Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baking Week!

Surprise! :)
It's been a busy week - between trying to finish up my project at work and new roommates moving in, I also signed myself up for FOUR baking projects this week. The original plan was to write a blog post for each of the projects throughout the week, but again with all the week's craziness, I haven't gotten a chance to write a word. Instead, I'm going to condense them all into this one post.

First up are peanut butter dough balls!

I'm not going to write out the recipe, because I followed it exactly from here. I had previously made these before, and they were a big hit, so I made another batch to celebrate my last week in my current lab rotation on Thursday. It's a pretty straightforward recipe - don't worry about if they come out a little doughy; they are supposed to be like that! Careful not to overbake them!

Next (made the same night as the peanut butter cookies) are snickerdoodle poppers!

So much sugar....

Also made these for my last Thursday meeting! Tried to follow the recipe here, but it was lots of trial and error. With the first few, we heated the oil up way too high and the balls turned black the instant they hit the oil. To fix it, we let the oil cool down before adding the balls, but then we ran into the trouble of cooking it all the way through. The outsides were getting overcooked but the insides were still raw. From there, we switched gears and decided to bake the balls first before frying them, which seemed to work decently and was healthier. Unfortunately, we then ran into the trouble of injecting the vanilla pudding into the middle - the pudding kept dribbling back out....so we just gave up. Final product turned out just to be the baked popper covered in cinnamon sugar. Still very good, just pretty different from the original recipe....I was bound to mess up one of these recipes at some point.

Item number three: mojito key lime cupcakes

More lime than mojito

I made these for a potluck on Saturday while running on two hours of sleep, so I'm surprised that they even turned out at all. Mojitos are my absolute favorite drink of all time, so naturally, I had to cupcake-ize them. I found a recipe here and followed it exactly, except I also added some mint extract. I was only going to add 1/2 teaspoon, but my hand slipped and I ended up dumping in a lot more. It didn't matter in the end though - the cupcakes came out very lime-flavored. The mint and the rum were barely there, so it didn't really taste like a mojito, but it did taste a lot like a delicious key lime cupcake, so I ran with that. 

And finally, the grand finale to my epic week of baking: ladybug cake (with dots on the inside!)

Just like a ladybug! :)

This was for my friend's surprise birthday party! Her boyfriend asked me to bake a ladybug-themed cake, since she loves ladybugs. While I originally was going to just make a regular cake and decorate it, I stumbled across a picture of a cake that was polka-dotted on the inside. I instantly knew I had to make something like that, except in red and black, for her cake. I had no recipe to go off of, so I made up my own. It was actually pretty simple, but it turned out really well and everyone was asking me how I got the dots inside...

The recipe with the picture I found used already baked cake balls to make the spots, but I didn't like that idea. I didn't want to re-bake the cake balls again. Then I came up with another idea. My black spots are actually an Oreo/cream cheese mixture that I had previously used for a batch of Oreo cupcakes (in the pre-blog days). I simply rolled them up and dropped them into the red velvet cake batter, baked it up, and slathered the whole thing in cream cheese frosting.

Ladybug Cake with dots on the inside!


  • 1 box of red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cup of milk 
  • 1 package of cream cheese (8oz)
  • 1 package of Oreos (~36 Oreos)

  • 1 package of cream cheese (8oz)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
  • 2.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make the Oreo balls! Put all of the Oreos in a Ziploc bag and crush them up. (I smashed them with the flat base of a Jack Daniels bottle, but I would really recommend a rolling pin. I just didn't have one on hand at the time). 
  3. Mix up the crushed Oreos with the cream cheese. It's best if you wash your hands and use them to really mix everything up. Keep going until you have a well mixed blob of gray-black gooey awesomeness.  
  4. Roll the Oreo mixture into balls (about 1-2 inches in diameter). Place on a plate and set aside. 
  5. Combine the red velvet mix with the eggs, oil, and milk. Mix with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) until smooth. Divide between two 9-inch pans. 
  6. Drop the Oreo balls into the red velvet batter. I cut some of the balls in half and dropped them in too to mix up the pattern a little. 
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted fork comes out clean. Let the cakes cool. 
  8. Make the frosting! Cream the butter and cream cheese together, and then add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix with hand mixer until smooth and combined. 
  9. Spread frosting on the tops of one of the cakes and stack the other on top. 
  10. Cover the entire thing in frosting. Decorate the cake however you like! 
  11. Cut it open in front of everyone and cross your fingers that it worked. (Lucky for me, it did!)

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