Apple Pie Poke Cake

Happy Pi Day … March 14 … 3-14!  Since it’s Pi Day and not Pie Day … made a pie that’ not really a pie … does that make sense? It’s Apple Pie Poke Cake … a cake that looks like a pie.  I do love to make things that look like something else … remember the “grilled cheese” sandwich from last year?  This pie cake would be a fun dessert for April Fools Day!

Apple Pie Poke Cake

Here’s a better view of the whole cake pie …

Apple Pie Lattice Cake

Is it a pie or cake?  Maybe we can make up a new name … a pike?  It doesn’t really matter what you call it … it’s dessert!  If you ask me … even if you don’t, I’ll give my opinion ;) … it reminds me of a coffee cake crossed with a fruit filled Danish … yum!  The lattice and edge “crust” is actually frosting!  I’ll show you how I piped it … as you can tell, my piping is not perfect … nobody (except me) seemed to notice as they scarfed down the cake!

Apple Pie Poke Cake

  • 1 can (21 ounces) apple pie filling (I used Duncan Hines Comstock)
  • 1-1/2 cups white/vanilla frosting (homemade or store-bought)

Cake ingredients …

  • 1-1/4 cups unbleached flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour a 9-inch deep dish pie (mine actually measures 9-1/2″ at the top).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together.
  3. Add milk, butter and egg, mix for 30 seconds on low-speed.  Beat 3 minutes on high-speed, scraping side of bowl occasionally.  Pour into prepared pie dish.
  4. Bake 30-35 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and immediately prick entire cake with a fork.  Hint:  if you really want the gooey pie filling to soak into the cake, use the handle end of a wooden spoon rather than a fork)
  6. Carefully spoon apple pie filling on cake, covering the top, but not all the way to the edge.apple pie cake
  7. Let cake cool completely then add lattice frosting “crust” as shown below …Apple Lattice Pie Cake

 

  1. Fit 2 pastry bags with tips #2B (basket weave) and #9 (round)   and fill with frosting.
  2. Use the basket weave tip with the smooth side up and teeth side down.  Follow the steps in the photos thru step #7, creating a woven look of icing.

8.  Use the bag with tip #9 to pipe a zigzag edge “crust”.

9.  Sprinkle a little cinnamon/sugar on the “crust” to give it some color and sparkle.

I do want to let you know that my icing was very soft because I left it sitting out on the counter too long and we have had some warm weather.  Those of you covered in snow, may not want to read this … today is very nice here outside of Los Angeles … Saturday and Sunday are expected to reach 88° … it’s only March!  Mother Nature is a little mixed up ;)

Apple Cake Pie

 

Here is that Grilled Cheese … or is it?

Grilled cheese dessert

 

I think that we can have our cake and eat our pie too!  What do you say?

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Ooey Gooey Lemon Butter Cake

Happy New Year my friends!  Let’s get the new year off to a sweet start … with a lemon dessert … a Ooey Gooey Lemon Butter Cake or as my sister-in-law calls it … Lemon Chess Cake.  I recently discovered that the same cake goes by different names … doesn’t matter which name you call it … the cake is yummy!

One of the benefits of winter is that my Meyer Lemon tree is filled with fruit!  A few days ago, I asked my hubby what he wanted for dessert … he actually suggested lemon cake.  That was a shocking answer coming from the mouth of The Peanut Butter Man!

ooey gooey lemon butter cake

I had never made a Ooey Gooey Lemon Cake … this was the perfect time to give it a try and I’m so happy that I did!

ooey gooey lemon butter chess cake

Meyer lemons tend to be on the sweet side, which gives this cake a nice lemon flavor … not tart or overpowering.  The crust is a little different from the traditional ooey gooey or chess cake.  I added a package of pudding, which made the crust extra sticky and chewy … we liked it … bet you do too!

I used one Meyer lemon for this recipe … they’re very juicy.  If you use a different type of lemon, you may need two lemons to get enough juice.

