Baking Project # 7: 9th Month Birthday Cake

I don't know the reason behind this but from my hometown, they believed that once someone becomes a godmother to your child, you can't be a godmother to her child as well. As it turned out, my closest of friends are Julian's godmothers. So there goes my dream to become a godmother to their children. 

Early this year, my friend gave birth to her son Bryze and he was baptized a few months later. I am honestly jealous that he'll get to call my other friends "ninang" and I won't ever hear it from him. But anyway, I still get to spoil him with my presence as we live only about five minutes away. I used to jive Julian's pedia appointment with his schedule but their pedia is not someone who hurries the consultation (unlike what I observed with my former OB) so one of us had to wait another hour before we can leave. And with other patients at the reception area waiting for their turn, it could get tiring and fearful trying to hold on to Julian as he run around while I hope that he doesn't bump into chairs, other toddlers or the older patients.

Bryze breezed into his 9th month last Saturday and I baked a cake for him. We brought the cake to their house but had to leave early as Julian wasn't feeling well. If you noticed, I do love sprinkles on cake. If I could get away with it, I'd top all cakes with them. But of course I have to choose the appropriate occasion for them and a baby's birthday is just right for it.


Birthday Cake


For the cake

    1 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 1/2 cups sugar
    5 eggs, room temperature
    3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
    2 tsp vanilla

For the buttercream

   1 cup salted butter, softened
   4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
   2 Tbsp heavy cream
   2 tsp vanilla


For the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (175 deg C). Line 2 8-inch round pans with parchment paper and grease well. 
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. 
  3. Cream together butter and oil until well combined and fluffy. Add sugar one cup at a time and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another. Scrape the bottom of the bowl, if necessary. Add the flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in three additions, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Beat in vanilla. Beat batter on high for 5 seconds until everything is fully incorporated.
  4. Equally divide into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes. Run a spatula or knife around the edge of the pans and transfer to cooling racks. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:

  1. Beat butter until pale and fluffy. Slowly mix powdered sugar. Add heavy cream and beat well. Mix in vanilla and beat on high until the desired consistency is attained. Add food color if desired. 


      You can use unsalted butter but I find the result too sweet to my liking so I switched to salted butter. Salted butter softened faster than the salted one.


Baking Project #6: Sprinkles Cupcakes

I have 2 packs of sprinkles at home that have been sitting in the cupboard for months but which I am not inclined to throw away. Even if I have to make a couple of cakes and a number of cupcakes to decorate them with I would do it. 

Who am I kidding? Those sprinkles were the reason why I was inspired over the weekend. Suddenly, I had a reason to bake. I was honestly itching to whisk flour and beat butter but baking two weeks in a row didn't sound well for my pocket. I just bought 2 sets of pajamas for Julian, new shirts for me and was even tempted to buy a cake stand if only the color went well with me. 

I have fabricated another alibi. I am set to make 80-100 cupcakes for Calvin's birthday this Sunday and I need to determine just exactly how much buttercream I have to make. I will do the baking at home, bring the cupcakes to Zambales and frost them there. And Diane will have to buy all the ingredients I needed a couple of days before, so planning ahead is necessary.

These cupcakes were soft, even after I stored them in the refrigerator for a day. I would love to do it again. By the way, the first time I made these, I used evaporated milk and the taste was overwhelming and had a burn-out factor. I suggest that you either use whole or fresh milk to balance everything.


Sprinkles Cupcakes


3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 large eggwhites (read direction #2 before separating the yolks from the white)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp milk (fresh or whole)
1/4 cup rainbow jimmies sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 175 deg Celsius. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners (14 cupcakes).
  2. Sift flour and baking powder in a medium sized bowl. Add salt and whisk. Set aside
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter until pale and creamy. Add in sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and eggwhites one at a time beating well after each addition. Scrape the bottom of the bowl if necessary. Mix in vanilla. In three additions, alternately beat in the flour mixture and the milk beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. (1/3 of dry ingredients + 1/2 of milk + 1/3 of dry ingredients + 1/2 of milk and then finally the rest of the dry ingredients. Fold in the rainbow jimmies sprinkles.
  4. Fill muffin tins with about 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (The original recipe calls for 17-19 minutes, but in my oven it took 22 minutes to have them completely bake.) Remove from the oven, allow in the muffin tins for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to completely cool.

