Category: Cakes

2-Layer Rose Coconut Cake

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Spring is a time for rebirth and renewal, a time for change. I decided make a change this year with finally reviving this space of mine (yeah, not that profound I know) and in a world where we hardly have control over anything, changing up this little thing makes me super super happy. We have so much to catch up on and gazillion delicious recipes coming your way! But first, THIS! ☝

So end of last year, I bought myself a set of 6-inch cake pans and these are game changers (should have got them sooner!). Small batch baking has always been my thing (here, here and some more) so the smaller size pans were way overdue. I have baked at least 7 layer cakes in these not-so-new-pans-anymore this past 3 months (not hard to believe right?!). It’s just 2 of us in the house and I do like to eat everything I make (you bet it shows) hence small batch baking wins big time in my book so this was definitely long time coming. Not that we I need any occasion to eat cake around here but guys, these 6-inch layer cakes are so very perfect for small gatherings. Not to mention but they look so dang cute. If you are baking for more people then no problem. Just double the recipe and make 4-layers instead, tall cakes are in and they are here to stay! Well, you certainly don’t need to wait for any gathering to make this one right here. It can totally be you+couch+fork situation, demolishing the whole thing by yourself. Believe me, you would want to!

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So let’s talk about this particular cake here. This elegant looking, mildly flavoured, rose scented cake. The flavours will totally make you reminisce about the sweet smell of rose garden. The minimalist, semi-naked look is pristine for the spring season and is bound to make any brunch-table look chic and gorgeous. I have paired three different flavours for this cake but none overwhelms the other and are rather in complete harmony, even complimenting each other. Rose, coconut and cardamom seems to be a match made in spring heaven. So lush! I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we did!

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2-Layer Rose Coconut Cake

Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 20 minutes | Total active time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp rose extract or 1 Tbsp organic rose water
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, room temperature

Coconut Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp coconut milk, refrigerated
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp rose extract
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract (optional)

Directions:

  1. Grease 2 6-inch round cake pans with flavourless oil and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven at 180°C/350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, sieve all purpose flour, baking powder, ground cardamom and pinch of salt. Give it a whisk.
  3. In another mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add vanilla extract, rose extract, egg and whisk very well until incorporated.
  4. Now whisk in dry ingredients to wet ingredients alternating with coconut milk in 3 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Divide the batter in to the cake pans and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool on wire rack for about 5 minutes before demoulding. Let the cakes cool completely on wire rack and meanwhile get on the frosting.
  6. Coconut Buttercream Frosting: In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and coconut milk using electric mixer until smooth. With the mixer on low-speed, add confectioners sugar and salt and beat until just combined. Once incorporated, turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Adjust the sugar until your desired consistency achieved. Briskly whisk in rose extract and coconut extract (for like 10 seconds).
  7. Assembly: Once the cakes are completely cool, place one layer of the cake onto the serving plate (bottom side up). Spread about 3 Tbsp of frosting on this layer, spread it uniformly and top it with the second layer (bottom side up). Spread about 2 Tbsp of frosting on top, spread uniformly and crumb coat the sides. Let the cake rest in refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes. Frost with the remaining buttercream frosting and decorate as desired. I topped mine with fresh figs and fresh strawberry slices. The cake stays fresh for 4 days, stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

 

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Zesty Peaches & Cream Mini Bundt Cake

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Hiya.. I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day long weekend. Ours was relaxed and lazy and juust perfect. Monday was tough indeed. Today was only bearable because I had this cake in my life. First bite into it and I instantly regretted making a mini version because this was over in seconds!! So to save you from regret I suggest you double the following recipe and make 2 mini bundts! 😉

The combination of orange, peach and cream cheese is blow-your-mind-off-amazing! This mini bundt is supremely moist unlike the dry, crumbly pound cakes we all dread. It turns into a piece of heaven drizzled with the vanilla glaze. Isn’t this mini size so cute! Give this a go before the peach season officially ends.

Enjoy & eat it all up! 🙂

 

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Zesty Peaches & Cream Mini Bundt Cake

Yields: 1 6-inch bundt | Serves: 6 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 30 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
For Cake:
  • 1/4 cup peach cubes (about 1 medium /2 small peaches, peeled & pitted)
  • 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Zest of 1 Naval orange
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

For Glaze:

  • 4 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp milk or cream (add more to adjust the consistency)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 160°C / 325°F. Grease 6-inch mini bundt pan with oil/butter. Set aside.
  2. Put the prepared peach cubes in a bowl. Sprinkle the peach cubes with all purpose flour. Stir lightly, just until peach cubes are coated with the flour.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, add orange zest and sugar and rub it together with your fingers to release the natural oils from the zest. Add butter and egg to the bowl. Cream together butter, egg, sugar & zest with the whisk or using hand held mixer. Whisk in cream cheese, orange juice, vanilla and orange extract. Slowly and carefully, mix in all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Do not overmix.
  4. Fold in the prepared peach cubes to the cake batter and pour the batter in the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 26-28 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the bundt pan for 5 minutes before inverting on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. For glaze: Combine powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk, adding a teaspoon of milk at a time until glaze reaches desired consistency.

