White Chocolate and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

1c AP flour

1c oats

2/3c brown sugar, packed

1/2c each craisins and white chocolate

1 stick cool but softened butter uns.

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/8 baking soda

Preheat to 350

Combine dry ingredients

On low, cream butter and sugar

Add egg and vanilla

Add dry ingredients

Add craisins and white chocolate

Combine with wooden spoon or spatula

Crumple parchment*

Form balls

Pro tip: Crumpling parchment paper makes it easier to manipulate when using baking sheets and pans

Bake for 10-15 minutes

Start checking for doneness around 10m

Edges should turn golden brown

Cool on cookie sheets before transferring to a cooling rack

© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Mango con Chile y Limon Cake

This idea came to me randomly a few weeks ago. I grew up in NY and it was a regular occurrence to see the street vendors selling baggies of mango or mangoes on a stick topped with chili powder. It took me a couple of weeks to figure out exactly how I wanted to incorporate these flavors.

Related image

There was a lot of trial and error. As usual, the goal is to flavor and color using natural, preferably fresh, ingredients. There were A LOT of mangoes (I think I used 7 or 8–all scraps and leftovers went into the freezer for smoothies).

The sponge is a basic vanilla sponge infused with fresh mango puree, lime and lemon zest, fresh cayenne (no stems or seeds) and cayenne pepper (more control over the spice level).

The first layer is buttercream and macerated fresh mango slices. The top layer is a lime-mango curd. It’s mostly sweet and creamy but there’s a tartness to it due to  lime juice.

The outside buttercream is flavored with a little smoked paprika, chili powder and a little cayenne plus lime juice and zest.

I taught myself to make mango roses, which serve as the decoration along with some whipped cream.


Ingredients:

Sponge:

2 ½ C flour

1 ½ C sugar

2 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1/2 c milk

1/2 c butter, room temperature

4 egg whites

1 tsp vanilla extract

¾ C mango puree

Spices (to taste): cayenne pepper, 2-5 cayenne peppers seeded and deveined, lemon zest, lime zest

Mango-Lime Curd:

1 large ripe mango

½ cup fresh lime juice

Squeeze of lemon juice

½- 1 tbsp of lime zest

½ tsp kosher salt

¾ cup sugar, divided (1/2:1/4)

3 large egg yolks

1 large egg

1 stick of butter, cubed or thinly sliced

Lime Simple Syrup:

3/4  cup of water

¼ cup of lime juice

1 cup of sugar

Vanilla Buttercream:

2 sticks softened butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

Roughly 5 cups of powdered sugar

Spiced Buttercream (optional/to taste):

Vanilla Buttercream

Smoked paprika

Chili powder

Cayenne pepper

Lime zest

Reserve:

2 mango cheeks, thinly sliced


Curd:

  1. Slice fresh mango
    1. In a small bowl add sugar or simple syrup
    2. Toss to coat, let restUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_17d
  2. In a food processor, puree mango and transfer to a sauce pan
  3. Add lime zest and juice, salt and ½ c sugar
  4. Simmer while stirring until sugar dissolves
  5. Option 1: in a bowl, whisk eggs and remaining sugar until the yellow lightens
  6. Carefully and slowly stream in about half of the hot mango mixture into the eggs
    1. This is called tempering, do not rush this or you will cook the eggsUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_186
  7. Strain
  8. Pour the egg and mango mixture back into the sauce pan and whisk constantly until it thickens
    • Do not let this boil
  9. Option 2: Combine ingredients and whisk constantly over a double boiler until it thickensUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_180UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_193
  10. Once thickened, remove from heat and add the butter a few pieces at a time and stir until fully incorporated before adding the next few
  11. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the top of the curd so it doesn’t develop a weird skin
    1. Chill for 2-24 hours

Simple Syrup:

  1. In a sauce pan, combine the ingredients
  2. Simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved
  3. Refrigerate and store in a container

