Strawberry Crumb Cake

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Strawberry Crumb Cake
Tender vanilla crumb cake topped with fresh strawberries, plenty of crumb topping and fresh strawberry icing
Keyword cake, strawberry
Servings
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Cake
Fresh Strawberry Icing
Keyword cake, strawberry
Servings
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Cake
Fresh Strawberry Icing
Instructions
Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar , brown sugar and salt together.
  2. Work in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like wet sand. Press it together to form chunks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan with a removable bottom or an 8-inch springform pan, with parchment paper. Grease and flour the insides or line with a strip of parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat the egg, egg yolk and vanilla into the butter mixture in 3 separate additions, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and sour cream together. On low speed, mix the flour mixture into the batter in two additions alternating with half of the milk mixture. Beat just until combined.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Smooth the batter with a spatula. Place the strawberries evenly on top of the batter. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the top.
  7. Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 48-55 minutes. Do not over bake. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and transfer it to a cooling rack.
Fresh Strawberry Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and puréed strawberries. Add the half & half a little at a time until your desired consistency is achieved. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake.
Recipe Notes

To find the cake pan I used, click here.

Strawberry Iced Madeleines

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Strawberry Iced Madeleines
Perfect heart-shaped madeleines with fresh strawberry icing
Course Dessert
Servings
madeleines
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Servings
madeleines
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup (113g) of the melted butter with the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and granulated sugar, with an electric mixer at medium-high speed, to ribbon stage, about 8 minutes. The batter should look thick, voluminous and light in color.
  4. Sift the flour mixture into the egg mixture in 2 additions, gently folding it in just until combined.
  5. Gently fold the butter mixture into the batter in 3 additions. Cover and refrigerate the batter for 30-45 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Brush the molds of a heart-shaped madeleine pan* with melted butter, making sure to get butter into all of the crevices.
  7. Scoop about a generous tablespoon of batter into each of the molds. Bake until the tops are puffed and springy and the edges start to turn light golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the madeleines to a cooling rack.
  8. To make the icing, whisk the powdered sugar together with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of puréed strawberries in a medium bowl. Add more of the puréed strawberries until your desired consistency is achieved.
  9. Brush the scalloped side of the cooled madeleines with the strawberry icing, using a small pastry brush. (Alternately, you can thin the icing with a bit of milk and dunk one side fo the madeleines into the icing.
Recipe Notes

To find the heart-shaped madeleine pan I used, click here.

Chocolate Love Potion Cookies

Chocolate Love Potion Cookies

You’ll fall in love with these bewitching double chocolate cookies with pistachios and rose petals. As if the chocolate chips weren’t enough, I topped them with pieces of dark chocolate which melt into heavenly little pools of deliciousness. You may have heard that chocolate is considered to be an aphrodisiac because it contains tryptophan and phenelethylamine. Tryptophen increases the mood booster serotonin in the brain. Phenelethylamine is released by the brain when you fall in love. Pistachios are also considered to be natural aphrodisiacs and these cookies contain plenty of pistachios! The rose petals add a touch of romance to finish off the perfect love potion cookies.

If you’re not a fan of pistachios, feel free to substitute your favorite toasted nuts. If you want to skip the nuts all together, make sure to replace them with another add-in, because the nuts provide structure to the cookies. I recommend dried cherries or white chocolate chips as a nice alternative.

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Chocolate Love Potion Cookies
Double chocolate cookies with chocolate chips and pistachios topped with pools of melted chocolate, chopped pistachios and dried rose petals
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar, with an electric mixer at medium speed, until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla in 3 separate additions and beat until incorporated. Beat in the flour mixture just until combined.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and pistachios.
  6. Form the dough into 18 2-tablespoon size portions, about 2 ounces (57g) each. Form the portions into 2-inch heart shapes. (They don't have to be perfect, because the cookies are going to spread as they bake.) Place the heart shapes on a tray. Cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Place 6 heart shapes on each cookie sheet, about 3 inches apart. Top each one with a piece of chocolate bar. I placed my chocolate pieces on the upper left of each cookie. Bake the cookies until the tops look set, about 10-11 minutes. Be careful not to over bake the cookies or they'll be more difficult to shape into hearts.
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately use a large, metal heart-shaped cookie cutter to shape the hot cookies. Place the cookie cutter onto the cookie sheet over each cookie and slide it up and down a couple of times, then slide it side to side a couple of times. Work quickly before the cookies set. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. Top the cookies with chopped pistachios and rose petals before the melted chocolate sets.
Recipe Notes

To find culinary rose petals, click here.

