the flour. Beat until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 45 – 55 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for about 10 – 15 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling before glazing.
Meanwhile make the glaze; combine all the glaze ingredients, start with 1 tbsp lemon juice and milk and add the remaining lemon juice as needed. The icing should be thick and smooth. Add more lemon juice or powdered sugar if needed to get the correct pouring consistency. Slowly pour the glaze over the top of the cake. Let it dry before slicing the cake.
Notes
1.       Homemade buttermilk: ½ cup milk + 1 tsp vinegar
2.       This cake will keep about 4 days at room temperature or upto one week in the refrigerator.

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

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Death by Chocolate Cake + World Chocolate Day!

4 years of college. Over and done with.
More on that later…

LET’S HAVE CAKE TO CELEBRATE.

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

It is World Chocolate Day after all. And it’d be rude not to indulge in chocolate (not that I do it everyday? Those last 4 jars of Nutella. Nop. Not me.)

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

This is hands down the best chocolate cake you will ever taste.

It is super easy to make; no fancy equipment, no complicated ingredients needed. Just two bowls and a whisk (a mixer, if you’re me).

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

I went for the naked cake look because my family isn’t too big on frosting. Also, I think naked cakes look prettier.

I used my rusty 6-inch cake pan for a taller cake. And topped it all off with some of these beautiful flowers from the garden.

Some tips to make sure your cake turns out perfect every single time:

  • Make sure the eggs and milk are at room temperature. Makes a world of difference! Trust me

  • DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup whole milk (at room temperature) + 1 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice

  • Butter at room temperature for a smooth, cream frosting is a MUST. It should be soft but not too soft that’s its melting and has an oily sheen to it

  • No, sugar crushed in a grinder will not work for the frosting

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

Try this cake for the next birthday party, anniversary, World Chocolate Day — it’s a show-stopper!

Death by Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
Chocolate Cake
·         1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
·         1 and 3/4 cup granulated sugar
·         3/4 cup cocoa powder
·         1 tsp baking powder
·         2 tsp baking soda
·         1/2 tsp salt
·         1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature1
·         1/2 cup vegetable oil
·         2 large eggs, at room temperature
·         1 tsp vanilla extract
·         1 cup freshly made strong hot coffee2
 
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
·         3-4 cups icing sugar
·         3/4 cup cocoa powder
·         3 Tbsp. heavy cream
·         3-5 Tbsp. whole milk
·         1 tsp vanilla extract
Ganache for the drip
·         1/2 cup  cream
·         1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Fresh flowers for the top

 

Directions:
1.       Preheat oven to 180C degrees. Grease & flour three 6 inch round cake pans3, and line them with parchment paper.
2.      For the cake: In a bowl, whisk together hot coffee and cocoa till a thick mix forms. Set aside to cool.
3.      Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
4.      In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar till a bit pale in color. Mix in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low. Add the coffee cocoa mixture. Mix until combined.
5.      Divide the batter into prepared baking pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
6.      For the frosting: In a large bowl, sift together the icing sugar and cocoa powder.
7.      In another bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and pale in color. With the speed on low, add in half of the sugar and the cocoa powder. Beat till combined. Then add in the rest of the sugar/cocoa mix. Turn mixer to medium speed and add the vanilla, cream and milk tablespoon by tablespoon. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add more icing sugar if too lose or add more milk if too thick.
8.     For the ganache: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer (or microwave till hot). Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Allow ganache to cool and thicken for about 30 minutes.
9.      Assemble the cake: Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate. With a palette knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, spread with frosting. Place the third layer on top, plain side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Scrape off the excess frosting for the ‘naked cake’ look I went for. Place cake in the fridge till cool to the touch. Then, pour over the top the chocolate ganache, let it drip round the edges. Top with fresh flowers, and enjoy!
Notes
1.       DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup whole milk (at room temperature) + 1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice
2.      I use 1 cup boiling water + 1 tsp instant coffee
3.      You can use two 8-inch or two 9-inch cake pans instead too

 

 

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

Meringue Ghosts [Halloween Special]

“By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.”

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

It’s finally Hallow’s eve!

