When I was younger and starting my family, my friends were also having babies and they knew they could could count on me for one thing…and it wasn’t just a cocktail! I used to sew a lot; I made my own clothes, my kids clothes, Halloween costumes, gifts…you name it and I was probably making it!. So when I was pregnant with my first child, I made most of the accessories for her room including her baby bumpers, a quilt, pillows, a cover for her changing table and a second quilt I used as a wall hanging. My friends loved them so much they made no secret of wanting a quilt of their own.
So in keeping with that tradition, when I was invited to join in this Virtual Baby Shower for Rachel with RachelCooks.com, hosted by Brandy and Brandi (no, seriously that is not a typo!)I decided it had to be a quilt; a cupcake quilt! I’ve gotten to know Rachel over the past year; first helping her once with a guest post, assisting her professionally with her website later in the year and now feeling such empathy that she has endured way beyond morning sickness with this pregnancy…that baby boy will be welcome in more ways than one! So this quilt is from the heart and I’m hoping it brings a smile to her face.
The cake portion is a decadent and amazing cake from my friend Lana with the Lana’s Cooking website; she a full blown Southerner and I simply one that will forever hold the South dear in my heart…that’s were both of my babies were born. All of the cupcakes are the same cake base and frosting but have just been decorated to create a patchwork; some with coconut, some with grated dark chocolate and some with my favorite…sugared cranberries. Lana prepares this as a cake and I ended up doing both. Though it was fun decorating those little quilt pieces I have to admit; I was over it after a dozen and the cake is equally lovely too. If I can keep from digging into it, my blogging group might get a bite next Saturday. If. Big IF!
I really had not planned a cake as well but I’ll tell you…I love the way the cake looks too. The sugared cranberries that I made to decorate both the cupcakes and the cake are so pretty; it’s a bonus that they are so fun to eat. It’s like a little touch of softened cranberry that explodes when you bite into that crispy sugared shell. Very easy to make too but if there is one thing that requires constant looking after this is it. Still; 3 minutes of cooking, c’mon you can do that! I also tried VERY hard for someone so used to girly girl stuff to keep this more suited to a boy in all ways but guess what happens when cranberries get mixed with sugar…ahem, pink. So I went with it on the cupcakes…I smushed some of those berries and mixed them up with sparkling sugar and for future reference have a great way to colorize sugar naturally.
I loved having both cupcakes and a cake and this cake is pretty enough that it might happen again for the Christmas holiday; it’s no secret I LOVE cranberries and these sweet little crunchy ones? Absolutely addictive. You’ll see.
White chocolate cake with coconuts, toasted pecans; covered with a white chocolate frosting and either shaved chocolate, coconut or sugared cranberries? I know you want some!
Congratulations Rachel…I know you are so excited about your new addition and I hope this virtual event and my cupcake ‘quilt’ gives you more than a virtual feeling of the love that surrounds you. XOXO
An Uninvited Guest!
Sooo, I guess my ‘little one’ wanted to come to the party? I heard my dog Abbie behind me in the family room and realized she was eating something; of late she has pulled graham crackers out of the cupboard and managed to snag an apple from the table so when she hurriedly finished her ‘score’ I had a sneaking suspicion and I was right. She can not typically get things off of the table; that girl was determined! This quick snap with my phone proves she must like coconut?
A delicious, decadent, comfort food cake rich with butter and full of white chocolate, pecans, and coconut.
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup combination granulated and sanding sugar
- 8 oz. white chocolate
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 lb butter, room temperature
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4-6 Tbsp half and half or whipping cream
- 8 oz white chocolate
- Combine sugar and water in a small pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries and cook on medium low heat until some of the cranberry skins just start to pop and water starts to turn pink; 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl. Place sanding sugar on a cookie sheet and gently put the cranberries on the sugar and roll them until coated. Let them stand in a single layer at room temperature until dry, about 1 hour.
- NOTE: Do not refrigerate; putting them in the refrigerator may ruin the hard shell of the sugar. Use immediately.
