Why I shouldn’t be allowed to decorate cakes, book giveaways and deals!

Cake Decorating Gone Horribly Wrong

For Mother’s Day I decided to make my mother a chocolate cake. I’ve had problems with this before, like in 2016.  While have a natural feel for cooking, baking has my number. All that measuring. I can’t stand it. But this year turned out really well! I’m sharing the recipe I used (which shows up all over the Internet so I’m not sure who to credit it to) along with a few tweaks I made.
Cake was delicious. The decorating… that was another story. I thought I’d use some gold sparkles to make a sort of pinwheel effect…

You can see immediately the problem. Not wanting to give my mother a Nazi cake, I quickly tried to erase it by placing a ring around it:

Which looks a little too much like an X-Men patch and still, well… not good. So I tried again:

Still super ugly, but that’s what she got. At least it was delicious! Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Cake
  • 1 3/4 cup Flour
  • 1 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa (high quality)
  • 2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 cup Oil (canola or coconut oil) I used coconut
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Buttermilk (I keep buttermilk powder in the house for bread baking, fried chicken… it turns up handy for a lot of stuff.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 cup Hot Water
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups Butter, softened (I used only 1/2 cup of butter.)
  • 1 cup Cocoa
  • 5 cups Powdered Sugar (I only used about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup Cream or Milk (I didn’t have either of these in the house, so I used 1 1/4 cup of sour cream, which turned out GREAT)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. If you have a flour sifter, sift all dry ingredients.

In mixing bowl, beat oil, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla for 1 minute. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Pour in hot water and mix together.

Spray two 8 or 9 inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. You can also use three 8 inch cake pans for this recipe. Pour batter evenly into each pan. Bake at 22-27 minutes. Place toothpick or cake tester in the center of cake to check if it comes out clean.

Let cool before frosting.

To make Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

In mixing bowl, cream together Butter, Cocoa, Powdered Sugar, and Cream until light and fluffy. You may want to add more cream or milk depending on consistency. Once cake has cooled and has been removed from pans, frost each layer with frosting. Top cake with chocolate shavings.


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Evil: Finding St. Germaine (Alexandra Destephano Book 5)  FREE JUNE 17

For Fans of Robin Cook, Tess Gerritsen, Patricia Cornwell, Michael Palmer

Alex returns to Wyndley Farm, her childhood home in Virginia, to await the birth of her baby. An urgent call from Crescent City Medical Center compels her to return to New Orleans to investigate cruel, questionable incidents and heinous patient deaths. Digger Stildove returns from Yemen where he has searched for Jacob Stark. Michaela McPherson travels from Richmond with police dog Angel to consult with Commander Francoise in his search for St. Germaine. Events unfold as the evil continues and the hospital attempts to safeguard patients and staff.

Mary’s daughter, Cathy, is visiting Dune House, the majestic B&B on the beach, for a few days. Best friends Suzie and Mary are so excited to spend time with her. They are looking forward to catching up, enjoying each other’s company and relaxing on the beach with their boisterous yellow Labrador, Pilot. Suzie, Mary and Cathy manage to get a last-minute appointment at a new salon and spa. They are ready for a day of relaxation and pampering.

But when a well-loved and influential resident dies at the spa, they find themselves right in the middle of a baffling murder investigation. Suzie and Mary soon discover that Cathy inherited a passion for solving mysteries from her mother, and the three join forces to try and unmask the killer. But the trio soon discover that the victim was not as well loved as it appeared, and she had many secrets. Will they be able to uncover the secrets and suspects in time to find the murderer?

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USA Today and WSJ Bestselling Author Sam Cheever has a brand new book in her bestselling Enchanting Inquiries Paranormal Cozy series! Unbaked Croakies is the series Prequel. 

How in the name of the goddess’s favorite sports bra am I going to do this Magical Librarian job? I have no idea what I’m doing. And the woman who’s supposed to be training me is…well, let’s just say she’s distracted and leave it at that. I guess I’ll bumble through. It’s become something of a trademark move for me. 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/unbaked-croakies

GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=4njrDwAAQBAJ

 

Start Date: 06-08-2020End Date: 06-17-2020

Lie Like a Rug

By Donna Murray

Usual Price: 4.99 Sale: .99

Gin Barnes longs to save her childhood babysitter, “Uncle Wunk,” from a retirement spent in federal prison, but how can she convince a jury he’s innocent of antique fraud and murder if she fails to convince herself?

 

Amy Vansant

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