Tag Archives: cream cheese

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

19 Jan


My gnarly sick-brain is telling me that cake for breakfast is okay, especially if I throw in some orange segments and raw almonds.

The cake has white flour and sugar, it has chocolate chips, it has butter (a pretty small amount of butter, actually, compared to other cake recipes). But there are oats for good measure, and I mashed up a random half banana that was sitting on my counter and added it into the batter. Note the almonds and orange segments, please!

Oranges add so much color to the plate! These were navel oranges, but I have been plowing through the beautiful pink cara caras and the deep purple blood oranges, too. It’s so unfair that I’ve been eating orange segments up the wazoo all week and I’m still a snotty congested mess! For some reason, though, I can still smell and taste things, so I am spending my quarantined time at home playing in the kitchen.

My favorite step of this cake recipe, as Tracy Shutterbean also notes in her blog post, is pouring boiling water over the oats and butter (I added in a little mashed banana, too) to melt the better and partially cook the oats. So clever! I like the idea of cooking the oats slightly so that they are not totally dormant. I also like that the chocolate chips get splashed with a teeny tiny bit of bourbon (you could always use water or juice) and coated in a little flour to keep them from settling to the bottom of the pan during baking.

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As I was gathering my ingredients for the recipe, I realized that I should probably go through my pantry staples for baking. I couldn’t remember how old my baking soda was, probably at least two or three years old. My brown sugar was hard as a rock, and I had to sprinkle some water over it and whack it to un-clump. I should probably store my baking soda in the fridge, and empty brown sugar into an air-tight container instead of it’s original bag. This was all a big reminder to clean out and re-stock the pantry.

Even though I may have used some old ingredients, the cake still came out tasting great! Phew.

I almost omitted the frosting because I rarely have cream cheese laying around and I thought I could be “healthy” by just slathering it in nut butter. But who am I kidding?! Cream cheese frosting is delicious; it’s just a thin layer, and it really finishes the cake nicely. Do it.

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The measurements for some of the ingredients may seem nit-picky because I halved the original recipe. The original recipe calls for a 9″x13″ baking pan, and I just wanted to make enough cake for an 8″x8″ pan. Mostly because I only had one egg left and was too lazy to run to the store to buy another carton.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from Shutterbean; originally from Baked

serves 6-8

  • 4 oz. or 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon bourbon
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 oz. or 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cubed-at room temperature
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

for the frosting:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°. Butter the sides and bottom of an 8″x 8″ baking pan.

Toss chocolate chips with bourbon in a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour over the chips and toss until coated. Set aside.

Heat 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water to boiling. Place the oats, mashed 1/2 banana, and butter in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over oat mixture. Wait 30 seconds, then stir to moisten oats and and banana, and to melt the butter. Set aside for 25-30 minutes.

Whisk egg, sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Fold in oatmeal, stirring until well combined. Fold in remaining flour, and then stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.

To make the frosting:

Beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until combined. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until smooth (about 1 minute). If the frosting gets too soft, you may need to cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Spread a thin layer of frosting over cake. Chill for 15 minutes before serving.

Store covered cake in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Carrot Cake With Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

30 Jul

Yep. I made a gigantic layered cream cheese-frosted carrot cake. In the middle of summer.

Sometimes, you just have to go with your gut. My gut wanted carrot cake.

There’s walnuts and fresh ginger. Those are the kickers. Sweating like a crazy lady, I grated 1.3 pounds of carrots by hand. I called it my workout for the day.

I baked the cake in two 9-inch cake pans to make a two-layer cake. They baked off with nice, flat, even tops, so I did not have to trim the cakes before frosting. Hallelujah.

I’ve used bundt pan in the past. You could make your life easy and do it that way, too. Or you could join in me in the madness of layer cake making in the middle of summer.

Pro tip for ultra silky frosting: You MUST MAKE SURE YOUR BUTTER AND CREAM CHEESE ARE ROOM TEMPERATURE so that everything whips up nice and silky smooth. You may want to sift your powdered sugar to get rid of lumps.

When I frosted the cake, I used a combo of different techniques I learned from reading, watching videos, and working in restaurants. In the end, I did it in my own free-form sloppy way, but somehow it turned out looking pretty great.

Cake frosting is a bit complicated, there’s this thing called a crumb coat, then the cake gets refrigerated for about 30 minutes, and then I put on the final layer of frosting. You could read Joy’s tutorial to help you get started. Melissa Clark has a great video tutorial as well. I recommend using a small offset spatula. I don’t have a cake stand or cardboard cake rounds. I just used a flat plate and turned the plate as I frosted. Works fine.

Oh, and never frost a cake that is right out of the oven. Make sure it is completely cool. Meg Ray from Miette Bakery in San Francisco will vouch for this tip.

I hope I didn’t scare you. Maybe one day I will attempt to do a more in-depth cake frosting tutorial, but I’ve got to get a little more confident first. Just have fun. Good luck. Don’t forget to share.

Carrot Cake with Orange Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from Martha Stewart

NOTE: The original recipe calls for 3 sticks of melted butter. I swapped canola oil for the butter to reduce the saturated fat content of the cake. I wanted to save up and use the butter in a rich cream cheese frosting instead.

Serves 10-12; store any leftovers it in the refrigerator (I actually think the cake tastes better a few days later cold from the fridge…)


* Unsalted butter, for pans
* 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
* 1 cup walnut halves
* 1 1/3 pound large carrots, peeled
* 3 large eggs, room temperature
* 1/3 cup buttermilk (I have used plain Greek yogurt in the past and it works just as well)
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 ½ cups canola oil
* 1 ½- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (depending on how spicy you like it)
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting (this makes a LOT of frosting, you will probably have some left over)

*3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
*3 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
*3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
*1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
*2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
*Pinch of salt


1. Heat oven to 375°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans (or a bundt pan). Dust pans with flour, and tap out any excess. Set pans aside. Spread nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking pan, and toast in the oven until lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and let stand until completely cool. Reduce temperature to 300°F. Roughly chop the nuts, and set aside.

2. Peel the carrots and grate them to yield 1.3 pounds, or a little over 3 cups (you could also use a food processor).

3. Peel the ginger (I like to use a metal spoon) and use a microplane to grate the fresh ginger.

4. Place carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil, and ginger in a large bowl; whisk until well combined.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until combined. Fold in the toasted nuts.

6. Divide the batter between the two cake pans (I weighed my pans to make sure they were even), and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middles comes out clean, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove pan from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack; let stand until completely cool.

7. To make the frosting: place butter in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, and beat until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add sugar, orange zest, ginger, and salt, and beat for 5 minutes.
*any leftover frosting can be kept in an airtight container for about 7 days (I had a little over a cup leftover).
Frost the cakes as you wish. I recommend watching some online video tutorials first.