Rebecca's Cooking Journal

salt and pepper

Posts Tagged ‘Desserts’

My Pumpkin Cake

It has taken me a week to post this, but never fear: here is my pumpkin cake.

I have never decorated a cake before, so this was quite the undertaking. But actually, it was quite simple. I made two cake mixes and baked them in three rounds. When they were cool, I sliced off the top of two of them and stacked the three together, with frosting in between the layers.

Then I carved the sides off, so it was rounded a bit like a pumpkin. I frosted the sides and top. I used some of the extra cake (from the carving) to insert a little stem. After it sat in the fridge overnight, I frosted another layer so it would be smoother. I think it turned out well! It is a little lopsided, yes, but what pumpkin is ever completely rounded? Besides, it was my first attempt.

Is this to be a Halloween tradition?

I should note that I didn’t eat it. I took it to my ward Halloween party; it was a prize for the pumpkin carving contest. No worries, I had tons of leftover cake from the carving to eat at home!

Buttercream Frosting

I made this buttercream recipe for my son’s pumpkin sugar cookie decorating party. The toddlers loved it. And oh my, it is so good. I’m never buying canned frosting again.

The person who emailed it to me said it was from Betty Crocker but I cannot find it online — the Betty Crocker recipe for buttercream I find online is completely different. (ETA: From Trish‘s 1970s Betty Crocker cookbook.) Since I refuse to purchase shortening, I plan on using this pure butter option in the future. Here it is for my future reference.


My son and I made the popovers recipe from Pretend Soup. I’ve never made popovers and I must say these were absolutely delicious! Especially considering how easy they were to make, this is something we’ll do again.

My son loved every part: watching the butter melt in the microwave, spreading the butter into the muffin tin with a pastry brush, cracking the eggs, stirring the milk and flour into the eggs, putting the batter in the muffin tin, watching the batter get big in the oven, and, of course, eating three popovers with butter, maple syrup, and grape jelly.

And he’s only 23 months old. Cooking with my son is turning out to be so much fun, because he is obviously enjoying it so much.

I can’t, of course, post the recipe from the book for copyright reasons, even if it does have only four ingredients. But go check out Molly‘s slightly-more-complicated-but-certainly-delicious popover recipe. It also looks good.

Get the recipe at Orangette>>>>


I’d eaten these and loved them, but I’d never made them before. The dough worked out fine, and our only problem turned out to be the pastry piping bags: ours were so cheap they fell apart as we tried to squeeze the dough into the hot oil. Putting the dough in without the pastry bags created somewhat uglier churros, but they tasted just as good!


Toppings: Caramelized Bananas and Chocolate Sauce

I’ve mentioned that we like to have casual meals on Sunday evenings. Well, this holiday weekend, we took that to the extreme.

We’d had ice cream sundaes the night before, after our holiday barbecue, so we took the ice cream and the toppings and put them on our pipping hot waffles: caramelized bananas and chocolate sauce.

It was seriously delicious.

One of the kids, a ten-year-old, said to her mother Friday evening, “This is so good! You should ge the recipe.”

So here it is. Easier than you can believe. I suppose you may not count these are recipes, since I don’t really include “how much.” The point is, it doesn’t matter.

Waffles with ice cream, caramelized bananas, and chocolate sauce: does that count as dinner? Hmm. Let me think about that with this next bite…

Chocolate Chip Cookies, or, How You Know You’re “Home”

We moved about a month ago and most boxes are unpacked at this point. I haven’t been cooking much lately but that’s because my husband was out of town. I’m starting to get back into the swing of things.

There is one sure way to know that this is home: I’ve baked chocolate chips cookies.

Since every cooking blog has their own recipe, here is mine. It is adapted from the back of the Western Family bag of chocolate chips. It amazes me that the discount brand of chocolate chips was the most successful at discovering the best combination of fat, sugar, and chocolate. And yet, it is this recipe that is truly delicious.

I have made this recipe on many occasions. It is truly the best out there. I believe good things should be shared. So here it is for your baking pleasure! (more…)


Garden Strawberry
Image via Wikipedia

I love strawberries!

For me, they are dessert. The natural sweetness, the bright red, the little-speck seeds: everything about strawberries is perfect.

Despite the wintery season and the correspondingly high prices, I found some strawberries at the supermarket and had to indulge: it was my birthday, after all. I chopped them up, sprinkled some sugar on them, and the next night, a simple strawberry syrup was ready to top my chocolate birthday cake.

It was perfect!

What is your favorite fruit?

Orange Sorbet

If you have an ice cream maker, why not make some sorbet? It is so easy and good. I made it the first time last weekend. (It didn’t last long.)

  1. Boil 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Let it cool a little and then add 2 cups orange juice.
  3. Put it in an ice cream maker and let it freeze.
  4. Eat and enjoy.

The other day, Simply Recipes shared a tangerine sorbet recipe. It also sounds good!

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, here are some tips from David Lebovitz on how you can still make ice cream.