When Greg and I were young and first married and he would always bring home flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day. Then the kids came along, and they were the ones to get the treats. Some years later we started going out for a nice dinner, and that’s pretty much our Valentine’s Day tradition now.
Another tradition that I will keep this year is making my Valentines a sweet treat. These Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting are a delicious and easy treat. They start with a doctored up cake mix, and then I top them off with one of my favorite frosting recipes. Everyone always loves these and I may even treat myself to one!
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 1 pkg. (18.25-oz.) red velvet cake mix
- 1 pkg. (3.4-oz.) vanilla instant pudding mix
- 1 c. sour cream, room temperature
- ½ c. water
- ½ c. vegetable oil
- 3 lg. eggs
- 1 c. miniature semisweet chocolate chips, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place cupcake paper liners in cupcake pan, set aside.
- Place cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Stop machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase speed of mixer to medium and beat for 2 more minutes until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips if you are using them. Spoon batter into pan ¾ full. (Batter will be thick. You'll have enough to make 22 to 24 cupcakes.)
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back with lightly pressed with finger. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely. Frost with completely cooled.
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8-oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 sticks butter, room temperature
- 3-oz. white chocolate
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2½ to 3 c. powdered sugar
- Microwave chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. Do not overheat!! If it is almost melted with just a few solid pieces you can stir continuously for the pieces to melt.
- Beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until fluffy and completely blended.
- Slowly beat in melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. If frosting is too thick you can use heavy whipping cream, adding 1 tbsp. at a time, to reach spreading consistency.
- Spread or pipe onto cupcakes.
Several months ago, while visiting my mom, I attended Wednesday night church with her. One of her good friends, Inell, had taken an Earthquake cake and was kind enough to share the recipe with me. However, months later when I wanted to make the cake I could not find it. This has happened to me more than once! In all honesty, it’s probably in the bottom of a purse somewhere, but for now, I took to the web.
This Earthquake Cake is super moist, extremely easy and crazy delicious! Inell’s cake and the one I made used a chocolate cake mix, however, while searching the web I found several variations including red velvet and pumpkin. I love the coconut, but it is totally optional and works well without it.
- 1 (15.25-oz.) box Chocolate cake mix (I used German chocolate)
- 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- ½ c. butter, softened
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- ½ c. flaked coconut
- 1 c. chopped pecans, lightly toasted
- 1½ c. chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle pecans in the bottom of the dish, set aside.
- Prepare the cake mix as directed on the package. Pour the batter evenly over the pecans, do not stir.
- Using a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter until mixed well. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until creamy. Fold in coconut.
- Drop coconut mixture by spoonfuls randomly over the batter. Using a butter knife, lightly swirl through the batter.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the cake.
- Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake come out clean.
- Cool to room temperature then serve.
My cousins were my first friends and the ones I call now with good or bad news. They are the people I want to celebrate holidays, weddings, and births. They are the ones that help me get through hard times. Branches from the same tree, our roots run deep. They are also the ones I turn to when I need a new recipe.
With a blog and weekly newspaper article, sometimes I struggle for a new recipe. There are weeks when every new recipe I test is horrible! Then some weeks are just crazy busy when I do not touch a pot or pan for days! That’s when my cousins come through for me and give me a recipe that I have completely forgotten about or that they have made over and over and I trust will be wonderful.
This weeks recipe is compliments of my cousin, Nancy, who got the recipe from my cousin, Lori. This Butter Pecan cake was incredibly easy and delicious. This cake begins with a cake mix and with the addition of pecan coconut frosting, and a few other ingredients, the cake is super moist. This recipe makes two loaves, and they freeze well.
Butter Pecan Cake
- 1 box Butter Pecan cake mix
- 1 container Pecan Coconut Frosting
- 4 lg. eggs
- 1 c. milk
- ½ c. vegetable oil
- ¼ c. chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease and flour two loaf pans, set aside.
- Using an electric mixer on low, combine the cake mix, frosting, egg, milk, and oil until blended. Add the pecans and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.
- Pour into prepared loaf pans and bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
My Aunt Sara has always been an excellent baker. Her kids always had the prettiest homemade birthday cakes when we were growing up. The cakes that mama made for John and me were equally delicious, but that’s not what stood out to me as a kid.
On a recent visit with Aunt Sara, I left with a box full of goodies. I left her house with cake decorating tools, cookbooks, and a variety of cake pans, cupcake papers, and decorations and a few handwritten recipes. One of the recipes that she shared with me was this super easy Seven Minute Frosting that her daughter-in-law gave her.
I used the Seven Minute Frosting on a chocolate cake that I recently made for a baby shower. It turned out beautiful and delicious. My cousin, who happened to be the honoree, compared it to the hostess cupcakes that she has been craving!
Seven Minute Frosting
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tbsp. water
- 7-oz. jar marshmallow creme
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- Combine sugar, eggs whites, and water in a double boiler. Beat with a electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Add the marshmallow creme and vanilla and beat until combined.
- Frost 3-layer cake with frosting.
This week my beautiful mother celebrates her 77th birthday. The woman who has been my biggest cheerleader my entire life, my wise instructor who has loved me even during some very unloveable times.
My love for cooking began with her. When I grew up she prepared just about every meal we ate because in those days you didn’t pick up take-out and we only went to restaurants occasionally.
Everything was homemade, a luxury that I didn’t quite appreciate as a child. I remember spending the night with a friend once. The next morning her mother baked canned biscuits for us. I can recall it like it was yesterday because I thought that her mother had done the greatest thing and those canned biscuits were delicious to me at the time. I can remember wondering why we always had to have homemade biscuits. I probably came home and boasted about the wonderful biscuits that Sara’s mother fixed. I am sorry mama!!
Believe me; my thought process has changed! Now I understand the trouble she went to for her family. She was a “farm to table” person way before it was the popular thing.
There are not enough words in the English language to tell my mother just how much I appreciate all of those homemade biscuits; the advice, the spankings, and the love. She will probably never know how important she is to me, but I would not be here today without her.
In honor of my mother, I wanted to share her coffee cake recipe. My brother and I have always loved this. She made it for us on special occasions growing up and sometimes just to surprise us and she still makes it when we gather for Christmas brunch. It is easy enough to prepare before work or school. I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as I have over the years.
Mama's Coffee Cake
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ¾ c. granulated sugar
- ¼ c. shortening
- 1½ c. self-rising flour
- ⅓ c. milk
- ½ c. sour cream
- Streusel Mixture:
- ½ c. brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- ½ c. chopped pecans
- Grease a 10-inch skillet and set aside. Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a small bowl combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, melted butter, and pecans. Set aside.
- Using a whisk, combine and egg, sugar, and shortening. Add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in sour cream.
- Spread about half of the cake mixture in the prepared skillet. Sprinkle all of the streusel mixture over batter then drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the top. You can swirl with a knife if desired.
- Bake at 350° F for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.