Irish Whiskey Cake

This year I got a little carried away with making Irish recipes for our St Paddy’s Day dinner.  Here today, we have the meal’s finale; Irish Whiskey Cake.

Irish Whiskey Cake

Irish Whiskey Cake

You might be tempted to call this a “drunken cake” because of the whiskey content.  But fear not, the alcohol content evaporates with cooking, leaving behind the flavor of the whiskey.  To be really authentic, you should use Irish Whiskey, but having none in the house, I used what I had, which was an American brand of whiskey.   Can’t say I noticed a hugh difference in flavor….it’s just plain good no matter what brand you use.  Oh, and it’s very OK to adjust the amount upward if you’re so inclined.


When you look at this cake you would not suspect what’s hidden inside.  It looks like a nice golden poundcake, unassuming and quiet-like.  But wait…..what’s that ribbon of moistness lying along the bottom of the cake?  and what IS that white, crusty, crunchiness on top?  That folks, is the whiskey glaze that slowly seeps through the cake from top to bottom carrying all the whiskey flavor throughout the cake and making it super moist.  Scattered throughout my cake are finely chopped walnuts, but you could also use pecans.   For those with nut allergies, you can leave them out and still be totally satisfied with the results.

Note how the glaze pools in the recesses of the cake.

Note how the glaze pools in the recesses of the cake.

The recipe for this cake calls for baking it in a round tube pan or bundt pan, but I wanted to share the cake with another family, so I baked it in two loaf pans, and split the amount of glaze between the two cakes.  There was no problem in doing that, they both came out fine.


Yield:  1 round bundt cake, or 2 smaller loaf cakes (8″ x 4″)IMG_9423


For the cake:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (without pudding added)
  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 oz. whiskey of choice ( or more?)
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk ( skim is OK)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

For the glaze:IMG_9431

  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar


1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Generously spray a bundt cake pan or 2 loaf pans with non-stick spray, and then flour well, shaking out the excess flour.

2.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, and eggs.  Beat well…this will be a thick mixture.


3.  In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, and whiskey.  Add to cake mixture and continue to beat 3 minutes.  Lastly fold in the nuts, if using.



4.  Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for 60 minutes.   Loaf cakes may take a little less time.  Start timing at 45 minutes and watch and test for doneness.  Mine took about 50 minutes.


5.  While cake is baking, make glaze.  Place whiskey glaze ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Cook on stove top just until it begins to bubble and boil.  Set aside.

6.  When cake is out of the oven, pour the glaze slowly over the cake while it is hot and still in the pan.  It helps to absorb more quickly if you make holes all over the top of the cake with a chop stick or other fine wooden tool.  Let cake stand in the pan for at least 2 hours before removing to a rack to finish cooling.


7.  Once completely cooled, remove cake from pan.  Wrap in foil and refrigerate 12 hours or more for flavors to permeate throughout the cake.  Keep leftovers refrigerated.


SOURCE:   The Ranting Chef



Italian Lemon Almond Cake

Italian Lemon Almond Cake

Italian Lemon Almond Cake

Call me sentimental, folks, but I think there’s something downright romantic about the way all those bright oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes show up in the produce aisles just when we’re needing them most.  When the wind is whipping and we haven’t seen green grass since I don’t know when, who couldn’t use a little warm weather fling to reminder them of warm, sunnier times?


No matter if stirred into a salsa, or baked under a fluffy layer of meringue, these seasonal beauties remind me of how much I long for the sunshine, and so I do my best to incorporate citrus fruits into our diet and our lives whenever the opportunity presents itself.   I would never turn away from the kiss of citrus.

This grain-free lemon cake (also known as Torta Caprese Bianca) is just perfection in my mind.  I would like to say it is “to die for”, but that phrase is so over-worked, that I won’t use it, but you get my meaning, I’m sure.


The cake is made with almond flour and is full of lemon flavor!  It’s yellow, like a ray of sunshine, a happy color.  Just the thing to cheer you up as this winter weather drags on endlessly.  If you love lemon, this is a dessert you will love.  There are three sources of lemon flavor;  lots of lemon zest, lemon extract, and limoncello ( or lemon juice).

After baking it may look a bit underdone in the middle, that’s what gives the cake its dense texture.  When you remove it from the oven it will be puffed up, but slowly sinks as it cools. It that doesn’t suit you, you can bake it a tad longer.  I loved the edges of the cake–kind of crispy and kind of chewy!   The texture reminds me of marzipan, but with the flavor of lemon.   We loved this cake so much, Mr. D. is asking when I’m going to make it again (his favorite flavor is lemon.)



Yield:   Serves 8 – 10


  • 320 Gm (about 1 1/2 cups) almond flour, or blanched almonds ground into flour
  • 200 Gm ( a little over a cup) white chocolate, chopped ( I used white chocolate chips)IMG_9198
  • 2 Tbsp. cream or milk
  • 180 Gm butter, softened     1 stick + 4.5 Tbsp.
  • 130 Gm granulated sugar    about 1 cup
  • zest of 2-3 lemons,  2 Tbsp.
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 40 Gm (about 2 Tbsp.) limoncello or lemon juice
  • powdered sugar for garnish



1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease a 10-inch round pan ( a spring-form pan is good) and line it with parchment paper.

2.  Combine the white chocolate and cream/milk in a microwave-safe bowl.  Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool.

3.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 100 Gm sugar (3/4 cup) until fluffy.

4.  Add egg yolks, lemon zest and extract and beat to combine.

Add eggs, zest and extract.

Add eggs, zest and extract.

5.  Add almond flour and melted chocolate.  Add limoncello and beat to combine.

6.  In a clean bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites to soft peaks,  slowly adding remaining 1/4 cup (30 Gm) sugar.  Fold into almond batter and combine gently.

Beat whites to soft peaks.

Beat whites to soft peaks.

Spoon into pan and bake for 40 – 45 minutes.


A toothpick is not a reliable test for doneness, as the center may still be moist.  The cake should be golden brown, puffed, and spring back when touched.  As it cools it will sink in the center a bit.

Baked when golden brown and springs back when touched.

Baked when golden brown and springs back when touched.

7.  When cool, invert onto a cake plate and dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.




Note:  This recipe can be halved easily.  What you see here in my photos is half a recipe.  To bake the smaller volume, use a 7-inch round cake pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Unfortunately I do not have a 7-inch round pan, so I used an 8-inch cake pan, thus my cake is thinner than it should be.  A 7-inch pan will give you a taller cake.

P.S.  I will love this cake in any size 🙂

SOURCE:  Texanerin Baking

Baked Black and White Doughnuts

Baked Black and White Doughnuts

Baked Black and White Doughnuts

Ah, yes…..doughnuts!   Do you love them?   Strangely enough, I can’t say that I do.  I’ve always thought of doughnuts as greasy, fried, blobs of sweetness without many redeeming qualities.  But then about a year ago I got introduced to baked doughnuts. Up till then, I had never tried them.   Now, they may not suit everyone, especially those of you who crave your daily doughnut from the doughnut shop, but I hope you will agree with me that they are good….like, really, really good.   OK?


Baked doughnuts are the drama, whereas fried doughnuts are the comedy of life, sort of like little emojies 🙂   These doughnuts in your hands, in your life, are like magic.  That’s it,  that’s all I’m saying.

These doughnuts are a take-off on those black and white cookies, we all love.  They’re for when you can’t decide it you want a chocolate glazed doughnut or a vanilla glazed one with sprinkles.  See, I’ve solved that problem for you!   Donut ignore this recipe.  (Pun intended.)


