Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake | Pinky's PantryIt’s blueberry season! Every year, my sister Helen takes her daughters blueberry picking with a bunch of their school friends and their families. They go to this blueberry farm up in the hills and have an absolute blast while they’re there. Helen’s youngest daughter, Sophie, is a little blueberry-picking speed-demon and can fill up a bucket faster than you can say blueberry pie!

Anyway, whenever they go, they always make sure to bring me back a bagful of the beautiful little blue gems. This year was no exception. The berries are always so sweet and juicy. If you’ve never had blueberries fresh off the bush, you’ve got to find a way to try some. Commercially sold blueberries are good, but they pale in comparison to these ones. I think it’s time for some Blueberry Buttermilk Cake!
Blueberry Buttermilk Cake | Pinky's Pantry


  • 2 – 2½ cups fresh blueberries
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar (or white granulated sugar)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. Place blueberries in a small bowl.
  3. Take 2 tablespoons of the flour and toss it with the blueberries. Coating the blueberries with flour helps keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake as it bakes.
  4. Combine remaining flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  5. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  6. Add vanilla and beat in eggs, one at a time.
  7. Beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions until completely combined.
  8. Fold in blueberries.
  9. Spread batter in prepared baking pan.
  10. Sprinkle top evenly with demerara sugar.
  11. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  12. Cake can be served warm or cool completely before serving.

NOTE:  If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own homemade buttermilk by placing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to the cup till it reaches the 1-cup line. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk with a wire whisk for a few seconds.


Gluten Free Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Gluten Free Sour Cream Coffee Cake | Pinky's Pantry
I keep trying to create gluten free recipes for my daughter, Spunky. It’s not always easy though. Especially with baked goods. You usually have to use 2 or 3 different non-wheat flours, and add specialty ingredients like xanthan gum, guar gum, gelatin, or agar-agar. And some things just don’t turn out right when you try to convert them using commercial gluten free flours.

That’s why I was so happy to discover Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour at my local grocery store. My sour cream coffee cake turned out great with it! It really took the guesswork out of converting an old family favorite into a gluten free recipe. I decided to research and learned that there are other brands of cup-for-cup flour replacements out there like King Arthur Flour’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour, or Cup4Cup Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour, but since Bob’s Red Mill is what my local grocery store carries, that’s what I used for this recipe. I’ll have to experiment and test the other brands someday. If you have a favorite cup-for-cup gluten free replacement flour, feel free to try it out with this recipe and then let me know how it turned out.


  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream


  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan or angel food cake pan.
  2. Mix streusel ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. With an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Beat in flour mixture alternately with sour cream.
  7. Spread half the batter in the pan, then sprinkle half the streusel over it. Top with the rest of the batter, and finish with the remaining streusel.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Cool cake in pan for 10-15 minutes, then loosen from sides of pan with a knife.
  10. Remove cake from pan and place topping side up on a serving plate.


  • You can substitute buttermilk or yogurt in place of the sour cream in this recipe.
  • This cake can be made in a 9×13-inch rectangular baking pan. If you prefer to use a 9×13-inch pan, I would just pour all the batter into the pan and then sprinkle all the streusel on top. It’s a pain to make the layers, though it can certainly be done. Just bear in mind that you’ll have to spread the batter really thinly if you want layers.

Americanized Bibingka

Americanized Bibingka | Pinky's Pantry
Living in the United States, we don’t always have easy access to Filipino food. I guess it depends on where in the U.S. you live. Unfortunately, where I live, if you want Filipino food, you need to make it yourself. There have been times when I’ve really been craving some native food from back home. This recipe was born from one of those cravings.

Filipino bibingka galapong is a native cake made of rice flour that’s cooked in a clay pot lined with banana leaves. As strange as it sounds, the sweet little cakes are dotted with pieces of quesong puti (carabao milk cheese) and wedges of itlog na maalat (salted duck eggs). Growing up, the best bibingkahan to get hot, fresh-made bibingka was a place called Ferino’s. It was started in 1938 by a man and his wife who made their bibingkas on three clay pots set on a bench. From there, the business grew till they eventually had shops all over town.

Anyway, I was craving the taste of Ferino’s bibingka one day. Since I don’t have a clay pot or banana leaves, and since we can’t get quesong puti or itlog na maalat where we live, I came up with this recipe which I called “Americanized Bibingka” because I baked it in a pyrex glass baking dish in the oven, and I substituted American ingredients for the native Filipino ingredients I couldn’t get – cream cheese for the quesong puti and dried shredded coconut for the itlog na maalat. It’s not Ferino’s, but it’s a really good substitute.

This recipe makes a big pyrex dish so it’s perfect for parties or get-togethers. Don’t expect it to look anything like traditional native Filipino bibingka galapong. Just follow the recipe and you’ll get a good taste of what bibingka is like, albeit without the look. Everybody loves it, including all our American friends.


  • 4 cups self-rising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 box (8-oz.) cream cheese
  • ½ to 1 cup shredded, sweetened, desiccated coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, eggs, sugar and water.
  3. Pour batter into a greased 9” x 13” pyrex glass baking dish.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt and stir together the butter and cream cheese. The cream cheese mixture will be separated and lumpy. It looks weird, but don’t worry. This is normal.
    Americanized Bibingka | Pinky's Pantry
  5. Pour cream cheese mixture as evenly as you can over the cake batter. Don’t worry about trying to make it perfectly even. You can’t.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove cake from oven and top with shredded coconut (as much as you want).
  8. Return cake to the oven and broil till the coconut flakes turn golden brown.

NOTE:  If you can’t get self-rising flour, you can make your own by mixing together:
                4 cups all-purpose flour
                2 Tbsp. double acting baking powder
                2 tsp. salt

Peaches and Cream Cake

Peaches and Cream Cake | Pinky's Pantry
This recipe is one of those that’s been around forever under one name or another. It was given to me by one of the nurses at work. She’s been making it for years and she said it’s always a hit at her house. I’m glad I got the recipe from her because it was a hit with my family, too, though I did tweak it a little (as always). I increased the peaches, cut down on the sugar, and added vanilla extract. I can tell it’s going to become a favorite at our family get-togethers and at potlucks, too. This one is a definite keeper!
Peaches and Cream Cake | Pinky's Pantry


  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 pkgs. (3.4 oz. each) cook & serve vanilla pudding (do not use instant)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large (29 oz. each) cans sliced peaches
  • 2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. peach syrup from can
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • cinnamon-sugar, for sprinkling on top (recipe below)
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9×13 pyrex glass baking dish.
  2. Drain both cans of peaches, reserving 6 tablespoons of syrup for later.
  3. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla puddings together.
  4. Add milk, butter, and eggs.
  5. Beat together with an electric mixer, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Spread in prepared baking dish.
  7. Arrange peach slices to cover top of batter.
  8. Beat cream cheese in a bowl until smooth.
  9. Add sugar, peach syrup, and vanilla, and beat until well-combined.
  10. Spoon over peaches, then smooth with a spatula.
  11. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over cream cheese mixture.
  12. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
NOTE:  To make cinnamon sugar, the ratio is 1/4 cup sugar to 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Store in an airtight container. For this recipe, you’ll probably only sprinkle about a couple of tablespoons or so over the top.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting | Pinky's Pantry
I love cream cheese frosting. It’s one of my all-time favorite frostings. The way the tanginess of the cream cheese blends with the sweetness of the powdered sugar is absolutely delicious. Cream cheese frosting is most commonly used to ice carrot cakes, red velvet cakes, and pumpkin bars, but I don’t see why you couldn’t use it on a chocolate cake or some other kind of dessert. I actually have a really yummy pineapple cake recipe that calls for cream cheese frosting.

If your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature, whipping up a smooth and lump-free frosting is a piece of cake (pun intended). If your cream cheese is still cold, you can unwrap it, place it in your mixing bowl, microwave it for 30 seconds, stop the microwave to check how warm it is, then microwave another 30 seconds if necessary. Don’t microwave cream cheese too long because it can burn. Ask me how I know.  And I wouldn’t recommend microwaving the butter to soften it. It melts just too darn fast. Ask me how I know that, too.


  • 1 pkg. (8 ozs.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together.
  2. Gradually beat in powdered sugar.
  3. Continue beating until smooth and fluffy.

Strawberry Cream Cake

Strawberry Cream Cake | Pinky's PantryIt’s Bashful’s birthday today. She’s turning 23. Where did the years go? It’s so true that time flies faster the older you get. Like her namesake, Bashful is shy and sweet and kind-hearted. Been that way since she was a little girl. She spoke just fine at home, but hardly said two words outside. Without fail, every new teacher she had would call me at the beginning of each school year to ask if things were alright at home because she never said a word in class. I would have to explain that that was just her way but if they called on her to answer, she would, even if she hadn’t raised her hand. She answered in this tiny little soft-spoken voice, but she answered. She’s all grown up now but when I look at her, I still see that quiet little girl who always stood to one side silently watching the world with big, solemn eyes and a shy smile.

