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Strawberry Filled Cupcakes

Pink has always been a color that was just too girly for me, and I was more of a blue and gray kind of person. I thought pink clothing was uncool, but my wardrobe also consisted of hand-me-downs from my big sister. Explains a lot, right? When I made these cupcakes and the end result was lots of pink, I was completely ecstatic. The inner princess in me came out: Pink cupcakes rock!

This cupcake is so easy to make (you’ll be surprised when you see what’s in it), and I actually made these twice – once for a birthday girl and again for my road trip down to LA. It was covered in light, fluffy, fat-free frosting. Fat-free might sound strange and not yummy, but Seven Minute frosting is a recent discovery of mine. It tastes just like marshmallow, and there’s no greasy buttercream feel to it, although it does take a little longer than seven minutes to make. Gives you a reason to eat more! Hot outta the oven:

The center was filled with real strawberries, using the cone method. Getting exposed and then dissected:

I decorated in two different ways. One was the “dome top”, where I used an ice-cream scoop, scooped out a wallop of frosting onto the cupcake, and brought it to the edges to make a dome shape with my offset spatula. You can roll it around in anything, like pink-dyed coconut flakes, sprinkles, mini-chocolate chips, or crushed oreos. The other way you can frost it is by using a piping bag and a large round tip to make the “doodie swirl”, affectionately named for obvious and hilarious reasons (yup, I am so immature):  

Go and make pink! If just looking at them makes you happy, think about how you’ll feel inside after you scarf em’ down savor each bite like a proper lady.

– Ai

Southern Style Strawberry Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker, recipe from Sweets
Makes about 22 cupcakes

1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix (without pudding)
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry jello
1 Tablespoon self rising flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced. (frozen works too)

Preheat the oven to 350F.  

Mix together the cake mix, jello mix, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Add the oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the water and strawberries and mix well.  Divide the batter evenly into three 8-inch round baking pans that have been oiled and floured (or fill lined cupcake pans with a 2oz ice-cream scoop). Bake for 25-35 minutes (18-20 minutes for cupcakes), and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Transfer to wire racks and let cool, still in their pans, for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pan and let cool completely on the rack before frosting.

Strawberry Filling
Adapted from Wilton
Makes 2 cups filling

1 pkg (16 ounces) frozen strawberries, unsweetened and thawed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In large saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; mix well. Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can also be made with blueberries, pineapples, or raspberries.

Seven Minute Frosting
From Epicurious

For these cupcakes, I wanted the extra strawberry flavor without it being too sweet, so I added in 2 Tablespoons of strawberry jello mix, and only put in about 3/4 cup white sugar.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup water
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

In large metal bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Set bowl over pan of barely simmering water and mix with handheld electric mixer at low speed. Gradually increase speed to high, beating until mixture holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes (mine took about 9-10 minutes).

Transfer bowl from pan to folded kitchen towel on counter and continue beating until mixture is cool and billowy, about 2 minutes more. Beat in vanilla. Frosting can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered.


Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies


These brownies were made for a recent road trip down to LA with bf.  Brownies are so addicting and easy to make–everytime I bake them I’m always cutting off corners and popping them into my mouth. This time I was looking for a twist of the usual, and I came across these Peanut Butter Brownies with swirled into the top. They’re rich, moist, crumbly yet fudgy, and it tasted like a peanut butter cup in the form of a brownie. 

If you’re lacking time, just use a brownie box mix from the store as your base, add in the peanut butter mixture, and I promise nobody will be able to tell the difference. Some people call that cheating. Those people probably don’t have full time jobs. No judgement here. Let’s have another look:

These weren’t the only thing I baked for the trip… Strawberry Cupcakes are coming up next!


Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies
from Allrecipes

Peanut Butter Swirl:

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk

Brownie Base:

1 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 egg, and milk until smooth. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, 2 cups white sugar, and vanilla. Mix in the 3 eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl, then mix into the batter. Stir in chocolate chips if desired.
4. Remove 3/4 cup of the chocolate batter, and pour the rest of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread the peanut butter filling over the top. Drop the reserved chocolate batter by teaspoonful over the filling. Using a knife, gently swirl through for a marbled effect.
5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out almost clean. Cool completely before cutting into bars 

Panna Cotta with Blueberries

One night we went to a Mediterranean Restaurant for dinner and as a rare treat, we decided to order dessert afterwards. I wasn’t even sure what Panna Cotta was exactly, but our server highly recommended it, and it came out in a large round wine glass with a layer of caramel on top. It was fantastic–very light, creamy, yet rich and refreshing too. I made a mental note to go home and learn how to make this myself.

It’s amazing how simple and quick this is to make with just a few ingredients, and because there’s gelatin to hold everything together, it’s pretty hard to mess up. You also get to make it ahead of time, so if you have guests over, all you have to do is unmold it, plate it, garnish it, and serve. It’s a great summer dessert, and you can also adjust the amount of cream and milk–I did about half cream and half milk to total 4 cups in an attempt to cut out a little of the fat, but it was still nice and creamy. Instead of caramel, I made a blueberry sauce I to go over it, and it was a hit. Now go make it and impress people!

– Ai

Panna Cotta
From David Lebowitz

4 cups heavy cream (or half-and-half)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
6 Tablespoons cold water

1. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

2. Lightly oil eight custard cups with a neutral-tasting oil. I lightly sprayed my large muffin tin with a thin coat of Pam.

3. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand for 5 minutes until it has bloomed.

4. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

5. Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm, which will take at least 2-4 hours or even overnight covered with plastic wrap. If you’re pressed for time, pour the Panna Cotta mixture into wine goblets so you can serve them in the glasses, without unmolding.

6. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each Panna Cotta and unmold each onto a serving plate, and garnish as desired.

Blueberry Sauce
From Alice at Savory Sweet Life

2 cups frozen blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons grated orange zest/rind (lemon zest works too)

Cook blueberries, sugar, and water on medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The fruit will start to break down. Turn heat off and stir in orange rind. Makes approx. 1 1/4 cups of sauce.

Bacon Pecan Ice Cream


Bacon isn’t something I eat on a normal basis. Maybe it’s because I look at them and see thick strips of fat, which makes me think of my jiggle areas. But if you think about it (call it my justification), butter is thick sticks of fat, sticks are much bigger than strips, and you can’t keep me away from my butter. Worse? Who knows, but I am now on board with bacon! So when I began seeing different bacon recipes, one of the first ones that stood out was bacon chocolate cupcakes. Bookmarked. Then I saw bacon ice cream, and that got me excited. Bacon and caramel are two flavors that are meant to be.

I’m not one to make my own ice cream since I don’t have an ice cream maker. So instead I bought ice cream from the store and mixed in different ingredients. All you need is bacon, pecans, and dulce de leche ice cream (caramel ice cream works too):

Toasting the pecans give it a great flavor–just take a cup of pecans, toss it with a tablespoon of melted salted butter (if your butter is unsalted, just add in 2 pinches of salt) and spread it out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Watch it carefully though, they toast quickly. Let cool and do a rough chop.

Cooking the bacon has always been a messy experience for me since I usually do it on the stovetop in a pan. Grease starts to splatter everywhere and it burns quickly. Well no more, because now I will cook all of my bacon in the oven! It’s so much easier, you can let the fat drip out, and clean up is a cinch, just remove the foil and throw away! All you have to do is line the baking sheet with foil, and clump up another longer piece of foil for the middle. The bacon will sit on the mound of foil, and the fat will drip off so it’s elevated and not sitting in its own grease. Stick it in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until it’s as crispy as you like it. The smell of bacon cooking slowly fills the house and you’ll find yourself salivating.


Chop it all up and mix into the softened ice cream:

After it’s all mixed up, place it in a container, freeze it for a couple of hours until firm, and scoop and serve.

I topped it off with a sprinkle of chopped bacon and pecans, but just it’s completely fine on it’s own too. The reactions were so amusing. It starts with “Wait, did you say bacon?” and then after trying it, they take a minute to concentrate on the flavors, and everyone ends up really enjoying it. Or you can surprise them and not tell them it’s bacon until after they try it. The texture is interesting too–creamy, with crunchy pecans, and chewy bacon bits. It’s a hit, and as one of my friends said, “there’s a party in my mouth!”

