Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake | Pinky's Pantry
This is an old recipe that I got from one of my first cookbooks many, many years ago. Hummingbird Cake is basically a banana-pineapple-nut cake. It’s moist, delicious, and absolutely addictive. I usually bake it in a bundt pan and serve it plain, but you could also bake it in three round cake pans and frost each layer with a cream cheese frosting. Either way is delicious and will have you humming with delight!

HUMMINGBIRD CAKE

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 can (8 ozs.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the eggs, oil, vanilla, bananas, pineapple, and nuts, and stir together well.
  4. Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (In my oven, 50 minutes is perfect, but depending on your oven, this could take up to 70 or 80 minutes.)

NOTE: If desired, cake may be baked in three 9-inch round cake pans. If using three cake pans, bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then frost with cream cheese frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 2 pkg. (8-oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup salted butter or margarine, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. With an electric mixer set on medium-low speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar little by little, beating at low speed until blended.
  3. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
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Easy Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Ganache | Pinky's Pantry
Chocolate Ganache is used as a filling, a frosting, or a glaze for cakes and pastries. It’s very easy to prepare. This recipe is wonderful made with a good quality chocolate like Scharffenberger chocolate, but it’s just as good made with chocolate chips.

Make sure the chopping board, bowl, and utensils you use are completely dry because water will cause the chocolate to seize when it’s melted. Also when working with ganache, bear in mind that while it’s warm, it’s liquid and pourable, but it thickens and firms as it cools. If you need to soften it, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and stir.

EASY CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  • 8 ozs. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter (optional)
  1. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, heat cream and butter until it just comes to a simmer.
  3. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for a couple of minutes.
  4. Slowly stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Don’t whisk vigorously. You don’t want to whip air into it.

NOTE:

  • This recipe makes enough ganache to cover one 9-inch cake.
  • The ganache may be made up to 1 week ahead. Refrigerate in an airtight container and bring to room temperature before using.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake | Pinky's Pantry
My mom used to make this cake for us all the time when we were growing up. Pineapple Upside Down Cake is an old-fashioned cake that sort of died down in popularity over the years. It’s delicious, though, and definitely deserves a comeback. I’ve altered my Mom’s original recipe to make the cake more moist and added more pineapple to it, but the basic recipe is still hers. It’s easy to prepare and my family loves it judging by how quickly it disappears every time I serve it!

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

  • ⅔ cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 20-oz. can pineapple slices, drained and juice reserved
  • 1 8-oz. can pineapple slices, drained and juice reserved (optional)
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 16 Tbsp. reserved pineapple juice from the cans
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cup white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place butter in a 9×13-inch cake pan and put it in the oven to melt the butter.
  3. When butter is melted, remove pan from oven.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar over melted butter. Spread evenly with a rubber spatula.
  5. Arrange pineapple slices over the butter-brown sugar mixture in any pattern you want. You can leave the slices whole or cut them in halves or quarters to make a fancier design.
  6. Cut a few maraschino cherries in half and nestle them, cut side up, around the pineapple slices in the cake pan. You can leave the cherries whole if you want, but my mom always cut them in half. Probably to save money.
  7. In a medium bowl, stir flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  8. In a small bowl, stir pineapple juice and vanilla together.
  9. With an electric mixer, beat softened butter and white sugar on high until thick and light colored.
  10. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well-combined.
  11. Reduce speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with the pineapple juice mixture until just incorporated.
  12. Pour cake batter evenly over the pineapple slices in the cake pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
  13. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed down lightly on top.
  14. Allow cake to cool for 10-15 minutes, then turn it out onto a rectangular plate. If a pineapple gets left behind in the pan, just pick it up with a metal spatula and flip it over onto the spot it came from on the cake.

NOTE:  You only need one 20-oz. can of pineapple, but if you want to completely cover the top of the cake with pineapple rings like I have pictured, you’ll find one can is about 2 slices shy. My family likes a lot of pineapple so I add the second smaller can, but if you don’t want to bother with that, you can make do with one 20-oz. can and just space the slices farther apart so they’re evenly distributed. Bear in mind, if you do decide to use just one 20-oz. can of pineapple slices, you might be a little short on the pineapple juice. Different brands have different amounts. If you’re short, just add enough water or cooking oil to make 16 tablespoons.

