Saturday, August 28, 2010

Spiced Rum Cake with Coconut Frosting and Toasted Coconut

Happy birthday, Nathaniel!

My roommate's boyfriend's birthday was yesterday. Laura wanted to do something nice for him, so what did she do? ..She came to me for help baking him a cake! And she only gave me one direction to go in: Coconut.

Well, two directions. I also own a silicone baking container that forms into a giant cupcake! So the directions were: Coconut, Giant Cupcake.

I personally don't care for coconut at all (either in taste or texture) so Laura had to be my taste-tester. The cake itself was fantastic! I'm not one for tasting the alcohol that I drink, and the rum really added to the cake without being overwhelming.
The frosting was, apparently, great too! Though once it had been in the fridge to set, it got quite firm, and it did soften after it sat out again. It requires cream of coconut, which is NOT the same thing as coconut milk! You can either find it in the section of the grocery store with drink mixes (like the Bloody Mary mixes, or margarita mixes) or in a liquor store.

I also got to toast coconut! Even as a person who doesn't like coconut, the smell of it being toasted filling the whole apartment pleased me.

Spiced Rum Cake with Coconut Frosting and Toasted Coconut Recipe

  • 1 box spiced cake mix

  • 4 eggs

  • 1/3 cup veggie oil

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/4 cup spiced rum


  • Preheat oven to 350

  • Grease 2 round cake pans

  • Combine all ingredients and blend with electric mixer on low speed until combined, then on medium speed for two minutes.

  • Pour batter into pans, and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

  • Place on wire rack to cool.

Coconut Frosting Recipe

  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 6 tbsp butter, softened

  • 6 tbsp cream of coconut, well stirred

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar

  • 2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut


  • Cream cream cheese and butter together.

  • Add in cream of coconut and powdered sugar, beating well.

  • Add flaked coconut and beat well.

  • If needed, add more powdered sugar to thicken.

Toasted Coconut Recipe/Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 300

  • Spread enough coconut to cover a 9x13 pan in a thin layer

  • Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 to make sure it gets toasted evenly. Toasting too long, or too high, will burn it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Care Package!

This post is sooo late being posted. The fall semester has started, and with work I'm so busy that I forgot to update! But I digress.

My very dear friend/co-worker Esther fell and hurt her hip! She calls me things like "dear" and "sweetheart" and "precious," and in return I say that she's like my adopted grandmother. As soon as I found out that she was injured (it's going to take 4-6 weeks of physical therapy for her to get all healed up again!) I knew that I had to do something for her.

Esther and her great-granddaughter. She could NOT stop grinning as she held her!

I wound up making her a care package, and then making the 45-minute drive to deliver it in person. When I'd bring treats into work and she saw me, she'd always say hello, then her eyes would go riiiight to the box, to see what I'd brought.
So I picked a few favorites to make her: Cinnamon pinwheels, chocolate chip cookies, and oreo balls!

Note: Someone really needs to teach me how to get pictures to rotate on this blog. For now... lay your head on your shoulder and enjoy the picture!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Butterbeer with Butterscotch Whipped Cream

Harry Potter nerds, rejoice!
For I have discovered, and created from other recipes, butterbeer!

There are so many on the internet that it's hard to decide which one to try. I wound up picking two that sounded interesting, and then smashing them together and creating a delicious beverage!
Now, this is completely family-friendly. You COULD add butterscotch schnapps, but this one uses butterscotch syrup instead. So think of it as belonging to the rootbeer family, not the regularbeer family.

I also reused my whipped cream recipe, but fiddled with it a little. In the HP books, as far as I can remember, the drink naturally foams on its own, but adding foam is just as good! I made it for my friends when they came to visit, and they said it was a perfect dessert drink.
I'm providing two recipes. One for a single or double serving, and one for a large pitcher. The measurements probably don't correspond to eachother, but...whatever. I'm not a math person, so I just went by taste!

Butterbeer Recipe:
  • 8oz (1 can) cream soda (chilled)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 T butterscotch syrup (add less, then add more to taste)
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t heavy whipping cream
  • 2L cream soda (chilled)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 c butterscotch syrup (add less, then add more to taste)
  • 2 + 2/3 T vanilla
  • 2 T heavy whipping cream


  • Combine butterscotch syrup, vanilla, and heavy whipping cream in a bowl. Mix well to combine syrup.
  • Pour cream soda into a second, large bowl.
  • Add mixture to cream soda; stir until combined.
  • Note: The more you stir the cream soda, the more quickly it will lose its carbonation. Hence why mixing the three first will provide the best beverage.
  • Top with whipped cream and serve. Refrigerate remainder.

Butterscotch Whipped Cream Recipe:

  • 1 cup (or 1 pint) heavy whipping cream
  • 4 T butterscotch syrup
  • 1 T vanilla


  • Combine ingredients in large mixing bowl (stand mixer if you have it!)
  • Beat until the mixture thickens, 5-7 minutes, stopping occasionally to make sure the syrup is integrated and not on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Either pour (if still liquidy), or spoon/pipe whipped cream onto the butterbeer.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Agave Nectar Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting

Yay healthy!
Yay diabetic-friendly recipe!
Boo tasting like bran muffins.
Yay frosting!
Yay agave nectar!

I made the first experiment in my new kitchen! ...The oven is so small that when I bake cupcakes, I have to bake them one tray (12 cupcakes) at a time. Luckily this recipe is halved, so you can only make 12 cupcakes anyway.

But I decided to make agave cupcakes, with an agave whipped cream frosting!

Agave nectar is the hip new thing on the health market. I don't know all of the specifics yet (whether it's actually better than sugar or not) but the fact that this recipe has no sugar is great!

Agave nectar (or just "agave"-- Ah-GAH-vay, I do believe) is sweet, similar to honey but without that sharpness. It's quite tasty, and probably good on toast, cereal, waffles... really anything that you could put honey in/on, you could use agave!

The cupcake batter came out like oatmeal-- I attribute this to using wheat flour instead of white flour. It also made them quite gritty, and..tasting like a bran muffin. The agave flavor was completely lost in them.

But the frosting! Ohhh my, so delicious! It actually tastes like whipped cream, which you could put on..whatever you put whipped cream on. The only reason I'm even calling it a frosting is because I put it on the cupcakes (which really helped make them taste better!)

Maybe I'll retry this recipe eventually. But for now, just take the whipped cream recipe! Nomnomnom.

It even looked like whipped cream when I piped it. That's how you can tell that it's super tasty.
Agave Nectar Cupcake Recipe
  • 2 T light butter
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 c agave nectar
  • 3/4 c buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 c wheat flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder


  • Preheat oven to 325
  • Cream together butter, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla.
  • In a small bowl, combine agave nectar with buttermilk. Add to mixture.
  • Add in dry ingredients slowly.
  • Mix until combined and smooth.
  • Prepare a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake papers, and fill each 1/2 full.
  • Bake 17-20 minutes.
Agave Nectar Whipped Cream Frosting Recipe
  • 2 c (1 pint) heavy whipping cream
  • 5 T agave nectar
  • 1 T vanilla
  • Pinch of salt


  • Put all ingredients in a bowl (if you have a Kitchenaid, use it!).
  • Beat until it stiffens-- 5-6 minutes.
  • Note: This is where a stand mixer comes in handy, because your wrist will get a workout otherwise!
  • Spread, or pipe onto cupcakes.
  • Drizzle with agave nectar.

Note: For best results, make the frosting the day you eat the cupcakes, and put them in the fridge so the frosting doesn't melt!

The recipes both came from my friend Nikki! (: