Holy Yummy Cinnamon Coffee Cake

August 14, 2009 at 12:51 am | Posted in Breakfast, Cakes, Cinnamon, Dessert, nuts | 1 Comment

Let me go ahead and say if you have some aversion to using box cake mixes (Nikki) then quit reading how.  However, if you are like me and sometimes you just don’t care as long as the final product is yummy, then keep reading my friend…you will NOT be disappointed. 

I had this recipe saved for awhile from allrecipes.com – I love anything with cinnamon and vanilla flavors and I thought this would be great to take to the office and also for any type of brunch (I’m thinking Christmas breakfast this year Mom?!).  It is an easy recipe and it makes the house smell absolutely heavenly while it’s cooking.  You can use either a bundt pan or a 9×13.  I chose a bundt pan because, well, they are fun to use sometimes  🙂  Sheridan and I whipped this up last weekend and she was disappointed at first when I told her what we were making…she of course was under the impression that it had coffee in it which she wanted no part of.  HA

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Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix (I used two packages of vanilla instead of using butterscotch…personal preference)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional…you could use raisins, etc as well).
  • Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan, or a 10 inch Bundt cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, and butterscotch pudding mix. Add the eggs, oil and water, mix until well blended. In another bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Pour half of the batter into the pan, spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. Cover with the rest of the batter, and sprinkle with the rest of the nut mixture.
  • Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn the oven down to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes.
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    Mrs. Pig Rating:  This is a wonderful cake – it’s easy, it smells good while cooking, and oh man does it taste AWESOME!  Especially warm out of the oven. 

    Little Pig Ratings:  The little pigs loved this one!  Once they found out there was no coffee involved…  🙂

    Mrs. Pig Co-Workers:  Absolutely loved this one!  In fact my boss has already requested this as his birthday cake for next week!  That should tell you something.  🙂

    Happy Birthday to Me!

    August 3, 2009 at 12:22 am | Posted in Banana, Cakes, Dessert, Fun | 3 Comments

    Well…a little late happy birthday to myself, but better late than never right? My 28th birthday was last Tuesday and it honestly was one of the best birthdays that I have had. I was able to spend plenty of time with my family and close friends and that made it very special. But let’s be honest, I love food so the food always makes it good too!

    We went to my parents house for a birthday dinner and my mom made me my favorite cake that she makes me every year – banana cake! Sheridan decorated it when we arrived at mom’s house and it was made and decorated with a lot of love. 🙂 I adore the old candies that go on cakes so mom bought me some of those. YUM

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    Then on my actual birthday, unfortunately I was at work but my good friend Lindsay had our favorite bakery (Piece of Cake) make me the most awesome cake – I was in awe and didn’t even want to cut it!!! I’m kind of a purse freak and I love my Louis Vuitton so she had this made for me:

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    Isn’t that adorable? Look how thick the icing was…I swear this thing weighed 10 pounds.

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    All in all, an awesome birthday with awesome cakes! 🙂

    Operation Baking GALS Roundup From Round 10!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:52 am | Posted in Bars, bread, Brownies, Cakes, chocolate, Cinnamon, Cookies, Dessert, Fun, Operation Baking Gals | 3 Comments

    I am finally getting around to doing a blog roundup from round 10 of Operation Baking GALS in which I was a team leader.  I ended up with I think 20 people who sent baked goods to my brother and his fellow troops!  I was beyond thankful and so excited to be a part of this group.  I plan on trying to do this every month now – maybe not team leader every month, but at least baking every month.

    Round 11 is NOW open so if anyone would like to join a team and bake for our troops who are serving overseas, it’s very easy.  Bake a box of baked goods or any kind of goodies and ship it.  Viola!  You have put a smile on a soldier’s face for the day.  🙂  If you would like to join a team go here ——> Operation Baking GALS and sign up – what are you waiting for?! 

    As I said, I had so many people join my team and it was awesome!  My brother was so excited to receive all of the baked goods.  He said that it was like Christmas which put a big smile on my face. 🙂 He said he took some boxes to their commons area and it was like “birds on a full feeder”.  HA  Knowing that I helped give them a little  piece of home makes me feel good.  They do so much for us so sending a box of cookies is the VERY least I can do every month.  Thank you to EVERYONE who joined my team!

    As for the roundup, there are a lot of baked goods here so feel free to stop reading or continue reading if you want to see them all! 

    Continue Reading Operation Baking GALS Roundup From Round 10!…

    Black & White Marbled Cheesecake

    July 3, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Cakes, cheesecake, chocolate, Dessert | 1 Comment

    Tommy and I love LOVE cheesecake.  I used to hate it – a cake with cream cheese in it?!  Ew.  No thank you.  But as I got a little older I began to broaden my horizons and boy am I glad that I did.  I LOVE IT! 

