Monthly Archives: February 2021

Vanilla Cake With Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

I think most of us in West Michigan are glad for the warmer temperatures.  I’m sure the birds and squirrels are glad of the warming trend.

This cake recipe is one that I had planned for a Valentine’s Day post but that didn’t happen.  It is a quick and easy cake to make and also very delicious.  It is a moist and flavorful cake and not overly sweet.  With it being a one layer cake, it is perfect for a small family.  You won’t need food coloring for this pretty pink frosted cake.  The raspberry puree will tint the frosting a perfect pink.

Vanilla Cake With Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

For the Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup very soft butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

For the Raspberry Buttercream

12 fresh or frozen raspberries (thawed if frozen)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb box powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract (or vanilla)
2-3 tablespoons milk (as needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly spray an 8 inch cake pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper.  Set aside.

For the Cake

In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir to combine.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine.   Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Begin and end with dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes until light golden brown or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out  clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

Place the raspberries on a small plate and mash well with a fork and then press through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.  Set aside.

In a large bowl with electric mixer at low speed,  beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Beat in the raspberry puree and raspberry extract.  Add milk, if needed.  Beat at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes until creamy and is of desired consistency for frosting the cake.

Spread the buttercream over the top of the cake and around the sides of the cake.  Decorate as desired.

Notes:
1.  If  you don’t have buttermilk on hand, use this substitution:  1 tablespoon white vinegar + enough milk to measure 1 cup.  Stir, then allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before using.
2.  Inspired by a recipe from the café sucre farine and can be found here.

This cute igloo was spotted in my neighborhood a few days ago when we still had below freezing temperatures.  Built by one of the neighbors and later filled with ice cream treats for anyone walking by.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Valentine’s Day is in a couple of days.  Here in Michigan, the restaurants and bars reopened February 1st for indoor dining (at 25% capacity) and with a 10 p.m. curfew.  At least the people who want to eat out on Valentine’s Day will be able to.  I haven’t eaten in a restaurant since the pandemic started.  I do support our local restaurants but do it through home delivery or pickup.

This Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup is a simple and delicious soup that will warm you on our cold winter days.  It is very easy and quick to make.

The recipe uses roasted red peppers that you can buy in a jar.  The only prep of the peppers is draining and chopping them.  Use fire roasted tomatoes if you can, as they add a slight smoky flavor to the soup.  This soup goes great with a grilled cheese sandwich.  If there are any leftovers, the soup freezes really well.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onions
2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon pesto (optional)
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup half and half

For the Topping
thin slices of fresh mozzarella

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or soup pot.  Add the onion and sauté until onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, pesto, broth, salt, garlic powder, and basil.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then cover and reduce heat to a slow steady simmer.  Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn off the heat and add the half and half.  Stir to combine.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender.  Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Serve in bowls topped with a slice of the fresh mozzarella.  (Note: If you don’t have an immersion blender, let the soup cool until warm and then transfer to a blender.  Blend until smooth and return to the pot.)  

The photo below is my yard after a recent snowfall.  It was definitely a good day for a hot bowl of soup.

Happy Valentine’s Day and stay safe.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: