We have great neighbors – always really friendly and helpful. During the holiday season we like to gift them with some goodies; just to say thank you. We like to give food because the kids can partake and I find it easier to share than token gifts. I make a batch of cake batter and bake it in small loaf pans – it’s the perfect size to wrap and give-away.
Chocolate Cake – makes 6 small loaf cakes (adapted from Martha Stewart Living)
- Butter to grease pans
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus some for dusting.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups hot water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pans and line bottom with parchment paper cut to size. Grease parchment and dust with cocoa. Shake out excess.
- Sift cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar into bowl. Beat in oil, buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, and hot water one at a time, using a mixer set at low. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Pour batter into pans and fill about two thirds. Bake 30 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean (the larger your pans, the longer you need to bake it).
- Let cool completely on wire rack and remove cakes by flipping pan upside down. Remove parchment.
Cream Cheese Coconut Icing
- ½ stick of butter, softened
- 4 oz. of cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (optional)
- 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut
- Combine butter and cream cheese in bowl or food processer. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar until you reach the consistency you like. Add maple syrup until well combined and smooth. If you like your icing sweet, add more sugar. If you like your icing more liquid, add a tablespoon of milk.
- Spread loaves with icing and cover in coconut until it looks like they are snow covered.
Wrap each loaf in a clear treat bag and use a small piece of tape to seal. Cut a piece of craft paper into a 4 inch strip, wrap it around the cake and tape at the bottom (be careful handling the cake, you don’t want to squish the icing). Add a ribbon and a tag if you wish. Happy Giving!