Pinata Cake

As kids’ bdays neared in November  , I asked them what cake would they want me to bake this time…and both of them had the same reply.. They need a cake with lots of M n M s .. like the Kit Kat cake I had baked last year for their birthdays .

That’s when I remembered about the Pinata Cake picture Azna had sent me a a few months back. Hiding M n Ms inside a cake – the boys were surely going to love it !!! :) The  Ultra Moist Chocolate Cake I had posted  before would be the cake in which the M n Ms would hide.

Now a days my  kids want to handle all the cake mixing part.  So I handed the measured ingredients to the birthday boy and he did all the mixing and stirring. But after baking the cake, when the icing part came, I didn’t allow the kids to enter the kitchen ..  couldn’t spoil the surprise element :)

I was eager to see  the surprise  on the boys ‘ faces  when the Mn M s fell out, but they were more busy .. Were the birthday boys and friends surprised when the cake was cut ? Well, not exactly.. the friends were more busy smearing the cream over the birthday boys  :) But on the plus side, the boys did enjoy the cake.. Yummy and awesome was the verdict from them !!! :)

Pinata Cake kids1

Pinata Cake

Here’s the method to hide the M n Ms inside the cake… 

Pinata Cake

Divide the cake into 3 equal parts. Keep one layer aside

Pinata Cake

Make a hole in the middle of the first layer using any cookie cutter .  Pour sugar syrup over the layer . Spread whipped cream over the layer.

Now make a hole over the second layer.  Place the second layer over the first layer. Pour sugar syrup over this and spread whipped cream.

Pinata Cake

Place the M nMs into the hole made by the 2 layers. Now place the layer that was kept aside over the 2 layers.  This 3rd layer will hide the M n Ms .

Pinata Cake 1510




  • Powdered sugar – 2 cups
  • All-purpose flour – 1 3/4 cups
  • Cocoa powder – 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  •  Baking soda – 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  •  Eggs – 2
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Vegetable oil – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
  • Boiling water – 1 cup
  • Whipping cream , for frosting


  • Sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Water – 1 cup


  • Dreamwhip – 3 sachet
  • Cold Milk – 1 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla Essence – 1tsp



  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3.  Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last.
  4. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick.
  6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Stir the sugar, water and essence in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer till the sugar has dissolved, and cool completely.


Mix the contents in 3 small sachets of Dreamwhip with 1  1/2 cup cold mix and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Beat on high speed for 5-7 minutes till you get light fluffy peaks. This will give about 5 cups whipped cream.


  1. Divide the cake into 3 equal horizontal layers. Keep one layer aside
  2. Make a hole in the middle of the first layer using any cookie cutter .  Pour sugar syrup over the layer . Spread whipped cream over the layer.
  3. Now make a hole over the second layer.  Place the second layer over the first layer. Pour sugar syrup over this and spread whipped cream.
  4. Place the M nMs into the hole made by the 2 layers. Now place the layer that was kept aside over the 2 layers.  This 3rd layer will hide the M n Ms .
  5. Apply a thin layer of frosting over the cake (crumb coat) . Refrigerate for 1-2 hours
  6. Apply a thicker coating of the frosting to get a final smooth finish.


Tree cake header

          It was our wedding anniversary 2 weeks back . For birthdays and anniversaries , baking cake has become kind of ritual at home.. This time I was searching for a special cake for the special day.. I  bookmarked a few and then thought to check this month’s Daring Bakers challenge  . This time the challenge was layered cake . Seeing all those layers I was all this was going to be the anniversary special cake … !!!

Tree cake slice2

Baumkuchen (Tree cake)  is a kind of layered cake. It is a traditional dessert in many countries throughout Europe and is also a popular snack and dessert in Japan. The characteristic rings that appear when sliced resemble tree rings, and give the cake its German name, Baumkuchen, which literally translates to “tree cake” – Source Wikipedia

Tree cake collageI had seen pictures of the layered cake on the net before and had always thought that all those layers were made by baking a cake and slicing the cake into thin layers. :)  As I am not much expert in slicing cakes evenly , I never tried to make them. Only after seeing the Daring Bakers challenge, did I realise that the layers are done while baking itself. Easier than slicing evenly was my first thought.

