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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: 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...