Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Angel Sponge Cake

This recipe for Angel Sponge Cake comes from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house. I haven’t had any bad ones from this book, however, this might be the first one. This one was kind of weird. I looked online to see if there were any recipes on there for Angel Sponge Cake that I could look at, but I didn’t find any. Not one. At any rate, I tried it, and I’ll share it, but I warned you. I wanted to have this cake on today so there would be a beautiful and tasty dessert for you to make for mom this weekend. Boo. I’m not so sure about this one. You might want to try some other recipes I’ve posted. The ridiculously delicious Prune Cake is a great one, or the Chocolate Rose Cake for the chocoholic mom, or even the luscious Lemon Dessert #2. There are so many desserts and cakes to choose from – go crazy and pick one!

I think they ran out of room to write out the recipe – it’s a bit confusing.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Angel Sponge Cake

Beat:

6 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon salt

Add:

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup cake flour

Put in bottom of 9″ x 13″ pan (I think – there’s no size listed).

Beat until light:

6 egg  yolks

Add and beat until light in color:

3 Tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

Sift together:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine with egg yolk mixture.

Pour over egg whites in pan.

Bake in slow (300-325 degrees – I had the oven at 325 degrees) 45-60 minutes.

Separate the eggs first – this recipe doesn’t take long if you have everything ready to go ahead of time. I used my big mixer, but I think it would have worked better with a hand mixer.

Here is the angel food layer in the pan first. Looks harmless enough.

The recipe doesn’t have everything in the instructions. Sift ALL the dry ingredients for the sponge cake layer together first.

Here is the sponge cake layer poured on top of the angel food layer. Ok . . .?

I thought maybe the two types of cake would assimilate and mix together more. Instead, there are definitely two separate layers with two totally different types of cake. Weird.

Whipped cream and fresh berries make anything delicious AND beautiful!

The cake is good – just a bit strange – and kind of tough. Not my favorite and possibly the first recipe from that tiny book that isn’t so great. Maybe I missed something here, I don’t know. Anyway, if you try this Angel Sponge Cake, let me know how it turns out for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb Crumble is one of Grandma’s recipes that doesn’t seem to make sense. I think it’s more of a cake than a “crumble”. When I think of a “crumble”, I think of more of a “crisp”, but this recipe makes more of a cake. In fact, I’d say it reminds me of more of a coffee cake. It’s perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or afternoon coffee. The recipe is a bit mixed up, so I had to figure out what to do with this one. Let’s get started and you’ll see what I mean.

This delicious crumble/cake is loaded with rhubarb.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Crumble

Topping:

Mix together and set aside:

3 Tablespoons, melted butter

2/3 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (I used pecans)

Mix together in order given:

1/3 cup margarine (I used butter)

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup orange juice

2 Tablespoons grated orange rind

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 1/3 cup self-rising cake flour (I never have cake flour OR self-rising flour in the house, so I had to go to Google and find out how to make a substitute: 2 1/3 cups flour, 1/2 heaping t. salt, 2 1/2 heaping t. baking powder – whisk together and sift 5 times to make it light.)

Fold in:

1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces

Spoon into greased 9 inch springform pan.

Add topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 65 minutes.

I didn’t see the part about the rhubarb needing to be in 1 inch pieces until I had already cut it into 1/4 inch pieces. It was just fine.

You can see how full of rhubarb the batter is, and that bit of orange in there is really tasty.

The crumble topping goes on top and then after baking, it makes a delicious crumb top.

Not only is this a delicious cake – it’s beautiful! I put it on the glass plate pedestal I made a few years ago, and you can find the instructions for how to make that here.

The springform pan makes it easy to cut the pretty pieces, but I think you could also bake this in a 9 inch x 9 inch pan.

This beautiful and delicious crumble/cake would make the perfect brunch dessert for Mother’s Day. It would also be perfect for your afternoon coffee. Serve this Rhubarb Crumble with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and mom will be so glad – and proud – that you baked!

