Spiced Orange 6-Layer w/ Rosemary Buttercream

Unlike cookies, pies, or ice cream, when I decide to make a cake, it becomes my baby for the following 48 hours. Maybe because the time it takes to complete the entire process is highly underrated, but it’s probably also due to the fact that a really good cake takes a lot of figuring how to go about the smallest details. Some are obvious, such as what flavor of cake you’re really in the mood for, but the very same flow chart that begins with chocolate or vanilla leads to a plethora of other options, leading to decisions, which then leads to the task of executing them.

In any case, there is a specific satisfaction that comes with baking something for fun, no matter what the dessert, as opposed to baking for an event or even for someone in particular. Exhibit A would be taking less than a minute to marvel at your finished product before slicing into it with a knife and a fork.

Check out the video of my cake process here!












Make the cake


  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups room temperature milk
  • 5 egg whites (@ room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground ginger

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and butter & flour 3 8-inch cake pans.
2. Cream the butter and shortening together, then add the sugar gradually. Once incorporated, add the egg whites gradually, then add the orange juice and zest.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour + spices + baking powder)
4. Alternate the wet and dry ingredients while mixing into the butter/egg mixture (scrape down the bowl occasionally).
5. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

For the frosting

2 sticks (1 cup) of softened butter
1 cup shortening
1 bag (2 lb, 3 3/4 cups) powdered sugar
4 tbsp. milk
rosemary syrup (1 cup water + 1/4 cup sugar + 6-8 sprigs of fresh rosemary — simmer together in a small saucepan for 5 minutes then chill and strain)

1. Beat the butter and shortening together, then add sugar 1/2 cup at a time.
2. Beat in syrup and milk and mix until the consistency is light and fluffy.

Enjoy! <3, B

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Lauren at Sweet and Southern Lifestyle.




Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes

The cocoa powder I used in this recipe was a special blend I found when I was in Australia over the summer..or winter…Anyways, when I bought it, I had no idea it was made with all these different “Christmas spices.” So these aren’t really suited for summer, but they’re pretty fun to make and even fun-er to eat. The idea was to remake Hostess cupcakes, but the spices in the cocoa were so strong. Instead of buying your own chocolate spice (and paying for shipping & handling), I made it so you too can twist this classic cake into an unmistakable Christmas-in-the-summer treat.






Make the cupcakes


5 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup hot brewed coffee

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar (not displayed in the picture, my apologies)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 eggs

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

5 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 1/3 c flour

Small splash of vanilla

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease 3 mini cupcake tins (or 2 regular sized cupcake tins)
  2. In a smallish bowl, stir the coffee, cocoa, and chopped chocolate until smooth. Let sit for 3 minutes, then move to the fridge and let chill for 15 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, blend the flour, all the spices, & baking soda. Then in a third bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and vinegar.
  4. Add the oil mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir until combined, then whisk in the dry ingredients.
  5. Bake for about 10-12 minutes if you’re using mini pans, and 15-20 minutes if you’re using normal-sized pans.

Enjoy! <3, B