Hello! I’m Ariel…

I’m all about that healthy-ish lifestyle and my food is at the center of my universe. When I’m not cooking, eating, or photographing my food, you can catch me passing the time on the trails or playing with purr babies. Happy Eating!

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Naked Cake with Whipped Buttercream Frosting

Naked Cake with Whipped Buttercream Frosting

Hello fellow eaters! I hope that you are all having a delicious summer filled with friends and mostly filled with great food. I was having a delicious summer until I had my wisdom teeth taken out last Monday. In honor of my last night eating crunchy and difficult-to-eat foods, we feasted on local soft-shell crabs! After the surgery I thought I could only eat pudding and pasta, but cake hadn't crossed my mind. It turns out that cake is perfect for this type of predicament because it's CAKE. I don't really think I need to explain why. 

I made this cake for our neighbor's birthday celebration and it was my first attempt at frosting a naked cake. No, I was not naked while frosting the cake, though, that sounds like fun. I think it turned out well for a first try and I'm going to give you the recipe for the whipped vanilla buttercream frosting and the chocolate cake. This cake was a bit short in height for my liking so I do recommend that you add a third and maybe a fourth layer. If you do, you'll need to double the recipe I have listed below.

My mother has been reminiscing of the buttercream frosting that her mother made for her as a child and we haven't been able to figure out the recipe, until now. I did a little research and found a recipe that uses granulated sugar instead of confectioners sugar and it tastes oodles better! In my opinion, confectioners sugar has always been far too sweet and the granulated sugar makes for a much creamier frosting. In addition, this frosting utilizes a milk and flour paste, which gives it great structure. You will need an electric mixer for this as it mixes for over 10 minutes! Let's begin.

*This recipe comes from realsimple.com 

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces & more for the pans
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and butter two 8- or 9-inch pans and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. 

3. In a small saucepan bring the butter and water to a boil. Once boiling, add mixture to large bowl with dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then add the sour cream and the vanilla.

4. Divide batter between pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. *The original recipes calls for 35-45 minutes, but I found that even 35 minutes was too long. Check cakes around 25-30 minutes and be your own boss.

5. Cool cakes for 20 minutes in tin and then transfer to cooling rack. Do not frost until completely cool or you will have a snowman in April type of situation. 

Whipped Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Whew! Say that 1 time fast! This recipe comes from ihearteating.com 

Ingredients

  • 7 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of salted butter at cool room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

1. In a small saucepan whisk flour and milk together before turning on stove. Once whisked, turn the heat to medium-low and mix until it thickens, slowly becoming the consistency of a thick paste. If it looks wet and runny, it is not thick enough. (I had to throw out my first batch because it was too wet and I had already let it cool). 

2. Remove flour mixture from heat, add vanilla, and let cool completely back to room temperature.

3. In a large bowl cream the butter, sugar, and salt using an electric mixer on medium-high for 5 minutes. Scrape sides often to avoid grittiness. 

4. Add cooled flour mixture (if it is still warm it will melt the butter and ruin your frosting) and beat on medium-high for about 5 more minutes until it looks like whipped cream. Taste it. Decide if you will actually share, if not, proceed to lock all doors and windows.

5. If you do not have special frosting tools, do not worry! Just use the dull side of a kitchen knife to carefully spread the frosting. You can even poke a hole in a plastic baggie to pipe pearls onto your cake! Lastly, I made the birthday banner by printing off colored letters, cutting them out, taping them to string, and tying the string around two wooden kebab sticks. Get creative! Get naked!

Happy Eating! Please let me know if you make this cake or have any comments/suggestions. 

xoxo - Ariel

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