    I received a round springform pan for Christmas and I asked for it specifically with cheesecakes in mind.  I just now got around to actually searching out recipes and making one.  It’s not that it’s  hard exactly but the whole process is somewhat time consuming from start to finish at least in my opinion.  But boy…it is SO worth it to make one from scratch.  Oh man. 

    Recipe from my lovely friend Clara’s blog:

    INGREDIENTS

    For the crust
    1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
    3 tablespoons sugar
    Pinch of salt
    1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

    For the cheesecake
    2 pounds (four 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1-1/3 cups sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    4 large eggs, at room temperature
    1-1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two
    4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

    INSTRUCTIONS

    To make the crust—
    Butter a 9-inch springform pan—choose one that has sides that are 2 3/4 inches high (if the sides are lower, you will have cheesecake batter leftover)—and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil; put the pan on a baking sheet.

    Combine the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. (I do this with my fingers.) Add graham cracker crumb mixture into buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

    Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake.

    Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

    To make the cheesecake—
    Put a kettle of water on to boil.

    Working in a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition—you want a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.

    Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in the roaster pan.

    Add 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to 1/3 of the batter in a separate bowl. Pour all of the vanilla batter into the springform pan, dollop the top of the batter with the chocolate batter and use a table knife to swirl the chocolate batter with the vanilla batter.

    Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

    Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven’s heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour.

    After 1 hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster and remove the foil. (Be careful, there may be some hot water in the aluminum foil.) Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.

    When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours, although overnight would be better.

    Pig Rating:  The Pig really had nothing but rave reviews about this one.  He likes his cheesecake plain better as opposed to having chocolate in it so I made this one kind of half and half.  Normally he tells me to take all the baked goods to work so they aren’t in the house but he made me keep some fo this at home  🙂

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  As I said, absolutely worth every single minute spent baking this cheesecake.  From scratch is amazing.  I will be making this one again and again and trying different toppings, etc.

    Mrs. Pig Co-Workers Rating:  This was a HUGE hit.  I think this might be their favorite thing that I’ve made yet.  Even people who normally don’t eat the sweets I bring in were all over this one.  I aim to please!  🙂

    Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

    June 1, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Posted in Cakes, chocolate, Dessert | Leave a comment

    When I bake something I usually keep my coworkers in mind because they are the ones who get to enjoy most of my baked goods since neither my hubby or I are big into sweets.  I like them, but I don’t want mass quantities around the house, yet I LOVE to bake.  I know my coworkers really like a good chocolate cake and this one has been on my list to make for awhile now.  I know it’s already all over the blog world so it’s not new or original but I needed a good “go to” chocolate cake recipe and I think I have now found it!  I think you could get creative with this one and add different fillings, icings, toppings, etc.

    Recipe from Hershey’s website

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 cup boiling water

    Icing Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
      2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
      3 cups powdered sugar
      1/3 cup milk
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Cake Directions:
    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

    2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

    3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

    Icing Directions

    Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

    Pig Rating:  So at first the Pig was saying this was “good but nothing special”.  But then in the past 24 hours he has eaten 1/4 of the cake.  Hm.  Really?  Nothing special?  😉

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  This is a VERY good chocolate cake recipe.  This will be my “go to” from now on for chocolate cakes and cupcakes.  Very moist and the icing is super yummy also.

    Mrs. Pig Coworker Rating:  They were fighting over it and one CW was making threats over it.  Enough said.  🙂

    Strawberry Cake – Best Ever!

    January 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Cakes, Dessert, kids | 3 Comments

    Sheridan celebrated her 9th birthday on January 11th.  I can’t believe she is 9 already!!  Holy cow they grow up so fast!  We had a party at our house this year for the family then she had a seperate party for her friends – much more grown up you know.  HA!  I was going to buy a cake from somewhere but Tommy said it would be more special for me to bake a cake.  Sheridan said she wanted strawberry cake with pastel sprinkles.  I knew just the cake!  Tommy’s aunt has a recipe for the most amazing strawberry cake EVER.  It is really easy to make and it tastes AMAZING.  So moist and so full of flavor.  I will never use another strawberry cake recipe for anything ever again. 

    CAKE

    Ingredients

    1 box white cake mix (I know, shamey on me for box mix, but trust me)

    1 c. vegetable oil

    4 eggs

    1 c. frozen sliced strawberries thawed

    1 small box strawberry jello

    Directions

    Sift cake mix.  Add ingredients and mix.  Pour into 2 round greased and floured cake pans (I used 9 inch).  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Cool on racks before icing.