– Ai

Bacon Pecan Ice Cream 

Half Gallon Dulce de Leche or Caramel Ice Cream, softened
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 cup cooked bacon, chopped

In a large bow, mix pecans and bacon into softened ice-cream. Pour into container with lid and freeze for at least 3 hours, or overnight, until firm. Scoop into bowl, and lightly sprinkle with additional chopped bacon and toasted pecans, if desired. Serve immediately!

Carrot Cupcakes

Easter is here! It’s special because of what it truly commemorates—the Resurrection, and all around us signals the restoration of life–spring is here, the days are longer, and all the bright colors start emerging everywhere. I was thinking of what to bake to kick it off and hey, why not something healthy too, and carrot cupcakes came to mind.

This was so much fun to make, and it was actually for a guest post feature on Three Many Cooks! When Maggy asked me if I’d like to guest post on their site, I was super excited. Yes! I’ve been following their blog for a while now, and their creative and yummy recipes are paired with awesome sketches. It’s an honor to be their first guest poster.

These carrot cupcakes are delish–moist, light, flavorful, and I can eat three in one sitting. The carrots soften while baking, and it’s unique flavor and sweetness make this the Easter cupcake of choice. There’s also not an overload of oil, since most of the moisture comes from the carrots. With the addition of walnuts and coconut, the texture is perfect.


I use orange and green candy melts to make the carrots on top. Just melt a few disks in a microwaveable bowl, fill a ziplock bag, cut the corner off, and squeeze onto waxed paper. Start with the green top first and then the orange carrot body. Let dry and peel off.

To make the Easter baskets, put the shredded coconut in a ziplock bag with a couple drops of green food coloring, and then shake until evenly colored. Frost the cupcake with a spatula, roll the edges in the green coconut, and then top with robin eggs (mine are seasonal from the grocery store, made by the same company as Whopper) or jelly beans.

And there’s nothing better to top it off with than my favorite cream cheese frosting–I can eat almost anything covered in this stuff. Maybe the frosting doesn’t add to the healthy factor, but you have to indulge every now and then.

Happy Easter! May you enjoy the outdoors, soak up the sunshine, be awed by His beautiful creation, and spread some love and cupcakes.

– Ai

Carrot Cupcakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg  
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, vanilla extract, and eggs.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to bowl of wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut.

Fill muffin cups until 3/4 full, and bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 block cream cheese (8oz), at room temperature
1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 cups powdered confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the butter and beat until smooth. Add in vanilla. Add in the sugar 1 cup at a time, until desired sweetness, and beat until smooth. 

Project Wedding Cake Part II

Now that all the cake layers were done and baked (see Part I), it was time to put it all together. I started with the chocolate cake, and in between the layers was chocolate ganache with sliced strawberries. The bottom cake was a huge 16″ in diameter, and that thing alone was pretty heavy, which made me a little worried about what the weight of the entire cake would be after it was frosted. Once the chocolate cake was done, it was wrapped up nice and tight in plastic wrap, and stuck in the fridge. The top two tiers of red velvet each had a thick coat of cream cheese frosting in between:

And then came the crumb coat. I used a buttercream frosting that was made out of vegetable shortening–some people grimace at the thought of using shortening, but it was advice given to me by a trusted cake decorator. She recommended it just because it’s easy to make, easy to use, and lasts longer than butter, which is a dairy product that needs to be refrigerated at all times. This was all done the day before the wedding, and by now my feet were starting to hurt from standing so long in the kitchen barefoot, and the dirty dishes just kept coming. If only I had a dishwasher, but nope, not in apartment 303. That’d be too easy. I had no room left in the sink and I had to step over the pans and bowls that were lining the floor of my tiny kitchen. That’s when bf came to the rescue and washed an entire round of dishes! And to throw some enouragement at me too, which I desperately needed. My Kitchenaid mixer bowl had already been washed and dried about 15 times by now, no joke. Even clearing out my refrigerator to store the cakes was a huge task at hand–we didn’t buy groceries for an entire week because it was crammed with cake.

