chocolate cake with the best vanilla buttercream, ever.

 photo ed68c42e-79e7-4b88-bd49-c3917fbbd924_zpsdb51de1a.jpg

With the new baking gig and wedding dessert catering, it's been all about cake around here.  Everyone knows sour cream makes for a moist (sorry if you don't like that word) chocolate cake, but one thing I've really struggled with is making the perfect buttercream frosting.  

This may not seem so difficult for those looking for a rustic cake.  You can just slather some frosting on and appreciate your cake for it's intentional-looking messiness.  I'm not judging, it's one of my favorite moves.  But if you want a buttercream that will stay the perfect consistency no matter the temperature and keep the shape you're hoping to mold - this is your recipe.  There is no cooking involved, which is a huge relief because that's just WAY too much of a pain in the ass (ain't nobody got time for that), and it's good for days at room temp, as long as it's sealed.

 photo 64a09843-716b-40b8-ac26-7755357d7dd2_zpsd5850bb6.jpg

for the cake
1 cup baking cocoa
1 cup boiling water
1 cup butter, softened
2-1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
for the frosting
2 cups shortening
1 cup butter, room temp or microwaved for 20 seconds on 50% power
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp butter flavor
1 tsp vanilla, I used clear extract by Wilton
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 pounds powdered sugar
1 tbsp meringue powder (this i optional, but it makes the frosting way smoother)

for the cake
Dissolve cocoa in boiling water; cool. In a large bowl, cream butter
and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating
well after each. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda,
baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately
with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa mixture
and mix well.

Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at
350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the
center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from
pans to wire racks to cool completely.

for the frosting
Beat together the shortening, butter, sugar, extracts, and meringue powder on medium high until it's very smooth.  After it's smooth, you can add whatever food dye you want!  Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl to make sure all the ingredients and your food color is dispersed evenly.

 photo 8d5da3a6-b437-4770-bbab-955029899676_zps3a35d367.jpg

So there you have it guys.  A good dependable chocolate cake recipe and the only buttercream recipe you'll ever need.  I hope you have the most fabulous weekend and if you end up making this cake, share it with me!  @lizzypancakes on Twitter and Instagram!

All the lovez!

Friday, October 17, 2014

sweet and salty bars

 photo 650fda53-ce83-4928-af45-5cc318d04c8f_zpsd4d9489d.jpg

HIIII!!!  I know it's been, like, forevz since I've given you guys some delicious stuff to stare at.  I just took a job at a cute little bakery and the Sweet and Salty bar is one of our most popular items.  I modified the recipe a bit to be small batch friendly and so that you guys could make these easily.  I'm always thinking about you.

 photo a6b5e22a-810f-4af8-879f-5049e7bb40c9_zps0bdd55c3.jpg

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup peanuts
1 cup broken up pretzel sticks
1 cup of dried cherries

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 13x9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. (I did a couple tart pans instead of a 9x13, either works great!)

Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter with a spoon. Press it evenly into bottom of the greased pan. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, pretzels, and cherries and pour sweetened condensed milk over everything as evenly as possible.

Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let them cool before trying to cut them. That's it!

 photo 7fb42972-b837-4845-9257-8926d0db9cb7_zps5f72b29c.jpg

Very soon I'm going to bombard you with beautiful images from our wedding.  It was like a big rowdy, beautiful family dinner and we couldn't have been happier with the way it turned out.  I can't wait to share it with you soon!

In the meantime, make these.  It's easy as hell and oh, so worth it.


Friday, October 3, 2014

cake feature and big news

 photo 5a75adf6-0382-430d-899a-6fbf3260123a_zps3ca04f09.jpg

The other day, these cakes were featured on the Broke Ass Bride blog.  These are very basic wedding cakes, but didn't you hear?  Simple is in.  Also, it doesn't take much more than smooth fondant and fresh flowers to create a beautiful look.

Most importantly, I will be starting to offer Denver Metro dessert catering soon!  Everything from wedding cakes, to cupcakes, to pie or doughnut tables - the sky's the limit.  So if you're having a wedding, or shower, or get together with your friends, and you live locally, give me a shout using the contact button on the nav bar!

 photo b5bd6e8e-8548-4d21-be07-28d61aa5de8f_zps78b8f69b.jpg photo 68a341b8-a30c-4dda-91fc-076bffc2a53b_zps4db2cd5e.jpg
 photo 004cfb1d-8da2-446e-9ad4-cca78948bd4a_zps029ad1a1.jpg

Until after our wedding, there might not be a lot going on here, but stay tuned for sugary goodness soon after!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

apple butter and pecan cinnamon rolls

apple butter and pecan cinnamon rolls #cinnamonrolls #lizzypancakes

Well, happy Friday and happy August.  Both exciting things, I'd say.  To commemorate this particularly sparkly date I am giving you these: apple butter and pecan cinnamon rolls.  Now, I've got to be completely honest with you.  I have been on Whole 30 for a little over a week so I did not get to partake in this magic, but the people I foisted these upon 'mmmmmm'ed enough that I'm confident you'll like them too.

Friday, August 1, 2014

triple chocolate ice cream cake

triple chocolate ice cream cake!

A few days ago, it was apparently National Ice Cream Day.  The only objection I have is that you don't need a holiday, you should be eating that shiz every day.  A bowl of ice cream a day keeps the doctor away.  Or attractive suitors.  I always mix those two up.

