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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chewy chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips

My friend L's 30th birthday is tomorrow!  We've planned a big 30th birthday bash for her this coming weekend, but tomorrow she's planning to get a few of us together to watch a movie in Bryant Park (weather dependent, of course, considering the 10-day forecast in New York City is showing 10 days of rain).  I was going to bring cupcakes, but decided against it for a few reasons....first of all, tomorrow is my first day back at work after vacation, and the idea of schlepping 12 or 24 full sized cupcakes to Brooklyn to work and then back into Manhattan with me seemed daunting.  Plus, I just made two different varieties of mini cupcakes for my birthday party last night.  And that 30th birthday bash that I mentioned?  Yeah, I'm baking for that, too (keep your eyes peeled over the next week and a half for all those posts).

So cookies seemed like a good idea.  Tasty, portable, and no garbage related to them (like cupcake wrappers), which seemed nice for the park.  I had two options of types of cookies that I was going to make.  These chewy chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips and a double chocolate variety.  Originally I was going to make them both, but decided that they were kinda redundant....chocolate cookies with chocolate chips, just different kinds of chips.  I chose the white chocolate chip onces since they (a) used dark chocolate cocoa powder (well the both did, but I love dark chocolate), and (b) I liked the contrast of the white chocolate chips in the super rich dark chocolate cookie.

I decided to make cookies on the smaller size.  I made 48.  There's now about enough cookie dough to make AT LEAST another 48 in my freezer.  Great for a rainy day (or a surprise event).

Chewy Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips


1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder)
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet (or line with parchment paper).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addiction.
Add the salt and vanilla.

In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and baking soda.
Gradually add to the creamed mixture (I just dumped it all in....oops!)
Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.  I used my mini scooper to make smaller cookies - they came out about the size of an Entemann's cookie - remember those?  Such fond memories....but I digress - but a bit thicker.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until fluffy but still soft.  My smaller cookies baked for about 6 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Kit Kat cupcakes

This is the second installment of my birthday cupcakes.  First ones were the S'mores ones I posted before these.

This post is about candy cupcakes.  I wanted to make a candy-themed cupcake for my birthday but wasn't really sure what kind of candy I should choose.  I had been at Target recently and debated whether or not to buy a bag of mini tri-colored (white, milk, and dark chocolate) Kit Kats....and although I didn't buy them, I guess it stuck with me since I ultimately made Kit Kat cupcakes.

I found a recipe for Kit Kat cupcakes the old-fashioned way - through a google search and not from Pinterest!  I made a few modifications.  For instance, the blog complained that the wafers in the cupcakes popped up.  So instead of placing the wafer on top of the cupcake batter, I placed it in the cupcake tin first and then put the batter on top.  I also used chocolate filled wafers.  And my frosting, a whipped milk chocolate ganache like the recipe called for, but I had to doctor the proportions so that the consistency was right (and I don't really know the proportions).  And I, of course, topped them with a piece of a Kit Kat!

Again, I halved this recipe.  I still got 48 mini cupcakes from that.

Kit Kat Cupcakes
(Cupcake ingredients are listed for the full recipe)


Bite sized wafer cookies (48 for a half batch of batter)

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup canola oil (I used vegetable oil, since thats what I had)
1/2 cup butter to a boil
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I replaced that with all purpose flour)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (So I used 2.5 cups of all purpose and NO whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoonful baking soda
1 teaspoonful salt
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoonful vanilla

Milk Chocolate
Heavy whipping cream
(in 3:1 ratio chocolate to cream)

Kit Kat bars, optional


Preheat oven to 350 (there was actually no cooking temperature for the recipe, so I used 350 as that is what most recipes use)

Bring water, cocoa, oil, and butter to a boil, then let it cool. 
Sifted together flour, baking soda, and salt.
In another bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk.
Add the dry ingredients to that bowl.
Then add in the cocoa mixture.
Stir until blended.

Place one small wafer in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
Place 1 tablespoon of batter on top of each wafer and make sure that it completely covers and surrounds the wafer.
Bake for about 10 minutes until cupcakes are cooked through.