Tree cake collage2

 But after searching the net about the tree cake, I realised there was a glitch.. each layer should be baked and browned by 4 – 6 min. Some sources suggested using the broiler option in the oven, or using the upper gas flame if using cooking range oven . I initially tried to bake the first layer at 230 C in the cooking range oven . But after 4 minutes, the cake wasn’t showing any sign of browning. I kind of panicked a bit  , what if the layers are not going to come well defined.. .. I switched off the lower gas flame and turned on  the upper gas flame in the oven . after few minutes the batter started to get a light brown colour.  Relief !!! I kept the same setting for the rest of the cake , each layer took about 5 minutes to get browned.

Tree cake final

After every 3 layers spread an even layer of apricot jam. This will make the cake more soft and moist. The whole baking takes about 2 hrs and you need to be constantly checking the cake, to see that the layers are not over browned. For the final layers, the baking time will become lesser. The last 2 layers took only 3 min in my case. The process is not complicated, but you need to know your oven well !!!

Tree cake slice

The January 2014 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Francijn of “Koken in de Brouwerij”. She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).


  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 2 hrs
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

TREE CAKE (Baumkuchen)


For the Cake Batter

  • Large eggs (room temperature) – 6
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (120 gm)
  • Marzipan – 2/3 cup (150 gm)
  • Softened Unsalted Butter –  200 gm
  • Confectioner’s (Icing) sugar -3/4 cup (100 gm)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (1 package) (8 grams) vanilla sugar
  • All-purpose (plain) flour (sifted) – 2/3 cup (100 gm)
  • Apricot jam

For the Glaze ( I got the recipe from here )

  • Butter – 6 tbsp
  • Light corn syrup – 2 tbsp
  • Semisweet chocolate , chopped – 6oz


  1. Preheat your oven to hot 450°F/230°C/gas mark 8 or turn on the upper gas flame in the oven.
  2. Grease your cake tin .
  3. Divide the eggs. Beat the egg whites with the salt until nearly stiff, add the sugar and beat until really stiff.
  4. Crumble finely the marzipan. Beat it with the softened butter, confectioner’s (icing) sugar until soft and creamy.
  5. Add the egg yolks one by one and beat well between each addition.
  6. Add the stiff egg whites and flour and gently fold it into the batter. Trying not to lose too much air.
  7. Smear 1 cup of the batter on the bottom of the pan, keep the sides of the pan clean, and bake for (about) 4 minutes in the oven, until it is cooked and brown.
  8. Take the pan out of the oven, smear the next portion of batter carefully over the first, and bake for another 4 minutes or until cooked and brown.
  9. After every 3 layers, spread an even layer of apricot jam.
  10. Repeat until all batter is used. (If you need to flatten a bubble insert a tooth pick or similar to deflate the bubble.)
  11. Let the cake cool down for a few minutes, take it out of the pan and let the cake cool completely on a wired rack.
  12. Heat the jam a little, pass it through a sieve. Cover the cake with the jam and let it cool.
  13. To make the glaze  heat  a small sauce pan on medium-low heat. Melt butter in pan then add chocolate and corn syrup. Stir continuously to keep from burning. Mix well
  14.  Pour chocolate glaze over cake and spread evenly with a spatula. Glaze will set as it cools.

Tree cake raspberry

Tree cake fb

1-2-3-4 Cake

1 2 3 4 Cake

Wishing You all a Happy New Year ! May this year bring you happiness and peace !!

Last month,  my friend Shemeem asked me an easy cake recipe , as she was planning for a surprise birthday party for her nephew.. She said all recipes in my blog seem difficult for newbies , too much complicated !! Now, I had never thought of that.. a cake recipe from a beginner’s point of view..

