Search Results for: Cream Cheese

Easter Bunny Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Easter Bunny Cake

I haven‘t been this excited about Easter for nearly 20 years.  It’s the first year we’re in our new house, the first time we’re having friends and family over for Easter dinner, and most importantly, the first year my little boy will really understand what the Easter Bunny is!

I’ve gone a bit overboard with the Easter goodies this year.  I’m pretty sure I’ve got enough chocolate foil eggs to stock a Tesco Express.  When I came home last weekend with yet more Easter stuff, my husband remarked “I’ve never seen anyone with so much Easter stuff before”. I’ve got Easter baskets, Easter bubbles, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, bunny ears, bunny bubbles, chirping chicks, and tissue grass.  You name it, I’ve got it

The only thing missing was an Easter cake.  I needed something for dessert to serve our guests, and I had settled on making a strawberry pie but I knew my husband would never forgive me if I didn’t have a second option. He hates fruit. Seriously – who hates fruit?!? I wasn’t quite sure what to make, but after careful consideration I settled on the most appropriate cake choice I could – The Easter Bunny!  

Easter Bunny Cake

This was the first carved cake I’ve made, so I also had to decide on new cake recipe that was moist and flavourful, but still dense enough to carve easily. A regular sponge cake like a Victoria Sponge is too light and fluffy to carve, and would likely crumble if you tried.  I needed something with a nice tight crumb structure, so after much deliberation I settled on a cream cheese pound cake recipe (similar to a UK Madeira cake) from Southern Living Magazine.  It was perfect.  The recipe made just the right amount for my Easter Bunny cake (three 6 inch shallow rounds, and one extra deep 5 inch round, plus  a 6 inch square pan for my husband to pick at).  The pound cake carved like a dream, and allowed for me to shave off the thinnest of pieces until I got the exact shape I was looking for.

I’m not going to lie, the whole process for making this cake took ages – it took me about 3 days from start to finish (I’m obviously not a professional cake decorator lol!)  On the first day I made the icing (Malibu lemon), and baked the cakes before popping them in the fridge to firm up before carving.  On the second day I filled the cakes with the icing and some lemon curd in between each layer, and then carved the cakes until I was happy with the shape. I covered the iced cake in fondant, made all of the little flowers and Easter eggs, and then made my bunny’s ears. After all, no Easter Bunny is complete without a set of big white and pink bunny ears! On the third day I finished off the cake by making an adorable little fondant chick – complete with floral Easter bonnet, a fondant carrot, I pipped the grass onto the base, and attached the bunny’s nose, eyes, ears and fluffy tail.

Fondant Easter Chick
Easter Bunny Cake

This cake really was a labor of love.  It was a great excuse for me to bake a cake and try out loads of new techniques.  I’m most pleased with my adorable little Easter chick!  I didn’t actually stick her down to the fondant cake board, so I’ll be placing her in my china cabinet once we finish eating the bunny cake.  

Easter Bunny Cake
Easter Bunny Cake

Traditionally pound cake is either baked in a bundt or loaf pan, and served on it’s own or with a side of berries and whipped cream.  It’s a wonderfully dense and flavourful cake that goes  perfectly with a cup of tea.  I just know you’re going to love this cake as much as I did, whether you bake it in a regular cake tin, or carve it into something spectacular.

Easter Bunny Cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Originally from Southern Living Magazine, 2001

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups (340g) Butter, softened at room temp
1 (8-ounce) Package (225g) Cream Cheese, softened at room temp 
3 Cups (675g) Sugar
6 Large Eggs
3 Cups (375) Plain Flour
1/8 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 300ºF (150ºC). In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt together and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl beat the butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, and beat well (about 4 mins) but make sure not to over beat.

3.  Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until combined before adding the next egg.

4.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until just blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

5.  Pour the batter into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan, or parchment lined cake tins (if using).  Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, and then remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.