 

 

 

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Chocolate Cake (Cupcakes) with Chocolate Buttercream

The recipe for Chocolate Cake (which I decided to make into cupcakes) comes from the tiny book I found at my sister’s house. It was time to make my son’s birthday cake and he decided that this year he wanted chocolate. Well, are we glad I tried this recipe from that book! This is one of the family’s newest favorites. The front page of that little book said that the recipes were “tested” and I would have to say they did it right. All of the recipes from that tiny book have been absolutely delicious, and this one is no exception. I made this recipe for a birthday, but it would also be great for Mother’s Day, or any other celebration – especially if your mother is as much of a chocoholic as my mom is. In honor of the upcoming day to celebrate mothers, here is a photo of 3 generations: my mom, my grandma, and her mother – my great-grandmother.

It must have been a special occasion – they’re all dressed up and Grandma has a hat on! So let’s get back to the business at hand – Chocolate Cake!

This recipe is quick and easy to do – just the way we like ’em!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Cake

Mix in order given:

1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 small eggs

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon (heaping) baking soda (add to the flour)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup cocoa mixed with enough boiling water to make a paste

Bake at 350-375 degrees for 40 minutes (I baked the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes).

Chocolate Buttercream

2 sticks butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2-3/4 cup cocoa (depending on how cocoa-y you like it)

2-3 Tablespoons vanilla

3-4 Tablespoons milk

Blend well with a hand mixer, adding more milk if necessary to thin to perfect piping or frosting consistency.

This is what the cocoa paste looks like – nice and creamy.

Here’s before and after baking – very chocolatey.

I don’t think you can see it here, and I’m not sure why, but these cupcakes had a nice bit of a crust on top – it was delightful and we all loved that part.

I piped on the buttercream, but you can frost them with a knife also. The buttercream is delicious on these and it WAS a birthday – there HAS to be sprinkles.

This my new favorite recipe. They were just delicious. I use that word a lot – delicious. But they were – absolutely delicious. The whole family agreed. Try this recipe for Chocolate Cake for your chocoholic – it’ll be their new favorite, too!

 

 

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Easter Bundt Cake

As promised – here is the Bundt Cake for Easter – or – the Easter Bundt Cake. On my quest this year to show how the Bundt Cake recipe can be so easily switched up for holidays (or personal preference), I’ve made one that’s perfect for an Easter dessert.

First, here is a typical Easter photo from when I was about 3 years old. You can see the brand new dress, white patent leather shoes with white anklets, and my purse. My dad used to tease me relentlessly about always having to have a “purse”. But it is essential to every girl’s Easter outfit – every little OR big girl. I was standing on the little wall that was between my other grandma and gramp’s house and the house where we lived in the upstairs apartment.

Obviously, we had beautiful weather on Easter Sunday that year, because I didn’t have on a sweater, jacket, or coat.

Ok – on to the Easter Bundt Cake. I do love that this is such an easy recipe and you can make it last-minute. Kids would love to help make this because decorating it is so much fun. You can – and MUST – make it very colorful and festive. Well, you don’t HAVE to. You CAN keep it simple. But where’s the fun in that?!!

I’m telling you – this recipe is so easily adaptable for each and every holiday or special occasion!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Bundt Cake

Mix together:

1 cake mix (I used lemon here)

1 instant pudding (I used lemon here)

4 eggs

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil (I used canola)

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Let cool in pan 25 minutes.

Turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Glaze:

Mix together:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Juice of half of a lemon, or enough to make glaze the consistency you want

Spoon or pipe glaze onto top of cake.

Decorate with sprinkles and/or colored sugar (do this before the glaze dries – it happens fast).

This particular bundt cake was made with a lemon cake mix and lemon instant pudding. I think a white cake mix with a vanilla or coconut instant pudding and 1/2 to 1 cup of coconut would also be tasty for this time of year.

I get all my decorations ready ahead of time and then make the glaze. The glaze dries quickly, so if you have everything ready, put on the glaze and then immediately decorate. You can use a spoon to drizzle on the glaze, but I used a disposable piping bag for drizzling.

I went with white glaze and pastel colored sprinkles for this one. The lemony glaze goes so well with the lemon cake and the lemon pudding in the cake.

Here’s the overhead view – can you tell what I put on top?

You got it! Bunnies! They’re so cute!

I put the bunnies on toothpicks and then stuck them into the top of the cake. If I had used a cake plate or pedestal, I might have had room to stick the bunnies into the glaze around the outside of the cake, but this cake is going with my husband to work, so it’s just on a paper plate and that doesn’t leave a lot of room on the outside. It makes more sense to put it on something that doesn’t have to get back home with my husband. All he has to bring back with him is the big container he’s taking the whole cake in.