I like the way these doughnuts come together,  mostly because it’s so simple.  No electric mixer involved, just two bowls and  a few measuring and mixing tools.   And since I’ve become completely captivated by browned butter and the flavor it adds to baked goods, I’ve used it here too.


They’re basically made with flour + sugar + spice + everything nice, (i.e., buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and browned butter).


Browned butter adds a lovely depth of flavor and nuttiness to the cake-y doughnuts, and lots of freshly grated nutmeg takes them over the top.

Dry ingredients are whisked together to fluff and blend them well.


Wet ingredients are whisked up just so, and added to the dry.  Wet + dry, that’s how you do it.  It’s called cooking math.



Baked up, these doughnuts are soft, tender and sweet.


Chocolate and vanilla glazes are thick enough to be just spreadable.  Colored sprinkles never hurt.

Glaze one side of each doughnut with the chocolate glaze, then do the other side with vanilla glaze,  Don’t forget the sprinkles.  It will take a bit of will power to do this without taking a bite out of one of them.   I wish you luck.


I’m sorry to tell you, but the final decision is yours here….will you bite into the chocolate side, or the vanilla side first????




Yield:   Makes 6 doughnuts


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter (but you will use only 2 Tbp. of it in the recipe)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the chocolate glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the vanilla glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease a doughnut pan and set it aside.

2.  In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter.  Butter will begin to crackle and pop as it melts.  That’s the water cooking out of it.  Once the water has evaporated out, the butter will quiet down and begin to brown.  Keep an eye on it as it browns quickly.  It will begin to smell nutty.  Remove from heat and immediately pour into a small cup or bowl to cool.


3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and sugar.  Set aside.


4.  In a small bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.  Measure out 2 tablespoons of browned butter and whisk into the wet ingredients.


5.  Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.


Lift and fold as you stir until no flour bits remain and all of the ingredients are well combined.  Try not to over mix the batter.  This is what makes a tender cake.


6.  Use a small spoon to dollop batter into the prepared pan.  Smooth out and fill each doughnut cup in the pan three-quarters full with batter.



7.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  Check for doneness at 8 minutes, tops should spring back slightly when touched.  Do not over bake them.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan a few minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.



When the doughnuts are cool, make the glazes.

1. For chocolate glaze:  whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  Add 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla extract.  Stir to combine.  Add more milk as necessary to create a thick but still just pourable glaze.

2.  For vanilla glaze:  whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla to create a thick put still pourable glaze.

3.  Spread half of the doughnuts with chocolate glaze, and remaining half with vanilla glaze.  Place back on the wire rack and sprinkle the vanilla side with colored sprinkles while the glaze is wet.  Allow to set for about 30 minutes before storing or serving.  These doughnuts are best within 2 days.



SOURCE:   Adapted from Joy the Baker


Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake

This cake, oh man, did it turn out well!  What started out as a plain, but exceptionally good, pumpkin cake morphed into a gigantic cinnamon roll.

The cake is fine textured and velvety smooth.  It just melts in your mouth.  As if that weren’t enough before baking it I swirled some cinnamon roll filling into the top which got all gooey and caramelized as it baked.  Once out of the oven and still warm, I finished it off with a buttery cinnamon glaze that creeps into all the crevices, making this the best darn cake if I do say so myself.


This would be fabulous for Christmas morning, or an addition to a holiday buffet or brunch, but it can certainly hold its own as an after dinner dessert as well.  The cake recipe is one that I use often, it’s my favorite pumpkin cake.  You could bake it in the form of cupcakes, a loaf cake, or whatever.  You won’t be sorry with this cake recipe.  I particularly like that it makes a small cake, perfect for two or a small family.  Double all ingredients if you want to go bigger, it can handle it!

If you know someone who is obsessed with anything pumpkin, make this cake for them and watch them swoon 🙂



Yield:  1  8 – 9-inch round cake



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3/8 cup light brown sugar (I measure 1/2 cup, but don’t pack it)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup milk

Cinnamon Swirl:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon


  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 – 2 tsp. milk, if needed


1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease or spray an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

3.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and brown sugar for 2 – 3 minutes or until fluffy.  Add the oil and pumpkin, beating until smooth.

