The BwB Home Baking Academy!

Hi Family! It’s May 1, 2022, it’s irrationally early in the morning in Maryland (and STILL too cold for spring 🥶), and I’m sitting here, giddy and full of gratitude.

The Begin with Butter Home Baking Academy’s first TWO courses will be released exactly nine days from now, and as I think about the journey to get to this point, I am so amazed and so proud. A little exhausted too, but mostly amazed and proud.

But first…

What is the Home Baking Academy?

The Home Baking Academy is a series of downloadable-on-demand courses, created by yours truly. Its goal is simple: to demystify baking with thoughtfully-designed, fun curricula designed especially for home bakers, aspiring bloggers and cottage bakers. The ultimate goal is for those bakers to feel completely empowered in the kitchen. The courses contain video instruction, PDF downloads, and access to me, as well as a tremendous community of supportive bakers who support one another.

Ready to learn more?

Visit the BwB Home Baking Academy

The initial two courses focus on cake specifically, but there’s a robust curriculum currently in development (next up: bread basics!), so that you can continue learning about baking science and techniques in a fun and approachable way!

These courses are geared towards beginning and intermediate bakers who want to deepen their understanding of the principles of baking. Understanding the principles will help you create more consistent, delicious baked goods: you’ll know the “what” and the “why” every time you set foot in the kitchen. And that knowledge is liberating!

What Courses Are Available?

Starting on May 10th, you’ll be able to download the first TWO courses! The first, Perfecting Cake Basics (USD $167.00), is for people who want to free themselves from others’ baking recipes; instead of following the rules, they want to literally write them. Whether you want to create your own cake recipes from scratch, or whether you want to be able to change existing cake recipes with confidence, this course is for you!

The second course, Perfecting Cake Techniques (USD $67.00), is for bakers who want to learn the techniques that will help them make consistently delicious cakes. This course is my love letter to anyone who isn’t exactly sure how to properly cream butter and sugar, and for those people who can’t understand why their cake batters are frequently curdled. This course is also perfect for people who are just starting to bake, and who want to avoid a very costly and steep learning curve!

(note: a costly and steep learning curve is a completely legitimate way to learn how to bake. It’s how I learned! But it’s not necessary.)

What Level of Baker Can Take These Courses?

These courses are geared toward all levels! However, if you’re completely new to baking, and just trying to get a handle on the basics, then I’d recommend starting with Perfecting Cake Techniques. Learning the techniques will give you tremendous confidence! And the other course will be there when you’re ready!

If you’re ready to take your baking skills to the next level, and you want to start creating your very own cake recipes, then Perfecting Cake Basics is your course! Not only will you master the techniques that are covered in the Perfecting Cake Techniques course, you’ll learn fundamental baking equipment, the science of ingredients, and the magic of ratios as well! It’s truly freeing to be able to pick up flour, sugar, butter, and eggs and make something from your own inspiration.

Bakers of any level can take the self-paced Perfecting Cake Basics course, because it contains fun lab assignments that help you deepen your baking knowledge even more! And there’s oodles of support, both from me and the community of bakers who have come before you!

Why Should I Take a Course?

When you’re learning to bake, you can absolutely read and experiment. And read and experiment. And read and experiment some more. I learned exactly this way and it took me several years (and thousands of dollars in ingredients) to master basic cake techniques. First, there was the matter of finding great sources (like my absolute favorite baking textbooks), then digesting the information in those books, and practicing what I’d learned. I had no idea whether I was even on the right track until I’d spent hours reading and practicing. But, since culinary school was out of the question and I was determined to learn in a way that made sense to me, I kept at it.

For the first year, all of my attempts were hit or miss, and I was pretty dejected and frustrated a lot of the time. But I was remained determined, and I had wonderfully supportive taste testers, so I kept going.

I created these courses for the 2014 version of me; I wanted to shorten the learning curve (and those dejected feelings) for others. The truth is that trial and error has always been an effective teacher. The goal of these courses, though, is to cut down on the trial and error phase! With all of the information in one place, as well as a community to let you know you’re on the right track, you’re set up for success the moment you click “buy”. 😊

Where Can I Learn More?

