Reading the introduction of this cookbook takes me back to my own memories of my grandmother baking. She hardly ever used a recipe from a book and truly baked from her heart and soul. Every single thing she made was made out of pure love. The look on her face when you would bite into one of her cookies was priceless- a smile from ear to ear with each bite. I miss her a lot. Last week marked the one-year anniversary of her passing and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. Reading this also makes me reflect on the grandmother I want to be one day. I hope to make plenty of memories- especially food memories with my future grandchildren.
Grandbaby Cakes is a heart warming cookbook with recipes that reflect the upbringing and culture of author Jocelyn Adams. “Vintage Recipes, Fresh Twists, Soulful Memories” the tagline to Adam’s website, Grandbaby Cakes. (A big thank you to Agate Publishing for generously sending me this book in exchange for an honest review)
The beginning of this cookbook takes us to a guideline on how to use the book, baking rules, ingredients, best baking tools, and words of advice.
The chapters are divided into the following:
- Pound Cakes
- Layer Cakes
- Sheet Cakes
- Baby Cakes
- Celebration Cakes
- Seasons and Holidays
Recipes are fairly simple to follow and each one is classified according to difficulty. Grandbaby Cakes require the least amount of effort and time. Mama Cakes are intermediate-level cakes that require a little more time. Big Mama Cakes are the most advanced recipes and have more steps and possibly additional equipment.
Ingredients are listed in order of use and majority of the ingredients are basic and can be found at your local grocery store. Instructions are simple to follow and I did not have any issues recreating the recipe that I tested out.
Some on my to-do list:
- Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake
- German Chocolate Pound Cake
- Snickerdoodle Gooey Cake
- Cookies and Cream Gooey Cake
- Blueberry Pan-Cakelettes
- Smore Lava Cakes
- Ultimate Birthday Cake
- Snickers Cake
- Coffee-Toffee Pumpkin Cupcakes
I just could not stop drooling at the Mississippi Mudslide Cake, which features moist chocolate cake with layers of ganache, kahlua whipped cream and Oreos. I recreated this beauty for a recent family celebration and not one crumb was left behind! I will most definitely be making it again. This cake was classified as “Big Mama Cake” difficulty however I personally found it quite easy to make. See below for pictures and recipe!
Mississippi Mudslide Cake
Difficulty Level: Big Mama Cake (see above for definition)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup hot water
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Kahula Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream, cold
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream, room temperature
1-cup roughly chopped chocolate cream-filled sandwiches cookies, such as Oreos, divided.
For the Cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Liberally prepare 3 9-inch round pans with the nonstick method of your choice. (Melissa’s Note: I don’t own 3 9 inch round pans- I used one and cut the cake in half. This required longer baking time and regular toothpick pokes to ensure it was cooked)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the granulated sugar and eggs and beat on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the hot water, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and salt. Add this to your mixer.
- Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed and slowly add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. The batter will be somewhat thin, but this is normal. Do one final swirl of the batter to make sure the oil does not separate.
- Evenly pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a later comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Let cool to room temperature. Lightly cover the cakes with foil or plastic wrap so they do not dry out.
For the Kahlua Whipped Cream:
- Clean your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Place them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to get them nice and cold.
- Remove the bowl and whisk attachment from the refrigerator. Add the heavy cream and whip on high speed until soft peaks begin to form.
- Reduce your mixer speed to medium and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, Irish cream, Kahlua, cocoa powder, and cornstarch. Once everything is fully incorporated, turn your mixer speed back to high and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Transfer to the refrigerator until it is time to assemble the cake.
For the Ganache
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream. Microwave on high for 15 seconds at a time, whisking together after each heating interval. Once the chocolate has melted into a shiny, smooth sauce (this takes about 30 to 45 seconds), transfer to the refrigerator for 15 minutes to cool.
- Once the layers are completely cooled, place 1 layer on a serving plate. Spread just the top of the layer with 1/3 of the whipped cream. Drizzle 1/3 of the cooled ganache over the whipped cream. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the ground cookies. Add the second layer and spread with another 1/3 of the whipped cream. Drizzle another 1/3 of the cooled ganache over the whipped cream. Sprinkle with another 1/3 of the ground cookies. Add the final layer, bottom-side up, and spread with the remaining whipped cream. Spread the whipped cream on the tip of the cake. Do not frost the side of the cake. Drizzle with the remaining ganache. Sprinkle with the remaining ground cookies. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Melissa’s Note: I added sprinkles to make it festive and of course for my toddler who is obsessed with them.
I am in love with this cookbook and it will most definitely become a go-to cookbook for special occasion cakes and more!