Blue Bird Cake + Easy Chocolate Chip Cake Recipe

Bluebird Cake

I’m quite overwhelmed with orders this week, so as I sat down to share today, I had to choose a cake that I could tell you about quickly.   This Blue Bird Cake from last July fit the bill!

Considering it’s simplicity, I really was happy with the way it turned out.   On the inside, this was a chocolate chip cake (recipe at the bottom).  It’s an easy variation of my doctored butter cake recipe, but I absolutely love the flavor of this cake!

The Chocolate Chip Cake would be amazing with the Brown Sugar Buttercream from this cake, but this cake, I covered and filled it with pale blue vanilla buttercream.

Blue Bird Cake

For the decorations, I used Satin Ice Brown fondant for the tree and then homemade marshmallow fondant for the bird.  I hand-cut the bird with an Xacto knife and by looking at a template online.

The “berries” on the cake were 7mm white sugar pearls.   I used a tiny dot of buttercream to glue these on.  Then for the letters I used Tappit Funky Alphabet cutters.    You can see my tutorial for how to use Tappit Cutters here.

Now – if you’d like to bake an easy-peasy chocolate chip cake… check out this recipe!  You can also print it or save it to your Ziplist recipe box!

Easy Chocolate Chip Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Butter Cake Mix (I prefer Pillsbury Golden Butter Recipe)
  • Optional: Add an extra 1/2 cup of cake mix or all-purpose flour to make the cake a little more dense.
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup real butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

Thoroughly mix all ingredients together.

Bake at 325° for about 38-45 minutes (longer, depending on pan size), until the cake springs back when touched or you can test it in the center with a toothpick. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then turn out on a cooling rack to cool completely.

I recommend vanilla buttercream or brown sugar buttercream for this cake!

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While you’re here and if you haven’t already, please hop over and enter to win a beautiful Kitchenaid Mixer for Mother’s Day!  

And that’s it!  Any questions?  Leave a comment!  

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Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Strawberry Shortcake Cake Recipe

When my best friend Kathy shared this Strawberry Shortcake Cake with me a couple of years ago,  I immediately knew I had to make it!  I absolutely love strawberries!

Strawberries with chocolate.  Strawberries and cheesecake (as a pie!!).   Even Strawberries in salad.   Strawberries just about any way you can think of… sign me up!

So when she told me about this cake … I was dying to make it!

Sliced Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Now before you get started, I have to tell you some bad news.  This cake is a lot of work.  A LOT. It actually seems like it takes about 147 hours of work and 17 bowls before you finally get to take a bite.

Okay – so maybe not that long or quite that many bowls, but it does take hours to prepare and I’m not. even. kidding.

Strawberries on Cake

You have to macerate the strawberries (soak them in sugar – I had to look it up ;)  ).  You have to bake the cakes – then let them cool.

You have to make the frosting and filling.  Then let it chill for an hour.   An HOUR.  And then there’s the filling and the stacking and on and on and on with all the work.

I don’t say all of that to discourage you – I just want to warn you so that you plan ahead, leave yourself enough time, and can prepare everything you need to do it.  Because it’s WORTH it!

Slice of Strawberry Shortcake Cake

But finally,  when you get to actually eat this cake,  I’ll say it again… it’s sooo worth it!    And the second time you make it goes faster than the first.  Which sounds like a perfect reason to make it at least twice – so there’s that! ;)

This original recipe came from Chow.com.  I read through all the comments and made a few recommended changes – like making more of the filling and frosting (the frosting wasn’t doubled in these pics I took – I didn’t make that mistake again!), and adding a little more lemon and vanilla here and there.

Strawberry and Cream Cake

Oh – and changing the name.  Because it tastes so much like Strawberry Shortcake – I had to change the name!

One last thing… you may not have ever used mascarpone cheese.  Don’t be afraid of it.   It gives a very unique flavor that is just to die for.    In fact, while you’re buying some, get enough to make Tiramisu:

Tiramisu

You can thank me later :D

Alrighty… so are you ready?   Because strawberries are in season right now – so don’t waste any time… go make this now!!

Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 12 servings

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Ingredients

    For the strawberries:
  • 3 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled (about 5 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • For the cake:
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 cups heavy cream

Instructions

To prepare the strawberries, combine all of the ingredients (for the strawberries: sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest) in a medium mixing bowl and toss to thoroughly cover the strawberries. Let them sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Then drain the berries but reserve the syrup!

For the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepared two 8" round cake pans (I spray with Baker's Joy), but you could also grease and flour them. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl (you could also do this in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment), combine the oil, water, lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg yolks, and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar. Mix (or whisk) on medium speed until the batter is airy and light in color, about 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the dry ingredients and whip for about one minute more - or until smooth.