This post is quite accidental to be honest. I hadn’t planned on doing a Halloween special this year what with being swamped with college stuff, cake orders, and buddy nonsense.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

I had an ignored Chocolate Cake lying in my fridge; plain top, frosted with chocolate buttercream, and chocolate drips on the sides. If you have ever tried my classic chocolate cake, you’d know that you end up with one lone egg white because the recipe calls for 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

 

And that one egg white is the reason why we have a Halloween post this year!  😀 It’s nothing like last year’s grand spectacle where we murdered a Red Velvet Cake and loved every minute of it. :3 But its awesome nonetheless!!

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

That one egg white has been used to make ghosts to adorn the cake with. Cute little meringue blobs together with their chocolate ball eyes made for adorable ghost toppers. The whole idea came out exactly as I had pictured.

The meringue ghosts were super easy to make; just three ingredients, four if you want to stretch it. The only thing I’d impress upon is ‘patience’. Patience when:

-beating the meringue to make it stiff and glossy, takes 3-5 minutes.

-baking the meringue till it easily peels off the parchment paper, round 60-90 minutes

-letting the meringues dry, round 2-3 hours

Other than that, they’re a breeze to make. This recipe only makes 10-12 meringue ghosts, just enough to top a cake with. But you can easily double the recipe to make more. Just remember the meringue code; for each egg white, use 1/4 cup caster sugar.

That is, if you’re using:

  • 1 egg white: ¼ cup sugar

  • 2 egg whites: ½ cup sugar

  • 3 egg whites: ¾ cup sugar

  • 4 egg whites: 1 cup sugar

And so on…

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

 

Do give these tiny ghost buddies a try. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

Happy Halloween!

Meringue Ghosts

Prep Time: 10 minutes                                                                        Yields: 10-12 cookies
Cook Time: 60-90 minutes
Ingredients:
·         1 large egg white
·         Pinch of cream of tartar, optional
·         1/4 cup caster sugar
·         1/4 tsp vanilla extract
·         Mini chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 105°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg white, cream of tartar and vanilla on medium speed until frothy.
  3. Gradually add in sugar and increase mixer to medium-high speed. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; about 3 minutes.
  4. Spoon meringue into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.  Pipe a blob on blob of meringue onto prepared baking sheet (three blobs in total). Add mini chocolate chips for eyes.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for about 1.5 hours or until the meringues are dry and crisp to the touch. Turn off the oven and allow the meringue ghosts to continuing drying in the oven for a few hours.
  6. Ghosts will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

The Fluffiest Pancakes You Will Ever Eat

Thick, fluffy, downright delicious. This is the only pancake recipe you need!

The Fluffiest Pancakes You Will Ever Eat

What’s better on a weekend than to sit home in your pajamas and eat a stack of fluffy pancakes doused in chocolate syrup?

 

The Fluffiest Pancakes You Will Ever Eat

And could there be anything better than pancakes to start your Eid holidays with?

Not really.

 

The Fluffiest Pancakes You Will Ever Eat

These pancakes are so light, so fluffy I could die!

A whole batch takes just minutes to whip up. Serve them smothered in Nutella, maple syrup, or jam; they’re awesome either way. Make these today, tomorrow, every day!

xoxo, Noor

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Yields: 13-15 pancakes
Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk1
1 egg
1 Tablespoon melted & cooled butter or vegetable oil
Directions:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg and melted butter, just until all mixed together (small lumps are fine, DON’T OVERMIX).
Heat a large, nonstick pan over medium-heat and lightly brush with oil or butter. Using an ice cream scoop (or any large spoon) add the batter to the pan. Cook the pancake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it’s golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin, wide metal spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. Repeat with the remaining pancake batter.
Serve pancakes immediately topped with a drizzle of maple or chocolate syrup. Enjoy
Notes:
1.        DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar. Mix and let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix well and use.
*To achieve smooth brown pancakes, don’t grease the pan after every single pancake. Grease it after every third pancake. Hope that makes sense.

 

nnnn

1st Blogiversary + CHOCOLATE CAKE

Classic Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream on Spatula in My Pocket's 1st Blogiversary

This time last year, I sat with my laptop; editing, tweaking, hesitating and finally hitting ‘publish’on the first post on spatulainmypocket.com. *dundundun*

With that one click, I gave permission to everyone in the world to read what I had written and see what I had made. That’s the day Spatula in My Pocket was truly born. It started as a hobby and in the space of an year, has become a part of my identity. A part that I am immensely proud of. So, in this post I am going to indulge myself and talk about my magnificent journey so far (lots more to come, InshaaAllah!)

