Red Velvet Cake with Basket Weave

An Easter Basket made from Red Velvet Cake with Buttercream Basket Weave and Roses is a decidedly Southern treat. According to The New York Times it originated in Texas in the 1940s, but red velvet cake spread to the rest of the south and then found its way north. I first heard about it from my stepmother, who is from Alabama. Her mom made it for her when she was young and now I make red velvet cake for her at her birthday. I always pair red velvet with cream cheese icing (which is one of the classics), and used it to fill the layers and do a crumb coat on the cake (way more about that in the book), but if you are going to attempt this basket weave finish (see my reel on instagram to watch how I did it) I would suggest going with a buttercream icing, which is much easier to pipe and less temperamental than cream cheese icing in a warm kitchen. You can use any of the buttercreams (there are many) from Zoë Bakes Cakes, but for this cake, I went with the simple American Buttercream.

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Birthday Cake

Chocolate birthday cake with cream cheese frosting | photo by Zoë François

Tomorrow is my son’s birthday and this is the cake he requested. My kids have always been opinionated about their birthday cakes, because I encouraged it. I like the challenge of creating something special for them. Chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting is a simple enough birthday cake, but he’s turning 17, so it needed to stand tall, just like him.

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Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing | photo by Zoë François

This Devil’s Food Cake from Zoë Bakes Cakes is the best chocolate cake recipe I have ever tried and believe me, over the past 20+ years, I’ve tried them all. The dark chocolate cake has a texture that is smooth and rich. The flavor is not overly sweet, because of the intensity of the coffee (you don’t actually taste the coffee, it just cuts the sweet) and the rum (the Devil in “Devil’s Food cupcakes” perhaps?), which make it a great match for cream cheese frosting sweetened with Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

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Carrot Cupcakes – Plus a Decorating Set Giveaway!

Carrot cupcakes | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

This is a carrot cupcakes recipe I developed for my Weekend Baker post on the Cooking Channel website. It is a new version of one of my most popular cakes to date, The Ultimate Carrot Cake. This version is made with pineapple and walnuts. Try them both and let me know which is your favorite.

In a continued attempt to clean out the pantry I want to give away this Cuisipro Cupcake Corer and Decorating Set.

It is a perfect set for both adults and kids to get the feel for cake decorating. Please leave me a note below about what cake or cupcake decorating techniques you are most interested in learning.

Here are some techniques I have covered already: Read More

A Red Velvet Birthday Cake (basket weave 101)

Red Velvet Birthday Cake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

About 30 years ago my father introduced me to Patricia, the most glamorous woman I’d ever seen. She wore a light blue polyester pant suit with eye shadow to match and had a pile of perfectly coiffed blond hair. She was lovely and clearly not from Connecticut, where we lived at the time. Just one word from her mouth and you could hear the south, Alabama in fact. Patricia is my stepmother and in honor of her Southern roots I made her a Red Velvet Birthday cake. Her mom used to make them for her when she was a kid. I wish I had her mother’s recipe, but I found one that was fascinating and dated back to WWII. The milk chocolate cream cheese frosting done in an elegant basket weave adds to the romance of the cake.

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Plate-Lickingly Good Chocolate Cake! (Henri’s TWO Birthday Cakes)

Chocolate cake recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Henri Turned 10 this month and the celebrating has been at a feverish pitch for weeks. It is a big year when your little baby hits double digits and becomes a Tweenager. On his actual birthday we celebrated with our family. He wanted to rent the movie Grease (one of his babysitters was recently in the play at the high school), have sushi and eat chocolate cake! It sounded like a fantastic idea to me. After 20+ years I’d forgotten about some of the racy content in the movie, which they edited out of the high school play, Oooops! Luckily we were watching at home and could fast forward through the more “educational” scenes!

The cake he chose was amazing. I used my Devil’s Food Cake recipe and topped it with Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate Malted Buttercream. A bunch of chocolate shavings made it look festive, but it was so simple to put together. Read More