Tag Archives: powdered sugar

Earthquake Cake

I made this cake for my children at our Mother’s Day dinner (what’s wrong with that picture, huh???).  The cake was a big hit, in spite of the fact that it became a volcano instead of an earthquake.  You have to read below to find out why…

Earthquake Cake

1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix (I used Pillsbury)
3 Eggs
1 1/4 cups Water
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Coconut
1 cup Pecans, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter or Margarine, softened
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
4 cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup Chocolate Chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Sprinkle coconut, then pecans, evenly over the bottom of the cake pan and set aside.

Mix together the cake mix, eggs, water and oil in a mixing bowl. Beat for about 2 minutes with electric mixer. Pour over coconut and pecans in pan.

In small mixing bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the cake batter. Don’t try to spread it out; just put it on in dollops.

Bake cake for about 45 to 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife or toothpick into the chocolate cake. The toothpick should come out clean.

When done, remove cake from oven and immediately sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Allow cake to cool in the pan.

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Okay, now for my story….

This was a new recipe I had found on the internet, so didn’t know exactly what to expect. I changed the ingredients very slightly . . . the original recipe called for a German Cake Mix, but I used Devil’s Food Cake Mix (because that’s my favorite). I also added the chocolate chips.

I also attempted to spread out the cream cheese mixture on top of the cake, and that was probably my downfall. A few minutes in the oven, and the cake started to raise up. All of a sudden, my daughter exclaimed that the cake was boiling over! I immediately got a sheet of aluminum foil and placed it on the rack beneath the cake to catch the overflow. I looked at my daughter and explained that we had a volcano cake instead of an earthquake!

It was mostly the white part that spilled over, and actually, that part that cooked on the side of the pan was Awesome! Just after removing the cake from the oven when it was done, I scraped off the part that flowed over the edge, and tasted it . . . it was just like chewey, ooey, gooey, warm caramel! Oh yum!

I sprinkled the chocolate chips on the top of the cake and allowed the cake to cool in the pan. It cut very nicely, and there was that coconut/pecan layer on the bottom part. The chocolate part of the cake was so moist, yet held up very well.

When I saw the cake spill over, my first thought was that I would never make this again. But after watching my family devour it, I’ve decided this just might be a tradition recipe. My husband said it was the best cake he had ever eaten.

I really think the secret to keeping it from spilling over is that you have to drop the cream cheese mixture in dollops randomly on top, and not attempt to spread it out. Let me know how it works for you.

Now, I’d better get started on cleaning the oven. Thank goodness for self-cleaning ovens!

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. Cream Cheese
8 Tbsp. Butter (unsalted butter is best, but margarine works okay)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Powdered Sugar

Using mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter.* Add vanilla and powdered sugar and continue beating with mixer until smooth and creamy.

*If your cream cheese and/or butter is cold, you can put it in the microwave for a few seconds (start with 15 seconds) until it is warmed up enough to blend well.

Intense Chocolate Cake

2-1/2 cups milk
1 cup butter, cubed
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

FILLING:
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

GANACHE:
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large saucepan, cook the milk, butter and chocolate over low heat until melted. Remove from the heat; let stand for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and vanilla; stir in chocolate mixture until smooth. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into the mixture (batter will be thin). Transfer to three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 325° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For filling, in a small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and cream until smooth.

For ganache, place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, until ganache reaches a spreading consistency.

Set aside 1/2 cup filling for garnish. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with half of the remaining filling. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread ganache over top and sides of cake. Decorate with reserved filling. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.

Apple Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup finely diced peeled apple
1 cup raisins

GLAZE (Optional):
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 teaspoons milk

In a large bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and milk. Combine the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in walnuts, apple and raisins.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove to wire racks.

In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and enough milk to achieve drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm cookies. Yield: about 4 dozen.

Raspberry-filled Poppy Seed Thumbprints

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves

In a large bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the oil, egg and vanilla. Add salt and gradually add the flour to creamed mixture and mix well. Beat in poppy seeds and lemon peel.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Spoon 1/4 tsp. preserves into each cookie.

Bake at 324 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Move to wire racks to cool. Makes about 5 dozen.

Lemon Snowball Cookies

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
Powdered sugar for rolling the cookies

In a bowl, cream the butter, sugar and egg until will blended. Add lemon juice and peel. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Add the chopped almonds. Cover and refrigerate the dough several hours or overnight.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned (not brown on top).

Remove from oven and place immediately on wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes, then roll in powdered sugar. Makes about 3 dozen.

Eggnog Pie

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup eggnog
1 Tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups whipped topping
1 graham cracker crust
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Beat cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Beat in the eggnog, sour cream and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in the whipped topping.

Spread into graham cracker crust and sprinkle top with nutmeg.

Cover and freeze at least 4 hours. Keep frozen until about 15 minutes before serving.

Don’t have pumpkin pie spice? Make your own using this recipe: Pumpkin Pie Spice.