To find the cookie cutter I used, click here.

White Velvet Snowflake Cakes


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White Velvet Snowflake Cakes

Soft, plush vanilla mini cakes with vanilla icing

Course Dessert
Keyword cake, white velvet

Servings
cakes


Ingredients
Snowflake Cakes

Vanilla Icing

Course Dessert
Keyword cake, white velvet

Servings
cakes


Ingredients
Snowflake Cakes

Vanilla Icing


Instructions
Snowflake Cakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Spray a 6-serving silicone snowflake mini cake mold* with nonstick spray. Use a small pastry brush to brush the spray into all of the crevices. Tap out any excess spray. Place the mold on a baking sheet.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Add the butter and beat, with an electric mixer on low speed, until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture looks like crumbs with no large chunks.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg whites, oil and vanilla. Slowly add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and continue beating on low until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

  3. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, evenly distributing the batter and filling the cavities a little more than half full. Bake until the tops of the cakes are light golden and a toothpick inserted into the centers of the cakes comes out clean, about 18-22 minutes. Be careful not to over bake. Let the cakes cool in the pan for about 7 minutes then turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

  4. Brush one or two coats of vanilla icing on the tops and sides of the cakes. Decorate as desired. I used fine opal sanding sugar, candy snowflakes and candy pearls.

Vanilla Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and 1 tablespoon of milk until smooth. Add additional milk as need to achieve your desired consistency.


Recipe Notes

I used a 6-serving silicone mold with 3-inch diameter, 1-inch deep cavities.

 

 

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

An easy to make 8-inch square cake, typically unfrosted, is what my family would consider a snacking cake when I was growing up. This easy-to-make apple cake can definitely qualify as a snacking cake because it stands on its own as a delicious cake, unfrosted. BUT…if you add the silky cream cheese frosting, then you have yourself something a little more special. This cake could easily appear at a Thanksgiving meal and upstage the pies.

I used fresh puréed apples that I picked recently when I went apple picking. If you don’t have fresh apples on hand, you can substitute with unsweetened applesauce.* I used French vanilla compound, which gives it an exceptionally lovely flavor, but you can also use vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract.

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Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
A soft, moist apple cake with silky cream cheese frosting.
Course Dessert
Keyword apple, cake
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Apple Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting
Course Dessert
Keyword apple, cake
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Apple Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
Apple Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line the bottom of an 8-inch square cake pan** with parchment paper. Grease and flour the insides.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the puréed apples until incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 28-33 minutes
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large bowl, stir the cream cheese with a spatula until smooth. Beat in the butter, with an electric mixer on low speed, until smooth and well combined.
  2. Beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and heavy cream until smooth and well combined. Stir slowly with a spatula to smooth the frosting and remove bubbles.
Recipe Notes

*If you're using applesauce and your applesauce is watery, drain off excess water before measuring.

**To find my favorite 8-inch square cake pan, click here.

Caramel Apple Crumble Bars

Although we have access to apples year around, apple season is my favorite time to bake with apples. I love the opportunity to go apple picking or choosing fresh apples from the abundance of apples available at farmers markets. Baking with apples makes your home smell cozy and delightful, especially when paired with cinnamon. These Caramel Apple Crumble Bars have the autumn flavors you’re craving. They’re the apple version of my popular Blueberry Crumble Bars and they’re equally delicious.

This recipe requires multiple steps, but the steps are all very easy. The apples are cooked briefly on the stovetop to achieve the perfect texture. The crust is blind baked to keep it crisp. The caramel is drizzled over the apples which helps keep them juicy and we all know what a perfect match apples and caramel are! Adding the caramel to the apples, rather than drizzling it over the top of the crumble topping also keeps the topping crisp.

I like using green apples for this recipe, such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious, or a combination of green and red apples, but you can use any baking apples that you prefer. The caramel sauce recipe is one that I would consider a shortcut. I used caramel candies melted together with heavy cream.