This morning I asked her what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday and of course, she asked for her favorite Strawberry Cream Cake. Its always been her favorite and that hasn’t changed over the years. I’m not surprised. This cake is so fabulously good. I make a moist vanilla cake for the base, use sliced fresh strawberries in the filling, and cover it up with a fluffy whipped cream frosting. It’s Yummy with a capital Y!
Strawberry Cream Cake | Pinky's Pantry


Vanilla Cake:

  • 3 cups all­ purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Spray three 9-­inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper, then spray the paper.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  4. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until creamy.
  5. Slowly pour in the sugar, continuing to beat until light and fluffy.
  6. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stopping periodically to scrape down the bowl as needed.
  7. Then add the vanilla, beating until well-combined.
  8. Reduce speed to low and add the flour and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 additions.
  9. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing tops with a spatula.
  10. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  11. Place cake pans on a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  12. Invert cakes, peel off parchment paper, then re-invert so cakes are top side up.
  13. Cool completely before frosting. Trim tops off to make cakes level if desired.

Strawberry Filling:

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries
  • 2 tbsp. sugar, or to taste
  1. Hull, wash, and slice strawberries.
  2. Toss in a bowl with sugar and set aside until ready to use.

Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar, add more or less as desired
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla, optional
  1. Place mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes or so.
  2. Place whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in mixing bowl. Add more sugar if you want it sweeter or less if you want it less sweet.
  3. Beat until stiff peaks form.


  • If you want really white frosting, omit the vanilla or use clear vanilla extract.
  • If you have cake strips, use them! They really help the cakes to rise up evenly with nice, level tops.

Mom’s Mocha Filling

Mocha Filling | Pinky's Pantry
This is the yummiest chocolate cake filling ever! It’s so good, you could eat it by the spoonful! And we do, believe me. Whenever I make this, I’m constantly swatting hands away while it’s cooling. The family can hardly wait for me to put it on the cake. I have to be vigilant and watch out for fingers sneaking into the pot to scoop out a little mouthful or I end up not having enough filling for my cake! It’s gotten so that now I always just make a double recipe so there’ll be some extra left over for the sneaky fingers to eat by the spoonful after I’ve filled the cake. Keeps everyone happy that way.

Mom always made this filling for her cookie monster chocolate cake, but I don’t see why you couldn’t use it to fill a yellow cake or white cake, or even sandwich it between two cookies! Ooh! The ideas are pouring in!


  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
  1. In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour and instant coffee using a wire whisk.
  2. Add the evaporated milk and butter, and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly to keep it from burning. Don’t be tempted to raise the fire to speed up the process. This burns fast so just take your time and stir slowly so your arm won’t feel like it’s going to fall off.
  3. Keep cooking until mixture begins to boil; then let boil for 3-5 minutes while stirring slowly and continuously with the wire whisk. This takes a little time so be patient.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before using. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the top of the filling or stir it constantly while it’s cooling to prevent a skin from forming on the top.

Yogurt Cake

Yogurt Cake | Pinky's PantryI’ve been making this cake for years. It’s so good and easy to prepare. It always turns out moist and flavorful. I also love its versatility. If you don’t have margarine or butter, you could substitute butter-flavored Crisco shortening, or even use cooking oil if you’re really desperate. You could bake it in a loaf pan instead of a bundt pan if you want a more traditional “butter cake” look. I like to make small loaves of this cake (as pictured below) to give to my neighbors during the holidays.
Yogurt Cake | Pinky's Pantry
You could also exchange the flavorings and use lemon extract and lemon yogurt to make a delicious lemon cake that goes great with a nice cup of hot tea. Hmmm……. I wonder….. what if we tried orange extract and orange yogurt, or strawberry extract and strawberry yogurt, or almond extract and plain yogurt?….. The possibilities are endless, don’t you think?


  • 1 cup margarine or butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 8-oz. container vanilla yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Alternately beat in flour mixture and yogurt until just incorporated. Do not over mix. It’s okay if batter is still lumpy.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  8. Carefully flip cake over and let cool completely.

Mom’s Cookie Monster Chocolate Cake

Cookie Monster Chocolate Cake | Pinky's Pantry
When I was growing up in the Philippines, there was a bakeshop called Cookie Monster Bake Shop. They were famous for their delicious chocolate cake. The moist and tender cake wasn’t overly sweet, but it was the perfect base for the yema-like filling inside it and the rich chocolate frosting that covered it. My Mom tried to imitate their cake and came up with this recipe which tastes almost exactly like Cookie Monster’s. Mom would fill it with her coffee-scented mocha filling, and frost it with her silky chocolate icing. Our family called this Cookie Monster Chocolate Cake, but I honestly think my Mom’s version was better than the bake shop’s.