Sponge: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease and parchment 2 9”round cake pans or 3 8” round cake pans
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and gelatin using the paddle attachment
  4. Add the softened butter
  5. Add the vanilla
  6. Add the milk
  7. Add the egg whites, beat to combine
  8. Scrape down bowl
  9. Add mango puree
  10. Slowly incorporate the spices and the zestPhoto taken with Focos
    • I recommend starting with a teaspoon of zest and working up
    • I recommend starting with a dash of cayenne
    • Optional: seed and devein cayenne peppers and finely dice, start with a small amount and work your way up
    • My proportions were zest > cayenne pepper>cayenne peppersDivide cake between cake pans
  11. Bake until they pass the toothpick test
  12. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pansUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_18c
  13. Carefully poke some holes into the cake (not all the way through)
  14. Carefully spoon some of the syrup over the sponges and allow to rest so they can fully sop up the goodness

Vanilla Buttercream:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium until the butter looks white and fluffy
  2. Add vanilla
  3. On low speed, slowly and carefully add the powdered sugar about a cup at a time
  4. Slowly increase the speed and whip until well incorporated
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all of your sugar is used

Spiced Buttercream (Optional):

  1. Split ½-3/4 of the vanilla buttercream
  2. Starting with a small amount, slowly add the spices and TASTE adjusting for your preference
    1. My proportions were zest>chili powder> smoked paprika> cayenne
    2. This was a sweet and flavorful buttercream that left a curious and slightly spicy finish

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_198UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_184

Assembly:

Bottom layer: Sponge

Next layer: Buttercream and the macerated mangoes (shake off excess liquid)

Next layer: Sponge

Next layer: Buttercream perimeter filled with curd

Next layer: Sponge

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_197UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_195UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_187

Photo taken with FocosPhoto taken with FocosPhoto taken with FocosPhoto taken with FocosPhoto taken with FocosPhoto taken with FocosUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_17eUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_194Photo taken with FocosPhoto taken with FocosPhoto taken with FocosUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_196Photo taken with FocosPhoto taken with FocosPhoto taken with Focos

© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Strawberry-Raspberry Poptart Cupcakes

I make my son special cupcakes for his birthday each year. When I asked him what he wanted this year he told me he wanted a Poptart cupcakes and I kind of just stared at him. Frankly it just sounded like a lot of work and there was no guarantee that I could pull it off because who the hell has heard of Poptart cupcakes. At first I was going to blow him off and just “you get what you get what” him.

 

But I started playing with the idea.

 

I went to the Google to see if I was on the right track. I was surprised to find that all of the other recipes I saw were….not like this. So I sat down and worked it out and this is what I came up with. I fully intend on doing these again. There are just so many flavor-filling options!

 

We prefer strawberry Poptarts. I decided to pump up the berry by adding raspberry to the mixture. I matched the tangy raspberry with the tart lemon juice. The jam is bright and tart, so it cuts through the sweetness of the other components. The jam would be amazing on a croissant *drool*.

It may look like a lot of work but just break it up into steps. Some things you can make ahead. This is my suggested order:

  1. Cupcake
  2. Jam
  3. Icing
  4. Decorate

 

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes

For Jam:

1 pint of raspberries

1 cup of roughly chopped strawberries

1/4-1/2  sugar

1/8 c water

1/8 c lemon juice

Tsp lemon zest

 

For Icing:

2 egg whites, room temperature

4+ c confectioner’s sugar, sifted

1 ½ c melted white sugar morsels

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp water, if needed

 

Decorations:

Pieces of poptart

Strawberry jello

Sugar crystals*

 

  1. Prepare the vanilla cupcakes

For the jam:

  1. Combine the liquids and the sugar
  2. Stir until sugar melts
  3. Add berries
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer
  5. Simmer covered until the berries start to break down (you can smush to help it along)
  6. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently until the liquid begins to evaporate and the mixture thickens (this is called reducing).
  7. Taste and adjust to your preference.
  8. You want a pretty thick, scoop-able consistency but honestly, you just don’t want it watery. Otherwise your sponge will just sop it up and then your filling won’t be much of a filling.
  9. Set aside to cool. (This is an easily adjustable recipe, this was more than enough for 12 cupcakes and breakfast toast the next day.)