Print Recipe
Caramel Apple Crumble Bars
Fresh apple cinnamon filling on a crisp, buttery shortbread base with a generous crumble topping
Course Dessert
Keyword bars, caramel apple
Servings
2-inch bars
Ingredients
Apples
Crumble Topping
Caramel Sauce
Crust
Course Dessert
Keyword bars, caramel apple
Servings
2-inch bars
Ingredients
Apples
Crumble Topping
Caramel Sauce
Crust
Instructions
Apples
  1. In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the apples are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Crumble Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Work the cold butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or with your fingertips until it looks like wet sand. Press together to form 1/2-inch chunks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Caramel Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the caramel candies and heavy cream together, stirring until smooth.
Crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. (180ºC). Line an 8-inch square baking pan* with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat just until the dough comes together.
  4. Press the dough into the prepared baking pan. Bake until the surface looks evenly light golden brown, about 20-22 minutes. Remove from the oven. Top with the cooked apples. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Top with the crumble topping. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking until the topping looks golden brown and the filling starts to bubble, about 25-28 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely in the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Recipe Notes

To find the baking pan I used, click here.

Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread

This banana bread was a happy accident. One morning, I started to make banana bread. My recipe called for three over-ripe bananas, but I realized that I only had two. So I changed my recipe, and then I added blueberries, toasted pecans, a pecan crumb topping and a brown sugar cinnamon glaze. The results were so tender, moist and delicious that I can confidently say this is the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve tasted a lot of banana bread. I’ve tried many different recipes and tasted loaves baked by other people. I also like picking up a slice of banana bread at bakeries and coffee shops sometimes, alongside my coffee or tea.

The three biggest problems I typically see with banana bread are rubbery texture, dry texture or bland flavor. Over mixing can cause a rubbery loaf, so when you add your dry ingredients to the batter, mix it just until the flour is incorporated, to avoid excess gluten formation. To avoid a dry loaf, make sure not to over bake it. Test it before you think it might be done. When measuring your dry ingredients, weigh them for the best results. Sometimes people inadvertently add too much or too little flour when using measuring cups.

For the best flavor and sweetness, make sure to use very ripe bananas when making banana bread. I like to use bananas that are soft and covered with brown spots. I avoid the black, oozing bananas, even though you may see people on social media recommending them for use. These are technically rotten bananas and can give your banana bread an unpleasant fermented flavor. The toasted pecans in this recipe add texture and a rustic nutty flavor. Even people who don’t like nuts tend to appreciate them in this banana bread. But if you have a nut allergy you can certainly leave them out. The addition of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla also add lovely flavor to this loaf. This banana bread is quite delicious on its own, but the crumb topping and brown sugar glaze take it over the top!

To watch the Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread Instagram video, click here.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread
Moist tender banana bread with blueberries and toasted pecans, topped with pecan crumb topping and brown sugar cinnamon glaze.
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Glaze
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Glaze
Instructions
Crumble Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Work in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like wet sand. Mix in the pecans. Press the mixture to together to form chunks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Blueberry Pecan Banana Bread
  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (165ºC). Line the bottom a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan* with parchment paper. Grease and flour the insides.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, eggs, sour cream and vanilla until smooth and well combined. Stir in the bananas until incorporated. Mix in the flour mixture just until combined. Do not over mix. Stir in the pecans.
  4. In a small bowl, gently toss the blueberries with the lemon juice, then toss them with 2 teaspoons of flour. Fold 3/4 of the blueberries into the batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Top with the remaining blueberries, then the crumb topping.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Glaze
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt together over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the edges start to bubble. Remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Drizzle over the cooled banana bread.
Recipe Notes

*To find the loaf pan I used, click here.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cakes

Summer was such a happy season for me as a child that I didn’t want it to end. I still love summer, but now that I’m an adult, I begin to anticipate fall right around the time when I’m tired of harsh, hot temperatures, rumbling air conditioners and flies buzzing around at cookouts. Now is that time for me. It’s so hot where I live right now, that I’m welcoming the cool, crisp fall weather and all it brings.

The beautiful warm flavors of fall are perfectly captured in these Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cakes. The moist, perfectly spiced cakes are topped with a cinnamon swirl which is basically cinnamon roll filling. I topped them with Vanilla Bean Icing, but you can also make it cream cheese icing by swapping out 1 tablespoon of the melted butter for 1 tablespoon of softened cream cheese, if you prefer. The optional addition of meringue powder helps the icing set up and gives it that crunch we love on glazed donuts. To find meringue powder, click here.