Make the icing: Boil cream.  Pour on top of chopped milk chocolate.  Mix until all chocolate is melted.  Let cool.  Whip until holds peaks.  Pipe onto cupcakes.  Top with a piece of Kit Kat.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

S'mores cupcakes

My birthday was a few days ago.  I had the week off from work and I had a low-key day.  One thing I didn't have?  A cupcake or a slice of cake!  That was despite the fact that a good portion of the birthday wishes I got on Facebook said things like: "I know you're always baking up a storm, but I hope someone else baked you a cake for your birthday, too;" "I hope that someone is baking you something special today;" and "I hope someone makes you a nice cake." 

But, alas, I was the one who did the baking (just not on my actual birthday).  This weekend I'm getting together with friends for drinks, and decided to bring some cupcakes.  The only problem was that I didn't know what type of cupcakes to make.  I wanted something that I hadn't yet featured on the blog and something that would hopefully stand up to the heat (as, weather depending, we'll be outside).  At least one recipe had to be nut and peanut free, as my cousin is allergic to both, and she'll be there.
First up were S'mores cupcakes.  I changed the original recipe a little - instead of coating the graham cupcake with a semisweet chocolate ganache glaze, I filled it with a milk chocolate ganache.  S'mores are, at least in my recollection, made with Hershey's milk chocolate, so I couldn't rationalize using semisweet chocolate over milk chocolate (but shhhh!, I didn't use Hershey's).  Oh, and after much debate, I made them mini.  For once, it wasn't an automatic reaction to make minis....but ultimately minis won out for one reason only...some of my favorite cupcake liners are mini, and I wanted to use those!  I'll have to make some full-sized cupcakes soon with some of my other favorite cupcake liners :)

 Just so that you know, I halved the recipe.  The HALVED recipe made 47 mini cupcakes.  It probably would've made a few more, except I overfilled the cups a little in the first batch that I made, and a bunch of them rose a lot and overflowed.  I used a scooper made for mini muffin tins and it was too much.  The second and third batches that I made I used a heaping tablespoon of batter and they just rose to a few millimeters below the top of the cupcake liner.  That was fine for me, since I planned to inject some milk chocolate ganache into the center of the cupcakes, and I knew that that would make them rise a little.
It's kind of hard to see on the picture on the right, but the ganache filling is peeking out

I ended up using a different icing for one reason - my thermometer doesn't reach the necessary temperature AND I couldn't find my thermometer.

***I found graham flour at Whole Foods.  It's also available online from places like King Arthur Flour (I just placed an order from them for another cupcake-related product for an idea I have) and Bob's Red Mill (the brand they had at Whole Foods).***

Graham Cupcakes
(These amounts are for the FULL recipe)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups graham flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
10 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
6 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter, brown sugar, and honey until pale and fluffy.
Reduce speed to medium.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Place the batter in the lined cups.  Use 1 Tbsp for mini cupcakes
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 10-12 minutes for minis.
Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature, or frozen up to 1 month.
Milk Chocolate Ganache Filling


6 oz milk chocolate, chopped
2 oz cream


Boil cream
Pour over chocolate
Mix until all chocolate is melted (I used a whisk)
Let cool slightly

Place into a pastry bag fitted with a thin small tip.
"Inject" a small amount of ganache into center of each cupcake.

Cloud Frosting (otherwise known as Martha Stewart's Seven Minute Frosting) - It's said to be a cross between whipped cream and marshmallow
Slightly modified by moi


2 1/2 cups sugar
6 egg whites, room temperature (oops, didn't read that part until later)
1/2 cup water (I used less since I wasn't using cream of tartar)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (I left this out)
1 Tbsp vanilla