4.  Gradually mix in the dry ingredients in 3 batches alternating with milk,  starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  Don’t over-mix.

5.  Pour batter into the pan and smooth the top with an off-set spatula or knife.


6.  Stir together the filling ingredients. Carefully pour filling into a piping bag, or use a glass measuring cup with a spout.  Swirl the filling onto the top of the cake.


7.  Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until baked through and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


For Glaze:

8.  Whisk together the melted  butter and powdered sugar until smooth.  (Start with 3 T. of sugar and add the 4th if it seems too runny.  Stir in the cinnamon and add milk if needed.  You want the glaze to easily spill off the spoon and not be too thick.

9.  Drizzle the glaze over the warm cake and serve while warm.



SOURCE:   The cake recipe was adapted from Food and Wine


Apple Upside Down Cake with Salted Caramel

Apple Upside Down Cake with Salted Caramel.

Apple Upside Down Cake with Salted Caramel.

It’s official:  Winter is here.    Snow has fallen, plows have been out, fender benders happened, walks and driveways have been shoveled.  Black Friday took place, and we are barreling straight ahead to Christmas.  It’s time to make my list of cookies that I plan to bake, and get in the necessary ingredients.

There are quite a few apples remaining that I picked at the orchard, so let’s see what I can do to use them up during this last weekend of November.

I know that I will make applesauce and I may even make baked apples and eat them for breakfast. We like them with a little granola sprinkled on top,  or a dollop of yogurt, or both.

Baked apples filled with dried fruits.

Baked apples filled with dried fruits.

Feeling a little “out-of-sorts”, (probably because I have too many projects going right now), I decided to use some of my apples and make this upside down cake.   The recipe is an adaptation of one featured on the Food Network that used summer stone fruits, but with salted caramel in the picture I was certain that making it with apples would be just fine.  And it was.


This recipe was a good choice as the white cake is light and mildly seasoned with vanilla and has a fine texture that I attribute to the buttermilk.  Apples with caramel and sea salt are the perfect topping, made that much better with a little ice cream on the side when you serve it.  It’s baked in a 9-inch square pan, so you will get 8 generous servings or several more if cut smaller.

It only gets better with a little ice cream on the side.

It only gets better with a little ice cream on the side.

The problem I had with this cake was getting it out of the pan intact.  The recipe suggests waiting 15 minutes after removing from the oven before turning it upside down onto a serving plate.  I did that, and still the cake broke on one corner, and stuck to the sides of the pan.  I patched it up as best I could using some of the sticky caramel for “glue”.   (note photo)   I realized I might have prevented this by running a knife around the edges of the cake before attempting to turn it out of the pan, so I suggest you do that if you make this cake.

See that broken corner?

See that broken corner?

The bright side is that it tastes so good, even when broken, that I’m happy to share my “disaster” photo with you.  We all have an occasional disaster, and there’s no shame in that.


Yield:   Serves 8 to 10


Beautiful crisp apples, waiting to become a cake!

Beautiful crisp apples, waiting to become a cake!

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt, divided
  • 2-3 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 1  3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling


1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F.  and coat a 9-inch-square cake pan with cooking spray.

2.  Combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1  1/2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan and stir until the mixture looks like wet sand.  Cook over medium-high heat, gently swirling the pan occasionally but not stirring, until light amber, about 5 minutes.   Remove from the heat and immediately pour into the prepared cake pan.  ( The caramel hardens quickly.)  Arrange the apple wedges over the caramel in 4 rows;  set the pan aside.

Lay rows of sliced apples on top of the caramel in the pan,

Lay rows of sliced apples on top of the caramel in the pan,

3.  Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and remaining 1 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, and mix until just incorporated.  Pour the batter over the apples and spread evenly.

