Skinny Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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With my New Year New Me perspective on diet (for like the fifth year in a row) I am taking this lifestyle change incredibly seriously as compared to years past. I can manage to follow all of the rules of a healthy lifestyle except I struggle with giving up my sweets. There is just something so satisfying about fulfilling that late night craving for something sweet and even better if it is chocolatey. Since I know I am not the only one out there who made some New Year’s fitness resolutions  I thought I would share with you one of my first attempts at taking ordinary recipes and making them “skinnier” to fit my cravings but also not shatter my progress toward my goals.

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I decided to attack carrot cake because it is a quite deceiving dessert. You would think that since carrots are so good for you they would naturally make a little bit healthier of a dessert compared to others but it is quite the opposite. Each slice could run you on average 500 calories. That is devastating to any healthy lifestyle. What is also devastating is the way some recipes try to slim down carrot cake. The most vile of substitutes to traditional ingredients were soy flour, flax-seed meal, and tofu just to name a few.  So how to make carrot cake retain its traditional flavor, moisture, and most especially frosting without adding the pounds.

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There are a few good tricks out there that aren’t as strange as straining prunes and mixing them with oil just to give moisture. First be sure not to overload the batter with too many shredded carrots. You would think this would be beneficial and add flavor but it just weighs the cake down and affects the texture. Not to mention I despise shredding carrots and the less I to shred the better. But without as many shredded carrots in the batter the carrot flavor isn’t as pronounced. This is when having a baby in the house that hates carrots is beneficial. Just one jar of organic baby carrots I had lying around is all the cake needed to have proper flavor and moist texture without adding unnecessary or crazy additives.

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With the cake pretty easy to make skinny the tough job would be the frosting. Everyone knows you can not have a carrot cake without that thick luscious layer of Cream Cheese Frosting. Problem is Cream Cheese frosting is a scale tipper. To make the Cream Cheese frosting resemble traditional full fat flavor without the pounds of fattening butter there is a sneaky secret ingredient… marshmallow creme. Marshmallow creme, like Kraft Jet Puffed or Fluff, gives the proper flavor and texture while eliminating the need for butter and allowing us to lessen the amount of sugar. The best part of this secret ingredient is that you can fool people with the thick and rich frosting it creates and they will never know it contains no additional fat. Pair the secret ingredient with cream cheese that contains 1/3 less fat, such as Neuchâtel and you have a skinny frosting.

Note: Although I recommend using Neuchâtel cream cheese, any cream cheese labeled as being 1/3 less fat will work in this recipe. Be sure when you are looking for the marshmallow creme that you don’t accidentally mistake it for marshmallow sauce which will result in a runny frosting. When shredding the carrots, use a box grater and shred on the large holes side. Alternatively, you could use a food processor with a shredding disk if you have one. When buying a jar of baby carrots, be sure that the ingredients only list carrots and water. With any skinny option, be sure that you consume only in moderation. Making this a recurrent part of your diet will not allow you to lose or maintain weight.

Traditional Carrot Cake contains on average 500 calories, 33 grams of fat, and 8 grams of saturated fat.

Skinny Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting contains approximately 280 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 3 grams of saturated fat.

Skinny Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 (4 oz.) jar or pkg. Carrot Baby Food (preferably organic)
  • 1 cup Dark Brown Sugar; packed
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • ½ pound (8 oz.) Carrots; peeled & shredded

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. Neufchatel Cream Cheese; softened
  • 1 cup Marshmallow Creme
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup Confectioners’ Sugar; sifted

Formula:

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt together in a large bowl. With a stand mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, baby carrots, and sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. With the mixer still running on medium speed, slowly add the oil and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Mix until the batter is nearly smooth. Fold in the shredded carrots by hand with a rubber spatula.
  3. Spread the batter in the prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 24 to 28 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a wire cooling rack. Remove the parchment from the bottom and flip cake right-side up again to cool completely, at least 1 ½ hours.
  4. To make the frosting, use a stand mixer set to medium-high speed and beat the cream cheese, marshmallow creme, and vanilla together. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat on low-speed until mixture is smooth. Frost the cooled cake and serve.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM KRIS WIDICAN