The Begin with Butter Home Baking Academy is located on my Thinkific platform. You can go directly to the main Home Baking Academy Page right here! Or, you can click here to send an email with your questions! I love hearing from community members and am happy to answer any questions that you have about the courses. 😊

Happy Sunday Y’all! And Happy First Day of May!


(psst….want a free lesson? Go ahead and sign up for the mailing list!)

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Limoncello Layer Cake

Family. I am ready for SPRING!

We had some spring-like temperatures here recently, so of course I was inspired to create cake. The promise of spring was a false promise, and we’ve been plunged back into the depths of winter, but the seeds of spring baking have already germinated.

I find inspiration everywhere, Y’all. Specifically, the inspiration for this cake came from the sight and smell of some early blooms that I saw on my morning constitutional. The poor blooms were fooled by the early spring-like weather. I was arrested by the vision and immediately thought of Limoncello.

Limoncello is an Italian liqueur. It’s bright and bold in color and taste, and it’s got a big bite. It’s yummy and aggressively lemony, and it’s everything that those poor flowers needed to be in order to survive that false spring.

Even the lemons that are traditionally used to make limoncello are known for their hardiness; according to Italy Magazine, authentic limoncello comes from lemons found in the Costeria Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast) region in Italy, since those lemons “grow with a thick skin that is rich with essential oils, fragrant and with a strong aroma.”

Those flowers must have some limoncello lemon genes, because they survived the false spring. 😊 Inspiration intact, I knew that this cake was meant to be.

About this Cake

From concept to creation, this cake has been a dream come true. It features an airy, moist crumb and a perfectly decadent and balanced Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which truly allows the limoncello flavor to shine.

While there is the potential for limoncello in every layer of this cake, the classic limoncello “bite” is not overpowering (the “bite” cooks out of both the cake and the simple syrup, and it’s not enough to overwhelm the sugar and butter in the buttercream) and you’re left with a wonderfully smooth and special lemon flavor in this cake.

To be sure, you can replace the limoncello with lemon extract, and you’d make a tremendous cake. BUT, Friends, this cake is at its level best when it features this wonderful ingredient from the Amalfi Coast. In every recipe that I develop, I’m always looking for that ingredient that makes consumers wonder “what is that wonderful thing that I can’t quite place”? In this cake, the limoncello is that ingredient.

Beginners Start Here

If you’re new to baking, or if you’re like me and just love learning about baking science, here are a couple of articles from the BwB site that will help you get off to a great start with this fun recipe!

These resources are super useful to help you understand the techniques that you’ll need to successfully execute this Limoncello Layer Cake.

Important Tools Used in this Recipe

Below, you’ll find some tools that I used for this Limoncello Layer Cake. **I get paid a small commission if you purchase directly from some of these links, but they are truly amazing products that you’ll find in my kitchen.**

If you have them already, great! Think of this as a checklist to help you build the confidence that you’ll need to execute this recipe!

I am incredibly proud of this recipe, and how it went so perfectly from recipe concept to actual cake. I hope you love love love it! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @beginwithbutter so that I can shout you out when you’ve made it!

Ciao for now, Friends!

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Limoncello Layer Cake


  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 1.5 hour (active)
  • Cook Time: 25-35 minutes
  • Total Time: ~5 hours (with cooling time)
  • Yield: 18 servings 1x

Description

This airy yet decadent cake, which showcases a perfectly balanced Swiss Meringue Buttercream, features a classic Italian liqueur that gives it an amazingly special flavor.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Cake:

  • 320 g (2.5 c) cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 227 g butter
  • 350 g (1.75 c) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp limoncello
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 250 g buttermilk

Simple Syrup:

  • 125 g water
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp Limoncello or lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • 8 egg whites
  • 450 g (2.25 c) granulated sugar
  • 350 g butter, cut into 1-tbsp sized pieces
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp Limoncello or lemon extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

