LEMON-STRAWBERRY SORBET CAKE

This is a new take on our favorite Lemon-Raspberry Sorbet Cake. I used white chocolate rather than dark (quite good), opted for fresh berries instead of frozen, and added frozen berries between the layers. As amazing as ever! And perfect for Fourth Of July 🙂

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (I put cookies in large zip top bag, pound a bit, then “crumb” with a rolling pin)

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 pints lemon sorbet, softened

1 cup frozen mixed berries

2 pints strawberry sorbet, softened

3 cups fresh strawberries, halved

1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries

2-1 oz white chocolate baking squares (I used Baker’s brand)

1) Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter, stir well and press into bottom of 10″ springform pan; freeze 10-15 minutes until just firm

2) Spread softened lemon sorbet over crumb crust; scatter frozen berries on top and lightly press into sorbet; freeze 45 minutes

3) Spread softened strawberry sorbet over lemon sorbet; top with stripes of strawberries and blueberries

4) Melt white chocolate (1 microwave 30-45 seconds, spoon into a sandwich bag, and snip a small hole in a bottom corner of bag); squeeze melted chocolate over berries (a lattice pattern is lovely); freeze a minimum of 1 hour

5) To serve, remove pie from springform pan; allow to sit 5-10 minutes; slice and serve immediately

Servings: 8-12 (if you can contain yourself)

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 07/06/12–the one that disappeared into a black hole (which is the reason WordPress and I met up).

LEMON-COCONUT POUND CAKE

When I came across the Ritz Carlton Cooking School’s recipe for Lemon Pound Cake on Pinterest, I had to repin. After all, lemon and I go back a long ways (coconut too, as you’ll see). When it came time to fire up my KitchenAid mixer, I did so in “edit mode,” tweaking the recipe, though not to the extent I “red-ink” my novels before submitting them to my editor. Though I can’t speak for the original recipe (I’m sure it’s fabulous), the cake that resulted from my “editing” is one I intend to make again. And, no, I will not ruin the lip-smacking experience by calculating calorie and fat content. Try this!

1/8 cup powdered sugar

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

3/4 tsp sea salt

5 eggs

5 tbsp lemon juice

zest of one lemon

1-1/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup milk (I used 2%)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Using butter stick wrappers, butter inside of large Bundt pan or 2 loaf pans; sprinkle powdered sugar over surface, turning and tapping pan(s) to lightly cover surface

3) With electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy; on low speed, mix in baking powder and sea salt; adding one egg at a time, beat in eggs until combined; mix in lemon, lemon zest, and coconut

4) On low speed, beat in flour, one cup at a time, alternating with milk (don’t over mix)

5) Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; let cool in pan 30 minutes; turn out cake onto plate and let cool; serve warm or refrigerate for a deliciously chilled slice

Servings: 12

BANANA SPICE CAKE WITH LATTICE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

I shocked Junior Too by announcing my intention of making a full-sized cake (apparently, I’ve been stuck in cupcake mode), and shocked him further by handing him a blender and asking him to cream the butter and sugar while I mashed the bananas. But he was a good sport, and my family has a tasty cake to show for it. As for the lattice-style frosting, it’s my way of cutting back on frosting since my guys (not me!) prefer a thin spread. This also resulted in over half a cup of leftover frosting. Of course, less frosting equals less fat and calories. Give this one a try. It’s tasty!

Banana Spice Cake with Lattice Cream Cheese FrostingBanana Spice Cake with Lattice Cream Cheese Frosting 2

CAKE:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1-1-2 cups granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground allspice

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly butter and flour bottom and sides of two 8″ round cake pans

2) In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (sorry, but this really does take 8-10 minutes)

3) Beat in eggs, mashed bananas, vanilla, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice

4) Stir in 1 cup flour, followed by milk, followed by remaining 1 cup flour

5) Divide cake batter between two prepared cake pans and level tops with a spatula; bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (while cakes are baking, whip up frosting below)

6) Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool in pans 10-15 minutes; run a knife blade around edges of cakes and turn out cakes onto wire rack to cool completely

FROSTING:

1-8 oz pkg reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup (1/2 stick butter), room temperature

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp lemon juice

3 cups powdered sugar

1) In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth

2) Add vanilla, lemon juice, and powdered sugar and beat until smooth; refrigerate frosting until ready to use

FILLING AND TOPPING:

2 bananas, sliced 1/4″ thick

1/8 cup caramel sauce (optional)

1) Fit pastry bag with a tip of your choosing (I chose one with a rather large opening)

2) Fill pastry bag with frosting and gently squeeze to soften up

3) Place first cake layer on plate and pipe frosting in a lattice pattern, allowing frosting to extend down over sides

4) Cover frosting with sliced bananas (reserve a dozen or so pieces to decorate top layer)

5) Place second cake layer on top of first and pipe frosting in a lattice pattern

6) In center of top layer, arrange remaining slices of banana and drizzle caramel sauce over them

7) Refrigerate cake at least one hour before serving

Servings: Well…depends on will power, but probably 12

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/14/12

LEMON-RASPBERRY SORBET CUPCAKES

When I posted a recipe for Lemon-Berry Sorbet Cake a while back, it struck me it would be fabulous in cupcake form. so, here’s to revisiting our family’s favorite dessert. Portions and preparation times have been altered to make 12 cupcakes. Note: You can use silicone cupcake liners for a somewhat taller cupcake and easy removal, or bypass liners altogether and make directly in cupcake pan for an even prettier presentation.