The cake went down a treat with everyone, and even though it was a bit of a shame to cut my little bunny’s bum off, I loved how easy it was to slice, and that I could see each delicious layer!

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

For more Easter treats to bake, check out my colourful Mini Easter Egg Cakes baked inside of real eggs!

Oreo Cream Cheese Layer Dessert


I don’t know about you, but Saturday’s are usually my baking days.  Does anyone else have a usual day they dedicate to baking or is it just me?  I usually bake my husband and I something nice for dessert, but this past Saturday he decided to bake himself a huge rack of ribs.  A rack of ribs that required over 2 hours of slow cooking in the oven resulting in moist fall off the bone meat.  But those ribs meant my oven was spoken for, and there wasn’t enough time to bake the layer cake I’d planned on making that night.  

So that meant no layer cake for dessert, and no layer cake to share with you.  But – I do have something else to share!  And it requires no baking at all.  None!

This creamy delight features layers of crumbled Oreo’s, cream cheese, chocolate pudding and whipped cream.  Now tell me that doesn’t sound good.  I knew as soon as I found this recipe by House 344 on Pinterest that I had to make it.  


The original recipe calls for this Oreo layer dessert to be made in a 13″x9″ glass pan, but I choose to use a smaller pan and then a few small parfait glasses as well.  I’d also planned on taking some photos of the dessert with my camera on the Sunday morning, only to discover that I’d left it at my cousin’s house when we were there earlier.  So I’m afraid I had to rely on my trusty iPhone to do the job.  


Oreo Layer Dessert 

Ingredients:

3 package rolls of Oreos ( or 1 regular American package)
75g (1/3 Cup) Butter 
1 Box of Instant Chocolate Pudding (Found here in the UK)
600ml Double Cream, divided (or 2 – 8 oz Tubs of Cool Whip)
230g (8 oz) Cream Cheese, softened 
125g + 25g (1 Cup + 2Tbsp) Powdered Sugar  


Instructions:

1.  Crush the Oreo’s with a food processor, or in a bag with a rolling pin.  Save 1/2 a cup to sprinkle on top of the dessert when it’s done.  Pour remaining crumbs in a 13″ x 9″ pan.  Melt the butter and pour into the crumb mixture.  Stir the butter and Oreo crumbs until well mixed, and press crumbs in bottom of pan to make a crust.  

2.  Make the chocolate pudding according to package directions and let it set in the fridge.  

3.  In a mixing bowl blend cream cheese until nice and smooth and then mix in 125g of the powdered sugar.  In a separate bowl whip 300ml of the double cream (if using).  Fold the whipped double cream, or one of the 8 oz tubs of cool whip into the cream cheese mixture.  

4.  Spread the whipped cream / cream cheese mixture in an even layer over the top of the Oreo crust.  Next spread the pudding in an even layer over top of the cream cheese layer. 

5.  Whip the remaining 300ml of Double Cream (if using) together with 25g of icing sugar.  Spread the sweetened whipped cream, or your second 8 oz tub of cool whip on top of the chocolate pudding layer, and then sprinkle with the remaining Oreo’s. Cover and refridgerate until ready to serve.  

I’d suggest refrigerating the Oreo layer dessert for at least 4 hours prior to serving.  My husband and I couldn’t wait that long before we tried the one I made, and it was a bit hard to slice and was quite crumbly.  We had some more the next day and I could actually cut the dessert into slices and lift them out with a spatula.

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Crackle Cake (or Pie?)


Do you like cake?  Do you like pie?  I like both, and if you do too then you’ll like this cake (or pie – or whatever you want to call it).  I’ve had the idea for this cake (I’m calling it a cake) for a few months now, but only just got around to making it last week.  It turned out slightly different than I had imagined it would, and in the end the line between cake and pie was slightly blurred.  It’s tall like a cake, but has a crust like a pie, and is super ooey gooey inside!


I’ve been on a bit of a caramel apple kick lately which is kinda weird because I usually only think about caramel apple combinations in the fall, and it’s practically Easter! 

