Sweet treats: Make Neapolitan cupcakes, peach cake, more

Since Mother's Day is right around the corner, Betty Crocker food editor Kristen Olson is serving up fun recipes from the new cookbook "The Big Book of Cakes" that dad and the kids will love making — and mom will love eating! Here, she makes Neopolitan cupcakes, cookies 'n' cream angel cake, and peaches and buttercream cake.

Cookies 'n' cream angel cake
Servings:

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

    • 1 box white angel food cake mix
    • 1 1/4 cups cold water
    • 3 reduced-fat chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed
    • 1 package fluffy white frosting mix
    • 1/2 cup boiling water
    • 6 reduced-fat chocolate sandwich cookies, cut in half

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Move oven rack to lowest position (remove other racks). Heat oven to 350 degrees.2 In extra-large glass or metal bowl, beat cake mix and cold water with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 1 minute. Carefully fold crushed cookies into batter. Pour into ungreased 10-inch angel food (tube) cake pan. (Do not use fluted tube cake pan or 9-inch angel food pan or batter will overflow.)3. Bake 37 to 47 minutes or until top is dark golden brown and cracks feel very dry and are not sticky. Do not underbake. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heatproof bottle or funnel until cake is completely cool, about 2 hours.4. Run knife around edge of cake; remove from pan. Place on serving plate.5. In small glass or metal bowl, beat frosting mix and boiling water on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 5 to 7 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until stiff peaks form. Frost cake; garnish with sandwich cookie halves.

Neapolitan cupcakes

Ingredients

  • For cupcakes:

    • 1 box white cake mix with pudding
    • Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
    • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
    • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • For frosting and decorations:

    • 1 container (12 oz) chocolate whipped ready-to-spread frosting
    • 1 container (12 oz) fluffy white whipped ready-to-spread frosting
    • 1 container (12 oz) strawberry mist whipped ready-to-spread frosting
    • Assorted candy sprinkles
    • Additional miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place white paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.2. Make cake mix as directed on box for cupcakes, using water, oil and egg whites and adding almond extract and vanilla. Pour half of batter into small bowl; stir in cocoa and ½ cup chocolate chips. Divide chocolate batter evenly among muffin cups. Carefully spoon white batter evenly over chocolate batter.3. Bake as directed on box. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.4. Frost cupcakes with a layer of chocolate frosting, white frosting and strawberry frosting. Decorate with candy sprinkles and additional chocolate chips.

Peaches and buttercream cake
Servings:

Makes 16 servings

Ingredients

  • For cake:

    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 1/2 cups peach slices (canned or frozen and thawed, drained, or fresh)
    • 2⁄3 cup peach nectar or juice
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 eggs
  • For filling and frosting:

    • 3 cups butter, softened
    • 12 cups powdered sugar
    • 6 tablespoons reserved peach puree
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 or 2 drops pink gel food color
    • 1 or 2 drops orange gel food color

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms and sides of 3 (8-or 9-inch) round pans with shortening; lightly flour. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. Place peach slices in blender container. Cover; blend about 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour 1 cup pureed peaches into small bowl; stir in peach nectar, 2 teaspoons vanilla and orange peel. Reserve remaining puree for frosting.2. In a large bowl, beat 1 cup butter with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add granulated sugar, about ¼ cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture, about one-third at a time, and peach mixture, about half at a time, beating just until blended. Pour 2 cups batter into each pan.3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 40 minutes.4. For filling, in large bowl, beat 1 cup of the butter with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in 4 cups of the powdered sugar on low speed, 1 cup at a time, until smooth. Beat in 2 tablespoons reserved peach puree and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Place 1 cake layer on cake plate, top side up. Spread 2/3 cup frosting over top. Top with second layer, top side down; spread with 2/3 cup filling. Top with remaining layer, top side up. Thinly frost side and top of cake with remaining filling; set aside.5. In large bowl, beat remaining 2 cups butter with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in remaining 8 cups powdered sugar on low, about 1 cup at a time, until creamy. Beat in 4 tablespoons peach puree, 1 teaspoon vanilla and food color until desired peach color.6. Fill decorating bag fitted with large open star tip (½-inch opening). Starting about 1 ½ inches from bottom edge of cake, make center of rosette flower by squeezing frosting in a tight circle. Continue making concentric circles around center, to make flower about 3 inches in diameter. Make flowers to cover side of cake, staggering up and down around cake. Make flowers on top of cake and fill in open spaces with wavy lines.

Tips:

Sweet tips: The first layer of frosting for this cake is called a crumb coat. It coats and sets the crumbs so they don't combine with the outer frosting, making for a much prettier cake. Got leftover pureed peaches? Add them to a smoothie for a delicious flavor twist.

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