To Make the Batter with a Stand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  It’s highly recommended to use an oven thermometer for this recipe, since proper oven temperature will impact the outcome of your cake.  Take out three 8” cake pans and parchment paper and set them aside.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Sift the flour mixture into another medium bowl.  Set aside.
  4. Place the room temperature butter in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  (30 seconds)
  5. Slowly add the granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.  (5-10 minutes)
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 45 seconds after each addition.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.  (5 minutes)
  7. Add vanilla extract, limoncello and lemon zest and mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined.  (1 minute)
  8. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  (30-45 seconds)
  9. With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk and mix on low speed until combined.  (~1 minute).
  10. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  (~1 minute)
  11. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Then, stir the batter until it is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to fully scrape the bottom of the bowl during this step!
  12. Prepare three 8” cake pans.  Place parchment round at the bottom of the cake pan to help prevent sticking.
  13. Fill cake pans evenly.  I use a digital kitchen scale, and my cake pans each hold roughly 400-420 g of cake batter.
  14. Level out the cake batter with a spatula.  Tap the cake pans on the countertop to help prevent large bubbles in your cakes.

To Make the Batter with a Hand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  It’s highly recommended to use an oven thermometer for this recipe, since proper oven temperature will impact the outcome of your cake.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Sift the flour mixture into another medium bowl.  Set aside.
  4. Place the room temperature butter in a large mixing bowl.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  (30-45 seconds)
  5. Slowly add the granulated sugar in two additions and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.  (7-12 minutes)
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 45-60 seconds after each addition.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.   (4 minutes)
  7. Add vanilla extract, limoncello and lemon zest and mix until thoroughly combined.  (1 minute)
  8. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  (30-45 seconds)
  9. With the mixer on low speed, add all of the buttermilk and mix on low speed until combined.  (~1 minute).
  10. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  (~1 minute)
  11. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Then, stir the batter until it is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to fully scrape the bottom of the bowl during this step!
  12. Prepare the three 8” cake pans.  Place parchment round at the bottom of the cake pan to help prevent sticking.
  13. Fill cake pans evenly.  I use a digital kitchen scale, and my cake pans each hold roughly 400-420 g of cake batter.
  14. Level out the cake batter with a spatula.  Tap the cake pans on the countertop to help prevent large bubbles in your cakes.

To Bake the Cake:

  1. Bake the cakes at a true 325°F for 30-35 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 210°F.
  2. Allow the cakes to rest for ten minutes, and then turn out on a cooling rack to cool completely.

To Make the Simple Syrup:

  1. Combine sugar, water, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to medium heat and add limoncello.
  3. Stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Remove the simple syrup from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  5. Place the simple syrup in a small bowl or squeeze bottle.

To Make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  1. Bring 3” of water to a low boil in a large (3 qt.) sauce pan.  Reduce to a simmer.
  2. Cut cold butter into 1-tbsp pieces and set aside.
  3. Carefully separate 8 eggs, placing the whites in a very clean, nonreactive metal bowl (either a stand mixer or large stainless steel bowl).  Add sugar and stir to combine.
  4. Place metal bowl over the top of the sauce pan while the water is simmering.  Whisk the egg white mixture over the sauce pan until all of the sugar is completely dissolved.  (~3 minutes)
  5. Remove the metal bowl from the stove.  Using the whisk attachment on either your hand mixer or your stand mixer, whisk the mixture on lowest speed until it is nearly opaque.  (~1-2 minutes)
  6. Increase the mixer to medium speed until the mixture begins to look light and fluffy.  (~4 minutes for stand mixer; ~5-6 minutes for hand mixer)
  7. Increase the mixer to highest speed until the meringue has reached nearly stiff peaks.  The meringue should be lukewarm before moving onto the next step.  This step could take anywhere from 10-15 minutes.  If the meringue doesn’t form nearly stiff peaks after this time, place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes and whip again.
  8. With the mixer on medium speed, add the butter, one tablespoon at a time.  Make sure that each tablespoon of butter is fully incorporated before adding the next tablespoon. (8-10 minutes)
  9. It is important to note that the Swiss Meringue Buttercream will begin to look more liquid while you add the butter.  Keep going!  It will firm back up as you get toward the end of the butter additions!
  10. After adding the last tablespoon of butter, you can switch to the paddle attachment on your mixer if you’d prefer a smoother buttercream.  Mix the buttercream on medium speed until it reaches a firm texture.  This generally takes between 2-6 minutes, but the temperature and humidity of your kitchen will be the big determining factor.  Watch your mixer carefully to make sure that the buttercream doesn’t curdle.
  11. If the buttercream won’t firm up, place the bowl into a refrigerator for no more than 20 minutes.  Mix again on medium speed until it reaches a firm texture.
  12. Add salt, limoncello and vanilla and mix until it again reaches a firm texture.
  13. This buttercream is not stiff like American Buttercream, but it should be stiff enough to pipe (if desired).

