Maple Walnut Cake

Maple Walnut Cake

This buttery, single-layer cake is infused with maple syrup inside and out. The cake is almost completely sweetened with maple syrup, including the rich frosting that is crusted with oodles of chopped walnuts. It’s moist, dense and tender with a nutty crunch. A cake that’s easy to love.

The cake itself is subtly sweet and the frosting even sweeter from both maple syrup and confectioners’ sugar. That’s where the savory walnuts come in to offset some of that cloying sweetness in the frosting so be generous with them.

Like a lot of baked goods this tastes better the day after baking. I don’t know the exact science behind it, or if there is one, but I think the flavors have time to settle in and develop. Like fine wine.

Maple syrup is usually associated with fall and winter but it’s harvested from the end of February to the beginning of April. Native Americans call march “maple syrup month”. It takes a whopping 35 – 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup. That’s why it’s expensive.

Maple syrup is all about spring. . . so break it out and bake it up.

This cake is calling your name.

Maple Cake

Maple Walnut Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake

Maple Walnut Cake

This buttery, single-layer cake is infused with maple syrup inside and out. The cake is almost completely sweetened with maple syrup, including the rich frosting that is crusted with oodles of chopped walnuts. It's moist, dense and tender with a nutty crunch.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup pure maple syrup (preferably grade B)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
For the frosting:
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
1 cup chopped walnuts

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment, lightly butter and dust with flour. Tap out excess.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl on medium speed beat the butter, maple syrup and sugar together until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, it might look a little curdled, that's ok.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time then the vanilla.
  5. On low speed beat in the flour in three additions, alternating with the sour cream; beat just until combined. Spoon or pour the batter into the pan and spread out evenly.
  6. Bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center. Cool in pan on wire rack. Once cooled carefully lift out using the parchment.
  7. Make the frosting:
  8. In a large bowl stir the maple syrup and butter together. On low speed beat in the confectioners' one cup at a time. Continue beating on medium speed 5 minutes until fluffy. If it seems too thin add a little more confectioners' sugar.
  9. Refrigerate the frosting 10 - 15 minutes to make for easier frosting. Frost the top of the cake and sprinkle with the nuts pressing them down gently to help them stick.
  10. Store well covered in a cool place up to 5 days.

Notes:

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Copyright ©2014 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/maple-walnut-cake/

Walnut Maple Cake

Double Crumb Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Double Crumb Streusel Coffee Cake

A sour cream coffee cake topped with a double layer of cinnamon streusel crumbs and a drizzle of sweet glaze. There’s a ribbon of cinnamon, brown sugar and nuts running through the center and the batter is full of sour cream making for a soft, fluffy and tender crumb.

If you’re a fan of New York style crumb cake then you will love this. It has the same thick layer of crumbs that crumb cake is known and loved for plus so much more with the crunchy filling and glaze to help keep it moist.

A coffee cake is just that, a cake to eat while you sip a cup of steaming-hot, freshly-brewed coffee (or tea or milk, if you’re not of coffee-drinking age). It’s not exactly the moistest of cake. It’s kind of like a peanut butter sandwich, you need something to help wash it down.

It’s the perfect cake for serving to company. Company cake. It’s great for breakfast or brunch too – picture a weekend morning where you laze around and read the paper, snacking on this cake. Maybe even in bed. Oh, cripes, who am I fooling?

This is a cake for anytime. Day or night. Weekend, weekday.

