Mixed Berry Cornmeal Skillet Cake

First of all, Happy Fourth of July weekend! I’m literally sitting on the beach right now as I type this but I just HAD to share the amazing strawberry and blueberry cornmeal skillet cake my husband made for breakfast this morning.

It was so good I forced him to write down the recipe for you guys because you need this in your life. It has crispy buttery edges and a nice tender middle with lots of tart berry flavor. It’s so easy to make, too! Ok blah blah blah enough talk. Here’s the recipe.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 Stick of unsalted butter, melted, set aside 1 tablespoon for skillet
6 oz fresh blueberries
8 oz fresh strawberries, halved lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place a 10-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and the melted butter, reserving 1 tablespoon for the skillet. Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Coat the bottom and sides of the hot skillet with the remaining butter. Pour the batter into the skillet; scatter the blueberries on top, and place the strawberry halves evenly over the blueberries. Sprinkle with as much sugar as you’d like, we used about 3 tablespoons.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is evenly browned. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Enjoy!

 

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Devil’s Booze Cake Recipe

If you’re in the mood for something super rich, chocolate-y, and boozy for your Halloween shindig, I’ve got the perfect cake for you. It’s a chocolate cake soaked in coffee flavored vodka, with gooey dulce de leche in between the layers and on top, and finished with black sea salt. It basically tastes like a boozy candy bar. In the words of Ina Garten, “How bad could that be?”. It’s perfect for Halloween! Or for when you’re generally feeling dark and want to eat your feelings, have PMS, etc. This cake has no limits, but it really is most perfect for Halloween.

Let’s bake.
Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama
This recipe was adapted from Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup coffee or espresso flavored vodka
Black Hawaiian Sea Salt for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and dust the pans with cocoa powder. (I like to flour chocolate cake pans with cocoa powder. I think this gives it a nicer finish.)

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make your dulce de leche. Place two cans of sweetened condensed milk to a pot of simmering water. Make sure the cans are completely submerged in water or they will explode. Simmer for 3-4 hours. Remove from water and let cool to the touch. Be cautious of opening cans. If they are still too hot they may splatter.

Once cakes are cooled, use a tooth pick to poke small holes around the layer. Brush the coffee flavored vodka onto each layer (about 1/2 cup each layer). Let the cake soak up the vodka.

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. Pour a good amount of dulce de leche on and spread around. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and pour remaining dulce de leche on top and let it run down the sides.

Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama

Top with a sprinkle of black sea salt. SO. GOOD.

Devil's Booze Cake Recipe via Melodrama

Tangerine Olive Oil Cake Recipe

Now that summer is over it’s time to start the glorious task of baking with autumn and winter fruits. Sure, pumpkin and cranberry are popular seasonal favorites, like the king and queen of the holiday season prom, but what about our old friend the tangerine? If you’re craving something other than pumpkin pies and cranberry bars, I’ve got a citrusy treat for you.
Tangerine Olive Oil Cake Recipe via Melodrama
Tangerine Olive Oil Cake.

Tangerine Olive Oil Cake Recipe via Melodrama
This aromatic olive oil cake has a nice crisp crust with an ultra-rich spongey middle, and just enough tangerine flavor. It’s perfect to eat with tea or coffee for breakfast or with ice cream for dessert. Try a drizzle of orange blossom honey on for a special treat. It’s so easy to make, you’ll find it hard to resist whipping one up whenever you get the chance.

This recipe was adapted from Maialino Restaurant’s olive oil cake recipe.

For a 9 inch round (2 inch deep) cake pan you’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups tangerine olive oil (I like Pasolivo)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons grated tangerine zest
1/2 cup tangerine juice

Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Oil and line bottom of pan with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder together. In separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, milk, eggs, tangerine zest and juice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet; whisk until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer the cake pan to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife along the edges and remove cake from pan and let continue to cool.

Enjoy!

Tangerine Olive Oil Cake Recipe via Melodrama

DIY: Patron Bottle Cake Stand | Art of Patrón

Remember how I told you about The Art of Patron bottle art contest and how Patrón wants you to repurpose their bottles into a piece of art for the chance to win $10,000? Remember how I also told you about me working with them to create a few bottle projects of my own? Well here’s another one of those projects!

DIY Patron Bottle Cake Stand

This one was actually inspired by a recipe I was working on for coconut lime tequila cake. I always like to decorate and stage my cakes with things that give a hint to what flavors are in them, for instance coconut flakes and lime zest give a hint to some of the flavors in this cake, but what about the tequila? Do I put a shot glass on top? Other than literally sitting a bottle of tequila next to it, I had no idea. Then I thought incorporating the bottle wasn’t such a bad idea at all. I mean these bottles ARE pretty enough to be showcased.