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Roll

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With the onset of fall many families have their own go to favorites that remind them of the season. For some it may be caramel apples, others pecan pie, but for me nothing screams fall like Pumpkin. Pumpkin pie is usually my go to dessert this time of year, especially for Thanksgiving dessert but after many years of the same slice of pie and a dollop of cool whip you start to want to branch out a bit, keeping the similar flavors of pumpkin pie but transformed into a new dessert. I stumbled on a pumpkin roll recipe and I won’t lie it looked a bit daunting. Even in culinary school I remember making a similar sponge cake and having to quickly roll it while it was fresh out of the oven and still on fire just to ensure an easy roll later. I let these thoughts fend me off for a little while and was tempted to make some cupcakes instead. That was until I ran into a quaint little jar of Sparkling Pumpkin Cider while at the market and for some odd reason or another it inspired me to give the pumpkin roll a try. I imagined paring up the elegant roll with a glass of cider in a champagne glass and from that moment on I was sold to the idea of taking this recipe on.

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I must admit I was quite surprised at its overall simplicity. I had a lot of concern over how the end result would be but as long as you follow the directions you really run into no problems at all. I have honestly had more problems with cookies that appear much simpler than this. Not to mention this type of cake is by far the easiest you will ever make and the most divine on the taste buds. Instead of having to cut and trim layers the cake batter is simply spread into a sheet pan prepared with greased parchment paper that makes removing it from the pan and rolling it a breeze. By rolling the cake while it was still warm, the cake was able to cool and be trained into the shape necessary to prevent it from cracking or breaking after spreading the filling in place.

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I allowed the cream cheese to soften at room temperature to ensure a smooth frosting and easier spread onto the cake. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before trying to spread the frosting on and then gently re-roll it into a tight cylinder. To get the glamorous look that will make every holiday table shine, all you need is a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and some spiced pecans. If you can’t find spiced pecans, regular pecans you find in the baking aisle can be toasted and then top the cake as shown. The roll can be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic or sealed in an airtight container for up to three days.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Roll

 

Pumpkin Roll Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Cake Flour; sifted
  • 2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting; ingredients and formula below
  • Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Spiced or Toasted Pecans

 

Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting:

  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 2 cups Confectioners’ Sugar; sifted
  • 8 oz. (1 pkg.) Cream Cheese; softened; cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

 

Formula:

  1. For the Pumpkin Roll: Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Heat oven to 350°. Line an 18 by 13 inch rimmed sheet pan with greased parchment paper. Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer on medium-high, beat eggs and sugar until thick and pale yellow in color, about 6 to 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and mix on low speed until incorporated. Gently fold in the flour mixture until combined. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Give the pan a gentle tap to expel air bubbles and even out the batter. Bake the cake until it is firm and springs back when touched, about 15 minutes. Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, run a knife around the edges of the sheet pan to loosen the cake. Turn the cake out onto a clean sheet of parchment paper dusted with a generous amount of confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel off the parchment paper attached to the cake while baking and discard. Beginning from the short end, roll the cake with the fresh piece of parchment into a log and allow it to cool seam side down, about 1 hour.
  2. For the Fluffy Cheesecake Frosting: With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, one piece at a time, making sure to beat thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until thoroughly blended and no lumps remain. Before assembling the cake, be sure the mixture is at room temperature for easiest spreading.
  3. To assemble the roll, gently unroll the cake and spread the cheesecake frosting evenly, leaving a 1 inch border around all the edges to prevent the frosting from leaking out the ends when you roll it. Gently re-roll the cake snugly around the filling, leaving the parchment paper behind as you roll. Wrap the finished roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate until filling is well set and chilled, at least one hour and up to 2 days. When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap, dust with confectioners’ sugar and top with pecans.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

 

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Emergency Chocolate Cake

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If you have been in touch with the news lately, you will be all to familiar with the topic of war & Syria popping up at least once per broadcast. As grim as the subject is, war brings about some good qualities. People are reminded of the precious value of life, we bond together, appreciate more, and get innovative when times are rough. Such innovation brought this little gem out of World War II. During the war, key baking items like butter and eggs were difficult to come by and even if you managed to get your hands on the stuff you certainly wouldn’t be wasting precious ingredients on a dessert that would otherwise have fed the family for days if properly rationed. So in order to crave the sweet tooth of struggling America, cooks had to come up with cakes that didn’t need the scarce stuff.

