We’re going to keep it really simple and delicious this week. Let’s be honest we all have a thousand things going on right now and no one needs to add to the list! This Easy Dark Chocolate Cake is hands down my favorite cake. It’s super simple to make, uses just one bowl and is both delicious and light. Topped with a nice pile of whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon it’s really a delightful dessert.
Do you get overwhelmed by all the rich food and sweets during the holiday season? I love food but it can definitely get tiring. The good news is that this cake looks lovely and fancy but is incredibly airy. The cake has a deep dark chocolate flavor accented with a little punch of espresso. However, because we are making it with hot water and buttermilk it has a very soft and fluffy texture. Putting whipped cream on top gives a beautiful pile of “icing” but without all the sugar and butter. I like to sprinkle mine with cinnamon because I love the flavor combination, but you can put whatever you like on top!
The weather has played a mean trick on us this week. Instead of the beautiful 60 and 70 degree weather we’d been enjoying, we now have full sun and a high of 87. Not my favorite in late September. Did someone not get the memo that tomorrow is the first day of fall?! I will power through until the temperature drops next week, and eat cake of course. To celebrate the first day of fall we’re making Caramel Apple Upside Down cake today. Yes it is every bit as good as it sounds! Say it again with me – Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake. Yum!
If you have an orchard around definitely pick up a tart, crisp, local variety to bake into your cake. We aren’t going to the orchard until next week, so I guess I’ll just have to make it again. Oh darn. I used Gala for this one and it turned out great. This recipe has a lot of steps but it’s not as difficult as it might seem. If you have the patience (it doesn’t actually take that long) spiral your apples in a pattern on the bottom of the pan. You can see the cake pushed my apples apart in the middle as it rose but it’s still cool looking.
I’m not gonna lie, this cake stumped me for a little while. Every time I made it I couldn’t taste the lemon! After I made this for the second time and photographed it I decided it was good but not great. I hate putting all the work into baking something and then finding out it’s mediocre, and I’m sure you do too. I never want to do that to you! That is why I made this Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake four times to make sure it was delicious. This is my first bundt cake recipe and the only thing I don’t like about it now is my boring old pan shape. More on that in a minute.
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We are getting ready for vacation right now but I knew this cake had to be really good before I posted it. I whipped out two more to test taste yesterday and I still felt the lemon was underwhelming. Finally I found a solution. Extra lemon in the cake + zest in the brown butter glaze! I forgot to thin the glaze before putting it on the cake so yours will be a little less thick and unwieldy. Live and learn, right? Brown butter icing/glaze is all the rage right now so I figured I should at least try it. It’s tasty and not too difficult so it works well on this Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake. Continue Reading…
Have you ever made a Madeira Cake? I watched Mary Berry make one on the Great British Bake Off Masterclass and it seemed like a fun place to start. Sure, everyone else had the same idea last year but hey, it’s still tasty! I believe that either orange or lemon is traditional, but lemon seems more common. Some time I’ll try a lemon version, but for now I’m loving this Orange Madeira Cake. It is lovely all on its own, but while it was baking I decided to experiment with making a glaze and it makes the whole cake shine!
This may seem more like a fall or winter cake but don’t let that stop you. The refreshing orange flavor baked into a simple but tasty package is perfect for summer as well. Contrary to the name it does not actually have Madeira in it. The cake itself is a British classic with the earliest known recipe for it appearing in an English cookbook published in 1845. Sipping a glass of Madeira while eating a piece of this deliciously crumbly cake became such a fixture among the upper classes that eventually they just renamed it Madeira Cake! Personally I love a good hot cup of black tea with my cake, but I’d be interested to know how it is with Madeira. If you try it drop me a comment and let me know what you think.
After looking through many different Madeira Cake recipes I decided to come up with my own variation. Adding yogurt may be a little unusual for Madeira Cake but it provides a nice boost of moisture. This keeps it from ending up with a dry crumb after baking so long. You’ll notice that the glaze darkens the top quite a bit and creates a nice thin crust of sugar and spice that blends beautifully with the summery orange flavor of the cake.
Did I extol the virtues of this Orange Madeira Cake yet? Let me remedy that! While yours is baking, sit back and bask in that beautiful sweet, citrus, butter smell that permeates the house and make the neighbors jealous. Use plenty of self-control and make sure you brush all the glaze onto the cake. I’ve been told it’s drinkable but you want it all on the cake! Once the cake is cool, top it with candied orange slices (directions are here), candied peel or just a dusting of powdered sugar. Cut yourself a piece of this fragrant crumbly cake (and maybe share one too)!
It’s fine to make this cake ahead because it tastes equally good cool. It might even be better on the second day as the flavors continue to develop! I would store it airtight at room temperature for 2-3 days. After that (if there’s any left) in the fridge. I’m sure you could wrap it and freeze it as well, although I haven’t done it myself. If you make this let me know what you think!
2 tsp Captain's spiced rum (or sub 1 tsp vanilla extract + 1 tsp water)
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 340F (170C) and grease an 8" round pan.
Zest and juice a large orange.
Combine flour baking powder and orange zest - set aside.
Using a stand or hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time and beat well in between.
Add yogurt, vanilla and orange juice and mix gently.
Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.
Pour into cake pan and bake for 45 minutes. Check after 40 minutes - don't worry if it develops a crack down the middle. That is the mark of a good Madeira Cake!
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing.
While your cake cools make the glaze:
Put sugar, rum, orange juice, and cinnamon into a small pan. With the lid on bring to a rolling boil over medium heat. Brush all the glaze onto your cake with a pastry brush - this way you can make sure every inch is well coated!
Top with candied orange slices if desired and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
I used well ripened navel oranges for this cake. Depending on the size of your orange you may be able to get all 4 Tablespoons of juice for the cake and glaze from one orange. +++Set your oven rack into the middle or lower middle of the oven - this will make sure that your cake doesn't over brown before it is fully baked. +++A perfect Madeira Cake will have a crack down the middle! +++ The Teatime Baker - teatimebaker.com