Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Better Than Anything? Cake

Here is the fourth and final recipe from this Birthday Post.

We call it  Better Than Anything Cake, but it has been called a variety of names.  You can do a google search and find hundreds of different recipes for this cake. This is a very easy cake to make and pretty yummy too, However, I am not sure it lives up to its name!

 Here is the recipe I used. You can also find it here.

Better Than Anything Cake


1 German chocolate cake mix ( I used a Dark Chocolate Cake Mix)

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

caramel topping

12 ounces Cool Whip

3 heath bars, crushed ( I buy a bag of Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee bits that are located in the baking aisle near where they sell chocolate chips, not all stores carry these)

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 9 x 13 inch pan. Prepare cake mix as directed on package; pour into prepared pan. After 10 minutes of baking, sprinkle with chocolate chips. Continue baking until cake is done.

While cake is still hot, poke holes in it with handle of wooden spoon. Pour sweetened condensed milk over cake; let cool. Top with caramel sauce, then whipped topping. Sprinkle with candy bars.

Here is Josh with the Better Than Anything Cake. I doubled the recipe and baked in a larger pan.

Now on to prepare for Jesus' Birthday! Pin It

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chocolate Mint Layer Cake

The next recipe that I will share from this Birthday Post, is the Chocolate Mint Layer Cake. I originally made this cake back a few years ago for Josh's Birthday. The Recipe for the mint filling calls for green food coloring. I told Josh he could pick any color he wanted. Back then his favorite color was orange, so we had orange mint filling!  (A little strange I know!)

I cannot find a picture of Josh's cake, but here is Sammy's. Yellow is Sammy's favorite color, so I decorated his cake with yellow M&M's and the filling is what else .......  Yellow!  Sorry, I did not take a picture after cutting it, so you cannot see the filling. I cheated this time while making this cake, Instead of following the recipe for the cake part, I used a chocolate fudge boxed cake mix and then continued with the rest of the recipe. It turned out great!


Chocolate Mint Layer Cake


1/2 cup butter, softened

1-3/4 cups sugar

3 eggs

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon Spice Island® Pure Vanilla Extract

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

3 to 4 drops green food coloring, optional (or color of your choice!)


1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon Spice Island® Pure Vanilla Extract

1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


Line two greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Grease and flour the paper; set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in chocolate and vanilla. Combine milk and water. combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk mixture.

Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 24-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

For filling, in a small bowl, beat the cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and extract; beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in food coloring if desired. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with filling. top with second cake.

For icing, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt chips and butter; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Beat in evaporated milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Frost and decorate cake. Chill 2 hours before slicing. Yield: 12 servings

I found this recipe from Taste of Home and can be found here.

Here is their picture:

Picture Credit
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blueberry Pound Cake

The next Birthday Cake recipe I am going to share with you from this post is Blueberry Pound Cake. I originally found this recipe in the Cooking Light Magazine several years ago. I wrote down the recipe on an index card and eventually lost the magazine. I now see that this recipe was published in 1998.

My oldest son Jeremy has always been fond of this cake. He has requested it several times. He even learned to make it himself. He actually asked me to make it for his birthday last year, but I was rushed for time, so I talked him into me buying him a store-bought cake. I told him I would make it when life wasn't so busy. Time got away from me, so when I thought about it again, I could not find fresh blueberries. I never did make that cake.

Fast Forward to this year and we were out of town for his Birthday. His Birthday is in August and we finally coordinated our schedules for early November. Well, early November is not exactly the best time to find fresh blueberries! I decided to go ahead and use frozen. The frozen work really well too and this cake is light and delicious!

Blueberry Pound Cake


2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup light butter
1/2 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened (sometimes I use regular cream cheese)

3 large eggs

1 large egg white
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (8-ounce) carton lemon low-fat yogurt ( I use whatever lemon yogurt I can find)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cooking spray

1/2 cup powdered sugar

4 teaspoons lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350°.

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes).

 Add eggs and egg white, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

 Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.

 Combine 2 tablespoons flour and blueberries in a small bowl, and toss well.

Combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

 Fold in blueberry mixture and vanilla; pour cake batter into a 10-inch tube pan coated with cooking spray.

 Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool cake in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl; drizzle over warm cake. Cut with a serrated knife.

You can also find this recipe here.

The finished product

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Banana Cake

I was asked if I was going to share the recipes from my recent  Birthday post.  I had planned on doing it, so here goes. I will do them one at a time.

