Upside-Down Chocolate Apricot Cake

Hey! I am so glad you stopped by to check out my recent bakes. My name is Kelsey. I have dedicated 2021 to baking from my favorite baking publication – Bake from Scratch. Each quarter is dedicated to one main category of baking: cakes, breads, pies/pastries, cookies/miscellaneous. I am so excited to learn how to master (or try to master) each of these. Follow me along on my journey!


I cannot lie, I only baked this cake because I thought the picture was pretty. Have you ever done that? I had absolutely ZERO intentions on actually eating this cake but it wasn’t too bad! I am not a fan of apricots but I was pleasantly surprised by how good the chocolate cake was. Thankfully my father-in-law likes apricots so I got my real review from him. He thought the cake itself was very good, the apricots definitely brought a sour and tangy flavor which was not fully appreciated. I suppose if you love apricots this would be the cake for you! I had multiple people tell me “just make the chocolate cake without the apricots on top” haha! I might just have to try that next time.

I made a couple mistakes in this cake, the main one being that I did not let it cool down long enough because the apricots started sliding everywhere. The bright orange fruit on the dark chocolate cake is so pretty, it really pops and makes for a beautiful cake – except don’t take it out of the pan too soon haha! I think if I had let it cool down more, the apricots would have stuck in their spots and the brown sugar glaze would have hardened up a little to make it look more pleasing. The brown sugar glaze was really helpful in cutting the sourness of the apricots. Overall, I would definitely make it again for any apricot lover out there.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, divided
  • ¾ cup firmly packed
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans unpeeled, divided apricot halves in syrup, drained
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions:

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a 10-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring ¼ cup butter and brown sugar to a boil over medium heat (do not stir).
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  5. Pour into prepared pan.
  6. Place apricots, cut side down, over sugar mixture.
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat granulated sugar and remaining ½ cup butter at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  8. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  9. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  10. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
  11. Add remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla, beating until combined.
  12. Pour batter over apricots in pan.
  13. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.
  14. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Carefully invert cake onto a flat serving plate. Serve warm.

The gallery below shows step-by-step photos of my baking process.

Shop the products I mentioned and love!

Pam Baking Spray with Flour – my favorite baking spray!
Wilton 9-inch Recipe Right Cake Pans
Right click to save recipe card

German Chocolate Cake with Butterscotch Glaze

Hey! I am so glad you stopped by to check out my recent bakes. My name is Kelsey. I have dedicated 2021 to baking from my favorite baking publication – Bake from Scratch. Each quarter is dedicated to one main category of baking: cakes, breads, pies/pastries, cookies/miscellaneous. I am so excited to learn how to master (or try to master) each of these. Follow me along on my journey!


Of all the cakes I baked in this first quarter, this was the cake I got the most compliments on. My grandmother actually told me it was the best thing I have ever baked! Every cake I baked after this one I tried to do better than this one and kept asking “so was this one better than the german bundt cake?” I always got a solid “no, that one was better” haha! I do appreciate the honesty though! This cake was so perfect, it was sooo rich, VERY decadent. It really felt like I was eating an expensive fancy cake but I just made it in my own kitchen!

I was surprised to see coffee in this recipe, I was unsure how it would taste in the final product but I definitely think it was a necessary ingredient. Since the butterscotch drizzle was so sweet, the chocolate cake did not need to be. The coffee really helped cut the sweetness in the cake, while the butterscotch added the extra sweetness and richness while adding a new flavor which was great. One of my husbands favorite flavors is butterscotch so he was thrilled with this cake!

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3 ounces German’s sweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup coffee
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups whole buttermilk

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half

Directions:

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Spray a 15-cup Bundt pan with baking spray with flour.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together chocolate, cocoa, and coffee until chocolate is melted.
    • The chocolate I used is from Kroger, the brand Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar.
    • For the coffee, you could use any brewed coffee however, I do not own a coffee pot. I do have an espresso machine so what I did was use coffee pods in my espresso machine. It worked just as well!
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer at high speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. With mixer on low speed, add chocolate mixture; beat until combined.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  8. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  10. Bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, about 47 minutes.
  11. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.

