Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Baking Day

It’s still awfully cold in our area, and staying inside leads to a lot of free time. Yesterday I decided to use that time productively and do some baking. I baked a sugar-free yellow cake from scratch and a batch of Cinnamon Vanilla cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting. There is a diabetic in the house, but others that are not, so I baked for both groups.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated Splenda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 8” pan, or spray well with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients in large mixer bowl. Beat 30 seconds on low, then scrape bowl. Beat at high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl often. Pour into pan.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until cake tests done. Remove and cool.

Adapted from a recipe in Betty Crocker's Cookbook, printed in 1971.


1 (18 1/4 oz.) box white cake mix
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper cupcake liners in cupcake pans.

Pour cake mix into large mixer bowl and add remaining ingredients. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then on high for 2 minutes. Pour into paper-lined cupcake cups, filling about 1/2 to 2/3 full. 

Bake 19 to 21 minutes, or until cake tests done. If baking mini-cupcakes, bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until cake tests done.

Remove from pans and cool.


1/3 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons milk (as needed)

Beat butter, sugar and cinnamon together. Add vanilla. Add milk a tablespoon at a time until desired spreading consistency is reached.

These are totally delicious!

Note: I used a Pillsbury Traditional White Cake Mix for the cupcakes.

Dinner was Over-The-Top Mac & Cheese, a recipe that was posted on October 24, 2013. You should give this one a try – it’s creamy and spicy and comforting, and I think worth publishing again!


1 (7 1/4 oz.) box macaroni and cheese
1/2 of 10 oz. can tomatoes with green chiles (approximately 3/4 cup - save rest for later use)
1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
6 teaspoons taco seasoning mix (approximately 1/2 of packet)
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Prepare the macaroni and cheese as directed on the box. Stir in tomatoes with chiles and set aside.

Brown the ground beef with the onion until beef is no longer pink; drain. Stir taco seasoning mix into beef. Combine the two mixtures. Add chili powder, salt and pepper.

Pour into prepared dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbly and cheese melts.

Recipe adapted from Gooseberry Patch Big Book of Holiday Cooking (recipe submitted by a reader from Tulsa, OK).

Note: I froze the remaining 1/2 can tomatoes and chiles, and it was fine to use in another recipe.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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