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With men at war and women out to work, cooking times had to be short and simple. Desserts like the Emergency Chocolate Cake were loved by homemakers because they were quick and convenient, given the fact that all the ingredients were items already stocked in the pantry. This caused recipes like this one to continue being made even after rationing was a part of the past. Such an easy cake has to have a catch right? For me, not so much. This cake really had a lot going for it. Sure I had to do a little tweaking to boost the chocolate flavor up to modern standards but overall it was moist and delicious. That is if you can get past the fact that the main ingredient supplying the moist, velvety texture is mayonnaise. If you loathe mayo than that is your catch.

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A good way to get past the oddball ingredient is to know what mayo is really made up of. Behind the lardy appearance is just some whipped up eggs and oil, hence why it was the perfect substitute for the scarce butter and egg of wartime. This cake is so moist, tender, and chocolaty it really shouldn’t be subjected to only emergencies. You should try it pronto, especially with how easy it is and everything is on hand already. Before you do though I have just a few quick notes to maximize your experience.

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Keep in mind that the original recipe lacked the additional chocolate and egg that is added here. I prefer this minor tweak as it makes the chocolate flavor more prominent to our modern standards and the extra egg adds just a bit of extra textural support although you certainly could do without the extra egg and chocolate as the original formula. My favorite high quality chocolate that I used was Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate but you could use any brand of chocolate but it is best if you stick to a high quality brand. If you don’t like dark chocolate you can also use semisweet or bittersweet instead. Now I chose to top this cake with confectioners’ sugar since it is simplistic like the rest of the cake, but still adds a touch of elegance and added sweetness. You can however serve this cake with some sweetened whipped cream instead. The following formula makes one 8 inch square cake.

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Emergency Chocolate Cake

 

Ingredients:

  • 7 ½ oz. (1 ½ cups) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 7 oz. (1 cup) Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 2 oz. (½ cup) Cocoa Powder
  • 2 oz. Dark Chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 cup Hot Coffee
  • 2/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Confectioners’ Sugar (for dusting) (optional)

 

Formula:

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350º. Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa and chocolate. Pour the hot coffee over the cocoa mixture and whisk together until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Whisk in the mayonnaise, egg, and vanilla. Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the flour mixture until combined.
  3. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top evenly. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 1 to 2 hours. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares in the pan or for a better presentation, turn cake out onto a serving platter, dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares to serve.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM KEITH DRESSER

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

 

Irish Cream Smith Island Cake

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!! Although I only have a small portion of my heritage that is Irish it doesn’t hurt to celebrate. Perhaps my favorite Irish offering besides Potato-Leek soup and the Boxty (Ireland’s version of a potato pancake), is Bailey’s Irish Cream. My favorite way to enjoy Bailey’s is in a frozen coffee like drink… delicious. Of course it also tastes wonderful in desserts. When contemplating what to prepare for St. Patrick’s Day, the one thing I was sure of is that it would include Bailey’s. I finally decided on cake, and what better way to impress all your leprechauns then with not just any cake but a Smith Island style cake dyed a two-tone green color synonymous with the holiday.

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For those that don’t know what Smith Island style cake is, it’s very tall with many many layers. Hailing from the small town of Smith Island, Maryland, the Smith Island Cake is famous for its tall stature created by multiple thin layers smothered with a  rich, fudgy frosting. The Smith Island Cake has created such a grand reputation that it recently became the official state dessert of Maryland. With such an impressive reputation I decided to modify it for St. Patrick’s Day by tinting the layers green, adding Bailey’s Irish Cream to the cake batter, but maintaining the original choice to frost the layers with chocolate. The pairing of Irish cream and fudgy chocolate creates a taste so divine you will think you followed the rainbow to your taste buds pot of gold.

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I will admit this isn’t my best post because I have had a rather stressful past week and have also had to juggle watching my daughter all while handling the stress which didn’t bode well. This is a cheater recipe for those who are rather strapped for time like myself. I don’t typically recommend cheating with any store bought products but a semi-homemade dessert every once in a while won’t hurt. It did hurt my final outcome of this post however as the cake layers were too moist and tended to slide and break apart upon slicing. I suppose no matter how displeased I was with the look of the cake I have to admit it tasted delicious. Oh well, I will have better luck next time. Hope you all have a great day celebrating and have all the luck of the Irish this year 🙂

 

Irish Cream Smith Island Cake

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes of White Cake Mix
  • 4 tubs of Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Green Food Coloring
  • Shamrock Decorations