Combine sugar, egg whites, water, and cream of tartar in bowl of an electric mixer and mix until foamy.  As I stated above, I didn't use the cream of tartar and decreased the water (I ended up using just under a quarter of a cup).
Set pan over a pot of slightly simmering water (makeshift double boiler) and whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch.
Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and whisk on high until stiff peaks can be formed, about 12-16 minutes (mine took less, maybe because of the changes I made?)
Add vanilla and beat until incorporated (I must confess, I added the vanilla when I switched it to the stand mixer)

Pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

I topped them with a small sliver of milk chocolate.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Peach vanilla bean bundt cake

Tonight I got together with my camp friends.  I've know these girls since the beginning of the summer of 1993.  That's 19 years!  Every once in a while we try to get us all together.  Recently I saw my friend J after she completed the NYC Triathlon (!!) and celebrated her early birthday, and I saw my friend E and her fiancee for drinks in the city a few weeks ago.  Before that, L opened an adorable kid's clothing store, Picnic, and L & E and I went to the opening.  (As an aside, if you're in the Brooklyn Heights area and looking for kids clothing, check out Picnic).  But tonight was the first time in a long time that all 5 of us were together.

Originally I thought that I'd make cupcakes.  I was going to do one for L, the expectanct mom, with a onesie on it.  One for the other L, whose daughter just turned one, I was going to have a big fondant "1" on it.  For E, a bridal themed one, since she's getting married at the end of September.  And then 3 birthday-themed ones - one for J whose birthday was a week and a half ago, one for L (the expectant mom), whose birthday is the 26th...and then one for me, since my birthday is this week.  And although cupcakes would transport easily, thanks to my handy cupcake packaging that I bought (check out the minis here....I also have full-sized ones), I was afraid the heat would melt the icing on my trek from Manhattan to New Jersey....on public transportation!  I had a bunch of other summer-themed ideas for the rest of the cupcakes, but it didn't matter.  I needed something summery and tasty but that wouldn't melt on my journey.

Enter the bundt cake.  A summery flavored bundt cake that had one of my favorite things in it....peaches!  So I did something so very un-Julie, and made it today for the first time....to bring to them tonight.  I snuck a taste of the bottom (shhh!  Don't tell the ladies!) and it was really good...I'm thinking of renaming it the "Peaches and Cream" bundt cake, since it tastes like peaches and cream....and thats before I put on the peach soaking syrup!

Peach Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Peach Soaking Syrup
(or Peaches and Cream Bundt Cake)


3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds (save the pod for something else)
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2  cups diced fresh peaches (peeled)

For the syrup:
1/3 cup fresh peach puree, strained (I strained mine after I made the syrup....oops.  But it worked)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice


Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350.
Grease and lightly flour inside of 10 inch bundt pan (In the notes it said to make sure you grease and flour well, so I used baking Pam and then ALSO floured the pan.  It worked....it literally slipped out as I was inverting it.  But thankfully it didn't fall and stayed perfectly intact....minus a little inch by half inch section that fell off).

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using either a stand mixer (paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Gradually add sugar and beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes.
Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 30 to 40 seconds after each addition.
Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
Beat in vanilla bean (the scraped seeds).
At low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream.

Scoop half of batter into pan and spread with spatula. Sprinkle with peaches. Scoop remaining half of batter on top of peaches. Smooth with spatula.  In reading the notes at the bottom, I read that you can fold the peaches into the batter instead of layering them.  I thought this might be safer considering the voyage the cake has to take today.

Bake cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then invert it onto another rack. Place the cake, on the rack, over a baking sheet.

While cake is baking, make syrup. Combine peach puree, sugar, and orange juice in a small non reactive saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove pan from heat.
Using a pastry brush, dab syrup generously all over surface of the warm cake, allowing it to soak into the cake before reapplying.
Let the cake cool completely.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Big apple cookies

My friends B & E are leaving New York at the end of the month - they're moving back home to Kentucky.  Before they leave, they've arranged a picnic in Central Park as a send-off.  Of course I replied that I'd there and that I'm be willing to bring some food.  I was informed that B would be making a BBQ brisket and was asked to bring some sides.  I made some Mexican slaw (no mayo.....because mayo is ewwww (in my opinion), but also because mayo left out in the heat and sun is double ewwww).  But I also wanted to bring a treat.  This is, afterall, the JulieBakes blog and not a JulieCooks blog (although I wouldn't put it past myself to create that in the near future).