I used a shallow jumbo muffin pan to make these cakes. The muffin cups are 4 inches wide and 1 inch deep. A hamburger bun pan for 4-inch buns or six 4-inch cake pans will also work. To find the pan I used, click here.

To watch the Instagram video of the finished Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cakes, click here.

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cakes
Moist pumpkin cakes with cinnamon swirls and vanilla bean icing
Servings
4-inch cakes
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cakes
Cinnamon Swirl
Vanilla Bean Icing
Servings
4-inch cakes
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cakes
Cinnamon Swirl
Vanilla Bean Icing
Instructions
Pumpkin Cakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a 6-serving shallow jumbo muffin pan with jumbo muffin liners.* (The jumbo muffin liners will fit by pressing them in around the inside bottom edges.) The muffin pan I used has cups that are 4-inches across by 1-inch deep. A hamburger bun pan for 4-inch buns or six 4-inch cake pans will also work.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth and well combined. Mix in the pumpkin purée. Stir in the flour in two additions, just until combined.
  4. Transfer the batter to the muffin cups, evenly dividing the batter among the cups. Pipe the cinnamon swirl mixture in a spiral on the top of the batter of each one.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake part comes out clean, about 23-27 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Cinnamon Swirl
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add the melted butter and whisk until well combined.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1/4-inch wide round tip.
Vanilla Bean Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, vanilla bean paste, powdered sugar, meringue powder, salt and 1 tablespoon of milk until well combined. Whisk in more milk as needed to reach your desired consistency.
  2. Brush the icing on the cooled cakes with a small pastry brush or make the icing a little thinner and drizzle the icing on if you prefer.
Recipe Notes

*To find jumbo muffin liners, click here.

To find the baking pan I used, click here.

To find 4-inch cake pans, click here.

To find meringue powder click here.

Pistachio Rose Croissants

Filled croissants are gaining more popularity due to social media. Bakeries and coffee shops offer croissants filled with fun and interesting fillings, but they can be pricey and hard to get. Have you ever stood in line at a popular bakery only to discover that the croissant you wanted was sold out? This recipe is a fun and easy way to duplicate a fancy bakery croissant using store bought croissants. This pistachio rose version is elegant and delicious!

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Pistachio Rose Croissants
Croissants brushed with rose syrup, filled with buttery pistachio filling and topped with white chocolate, toasted pistachios and rose petals
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Start by making the rose syrup. In a small saucepan combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with 1/4 cup of water over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in the rose water to taste.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. (180ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the butter with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the salt together by hand or with an eclectic mixer, until well combined. Beat in the egg, extracts, pistachio flour and all purpose flour until well combined.
  4. Split the croissants in half with a serrated knife. Place the croissants on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up. Brush the croissants with the rose syrup. Spread the pistachio mixture on the bottom half of each croissant. Place the tops on the croissants.
  5. Bake until the filling is set, about 25-30 minutes. If your croissants start to brown too much, cover them with aluminum foil tents during the last few minutes of baking. Transfer the croissants to a cooling rack.
  6. Melt the white chocolate and oil together in a heat safe pan set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir gently until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in food coloring a little at a time until your desired shade is achieved. Drizzle the pink chocolate over the cooled croissants. Top with chopped pistachios and rose petals.
Recipe Notes

*To find rose water, click here.  If you don't like rose flavor, substitute the rose water with 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract.

**To find culinary rose petals, click here.

 

Blueberry Lemon Crumb Cakes

Blueberry Lemon Crumb Cakes

The texture and flavor of these cute Blueberry Lemon Crumb Cakes is immaculate. You’ll love them so much, you won’t want to share, but this recipe makes six 4-inch personal crumb cakes, so you’ll have one all to yourself. You’ll understand once you taste the soft, fluffy lemon scented cake with juicy blueberries, a generous amount of sweet crumb topping and a lemony cream cheese icing. I was a bit hesitant to share this recipe. But I was taught to share recipes by my two grandmothers who were amazing cooks and bakers. They shared their knowledge and recipes with anyone who asked. Recipes are a legacy that should be passed on to family and friends. If you’re reading this, I consider you a friend. So enjoy this recipe that’s especially dear to me, because it’s based on my Grandma’s Apple Crumb Cake recipe.