In another clean bowl, whip the separated egg whites to medium peaks. Gently add in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Now gently fold in about 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the cake batter until it's evenly distributed, then add the remaining egg whites just until combined (don't over mix!).

Pour the batter into the cake pans (dividing it equally), then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool on a cooling rack in the pans for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges before flipping them out to cool completely.

While they're cooling... you can make the filling and frosting!

For the filling, using a mixer (preferably a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a a whisk attachment to a hand mixer) mix together the mascarpone cheese and heavy cream and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Immediately cover and refrigerate.

To make the frosting, start again with a clean bowl - preferably a chilled metal or glass mixing bowl. The original recipe recommends the bowl of the stand mixer and the whip attachment, but I can confirm that it's not absolutely necessary. In the chilled bowl, add in the vanilla extract, sugar, and heavy cream and mix at medium speed for about 2 minutes or until medium peaks form.

Now's the not-so-fun part... waiting. You'll need to cover and refrigerate the frosting until well chilled, at least one hour. The good news is that you can make the frosting ahead of time - up to 12 hours, if need be.

Now it's time to put it together! Using a serrated knife, gently take off a tiny sliver of the domed top of the cake. This give you fresh, exposed cake to absorb the syrup! Now grab that reserved strawberry syrup and divide it in half, then using a pastry brush, brush half of it on the cut side of each cut cake.

Put the first cake down on a cake plate (syrup side up), then evenly spread 1/4 of the filling over the bottom cake layer. Arrange the strawberries standing up with the stem end down and trim them as necessary to create an even layer. Cover the strawberries with the remaining filling, being sure to fill in all the empty space. You want all that yummy filling packed in there!

Stack the second cake layer over the mascarpone filling and thestrawberries, cut side down, pressing it down gently to secure it.

Using an offset spatula (or a butter knife if necessary), spread a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Stick it back in the frig and let it set for about 15 minutes. Then generously spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides of the cake.

Place it back in the frig for at least 15 minutes before serving so the frosting can set.

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How to Make White Chocolate Dipped Easter Apples

How to Make Chocolate Dipped Easter Apples

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been planning to make these apples for weeks and finally today I’m going to show you How to Make White Chocolate Easter Apples.

If my candy apples recipe intimidates you or you don’t like the fact that candy apples are so hard, then chocolate dipped apples are the way to g0!

Plus, they’re super easy – so much so that my kids made some right along with me!  And even better – they’re very versatile – use white chocolate or dark or milk…  and the possibilities are endless with sprinkles or colored sugar or nuts!!

How to Make White Chocolate Dipped Easter Apples

I’d love it if you’d pin any of these images or share on Facebook!  Thank you :)

So here’s what you’ll need:

  • apples
  • white chocolate (or a similar product like Candiquik or almond bark)
  • candy apple sticks or craft sticks
  • sprinkles (or nuts or colored sugar… whatever your heart desires!)
  • microwave-safe bowl or small slow cooker to melt your chocolate
  • silicone spatula
  • wax paper

First up – you’ll need to melt the chocolate.   I used white almond bark  squares, broken up and put them in my really small slow cooker pot (the actual dish, separate from the slow cooker).  I put it in the microwave for a minute, stirred it, then put it into the slow cooker to finish melting and keep it warm!

You could also just do this in a small bowl (minus the slow cooker) but I like the fact that the crock pot keeps the chocolate at a steady temperature and I don’t have to re-melt it when doing lots of apples.

How to Make Chocolate Dipped Apples 01

Now, put your apples on sticks!    Easy enough, huh?

How to Make Chocolate Dipped Apples 003

Then dip them in the chocolate.  I like to roll them around quite a bit and even used a spoon to spread it over the apple to be sure it’s well-coated.

How to Make Chocolate Dipped Apples 004

After it’s well-coated, shake it or bump it on the edge of your bowl to shake off any excess chocolate.

How to Make Chocolate Dipped Apples 005

How to Make Chocolate Dipped Apples 006

Before the chocolate hardens, shake on your sprinkles.    I like to do this over a coffee filter so that I can easily dump the extra sprinkles back into the shaker.

How to Make Chocolate Dipped Apples 007

Then set them on wax paper to completely harden. You can speed up the drying by setting them in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Dipped Apples Tutorial 01

Then they’re ready to eat!

Wanna see some of the apples my kids made?  They got creative for sure!

Variety Chocolate Apples

Kids Apples

Do you have any questions about making chocolate apples?  Leave me a comment – I love to hear from readers!

How to Make White Chocolate Dipped Easter Apples Collage

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