For the Glaze:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup butterscotch chips and 1/3 cup half-and-half.
  2. Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until mixture is smooth and butterscotch is melted.
    • I did not get all of my butterscotch chips melted completely, but I would rather do that than burn my glaze!
    • I also had a bit of my baking spray residue on the cake when I inverted it, so I added some powdered sugar before the glaze. Extra powdered sugar never hurt anyone, right?

The gallery below shows step-by-step photos of my baking process.

Shop the products I mentioned and love!

NordicWare ProForm Anniversary Bundt Pan with Handles
Pam Baking Spray with Flour – my favorite baking spray!
NordicWare Heritage Bundt Pan
Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar
Right click to save recipe card
Right click to save recipe card

Champagne Cake with Fluffy Strawberry Frosting

Hey! I am so glad you stopped by to check out my recent bakes. My name is Kelsey. I have dedicated 2021 to baking from my favorite baking publication – Bake from Scratch. Each quarter is dedicated to one main category of baking: cakes, breads, pies/pastries, cookies/miscellaneous. I am so excited to learn how to master (or try to master) each of these. Follow me along on my journey!


I had never made a champagne cake before this one – to be completely honest… I had never even heard of a champagne cake before! When I saw this recipe in the Bake from Scratch Vol.1 book I knew I HAD to try it. I asked my aunt what types of cake my cousin, Emma, would like for her birthday that was coming up and guess what the number one cake was… a champagne cake!! I laughed out loud because I went from not knowing these types of cakes existed to wanting to bake this exact cake to having the perfect occasion for it!

So I immediately started planning to bake this strawberry champagne cake for my cousin. I am not a huge champagne fan so the first thing I did was go to my local Liquor Barn and buy several small bottles of champagne to try. I know that wine and liquor tends to taste differently in cakes but what could it hurt, you know? I decided on a Natale Verga Prosecco, which was very delicious and I now have on my radar for NYE if need be.

This cake ended up being my absolute favorite cake in my 2021 quarter of baking cakes. I know why champagne cakes are a big deal now, they are delicious!! Emma loves all things fruit so I knew she would like the fresh strawberry frosting, it was so fluffy and did not have an overwhelming champagne taste, which was great. I liked that the cake was not heavy like the Hummingbird cake (which I also loved) or the Pound cake. When a cake feels light it means you can eat more of it, right? I think so! Though there seemed to be a lot of steps in to create this cake, it did not feel strenuous. Once I was finished I felt so proud at the quality and excited at how easy it seemed!

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup champagne or sparkling wine, room temperature
  • 5 large egg whites, room temp.

For the frosting:

  • 1½ cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 2½ cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup champagne or sparkling wine

To finish:

  • ½ cup fresh strawberries

Directions:

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Spray 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
    • My favorite is Pam Baking Spray with Flour – I have heard many people say they love Baker’s Joy but I am not a huge fan of that one. It doesn’t seem to last very long for me and is a very thick spray which I don’t like.
  3. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper and spray pans again.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Beat in vanilla.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with champagne – begin and end with flour mixture.
  7. Beat until just combined then transfer to a large bowl.
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form.
    • If there are any remnants of grease or fat (butter), the egg whites will not form peaks. It is VERY important to wash and dry the bowl well before beating the egg whites.
  9. Gently fold egg whites into batter, one-third at a time.
  10. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing tops with an offset spatula.
    • If you want to be very precise, use a food scale to weigh the two round cake pans after the batter is added to see if you need to even them out (just get a spoon and transfer a little over until they are fairly even).
  11. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 22-28 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove and let cool completely on wire rack.

For the frosting:

  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse strawberries and ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream.
  2. Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add remaining 2¼ cups of heavy whipping cream, strawberry purée, powdered sugar and champagne at high speed until stiff peaks form, do not over-beat.
  3. Using a serrated knife, cut each cake later in half horizontally. 
  4. Spread frosting between layers, on top, and sides of cake.
  5. Garnish with the extra half cup of fresh strawberries.
  6. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

The gallery below shows step-by-step photos of my baking process.