4.  Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.  ( Mine took 45 minutes.)  Cover the cake loosely with foil it is browning too quickly.   Remove from the oven and let sit 15 minutes, then invert onto a platter and let cool completely.  Sprinkle with sea salt.





SOURCE:   adapted from The Food Network Magazine



Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Pumpkin Crunch Cake



October may be over, but anything pumpkin seems to still be a popular item.  Especially with Thanksgiving coming up.  If pumpkin pie is not your thing, or you would like something other than pie for your holiday dessert table, these dessert squares will surely fit the bill.

Recipes featuring the great orange squash are still popping up everywhere.   I have a whole board devoted to pumpkin on Pinterest….it’s called “Pumpkin Anything” and so many  pictures from that board get repinned.  Today’s recipe is one that I found on Pinterest, one of those quick and easy baked items that use a cake mix for convenience.  You’re gonna love this one 🙂


This dessert is fabulous,  tasting like pumpkin pie, but rather cake-like,  a cross between cake and a creamy dessert square.  The pecans on top give it some crunch, so you have a nice contrast between the creamy pumpkin layer, the cake layer and the topping.   Oh, and be sure to dollop each serving with some whipped cream.   This makes a 13″ x 9″ pan, so there will be plenty of servings, about 20 – 24.


Yield:    Makes 20 – 24 servingsIMG_8134


  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1  12-0z. can evaporated milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 box Yellow Cake mix
  • 1/2 – 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 sticks butter, melted ( I used 1 stick butter and 1/2 cup coconut oil with good results.)


1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Spray a 13″ x 9″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Pour into the prepared baking pan.

3.  Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the pumpkin layer.   If the mix is very lumpy, run it through a sifter before sprinkling it on.

4.  Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of cake mix.

5.  Drizzle butter over all.    Bake at 350*F. for 50 – 55 minutes or until golden brown.    Cool.

Golden brown from the oven.

Golden brown from the oven.


Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

This is sooo good!

This is sooo good!


SOURCE:   Itty Bitty Homestead


Spice Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Spice Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Spice Cake with Chocolate Ganache


When it comes to birthday cake I like to make something a little unusual.  And I find that a cake baked in a bundt pan serves more people, so I knew from the get go that it would be a bundt cake.   A what?   A Bunnnndddttt.   Remember “My Big Fat Greek Wedding?’

I think there is something so grown up and sophisticated about bundt cakes.  I’m not sure what it is though, maybe its the lines on the outside of the cake?  Maybe its the curves?  I love a slice of bundt cake, and I love baking in my bundt pan.   Mine is enamel over metal with a non-stick coating–it’s Orange!  But you can use a tube pan if you like with the same results.


This is a spice cake that is very moist, and I paired it with cream cheese frosting flavored with grated orange rind for the filling in the middle.  I dusted the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar, then drizzled it heavily with chocolate ganache.    I must say—-it was quite impressive!


My favorite spice cake is a mix from Duncan Hines, and I have no problem using a mix  when the quality and flavor is really good.


After baking the cake in the bundt pan and letting it cool compeletely,  I split the cake in half horizontally, and removed the top half.  Then I used a can of cream cheese frosting to which I added grated orange peel and a little milk.

Orange peel added to cream cheese frosting.

Orange peel added to cream cheese frosting.

Whipping it lightly with a beater made if fluffy and creamier.  This was spread on the bottom layer of cake and the top layer put back in place.

Cream cheese frosting in the middle.

Cream cheese frosting in the middle.

Then I made the chocolate ganache and spooned it over the top.

The combined flavors of orange, and chocolate with the spice cake was complex and multi-layered.   Everyone commented on how good it was.

The recipe for the ganache is given below.



