Today we are celebrating a big birthday at the bake shop. We are eight years old! So much has happened in eight years, and I also feel like time has stood still. One of the big accomplishments I'm feeling today is that I feel established as a business. While we still get new people that come into the shop all the time, and I hope that never stops, I love that we have long time, loyal, and regular customers. We've had them since day one, and I couldn't be more thankful and grateful to those people who have been supporting us since that first day, that first year, or their first time in the bake shop. If that's you, then you should know it because we talk when you stop in, I give you extra cookies in your bag, I let you taste blog recipes after they're made, I give you the cookie with the "most frosting", and I make extra whipped cream just for you. Those are my ways of saying thank you, thank you for supporting us, for loving our desserts, and for sharing them with your family and friends. I'm thankful for the relationships I've developed with you because you're a customer! I've watched your kids go from small to big, and I know all your favorite flavors, and you get just as excited as I do when we have a new menu item. These are the moments that make the bake shop feel whole.
Not only that, but we also have an amazing staff right now. And that is something I am really proud of. I love that people want to work at my bake shop, and bake desserts, laugh, joke around, serve customers, and of course clean (because we all know that's part of the job). We have a really relaxed work environment and when we have good people in the shop, it just makes it that much better. And, as a boss when you have an employee tell you that "they are the happiest they've ever been" while working for you, then that is a dream come true. So, today I have many things to be thankful for as we celebrate eight years in business. I hope that the next eight years are just as good - and that they are full of new and amazing things, like franchises!
So to celebrate today I made a Spiced Plum Cake, and if you're thinking what Delaney was thinking you're probably wondering "a plum cake? with spices?". He was skeptical too at first - until he ate a slice. This cake is light and fluffy, and instead of using just plain milk I made a honey milk with cloves and cardamom and then used it inside the cake. It really brings out a subtle but perfect flavor. I also used a cream cheese frosting on this cake - shocker! You know I don't usually make things with cream cheese frosting, it's never been a favorite of mine. But, I will say (for those of you like me, who usually prefer a sweet buttercream) there are just some recipes that truly are better with a cream cheese frosting - and this is one of them! It pairs perfectly with the lightly spiced cake, and adding fresh, ripe plums on top makes this the perfect cake to transition from summer into fall. Not only that, but making this cake naked makes it so easy. Find the recipe for my Spiced Plum Cake below.
Spiced Plum Cake
Makes 3 Layer 6-inch Cake
1/2 cup organic milk
21 grams (1 tablespoon) organic raw honey
1/2 teaspoon organic cloves
1/4 teaspoon organic cardamom
3 (102 grams) organic large egg whites
1 stick (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
170 grams (3/4 cup) organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
170 grams (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) all natural cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 ounces (226 grams) Organic Valley Cream Cheese
1 stick (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
425 grams (3 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
3 organic ripe plums
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, add the milk, honey, cloves, and cardamom. Put over high heat, stirring until it reaches 140°F on a thermometer, the honey will be dissolved and the spices will be fragrant. Remove from heat, set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and whisk starting on low, gradually increasing to high until stiff peaks form. Remove the egg whites from the mixing bowl, and transfer to another bowl. Set aside.
In the same mixing bowl (no need to wash) fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, cane sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined and there are no chunks of butter.
In a separate bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, and sea salt and whisk together. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low until combined into a sandy texture. Slowly add the milk mixture and mix on low until combined, scraping sides of bowl, as you’ll need to make sure all the dry bits are incorporated. Remove mixing bowl from stand.
Add the egg whites into the mixing bowl with butter mixture, and fold until you no longer see pockets of egg whites and you have a smooth batter. Divide the batter evenly into each cake pan, about 212 grams each. Spread evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before starting the frosting.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese and butter. Mix on low until combined. Then add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined, then speed mixer up to high for 1 minute or until light and fluffy.
On a cake spinner or stand, place the first cake layer. Add a generous amount of frosting and spread evenly. Top with the second cake layer and repeat the process. Add the remaining frosting on top. Slice plums into thin slices, and top cake.
Store in the fridge covered for up to 3 days.
Gluten Free – Replace the cake flour with 170 grams (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) organic gluten free flour blend.
High Altitude – Bake at 350°F for 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.