Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kit Kat Cake

Today's recipe...Kit Kat Cake! I saw a gorgeous picture of this cake from Recipe Girl, and it was so great looking that I knew I had to make it, I just didn't know what to make it for. I mean, I like cake, but making this whole thing for just my family would be too much. Well, the time has come, because TODAY is my sister's birthday! Okay, so I didn't make it for her real birthday, but I made it for her party. Twelve ten-year-olds gave this cake the thumbs up! I have to agree, it looks pretty impressive, but it's super easy to make!

You start out by baking a recipe for a 9-inch round layer cake. I made my favourite chocolate cake recipe from scratch, but you could make vanilla, or use a boxed mix. Then you cover it in icing like you would a normal cake.

Once your cake is frosted, the fun part begins! You're going to need LOTS of kit kats...

I used eleven in total, but depending on how you space your kit kat sticks, you may need more or less.

Fill 'er up! I used just enough m&ms to cover the top of the cake (so you couldn't see the frosting), but you could pile them up all the way to the top of the kit kats if you wanted!

Then tie a pretty ribbon around the cake, and you're all done! It's so fast and easy, and it looks (and tastes!) fantastic. This is definitely one you'll want to try out!

Kit Kat Cake
Idea from Recipe Girl, chocolate cake from allrecipes
Serves 12-16

For the Cake
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
For the Icing
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
For Decorating
  • 11 Kit Kat Bars (44 sticks)
  • 1 12.6 oz. bag M&Ms
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and mix on medium speed of a mixer for about 2 minutes. Add boiling water, and stir well so batter is an even texture. Pour into well-greased 9-inch round pans and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Let cake cool completely

To make icing, beat butter with beaters or in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 2 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, a little at a time, and beat until combined, about 3 minutes. Add in vanilla and salt, and beat again to incorporate.

Frost cake all over. Arrange Kit Kat wafers along the sides. Pour M&Ms on top, using enough to cover top so icing is not visible. Wrap ribbon around cake and tie with a bow, if desired.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's In My Lunch Box?

Recently, the teenie tiny baker and I got some new lunch boxes! For some people, this would not be very exciting, but we were (ARE!) super excited. Our lunch boxes are from Planetbox, and they're a great idea! They're made of stainless steel, so they're great for the environment, not to mention that they make cute, healthy lunches as well. I make school lunches for myself and my sister every morning, and I've been having so much fun filling up the compartments. After a few days of making these fun lunches, I thought that I should take some pictures to share them with you! So, without further adieu, here are our lunches:

This is my sister's lunch. It's packed in the Planetbox Launch, which has three larger compartments. Her lunch includes a hot dog with ketchup, carrots, snap peas, apple slices and teddy crackers.

This is my lunch. It's packed in the Planetbox Rover, which has five compartments, plus a little one in the middle. My lunch today was a cheddar wrap, a salad with balsamic dressing (in the silver container), a plum, a few pistachios and a chocolate chip muffin. It was delicious! 

So there you go! Those were our lunches today. Hope you enjoyed! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

I'm going to let you in on a secret. I never use real buttermilk. It's just so annoying when a recipe calls for 1/2 a cup of it or something, because you have to buy an entire carton. Seriously. What am I going to do with the rest? Drink it. I don't think so. And it goes bad quickly, so I usually don't use it up in another recipe in time.

Well, I'm now going to share with you my new favourite cooking tip. You can make your own buttermilk! And it's super simple, using ingredients you probably have on hand. All you have to do is add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup, fill the rect (to the one cup line) with milk, let it sit for 5-10 minutes and voila! Buttermilk! It's perfect for recipes where you just need a little like this one!

These chocolate chip muffins are just as delicious as they look. I made them in mini muffin cups, and they fit perfectly inside a lunch box for a little treat. Everyone in my family loved them, and everyone in your's will too!

*Note: If you have some buttermilk in your fridge you're looking to use up, this recipe would be a perfect way to use up one cup of it!

Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
Adapted from allrecipes
Makes 36-40 mini muffins (or about 12 regular ones)

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or "buttermilk substitute", as shown above)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined. In a small bowl, beat the egg, then add melted butter, buttermilk and vanilla, beating until combined. 

Add butter mixture to flour mixture, stirring only until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop into mini muffin pan lined with muffin liners. Bake in preheated oven for 11-14 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Triple Berry Pie

Well, school has been back in session for about a week now, and my life is already so much busier (as you can probably tell with the lack of posts lately - sorry!). The weather has gotten a little bit cooler (although the next few days are supposed to be hot and sunny. No complaints from me - summer's not over yet!) and I'm slowly getting back into my school routine.

Last week, for one last hurrah of summer vacation, I made this berry pie. This pie is great for those days when you don't have enough of one berry to make a full pie, or when your berries are going a bit soft. For me, it was a bit of both. I had some blueberries, some raspberries and some strawberries from the farmers market, and they needed to be eaten up fast.

If you're looking for a great end-of-summer dessert, make this triple berry pie. It's delicious!

Triple Berry Pie
Adapted from
Makes one 9-inch pie
  • 1 recipe for a double-crusted pie crust
  • 4 cups strawberries
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Prepare pie dough according to recipe. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine strawberries, raspberries and blueberries (be careful while stirring; fresh raspberries can be mushy!). Add sugars and place in a sieve. Place sieve over a mixing bowl or the sink and let berries drain for about 20 minutes. 

Return the berries to mixing bowl and add cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Pour into prepared pie crust, then top with other crust (either a regular crust or a lattice, as shown here)

Bake in preheated oven at 400 for 20 minutes, then lower temperature to 340 to bake for another 40-50 minutes.

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