Yes, that’s a jar of pickles in the back of my refrigerator, if you were wondering about that. I made a couple more batches of buttercream, and now the delirium began to set in from an entire week of baking–whoa, what am I doing making a wedding cake!? Panic set in, and things started to go awry. My spatula snapped in half when I was scraping the side of the bowl (can’t do much in the frosting world without a rubber spatula), and there was an entire cup of powdered sugar that somehow flew out of my hands when I was scooping too vigorously and it ended up spraying all over the kitchen. I stood there for about 10 seconds staring at everything in the kitchen dusted in white, resisted the urge to clean up, regained composure, and went back to making buttercream. There was no turning back now.

For the final coating, I laid it on thick and then smoothed it out, thanks again to lessons by Edna on “How to Ice a Cake”:

Then I used a decorating comb to add texture to the side of the cake:

Stacking all three cakes took place Saturday morning, a couple hours before the wedding. The bottom cake had 8 wooden dowels put in for support, the middle cake had 6 wooden dowels, and once the stacking was done, I hammered in one long dowel into all 3 of the cakes.  All of it was done on my cake turntable, and once all three cakes were on, I added ribbon to the cakeboard and piped a beaded border between the layers. My friend helped me put the flowers in, which had stems wrapped with floral wire so they’d be able to go through the cake and stay in place. Ta-da! The cake was done!

I almost couldn’t believe it–now it just had to be transported to church, and that’s when things got scary. I tried doing all this research on whether or not to drive with the cake assembled, and there were too many mixed reviews. Some people stacked the cake when they got on location (which I thought would take too much time, be too messy, and I didn’t want people staring at me), while others travel with it fully assembled and on television you see them carrying an entire cake straight out the back of the van. By the way, those are professionals. I should have known.

The cake was placed on a wooden board and was extremely heavy now, I’m guessing at almost 40 pounds, and it took 2 people to carry it. We drove with it in the back of a friend’s hatchback, and took a local route to avoid the bumps and potholes on the freeway. That’s when I realized one skinny dowel going through the entire cake was not enough to hold it together. With every brake and acceleration, the cake wobbled like crazy, the buttercream jiggled, and at one light it even slid off the board and hit the back of the car door. Luckily it didn’t damage the frosting, but I released a piercing scream which made the driver super nervous. Oops, I couldn’t help it. I covered my mouth with my hand the rest of the way. We drove about 15 mph the whole time, and it was a huge relief to finally get there,  unload the cake, and center it on the cake table. I don’t think I’ll be travelling with a stacked cake again, but it’s ok. This cake has reached it’s final destination.

It was a huge hit! Bride and groom were thrilled, which made it all worthwhile, and everyone enjoyed the cake. I was happy with the results, and as a wedding gift, this beats buying them a blender, right? It was a terrific feeling of accomplishment, and now I’m ready to go into the wedding cake business. Ha. Not.

Congratulations to James and Renee! That night when I came home after the wedding, I tore my heels off, got out of my dress, and slept peacefully without having any dreams about the wedding cake (yes, I even thought about it in my sleep). I vowed not to step in the kitchen again for two weeks, but three days later, there I was, baking a cherry cheesecake. Guess you can’t hold me back.

– Ai

Chocolate Ganache

8oz chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, 8oz is about 1 1/3 cups)
1 cup heavy cream

Heat cream in a saucepan until it comes to a boil, then remove from heat. Place the chocolate in a large bowl, and immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir with a whisk until everything is combined. Now you can use it as a glaze! Or let it cool a bit and it will thicken, so you can spread it on brownies.

For my chocolate cake filling, I let it cool, stuck it in the fridge for a little bit, and then beat it with an electric mixer until it becomes fluffy. You can’t go wrong with this, it’s basically equal amounts of chocolate and cream. You can also add in a tablespoon or two of flavoring as well, vanilla, liquor, up to you!

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 block cream cheese (8oz), at room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Beat the cream cheese until smooth and not lumpy. Add in the butter, beat until smooth. Add in vanilla. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time, until desired sweetness, and beat until smooth.

