Tag Archives: baking from scratch

Santa Brought Me Silicone Baking Mats (I Must Have Been On The “Nice” List!)

6 Jan

I have to say – I was pretty pumped when I opened up these bad boys on Christmas morning – so much so that I got right down to the business of testing them out!


For those of you NOT familiar with what these are – they are silicone baking mats, which act as a non-stick tray liner for all your baking needs! They fit standard half sheet pan size trays (these are the ones I have – the mats fit perfectly on them), and are of course oven safe, and washable

There are a lot of different brands of silicone baking mats – and Silpat is probably the most widely known – but I had asked for (and was lucky enough to receive) the amazon basics version – which are basically the same thing


I whipped up some classic Chocolate Chip Cookies to test out the mats – and they were perfect – just what I needed, and I can’t wait to use them again!


*Note – this post was not AT ALL sponsored by amazon, silpat, or anyone else for that matter – I just really was excited to get these and share how well they worked with the world!


My “Go To” Chocolate Cake Recipe

5 Jun

Baking Confession: I used to make everything from a mix. Brownies, cakes, cookies – they all came from a box/roll/tub, and it wasn’t until I made cookies from scratch a few years ago that I realized “hey, this is way better, and not that much harder!”. Since then, I have been experimenting with making various baked goods from scratch, like cookies and brownies, and I have even attempted to make a cake (minus the boxed mix!)

I stumbled across this chocolate cake recipe and have made it several times – the cake itself stays moist (thanks in part to the sour cream!) and has the perfect chocolate flavor, and the frosting is the real star here – creamy, chocolatey, and irresistable – so much so that I find myself inhaling all the extra frosting every time!
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake (Recipe courtesy of Daisy Sour Cream)
• 3/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 large egg
• 3 teaspoons vanilla extract , divided usage
• 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 2 1-ounce squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder , divided usage
• 1 tablespoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup warm water
• 1 1/4 cup Daisy Brand Sour Cream , divided usage
• 1/2 cup softened butter
• 3 cups powdered sugar
• 1/4 cup 2% milk
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two 8-inch baking pans; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl add vegetable oil, egg, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed until well mixed (1 minute). Add brown sugar and granulated sugar; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 minute). Add the melted chocolate. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 minute).

In small bowl stir together flour, 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the flour mixture to chocolate mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition. Add 1 cup sour cream; mix well.

Pour into prepared pans and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean (about 30 to 35 minutes).

Remove cakes from the oven; cool 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans; cool completely.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl add ½ cup softened butter; beat at high speed until creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Add 2/3 cup cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon vanilla; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until mixture is creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and ¼ cup sour cream; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until creamy (1 to 2 minutes).

Place one cake, flat side up, on the bottom of a serving plate. Place about 1 cup frosting in the center of the cake. Spread to about ½-inch from the edge of the cake. Place the second cake, flat side up, on top of the frosted first layer. Frost the sides and top of cake with remaining frosting.

Here is the cake – complete with Birthday candle holes!

This cake really is easy, and turns out perfect every time, it has definitely become my “go to” chocolate cake recipe.

I have yet to find a yellow/white from scratch cake recipe that I like, I have tried a few, and until I find “the one”, I will keep using boxed mixes for now. I especially enjoy the funfetti variety of boxed white cake mix (did you know you can make cookies out of funfetti cake mix? I make these all the time, they are so good, and they stay fresh for longer than a cake and can even be frozen!)