 

Formula:

  1. Preheat oven according to package directions. In two separate bowls prepare each cake mix according to the boxed directions. To each bowl, add ½ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream. Mix until just incorporated. Tint the first bowl a light green and the second bowl a darker green. Grease and flour six 8 inch round cake pans (I use store bought foil pans to make things easier. If you don’t wish to do so, grease and flour 3 round cake pans and bake in batches. Be sure to allow the pans to cool completely before adding the next batch of batter to bake). Divide each bowl of batter evenly into the cake pans. Bake cakes for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely before assembling.
  2. Once the layers have cooled, use an offset spatula to spread a thick layer of chocolate frosting on the first layer before topping it with another layer. Repeat with the rest of the layers, making sure to alternate the lighter and darker green layers as you frost the cake and build it up. Once all the layers have been assembled, spread an even layer of frosting across the top and sides of the cake. With the remaining frosting, fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 8 rosettes around the top edges of the cake. Place a shamrock decoration on top of each rosette.

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SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

dsc_0366Sock-It-To-Me!!! If you are anything like me, the phrase jogs a need to belt out a specific tune by Ms. Aretha Franklin. In fact it was her 1967 hit “Respect” which introduced the phrase to most Americans and made it popular. Following the songs popularity, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In added a comedy skit with the same title in which an actress typically ended up being doused with water. Even Richard Nixon once used the phrase while campaigning to be president. It was that much a part of American culture. So it comes as no surprise that in the 1970’s, Duncan Hines would create a cake with the same name and place the recipe on their famous back of the box collection used to market specific cake mixes.

dsc_0351The original Sock-It-To-Me cake from the back of the box recipe is legendary and continues to be made to this day. It uses an easy dump and stir method that incorporates a few extra ingredients added to the back of the box requirements which are meant to transform the typical yellow cake mix into a moist and velvety coffee cake. Too bad the extra ingredients can’t mask the artificial flavor the store-bought mix lends.

To overcome this, a little extra work is necessary but is still simple enough to serve quick and easily at any of your March events. I personally recommend serving this for any March Madness watch parties you may host. It is simple and satisfying to even the pickiest of sweet tooths. Also what better way to root for your favorite team then to have your cake, eat it, and chant for them to sock it to the other team.

dsc_0371The easiest way to prepare this cake is using a food processor, however you can prepare it by hand if you don’t have a food processor. You will lack the finer crumb the food processor gives the cake but it will still taste delicious guaranteed. For the streusel, you will have to chop the pecans finely then mix the rest by hand in a small bowl. For mixing the cake, use a whisk by hand or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer.

This cake serves 12 and looks best prepared in a 12-cup non-stick Bundt pan, but you can also prepare it in a 12-cup non-stick tube pan like I have. No matter which pan you choose to use be sure to grease it with a baking spray made up of a combination of vegetable oil and flour. Doing so ensures a perfectly clean release from the pan. Never trust the deceiving non-stick sales punch lines on your pan products. I have had enough stuck and ruined baked goods in my day to know they are lies 😛

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Flour
  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ¾ cup Pecans, toasted

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup Sour Cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, melted & cooled

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Formula:

  1. For the streusel: Process flour, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer the streusel to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out food processor.
  2. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 325°. Grease and flour a 12-cup non-stick Bundt or tube pan. For the cake: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In the food processor, blend sugar, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute. With machine running, slowly pour in butter until incorporated, then add flour mixture and pulse until just combined.
  3. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and top with the streusel mixture. Cover the streusel with the remaining batter and use a rubber spatula to smooth out the surface. Tap the cake a few times on the counter to remove any air pockets. Place on a sheet pan and bake until the cake is golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes.
  4. As the cake cools prepare the glaze. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Turn out the cake onto a cooling rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the glaze over the warm cake. Cool completely, at least 2 hours. Serve. (Cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for 2 days.)

