I baked a cake, and it deserves a blog post

This photo was appropriated from The Brown Elephant’s twitter feed. You should follow them. And shop there. @HbBrownElephant

First, there’s an elephant in the room (and I don’t mean that photo)… It’s been a minute since I posted on this blog. You might think that a January 1 post is meant as a comeback, or that I’m making a resolution to bake and blog more in 2015.


I’m not into making promises I can’t keep. But, I DID recently pay to have this domain renewed, and in light of that, plus a day off and a magnificent Pinterest fail, I thought I’d come off of my crafty sabbatical for a day and share my space cake with you.

It might be the only post of 2015. Maybe. But it’s worth it.

One day last spring, I saw a solar system cake on Pinterest and a theme for the annual NYE party was born.

A few weeks ago, I attempted to find said recipe, to no avail. But then I found this Jupiter cake, which seemed like a way better idea. On top of that, I collected all the necessary goods to make cake pop moons to orbit around Jupiter.

Yesterday at about 4:30pm I realized that all the ingredients were in metric and the battery on my kitchen scale was dead. Rather than do lots and lots of math while sipping leftover Eggnog, I ditched the Jupiter bit, made a big round cake covered in yellow frosting, and stuck cake pop planets into it with a jimmy asteroid belt.

This is what remained of the space cake when I woke up the next morning. No one ate the Earth. Because my party guests are respectful. The green blob is Africa, duh.
This is what remained of the space cake when I woke up the next morning. No one ate the Earth, because my party guests are respectful. The green blob is Africa, duh.

All things considered, I call it a space cake win. And not at all worthy of this list. Should you want to make your own attempt, here are the deets:

Fudgy Cake Pops (Modified from the cake pop pan package directions):


  • 3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used half a block of semi-sweet baking chocolate instead)
  • 1/2 C. butter
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 2 TB Cocoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 C. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • lollipop sticks
  • 24 oz. chocolate bark coating (I used more baking chocolate)

Directions (to make my whole space cake extravaganza, double the recipe):

  1. Preheat oven to 325-deg F. Grease and flour both sides of your cake pop pan. And don’t listen to any of that garbage on the Internet saying that you need a cake pop maker. That’s a glorified waffle iron – a uni-tasker that takes up way too much precious cupboard space. Don’t do it. Just get the pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  3. Add sugar and cocoa, stir until blended. Add eggs one at a time, stirring as you go.
  4. Add flour and salt, stir until blended.
  5. Fill each well of the bottom side of the cake pop pan with a heaping tablespoon of batter. Place the top side of the pan and lock into place. Bake 15-20 minutes.
  6. Cool the pan on a wire rack 2-3 minutes, and then transfer the pops to the rack. Meanwhile, pour the remaining batter into a round 8″ greased and floured pan. Bake approximately 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Melt the remaining chocolate in a pan. Dip the top of the lollipop sticks into the chocolate and push halfway into each pop. The chocolate is like glue to keep the sticks in the pops.
  8. Frost, dip, or decorate as desired. I included Pluto, because, debates about its planetary relevance aside, why not have more cake pops?

Lemon Frosting (adapted from Betty Crocker’s cookbook):

Ingredients and Directions:

  • Blend together 2 C. of confectioner’s sugar with 1/4 C. room temperature butter
  • Stir in approximately 2-3 TB heavy cream and 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • Add a few drops of yellow or orange food coloring (because this is going to be the sun)

So the rest is pretty intuitive. Frost the cake when it’s cool, add your sprinkle asteroid belt, and decorate your planets, sticking the pops into the sun. The dusted black plate adds a star-studded stratosphere to the whole thing.

#winning, and Happy New Year.


Betty knows best: Deviled Eggs

One of my prized possessions is my first edition 1950 Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book.

It has amazing tips on how to be a good housewife and decorating a kitchen with polka dots… “Gayest, most colorful of all!”

Though perhaps slightly dated in its approach and it’s recipes (like: miniature pigs in blankets and pineapple marshmallow creme), every recipe I’ve tried out of this book has been amazingly successful.  It just goes to show that when it comes to classic American cooking…. Betty Crocker knows best.

This New Years Eve, I tried making Deviled Eggs for the fist time, much to the delight of my household and, I might add, me.  Simple. Creamy. Delicious.

Betty’s Deviled Eggs


6 eggs (hard-boiled, see below*)

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt, depending on your taste (I like less salty)

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

About 3 TB mayonaise, vinegar, or cream (enough to moisten)


Cut hard-boiled eggs in half, slip out the yolks into a small bowl and mash with a fork.  Add the other ingredients and mix until creamy.  Refill egg whites with yolk mixture (you can just spoon it in, or use a pastry bag if you want to be extra fancy).  I like to dust them lightly with Paprika.

There are about 1,000 variations of Deviled Eggs, and you can experiment yourself with curry powder, diced ham, pimentos and the like… but I like them just like this.

If you don’t have a fancy deviled egg tupperware as I do, you can lightly squeeze two halves back together and wrap them in wax paper like a salt water taffy (twisting the sides tightly) for transport.  That is, if you don’t eat all of them before you get to your party.

*Just in case you don’t know how to make hard-boiled eggs, a brief tutorial:

  • Boil water in a pot.  The pot should be large enough for the eggs to sit in a single layer, and fill with enough water to completely cover the eggs.  Add 1 TB vinegar to the pot.
  • Lower eggs into the water one at a time, using a ladle and gently resting them in the water.  Lower the heat to medium-ish.
  • 20 minutes later.
  • Use your ladle again to scoop out the eggs one at a time and place them in a colander.  Place the colander in an ice bath to prevent the eggs from continuing to cook, not to mention they are too hot to handle.