Archives for posts with tag: Cake


Mexican Chocolate Cake

2 tablespoons butter, for two 9” round pans
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder, plus more for pans
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter the cake pans and line bottoms with parchment, butter again and dust with cocoa.

Sift the following ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment: cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl combine eggs, 1 1/2 cups warm water, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla and almond extracts and vinegar. With the mixer on low slowly pour into dry ingredients until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide batter into the pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean about 45 minutes.

Let the cakes cool completely before removing from the pans and frosting.

Mexican Chocolate Frosting
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brandy

Beat the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer with a paddle on medium speed until smooth. Sift together the cocoa powder, sugar and salt and add to the mixer. On slow speed add the extracts, brandy and chocolate slowly. Finally add the sour cream and mix until combined.

Thanks to both Ina Garten and Martha Stewart for the help in making this cake. It’s the cake Elvis would have buried his face in.

Chocolate Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups mashed overripe bananas (6 to 8)
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour a two 9-inch can pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture and chocolate on medium. Pour batter into pans. Bake until a skewer inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Tout Sweet Box

A trip to Union Square always wraps up with a stop at my friend Yigit’s pastry shop Tout Sweet. I’m always secretly hoping that when I arrive there will be my favorite cake in the case. You may know Yigit Pura as the winner of season 1 Top Chef: Just Desserts. His shop on Macy’s 3rd floor boasts a dessert zen den of macaroons, cakes, and tarts along with tasty breakfast and lunch fare.



The Mille-Crepe is approximately 20 paper-thin crepes layered with a vanilla bean custard scented ever-so-slightly with orange flower water and topped with bruleed sugar.

Pair with your favorite digestif liquer and you’ve got the perfect flourish to a much deserved day off.

So delicious! We loved every bite!

Yigit Pura

Yigit Pura

There are many great carrot cake recipes out there. This one is pretty simple to make – and it packs a lot of flavors. Years ago my dear friend Marc Desplaines, furniture designer at Antione Proulx shared his Carrot Cake recipe with me. I’ve added a few things here and there and some brown sugar to the cream cheese frosting along with a little orange zest – it really makes this cake sing.


Carrot Cake w/ Brown Sugar Frosting


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

2  teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1  teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 pound large carrots, peeled & grated small

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/3  cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups of sugar

1 1/2  cups vegetable oil

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

This cake can be baked as layer care or in a 9″x13″ baking pan.


Heat oven to 325°. Cut out two 9-inch rounds of parchment paper. Butter two, 9″x3″ round cake pans, add parchment rounds to bottom of pans and butter, do the same if using the 9″x13″ baking pan. Dust cake pans with flour, and tap out any excess. Set pans aside.

Using the smallest holes (less than 1/4 inch in diameter) of a box grater, grate carrots, yielding 2 1/2 cups. Place carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil, and ginger in a large bowl; whisk until well combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves, and cinnamon. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until combined.

Divide batter between the cake pans, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middles comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove pans from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack; let stand until completely cool.

Refrigerate cakes at this point to help when frosting.

If you’ve made the 9″x13″ cake just frost the top! If you’ve baked the layer cake, using a serrated knife, slice each layer in half horizontally. Place a layer on a cake stand or cardboard round, and spread 3/4 cup frosting over top. Place a second cake layer on top, and spread with another 3/4 cup frosting. Repeat with the third layer and another 3/4 cup frosting. Place the last cake layer on top, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and the sides of the assembled cake.

Brown Sugar Frosting

3  8-0unce packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Grated rind from one orange

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Pinch of salt

1 1/2     cups toasted chopped pecans (optional)

Heat oven to 375. If using spread pecans in a single layer on an un-greased baking pan, and toast in the oven until lightly golden, about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and let stand until completely cool. Finely chop pecans, and set aside.

Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, and beat until well-combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add the remaining ingredients, and beat 5 minutes more. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days. Pat the chopped pecans to the outside of the cake.