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Tag Archives: paula deen

Tennessee Banana-Black Walnut Cake with Caramel Frosting

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We celebrated Father’s Day early this year!  OK, truth be told, I made this cake for Father’s Day five years ago.  This is probably the longest it’s ever taken me to blog a recipe, but with the Black Walnut Banana Bread recipe I shared earlier this week, I figured it was about time.

You know a cake is good when you can still remember the flavor five years after you ate it.  This cake is what turned me onto using black walnuts in banana bread – the pairing is ever so perfect.  And the caramel frosting just puts it over the top!  Enjoy it for Father’s Day, or Mother’s Day, or just because you really need this cake in your life. Because you do.

Tennessee Banana-Black Walnut Cake with Caramel Frosting

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

Cake:
1/2 cup (3 1/4 oz) solid vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 large overripe bananas
1/4 cup (2 oz) buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (8 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (4 oz) chopped black walnuts

Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup (7 1/2 oz) packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more as necessary
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 (16 oz) box confectioner’s sugar
2 cups (8 oz) finely chopped black walnuts, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

For the cake: In a medium bowl, stir together flour and baking soda; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together shortening and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add flour mixture, mix until just combined. Stir in black walnuts.

Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool in pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare frosting. Melt butter in saucepan. Add brown sugar and cream. Cook over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Transfer to a large bowl.

Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. If frosting is too thick, add 1 tablespoon heavy cream at a time until consistency is right. Sandwich 2 layers of cake with icing. Ice the outside of the cake. Surround sides of cake with crushed black walnuts.

*Cook’s note: DO NOT substitute English walnuts for black walnuts.

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Lemon Blossoms

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I made these for Mother’s Day, intending to give pretty little baggies of them as gifts to all the mothers at the annual Mother’s Day picnic on Dennis’ side of the family.  It didn’t quite work out that way.  The first pan, which was half the batch, I didn’t grease well enough and they all stuck horribly so guess where those ended up?  Yup, in our bellies.  Can’t say we were too sad that only half the batch was pretty enough to share.  But then we couldn’t keep our hands off those either, and in the end, there were only enough to give to two mothers: his and mine.

Our mothers loved these little beauties, and we loved them.  Way too much.  They are really delicious, but most of the lemon flavor comes from the glaze, and I would suggest trying this with a lemon cake mix instead of a yellow if you can find one.  That would really intensify the lemon flavor.  They are wonderful as is, but can you get enough lemon flavor in the summer?  I think not.

Lemon Blossoms

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (18.5 oz) box yellow or lemon cake mix
1 (3.5 oz) box instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Glaze:
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray miniature muffin tins thoroughly with cooking spray.

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend well with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Batter will be quite thick. Using a cookie scoop, divide the batter between the muffin wells, filling each halfway. Bake for 12 minutes.

While the blossoms are baking, make the glaze. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 tablespoons water. Whisk until smooth.

Remove the blossoms from the oven when they are done and turn out onto a tea towel. You might have to run a butter knife around the edges of the cupcake wells to loosen them before turning out. While they are still warm, dip the blossoms into the glaze, covering as much of the cake as possible, or spoon the glaze over the warm cupcakes, turning them to completely coat. Place on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips. (I did this over the sink.) Let the glaze set, about 1 hour, before storing in airtight containers or covering with plastic wrap on a platter.

Makes 48 mini-cakes

Recipe source: Paula Deen, as seen on Minda’s Cooking

Cookie Mondays: Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

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A MySpace friend posted this recipe on her blog last week and I knew as soon as I read it that I had to use it for the following Cookie Monday.

Recognize anything about the title?  You would if you’re half as obsessed with Gooey Butter Cake (my favorite is pumpkin) as I am.  This is Paula Deen’s spin-off of her famous cake, turned into a cookie.  The cake mix makes it simple and the butter and cream cheese helps to create a very moist, almost brownie-like center.  These were another big hit at the office–Den came home with an empty platter and lots of compliments from his co-workers.  Another cookie success. :)

CHOCOLATE GOOEY BUTTER COOKIES
Recipe by Paula Deen

Ingredients
1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner’s sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and “gooey.” Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Makes 2 Dozen

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