French Almond Cakes

French Almond Cakes - Financiers

These little French Almond Cakes are also known as Financiers because the French businessmen in the financial district of Paris helped make them popular.  They’re easy, but taste rich and moist.

French Almond Cakes “Financiers”
 

Ingredients
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 6 large egg whites
  • ½ C. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 C. finely chopped or ground almonds (I used whole almonds and ran them through my coffee grinder)
  • 1½ C. powdered sugar
  • 1½ sticks butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Butter 18 muffin tins (traditionally, you’d use a Financier Mold but if you don’t have one the muffin tins you have at home already work well too).
  3. In a medium bowl, combine egg whites and almond extract. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add egg whites to the dry ingredients and give a quick stir until a light batter is formed. Pour into muffin tins.
  4. Bake 6 minutes at 450 degrees then lower heat to 400. Bake an additional 5-6 minutes until golden brown. Baking it first in a super-hot oven will crisp up the outside, while reducing the baking temperature to finish keeps the inside nice and moist. Allow the cakes to cool slightly then remove from the tins.
  5. When I first made French Almond Financier Cakes I used muffin tins. However, I found these cute petit fours molds at TJ Maxx for just $6.99 and thought they were cute.

Thanks, Kim Cooks the World!

 

Pumpkin “Better than Sex” Cake

pumpkin better than sex cake

Also known as Pumpkin Poke Cake, this pumpkin recipe is a crowd-pleaser.  It’s easy because you start with a boxed cake mix.  It’s decadent because of the caramel and Heath Bits you sprinkle on top.  No matter how you slice it, it’s a delicious fall cake to serve at any party.

Frugal Tips:  Get your pumpkin puree at ALDI food stores.  It ranges from $.89-$.99 per can.  However, it’s a seasonal item so stock up when you see it!  It won’t be on the shelves after the holidays.

Pumpkin “Better than Sex” Cake
 
Also known as pumpkin poke cake, this pumpkin cake recipe is easy and sinful.
Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8-oz. tub whipped topping
  • ½ package Heath Toffee Bits
  • Caramel topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the package of yellow cake mix with pumpkin puree (no water, eggs or oil are necessary). Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake according to package directions (about 25-28 minutes). Remove and cool for ten minutes. Using a wooden spoon handle, poke holes about an inch apart in the cake. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the cake, using a spatula to make sure it gets into the holes somewhat evenly. Refrigerate an hour, minimum. Top with whipped topping and Heath Toffee Bits. Drizzle caramel topping on top of it all.

 

Scandinavian Almond Cake Recipe

best almond cake recipe

Despite my half-breed Scandinavian heritage, I had never heard of Scandinavian Almond Cake until recently.  My favorite neighbor, and full-blooded Norwegian Paul Knutson, told me about it. His family made us corn bread in this odd-shaped pan, and said it was their pan for Norwegian Almond Bread. I had never heard of such a thing. I did a little research online and then asked to borrow the pan so I could add this to my culinary repertoire. (you can purchase a pan on Amazon – they’re not too expensive)

Let me confess that my first attempt was not a total success.  While it tasted great, the thing stuck to the pan and came out in clumps.  It was a huge blow to my self-esteem as a cook.  Sure, we still ate it, and everyone agreed it was delicious – but it wasn’t what I imagined when I set out to perfect this recipe.  The second attempt didn’t go much better.  Then, it became a battle.  Me vs. the Cake Pan.  I re-read instructions, tweaked the recipe, and tried to figure out what I was doing wrong.   Turns out the FOURTH time was the charm.  If you’ve struggled with this recipe yourself, read my tips below.  After “extensive” research, I think I have this sucker finally figured out.

The best part: its ingredients are found in your pantry. It’s SUPER frugal, but tastes rich. Top with powdered sugar, fruit preserves, a glaze, or whipped cream.

Scandinavian Almond Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
This traditional scandinavian almond cake is easy to make, and a treat for all!
Ingredients
  • 1¼ C. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1¼ C. flour
  • 1 stick melted margarine
  • 1½ tsp. almond extract
  • ⅔ C. milk
  • ½ tsp. baking powder

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, egg, flour, margarine, almond extract, milk and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Spray baking pan with PAM and sprinkle with WONDRA or a light flour. If desired, sprinkle the bottom of the pan with sliced or slivered almonds. Pour in batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan before inverting and removing from pan. Sprinkle slices with powdered sugar before serving.

 

I struggled with getting the cake out of the pan the first few times I made it.  The secrets to getting it out of the pan are:

  • Use margarine instead of butter
  • Spray the pan liberally with Baker’s Joy, or PAM then sprinkle with Wondra flour
  • Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with almonds before pouring in the batter
  • Don’t underbake.  The cake will turn golden brown before it’s done.  Use the toothpick test if necessary.
  • Cool cake completely in the pan before inverting

scandinavian-almond-cake-recipe/

swedish almond cake

swedish almond cake

 

Rainbow Cupcakes with Cool Whip Frosting

rainbow cupcakes with cool whip frosting

I’ve been wanting to make the colorful rainbow cupcakes I’ve seen online for a long time, but I wasn’t sure the best method to use.  First, I turned to my friends on the Mommysavers forum for advice on how to make rainbow cupcakes.  There are a few different methods of doing it, but I make mine the old-fashioned way with adding a few drops of food coloring into four different bowls of batter:  red, yellow, green and blue.  My friend Shell also has a real cool cheater method of making rainbow color swirl cupcakes.  That may be my NEXT project!

First, I headed off to get my supplies.

  • White box cake mix (I had eggs and oil at home already)
  • Food coloring
  • Frosting
  • Cupcake liners

Plus, for a limited time you’ll be able to print a high-value coupon for the Cool Whip Frosting I used:

kraft cool whip frosting #CoolWhipFrosting

First, frosting.  This new Kraft Cool Whip frosting is available in ready-to-go in three different flavors:  vanilla, chocolate and cream cheese. My Walmart only carried the chocolate and vanilla, but the cream cheese flavor sounds wonderful.   I found mine at Walmart for $2.28.  Each container frosts one cake or a batch of 18-24 cupcakes.  While at the store, I also picked up a boxed cake mix, food coloring, muffin cup liners, and a magazine (not on my list- oops!).

First, prepare your cake batter according to package directions.  A white or yellow cake works best.

rainbow cupcakes recipe

After you prepare your white cake batter, separate it into four separate bowls.  Add a few drops of food coloring into each bowl in rainbow colors you choose.

rainbow cupcakes recipe

Place 18 cupcake liners in muffin tins.  Layer the batter according to the colors of the rainbow.  I first did blue, then green, yellow and red.  I added approximately one teaspoon of each color in the bottom of each cupcake liner.

rainbow cupcakes recipe

Bake your cupcakes according to package directions and cool completely.

cool whip frosting

rainbow cupcakes

Since Cool Whip Frosting is a softer consistency than most frostings, make sure your cakes have thoroughly cooled before using it to prevent it from melting.  I also took the frosting out of the freezer to warm up for a few minutes before using it.  It was the perfect consistency for my piping bags.  It’s slightly firmer than regular Cool Whip whipped topping, but softer than a typical frosting.

cool whip frosting

To make frosting cakes and cupcakes easier AND more attractive, I use a basic Wilton cake decorating set coupler and tip.  You can get one for less than $10, and if taken care of will last forever.  Note:  Since the frosting is cream-based, you’ll need to make sure you keep them refrigerated.

rainbow cupcakes


rainbow cupcakes yum

My son LOVED them. He ate three right away and said, “The frosting is the best part!”

Frugal Tips:  You don’t need to purchase the fancy piping bags.  I just use a cheap-o sandwich bag like the one pictured above by cutting the tip off.  I can throw it away when I’m done, and wash my couplers for the next time I bake.

View my entire Rainbow Cupcakes with Cool Whip Frosting Photo Gallery on Google+.

Check out more awesome cupcakes & cakes on the Kraft Cool Whip Frosting Pinterest Board and more recipes at Kraft recipes.  Want to find out more about Cool Whip Frosting? Join the #CoolWhipFrosting Twitter Party on Wednesday, October 24 at 1pm EST if you are available!

Disclosure:  I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Kraft Cool Whip.  #CoolWhipFrosting #CBias #SocialFabric.  All opinions are my own.