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Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category

postheadericon Classic 7up Cake

In the Coal Region, we have churches and bars in almost every town –  no matter how small the town — sometimes on every corner. In the little village where I grew up – population less than 300 people — we had two churches and several bars (the number of bars at any given time depended on the decade; some closed when owners aged, retired or passed away). In addition to the bar at the Hosie (the fire company) during the years of my youth, there were a couple of bars in town my Pappy (grandfather) frequented on a some-what regular basis – much to the chagrin of my Nana (grandmother). He was a retired bootleg miner, succumbing to the ravages of Black Lung, and in my ten-year old eyes, he could do no wrong. I often rode my bike “uptown” to go meet up with Pappy at the bar when it was time for supper and he often brought home a 6 pack of Coke in those little green bottles from the bar for me.  My hero!  It is funny, I remember no details about the bar other than there was one of those soda machines outside the door that dispensed bottled soda – the kind where you inserted the money, opened a long glass door, and pulled a bottle out of the dispenser. When it came time to make this cake, my Mom always sent me uptown on my bike to buy a bottle of 7up from that machine.  I will always believe that soda tasted so much better from those bottles back then. This recipe was in my Mom’s handwriting, has been in my collection for decades and I can close my eyes and be 10 years old again, climbing on my bike to go make the soda run for her to make my favorite cake.  Lemony and delicious, my Mom’s recipe called for cake flour which I believe gives it a nice texture and crumb. If you do not have cake flour, you can create your own cake flour: take 1 cup of all purpose flour, remove 2 Tablespoons of it, add 2 tablespoons corn starch, sift it five or six times and you have created your own cake flour.  Have your eggs and butter at room temperature before starting. NOTE: the oven is set at a low temperature for this cake.

Classic 7up Cake

Classic 7up Cake

Classic 7up Cake

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup room temperature lemon lime (original) 7 Up
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • OPTIONAL
  • 7 up Glaze (see below)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 315 F.
  2. Prepare a large Bundt or tube pan with nonstick baking spray, or grease well and flour.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter for two minutes on high speed until pale in color.
  4. Add in sugar and salt and cream together for an additional seven minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple times until very pale yellow and fluffy.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Slowly add in flour with the mixer at lowest speed. Do not over beat at this point. Pour in 7 Up and extract and mix just until thoroughly combined. (do not over beat)
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 75-85 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto plate. Cool completely.
    7up Glaze
  1. In small bowl, mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of 7- up until smooth. Drizzle over completely cooled cake.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/30/classic-7up-cake/

Soda vending machine of my youth.

 

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postheadericon Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

This recipe has been in my recipe file box for so long, it is nearly unreadable — spotted with cake batter and fingerprints and grease spots. I could simply write up another card, but this one has “personality” and most importantly, it is in my Mom’s handwriting. In some small way, it brings her back to me when I see it. And so, I filed this away on a thumb drive for future reference, but when it comes time to bake this cake, I pull out that beloved, spotted, banged-up recipe card, think of my Mom, and all is well in the world. You will not taste sauerkraut in this recipe, but its addition adds a wonderful moisture to this cake. In the Coal Region and in Pa Dutch kitchens, it is not unusual to have a can or jar or sauerkraut in the pantry making this an easy to put together cake. Make sure to chop the sauerkraut finely or you will wind up with shreds throughout the cake (like shredded coconut). This cake is also delicious frosted with a basic vanilla cream cheese frosting. You can make this cake as a layer cake or bake in a 13″ x 9″ pan.

Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake

 

Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sauerkraut drained, rinsed, drained again and chopped fine
  • 1- ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips or squares
  • 8 Tablespoons. butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour two 8 inch round cake pans.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients together.
  3. Cream together sugar, butter and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  4. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with water.
  5. Add sauerkraut and mix thoroughly.
  6. Pour into prepared pans.
  7. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto cooling rack. Cool completely.
  9. Frost with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting or frosting of your choice.
  10. Frosting:
  11. Melt the chocolate with butter in a saucepan on low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into bowl or stand mixer or mixing bowl.
  12. Blend in the sour cream, vanilla and salt. Gradually beat in the confectioners sugar until it is your desired consistency. Whip until smooth.
  13. Spread between layers, frost top and sides. Store cake in the refrigerator.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/10/12/chocolate-sauerkraut-cake-with-sour-cream-frosting/

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postheadericon Tomato Soup Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This retro recipe has been around for decades. Campbell’s published it in a cookbook for the first time in 1940, but it was in existence well before then. The recipe found its way into my Mom’s hand-written recipe file and, as a child, I was convinced my mother was a magician and genius.  After all, who but MY Mom could put a can of tomato soup into a cake and make it taste so good??  (Turns out, LOTS of grandmas and moms did, but I prefer to keep  my Mom on the pedestal I built for her…)

A nice, thick layer of frosting on this is a requirement in my mind. It can be made as a layer cake, but I always use a 13″ x 9″ pan so that the cream cheese frosting (or “icing” in my coal region/Dutchie home) is not spread out between the multiple surfaces of layers.  Raisins are option, but use ’em if you like ’em, they add another touch of yum to this spice cake.  I sometimes sprinkle finely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans over the surface of the frosting. (I like the flavor, the look of the garnish, and they help keep that fussy plastic wrap from sticking to the frosting for storage.)

Tomato Soup Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting

Tomato Soup Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (use unsalted butter - the salt in the soup and the sodium in the baking soda and baking powder is sufficient)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts or pecans (OPTIONAL)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 to 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional but recommended)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon and cloves. Add the soup, butter, eggs, and water and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Fold in the raisins, if using.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the cake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Let the cake cool completely.
  5. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese until smooth and light. Add the butter and beat into the cream cheese. Add 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined. Continue to add confectioners’ sugar until you have your desired consistency. Beat in the cinnamon.
  6. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/25/tomato-soup-spice-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting/

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postheadericon Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Penuche Frosting

This recipe bakes in a 9″ square pan making it a great choice for a smaller family or one or two people. You can use any frosting you wish; chocolate, vanilla buttercream, or peanut butter are good choices, but my favorite pairing with this cake is Penuche frosting. Penuche is a sort of fudge with a caramel flavor made with brown sugar, butter and milk – this frosting is all that in spreadable form. There no eggs or oil listed for this recipe because the mayonnaise provides them. NOTE: Use only full fat mayonnaise in this recipe,  not low fat or fat free to obtain the correct results.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Penuche Frosting

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise (Use only full fat mayonnaise, not low fat or fat free)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup Cold Water
  • 4 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • PENUCHE FROSTING:
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar (or as need to make desired consistency)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the water, mayonnaise, vinegar and vanilla until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking soda; gradually beat into mayonnaise mixture until blended.
  2. Pour into greased 9-in. square or 11x7-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  3. FROSTING:
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Stir in half-and-half cream and salt and return to a boil, continuing to stir. Remove the caramel from the heat and allow to cool to lukewarm, then add vanilla.
  6. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer until smooth, being careful not to over-beat. If the frosting becomes too thick, hot water can be added to thin it out.
  7. Spread over a cooled cake. Allow the frosting to set before serving, about 15 minutes.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/25/chocolate-mayonnaise-cake-with-penuche-frosting/

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postheadericon Shoo Fly Cake

Shoo Fly Cake gives you the delicious flavors of the Pa Dutch favorite Shoo Fly pie, but in cake form. It is also more portable than the pie version and pieces wrap up nicely for picnics and lunches. The recipe calls for “molasses” and I always use “table syrup” (Turkey brand, Golden Barrel, or King’s Syrup). It is milder in flavor than unsulphured baking molasses (Brer Rabbit, Grandma’s) which I find far too strong and harsh to use alone in this recipe or any shoo fly pie. You may like the bold flavor of unsulphured molasses and choose to use that. If you want milder flavor and cannot get table syrup, mix 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses with 3/4 cup light or dark corn syrup. Use what suits YOUR taste!

Shoo Fly Cake

Shoo Fly Cake

Ingredients

  • Crumbs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, preferably unsalted, room temperature
  • Cake
  • Crumbs from above
  • 1 cup molasses (table syrup or unsulphured, your choice)
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • Dash of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 13" x 9" inch pan.
  2. For the crumbs, combine the flour, sugar and butter. Mix with hands to form crumbs. Measure out 1-1/4 cups for topping. Set aside.
  3. For the cake, add the molasses and 1 cup of hot water to the remaining crumbs. Beat well. Add the remaining 1 cup of water and beat again. Dissolve the baking soda in the 1 tablespoon of warm water. Add to batter with a dash of salt. Mix well.
  4. Pour into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the top with reserved crumbs. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a rack before cutting and serving.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/24/shoo-fly-cake/

King Table Syrup

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postheadericon Peg’s 2-2-2-2-6 Pound Cake

The secret to this recipe is to start with a cold oven – do not preheat! The name of the recipe, “2-2-2-2-6 Pound Cake”,  comes from the list of ingredients.

The recipe for this super easy pound cake was given to me by my best friend, Peg, from Ashland, Pa. in the heart of the Schuylkill County area of the Coal Region. The first time I ever had it was when I went to visit her and she had made fresh strawberry shortcake for our dessert after dinner. I had not seen her in several years due to my moving from the area and that visit was so very special.  I am not sure whether the cake itself — or the pure pleasure of her company — was what made this so special. I never make this cake without thinking of her; seeing her slicing it then topping it with sweet, red, juicy locally grown Pa. strawberries in syrup and a big dollop of whipped cream. When I find myself mourning the passing of my best friend of over 30 years in early 2013, I close my eyes and go back to that day in her kitchen.

“When someone you love becomes a memory. the memory becomes a treasure.”

Super Easy Pound Cake

Peg’s 2-2-2-2-6 Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 6 whole eggs (room temperature)

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in large mixer bowl. Beat for 10 full minutes at lowest speed.
  2. Grease and flour a tube or Bundt pan.
  3. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly.
  4. Put pan in COLD oven. Turn to 300° F. Bake for 1-1/2 hours. Do not open oven for first hour.
  5. When tester inserted in cake comes out clean, remove from oven. Cool 15 minutes in pan, turn out onto serving platter.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/19/pegs-2-2-2-2-6-pound-cake/

COOK’S NOTE: This cake can be left unadorned, sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, or topped with a glaze of your choice.

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postheadericon Black Bottom Cup Cakes

Oh, the memories of Bake Sales growing up in the Coal Region. No “bakery” ever came close to what our Moms would create in their own kitchens! These Black Bottom Cupcakes were always a winner in my book!!

black bottom cupcake recipe

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Black Bottom Cup Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tins with paper cups or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir together until well blended. Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/black-bottom-cup-cakes/

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postheadericon Homemade Kandy Kakes

As a coal cracker, I was surrounded by the ability to enjoy just about every variety of Tastykake product out there. My absolute favorite was the milk chocolate enrobed, peanut butter topped little gem of yellow cake — originally known as Tandy Takes but now renamed to Kandy Kakes. If you love them, but cannot get them — or love them so much you need an entire pan full — here is a homemade version that will please your craving for a Pennsylvania favorite.

Homemade Kandy Kake

Homemade Kandy Kakes

Yield: 24

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup 2% milk (or whole)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 5 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each), chopped (Hersheys for example)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in milk and vanilla. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture and mix well.
  2. Spread into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 11 - 12 minutes on a wire rack. Spread peanut butter over top allowing to me; cool completely.
  3. In a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Gently spread over peanut butter. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/08/homemade-kandy-kakes/

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