Lemon-Raspberry Sorbet Cakes 2Lemon-Raspberry Sorbet Cakes 320 gingersnap cookies, crumbled (put cookies in large zip top bag, pound a bit, and “crumb” with rolling pin)

2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 pint raspberry sorbet

1 pint lemon sorbet

2 cups frozen raspberries (or mixed berries)

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate mini-morsels

mint sprigs, optional (but do consider, ’cause that bit of green is oh-so-pretty!)

1) Remove raspberry sorbet from freezer and set out to thaw while you: combine cookie crumbs and melted butter, stir well, and press into bottoms of a dozen cupcake liners; freeze 10 minutes

2) Remove lemon sorbet from freezer and set out to thaw while you: spread softened raspberry sorbet over cookie crumb crusts; freeze 15 minutes

3) Spread softened lemon sorbet over raspberry sorbet; freeze 5-10 minutes until slightly firm, then gently press frozen raspberries into lemon sorbet

4) Melt chocolate morsels (I microwave 20-30 seconds, spoon into a sandwich bag, and snip a small hole in bottom corner of bag); squeeze melted chocolate over berries (a lattice pattern is lovely); freeze a minimum of one hour

5) To serve, place a sprig of mint atop each cupcake; if you used silicone liners, simply pop out of pan and have at it; if you didn’t use a liner, run a warm knife around sorbet cupcake and gently lift out, careful to keep gingersnap crust intact; place on plate and enjoy immediately

Servings: 12

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/19/12

BUTTERMILK HUMMINGBIRD CAKE

The picture does not do the taste of this cake justice. It’s pretty, but it could have been beautiful if my guys hadn’t protested the addition of frosting. They said it was the banana and pineapple they wanted to taste. Obviously, they don’t have my sweet tooth. Poor things 🙂

Buttermilk Hummingbird Cake

3/4 cups canola oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup granulated white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 cups mashed ripe bananas

1-8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil and flour a Bundt cake pan

2) To large mixing bowl, add oil, buttermilk, and both sugars; beat on medium 3 minutes; add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and beat 2 minutes

3) Add bananas and pineapple and beat on low 2 minutes until well combined; gradually add flour and beat until just combined; stir in pecans

4) Pour batter into Bundt cake pan and bake in oven about an hour until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; remove from oven and let cool at least 15 minutes (warm is delicious–and lightly buttered since frosting was a no-no); enjoy!

Servings: 12

BANANA CINNAMON-CARAMEL CHEESECAKE IN GINGERSNAP CRUST

I adore a good cheesecake though it’s something I have yet to master. I’m close, though. Very close. Well, actually, this cheesecake begs to differ. However, one lovely success does not a master make. For now, I’ll just have to be content with this beauty. And I am 🙂

CRUST:

2-1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs (about 40 cookies)

1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

CARAMEL SAUCE:

5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp water

CHEESECAKE:

2-8 oz bars cream cheese, room temperature

4 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 ripe medium-sized bananas, mashed

2 tbsp lemon juice

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) In medium bowl, mix gingersnap crumbs with butter until well combined; press buttered crumbs into bottom of springform cake pan and about 1″ up the sides; bake in oven 7-8 minutes; remove from oven (don’t turn it off) and set aside

3) Meanwhile, to small saucepan over medium heat, add: butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and water; stirring continuously, bring to a light boil and cook 1-2 minutes; remove from heat and let cool on counter (refrigerate once it cools)

4) To large, microwave-safe glass bowl, add cream cheese; microwave 1 minute until cream cheese is soft but not hot; on medium speed, beat eggs into cream cheese until combined; beat in sugar, mashed bananas, and lemon juice until mixture is smooth

5) Pour mixture over gingersnap-graham cracker crust; place springform pan on cookie sheet and bake in oven 50 minutes until cheesecake sets; remove from oven and let cool 1 hour on counter; place in refrigerator a minimum of 3 hours before serving

6) To serve: run a knife between sides of pan and cheesecake, release springform latch, and remove outer ring; give the cinnamon-caramel sauce a good stir to loosen it up and drizzle half over cheesecake, cut into 12 pieces; serve with remaining sauce

Servings: 12, though cheesecake and banana lovers might prefer an 8-serving portion