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Lemon Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

So yesterday was my birthday. A big birthday with a big number. How can I be 40 years old already? So in the spirit of still feeling spritely, fresh and bright (yes … yes … I know age is just a number) I made myself a lemon cake for the birthday candles to adorn. Holla to all you other moms that … ahem … *get to* make your own birthday treats.

This was the first time I tried this recipe from 5BoysBaker and it is definitely Cotton-Kong household approved. I used a basic sour cream for the frosting recipe but 5BoysBaker suggest a sour cream lemon frosting here.

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CAKE INGREDIENTS


Cake:

  • 1½ cups sifted flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs , separated
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup buttermilk

Lemon Syrup:

  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons hot water

CAKE INSTRUCTIONS

  1. anPreheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 8×8-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. I like the line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit so that the baked cake is easier to remove. Set aside the prepared pan. (NOTE: I like petite cakes so I used two 6″diameter glass Pyrex dishes.)
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in bowl and set aside.
  4. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light d fluffy. Add the egg yolks to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice, mix until combined.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, alternating with buttermilk.
  7. Fold in the egg whites.
  8. Spread the batter evenly in a greased 8×8 inch pan. (NOTE: Since I use the 6″ baking dishes, I divide the batter evenly between the two dishes and usually reserve a little batter to make a few cupcakes, too.)
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until top is golden and cake springs back when touched in center.
  10. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges of the pan. Poke holes in cake with a fork or a skewer, making sure not to go all the way through the cake.
  11. For Syrup: Combine all syrup ingredients until sugar dissolves, s
    poon over cake while still warm. Let cool and remove from pan.

SOUR CREAM FROSTING:

  • 2.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1/3 cups sour cream
  • Milk, if needed to get desired consistency

(NOTE: I usually add more or less sour cream and milk depending on the consistency I want.)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth. Frost cake when completely cooled.

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Giving thanks for family

The older I get the more I realize how amazing my parents were. How did they manage eight children? My sanity limit is tested with my two kids. Thank you, Mother and Daddy, for teaching us that people are good unless proven differently. Thank you for instilling in me the confidence that can only be had when you know that you have unconditional support and love. Thank you for teaching me about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Thank you for teaching me faith, hope, stick-to-it-ness, optimism and the value of hard work. I love you and am thankful for you on this day and every day.

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Cocoa Buttons


One day as a thank you for delivering homemade cookies to her house, a sweet lady from my church gave me a recipe book. But it’s not just any recipe book, it’s “The Ultimate Cookie Book” published 19 years ago. I’m pretty sure the faded cover of the book proves a few years lying idle but it certainly hasn’t sat idle at my house. Why? Because Adelaide and Oliver discovered it. Once a week  I let them study the book for the cookie they want to bake together. We call it our “Weekly Cookie.” (I know … so creative.)

This week’s cookie is Cocoa Buttons. Considering my kids’ reading level hasn’t reached that of a cookbook, pictures are everything. I must admit they are cute (and tasty) cookies. I made a few adjustments  (as usual) which are noted below.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 tbsp Hersey’s chocolate syrup (The original recipe calls for instant coffee crystals dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water but I wanted to make it kid friendly but still have some richness.)

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions

Cream butter with brown sugar. Add egg  and beat well.

Add chocolate syrup and mix well.

Add cocoa powder and then gradually add flour until well mixed.

Divide and shape the dough into a two logs about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (We did one batch after it was in the fridge for about about an hour due to kids’ impatience. They were all out of shape but still tasted good. We were more patient and did the second roll the next day.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.

Slice dough into 1/4 inch slices and place on cookie sheet. Use a plastic drinking straw to punch four holes in each to round cookie to make it look like a button.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the cookies become slightly firm. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Store in an air tight container. Enjoy!

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Monster Pancake: A Saturday Morning Favorite 

Most Saturdays when I asked my kids what they want for breakfast they usually respond enthusiastically with “monster pancake!” Even better is after I make it Adelaide usually says “Mom, you’re the best pancake maker ever!”
This recipe is super easy to make, quick to clean up and refrigerates nicely if there are any leftovers.  Win win win.

Thanks to Heidi (one of my roommates in my single-and-fancy-free days) for the recipe!

MONSTER PANCAKE 

Ingredients :

5 eggs

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup milk

1 tbsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt

3 tbsp butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degree F. Melt butter in 9×13 pan. I usually do this in the oven as it preheats but you can melt the butter the microwave and pour it in the pan.

Blend the eggs for 4 minutes in a blender.  Add the flour, milk, sugar, salt and blend again for 1 minute. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan with the melted butter already in it.

Bake the pancake for 15 minutes and watch it grow as it bakes. It will be big when it comes out of the oven and deflates as it cools.

Slice and serve warm with powdered sugar  (my family’s favorite ), fresh fruit or preserves.

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Babycakes for my baby

So today Adelaide bamboozled me. Yep … sure did. I’ve prided myself in the past on knowing when she’s faking but this morning she got me. She started to complaining that her “tummy was going in circles” when we were in the middle of breakfast. She (like her dad) can think her way into her sickbed and this has been a thing before. I figured it was the Monday-morning-don’t-want-to-go-to-school blues so I employed my usual tactic and encouraged to her continue getting ready for school. But when she told me 30 minutes later, “Mommy I’m 1000% I don’t fell good,” I second guessed my tough-love approach. So I told her she could stay home. But I DID make her pinky promise (that is the ultimate level of promise between us) that if she started to feel better that she would go to school.

Well … by 10 a.m. it was pretty apparent whatever “ailment” she had wasn’t there so I sat her down and reminded her of the pinky promise. By 10:30 a.m. we were in the car headed for her school. As I drove home, I just shook my head. I couldn’t believe she fooled me. She’s only five years old!

We also discussed why she didn’t want to go to school. It is heartwarming that my little girl wants to spend her days next to me, but it’s also heart-wrenching because she wants to so that she doesn’t have to feel the ache of separation anxiety  when we have to say goodbye for a little while.20160908_173218

So after school I busted out the Babycakes cake pop maker for my baby girl. Grandma gave this little gem to Adelaide as a Christmas gift and it has been a lot of fun. For a while my creativity was stunted and I just made plain ol’ cake pops using a box cake mix because they were easy to make with Adelaide and our decision to make them was usually spontaneous. A few weeks ago clouds lifted from my creative brain matter as I pondered the usual dinner dilemma and I thought, “Wait! I bet you can make all sorts of stuff in this thing!” And sure enough … you can. I found a ton of ideas online and have tried a few already.

Well … today we stayed simple because I was dying to try brownies in the cake pop maker! It was amazing. I used a box brownie mix and followed the directions to make cake-like brownies (I added a tiny bit more water because I like them a bit lighter) and viola! Delicious brownie balls. Some came out looking a little odd but delicious all the same. The brownie balls didn’t last the night and two-year-old Oliver definitely approved.

I recommend the Babycakes cake pop maker because, really, the options are endless with what you can do with it. It’s easy with kids who want to help make whatever you’re making, and the end product usual earns you extra cool-mom points and is just as impressive to adults.

Here are links to three of my favorite cake pop maker idea generators:

6 Things You Can Make in A Cake Pop Maker – Besides Cake by OneGoodThingByJillee

14 Things You Can Make For Dinner In A Cake Pop Maker by Diply

Tips & Recipes by Babycakes