For the icing:

  1. While the cupcakes are cooling, melt the white chocolate over a double boiler
  2. Set aside to cool
  3. In your stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat the whites until they’re fluffy
  4. Add vanilla extract
  5. Slowly incorporate some of the powdered sugar
  6. Mix in the white chocolate
  7. Continue adding the sugar
    1. Here is where I hiccupped, my icing was way drippier than I wanted. Add as much sugar as you need to achieve a thick-spread that won’t drip down a bunch.
  8. Prepare your decorations
    1. I could not find crystal sprinkles so I made colored sugar*
  9. Poke your finger or a cylindrical tool deep into the cupcakes to form a divot. You don’t want to poke through the cake
  10. Fill the divots with the cooled jam
  11. Spread the thick icing on top
  12. Stick in poptart pieces
  13. Sprinkle with sprinkles or sugar and strawberry jello

 

Happy 8th Birthday, kid.

 

© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Simple Vanilla Cupcake

This is my go to vanilla cupcake recipe. Because it’s such a perfect vehicle, I use this as the base for 90% of my cupcakes.

I don’t generally like a super sweet sponge because usually I am loading it up with buttercream, chocolate or fillings. So I often opt to use less sugar. If you enjoy a sweeter cupcake then I suggest 1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Some recipes call for milk or cream, however, I substitute sour cream. This yields a moister cake. That’s a 1:1 ratio. So if you prefer to use milk or cream or if that’s all you have, just remember it’s a direct conversion

bcn2

Simple Vanilla

 

 

screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-9-54-02-pm

Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1⅓ cups AP flour

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup light sour cream

bc5

 

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350F

Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Using your paddle attachment and your stand mixer, cream (beat together) the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Scrape the bowl as necessary.

Add eggs one at a time. Make sure the first is fully incorporated before adding the next.

Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Turn the mixer down to slow.

Add half of the dry ingredients

Add sour cream

Add remaining dry ingredients

Be careful not to overmix the batter but be sure that everything is well incorporated.

Divide the batter into the tins. This is enough for 12 decent size cupcakes.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, toothpick check and cool on a wire rack.

bc8

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake

Last year I posted the recipe for my Red Velvet Cheesecake. This is almost the exact same recipe except I tinkered with the cheesecake, buttercream and decorations.

rv8rv12rv11

I will not bore you with a story about my grandma’s time on the farm when she milked a cow and made her own white chocolate.

 

I will just say this is labor intensive. Plan ahead. Be organized. Make. Your. Cheesecake. Ahead. Of. Time. And I do recommend using a quality white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli white chocolate baking bars).

 

Aside from the white chocolate, the pictures show double the cheesecake unlike my previous Red Velvet Cheesecake. This is not required but I wanted to show out because baking is therapy and I needed to do. So, yeah. This is pretty legit.

 

Oh, did I mention that white chocolate is in the cheesecake and the buttercream AND as a topping? Yeah.

 

Too legit.

 

To quit (rimshot).

 

 

Cheesecake:

 

2-8oz cream cheese, room temp

1 C sugar

3 tbsp sour cream, room temp

½ tbsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

½ tbsp. corn starch

1/8 tsp salt

4 oz melted white chocolate

 

63c8fb53-b32f-4c0c-8eb7-ac9b20a5d0be

i always love The Spread

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Place a heat-resistant bowl on top of a pot with a small amount of water. Bring it to a boil and lower to a simmer. Put your white chocolate pieces (as close as you can get to same size) in the bowl. Stir occasionally as it melts. Remove from the pot when it’s like 90% melted, continue stirring until the carry over heat melts the remaining chocolate.
    c16f3643-a430-41f0-8e67-f528c25de99a

    please don’t skimp on the chocolate

    a37be698-da6b-4f73-bc8b-ac4e525a0d60

    my widdle piggy is fun Marshall’s

  3. At the same time, preferably, start your mixer and whip the softened cream cheese.
  4. Add the sour cream
  5. Add the sugar and vanilla
  6. Add the corn starch
  7. Add the eggs one at a time
  8. Scrape down the sides, mix until combined.
    1. You don’t want to see any large flecks of cream cheese, small specks are okay.
  9. Add the slightly cooled white chocolate to the cheesecake mixture, combine well.

