Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Pink Grapefruit Layer Cake

Fruit kissed by the sun welcomes this light and luscious Pink Grapefruit Layer Cake.

Citrus growing in the garden.

Smell the scent of the fragrant flowers.

Lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits.

So much fruit adorn the branches.

Bending gently as ripened, too heavy fruit falls to the ground.

Citrus is the inspiration for summer.

Refreshing as the sweet and tart fruit squirts into your mouth.

The sun has kissed these kindly.

And the soil has spurted their growth.

The citrus is delicate. The oil is light.

Brought together makes a wonderful combination.

Light and refreshing cake.

New and intriguing flavor.

Delightful.

As summer comes to an end.

Drench yourself in the sunny flavors of citrus.

Stimulate your senses.

Soft pink. Pale yellow.

A beautiful dessert worth remembering.

PINK GRAPEFRUIT LAYER CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2/3 cup Algee oil*
1/2 cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons pink grapefruit zest

For the Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
2-4 tablespions freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2-3 drops red food coloring

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper, then sprayed again, and set aside.

in a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs for about 5 minutes until light yellow and thick.

In a separate large bowl add the flor, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined. And, to a medium bowl add the yogurt, oil, grapefruit juice and grapefruit zest and mix until well blended.

With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Repeat twice. Do not over mix.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes; until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely.

When the cake is cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter on high-speed for about 5 minutes – until light and fluffy. Tune the mixer to low-speed and add the confectioners sugar, grapefruit juice, heavy cream, and the red food coloring (one drop at a time until you get the color you prefer). Turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

To assemble the cake, put the first cake on stand or plate, add 1/4 of the frosting, top with the second cake, 1/4 of the frosting, then the third cake, and top with 1/4 of the frosting. Use the remaining frosting for the sides and smooth with an offset spatula.

Slice. Serve. Enjoy!

Sweetly,

Sheila

 

* I won a bottle of Algee Oil from Raley’s, thanks!

{cake inspired by BHG}

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Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies

Send an arrow straight through your loved one’s heart with these enticing Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies!

Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

With Valentines’ Day right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what wonderful homemade goodies to make your sweetheart, friends, co-workers or family.

And for me, these Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies are the perfect treat make for my boys. They love anything they can have and call “their own”, meaning if I make these cookies in mini cast-iron skillets, they each get their own pan full of soft, sweet, buttery cookies, dotted with rich chocolate M&M’s — all to themselves.

You see, around my home, we each have our favorites when it comes to treats and snacks. For some reason, we never can agree on one thing to buy and share. So when I go shopping, my list can get a bit overwhelming! My husband will ask for his favorite chocolate candy, ice cream, or salty potato chips and the like, and my son does the same thing. Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

If I happen to get a special treat for myself, I have to hide it as it will be gobbled up in no time flat. My husband will say something like, “Don’t worry, if I eat all of your {fill in the blank here with my special treat}, I will just go to the store and buy you more”.

Well, that does not work for me. The point is, I like to eat my sweets a little at a time, and savor each and every bite. If I buy a bag of candy, it can literally last me the entire month. Whereas with my hubby and son, well that bag would be gone in one day!

But I can’t really blame them for their love sweets. These guys are my loves and no matter what, I adore spoiling them with my baking adventures as much as I can! This time of year is no exception — time to bring on as many pink, pretty and delicious sweet treats as possible! Or as many as my boys will eat!

Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

This is why I like using mini cast-iron skillets to make desserts — we each have our very own skillet filled with goodness! No reason to fight over how many cookies we each get. The only fighting is when the boys have to decide who gets the extra skillet  — and for the most part, they end up sharing it!

My guys loved these Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies. The base is not too sweet – fluffy on the inside with a bit of crunch on the top and sides (just the way we like our cookies!) and the pretty pink milk chocolate M&M’s give the cookies an angelic feel and a blissful taste!

You will send your loved ones over-the-moon with these freshly baked skillet cookies — they will love you forever, and probably ask you for more!

Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

VALENTINE MINI SKILLET COOKIES

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup Valentine Milk Chocolate M&M’s

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 4 mini cast iron skillets with non-stick spray and set aside. If you skillets are well seasoned, you can skip this step.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.  In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla and mix until combined. With the mixer on low-speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Dough will be thick.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add the M&M’s and stir with a spoon until incorporated. Evenly divide the dough between 4 small mini cast iron skillets and press down gently to make an even layer. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature in either the skillet or remove and cut each cookie into 4 pieces.

Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

I hope your day is filled with love and a batch of these Valentine Mini Skillet Cookies!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xxoo

Sheila


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Pink and Chocolate Cake

Time to welcome the month of love with this pretty Pink and Chocolate Cake!

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Or for me, just another reason to make something drool worthy using the color pink!

But really, I don’t need a special day or month just for that! I try to incorporate my favorite color into my recipes as much as I can!

If you hadn’t noticed from this blog, there is pink everywhere, and some of my favorite posts include Birthday Cake Bark, Pink Lemonade Sheet Cake, Honey Vanilla Cupcakes, and Peppermint Bark Cookie Bars.

Don’t get me wrong, I do LOVE Valentine’s Day – heart decorations, lots of chocolate and of course, pink, pink and more pink!

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

As you move past the pink, there’s the chocolate. Ah, let me tell you all about the chocolate cake — it’s out of this world fabulous! It’s moist, dense, and rich all rolled into one incredible, lip smacking cake. And the frosting is the best super fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth buttercream that you will ever experience!

Put the cake and the frosting together, and well, let’s just say you and your sweetie will be on cloud nine!

I loved it (well, duh!).

My boys loved it (amazing!).

My co-workers loved it (spoiled!).

And you will love it too!

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

You see, I made a cake similar to this one about a month ago. For that version I added peppermint extract and chopped peppermint bark to the frosting. It was A M A Z I N G!

