wee hacks her wedding cake – white cake with berries and whipped cream frosting

wed cake 2 1117It’s official! Mr. Eats and I have officially survived our first year of marriage and, as far as I can tell, neither of us has murdered the other yet! Go us! In fact, I could even say that I like him more now than ever, but don’t tell him that. I don’t want him to get a big ego.


They say that the tradition for your first year anniversary is “Paper.” I did try to think of something cool and romantic that was made of paper, but most of the stuff on the internet was like “Pay $50 for something you can draw with a marker!” so then I saw that the modern equivalent is “Clocks” How they went from paper to clocks, I have no idea. I found a really cool clock online, but apparently it doesn’t exist yet so I could hardly buy him that. So then my brain went where it usually goes after I spend too much time thinking about something… to cake!

On account of the special occasion, I decided that I would try to re-create our wedding cake. We were married in sunny San Diego and picked up a regular 10-inch “Frasier” cake from one of their local bakeries. Their cake has layers of pillowy white cake, bathed in kirsch and filled with layers of raspberry buttercream, whipped cream, and berries. Then topped with more whipped cream and fresh berries and a coating of shaved white chocolate. It’s truly a beautiful cake.

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As you can see my cake is not nearly as ornate as theirs… I’m not that skilled with frosting, in fact I am remarkably UN-skilled in the area of cake-frosting. Once I completed frosting the cake with whipped cream I debated whether the bakery may actually cheat and have a layer of whipped buttercream on the outside… but by then it was too late. And I couldn’t drive back to San Diego to find out, so I just ran with it.

The result was actually very tasty (though notably less pretty). I think I may need to invest in one of those spinny thingies to make cake-frosting much easier. If I’m going to keep at this whole “cake-making” thing I should probably also get one of these guys too, as my layers were, uh, less than even. That would be the kind way to say it.

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But, as luck would have it, You can cover up a lot of those mistakes with frosting (or whipped cream, in my case). Is your cake too thin on one side? Just add some extra frosting between those layers to even it out. Nobody will be any the wiser. Also, and this is very important, if you ensure that you position your cake just-so while photographing, nobody will ever know that it slopes slightly upward to one side. Suckers!

For the cake, I used the Whiteout Cake from the Baked cookbook. For the frosting I used a raspberry buttercream and a whipped cream. Then I filled the cake with chopped strawberries and raspberries. I did not use kirsch when making this because I didn’t have any. I was going to substitute some chambord liquer but then I forgot, which happens sometimes when it’s 9:00 pm and you’re still assembling your cake. It’s ok. Next time I will plan ahead and order some online.frasier cake 1129

This is another long recipe, but like everything else I do it can be broken up into separate parts. You could make the cake as far in advance as you like, just slice, soak with kirsch, wrap, and freeze until needed. You can make the whipped cream an hour or a day ahead of time, depending on how you feel. Chop up the berries a day ahead too, if you feel so inclined. Save making the raspberry buttercream until just before you need it, though.

Oh, and those cake toppers? They’re still married and living the dream, too.

cake toppers

wee hacks her wedding cake


    For the Cake Layers:
  • 2½ cups of cake flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1½ cups ice cold water
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • For the whipped cream frosting
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the raspberry buttercream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup raspberry puree (from about 1 pint of raspberries)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • For assembly
  • Kirsch* (optional - can substitute anything from another liquer to apple juice or simple syrup)
  • About 1 cup of chopped fresh berries (I used strawberries and raspberries)
  • 8 whole berries (raspberry or strawberry)


  1. Make the Cake
  2. Preheat the over the 325 degrees F and prepare three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment and butter. Dust with flour, knocking out the excess flour. (or use "Pam for Baking" spray with flour in it)
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Reduce speed to low and add the sugar and vanilla, increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.
  6. Scrape down the bowl, add the whole egg, beating until just combined.
  7. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three separate additions, (1/3 flour- 1/2 water-1/3 flour-1/2 water-1/3 flour). Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds to ensure everything is combined.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
  9. Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter. Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the batter, being careful not to overmix.
  10. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes** SEE NOTES **, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  11. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely.
  12. Make the whipped cream (Can be made ahead of time)
  13. Place bowl and whisk in refrigerator to cool.
  14. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of whipping cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and heat over medium heat stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and almost reaches a boil.
  15. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl; set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (I put mine in the fridge and stirred it every five minutes or so for about 20 minutes. I am bad at planning ahead.)
  16. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining heavy cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken and the beaters leave a trail in the cream. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
  17. Slowly add the powdered-sugar/cream mixture and beat again until incorporated.
  18. Taste and adjust as needed, adding up to an additional 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until the frosting is as sweet as you want it.
  19. Make the raspberry buttercream
  20. Puree the raspberries and push the juice and pulp through a sieve into a small bowl; set aside.
  21. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine butter and salt and beat at medium speed until pale and creamy.
  22. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until the mixture almost doubles in size and is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  23. Turn mixer to low and stream in 1/4 cup of the raspberry puree. Return mixer to medium speed and beat just a few moments longer to fully incorporate the raspberry puree.
  24. Assemble the cake.
  25. Before assembling the cake ensure your cake layers are completely cooled. I made mine into a 3-layer cake, which means I had an extra whole 8-inch cake and an extra cake layer from the cakes I baked. My extra cake parts were wrapped in saran and foil and placed into the freezer for a future cake.
  26. Wash and roughly chop the berries that you have chosen to fill your cake with, set aside.
  27. Your raspberry buttercream should be freshly made and your whipped cream frosting should be cool.
  28. Place the first cake layer cut-side up and brush with kirsch (if using). Spread 1/3 of the raspberry buttercream over the top of the layer and place in the refrigerator to firm up the buttercream.
  29. Repeat this with the additional 2 layers. Use the bottom of one of your cakes for the top layer of the tiered cake, frosting the un-cut side to ensure you have a nice flat top for your cake.
  30. After about 10 or 15 minutes, remove the cake layers from the refrigerator.
  31. Place the bottom layer of your cake on your serving platter with the buttercream side up. Top with a generous helping of whipped cream, spreading to the edges. Sprinkle with half of your chopped fruit and top with second layer of cake. Repeat the steps with the second layer of cake.
  32. Top with the last layer of cake and spread with whipped cream frosting. Spread the frosting over the sides of the cake as well for full coverage. Top with whole berries and set in refrigerator to firm up and let flavors mingle.