That’s when I had the idea of using a Patròn bottle as the base of a cake stand. I figured the shape is perfect and sturdy enough for it to work, so all I needed was a top. I used a round glass serving plate that I found at Target for $10.

DIY Patron Bottle Cake Stand

 

Unlike my last project, this one requires no special tools or cutting. Just some heavy duty glass glue.

All you have to do is glue the plate to the bottle’s top and let it dry. Really the hardest part about it is getting the top to be perfectly center, but pre-marking the center of the plate makes it a snap. That’s all there is to it. You can even fill the bottle with things or paint the inside to add some color if you want.

DIY Patron Bottle Cake StandThis stand doesn’t have to be limited to cakes. It also works nicely as an elevated cheese plate, fruit platter, and drink tray.

DIY Patron Bottle Cake Stand

Inspired yet? Be sure to enter your Patrón bottle art before July 17th. Find out how to enter here.

 

This project was sponsored by and made possible by Patrón.

Coconut Lime Tequila Cake

We’ve been having some majorly cloudy mornings lately and that makes me want to do one thing: Bake. I don’t know why really. Maybe it’s because it feels like Christmas, or maybe that’s just the lie I tell myself, but either way, I bake.

Anyway, I woke up the other morning and it was cloudy, so I said to myself “Eff it, self. Let’s bake a cake.” I have all this tequila laying around because of my projects with Patrón, so I also decided to make it boozy. Because why not? Day drinking and cake for breakfast sounds grand.

I had that “put the lime in the coconut” song stuck in my head. So I did. In a cake. I went a little crazy, so it might seem like there’s a lot of steps, but it’s still super easy.

Coconut Lime Tequila Cake Recipe via Melodrama

Coconut Lime Tequila Cake

Cake Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, cream room temperature butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and continue to beat for 5 minutes. Gradually add the eggs (one at a time) and mix well. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add them to the butter mixture alternating with the coconut cream.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let cake cool in pans for 15-20 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

Coconut Custard Filling Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
1 cup Flaked coconut
Mix cornstarch with cream until dissolved. Add cornstarch/cream mixture, coconut cream, and sugar to a small sauce pan. Gradually heat to a simmer while stirring. Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly add half of the cream mixture to the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the sauce pan and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 2-4 minutes until thick and creamy. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cool in an ice bath or cover mixture with plastic and store in refrigerator for 2-3 hours until chilled. Toss flaked coconut in a pan over medium heat until toasted. Set aside.

Tequila Lime Soak Ingredients

2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup white tequila (like Patrón Silver)
2 tablespoons lime zest

In a small pot over medium heat, mix lime juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and starts to simmer. Remove from heat. Stir in tequila and lime zest. Set aside.

Buttercream Frosting
(I just used a standard buttercream with lime zest thrown in. You can use your favorite frosting.)
Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
zest of one lime

Cream together the butter and vanilla. Sift the powdered sugar and add it to the butter mixture. Scrape down the bowl often to make sure all everything is mixed in. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until it’s your desired consistency. Beat until smooth for about 2-4 minutes.
Cake Assembly Directions

Slowly spoon the tequila lime mixture over both of the prepared cake rounds and let the cake absorb the liquid.

Coconut Lime Tequila Cake RecipeNext spoon the custard filling and half of the toasted coconut on one cake round and place the other on top.

Coconut Lime Tequila Cake Recipe

Ice the cake and then coat the sides with the remaining toasted coconut.

Coconut Lime Tequila Cake Recipe via MelodramaCut. Eat. Nap.

 

Concord Grape, White Balsamic, and Rosemary Spoon Cake

Up until this week my husband and I had never had a concord grape. Well, aside from the grape jellies and juices made from them. They have been seemingly unfindable in our local markets, and believe me we have searched! A few days ago, across a crowded room, I locked eyes with the voluptuous purple grapes sitting there in the produce section. It was like finally finding the one you’ve always been searching for. I know, I know, THEY’RE JUST GRAPES (blahblahblah), but I was very excited.

Anyway, the grapes are good. They taste exactly how I thought they would, because they basically taste like grape jelly. I can get down with that.

Now we had to decide what to do with them. Rosemary seemed like a great companion. For acidity, balsamic vinegar sounded perfect. White balsamic though. It’s is milder in flavor and has its own taste that we prefer over regular balsamic vinegar in this particular recipe.

Spoon cakes are great dessert to whip up. No cooling, frosting, or layering required. Just pour the batter into a pie or baking dish and then spoon it out for everyone once it’s ready. Spoon cakes also have a casual style and appeal that I like for family style meals and gatherings.

Concord Grape, White Balsamic, and Rosemary Spoon Cake

Anyway enough of my rambling, here’s the recipe!