    10061fc4-b01c-4331-8b5a-61afb49bcd5d

    white chocolate being added to the cheesecake batter

  10. Cut a circle large enough to fit into the bottom of a 9” cake pan
  11. Spray with cooking spray, place parchment
  12. Pour cheesecake mixture into the pan, gently tap the pan on your counter to release any bubbles
  13. Bake for roughly an hour
  14. The cheesecake will be slightly jiggly in the center, a tad firmer towards the edges
    1. This cheesecake is a filling so some browning and cracks are fine. No one is going to see this. This is basically sacrilegious for traditional cheesecake, I know, but trust me.
    2. If it starts getting too Beyonce Bronze, tent it loosely with some foil.
  15. Allow the cheesecake to cool
  16. Cover with plastic wrap and allow cheesecake to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight preferably

 

 

Red Velvet Sponge

 

2 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2-3 tbsp cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup of buttermilk, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp red food coloring (more or less to suit your preference)

1 tsp white vinegar

Pro tip: Boost your cocoa flavor by adding ½ cup of very strong coffee or instant espresso!! Remember when I used this technique in brownies?

 

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F

In the bowl of your mixer, combine your dry ingredients

 

In a medium bowl, first combine your sugar and oil then add in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and food coloring

 

Add in your vinegar

 

Add in your coffee or espresso if you’re going to use  it

With your mixer on low, slowly incorporate the wet into the dry bit by bit

Note: This is not a thick batter

 

Grease and flour two 9” cake pans and divide batter into 3-4 cupcake tins plus the pans

(This can also be used just for cupcakes, freeze any excess batter in a ziplock bag for next time!)

Bake for 30-35 minutes in the center of the oven, start checking for doneness around 30 minutes

(your cupcakes will be done quicker, check for doneness around 16 minutes)

When the cake passes the toothpick test remove from the oven and cool on a rack then cool upside down to help flatten out the tops

a3fa6804-198d-484d-a1a8-447bf887ca8e

While cooling, whip up some buttercream

 

 

 

Vanilla Buttercream:

2 sticks softened butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

Roughly 5 cups of powdered sugar

3 oz white chocolate melted, reserve 1 oz for decoration

 

Repeat the steps from above to melt 3 oz white chocolate

In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium until the butter looks light and fluffy52bdd84b-b5f0-4496-8d97-59c206a6a3f4

Add vanilla

On low speed, slowly and carefully add the powdered sugar about a cup at a time

1090dac9-8b0c-47d1-8e99-3c28ae0970ca

Slowly increase the speed and whip until well incorporated

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all of your sugar is used

Add slightly cooled white chocolate and whip until incorporated

24e91c20-cab0-45bc-b693-2a46fb4c945a

Leftover buttercream can be stored in the freezer in a ziplock bag.

 

 

The Show:

 

Once completely cooled stack sponge-cheesecake-sponge

9b477136-b975-4a20-bac2-ff89601dd1d4

Spread your buttercream on the sides and top of the cake—work quickly or make sure the room is warm. The buttercream will seize and harden because of the white chocolate.

(It will create a sort of ganache around the cake, so don’t be alarmed. Do you’re best. No one is going to really see this).

 

Crumble up your cupcakes and sprinkle on/around your cake

 

Nuke your remaining ounce of white chocolate at 10 second intervals, slightly warm but not soft.

 

Use a vegetable peeler and start peeling carefully on the straightest edge. Use your ribbons to decorate how you see fit.

bb9be4a0-733a-48cd-9c61-2d0b361f4b20

f87c5512-a853-48da-a078-a1e97766bbdd

8ea375fa-4f8c-4e8f-9a37-512e051fa1c5

cfaba462-0f3e-4ce4-96a1-82916bd1ab17

3b6d95f2-02e3-49b3-b5d5-2f5f3931ffa7

27c5fa08-24cb-45c0-ba99-86d3f79eb04a

b49ac396-93f8-4d71-845a-40ce0371e616

4bd8b491-7223-400d-beca-910285eb0acb

14197173-7969-49cc-9cca-800c5f185a46

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

© 2019  by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

 

Simple Vanilla Cheesecake Filling

This can absolutely be used for a traditional cheesecake with a graham cracker or cookie crust. I’m posting this separate from my other ‘cheesecake’ recipes so it’s less confusing to figure out how to recreate the filling.

I’ve used this recipe for the Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cheesecake and the Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake.

