Tag Archives: Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Monster Smash Cake

I’ve made some smash cakes in the past, but wanted to make a slightly larger smash cake this time! This cake is made with 7 inch cake rounds, and really would be great for a child’s birthday at any age! Or for any adults who enjoy monsters ūüėõ This cake is make with a moist banana cake layer, and frosted with a cream cheese buttercream.

Banana Cake Batter

1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (240ml) mashed bananas (3 medium sized bananas)

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • 6 sticks or 3 cups (650 grams)¬†unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese frosting (230g), room temperature
  • 16 cups (1814 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp (36 grams) salt
  • 2¬†Tbsp. (30 grams) heavy cream
  • 2 tsp (8 grams) vanilla
  • Blue and orange colored gel food coloring

Additional Decorations:

  • black and white fondant
  • grass tip (I used a wilton 233)
  • 2 pieces of dried spaghetti or 2 tooth pics (to secure the monster horns)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line and grease 3 7 inch pans, and 1 6 inch pan.

Cream together the butter and sugar on medium high speed for 2 minutes, until the butter becomes lighter in color and is fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then add the oil, vanilla  and buttermilk. Add in the mashed bananas and on a low speed, until just incorporated. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add into the wet ingredients in 3 phases. Divide batter evenly between two bowls, and color one blue with gel food coloring. Alternate spoons of white and blue batter into the pans, then swirl the colors together using an offset spatula or butter knife. You can see a full tutorial on how to make swirled cake layers here.

Bake layers for about 26 minutes. Once removed from the oven, carefully run a small offset spatula around the perimeter of the pan, to separate the layers. Let these cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove them from the pans and place in the freezer for about 45 minutes (accelerates the cooling process).

While the layers bake and cool, prepare the buttercream frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).To watch a full tutorial on how I make my frosting, you can click here.

Color 1/2 the frosting a deep shade of blue, color 1/4 a light shade of blue, and 1/4  orange. Place into piping bags with a 1.5 cm opening (I simply cut the tips of the bags).

Stack and frost layers. Pipe rings on top of each cake layer, starting at the perimeter of the cake layer, working your way into the center. Be sure to follow the same color pattern (blue, light blue, orange), but alternate which color you start frosting with each layer.

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Place the 6 inch cake layer on top of the 7 in layers. Use a serrated knife to trim the edges of the 6 inch layer, to created a dome shaped top. Cover the cake in a thin crumb coat, and chill in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes. Place remaining blue and orange frosting into two piping bags with a grass tip.

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While the crumb coat chills, make the fondant facial features. You can get creative here and make however many eyes you want (I went with two, but have done one and three in the past). Make a mouth and horns, and insert either toothpicks or dry pieces of spaghetti into the horns. Set aside on parchment paper.

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Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, pipe on the second layer of frosting to look like fur! I added orange fur spots first, then the fondant facial features. I filled in the remaining open space with blue frosting fur.

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Wrap the frosting bags with paper towels or a thin towel to help limit the amount of heat your hands transfer to the frosting. Once all the fur is on, add the horns. Then cut in to see the swirled layers and fun striped frosting patter!

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I really enjoyed making this little monster! If you want to use natural food coloring, you can try using India Tree food coloring (you can buy online or at whole foods). It’s not as vibrant as the Americolor gel food coloring I used here, but it does add color in a natural way.

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The Best Cream Cheese Frosting

I get asked a lot about my cream cheese frosting recipe, and I’m finally sharing it! A lot of cream cheese frosting recipes taste great, but don’t hold their shape.¬† This can be super frustrating when you’re trying to get super smooth sides on a cake, or pipe some fun designs onto a cupcake!! That’s what makes this frosting recipe so fantastic;¬†it has the tang of a cream cheese frosting, but is sturdy like my classic american buttercream! It’s great for piping on cupcakes, and smoothing on cakes. The recipe and tutorial are included below:

When using this recipe to frost my¬†favorite vanilla layer cake recipe¬†(which is amazing and bakes flat!!), which can be used to make¬†four 7 inch or 8 inch cake layers, I¬†usually make 1.5 ‚Äď 2 batches,¬†depending on how I‚Äôm decorating the cake.