To Build the Cake:

  1. Place a 10” cake round on a turntable or a cake stand.
  2. Place a dollop of Swiss Meringue Buttercream on the round to secure the bottom cake.
  3. The cakes might be slightly domed from baking.  If they are domed, gently cut off the domes to make them level.  (I cooled these cakes with the dome side down, which fixed this issue for me.)
  4. Use either a spoon or a squirt bottle to add simple syrup to the top of each layer.
  5. Place the second layer on top  of the first layer.  Add buttercream to the middle layer and spread.
  6. Invert the final layer and place on top of the other two layers.  Press down gently and double check to make sure the cake is level.
  7. Using an offset spatula, spread the buttercream over the entire cake.

To Store:

This cake can be left on the countertop for two days, or refrigerated for up to a week.  Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Notes

  • The buttercream recipe makes more than enough to create the naked cake that I created, but you can increase the recipe proportions by 1.5 times in order to cover the whole cake.
  • When making the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, it’s important to use an extremely clean bowl, as debris or fat residue will prevent the meringue from forming properly.

 

  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 522
  • Sugar: 49.2 g
  • Sodium: 199.5 mg
  • Fat: 28 g
  • Carbohydrates: 63.6 g
  • Protein: 5.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 122.1 mg

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Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

The weather in Maryland has been all over the place lately. Up and down and everywhere in between.

Seriously?!

But one thing has remained constant over the past couple of weeks.

I’ve made this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake 9,847 times, to make it just perfect for you.

It has been a ray of sunshine during this unpredictable winter. Winter is peak season for citrus, so this cake takes full advantage of the wonderfully tart lemon, and balances it with plump, sweet blueberries.

This cake is bright and balanced in color and flavor, and the blueberries look beautiful in the cut cake. Finished with an optional lemon mascarpone whipped cream, this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake is perfect for a reception cake for company, brunch with friends, or a Sunday afternoon snack cake.

About this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

This Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake works perfectly with either fresh or frozen blueberries; you’ll want to check your state’s harvest schedule to see when local blueberries are in season in your area.

If they’re not in season where you live (and, for those of us in Maryland, blueberries won’t be in season until the end of June 😱), this recipe shines with the best frozen blueberries you can find.

If you’re using frozen blueberries, you can thaw them gently under warm water to remove the exterior ice, and then spread them in a single row on a double layer of paper towels while you make the rest of your batter. By the time you’re ready to coat them with flour, they’ll be ready to go!

I recently wrote about four common types of liquids that I use for cakes. Friends, I tried three of the four for this cake and two of them produced exceptional, but different results. So, for this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake, you can use either Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Greek Yogurt Cake

If you want a cake that has a very balanced texture and a WHOLE LOT OF lemon and blueberry flavor, Greek yogurt is the right choice.

If you use Greek yogurt, you can expect a more toothsome, less buttery-flavored cake with an amazing, balanced crumb; the blueberries had a more prominent flavor in this cake than in the sour cream cake. Don’t get me wrong; the cake was extremely rich but also very balanced. The blueberry distribution is absolutely ideal in this cake, making it gorgeous when cut.

