Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad
Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake #Choctoberfest

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Imperial Sugar. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar… this fall favorite is sure to please!  

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

Yayyy it’s #Choctoberfest, aka a week-long celebration of all things CHOCOLATE! If you haven’t already, please check out the giveaway posted earlier today here. You don’t wanna miss it! #promise 🙂 I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the world’s biggest chocolate fan or anything like that, but I do like a chocolate treat every now and again. Chocolate is my jam when it’s combined with other deliciousness, such as peanut butter, pumpkin, or in this case… apples!

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

This cake is a riff on one of my favorite fall treats (and one of the most popular recipes on my blog!): Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake. The original cake is a delight… I never can decide what part is best: the cake full of sweet bites of apples or the crunchy cinnamon sugar topping. But guess what guys?? This chocolate-y version might be even better! I made a few changes to the original recipe in order to add cocoa powder to make this incredible cake (using water instead of buttermilk and then adjusting the amount of baking soda and flour) but otherwise this is just a fun twist on the original.

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

Since this yummy cake has the word “sugar” in the name and uses two types of sugar in the recipe, it’s only fitting that Imperial Sugar has sponsored this post as part of #Choctoberfest. They’re our gold sponsor for the event and are honestly SO great. I’ve been using their sugar exclusively since this event last year. I am not brand-loyal to very many things at ALL and I often buy generic, but when baking, I can tell that the quality of Imperial Sugar far outweighs any other brand I’ve tried. I’m not just saying that because they’re a sponsor… but it is 100% true. Imperial Sugar products are pure cane sugar, not beet sugar, and are GMO-free. I also love the family-friendly focus of their company.

Sweet things happen when families are together in the kitchen. Since 1843, Imperial Sugar has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations. This holiday season, create some lifelong memories when you bake with love and Imperial Sugar.

I know it might sound a bit cheesy, I was thinking about family as I made this cake. I actually made it over the course of a few hours on Saturday morning. Early that morning, I went running with a friend. My toddler stayed home with my husband, and after I got home, Ben went out for a run. He’s training for a half marathon so I knew he’d be gone for awhile. My son played and ate second breakfast while I ate my breakfast and enjoyed some coffee. We read books for a bit and then I thought it was safe to head to the kitchen to bake. I got about halfway through mixing together this cake when my son’s head collided with a kitchen drawer. Baby tears, commence! He just couldn’t be calmed down with any of the normal methods… so we curled up in an armchair and cuddled. Soon he was out like a light. It’s been awhile since he’s napped in my arms (or taken a morning nap!) so this was a treat. Even though my half finished cake batter was hanging out on the kitchen counter and my plan for the day was thrown off. After he woke up, I was able to return to the kitchen and finish mixing up my cake. When it came out of the oven and I took that first bite, I knew I had a winner. And I’ll always remember the first time I made the chocolate version of cinnamon sugar apple cake with my son playing at my feet. ❤ He won’t remember it, but he loved every bite I shared with him. I know I’ll make it for him again in the future. I hope you and YOUR family/loved ones enjoy this cake!

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

Check out all the other recipes shared for #Choctoberfest at the linky below!
An InLinkz Link-up

P.S. Looking for some sweet treats for Halloween? Imperial Sugar has you covered! Find out more about Imperial Sugar by following them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube.

one year ago: Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler
two years ago: Beef Stroganoff 

three years ago: Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
four years ago: Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting
five years ago: Apple Peanut Butter Muffins
six years ago: Pumpkin, Sausage, and Spinach Lasagna
seven years ago: Southwestern Pepperjack Baked Penne

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

  • Servings: 20
  • Print

adapted from my Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed (I used Imperial Sugar)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (not dutch-process)
  • 2 cups chopped apples, unpeeled – I like Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Crispin, Jonagold, Winesap, etc.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (I used Imperial Sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, water, oil, and egg. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Mix in flour and cocoa powder. Beat until smooth, then fold in apples.

Pour batter into prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon, then drizzle melted butter over top. Mix gently with a fork to combine, then sprinkle over batter. It will not fully cover the batter, but it will bake up fine.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cake begins pulling away from the edge of the pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pairs well with ice cream!

Disclosure:  Though I received products for free as part of my participation in #Choctoberfest, I was not compensated in any other way and was not asked to provide positive feedback.

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Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

Fresh strawberry cake from scratch… no Jello, artificial flavorings, or anything fake! This cake is delicious and easier than you would think! Top it with a rich chocolate frosting and you have Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake that everyone will want an extra slice…or two…or three of!

Fresh strawberry cake from scratch... no Jello, artificial flavorings, or anything fake! This cake is delicious and easier than you would think! Top it with a rich chocolate frosting and you have Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake that everyone will want an extra slice...or two...or three of!

On Halloween, a Dairy Queen opened about five minutes from our house. Dangerous! Before that, we had to drive a decent distance to reach one. Some of the folks in our area were upset, saying the DQ would “ruin” the area with another fast food area. Ruin the area? Ummm, no! Ruin people’s diets, more likely! Haha. Is there anything more delicious than a Blizzard or a dipped cone? I don’t think so… unless it’s this Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake!

Fresh strawberry cake from scratch... no Jello, artificial flavorings, or anything fake! This cake is delicious and easier than you would think! Top it with a rich chocolate frosting and you have Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake that everyone will want an extra slice...or two...or three of!

Now I realize that Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake and Dairy Queen don’t really relate to many of you. But for longterm DQ lovers like me, do you remember the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Blizzard? I used to get them all the time in college and then they took them off the menu. It was a very sad day. Some stores would make them, and others wouldn’t, which made NO sense to me because it’s just strawberries [that they already have from the sundaes!] and chocolate [like chips/shavings OR that dipped cone topping…yum!]. Yum and yum. It’s so basic, but so good, ya know?

Fresh strawberry cake from scratch... no Jello, artificial flavorings, or anything fake! This cake is delicious and easier than you would think! Top it with a rich chocolate frosting and you have Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake that everyone will want an extra slice...or two...or three of!

Now, I haven’t been to my local DQ [I just got chills typing that, you guys…yay!] yet to see if they’ll make me my favorite Blizzard, but right now I have this cake and the world is a-okay. You can make this fresh strawberry cake with fresh or frozen strawberries, making it a great year-round treat. There’s absolutely nothing fake or artificial in this cake, just lots of pure strawberry goodness! If you want more of a pink/red color, you’ll have to use a little food coloring but I was happy with the color of my cake without that. The strawberry cake is light and fluffy, and when combined with the rich chocolate frosting is absolutely heavenly! I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did!

one year ago: Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
two years ago: Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins
three years ago: Pumpkin Graham Muffins
four years ago: Pollo alla Poggia Alloro {A Family Farm in Tuscany}
five years ago: Homemade Maple & Brown Sugar Almond Butter
six years ago: Pumpkin Soup and Homemade Croutons

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

for Fresh Strawberry Cake

for Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

for cake

  • 24 ounces very ripe strawberries, hulled – or frozen strawberries work too!
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar, optional
  • 1/4 milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • red or pink food coloring, if desired

for frosting

  • 3 cups powdered sugar [plus up to an extra 1/2 cup as needed]
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, melted
  • 8 ounces sour cream

Directions:

If using frozen strawberries [I did!], set in a fine strainer placed over a bowl. Let rest until thawed, tossing occasionally to remove excess juices. Reserve liquid for another use or discard as desired.

If using fresh strawberries, hull and toss with 1-2 teaspoons sugar. Let rest at room temperature for an hour or two, until juicy.

Place strawberries in a food processor and pulse. Reserve 3/4 cup puree for the cake. Use the rest for something else–I stirred mine into plain yogurt. Yum!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round baking pans. Mine are 9 inches. If desired, you can also grease pan, line with parchment circles, then grease and flour again.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup strawberry puree, 1/4 cup milk, egg whites, and vanilla.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. While mixer is running on low, add butter. Mix until moist crumbs form.

Add strawberry puree mixture to bowl of stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for about a minute, then turn off mixture. Scrape sides and stir together by hand for about 30 seconds. Add a drop or two of food coloring if desired–original recipe said that batter won’t get pinker so add food coloring if you want more of a pink/red color!

Divide batter between prepared pans. Smooth tops with a rubber spatula, then bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I usually start checking around 18 minutes and cover with foil if top is browning too much.

When finished, let cake rest in pan for 10-15 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile… make that frosting!

In a small bowl, mix 3 cups powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt. With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.

Add cocoa mixture to cream cheese concoction in 1/3 cup increments, mixing until fully incorporated. Pour in the chocolate [it helps to melt it in a glass measuring cup with a spout] while mixer is running on low, then add sour cream and beat until combined, scraping the sides as necessary. If desired, add additional powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.