People ask me all the time if we actually eat ALL the things I make for this blog. Oh yes – we do eat our fair share, but I do also try to share some of it with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Everyone has to do their part and take some of it. Funny – nobody has seemed to mind too much. Yet. Get your kids involved and make an Easter Bundt Cake for your family or friends this year – it’ll be a lot of fun and they’ll love it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cherry Chocolate Cake

This recipe is one I remember from when I was growing up in the 1970’s. I think we made this Cherry Chocolate Cake quite often and it was one of my favorites. The recipe was one that, like so many of these recipes that I’ve found, I thought was lost and gone forever. It’s been found in some recipes from one of Grandma’s sisters, and I’m so glad! Luckily, I found this recipe in time to make it for my mom’s birthday cake last week.

By the way – here is a photo of my mom the birthday girl when she was just a little “squirt” – as Grandpa used to say. She was such a cutie!

I just want to know how Grandma ever got those shoes on her! Look at those buckles!

Ok – on to the birthday cake!

After having a piece of this cake, I remember why it was one of my favorites.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Cherry Chocolate Cake

Mix together:

1 chocolate cake mix

1 can cherry pie filling

4 eggs

1/3 cup oil (I used canola oil)

Put into 9″ x 13″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Frosting:

1 package instant chocolate pudding

1 1/2 cup milk

Let sit a few minutes before spreading.

Refrigerate.

I used a different chocolate frosting recipe this time, because it was a birthday cake for my chocolate loving mom.

There are very few ingredients in this ridiculously easy recipe, but it sure is good!

You can see all the cherries from the pie filling in the batter.

Adding this more chocolatey frosting just adds more decadence to this cake.

You can see how moist this cake is – it’s just amazing because there are so few ingredients. You wouldn’t think the pie filling would make that much of a difference, but I guess it does. I’m glad this recipe was found – no matter how easy it is, it’s so good with all that cherry goodness in there! This makes a great birthday cake, but it makes a great cake for any occasion.

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St. Patrick’s Day Bundt Cake

I have decided to make this Bundt Cake for every holiday throughout this year – just to show you how easy it is to switch it up and make this cake holiday appropriate. Today we’re going to make a St. Patrick’s Day Bundt Cake. Because it’s so quick and easy, you can decorate to your heart’s content – depending on the holiday or special occasion.

bundt-cake

This is just so ridiculously easy.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Bundt Cake

Mix all together:

4 eggs

1 cake mix (I used a white cake mix for this one)

1 instant pudding (I used pistachio for this one)

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil (I used canola)

Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Pour into buttered bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack for 25 minutes.

Turn out onto cooling rack unto cool.

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Using a white cake mix and pistachio pudding makes this a pretty green color. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

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Now this – is a thing of beauty.

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I think I’ve finally found the perfect way to bake and remove a bundt cake from the pan. Cooling 25 minutes in the pan after baking – perfect. I do have a non-stick pan, but I turned it over and it popped right out – no sticking!

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Now for the fun part – the decorating! I used the same Powdered Sugar Glaze with a disposable piping bag like the one I used on the Valentine’s Day Bundt Cake. If you don’t have disposable piping bags, you can use a zip top bag with a corner cut off. I use gel food coloring to tint the frosting and get a nice bright color. Remember to get the sprinkles on quick – the frosting dries fast!

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So pretty! Another festive and holiday appropriate treat!

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This is the perfect last-minute dessert for St. Patrick’s Day!

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This cake is delicious and so easy to make. Let’s see . . . what’s the next holiday? Check in a few weeks back for an Easter Bundt Cake!!

 

 

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Bundt Cake and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Today I’m sharing a photo of one of Grandma’s valentines that she received when she was a girl. The main colors in Grandma and Grandpa’s house were blue and yellow, so years ago, when I saw this valentine of Grandma’s, I made it into a hanging glass piece for her (we may have to explore making some glass ornaments at a later time). I love the little cupid sitting in the middle of that yellow rose.

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She’s so cute, and the sentiment is so sweet!

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It’s so special that Grandma kept her old cards – they meant a lot to her.