    Icing

    Ingredients

    1/2 c. frozen sliced strawberries thawed

    1 stick of butter softened

    1 lb. powdered sugar (you can use more if you want the icing thicker – I like the more liquid consistency on this one because it soaks into the cake and makes it taste even better!)

    Directions

    Mix together and ice cooled cake.  Store cake in refrigerator until ready to serve.

    Pig Rating:  The Pig loved this cake!  I don’t think I’ve seen him rave this much about a cake I have made ever. 

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  If you love strawberry cake, then you have to make this.  It is absolutely awesome.  I plan on making cupcakes with it soon.  Defiintely a keeper for future!

    Little Pig Rating:  Little Miss Piggy loved this birthday cake and I was happy!  It was exactly what she wanted and she was so excited.  🙂  Little Mister Pig even liked this one and well, as you know, he normally just sucks icing off of things.  HA!

    Super Moist Fudge Bundt Cake

    November 25, 2008 at 2:14 am | Posted in Cakes, chocolate, Dessert | 3 Comments

    Let me just say – the name of this cake is no lie.  This is one of the most moist cakes that I have ever made.  The chocolate flavor is awesome and it’s an easy cake to bake if you need a quick something to take to a work event, carry in, etc.  I had this at my best friend’s wedding rehearsal dinner and I immediately wanted the recipe.  I am not a huge sweets fan, but I’m telling you – if you get a chocolate cake craving – MAKE THIS!

    (Recipe from my friend’s friend Diane)

    Ingredients

    1 devils food cake mix
    1 4-serving instant chocolate pudding mix
    4 large eggs
    1 cup sour cream (not low-fat or fat-free)
    1/2 cup warm water
    1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
    1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Stir down sides. Continue to mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared (i.e. greased and floured) bundt pan. Bake 45-50 (I baked about 55 minutes) minutes at 350 degrees. Cool 20 minutes. Invert onto serving platter. I usually dust mine with powdered sugar for an elegant look before digging in.

    Pig Rating:  The Pig said this one was just okay, but the Pig is the pickiest dessert eater I have ever seen.  Don’t believe him!  ; )

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one!  I can’t say enough how good I think this one is. 

    Mrs. Pig co-workers rating:  My co-workers thought this was awesome.  They were amazed how moist it was even 2-3 days later.  They said I can make it anytime I want to.  🙂

    My First “Dinner Party”

    October 13, 2008 at 12:56 am | Posted in appetizer, Cakes, Cheese, Dessert, Fun, Menus, pasta, pizza, wine | 11 Comments

    I use the term “dinner party” loosely because really it was me and two of my awesome co-workers who also happen to be very good friends of mine.  I decided I wanted to have them over for dinner so we turned it into a fun event – we all dressed up and made it a true “girls night” and had waaaaaay too much to drink.  And by that I mean that I had a bottle and a half of wine.  On a Thursday night.  I felt miserable on Friday.  Stupid, stupid.  HOwever, we had an absolute blast!!!  We are already planning our next one – Asian inspired food with a prom night theme…HA!

    Here was my menu:

    Appetizers:

    Bruschetta with Fresh Marinated Mozzarella

    Garlic Bread
    Port Wine Cheese Ball with crackers

    Dinner:
    Stuffed Shells
    Angel Hair Pasta with Fresh Pesto (recipe to follow)
    Margherita Pizza (recipe to follow)

    Dessert:
    Chocolate Lasagna
    Assorted Milano cookies (I couldn’t help it…I adore them!!!)

    Drinks:

    Gewurtztraminer
    Pinot Grigio
    Shiraz

     

    Oh yeah, did I mention that I wore my wedding dress?  Yeah, I drink wine in it often so I decided it would be a riot to answer the door in it with an apron on.  My friends loved it!  HA!  That’s right.  I’m insane.  You know you love me.  : )

    Olive Garden Chocolate Lasagna – My Version

    October 13, 2008 at 12:47 am | Posted in Cakes, chocolate, Dessert | 3 Comments

    I really am not a big “chain” restaurant fan.  I love the little hole in the wall restaurants that no one has ever even heard of.  However, one of my favorite desserts of all time is from Olive Garden.  It is their “chocolate lasagna” which I am not even sure that they still make.  I knew for my dinner party I wanted to make a memorable dessert so I decided to try to tackle this one.  I found a recipe for it on www.cdkitchen.com.  I started looking at the recipe and almost had a heart attack – 12 eggs?!?  Really?!  3 sticks of butter?!  12 cups of powdered sugar?!  I wasn’t sure about it, but I decided to give it a go.  This turned out to be the HUGEST cake ever.  Seriously.  This cake was so big for just an everyday dessert.  I literally had to put some muscle into this when trying to cut through it to get a slice.  Without further adieu…