There’s no time like the present.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Double Crumb Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 1 9-inch cake

Double Crumb Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

INGREDIENTS:

For the Crumb Topping and Filling:
1 + 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed light-brown sugar, divided
1 + 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
coarse salt
1 + 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 + 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, divided
For the Cake:
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 + 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
coarse salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 + 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
For the Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

INSTRUCTIONS:

    Make the Topping:
  1. In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, 3/4 cup of the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, two knives used scissor fashion or rub it into the flour with your fingers until small to medium clumps form. Mix in 1/2 cup pecans. Refrigerate.
  2. Make the Filling:
  3. Mix together the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup pecans.
  4. Make the Cake:
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch tube pan with a removable bottom or a 9-inch spring form pan with a small, tall, round oven-safe ramekin in the center (grease it well).
  6. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  7. In a separate large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale and fluffy 2 – 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.
  8. Beat in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour. Continue to beat until well combined.
  9. Spoon half the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the batter. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the top and gently spread them evenly over the filling.
  10. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over batter.
  11. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Remove the cake from the pan and place on a cake dish or platter.
  13. Make the Glaze:
  14. Mix together the confectioners’ sugar and milk. Drizzle it all over the cake letting it drip down the sides. Let it set 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Notes:

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Copyright ©2014 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/double-crumb-cinnamon-streusel-coffee-cake/

Streusel Coffee Cake

Chocolate Babka Muffins

Chocolate Babka Glazed Muffins

Ribbons of buttery chocolate are nestled into swirl upon swirl of sweet yeast dough with a sticky glaze topping. The dough has a slight crustiness to it that gives way to soft, tender middles.

The process is just like making cinnamon rolls except rather than baking them side by side these are baked in a muffin pan for stand-alone mini babka cakes. You have the option of topping them in the more traditional way, with streusel crumbs, if you like, or you can even leave them plain and have them still be delicious…. 

Read More »

Cinnamon Roll Puff Pastry Knots with Cream Cheese Glaze

Cinnamon Roll Puff Pastry Knots

Puff pastry knots stuffed with a buttery cinnamon filling, baked to a golden brown and dusted with a blizzard of cinnamon sugar. It doesn’t end there.

Cream cheese glaze. {There’s that too.}

Tangy and lightly sweetened, for dipping and dunking the warm knots that melt in your mouth into or drizzling over. Whatever your cinnamon-loving heart feels like doing. Drizzle and dip. Double-dip. See if I care.

I’ll be doing the same.

You see, these aren’t your regular, run-of-the-mill cinnamon knots. These are cinnamon knots dressed to the nines. Every bite overflows with sweet, distinct cinnamon flavor.

Cinnamon times two.

Cinnamon Roll Knots with Cream Cheese Glaze

I’m puff pastry crazy. I am. My freezer can’t be without it or I feel deprived. Not only is it convenient and versatile for making sweet and savory recipes but it’s totally irresistible with it’s light, buttery crispiness and tender, flaky layers that nothing else quite compares to. Making cinnamon knots with it was a natural.

They’re easy and fairly quick to make but do require a short wait time. They go in the freezer for thirty minutes to an hour before baking so the filling chills up and doesn’t entirely escape out onto the baking sheet. A little bit of leakage is normal so don’t despair if you see that happening.

The truth is you can eat these without the glaze and be perfectly happy. They’re fine on their own – especially warm – the glaze makes them seem more like a cinnamon roll. That’s what I was after. A cinnamon roll.

Wrapped up in puff pastry.

Goal achieved.

Easy Cinnamon Roll Knots

Cinnamon Roll Puff Pastry Knots with Cream Cheese Glaze

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 20 knots

Cinnamon Roll Puff Pastry Knots with Cream Cheese Glaze

Puff pastry knots are stuffed with a buttery cinnamon filling and coated with cinnamon sugar then baked to a golden brown. There's a tangy, sweet cream cheese glaze for dipping and dunking the warm knots into or drizzling over top.