For the frosting recipe, click here.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Baking Project #5: Peanut Butter Cookies

 Oh it's Christmas time already! 

Here in the Philippines, we celebrate the Christmas season the longest. We start hanging lanterns and wreaths and putting up the Christmas tree as soon as the first of September steps in. This  morning while I was watching a morning show, I could already hear them play Jingle Bells and on my way to work,  Christmas songs were popping from radio shows.

Despite the preparations that we put on so much effort, I, however don't have a  long list of gifts to buy. Instead, I spend a day in our kitchen baking cupcakes and cookies to be wrapped and given the next day. I don't spend that much. I really feel the act of giving when I make them on my own. I wish I can draw and make my own cards but I am not talented in that department. But baking has become a hobby and I love doing it, so cookies and cupcakes from our home have become a tradition.

Last year, I made boxes and boxes of peanut butter cookies. Julius loved them and became his favorite. Last Sunday, it was just Julian and I at home. If Julius had been there, we would be on our way to UP and Julian would be running around the park. Sadly, he wasn't there and we missed him. I then decided to make peanut butter cookies. 

They were really good. I ate about 5 pieces before I remember to give some to our neighbors. Oops, sorry! Julian is at his picky stage but that wasn't the case when he tasted it. I fed him with the cookies all afternoon.


Peanut Butter Cookies


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 175 deg Celsius. Grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld mixer (don't use a stand mixer to avoid overmixing), beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Add peanut butter and beat just until blended. Add egg and vanilla and beat again just until blended. Gradually add flour mixture and beat just until blended.
  4. Using a cookie scoop or or your measuring spoon, place tablespoon-sized balls dough into prepared pans, 2 inches apart. Using a fork, make a crisscross pattern on top of each cookie, Be careful not to over-flatten the cookie. Bake cookies, one pan at a time for 12-14 minutes or until lightly brown. Allow to cook in baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

P.S.  You may also try Red Velvet Cupcakes

Recipe Source: Bake or Break

Baking Project #4: Red Velvet Cupcakes

To be quite frankly, it occurred to me once that red velvet cake is going to be the end of my baking addiction. There's no in between with this cake, it's either I get it or I don't. And I miss most of the time!

Prior to my first attempt of baking it, I have no idea or heard of it before. Even the restaurants and cafes I frequent don't have it in their menu. One day though, I was browsing all the recipes at Joy of Baking when I saw this photo of a cake. It looked simple but the combination of colors caught my attention. The burst of red made it interesting and intriguing. I studied the recipe and read it over and over again. I haven't even started yet but I was already intimidated. I couldn't quite figure it out but somehow my subconscious knew that I was doomed for a failure. And I did. I made it that day and even after the 40 minutes were up, the cake still looked creamy and nowhere near completely baked. I replaced it in the oven and baked for another 5 minutes... and another 5... and another 5. In the end, I baked it for twice as much as was said on the recipe and the top was burnt and I had to cut that part.

Two years later, I saw a recipe for red velvet cupcakes using a different method. So I tainted my hands with red yesterday and I dare say, they were really good. They were the softest cupcakes I ever made and tasted! It's not as red as I hoped it would be but that can easily be repaired. What's important is, I FINALLY found the perfect recipe! 


Red Velvet Cupcakes


2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 oz (30 ml) red food color
1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 deg C). Line muffin tins with cupcake liners
  2. Measure cake flour in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, vinegar and salt.
  4. In the bowl of your mixer, beat sugar and oil until well blended.Alternately add flour and wet mixture in three additions beginning and ending with flour. Mix in cocoa powder and food color.
  5. Fill muffin tins to half-full and bake to 15-17 minutes or  until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in tins for a few minutes. Remove from tins and allow to cool completely before frosting.