I tried coming up with some cute New York-themed desserts.  I already made those black and white cookies for the black-and-white-themed New Year's Eve party that I attended earlier in the year, and while I'm not against repeating a recipe in the less-than-one-year-life of this here blog, I'm not a super huge fan of black and white cookies.  Mini cheesecakes sounded like a cute idea, but it's July.  In New York.  And it's HOT!  I ended up sticking with my original idea..."Big Apple" sugar cookies!  They're tasty, easy to transport, and such a cute idea (if I do say so myself).

A few years ago I went on a cookie cutter buying spree.  I bought cookie cutters for events that I had planned (baby shower, bachelorette party); ones that I thought were versatile and "every day," like flowers and candy shapes; holiday-themed ones (Channukkah, Christmas); and ones that I simply thought were cute (fruit shapes, champagne glass).  One of those fruit shaped ones was an apple.  In my case a "Big Apple." 

I made the cookie dough a few days ahead and then baked them a few days before the BBQ.  I needed to leave enough time to make the cookies, decorate them with royal icing, and then let them dry before I packaged them up.  Then I made cute labels to put in the bagged cookies for B & E (The picture is kinda hard to read.  They say "We're going to miss you in the BIG APPLE" and they're red, but look pink in the photo.

Sugar Cookies (from Martha Stewart's Cookies, and available here)
(In full disclosure, the cookies you see above are actually butter cookies from my friend's grandmother's family recipe.  I used that version because they can be made further ahead than these sugar cookies and I had time constraints.  I have not yet gotten permission to disclose her family recipe, but this is my cut out sugar cookie recipe of choice.)


4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (the web version says freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of vanilla)

Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl.

Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
Mix in eggs and vanilla.
Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture.
Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes.
Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap (I use wax paper or in a pinch parchment paper...I also recommend flouring the paper.  The original Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook says to roll in out on a lightly floured work surface, but I always roll cookies between layers of wax/parchment) to 1/4-inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap.
Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter. Transfer cut out cookies onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. dough on plastic wrap to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, and freeze dough until very firm, about 15 minutes.
Roll out scraps, and repeat.
Repeat with remaining disk of dough.

Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes.
Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Royal Icing (from Cookie Craft)
There are different recipes for the piping and flooding versions of the icing.  I'll be honest - in order to keep the colors the same, I made the piping incing, take what I need and pipe it onto the cookies while keeping the mixer going.  Then, when I have finished piping, I add the additional water to that version of the icing to make the flood version.

Piping Royal Icing
This recipe can be halved....see below
(I use meringue powder because I think it's safe and it's what I have....it can be made with powdered egg whites or liquid pasteurized egg whites, but the proportions are different, so don't replace those for the meringue powder in the same amounts)


4 cups (1 lb) confectioners' sugar
3 Tbsp meringue powder (FYI, if halving, use 4 tsp meringue powder)
6 Tbsp warm water (plus an additional 6 Tbsp for flooding consistency)


Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer
Beat on high for 5 minutes (10 minutes if using a hand mixer).  If your mixer has a paddle attachment, use that (I used the whisk attachment and it works JUST fine).
When you reach the desired consistency, immediately cover the mixture or store it in airtight containers (As I did with the green and brown while I was using the red).

Add food coloring as desired.

Add icing into a bag fitted with a coupler and piping tip. 
Pipe away!

With the mixer going, slowly add the additional 6 Tbsp of warm water, 1 Tbsp at a time until you have the desired consistency.  You may not need all the water as you've already removed some of the icing for piping.....now you have flooding royal icing.

Let piping frosting dry and harden, then flood the area with the flooding royal icing.  I use a toothpick to spread that icing all the way to the piped edges.

