Black Velvet Cake with Freakishly Good Peanut Butter Frosting

© Katherine Stetson

Over the top moist and chocolatey!

For the cake:

Butter and flour, for preparing the cake pans

  • 2 cups cake flour (or 1 ¾ all-purpose flour)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ¾ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee warm)
  • good quality dark chocolate, shaved, for garnish

Butter and flour two 88-inch cake pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Measure the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine and remove any lumps. Combine the wet ingredients, except for the coffee, in a separate bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Stir in the warm coffee. Divide batter between the two cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack for an additional 40-60 minutes. Frost the cakes and sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

For the frosting:

Note: If you prefer a sweeter frosting, double or triple the confectioners sugar.

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1  cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

With a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add in the sugar until combined. Spoon into a piping bag and frost the cake. Sprinkle the top with chocolate shavings and/or crushed peanuts.

Toasted Pecan Fudge

© Katherine Stetson

For an 8×8 pan:

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 14 ounce can sweetened evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups pecans

Line an 8×8 baking dish with tin foil.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scatter pecans in one layer on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool and chop.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine evaporated milk and chocolate and stir until the chocolate has completely melted. You’ll notice that the mixture becomes quite glossy and that’s a good sign! Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pecans. Pour into the baking dish and allow the mixture to cool down before covering with tin foil and refrigerating.

Fudge will be set and ready to cut in four hours.

Famous Icebox Cake

© Katherine Stetson

For six servings:

  • 1 box Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Whip cream to soft peaks.  Add sugar and vanilla and continue whipping until firm. On a large platter, stack wafers with whipped cream horizontally, in two rows, side by side. Reserve 3-4 wafers to crumble on the top. Smooth additional whipped cream on the top and sides and sprinkle with the wafer crumbles.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for four hours.

Raspberry Pecan Fool with Spice Crumbles

© Katherine Stetson

Serves six.

Cookie Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Raspberry Puree Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/3 cup honey

Fool Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole pecans
  • 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 ½ cup fresh raspberries
  • fresh mint sprigs, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine butter, molasses, sugar and egg in a bowl and mix well. Sift in remaining ingredients and mix well. Drop by teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove cookies to a rack and let cool. Reserve six cookies and coarsely chop enough cookies to measure 3 cups.


Mash raspberries with a fork and stir in honey.


Toast pecans in a 375 degree oven for 8 minutes. Cool and chop. Whip cream to soft peaks. Add sugar and continue whipping to firm peaks.

Assembly:  Fold puree and pecans into whipped cream, leaving generous streaks of cream.  Layer with cookie crumbles and a few whole raspberries in parfait glasses. Top with mint and a single cookie stuck into the side.

Flim Flam Flan

© Katherine Stetson

As a note, this is identical to the Hidden Treasure Custard that I enjoyed as a child, and is more true to the French custard than to the Mexican, which utilizes condensed milk.

Swap the brown sugar for maple syrup for an unexpected ‘treasure’.

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar placed in each of six ramekins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Arrange six ramekins in a 9×13 Pyrex baking dish (or roasting pan) and fill each with one tablespoon brown sugar.

Use a stand or hand mixer to blend remaining ingredients.  Strain mixture through a mesh sieve into a spouted bowl or measuring cup.  Divide custard evenly into ramekins.

Place pan onto middle rack of oven and carefully pour simmering water into the pan, half-way up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for 60-70 minutes or until custard is set but still slightly wiggly in the centers.  Remove ramekins from pan and cool on a rack.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours or until well chilled.  Run a knife gently around rim of ramekin and invert onto a plate.  Garnish with fresh fruit or whipped cream.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.