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If you are trying to improve on banana cake, you’ll probably end up baking a dulce de leche banana cake. The addition of caramelized milk takes this plain dessert cake to a level you probably would not have thought possible. Instead of refined white sugar, I used my all-time favourite, light muscovado, to give the crumb a rich golden hue and omitted the eggs, replacing them with 1/4 cup applesauce. The substitution resulted in a delightfully moist texture for an eggless cake without compromising the integrity of the crumb. Adapted from Bakers Royale, this simple teatime treasure can be topped with a layer of cream cheese frosting for those with an incurable sweet tooth.



For the Cake

½ cup unsweetened yogurt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup light muscovado sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon table salt

1 cup bananas, mashed

¾ cup dulce de leche


  • Heat oven to 350 oF. Lightly butter a 9-inch cake pan and then dust with flour. Place parchment round on bottom of pan.
  • For the cake, place the plain yogurt in a bowl and add baking soda; set aside. Mix butter and sugar until light and creamy.

  • Add eggs (if using) and beat until combined. Add vanilla extract and beat till combined. Mix flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Mix bananas, dulce de leche and yogurt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 parts, alternating with banana mixture.

  • Mix after each addition until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan and bake at 350 oF for about 45 minutes.
  • Cool cake for 5 minutes in cake pan. Remove cake and continue to cool cake completely on a wire rack. Makes a 9-inch cake.

Dulce de Leche & Banana

My very first attempt at baking without the usual butter and eggs, this moist and fluffy cake does not look like it has been deprived of the very basic ingredients of cake baking. The fat to build up the structure of this cake comes mainly from milk solids which is probably healthier than the lipids found in butter or margarine. The resulting texture is a pleasant spongy crumb which benefits from the addition of anything from dried fruit, chocolate chips or chopped nuts. And to dress it up for Holi, the festival of colours, I drizzled the finished cake with a mixture of vibrant shades of red, green and yellow sugar icing. Wishing everyone a happy and colourful Holi 2014!



2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups Nestle Dessert Cream

1 cup unsweetened yogurt

3/4 cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup dried raisin-berries

1/2 cup full cream milk


  • Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease and flour a 6-cup Bundt pan. Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda together in a large bowl.

  • In another bowl, beat the cream with sugar, yogurt and vanilla extract until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is homogenous.

  • Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture alternating with the milk and fold in carefully until everything comes together smoothly.

  • Lastly fold in the raisin-berries and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 180oC for about 45 minutes until golden brown.

  • Remove the cake from the oven and stand for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 20 servings.

Happy Holi friends!

It is that time of the year when red colour predominates and red roses as well as boxes of Ferrero Rocher get sold out faster than anything else. Restaurants are booked well in advance and cheesy poem contests are held online to celebrate romance in the form of Valentine’s Day. As I keep saying it every year, there is nothing that can impress your loved one than your own efforts; plan an elaborate 3-course meal at home and finish in style with a detectable dessert – the classic yet sensational Dark Chocolate Mousse, the Quick & Easy Microwave Chocolate Cake or achieve perfection with these Chocolate Chip Cookies or these Double Chocolate Brownies. This time I decided to forego the chocolate and went all red with this no-fail Red Velvet Cake with heavenly Mascarpone & Cream Cheese Frosting, adapted from Australian Women’s Weekly.



For the Cake Batter

125 g butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour

2 tablespoons cornflour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup (250ml) buttermilk

1 teaspoon red food coloring

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 cup (50g) flaked coconut

For the Frosting

250g cream cheese, softened

1 cup (160g) icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

250g mascarpone cheese

1 1/4 cups (300ml) thickened cream


  • Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease two deep 22cm round cake pans; line bases and sides with baking paper.

  • Beat butter, extract, sugar and eggs in a small bowl with an electric mixer till light and fluffy. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

  • Stir in sifted flours, cocoa and the combined buttermilk and food coloring, in two batches. Combine vinegar and soda in a cup.

  • Allow to fizz, then fold into cake mixture. Divide mixture between pans. Bake for about 25 minutes. Stand for 10 minutes in pan.

  • Turn the cakes top-side up onto a wire rack to cool. Wrap cakes in plastic; freezing for 40 minutes makes splitting cakes easier.

  • For the frosting, beat cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar and extract in a small bowl with electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

  • On medium speed, beat in mascarpone until just combined, then beat in cream until smooth and spreadable. Split cakes in half.

  • Place one layer on serving plate, cut-side up; spread with 2/3 cup frosting. Repeat layering, finishing with remaining frosting.

With lots of love

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