Blue-Ribbon Baking

Blue-Ribbon Cherry Pie

The summer months mean fair season is underway throughout Ohio, bringing with it the colorful midways, amusement rides, and food stands selling all kinds of festival fare.

Fair season also is the time Buckeye bakers set their sights on coveted blue ribbons with their cakes, pies, and other homemade treats — and here are some surefire winners!

Triple-Layer Chocolate Cake
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Servings
12 servings
Servings
12 servings
Triple-Layer Chocolate Cake
Print Recipe
Servings
12 servings
Servings
12 servings
Ingredients
Cake
  • Softened butter for baking pans
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Filling
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla
Frosting
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Servings: servings
Instructions
For the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round nonstick cake pans and line bottoms with waxed paper.
  2. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, add cocoa powder, and whisk until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  3. Beat 1/2 cup butter in large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Add granulated sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Alternately add dry ingredients and cooled cocoa mixture to butter mixture in three additions. Beat until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in centers of layers comes out clean. Transfer pans to wire racks and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans and carefully peel off waxed paper. Let cool.
For filling
  1. Beat together powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth and spreadable. Set aside.
For frosting
  1. Combine chocolate chips, heavy cream, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking until melted.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar and whisk thoroughly. Place pan in a large bowl partially filled with ice to cool, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent frosting from becoming too stiff.
To assemble
  1. Place one layer on serving plate and use a serrated knife to trim to a level surface if needed. Spread half the filling over first layer before using the remainder on the second layer. Top with third cake layer.
  2. Spread cooled frosting over top and sides of cake. Serve immediately or cover cake and refrigerate up to 3 days. Let cake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Blue-Ribbon Cherry Pie
Print Recipe
Servings
6 servings
Servings
6 servings
Blue-Ribbon Cherry Pie
Print Recipe
Servings
6 servings
Servings
6 servings
Ingredients
Crust
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar (plus 1 tsp. sugar)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shortening (plus 2 Tbsp. shortening)
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
Glaze
  • milk
  • sugar
Filling
  • 1 cup cherry juice (drained from cherries)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 cups frozen red sour pitted cherries (thawed and drained)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 drops red food coloring
Servings: servings
Instructions
For the crust
  1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl.
  2. Cut in shortening until all flour is blended to form pea-size chunks.
  3. Combine water, egg, and vinegar in small bowl. Sprinkle over flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with a fork until dough forms a ball (you may not need all the liquid).
  4. Divide dough into 2 pieces. Flatten each piece and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until chilled.
For the filling
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In saucepan, combine cherry juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Cook until mixture begins to thicken (it does not need to boil). Allow to cool slightly. Add cherries, butter, flavoring, and food coloring.
  3. Roll out bottom crust and place in 9-inch pie plate. Roll out top crust and cut into strips to form lattice crust. Spoon filling into pastry-lined pan and dot with butter. Top with lattice crust. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until filling in center is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
Light Strawberry Pie
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Servings
8 servings
Servings
8 servings
Light Strawberry Pie
Print Recipe
Servings
8 servings
Servings
8 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. unsweetened crushed pineapple
  • 1 (0.8 oz.) pkg. sugar-free cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (0.3 oz.) pkg. sugar-free strawberry gelatin
  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 reduced-fat graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup light whipped topping
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice in a 2-cup measuring cup. Set pineapple aside.
  2. Add enough water to juice to measure 11/2 cups; transfer to a saucepan. Whisk in the pudding mix and gelatin until combined.
  3. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in pineapple. Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Add strawberries; toss gently to coat. Pour into crust. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.
  5. Top each piece with 1 tablespoon whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers.
Recipe Notes

Per serving: 159 calories, 4 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.

"Skinny" Chocolate Cake
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Servings
9 servings
Servings
9 servings
"Skinny" Chocolate Cake
Print Recipe
Servings
9 servings
Servings
9 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (or pastry or cake flour)
  • 6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup water
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and chocolate chips.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together nut butter, yogurt, and vanilla; gradually whisk in water. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined; don't overmix.
  4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes or until batter has risen and a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out mostly clean.
  5. Remove from oven and cool completely; top with your favorite light cream cheese frosting. Place in refrigerator to chill overnight.
Recipe Notes

Per serving: 95 calories, 4 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 3 g fiber, 4 g protein.