* My cakes took closer to 30-35 minutes to bake completely.

*I only own 2 8-inch rounds (and only need two for the cake) so I poured the remaining batter into a 9-inch round cake pan and baked it once the 8-inch cakes finished baking. You could also make the remaining batter into cupcakes or anything else your heart desires.

*I made mine into a 3-layer cake, which means I had an extra whole 8-inch cake and an extra cake layer from the cakes I baked. So I could have doubled my filling ingredients and made two 3-tier 8-inch cakes, added an extra tier to my current cake, or any number of things. My extra cake parts were wrapped in saran and foil and placed into the freezer for a future cake.

*I did not use kirsch when making this because I didn't have any. I was going to substitute some chambord liquer but then I forgot.

*If your frosting skills are about as good as mine, feel free to throw some shaved white chocolate or sprinkled onto the side of your cake to hide your awesome, uh, skills...


[Cake recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking]

[Whipped cream recipe adapted from Food52]

grilled pineapple upside down cake


Remember that mochi cake I made last week? Well, the reasons for making it were two-fold. First, I had been eyeballing that recipe ever since I got that book and, second, I’ve been planning to make this grilled pineapple upside down cake concoction for months now, and I required a cake or pound-cake-like substance to do it.

“Why on earth would someone grill pineapple upside down cake?” you ask? Well, why not? It’s summer and people are grilling things and grilling things is fun. The grill imparts a great toasty char and slightly smoky flavor to the cake and caramelizes the pineapple’s sugar, which take the cake up a notch and really just sings “summer”. Add to that a drizzle of homemade brown sugar sauce to take the place of the brown sugar glaze usually baked into the cake. Additionally, I replaced the bright maraschino cherries that are usually dotting the top of a pineapple upside down cake with a fresh cherry sauce, then finished it all off with some Talenti vanilla gelato. Any vanilla ice cream will do, I just happen to be a fan of Talenti.

I made this two ways, one as a “deconstructed cake” – layering the cake, pineapple, and sauces, with a scoop of ice cream on the side. Second, I made it as a parfait, just layering the components in a straight-sided glass. Neither was particularly photogenic. In fact, I could argue that they were both extremely UN-photogenic.

Apparently my 80-degree kithcen is not ice-cream friendly, which turned my parfait into soup in about three seconds flat. I remedied this by stashing my pineapple upside down parfait soup in the freezer to re-solidify and enjoyed it later. Despite not being much to look at, both were super delicious and I highly recommend them. If going the parfait route, though, be sure to chill your cake and pineapple first, to avoid ending up with soup.


grilled pineapple upside down cake


  • 1 prepared pound cake or mochi cake
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • Coconut oil (I love this spray from Trader Joes, which is much cheaper if you purchase it at the store) or other neutral oil
  • For the pineapple:
  • 1 pineapple, cut into rings
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • For the cherries:
  • 1 pound cherries, washed and pitted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste)
  • zest from half of one medium lemon
  • For the brown sugar sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


    For the cake
  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Cut cake into 1/2-inch thick slices and spray with oil or brush with melted butter.
  3. Cook over the grill until slightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  4. For the pineapple
  5. Press pineapple into brown sugar on both sides, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes, or until ready to grill.
  6. When ready to grill, heat grill to medium-high heat and cook pineapple 2 to 3 minutes until grill marks appear. Flip and cook other side 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat on each side, pineapple should be slightly softened and charred.
  7. For the cherries
  8. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  9. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes until the cherries are dark red and the sauce has thickened - when you dip a spoon into the mixture it should be coated with a relatively thick cherry coating when you pull it back out.
  10. Allow to cool slightly and transfer to a 8 ounce jar or airtight storage container.
  11. Will keep in the fridge up to 1 month
  12. For the brown sugar sauce
  13. Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 10 minutes until thickened.
  14. Transfer to airtight storage container (I used 8 ounces but it probably made closer to 9 or 10 ounces of sauce).
  15. Will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  16. For the assembly
  17. Either as a parfait or sundae - with cake on the bottom, topped with brown sugar sauce, pineapple, cherries, and ice cream.
  18. Enjoy!


* The brown sugar sauce will solidify when chilled, but can be re-warmed in the microwave for about a minute to return to its liquid state. Allow to cool slightly before assembling.

* The cherries are also great for sundae toppings, mixed into yogurt, or to make home-made Shirley Temples... or just as a snack.

* Pre-assembled parfaits can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and stashed in the freezer until serving time.


[ Cake from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts ]

[ Sauce adapted from Pioneer Woman ]

[ Cherries adapted from Bon Appetit ]

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jeni’s mochi cake

When I first saw the recipe for Jeni’s mochi cake in her newest book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, I was instantly intrigued. Jeni chose this cake for her ice cream recipes because instead of hardening, the cake stays soft and chewy when frozen. At room temperature, the cake is springy, spongy, and delightfully chewy. Like the Japanese mochi, but in pound cake form.

You may recommend mochi from the toppings bar of your local frozen yogurt shop, or perhaps you’ve seen these glutinous chewy rice balls filled with ice cream at your favorite asian restaurant or grocer (Trader Joes even carries some that you can take home to try!). The rice flour keeps the center of this cake light and chewy while the sugar provides a gorgeous golden brown exterior, and the coconut and evaporated milks give the cake a wonderfully sweet, milky, almost tropical flavor.


If you have never had mochi, you may be a bit scared when you cut into this cake. It’s a bit on the “springy” side, in that you can even pull at it a little bit and it will happily spring back to its original shape. I mean, it’s nothing crazy but it’s fun to play with and see that tiny tug will serve to stretch the cake rather than break it into pieces. It definitely serves to show this cake’s appeal as an ice cream mix-in.

So whether you plan to cut this into cubes and throw it into some ice cream (I would recommend subbing it for the shortcake in this recipe) or simply topping it with a scoop of your favorite store-bought ice cream, it’s a great way to switch up your typical ice cream routine. Jeni uses it to make mochi cake croutons and even toasts it on the grill (which is what I also did, coming up in the next recipe!).


jeni’s mochi cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 9-by-5 inch loaf cake


  • 2 cups sweet rice flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment. (Parchment optional, but recommended).
  2. Sift together the rice flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredient.
  4. Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid mixture into the well.
  5. Fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until fully combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the cake is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  7. Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to complete cooling.


To make Jeni's mochi cake croutons: Cut mochi cake into 1 inch cubes. Melt 1 tablespoon unslated butter in a large saute pan and add the cubes. Allow the cubes to cook undisturbed until they are golden brown on the bottom. Flip and repeat on each side until all sides are browned. Serve along with fruit as an ice cream topping.


[ Recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts ]


thursday things – a very momofuku birthday

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It happened. On Monday I officially said “goodbye” to my 20s and dove headfirst into the big 3-0. I’m officially a grown up, and I know this because I got furniture for my birthday. Yep. Furniture.

Not only did I get furniture, but I was excited about it. EXCITED. ABOUT FURNITURE. WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?

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condensed milk pound cake

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A lot has been going on in the world and I’ve just been sitting back and taking it all in…

I’m not one to dwell on these things but I lost a huge piece of my childhood with the passing of an amazing actor/comedian.

Cue the comfort food (and childhood movie marathon).

And what food is more comforting than pound cake? The best thing about this pound cake is that the sweet cake will absorb my tears and their salt will perfectly complement the cake’s sweetness.

pound cake

When I saw this recipe for a pound cake using sweetened condensed milk as one of the key ingredients and a food processor as the main mixing tool, I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. However, since pound cake is basically impossible to mess up as it is, I didn’t really see how it could possibly go wrong.

So, what should you expect?

Once in the oven, the sweetened condensed milk in this batter fills your home with the aroma of dulce de leche caramel. Once out of the oven, a hint of caramel flavor of permeates this tender pound cake. It doesn’t have an overwhelming caramel flavor, but you can definitely pick up on the caramelly notes in the cake (especially in the browned edges).

So wrap yourself in a warm, caramel-scented hug (from the inside) with some condensed milk pound cake.

condensed milk pound cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 1 8-by-5 inch loaf


  • 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large eggs, room emperature


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. And prepare an 8 by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment and baking spray (or flour and butter) and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. Add butter and sugar to a food processor and process until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom as needed. Add the condensed milk and pulse until well incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla and pulse again to combine.
  4. Add dry ingredients and pulse just until incorporated, being careful not to over-mix, scraping down the sides and bottoms if needed, and pour into prepared loaf pan.
  5. Bake until the top is dark golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 70 minutes. Cool 20 minutes in pan, turn out onto rack to finish cooling.


Recipe from Boy Meets Bowl