Pumpkin Chocolate Cream Cake

I REALLY loved this pumpkin chocolate cream cake. The description likened it to a pumpkin-flavored Boston Cream Pie, and that is absolutely correct.

I needed a Thanksgiving recipe for my Reddit bake challenge, so pumpkin it was!

If you haven’t tried chocolate with pumpkin before, let me tell you, it rocks! They make a great pair. I went with regular cocoa for this cake, instead of my standard dark cocoa, and I’m glad I did. As much as I love all things dark, it would have overshadowed the pumpkin spice in this.

Here we have layers of chocolate sponge cake, sandwiched with pumpkin pastry cream and pumpkin whipped cream. This is yet another *texture* dessert, i.e. spongy cake combined with smooth, cold, and creamy. Don’t leave out the toasted pecans on the top for the crunch. Worth making!

Original recipe here.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake

Bake challenge last week was layers, and I’ve wanted to make this raspberry mousse cake for a long time!

The original recipe calls for white chocolate, and I discovered while making that I had none. I saw a bunch of white chocolate at our local discount grocery store weeks ago and THOUGHT I bought some. It was one of those things I probably picked one up and said to myself, ‘I should buy some of this,’ and promptly put it down for some reason. Tell me I’m not the only person who does that!

So dark chocolate it is for this bake. I really like to use up stuff I already have, and figured dark chocolate + raspberry make a good pair anyway 🙂

The layers are a fabulous vanilla cake – I would seriously use this recipe again just for the cake. Similar to sponge cake in consistency, but softer, more buttery.

Between the cake are layers of raspberry mousse plus a homemade raspberry puree. In the future I would double the puree – it would have made the raspberry flavor really pop.

BTW, if you’ve never made mousse before, it’s really easy. Think of it as a lighter, fluffier pudding. Most recipes use some sort of liquid, like a fruit puree, combined with clear, unflavored gelatin. Add that to homemade whipped cream or something similar. Chill the whole thing and it’s done!

Now that I’ve made this with dark chocolate, I’m really curious as to how it would have turned out with white chocolate instead. Probably sweeter, but I doubt I’ll bake it again just to find out – I’m 100% a dark chocolate fan!

Original recipe here.

Baking Fail – Brazilian Carrot Cupcakes

I suppose these weren’t terrible cupcakes, but none of us were really a fan. My bake challenge was a very difficult Brazil this week, hence the Brazilian carrot cupcakes.

I had high hopes for these! Original recipe stated self-rising flour, which I completely ignored. It did have baking powder in them, but not enough apparently to get a good rise. The glaze also never set up for some reason. Glaze was still tasty, BTW, just drippy!

There’s one thing I did enjoy about cupcakes – the carrots are pureed. If you aren’t an enormous carrot cake fan because of the texture, see if you can find a recipe with pureed carrots. Carrot flavor and beautiful orange color minus the shreds 😉

Maybe you’ll have better luck then myself! Original recipe here.


Mediterranean Lemon Cake

This was REALLY TASTY.  Warm, fresh out of the oven lemony goodness. I’d been snacking on some very rich brownies for the 2 days prior, so these were a welcome reprieve!

I found this recipe through a search of Mediterranean desserts for my Reddit challenge – (https://www.reddit.com/r/52weeksofbaking/). I’ve done baklava before (was okay, not fabulous) and tiramisu kept coming up, but I wanted to do that for the Italy themed bake challenge in a few weeks. This lemon cake looked unusual to me, and I LOVE me some citrus! It also has olive oil in it, which is a new baking ingredient to me.

You can’t see with the pic, but it sunk a little in the middle. I should’ve left it in there a few more minutes, but it was already a beautiful golden brown and I didn’t want to overcook it. I also added about half of 1/8 tsp of lemon oil to the batter for a more pronounced flavor. These oils ROCK for baking and I use them often (affiliate link).

This recipe makes quite a bit of lemon syrup and I definitely didn’t use it all. This is an excellent light and airy cake!

Link to recipe – http://garlicgirl.com/2013/06/15/mediterranean-lemon-cake/


Homemade Rainbow Layer Cake

This from-scratch rainbow layer cake is probably the most cheerful thing I’ve ever made. I kinda wish I had showed up at a party with my plain-looking white layer cake and sat quietly in anticipation while it was sliced open to much fanfare! Alas – my husband cut the first slice for the photo 🙁

This was a FUN bake! I don’t particularly have any love affair with vanilla things, but let’s be honest – the primary reason to bake this is how it looks 😉

That being said, this was actually pretty tasty. The icing is cream cheese buttercream, which I think really keeps it from being TOO sweet, although this still isn’t for the faint of heart. There is icing between all six layers, so plan on a mouthful of sweet stuff if you are going to invest the time to bake this.

I also don’t have 6 pans lying around my house and bought some disposable aluminum ones. Yay for not washing and drying the same 2 pans repeatedly!

BTW, you will need gel colors to get the flashy colors here, not the liquid kind. I’ve used Wilton gel colors before, but if you are tired of scooping color out of little buckets with a toothpick, try these gel colors (affiliate link) – these squeeze out of little dropper bottles instead. I LOVE these! I was able to count 3 drops per bottle to get the same intensity of color for all 6 layers.

Find out how to make this rainbow layer cake HERE!


Little Lemon Pudding Cakes

Something about winter makes me crave lemon/lime/orange stuff. Maybe my body trying to avoid scurvy during these cold and gray Pennsylvania days? I’m not entirely sure, but it will be my excuse for making these lovely little lemon pudding cakes!

You may be asking, “Wait…is this PUDDING or CAKE? Make up your mind, woman!” They are in fact both – light springy cake on top and creamy lemon pudding hiding underneath. Perfect for 35 degree weather and pretending it’s another season entirely!

You will find exactly zero lemon zest in this recipe because I truly hate zesting anything. Maybe I have the wrong tools, maybe probably I’m too lazy to scrape my knuckles against my grater for a teaspoon of fruit peel, but I’ll pass on that nonsense. I have, however, found a close second to zesting…CITRUS OILS. Think extracts but stronger and much less is needed. They give fabulous flavor without the hassle 🙂


Print Recipe
Little Lemon Pudding Cakes
Easy to bake lemon pudding cakes in individual portion sizes.
lemon pudding cakes
Course Desserts
Course Desserts
lemon pudding cakes
  1. Grease 6 ramekins and lightly dust with a bit of sugar. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Using a hand mixer, gently blend together egg yolks, milk, bottled lemon juice, and lemon flavoring oil. You want a smooth consistency.
  4. Sift your flour, sugar, and salt into the egg/milk mixture and blend the batter briefly.
  5. In another small bowl, mix your egg whites until the soft peak stage. Fold the whites into your lemon batter.
  6. Ladle your batter into your ramekins and place them into a large pan. I just used a glass 13 x 9, but you could use something smaller as long as the ramekins fit inside with room around them.
  7. Pour water into the pan around and halfway up the sides of the ramekins; you are making a water bath to gently bake your cakes.
  8. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until your cakes are lightly browned and springy to the touch. Lightly dust powdered sugar on top. Enjoy warm or room temp!
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Savory magazine, Light Lemon Pudding Cakes, January 2017 issue

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