I whipped up my latest creation imagining the end result as something slightly different than what it actually turned out to be like, but needless to say I was pretty pleased with the results.  

My cake has a solid crunchy cookie type crust on the bottom and has a layer of cinnamon apples and then a creamy gooey dulce de leche caramel filling. Yum!  But beware!  This cake is sweet.  It’s super duper sweet, so don’t cut your slices too big. 


Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Crackle Cake


Cookie Crust

2 Cups (250g) Flour 
1 1/2 (335g) Cups Sugar 
2 tsp Baking Powder 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp salt 
1 egg 
1/2 Cup (114g) Butter, melted 
2 Tbs Milk  

1.  Grease a 9 inch round Spring Form pan.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  Next, add in the egg, melted butter, and milk. Using a spoon or an electric fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the ingredients together until it forms a dough.  

2.  Press the dough evenly in the bottom of the Spring Form pan, and set aside.  



Apple Layer 

4 Cups Apples, sliced
1 Cup (225g) sugar 
7oz (200ml) Water 
3 – 4 Tbsp Corn Startch 
1 tsp Cinnamon 
1/4 tsp Nutmeg 
1/4 tsp Salt  

1.  Combine the water sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a large heavy pot, and and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly – the sauce should become slightly thickened.  Add in the apples, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Cool and set aside.   



Dulce de Leche Caramel Layer 

8 oz (225g) Cream Cheese, softened 
1 cup (250ml) Dulce de Leche 
3 Eggs 
1/2 Cup (114g) Butter, melted 
3.5 Cups (450g) Icing Sugar  

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC).  In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and Dulce de Leche together until smooth.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together.   

2.  To assemble the cake, layer the apples on top of the cookie base so that it’s completely covered.  

3.  Gently spoon the dulce de leche mixture over the top of the apples until you’ve used all of the mixture.  *If you pour the mixture directly from the bowl onto the apples the pressure of the mixture may shift your apples all over the place so they’re no longer evenly covering the crust.  Bake the cake uncovered for about 45 mins, or until it starts to brown, then cover with foil and bake for an additional 30 – 45 minutes or until the center is slightly giggly, but not runny.  Once done, cool in the fridge overnight before serving.


So what do you think? Is this a cake?  Or a pie?

Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheese Bars

So yesterday I wrote about my sightseeing trip to Washington DC where I visited Julia Child’s kitchen and tasted some of DC’s “best” cupcakes.  But you want to know what else I was really excited to see?  I’m warning you now, this is gonna sound really lame!……. Target!  Yes, that’s right – Target the discount store!  The highlight of any trip I make to the US is going to Target.  Told you it was lame!  I try and visit a Target at least once or twice every time I go the the States.  Why?  It’s simple – because of the selection & variety!  Growing up in North America I got used to the selection we had over there, but when I moved to the UK I suddenly realized how spoiled I was back home.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I’ve mentioned this once or twice before.

In the US the baking aisles seem to go on for miles, while the baking aisle here in the UK is only about a meter or two (3 – 6 feet) wide.  While the US has literally over 20 different flavours of cake mix – not to mention dozens of different brands and variations of each flavour, the UK has about 3 different main stream brands of cake mix in pretty basic flavours – chocolate, vanilla & spice.  Even though we’ve got Betty Crocker here, they only make chocolate, chocolate vanilla swirl & spice cake mixes.  Not even a plain vanilla!  To be honest, as much as I hate the lack of selection here, I think it’s probably one of the main reasons I try so many different recipes.  I’m always trying to re-create something I’ve had back home, or something that I can’t make here because one of the typical ingredients isn’t available.  I’m not sure that would be the case if I still lived back in Canada.

Just because I’m a geek, I took few pictures of one side of the baking aisle in an American Target store with my iPhone.

See – told you it was long!

Oh the variety! 


