Kaleidoscope Cake/Cupcakes

The Kaleidoscope Cake (name I gave this cake) is the same thing as  rainbow cake, the only difference is how the cake batter is put into the cake pan.  This is a very colorful cake and a fun cake to make but, it’s also a time-consuming cake to make; over-all, it is worth the reaction you get when you cut into the cake and see all the vivid colors inside! 

I have made several rainbow cakes in the past for St. Patrick’s Day but usually they have been for my co-workers.  There was only one time that I made a rainbow cake (a large one) for a children’s birthday party, but,  I’ll have to say that I don’t think I’ll ever take the time to make another one…unless it’s for my grandchildren or for someone very special.  About 5 years ago, I made rainbow cake for a co-worker’s child, it was for a birthday party,  but adults would be there also.  While at the party, the adults were talking and we had our backs turned away from the cake and the birthday boy decided upon  himself to help himself to his cake…early!   So, as our backs were turned, the birthday boy (age 4), decided to take both hands and dig into the center of the cake …like he was digging into a dirt pile with his Tonka truck! lol  Needless to say never again, By-the-way, the corners of the cake were untouched, so…we had a very short-cake, but a good cake regardless!

I usually do not take the time to do a rainbow cake from scratch and the reason for this is because this cake is very time-consuming to make, and it’s time-consuming enough doing each layer with a cake mix.  Then you have to color each layer, bake each layer, assembling each layer and have to make lots of icing to go between the layers…So, use your favorite white or yellow cake mix, or if you have lots of time and lots of energy, go for using  your favorite scratch cake recipe!  The only cake mix I use in my rainbow cakes is Duncan Hines French Vanilla.  I would not use any other kind, unless you know the one you use is one you love. 

I’ll give you the link from here for my rainbow cake directions, and the icing.  On this page I’ll post the Kaleidoscope cake that  I made for my co-workers tomorrow…and yes, I cut two pieces for the photo!!  I’ll put them back in…after-all, they know I’m a blogger and have to take a photo at home first.  Most of my rainbow cake photos have been taken at work and they are not the best pictures…but then I am not a professional photographer…but one day, one day maybe!!  Maybe when I retire and have the time to learn all about my camera more.  I have a Canon Rebel T1i….and even that is very outdated now! But it is an SLR camera and takes beautiful photos…so, one day I’ll up-grade, but it’s not in my budget right now.

So, here goes, the first cake is what I call a Kaleidoscope cake.  I started out with the idea of making rainbow cupcakes, but there were too many layers in each cupcake paper, that by the time I got to the top of the cupcake paper, the batter was so full in the cupcaper that I knew they were going to over-flow…and they did! So, I then decided to make a cake instead.   I had too much to do today, so I decided to do one layer, and it ended up looking like a Kaleidoscope cake!  

To make this cake, follow the directions for the Rainbow Cake, same cake, but the only difference is how you put the batter in the pan.  You pour the batter into a greased and floured pan, one color at a time,  then the next color, and the next until all colors are in the pan.  As you pour each color into the pan, let the first layer spread out and then pour in the next color and let that color spread out. You will be doing a single layer, unless you want to do a double layer.  Do each layer the same, starting with the Violet and ending with the red:

Violet, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and then Red.  If you plan on doing 7 layers, use the Indigo first. Once you have all your colors in the baking pan, take a toothpick and insert it in the middle, and draw lines all the way to the edge of the pan.  Keep doing this until you have gone all around the cake.


Cake Before Baking


 Cake After Baking








 Kaleidoscope Cupcakes

To make the cupcakes, put one color in at a time into your cupcake paper.  Experiment on doing one cucake FIRST.  The reason for his is you have 6 layers of batter to put in each cupcake paper.  You want to make sure it does not over-flow.  This takes a little getting used to, but it does take time to do.  You have to layer the colors one at a time.  Bake for about 17 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centerof a cupcake comes out clean. 







Hershey’s “Chocolate Syrup Swirl Cake”

Seems I’ve been on a cake posting frenzy for a lately, but I only  have a few more cakes to post before I move on to other baked goods.  I’ve been posting things from my files that I’ve not had time to post until now due to my recent wrist surgery.  My wrist seems to be healing fine, this time, (second surgery) so I should be back to normal soon!

Several years ago, I bought a little Hershey’s cookbook at a yard sale and loved all the recipes in it, I mean, how can you go wrong when it comes to Hershey’s, or chocolate for that matter, unless your allergic to chocolate!  If that’s the case, you do NOT want to make this cake unless it’s for someone else!  Back to the cookbook:  I mean, just the word Hershey’s makes me want to bite into one of those large Hershey’s chocolate bars…plain or with almonds!

