Happy 5th birthday, Collegiate Cook!
In blog years, this site is practically a senior citizen. In college years, it’s probably still a semester or two away from graduation (perhaps perpetually a semester or two away). Several times over the past few years I’ve thought about shutting it down, passing the baton or evolving it into something else, especially when every person I introduce the blog to blinks a few times before saying, “Uh, you’re still updating a blog about college cooking…even though you graduated?”
Heck yes I am.
Because of readers like you (thank you for sticking it out!), and because this blog isn’t just about zany, can-I-make-dinner-using-an-iron recipes, though that’s certainly what’s gotten people’s attention about us. It’s about being a student of life, learning and sharing new recipes, tailgate ideas and other ways to make campus life — and beyond — go a little smoother. The whole idea came about when I advised incoming freshmen, and I saw firsthand that while there’s a ton of advice out there to help you get into college, there isn’t too much for figuring out how to make the most of your time there. I wanted this to be it, and it’s our goal to do that every day.
That’s also why, starting this year, we’re donating 20 percent of our proceeds to undergraduate scholarships at the University of South Florida. Whether it’s through ads, cookbook sales, sponsored posts or other events, we want to use the site as a way to give back, because we wouldn’t be here if people didn’t help us.
In the future, we’d like to offer our own scholarships (dream big, right?!) and offer campus guides for every single college in the US. (So if you’re reading this, email us to contribute your top places to visit at your school/alma mater!)
Right now, though, we’re happy to blow out the candles and enjoy the five years we’ve had so far. Thank you for reading.
PS — In honor of our birthday, we have a special Nutella-filled cake recipe to share. It’s based off of the Wilton Yellow Cake recipe featured in Craftsy’s Wilton Method Cake Decorating class. You can buy pre-made cream cheese frosting, or you can make it from scratch using this delectable Georgetown Cupcake recipe.
- 3½ cups sifted cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 1 jars cream cheese frosting (or try our from-scratch recipe; link in post)
- 1 jar Nutella
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. As it heats, grease the bottom and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans with butter, then sprinkle with flour to coat.
- Sift cake flour through a sifter or strainer, and measure out 3 cups (that way the flour won't be as densely packed, resulting in a lighter, airier cake). Stir in the baking powder and salt, then set the bowl aside.
- In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract. Then, alternate between adding the dry ingredients and eggs, stirring in each addition.
- Bake for about 35 minutes. If a toothpick comes out gooey, give it another 3-4 minutes. If it's clean, take out the pans and place them on a cooling rack.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, mark each cake at its halfway point, then gradually slice through, so you have four cakes total. Use ⅓ jar Nutella to fill between the first and second layer, ⅓ between the second and third layer, and the last third of the jar between the third and fourth layer. (If one cake is thicker than the other, only slice the thick one in half, so you have three layers total, like we did.) Frost the outside with cream cheese frosting.
Disclaimer: The Craftsy links are affiliate links, and 20 percent of the proceeds will be donated to student scholarships.