FacebookTwitter

Leena Makes and Bakes: A Butterfly Birthday Cake!

By on Jun 1, 2014 in Cakes, Desserts, Leena Bakes | 0 comments

Hey guys. I’ve been busy for the past few months writing food articles for Chow.com, but I’m back and full of food stories and recipes to share. My daughter’s third birthday was a little while back, and I had a lot of fun figuring out how to make her dream cake: pink with butterflies. I ended up making a cream cheese frosting flavored with homemade strawberry jam for the pink requirement. I used the jam because I have tried using fresh strawberry puree in the past, and it ends up making the frosting too wet, which makes it drips off the cake and just look ugly. For the butterflies, I ended up using this tutorial from How To Cook That for chocolate butterflies. And you guys—it was actually pretty easy! Do you remember making those butterfly paintings in preschool? The ones where you paint one half of the butterfly, then fold the paper in half, smoosh it a little,...

Leena Bakes: Mini Carrot Cupcakes with Pistachio and Cream Cheese Frosting for other people. As in NOT her.

By on Mar 28, 2011 in Cakes, Cupcakes, Desserts, Leena Bakes, Recipes | 10 comments

You rock, Carrots. From hard and crunchy to soft, spicy cake, you are so damn versatile. Not like lima beans. Yeah, I like to torture myself. I’m technically not allowed to bake, especially with sugar, due to my latest diagnosis of gestational diabetes. It was a definite bitch slap to me, as baking has comforted me through three degrees, one cross-country and one cross-world move, and 2/3s of this pregnancy. But when my husband’s birthday rolled around, I knew I couldn’t not bake him a cake. A birthday without cake is sacrilegious in this household! So I rocked out his favorite recipe in mini cupcake form, carrot cake with pistachios and cream cheese frosting. If and only if you’d like to see the best damn carrot cake recipe I have ever come across, if you think you can handle the awesomeness, then please. By all means–click on. So this recipe is great for...

Leena Bakes: Dark chocolate pear cake with pistachio ice cream

By on Jan 31, 2011 in Cakes, Fruit, Leena Bakes | 3 comments

One of the worst things about being pregnant and me is that I can literally cook or bake ANYTHING I am craving at the time. Like cookies. And Chex Mix. And more cookies. It’s dangerous, really. Mainly because I hate sharing. I blame the baby for this. My cravings have definitely had a sweet edge to them, so when an old friend came into town, I used it as an excuse to make some delicious cake and ice cream. I have explored the use of this particular flavor combination, dark chocolate, pear and pistachio, in several desserts in the past, like this one and this one. I love the balance of the slightly bitter chocolate, the syrupy sweet pear and the salt from the pistachio, I figured it would be a good in cake form. For more food porn and the recipes, click on! For the cake recipe, I used this one from Smitten Kitchen–a fellow food blogger who always has killer and deliciously...

Leena Bakes: Ginger Cupcakes with Cranberry Cream Cheese frosting

By on Dec 20, 2010 in Cakes, Cupcakes, Desserts, Fruit, Leena Bakes | 1 comment

For the first three months of my pregnancy, I almost went crazy with pregnancy nausea, and cooking was the LAST thing on my mind. Once it finally did cross my mind, baked goods were about all that seemed appetizing. Enter my ginger cupcake with cranberry cream cheese frosting. The recipe and food porn after the click. Ginger Recipe: Ginger cupcake Summary: A great recipe from Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen cookbook Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon ground ginger 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1 egg 1/2 cup molasses 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 cup buttermilk Instructions Preheat the oven to 350. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake papers. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg, molasses, sugar, and melted butter until thick....

Leena Bakes: Thanksgiving pt.3 Dessert- Cranberry upside down cake

By on Nov 22, 2010 in Cakes, Fruit, Leena Bakes | 0 comments

This has to be my new favorite holiday dessert. It’s a bit sweet and a bit tart  five spice cranberry upside cake, inspired by a recipe in my Chez Panisse Fruits cookbook and from this post on The Joy of Baking. And if you are lucky enough to live in the U.S., you know that cranberries are a native fruit, making it the perfect fruit to focus on for a holiday dessert. Food porn and the recipe after the jump. It is made exactly like you make a pineapple upside down cake–you melt butter and brown sugar in the cake pan together, sprinkle on the cranberries and any seasonings, then top with cake batter. When the cake is finished and cooled, the pan is inverted so the cranberries are on top, all caramelized and pretty and red and making ya hungry. Recipe: Leena’s Cranberry Upside Down Cake with Five Spice Summary: Inspired by a recipe from Chez Panisse Fruit and...

Leena Bakes: A Giant Lamington Cake of Happiness

By on Sep 20, 2010 in Australia, Cakes, Desserts, Leena Bakes | 2 comments

Tea time is what I miss most about living in Australia–a guaranteed excuse twice a day to drink something warm and lovely and nosh on a little snack, preferably something sweet. One of the most popular tea time snacks in Australia is the lamington cake, which could be as simple as a vanilla sponge cake rolled into chocolate and coconut, or as fancy as a dark chocolate cake layered affair with champagne mousse and thick shavings of fresh coconut. I was craving a similar dessert for an impromptu dinner party, and I just so happened to have a stash of coconut and homemade jam, so lamginton it was! And instead of painstakingly making each individual tea cake, I decided to make a giant cake version and just cut slices for people. Motivated AND lazy, people—I’m the best of both worlds. More food porn and the recipe after the jump. Where does the lamington cake come from...