Ooey Gooey Lemon Butter Cake

For the crust …

  • 1 box (16.5 oz.) Duncan Hines Butter Golden Cake Mix
  • 1 box (3.4 oz.) Instant Lemon Pudding
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the filling …

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (I used Neufchâtel -1/3 less fat)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest from 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioner’s/powdered sugar (plus extra for garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare crust – In a large mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon or electric mixer to combine all crust ingredients.  Pat the mixture into a 13″ x 9″ baking pan.
  3. Prepare filling – In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Add the eggs, butter, juice, zest and beat well.  Add the sugar, one cup at a time until all sugar is mixed in.  Spread filling evenly over the crust.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned.  The center of the filling should jiggle when the pan is moved.  Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into squares and serve.

Hint – After I mixed the crust and put it in the pan, I used the same mixing bowl for the filling … why dirty another bowl?

lemon chess cake

I ♥ your comments!

 ♦I share my stuff with these fun parties

Christmas Tree Cake … not so perfect!

Hello cake makers!  Today I am sharing a 3-D Christmas Tree Cake ;)   I can’t show you a picture of it, until I share an explanation …

Have you seen the site Cake Wrecks?  Well, there is a strong possibility that this cake belongs there.  This is what happened … after frosting the cake, there was some frosting leftover … decided to use it up … didn’t realize how unevenly I applied the extra frosting … took photos … still did see what I did … cut the cake and served some … later that night while editing photos … saw my not so handy work!  I swear that I am not blind, nor was I  consuming alcoholic beverages … guess I was paying more attention to getting the photos taken before the light went away, than what the cake looked like!  That’s what happens when I’m in a rush and not wearing my glasses!  There was no fixing it … it was cut and consumed!  I thought about not sharing this cake at all … then decided what the heck … it’s cake … it’s not perfect and I’m not perfect ;)  Do you remember Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree?

Christmas Tree Cake 3-d

Go ahead and laugh if you want … I did!  I am not happy about the appearance of my cake, but I love the tree stump, chocolate nutcracker, Santa and rocking horse :)

I made the back side of the cake all white … except for that one red pearl that wasn’t supposed to show in the photo …

Christmas Tree Cake Wreck

So … today is one of those days … I strongly encourage you to do as I say, not as I do!

The concept of creating a 3-d cake was pretty easy …

  • Use a yellow cake mix, add the eggs and oil called for on the box, substitute 1 cup buttermilk for the water … add green food coloring … pour batter into greased and floured glass measuring containers …P1030460 ed
  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Fill a custard cup with 2/3 cups of batter (honestly, I would use a cupcake next time) Bake for 15-20 minutes
  • 1-1/2 cups batter in the 2 cup measuring cup.  Bake about 30 minutes
  • Remaining batter in the 4 cup measuring cup.  Bake about 35 minutes
  • Remove from oven, cool 10 minutes, remove from glass and let cool completely.  Level cakes.Tree cake 3-d
  • You will also need a container of white ready-made icing and large marshmallow (I put it on a pretzel stick to secure it in the cake)
  • Place the largest cake (cut side down) on the plate.Christmas cake 3-d
  • I heated the frosting in the microwave for about 20-25 seconds and spread the icing with the back of a spoon.  Continue building the cake.P1030464 ed
  • Now that I look back at my photos, I can see where the problems started.  I should have used a cupcake (not custard cup)(it would have been a better size) and marshmallow for the top.  What can I say … live and learn ;)  You have the benefit of learning from my mistakes!
  • Decorate your tree with small candies … I used pearls (from SweetWorks).
  • I was very excited about finding this piece of birch tree at Michael’s … it was level, clean and I didn’t have to bug my hubby to cut a piece of wood for me!christmas tree cake on stump
  • I put some double-sided tape on the wood  and placed my finished cake on it.  Please note that it’s not secure … the tape just helped the plate not slide around.Green Tree cake 3-d
  • The hubby and Son #3 convinced me to color the cake green … because they believe all Christmas trees should be green.Christmas Tree Shaped Cake
  • I think the cake looked better after it was cut ;)
  • Last night, I finally got around to reading Sunday’s newspaper and found a nice Christmas Tree Cake in the Parade Magazine by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.  They used an ice cream cone in place of the cupcake and marshmallow … another option!

