Tag Archives: Easter

Simple White Cake Recipe

Simple White Cake Recipe

Although I had the menu planned out for Easter I was not sure what I was going to make for dessert. While having a phone conversation with Daughter Number One she suggested that I make a Checkerboard Cake.  I used to make those regularly when she was little. The directions I have call for 2 boxed cake mixes. I opted to make a simple white cake recipe instead.

You may be wondering why I was making the cake that D1 recommended when she wasn’t going to be with us. There are many reasons, one of which was because she asked. Another reason was to try out the simple white cake recipe. Additionally I have not made this as frequently for Daughters Three and Four. I thought they would enjoy the checkerboard cake.

Checkerboard cake

Checkerboard Cake

I am pleased that I made the checkerboard cake. It was a beautiful addition to our Easter meal. The simple white cake recipe was indeed simple. It was also very tasty. We all enjoyed this cake very much. My traditional white cake recipe is lighter in texture, but it also takes more time. Also I don’t think it would have worked in the checkerboard cake very well.

The Hubs picked out the colors for the checkerboard cake and Daughter Number Three chose the color for the frosting. I added some sugar sprinkles on the top for a little extra pop. The colors were the epitome of springtime. The simple white cake recipe with its heavy vanilla flavor, topped with light cream cheese frosting, was great for spring.

White Cake, Pink Frosting

White Cake, Pink Frosting

I have already been requested to make this cake again. The girls thought it was fun and they loved the way it tasted.

If you are looking for a simple white cake recipe definitely go with this one. If you want to make this cake more special I recommend buying a checkerboard cake pan insert. It is great for holidays and special occasions.

Do you have a favorite special occasion dessert? Does it require any special equipment to make? I would love to know!

Simple White Cake Recipe

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup milk (extra if needed to make smooth)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 – 9” round cake pans. See notes.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Note 1: This recipe makes 2-9” round cakes. Halve the recipe for 1 9 X 9 square cake.

Note 2: To make checkerboard cake make the full recipe. You will need it somewhat thin. Use a checkerboard cake insert. You will need 3 – 9” round cake pans. For 2 color cake you will need 2 colors of food coloring. It will require approximately 4 cups of prepared frosting.


Posted by on April 6, 2018 in Baking Recipes, Dessert Recipes


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Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Easter dinner has changed for me over the years.  Of course in my childhood it was all about the hunting. Someone else was in charge of the food. Then I had my own children which came with the excitement of egg dying and Easter baskets. I planned and prepared the Easter dinner. This year even my little girls are big girls. No one wanted to dye eggs. I hard boiled eggs and was ready to dye, but it didn’t happen. The two oldest girls couldn’t come home so it was four of us. I chose to do brunch and a later dinner. Brunch was Hot Cross buns and a sample board, more than just a cheese board.

Sample Board

Sample Board

Hot Cross Buns is something I have wanted to make for years. I have never eaten Hot Cross Buns before, but have read enough about them that I knew what to expect. Similarly, I knew what I did not want to experience in a Hot Cross Bun, so the recipe had to be just right.

My initial plan was to make an egg dish and a cheese board. It’s important to be flexible in life, so that as the wind blows you can bend with it. Knowing that the Hot Cross Buns would be ready after church I opted for a large sample platter. It was full of plenty of good things over and above cheese that would keep everyone satisfied until dinner.

My sample board consisted of goat cheese with honey and pecans, herbed cheese spread, and cheddar. It had 3 kinds of crackers and assorted nuts. There were strawberries and blackberries on the board as well as mixed olives and chocolate. A pickled egg, Coho salmon, and tomato tulips rounded out the board.

Sample Board Diagram

Sample Board Diagram

Everyone loved it. I had enough of a mixture that everyone was able to pick out something to eat along with Hot Cross Buns. Also, because there was no real mess to clean up it didn’t impede my dinner making. The girls and The Hubs could continue to nibble on crackers, nuts, and Easter candy all afternoon.

The Hot Cross Buns were tasty. They will be a wonderful addition to Easter every year. I’m still a little bummed that we did not dye Easter eggs this year. I am not pushing for anything, but I know one day I will have grandchildren to dye eggs with me. Not too soon, though.

What are some of your Easter traditions? Have they changed as your family has changed, possibly grown up and moved out? Maybe you have teenagers in your home who are too old to dye Easter eggs. Next year I think I will dye them by myself.