Speaking of blueberries…the Greek yogurt brings out every sweet burst of blueberry flavor in this cake, and it also somewhat enhanced the tartness from the lemons. From a taste and texture standpoint, I thought this would be perfect for a breakfast or snack cake. It was exceptional.

Sour Cream Cake

If you’re going for extreme decadence, sour cream is the way to go; the sour cream cake just melts in your mouth from all of that extra butter fat, and the sweet blueberries add a wonderful pop of sweetness. The sour cream also mellowed the tartness of the lemon and the sweetness of the blueberries; it created a very well-balanced, buttery cake that just made my eyes roll back in my head.

I put a note in my Bits and Bobs book to try this sour cream version in a full layer cake, because I think this version could work really well as a showcase dessert. #comingsoon

Beginners Start Here

If you’re new to baking, or if your stand mixer is covered in dust, here are a couple of articles from the BwB site that will help you get off to a great start with this recipe!

These resources are never mandatory reading, but they are super useful to help you understand the techniques that you’ll need to successfully execute this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake. Happy Reading!

Also, in this batter, there’s an important folding technique. You don’t want to break the blueberries in the batter and turn the whole thing blue! For a visual example on how to fold the blueberries into the batter, take a peek at this quick video at the :35 mark!

Important Tools Used in this Recipe

Below, you’ll find some tools that I used for this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake. They’re what I use in my kitchen for just about everything that I bake. **I get paid a small commission if you purchase directly from some of these links, but they are truly amazing products that you’ll find in my kitchen.**

If you have them already, great! Think of this as a checklist to help you build the confidence that you’ll need to execute this recipe!

I hope you love this Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake as much as I do. It’s making regular rounds at my house right now and every cake is consistently delicious.

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Lemon Blueberry Loaf


  • Author: Shani

Description

This brightly balanced Lemon Blueberry Loaf is perfect for special occasions or lazy weekend days.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Batter:

192 g all purpose flour, plus 2 tbsp for the blueberries

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt (if using table salt, reduce to 1/4 tsp)

115 g butter, room temperature

250 g granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

115 g full-fat sour cream or full-fat Greek yogurt

1 cup blueberries, washed and dried (if blueberries are not in season in your area, good frozen berries are preferable)

For the Simple Syrup:

67 g granulated sugar

84 g water

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

For the Mascarpone Whipped Cream:

250 g heavy whipping cream

86 g confectioner’s sugar

2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

230 g mascarpone cheese, cold


Instructions

To Make the Batter with a Stand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  An oven thermometer will help you determine where you need to set your oven in order to get to a true 325°F.
  2. Wash and inspect the blueberries, discarding any rotten ones.  Rinse blueberries and lay flat in a single layer, on top of a double layer of paper towels to dry.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.
  4. Sift the flour mixture into another medium bowl.  Add kosher salt to the mix and whisk to combine.
  5. Place the room temperature butter in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  (20 seconds)
  6. Slowly add the granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. (6-8 minutes total)
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 45 seconds after each addition.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the first and third egg for this recipe).  This step is essential to cake rise. (4 minutes)
  8. Add vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until thoroughly combined.  (1 minute)
  9. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  (20-30 seconds)
  10. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add all of the Greek yogurt or sour cream and mix until combined.  (~1 minute)
  11. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on medium speed until combined.  (~1 minute)
  12. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Then, mix the batter until it is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to fully scrape the bottom of the bowl!
  13. Put the blueberries in a medium bowl with the remaining 2 tbsp of flour.  Stir gently to coat.  Reserve a small handful of blueberries from this mix to top the batter.
  14. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
  15. Grease a 9”x5” or 8.5”x4.5” loaf pan.  I add parchment paper to the bottom of the cake pan for added insurance (see video).
  16. Place the batter into the pan, dotting the top of the batter with the remaining blueberries.