I gave her the recipe for 1 2 3 4 cake – which is a favourite in the family  . I had made this for my hubby’s birthday ..  The cake  tastes good even without the icing.. Actually, this is a very frequent cake in my kitchen, perfect for an afternoon tea.

1 2 3 4 Cake

I had been wanting to try the pastel swirl effect for sometime.. hmm.. not quite perfect..  I think I need bit more practice..

Here’s Shemeem’s version  .. Loved the smurf icing.. Should try that out some day!!


The recipe is quite simple and the cake never fails !! The cake got its name from the ingredients’ quantity…

1-2-3-4 Cake



  • Butter – 1 cup
  • Powdered Sugar – 2 cups
  • Flour – 3 cups
  • Egg – 4
  • Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Baking powder – 3tsp
  • Milk – 1cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
  • Orange rind – 1 tsp


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp orange essence


  • Whipping cream – 2 cups



Butter a cake pan and sprinkle about 1 tbsp of flour.  Gently toss the pan so that all sides are coated with flour.

Note :

  •  Eggs, butter and milk should be at room temperature
  •  The bowls used for mixing and the egg beater should be dry.
  •  Mix in flour and milk to the batter using a wooden spoon, do not use beater.


  1. Separate the egg yolks and whites.. be careful that the whites do not have even a tinge of yolk in it. ( There is a video at the end of the post, I found on You Tube , which shows how to separate the yolks and whites)
  2. In  a deep bottomed bowl, beat the egg whites till they whip up. It will look like whipped cream. Keep it aside.
  3. In another deep bottomed bowl, beat butter using egg beater for 2 minutes.
  4. Add powdered sugar to the butter and beat well till it looks creamy.
  5. Add the egg yolks one by one and beat well for around 10 minutes
  6. In another bowl, sieve flour and baking powder.
  7. Mix one third of the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture slowly using a wooden spoon.  Add one third cup of milk  and mix again. Repeat adding flour and milk alternately 2 more times.
  8. Add the vanilla essence and orange rind
  9. Add the egg white to the batter . Using a spoon slowly mix in the egg whites using the cut and fold method. (Video at the end of the post)
  10. Pour the batter into the pan . The batter should fill only till 2/3 rd of the pan or you can use 2 pans. Bake at 180 degree for around 30 minutes . You can test if the cake is done, by inserting a tooth pick . If the tooth pick comes out clean ( without any crumbs on it) , then the cake can be taken out of the oven .
  11. Let the cake cool to room temperature before applying icing


Stir the sugar, water and essence in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer till the sugar has dissolved, and cool completely.


  1.  When the cake is cooled, use a long serrated knife and cut off the top to make it straight. Slice the cake into 2 halves (if you have used a single cake pan).
  2. Pour the sugar syrup on both halves to make it soft.
  3.  On top of the first half spread the whipping cream or any filling. Place the second half , soaked side down, on top of the first.
  4. Coat the top and sides of the cake with cream to give a thin uniform coating.
  5. Keep in fridge till the icing sets. better to keep for atleast 3 to 4 hours.
  6. Apply a thicker coating of cream on top and sides and decorate with chocolate curls or sprinkles.

1 2 3 4 cake

Few links for details…

How to separate and fold egg whites   –

How to beat egg whites

1 2 3 4 cake

Devil’s Food Cake

Friends often tell me , I have more posts of cakes in my blog.. And I had decided to reduce the cake posts in future… Hmm but fate had other plans it seems.. This again is a cake post .. and I have my excuse too. It was my nephew’s 2nd birthday 2 weeks back and my sister in law and family were  visiting us on that  day.. Now how can I resist the temptation of baking a special cake for my dear nephew???

The kids too were all excited and got busy decorating the room with balloons and setting the table before the birthday boy arrived… I decided to make a chocolate cake as kids would love it.. and this is a very chocolatey cake – Devil’s Food Cake.. I wonder how the cake got this name? This is really a super moist chocolate cake and I strongly feel the name should be changed :)

I found this recipe from Nigella Lawson’s site and have prepared this few times before.. Couldn’t click the snaps then.. this time too I was in a but hurry, so the photos are ,well ,not so perfect..