Ingredients:

2-8oz cream cheese, room temp

1 C sugar

3 tbsp sour cream, room temp

½ tbsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

½ tbsp. corn starch

1/8 tsp salt

ss15rv9rv11

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, whip the softened cream cheese.
  3. Add the sour cream
  4. Add the sugar and vanilla
  5. Add the corn starch
  6. Add the eggs one at a time
  7. Scrape down the sides, mix until combined
    1. You don’t want to see any large flecks of cream cheese, small specks are okay.
  8. Cut a circle large enough to fit into the bottom of a 9” cake pan
  9. Spray with cooking spray, place parchment
  10. Pour cheesecake mixture into the pan, gently tap the pan on your counter to release any bubbles
  11. Bake for roughly an hour
    1. The cheesecake will be slightly jiggly in the center, a tad firmer towards the edges
    2. This cheesecake is a filling so some browning and cracks are fine. No one is going to see this. This is basically sacrilegious for traditional cheesecake, I know, but trust me.
  12. Allow the cheesecake to cool
  13. Cover with plastic wrap and allow cheesecake to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight preferably

 

 

cfaba462-0f3e-4ce4-96a1-82916bd1ab1714197173-7969-49cc-9cca-800c5f185a46

 

 

 

 

 

© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

 

 

Red Velvet Swirled Blondies

Ingredients

1- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup AP flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2-1 tsp red coloring

1/4 cup cocoa powder, more to taste

 

 


 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy

3. Slowly add egg and vanilla

4. Scrape bowl as needed

5. Combine the dry ingredients

6. Carefully add dry to wet

7. Grease or line a 13×9 baking pan (11×7 for a slightly thicker cut)

8. Portion out about 75% of the batter into the baking pan

9. To the remaining batter, add the cocoa powder and food coloring

• Adjust this to your preference

• Easier to add than remove

10. Spread the plain batter to fit the pan

11. Dollop the red velvet batter around the pan

12. Using a knife, drag through the batter to create your swirls

13. Ensure the batter is evenly spread

14. Bake for 18-20 minutes, start checking around 15 minutes.

15. Use the toothpick method to determine doneness

16. Cool on a cooling rack

 

© 2018 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

I think these may the best cookies I’ve ever baked. It’s a user-friendly recipe and it is easy to customize with fix-ins.

My favorite part of the cookie is the sweet crunch when you bite in. We’re going to roll the dough in brown sugar before baking.

Image result for bite fist meme

Exactly.

These cookies can be frozen easily! I love this trick because you can grab one or two dough mounds from the freezer and stick them in the oven. You don’t have to make a huge batch! Portion control, or something. Right? Right.

Ingredients:

1 cup oats

1 cup AP flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar, in a bowl to the side (more as needed)

1 large egg

1 stick unsalted butter (cool yet soft enough to handle)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a mixing bowl, add oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  3. Whisk dry ingredients together
  4. In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and the brown sugar
  5. Beat until the texture is creamy
  6. Slowly add vanilla and egg
  7. Continue beating, scrape down the sides as necessary.
  8. With your mixer on low, carefully add the dry ingredients until combined
  9. You can add your mix-ins at this point (raisins, nuts, cranberries, etc).
  10. DO NOT OVERMIX THE DOUGH
  11. Line your baking sheets with parchment
  12. Scoop the dough in approximately 1 ½ tablespoon drops
  13. Roll the dough in that reserved brown sugar. Trust me.
  14. Bake for 10-13 minutes
  15. Start checking for doneness starting at 10 minutes
    • Cookies should be golden brown around the edges
  16. Allow to cool for a moment on the baking sheet before transfer to cooling racks
  17. This dough can be frozen and baked cookies can be cooked
    • Freeze the dough in mounds on the baking sheet then transfer to a freezer bag for proper storage

© 2018 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Brown Butter Glazed Banana Bread

I’ve made this recipe a fewtimes and shared it on my personal Instagram. I first tried with just four bananas but I’ve since discovered that 6 is the perfect amount for a truly moist and bananaful bread.

(This trial used 1 tsp baking soda)

My first trial was a plain banana bread with a mostly bread consistency. I like a more cake like texture. My second trial required two extra bananas and I added a cream cheese icing. This third time we added walnuts and topped with a brown butter glaze and it was divine!