Cream Cheese Buttercream Ingredients: 

  • 3 sticks or 1.5 cups (325 grams)¬†unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese frosting (115g), room temperature
  • 8 cups (907 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (3 grams) salt
  • 1¬†Tbsp. (15 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp (4 grams) vanilla

Instructions:

Beat the butter and cream cheese on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

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NOTE: If you are making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

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Chocolate Oreo Cinnamon Rolls

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In the world of brunch, cinnamon rolls are like a blank canvas. They beg to be flavored, filled, and transformed into something more. I’ve wanted to make chocolate sweet rolls for quite a while, and today was the day this idea¬†finally materialized. These chocolate Oreo cinnamon rolls are the¬†perfect brunch for¬†all the¬†chocolate lovers out there ūüėÄ

Sweet Dough

  • 3 1/2 ‚Äď 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, at room temperature

Chocolate Oreo Filling

  • 12 oreos, crushed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4¬†oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2¬†cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2¬†Tbsp. cream
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons lukewarm water with a teaspoon of sugar and the yeast. Let this proof for about five minutes to make sure your yeast is still good. In a large mixer bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, yeast mixture, remaining sugar, and salt. Heat milk at a low power until it is lukewarm. Add the warm milk, 1/4 cup butter, and egg to the flour mixture and mix with hands until ingredients are combined. Continue to add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Rinse out mixing bowl and spray with cooking spray and place dough back into the bowl, turning once to bring greased side of dough up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about an hour).
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Roll dough into a large rectangle, until it is about 1/2 of a cm thick.  Melt the butter and spread over the entire dough rectangle. Stir together the cocoa, brown sugar, cinnamon, and crushed oreos. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the melted butter, leaving one inch of dough at the top of the rectangle uncovered. Roll up the dough horizontally from the far side. Roll dough into a tight roll. Cut dough log into 8 equal pieces (you can cut it into more pieces if you want smaller cinnamon rolls), and place in a greased pan, leaving about half an inch between each roll. Cover with greased plastic wrap, and let them rise again (about 30 mins). Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown and the centers seem firm. While the rolls are cooking, prepare the frosting.

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To make the frosting, whip cream cheese and butter together. Alternate installments of cream and powdered sugar, and stir in the salt and vanilla. Mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Spoon over the warm cinnamon rolls, and sprinkle any left over oreo crumbs over the top of each roll. Serve warm

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

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Fall. It’s a wonderful time. The leaves change color, the air gets that delightful¬†crisp, and I get to bake all things pumpkin related. I decided to make some pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls for brunch this morning. To my delight, I had a full apartment of taste testers ūüėÄ

Sweet Dough

  • 3 1/2 ‚Äď 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, at room temperature

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4¬†oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2¬†cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2¬†Tbsp. cream
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons lukewarm water with a teaspoon of sugar and the yeast. Let this proof for about five minutes to make sure your yeast is still good. In a large mixer bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, yeast mixture, remaining sugar, and salt. Heat milk at a low power until it is lukewarm. Add the warm milk, 1/4 cup butter, and egg to the flour mixture and mix with hands until ingredients are combined. Continue to add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Rinse out mixing bowl and spray with cooking spray and place dough back into the bowl, turning once to bring greased side of dough up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about an hour).
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Roll dough into a¬†large rectangle, until it is about 1/2¬†of a cm thick.¬†¬†Melt the butter and spread over the entire dough rectangle. In a small bowl, stir together¬†the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon.¬†Spread the pumpkin pie filling evenly across the dough (I also tried out an oreo flavor, as see in in the picture above…recipe to come!), leaving one inch of dough at the top of the rectangle uncovered.¬†Roll up the dough horizontally from the far side. Roll dough into a tight roll. Cut dough log into¬†8 equal pieces (you can cut it into more pieces if you want smaller cinnamon rolls), and place¬†in a greased pan, leaving about¬†half an¬†inch between each roll. Cover with greased plastic wrap, and let them rise again (about 30 mins). Bake at¬†350 for 30-35minutes, or until rolls are golden brown and the centers seem firm. While the rolls are cooking, prepare the frosting.
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To make the frosting, whip cream cheese and butter together. Alternate installments of cream and¬†powdered sugar, and stir in the salt and vanilla. Mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Spoon over the warm cinnamon rolls, and sprinkle cinnamon over the top of each roll. Serve warm ūüėÄ
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Baked Red Velvet Donuts

One of my favorite things to do with left over cake batter is make donuts. Yes, you can just fill a donut pan with cake batter, and BAM! It works. No need to make a special batter, or find a new recipe. Cake batter = donut batter ūüėÄ After baking a big red velvet cake earlier this week, I decided to bake some red velvet donuts, topped with¬†a cream cheese frosting.

