Fake King Cake

by April on February 9, 2016

Every year for the past four-ish years, I’ve made and brought a king cake to work to share with my coworkers. Because I’ve still got half full bottles of sanding sugar in purple, green, and yellow, I figured the tradition should continue… except after a spin class Monday evening I wasn’t feeling the extra steps involved in the yeasty-breadiness of a traditional king cake.

At first I was going to go super semi-homemade and knock back a bottle of vodka with Sandra Lee put refrigerated cinnamon roll dough in a bundt pan, but it just didn’t feel like my style of baking. So I kept the bundt pan in the equation but decided to use my Peepaw’s favorite pound cake recipe and add my own king cake twist… even though I’d also like to add this twist with this much prettier bundt pan!

Good ole Betty Crocker’s pound cake recipe is absolutely beautiful. It’s simple, contains ingredients anyone has on hand at any time, and takes no time to assemble. It does take over an hour to bake though, but passive baking time beats active baking time when it’s late in the evening.

The king cake twist is the addition of two tablespoons of ground cinnamon to the batter to simulate the cinnamony goodness in a real king cake. And let me tell you, it smelled amazing while baking. Like a gigantic cinnamon roll. MMM.

After the hour plus ride in the oven, it was almost 10 p.m. and I was starting to get tired and was looking for a way to cool it off so I could glaze it before going to bed. Waking up early and glazing it before work of course, was always an option too except not a feasible one. I am the worst about getting out of bed, especially now that I have a dog that sleeps with me every night. The cold night air gave me an idea… and that led to this cake chilling outside in the 37 degree temps for about ten minutes. Hooray for winter, for once, amirite?

fake king cake cinnamon pound cake

I like to think of this pound cake as a way to still enjoy a cake on Mardi Gras without contributing too much to creeping pan-Southernism as Southern food historian Robert Moss discussed in the Charleston City Paper… even if it is still in the lurid hues of a cathouse. I mean, how else am I going to use up those colored sanding sugars?

snapchat screencap king cake sanding sugar


ps: Add me on Snapchat, username aprilblake!


Copper Horse Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

by April on February 5, 2016

Our fridge is way too full lately, with a hodgepodge of leftovers and bottled beverages and trays and trays of meat that Patrick buys on sale. So because I’m such a nice wife I offered to go through and clean out the fridge. One of the items that tragically got pushed way too far back was the Copper Horse Distilling Copper Cream, Red Velvet Peppermint edition. Here’s where I have to admit though, I had ulterior motives for wanting to clean out the fridge… I had to make sure I had ingredients to make cookies for a foodie book club the next night! When I saw the Copper Horse, I knew it had to be part of these cookies somehow.

Because baking is a delicate dance of science, I based my recipe on one I’d had pinned for years, but adapted it to suit my particular liquor’s needs (aka the delicate flavors of the cream liqueur would have been overwhelmed by the brown butter and hazelnut oil prescribed in the original). If you’re in Columbia, go by the gorgeous distillery on Huger Street for a tour and tell Richard I sentcha. Otherwise, you can substitute another cream liqueur of your choice – but choose wisely.

copper horse cream chocolate chip cookies

Copper Horse Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 35-40


  • 1 1/2 sticks (14 tablespoons) salted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Copper Horse Cream Liqueur
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips (or more, your call!)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Cream the butter and sugars with a mixer. Add in the eggs one by one, then the vanilla and liquer.
  2. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda and salt, and mix just until combined.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand and put in the fridge to chill for 10-30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  5. On parchment paper or a Silpat, drop a tablespoon of dough evenly spaced on a cookie sheet. These cookies don’t spread too much, which is nice.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. If you’re not using multiple cookie sheets at a time to bake, put the unused dough bake in the fridge to keep chilling.
  8. Bake and repeat til the dough is gone. If reusing the same cookie sheet, let it cool slightly on a baking rack between rounds.

And in case you’re wondering, there is still a half bottle left in the fridge, so I barely really helped with the cleaning… until I take it to foodie book club with me!

copper horse cream chocolate chip cookies


Repost: Bringing Back Columbia’s Corn Sticks

February 3, 2016

Old school Columbians all have a story about Tapp’s department store and though I’m only 30 I have one too, though it’s fuzzy from it being so early in my life. Travel back in time to the very early 90s. I was about five or six, and I spent most of my waking hours in […]

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What You’ll Eat During A Kitchen Renovation

January 20, 2016

Like most people in these times, I turn to Google with questions. Medical ones, common sense but I forgot the answer ones, and ones I shouldn’t call people about at that time of day questions. So it only made sense that I asked Google what to eat during a kitchen renovation. What I found is […]

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2016 – Year of the Kitchen

January 5, 2016

This is what my kitchen looked like right after Christmas so as you might imagine, I haven’t cooked beyond heating things up in the microwave or toaster oven for a few weeks now. I’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to get my kitchen remodel rocking and rolling. When we bought our house almost seven years […]

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Looking Back at 2015

January 1, 2016

I love looking back at these reflective surveys each each and seeing what I was thinking, feeling, and experiencing at the time. Some things never change, and some things do, radically. Here are ones from New Year’s Eve 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011. 1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? Went on our honeymoon […]

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15,000 Square Feet of Booze, In Bottles (And Cans)

December 16, 2015

I recently had the chance to preview Columbia’s newest spirits store, Bottles and am way too excited to go spend more money than I need to there. The very first thing I was shown there was shelves and shelves and shelves of ginger beer of all kinds. Seriously, the shelf space for it was wide […]

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Holiday Treats for Sharing at the Office

December 1, 2015

December is a month that requires a lot of food to go other places, like kids’ classroom parties, potluck dinners with friends to celebrate the season, office parties, and little gift baskets for an array of people. And for those of us who have more time than money, homemade treats can be the best way […]

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Quick Trip Report: Publico

November 13, 2015

I wonder if the folks at Publico planned to open on Friday the 13th. That kind of ominous opening might imply that I had a terrible experience there, which is quite the opposite. I left a bit before noon to avoid the parking crunch in Five Points and was rewarded with a spot not too far […]

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Tasting Beer, Getting Certified

November 12, 2015

For those who don’t know, I am involved in the operations of two craft beer appreciation non-profits in Columbia, South Carolina. You wouldn’t think a smaller city could support two, or would even have two, but here’s the sekrit: I also was involved in the creation of both, which proves that if you want to […]

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