in my kitchen · more cake, please

Testing 1,2,3…

I love to bake. You probably know that by now, if you read my blog much. The truth is, last year was a dream because I baked something new each week – it wasn’t easy, but I really thrived regularly trying new recipes.

Now that I don’t need to do something new each week for my cake-a-week challenge, I still find myself wanting to try new ideas. The good news is that because I’m baking for people in a little at-home business, I have found a way to keep trying those yummy new ideas! Each month I offer a cake of the month on my morecakeplease site – so I continually need to try fresh options!

This week happens to be my mom’s birthday – which is also the perfect opportunity to make a cake! I’ve known for a long time, since I was a little girl, that my mom loved “turtles” candy – caramel, chocolate, nuts – so, I thought I’d give this recipe a try. It looks pretty amazing! Warning: it uses a cake mix. I know, I know – its not exactly from scratch – but, I just could not help myself! I found it on I think it turned out pretty well!

Fudge Turtle Brownie bundt

Devil’s food cake mix
Duncan Hines fudge brownie mix
4 eggs
1 cup of oil
1 1/4 cup of water.
Toppings (caramel sauce, fudge sauce, nuts.)

Instructions: Mix together all of the ingredients but the toppings. Prepare pan and pour batter into the pan. Bake at 350 for about 50-55 minutes. When the cake is cooled, poke holes and pour caramel over the holes into the cake. Then dump the cake onto a serving plate. Top the cake with as much caramel and fudge sauce and sprinkle with nuts. make it as gooey as you like!

in my kitchen · more cake, please

What to do when you love baking cake…

It is a few days into the new year, 2018.  2017 was a very full year for me – a year full of cake.  52 cakes for the cake-a-week page, in fact.  And I managed to photograph and blog about (almost) every one.  I still can’t believe I did it, to be honest!  For the most part, I loved every moment of baking and experimenting and sharing.   Can you handle the truth?  All totaled, between the cake-a-week project, other opportunities and cakes that we gave as gifts- we think I made close to 100 cakes in 2017. (Kudos to Gladys, my remarkable stand mixer who never lets me down.)

The thing is, I love to bake.  I especially love baking sweets.  There’s just something about serving up a yummy treat and seeing faces brighten.  In a way, you might say that the end of a baking project is not when I pull it from the oven, or successfully free a cake from it’s pan.  A baking project of mine is complete when I know that it has made someone’s day special.

It wasn’t that long ago, a few years I guess, that I first understood how baking could be so fulfilling.  Friends of ours were down-n-out at Christmas time – no money for gifts, no tree to decorate, no extra for special treats : there was nothing.  But, they didn’t tell anyone- Michael and I had no idea.  That year we showed up at their door, dropped off a Coconut Rum bundt cake, wished them a Merry Christmas and left. It wasn’t until much later we came to know the truth.

Our friends told us, to our shock, that they hadn’t celebrated Christmas at all – in fact the only thing they had that Christmas Day to make it special was the cake we had brought them.    Please let that sink in a moment.  One cake.  For so many of my friends and family – Christmas is a time of extravagance.  No desire is left wanting.  Food, gifts, decorations – we have everything and more.  When they told us the situation, I nearly cried.  However, they remembered our gift with happiness and grateful hearts.

Since then, it has become so clear to me that there are many who are surviving.  They have the basic needs.  But, to have something special, something made thoughtfully with love and care – that is very rare for them.  You can’t imagine how my heart swells when I’m able to give a cake to someone that says, “I see you.  You’re important.  In fact you are so special, I made this just for you!”

Look, I know not everyone needs cake.  On a list of survival necessities, cake is not there.  However, there are many who need to know that someone cares about them.


What am I gonna do about this love for baking?

I’m gonna bake.  I’m gonna sell cake to folks who would like to buy – and I’m gonna give cake away.  It is pretty simple really.  For every 5 cakes I sell, I will give a cake away – maybe to the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House, maybe to a family who needs extra care – who knows? Maybe when you buy a cake, you’ll whisper in my ear the name of someone who would benefit. I’m truly confident that God is going to show me where to give cake.