Thank you to SweetWorks for the pearls and cute christmas chocolates!

So … did you learn from my mistakes?  I’m sure that you can make a great looking tree cake!  If you make one … please email me a photo at sweetsimplestuff@hotmail.com … I will share if it’s OK with you :)

I hope you got a good laugh and learned how (or not how) to build a Christmas tree cake.  I ♥ your comments!

 

 

A Tall Cake with Autumn Colors

It’s November and autumn … Christmas is around the corner and I’ll be sharing some new ideas very soon … in the meantime, don’t forget fall!

falling autumn leaves cake

I tried and tried to come up with a clever name for this cake … just didn’t happen. One thought was … Redemption Cake!  I made the cake to help Son #3 redeem himself for his past contributions to the office potlucks!  He has been found guilty of picking up cookies at the grocery store and calling them dessert, even though I offered to bake something!!!  When will that boy learn that Mom knows best?  I’m not saying that store-bought are bad … it’s just that his coworkers were expecting something homemade …

autumn tree cake sixlets

I made a very simple three layer cake, frosted it and used chocolate frosting to draw some trees … then added pretty Shimmer Autumn Sixlets as leaves!   This cake is not about perfection … it’s about taste, texture and fall colors!  I’ve seen so many tall cakes where the sides are decorated … just wanted to give it a try!

I am sharing what I did … of course you can do what’s best for you!  I am not a professional and not a cake decorating teacher … just a mom making a cake for her son ;)

  • I used two cake mixes to make four layers … used three of them for this cake and served the extra layer as dessert after dinner ;)   Duncan Hines is my choice of mixes … baked each one using 4 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk and the oil called for on the box. I baked the cakes a few days ahead, leveled them, double wrapped them in plastic and froze them … I find it easier to handle a frozen cake.   Note … having good pans with straight sides makes baking and frosting easier.
  • I made two recipes of my Favorite Decorator Frosting using half butter and half shortening … had about one cup of frosting leftover.  I achieved the creamy color by using one and one half tablespoons of vanilla bean paste as flavoring and then added two drops of yellow gel coloring.

P1030285 ed

Put a little frosting on the plate (helps hold it in place), first cake layer, frosting, second cake layer, frosting, third cake layer … adjust if necessary and make sure everything is secure.

P1030286 ed

Add a thin layer of icing on sides and top … sometimes called a crumb coat or dirty icing … just helps control crumbs.

P1030287 ed

Cover the whole cake with frosting … doesn’t have to be perfect … just fairly even.

P1030288 ed

Use a small spatula (or dinner knife, even the back of a teaspoon) to add texture … I am right-handed and started with my spatula pointed to the left and pulled it toward the right for about 3-4 inches.  You will probably remove some frosting while doing this.  I did this all the way around the cake in a random pattern and cleaned up a few smudges of frosting on the plate.

P1030289 ed

Ready made chocolate frosting that I had on hand worked great.  I filled a disposable pastry bag and just snipped off the tip.

Next I piped three trees … please excuse my lack of artistic ability ;)

tree on side of cake SixletsThen I added the Autumn Sixlets as leaves on the trees and as the border at the base of the cake!

fall cake sixletsI only used about 2/3 of a 4.5 ounce bottle of candy!

autumn fall leaves sixlets cakeIt sounds like the cake was a hit … some people even took photos!  Son #3 is now in good standing at the office ;)

Thank you to SweetWorks for supplying the Shimmer Autumn Sixlets :)

♦  I share my stuff with these fun parties ♦

 

Fall Review

I’m working on some new Fall/Halloween ideas and will be sharing them in a few days.

Until then … here’s a quick little review of some fall ideas from the past …

554

Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cake

Creamy Pumpkin Butter Pie Bars

Creamy Pumpkin Butter Pie Bars

pecan pie cupcakes

Pecan Pie Cupcakes … one of my most popular recipes that happens to be gluten-free, too!

spiced pecans

Spicy Salty Sweet Pecans

Brown butter, sea salt, pecan cookies

Brown Butter, Sea Salt, Pecan Cookies

See you in a few days :)

Nutty Pumpkin Bundt Cake and a few shopping finds!