Yield:   Makes about 2 cupsIMG_8392


  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. corn syrup
  • 1 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1  1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar


1.  In a small saucepan over medium heat,  mix together the cream, milk, butter, vanilla and corn syrup.



2.  When butter is melted, turn heat to low and add the chocolate.  Allow to melt into the mixture.

3.  Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar.  When smooth, spoon over the cake.  Allow to set about 15 minutes.



SOURCE:  for ganache:   Taste of Home Baking



Coconut Cream Poke Cake

Coconut Cream Poke Cake

Coconut Cream Poke Cake


For the time being can we just put aside the kale and zucchini?  We don’t need them.  We’re also going to set aside any twinges of guilt.  What we are going to do is make a white coconut cake that’s gooey with Cream of Coconut, fluffy whipped topping and lots of flaked coconut.  There! I said it and I’m not sorry in the least.  In fact I feel really good about it and I hope you do too.


This is a very easy cake to make as most “poke” cakes are.  It is so moist and has such a great  creamy, coconut flavor that I think even folks who are not coconut lovers will fall in love with this one!  It’s a surprisingly light and fluffy cake in spite of being soaked with the cream of coconut.


Coconut Cream Poke Cake:

Yield:  20 -24 servings:

Just a few ingredients.

Just a few ingredients.


  • 1  (18-oz.) box white cake mix
  • ingredients needed to make cake ( eggs, oil and water)
  • 1 (15-oz,) can Cream of Coconut**
  • 1 (8-oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (8-oz.) package sweetened flaked coconut

** Be sure to use Cream of Coconut–not coconut milk.  Cream of Coconut can usually be found where alcohol supplies and mixers are in your grocery store.   It tends to be near the margarita mixes.  You will need to shake the can well or stir well when you open it, because the cream part tends to separate from the liquid.


1.  Prepare and bake the white cake as the package directions specify.  Bake in a 9 x 13″ pan that has been well greased.

2.  Remove cake from oven, and while still hot, poke holes all over the top of the cake using a large fork.

Poke hole all over the top with a fork.

Poke hole all over the top with a fork.

3.  Open the can of Cream of Coconut –making sure to stir it well –and pour over warm cake.  Make sure you evenly coat the whole cake and spread it around so it will soak in.

Pour Cream of Coconut all over the top and let it soak in.

Pour Cream of Coconut all over the top and let it soak in.

4,  Let cake cool completely then frost with whipped topping.

Frost with whipped topping.

Frost with whipped topping.

5.  Top with flaked coconut.  If you like you can toast your coconut first but I prefer it un-toasted.

Top with flaked coconut.

Top with flaked coconut.

Keep cake refrigerated.   The cake will taste best after it has cooled for at least a couple of hours.  This gives it time for the coconut flavors to really soak in.


Poke cakes are so easy to make, but give the impression  that you spent a lot of time on them.  If left in the baking pan and covered securely, they can be transported safely to an outing or picnic.  This one is no exception.  We all loved it!!



SOURCE:  The Country Cook


Banana Upside-Down Cake

Banana Upside-Down Cake

Banana Upside-Down Cake

Upside-down cakes were something that we had often when I was growing up.  A one layer cake that had its own topping, therefore there was no need for frosting.  The only kind my mom made was with pineapple;  I never considered that there was any other kind.  That may be true for many of you too, because it is only recently that I’ve been seeing recipes that use other kinds of fruits for the topping.


When my Spring edition of the Baking Sheet arrived last week it contained this recipe for Banana Upside-down Cake.  And what a happy coincidence,  I had two bananas just at that ready to use stage of ripeness.  In addition to the bananas the topping also includes raisins or cranberries, and chopped nuts.  Playing on the banana/tropical theme some spiced rum is included in the topping and in the cake.  There is no alcohol content left after baking, but the rum does lend its flavor to the cake in a subtle way.


It’s absolutely best to serve this cake while it is still warm, with a whipped cream topping or ice cream on the side if you’re feeling indulgent.  This was a nice change from the usual pineapple upside-down cake, and we enjoyed it very much.