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Knots:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
all-purpose flour, for dusting the work surface
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed (like Pepperidge Farm )
Coating:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Glaze:
4 ounces cream cheese (regular or light)
a dash of vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3 - 4 tablespoons milk

INSTRUCTIONS:

    Make the filling:
  1. In a small bowl combine the butter, sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Make the knots:
  3. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.
  4. Sprinkle a work surface with flour and unfold the puff pastry, roll it out to a 10-inch square. Brush the bottom half of the pastry generously with the beaten egg.
  5. Spoon the filling over it and spread from edge to edge over the egg. Brush the top half with egg and fold it over the filling. Roll the rolling pin lightly over it to help it stick together.
  6. Cut the pastry into 20 (about 1/2-inch-wide) strips. Tie each strip into a "knot". Put them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the knots on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet (if using parchment lightly spray with non-stick spray) an inch apart.
  8. Bake 18 - 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown - some of the cinnamon may leak out - that's normal.
  9. Make the Coating:
  10. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl whisk the sugar and cinnamon together for the coating.
  11. When the knots are cooked, scoop them up hot and place them in the bowl, use a spoon to gently toss them in the cinnamon sugar. Remove to a wire rack or platter to cool.
  12. Make the glaze:
  13. Meanwhile melt the cream cheese in the microwave until it's soft and creamy about 20 - 30 seconds. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla then enough milk to make a glaze. You can make it as thick or as thin as you like. If you make it too thin by mistake just mix in a little more sugar.
  14. Serve the knots warm or at room temperature with the glaze for dipping or you can drizzle it over them.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/cinnamon-roll-puff-pastry-knots-cream-cheese-glaze-dip/

Easy Puff Pastry Cinnamon Knots

Italian Apple Cake

Italian Apple Cake

Apples play a starring role in this lemon and vanilla infused cake. They’re in the batter and on top for a pretty presentation, filling every bite with their tart, sweet flavor.

This is a single layer cake cooked in a springform pan. It’s buttery and moist with soft, tender apples that melt in your mouth. It’s perfect with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar but can also be dressed up with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

It comes together easily once you get the most time-consuming task done, the slicing of the apples. Now, I know, it’s not apple season, but apples are one of those fruits I eat all year-long.

When I see a piece of fruit the first thing I usually think of is what can I bake with it? I can always find beautiful organic ones and aside from eating them with a little lot of cinnamon sprinkled over them I love a good apple cake. One that makes you want to put the teapot on to boil.

Like, every time you pass the kitchen.

Apple Cake

Italian Apple Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: PT60 - 70M

Yield: 1 (8 or 9-inch) cake

Italian Apple Cake

Apples play a starring role in this lemon and vanilla infused cake. They're in the batter and on top for a pretty presentation, filling every bite with their tart, sweet flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

5 - 6 medium organic golden delicious or gala apples
1 lemon, zested and juiced
8 tablespoons butter, divided
1/3 cup milk
1 + 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
confectioners' sugar to sprinkle on top
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and butter and flour the sides.
  2. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4-1/3-inch slices. Place in a large bowl and toss them with the lemon juice to prevent browning.
  3. In a small saucepan set over low heat melt 7 tablespoons of the butter. Remove from heat and add the milk.
  4. In a small bowl sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon together.
  5. In a separate large bowl on low speed beat the eggs and sugar together until yellow and creamy 2 - 3 minutes. Beat in the zest and vanilla.
  6. Beat in the flour slowly, 1/3 at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the butter/milk mixture just until a smooth batter forms; don't over beat.
  7. Gently fold in half the apple slices. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and shake the pan gently to level it.
  8. Arrange the remaining apples slices over the top in a circular pattern with the edges slightly overlapping. Sprinkle them with about 2 tablespoons of sugar and dot with the remaining tablespoon butter.
  9. Bake 60 to 70 minutes until the cake starts to pull away from the center of the pan and the top is golden - a toothpick from the center should come out with crumbs but no wet batter.
  10. Cool on wire rack for 25 - 30 minutes then remove the sides from the springform pan and cool completely.
  11. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Notes:

Adapted from Live Well Network

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/italian-apple-cake/

Italian Cake with Apples

Caramel Pecan Pie Bars

Caramel Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan pie meets blondies in one of the easiest bar recipes I ever made. They have sweet, caramel middles packed with crunchy pecans and crackly tops that remind me of brownies.

