Kat's Cookbook

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Update: overpaid for cookies!

One of my father’s staff members at the school that he teaches at had really enjoyed the peanut butter cup cookies that I had made for the teachers a month or two ago. She ordered a batch for herself that she could freeze and eat over time. She overpaid me by double, offering me 20$ for the cause! I am so grateful!

Donation total: 141.50$


The recipe for these cookies can be found here!


Update: chocolate covered strawberry cake!

I was finally able to try making a chocolate covered strawberry cake! It was great fun. I apologize for their poor quality, my DSLR wasn’t up and running that day. The lady that ordered it wanted a special cake to share with her family on a rare night when they all eat dinner together. She said it was great! And she ordered about 25$ worth of more desserts for later this week! I am still so excited to be doing this. I’m having a great time!

Donation total: 121.50$

Chocolate covered strawberry cake




  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line two 9 inch round cake pans. The best way to do this is to trace the bottom of the pan and cut out a circle that fits right on the bottom. Remember to grease both the bottom of the pan and the top of the paper. 

Place the cocoa powder and chopped chocolate into a bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate mixture and stir until melted. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer (you could use a hand mixer as well, but I’ve found it’s difficult with this recipe), beat the butter until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar until mixed. Add the eggs one at a time until completely combined. Pour in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract and beat until combined. (Now is the perfect time to stick your face into the bowl and smell the wonderful chocolatey buttery sugary mixture). Add the milk and the flour mixture gradually until incorporated. Do not over mix!

Divide the batter evenly into both pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Let cool for about 10 minutes and remove the cakes, allowing them to cool on a rack. 

Note: I’ve used made this cake using both the above recipe (which I found on the Joy of Baking website) and using a box mix. Both taste great, I can’t even decide which is better. The recipe and ingredients that I came up with for the box mix are below:


  • 1 box Duncan Hines devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup melted butter to replace the oil in the directions
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 small box of instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 spoonful of sour cream or greek yogurt
  • A small splash of vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Follow the previous instructions to grease and line two 9 inch cake pans.

Melt the butter and let sit until cool. Whisk the water, melted butter and eggs together in a small bowl. Combine the egg mixture, the cake mix, cocoa powder, pudding, yogurt/sour cream and vanilla in a large bowl. With a hand mixer, (this isn’t completely necessary, but it makes the batter fluffier than if mixed with a whisk) mix all ingredients until combined and fluffy. This takes about two minutes.

Pour evenly into prepared cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs on it. Let cool completely.

This recipe comes out very moist. Be wary of the layers breaking. If they do, just fit them together during the assembly process. No one will ever notice. 

Frosting ingredients:

  • 5 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Melt the chopped chocolate in the microwave by heating and stirring at 20 second intervals. You can also use a double boiler, but I find the microwave method quicker. Put the chocolate, confectioners sugar, milk, salt and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment. Add the softened butter in pieces until fully combined. Raise speed and beat for several minutes until spreading consistency. 

Ganache ingredients:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate (I just use chocolate chips)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter


Heat the whipping cream and butter, either in a double boiler or in the microwave, until just boiling and steamy. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for a minute in order for it to melt. Stir until smooth. 

Strawberries ingredients:

  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate (again, I use chocolate chips)
  • 12 (give or take) medium, fresh strawberries, patted clean. I made an extra batch of strawberries to be serve in addition to the ones on top of the cake


In a double boiler, melt the chocolate until smooth and thin. Dip the strawberries one at a time, placing them on a lined baking sheet. Let cool completely. This should only take an hour or two.

I’ve tried recipes where additional ingredients are added to the chocolate dip. I’ve found that just plain old melted chocolate works and tastes the best. 

Assembly (Phew, finally!):

Place the bottom layer of the cake on a cake stand or the plate that you plan for it to be served from. If the cake is going into a box, I advice putting a cardboard cake round under the bottom layer when cooling. This allows for easy transport after assembly. Glob some frosting onto the middle of the cake layer. Spread thickly until the layer is covered, then carefully place the second layer on top, making sure that the two layers are even with each other. Frost the top of the second layer similarly. Frost the sides of the cake until everything looks smooth. While the ganache is still runny, cover the top layer and push to the sides of the cake, allowing it to drip down. Place the chocolate covered strawberries in a patter on top of the cake. 


If you are planning to refrigerate the cake over night, make sure it is airtight in order to avoid drying. Do not place the strawberries on top of the cake the night before, as the juices from the strawberries will escape and make the top of your cake runny.


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