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM CALI RICH

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cakes

Happy Hump Day Everyone!!! Boy has it been a rough couple of weeks but have no fear I am still around and today I will be bringing you a regional favorite that you may not be aware of if you have never been to the Midwest. Although I haven’t visited my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa in a while, I still remember some of the regions favorites… Taco pizza from Happy Joe’s, Maid Rite Sandwiches, Chicago Style Coney Dogs, and for dessert the Gooey Butter Cake of St. Louis, Missouri. This quirky dessert is a favorite of St. Louisans  and according to the area bakeries it is an acquired taste of the locals. I gave it a shot and I must say was surprised at how delicious it is. Now there are two different types of Gooey Butter Cake. The first is one with a cake batter/cake mix bottom with the gooey layer up top. This is often found in St. Louis supermarkets, restaurants, and made by the home baker as it is easier than the original. However that type of Gooey Butter Cake is more like a chewy and messy bar cookie rather than a delicious cake. The original formula for Gooey Butter Cake resembles an old-fashioned coffee cake base made up of yeast dough and topped with a gooey custard. The second type of Gooey Butter Cake is the one you see in the photos and is worthy of regional recognition. As popular as the Gooey Butter Cake is it comes as no surprise that there are many claims to its fame in St. Louis. Several bakeries were making it years and years ago but two particular families have their own stories claiming they made the original and all the other bakeries followed suit after it’s popularity peaked. The most accepted origin of the cake is that it occurred by accident in the 1930’s by a German-American St. Louis baker who was attempting to make a regular cake but reversed the proportions of certain ingredients. The bakery owner, John Hoffman, had hired a new baker who certainly messed up the formula and created this concoction. Being that it was during the Great Depression, a little screw up was a big deal and so rather than throw out the large amount of screwed up cake, they decided to sell it. Surprisingly it became a huge hit at the bakery and so then they were forced to try to duplicate it. Once it was duplicated they began selling the Gooey Butter Cake as a staple item of their bakery and other bakeries nearby followed suit, creating St. Louis’ most popular ethnic treat. I have chosen two produce two flavors of Gooey Butter Cake, Butterscotch and Chocolate, although there are several more flavors you could experiment with and try. The classic flavor is vanilla and that formula I will provide below. I will also provide the alterations to the original formula so that you can also produce the Butterscotch and Chocolate varieties seen in the photographs. A few quick notes before I leave you… Be sure to remove the cake from the oven when the perimeter is golden brown and the center jiggles when gently shaken. The topping will continue to set up with residual heat as the cake cools. The secret ingredients in this formula that are not exactly traditional but allow ease for the home baker to recreate the original in a snap are light corn syrup and Instant Pudding mixes. These two ingredients quality are crucial. The corn syrup aids in the gooey topping and the instant pudding adds flavor, sweetness, and structure to the gooey topping that would otherwise be much harder to achieve. I suggest using Karo brand corn syrup and Jell-O brand Instant Pudding for best results.

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

Ingredients: (Original Vanilla Version)

Dough:

  • ¼ cup Milk, heated to 110°
  • 1 ½ tsp. Rapid-Rise or Instant Yeast
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 ½ cups Bread Flour
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened & cut into pieces

Topping:

  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp. Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tbsp. Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 2 tbsp. Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)

Formula:

  1. For Dough: Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 200°. When the oven is preheated to 200°, turn it off. Line an 8-in. square baking pan with foil. Grease the foil and a medium sized bowl. 
  2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix milk and yeast on low speed until the yeast dissolves. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour and mix until combined. Increase the speed to medium-low and add butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated, then continue mixing for 5 minutes. Transfer batter prepared bowl, cover with plastic, and place in the warmed oven. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Spread the dough into the prepared pan. Heat oven to 350°.
  3. For Topping: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter, and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add corn syrup, egg, and vanilla until combined. Add flour and pudding mix and continue mixing until just incorporated. Portion dollops of topping evenly over batter, then spread into an even layer.
  4. Once oven is fully heated, bake until exterior is golden and center of topping is just beginning to color. The center will still jiggle slightly when you shake the pan, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan at least 3 hours. Use the foil overhang to lift the cake out of the pan. Dust the cake with some confectioner’s sugar. Serve. If the entire cake is not completely consumed at once the cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. 
 

Alternate Versions:

Chocolate Fudge Gooey Butter Cake

Following the formula above make the following adjustments. For the dough, replace 3 tbsp. flour with an equal amount of Dutch-Processed Cocoa powder. For the topping, substitute 3 tbsp. instant Chocolate Fudge pudding mix for the vanilla pudding mix.

Butterscotch Gooey Butter Cake

Following the formula above make the following adjustments. For the dough, substitute ¼ cup packed light brown sugar for the granulated sugar. For the topping, substitute 3 tbsp. instant Butterscotch pudding mix for the vanilla pudding mix.