When I go to Target I usually stock up on a few cake mixes, a selection of different chocolate chips, and seasonal candy – all of which of pretty are hard to find here (from a variety point of view).

Chocolate Chips

Among the things I picked up this trip were Easter coloured peanut butter M&M’s, almond M&M’s, regular Easter coloured M&M’s, pretzel M&M’s & Coconut M&M’s (which are absolutely amazing btw!) I also picked up one of my favorite candy’s – the Coconut Cream Hershey Kiss!  Hershey Kisses are pretty frowned upon here in the UK – most people here would describe them of tasting like stinky feet.  I’m impartial to the flavour of the original ones, but the coconut cream ones – oh boy!  They are delicious!  

So when I got home from holiday and started going through my emails, one immediately jumped out at me.  A recipe from Martha Stewart for her Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheese Bars.  I mean – seriously!  Is there any better combination? I had to make them!  They’re just like the coconut cream hershey kiss, only in bar form!


The base of these bars is very similar to the base of a Nanaimo bar, while the top has a nice cheesecakey taste.  Overall I’d say this is a pretty solid recipe, but I’ve added a few comments of my own in grey. *Just a note – these bars do take a while to make, and require refrigeration overnight, but they’re well worth it!

Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from Martha Stewart



Ingredients:

2 Cups (205g) Graham Crackers, finely ground (from 15 rectangles)
3 Cups (10oz/ 410g) shredded / desiccated Coconut
5oz (140g) Semisweet Chocolate, finely chopped
2oz (57g) Milk Chocolate, finely chopped
1 Cup + 3 Tbsp (260g) Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup (114g) Butter, plus more for pan
3 Eggs, plus 5 Egg Yolks
12oz (340g) Cream Cheese, room temperature
Coconut Cream Hershey Kisses (optional)

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF (189ºC). Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides, and grease the parchment.

2.  Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and 2 cups of coconut.

3.  Place the chocolate and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a heatproof bowl, and set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, and stir until melted.  Add the butter, and stir until melted and smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat, and let it cool slightly. Whisk in 1 egg.

4.  Stir the chocolate mixture into the coconut mixture.  Press it evenly into your prepared pan. Bake until set – approx 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack, and let cool in pan. *I don’t really think it’s necessary to pre-bake the base considering it will be baked again.  I baked mine for the recommended 10 mins, but I thought the base was a tad overcooked once they were baked again.  If you’re going to bake it, I’d recommend only doing so for 5 minutes.

5.  Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and the remaining cup of sugar on high speed until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, and add egg yolks and remaining 2 eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined. Scrape the sides of bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until completely smooth, about 3 minutes.

6.  Pour the mixture over the cooled crust, and sprinkle the remaining cup of coconut evenly over the top.

7.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until top layer is just set and coconut is golden brown. Let the bars cool in the pan on a wire rack for about an hour, and then evenly place unwrapped Coconut Kisses across the top. (Try 1 Kiss first and wait about 5 minutes to make sure it’s not melting too much.  If it is, then wait another 10 – 20 minutes until the cheesecake cools a bit more before trying again). Refrigerate, overnight.


8.  Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan, and use the parchment to lift out cheesecake. Cut the cheesecake into squares, wiping knife clean between cuts. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Coconut and chocolate is such a wonderful combination, and I was so excited to see the recipe for these bars come through to my in-box.  Although they are a bit time consuming (if you pre-cook the base & let it cool), they’re definitely worth the time.  I brought these into the office and they received rave reviews.  Absolutely delicious!

Red Velvet Cake Batter Ice Cream


So tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day, but unless you’ve been living under a rock I’m sure you already knew that.  But maybe you forgot – so let this be a subtle reminder.  

Have you sorted out what your doing tomorrow?  Flowers, chocolates, a romantic dinner?  I’m afraid I can’t help you with any of those, but I can help you make a really delicious dessert!  Remember that birthday cake batter ice cream I made last month?  Well I’ve updated the recipe for Valentines Day and I’m sharing it with you.  So before you read any further, I suggest you go get your ice cream maker out of storage and get it chilling in the freezer!