Cocoflan Cake

Cocoflan Cake | Pinky's Pantry
This cake is a play on my Chocoflan Cake. I was making a Chocoflan Cake for Cinco de Mayo and I started thinking how fun it would be to make a coconut flavored flan cake, so I went out to buy ingredients for a test drive. It took a few trial runs over the next few weekends, but eventually my Cocoflan Cake was born! Thankfully my family doesn’t mind being the guinea pigs who have to taste and EAT all my kitchen experiments.

I like how this final version turned out. The dessert isn’t overly sweet, the cake is moist, and the flan is smooth and creamy. It looks like a lot of steps, but if you read through the recipe, it’s really not hard to do. Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.
Cocoflan Cake | Pinky's Pantry

COCOFLAN CAKE

Macapuno Topping:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup macapuno, you can add more if you like

Leche Flan:

  • 4 ozs. (½ box) cream cheese
  • 1 can (14 oz.) condensed milk
  • 1 can (13.5 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut extract

Coconut Cake:

  • 1½ cups all­-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ cup cream of coconut (or coconut milk)
  • 2 tsp. coconut extract
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  1. Prepare a water bath by placing a roasting pan half full of water into the oven.
  2. Turn oven on to 350ºF to preheat.
  3. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and place on stove over low heat.
  4. Let come to a boil and continue to cook until sugar starts to caramelize. Watch it carefully! The sugar can burn in an instant.
  5. Once the sugar starts turning reddish brown, take it off the heat immediately. It will continue to darken and you don’t want it getting bitter.
  6. Pour the sugar syrup into a bundt pan and swirl the bundt pan around so the bottom gets evenly coated with the sugar syrup. Be careful. The bundt pan will get very hot so use oven mitts!
  7. Distribute the macapuno evenly over the sugar syrup.
  8. Set the bundt pan aside to cool.
  9. To prepare flan mixture, place cream cheese in a medium bowl and heat in microwave for about 30 seconds so the cream cheese becomes very soft.
  10. Add the condensed milk to the softened cream cheese and whisk together with a wire whisk until well-blended.
  11. Add the coconut milk, eggs, and coconut extract, whisking together well.
  12. Set flan mixture aside while you prepare the cake batter.
  13. To make the cake batter, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  14. In a small bowl, stir the cream of coconut and coconut extract together.
  15. With an electric mixer set on high speed, beat butter and coconut oil together until smooth.
  16. Slowly add sugar, continuing to beat until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  17. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  18. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of cream­ of­ coconut mixture.
  19. Beat until just combined.
  20. Pour the cake batter on top of the macapuno-sugar syrup in the bundt pan, smoothing the batter evenly with a rubber spatula.
  21. Slowly pour the flan mixture through a sieve over the cake batter. Don’t worry if it sinks or causes the batter to separate in clumps.
  22. Cover bundt pan tightly with a piece of tin foil and place into water bath in oven.
  23. Bake for 1 hour, then remove foil and bake uncovered for 30 minutes more or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.
  24. Remove from water bath and allow to cool to room temperature; then place in refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  25. To serve, invert cake onto a large cake plate or serving platter.

NOTES:

  • This cake is best prepared a day or two in advance and kept chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Macapuno is a Filipino delicacy. It’s basically shredded young coconut that’s been cooked in syrup to preserve it. It’s sold in jars in Asian food markets. If you can’t find macapuno, you can omit it from this recipe.

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

BLUEBERRY BUTTERMILK CAKE

  • 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.

GLUTEN FREE SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE

  • 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

Streusel

  • 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.

NOTES:

  • 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.

Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Squares | Pinky's Pantry
Fall is pumpkin season. It’s the time when pumpkin farms do a booming business as people flock to them to pick out the pumpkins they want to carve into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween or put on display on their fall table centerpieces. But pumpkins don’t just make great decorations. They’re wonderful for eating, too!

Pumpkins make delicious soups, side dishes, and desserts. I mean what would Thanks-giving be without pumpkin pie? Well, this is an old recipe for the yummiest pumpkin cake you’ll ever bite into! Iced with cream cheese frosting and cut into squares, it’s a family favorite that’s ideal for taking to potlucks and office parties, too. It’s moist and delicious and my cream cheese frosting is the perfect showcase for the rich, not-too-sweet cake underneath it.

PUMPKIN SQUARES

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (15-oz.) pumpkin
  • 1⅔ cups sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and oil.
  4. Add the flour mixture and beat till well combined.
  5. Stir in chopped nuts, if desired.
  6. Spread batter in an ungreased 9×13-inch baking pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 pkg. (8 ozs.) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

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.

AMERICANIZED BIBINGKA GALAPONG

  • 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

PEACHES AND CREAM CAKE

  • 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.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 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.