Coming back to the celebrations, the birthday boy was super excited :) .. He was amazed to see all the  balloons, candles, cakes … Smiling happily as everyone sang the birthday song for him .. My sister in law told me that he still fondly says of his Abudhabi Bday Celebration :)

What I loved about the cake is its luscious frosting.. Though while preparing the frosting would appear runny, allowing it to settle for an hour will give it the right consisitency . Last time I made this cake, I had piped chocolate rosettes with the frosting… This time, topped the frosting with some chocolates to surprise the kids..

Here’s the recipe for all you chocolate lovers..

Recipe Source – Nigella Lawson


For the cake

  • 50g best-quality cocoa powder, sifted
  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 125g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

For the frosting:

  • 125ml water
  • 30g dark muscovado sugar
  • 175g unsalted butter cubed
  • 300g best-quality dark chocolate finely chopped

Pan required

  • 2 x 20cm sandwich tins


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
  2. Line the bottoms of both sandwich tins with baking parchment and butter the sides.
  3. Put the cocoa and 100g dark muscovado sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.
  4. Mix the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl.
  5. Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy.
  6. Add eggs one by one to the creamed butter and sugar  mixing well.
  7. Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture.
  8. Divide this fabulously chocolatey batter between the 2 prepared tins and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.
  10. But as soon as the cakes are in the oven, get started on your frosting: put the water, 30g muscovado sugar and 175g butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.
  11. When this mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.
  12. Leave for about 1 hour, whisking now and again – when you’re passing the pan – by which time the cakes will be cooled, and ready for the frosting.
  13. Set one of the cooled cakes, with its top side down, on a cake stand or plate, and spread with about a third of the frosting, then top that with the second cake, regular way up, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, swirling away with your spatula.

Sending this to Love and Chocolate Fest event at My Culinary Trial Room

and Dish for Loved Ones by Sravs Culinary Concepts

Lets Cook for Valentines event by

Orange And Almond Cake – Celebrating a year of blogging !!!

Back to blogging after a big gap.. and I have my excuse too :) … Well, I was on vacation at my hometown… Had a hectic schedule, but enjoyed each moment of it, hanging out with my dear ones … My little nephews and nieces are growing up fast.. and they are quite a bunchful too, like different flowers in a garden –  the emotional one, naughty ones,  girly ones and the quiet ones..  Miss you dears…

Was really looking forward for the meeting my school friends had planned .. to meet our teacher, mentor, guide – Father Mathew Vithuvettickal..  am so happy that I could make it for the get together… that was the moment for which I was looking for since long time – I was meeting my friends after a long gap of 18 years!!!  After all these years, we could feel the same camaraderie.. It was like travelling back to our school days, recollecting the  fun times we had .. And it was a blessing that I could meet my favourite teacher after so long !!!

And yes, the other main thing is my blog is turning a year old.. I have to thank all my dear friends for their continuous love and support.. Your feedback means a lot to me.. and thank you for trying out so many of my recipes and sharing the result..So A Big Thanks guys, for all your love.. it is appreciated more than you will ever know.. Keep it coming.. And love and thanks to my dear sis in law , Zareena, for being the unofficial proof reader of my blog :)

For this blog anniversary, decided to deviate from my comfort zone of chocolate and coffee cakes… and finalised on an orange and almond cake from one of the recipe books. The cake batter uses almond flour and semolina … And the cake is soaked with orange flavoured sugar syrup.. On retrospect, I could have reduced the quantity of semolina a little more.. and hubby suggested that the sweetness could have been brought down a bit.. But apart from that, this is wonderfully moist cake, with the citrus flavour bursting in…. So here goes the recipe..