Frost the cake once cooled–first between the two layers, then on top and sides. Some people use the extra strawberry puree in between the layers but I didn’t do that. Check out original recipe for more details! Enjoy!

P.S. I stored the leftovers in the fridge due to the frosting. It’s great cold!

Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake for #Choctoberfest

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special!

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest

I think we need a little dessert around here, don’t you? Most of what I been up to in the kitchen [and sharing on the blog, when I have had the chance] this summer has been savory… dinner, mostly, just to keep us fed amidst the newborn days. But lately I’ve had the urge to bake! I think pregnancy made me into more of a chocoholic than I have ever been before, but I still love me some fruity desserts too. 🙂 The best desserts are those that combine fruit and chocolate into one lovely package… like this banana cake that’s studded with chocolate chips and laced with a little bit of espresso flava! It is absolute PERFECT for Chocotoberfest!

Psssst…. don’t forget to enter the giveaway here. 🙂

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest

I think that we can all agree that sometimes we buy extra bananas just to have them on hand for baking. Or is that just me? Haha. Anyways, this banana cake is a fabulous way to use up extra bananas languishing on your counter or popped in the freezer. It is a banana cake for people who like bananas–the flavor is definitely present, but if you aren’t the biggest banana fan on earth, don’t worry, as it is also tempered by the rich chocolate and coffee flavors too. There’s something in this cake for everyone! I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize how perfect the sugary/spicy/salty crumb topping on this cake is also. Don’t omit the salt! It definitely adds a hint of something special to this cake… enjoy!

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest
two years ago: Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice
three years ago: Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheese
four years ago: No Bake Tropical Energy Bites
five years ago: Garlicky Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil
six years ago: Pillow Cookies

Banana Espresso Crumb Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

from The Sweets Life

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 mashed ripe bananas, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup [1 stick] unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour [can use 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour & 3/4 cup all-purpose flour if you wish]
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee [or 1 1/2 packets of Starbucks Via or other packaged instant coffee]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

for crumb topping

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon coarse salt [I used Kosher salt–use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon depending on how salty you like things]
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 or 9×9 square pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together bananas, sugar, butter, half and half, and egg. In a larger bowl, whisk together flour, instant coffee, and baking soda. Fold wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until just moistened. Gently stir in chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

In another bowl, make the crumb topping by mixing together flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over dry ingredients, then toss with a fork gently until crumbs form. For larger crumbs, toss less. Sprinkle evenly over cake batter.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Do not overbake–sometimes it can be hard to tell with banana baked goods whether they are done or not, so if you are in doubt, take it out and let it cool a little bit and check it a few more times.

For clean slices, cool before cutting. Slices of this cake reheat well in the microwave!

Check out other chocolate recipes of the day for Choctoberfest at the link below!

Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

SRC: S’mores Bundt Cake

This incredible S’mores Bundt Cake is made with graham cracker crumbs–no flour–and is so delicious you won’t be able to stop at just one slice! You’ll always want “s’more!” Hahaha. But seriously, even though it’s super rich, you will. 🙂

This incredible S'mores Bundt Cake is made with graham cracker crumbs--no flour--and is so delicious you won't be able to stop at just one slice! You'll always want "s'more!" Hahaha. But seriously, even though it's super rich, you will. :) #secretrecipeclub

Heyyyy it’s another Secret Recipe Club Monday! Yay! And it’s Presidents’ Day so Ben has a three day weekend. I decided to take the day off too… what fun 🙂 This month I was assigned to Margaret’s blog, Tea and Scones. She has lots of great recipes, which is no surprise because with a food blog, who doesn’t? Hahaha lame, sorry. Anyway, Margaret loves to bake and cook and share her culinary adventures with the world. 🙂 Her favorite thing to bake is scones, preferably if they can be enjoyed with tea, so I should have baked scones from her blog. Instead I made an AMAZING s’mores bundt cake. Seriously, this cake can’t be missed! But in case you do want to miss it, or eat something else besides sugary sweet cake that you can’t get enough of, maybe one of her other recipes suits your fancy. Swedish Meatballs, Baked Carbonara, Sweet Potato Muffins, Cantaloupe Pie, Cinnamon Graham Cracker Ice Cream… the list can go on… seriously, this blog is FULL of deliciousness, and sweetness too because Margaret just sounds wonderful! 🙂

This incredible S'mores Bundt Cake is made with graham cracker crumbs--no flour--and is so delicious you won't be able to stop at just one slice! You'll always want "s'more!" Hahaha. But seriously, even though it's super rich, you will. :) #secretrecipeclub

Speaking of sweet, if you don’t like sweet, this cake isn’t for you. Good thing I don’t know too many people like this, because this cake is insanely good! It may just be my new go-to party dessert. I don’t think anyone would mind. 🙂 This cake has SO much deliciousness in it. And on it. 🙂 I normally don’t do all the fancy toppings but I’m so glad I did this time!