Today’s recipe is one that’s quick and easy and great for a last-minute treat. This Bundt Cake recipe can be changed to anyone’s preferences or any holiday flavor. You can use any kind of cake mix and any kind of instant pudding to make your own flavor combinations. I have made this with chocolate cake mix and chocolate instant pudding – for my mom and her chocolate habit – and I’ve made it with a yellow cake mix and butterscotch instant pudding – for my butterscotch loving son. Pick some interesting flavors and make it your own – you can’t go wrong with this one.

bundt-cake

This cake is ridiculously quick and easy.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Bundt Cake

Mix together:

1 box of cake mix (I used strawberry)

1 box of instant pudding (I used white chocolate)

4 eggs

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup oil (I used canola)

Blend on medium speed for 3 minutes or as directed on cake mix box.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Cool in pan on a cooling rack for 25 minutes.

Turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Drizzle with glaze of your choice.

I used this glaze –

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Juice of half a lemon or enough to be able to drizzle the glaze over cake.

Drizzle glaze over top of cake.

Sprinkle with decorations, if desired.

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DON’T FORGET to butter your bundt pan – only if you want the cake to come out of the pan. Then pour the batter in.

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It comes out of the oven so puffed and pretty. After waiting the 25 minutes, it popped right out of the pan! Yay!

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I put the glaze into a disposable piping bag and didn’t even use a tip. Just a cut across the bottom of the bag, squeeze out the glaze, and just toss the bag. Easy clean up!

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Once you get the glaze on, be quick about putting on the sprinkles or the glaze could already be drying and you’ll end up with sprinkles rolling all over the kitchen floor. Not that I really know anything about that. Maybe.

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Just look at it. Oh boy.

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The flavor combination of strawberry and white chocolate was absolutely delicious! This recipe is one to have in your permanent collection. I love that you can tweak it for any holiday or anyone’s taste – any flavors, any colors, any decorations. It’s so easy, so good, and can be made to your specific taste. Your valentine is going to be very, very happy!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spice Cake

Here we go again – more leaves, more spices, and more deliciousness from the tiny book found at my sister’s house. There are a lot of great, delicious recipes in that little book! This photo of a leaf covered in dewdrops was one I took on a day trip to a Minnesota state park a few years ago. I love fall and I love leaves, so I’m usually overdoing it on the leaf photos. This particular one wasn’t all that colorful, but I love the dewdrops on it.

spice-cake

I knew I wanted to try this Spice Cake at some point this fall, and one day when I was out walking, I found some leaves that had already fallen off the tree and had a sudden revelation. Why couldn’t I use them as a stencil for the top of the cake? What could I sprinkle on top to make the leaf shape stand out? Cocoa? Nope – I don’t think that would show up very well and I’m not sure how chocolate would go with the spicy cake. I know – powdered sugar! It showed up very well on the cake and I think it turned out pretty cute.

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This is a very delicious cake!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Spice Cake

Mix in order given:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour milk (1-2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice in a cup of milk)

1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in the sour milk (careful – this makes it foam up a bit)

1 cup of dates, chopped

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

Add:

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (of course there is not time or temp again here).

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Before and after baking – it puffs up a bit but drops back down after a few minutes.

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I pressed the leaves flat before using them on the cake. It helps make for a nice, crisp leaf design. No – I didn’t wash them or anything. They barely touch the top of the cake and you take them right off of it after you’re done using the powdered sugar. I invoked the 5 second rule for this one!

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I just think this turned out so cute – it’s a shame to cut it! Maybe I should have incorporated the crack in the top of the cake into the design – maybe a stem or something? Naw. It’s perfect just the way it is!

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This is another very quick and easy cake that’s great for afternoon coffee or after coming in from an afternoon of leaf raking or leaf peeping. Go ahead and make this delicious and beautiful cake – you’ve probably earned it! If you haven’t earned it, just do it because it’s Saturday.

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Bundt Cake

I can’t believe it’s October. That means it’s time for colored leaves, apples, wool scarves, and pumpkins. Speaking of colored leaves, this is a photo of the colored leaves of New Hampshire from last October. My husband and I were on the way home from our trip to Massachusetts. I actually stuck the camera out of the sunroof of the car with occasional warm ups back inside. It was a cool, wet day in the mountains. We had the heat cranked in the car until my husband finally said, “how about enjoying the color without looking through the lens?” It was – and I don’t use this word lightly – AMAZING!!! The leaves were so colorful, they looked photo-shopped! I swear – I haven’t touched this photo! I know! It was unbelievable!!

