Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving. It’s up there as one of my top 3 favorite holidays- not only do we get a 4 day weekend, but lots of food and relaxation. This year I spent it at a potluck and was responsible for… you guessed it… dessert!

Just in case people don’t like pumpkin, I made some standby chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, with a Thanksgiving theme.

I liked the idea of replicating Indian corn with Jelly Belly beans. So here we are:

Add a few dried corn husks for a realistic effect:


I also liked the idea of mini-pie with M&M “berry filling.”

Pipe  a lattice with frosting, and add a decorative crust.

Many mini pies!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. 🙂

Blog-forest cake

Haha. Couldn’t come up with a better title… rely on the good ‘ol puns!

I’m home for Thanksgiving break (love it) and Dad does so enjoy the Black Forest cake (Chocolate cake with cherry filling, often soaked in Kirsch. [Definition: Kirschwasser (pronounced /KIRSH-VAHS-ər/, German for “cherry water”) is a clear, colorless fruit brandy traditionally made from double distillation of morellos, a dark-colored cultivar of the sour cherry.] Copied and Pasted verbatim from: Wikipedia’s definition of Kirsch.

Before I got into the whole “only making things from scratch,” I used box cake mix and jazzed it up a bit… and that has become the standard for Black Forest. So why not, it works and is an easy dessert for holidays.

The Cake (from Jean Pare’s “Almost a Scratch Cake” recipe)

  • 1 box Devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 small box of instant pudding mix (vanilla or chocolate both work)
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 4 eggs

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 min depending on the size of the pan. This time I did two loaf pans (9×5) and 40 min worked well. Usually I’ll do one 10″ round and that takes around 45-50 min. Use a toothpick to test for done-ness.

For the cherry filling, I use a can of cherry pie filling and add a few tablespoons of sugar to taste (sometimes it’s really tart). Optional is some sort of liquor, like Kirsch, Sherry, or Rum. My parents like the flavor, so I’ll add in maybe 1/4 cup.

For the frosting I just use a tub of Cool Whip! Easy 🙂

Cut the loaf into 3 layers. This time I used a dish of the same size and did it tiramisu-style- adding layer by layer instead of making it more of a cake, which is what I usually do. (Again, going for the easy-factor).

Layers go like so: Cake–Cool Whip– Cherry mixture–Cake–Cool Whip–Cherry–Cake–Coolwhip (Top). If you decided to do a stand alone cake, same thing, except in the last step you’d cover the entire outside of the cake.

(3 layers)

If you do it nicely (unlike my image), it can turn out to have a very pretty layered effect, almost like trifle.

Today’s lunch was cake and black cherry ice-cream… 🙂 yumm… with a cup o’ tea!