There is special surprise at the end for you, so start scrolling!

Classic Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream on Spatula in My Pocket's 1st Blogiversary

Spatula in My Pocket has opened new worlds to me, found me new friends, a sense of purpose, and above all, it has given me confidence to overcome the crushing fear of failure and TO TRY.

The year has passed by so quickly.

From interviews, shoutouts, being mentioned in Buzzfeed, Parade Magazine, winning the Foona best blogger competition and baking bazillion cakes. This year has been a roll coaster ride.

Classic Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream on Spatula in My Pocket's 1st Blogiversary

Some of my favorite posts from this year have been:

This decadent red velvet cake with whipped cream cheese frosting + its Halloween rendition

An all-time family favorite, Chicken Karhai

S’mores. Brownies. PIE. >>> S’mores Brownie Pie

First post, the rich gooey molten lava cake

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, also involving a mention of my first ever attempt at a Wedding Cake

First Bake Stall!! Sigh. Memories.

This to.die.for Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

The ultimate comfort food…Fettuccine Carbonara

My brother’s birthday cake: strawberries and cream cake

Classic Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream on Spatula in My Pocket's 1st Blogiversary

Also can we just admire these pictures?

I threw myself a little blogiversary party.

Nothing much.

Just some mini cupcakes, normal cupcakes, donuts, and a giant pink ombre cake topped with MORE DONUTS. ^.^

Classic Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream on Spatula in My Pocket's 1st BlogiversaryClassic Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream on Spatula in My Pocket's 1st Blogiversary

Lastly, thank you all so much for your continued support and love!

I appreciate everyone who visits this humble website even when weeks go by without any new posts (guilty as charged).

Spatula in My Pocket is for you guys.

Classic Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream on Spatula in My Pocket's 1st Blogiversary

I hope and pray with all my brownie-loving heart that the next year and the years to come bring endless prosperity and joy and rainbows and sprinkles to the domains of Spatula in My Pocket. I vow to be a better blogress and update more exciting recipes and answer all queries diligently!

Classic Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream on Spatula in My Pocket's 1st Blogiversary

And now, without any more sentimental words, here’s the recipe for THE CHOCOLATE CAKE my inbox gets flooded with requests for. MUCH LOVE!

Classic Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Serves 12
Ingredients:
For the Cake
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 ½ cups whole milk, at room temperature
1 cup hot strong-brewed coffee
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg whites
250g softened unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
Directions:
Chocolate Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour two 8-inch cakes pans and set aside.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  3. In the bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the oil and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on, add the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and almond extract. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. With the mixer on low, stream in the coffee and mix just until combined.
  5. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in an extremely clean heatproof bowl. Place over a pan of simmering (not boiling) water and whisk with a hand whisk until the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture is warm to the touch, if you rub some of the mixture between your fingers it should be smooth and you shouldn’t be able to feel any graininess, this will take about five minutes.
  2. Remove the bowl from the heat and attach it to your stand mixer with the whisk attachment or use an electric hand whisk, whisk the egg whites until it forms a thick, glossy, bright white meringue and is completely cool, the bottom of the bowl should feel cool to the touch, this will take about 10 minutes.
  3. Once the meringue is cold, switch the mixer to a low speed and begin to add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, make sure that each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next; the meringue will deflate a little and may begin to look curdled. This is normal, just keep adding the butter gradually and whipping away and it will come back together. If, once all the butter has been added, your mixture is runny, the butter may have been too soft or the meringue still warm, just put the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes or so then carry on whipping.
  4. Once the buttercream is completely smooth and silky and all the butter has been incorporated, whisk in the vanilla extract. Keep cool in the fridge till ready to use
Assembling
  1. Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake plate or serving dish. Spread on about ½ to ¾ cup of the buttercream with an offset spatula. Top with the next layer of cake.
  2. Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream. Refrigerate until set, about 15 to 20 minutes.
*For the ombre effect; divide the buttercream into three bowls. Color to of the bowls with varying shades of pink. Starting from the bottom, spread the darkest color frost. Then spread the lighter pink above it. Cover the top layer with the white frosting. With a cake scraper, smooth the sides.