When you think of a Valentine’s Day dessert, what automatically comes to mind?  I’m just going to assume you said Red Velvet, cuz that’s what I’d think of too.  These days it seems like everyone is doing red velvet “something.”  I’ve seen red velvet pancakes, red velvet martinis, red velvet crepes, red velvet fudge, and red velvet brownies.  You name it, I’ve seen it.  Heck, I’ve even got an entire board dedicated to the Red Velvet creations I’ve come across on Pinterest (check it out, and feel free to follow me!)  I’ve come across one or two red velvet ice cream recipes as well, but nothing at all like this one! 


Unlike the other red velvet ice cream recipes I’ve seen, my version incorporates red velvet cake mix which gives it’s rich red velvet colour and taste, but it’s also got big chunks of red velvet cake AND swirls of cream cheese icing inside.  But wait!  There’s more!  I’ve also topped it off with even more gooey cream cheese icing. Oh, and some cute little heart sprinkles just as an added reminder that it’s Valentine’s Day.  

So do you want to know how to make my Red Velvet Cake Batter Ice Cream?  Well, most importantly you’ll need a box of Red Velvet Cake Mix (UK residents, you can order the Red Velvet Cake Mix herehere, or here.)  You’ll also need a few other things, so check out the recipe below.


Red Velvet Cake Batter Ice Cream
Serves 2 – feel free to double the recipe, but my ice cream maker only holds a small amount. 

Ingredients: 

1/2 Cup (125ml) Whole Milk 
1/4 Cup (113g) White Sugar 
1 Egg Yolk 
1 tsp Vanilla 
1 Cup (250ml) Double Cream or Whipping Cream 
1/2 Cup Red Velvet Cake Mix, sifted 

1 Cup Cubed Frozen Red Velvet Cake**
Cream Cheese Icing, divided (recipe below)
Sprinkles to garnish

Cream Cheese Icing:

4.5oz (125g) Cream Cheese
1 Cup (130g) Icing Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla


Instructions:  

1.  First you’ll need to make your cream cheese icing which will be used as the swirl inside the ice cream, as well as the topping. Combine the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla in a medium sized bowl until smooth.  The icing should be slightly runny, but not watery.  Set aside, until it’s ready to be used in step 4.

2.  To make the ice cream mixture, pour the cream and vanilla into a medium sized bowl (one that has a lid), sift in the cake mix and whisk until well combined, set aside.  In a small saucepan whisk the milk, sugar, and egg yolk together until well blended. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat until stirring constantly until it reaches 160ºF (70ºC).  

3.  Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into the cream and cake mix mixture. Whisk together until well combined.  Put the lid on the bowl, and place in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours until the liquid is cold.  

4. Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions until it reaches “soft-serve” consistency. Gently stir in the frozen red velvet cake chunks.  Pour 1/2 of the of the ice cream mixture into a plastic container (one that has a lid), and then swirl a few spoons of the cream cheese icing into the mixture.  Pour the other half of the ice cream mixture on top, and then swirl in a few more spoonfuls of the cream cheese icing.  Place the ice cream in the freezer for several hours or overnight until it has firmed up a bit.

5.  When you’re ready to serve the ice cream, put a few scoops in a bowl, and top it off with a few more spoonfuls of the cream cheese icing and some sprinkles.  Enjoy!

** I found it was easiest to divide my red velvet cake mix into three equal parts.  Since the cake mix calls for 3 eggs, it’s easy to divide the extra required ingredients (oil & water) into three so you can just bake 1/3 of the cake.  I baked my cake in a 8 inch round pan, and froze the round once it was baked.  Then once the cake is frozen, it’s really very easy to cut into cubes and then refrozen until you need it for your ice cream.


Oops!  After taking the time to photograph my ice cream it got a little melty!