Whether it is because things in your life are going particularly well, you have been feeling downright terrible, or perhaps you just aren't feeling quite yourself. The solution can always be cake.
Do you ever use baking as a form of therapy? I'm not talking about eating emotionally, I simply mean the act of baking. It is so methodical, so repetitive (stir, stir, stir, whip, stir), and of course you have something delicious to show for all your hard work!
Today was one of those days I had to make cake. I wanted to use up some wild blueberries that were lazying around the fridge, and so I decided to make a blueberry layer-cake with a deliciously tart cream cheese icing. I added a touch of almond to the cake to add a subtle undertone, and sandwiched a thin spread of homemade blueberry jam between the cake layers... needless to say, this cake most certainly filled the cake-deprived part of me! And my stomach too! :)
The cake itself was exceptionally moist yet light, and the added almond flavouring really rounded out the punch of the blueberries. The blueberries themselves became delicious little pockets of jammy goodness from baking. The added blueberry jam just means more of a wonderful thing. And the somewhat-tart cream cheese icing was literally the icing on the cake!
Looking for a reason to make this cake? What about, "just because"? :)
Blueberry Layer-Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/2 lb cream cheese (about 2 blocks), room temperature
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 lb confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1. Preheat oven to 350F, and grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
2. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until lighter in colour and fluffy looking.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this dry mixture to the egg mixture and fold it with a spatula just until combined.
4. Add the milk and almond extract, and stir carefully. Fold in the blueberries. Pour your cake batter to the two prepared pans. Smooth off the surface with a spatula (or shake the pan carefully side to side to even out the top), and then bake the cake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5. Allow the cake to cool 10 minutes before removing it from the cake pan and allowing it to cool completely on a cooling rack. Go ahead and make the icing while you wait!
6. Mix together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer. Add the confectioners sugar about 1 cup at a time, mixing between each addition. Once you have incorporated the sugar, you can fold in the extract.
7. Once the cake has cooled completely, you may add the icing and layer the cake! You will probably have leftover icing. If this is the case, you can store in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for 6 months.