Happy Birthday, Mum! [One Bowl Chocolate Cake]

If it’s true that daughters turn into their mothers, I think I’m OK with that.  I admire my mum a ton. As far as mums & daughters go, I think we get along pretty darn well. And I’m really glad we do, I know I’m a lucky kid! She embarrasses me every once and a while, but isn’t that kind of the point of being a parent? (Ha! Shows what I know about parenting! And more likely, I embarrass her right back…)

“Octopus Arms”

When it comes to working in the kitchen, we couldn’t be more different.  My mum is the type of person who cleans up as they go along, so by the time her recipe is done the kitchen is as clean as it was when she started.  If I’m baking, there’s usually a fine layer of flour that’s settled over the kitchen and the task of cleaning up after myself can often seem daunting. (As my mum points out, if I just cleaned up as I went, this wouldn’t happen…)

My mum’s birthday was actually a little over a month ago now and I totally meant to post this for the occasion — it’s the thought that counts, right? I’d talk about blaming my disorganization, but I feel like I do that often here…
Anyway, whether you fall into the same category as my mum of domestic & organized goddess, or mine, of scrappy kitchen forager, this cake is a winner.

Happy Belated Birthday, Mummy! — mama circa 1987

With the help of my mum, this cake was the first I ever made.  Incidentally, I made it for my mum’s birthday several years ago and it actually didn’t turn out so well: my brother and I forgot to grease the pan, so we just served the cake in the pan.  We wanted to refrigerate it once we had iced it (with really, really thick chocolate ganache) so we put some (unlit) candles in it and popped it into the refrigerator until dessert…when it came time to serve it the ganache had become so hard it was impossible to cut the cake (or get it out of the pan), and the candles were pretty much cemented in there. …it still tasted really good, though!
Since then, I’ve used this recipe so often I think I have it down to 10 minutes of prep time — pretty handy for a dessert that can actually look pretty fancy if you don’t bring robots into the equation (not that there’s anything wrong with them!).

This is the cake that comes up in my house for practically every birthday or occasion — just because it’s so easy to make doesn’t mean it isn’t decadent! Rich, moist, and intensely chocolatey, this cake is the bomb…I got it from my mama!  Mum’s One Bowl Chocolate Cake

Light & Airy Coconut Cupcakes

I think coconut might be one of my favourite flavours whether it be in a curry or a cupcake (look at that versatility).  Its flavour is distinct but super light and makes me  think of sunny times on an island….which is never terrible. I’ve made my favourite coconut macaroons several times since I discovered how easy they were in December, but I decided it was time for a new coconut dessert in the house and so these coconut cupcakes happened. They were gone the same night they came out of the oven, so I guess everyone liked them!

The recipe from Canadian Living will leave you with nice, fluffy cupcakes. I’m not a huge fan of cream cheese icing as they suggest for the garnish, so I dipped the tops of my cupcakes in melted dark chocolate with some toasted shredded coconut on top. The contrast between the light cupcakes and the strong chocolate is a winner.  I think these are a great sprummer (spring + summer!) treat and would be perfect for a Mother’s Day dessert if any of you are baking for Mum this weekend! Enjoy!

Sweet, Sweet Potato Cupcakes

These moist, moist cupcakes get their lovely shade of orange from the roasted sweet potato, the key player in this recipe. I love how sweet potato is so versatile. One of my favourite savoury treats is sweet potato fries, and yam is featured in a completely different (but awesome!) way in this recipe.  To make the surprise chocolate centers, you will need some chocolate Kisses (or large chocolate chips). We didn’t have any on hand, and the only kind available at the corner store was candy cane flavoured…so we went with big fat chunks of high quality bittersweet chocolate. The chocolate wasn’t a surprise in our cupcakes, but they were still delicious!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Chocolate Filling

The yammy recipe is here! (get it?! yummy yam!…)