    Ingredients

    ***Cake***
    6 cups cake flour
    5 1/4 cups sugar
    2 1/4 cups Hershey.’s Cocoa
    2 tablespoons baking soda
    4 1/2 cups milk
    1 1/2 cup butter
    12 large eggs
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    ***Butter Cream***
    2/3 cup water
    4 tablespoons meringue powder (You can buy this at Michael’s or anywhere that sells Wilton)
    12 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
    1 1/4 cup shortening
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon clear almond extract
    1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon colorless butter flavor (Again, a Wilton product – I ordered on ebay)

    Directions

    Cake: Heat oven to 350 F. Grease three 10-inch springform pans. In mixing bowl, stir together sifted cake flour, sugar, Hershey.’s Cocoa and baking soda. Add butter and mix well. Add milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Pour about 5 cups of the cake batter into each prepared pan. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before you remove the cake from the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

     Serve.

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  This cake was pretty good and the presentation is insane, however I probably won’t make it again unless someone asks for it specially.  It takes a lot of time and it’s honestly that THE best dessert I’ve ever had.  Olive Garden’s version is better.  : )

    Dinner Party Guest Rating:  They couldn’t believe how massive this cake was.  I think everyone liked the icing better than anything – it was super good!

    Apple Spice Cookie Bars

    September 29, 2008 at 12:52 am | Posted in Apple, Cakes, Cookies, kids | 5 Comments

    As you can tell, I go through spurts with cooking and baking.  I am on a spurt right now where I have so many different recipes printed out in my binder, I have no idea when I will find time to make them all.  I think fall puts me in the mood to bake more than any other season.  The smells of cinnamon and apples and pumpkin in the oven…Mmmm…nothing like it!  We are finally starting to get some fall weather so today I pulled out one of the recipes that I have been dying to make.  This one is from Katie at Good Things Catered.  Yes, another Katie recipe.  I worship her blog.  In fact, I think when I grow up, I want to BE Katie.  Katie – seriously.  What is your secret to being so fab?!? 

    Sheridan and I made these today.  She was in heaven licking the beaters on this recipe and I snuck some licks out of the bowl as well.  DELISH!  My entire house smelled SO good while these were baking.  Exactly what I was going for!  These came out so moist and so full of flavor.  A little more cakey than I expected, but still a really great fall recipe.  I have a feeling I will be making these again and again!

    (A little better picture than normal!  Baking during the day helps – holding a plate of food up by my one window in my kitchen…well, my family obviously already knows I’m insane!  : )

    Recipe from Katie at Good Things Catered; Picture from my kitchen

    Ingredients:
    2 c. plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/8 tsp nutmeg
    1/8 tsp allspice
    small pinch ground cloves
    1/2 c. butter, melted
    1 c. packed brown sugar
    1 c. white sugar
    2 eggs
    1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    2 apples, cored and diced (a little less than 2 c.)
    cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

    Directions:
    -Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 9×13 pan with foil and baking spray.
    -In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
    -Whisk to combine well and set aside.
    -In bowl of stand mixer, combine sugars and butter and beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
    -Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to combine.
    -Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
    -Turn mixer on slow and fold in flour mixture a little at a time until just combined.
    -Fold in apples.
    -Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan and sprinkle top generously with cinnamon sugar.
    -Place in oven and bake until cooked through, when top slightly bounces back to the touch, about 30 minutes.
    -Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from pan, cutting and serving. (bars will be very soft)

    Pig Rating:  The Pig isn’t a huge sweets fan but he said these were pretty good.  He is trying to be on a diet right now though so he didn’t even eat a whole one (::sticks tongue out at the Pig::)

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  I adored these!  So moist.  These would be fantastic with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  SO GOOD.  I am taking these to work tomorrow for my co-workers.  I have a feeling they will love them!

    Little Miss PIggy Rating:  Little Miss PIggy had a really great time making these with me and licking the bowl.  I am teaching her this year how to read the ingredients and figure out measurements and whatnot so we are having a good time  : )  She liked these, but didn’t love the apple chunks in them.  I think she would have preferred them with no apples. 

    Little Mr. Piggy:  Doesn’t know what he is missing.  Opted for a 100 Calorie Pack of Chips Ahoy instead.  Has a lot to learn.  LOL

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