I hope you don’t mind the odd format. Out of nostalgia, I decided to type out the recipe the same way my Mom had it written in her old, stain-spattered recipe notebook. Read it all the way to the end before starting so you can gather all your ingredients together.


1. Grease bottom and sides of two 9×13 rectangular baking pans. Line bottoms with parchment or waxed paper.

2. Sift into a large bowl and mix together well:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder

3. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring to a boil:

  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ stick margarine
  • ¾ cup canola oil

4. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.

5. Add, but don’t mix till all ingredients are in:

  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. baking soda (mashed in small bowl to remove lumps)
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla

6. Blend thoroughly and pour into prepared pans.

7. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

8. Turn cakes out onto wire racks to cool. Carefully peel off parchment paper.

8. When cakes are completely cool, fill with Mom’s Mocha Filling and frost with Mom’s Chocolate Icing.


1. In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan and using a wire whisk, whisk together:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • 1 can evaporated milk

2. Place saucepan over low heat and add:

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter or margarine

3. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly to keep it from burning. This burns fast so watch carefully!

4. Keep cooking till mixture begins to bubble; then let boil for 3-5 minutes, all the while stirring slowly and continuously with the wire whisk.

5. Remove from fire and allow to cool completely before using. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the top of the filling, or stir it constantly while it’s cooling to prevent a skin from forming on the top.


1. Using a wire whisk, mix together in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ cups cocoa powder
  • 2 cans evaporated milk

2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.

3. In a small bowl, beat:

  • 6 egg yolks

4. When chocolate mixture just begins to boil, pour one-third of it into the bowl with the beaten egg yolks and mix well. This tempers the yolks which keeps them from turning into scrambled eggs.

5. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan and combine with the rest of the chocolate mixture.

6. Return to flame and add:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

7. Keep cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes back to a boil.

8. Reduce heat to low and continue simmering, stirring till mixture reaches spreading consistency.

9. Cool completely before frosting cake. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the top of the frosting, or stir it constantly while it’s cooling to prevent a skin from forming on the top.

Prajitura Desteapta (Romanian “Smart Cake”)

Prajitura Desteapta | Pinky's Pantry
Prajitura Desteapta. Nope, it’s not a disease or some Amazonian jungle plant. It’s actually a Romanian custard cake. I had to bring dessert to my sister Helen’s house for dinner last night so I went searching through my recipe box for something to make. I wanted to bring something different. Maybe make something I hadn’t made in a long time. Lo and behold, I came across this recipe that was given to me years ago by my friend, Lyudmila.

According to Lyudmila, “Prajitura Desteapta” means “Smart Cake.” I guess they call it that because it’s super easy to make which is pretty smart in my book. The ingredients are all things you usually have in your fridge and pantry. While it’s baking, the cake separates into two layers – a thick, cake-like layer on the bottom and a softer custard layer on top. Lyudmila’s original recipe gave metric measurements for the ingredients. I’ve noted the American equivalents for those who want them. By the way, in America, this cake is called “Magic Cake” and it’s easy to understand why.


  • 250 gm butter or margarine (1 cup)
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 300 gm sugar (1½ cups)
  • 2 packets vanilla sugar (1 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 225 gm flour (2 cups)
  • 1 liter warm milk (4 cups)
  • powdered sugar, for dusting on top
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 9×13 rectangular pyrex baking dish.
  2. Melt butter in microwave and set aside to cool.
  3. In an extra large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add melted butter and vanilla and continue beating.
  5. Beat in the sifted flour until well blended.
  6. Slowly add milk, beating on low speed. Batter will be very thin and watery.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  8. Carefully fold beaten egg whites into the batter just until incorporated.
  9. Pour into prepared pyrex baking dish and bake 40-45 minutes. Do not open the oven door while baking!
  10. Cool to room temperature, then place in refrigerator to chill.
  11. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar.
  12. Cut into squares and serve.


  • It’s better if your eggs are at room temperature when you start.
  • The butter should be melted but not hot. Make sure to cool it to room
    temperature before using.
  • Vanilla sugar is a very popular baking ingredient in Europe. Dr. Oetker is a very
    well-known brand, but unfortunately is not easy to find in the U.S. However, you
    can easily substitute vanilla extract for the vanilla sugar in this recipe.