The Baking Owl

a blog written by an aspiring 17 year old baker.


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pumpkin pecan cake.

Thanksgiving in the Abbas household consists of many traditions; family ping pong tournaments, way-too-intense games of scrabble, jazz music (which I’m still not exactly sure how it became tradition), watching football & cricket, and of course food. So Much Food.

The obvious main part of Thanksgiving is forgetting you’re on a diet and proceeding to eat the whole dining table, but in my family, it’s a little bit different. Every year we attempt (mostly successfully) to create a weird Pakistani-Indian-Also Partly Vegan-American fusion of our Thanksgiving dinner which somehow results in more food then we can devour at once. The hardest part hands down is stopping ourselves from eating too much so we have room for dessert.

Which leads to my (shocker) favorite part, dessert.

Desserts sometimes vary from year to year, but most of the time we stick to at least two different types of pies, three different types of ice cream, and a cake that I take responsibility every year.

This year I opted for my favorite pumpkin cake with roasted pecans and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It’s a bit of a handful to say, but it sure was good.

This was three layers of crunchy pecans, creamy icing, and soft, spiced cake. Everyone knows that eating anything pumpkin flavored is basically a crime before the holiday season so this was basically what I dreamt about for the ten months before Fall started.

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Naked Dark Double Chocolate Layer Cake w/ Vanilla Cream Cheese

Last week, my aunt came all the way from Pakistan to visit my family here in California. I of course had to bake a “Welcome to California” cake, so what better than this decadent naked dark double chocolate cake paired with my favorite vanilla cream cheese frosting? Nothing. Nothing is better than this.

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It didn’t hurt that my aunt is also a chocoholic like me and my brother ;).

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Gold & White Red Velvet Cake w/ Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (Cake 4 Kids Contest {2015})

It’s been a whole year since the last Cake-Off 4 Kids, so you know what that means…

I just competed in the 2015 Cake 4 Kids contest! If you don’t know already, for the past two years, I’ve competed in this cake competition. This competition is held by the non profit organization I volunteer for called Cake 4 Kids. I’ve always loved competing in this contest, so I was really excited to be baking for this one again.

In the past two years, I was in the “Made by Kids”  category, but this year I didn’t register in time to be in this category, so I had to choose a category that wasn’t filled up. I ended up choosing the “Best Tasting” category.

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Thanksgiving Desserts

This Thanksgiving I was with my family and cousins in Tampa, Florida. And as usual, I was in charge of the desserts.

My cousins had never tasted any of my desserts before so I wanted them to try some of my specialties – that included moist and delicious red velvet cupcakes, pumpkin spice cupcakes, flourless chocolate cake and cinnamon rolls.

It was a lot of fun making these desserts even though I wasn’t in my own kitchen and I didn’t have my faithful Kitchen Aid mixer with me. But they all turned out great as all these recipes can be made by hand with just a little more effort.

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