A few years ago I went to Hershey’s Amusement Park in Hershey,  Pennsylvania and you could smell chocolate in the town, I mean, the street lights have a large Hershey’s Candy Kiss on top of each light post.  The smell of chocolate is everywhere!  You can take a tour of the factory where they are making of various chocolate products.  At the end of the tour, you come into a gift shop selling various Hershey’s products, t-shirts, glasses, candy, tins and more.  In the park they have various rides as found in many other amusement parks, and little shops and food vendors all through the park.  We were not able to stay as long as we wanted at the park  because it began raining.  I would love definitely like to go back one day!

I baked this cake is baked in bundt pan, the original recipe says to bake it in a  tube pan, but the photo of the cake in the cookbook clearly shows a bundt pan, so I changed the wording in the recipe from tube pan to bundt pan.  This was a good cake; the coconut in the cake it reminds you of an Almond Joy….AND that’s a Hershey’s product!.  Next time I make this cake I would sprinkle sliced almonds on top to give it a more Almond Joy taste and maybe a few chopped almonds inside. 

This is an easy cake to make, one you can easily make for home or for gatherings.  It’s easy to transport and you don’t have to worry about lots of icing getting bumped, it’s only drizzled with icing. 


Happy Bundt Cake Baking!




1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 eggs

2 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*

1 cup Hershey’s Syrup

1 cup Mounds Sweetened Coconut Flakes (optional)

*1/4 teaspoon baking soda to be used later)




Heat oven to 350 F.  Grease and flour 12-cup fluted Bundt pan or 10-inch Bundt pan.*

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy.  Add eggs; beat well.  Combine flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and the salt; add alternately with buttermilk to butter mixture (beginning with flour and ending with flour); beating until well-blended.  

Measure 2 cups batter into small bowl; stir in syrup and remaining *¼ teaspoon baking soda.  Add coconut; if desired, to remaining batter; pour into prepared pan.  Pour chocolate batter over vanilla batter in pan.  Do not mix.

Bake at 350 F about 60 to 70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely and frost as desired.


*To sour milk; Use 1 Tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup. (Let milk set for 5 to 10 minutes).

* An easy way to grease and flour pan:  Use a spray with flour in the spray, or spray and then put flour in the bottom of the pan, cover with plastic wrap and turn over and shake and tube pan will be completely floured.


Recipe from “Easy Baking Hershey’s Cocoa” cookbook copyright 2004



Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

I have several go-to chocolate cake recipes, this recipe and Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake recipe.  I am very fond of both cakes, so much so that it’s hard for me to decide between the two; especially when I want to impress.  If you click on the link above, it will take to the Hershey’s cake recipe. 

I love this cake with chocolate icing, but I also love it with the Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing as well.  This is a cake you can make so many versions of just by changing the icing or adding fillings, candies or sprinkles.   

Anyway, this chocolate cake is Beatty’s Chocolate Cake recipe,  I discovered it on the Food Network on Ina Garten’s show.  She was making it one day and it had everything in it that would make a cake moist, so I gave it a try.  I was NOT, disappointed.  If you like chocolate, you’ll love this cake!  

This cake is pictured using the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but I have also posted the recipe Ina used (Chocolate Frosting) on her show.

Happy Cake Baking! 






Butter, for greasing the pans

1 and  3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

2 cups sugar

3/4 cups good cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk, shaken

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Swiss Meringue Buttercream, recipe follows

Chocolate Frosting recipe follows

Cake Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low-speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Buttercream


6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 and 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Directions for Chocolate Frosting:

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low-speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream


2 and 1/2 cups sugar

9 large egg whites

3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a heatproof mixing bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water (or use a double boiler). Whisk until warm and sugar is dissolved (mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingers), 2 to 3 minutes.

2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk egg-white-mixture 5 minutes.  Increase speed to medium high and whisk until still, glossy peaks form and meringue has cooled (test by feeling bottom of bowl), about 7 minutes.

3. Reduce speed to medium-low.  Add butter, several tablespoons at a time; beating until frosting is smooth and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.  (if the frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high until smooth again).  Butter-cream can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months in an airtight container.  Bring to room temperature, and beat on low-speed before using.