BUT, here’s what will happen first, before I get started.  I’m going to host a cake-tasting open house.  That’s right!  For those of you who live in the area, I’ll be inviting friends and family to stop by and taste.  Cake.  Cake. Cake.  So many of you have been a part of encouraging me about my cakes -and now I want you- really, I need you- to help me on this ever so yummy part of this cake journey.  You’ll taste and tell me what your favorites are! We’ll call it market research, okay?    Be watching – I’ll announce the details really soon, okay?




in my kitchen · more cake, please

Cake 52 – Happy New Year’s Root beer cake.


Yesterday, in preparation for a New Year’s Eve get together, I decided to make the final cake.  A Root Beer Cake!  Now choosing cake #52 was not an easy decision, but I love root beer and chocolate – so it seemed like this was the cake to finish up the “Cake-aWeek” year well!

I found this recipe in a “Sifted” magazine by King Arthur Flour, which is a fantastic baking resource.   It looked so amazing in the photos.   I my imagination it is a lot like a coca-cola cake.  But, of course, I don’t that for sure yet since I haven’t tasted it. Confession:  I did not use freshly grated ginger or smoked cinnamon (whatever that is…).

Root Beer Cake with Chocolate Root Beer Ganache.

2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground star anise
1 1/2 cups root beer, flat or fizzy
16 tablespoons (1 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process or natural
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
*The original recipe calls for smoked cinnamon; if you can find it, by all means use it.

1/4 cup root beer, flat or fizzy
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, Dutch-process or natural
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground star anise
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-cup Bundt pan, a 9″ x 13″ pan, or two 9″ round cake pans.
To make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a medium saucepan, bring the root beer, butter, and cocoa powder to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, cool for 5 minutes, then mix into the flour mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla and stir into the flour mixture. Fold in the grated ginger.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan(s) and bake for 50 minutes for a Bundt cake, 35 minutes for a 9″ x 13″ cake, or 33 to 35 minutes for 9″ layers, until the edge of the cake begins to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven. Gently loosen it from the pan around the edge, if you can. Place a cooling rack on top, across the surface of the cake. Very carefully turn the cake and rack over so that the cake (in its pan) is resting on the rack. Wait 15 minutes, then carefully lift the pan off the cake, jiggling it gently first to make sure it’s not stuck.

To make the ganache: Bring the root beer to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and cocoa powder, stirring until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, then whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, spices, and salt until smooth and glossy. Pour over the top of the cake while still warm.



In case you’re concerned, or sad to see the year of the bundt cake end, be of good cheer:  I’m not done baking. In fact, I have a few plans up my sleeve for this coming year – and I hope you’ll keep reading, baking with me and dreaming about cake! There are many more recipes to be tested!


friends and loved ones · in my kitchen · more cake, please · Uncategorized

Prepare Him Room


For my entire life, and I do mean every year, I’ve heard the words to “Joy to the World” at Christmas time. Not one holiday season has passed without the opportunity to heartily sing out the hymn with gusto.   “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!  Let earth receive her King!  Let every heart prepare Him room and heaven and nature sing.”

This year I heard these words in particular everywhere I went: “Let every heart prepare Him room.”  The lyrics seemed to follow me around and I could not escape them.

Every heart.


The thing is, every year when Christmas rolls around, my life turns into a ridiculous flash of activities and I don’t prepare – at least, not like I should.  But this year, with the words echoing in my ears, I began to ask Him sincerely, “How can I prepare?  What can I do to make room  for You this Christmas?”

The answer seemed to tiptoe in the back door- and I wasn’t prepared for how He was making room…

Over the holidays I love to bake gifts for friends and family.  On one trip to Wal Mart, Michael and I ran into an old friend who had come on hard times.  After chatting with Him, I felt so strongly – I whispered to Michael maybe I should make a cake for his family, – but I wasn’t sure we would run into him again.    I felt so strongly that if I was to bake a cake for him, it would work out!