It takes all of ten minutes, maybe fifteen to mix the batter together. They start out just like blondies with melting butter and brown sugar together then beating it into eggs and vanilla followed by flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

A full two cups of chopped pecans are mixed in by hand then it’s poured into the baking pan and off to the oven it goes.  Fast and easy enough to make in a pinch but delicious enough that no one will ever know how easy they were.

They taste like you spent hours baking only to emerge from the kitchen covered in flour from head to toe with sticky caramel in your hair.

They didn’t feel complete without a frosting or topping of some kind but after one bite I realized they didn’t need it. It’d be too much. Cloying, even for the most demanding sweet tooth. They’re plenty sweet enough being they have more sugar than flour in them. All that brown sugar gives them a rich, caramel-butterscotch flavor that dominates every bite in a totally moreish kind of way.

They’re completely satisfying all on their own but turning them into a pecan pie sundae by topping them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of butterscotch or caramel sauce plus a spattering of nuts is a mighty good idea too.

They taste like a million bucks.

A fair trade-off for ten minutes of your time.

Pecan Pie Bars

Caramel Pecan Pie Bars

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 1 (9x13-inch) pan

Caramel Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan pie meets blondies in one of the easiest bar recipes I ever made. They have sweet, caramel middles packed with crunchy pecans and crackly tops that remind me of brownies.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup (16 tablespoons) butter, cubed
2 + 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups chopped pecans
confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling on top

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large saucepan melt the butter and brown sugar together over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Turn off heat.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl beat the eggs and vanilla together. Slowly add the hot sugar with mixer on low.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together. Add it gradually to the sugar mixture beating on low just until combined.
  5. Stir in the pecans by hand.
  6. Bake 20 - 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs and the edges are slightly browned. For a "fudgier" bar lean toward the 20 - 22 minute mark. For a cakey bar cook the full 25 minutes and add on a minute or two.
  7. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Notes:

Recipe from Taste of Home

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/caramel-pecan-pie-bars/

Caramel Pecan Bars

Root Beer Float Cake #FlavorStory

This is a sponsored post for McCormick.
Root Beer Float Cake

A quick and easy single layer cake that tastes like a root beer float! As long as you serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream otherwise it’s just root beer soda. It’s also good with a lightly sweetened whipped cream frosting.

Root beer floats to me mean summer nights when it’s too hot to do anything but sit around with a cold drink by your side. Root beer floats are extra special because I don’t drink soda on a regular basis. It’s a big treat for me to pour root beer over a double scoop of vanilla ice cream and watch it fizz up all over the place. A dessert and drink in one. A cool, sweet and creamy thirst quencher.

Root Beer Cake

This cake tastes and smells exactly like root beer thanks to McCormick’s root beer concentrate. Root beer extract was one of McCormick’s first products in the late 1800’s!

In 1889, Willoughby M. McCormick went door to door selling one of McCormick & Company’s first products, Root Beer Extract. The product quickly rose in popularity and led to a trending sensation of root beer floats and root beer home brewing in the early 1900s.

This year McCormick is celebrating their 125th anniversary with a program called the Flavor of Together. McCormick’s Flavor of Together program is a yearlong initiative to share 1.25 million stories about how flavor both unites and defines people across the globe.

The Flavor of Together is about people sharing their stories on a global scale through memories, recipes or family traditions. For each story shared McCormick is going to donate $1 (up to 1.25 million) to the United Way to help feed those in need. You’re invited to share your story on the Flavor of Together site or right here in the comment section of my blog!

Share your own unique flavor story by commenting on this post using the hashtag #flavorstory and be entered for a chance to win a McCormick Anniversary Pack. The pack includes exclusive McCormick Anniversary Edition product (both black pepper and vanilla extract – not available in stores!), a McCormick recipe book, and a branded canvas tote – all valued at $50.

