Friday, December 27, 2013

The Real Red Velvet Cake, (oh hey, what's up)?!

Red (Wine) Velvet Cake...enough frosting?
So, I've been pretty terrible about keeping up with this in 2013: I got super busy with a bunch of funny things, but that's no excuse! One of my many resolutions for 2014 is to post at least once a month. To make up for my absence, I present you with a twist on an old favorite of mine: red velvet cake made with red wine. Wine? Yup, you read that correctly. Trust me, you won't be disappointed! I found this recipe on a favorite blog and made some adjustments. 

Here ya go (and happy baking)! 

Love Always,

P.S. I usually connect each post with a favorite film. Since it's a few days before the New Year, here's are a few of my faves from 2013 (in no particular order) *drumroll please*:

The Way Way Back, Much Ado About Nothing, 12 Years a Slave, The Spectacular Now, Dallas Buyers Club, Mud, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Her, The Conjuring, Blue Jasmine, August: Osage County, The Beyonce Visual Album, (yes, I put it on here, deal with it) ;0)


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Hershey's cocoa powder
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can  Pillsbury vanilla frosting (optional)

(1) Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
(2) Cream the butter with both the sugars in a large bowl.
(3) Add the egg and egg yolk. Blend with electric mixer until fluffy.
(4) Add the red wine and vanilla extract.
(5) In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together, (baking powder/soda, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon).
(6) Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and blend until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. The cocoa powder may make the batter a bit clumpy, but it should turn out just fine ;0).
(7) Spray a 9-inch cake pan with baking spray and pour the batter into the pan.
(8) Bake for 25-35 minutes, (when it's done, you should be able to stick a fork in the middle and have it come out clean). 
(9) Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes. 
(10) Once the cake has cooled, flip it onto a large plate.  Spread the vanilla frosting evenly if you choose to use it.
(11) Enjoy! 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, (Beast It)!!!

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, (how's that for alliteration)?

Hey, lovelies! I found this fabulous recipe courtesy Two Peas & Their Pod:

The recipe is super simple, (I only made one adjustment: adding a little extra vanilla extract of course).  I use Trader Joe's Vanilla Bourbon Extract and always enjoy the extra kick it gives!  Here's what you need, (all credit goes to Two Peas & Their Pod, no copyright infringement intended):


For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For cinnamon swirl:
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar


(1) Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.

(2) Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until completely blended.  At this time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9 x 9 square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  Use baking spray as needed.

(3) Add in sour cream and vanilla extract.

(4) Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into separate bowl.  Add dry ingredients to batter and blend.

(5) In a small cup, mix ingredients for the cinnamon swirl (cinnamon, brown sugar, granulated sugar). 

(6) Spread 1/2 of batter for cake on the pan.  Then, sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon swirl mixture and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips over this layer.  Cover this with the remaining batter from the bowl and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon swirl mixture/chocolate chips on the top of the cake.

(7) Place in oven for 40 minutes, or until fork stuck into the center of the pan comes out clean.

I paired this amazing cake with a viewing of one of my favorite films, Beasts of the Southern Wild.  If you want a little whimsy with your dessert, I suggest you take a peek at this beautiful film.  Here's the official website, courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures. Again, no copyright infringement intended!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cupcakes and The Sapphires!

The Sapphires soundtrack is an excellent baking companion! 
So, I just saw a super sweet movie called The Sapphires! It's based on the true story of a group of talented, inspiring Australian Aboriginal girls that end up entertaining troops during the Vietnam War.  The soundtrack is absolutely amazing and also happens to be the perfect companion to a cupcake-baking session!  For these particular cupcakes, I used the following recipe from the fantastic Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, with some minor adjustments.

  • I made half the recipe and opted for cupcakes instead of layer cake, decreasing the baking time to 20 minutes. 
  • I added chocolate chips and cinnamon to the cake batter for kicks, (and also because I feel that the cinnamon complements the cocoa flavor quite well when combined). 
  • I also used a blend of semi-sweet chocolate chips/dark chocolate chips for the instant fudge frosting mentioned in the link above.
Now treat yourself to a sampling of The Sapphires, (I love that this became a Salt N' Pepa/En Vogue collaboration):

No copyright infringement intended. The recipe is all Deb Perelman and The Sapphires is all Hopscotch Films! ;)

Happy Baking and music-listening, everyone!

Love Always,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

80's Movie Marathon and Vegan Oreo Truffles!

Oreo Truffles. I can't believe these are vegan!

It's been quite a while, but I've returned with a fantastic, vegan-friendly recipe! My lovely and coincidentally vegan friend, Emily, introduced me to it. This recipe is very simple, (and pairs well with a marathon of 80's movies when you're not feeling so well). These movies could include, (but are not limited to) the likes of St. Elmo's FireSay Anything..., and The Breakfast Club. Without further ado, here's this easy and yummy recipe. The non-vegan version would require regular cream cheese, but I'm sure would taste just as fabulous!


1 package of Oreos
4 oz. of vegan cream cheese
1 package of vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, (I recommend the Trader Joe's kind)
2 tablespoons of almond milk (optional)


(1) Crush the Oreos in a large bowl and blend them with the cream cheese.

(2) Melt the chocolate chips in a separate bowl, (I used the microwave, but you could use the double-boiler method if you're feeling fancy). NOTE: I also added a couple of tablespoons of almond milk per Emily's advice, though this is completely optional.

(3) Roll the Oreo/cream cheese mixture into tablespoonful sized balls and dip them in the melted chocolate. Place these on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

(4) Stick them in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving cold. Voila! Oreo Truffles!

Happy baking, (and happy travels to my dear friend Emily who leaves for Taiwan today)!

Love Always,