It’s a very forgiving recipe! I love having chunks of bananas so I mash my bananas with a fork. If that’s not your ministry you can puree the bananas. I make this by hand using mixing bowls, a fork and a spatula.

Feel free to sub in your own add ins. This is an easily customizable recipe. It’s truly no fuss.

Ingredients:

6 ripe bananas (the blacker the peel the better)

1 stick melted unsalted butter

3/4 c white sugar

1/4 c brown sugar

2 c flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder (if you like a slightly breadier consistency use baking soda, the loaf may be darker but still yummy)

1/4 c milk

2 eggs

Brown butter glaze:

1/2 stick unsalted butter

Up to 2 tbsp Half and half

Up to 1 c powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Direction:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. In a large bowl, mash your bananas.
  3. Melt your butter
  4. In a small bowl, gently whisk your eggs
  5. Combine milk, egg, vanilla, banana and butter.
  6. In another bowl, stir to combine your sugars, salt, baking powder, and preferred spices (I did 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp Nutmeg)
  7. Using a spatula, combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  8. OPTIONAL: Fold in 1/2 c chopped walnuts
  9. Oil and flour a loaf pan.
  10. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Start the toothpick test around 50m.
  11. OPTIONAL:While the banana bread is baking start your brown butter. Over medium low heat, melt the butter constantly whisking.
  12. You’ll be doing this for at least 5 minutes, once brown bits start forming remove from heat.
  13. In a mixing bowl,combine the brown butter, vanilla extract and powdered sugar.
  14. Slowly add and incorporate the half and half about a 1/2 tsp at a time.
  15. This isn’t an exact science. If it’s too thick, add a little more half and half. If it’s too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
  16. Remove the banana bread from the oven and allow it to cool before pouring out on the glaze.

© 2018 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red velvet anything is a favorite around these parts. I’ve been “meaning to” make this cake for almost over a year. First a birthday, then another birthday and now, “well….Valentine’s Day is coming up…”

Finally!

I recreated a Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake as a cheesecake before. This recipe uses the same cheesecake method. Remember, your cheesecake needs to cool and set for at least 4 hours so plan ahead!

Because this cake is going to have a whole cheesecake in the center, I opted for a plain vanilla buttercream to coat. Some crumbled cake helps to keep decorating simple and error-proof.

Make this for your sweetie and report back!

rv12

Ingredients:

Red Velvet Sponge

2 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2-3 tbsp cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup of buttermilk, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp red food coloring (more or less to suit your preference)

1 tsp white vinegar

Pro tip: Boost your cocoa flavor by adding ½ cup of very strong coffee or instant espresso!! Remember when I used this technique in brownies?

Cheesecake (make this beforehand and allow to cool!)

Vanilla Buttercream:

2 sticks softened butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

Roughly 5 cups of powdered sugar

 

 

  1. Your cheesecake should have been made beforehand and should already be cooling in the fridge for at least four hours!!!!rv13rv14
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, combine your dry ingredientsrv
  4. In a medium bowl, first combine your sugar and oil then add in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and food coloring
  5. Add in your vinegarrv2rv3
  6. Add in your coffee or espresso if you’re going to use it
  7. With your mixer on low, slowly incorporate the wet into the dry bit by bit
    • Note: This is not a thick batterrv4
  8. Grease and flour two 9” cake pan and divide in 3-4 cupcake tins, plus two pans
    • This can also be used just for cupcakes, freeze any excess batter in a ziplock bag for next time!
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes in the center of the oven, start checking for doneness around 30 minutes
    • (your cupcakes will be done quicker, check for doneness around 16 minutes)
  10. When the cake passes the toothpick test remove from the oven and cool on a rack then cool upside down to help flatten out the topsrv5
  11. While cooling, whip up some buttercream

Vanilla Buttercream:

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium until the butter looks white and fluffy
  • Add vanilla
  • On low speed, slowly and carefully add the powdered sugar about a cup at a time
  • Slowly increase the speed and whip until well incorporated
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all of your sugar is used
  • Leftover buttercream can be stored in the freezer in a ziplock bag.

 

  1. Once completely cooled stack sponge-cheesecake-sponge
  2. Spread your buttercream
  3. Crumble up your cupcakes and sprinkle on/around your cake!rv7rv6rv8rv9rv10

 

 

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

© 2018 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved