Tag Archive | Cakes

Cornaby Texas Sheetcake

If you look around there are a lot of versions of Texas Sheetcake floating around in family recipe books and on various cooking blogs. The similarity here is that the title refers to a rich, but tender from scratch chocolate sheetcake with chocolate frosting which has traditionally been served at many events from weddings to school lunch.

I have long loved this recipe, but I find that I love it even more after adding Ultra Gel to the mix. Because of altitude issue I previously always had to muck just a little with the flour to liquid ratio trying to get things right so the very center of this cake didn’t fall, but with the Ultra Gel to balance the liquid issues it comes out lovely every time! I topped my cake with the traditional chocolate frosting, then did some decorating with a little bit of left over raspberry mango buttercream which was a really fun contrast flavor. I’ve also baked the cake and topped it with raspberry jam and served it up with ice cream and that was a killer application too!

Keep an eye on this spot this weekend as we’ll be bringing our Labor Day edition of Canning secrets with Ultra Gel and Thick Gel, including replacing Clear Gel in your recipes and our killer apple pie filling recipe!

Cornaby Texas Sheetcake

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbl Ultra Gel

2 cup butter

1 cup water

1/4 cup baking cocoa

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and Ultra Gel together and set aside. Combine butter, cocoa and water together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil (This can also be done in the microwave). Add butter mixture to the dry mixture and mix well. Add eggs, vanilla and butter milk and stir to combine. Pour into greased and floured jelly roll pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until tests done. Cool and frost with your choice of toppings.

If you want to use this batter for cupcakes or a 9×13 dripper pan increase the baking soda to 2 tsp and the buttermilk to 3/4 cups.

Raspberry Mango Buttercream

Today is National Milk Chocolate day…however, this weekend I made some killer cupcakes for a friend’s daughter’s wedding reception and I really need to share the recipe for this icing. The cake itself was a quick box cake, don’t judge me it was a really busy weekend, in this case lemon, though I think this icing would go well with yellow cake, lemon cake, white cake, angel foodcake…anything that can take a bright punch of mango. It’s an easy easy icing that starts with 6 ounces of raspberry mango freezer jam. I used the jam I made with Jam in a Jiffy a few weeks ago and I love the hold and the brightness it gives to the whole thing. If you choose a non jam in a jiffy jam you’ll want to add extra Ultra Gel to the recipe to guarantee stability.

So without further ado…

raspberry mango icing

Raspberry Mango Buttercream Icing

6 ounces raspberry mango freezer jam

1/3 cup softened butter

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar

1 Tbl Ultra Gel (2-3 if using a non JinaJ jam)

milk as needed to achieve desired consistency

Combine jam, butter and salt and whip in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until smooth. Add vanilla and Ultra Gel. Mix in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with milk if needed to achieve a spreadable consistency. Save any unused portion in the refrigerator. Yum!

Peach Crumble

Traditional cobblers were an English invention which come in both sweet and savory formats. Generally a cobbler is defined as a filling topped with a bread or cake topping.  At one point one of the most popular cobblers was a suet pudding with a puff type pastry lid.  Many places in England still serve these puddings often in individual servings.  I had them a million years ago at a place called the Ale House in Scotland and they were one of the best things I ate.  The cobbler took on a different form when the English colonists settled in the Americas and didn’t have access to all the ingredients usually in an English pudding, so they would take fruit and cover it with biscuits or other breads.  Light cakes became popular over the years, particularly once boxed cake mixes gained popularity. The term cobbler has come to encompass these covered fruit sauces, buckles, grumps, crisps, crumbles and several other fruit desserts.  In Utah these cobblers were a staple of early settlers as they could be easily cooked off in large pots and were a great place for scrap dough and fruit which might be a little bruised or over cooked.

A crumble is a sub-type of cobbler where the topping is a crumbly and, when well cooked, crunchy combination of flours, sugar and butter, sometimes with oats or nuts. This is broken up over the filling and remains as the name would have you believe, crumbled.

I love crumbles, particularly when the filling is apple or peach. I like cakey cobblers better with berry fillings, but each to their own.  In the following recipe you can slice peaches fresh, or drain preserved peach slices and use those instead. Either is fantastic!

Utah Peach Crumble

Utah Peach Crumble

2-3 pounds sliced peaches

1/2 cup vanilla sugar (this is easy to make by putting scraped out vanilla beans in a container of sugar and just letting it sit, regular granulated sugar will work as well)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2-3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Crumble Topping

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 large egg

1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine fruit, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to pull the juices.  Add Ultra Gel and stir to combine.  Set aside.

Form the crumble by combining flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon and Ultra Gel.  Add the beaten egg, stirring lightly with a fork until the mixture is crumbly and moist.  Set aside.

Place fruit mixture in a 9×13 inch pan.  Cover with crumble.  Top everything with the melted butter.  Bake for 40-45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Serve warm. (Or eat the next morning for breakfast.  It’s pretty darn good cold too.)

Alternatively divide the fruit mixture into individual ramekins, cover with crumble and drizzle with butter.  Cook at 375 until tops just begin to brown.