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Red Velvet Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¬†cup granulated white sugar
  • 1¬†tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 3/4¬† cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1¬†tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2¬†cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
  • 1/2¬†(8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • dash salt

Preheat oven to 325. Grease donut pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, egg, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring. Stir in the coffee, and white vinegar. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, until just combined. Fill each donut holder 3/4 full, then bake on the middle rack for 8-10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Keep a close eye on the donuts, you don’t want them to over bake! It will continue to cook as it cools. Let the donuts cool in the pan for about five minutes, then remove from the pans onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Slide a knife or offset spatula around the outside of the donuts to loosen them from the pan.

While the cakes cool, make the frosting. Combine the softened butter, cream cheese, vanilla, salt, and powdered  sugar in a large bowl. Gently mix by hand, then finish combining with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Whip until the frosting is fluffy.

Once the donuts cooled fully, I decided to pipe on the frosting with a closed star tip, and sprinkle some red velvet crumbs on top ūüėÄ

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Lemon Raspberry Birthday Cake

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This week was wonderful, my sister came to visit me here in New York! It just so happens that her birthday is this week, so of course I wanted to bake her a cake. We grew up LOVING this Raspberry-Lemon-White-Chocolate Cake that our Mom used to buy, and I used this as my inspiration for her¬†birthday cake. I decided to switch out the white chocolate frosting for a lemon cream cheese frosting, since I’m not the biggest white chocolate fan. The end result? Flashbacks to our childhood, and a lot of birthday fun ūüėÄ

Lemon Cake Batter:

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • zest and juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Raspberry Compote

  • 1 bag frozen raspberries (13 oz.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 sticks), softened
  • 1 package cream cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line and grease three six inch cake pans, or two eight inch cake pans. Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the lemon juice and zest, salt, vanilla, and baking powder, and mix until fully incorporated. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour and buttermilk, and mix thoroughly. Divide batter evenly between cake pans (1 1/3 cup of batter into each six inch pan), and bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake doesn’t brown much, but is done once the top of the cake bakes through and is firm to the touch.

While the cake bakes, make the raspberry compote. Cook down the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice over a medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and allow to cool.

For the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the salt, and lemon juice and zest, then slowly incorporate the powdered sugar. Add in heavy cream as needed, until desired consistency is reached.

Once the cake layers have cooled, top each layer with a slather of frosting and raspberry compote. Apply a crumb coat, and let this firm up in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Once the crumb coat has set, apply another layer of frosting, and decorate as desired. I decided to swirl my frosting with some of the raspberry compote, and added a lemon wedge as a garnish.

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The raspberries developed a little layer of frost when I place the cake in the freezer to speed set the frosting.  Surprisingly, they tasted great frozen with the cake! It was perfect for a hot, humid day in the city.

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Red Velvet Birthday Cake

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One of Chelsweet’s biggest supporters LOVES Red Velvet Cake.¬†Well, I’m not sure if it’s really the red velvet she loves, or just the cream cheese frosting…but either way, her team ordered her a Red Velvet Birthday Cake! I wanted to really highlight the frosting, so I made a three¬†layer cake with thin layers, slathered with frosting, to ensure that each bite of cake had¬†by a generous amount of frosting ūüėÄ

Red Velvet Cake Batter:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 ¬†cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons red gel food coloring
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon instant coffee, dissolved in 1 Tbsp boiling water

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • 8¬†cups powdered sugar
  • 1¬†(8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (3 sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • dash salt
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Preheat oven to 325. Grease and lay a strip of parchment paper in four nine-inch round cake pans (see pictures). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil,eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring. Stir in the coffee, and white vinegar. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, until justcombined. The batter will be relatively thick. Divide the batter evenly between the four cake pans. Each pan should have about 1 1/2 cups of batter.

Bake in the middle rack for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Keep a close eye on the cakes, you don’t want them to over bake! the layers will continue to cook as they cools. Let the layers cool in the pan for about five minutes, then remove them from the pans onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan.

While the cakes cool, make the frosting. Combine the softened butter, cream cheese, shortening, vanilla, salt, and powdered  sugar in a large bowl. gently mix by hand, then finish combining with a hand mixer. Whip until the frosting is fluffy.

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Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting when the cakes have cooled completely. Lightly frost each layer, and then cover the entire exterior of the cake. Make sure to alternate the layers top up, top down, to help the cake remain level.¬†Let this crumb coat harden over night, and reserve remaining frosting. Finish frosting the following morning, smoothing the exterior, and piping on decorative touches.I decided to decorate this cake with roses ūüėÄ

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I love this recipe because it’s not overly sweet, and each ingredient is able to shine. The frosting is subtle, and I love that you get a bit of it in each bite since this cake has so many thin layers.