       *Makes about 30 3-oz cupcakes
       *I am using a small oven that can only accommodate 9 cupcakes at a time. What I do is bake
         them on the lower rack for 15 minutes and then transfer them to the middle rack and bake for
         another 3-5 minutes.   

Recipe adapted from She Make and Bakes

Baking Project #3: Basketweave Cake

Life is all about choices.  Variety is the name of the game.

I already have my go to recipe for yellow cake, but I would never pass up a chance to try a new recipe if it sounds promising. I was cleaning my drawer the other day and when I got to the bottom I found copies of cake recipes that I printed a year ago. I read everything and decided to try the yellow cake for our anniversary. Julius and I became together officially on August 10 and because it fell on a Sunday this year, I already made my decision to make a cake and also try the basketweave frosting idea. I did both and I was really happy with the result. After I finished with the frosting, I excitedly showed it to Ate Janet and she was pleased with it too. I couldn't find a flat tip from the store despite checking every week so I used a small sized open star tip. And I do think that it was even better. As for the cake, it's my brother's opinion that I always ask, and my question is always like this: "Is it good? Should I make it again?" And if he says yes, then I'm fine with doing it again. And in case you're wondering, he said yes yesterday.


     4 cups plus 2 Tbsp cake flour, sifted
     2 tsp baking powder
     1 1/2 tsp baking soda
     1 tsp salt
     1 cup unsalted butter ( 2 sticks), softened
     2 cups granulated sugar
     2 tsp vanilla extract
     4 large eggs, room temperature
     2 cups buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (175 deg C). Grease 2 8-inch round pans. Grease also parchment papers and place at the bottom of the pans.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and set aside. 
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. In a low speed, mix buttermilk just until incorporated. Add flour in three batches and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Divide batter into pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the edges and invert into racks. Remove parchment paper and allow to cool before frosting. 
For the frosting recipe, click here:

Note: Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Baking Project #2: Candle Birthday Cake

Oh how I love pinning! I do it everyday! I am always in search of home ideas, cake and cupcake recipes and most of all, cake frosting techniques. I am so addicted!

Last year, I chanced upon this cake styling idea and it has been stuck in my mind since then. I wanted to try it back then but for no apparent reason, I just stopped baking altogether. So the idea had been put to rest for a while. But last weekend, I was restless. I wanted to go to the mall, shop for groceries, dine out, play outside with Julian, read a book and so and so. I had an endless list of things I wanted to do. I ticked a few on the list but I was still restless so I decided to bake. And my heart and mind had their peace. I used a new recipe which meant that I needed someone besides myself to taste it and give me feedback. My younger brother visited us later in the afternoon and helped himself with the cake. He returned the next day and ate a couple of slices with Julian. (By the way, Julian cried when Ton told him that they already ate all of the cake and there's nothing left. Hmm, he must loved it too!)

And so of course, I no longer have to ask Ton if I should make it again. Obviously, he liked it. And I liked it too and my friends at work as well!

      White Butter Cake


2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 cup, at room temperature 
6 large egg whites, at room temperature 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar 
4 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon table salt 
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool 

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds. 
  2. Pour milk, egg whites, and vanilla into a bowl, and mix with fork until blended. 
  3. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium speed and beat 20 seconds longer. 
  4. Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops.Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. 

      American Buttercream

       1 1/4 cup butter, softened
       3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted 3 to 4 times
       1 Tbsp vanilla
       3-4 Tbsp heavy cream
       1 tsp salt

  1.  Beat butter at high speed for 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly add powdered sugar. When all of the sugar is blended, add the heavy cream and beat at high speed. Add vanilla and salt and beat again until desired consistency is attained. Make adjustment by adding heavy cream (1 Tbsp at a time) or powdered sugar (1 cup at a time).

Note: Cake recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated.
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