VDay Sweet: Lemon Buttermilk Cake – Cream Cheese Icing & Lemon Curd Filling

I ❤ U Lemon Buttermilk Cake

I have a hard time following recipes. I prefer to peruse a few different versions and just go for it. That, obviously, is why I rarely bake. Since Dre made me a delicious breakfast in bed & an impressive dinner, I decided I’d whip up whatever flavor of cake the he wanted. I looked up a recipe for Lemon Cake & came across Martha Stewart’s Fluffy Lemon Buttermilk Cake. I carefully measured each ingredient & set up a mise en place to take a pic of them all…

Lemon Cake Ingredients

… and then I realized I had already ignored the first two instructions. I had mixed ALL the dry ingredient together, including the sugar. Thus, there would be no creaming of the butter & sugar and then no folding in the flour, baking powder, & salt. I couldn’t give up so I figured I’d see how things would turn out if I just went for it. I creamed just the butter in my stand mixer and added in the eggs, vanilla, & lemon zest.  I then folded in the dry mix & buttermilk for a smooth, lemony batter. After about 25 min in the oven, I had successfully baked one 9″ layer of my lemon cake (recipe or not!).

Lemon Cake Layer

While the second layer was baking, I made my first attempt at lemon curd from the Joy of Baking’s recipe. It was really easy and the perfect filling for my cake!

Lemon Curd Filling

While the lemon curd set in the fridge, I worked on a simple Cream Cheese Frosting. I whipped together (1) pkg of cream cheese & (1) stick of butter, both room temp. Once smooth, I added in powdered sugar, scraping the bowl & whipping to a smooth finish in my Cuisinart stand mixer.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

So in the end, persevering after a little mistake turned into a delicious lemon cake. It was moist with a dense crumb cake consistency. The tart lemon curd filling & sweet & creamy frosting blended for a perfect end to our Valentine’s Day!

I ❤ U

Vday Lemon Buttermilk Cake

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Saturdays w/ Sarah: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes w/ Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

I hope to make a habit of spending more time in the kitchen with my friend, Sarah. For our first session, we decided to bake something to start getting in the holiday spirit. We poured some vodka cocktails, played some Rummikub, and cracked open a Guinness for a batch of Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. We followed a simple Dave Lieberman recipe on my FrankenBerry.

The Ingredients + The Frankenberry

I measured out each ingredient as Sarah combined them. Nothing better than a batter from scratch!

Mixing Bowl

I like extra large muffin tops on my cupcakes so we filled the cups to the top. None of that 2/3 full business.

Batter cups

Cream Cheese Frosting seemed like a perfect topper to these cupcakes but I knew adding Brown Butter would make them even better. After a few samples, I packed up a plate of the oozy, sweet Chocolate Stout Cupcakes for Sarah to enjoy at home. Til the next Saturday…

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes To-Go

To Taste: Homemade Apple Butter

In a gluttonous haze, we forgot to buy a jar of Apple Butter on our trip to the Amish Country. It’s apple season, so it seemed reasonable enough to channel my PA Dutch roots and make a batch of my own. I bought a variety of apples and was amazed by my fully intact thumbs after peeling them with a paring knife. Quite proud of myself, actually!

Golden Delicious

I referenced one of my favorite recipe sites, 101cookbooks, as I appreciate their dedication to an honest approach to cooking. After boiling the apple down in apple cider and a whirl in my Grandma’s 1970s era Cuisinart, I had fresh applesauce. Once chilled, each bite tasted as crisp as all the apple pieces I sampled along the way! I returned the majority of the applesauce to the pan with lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, & the remaining liquid. After 2.5 hours of reducing, stirring, & a delicious scent, I had a worthy batch of Apple Butter for Dre & Lexi to enjoy! I’m actually not a fan, but sharing such a warm, delicious treat with the people I love makes it all worth it.

PA Dutch Apple Butter on an Eggo

PA Dutch Apple Butter
adapted from 101cookbooks – Apple Butter with Carolina B.

  • Apples – cored, peeled, & cubed – I used (1) lg Empire, (3) med Macintosh, & (3) med Golden Delicious
  • Apple Cider – about (2-3) quarts – enough to cover the apples in a large saucepan
  • Sugar – roughly (1) cup – probably good with brown sugar, too
  • Lemon Juice – from a 1/2 lemon
  • Cinnamon – a few dashes to taste
  • Nutmeg – a few dashes to taste, though I hate to admit I didn’t use fresh ground
  1. Simmer apple cubes with enough cider to cover in a large saucepan. Skim layer of foam as cider reduces.
  2. Once tender, transfer apple to blender or Cuisinart with a slotted spoon and puree to desired texture. Spice now or leave plain for applesauce.
  3. Return applesauce to saucepan and simmer on med-low for say… 1.5-2.5 hours, stirring regularly.
  4. Once thickened to a rich brown color, spread on an English Muffin and enjoy!