Hello, my cake loving friends! It’s been a looong time since I’ve posted on here. This is probably the longest I’ve ever been away from my blog, but I promise I’ve had good reason. I got married last month, and Aaron and I got back last week from our honeymoon in Turks and Caicos. Let’s just say that it has been a challenge getting back to real life. I still wake up in the morning wondering why there is no view of the beach outside my window and why nobody is handing me a rum punch as I laze by the pool. It was a relaxing vacation, but I’m finally ready to get back to baking!
I don’t share too much personal stuff on this blog, but I wanted share a few unofficial photos to tide you over until the next recipe. Most of these were taken by friends and family (professional photos to come). Keep in mind, my family is Indian, so we had quite a colorful wedding. Aaron and his family were good sports about the whole thing, and in case you are wondering, he is riding a horse in the 2nd picture!
Turks and Caicos was the perfect destination for both of our vacation styles. Aaron is a lot more adventurous than I am. He loves camping, hiking, and all things outdoorsy. He’s also a SCUBA instructor in his free time. I’m more of what Aaron describes as an “Eating ice cream on the beach while reading and petting a puppy” kind of girl. While we did get to do all of these things (including pet puppies), we also got to do some diving, which is something I never would have done on my own. I’ve only dived in Texas lakes before, so the blue water was a new experience for me. In honor of shark week, I’ve included a link to my very first shark spotting! See you soon with a new recipe.
Baker friends, do you make your own special occasion cakes? I always make my own birthday cake as well as the birthday cakes of every nearby family member, but I have been forbidden to make my own wedding cake. You would think that this would be a relief (and it is, especially with the wedding right around the corner), but it’s just so hard to give up control sometimes. I feel like the entire wedding planning process has been an exercise in letting go, but it’s especially hard where the cake is concerned. However, no one is stopping me from making a pre-wedding cake, right? I’m celebrating my last days as a single lady with this over the top purple cake!
My wedding is 2 weeks from tomorrow. Wow, that snuck up on me so fast! I’m just now realizing how behind I am on everything. For example, I should have started a Pinterest board the day after I got engaged (does a cake pinterest board count?) or maybe I should have though about how I want to wear my hair before now. And I probably should not have waited until this week to start my wedding diet. Does angel food count as diet food? Probably not. I’m pretty much the worst bride ever.
I’ve never been much of a pie person. I rarely eat it and I make it even less often, mostly because of how I feel after I eat a slice. I’m not saying that cake is light or healthy, but even with a strong tolerance for rich desserts, a slice of pie (especially cream pie) can put me down like nothing else. Case in point: a few weeks ago, I ate a slice of coconut cream pie and immediately wanted to take off my pants and lay down on the floor for the rest of the afternoon. Totally not worth it, especially for mediocre pie.
My outlook on pie changed a few weeks ago when I went to Oregon. I had heard about these raw vegan pies that were sold at the Portland Farmer’s Market on Saturday, but I was in Portland for only a couple of hours on a Friday night (you can read about the road trip debacle here). After some research, I was able to locate a key lime pie at a Whole Foods, and have been completely infatuated with recreating them ever since. The texture was so creamy, and not at all what I expected from a raw vegan dessert. Did I mention that they are mini? Even better.
I’m bringing you more jar food today! This time, the jars actually serve a purpose- PORTABLE CAKE! Ok, I’ll stop yelling now, but you get the picture. Cakes in jars excite me.
My friend Jon moved to Oregon last week, and even though I still haven’t quite forgiven him for leaving, I thought I would be a supportive friend and do the drive from Dallas to Eugene with him. I’m fairly certain that any good road trip needs to include portable cakes, just in case of emergencies. You may think this is a little extreme, but we did actually have an emergency, which I’ll get to in a bit.
Ever since I made these cookies a few weeks ago, I’ve been fixated on combining chocolate and olive oil in cake form. The flavors really go well together, and this time I added a little almond to the mix as well. This recipe is another super simple one- a one bowl cake with no mixer required, not even for the frosting! It’s a small batch recipe that makes only 2 cakes, which are baked directly in the mason jars that you will later be spooning them out of. This recipe is also egg and dairy free.
Chocolate + peanut butter = total comfort food, and I really need some of that right now because I’m getting married in just about a month. There’s just a certain amount of stress that goes along with impending nuptials on a large scale. Since I have family that’s coming in from all over the world, I’ve been experimenting a lot with vegan recipes. Most of my foreign family members are strict vegetarians who don’t eat eggs, and vegan desserts fit nicely with their dietary restrictions.
I’ve never doubted that vegan cakes could taste as good as their non-vegan counterparts, but I wasn’t quite sold on vegan cookies. There are a number of good substitutes for butter (although recently, I’ve been reading how terrible palm oil is), but replacing an egg can be tricky. I’ve tried the flax egg thing, and maybe I’m doing it wrong, but it just doesn’t taste right to me. However, my opinion of vegan cookies changed when I made these.
My second blogiversary was last week, and I am quite belated in posting this blog birthday cake, mostly due to my total inability to make a decision. This is precisely why I always make 2 cakes for my birthday, since choosing one is way too much pressure. Add to that the pressure of being a food blogger and I pretty much had a meltdown. Sometimes I feel like I have be super inventive and make something with exotic flavors because that’s totally the trend right now, but the truth is, I don’t like exotic flavors in my cake. I think it has to do with the fact that I was force fed saffron and cardamom laced desserts from an early age, and my grandmother insisted on putting rose flavored syrup in my milk, so the little kid in me is still rebelling. Plus, I really like chocolate.
Have you ever had cake paralysis before? Cake paralysis is when you are so stuck on making one kind of cake, that you can’t bake anything else until you make the one cake that has been taking over all the cake space in your brain. It’s a real thing, even though I kind of made it up. Sort of like frosting OCD. You’ll be seeing commercials about it on TV shortly (ask your doctor about cake paralysis)…
Coming up with a butterscotch cupcake that tasted butterscotchy enough proved to be a challenge, but I believe I’ve finally done it! These cupcakes are a butterscotch triple threat- a butterscotch cupcake filled with butterscotch sauce, topped with a brown sugar and butterscotch swiss meringue buttercream, and topped with more butterscotch sauce. I finished off both the butterscotch sauce and the frosting with fleur de sel, because if you think salted caramel is good, salted butterscotch will rock your world.