Simple Yellow Cake From Scratch ~ No Deep Thoughts Here


It may be August, but I felt like baking. Six men have been crawling all over our home for weeks, painting its exterior. “Thank you” and “such a great job” are words; a cake will make ME feel better. I baked them a Scratch Yellow Sheet Cake with Pink Peppermint Icing. 

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Fresh Peach Pound Cake ~ Where is Virginia Willis When I Need Her?


Let me say, this Two-Step Fresh Peach Pound Cake is hefty.  It’s from Southern Living Magazine, and presented some questions that could have easily been answered if I were Virginia Willis.  Or Nancie McDermott.  Both of my Southern friends — cookbook authors and culinarians extraordinaire — would have instinctively known what to do.

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Lemon Chickpea Cake


Why would anyone put garbanzos into cake batter?  Yeah, good question.  The recipe was in a little pamphlet from a US Pea and Lentil Commodity Board I picked up at a food conference somewhere. Hmmm…  salads, soups, stews… LEMON CHICKPEA CAKE?

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When Larry Cooked Like a Real Italian


Montone, Umbria, Italy — Our cooking class instructor assured us this was THE Umbrian recipe to master – a lemony olive oil cake. Chef Judith Klinger of Aroma Cucina put Larry to work in her killer Italian kitchen in Montone. Husband/partner Jeff Albucher was attentive dishwasher, bartender and M.C., regaling us in Umbrian history and […]

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Kahlua Chocolate Decadence Brownie– A Perfect 5-Inch Cake to Save You Forevermore From Sending Pricey Mail Order Baked Goods


Success is sweet.  I feel like I kinda beat the system. My scratch-baked 5-inch Kahlua Chocolate Decadence Brownie fits in a mailable flat rate box. What started me on this project was the Harry and David cake ordered for my sis’s sinus surgery “get well” gift. GULP!

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Thelma’s Famous Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Larry’s Little Layer Versions


Thelma’s Carrot Cake is truly phenomenal. Full fat, full sugar, full egg type of recipe from the 60s. Thelma is Larry’s mom, age 91, loves sweets and is still going strong. This is some miracle carrot cake!  It’s Larry’s fav but, sadly for him, a healthy diet means he doesn’t get it often. Uh, did […]

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Mini Glazed Lemon Corncakes


Holy Moly, these Mini Glazed Lemon Corncakes are fab!! {TWO exclamation points.} Dense, moist, lemony, sweet. Here’s the brainstorm… first, a too-large bag of cornbread mix in the pantry, left over from Easter. Next, lemon tree, loaded with fruit. I was on my 3-mile Sunday walk (good girl), pondering cooking (natch). There HAD to be […]

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Tangerine Upside Down Cake


Tangerine slices, I came to realize, are beautiful on a cake but I screwed up.  In order to get the bitter flavor out of the rind before I assembled this, I should have blanched the slices. I’d simply substituted them for the lemons in the Lemon Upside Down Cake recipe published in the LA Times […]

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Pineapple-Coconut Cake ~ a Southern Cake for a California Bride


This bride-inspired Pineapple-Coconut Cake is from Nancie McDermott’s dreamy Southern Cakes – Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations (will post the groom’s little cake, behind, soon). My sister remarried on 9-10-11-12. September 10, 2011 at noon. No, no, this isn’t the “wedding cake.” Janie and Mike tied the knot at the house (Mike’s). But […]

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Kahlua Ice Cream Layered Cake ~ A Tutorial


Step-by-step, make this killer Kahlua Ice Cream Layered Cake by following my photos. The idea has been in my recipe binder since 2004, a Family Circle cover recipe made with kid-friendly flavors. No way, this had Kahlua potential, requiring a dinner party at home for obvious melting challenges.

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Chestnut Cakes


Do you remember THIS THROWDOWN (to myself)?  My jar of Roland chestnuts was befuddling. What the heck does a California girl make with chestnuts? Plenty of folks tweeted suggestions; most were savory (as in, toss with brussel sprouts. Seriously?). A few readers told me to eat them from the jar. Tempting, but I envisioned something […]

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Citrusy Olive Oil Cake with Limoncello Drizzle


This cake was such a surprise! It’s not a fluffy commercial texture, nor is it a brick – which was my first thought when I heard we’d be making an Olive Oil Cake with Limoncello Drizzle at our “Date Night Romantic Mediterranean” cooking class with Chef Diane Brown. If you haven’t noticed, we’re a little […]

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Namibia Sunset Orange Blossom Cake


African sunsets go on forever; the sun drops behind the horizon quickly, then melts the sky into a full hour of magnificence. Considering there are no buildings to block the view, hundreds of miles of horizon can (and do) glow every night.

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