I will start with The Banana Cake. This cake is usually requested at least once a year, if not more. Tim almost always asks for this one! 
This recipe comes from an old cookbook from the Church I grew up in. It was submitted by a dear woman who was a wonderful cook. I am quite thankful to have this recipe.

My Mom had a recipe from her Grandmother that she thought was the absolute best, but somewhere along the way she lost it. She says this recipe comes very close.

Banana Cake


1/2 cup of shortening

1 1/2 cups of sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups of sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

3/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup of buttermilk

1 cup of mashed bananas ( I usually do a little more, it makes it a little more moist.)

1 teaspoon of vanilla


Cream the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat thoroughly after each one. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir flour mixture in alternately with the milk and bananas. Add vanilla. Pour into two 9 inch greased layer pans or a 13x9 pan and bake 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cool completely and frost with buttercream frosting.

Here is the recipe I use for Buttercream Frosting. It comes from the Domino Confectioners Sugar box.

Buttercream Frosting

1 (1 -lb pkg) of Confectioner's Sugar ( approx. 3 3/4 cups)

1/2 cup of butter or margarine, softened

3 to 4 Tablespoons of milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with mixer on low speed. Beat on medium speed 1-2 minutes until creamy. If desired, add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency. Makes enough to fill and frost a 2-layer cake, or a 13x9x2-inch sheet cake.

This Buttercream Frosting Recipe can also be found here.

  I do not have any great pictures of this cake, but here is what I have.

Tim and Naomi on his Birthday with the Banana Cake

The icing was a little runny. I put the cake in the fridge and you can see after sitting out for a while, it is starting to run again!

  This is a yummy, moist, cake. If you like bananas or banana bread, you will love this cake!




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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Delicious Pumpkin Bread

For some reason, I have been wanting to bake a lot, more recently. My family  has enjoyed it, but it sure isn't good for the diet!

One of my most recent endeavors was Delicious Pumpkin Bread. I love just about anything pumpkin, so this looked yummy! I was very pleased on how it turned out. It was quite moist and tasty!  Since Hubby and a few of the kids do not like pumpkin, I was able to enjoy this treat for several days! I did make some Banana Bread several days later just for Hubby, but it was gone quite quickly!

If you like Pumpkin, then you will probably enjoy this Delicious Pumpkin Bread. You can find the recipe here.

Delicious Pumpkin Bread


5 eggs

1-1/4 cups canola oil

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 packages (3 ounces each) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt


In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add oil and pumpkin; beat until smooth. Combine remaining ingredients; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture.

Pour batter into five greased 5-3/4-in. x 3-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 325° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 5 mini loaves (8 slices each) . Bread may also be baked in two greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans for 75-80 minutes. (I did the two 8-in x 4-in. x2-in. loaf pans)

Fresh out of the oven and still in the pan.

Large slices that are so much cheaper than Starbucks and a lot more yummier!

I Definitely give it 2 thumbs up!

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Crafty Crescent Lasagna

I am always looking for something new to try for dinner. It seems like we do the same things over and over again and it gets boring!

Back several years ago, we were living in a different house in a different state, and a neighbor made us dinner because we had just had a new baby!  We enjoyed the dinner and I begged asked her nicely for the recipe( actually several times). I never got that recipe from her, but over the years I remembered that dinner and would hope to find the recipe.

Recently I did a google search for it and I got this recipe. I think she must have used something different for the crust, but I am not sure. It is not exactly the same(at least from my memory), but it was still good. It seemed as though most of my family enjoyed it.


Meat Filling
  • 1/2 lb bulk pork sausage
  • 1/2 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

Cheese Filling
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
  •  1 egg

  • 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
  • 2 (7x4-inch) slices mozzarella cheese ( I used shredded mozzarella instead)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed  

1. In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage and beef until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink, stirring frequently; drain. Stir in remaining meat filling ingredients; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated.

2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix cheese filling ingredients. Unroll both cans of dough. Place dough rectangles side by side, on ungreased cookie sheet (if using crescent dough, firmly press edges and perforations to seal). Press to form 15x13-inch rectangle.

3. Spoon half of meat filling in 6-inch wide strip lengthwise down center of dough to within 1 inch of short sides. Spoon cheese filling over meat filling; spoon remaining meat filling evenly over cheese filling. Arrange mozzarella cheese slices over filling.

4. Fold short sides of dough 1 inch over filling. Fold long sides of dough tightly over filling, overlapping edges in center 1/4 inch; firmly pinch center seam and ends to seal. Brush with milk; sprinkle with sesame seed.

5. Bake 23 to 27 minutes or until deep golden brown.

I made two of these. Since some of the kids do not like Sesame Seeds, I made one of them without.  I will definitely make this again sometime!

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Strawberry-Frosted Banana Brownies

One thing I have enjoyed is trying new recipes. I love cookbooks and could sit and read through one like most people would sit and read a novel. If anyone was ever wanting to give me a present and had no idea what to get, a new cookbook would be perfect!

I like to try recipes for dinner as well as desserts. The dinner recipes are more of a challenge because most of my family will not eat a dish with veggies added in. I love veggies so there are many recipes that look yummy to me but I know won't work out too well for my family.

Dessert recipes are my favorite. I guess one reason is I have a Huge sweet tooth! That works really well with my quest to cut sugar out of my diet! Of course the family is excited when I try a new dessert recipe.

I subscribe to a few sites that send out email newsletters with recipes. Yesterday I decided to try this recipe from  Betty Crocker. You can find the recipe here.

Strawberry-Frosted Banana Brownies

From Betty Crocker


1 box Betty Crocker® fudge brownie mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs as called for on brownie mix box

1 banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Fresh sliced strawberries, if desired


  1. Heat oven to 350° F (325° F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease or spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan.

2. Make brownie batter as directed on box; stir in bananas. Spread into pan. Bake 24 to 26 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely.

3. In food processor, process strawberries until pureed. In medium bowl, beat powdered sugar, strawberries, butter and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Garnish with strawberry slices, if desired.

When I make brownies I usually double the recipe and bake them in a pan that is larger than a 9x13 but not exactly double the size either. I do not know the size of the pan, but it is a blue lasagna pan I got from Pampered Chef many years ago. I absolutely love this pan and wish I could find another like just like it!

Anyway, I doubled this recipe also and baked it in my blue pan. I actually used the Pillsbury brand brownie mix!(shame on me, I know!) I stock up on those because Walmart will have them on sale for a dollar. Another thing I do is add chocolate chips to my brownies. I do a half cup per box of brownie mix.  So I added a cup to this recipe since I doubled it!

I served  the brownies with sliced strawberries and drizzled chocolate syrup on top. I wanted to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but we did not have enough for everyone. I should have planned ahead!

The flavor was very yummy! I like my brownies gooey, but these were a little more cake like. I wonder if making this with cake mix would  would turn out well?

Strawberries and Bananas are some of my favorites and the pureed strawberries in the icing was very yummy! I give this recipe a thumbs up! Pin It

Friday, June 25, 2010

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

My first daughter, and fourth child, Rebekah, just recently turned 17! Wow! Where does the time go?

The day she was born I was on cloud nine! Finally a girl after having three boys! She wore a lot of pink and headbands. I even had her ears pierced when she was 9 months old. I did not want anyone to ever mistake her for a boy! Believe it or not, I still had an older man call her a boy!

Rebekah is now a beautiful, 17 year old, young woman, inside and out! She is very hard working. She will be a senior next year and also is in TBQ (Teen Bible Quiz) and studies very hard! Her team is going to the National Competition soon! She works at Chick-fil-A to earn money for college and maybe a car. I am so proud of all her hard work, but I am especially proud of her dedication to the Lord and living her life for Him! 

Rebekah with Anna 

Happy Birthday Rebekah!

I usually order a cake from Walmart for most of the Birthdays around here. As the children have gotten older they seem to appreciate a home made cake a bit more.  Rebekah wanted a special chocolate cake, so I found this recipe.  I decided to make a white cream filling to go in the middle instead, so there would not be too much chocolate, (if there is such a thing!).

Well, things did not go as planned! About 20 minutes into baking, Luke comes in and asks "what is that horrible smell"? Chocolate Cake Baking is not supposed to smell horrible!

One minor detail that I overlooked is that I was supposed to put the batter into two 10 inch pans and not 9 inch pans. The batter was overflowing all over the oven! It was burning on the burners. Yikes!

Well, I decided to let it keep baking and see if I could salvage anything. It seemed a bit crispy on top. I decided to put in an emergency call to Leigh, Jeremy's girlfriend. She works at the Bakery at Walmart and is an amazing cake decorator. She made a beautiful cake for Rebekah.

Rebekah and Anna being very silly!

I eventually made the icing and the cream center and put the cake together.  It was falling apart a bit, and crumbs were everywhere when I put the icing on. It was a little sorry looking, but it tasted amazing!

This is their version.



 I will have to try it again using the right size pans! This cake was very yummy and the Chocolate Ganache Icing is almost like eating Fudge! We really enjoyed the white cream center to break it up a bit!

Have An Awesome Weekend!

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