This is a super easy ice cream cake that anyone with a spring form pan can make.  If given a choice, I always opt for chocolate on chocolate on chocolate, which is exactly what I've done here.  Here's how I made it.

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, a little extra for dusting
1/4 rounded teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, straight out of the fridge cold
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
8 or 9 inch spring form pan

Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 325 degrees F. Grease a 8 or 9 inch round (I used 8) and dust with cocoa powder.

Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and the salt in a medium, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium for 20 seconds.  Give it a stir to make sure it's smooth.  I had to microwave it for another 10 seconds to get it smooth.

Remove the bowl from heat and set aside for 3 to 5 minutes until it is only warm, not hot.

Using a stand mixer, stir in vanilla. Then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.

When the batter looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the flour and mix on medium-low until fully incorporated, then beat on medium high for 15-20 seconds. Spread evenly in your cake pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out clean. If after 25 minutes the toothpick doesn't come out clean, keep checking at 5 minute intervals until it does.

Cool completely on a cooling rack.  While you're doing this, take your ice cream out of the freezer.  You want it to be malleable  but not liquid.  Scoop it out onto the cooled brownie and smooth the top as best you can.  Leave the cake pan in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

Once it is frozen completely, go about making this chocolate ganache (best ever).  Let the ganache cool completely (you can speed this up by sticking it in the refrigerator and stirring it every few minutes), remove the ice cream cake from your spring form pan and pour the ganache over the top.

Apparently, I recommend you do it haphazardly without any consideration of how it looks.  Then add some spranks and serve it immediately!

ice cream cake!

So go show ice cream that you love it.  Whether it's grabbing some froyo with your family, or going all out and making this circular dream boat here.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

fruity pebble marshmallow treats

 photo 88e3e356-7c45-4f7e-91ed-6ac7e8510c91_zps64e5f9e2.jpg

We all have those foods we eat when we need comfort and just don't give a crap about our figure.  My list of those foods is quite long, including white cheddar mac and cheese, Poptarts of any flavor, guacamole, and, you guessed it, Fruity Pebbles.  It has been my favorite cereal since I understood the concept of cereal and that's a love affair no fading metabolism can extinguish.

 photo e7b185b1-9bee-4109-aba4-2706e1e29c56_zpse7ab1b1e.jpg

We all know and love marshmallow treats (also known as Rice Krispy Treats when you're using that cereal).  They are easy and gooey and amazing.  What could be better?  Not much.  I took generic brand rice puffs, and mixed them with fruit pebbles and this was the result.  Guys, I'm not kidding, these things are the

 photo 7311ebc0-9cf6-4107-9701-bb3c2d1ba148_zpsc52e1094.jpg

time: it takes about 30 minutes from start to finish
serving: one 9x13 pan of krispies
1/4 cup butter
1 bag of mini marshmallows (about 4 cups)
2 cups of puffed rice cereal
3 cups of Fruity Pebbles

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  One the butter is melted add the marshmallows and stir constantly until smooth and melted.  It takes about 3-4 minutes.

Mix together your cereals in a large bowl, pour the melted mixture over the cereal and mix until totally combined.  Stir gently so you don't break all the cereal.

Grease a 9x13 inch pan and dump the mixture into the pan.  Press flat and even all the way into the corners of the pan.  Let the pan rest in the freezer for 10-12 minutes and you're done!

I also added a colored glaze on top to make it more festive.  That was 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, 2  1/2 tbsp milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tbsp melted butter.  I added blue dye, but you can use whatever color you want!

 photo f41d0b47-d641-41b8-b027-8e721b9ffb11_zps1a7d3daf.jpg

Forgot to make something for a party?  You can throw these together in almost no time.  These are a hit 100% of the time.  It's science.


Monday, July 14, 2014


 photo d187837c-0410-4702-87d4-20aeddfad753_zps1490bbfb.jpg
Happy almost Fourth of July!  Fireworks are downright dangerous here in Colorado, but we'll be cooking out, wearing shorts, and lovin' on good old America all day tomorrow.  If you're supposed to be going to a BBQ and bringing something I really suggest this.  It is not all that difficult, but it looks like it is.  You'll be the hero of the party.

I made this cake because someone challenged me to cake off the other day, with this Food52 recipe.  It wasn't difficult, but you have to follow the directions very closely.  As a side note, I used my own frosting recipe instead of the one posted by Food52, because I know it's a crowd pleaser.  Why fix it if it ain't broke, ya know?  So here is my frosting recipe:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 stick salted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place a metal mixing bowl (not a stand mixer bowl, unless you have two), plus your mixer whisk attachment in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and add 1 1/4 cups heavy cream. Beat on high until a stiff whipped cream forms, about a minute.

Set whipped cream in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the frosting.

In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter, vanilla, and 1/4 cup heavy cream until smooth and combined. Reduce the speed to medium low and add the powdered sugar in small parts until completely mixed. Increase mixer speed to high and beat until light and fluffy.

Remove whipped cream from fridge and using a rubber spatula, gently fold the buttercream into the whipped cream until it's fully combined and there are no streaks.

Tip: Before cutting this cake, chill it in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  That way when you slice it, you'll have a pretty good chance of getting a pretty piece!

I hope you all have fun tomorrow and don't forget to think a little about our awesome country.  Then eat hot dogs.


Thursday, July 3, 2014