- Have all ingredients at room temperature. Grease and flour a tube or bundt pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Melt 8 ounces of the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water stirring until chocolate has completely melted.
- In a large mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks one at a time beating until each is incorporated before adding the next. Slowly beat the melted chocolate into the creamed mixture.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. With mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk to the chocolate batter mixture. Stir in the pecans, coconut, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a tester inserted halfway between sides of pan comes out clean. Begin checking the cake at the 1 hour, 10 minute mark. Cooking time will vary depending on your oven. (Since I split up my batter; I baked the cupcakes for approximately 18-20 minutes and the cake for about 40-45 minutes as the volume was considerably less than a pan with all of the dough)
- Remove cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack. After about 15 minutes, carefully run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Allow the cake to completely cool in the pan.
- Cream butter and alternately add sugar and cream.
- Mix to correct consistency.
- Melt chocolate and let it cool down but not completely cool.
- Pour into frosting and beat for five or six minutes. Put the frosting in the fridge for a few minutes if the warmed chocolate affects the consistency.
- Frost the cake and/or cupcakes and leave plain or decorate with your favorite toppings.
- If using the cranberries; build a stage using aluminum foil if necessary inside the inner circle of the cake. Mound the sugared cranberries on top of the foil.
Recipe adapted from The Southern Junior League Cookbook
I hope you’ll visit the blogs of friends sharing this event with me; I’m certain there will be FABULOUS food!
- Jamie from Thrifty Veggie Mama ~ Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Pesto Crostini
- Kathryn from London Bakes ~ Mini Onion and Feta Pizzas
- Kita from Pass the Sushi ~ Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Cream
- Krista from Budget Gourmet Mom ~ Baby Blue Cheese Burgers
- Mackenzie from Susie Freaking Homemaker ~ Cucumber Sandwiches
- Marnely from Cooking with Books ~ Curried Salmon Phyllo Cups
- Shelby from Diabetic Foodie ~ Cranberry Citrus Meatballs
- Susan from 30A Eats ~ Southern Cheese Straws
- Sarah from Sarah’s Cucina Bella – Apple Asiago Prosciutto Bites
- Shelia Johnson Eat2Gether – Chicken Salad
- Amanda from Fake Ginger ~ Snickerdoodle Scones
- Barbara from Creative-Culinary ~ White Chocolate ‘Quilt’ Cupcakes
- Brandi from Bran Appetit ~ Bourbon Toffee Popcorn
- Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny ~ S’mores Popcorn
- Carrian from Oh Sweet Basil ~ Mini Blackberry Pies
- Carrie from Bakeaholic Mama ~ Caramel Popcorn Pretzel Bars
- Cassie from Bake Your Day ~ Caramel Cashew Popcorn Bars
- Deborah from Taste and Tell ~ Blue Layered Jello
- Donna from Cookistry ~ Walnut Streusel Coffee Cake
- Erin from The Spiffy Cookie ~ Sweet Potato Pie Dip with Pie Crust Dippers
- Heather from Farmgirl Gourmet ~ Dark Chocolate Cashew Brittle Cookies
- Jennifer from Mother Thyme ~ Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Jessie from Bread & Butter ~ Primal Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
- Liz from The Lemon Bowl ~ Chewy Molasses Cookie Bars
- Milisa from Miss in the Kitchen ~ White Chocolate Biscoff Muddy Buddies
- Tara from Chip Chip Hooray ~ Itty Bitty Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
- Steph from Bite by Bite – Baby Blueberry Pies
Made me Nostalgic so look what I found! I had forgotten about making the little stuffed elephant!
Talk about memories; my daughter Emily will be 33 on December 3rd…the patchwork quilt I made her is threadbare and I couldn’t even find it; I’m hoping now that means she has it…but still, I’m just happy I have these two pieces. Digging them out for a photo had me thankful they were always just for display; they’re in pristine shape; hoping to grace a Grandbaby’s wall one day. (No, no…not now, neither of my girls are married yet and I’m old fashioned that way!)