Grandbaby Cakes Cookbook!

Introducing GRANDBABY CAKES: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories (Agate Surrey, September 2015), by nationally celebrated food blogger Jocelyn Delk Adams!

Much like her popular food blog of the same name, Grandbaby Cakes was written to honor the author’s grandmother (affectionately called “Big Mama”), whose innovative baking creations inspired and sweetened Adams’s childhood. This debut cookbook collects 50 classic cake recipes with modern twists—some from her blog, many entirely new—all based on Big Mama’s gorgeous cakes.

Below we are sharing with you two special recipes from this wonderful cookbook. Use it as inspiration to make them on your own, or go out and get a copy yourself!!!


Mississippi Mudslide Cake

SERVES 18-22

GBC 4 mississippi mud slide slice edited2

Photo © Jocelyn Delk Adams

If there was anyone who taught me the true art of indulgent baking, it was my Auntie Rose, my mom’s only sister, or as I like to refer to her, my other mother. I spent a ton of time with my auntie because she and my mom are super tight and close (literally, too; my auntie only lives five minutes away from our house). As a child, I never questioned spoiling myself with a huge hunk of Rose’s decadent chocolate cake after a special meal; it was her cake that taught me to treat myself to guilty pleasures and seize moments of unadulterated bliss without a shred of guilt.

This Mississippi Mudslide Cake is the cake you bake when you crave pure satisfaction on a plate. It marries the classic Southern flavors of mud pie with the modern notes of one of my favorite cocktails, the mudslide. Irish cream, coffee liqueur, and chocolate are sure to teach you a very valuable lesson indeed: life is short—eat dessert!




2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee

1 teaspoon salt

2 and 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract



2 cups heavy cream, cold

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liqueur

2 tablespoons Kahlúa liqueur

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch



6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature



1 cup roughly-chopped cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, divided




  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Liberally prepare 3 9-inch round pans with the nonstick method of your choice. (I recommend the parchment method described on p. 17.)
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the granulated sugar and eggs and beat on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the hot water, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and salt. Add this to your mixer.
  • Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed and slowly add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. The batter will be somewhat thin, but this is normal. Do one final swirl of the batter to make sure the oil does not separate.
  • Evenly pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a layer comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Let cool to room temperature. Lightly cover the cakes with foil or plastic wrap so they do not dry out.




  • Clean your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Place them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to get them nice and cold.
  • Remove the bowl and whisk attachment from the refrigerator. Add the heavy cream and whip on high speed until soft peaks begin to form.
  • Reduce your mixer speed to medium and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, Irish cream, Kahlúa, cocoa powder, and cornstarch. Once everything is fully incorporated, turn your mixer speed back to high and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Transfer to the refrigerator until it is time to assemble the cake.




In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream. Microwave on high for 15 seconds at a time, whisking together after each heating interval. Once the chocolate has melted into a shiny, smooth sauce (this takes about 30 to 45 seconds), transfer to the refrigerator for 15 minutes to cool.




Once the layers are completely cooled, place 1 layer on a serving plate. Spread just the top of the layer with 1/3 of the whipped cream (please refer to the Basic Frosting Instructions on p. 18). Drizzle 1/3 of the cooled ganache over the whipped cream. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the ground cookies. Add the second layer and spread with another 1/3 of the whipped cream. Drizzle another 1/3 of the cooled ganache over the whipped cream. Sprinkle with another 1/3 of the ground cookies. Add the final layer, bottom-side up, and spread with the remaining whipped cream. Spread the whipped cream on the top of the cake. Do not frost the side of the cake. Drizzle with the remaining ganache. Sprinkle with the remaining ground cookies. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Grandbaby Notes: If you are ever looking for a delicious plain chocolate cake, this one is perfect. Pair it with the Whipped Chocolate Frosting on p. 63 for a great classic flavor. I make it every year for my husband, Frederick, on his birthday, and he loves it.


The cake layers can be quite tender, so feel free to refrigerate them (20 to 30 minutes should do it) to firm them up and make them easier to work with when frosting.


If you ever want to save time, you can always purchase a premade chocolate sauce, or you can bake and freeze the cake layers ahead of time. Just let the layers sit out until they are just cooler than room temperature (so they are still a bit firm) before you are ready to frost.


Reprinted with permission from Grandbaby Cakes by Jocelyn Delk Adams, Agate Surrey, 2015.





Coffee–Toffee Pumpkin Cupcakes

MAKES 18–20

7 pumpkin cupcakes edited2

Photo © Jocelyn Delk Adams

Pumpkin never made an appearance in my baking until adulthood. That’s because my truly Southern family is loyally devoted to the sweet potato and all its glory. There is nothing quite like the spicy aroma of a sweet potato pie baking in the oven on Thanksgiving. Like a good girl, I followed suit and steered clear of pumpkin, until the day a friend convinced me to try pumpkin ice cream. That was the moment, nearly 10 years ago, that the affair began, and my heart has been torn ever since.

The truth is, I can’t imagine an autumn without both flavors coexisting in my menu lineup. Jazz either one up with cinnamon, nutmeg, and other copper-colored spices, and you are looking at the most fantastically warm flavors that fall can offer. This cupcake recipe in particular is a superb cheat for those married to sweet potato. Each cupcake is perfectly spiced, moist, and tender with a cream cheese buttercream spiked with coffee and infused with brown sugar. I invented this recipe to lure my family away from its all-or-nothing allegiance—just a teeny bit. When they took a bite, it was if these cupcakes gently whispered, “Can’t we all just get along?”




2 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup hot water

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves




1½ cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons heavy cream, cold

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon instant coffee powder

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch salt




2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more to thin out the sauce if needed

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch




  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 2 12-well muffin pans with 18 to 20 cupcake liners.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar for 3 minutes on high speed. Add the pumpkin, oil, hot water, and instant coffee and mix until incorporated. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed and carefully add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix the batter until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Using an ice cream scooper with a trigger release, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners until each is 2/3 full. Be careful not to overfill. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out barely clean.
  5. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks. Let cool to room temperature. Lightly cover the cupcakes with foil or plastic wrap so they do not

dry out.




  1. Clean your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, and cream cheese on low speed.
  2. When the mixture has just come together, increase your mixer speed to high and mix for another 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon, instant coffee, nutmeg, and salt and continue to mix until the buttercream is fluffy. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up.
  3. When the buttercream is firm and the cupcakes are room temperature, frost the cupcakes.




  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the brown sugar and butter. Bring to a boil, then quickly whisk in the heavy cream until it is completely incorporated and the mixture has settled. Keep the mixture at a boil until it has thickened slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch. Whisk until the sauce is smooth, then set aside to cool to room temperature. Don’t allow this to cool too long, or it will get a bit too thick to drizzle. If this does happen, just add 1 to 2 teaspoons of heavy cream to the sauce and whisk to thin it out some. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon but quickly slide off.
  3. Drizzle the sauce over the frosted cupcakes. Serve at room temperature.



Reprinted with permission from Grandbaby Cakes by Jocelyn Delk Adams, Agate Surrey, 2015.






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