Brownie Swirl Cake

brownie swirl cake 8362

I’m going to tell you all that I had high hopes for March.  I know that Spring is right around the corner and I was all excited to share some “healthy” (well, more healthy than usual) recipes with you so that you didn’t have to swear off the website while you readied yourself for Spring Break or whatever it is that you have looming around the corner that may require you to wear some less-skin-covering clothing items.

Much to absolutely no one’s surprise, that ended quickly.  I promise that I’ve been making juices and salads for you, but in between all of those green and healthful things there is cake.  So.  Much.  Cake.

Well, since March is my birthday month and I’m always in search of the perfect cake for my birthday anyway, I decided to embrace my cake madness and MAKE ALL THE CAKE!  Followed by eating all the cake, and posting all the cake.

all the cake

Last year I made pretty much the best cake ever - a three layer rich chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and finished off with a dark chocolate ganache.  It was heavenly.  It’s going to be really hard to top.

But not everyone has hours to dedicate to cake-making.

brownie cake 8354

So, what if you have a birthday say, tomorrow, and you want to do something a little more special than just a box cake mix and you don’t know what to do because you have a job and a life and not enough hours in the day?

That’s where this comes in.

You get the ease of a box mix but with super fancy sprinkles and swirls that make it look like you worked really hard.  And the weirdest part?  Somehow you use brownie mix and a cake mix and it magically turns into this fun and pretty marbled sensation.

Not too shabby, huh?

So in honor of March, I’m going to say IT’S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH AND I CAN EAT CAKE EVERY FRICKIN’ DAY IF I WANT TO AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME.  And if you feel the need to celebrate March (officially renamed “Cake Month”) with me, then more power to you!  We’ll save all that healthy stuff for next month or something (or I’m sure I can sneak a recipe or two in between the cake).

For now, I’ll take another piece of cake please.

Brownie Swirl Cake

Yield: One 9- by 13-inch cake

Ingredients

  • *1 (15.25 oz) box cake mix
  • *1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • *1 egg
  • *1/2 cup milk
  • *1 "Family Size" box Brownie mix
  • *1 recipe frosting (or just a large can of frosting, I won't tell)
  • *Sprinkles, if desired

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray or line with foil/parchment.
  2. 2. In a medium mixing bowl combine cake mix, oil, egg and milk. Beat together for about 1 minute, until ingredients are incorporated.
  3. 3. Spread batter in the bottom of the prepared pan (it will be thick). I find the easiest way to do this is to wet my hands with water and use them to press and spread the mix until it covers the bottom of the pan.
  4. 4. Make your brownie batter according to the directions on the box. Pour the brownie batter on top of the cake layer.
  5. 5. Bake approx 25-30 minutes until center is set, err on the side of slightly underbaking than overbaking. What I ended up with was delicious brownie outsides (I like the dry brownie outside) and a nice, cakey inside. Surprisingly tasty.
  6. 6. Frost and top with sprinkles, if desired.
http://wee-eats.com/2013/03/03/brownie-swirl-cake/

 

[ Adapted from Cookies N Cups ]

red velvet cookies

DSC_7660

Today’s cookies are easy cookies.

Because it’s Sunday.

And because I’m baking cookie swap cookies today.

But I can’t post those yet.

And because BF couldn’t shut up about how good these were.

So today’s cookies had to be easy enough that I could make them and not interfere with my other baking.  But still good enough that BF couldn’t keep himself out of the kitchen.

DSC_7640

Inspired by Shannon’s beautiful 1-2-3 cookies.  She was embarrassed by how easy these were, but really, when you’re making a bajillion cookies for people, sometimes you need one really easy cookie.

I know I do, at least.

To make these more festive, you could color your topping green, or put Christmas-themed sprinkles on them.  Or you could make cute little Christmas Cookie Pops (similar to Shannon’s “caramel apples”… but maybe call them “ornaments’ or “holly berries” or something Christmas-y instead).

Oh, and did I mention that we made a cream-cheese-stuffed version?  I didn’t have the patience to freeze my cream cheese so it ended up kinda weaving itself through the cookie, which was actually rather delightful.

DSC_7647

Red Velvet Cookies

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Vanilla candy coating (optional)

If you want to add cream cheese filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • tiny pinch salt (super tiny, MAYBE 1/8 teaspoon)

1.  In a large bowl mix cake mix, eggs, and vegetable oil with an electric mixer until smooth.  (It gave my mixer quite a workout).  Oh, and wear your apron unless you always wanted that shirt to have pink polka-dots anyway.

2.  Dump into dough-mound onto plastic wrap.  Wrap and chill 2 hours.

Once chilled, scoop into 1-inch balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.*

*Alternatively, you could scoop immediately and then cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes to an hour. 

3.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F degrees for 8 – 10 minutes until baked through.   Let cool on baking sheet.

4.  Drizzle with melted candy coating in a haphazard manner.  Add decorative sprinkles before the coating dries, if desired.

If you want to add the cream cheese… 

1.  Whip cream cheese, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar until blended.  Cover and freeze until firm, about two hours.

Once frozen, scoop into 1/2 teaspoon-sized balls.

When ready to form your cookies…

1.  Working in batches (so some can stay chilled in the fridge), flatten one of your cookie-dough balls until it is about 2-inches in diameter.

2.  Place cream cheese ball in the middle and pinch dough closed around it.  Roll until smooth and return to refrigerator for 15 minutes.

3.  Bake at 350F degrees for 11 – 13 minutes until done.

You may also like these Pumpkin Dessert Squares which cheat with yellow cake mix :)

pumpkin dessert (or breakfast) squares