Mr. Bean Car Cake

The recipe I used for this cake was actually not a good choice.  It’s called a Kentucky Butter Cake and I found it in the website

I have to admit I was impressed with all the positive feedback the recipe generated.  It’s just too sweet for our taste and if I ever do this cake again, some adjustments have to be made.  First of all, I will not leave the cake in the pan as long as I did.  It got stuck in the pan after I left it in the refrigerator for a day and took me a long time and a lot of hot water to get the cakes out.

So, instead of getting into the recipe, I’ll give you some tips for the assembly. Continue reading “Mr. Bean Car Cake”

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Sami's Cake
Sami's Cake

This is a very basic carrot cake iced with a cream cheese frosting which I used for the “white cake” I wrote about in my last post.  I tweaked the recipe to my taste and think this will be my keeper recipe.  I just love this cake for the spice, the moistness, the crunch  of the nuts and the fact that it actually has some vegetable in it.  That fact kind of fools me into thinking this is a healthy cake.  You have to admit, it is healthier than a butter pound cake. Continue reading “Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting”

Greek Walnut Cake



I purposely looked for this recipe after we went to the Greek Festival here in Colorado Springs  last summer.  There was this particular cake that I really loved and just guessed what it was.  When I saw this recipe, I think I had it.  It’s a walnut cake  laced with citrus syrup after it’s been cooled.  The recipe was a genoise cake which I wrote about in more detail in this post.  I think I’ll make changes in the future and add some butter or shortening.

I didn’t make many changes to the recipe and found it was too dry.  Then again, I’m in high altitude so that certainly made a difference.  That was easily corrected by serving the cake with a large dollop of whipped cream.  Continue reading “Greek Walnut Cake”

Cupcake Experiment: Pandan Cupcake



This  experiment was a success, if I might say so myself.  The cupcakes had that very delicate pandan flavor…not at all overpowering as I thought it would be.  I meant for the green and pink tints to be much lighter but that can be corrected next time.  The recipe is based on a Vanilla Cupcake recipe from that famous NYC landmark, Magnolia Bakery.  The only changes I made were to substitute pandan extract with the vanilla and added some green food coloring. 

The icing is also based on their recipe for Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting.   Again, I substituted the vanilla for pandan and it was just delicious.  I hope some of you will try it. Continue reading “Cupcake Experiment: Pandan Cupcake”

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes



The combination of raspberries with chocolate is a recipe for the most luscious desserts or cakes. I previously featured a cake recipe with these two main ingredients. It failed in the aesthetics department but certainly was perfect in every other aspect.  There’s the sweetness of the cake, the bitterness of the chocolate and the tartness of the berries…I just love it.

In this presentation, I took out one cupcake from the foil baking cup and just broke it open when it was still warm.  The smell of chocolate was strong because I deviated from the original recipe and added more cocoa powder.  The raspberries were a nice surprise in the center. I also added more raspberries than the recipe called for….just because. Continue reading “Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes”

Almond Butter Cake



This cake was a big surprise. Despite the knowledge that butter cakes are always good cake recipes, this was outstanding.  I didn’t even bother to sprinkle any confectioner’s sugar on it for the photo after I tasted a crumb from the pan. No embellishments for this cake…a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of milk maybe. Continue reading “Almond Butter Cake”

Chocolate Raspberry Bavarian Cake

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Don’t you just admire those people who can decorate cakes like it was the easiest thing in the world to do?  Magic, blessed hands….

Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.  Here’s my latest sorry attempt at cake decorating.  I can bake it and it tastes great, but does it look that way?  Never mind…

Looking at the photo now, I think about all the things I could have done better.  Piped some whipped cream at the bottom, laid the top layer straighter so the cake doesn’t look so lopsided…a dozen things really.

Oh well, the cake tasted great…the sweet and slightly tart raspberry cream went so well with the bitter chocolate filling.  The raspberry syrup added great depth to an otherwise ordinary chocolate sponge cake.

The base cake is what you call a genoise, a European sponge cake tracing its roots to Genoa, hence the name.  It doesn’t use any shortening or leavening and is perfect for high altitude baking.

A wonderful, wonderful recipe I found at the Godiva Chocolate website that I hope to make for my family back home really soon… Continue reading “Chocolate Raspberry Bavarian Cake”

Pear and Rhum Pound Cake

You’ve seen the pan, now here’s the cake…ta-dah!

Did you notice the cake is lopsided?  You wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t say a word, right?  Not so bad.  The cake was great whichever pan you used.  Can’t really go wrong with a combination of pear and rhum.

This recipe is based on a  Pear and Grappa Pound Cake again found in my current favorite, “The Soprano Family Cookbook” by Allen Rucker and Michele Scicolone.  The cake was mentioned by Meadow Soprano in The Sopranos Episode 59 of Season 5.  In this episode, she bakes that cake for her grandfather’s birthday party.

This cake is highly recommended.  Try it sometime.  It has a lovely combination of flavors, is very easy to make and is pretty much full-proof baking, even for higher altitudes. Continue reading “Pear and Rhum Pound Cake”

Bibingkang Galapong


It’s Christmas everywhere and in the Philippines no other treat says Christmas more than this rice cake.  It’s available year round in most places.  During the Christmas season, churches everywhere will have vendors setting up shop in the wee hours of the morning.  These vendors will be selling  bibingka or puto bumbong and cooking them right in their stalls.  The Catholic faithful who hear the early morning novena mass before Christmas all flock to these stalls for their bibingka.  It makes a perfect breakfast with your coffee or hot cocoa.

The best way to cook these cakes is in shallow pans made of clay  lined with banana leaves set up over hot coals with more live coals on a movable tin cover to cook the top.  My version is oven-baked for convenience.  This was my first time to make this and I was not all that impressed by how it turned out.  When I took it to my mom’s for merienda however, they all liked it.  Youngest Sister even said the only thing missing was the distinct smell when you cook something over live coals….something we always called “charcoal smell.”

The toppings may not be readily available.  The salted duck’s eggs can be homemade but it will take a couple of weeks to cure.  The Filipino quesong puti is similar to the Mexican queso fresco or queso blanco.  The Philippine version uses carabao’s milk and thus,  richer.  As for the coconut milk, there’s nothing like fresh since it has a natural sweetness you can’t get from canned coconut milk.  If you are in a pinch, use cow’s milk or the canned/powdered coconut milk. Continue reading “Bibingkang Galapong”