I have another baking book up for review today! This time it's Cake Ladies by Jodi Rhoden. This book appealed to me immediately because I consider myself to be somewhat of a cake lady. "What is a cake lady?", you may be asking yourself. Everyone may have a different definition, but to me a cake lady is a woman who bakes cakes to make people happy. Sometimes they bake to make ends meet, sometimes it's a creative outlet, and sometimes it's to feel a part of a community. All the ladies in this book come from different backgrounds and have their own story, but they all believe in the healing powers of cake. They all love cake. I love cake. Do you?
Are there really healing powers in cake? In a way, I believe there is. A homebaked cake sitting on the counter makes an ordinary day better, they put smiles on faces. There's a reason they're always present at birthdays, weddings and showers. It's like a gift wrapped up in sweet buttercream and piped rosettes. Okay, enough about cake and more about the ladies who make them. This book shares the stories of 17 women- from bakery owners in Georgia to a midwife in North Carolina who bakes for the new babies she delivers to sisters in New Orleans baking vegan and sugar-free cupcakes for the community.
I read this book while soaking in a hot tub. I got so wrapped up in it that I had to rewarm the water an hour and a half later. The cakes that are shared in this book are all the prized recipes from these ladies. I chose to bake the peanut butter banana cupcakes, because I adore that combination. I really enjoy a PB and banana with honey sandwich and these cupcakes were very similar in flavor. The cupcake itself was dense and moist and the peanut butter cream cheese frosting was so light and fluffy. I also plan to make the chocolate cake on the cover- a request from Mr. H and a white layer cake slathered in lemon curd. That one is for me. Yum!
The only downside I saw in this book is that the author, Jodi Rhoden, who is a cake lady in her own right didn't share a recipe of her own. That would have been the perfect addition to this book. Otherwise it was a great read, informative and all the recipes are accompanied with full size color photos.
Peanut Butter & Banana Cupcakes from Cake Ladies
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For the Cupcakes:
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
For the Icing:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup dried banana chips (for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
For the Cupcakes: Beat the eggs and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, stopping the mixer twice during mixing to scrape down the paddle, bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream while beating on medium low speed. Add the vanilla and beat. Add the bananas and peanut butter, mix, scrape down the bowl and beat.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a separate bowl and set aside.
With the blender on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the creamed mixture in three parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend just until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Add batter into each cupcake liner until two-thirds full. depending on the size of your cupcake pans, this recipe should make about 2 dozen cupcakes.
Bake cupcakes for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
For the Icing: Cream the butter, peanut butter and the cream cheese together in a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on low speed. Beat until the mixture is smooth and cream and no lumps remain. Add and combine the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, blending on low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the paddle, sides, and the bottom of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Beat the mixture on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Icing the Cupcakes: When the cupcakes are completely cool, spread or pipe about 2 heaping tablespoons on the peanut butter icing on each cupcake, then garnish each one with a banana chip.
Cupcakes will keep several days covered in the refrigerator.
Want to win your very own copy of Cake Ladies?
Leave a comment on this post telling about a cake lady that you may know of, or simply tell me about your love of cake. It's that simple. One winner will be chose and the publishers will send a book out to that person. Giveaway valid in the USA only. Please leave contact info when leaving a comment.
The giveaway is closed, the winner is announced HERE.