Monday, October 31, 2011

PINK Italian Cream Cake ~ Go Passionately Pink for the Cure

Susan G. Komen CEO~Too Much Pink Is Never Enough

Hopefully the cure for cancer will be found soon!
Though October is the month where fundraising is a huge focus, it doesn’t end this month.
Fundraising is vital.
Next month, I’ll be hosting a bake sale to raise funds for
Susan G. Komen for the Cure via Passionately Pink for the Cure.

Completed a month of photos in October dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
My Susan G. Komen for the Cure photos can be found on
flickr under my profile name, bakingismyzenllc.

Enjoy a great song by Melissa Etheridge who is also a breast cancer survivor.
Artist: Melissa Etheridge
Anjelica's "Crazy Hope" – music video

I will be raising money for SUSAN G. KOMEN for the CURE (Passionately Pink for the Cure).
Started a team called
 GET YOUR PINK ON with Baking is my Zen. (Team ID#10864095).

If you’re interested in donating:
Click on ‘GIVE TO A TEAM”.
Team Name: GET YOUR PINK ON with Baking is my Zen
Team ID#: 10864095
You’ll receive an electronic receipt when donating online.

Every dollar counts. Thank You for your donation!

UPDATE: 11/15/11
Bake sale of 11/13/11 is done. I started this endeavor late and wasn’t able to get a good location. Going forward, I plan to start earlier to get a prime location.

A few things I will consider next time for a profitable bake sale. Here goes:
·        Location, location, location! Pick a location with a lot of foot traffic.
·        Hours of Operation: Sell for as many hours in the day as possible to rack up sales.
·        Advertising: Make sure to spread the news of the bake sale by word of mouth, distributing flyers and mentioning it online.

Thank you’s go out to:
©      Walmart and Bed, Bath and Beyond who provided gift certificates.
©      Society Hill’s Board for allowing the bake sale to take place in the clubhouse.
©      Those who donated on my online Passionately Pink For The Cure team.

Winners of the Bake Sale’s Drawing: Bed, Bath & Beyond $20 Gift Certificate:

A Special THANK YOU to those who provided baked goods for the bake sale:

415 Amwell Road
Hillsborough, NJ 08844

Other Baker’s Treat Locations:

42 State Route 12  
Flemington, New Jersey 08822

9B Church Street
Lambertville, NJ 08530

40 North Bridge Street
Somerville, NJ 08876

465 W Union Ave
Bound Brook, NJ 08805
(732) 356-6077

49 W Somerset St
Raritan, NJ 08869
(908) 725-2196
Thank you Jody for your wonderful customer service!

Gaston Avenue Bakery

85 North Gaston Avenue
Somerville, NJ, 08876
(908) 722-0511

Items not sold at the bake sale were donated to the Ozanam Inn, a men’s shelter.
20 Abeel St
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 729-0850
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What to bake? How about a PINK Italian Cream Cake?
I was able to find some pink ribbons to adorn the cake.
The recipe photo tutorial can be found on my blog post,

PINK Italian Cream Cake
(From Beth Lott's Mom)
Adapted by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen

Total Time:  1 hr 2 min
Prep 35 min
Inactive 2 min
Cook 25 min
Yield: 1 (3-layer) cake, servings 10
Level: Intermediate


1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated and at room temperature
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup butter, (2 oz) softened at room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
1/8 teaspoon salt (my addition)
Food coloring – Brand: Wilton: Color: Red-Red (use just a drop or two for a pink hue)

COCONUT SIMPLE SYRUP: (optional-my addition)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons cream of coconut (Coco Lopez brand) –add more if desired


1.      Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.      Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. (I use oil spray and parchment paper).
3.      Measure out all your ingredients.
4.      Put egg whites in a mixing bowl, have beaters ready. Set aside.
5.      Sift and mix the flour, baking soda and salt together into a bowl. Set aside.
6.      In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy, (about 5 minutes). Scrape the bowl down with a spatula
7.      Add the egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl down with a spatula to incorporate the batter and eggs.
8.      With the mixer on LOW speed, add the dry sifted ingredients in batches alternately with the wet ingredient, buttermilk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. (Namely: add 1/3 dry, ½ wet, mix till combined, add 1/3 dry, ½ wet, mix till combined, add 1/3 dry and mix till combined). DO NOT OVERBEAT.
9.      EGG WHITES: In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and GENTLY FOLD into the prepared batter.
10.  Add the coconut, chopped pecans and vanilla and fold into the batter.
11.  Divide the batter among the 3 prepared cake pans.
12.  Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a tester come out clean when inserted into the middle of each cake.
13.  Set aside the cooling racks for the 3 cakes. (I lightly spray the racks with oil. I use PAM)

While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting.
1.      In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy.
2.      Add the sifted powdered sugar and salt. *Add a drop or two of food coloring. Mix until thoroughly combined.
3.      Add the nuts and fold together.
4.      Keep refrigerated until you are ready to frost the cake.

1.      Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes.
2.      Turn cakes out onto wire racks to finish cooling.

Coconut Simple syrup:
You can probably half the recipe for the syrup. There will be syrup leftover.
1.      Add one cup water and one cup sugar in a saucepan.
2.      Stirring occasionally, mix until sugar is dissolved.
3.      Remove from heat.
4.      Pour syrup in a bowl.
5.      Cool completely.
6.      Open the can of cream of coconut.
7.      Spoon out about 3 tablespoons (or more) into a small bowl.
8.      Microwave the cream of coconut until it is thick but pourable.
9.      For EACH cake layer: combine and mix 2 tablespoons simple syrup and 2 tablespoons cream of coconut. (you can increase or decrease these amounts)

Frost the cooled cakes:
1.      Poke holes in the cooled cake layers.
2.      Brush layers with coconut simple syrup.
3.      Stack the layers with the frosting.
4.      Frost the sides and top.

Enjoy your baking and remember to
GET YOUR PINK ON with Baking is my Zen.
Peace in baking,

Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul

Happy Halloween Treat: Pumpkin Brownies


Looking for a quick TREAT for your kids or party on HALLOWEEN?
How about baking a batch of brownies?
In keeping with the color theme, Pumpkin Brownies would be ideal.
The pumpkin in the brownies give it an orange hue.
This recipe is simple to make, a different twist to the typical brownie and most of all, delicious!

The Pumpkin Brownies recipe photo tutorial can be found on my blog post,

Pumpkin Brownies ~ Fall Comfort
Adapted by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen

Yields: 16 servings

¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter, melted
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves (I use pumpkin spice)
½ teaspoon nutmeg (I use pumpkin spice)

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.      Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
3.      dry ingredients: In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
4.      wet ingredients: In a large bowl combine butter, sugar, and vanilla; beat in eggs one at a time with a spoon (I use a wisk).
5.      Gradually add dry ingredients to wet and stir until batter is well blended. DO NOT OVERMIX.
6.      Divide batter into 2 separate bowls:
BOWL 1: Blend in cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
BOWL 2: Blend in pumpkin puree, walnuts, cinnamon, (cloves and nutmeg-I use pumpkin spice instead).
7.      Pour ½ of chocolate mixture in pan followed by ½ of pumpkin mixture.
8.      Repeat layers: Pour ½ of chocolate mixture in pan followed by ½ of pumpkin mixture
9.      Smooth out the top with spatula. Gently swirl two batters together. (I don’t swirl the batter).
10.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
11.  Cool pan of brownies on cooling rack.
12.  Remove from pan.
13.  Cut into bars or shapes and enjoy.

Happy Halloween! Be Safe!

Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul




Thank You.

~ Carmen Ortiz - blogger (Baking is my Zen)