Swiss Meringue Icing recipe from “Martha Stewart’s Cakes” cookbook.  copyright 2013




Blackberry Coffee Cake

When I was a very small girl growing up in West Virginia, we used to go blackberry picking because where I lived blackberries seemed to grow wild everywhere! I wish that was the way it was now…although, we had to be extra careful when we filled our bags because of the snakes that also loved blackberry bushes!  I knew when we got home with our bags filled with blackberries, I knew it wasn’t going to be long before there would be the aroma of blackberries coming from the oven…often times it was blackberry cobbler….still my favorite dessert today, especially hot from the oven topped with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice-cream!  Yummmmmmy!

When I saw these delicious looking blackberries at Sams, and at a good price, they had to come home with me!  Even though I love blackberry cobbler, I wanted to try something new using blackberries, so I had remembered seeing a blackberry coffee cake some time ago on the computer and decided to do a search….and there is was, “Blackberry Coffee Cake by Betty Crocker!”  I was not disappointed in this coffee cake, it’s moist inside, but on the outside it reminds you of a pound cake, that’s why I was surprised it was so moist inside…like a cake. Anyway, in this recipe it does not say to have all ingredients at room temperature, but I always try to have my ingredients at room temperature, but it’s not required.  I also used milk in my glaze instead of water, I just like the taste of the glaze with milk instead of water.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Happy Coffee Cake Baking!




Blackberry Filling:

1 and ¼ cup frozen (thawed and well-drained) blackberries

½ cup finely chopped pecans

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 and ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon


Coffee Cake:

2 and ¼ cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 and ¼ cups granulated sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 container (8-ounces) sour cream


Powdered Sugar Glaze:

1 and ½ cups powdered sugar

3 to 4 teaspoons water




Heat oven to 350F.  Grease bottom and sides of 10-inch angel food (tube) cake pan with shortening; lightly flour.

 In a small bowl, mix all the Blackberry Filling ingredients; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.  In a large bowl, beat granulated sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Beat in flour mixture alternately with sour cream on low-speed.

 Spread one-third of batter in pan; sprinkle with half of the filling.  Spoon another one-third of the batter by Tablespoons over filling; sprinkle with remaining filling.  Spoon remaining batter over filling; spread evenly

Bake coffee cake 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir all-Powdered Sugar Glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.  Drizzle over cooled coffee cake.

Recipe by Betty Crocker:  Blackberry Coffee Cake  







Apricot Bars

I don’t know how many times I go to the store and forget my grocery list, or, forget to even make one!  When I discovered I had 3 jars of apricot preserves in my pantry, I knew it was time to use one up, especially when there is not enough room in my pantry to begin with!  Double this, double that…especially baking supplies! 

How many of you have seen a recipe you want to make because it sounds so awesome, but, you don’t have that one ingredient, the one that has no substitution, the one that makes this recipe extra special?  Well, that’s me, I do it all the time.  I’ll go to the store and remember I saw this awesome recipe that uses…say, pine nuts!  You know you must have that recipe somewhere at the top of your things to make, you get home and then, you cannot find it, anywhere!  You dig through your most favorite cookbooks thinking surely it would be in one of those…not there!  Then you dig through your most recent magazines…again, not there!  So, because you now have a bag of pine nuts with no recipe, you go to the computer to search for a recipe that calls for pine nuts!  So much trouble, all because you DID NOT, rip that recipe out of that magazine, or lay the cookbook open…all because you didn’t take the time at that exact moment to write the recipe down! lol  With all that being said, that must have happened to me at some point, why else would I have 3 jars of apricot preserves.  I love apricot preserves, but not enough to buy 3 jars of it! lol 

So, when I came across this recipe that called for apricot preserves, I thought…is this the one?  lol  Most likely not, but since I was there, and in the mood to bake, this was the recipe choice of the day!

This was a very easy recipe to make, one that can easily be changed using different flavors of preserves.  I think this would be really good using raspberry preserves, blackberry preserves as well as many other types of fruit preserves. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Recipe from cookbook “Taste of Home Grand Prize Winners.”

Quote from cookbook:  This recipe is down-home baking at it’s best.  It’s won blu ribbons at country fairs and cookie contests in several states.  This treat is easy to make, and it’s perfect for potluck suppers, bake sales, lunch boxes or just plain snacking.  Bake a batch tonight.

 Happy Bar Baking!






3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 and 1/3 cups flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 jar (10 to 12 ounces) apricot preserves




1. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add egg, mix well.  Combine flour and baking powder.  Gradually add to creamed mixture.  Fold in coconut and walnuts.

2. Press two-thirds of dough into a greased 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan.  Spread with preserves; crumble remaining dough over preserves.  Bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool pan on a wire rack.  Cut into bars.