Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Did you know that I’m a compulsive list maker? I keep lists for everything. When I get really bored, I get the urge to update a list or come up with a reason to make a new one. I’m sure all you psychologists out there can tell me why this makes me particularly crazy. I don’t know the reason. I just know I’ve lost my mind.

I have long lists on my computer of books I want to read, movies I want to watch, recipes I want to try, things I could make for dinner in the next week or two, not to mention Pinterest, which is basically just a massive hoard of lists. Then I carry around a notebook with me everywhere I go that contains no less than 13 lists. 

One of those lists is of old recipes that I’ve shared with you that have devastatingly horrible photos. Currently, my food photography skills are around a 3 out of 10, but when I first started blogging, I was hovering around minus 9. So even if I can’t make my food look as good as it really is, I can make it look a lot better than I did in 2013. You might have noticed some of these classics coming back. Here’s to growth.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Today’s re-envisioned recipe is Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting. This cake is fluffy and buttery and so nostalgic. This is definitely the type of cake (though probably from a box and in a 13×9 pan) that my mom would have made when I was a kid. And the frosting is so fluffy and chocolaty. I could take a bath in this. I definitely ended up eating way too much of this as I was making this cake. I just couldn’t help myself.

If you’re nervous about baking a cake from scratch, you needn’t be. This cake uses a simple reverse creaming method, but you don’t even need to know what that means. You just need to know that it’s really easy. You just need a good mixture. A kitchen scale also helps to make sure that your cake layers are roughly even. Then add to that a bit of patience and an offset spatula, and you’re good to go. I promise you can do it.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Bring a classic cake into your kitchen, and bring a smile to the face of everyone who eats it. And sneak as much chocolate frosting as you want. They’ll never know.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Serves 10
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting is eternally awesome.
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the cake
  1. 4 whole eggs
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1-1/4 cup buttermilk
  4. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups (360 grams) cake flour
  6. 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  7. 1 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temp, cut into small pieces
For the frosting
  1. 6 oz unsweetened chocolate (the baking kind, not the kind you eat) melted and cooled
  2. 4-1/2 cups (563 grams) powdered sugar
  3. 3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, room temp
  4. 6 Tbsp half and half (any dairy will do, but skim milk won’t be as rich)
  5. 1Tbsp vanilla extract
For the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Butter and flour 3 20 centimeter round cake pans. If you have it, line the bottom of each pan with parchment, just to be safe. I skipped the parchment this time out of laziness, and everything was fine.
  2. Crack the eggs and yolks into a separate bowl, then add ONLY 1/4 cup of the buttermilk, and all the vanilla. Whisk to blend.
  3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and use your lowest setting on your electric mixer to combine. This will only take a few seconds.
  4. Add the butter and remaining 1 cup buttermilk to the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined.
  5. Turn your mixer up to medium for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be light and fluffy.
  6. Turn your mixer back down to low. Add the egg mixture slowly. Scrape down your bowl and give it one more mix, just until everything is incorporated.
  7. Divide the batter between your waiting pans. If you have a kitchen scale, you can weigh them to make sure they're roughly equal.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes or until your cake tester comes out clean and the sides have started to pull away from the edge.
  9. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning them out. Use wire racks if you have them. Allow cake to cool completely. If you're waiting until the next day to frost your cake, wrap your layers on plastic wrap. Storing them in the fridge will make your cake decorating even easier.
For the frosting
  1. Make sure the first thing you do is melt your chocolate so that it can cool a bit before adding it to the butter.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add your butter and mix on slow just until the powder sugar stops flying all over the place. Add in the chocolate, half and half, and vanilla. Mix on medium until everything is combined. If you want your frosting to be more on the fluffy side, allow it to mix on medium for about five minutes.
  3. I assembled my cake by placing the first cake layer onto my plate, then slapping on about 1/3 of the frosting. Spread it evenly, then place another cake layer on the top and do the same. Place some frosting on the top and work it over the edges, then frost the top. Get as creative as you like.
  4. I smooth the frosting around the edges with an offset spatula as best as I could, then used my rotating cake stand to make a little swirl on the top. I also used a small star tip to add a border around the bottom just to make it look a bit tidier. And since sprinkles make everything better, I tossed a few colorful sprinkles on the top of the cake. Why not?
  5. You can make your cake look as fancy or as homemade as you like. Just have fun with it. It will taste awesome no matter what.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Swiss and Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Bacon and Egg Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
Swiss and Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Swiss and Bacon Dip

Swiss and Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

My love of cooking started long before this blog and has only grown over the years. It began with an unexplained obsession with The Food Network. Like, that was all I ever watched on TV. Rachael, Ina, Giada, Paula, Alton, Nigella, Emeril, they were my cooking teachers. Literally everything I know about cooking I learned from them.