Monday, July 16, 2012

White chocolate cookies n' cream fudge

First off, I'm not sure why the original recipe called it "white chocolate cookies n' cream fudge" and not "white chocolate Oreo fudge."  Because frankly, whenever I think of cookies n' cream, I think of Oreos.  But I digress.

I saw this recipe a while ago.  I wanted to make it, but had no occasion for which to make it, so I put it aside for later on.  But that event never came, and the recipe was still calling to me.  So about a week and a half ago I went to the grocey store and picked up the ingredients for a few things that I wanted to make.  This fudge was one of them.  The ingredients lasted more than a week in my kitchen, and last night after I got home from work and celebrating a friend's birthday, I finally made it. 

I often think white chocolate is very sweet, and with the added sugar and Oreos, I expected that this would be one sweet fudge!  Surprisingly, it wasn't too sweet.  However, I do recommend cutting it into small pieces.  And sharing it.  With a ton of people.  I actually think it would make a cute gift, maybe with a carton of milk?  I'm wondering if this recipe is adaptable, and perhaps next time I'd make it with a semisweet or dark chocolate, or add in other fillings....

White Chocolate Oreo Fudge
(I've renamed it.....it's my blog afterall and I can do what I want!)


1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk

2 x 12 oz bags of white chocolate morsels
1 7oz jar of marshmallow cream (I found a 7.5oz jar and eyeballed the 7oz from it)
3 cups coarsely chopped Oreos (about 25), divided (I used 2/3 a package of regular - not double-stuffed - Oreos)
Pinch of salt


Line a greased (oops, missed that part, but I don't understand why greasing the pan under the foil would make a difference...and it didn't) 9x9 inch pan with tin foil (leave some overhanging)

Combine the sugar, butter, and evaportaed mik in a medium saucepan.
Cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil.  Cook 3 more minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat, add: white chocolate morsels, marshmallow cream, 2 cups of Oreos, and salt.
Stir until morsels melt.
Poir fudge into prepared pan.
Sprinkle remaining crushed cookies over the fudge, and gently press cookies into fudge.
Cover and let chill until firm, about 1-2 hours.

Lift the block of fudge from the pan (using the overhang....convenient, right?)
Remove foil and cut fudge into squares

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Chocolate cups

Almost everyone loves a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.  Except maybe my peanut-allergic cousin.  But I digress.  Anyway, Reese's....loved by almost everyone.  And for good reason.  Peanut butter and chocolate are an age old - and delicious - combination.  But, while I enjoy the occasional Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (I much prefer the pieces to the cups), I always wonder about alternative fillings.  Enter Pinterest.  I found recipes for chocolate Nutella cups and chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter cups.  But that wasn't enough for me. 

Then I remembered the Speculoos Cookie Butter that I had picked up at Trader Joe's a while back.  And the marshmallow fluff that I had picked up for another (yet to be made) recipe.  And I always seem to have some Nutella here.  And thus, some flavor combinations were born...

I made four different flavors of chocolate cups: Speculoos cookie butter, marshmallow fluff, Nutella, and Speculoos cookie butter with fluff.  I decided I'd save the chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter cups for another occasion.

I'm going to include a recipe for these, but frankly, they don't really need a recipe.  You just need to know one thing....these are good.  Very good!

Chocolate _____ Cups -- you fill in the blank!
Based on this recipe for chocolate Nutella cups


Chocolate chips (the Nutella recipe says 8 oz) in any flavor - I used semisweet because, well simply, thats what I had in the kitchen.
1/2 cup of the filling of your choice (Nutella, peanut butter, almond butter, fluff, Speculoos cookie butter....the list could go on and on)
Mini cupcake liners -- although I used candy cups (a bit smaller)


Melt chocolate chips in the microwave at 30 second intervals, mixing in between.

Take a small spoon and scoop some melted chocolate into the bottom of each cupcake line so that it completely lines the bottom (you want it thick enough to hold in the filling but not too thick so that you don't have room for filling the cups).
Take the back of the spoon and dip into chocolate and line the inner sides of the cupcake liners with chocolate as well (I used a lollipop stick). Repeat with all cupcake liners.
Once the inside of the cupcake liners has been completely coated with chocolate, put in the refrigerator to harden, for about 20 minutes.