Hot Cross Buns

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 (1/4 ounce packages))
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 large egg (separated)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (more if needed)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup currants (plumped in the microwave and cooled)

For the icing

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar (sifted)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  1. Combine the water and milk in a large glass measuring cup. Microwave in short bursts to bring to 110 degrees. Sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar and flour over the surface of the warm milk mixture. Set aside without stirring, until foamy. Whisk the butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger in the bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center of the flour and add in the yeast mixture. Using a flat beater or the dough hook on low mix to make a thick, shaggy, and slightly sticky dough. Make sure the dough hook is attached and beat for about 5 minutes on medium high. Add in more flour if necessary. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead in currants. Dough should be soft and elastic. Shape into a ball.
  3. Oil or butter the inside of the mixer bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to coat lightly with oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
  4. To form the rolls: Butter a 9 by 14-inch baking sheet. Turn the dough out of the bowl and pat into a rectangle about 16 by 8 inches. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Portions should be roughly 2 ounces each.
  5. Preheat to 375 degrees.
  6. Tuck the edges of the dough under to make round rolls and place them seam-side down in the prepared pan. Leave space in between each roll. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a lint free towel and set in a warm place until the rolls have more than doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  7. Remove the covering and brush the tops of the buns with beaten egg white. Bake rolls until golden brown and puffy, about 25 minutes.
  8. For the glaze: Stir together confectioners’ sugar milk until smooth. Spoon icing into a pastry bag, or a zip top bag and make a small cut in the corner of the bag. Ice a thick cross shape over the top of the warm buns.


Posted by on April 3, 2018 in Baking Recipes


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Lenten Journey, Easter brunch

Lenten Journey, Easter brunch

I am thoroughly glad to report that I made it through my Lenten Journey with few detours along the road. That is not the reason for the gap in writing. The reason for that is that I fell. This isn’t a grand metaphor for slipping from my Lenten promise, or falling from grace. No, I actually fell. I won’t bore you with the details of the whole thing, just to say that I’m getting back to cooking with Easter brunch which included a glorious Caprese Quiche.

There are some fun food stories that I hope to be able to share from the last month and a half. For now, I will share a little bit about our Easter Sunday eating experience.

I was so happy that Daughter Number Two was able to come home from college this weekend. It’s a really busy time for her as the semester is winding down. She brought one of her friends from college home to share Easter dinner with us, since she lives out of state. With Daughter 2’s eating challenges I knew it would most likely be chicken or turkey as a main dish unless she chose not to eat any meat. She did ask for turkey because she had given up all meat for Lent and she was really looking forward to a protein source that wasn’t a nut or legume. I asked the girls what other things they wanted for Easter dinner or were hungry for in general.

Our menu ended up being a mix of foods that the girls were hungry for and some family favorites. I also decided to make a quiche for brunch to give myself some extra time to prep my sides for the mid-afternoon dinner.

The quiche was a fantastic Caprese quiche. Caprese salad is one of my favorite summer favorites. This recipe was a blend of several that I had seen on line while looking at Easter day menus. I was really the only one who liked it. The combination of the cooked tomatoes and whole basil did not work for the girls.

I felt like the quiche needed the acidity of the vinegar. The girls thought it needed the acidity of ketchup!

Now that I am back on my feet and in perfect condition I hope to get caught up on my writing (and my housework, and my job, and the rest of life!) so you can read about the tests of my faith and fortitude this past Lent.

Happy Easter!

Caprese Quiche

  • 1 9 ” pie crust (unbaked)
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 Roma tomato (sliced 1/8”)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella (sliced 1/8” rounds)
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 6 eggs (beaten)
  • ½ cup half and half
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

  2. Roll out pie crust into pie pan. Flute the edges. 

  3. Lightly drizzle the olive oil over the crust. Lay tomatoes over crust in a circle. Lay mozzarella alternating the tomatoes. Place the basil leaves in a star shape over the tomatoes and cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

  4. In a bowl, beat eggs and half and half until well mixed. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the crust. 

  5. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling is set. The tomatoes and basil will rise to the top. 

  6. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

 If desired, drizzle the plated quiche with balsamic.

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Posted by on April 20, 2014 in Brunch Recipes, Recipe


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