Shop the products I mentioned and love!

KitchenAid Immersion Blender
Pam Baking Spray with Flour – my favorite baking spray!
Wilton 9-inch Recipe Right Cake Pans
The food scale I use
Wilton Cake Leveler
Bakery’s Joy – a much loved brand of baking spray with flour
9-inch round parchment sheets!! These are a lifesaver

Strawberry-Buttermilk Cake

National Strawberry Day was February 27 and to celebrate, I made this Strawberry-Buttermilk Cake on page 113 in the Bake from Scratch Vol.1 book. This is the first cast-iron skillet cake I have ever made and I will never go back, the crunchy edge the cast-iron gives is the best!

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 large eggs

1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup whole buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ of a 16-ounce container fresh strawberries, halved

2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. Spray a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or cake pan with baking spray with flour.

  • If you do not have Baker’s Delight or Pam with Flour, I suggest using your regular cooking spray and add about 2 tablespoons of flour inside. Then take the skillet, baking dish, or whatever you are using and turn it around until it is completely coated, to remove the excess flour I will hold it above the sink and hit the back and the excess will fall right out!

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

  • For some reason, my butter and sugar did not beat fluffy, I let it beat at medium speed for about 5 minutes then gave up. My guess is that my butter or lemon juice was too cold which caused it to seize a little, however I do not know all of the chemistry behind baking so I don’t know the real reason.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  • Thankfully, the eggs helped to pull the batter together.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

6. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.

7. Beat in vanilla.

8. Pour batter into prepared pan, using an off-set spatula to smooth top.

9. Top with strawberries, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

  • I did not have turbinado sugar so I sprinkled vanilla sugar that I mixed up myself (you can see the tiny vanilla bean specks in the picture). The goal is to have a crunch of sugar on the top, turbinado sugar would have created a thicker crunch since the sugar crystals are much larger (but any sugar would work).

10. Bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

11. Make Lemon Cream

  • Lemon is not my favorite flavor, so what I made instead of this Lemon Cream was a Vanilla Bean Cream and it might be my new favorite addition to any dessert. I used the Lemon Cream recipe as a guideline for my new Vanilla Bean Cream, here is the recipe I ended up creating. The original Lemon Cream recipe is linked below and both cream recipes have a recipe card you can download below.

Vanilla Bean Cream

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

⅔ cup powdered sugar

2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream and confectioners’ sugar at medium speed until soft peaks form.
  2. Add vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract, and salt, beating to combine.

12. Serve warm with Lemon Cream

  • Or Vanilla Bean Cream or whatever cream recipe you can whip up!

Thoughts:

I absolutely love this cake, as I mentioned before, the cast-iron skillet created a crunchy edge on the bottom and sides and the sugar topping created a slight crunch, combined with the strawberries, sweet cake, and vanilla bean cream…. This cake is a definite favorite! Also I have been making this Vanilla Bean Cream with anything that sounds good, chocolate cake, brownies, Tres Leche Cake (instead of meringue on top), you name it, this cream will take your dessert to the next level!

Pecan Pie Bundt Cake

This recipe is the Pecan Pie Bundt Cake on page 73 of the Bake from Scratch Vol.1 book, on their website (linked below) it is listed as the Pecan Bundt Cake. This is a very delicious cake, I had some issues with it but they can be easily corrected next time I bake this recipe, more thoughts below!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 ¾ cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¾ cup dark corn syrup

½ cup whole buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. Grease a 10-cup Bundt pan with shortening.

  • Before even reading the instructions (rookie mistake), I sprayed my bundt pan with Pam, this could be why it stuck to the pan so badly. It clearly needed something more as a barrier, and the fatty shortening would have done the trick (I promise to read the instructions first next time).

3. Sprinkle pecans in pan, and swirl pan to coat. Leave remaining pecans in bottom of pan.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla at medium speed until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.

5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

6. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder.

7. In a small bowl, stir together corn syrup and buttermilk.

  • I did not have dark corn syrup so I used light corn syrup.

8. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.

9. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

10. Bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 1 hour.

11. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack, and let cool for 30 minutes.

Drizzle Instructions and Directions:

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons half-and-half

A pinch of salt

  1. In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar, butter, half-and-half, and salt to a boil.

2. Remove from heat, and slowly drizzle over warm cake.

Thoughts:

This cake was SO good however I clearly had some issues, mainly with it sticking to my bundt pan. I did spray it with Pam like I mentioned earlier but I should have followed the directions specifically when it said to coat it with 2 tablespoons of shortening. The extra fat in the shortening would definitely have helped it slide out of the pan instead of tear out some of the corners like it did. I also replaced dark corn syrup for light corn syrup, I didn’t see any huge repercussions from that, it might have changed the color a bit and the flavor would have been slightly different. No matter how much I messed up, this cake bounced right back and it was soft, moist and delicious. It might not be the prettiest thing but it was one of the tastiest! I love this spin on a Pecan Pie, I will certainly be trying this recipe again, and this time follow the directions haha!

Pear-Almond Cake

After baking the Strawberry Buttermilk Cake, which was my first cast-iron skillet cake, I was dying to try another! This time I tried the Pear-Almond Cake recipe from the Bake from Scratch Vol.1 book and I loved it as well.

Directions:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

⅓ cup whole milk

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large red pear, cored and cut into 12 thin slices

½ cup sliced almonds

Garnish with powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Spray a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with baking spray with flour.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt.

6. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.

7. Beat in extracts.

8. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

9. Place pears cut side down in a pinwheel fashion over batter.

10. Bake until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

11. Sprinkle with almonds, and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes more.

12. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve warm.

Thoughts:

I loved this cake! The almond flavor was spot on, not too overwhelming. I often think the almond taste in classic wedding cakes is too much but this cake was the perfect mix. The absolute best part about this cake was the bite of pear you get, it kept the cake extremely moist underneath, we were all fitting for those pear bites!

Hummingbird Cake

This Hummingbird Cake recipe can be found in Bake from Scratch Vol.1 on page 23. It is originally a 3-layer cake, but I made a 2-layer cake with the same recipe. My thoughts on that are at the bottom of the page.

Ingredients:

  • 3 + 1/3 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 + 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. toasted, chopped pecans
  • 2 ripe, mashed bananas
  • 3/4 c. + 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. finely chopped fresh pineapple

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Trace the bottom of an 8 inch cake pan on parchment paper and cut out 3 identical circles. Spray 3 (8 inch) round cake pans with baking spray, place one piece of parchment paper in each.
    • The recipe says “spray 3 (8 inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper and spray pans again.” However, this is what I do for all my cakes and it works just fine!

3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg then stir in pecans.

4. In a medium bowl, stir together banana, oil, vanilla and eggs.

5. Add banana mixture to flour mixture, stirring until moistened.

6. Fold in pineapple.

7. Pour into prepared pans.

8. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

9. Make Cream Cheese Frosting. Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla.

10. Make Pineapple-Pecan Filling. Pat pineapple dry with paper towel. Then stir together pecans, pineapple and Cream Cheese frosting. Spread the filling between each layer.

11. Level off the cake by cutting the rounded top off.

12. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting lightly on the sides and heavier in the top on cake. Garnish with chopped pecans.

Thoughts:

The original recipe was a three layer cake. However, I made a two layer cake for several reasons. One, I only had two circle cake pans and I didn’t want to wait for it to cool down to reuse a pan. Two, I was not confident in my layering abilities. In hindsight, I would have made three layers and held it together with paper straws if needed. My two layer cake was very dense and that probably had to do with the excess cake batter in each pan.

The cake was extremely moist the first two days but after that, it got kind of dry and even more dense. Good thing about it is that it is so delicious that it won’t last much longer than 2-3 days!

Old Fashioned Red Velvet Cake

For my birthday, I decided to make my own birthday cake which doubles as a Valentine’s cake. This year I chose a classic Red Velvet Cake and Cream Cheese Icing from the Bake from Scratch Vol.1 book on page 45.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

2½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup whole buttermilk

1 (1-ounce) bottle liquid red food coloring

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Butter and flour three (8-inch) round cake pans

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar

4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.

5. Add sour cream, food coloring and vanilla, beating to combine.

6. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

7. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating between the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until combined after each addition.

8. Divide batter among prepared pans (smoothing tops if necessary).

  • In order to ensure that I got the same amount of cake batter in each, I used my largest (2-inch) cookie scoop and an extra bowl (since I only had two cake pans). I scooped one into each until I reached the end and divided the remaining batter into the three containers. The batter in the glass bowl would bake after one of the cake pans had cooled and I re-sprayed and floured the pan.

9. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

10. Let cool in pans or 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

  • I HIGHLY recommend leveling off your layers before icing, you can use a long bread knife or one of these cake levelers, I will link mine below. I love the one I have because you can move the wire up and down depending on how much you would like to cut off a cake. I used the little cheese knife to help me take off the top once I sliced it since it was still pretty warm (I am not the most patient baker haha). Another, more important, reason I always level off the tops of layered cakes is because it is an immediate bakers treat and isn’t that what we are all here for?

11. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

12. Garnish with cake crumbs if desired. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Thoughts:

My birthday was February 16 and I decided I was going to bake myself a birthday cake! What better than a red velvet cake? It could double as a Valentine’s cake and it has chocolate in it, plus cream cheese icing is SO good. I created a two-layer cake instead of a three-layer, the third layer I used as its own little red velvet cake to give to my family (we ate it warm out of the oven of course!) What I would have done differently if I had made a three-layer cake is level off all three layers, spread the frosting between each layer and before I frosted the top and sides I would have inserted paper straws to help hold the cake together (since I am not the best cake stacker in the world). I did not follow either of the cooling instructions (definitely didn’t put it in the fridge), the icing was basically falling off the cake because it was still slightly warm and I forgot to garnish with cake crumbs because I absolutely could not wait to eat it. Oops! If I were going to present this to someone I would have followed the directions correctly but since it was just for me and my family, it was definitely worth it because there is nothing better than warm cake.

Glazed Lemon-Thyme Poppy Seed Cake

The original recipe of the Glazed Lemon-Thyme Poppy Seed Cake is in Bake from Scratch Vol. 1, I cut this recipe in half to make one loaf instead of two.

Here is the recipe after I halved it:

Ingredients:

1 c. softened unsalted butter

3/4 c. granulated sugar

1 tbsp. poppy seeds

2 tbsp. fresh thyme

2 eggs

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. cake flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 c. buttermilk

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Prepare a loaf pan with baking spray and flour

3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy (about 6 minutes)

4. Chop thyme

5. Add poppy seeds and thyme until combined

6. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each

7. In medium bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder

8. In separate small bowl, mix together buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla

9. Add wet and dry ingredients into butter mixture, alternating between wet and dry. Begin and end with dry ingredients

10. Pour into prepared loaf pan.

11. Bake for 30 minutes then cover with tin foil and bake for 30-45 more minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean)

12. Cool for 10 minutes then take out of loaf pan and let cool completely on a baking rack

Lemon Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in small bowl, whisk until smooth
  2. Pour on cooled loaf
  3. Garnish with lemon slices and thyme sprigs

Thoughts:

I have to say, though this lot is SO pretty, it was quick dry. I definitely baked it longer than I should have, I checked it with a toothpick several times and they all had crumbs. They were dry crumbs which means I should have taken it out the first time! I believe I over baked it by about 5-10 minutes which led to it being dry.

The combination of thyme, lemon and poppyseed was surprisingly yummy! I never would have thought to mix these three together on my own. However, in the baked loaf I didn’t taste much of the thyme.

Next time I make this loaf I would definitely bake it a significantly shorter time and add more thyme. Overall, it is definitely worth a try because of how different it is, especially if you love lemon treats, this is a level up of the normal lemon poppyseed mixture you see. Plus it is so pretty!!