To Make the Batter with a Hand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  An oven thermometer will help you determine where you need to set your oven in order to get to a true 325°F.
  2. Wash and inspect the blueberries, discarding any rotten ones.  Rinse blueberries and lay flat in a single layer, on top of a double layer of paper towels to dry.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.
  4. Sift the flour mixture into another medium bowl.  Add kosher salt to the mix and whisk to combine.
  5. Place the room temperature butter in a large mixing bowl.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  (30 seconds)
  6. Slowly add the granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. (8-10 minutes total)
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least one minute after each addition.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the first and third egg for this recipe).  This step is essential to cake rise. (4 minutes)
  8. Add vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until thoroughly combined.  (1.5 minutes)
  9. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  (30-45 seconds)
  10. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add all of the Greek yogurt or sour cream and mix until combined.  (~1 minute)
  11. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on medium speed until combined.  (~1 minute)
  12. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Then, mix the batter until it is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to fully scrape the bottom of the bowl!
  13. Put the blueberries in a medium bowl with the remaining 2 tbsp of flour.  Stir gently to coat.  Reserve a small handful of blueberries from this mix to top the batter.
  14. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
  15. Grease a 9”x5” or 8.5”x4.5” loaf pan.  I add parchment paper to the bottom of the cake pan for added insurance (see video).
  16. Place the batter into the pan, dotting the top of the batter with the remaining blueberries.

To Bake the Cake:

  1. Bake the cake at a true 325°F for 50-65 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 210°F-215°F.  My preferred internal temperature for this cake is 212°F.  Alternately, the cake is done with a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and a fingerprint indentation bounces back.
  2. Allow the cake to rest for ten minutes while you make the simple syrup.

To Make the Lemon Simple Syrup:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Remove the simple syrup from the heat and add lemon juice. Stir until incorporated.
  3. After allowing the cake to rest for ten minutes, remove it from the loaf pan to a cooling rack.
  4. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the lemon simple syrup over the entire cake.
  5. Allow the cake to cool completely.

To Make the Lemon Mascarpone Whipped Cream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the confectioner’s sugar, mascarpone cheese, and heavy whipping cream.
  2. Using the mixer’s whisk attachment, whisk on high speed (on a Kitchenaid, between 8-10) until the mixture reaches soft peaks.  (~1 minute)
  3. Don’t walk away from the mixer while it’s working!  Mascarpone whipped cream happens very quickly and you don’t want to over-mix.  When it’s overworked, mascarpone turns to soup and it’s an irrecoverable error.
  4. Once the mixture reaches soft peaks, add the lemon juice.  Continue mixing until the mixture reaches stiff peaks. (~30 seconds)
  5. Once the cake is cooled, add the mascarpone cream cheese to the top and enjoy!

Until next time, Friends!


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Gingerbread Pound Cake

Alexa, play “This is Christmas” by Luther Vandross.

I don’t know about Y’all, but there’s a definite point when I catch the holiday spirit. It’s not really marked by the end of Thanksgiving or a specific target date.

For me, it’s the very moment when my daughter smells gingerbread anything; it elicits a response of sheer joy in her eyes, and it’s quite a sight to behold. For me, that’s when I start to feel like The Holidays are here.

And my daughter absolutely lights up at the sight of gingerbread. Gingersnaps. Gingerbread cookies. Ginger cake.

This year, I developed this one for her:

I have to chuckle because this cake is currently a shell of what it was when I took these photos. I have a very soft spot in my heart for my kid who sneaks slices of her favorite new gingerbread cake.

About this Gingerbread Pound Cake

This is for my ginger cake lovers. This is the real deal; the molasses-y, assertively spice-forward cake that fragrances your whole house for hours. It takes a bit more effort to mix, a bit longer to bake, and even longer to cool. But it is totally worth the effort if ginger perfection is what you seek.

I’m not joking about the fragrance of this cake. As I write this blog post, several hours after it came out of the oven, the dominant smell in my house is still this unbelievable Gingerbread Pound Cake.

Alexa play “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey and let’s get into details.

Beginners Start Here

If you’ve read some of my recipes so far, you know that this is the section where I share other BwB resources that might help you execute this cake to the best of your ability. Whether you’re new to baking or you’re a seasoned veteran who’s getting back into it, here are some baking resources to help you take your baking to the next level!

