Over our February vacation, I baked three cakes, two types of bread, and a key lime pie! I chalk it up to Matt’s and my obsession with The Great British Baking Show on Netflix, which we just recently discovered (but we’re already onto our 6th season!). Just watching the contestants whip up their sweet concoctions in their stand mixers got me excited to sift through my Pinterest recipe boards.
I have several Pinterest boards dedicated to baking and cooking, so it wasn’t difficult to pick out which recipes I wanted to try! I knew I wanted to bake cakes — my dessert of choice (along with cookies) — so I started there.
The first recipe I tried was this Earl Grey Cake from Country Cleaver. I’m a sucker for earl-grey-infused cakes and frosting, which I’ve learned is mainly through simmering tea leaves with butter or milk. This recipe called for infused milk, which is a bit of easier than melting down the butter. I already had most of the ingredients for the recipe so I didn’t go out of my way to purchase the lemon curd. If I ever make this recipe again, I would try it with the lemon as a way to cut the sweetness of the frosting, which I found to be a tad bit too sweet in my opinion. I loved the cake itself, though! It was so moist and delicious. It paired well with my dark roast coffee.
Inspired by bread week on The Great British Baking Show, Matt and I made brioche buns. We followed this recipe from The Woks of Life. It takes a little while to prepare the dough (and it needs to prove overnight) but the wait time is SO worth it! When they came out of the oven, I painted them with sugar water so they had a glossy shine. We broke off the buns while the loaves were still warm and spread softened butter on top until it melted (seriously my mouth is watering as I type this). They were DELICIOUS and surprisingly easy thanks to the straight-forward recipe!
Matt’s birthday also fell over vacation and he requested an almond birthday cake with raspberry frosting. After a little research, I found this yummy recipe from The Itsy-Bitsy Kitchen. I love how it called for real raspberries instead of extract. The frosting was perfectly sweet and slightly tart, as well as a beautiful bright pink. Matt said it was the best birthday cake he ever had, which is a win in my book!
Later in the week, we made a simple, no-knead bread recipe that I pinned a while back from House of Nash Eats. It has roasted garlic and rosemary baked into it (is your mouth watering yet?). Compared to the brioche, this bread recipe was a lot simpler but it did require a dutch oven, which I didn’t have on hand already. This dough also needed to prove for 12-18 hours. Once it’s done proving, though, it goes straight into the oven and bakes off in less than an hour. This loaf was the perfect accompaniment to my spicy corn chowder!
Prior to this vacation, I’d always wanted to make a key lime pie but just figured it would take too much energy to locate key limes (and who knows what other ingredients?!) but it actually was pretty easy! I bought the key limes from Whole Foods and I found all the other ingredients (which turns out aren’t too complicated anyway) from Stop and Shop. This recipe I used from Hummingbird High has a delicious homemade graham cracker crust that is to die for! The tart lime layer and fluffy homemade whipped cream made this dessert my favorite!
Finally, I ended my week of #baketherapy with a birthday cake for my cousin who was turning 28 the following week. I used this Coffee Oreo Cake recipe from the Broma blog. It calls for multiple tablespoons of vanilla extract (likely to imitate the frosting of an oreo) and almost an entire Oreo package’s worth of cookies. The result was amazing — I loved the coffee Oreo flavor — but the frosting was a little difficult to work with. I think the cookie bits thickened up the frosting a bit too much. Plus, the layers were very thick. If I were to remake the cake, I would definitely use 8-inch rounds for the cakes because there is just so much batter! I also would chop the cookies up into smaller pieces, at least in the frosting, to make it easier to work with. Overall, this cake was a hit because the flavor was so different and delicious! I recommend making it if you are a coffee Oreo ice cream lover like me!