The key to smooth cream cheese frosting is making sure both cream cheese and butter are soft and at room temperature (just let it sit on the counter for a couple hours) and beat it before adding anything else in. Instead of vanilla, you can even add orange zest, lemon zest, or a little juice too. I always make my cream cheese frosting with a 2:1 ratio of cream cheese and butter. That’s double the cream cheese compared to the butter. Yum.

Buttercream Icing, Medium Consistency

Adapted from Wilton – Makes about 3 cups Frosting

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk or water

In large bowl, cream shortening with mixer and add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

And yes, Edna also teaches you How to Make Buttercream too. What a lady.

Project Wedding Cake Part I

Yup, my first wedding cake! Back in January a friend of mine got married, and when he began planning, I jumped at the opportunity. “I can bake your wedding cake! Only if you want me to…” I was a little unsure at what I was volunteering myself for. Never did it cross my mind that I hadn’t the slightest idea on how to make a wedding cake and how much work it would be. Not to mention I didn’t know anything about tiered cakes. Or  how large a cake it takes to feed hundreds of people. So I thew in a tiny disclaimer at the end. “You don’t have to feel obligated to say yes.” But secretly I wanted to, badly. What kind of wedding doesn’t have a tower of butter and sugar to celebrate with? People make wedding cakes all the time, you see it all over television, I’m sure I can throw something together, right? I persuaded them: “You must have a cake.”

The couple agreed, and the job was mine! My mind started churning months before the wedding with flavors, fillings, materials I needed to collect, weekly trips to Michaels to use coupons and find cake decorating supplies on clearance, and countless hours on YouTube watching cake making tutorials, I kid you not. Allow me introduce to you my good friend Edna, my virtual cake tutor, who has taught me over and over (x15) again how wedding cakes are frosted and put together. Even now I can still hear her voice in my head. Here are just a few of the supplies gathered:

And a very cool place that I discovered — Restaurant Depot. I started putting all these things in my cart and then came to the realization that I was making one wedding cake, but my cart had supplies to make 100. I have to seriously curb my addiction for buying bulk (you don’t know how excited I get when I go to Costco). I walked up and down every aisle, and yes, I even busted out my camera too:  

The couple had chosen the flavors of chocolate and strawberry, and red velvet. Since it was going to be a three tiered cake, I decided that the large 14″ bottom layer would be chocolate, and the top two tiers, 10″ and 6″, would be red velvet. Here’s round one with layer one of tier one:

Wilton suggests using a heating core for all cakes 10″ and larger, which is what’s in the center of the cake. That way the cake bakes evenly, and it’s not raw in the middle and burnt on the edges. Here’s the middle red velvet layer after it came out of the oven:

Each tier had 3 layers (9 layers total), and because I only had 1 pan of each size, the baking alone took me 4 nights. I started baking the Monday before the Saturday wedding, and everyday I’d come home from work, change, and start baking like a mad woman. Dinner was eaten while a layer was baking in the oven, and once it was out, I’d keep track of the cooling time, flip it out, wash the pan and my mixer bowl, and start all over again. Showering took place either during cooling time or baking time, and when bf called to ask how my day was, the answer was short: “Work and bake.” He stopped asking by the second night. All layers were done and completed by Thursday night, which was right on schedule. I took the day off work on Friday, and the entire day would be spent assembling the layers, making the frosting, and putting the whole thing together.

Stay tuned for Part 2– Assembly!

Too Much Chocolate Cake

Adapted from AllRecipes – this recipe can be made with any flavor cake mix to make it rich and moist

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
  3. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate.

Red Velvet Cake

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 5 cups Batter

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
    1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pan and line with parchment paper. Dust with cocoa, tapping out excess. Set aside. Whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa in a medium bowl; set aside.
    2. Mix sugar and oil on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk until combined. Add eggs one at a time; mix well after each addition. Mix in food coloring and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with flour, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
    3. Stir together baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Add baking-soda mixture to batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pans on wire racks.

    Multiply the recipe a bunch of times and keep filling up the baking pans!

    – Ai

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