These resources are super useful to help you understand the techniques that you’ll need to successfully execute this amazing Gingerbread Pound Cake, and all of the recipes on this site.

Important Tools Used in this Recipe

Below, you’ll find some tools that I used for this pound cake, as well as all of the pound cakes in this event. They’re what I use in my kitchen for just about everything that I bake. **I get paid a small commission if you purchase directly from some of these links, but they are truly amazing products that you’ll find in my kitchen.**

If you have them already, great! Think of this as a checklist to help you build the confidence that you’ll need to execute this recipe!

Onward to the recipe, gingerbread lovers!

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Gingerbread Pound Cake


  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes (active)
  • Inactive Time: 3-5 hours
  • Cook Time: 60-70 minutes
  • Total Time: ~5-7 hours
  • Yield: 14 servings 1x

Description

This is the stunning gingerbread cake you’ve been waiting for to grace your holiday table.  This cake is not shy on the spices, and it will satisfy gingerbread fans everywhere!`


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Batter:

  • 384 g flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 173 g (3/4 c) butter (I used salted)
  • 400 g (2 c) brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 255 g molasses
  • 63 g buttermilk

For the Vanilla Simple Syrup:

  • 1/3 c water
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the Final Glaze:

  • 240 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 34 tbsp whole milk (start with 3)
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 24 tsp rum or rum extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Instructions

To Make the Batter with a Stand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  An oven thermometer will help you determine where you need to set your oven in order to get to a true 325°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
  3. Sift the flour mixture into another medium bowl.  Add kosher salt to the mix and whisk to combine.
  4. Place the room temperature butter in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  (30 seconds)
  5. Slowly add the brown sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Brown sugar creams differently than granulated sugar, and it requires that you thoroughly scrape the bowl every 3-4 minutes. (8-minutes total)
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 45 seconds after each addition.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the second, fourth and fifth egg for this recipe).  This step is essential to cake rise. (8 minutes)
  7. Add vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.  (1 minute)
  8. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  (30-45 seconds)
  9. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add all of the buttermilk and molasses and mix until just combined.  (~1 minute)
  10. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on medium speed until combined combined.  (~1-2 minutes)
  11. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Then, mix the batter until it is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to fully scrape the bottom of the bowl!
  12. Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan with the remaining butter and flour and place the batter in the pan.

To Make the Batter with a Hand Mixer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.  An oven thermometer will help you determine where you need to set your oven in order to get to a true 325°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
  3. Sift the flour mixture into another medium bowl.  Add kosher salt and whisk until combined.
  4. Place the room temperature butter in a large mixing bowl.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  (~1 minute)
  5. Add half of the brown sugar and mix until the sugar is just incorporated.  (~30 seconds)
  6. Add the second half of the sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Brown sugar creams differently than granulated sugar, and it requires that you thoroughly scrape the bowl every 3-4 minutes. (8-12 minutes total)
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for at least 1 minute after each addition.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed (I usually scrape the bowl after the second, fourth and fifth egg).  This step is essential to cake rise.  (7 minutes)
  8. Add vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.  (1 minute)
  9. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.  (30-45 seconds)
  10. Add all of the buttermilk and molasses and mix on lowest speed until just combined.  (~1 minute).
  11. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on medium speed until completely combined.  (~1-2 minutes)
  12. Using a rubber spatula, fully scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  Then, mix the batter until it is smooth and consistent.  Make sure to fully scrape the bottom of the bowl!
  13. Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan with the remaining butter and flour and place the batter in the pan.

To Bake the Cake:

  1. Bake the cake at a true 325°F for 55-65 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 212°F-220°F.  Alternately, the cake is done with a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs and a fingerprint indentation bounces back.
  2. Allow the cake to rest for ten minutes while you make the simple syrup.

