Let Them Eat Cake

After this past Thursday, I’m pretty convinced that your birthday is really just a test to see how much cake you can eat in one day. Everyone knows that I’m slightly obsessed with cupcakes and cakes in general. I have no idea what it is. I have a theory that it is the fact they are normally associated with celebrations. I mean, I personally don’t know anyone who casually makes cakes and always has a dozen cupcakes to offer their guests.

Working on your birthday leaves a lot to be desired, but my day started out the right way: with a chocolate covered strawberry cupcake from one of my favorite bakeries. Chocolate covered strawberry included. It was a vanilla cupcake with a chocolate filling and light, fluffy strawberry frosting on top.

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No, I regrettably did not have the entire cupcake for breakfast. I only had a bite and made my normal smoothie. I figured I would need some nutrients for this day. I felt a theme coming on.

For my second cake of the day, my work surprised me with these beautiful cupcakes from a local grocery store. They were delicious! They were vanilla cake with vanilla fluffy frosting. For someone who likes cake as much as I do, I sure disappoint with my favorite. I like vanilla. Even more disappointing is that I like the lightest frosting you can get, something along the lines of whipped cream works best for me.

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There’s something about super sweet frosting I just can’t stand. It makes my teeth feel like they are decaying on the spot. But the frosting on these cupcakes did not disappoint. I could have eaten it alone with a spoon.

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After a dinner (yes, it was real food, not sugar based) I was surprised with a whole cake… yes I know this is getting ridiculous by now. It was around this time I decided it was a day to test how much I love cake. Added bonus: how cute are the safari themed candles?!

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The cake takes the cake…. haha? Like what is this post even about… This final one was vanilla cake with a whipped cream frosting and layers of raspberry jam. Like added, added bonus with this one: Champagne.

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I don’t even need gifts on my birthday. Give me cake, candles and champagne and I’ll be the happiest of campers.

Luckily, I had help to eat all of the above and my weekend following was full of running. But there is still some of that last one left…. that I should probably finish so it can’t temp me any longer!

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Wicked Good Cupcakes (in a jar)

On the way back from NYC, I demanded a mandatory stop at the place in New Haven, CT where I had my first froyo experience (at Froyo World!).

While there, I couldn’t help but pick one of theses up. Wicked Good Cupcakes were featured on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2013. This mother daughter duo from MA creates non perishable (for up to ten days) cupcakes in a jar that are easy to ship. The main attraction to these is that the have two cupcakes and a layer of frosting not only on the top, but in the middle as well. There’s a pretty good bio of the two on their site as well as here.

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I opted to try Elfy’s Birthday Cake since it was a Froyo World exclusive.

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They have a collaboration with Froyo World to sell them, so each has a sticker with Elfy on them (slightly obsessed). Each cupcake in a jar also comes with a spoon.

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An extra layer of frosting = extra sprinkles = happy Brittany.

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Thoughts: as a cupcake lover, I normally would opt for a decorated traditional cupcake, but I can see the novelty of these easy, transportable treats. They are definitely for someone that loves frosting and the overall taste of everything was delicious. They are a little pricey (mine was $6.99 in the store) but I would say they are worth trying at least once and would make an excellent gift!

Apple Cake

Sometimes you just have to bake a cake. After all, it’s somebody’s birthday somewhere, right?

After hearing about this recipe through one of my co-workers, I finally got a hold of it and today was the perfect day to test it out.

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I gathered my ingredients:

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Then I went wild and actually followed the recipe; separating the dry ingredients from the wet ingredients:

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I let the magical Kitchen Aid perform its duties:

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I opted for two round pans and made a few cupcakes on the side because sometimes you need to try the cake before assembly.

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The batter started out nice and light and got really dark… I was almost concerned at first. It almost resembled more of a carrot cake. But don’t worry, you can see those little apple pieces hanging out on top.

I didn’t have a frosting recipe to go with the cake, and honesty I’m not a huge frosting person. I can almost feel the cavities forming when I eat it. However, I stumbled across a caramel buttercream that sounded pretty amazing. Caramel with apples… and I right??! I was an idiot and only made half a batch thinking it would be the typical sweet stuff I hate… but it was amazing. Nice and light and full of caramel flavor without being too sweet.

Obviously for a caramel buttercream, caramel had to be made and added as the last step:

IMG_5835Mmmmm… I could have dealt without the cake and just ate the frosting until it was coming out of my ears. When I married together the frosting and the cake… I then had to be five and drizzle on some extra caramel that really shows how unartistic I am.

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Like my awkward caramel drizzle or not, the final product was delicious. It had a carrot cake consistency and sweetness. It was super moist from the apples and apple butter and the flavor was brought out by the added cinnamon. Since it is a very buttery recipe, I think it is better in its full cake form. Even from the few cupcakes I made, they came out more greasy than the cake. It’s almost like the batter needs that extra square footage to become delicious. Now all I need to do is resist going back for seconds… or maybe I’m already on thirds.

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Apple Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room tempuature, plus more for the pans
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium apples (preferably Granny Smith), cored and peeled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1.) Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Coat the cake pans with butter; line the bottoms with parchment paper, and coat parchment, Set aside. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl. Shred the apples on a box grater. Transfer to appear towers; press firmly to drain. IN a bowl, toss with 1/2 cup of the flower mixture to coat.

2.) Mix the butter and sugars in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing week after each. Add the remaining flour mixture; mix to combine. Mis in the vanilla, apple butter, and oil, then mix in the shredded apples. Divide the batter among pans.

3.) Bake until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks. Remove the parchment’ reinvent and cool completely.

Caramel Buttercream

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.) Bring 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook, undisturbed, until caramel is dark amber. Remove from heat, and slowly add cream, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let cool.

2.) Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

3.) Place whites and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.

4.) Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add beaten butter, cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.
5.Switch to paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add caramel, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.