 

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2-layer Pure Vanilla Cake ~ 1st Blogversary!!!

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Cook By Book in numbers:

– 500+ blog subscribers via email
– 140 on WordPress
– 160+ on Twitter
– 385+ on Instagram
-102 blogposts

My blog officially turns 1 today! Woohoooo!! Last year today I created and set up this blog and published my first blog-post the next day. For about 2 months before starting this space, I used to publish my recipes and pictures on my Facebook page but later I realized I wanted to share more than just a picture and a recipe with you all, in a more customized manner. That’s how this blog was born. It feels just like yesterday but time really flies when you blog. Blogging has taught me so much. Food photography and food styling is what I’ve become totally obsessed with! It is such a great way to connect with like-minded people all around the world and learn about their culture through food. I have made some awesome new friends!

I owe it all to you gorgeous readers! Thank you for making this past year so fulfilling, from having less than 5 to 500+ followers and many more on social media, I’m very grateful for all the support and love so far. Whether it is just a comment, an email or a follow, I want to thank you for all the amazing gestures that has made blogging so so incredible for me!

 

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I’m so so so happy, totally in celebratory mood! Throwing a party kinda mood. When I’m happy, I bake. So I baked a cake for this virtual party. It’s a party essential after all. Also, it is neither healthy nor low-fat. It’s buttery, sugary deliciousness. Pure vanilla goodness completely covered in pink whipped cream frosting. Yes! Today I’m sharing a classic vanilla cake which is sturdy in layer-cakes but moist and tender at the same time. A cake you can always depend upon. Make this your go-to recipe for anytime layer-cake requirements. Birthdays, Anniversaries or Weddings. An all-occasion versatile cake.

 

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I am no professional at frosting/decorating cakes but I’ve tried my best! Also, I did not have time to make frosting from scratch so I used packaged instant whipped cream, flavored it with 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and colored it with a drop of pink food color. It tasted pretty good too. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I, husband, a friend, neighbors and my house-help enjoyed! Yes, I believe in sharing the goodness. Always! 🙂

2-layer Pure Vanilla Cake

Makes: 2 7-inch layers | Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 30-35 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • A little less than 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (about 100 gm)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups white granulated sugar*
  • Seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup milk

*If you like your baked goods on a sweeter side, use 1 and 1/2 cups sugar instead.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 170ºC / 340ºF. Butter and flour two 7-inch (5-inch or 6-inch works too) baking pans and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl of your electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract and egg whites and mix until smooth.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternating with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  5. Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.
  6. Divide batter among baking pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a center comes out clean. Remove and let cool slightly in baking pans for about 5 minutes, then invert on a wire rack and let cool completely.
  7. Frost cakes as desired. Use this Vanilla Bean Frosting recipe and instructions on how-to-frost-a-layered-cake. I colored the frosting with a drop of rose pink food color.

Note: If cakes are baked in 6-inch baking pans, you may cut them so that you have four layers altogether and if cakes are baked in 5-inch baking pans, you may cut them so that you have six layers altogether. This way you can make 4-layer or 6-layer cake using the same recipe.

Christmas Fruit Cake

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This was going to be my first year baking Christmas cake. I was super-excited! Really! I prepared the fruit-soak almost 3 weeks in advance which is major for me as I have never been much of a planner! And of course for the recipe as the liqueur gets a chance to marry the fruit 😉

I started hunting for recipes months ago. And I got to know that Christmas cakes have got such bad reputation! They are quite infamous for being boring, dry, overly sweet and like a hard brick that I was fairly skeptical at even attempting to make it at home. It deterred my enthusiasm quite a bit. Hence it was a pretty daunting task zeroing on THE recipe. But finally chanced upon the one which spoke to me and boy, hold your breath people, I have found THE recipe for your Christmas cake this year!

 

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Assorted fruits & nuts mixed in before pouring the liquere

 

 

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The recipe is fairly simple. As I told you before, the fruit-mix needs to be soaked in advance. Then a night before making the cake, just simmer few ingredients. This step guarantees moister and softer cake as the fruit-mix get a chance to soften up a bit. Dump all the other ingredients into this mixture. And that’s it! You know I have a thing for simple and quick recipes and this was just that! Pop the cakes to be baked in the oven and forget about them for an hour. Do whatever you do in the meanwhile like get lost on Pinterest (so addicting!) or doing your nails (perfect utilization of time!) and they’ll be ready! I did a taste from my mini loaf and the cake was supremely moist! Success!!

 

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Be sure to wrap the cakes (tightly) soon (when they are still quite warm.. almost hot) after removing from moulds and showering them with liqueur, to avoid anymore direct contact with the atmosphere. This will ensure that the moisture gets locked. If you want more liqueur then feed the cakes every 6-7 days with more liqueur (till ready to eat) and wrap them back. They taste best after several days/weeks of aging so be patient! 🙂

Happy Baking!!
xx

Christmas Fruit Cake

Recipe barely adapted from Rasa Malaysia

Fruit-Mix: To be prepared 2-3 weeks in advance or at least 48 hrs before

  • 7 cups chopped mixed fruits (I used assortment of raisins, sultanas, black currents, dried cranberries, dried apricots, dried pineapple, dried figs, glaced cherries, tutti frutti, orange and lemon peel)
  • 1 cup of roasted nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans or pistachio – I used walnuts and almonds)
  • 1-1.5 cups of brandy or rum

Pour the chosen liqueur over dried fruits and roasted nuts and store this mix in a glass airtight container in a cool,dry place.