Fake it Lemon Bars – Pintrest Recipe

Sooo…come to find out if you forget to hit the publish button the blog never goes up.  This should have been yesterday’s blog, but it’ll do for a snowy Utah morning instead.


I have to admit I have a strange relationship with Pintrest.  I’ll go for a long time without even looking at the site and only pinning a thing or two in my wanderings.  Then I will suddenly have a week or three where I’m digging through the site for inspiration and pinning and just into it.  Then it goes away again.  This is rather like my love affair with various flavors of soda, but that’s a post for another time.

In my recent Pintrest frenzy I’ve seen a quick ‘dump cake’ recipe come up over and over again.  I’d love to give credit to the original creator, but I’ve yet to figure out where it first came from.  If anyone wants to enlighten me I’ll happily give credit and linkage.  Anyway…this is like the world’s easiest recipe for a lemon bar/cake so I gave it a try this weekend.

Here’s the recipe:

Fake it Lemon Bars

1 angel food cake mix

1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel

1 can lemon pie filling

Combine and mix until smooth but not over beaten.  Pour into a 9×13 pan and bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes until the top starts to brown.  Remove from the oven.  Cool.  Garnish with powdered sugar and eat.

fake it lemon bars 1 fake it lemon bars 2


So this is a way easy recipe but there are a few things I noticed and did differently.  I added the Ultra Gel as it helped the moisture level for my altitude.  I noticed when you pour in the pie filling it looks like there is no way that’s enough moisture to completely rehydrate the cake mix.  I had a huge urge to add water or milk.  Don’t do this!  Just keep stirring and it all works out just fine.

In the end this makes a kind of gummy lemon bar which is half way between classic lemon bars and a lemony cake.  For a quick dessert we liked it, though it wouldn’t take the place of either of my favorite lemon bar or lemon cake recipes.  I wanted more punch to it, which I might get with a homemade lemon pie filling, but that kind defeats the dump and go nature of this recipe unless I happened to have canned my lemon curd, which I haven’t done for the last few years.  However, this may encourage me to do so.  I’ve also seen this recipe with a can of blueberry pie filling and I’ve pondered trying it with blackberry or apple…  I’ll let you know how that goes.


A Cake ready to Party!

As part of a large family, I’m the oldest of six, I’m lucky to have a lot of nieces and nephews and over the years have been asked to make a lot of different cakes for them.  Some have turned out a lot better than others, but they’re always fun.  I have one niece in particular who pretty much asks for a different cake every year.  She’s had princess cakes, treasure chests, dragons…I never know what to expect.  This year I got the call that she wanted a white cake with a disco ball on the top.  I was a little surprised, but figured the hardest part would be finding a disco ball…cause I love her but I didn’t have time to figure out how to make a disco ball out of candy, nor could I think of anything that would really give us that mirror quality, not even poured sugar.  The ball ended up being easy, as I found Christmas ornaments at WalMart and one was a beautiful blue mirror ball.  :)

So all in all the cake came together quickly.  I made my Cheater Chocolate cake in two rounds with a cookies and cream filling, white icing with sprinkles and a disco ball topping.  I think it turned out well and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for next year.

cheater chocolate cake

Brown Sugar Peach Cake

As is often our habit, last week Bunneh and I got a Bountiful Basket.  We have been working very hard to make sure that we use the fruit and vegetables from our baskets more thoroughly so we have very little waste.  Part of this last basket was a handful of beautiful peaches and I knew I wanted to make something wonderful.  My thoughts started with peach ice cream, but then I found a recipe for a beautiful looking peach cake over at A Farmgirl Dabbles.  I was intrigued by the idea, particularly with a sugarry cinnamon crust topping it off.  I made a few adjustments, mostly in the addition of some Ultra Gel which helped to balance the moisture in the cake and hold it for altitude.  This is much more of a coffee cake texture than a standard chocolate cake.  Perfect for breakfast!

So this is her Perfect Peach cake with adjustments.  :)

Brown sugar peach cake

Brown Sugar Peach Cake

2/3 c. butter
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup white flour

1 cup wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 cups chopped fresh peaches (from about 3 large peaches)

2 tsp Ultra Gel
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon (fresh ground is wonderful)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.  Beat the butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time and vanilla.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt and Ultra Gel.  Gradually add flour mixture to the creamed butter, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour mixture.  Gently stir in the peaches by hand.  Pour the batter into the pan.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Servings:  12 to 14

Blast from the Past – Spider Cake

It is well known that I have a complete lurve hate relationship with my camera.  It’s a nice little thing considering what I paid for it, and in general it shoots pretty good pictures.  Not amazing pictures, mind you, though I suspect about half of that is camera and half of that is the operator needing to learn more about food picture composition…but I digress.  Anyway, I was recently downloading pictures when the memory card came loose, revealing an onboard memory which held about ten photos!  These were photos from last October which I thought were lost and gone forever dreadful dorry Clemintine…  however, they are not lost and gone, but present and even accounted for.

The first set I’ll share today is the birthday cake Bunneh made for me last year.  The cake itself is pretty basic carrot cake with cream cheese icing, but I love the decorating, particularly as it’s classical ‘engineering art’ from my engineering guy.

Here you go!