Tag Archives: cream cheese frosting

gingerbread whoopie pies

It is no secret that I love a good ginger dessert. Every year, I make batches and batches of different types of ginger cookies, ginger snaps, and gingerbread. Here is a great old fashion cookie that is soft, pillowy, and cake like. Perfect for whoopie pies! I remember seeing (and eating) whoopie pies growing up because we lived near Amish Country. The whoopie pie is having a a bit of a revival this year and I have been seeing them in more and more bakeries. And why not? They are just like two cupcake tops with some frosting squished in between. The traditional flavor is a chocolate cake with a vanilla, marshmallow-like filling. This is a great seasonal twist on the classic whoopie pie, gingerbread filled with cream cheese frosting. These were very well received at a Christmas party we attended last weekend, so make room for these on your holiday cookie tray.

Gingerbread Whoppie Pies

adapted from eat live run

Cake:

1/2 cup butter, soft. (You can potentially use 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup butter)

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup molasses (yes, 1 cup)

2 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 1 cup water

2 cup all purpose flour

2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground white pepper

Frosting:

4 tbsp butter, soft

1 package, 8 oz cream cheese or neufchatel cheese, soft

1 tsp vanilla

2 cup sifted powdered sugar

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 400. Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Once well creamed and fluffy, add the eggs, one at a time. Stream in the molasses and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, salt, and spices. Alternate the flour mixture with the hot soda water into the butter mixture. Drop by the tablespoonful on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. My oven runs a bit hot, so these got a bit too dark for my liking. Definitely keep an eye on these while they are in the oven. Cool completely before filling.

For the frosting:

Cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Gradually incorporate the powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy. Sandwich the frosting between two cookies and enjoy!

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gluten-free strawberry cupcakes

i wanted to make something for a gluten-free friend for her birthday many, many weeks ago. unfortunately with charrette and finals, i didn’t get a chance until this past week. continuing with the strawberries from this past week, here are gluten-free strawberry cupcakes!  gluten-free baking is certainly another beast. there are so many flours and starches to chose from! but here, coconut flour seems like a good idea and i like that these are sweetened with honey or agave nectar. i liked the dense crumb and the fluffy cream cheese frosting. but in the end,  i liked that i could make something (successfully!) for a friend to enjoy, most of all.

gluten-free strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

from joy the baker

after eating one two, i thought that next time i could lighten this up a bit if i beat the egg whites separately and folded them in at the end, like an angel food cake. if anyone does this, let me know how it turns out. also, these baked up pretty dark in my oven, so keep an eye on them. or use cupcake liners. also, these really do only need 1/2 cup of coconut flour!

1/2 c coconut flour

1 tbsp arrowroot powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 lrg eggs (room temp)

1/2 cup agave nectar or honey

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 c finely diced strawberries, plus more for garnishing

preheat oven to 350. line or grease 8-9 cupcake molds.

whisk together the coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda. make sure to whisk out any lumps in the coconut flour. in a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, agave, and vanilla. add the egg mixture to the flour mixture all at once and stir well. the batter will get thicker as you stir. fold in the diced berries. scoop out to the prepared pan and bake about 20 minutes or until cakes are done. cool on a rack and frost.

cream cheese frosting

1/3 cup heavy cream

4 oz cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp honey

beat the cream to stiff peaks. in another bowl, beat the cream cheese to lighten and beat in the vanilla and honey. fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and frost your cupcakes!

photo taken at pondicheri, houston, texas

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(birthday) carrot cake

i love birthdays and birthday cakes.  to me, everyone should get a homemade birthday cake every year.  birthday cakes don’t have to be fancy or even multi layered (see this), but something that looks homemade and is, most importantly, very tasty.  for this person’s big day, i made a carrot cake.  most carrot cakes are made using the muffin method or dump and stir method, but i wanted something with a lighter, tighter crumb.  i accomplished this by creaming soft butter and sugar together instead of using oil for the batter and by grating the carrots very, very, very finely by hand instead of with a food processor (this alone shows your love and devotion).

the resulting cake was lighter than your standard carrot cake and using butter instead of oil helped bring in a little more flavor.  however, to me, the best part about carrot cake is the cream cheese frosting.  i used neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese to save a few calories and you couldn’t tell any difference.  you could also flavor the cream cheese frosting with a little maple syrup, but i like the classic tart flavor to cut through the richness of the cake.  all in all, baking a birthday cake isn’t too much work or time but tastes much, much sweeter.

carrot cake

2 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp cardamon (optional)

1 tsp ground ginger

2.5 sticks (1 1/2 cups) butter, at room temp

1 3/4 cup sugar (i used turbinado or sugar in the raw and it was fine)

4 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

3 cups finely grated carrots (this took maybe 8 or 9 smallish carrots for me)

up to 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

preheat oven to 350 and butter 2 9 inch round cake pans.  cut a circle of parchment or wax paper to fit the pans and butter and flour those too.

combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.  in a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy (this took me about 6-8 minutes).  gradually add the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.  add about a 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until it is just absorbed; add 1/4 cup of the milk and beat until just  absorbed.  repeat with the remaining flour mixture and milk, ending with the flour.  fold in the carrots, nuts, and raisins, if using, and divide evenly into the two prepared cake pans.  bake for about 40 minutes or until the cakes are done.  cool on racks completely before frosting.

cream cheese frosting

2 8 oz packages of softened cream cheese or neufchatel cheese

1 stick softened butter

2 1/4 cup shifted confectioners’ sugar

tiny pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 tsp lemon juice

beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  gradually add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth.  add the pinch of salt, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat again until smooth.  it helps to let this frosting set up a little bit in the fridge before you start assembly.

to assemble:

trim the cake layers if they are a bit uneven with a long serrated knife.  on the cake plate, place on layer top facing up.  spread a generous layer of the cream cheese frosting.  place the second layer top side facing down, resulting in a flat bottom facing up.  put the remaining frosting on top of the cake and frost the cake generously, making sure not to get too many crumbs into the frosting.  i coated the sides of my cake with some finely chopped toasted walnuts but you could leave it plain or pipe some frosting carrots on top if that is your sort of thing.  add candles, light, make a wish, and enjoy.

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