  • Orange – 1
  • Butter, softened – 115gm
  • Powdered sugar – 115 gm
  • Eggs – 2
  • Semolina – 3/4 cup (The original recipe uses 1 cup)
  • Ground Almonds -1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Icing sugar – for dusting

For the syrup

  • Orange juice – 1 cup
  • Superfine sugar –  100gm ( You can reduce the quantity of sugar, depending on the sweetness of orange)
  • Cardamom pods, crushed – 3


  1. Grate the rind from the orange, reserving some for the decoration and squeeze the juice from one half.
  2. Place the butter, orange rind, and sugar in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the semolina, ground almonds and baking powder , then fold into the creamed mixture with the orange juice.
  4. Spoon the batter into a greased cake tin and bake at 180 degree for 30 – 40 minutes or a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  5. To make the syrup , place the orange juice, sugar and cardamom pods in the pan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 4 minutes or until syrupy. Strain and keep aside.
  6. Turn the cake out into a deep serving dish. Using a skewer make holes over the surface of the warm cake. Spoon the syrup over the cake and let stand for 30 minutes.
  7. Dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar and serve.

Zebra Cake For A Birthday

Kids’ birthdays fall within a gap of 5 days. I wanted to bake a birthday cake for the elder one, but he rejected the proposal as he wanted Harry Potter cake from bakery.. Disheartened I focused on the younger one’s birthday cake (atleast he wasn’t old enough to turn down  mamma’s cake … ) I was planning to make a fondant cake for quite some time ( inspired by Dina’s fondant cakes and Dima’s blogpost on how to cover cake with fondant ) … I decided to make a zebra cake as it would make hubby  (who doesn’t like chocolate) eat some …

The cake came out well… But in retrospect I could have doubled the quantity to make the cake bigger.. I applied a coating of whipped cream and kept the cake in fridge for about an hour.

As it was my first attempt on fondant , I had planned to keep it simple… Light blue cake with orange polka dots.. I was okay with the result, but when I showed it to my elder son, his reply was “Oh this is a baby cake!!! Doesn’t look good!!!”.. hmphhhh !!! I pulled out all the orange circles, rolled each into small roses and fixed them back.. Though not quite impressed , the kid was okay with the final result..

But the biggest disappointment came when both kids didn’t like the taste of fondant :( .. They wanted the cake, but  without the icing please !!! Huh…  I think I should stick back to old whipped cream frosting for sometime …

The recipe for the cake is the same that I used in Checkerboard Cake…  Only the method is different.


  • Butter – 1 cup
  • Granulated Sugar – 2 cups
  • Eggs, yolk and white separated – 4
  • Flour – 3 cups
  • Baking powder – 4 tsp
  • Salt – ¾ tsp
  • Milk – 1 1/2 cup
  • Cocoa – 4 tbsp
  • Boiling water – 5tbsp
  • Baking soda – 1/8 tsp
  • Almond essence – ¼ tsp
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp


  1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Powder the sugar.
  2. Using an electric beater,  cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after adding each.
  3. Add 1/2 of the flour and mix it into the batter using your hand. Add ½ cup milk and mix again. Repeat the process with the remaining flour and milk. Add vanilla essence.
  4. Add cocoa powder and baking soda to boiling water and mix well.
  5. Divide the batter into 2  halves… To one part add cocoa mixture.
  6. Pour a big ladle of plain batter to the middle of the prepared cake tin.  Then pour a big ladle of cocoa batter into center of the plain batter. Again pour a ladle of plain batter to the center of the cocoa batter. Repeat this alternately so that you get concentric circles of plain batter and the cocoa batter.  (The batter will spread out evenly by itself…)
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C  till a tester comes out clean (around 30 min)

Sending this to Bakefest hosted by Vardhini at Zesty Palette


cake full copy

Happy Birthday FIA ♥♥♥ – Ultra Moist Chocolate Cake to celebrate…

Celebrating two birthdays with one birthday cake …. It was my little cousin Sameera’s birthday a few days back and had made the cake as a surprise treat for her.

And posting this today to celebrate as FIA turns one year old… FIA, or Famished in Arabia, is a community of  bloggers from UAE who share their passion for food. The brain child of Arva of I live in a frying pan and Sally of My Custard Pie, this group now has 56 wonderfully gifted bloggers (and the number continues to increase..) .