A week or two later, I walked into the very same Wal Mart after a morning of making several cakes.  Believe it or not, I ran into our friend again and was able to leave a cake with him.  Someone who had very little to give his family for Christmas, was so excited to receive this simple gift.  Friends, as I walked to the car, I’ll admit a little teary, it was as though He spoke audibly to me : “Whatever you do for the least of these you have done to Me.”

So, a few days before Christmas, I gave cake to Jesus, without even planning it.  And I knew in an extraordinary way that He had drawn my heart to His, made room for Himself, and His purpose, even in my cake baking!

My prayer has changed since then.  No longer am I asking how to prepare room for Him at Christmas.  No, I’m asking Him to make room for Himself, in ways I never dreamed, in every part of my life, all year long.

I can’t wait to see what He has planned!


in my kitchen · more cake, please · Uncategorized

Cake-a-Week challenge : 51 down, just 1 to go!

Guys!  I’m so close to the finish line, I can almost taste it!  It’s hard to believe, really! And, while I know exactly what I’m doing for cake #52, for New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d relive a few of the cakes from over the past year…  What a year of bundt cakes!

Here are my top 10 favs!

Toffee Caramel Crunch


Chocolate Cake Donut Bundt


Carrot cake with cream cheese filling


Aunt Belva’s pound cake with lemon


Raspberry Zinger with cream filling


Key Lime pound cake


Lemon Rhubarb


Kentucky Bourbon Butter with pecans


Chocolate Whoopi Pie


Mint Chocolate Pound cake with ganache

in my kitchen · more cake, please

#51 Egg Nog Bundt cake


It’s coming  down to the wire folks! I’ve been baking tons of cake for gifts to give to precious friends and family, and trying to keep up with the rest of a busy holiday schedule!  But I’m determined to cross this finish line – 52 cakes WILL happen!

I realized a friend’s birthday was happening right on Christmas Eve! So I took her an early birthday cake – an Egg Nog Bundt cake!


Here’s what I did:

1 golden cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 Cup egg nog
1 tsp nut meg


instructions:(I coated the pan with bakers spray, then gave a good coat of cinnamon sugar.)Heat the oven to 350.  Mix all of the cake ingredients on medium speed for two minutes.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or so.

Frosting ingredients:

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 stick of butter
Tsp rum extract
tbsp or two of cream ( or enough for desired consistency)
whip these ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Spread over cake.

Heres the thing- I covered only the top of the cake, but really it would be good with a thick layer of frosting all over the cake! I think in the future I might pour a good voting of spiced rum sauce all over the cake (this is the sauce I make for the coconut rum cake) that would move this cake from yummy status to Divine!!


in my kitchen · more cake, please

Cake#50 buckeye bundt

A few weeks ago I found out a friend’s birthday was coming up- And I discovered she loves peanut butter and chocolate.  Well, this is the perfect time of year to love peanut butter and chocolate in my kitchen because: Buckeyes! (Also known as peanut butter balls in the south)

I decided to try something a little different- I created a chocolate cake and I hid Buckeyes inside the batter.  Here’s what I did:

for the cake:

To a devils food cake mix I added a cup of milk, four eggs and a 1/2 cup of oil.  I beat on medium for two minutes and then poured the batter into a greased Bundt pan.  Then I took 8 well chilled Buckeyes and gently set them on top of the batter – I knew they would sink into the cake as it baked and probably melt some!  I baked the cake for about 45 minutes at 350.

After it cooled and I removed it from the pan I made a ganache. ( 6 tbspoons of hot cream, poured over a cup of chocolate chips, stirred until smooth)

i spread the ganache over the cake and then covered the top with crushed peanut butter cups.

Apparently it was pretty good!