Is it fall yet?  Are we there yet?

So many stores have Fall/Halloween merchandise and candy on their shelves … fall must be around the corner!

I have found so many great recipes featuring apples and pumpkin on the internet and in magazines!  I could bake forever and not get thru everything that I want to ;)

To make a long story short … I am sharing a recipe that falls in the “semi-homemade” category.  I was shopping and found this boxed mix on such a good sale, that I had to buy it and try it …

P1030083

However, I made the addition of a nutty filling and it was a hit.  Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and pecans … some of the things that make me swoon!

This bundt cake … whenever I hear bundt cake, I can’t help but think of the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” … am I alone?  Whether you call it a bundt cake or bunnnttt cake, it’s easy to make, easy to serve and freezes beautifully!

Nutty Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Nutty Pumpkin Bundt Cake

  • 1 Libby’s Pumpkin Bread Kit (56.1 oz.) plus the ingredients listed on mix (eggs, oil, water)

FILLING INGREDIENTS -

  • 1-1/4 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Grease & flour a 12 cup bundt pan (I use a spray that contains flour). Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl prepare pumpkin batter according to directions on box.  Set aside.
  3. In a small mixing combine all filling ingredients.
  4. Pour 1/3 to 1/2 pumpkin batter in prepared bundt pan.  Sprinkle filling mixture over batter and top with remaining batter.
  5. Bake for 60-70 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes and remove from pan.  Use icing packet according to directions on box.

I’m telling you … this was easy peasy and tasted like fall … perfect with a cup of coffee or tea!

P1030048

Now … I have good new and bad news … the good news is that I went to Target without responsible adult supervision … I need help resisting temptation … look what I found …

P1030162 Cute glittery garland in the $1 bin … I did resist temptation to buy all of cute fall and Halloween decorations ;)

P1030163 Twine packs for $1 in the gift wrap section … perfect for tying up little treat bags ;)

P1030164 Fall candy is on the shelves and Pumpkin Spice M&M’s (Target exclusive) … I neeeeded these … I’ll figure out what to do with them later ;)

The bad news … it’s only bad news for the hubby … I won’t let him open the candy ;)

I look forward to your comments!

♦  I share my stuff at these fun parties 

 

 

Butterscotch Cake with Butterscotch-Caramel Sauce

Have you made a cake in a slow cooker or crock pot?

This was a first for me … something to check off my “to try” list!

Butterscotch Cake with Butterscotch Caramel Sauce 2

This cake is moist, butterscotchy (if that’s a word), best served warm with vanilla ice cream and warm sauce.  The sauce is made separate, from the cake, on the stove top.

I cooked this cake at home … placed the crock pot in an insulated bag and drove it to my sister-in-law’s home.  It stayed warm and yummy in the crock pot for several hours.

I definitely will make a cake in a crock pot again!  You will too, once you try it!

I almost forgot to mention … you mix everything up in the crock pot … fewer dishes to wash, yeah!!!

001002 cloudy day for photos :(

Slow Cooker Butterscotch Cake with Butterscotch-Caramel Sauce

for the cake -

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream (I used light)
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 16.5 ounce package yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Classic Yellow)
  • 3.4 ounce package instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 12 ounce package butterscotch chips
  1. Place 4 eggs in your crock pot (I used a 6 quart size) and beat well.
  2. Add sour cream, oil and water … mix well.
  3. Add cake mix and pudding mix … mix well.
  4. Stir in butterscotch chips.  Cover and cook on high setting for 3 hours.

for the sauce -

  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  1. Heat brown sugar, syrup and butter over low heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in cream and vanilla.  Allow to cool and stir before serving.

serves 12    (recipe adapted from 101 Slow-Cooker Recipes)

Slow Cooker Butterscotch Cake

So what do think … I look forward to your comments!