Special Thanks To:


Cali Rich

Peter Mendoros – Photography

Jello Brand Pudding © 2012 Kraft Foods

Karo Brand Syrup © 2012 ACH Food Companies, Inc.


All remaining content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012


Chocolate Blackout Cake

 

chocolate blackout4As spring approaches here in Florida so does the increase in the number of Spring Break tourists. As I was driving home from work the past few days, I have noticed an abundance of New York State licence plates, so it is only fitting that today’s post focuses on a treat straight from Brooklyn. Chocolate Blackout Cake originated from Ebinger’s Baking Company, which opened its doors in 1898 on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. Arthur Ebinger, the creator of the first death by chocolate cake, named the confection after blackout drills conducted by the Civilian Defense Corps during World War II. As Navy ships were sent out to sea from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the streets of Brooklyn were “blacked out” to avoid silhouetting the battleships against the backdrop of Brooklyn and Manhattan. This cake is meant to resemble the blackout as it has dark chocolate layers which tower high to resemble the Manhattan skyline.

chocolate blackout5To make the cake layers dark and full of chocolate flavor, there are a few culinary tricks that are simple and totally worth it. Start with cocoa powder, and bloom it with some butter in a pan on the stove. Once bloomed, another culinary secret is added which enhances chocolate flavor… that being coffee. Perhaps the best part of all of this little process is not only am I starting the cake batter on the stove but will also finish it there, making for a quicker process, less dishes to clean later, and no messy transfers between bowls! As for the frosting…err I mean pudding (which is probably my favorite part of this whole cake as I am not a traditional frosting fan) the most important part is to ensure it has a velvety rich chocolate taste but also enough stability to cling to the sides of the cake and adhere the cake crumbs to itself. Using half & half plus milk achieves a satiny quality with a bit of sweetness which helps to prevent an over bitterness which can happen when too much chocolate is on the palate. Once the cake is completely cooled and the pudding chilled and set (be sure you allow enough time or  the cake will be gummy and the pudding will run) you can assemble the pastry equivalent of a New York City skyscraper.

chocolate blackout3After I assembled my cake, I realized that I had some extra crumbs and a generous amount of pudding. Since we are in the age of going green and I didn’t want to see any product go to waste, I decided to utilize my extra pudding and cake crumbs in a simple yet innovative way, perfect for parties or even dessert for a weeknight dinner. I shall call them, Blackout Parfaits. To make them you will need parfait glasses of your choice. I own the tall and thin variety but short and stumpy or even a shot glass would work just fine. To neatly fill the glasses, I filled a piping bag with the remaining chocolate pudding and piped it into the glass. For the topping, I used some of the extra chocolate cake layer crumbs and sprinkled them over the piped pudding. It’s as simple and quick as that!

Chocolate Blackout Cake

Ingredients:

*Chocolate Pudding*

  • 1 ¼ cups Sugar
  • ¼ cup Cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 2 cups Half & Half
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 6 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

*Cake Layers*

  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
  • 1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¾ cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Coffee, brewed
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Formula:

  1. For the Pudding: Whisk sugar, cornstarch, salt, half & half, and milk in a saucepan set over medium heat. Add chocolate and whisk constantly until chocolate melts and mixture begins to bubble, about 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in vanilla and transfer pudding to a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day. 
  2. For the Cake Layers: Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 325°. Grease two 8 in. cake pans. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cocoa and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Take off the heat and whisk in coffee, buttermilk, and both sugars until fully combined and sugars are dissolved. Whisk in eggs and vanilla, then slowly mix in the flour mixture. 
  3. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake approximately 30-35 minutes. Cool layers in the pans for 15 minutes, then remove and finish cooling to room temperature on a wire cooling rack for at least 1 hour. To assemble the cake cut each layer in half horizontally. Crumble one cake layer into crumbs and set aside. Place one cake layer on a cardboard round and set on a decorating table. Spread a generous amount of pudding over the first cake layer then top with another cake layer. Repeat with another generous helping of pudding and top with the final cake layer. Spread pudding evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the cake crumbs evenly over the top and sides of the cake and press lightly to adhere the crumbs to the pudding. Serve or store for up to 2 days. 

Special Thanks To:

Peter Mendoros – Photography

& Jeremy Sauer

All content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012