Thanksgiving is just two short weeks away and I’ve got a dessert that’s sure to please! My recipe for Glazed Double-Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake starts with a boxed cake mix and is filled with classic fall spices. Continue reading “Bake My Glazed Double Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake This Thanksgiving”
It’s mid-morning on a sunny Saturday, after a satisfying brunch and visit to my local farmers’ market. Dressed completely casually with nowhere to be, I stroll along East Main Street in downtown Statesboro to find an inviting sidewalk chalkboard and the doors open wide at CAKE Bakery and Cool Beanz Espresso Bar. Upon entering, I discover much more than cupcakes and caffeine. Here two kindred spirits — one culinary artist and one head coffee geek — have joined forces to make their dreams a reality.
Meet David Hoyle, former senior project manager for a technology integration company, turned owner of Cool Beanz Espresso Bar. Here’s a guy who said, ‘It’s now or never,’ and dove head first into his passion–pure coffee, expertly brewed. He started down the path of coffee discovery after tasting his first cup of lightly roasted coffee on a business trip in Caracas, Venezuela. Before, David says he was a fan of triple grande, 3-pump skinny mochas. When it came to drinking coffee, he would disguise its bitter taste with heavy doses of cream and sugar, consuming what he calls “coffee-flavored sugar milk.” Curiosity led him to begin experimenting with various brewing methods which can alter and enhance the flavor profile of a coffee bean. Now, just over two months into his new business venture, he’s having the time of his life offering three different brewing techniques to Southeast Georgians everywhere: Pour-over, Immersion and Espresso. He prepares every single cup by hand. Armed with the finest local ingredients, he’s ready to rock your coffee world.
Two Statesboro-based coffee companies supply all David’s coffee beans: Three Tree Coffee Roasters and Iron Wedge. Java isn’t all he’s serving up. You can order hot chocolate, frozen chocolate shakes, chai tea lattes and milk. On my last visit, I ordered Three Tree’s Ethiopian coffee. Naturally bright and sweet with a hint of berries, every sip was smooth going down, not wanting for anything.
This is Shannon Ward, bakery owner. A former registered radiologic technologist and sonographer, Shannon enjoyed her career in the medical field but needed a job that would allow her creative spirit to soar. After becoming a stay-at-home-mom, she began baking cake pops and cakes for extra income. She gained quite a following in Screven and Bulloch Counties, and with the support of many encouraging friends and family, gained the confidence to open CAKE.
In addition to those tried and true flavors like chocolate, birthday and red velvet cake, Shannon enjoys changing up the menu daily, offering creations like the baklava cupcake with all the essentials–lemon, honey and pistachios–or her maple and bacon cupcake. She says she loves the freedom of coming into her kitchen early in the morning, looking at what she has on hand and whipping up something unexpected and amazing. So far, I’ve tried the PB&J and Key Lime flavors. I also love her nod to all things local, from the ingredients she bakes with to the Georgia Southern-inspired True Blue cupcakes. Based on customer requests and her own inspiration, Forrest Gump might equate the ever-changing menu to a box of chocolates–you never know what you’re going to get.
CAKE is a small space with big impact. Chic and modern with exposed brick walls and quaint little tables, the atmosphere is inviting and cozy. The artwork hanging in the bakery is all for sale and painted by a local artist. Even the fresh flowers on each table are provided by a neighboring florist. Food is served on dinnerware with metal utensils. These small touches really enhance each visit. You get a happy and pleasant energy the moment you enter, and those kinds of details keep me coming back.
With a name like CAKE, what’s not to love?
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Thanks for stopping by! If you like this post, you may also be interested to read about a few of the other local restaurants and bakeries I’ve reviewed. As the Statesboro Herald food columnist and a Georgia Southern University alumna, the ‘Boro is a second home to me. Be sure to like Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter, to keep up with all my latest, local food discoveries.
Watermelon is an iconic symbol of summertime. When I learned it could be incorporated into a cake, I was super excited to get in the kitchen and bake it. Pretty in pink and sweet as can be, this cake is bursting with watermelon flavor, light and airy, and comes together quickly.
It all starts from a boxed white cake mix. Gather your ingredients and go to town! The recipe calls for a mixed-fruit-flavored gelatin, so I used strawberry-banana. I’m convinced it was the secret ingredient that really boosted the cake’s flavor.
You’re never too old to lick the beaters! 😉
Divide the batter evenly among two 8-inch round cake pans and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. I like to drop my pans on the counter top before popping them in the oven to get rid of any air bubbles.
Meanwhile, whip up the frosting. It’s very sweet and achieving the right consistency can be tricky. Here’s what’s in it: 1 16 oz. box of confectioners sugar, 1 stick of margarine and 1/2 – 1 cup of chopped watermelon. Red food coloring is optional and I chose to add it because without it, the frosting appeared to be the color of peach. A few drops will turn it pink, the same color as the batter. Remember–too runny? Add more powdered sugar. Too thick? Add more watermelon.
Once the cakes have cooled completely, they are ready to frost. Note: I used Crisco to grease my pans and also dusted them with flour…they released the best I’ve ever seen any cake let go from a pan. THAT’S a beautiful thing.
Frosting the cake is a messy job. Use wax paper under your cake to avoid having so much to clean up.
Ta-da! So fun, so festive.
In the video below, watch as I cut the cake and share some ideas on places to take it! If you do bake the cake for a gender reveal party, obviously, you’ll want to change the color of the frosting.
Special thanks to my friend, Tori, for help with photography and video for this blog post, and contributing to the recipe (girl’s night was a blast!). 🙂
Also, a shout out to Jessica for posting this cake on Facebook and inspiring me to make it. This recipe originally appeared in The Blue Willow Inn: Bible of Southern Cooking:
- 1 Tbs. All-Purpose Flour
- 1 18.25 oz. Box White Cake Mix ( I used the Duncan Hines brand)
- 1 3 oz. Package of Mixed-Fruit-Flavored Gelatin
- 3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 Cup Chopped Watermelon
- 4 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup (1 stick) of Margarine, Softened
- 1 16 oz. Box Confectioners’ Sugar
- 1/2 to 1 Cup Watermelon
- Red Food Coloring (Optional)
I made this labor intensive Special-Occasion Chocolate Cake for several of my co-workers who celebrated birthdays one fall. It’s three layers of the most moist, delicious combination of toasted almonds, fudgy buttercream frosting and chocolate ganache you’ll ever taste. This recipe, courtesy of Taste of Home, is the epitome of Some Kinda Good.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get many pictures but as soon as I began cutting into the cake and describing it, the next thing I knew, my co-workers were video taping. HA! I was being silly, but they were successful in capturing my passion for all things chocolate and heavenly. They also got a great shot of the decadent layers. Thanks Mark and Ryan!
I started baking the cake at 7 p.m. and didn’t finish until after 10 p.m., but every second was worth it. By the way, the recipe is named Special Occasion for a reason…be sure to save it for an indulgent celebration.