Topping ingredients

Topping ingredients


Yield:    8 servings



  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon spiced rum
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced about 1/2″ thick
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


  • 1  1/2 cups Unbleached Cake Flour

    Cake ingredients

    Cake ingredients

  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons spiced rum


1.    Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease an 8″ round cake pan that is at least 2″ deep.  If you don’t have one, use a 9″ pan.

2.  For the topping:  Melt the butter.  Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and rum and stir until well combined.  Pour into the bottom of the pan and pat even.  Arrange bananas, raisins (or cranberries) and nuts over this and pat down gently.

Arrange bananas and remaining ingredients in bottom of cake pan.

Arrange bananas and remaining ingredients in bottom of cake pan.

3.  For the cake:  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Cream butter, oil and sugar thoroughly.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

Add the flour mixture alternately with milk and rum to the creamed mixture, stirring and blending after each addition.  Gently pour the batter over the banana topping.

4.  Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the cake just begins to pull from the side of the pan.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning upside down on a serving plate.



Turn out onto serving plate.

Turn out onto serving plate.




Serve warm and enjoy.  YUM!

Serve warm and enjoy. YUM!


SOURCE:   The Baking Sheet,  King Arthur Flour

Banana Crunch Cake

Banana Crunch Cake

Banana Crunch Cake

Once Monday rolls around I try to undo the damage(s) I’ve done to my cholesterol, my liver, my saddlebags or my psyche over the weekend.  Mondays’s are for getting back to the fitness program, taking a walk, getting back in the saddle, or whatever it is you do to stay fit and trim(?).  They are for eating kale salads, roast beets and veggies, drinking healthy smoothies and going to bed early.   They are definitely not for banana cake!!  But those bananas on my counter,  being eyed by the fruit flies, are not going to eat themselves.  So it all brought me to this…..


Banana Crunch Cake, crunchy on top, moist and tender underneath.  This wholesome treat gets some extra punch from the whole grain combination of wheat and oat flours.  The bananas keep it moist and tender, while the crunch topping provides a nice textural change from the cake.  So maybe I can’t exactly undo the damage caused by the weekend’s splurge, but what I can do is incorporate healthy ingredients into my banana cake.  This makes a great lunchbox treat or a take-along if you’re traveling. Wrap it well and take it for a ride.

This recipe can be doubled easily to make a 13 x 9-inch cake if you’re feeding a large group,  or bake the recipe as given here for an 8-inch square cake.  You can get 16  (2-inch square) servings.



Yield:  16  (2-inch) servings

For the Cake:

Makes a whole that's better than the sum of its parts.

Makes a whole that’s better than the sum of its parts.

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 large, or 3 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt ( I used non-fat Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup chocolate or toffee chips (optional)  I used toffee chips.


For the Crunch Topping:

Measure and have ready your topping ingredients.

Measure and have ready your topping ingredients.

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


1.  Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.

2.  In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, and baking soda; set aside.

3.  In a large beater bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl between additions.


Mix in half the dry ingredients, stirring until moistened, and then mix in the bananas, vanilla, and yogurt.  Scrape the bowl down, and then add the remaining dry ingredients, the nuts, and the chips.


Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

4.  In a small bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, and brown sugar until well blended.  Stir in the melted butter until the mixture forms large crumbs, stir in the chopped nuts.

Mixing up the topping.

Mixing up the topping.

Sprinkle the topping over the batter in the pan.


5.  Bake the cake for 40 – 45 minutes, until the edges pull away from the pan and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Place cake on a rack to cool before serving warm, or cool completely to serve later.


Oh my, this cake is delicious.  It has a dense crumb with just the right amount of banana flavor.  The cinnamon in the crumb topping is a perfect accompaniment to the other flavors.  Serve it warm to get its full impact.



SOURCE:   The Baking Sheet from King Arthur Flour