 

Black Forest Cupcakes

Father’s Day is just two days away!

I get really ecstatic when such days come near… getting rolled up in their preparations and planning, coaxing my sisters into making beautiful cards and water paintings, getting my brother to go get flowers. Planning the perfect celebratory cake is my part, and obviously, the most fun part.

I had planned out what I’d make for Father’s Day 2016 ages ago!

Something seasonal. Something mango. First attempt. We’ll see how it turns out. You can keep me company and see it being created in all its(hopeful) glory on Snapchat. Follow me @noora559

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

When it comes to baking for my father, fruits are a must. No fancy schmancy, monstrous, chocolate dripping cakes for him. He’s more of a keep it light and simple type of person. His favorite creation of mine so far is this Strawberry and Cream Cake I made in March. Along with the cupcakes I am sharing today!

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

 

Black Forest Cupcakes is what we surprised our father with last year. He had bought in a box of black cherries and I had leaped at the chance to make something Black Forest.

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

Sharing with you this year because every father deserves to be surprised with a batch of these stunning cupcakes. Just talking about them is making me want to grab some cherries and make them right away!

 

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

The intense chocolate flavor was perfectly balanced by the tart cherry compote and paired with the light and airy whipped cream frosting…they were divine.

You can obviously skip the cherry compote filling, but then they’ll just be plain dark chocolate cupcakes (delicious but not with the magic that is Black Forest).

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

 

I studded the tops with whole cherries, plucked in a Baba ❤ topper, and voila! Ready to surprise the best man I know and love.

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

They are quick and simple, and a perfect way to use fresh cherries.

.

.

.

Make these and show your dad how much you love him.

Black Forest Cupcakes

Yields: 15 cupcakes
Ingredients:
CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
1 and ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
8 Tbsp. (113g) unsalted butter, melted1
1 and ¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature2
½ cup hot coffee3
WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING (for the recipe click here)
CHERRY COMPOTE FILLING
3/4 cup fresh cherries, chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter and sugar till the sugar dissolves. Add oil and mix well. Now add the egg and vanilla extract and beat for a minute, scraping off the sides. Whisk in the in the buttermilk.
Fold in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients gently till just incorporated. Do not over mix. Add hot coffee to the batter and whisk well again.
Divide it into cupcake pan filled with cupcake liners till ¾ full.
Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool completely before filling.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make your cherry compote by combining the cherries, honey, and the lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer for 15 minutes until the cherries are soft and much of the liquid has evaporated. It will thicken as it cools.
Using a knife, remove a quarter size piece from the top of the cupcake. Don’t cut in too deep or the filling will ooze out the bottom..
Fill each cupcake with a tablespoon of the cherry filling, then pipe or spread the whipped cream over top.
Top with some whole cherries.
Notes
1.       If using salted butter, then omit the salt in the recipe
2.      DIY Buttermilk: ½ Tbsp. vinegar and enough milk to make ½ cup.
3.      Coffee just help intensify the chocolate flavor. You can sub with plain hot water. I used ¼ tsp instant coffee mixed in ½ cup boiling water.

 

 

 

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes + Cherry Compote + Whipped Cream = YESPLEASE

 

Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake

Today I am sharing a childhood staple of almost everyone I know in Pakistan. Pretty sure it is the first cake we ever tasted. It’s the cake, I believe, we have blown candles out on at our birthday at least once in our childhood. Yuup, I am talking of the ‘fresh cream cake’… Or as I call it: the Mighty Sponge Cake. *drumroll*

Strawberry and Cream Sponge Cake

Those light airy layers of cake, soaked in a saccharine pineapple syrup, filled with chunks of pineapples, slathered with freshly whipped cream, and topped with candied cherries. Sigh.

Sound familiar?

This “fresh pineapple cake” and it’s equally delectable chocolate twin (the “Black Forest”) are my favorite. In today’s culture of double chocolate, triple-tiered cakes, the sponge cake presents something simple and lovely. Or maybe it’s just the sentimental value.

So, when my mother requested this cake over and over again, I was a bit hesitant to make it. What if I created a disaster and spoiled all my happy memories?!