To Make the Vanilla Simple Syrup:

  1. Combine sugar, water, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Remove the simple syrup from the heat and add vanilla. Stir until incorporated.
  3. After allowing the cake to rest for ten minutes, invert it onto a cooling rack and carefully remove the bundt pan.
  4. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the vanilla simple syrup over the entire cake.
  5. Allow the cake to cool completely.  (3-5 hours)

To Make the Final Glaze:

  1. Combine the confectioner’s sugar, whole milk, vanilla extract, rum or rum extract (if using), ginger, and fine sea salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix with a whisk or a spoon until slightly lumpy.  (1-2 minutes)
  3. Add heavy cream and stir until completely smooth.  (~1 minute)
  4. Using a spouted measuring cup, spoon, or squeeze bottle, drizzle final glaze over the cake.  Use a spoon to help the glaze fall over the sides of the cake.  For this specific cake, I used a squeeze bottle.

To Store:

This cake can be stored on a countertop for up to two days, and then refrigerated for up to seven days.

Notes

  • An oven thermometer is strongly recommended to make sure that your oven reaches the correct temperature.
  • It is also strongly recommended to use a digital food scale to measure ingredients using metric measurement. It will seriously make your baking so much easier!
  • This recipe can be halved for a loaf pan or a 6-cup bundt pan.
  • Make sure you take your time to cream the butter and sugar on the front end!  Once you add your flour mixture, you have to mix gently in order to avoid over-mixing.
  • This is a big bundt cake.  I recommend placing a sheet pan underneath this cake while it bakes for extra insurance.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 478
  • Sugar: 64.1 g
  • Sodium: 190.4 mg
  • Fat: 12.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 85.8 g
  • Protein: 5.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 95.1 mg

It’s officially The Holidays in the Whisonant house! I hope you love this Gingerbread Pound Cake as much as my daughter and I!

Day 11 is TOMORROW!


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The Best Vanilla Glaze

One of the best things about pound cake is that final glaze. No matter the flavor, when I see that glaze fall over the side of that cake, it just makes me so happy.

But glaze can be tricky. And one of the top questions I’ve been getting lately is “how do I keep my glaze from getting too thin”?

It’s a good question. And I have the answer for you today! It will be especially useful for you with the cakes in the Twelve Days of Pound Cake Holiday Event! There’s a modified version of this glaze on the Snickerdoodle Pound Cake that I posted earlier!

The Answer

Glaze is completely dependent on the proper ratio of confectioner’s sugar to liquid. Too much liquid thins it out in a hurry.

But most glazes take a minute to really come together. At the outset, it can look to your naked eye like you have way too much confectioner’s sugar in the bowl.

But you have to keep stirring. What seems like way too much sugar will blend in beautifully, and your glaze will be thick and pourable and ready to go.

Here’s a quick video to show you how it’s done!

Oh, and I have a little trick too. Because of course I do. And that trick is heavy cream.

Want the recipe for the best vanilla glaze ever? Here you go!

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The Best Vanilla Glaze


  • Author: Shani

Description

This vanilla glaze is easily customizable to fit any pound cake!  This basic glaze is thick, sets up beautifully, and serves as a great base for pound cake toppings like sprinkles, nuts, toasted coconut, and many more!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 120 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/2 tbsp heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Add the confectioner’s sugar and salt to a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add vanilla and two tablespoons of whole milk to the bowl.  Stir with a small spoon or whisk until the mixture is somewhat lumpy but all of the confectioner’s sugar is incorporated.  Don’t add any more milk at this point.  Just keep stirring!
  3. Once the confectioner’s sugar is incorporated and the mixture is lumpy, add the heavy cream.  Stir until the mixture is thick but pourable.  The mixture should have the texture of very thick honey.  If it is too thick to pour, add whole milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until it is just pourable.
  4. Using a spouted liquid measuring cup, a spoon, or a squeeze bottle, add the glaze to your cake.  If the glaze sits for a while before you use it, give it a quick stir and it will be ready to use!

Notes

  • Resist the urge to add more than two tablespoons of milk at the outset.  Just keep stirring!
  • This recipe can be doubled.  I often use double this recipe for my cakes because I like a lot of glaze.

I hope this quick post helps you with this technique, and that this becomes your go-to glaze recipe! Feel free to tag me on Instagram @beginwithbutter if you try it and love it!


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