Ingredients
1lb Concord Grapes
1tbs Honey
1tbs White Balsamic Vinegar
1tbs Rosemary (Roughly chopped)
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease an 8″ deep pie dish or cake pan.
In a bowl, toss the grapes with honey, white balsamic vinegar, and rosemary and set aside.
In another bowl, sift the flour, salt, and nutmeg.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the eggs, vanilla, and sugar on medium-high speed for about 10 minutes, until thick and pale yellow (a ribbon should form when you lift the beater).
Fold in the dry ingredients gently with a spatula, until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
Pour the batter into the baking dish, and gently spread the grapes on top. They’ll sink and settle nicely into the cake.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and a tester comes out clean.
Dust with powdered sugar.

Concord Grape, White Balsamic, Rosemary Spoon Cake

This tastes best when served warm. It also tastes amazing with vanilla ice cream. To me, nothing is better than a warm piece of spoon cake with cold ice cream. Get. It.

Concord Grape, White Balsamic, Rosemary Spoon Cake

Introducing the Banana Split PieCake

Let’s talk about pie-cake. It’s like the turducken of cakes. A piecaken? Who knows where this thing even got started but the first one I ever saw was when Charles Phoenix made his cherpumple (cherry/pumpkin/apple) cake. It’s 3 layers of cake with pies baked into each one. I always try explaining this to people and they look at me like I have three heads until I show them a picture. So here.

Cherpumple
Naturally I was excited by two of my favorite things coming together to make a monster dessert and I wanted to make one.

I figured it could work with other flavor combos, and I just so happened to have been craving a banana split, so I devised a plan to make my very own banana split inspired piecake.

To me the perfect banana split consists of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice creams topped with pineapple, chocolate, and strawberry sauces. Lots of cherries and whipped cream. So, I would do:

Vanilla cake with Cherry Pie
Chocolate Cake with Pineapple Pie
Strawberry Banana Filling
Whipped Buttercream Frosting
And then a topping of cherries, chocolate sauce, and more bananas.

Sounds good right? I went out and bought all the ingredients and then I thought, “WHO THE F IS GOING TO EAT ALL OF THIS WITH ME?” I figured it would be better to bake it while we were in Florida visiting family and friends. I could serve it to them at our little shindig. So I put it off and waited until we got to my friend Alan’s house.

Alan has a great kitchen for cooking and baking, but Alan is also a bachelor who had nothing I needed to properly execute this cake. I used some serious ingenuity, my friends. I ended up mixing my boxed cake up in a giant stock pot, by hand, with a wooden spoon. Don’t even ask me how I did the rest. It’s all a blur. I will tell you that Winn-Dixie sold me rancid butter so I gave up and bought canned frosting. I will also tell you that Publix didn’t have a pineapple pie so I had to make one. Luckily that’s the easiest thing to make. For the filling, I melted 4tbs melted with 4 tbs flour and then mixed in a large can of crushed pineapple, a tbs of honey, and a tbs of sugar. I threw it into a frozen pie shell and topped it with more dough. It made a very suitable pineapple pie. Oh God, who am I? Sandra Lee?

Ingredients:

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box vanilla cake mix
1 pineapple pie, homemade or store bought
1 cherry pie, homemade or store bought
2 cups macerated strawberries (mix 1 pound of strawberries with 2 tbs sugar, let stand for 30 minutes)
2  large bananas, sliced
Frosting
Chocolate sauce
Maraschino cherries
Anyway it was time to put this cake together so here’s what I did…

Pour half of your cake batter into a deep 9″ cake pan. De-tin the pie and plop it inside.

How to make a PieCake

Then cover with more of your cake batter.

Something I learned for next time is that I won’t use all of the batter and I won’t follow the box instructions for baking the cake. Because of the pie in the middle, the cake takes forever to bake. Most cakes bake at around 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. I think baking at a lower temperature is better, like 325 or so, for a longer baking time, about 60 minutes. That will help the cake bake evenly so you don’t end up with dry edges.

How to make a PieCake

After baking, let the cakes cool completely before taking them out of the pan. Then make your filling. I just macerated strawberries by mixing about one pound of strawberries with 2 tbs of sugar and letting them sit out for about 30 minutes.

Now put it all together. Lay the first layer on a platter, frost it, top with strawberries and sliced banana, then lay the next layer on top. Frost and top with bananas, chocolate sauce, and maraschino cherries.

Banana Split Pie Cake
Banana Split PieCake

Here’s what it looks like inside.

Banana Split Pie Cake

Not a bad first attempt! It was tasty and verrryyy filling. Now that I’ve picked up some tips and I’m back in my own kitchen, I think I’m ready for another go at it. Now I just need to decide what flavor combo to do next. Banana Split PieCake!