Remove liners from fridge after the chocolate has hardened. Take spoonful of the filling and place into each chocolate cup.
Take a spoonful of the remaining melted chocolate and pour on top of the filling until you can no longer see the filling.
Attempt to smooth top with back of spoon.
Repeat with remaining cups. Place cups in fridge for another 20 minutes until chocolate is hardened.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Zebra cakes

Sometimes I'm foolish.  Hard to believe, right?  Me, the professional + doctoral student + type A personality, foolish?  Yes, sometimes I am.

See, it started out a few days ago when I was unsure of what I'd bake this weekend.  See, I don't have anything to bake for.  No birthday parties, baby showers, pot-lucks....well, you get the picture.  Without an event to bake for, I turned to my JulieBakes Facebook page and asked my "fans" what they thought I should bake.  A few reponded (note: you can still vote....like JulieBakes on facebook and answer the question - it's on the top left), so I'm giving it some more time. But I wanted to make something today (those fruit snacks I made last night were tasty - and addictive - but didn't quench my desire to make something in the kitchen). 

So today I decided to make something else.  Was it one of the things I had suggested on my Facebook poll?  Nope.  Was it something no-bake, considering today's high was 97 degrees in New York City?  No, that would've been smart.  It was a Zebra Bundt Cake that I had been eyeing for, well, forever.  But did I stop at that?  You guessed it...but nope.  I made Mini Zebra Bundt Cakes.  And when I had leftover batter, I made a Zebra Cake, too.

So there I was, standing in my hot scorching  (97 degrees out + no AC in the kitchen + oven preheating to 350F) kitchen, layering not one, but six mini bundt cakes, and wondering what exactly I was thinking when I set out to start this project.

But, despite my foolishness (and yes, it was foolish), the cakes came out adorable, and tasty, too!
Left: top view of zebra Cake; Right: inside of zebra cake
Below: slice of zebra cake atop the cake

How cool would it be to ice this cake, then slice into it, and have the surprise zebra pattern inside?!

Mini Zebra Bundt Cakes (and a Zebra cake, too)
(from Zebra Bundt Cakes - and follow this link for how to layer the cakes to make the zebra appearance - note the original has a beautiful powdered sugar sprinkling topped with a lovely chocolate gaze, but I didn't have the time or patience to make it given the temperature in the kitchen, although the next time I make this cake - and I will - I will definitely make the glaze and decorate the cake with the powdered sugar and glaze)



3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup natural (not Dutch-processed) cocoa powder
6 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk (I used skim since that's what I had)

Glaze (I didn't use it but it looks good!)

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream


Make the Cake:

Preheat overn to 350F

Sift flour baking powder and salt into a bowl; set aside.

In a separate medium size bowl add in ½ cup of sugar, the cocoa powder, and water then whisk until mixture is smooth; set aside.

Place melted butter and sugar in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium high until mixture is blended, about 1 minute.
Add in vanilla and beat until combined.
Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition.
Once all eggs are added, beat mixture until it becomes light and fluffy.

Turn mixer speed down to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions and mixing just until blended.

Add 2 cups of the batter to the cocoa mixture and stir until blended.

Using an ice cream scoop, pour two scoops of vanilla mixture into pan (since I made mini cakes, I used smaller amounts at a time). Now alternate and pour one scoop of chocolate mixture on top of vanilla mixture. Continue to alternate between vanilla and chocolate layers until bundt pan is filled.

Bake zebra bundt cake for 50-60 minutes at 350F or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (my mini bundt cakes took about 25-30 minutes.  The mini cake took literally forever, and I ended up pulling it out with the top center still wet but the rest of the cake almost burnt). Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and cool completely.

To Make Glaze:

Place chocolate and cream in a pan over low heat and stir until chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes before using.

Assemble: Pour the glaze on top and let glaze set, about 30 minutes. Slice and serve.