This incredible S'mores Bundt Cake is made with graham cracker crumbs--no flour--and is so delicious you won't be able to stop at just one slice! You'll always want "s'more!" Hahaha. But seriously, even though it's super rich, you will. :) #secretrecipeclub

First, you have yourself a graham cracker bundt cake. Sounds pretty good right? What if I told you that there’s NO flour in the cake, except what’s in the graham cracker crumbs? Sounds pretty weird, but it works! There are five eggs, butter, and sour cream all coming together to make truly delicious and moist [sorry! It is though.] cake. Next, inside the cake is a layer [Margaret calls it a hidden surprise!] of chocolate chips and marshmallow fluff. Yum! My fluff puffed up through the batter and actually became a little caramelized in the oven, so it was more s’mores like. #nocomplaintshere On top, you have not just one but TWO toppings–a rich chocolate ganache AND a silky smooth marshmallow glaze AND some extra graham cracker crumbs. Ohhh man. This cake just got real, folks. Double of each ingredient. Graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. What a great combination!

This incredible S'mores Bundt Cake is made with graham cracker crumbs--no flour--and is so delicious you won't be able to stop at just one slice! You'll always want "s'more!" Hahaha. But seriously, even though it's super rich, you will. :) #secretrecipeclub

This s’mores bundt cake is intense, and almost better than the real deal because you don’t have to stand over a fire to make it. 🙂 I recommend making it for a special occasion because it is rich and a wee bit time consuming and kinda sorta messy. You should have seen my kitchen explode after I made it. I just made it because it sounded yummy… is that special enough? Hope so! And I hope you give this cake a try soon! My recommendations for this recipe are sky high! Thanks, Margaret, for a great recipe! 🙂

This incredible S'mores Bundt Cake is made with graham cracker crumbs--no flour--and is so delicious you won't be able to stop at just one slice! You'll always want "s'more!" Hahaha. But seriously, even though it's super rich, you will. :) #secretrecipeclub

one year ago: Crumb Topped Apple Pie
two years ago: Fresh Cranberry Coffee Cake
three years ago: Go-To Pancakes
four years ago: Mexican Chicken Alfredo
five years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

S'mores Bundt Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

from Tea and Scones

Ingredients:

  • 2 2/3 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs [about 8 ounces]
  • 2/3 cup coconut flakes [I omitted]
  • 2/3 cup chopped nuts, either pecans or walnuts [I omitted]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened and divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces chocolate chips, divided
  • 13 ounces marshmallow fluff, divided
  • 1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • additional graham cracker crumbs, for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup bundt pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, nuts, and baking soda.

With an electric mixer, beat together sugar, brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg yolks, then beat until combined. Next, alternate between adding graham cracker crumb mixture and sour cream, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Do not overmix.

Place egg whites in a separate bowl, and beat with a whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold into cake batter.

Spoon about 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter into prepared bundt pan. Sprinkle with half of the chocolate chips and top with half of the marshmallow fluff. You’ll want to press down gently to better incorporate the marshmallow fluff in the batter. Top with the remaining batter.

Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cake in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

When cake is cooled, place on a serving platter, then make chocolate ganache and marshmallow glaze.

To make ganache, add remaining chocolate chips and half and half/heavy cream to a small saucepan set over low heat. Constantly whisk until chocolate has melted and cream has been incorporated into the chocolate. Mixture will thicken slightly. Let cool off heat for a few minutes before drizzling on cake.

While cool, place 2 tablespoons butter with remaining marshmallow fluff in another saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk continually until melted and smooth. Pour over top of ganache, then top with additional graham cracker crumbs, if desired.

Enjoy!

Be sure to check out all the other recipes for SRC today at the link below!

Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake #FreshTastyValentines

Brighten up your Valentine’s Day celebration with this refreshing Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake! It’s even frosted too!