Strawberry and Cream Sponge Cake

But I am not one to skip away from a challenge. I went on a Mighty Sponge research expedition.

I watched lots of YouTube tutorials and found some really interesting facts. (If you are not a baking enthusiast like me, feel free to skip the next bit). The sponge cake is of Japanese descent, and combined with strawberries it’s known as a Strawberry Shortcake. And because summer is here- baskets of fresh strawberries can be seen everywhere- I decided now is the perfect time to battle all sponge cake fears, and make it!

Strawberry and Cream Sponge Cake

One recipe particularly caught my eye. Jon Jon’s beautiful step by step pictures and beautiful description to match made the recipe really easy to follow.

Here’s what I learnt about:

The Sponge Cake

The two things about sponge cakes that completely threw me off the hook though are:

  1. There is no butter or oil involved in the recipe. None at all.

  1. No fats means no greasing of pans! You bake the batter in an ungreased pan and technically the cake is supposed to pop out like a dream… My experience was slightly different.

  1. No leavening agents. No baking soda. No baking powder whatsoever.

Strawberry and Cream Sponge Cake

 *the original sponge cake recipe does not involve any fat in the form of butter nor oil. But other kinds of sponge, like the British version “Victoria Sponge Cake” calls for butter in the batter. So don’t get confused.

The cake rises without adding in any leavening agents or fat, because of all the air you incorporate into the batter, for which the eggs need to be mixed separately:

  • Egg yolks together with the sugar; beaten till thick and pale

  • Egg whites whisked to stiff peaks

The vigorous beating of the two is what incorporates so much air into the batter, making it light and fluffy.

Strawberry and Cream Sponge Cake

Also, the first time I made this cake, it stuck to the bottom of the pan and was a pain to get out. The second time I made it, I lined the pan with some parchment paper. I did NOT grease it, just lined it with paper. And the cake came out perfectly (phew).

The Syrup

I used the pineapple syrup you get from the can of pineapples to soak my cake in. You can substitute it with a simple homemade sugar syrup (reduced sugar and water). Just remember to brush the cakes liberally with syrup. You may think it’s alot when doing so, but trust me, the cake is dry because it is missing the moisture from the fats. It needs all the juice it can get.

The Whipped Cream

Here’s the thing, cream in Pakistan just won’t whip! You have to wait for the peak winter months to get them stiff peaks. Rest of the year? Just forget about whipped cream desserts.

To get it really whipped, here’s what I’ve learnt about cream:

  • Olper’s works better than Nestle (I’ve only just discovered this recently)

  • Make sure your cream is chilled aka VERY cold.

  • Pop your metal mixing bowl and your beaters into the freezer half an hour before whipping cream. The colder everything is; faster will the cream whip.

The Filling:

I’ve used pineapples in between the layers of the cake, and adorned the entire outside with fresh strawberries. You can skip the pineapples entirely and place strawberries in-between the layers instead. And use plain sugar syrup instead of the pineapple syrup. I just happen to like pineapples. Alot.

Strawberry and Cream Sponge Cake

All in all, just remember to:

  • Beat the eggs well

  • Do not overmix after the flour has been incorporated

  • Line pan with parchment paper for easy removal

  • Soak the cakes in syrup well

  • Strawberries can be replaced with any fresh fruit; mangoes, peaches, cherries, more pineapples…

Strawberry and Cream Sponge Cake

This is such a teaching post. I feel really proud of myself. So bake the cake! If you have too many strawberries or are simply nostalgic for the cream cake.

Caution: Make it before the strawberries disappear, and before it becomes too hot to whip cream (Ugh. Not looking forward to the drippy cream season.) Happy summer!

