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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

French Vanilla Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

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It’s time to make a birthday cake for a special friend. His favorite color is blue, so there was really nothing else I could have done. I decided to make a French Vanilla Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting.

Honestly, baking doesn’t come easily to me, I really have to work at it. I do take help where I can. For this recipe, I used a box cake mix. Listen, there are some really good ones available. It saves a lot of time, you don’t need to measure out all the ingredients, so why not?

I am going to be adding a secret ingredient to my cake that will make it extra moist and delicious. I’ll tell you about that in a minute. Let’s get started.

I’m starting out by using three boxes of Duncan Hines French Vanilla cake mix.

Offset Spatula

French Vanilla Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Baking Time: 25 to 55 minutes (times may vary depending on oven and the different size cakes pans used for this recipe)
Equipment: 5″, 7″, and 9″ cake pans, parchment paper, Stand Mixer, hand-held electric mixer, 3 medium-sized mixing bowls, 1 large mixing bowl, 3 cake cooling racks, piping bag with a star tip

Note: It’s important when baking that all the ingredients be at room temperature.

Ingredients:
3 boxes of Duncan Hines French Vanilla Cake Mix, 16.5-ounce box
9 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups of water, divided into thirds
1 cup of vegetable oil, divided into thirds
3/4 cup of ricotta cheese, divided into thirds
3 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature, (for greasing pans)
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour (for pans)

Ingredients For Frosting, Double Batch:
4 sticks of softened unsalted butter
2 8-ounce bars softened cream cheese
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
4 cups of powdered sugar
2 drops of blue food coloring (more if you’d like the color to be darker or you may want to choose a different color).

Directions:
The first thing that you need to do is to prep all three of the cake pans with butter, parchment paper to fit the bottom each cake pan, and flour. You want to butter the pans first, then lay down the parchment paper in each one. Butter the tops of each circle of parchment paper. Next, flour each pan. Sprinkle a little flour into the bottom of the pans then roll the flour around so the bottom and sides of the pan are floured. Shake off any excess flour into the sink and then the pans are ready.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Using a hand mixer, on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients from the box to the wet ingredients, scraping down the side of the bowl to ensure to incorporate the flour, until just combined. Do not overmix. Transfer the completed batter to another large mixing bowl. Repeat this process 2 more times. All the completed batter should now be combined in the large bowl.

Place the 3 cake pans into the oven and bake for the following times.
Using a toothpick or cake tester, after 25 minutes, check on the 5″ cake, then at 45 minutes, check on the 7″ cake. Then again at 55 minutes for the 9″ cake. Remember these time may vary slightly.

Transfer the three cakes to cooling racks and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Then use a knife to loosen the cake around the edges of the pan. Place the cooling rack on top of the pan then invert the whole pan rack included upside down. Lift the cake pan slowly to allow the cake to fall free from the pan. Repeat this process for each cake. Let the cakes cool on the racks completely before frosting.

Directions For Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the softened butter and cream cheese. Cream those together for just a minute until combined. Next, add the vanilla extract, mix until combined. Next, slowly add the powdered sugar until all 4 cups have been added. Mix until completely combined. Finally, add the food coloring one drop at a time. Two drops total should be perfect for a pastel blue.

In an earlier post, I talk about a bakery supply company called D & G Occasions. This is where I purchased the white roses for this cake. You can visit  D & G Occasions by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

Using an offset spatula, starting with the top and working downwards and around the outside of each particular cake. Once the cake is totally frosted, fill a large pitcher with super hot water. Dip the offset spatula in the water, shake off the excess water. Run the spatula around the top and rim of the bottom two cakes as well as the outside of each cake. This will smooth out any imperfections on the frosting. If needed, add more frosting to the needed areas. Again, smoothing it out by using the offset spatula that’s been dipped into the hot water.

After each layer of the cake has been frosted, using a piping bag fitted with a star tip, make stars around the second and third layer. On the top layer make a border of your choosing. Place the candied roses around each layer of the cake. There it is my French Vanilla Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting.

When you’re ready to decorate, let your imagination run wild.

 

D & G Occasions

 

 

 

 

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Fresh Peach Cake Topped With Pistachios

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If I had to make a dessert that my guests might think I worked all day on, this would be the one. It’s sweet with a kiss of saltiness from the pistachios on the top. The cake is so moist, and I will tell you my secret for that in a minute. I start with making the batter.

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In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, I add in room temperature unsalted butter with the mixer on low. To that I add the sugar and turn the mixer up to med speed for about 3-4 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy. Next some good vanilla and two room temperature eggs, one at a time. I let that mix together for a minute before adding in room temperature sour cream and my secret ingredient, ricotta cheese. Let that all combine before the dry ingredients go in. Now for the dry I have flour, baking powder, baking soda, and Kosher salt that I’ve sifted together in a bowl. I slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined, then I turn the mixer off. You don’t wont to over mix the ingredients once the dry has been added to the wet. Remove the paddle attachment and scrape as much batter off the paddle as possible. You want all that delicious batter for the cake.

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Next I’ve peeled, cored and then sliced five peaches that I’ve got sitting in a bowl. I also have another bowl with cinnamon sugar that I mixed together. Using a 9 x 9 pan that I’ve buttered really well, so that the cake will come out easily, I add half the batter to the bottom of the pan, like you see in the picture below.

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Using an off set spatula, I spread the one half of the batter out evenly.

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After laying the first half of the sliced peaches onto the batter, I sprinkle them with a dusting of the cinnamon sugar that I made. Next I add in the second half of the batter and spread that over the sliced peaches and lay the rest of the slice peaches, pressing them gently down slightly into the batter. Once more with the rest of the cinnamon sugar, really sprinkling it all over every part of the cake. Finally I top the peach cake with chopped pistachios. I set this in the frig for about 15 minutes to let it rest and then I preheat my oven to 350 degrees. After 45-50 minutes if a tooth pick comes out clean, the cake is ready to let cool completely, before cutting.

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Fresh Peach Cake Topped With Pistachios

Prep Time; 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Cooking Time: 45-50 minutes
Bake: 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes

Ingredients”
1/4 pound of room temperature butter ( 1 stick)
1-1/2 cups of granulated sugar ( 1/2 a cup reserve for cinnamon sugar)
1 tablespoon of good vanilla extract
4 ounces of room temperature sour cream
4 ounces of room temperature ricotta cheese
2 large room temperature eggs
2 cups of sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sifted baking powder
1 teaspoon of sifted baking soda
1 teaspoon of sifted Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Directions: Place wet ingredients into mixer first as stated above, approx. 3-4 minutes to make the butter and sugar mixture light and fluffy. To that add the rest of the wet ingredients, vanilla, eggs, sour cream, ricotta cheese. until it’s all well combined. Next add the sifted dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, slowly, Once, just combined, the mixer off.  Spread 1/2 of the batter into a buttered 9 x 9 pan. Lay the half of the sliced peaches on top, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Now add the other half of the batter, spread that evenly over the first layer, add the other half of the sliced peaches. Press these peaches down slightly into the batter. Add the rest of the cinnamon sugar all over the top. Finish with the chopped pistachios. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes until cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before cutting.

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