And I’m still mediocre at best. I think the only thing you have to do to get your friends to say you’re a great cook is to actually cook something. So few people actually take the trouble to cook things that whenever someone mixes a few ingredients and pops it into the oven, they’re impressed. I’m happy to keep fooling them.

Swiss and Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Swiss and Bacon Dip is something I’ve been making for ages and was originally a Rachael Ray recipe. I look for excuses to make it all the time and consequently have served it at almost every part I’ve ever thrown, and even sometimes at other people’s parties. I even served it at my wedding. If you’re a long time reader, you might remember the first time I posted this recipe with horrible photos from that event.

It’s also among the recipes that people most often ask me for, and even friends who say they never cook have made it successfully. It’s super easy. Crisp up some bacon. Mix together a few simple ingredients. Heat it all in the oven. Wow your guests with a bread bowl. They’ll think you’re a genius.

Swiss and Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Delicious food is simple than you think. Anyone can cook. If you think you can’t, just try making this Swiss and Bacon Dip. You’ll be a believer.

Swiss and Bacon Dip
Serves 6
Swiss and Bacon Dip is so easy anyone can make it, and so delicious everyone will love it.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 slices bacon, chopped (I use scissors)
  2. 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  3. 1/2 cup mayo
  4. 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  5. 10 grinds of pepper
  6. 1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  7. 3 scallions, chopped (use the scissors again)
  8. 1 round loaf of sour dough bread
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cook your bacon to desired crispiness, which for me is nearly burnt. Drain the bacon on a paper towel.
  3. Add cream cheese, mayo, mustard, and pepper to a mixing bowl and mix until combined and smooth.
  4. Add cheese and scallions and mix to combine. Then throw in the bacon and mix that in, too.
  5. Scoop out the mix into a shallow baking dish. Bake it uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until gooey.
  6. In the meantime, cut the top out of your bread loaf and pull out the guts of your bread to make a bread bowl. Tear the bread and arrange it on your platter around the loaf.
  7. When the dip is hot, carefully scrape it in to the bread bowl. Steal a piece of bread to clean off the baking dish for taste testing purposes. Don’t skip this step.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Awesome in May

Awesome in May

Awesome in May

May was miles long, and an emotional roller coaster at that. We reveled in the sunny days that May brings by grilling out, enjoying brunch at Cafe Hula, and taking plenty of long walks, including 10 miles along the Kelvin Walkway. We hit up a mediocre food festival where we nonetheless ate some awesome cheese fries. We watched Portugal win Eurovision with a truly beautiful song. And most importantly, I avoided Mother’s Day like a boss. When your mom is dead and you also happen to be in the top 10 of worst moms ever, it’s a horrible horrible holiday. We wrapped it all up with pizza from Pizza Punks before I have to head off on another dreaded camping trip. Looks like June’s gonna be a doozy, too.

What else is up? I finally finished reading The Stand after more than two months. It was good, but not life changing. I just felt so accomplished getting through 1325 pages. We also saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and were thoroughly entertained. 

The internet is delicious as always. This Golden Chai Layer Cake is just completely beautiful. I love a spice cake, but this is just next level gorgeous. 

I definitely want this Minty Mango Margarita Punch to show up at my next party. 

It’s a struggle to find a proper buffalo chicken sandwich in Scotland. This Healthier Oven Fried Sweet Tea Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is singing my song.

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorites this month were cheese-stuffed meatloaf, classic crunchy peanut butter cookies, and double chocolate muffins. As always, I’m coming over for dinner. 

June’s a deep dive into summer mode. Get ready to celebrate.

French Toast Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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