Brighten up your Valentine's Day celebration with this refreshing Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake! You won't want to miss the grapefruit cream cheese frosting! :) #FreshTastyValentines

Winter is made for citrus, is it not? Or citrus is made for winter… no matter how you put it, citrus brings warmth and energy to otherwise dull, cold, dreary days. I know a lot of people associate citrus flavors–lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit–with summer [lemonade sure helps there!] but I’ve always been in the winter=citrus camp. In junior high and high school, we sold citrus fruits in the winter to raise money for orchestra [yup, I was an orch-dork! #Violin #ThenViola]. And, how many classic books talk about children reaching into their stockings on Christmas and being THRILLED to receive an orange? Yup. Winter=citrus. So it was only fitting that my snow day baking last week involved this refreshing Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake.

Brighten up your Valentine's Day celebration with this refreshing Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake! You won't want to miss the grapefruit cream cheese frosting! :) #FreshTastyValentines

This cake reminds me, a little bit, of a classic lemon cake… tangy and sweet all at once, but remixed with the unique floral notes of a grapefruit so you know it’s something special! Since grapefruits have a certain degree of tartness to them, you definitely need the sugar and cinnamon in this recipe to balance out the flavors. This cake uses all of the grapefruit–zest AND juice–to make the grapefruit flavor really stand out.

Brighten up your Valentine's Day celebration with this refreshing Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake! You won't want to miss the grapefruit cream cheese frosting! :) #FreshTastyValentines

At first, I wasn’t sure if this would be a good recipe to contribute as part of #FreshTastyValentines [read all about it here–and be sure to enter the giveaway!]. After all, it’s a snack cake–made in a sheet pan–and doesn’t look all that fancy. But then I realized that Ben and I don’t really do fancy. Cozy nights at home are our thing. We’ve been together for eight years, married for nearly seven of them. I’m sure once baby boy comes in May we will look forward to date nights out more than we currently do, but for now, sheet cake in the fridge [that we can snack on all week] is perfectly fine with us! Plus, grapefruit is pink soooo it’s festive enough, right? Another point that tipped the scale towards “recipe for #FreshTastyValentines” was the fact that I used one of our sponsor goodies in the making of this recipe! Duh, better include it. 🙂

KitchenIQ is one of our fabulous sponsors, and generously sent the bloggers involved in this event a Strawberry Tool [can’t wait to find some good looking strawberries to test out this strawberry slicer!!] and a wonderful Better Zester! This zester was wonderfully easy to use and was so sharp that it hardly took any effort to zest a whole grapefruit. Love it! Thanks for your support in #FreshTastyValentines, KitchenIQ! You can find Kitchen IQ on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest… and be sure to enter the giveaway by February 8, 2016 for a chance to win some of their great products. 🙂 I hope you win so you can make this festive grapefruit-walnut snack cake! The grapefruit cream cheese frosting is NOT to be missed. Enjoy!

one year ago: Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas
two years ago: Chili Relleno Casserole
three years ago: Baked Jalapeno Popper-Ranch Dip
four years ago: Fried Eggs on Pesto Parmesan Toast
five years ago: Mini Meatloaf

Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake

  • Servings: 18
  • Print

from a magazine… I think Southern Living 🙂

Ingredients:

for cake

  • 1 Ruby Red grapefruit – zest and juice, divided
  • 1 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

for grapefruit cream cheese frosting

  • 1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened [I used the 1/3 less fat variety – Neufchâtel]
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • reserved grapefruit zest and juice [from cake, above]
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12-16 ounces powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Begin by zesting and juicing the grapefruit. You’ll need 3 tablespoons zest [this was about 3/4 of the grapefruit zested for me] and 10 tablespoons of juice [the whole grapefruit–I was actually a wee bit short so I added about a teaspoon or two of water and zested the whole grapefruit to make up for it].

In a small bowl, stir together 8 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice with the melted butter and 1/2 cup water. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add butter mixture, 2 tablespoons zest, walnuts, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan, then bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. [Original recipe suggested 20-25 minutes bake time; mine took a full 30.]

Cool completely before frosting, at least 1 hour.

When ready to frost, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until creamy. Add vanilla, 1 tablespoon zest, and 2 tablespoons juice and beat for 30 seconds to blend. Gradually add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached, beating on low until blended. Frost cooled cake and enjoy! Store covered in the refrigerator.

Be sure to check out all of the other recipes that are part of #FreshTastyValentines today at the linky below! 🙂

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Better Zester! and Strawberry Tool from Kitchen IQ for my participation in #FreshTastyValentines. However, I was not required to write a positive review and I was not otherwise compensated for this post. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to KitchenIQ for their sponsorship of this event!