Preparing Cake:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp milk powder (I skipped it & I don’t think it made a difference)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 large eggs, slightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Combine prepared fruit-mix (fruits+nuts+liqueur), butter, sugar, honey, orange juice and baking soda in a large saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to boil and simmer for about 5 minutes over low heat. Stir consistently. Remove the saucepan and leave to cool. Do this step a night before or few hours before making the the cake as it takes sometime for the mixture to completely cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF. Grease 8×4 inch loaf pan and 6-count (3×2 inch) brownie pan with butter. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, milk powder, zests and ground spices.
  4. Gently stir in eggs to the cooled fruit mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients. Divide the mixture in to 2 parts and pour one half in loaf pan and the other half in brownie pan. Bake for about 60 minutes or until top slight cracks and is cooked.
  5. Remove the cake from the mould after letting cool for 5-10 minutes and generously brush the tops with brandy/rum. If you’re bold enough, make several holes in the cake by inserting skewer through n through at several places and pour the liqueur generously. Tightly cover with multiple layers of aluminium foil and finally with plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container. The cake tastes best eaten after a few days of aging. If you’re making weeks ahead like I did, brush the cake with brandy/rum every 6-7 days.

*Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and decorated with glaced cherries and slivered almonds.

♥ Another great recipe I chanced upon is here. Do check it out!

Healthy Chocolate Beetroot Bundt Cake

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I baked 3 batches of cookies this Monday to be sent for the cookie swap I am participating in. I wanted to do this precisely on a weekday so that I can courier the cookies on the same evening and they reach their destination in another 2 days, when they can be still considered FRESH! Good news is that one shipment was delivered yesterday and the other 2 were out for delivery today morning… Success! The bad news is I can’t share those cookie recipes with you… Not yet 🙁

So to celebrate, I am sharing this awesome chocolate bundt with you all today. And as you must have guessed already, it is undoubtedly a healthy recipe! This time I have experimented with beetroot purée and liquid jaggery. I was feeling quite proud of myself while presenting this cake in front of Mr and some guests as the experiment turned out a total success! Nobody could guess/taste the secret ingredients… Even the kids!! 😀

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This cake is supremely moist because of puréed beetroot and olive oil. Liquid jaggery lends most of the sweetness and the brown sugar with chocolate lends works beautifully with chocolate. The taste is rich and exceptionally chocolaty. A top performer in my opinion!

The batter is a simple 1-bowl creation which comes together easily and can be prepared even without electric mixer. It bakes fairly quickly compared to any other bundt cakes. After the cake cools completely, simply pour ganache over it and serve a giant, thick slice of your masterpiece!

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If you fear the bundt pan, let me give you a tip on ‘How-To’. Generously grease the pan with butter and lightly dust it with flour. This is a foolproof way and the cake will not stick to the pan or break in pieces when you invert it on a cooling rack. So spend some time on this step before you start with the cake batter. After the cake bakes, let it cool in pan for 15-20 minutes before trying to release it from the pan. Perfection! So let go of your fear of bundt pan and whip up this decadent deliciousness NOW!

Healthy Chocolate Beetroot Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Serves: 12 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 35 minutes approximately

Ingredients:

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup +1 Tbsp Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup liquid jaggery
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 + 2/3 cup beetroot purée, (around 4 medium beetroots boiled, peeled and puréed)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Ganache:

  • 2 Tbsp medium fat cream/milk
  • 3 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 190 C/375 F. Grease a bundt pan nicely with butter and dust it with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, add olive oil and brown sugar and beat on a low speed. Add liquid jaggery and continue to beat.
  4. Increase the speed to medium-high, add one egg at a time and beat for 2 minutes after each addition. Beat in yogurt.
  5. Slowly add beetroot purée and dry ingredients in 2 additions, ending with dry ingredients. Scrape the sides of the bowl with spatula and beat until just combined. Do not over-mix the batter.
  6. Pour the batter to the prepared bundt pan and bake for 33-35 minutes. Toothpick inserted near the centre of the pan should come out clean or just with few moist crumbs. Let the cake cool in a pan for 15-20 minutes before inverting on a wire rack.
  7. Heat a small sauce pan and add cream/milk to it. Once the cream/milk is hot(not bubbling), remove it from heat. Add chocolate to it and stir continuously until chocolate has melted completely. Pour the ganache over the cake. Cut a thick slice and serve.

*Store the cake in an airtight container. Stays fresh on a counter for 1 day and in refrigerator for 5-6 days.
*The cake is enough sweet for me but in case you like your baked products quite sweet then increase the quantity of brown sugar in the batter as per your taste. Lick, taste and then proceed! 😉

Still scared of a bundt? Try these delicious cupcakes!
Happy Baking! xx

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