• Learn to Love Mini Cake Tins With Me - why I love using 4 inch cake tins when baking

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Learn to Love Mini Cake Tins With Me

    A few months ago I found myself wandering around a craft store. I believe it was summer because my husband and kids were with me, though the three of them were wandering elsewhere. As for me? I was in the baking aisle. Of course I was in the baking aisle. I mean, I like yarn, but so do my cat and daughter. I like fake flowers, but have nowhere to put them. I like making pretty little things with vases, flowers, marbles, sand, etc., but it’s not always child-friendly. No, I can usually be found in the baking aisle. By the time summer had rolled around, I had been ratio…

  • A Year of Adventures in Ratio Baking

    A Year of Adventures in Ratio Baking

    About a year ago, I got it into my head that I’d like a kitchen scale and I’d like to figure out ratio baking. The Husband got me a kitchen scale for Christmas, probably because I wouldn’t shut up about it, and then my brain panicked because it meant I should actually use it. I spent the first few weeks of the year thinking about it, thinking of taking the scale out of the cabinet and making something. I wasn’t quite sure of what to make, and I froze again. Then I decided I wanted cake, and the cake ratio looked simple (1:1:1:1 flour to sugar to eggs to butter)…

  • Adventures in Ratio Baking: Baking Gluten-Free Cakes

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Baking Gluten-Free Cakes

    My mom has been gluten-free for years. It started when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Myasthenia Gravis about 15 years ago. She made two attempts to be gluten-free before it finally stuck the second time. The first time around, there was an incredible dearth of gluten-free products, so it was difficult for her to find alternatives for the gluten products she loved. The second time around, the gluten-free diet was picking up and gaining popularity. More and more products were and are coming on the market, and Europe seems to be quite accommodating. I’m just hoping she doesn’t decide to up and move across a continent and…

  • Ratio Recipe: Black Forest Inspired Cake

    Black Forest Inspired Cake

    Ah, October. A fine fall month complete with Halloween. It’s a time for pumpkins and apples, for sweaters and golden leaves ripe for crunching underfoot. So, uh, why have I chosen to post a ratio recipe for a Black Forest Cake? October is also the month for Oktoberfest. Since I grew up in Southern California, crunchy leaves were rare and the sweater was ditched before nine in the morning. It was kind of hard to get into fall. Fall in Southern California means cold mornings and nights and sweltering in between. Pumpkins and apples were kind of meh to my family and me. But I took German in high school.…

  • Knock You Over the Head with Lemon Cupcakes - a ratio recipe

    Knock You Over the Head with Lemon Cupcakes

    The basic ingredients for a high ratio cake include flour, sugar, butter (fat), eggs, a liquid, and baking powder. Most of the time, I use milk as my liquid. A couple of times I’ve used some of the liquid that comes with maraschino cherries. One day I had a lemon, and wondered how lemony it would be if I used lemon juice as my liquid. Well, I am calling these cupcakes Knock You Over the Head with Lemon for a reason! And maybe my husband should buy fewer lemons. I can’t help it; I have a bad habit of walking into the kitchen on Mondays and wondering what we have that I…

  • Adventures in Ratio Baking: The Downside

    I love ratio baking. I find it much easier to whip up a cake this way than using a recipe. It’s also easier on my brain when it comes to having to chat with my kids while measuring all the ingredients. It hasn’t been the smoothest adventure, but what adventure should be? But as much as I love ratio baking, it isn’t a perfect method. Baking temperatures and times are a guessing game. The standard temperatures are 350 and 375, but which one should you choose? Honestly, I’m not sure, but I usually use 375 and only turn it down to 350 when the cake is browning too much, but…

  • Recipe Review: Chocolate and Hazelnut Mug Cake from Mother of Girls

    Last week I tried the Birthday Cake Surprise mug cake from Mother of Girls, because I thought my son would try it so I let him pick which one I made. Turns out I was wrong; he did not want to try it. It was delicious, but I’m a chocoholic, so I wished I had made the Chocolate and Hazelnut mug cake instead. So I did. And it was as good as I expected based on how good the birthday cake one was! My son wasn’t as interested in helping me this time, so I held my daughter and she got to watch me add all the ingredients and give…

  • Reuse It: 1 Liter Soda Bottle

    Make a cake! No, seriously. Make a cake. It’s a fun activity for kids and a great way to get dessert out of it. Oh, yeah, and it reuses a soda bottle. Well, I had planned on using a milk gallon, but found the one I had been saving for this experiment missing. My son was really disappointed. So, I looked around, desperately hoping that gallon was hiding somewhere. Nope. But I found a 1 liter soda bottle. That could work. After all, I just wanted something my toddler could shake to his heart’s desire. And he does love shaking up his daddy’s soda. My son was thrilled and eagerly…

  • National Chocolate Cake Day

    January 27th is chocolate cake day. So enjoy some chocolate cake tomorrow! My favorite chocolate cake recipe is only about 4 or so years old. We had recently moved to Pennsylvania and, for some reason, I was dying to have chocolate cake. Only we didn’t have any butter at all. So I did some searching online and found this recipe. I wish I could remember where I found it. Since then it has become my go-to chocolate cake recipe, with a couple of minor tweaks. It’s light and moist and is fabulous as both cake and cupcake. I even made it into a two layer bundt cake once and filled…

  • Tea Party, Act 1, Scene 2

    Scene Two: Calvin’s backyard. A square table is set up surrounded by hedges. Amelia: (sighs dramatically) Another tea party, another death. Who will die today? Patience: No one’s going to die, Amelia. Beatrice’s death was a once in a lifetime sort of thing. No one will die today. Rupert: Did Amelia bake cookies again? Amelia: Of course not! Actually, Calvin did. Rupert: (looking around) Where is he? Calvin: Behind you. Enter Calvin. He is holding a plate with a dark brown cake covered in slightly dark, white frosting and a pile of sprinkles in the middle. He sets the cake down in the middle of the table. Patience: (staring at…