Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What's Cookin'? Granny's Butternut Cake!

Ain't she purdy? Well, let's just cut to the chase, shall we? Yes, I, Lindsey Pearson, ACTUALLY made said cake. Shocking, I know. Yes, it was a labor of love. Pains and all. ;) And YES, it was edible. What am I saying, they LOVED IT!!! Success is so sweet. Kinda like this hunk of butternut deliciousness pictured above.

Like I said in my last post, I want to start cooking my way through a cookbook (ya know, all "Julie and Julia" like) so I decided that Chuck's birthday, yesterday, would be a good jumping off point. His grandmother (God rest her soul) used to make this for him EVERY birthday. It's his favorite. I prefaced the ordeal by saying that I was in NO WAY trying to replicate what Granny did so effortlessly... the woman worked magic in the kitchen. I was just trying to do something nice for his birthday and with any luck, not send anyone to the hospital with food poisoning. Kidding. ;)

There are no pictures of the process and that's probably a good thing because I made a MESS of the kitchen. I'll have to work on documenting this cooking thing. *Babysteps. :) But the end result turned out much better than I imagined, so I'll consider this one a win! He was SO surprised and raved and raved about how good it was. So without further ado, let's get to the recipe in case you want to try this one for yourself:

For the cake:
1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 TBS Butternut Flavoring
(I went to three stores looking for butternut flavoring. Apparently it's not as common as it used to be. Actually, the one I found was a vanilla and butternut combo, but it worked fine. For those that are local, I found it at Foodland.)
Mix cake according to directions on box, adding the 1 TBS Butternut Flavoring. Bake in three layers.

For the filling and frosting:
1 8oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1 stick butter (softened)
1 box confectioners sugar
1 TBS Butternut Flavoring
1 cup toasted, chopped pecans
(Last Thursday I went to visit my folks and got a sack full of pecans from their two big trees in the front yard. This little cooking adventure, if nothing else, taught me that I am NOT the best sheller of pecans. It is apparently a learned skill that takes time and patience (both of which I'm a little short on lately). Those little bags of nuts in the grocery store that are all pretty and perfect and WAY overpriced? Yeah. Worth every penny. Anyhoo, I DID roast them in the oven for a bit and it made a world of difference, so don't skimp on that step.)
Cream together cream cheese, butter and sugar until well blended. Add flavoring and nuts. Spread between layers, on the sides, and on top of cake. Then you're done! Yay!

In case you're wondering, Jamie put the candles on the cake. She made sure Chuck knew that the number of the candles was not really the age he was, but that we didn't have enough candles for all that. LOL! The red-head strikes again! She also "made" him a present by painting a hand in fingernail polish on one of our guest soaps and wrapped it in ribbon. Others might shake their heads and wonder "WTH?" I beam with pride cuz momma has a resourceful DIY'er on her hands! Anyway...let me know if you make Granny's delicious cake. Or the fingernail polish hand soap. ;) As long as it's made with love, I don't think we can go wrong!

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