RootBeer Cake

Root Beer Float Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 32 minutes

Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake

Root Beer Float Cake

A quick and easy single layer cake that tastes like a root beer float! As long as you serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream otherwise it's just root beer soda. It's also good with a lightly sweetened whipped cream frosting.

INGREDIENTS:

1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
For serving:
Vanilla Ice cream or
Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Butter the sides of a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla extract and root beer concentrate.
  4. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add flour mixture in 4 additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour.
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and bake 32 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 15 minutes then remove the ring and cool completely.
  6. Slice into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream frosting.
  7. To make the frosting add the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until thick and billowy.
  8. Frost like a regular cake or scoop it up with an ice cream scoop and dollop it all over the cake. If using whipped cream refrigerate the cake.

Notes:

Adapted from my Yellow Cupcakes

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/root-beer-float-cake-flavorstory/

Say I Love You with a Surprise Heart Cake

Surprise Heart Cake

A vanilla loaf cake with a tunnel of red hearts hiding inside! A surprise that says I love you in a sweet, special way.

This cute cake is so easy to make with an impressive outcome that will have everyone thinking you’re a master baker. Maybe even a magician.

It requires making only one batter, a rich dense vanilla cake, plus a rainbow chip cream cheese frosting that will vie for attention.

To make the hearts, a cup and a half of the batter is tinted with red food coloring and baked off in a square pan. The hearts are cut out with a cookie cutter and stood up in the loaf pan like little soldiers.

Hidden Heart Cake

The remaining vanilla cake batter fills in the spaces all around them and then the entire thing is baked again. One would think those red hearts in the middle would turn out dry and overcooked but surprisingly they don’t taste that way. I think the food coloring helps keep them moist and the fact they’re in the center of the cake – the place that cooks last.

You can use this technique for any occasion! A green clover for St. Patrick’s day, a flower for Mother’s day, a tree for Christmas, your kids favorite character for a birthday, etc. . . the possibilities are endless.

I think this might become my signature cake. For every occasion, until it becomes tradition.

My own little party trick.

Everybody should have one.

Valentine's Day Heart Cake

Surprise Heart Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 52 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf cake

Surprise Heart Cake

A vanilla loaf cake with a tunnel of red hearts hiding inside!

INGREDIENTS:

butter and flour, for greasing pans
2 + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 + 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red food coloring
4 ounces cream cheese (light or regular - not nonfat), at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 bottle (5.25 ounces) of Wilton rainbow chip crunch sprinkles

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8x8 inch square baking pan and a standard loaf pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. Into a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream butter for 3 minutes on medium speed, add the sugar and beat 3 more minutes, add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  4. Add the egg yolks, beat 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Mix milk and heavy cream together. With mixer on low speed add flour mixture alternating with the milk mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down sides of the bowl at least once during the process.
  6. Remove 1 + 1/2 cups of the batter to a small bowl. Mix in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon food coloring. Spread it evenly in the 8x8 pan and bake 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center. Cool on wire rack until barely warm.
  7. Using a 1 + 1/2-inch heart cookie cutter cut out hearts.
  8. Add a thin layer of cake batter to the loaf pan then stand the hearts up in it. Once you have them all stood up gently push the first and last ones together to squish them up against each other.
  9. Gently spoon in the rest of the batter, filling in the sides and gently covering the hearts with a thin layer of batter.
  10. Bake until a toothpick comes out from the cake (not the hearts) clean about 40 - 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack then turn out from pan and cool completely.
  11. Beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
  12. Beat in half the confectioners' sugar until combined, add the remaining half and the vanilla extract. Beat on medium 5 minutes until light and fluffy, stopping to check the consistency every few minutes. If it seems too thick you can add a teaspoon of heavy cream or half & half, too thin add a few more tablespoons confectioners' sugar.
  13. Mix in the rainbow chips by hand. Use immediately to frost the cake. Store in refrigerator and bring to room temperature for serving.

Notes:

Technique adapted from McCormick

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/say-i-love-you-with-a-surprise-heart-cake/