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If seeing the fall color in New England isn’t on your Bucket List, it should be. I highly recommend it!

Cooked or carved, pumpkins ARE October. The recipe for today comes from my mom. She can’t remember where she got it, but man, I’m glad she got it. It’s a good one. Oh my gosh – the smell of this cake baking in the oven – heaven! It made the perfect fall scent that totally filled the house – a great air-freshener. This Pumpkin Bundt Cake is ideal for this time of year and all of the special occasions coming up from September through November. It’s very moist, is absolutely delicious, and smells so spicy and pumpkin-y and butterscotch-y.

pumpkin bundt cake

This is a very tasty cake.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Combine:

1 package (18 1/2 oz) yellow cake mix

1 package (3.4 oz) Instant butterscotch pudding

4 eggs

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup oil (I used canola)

1 cup canned pumpkin

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Beat on low speed for 30 seconds.

Beat on medium speed for 4 minutes.

Pour into greased and floured bundt pan (I used butter and sugar instead of flour).

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

Cool in pan 15 minutes.

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I used butter to grease the pan and dusted it with sugar instead of flour.

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Bundt pans are just the best! They’re festive and pretty and so great for baking. Plus they’re made in Minnesota! Check out Nordic Ware here.

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The cake came out perfectly with a nice light sugary crust on the outside from dusting it with the sugar!

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This is a perfect fall cake, especially with a bit of whipped cream. It would also be great with a drizzle of icing. Bake a couple of these and put one in the freezer for last-minute guests. Better yet, bake it when your guests come and take advantage of the built-in air-freshener! They may never leave.

 

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Chocolate Cake (Cupcakes) with Fluffly White Frosting

This recipe says Chocolate Cake, but I decided to make cupcakes with it. I also found a card that has Fluffy White Frosting on it. Let’s put the two together and call them Chocolate Cake (Cupcakes) with Fluffy White Frosting. The writing looks old, but I don’t know if this recipe for Chocolate Cake came from one of Grandma’s sisters or from her mother. I love how it says “never a failure” and “has been tested” at the bottom of the card! So funny – and “oh, the vanilla”! It’s almost like whomever was writing out the recipe was just talking to Grandma. I have to say, about the Fluffy White Frosting, that this was a staple during my childhood. My mom almost always made my birthday cake and put this frosting on it! This recipe is a particularly easy one.

Chocolate Cake #2

Fluffy White Frosting

Is there really anything better than chocolate cake and fluffy white frosting! That just screams “party”, birthday or otherwise!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Chocolate Cake

1 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda in hot water (it doesn’t say how much water, of course, so I used 1/4 cup)

2 squares chocolate (I used unsweetened), melted but not hot

Dump all together and beat for about 7 minutes.

Oh – the vanilla (I used 1 teaspoon)! Ha!

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (for cupcakes). I would say about 30-35 minutes for a cake. There isn’t a time or temp on this one again! Ugh! We’re just supposed to know these things!

Fluffy White Frosting

1 egg white

3/4 cup sugar

salt

3 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon syrup (I assumed they meant white corn syrup here, so that’s what I used)

Beat at 7 or 8 speed on mixer for 1 minute.

Then over boiling water, beat 4 minutes more.

Add vanilla (I used 1 teaspoon) and beat 1 more minute.

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This recipe makes a nice, thick batter.

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I love that the cupcakes came out of the oven so pretty and perfectly rounded on top! I think next time I would cut back a couple of minutes on the beating time – there were some tunnels and holes in the cupcakes and maybe the newer mixers are more powerful than they used to be.

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Here is my lovely double boiler – I use a glass bowl over about an inch of boiling water in a saucepan. The mixture seemed a bit runny at first, but came together perfectly in the end.

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This frosting is so smooth and wonderfully creamy.

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Yes – chocolate cake with fluffy white frosting. One if my all-time favorites. It definitely feels like my birthday – only my birthday is in December! These were so easy to do and fast to make! Your family and friends will love them! But you don’t need to wait for a party to make these – birthday or otherwise! On second thought, make up a batch of these and go ahead and have a party. Why not?

 

 

 

 

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