Unfortunately, I got very sick right after it was made (ok, not from the cake — I got that terrible flu!) and did not have the energy or desire to take photos of the beautiful cake. And by the time I was up to possibly dragging myself out of bed, well, the cake had seen better days!

So I decided to recreate my scrumptious cake for Valentine’s Day. However, when I was making it, I asked my boys if they wanted peppermint frosting or vanilla. And of course they said vanilla — go figure! I sided with them (I would have made the frosting peppermint!), as I wanted them to enjoy this special treat.

But if you love the flavor combination of peppermint and chocolate (like I do!), then by all means substitute peppermint extract (about 1/2 teaspoon) for the vanilla extract as indicated for the frosting recipe.

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

PINK & CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • Servings: 15-18
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
4 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sour cream (or you can use milk)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons milk
3-4 drops red food coloring

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 11×7-inch baking ban with non-stick spray and set aside. This makes for a thick cake, if you prefer you can use a 13×9-inch pan and adjust the baking time.

For the cake, in a large mixing bowl whisk flour, granulated sugar and salt, and set aside.

Over low heat, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Once the butter is completely melted, whisk in the cocoa powder until thoroughly combined. Add the boiling water and turn up the heat to medium and allow mixture to boil for about 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and pour the hot mixture over the flour mixture and lightly stir.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Then pour this mixture into chocolate flour mixture and stir until combined. Pour into prepared sheet cake pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted to the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cake is cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter on high-speed for about 5 minutes – until light and fluffy. Occasionally scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Then, with the mixer on low-speed, add the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, milk and the red food coloring, adding a couple of drops until you get the color you prefer. Turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Frost the cake using an off set spatula, and smooth to create an even layer. Slice into squares and enjoy! Note, this is a rich cake, so a little piece goes a long way. Yield: 15-18 squares.

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Spread the love with your special someone by sharing a big slice of this incredible Pink & Chocolate Cake!

xxoo

Sheila

 

{Adapted from my Texas Sheet Cake and Coconut Buttercream Frosting}


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Peppermint Chip Ice Cream {no-churn}

Welcome the winter with a scoop or two of this delightful Peppermint Chip Ice Cream!

Peppermint Chip Ice Cream (no churn) | Sweet Baked LIfe

Yep, I did say ice cream. You know, just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t eat frozen dessert! As a matter of fact, I could eat this beautiful cool stuff any day, any time.

Oh, and did I say winter? Yes! I really can’t believe that today is the first day of winter. Where did this month go? It’s almost Christmas, and I’m not ready! Thankfully, I took a few days off before the holiday so I can get everything done that I have been putting off — wrapping, baking, cleaning and the like when it’s this time of year!

So, if you’re like me, short on time and in need of a simple, elegant dessert — this no-churn Peppermint Chip Ice Cream is a winner in my book!

Needless to say, I am a huge peppermint fan, and peppermint ice cream has been one of my all-time favorite desserts ever since I was a kid. We used to go to this amazing ice cream shop by our home. It was small, family owned and the ice cream was incredible. Mint chip was usually my pick, however for the most part it was green (except for Christmas when they featured pink peppermint ice cream with crushed peppermint candy). And, I would get my ice cream dipped in this delicious chocolate sauce that hardened instantly, kind of like my Homemade Milk Chocolate Magic Shell.

Peppermint Chip Ice Cream (no churn) | Sweet Baked LIfe

For me, because I have such fond memories of ice cream, there’s no better time to enjoy this Peppermint Chip Ice Cream than Christmastime! I love the combination of peppermint and chocolate — they really taste so good together — and the flavor reminds me of family and wonderful memories of sharing and eating! And, the pink color, well, if you know me, I would rather do pink than red or green anytime!

This time of year we come together with our families and share what we love.  So, whether you are having a big crowd or a small gathering this holiday season, this Peppermint Chip Ice Cream is the perfect dessert to share with your friends or family after your celebratory meal.

The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled, and even better, there is no need for a fancy ice cream maker!

Peppermint Chip Ice Cream (no churn) | Sweet Baked LIfe

So give yourself a break from all that baking, cooking and preparation for your big feast, and whip up this cool and satisfying dessert that’s easy to make last-minute or in advance.

The refreshing peppermint, along with a few drops of red food coloring to give it the glorious pink color, dotted with rich semi-sweet mini chocolate chips will make you tingle and instantly happy!

Delightful, cool and oh so yummy! You won’t be able to resist the incredible flavor combination! But please don’t forget to share it with your loved ones! Gather around the roaring fire or beautifully lit Christmas tree with a big bowl of this frozen delight and you won’t even remember the freezing temperature outside!

Peppermint Chip Ice Cream (no churn) | Sweet Baked LIfe

Peppermint Chip Ice Cream {no-churn} Peppermint Chip Ice Cream (no churn) | Sweet Baked LIfe

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

1 (14.5 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (chilled)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2-4 drops red food coloring (to make the perfect shade of pink)
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

In a large bowl, add the chilled sweetened condensed milk and peppermint extract. Mix until well incorporated. Add the red food coloring, one drop at a time, stirring in between, until you get the perfect shade of pink, then set aside. Then in a large bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the heavy whipping cream and beat on high-speed until stiff peaks form.

Add the whipped cream to the sweetened condensed milk and gently fold in until fully incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and stir gently. Pour mixture into a loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm (about 6 hours or overnight). When ready to serve, remove from freezer and let sit for 2-3 minutes then scoop into bowls and enjoy!

Peppermint Chip Ice Cream (no churn) | Sweet Baked LIfe

Wishing you and your family a warm and wonderful Christmas topped off with this cool and refreshing Peppermint Chip Ice Cream!

Sheila