Love to be part of this group – the discussions, the delectable dishes posted everyday and the amazing photography. Here’s to many more years of food, fun and friendship..♥♥♥

Okay, back to the cake…Made a soft moist chocolate cake and frosted with whipping cream. It’s really easy to whip it up, you can make the whole thing in one bowl.  Using vegetable oil instead of butter has its advantages – no time wasted to beat butter with sugar,plus the oil makes the cake really moist.

Sorry, couldn’t get the snaps of the cake slice. In midst of the birthday celebration, forgot that part  :( .


  • Powdered sugar – 2 cups
  • All-purpose flour – 1 3/4 cups
  • Cocoa powder – 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  •  Baking soda – 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  •  Eggs – 2
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Vegetable oil – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
  • Boiling water – 1 cup
  • Whipping cream , for frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3.  Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last.
  4. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick.
  6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting

  1. Divide the cake into 3 equal horizontal layers
  2. Sandwich the  layers with the desired frosting ( I used whipping cream with 1 tsp of coffee powder added).
  3. Apply a thin layer of frosting over the cake (crumb coat) . Refrigerate for 1-2 hours
  4. Apply a thicker coating of the frosting to get a final smooth finish.

Sending this to Bookmarked Recipes Every Tuesday By Aipi and Priya

and to Anyone Can Cook Series by Ayeesha

and to Only Baked Event hosted by Harini of Tamalapaku and Pari of Foodelicious

Yeasted Filled Meringue Coffee Cake

This was my first Daring Baker challenge. To be honest I was nervous as I read through the challenge , unsure whether it would come out well…  For a few days I kept on going through the recipe and the discussion forum where the fellow Daring Bakers had posted their successful results…  Well , after a few days I summoned up the courage to get going.. The filling for the coffee cake could be anything of our choice and I decided it would be pistachios for mine , as they would complement the chocochips in taste and visual appeal :)

As I was rolling out the first meringue, I thought of adding dates to the second coffee cake along with  the pista and nuts… again I was not sure how it would turn out, but went ahead with my instinct..

Apart from the  minor mishap of filling the meringue till the end of the rolled dough which made it a bit difficult in joining the ends together and keeping away the over enthusiastic kids from the chocolate filled dough kept for rising :)  the rest of the process went smoothly …

And the coffee cakes looked beautiful and was soft in texture :)… The kids loved the pista and chocochips version… I loved the dates with the chocolate…Hubby dear thought it was from the bakery :) .. hmm all in all, it was worth the effort .. Thank you Daring Bakers for giving this wonderful challenge… and to my bro once again for the beautiful snaps in this post…

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter
The recipe can easily be halved to make one round coffee cake

For the yeast coffee cake dough:

4 cups (600 g / 1.5 lbs.) flour
¼ cup (55 g / 2 oz.) sugar
¾ teaspoon (5 g / ¼ oz.) salt
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons / 7 g / less than an ounce) active dried yeast
¾ cup (180 ml / 6 fl. oz.) whole milk
¼ cup (60 ml / 2 fl. oz. water (doesn’t matter what temperature)
½ cup (135 g / 4.75 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature

For the meringue:

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (110 g / 4 oz.) sugar

For the filling:

1 cup (110 g / 4 oz.) chopped pistachios
2 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (170 g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate

For the dates paste in filling : (for 1 coffee cake)

10 dates pitted and chopped
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup water
1-2 tbsp sugar

Egg wash: 1 beaten egg
Cocoa powder (optional) and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes


Prepare the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted. Ria’s version: add the 10 saffron threads to the warmed liquid and allow to steep off of the heat for 10 minutes. This will give the mixture a distinct aroma and flavor and a yellowish-orange hue.

With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup (150 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the 1 ½ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.

Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

Prepare your filling:In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling .

For the dates paste : Heat a pan and add 1 tbsp of butter. When it melts add the pitted and chopped dates. Add 1/4 cup water and let it boil. Stir till the dates get mashed. Add 1-2 tbsp of sugar depending on your taste.

Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue:
In a clean mixing bowl – ideally a plastic or metal bowl so the egg whites adhere to the side (they slip on glass) and you don’t end up with liquid remaining in the bottom – beat the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Assemble the Coffee Cakes:

Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time (keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic), roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle half of  the chopped pistachios and half of the chocolate chips of the filling of choice evenly over the meringue

Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.

Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.

Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings.

Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.

Just before serving, dust the tops of the coffee cakes with confectioner’s sugar as well as cocoa powder if using chocolate in the filling. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.

Chocolate Orange Cloud Gateau

My brother called me to say that we’ll have a get together with friends at his home during the weekend. After my success in making the Espresso Coffee Cream Cake ,I couldn’t wait to try another of Deeba’s wonderful recipes. So I eagerly proposed that I will bring the dessert for the party.  My friend had earlier tried Deeba’s  Chocolate Orange Cloud Gateau and said that it was “the best tasting sponge ever”.  Naturally I finalized on the same recipe..

As expected the sponge came out quite well. I kept it in the fridge overnight, and the next day cut the cake into two and sandwiched the pieces with the filling. The frosting part was the one where I always stumbled upon. I wanted to make the beautiful scrolls as in Deeba’s, but somehow the scrolls wouldn’t stick to the cake… Deeba has patiently replied to my mail that maybe I tried to stick the scrolls after the frosting on the cake was too set to catch the spirals.. hopefully , next time I will have a better result  :)  . .  Needless to say the cake was a hit at the party!!!

Recipe Source

Passionate About Baking


  • Plain flour – 150gms (1 1/4 cups)
  • Cornflour – 25gms (1/8 cup)
  • Baking powder – 2 tsps
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing Sugar – 150gms (1 1/4 cup)
  • Oil – 5 tbsps (I used sunflower oil)
  • Water – 5 tbsps
  • Eggs – 3 / separated
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Orange juice – 1 tbsp

Sugar Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract

Simmer till the sugar has dissolved, and cool completely.


  • Whipping Cream – 200ml
  • Almonds – 3 tbsp (ground)
  • Castor sugar – 2-3 tbsps


  • Cream – 150 ml (15% fat)
  • Dark chocolate – 150gms / broken into pieces
  • Some extra chocolate for garnishing (grated, scrolls etc)
  • Silver dragees, orange slices, powdered sugar etc for garnishing.


  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Line an 8″ springform tin.
  2. Sift the cornflour + flour + baking powder + salt + icing sugar into a mixing bowl.
  3. Beat the egg whites till they stand in soft peaks & keep aside.
  4. Lightly beat the oil + water + yolks together & stir into the dry ingredients.
  5. Beat until smooth, & stir in the juice & zest.
  6. Fold the whites gently into the yolk mixture.
  7. Turn into lined tin & bake for about 45 minutes till well risen & golden brown. Check if it is done with a wooden pick.( Slide a sheet of foil lightly over the top if it begins to brown too fast).
  8. Leave in tin for 10 minutes, & then cool completely on rack.
  9. Once cool, cut into 2 or 3 layers.
  10. Soak with the sugar syrup


  1. Whip the cream + sugar till firm. Whisk in the ground almonds.
  2. Reserve a little cream for the topping, & sandwich the layers with the rest.

Put the cream & dark chocolate into a pan heat over low heat till all the chocolate has melted, stirring constantly. Stir well, & leave to cool.

Frost the sides & top of the cake with the ganache. Decorate the top with grated chocolate curls & pipe a design with the reserved almond cream. Top with a few slices of orange, chocolate shavings & silver dragees etc. Dust with some powdered sugar.

Chill well & serve right out of the fridge!

P.S :Sending this as an entry to Delicious Desserts event hosted by What’s Cooking today!!

Sending this to the Tried and Tested Event by Lakshmi guest hosted by Jayasri of Samayal Arai