Decadent Double Layer Chocolate Cake

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Chocolate Lovers – this one’s for you.

This cake is hands down, the best homemade chocolate cake recipe ever. You’ve gotta trust us on this one – we’ve tested many different kinds of chocolate cake recipes over the years, and this one blows away all the others.

This cake is soft, light, fluffy, and perfectly chocolatey. {All the things a good chocolate cake should be.}

The cake’s super fluffy & moist texture is due in part to a few things.. the use of buttermilk, and coffee! That’s right – 1 cup of hot coffee is used in this cake to help accentuate the chocolate flavour. Don’t worry, it will NOT make the cake taste like coffee. Buttermilk is also used to help keep the cake super moist. (Buttermilk really is a great baking ingredient for cakes & cupcakes.)

For the frosting, we decided to ditch the usual chocolate buttercream that is often used for this kind of cake and went with a Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting instead. Neither of us are big fans of buttercreams, as they are usually extremely sweet and overpowering. We always tend to frost cakes using a whipping cream frosting because it is a lot lighter, less sweet, and just seems to taste better & fresher.

Natasha made this cake a few weeks ago for a birthday, and everybody raved about the cake so we decided to make a Valentine’s version! This chocolate cake is perfect for any occasion – decorate it however you wish! 🙂

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Nummm! You can see just how moist & fresh the cake is.

This cake is amazing because it actually stays fresh like this for days after baking! {Keep cake covered at room temperature for up to 4 days to ensure freshness, or covered and refrigerated for up to 6 days.}

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Decadent Double Layer Chocolate Cake
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For the Cake
  1. 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  3. 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder {not dutch processed}
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 cup buttermilk
  8. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  9. 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  10. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  11. 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting Ingredients
  1. 250g whipping cream
  2. Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Syrup (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Butter & flour two 9-inch round cake pans & set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, & salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttermilk, oil, room temperature eggs, & vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined. Add in the coffee. {Batter will be very wet – it is supposed to be. don’t worry!}
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 prepared baking pans and bake for approx. 24-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the beater/whip attachment, whip the whipping cream on medium-high speed for 2-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in chocolate syrup to taste, and mix.
Notes
  1. It is very important that eggs are at room temperature for this recipe! using eggs at room temperature will allow the cake to rise properly. using cold eggs could ruin your cake.
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/

Happy Valentine’s Baking!
 Natasha & Laura xo

Pretty-in-PINK Lemonade Cupcakes

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Even though the first day of Fall is not until September 22nd, for some reason August 31st always feels like the end of Summer to me.
Right when September 1st rolls around, I feel like Summer has officially ended & Fall has begun.

As you may know from my last few baking posts, I am more than ready for Fall.
So I thought I’d make one last ‘Summer’ recipe before the blog is all things pumpkin!

I made PINK Lemonade Cupcakes, and they are every bit as tasty as they are gorgeous. I love how bright and colourful they are, (It’s a nice change from cranberries & nutmeg) and they are super moist & light. Unlike most cupcakes, the cake is fluffy, fresh, & lemony – not heavy at all, (No eggs are used).
These cupcakes are definitely a summer-must at a backyard BBQ! 

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PRETTY-IN-PINK LEMONADE CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

For the Cake – 
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch – 1/2 teaspoon of salt
zest from 1 lemon
1 3/4 cup water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar
juice from 1 lemon

For the Frosting – 
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2-3 cups icing sugar
juice from 1 lemon
a few drops of red food colouring (to your preference to create the perfect PINK colour!)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients – Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, Salt, & the Lemon Zest. Set Aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients – Water, Oil, Vanilla Extract, Vinegar & Lemon Juice. Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients & stir slowly until ingredients are evenly combined & no lumps appear in the batter. Do not overmix.

3. Pour the batter (The batter will be extremely wet!) into lined baking pans, about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

Frosting:

1. Using your electric stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar slowly, (scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed) to your preference of sweetness. Add the lemon juice & a few drops of red food colouring – mix until you get the perfect fluffy frosting!

Happy Baking!

Natasha xo

Mango & Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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I have been on a total smoothie kick lately and have been trying out different kinds of smoothie recipes… Some turned out decent, others not so good. Than I came across this little gem – a delicious Mango & Strawberry Banana Smoothie and it’s so tasty, I had to share this one with you guys – believe me, it’s a keeper!

Fresh, fruity, healthy, pretty, & easy to make! (What more could you want?)

I found the recipe on myrecipes which you can find here, but I have adapted it slightly.

Mango & Strawberry Banana Smoothie
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Ingredients
  1. (Yield: 2 smoothies)
  2. 1 mango (peeled, and coarsely chopped)
  3. 1 1/4 cups total of plain low-fat yogurt
  4. 2 tablespoons honey
  5. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  6. pinch of freshly grated lime zest
  7. 1 banana (peeled & chopped)
  8. 10 medium sized strawberries (washed, and chopped)
  9. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  10. pinch of freshly grated lemon zest
To make the Mango Layer
  1. In a blender, combine the mango, 3/4 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, pinch of lime zest & 2 ice cubes. Blend until combined. Divide the mango smoothie into 2 glasses, and set aside. Rinse the blender.
To make the Strawberry Banana Layer
  1. Combine the banana, strawberries, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, pinch of lemon zest, and 2 ice cubes and blend until smooth.
  2. Using a large spoon, GENTLY scoop the strawberry banana layer onto the inside edges of the glass on top of the mango layer. Do not pour the strawberry layer right on top of the mango layer straight from the blender, or else you won’t get the nice crisp horizontal line. (The first time I made a layered smoothie, it didn’t clarify how to pour the layer on top and I ended up with a swirly smoothie, instead of layered 😉 ) Take your time, and using a spoon drop small amounts at a time.
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/
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Happy Smoothie-Drinking! 
Natasha xo

Gingerbread House

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Yesterday was our annual Christmas Fun Day at Auntie’s! Every year I have my niece over for the day and we construct a gingerbread house.
I decided to change it up a bit and surprise her with a Barbie gingerbread house. Like how cute is that! She loved it!

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Lil’ sweetie eating some sweet treats.

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I’m trying to construct the gingerbread house. It’s more difficult than it looks! ha

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Natasha starting to ice the roof with bright pink icing.

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L’ Artists creating ‘the masterpiece

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Almost complete… we’re lovin’ it!

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This is what Christmas is all about.

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Ta da! The masterpiece all complete.
What a great day spent making memories with my special girls.Happy Holidays!

Laura xo