Apparently I am in serious seasonal denial and can’t stop cooking summery foods. Oh well. I have had raspberries sitting frozen in my freezer for ages. Every time I buy raspberries and they get smushed coming home from the grocery store, I just shove them into the freezer. I always assumed I would stick it in frosting, but never actually got around to it til this weekend when my birthday hit. Birthdays require cake so clearly I had to make raspberry frosting for that cake. I don’t actually like raspberry/chocolate combos though, but lemon-raspberry is an awesome combination. So I took my favorite yellow cake recipe, Dinette cake from my parents ancient Betty Crocker cookbook, and adapted it into a lemon cake. And sort of adapted a standard buttercream frosting recipe into the glaze.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
zest from 2 lemons
juice from 1 1/2 – 2 lemons
Add all the ingredients, except the lemon juice, into a large bowl and mix on high for a minute or so until it is well blended. Add the lemon juice, 1/2 a lemon at a time and keep beating the batter until it gets light and fluffy, really fluffy. Pour the batter into an 8×8 square pan, or a 9inch round pan that has been greased and floured. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let it cool on a wire rack.
3/4 cup raspberries (preferably fresh)
4 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2ish cups of powdered sugar
Add the softened butter and the raspberries and vanilla and mush together. If you are using frozen raspberries, wait til they have completely thawed out – I didn’t and my butter re-hardened into little pieces so I had to wait until it warmed and melted again. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until you have a nice thick glaze of the desired sweetness. Pour onto the cake.
The result – pretty great. Light and flavorful, and you can taste both the raspberries and the lemon in the cake. Well, the glaze was supposed to be fluffy frosting but that did not work out correctly. Whoops. Glaze is a perfectly acceptable alternative though, in my opinion, even though it wasn’t the goal. It makes a perfect small serving of something sweet that hits the spot without making you feel guilty. Oh come on, we all know that’s a thing. Song of the week: Bohemian Like You, by The Dandy Warhols. A rock song that’s not so much about being love with someone, but that awesome phase early on when you are into someone but before feelings and life make shit complicated.
Muffins are one of those foods that people eat because they are sweet without being a pastry or dessert and often have a healthy component, so they can’t be that bad for you. Sorry to break it to you, but muffins are really just cake without the frosting. Actually – fun fact here – commercially produced muffins are often worse for you than cupcakes – yes even “bran” and “corn” muffins. As a result, I only eat muffins if I baked them myself (or if my mom did – hers are excellent). So – this week, I made “muffins” – otherwise known as vanilla cupcakes with raspberries and rhubarb.
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons of butter – melted
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raspberries
1 stalk rhubarb, chopped
Muffins are super straightforward to put together: you throw all the ingredients except the fruit into a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. You can, of course, use all white flour, but I’ve been trying to add more whole wheat flour when I can so I tend to mix the two. Once the batter is smooth, fold in the raspberries and rhubarb. Plop into a muffin tin lined with muffin cups and bake for 25ish minutes at 350. Yep, mix, fold, plop, and bake. That’s it.
These muffins were yummy – particularly the first day. You couldn’t really taste the rhubarb in it though, so add more if you want your muffins to be more rhubarb-y. You can taste the whole wheat flour, but it doesn’t overpower anything. Otherwise, it just tastes like what it is, vanilla cake with some fruit tossed in. A slight warning – these lose awesomeness over time. I froze them, but they still declined as time went on. So eat them as close to when they were baked as possible. Since this post is about truth (sorta), here is a minor confession: I love Kelly Clarkson. Particularly Angry Kelly. So in honor of that, this week’s song is “Never Again” Final truth of the post: I completely forgot to take any pictures and didn’t realize it until just now so, I’m sorry for this picture-less post.