Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Hummingbird Speckled Egg Cake

Speckled Hummingbird Cake
By: Sarah

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. I love buying cute little outfits for my kids, going to church with my family, having Easter egg hunts, coloring eggs, and of course eating the yummy Easter goodies (aka CHOCOLATE). This year my 2 year old and I colored eggs together for the first time. He enjoyed it, but I loved it. It reminded me of when Christy and I colored eggs at Mimi's house.  I used the eggs we colored to decorate the cake I made to take to our Easter dinner.

My little helpers!
This was the first time that I have made a Hummingbird cake and this will definitely not be my last. It takes banana cake to the next level.  Banana cake is my husband's favorite, but he suggested that this be my new go to recipe.  The recipes came from Southern Living (thanks Grandma Kate for the subscription!) Southern Living suggests to fill the hummingbird cake with a cream cheese custard filling, which complements the cake nicely. The filling does not have a strong flavor, so it blends in well with the flavor of the cake.  I used Christy's buttercream icing and it was delicious! Buttercream icing is my kryptonite when it comes to dieting! Other than the great flavor of icing, I liked her icing recipe because it crusts over nicely.  This is helpful when making the icing smooth.  The final touch was to speckle the icing in order for it to look like a bird egg. This has to be one of the easiest and fun ways to decorate a cake. It is a great way to hide imperfections in the icing. My kitchen was a mess afterwards, but I had a blast getting the chocolate speckles everywhere.

Hummingbird Cake
by Southern Living

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups diced ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in banana and next 5 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour batter into 4 greased and floured 9 inch square or round cake pans. (I used two 9 inch circle cake pans and instead of greasing and flouring I used Pam Baking Spray with flour.)
2.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.  (My cakes took about 30-40 minutes to bake.)

Cream Cheese Custard Filling
By Southern Living

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cups all purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, cubed and softened
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1.  Whisk together first 2 ingredients in a heavy saucepan; whisk in eggs and milk until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture reaches a chilled pudding-like thickness.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly; boil, whisking constantly, 1 minute.  Remove from heat, and whisk in cream cheese and vanilla until cheese melts.  Cool to room temperature (about 1 hour).  Place plastic wrap directly on mixture (to prevent a film from forming), and chill 6 to 24 hours. (I had issues making this custard.  The first time I made it, I had the heat set too high which caused it to burn.)

Buttercream Frosting
inspired by Magnolia Bakery

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
2 tsp. Vanilla extract

Beat butter for about 3 minutes until smooth.  Then combine butter, 4 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for about 2 minutes after each addition, until icing reaches desired consistency; you may not need to add all the sugar. (Instead of 2 tsp. vanilla, I used 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tsp. butter flavoring.)

Cake Speckles
cake inspired by

1 Tbls. cocoa powder
2 Tbls. vanilla extract

1.  Mix together the cocoa powder and vanilla.  Use a paintbrush to flick the paint on the finished cake. Once you have the cake speckled, let the cake dry. I recommend practicing this on a paper towel before starting on your cake.  Beware, this makes a big mess!! Have fun!

Cake Construction Instructions
Bake cake and let cool.  Once cool, spread cream cheese custard filling between between layers. Use buttercream icing to frost the cake.  Speckle cake.

Happy Easter!  

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