Strawberry and Cream Sponge Cake

Yields: 2 9-inch layer cakes
Ingredients:
SPONGE CAKE:
  • 6 eggs, separated *at room temperature
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour1
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar2
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ kilo fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and sliced
  • a tin of pineapple chunks
WHIPPED CREAM:
  • 2 cups very cold whipping cream3
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
For the Sponge Cake:
Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.
In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks until very thick and lemon colored. Beat in sugar gradually. Add water and vanilla extract. Beat again. Mix in the flour.
In another clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Then add cream of tartar and salt. Beat mixture until glossy and stiff peaks form.
Fold the whipped egg whites mixture into yolk mixture, gradually and very carefully, so as to not deflate the egg whites.
Pour the batter into two ungreased 9 inch pans lined with parchment paper.4
Bake for 60 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool completely before inverting.
For the Whipped Cream:5
In a large metal bowl, pour the cream and mix on low-medium speed for several minutes. Once the cream starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla. Continue to whip on medium-high until soft peaks form.
Assembling:
Place one of the layers on a serving plate. Brush on the pineapple syrup, that comes in the can of pineapples, evenly and quite liberally onto the first layer. Spread spoonfuls of the whipped cream and spread evenly over the cake layer. Arrange the pineapple chunks over the cream. Top with another spoonful of cream and spread once again.
Top with the second layer of sponge cake, and brush with more of the pineapple syrup. Now, using an offset spatula or a plain knife, cover the entire cake completely with the remaining whipped cream.
Decorate with sliced strawberries. Slice and serve. Store any leftover cake, covered, in the fridge. This cake is best served chilled.
Enjoy!
Notes:
1.  DIY Cake Flour: Measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour.  Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and place it back in your flour jar.  Replace the removed flour with 2 tablespoons of cornflour. Sift 2-3 times.
2.  Cream of Tartar substitute: ¼ tsp lemon juice or vinegar. You can also completely omit the cream of tartar, it just helps to stabilize the egg whites.
3.  I used and recommend Olpher’s Cream. 2 packs of it; 400ml in total.
4.  Spray a bit of oil on the bottom of you pan, so that the parchment paper sticks to it. But DON’T grease the parchment paper.
5.  The colder the cream, the faster it will whip. See tips above in the description on how to whip cream the right way.
Recipe adapted from: Candid Appetite

A Red Velvet Murder

All of you witches, elves, goblins, werewolves, zombies and…pumpkins get your Halloween jazz on with this cake because…it’s nearly Halloweeeeen! Favorite day for most of you is JUST THREE days away!

This blood splattered Red Velvet cake will make for a perfect center piece for your Halloween party, and will have everyone’s taste buds quivering!

The classic Red Velvet, that I made earlier this week, has now been murdered, splattering blood all over! *gasps*

This blood splattered Red Velvet cake will make for a perfect center piece for your Halloween party, and will have everyone’s taste buds quivering!

This blood splattered Red Velvet cake will make for a perfect center piece for your Halloween party, and will have everyone’s taste buds quivering!

The two layered moist Red Velvet cake, all covered with a creamy luscious whipped cream cheese frosting is splattered with edible blood to give it that spooky touch.

This blood splattered cake will make for a perfect center piece for your Halloween party, and will have everyone’s taste buds quivering!

This blood splattered Red Velvet cake will make for a perfect center piece for your Halloween party, and will have everyone’s taste buds quivering! This blood splattered Red Velvet cake will make for a perfect center piece for your Halloween party, and will have everyone’s taste buds quivering!

Make the cake. {A detailed post on how to make this cake can be seen HERE.} Spray on some blood, :3 Then, all there’s left to do is to grab a knife and dig in!

Happy Halloween everyone! 😀

This blood splattered Red Velvet cake will make for a perfect center piece for your Halloween party, and will have everyone’s taste buds quivering! This blood splattered Red Velvet cake will make for a perfect center piece for your Halloween party, and will have everyone’s taste buds quivering! This blood splattered Red Velvet cake will make for a perfect center piece for your Halloween party, and will have everyone’s taste buds quivering!

A Red Velvet Murder

Ingredients:
Red Velvet Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (RECIPE)
Edible “Blood”:
1 Tablespoon water
2 Tablespoon corn flour (or corn starch)
1 teaspoon red food coloring
2 drops green food coloring
1 teaspoon honey
Directions:
Prepare and frost cake as directed HERE.
For the blood: combine all the ingredients, and mix well. Adjust water and corn flour according to thickness.
Assembly: Place cake on a piece of parchment paper or newspaper. Dip a toothbrush in the prepared blood and run your finger across the bristles of the brush in order to create a spray effect onto the cake. Flick the brush to create drops of blood.
Stick a knife in and serve.

https://spatulainmypocket.com/2015/10/23/red-velvet-cake-with-whipped-cream-cheese-frosting/