Tag Archives: vanilla

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.

Berry French Toast Casserole

1 loaf (1 pound) French bread, cubed
6 egg whites
3 eggs
1-3/4 cups low-fat milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package (12 ounces) frozen unsweetened mixed berries
2 tablespoons cold butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar

Place bread cubes in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt; pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Thirty minutes before baking, remove the berries from the freezer and set aside, and remove the baking dish from the refrigerator. Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, cut butter into brown sugar until crumbly. Sprinkle berries and brown sugar mixture over French toast. Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 8 servings.

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.

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.

Impossible Banana Custard Pie

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 medium)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, if desired

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease 9-inch glass pie plate with shortening or spray with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix bananas and lemon juice; set aside.

In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except whipped topping and walnuts until blended. Add banana mixture; stir until blended. Pour into pie plate.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.

Spread pie with whipped topping; sprinkle with walnuts. Store covered in refrigerator.

Mystery Pecan Pie

1 9″ pie crust, unbaked
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie pan. Heat oven to 375°F.

In small bowl with electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, the salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 of the eggs on low speed until smooth and well blended; set aside.

In another small bowl with electric mixer, beat remaining 3 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, the corn syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla on medium speed until well blended.

Spread cream cheese mixture in bottom of crust-lined pan. Sprinkle with pecans. Gently pour corn syrup mixture over pecans.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until center is set. After 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Store in refrigerator.

Sweet Potato Casserole

4 cups sweet potatoes, cubed (or large can of cooked sweet potatoes, drained)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

(If using canned sweet potatoes, omit this step) Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.

In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.

In medium bowl, mix the sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

Pizzelles

1 lb. butter
1 lb. brown sugar
4 eggs
1 jigger whiskey
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped black walnuts

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs, whiskey and vanilla. Mix together flour, cinnamon, and nuts; add gradually to the butter mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Oil waffle (pizzelle) iron. Heat iron completely. Then spoon approximately one teaspoon of butter onto iron. Cook until golden brown.

Makes 10 dozen.