I used a six serving shallow jumbo muffin pan to bake the cakes. The muffin cups are 4 inches across by 1 inch deep. To find the pan, click here. A hamburger bun pan for 4-inch buns will work too. If you happen to have six 4-inch cake pans, those work nicely. I used jumbo muffin liners to line the muffin cups, which fit perfectly by pressing them in around the inside bottom edges.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Lemon Crumb Cakes
Fluffy, soft lemon cakes with blueberries, crumb topping and lemon cream cheese icing
Servings
4-inch crumb cakes
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Crumb Cakes
Cream Cheese Icing
Servings
4-inch crumb cakes
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Crumb Cakes
Cream Cheese Icing
Instructions
Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, brown sugar and salt together.
  2. Work in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like the consistency of wet sand. Press the mixture together to make chunks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Crumb Cakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a 6-serving shallow jumbo muffin pan* with jumbo muffin liners.** Jumbo muffin liners will fit by pressing them around the inside bottom edges.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat the egg and egg yolk into the butter mixture in 2 separate additions, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Beat in the extracts until combined.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and sour cream together.
  6. On low speed, mix the flour mixture into the batter in 2 additions alternating with half of the milk mixture after each addition. Beat just until combined.
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan, evenly distributing the batter and filling the cups about half full.
  8. In a medium bowl, toss the blueberries with 1 teaspoon of flour and place them into the cups on top of the batter, about 1 ounce (28g) in each. Top each one with crumb topping.
  9. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, melted butter, powdered sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon (30ml) of lemon juice. Add additional lemon juice, a little at a time until your desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over the cooled cakes.
Recipe Notes

*To find the muffin pan I used, click here.

**To find jumbo muffin liners, click here. To find 4-inch cake pans, click here.

Blueberry Lavender Cookies

Blueberry Lavender Cookies

Blueberry cookies remind me of a time when I was little. Every year my family would take a road trip up to Northern California. My parents loved stopping at roadside stands to buy fresh produce on the way back. One year my dad bought an enormous box of blueberries. When we got home, for the next couple of weeks, we ate far too many blueberry pancakes. My dad also used the blueberries in his famous cobbler, which was delightful. Then he made biscuits which turned out like rocks and we all laughed. My favorite blueberry creations that year were the blueberry shortcake and blueberry cookies. I’m sharing my version of the blueberry cookies, with the addition of lavender to make them a little more special.

My Blueberry Lavender Cookies start with butter and homemade lavender sugar. The original cookies had fresh blueberries plopped into the dough, which is perfectly fine if you’re making muffins. To reduce the soggy spots that form as the fruit releases its juices while baking, I typically macerate or cook fruit before it’s added to many of my recipes. The extra step makes a big difference. A quick, cooked blueberry compote is folded into the batter of these cookies, making pretty blueberry swirls. I finished these cookies with a sprinkle of sparkly sanding sugar in a lilac shade. This is optional, but very pretty. You can also make extra lavender sugar to use for sprinkling on your cookies. Sprinkle the sugar on before baking or after the cookies bake, while they’re still warm.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Lavender Cookies
Chewy lavender scented sugar cookies with crisp exteriors and swirls of blueberry compote.
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Blueberry Compote
Lavender Sugar
Blueberry Lavender Cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Blueberry Compote
Lavender Sugar
Blueberry Lavender Cookies
Instructions
Blueberry Compote
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of water, stirring until the blueberries soften and start to release their juices. Smash the blueberries slightly with the back of the spoon. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Turn the heat down to low. Simmer until thickened to a jam consistency, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Transfer the blueberry compote to a small bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Lavender Sugar
  1. In a small food processor or a clean spice grinder, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the lavender. Pulse a few times to chop the lavender into smaller bits. Add the remaining sugar and pulse a few more times to combine.
Blueberry Lavender Cookies
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF (180ºC) Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and lavender sugar with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the the egg white and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  5. On low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions and mix just until combined.
  6. Add dollops of the blueberry compote to the batter. Fold in gently, but don't completely combine it. You want to see swirls of blueberry.
  7. Place 2-tablespoon size portions of dough about 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. I used a #30 portion scoop.*** Sprinkle with decorative sugar if desired.
  8. Bake until tops of cookies are set and bottom edges turn light golden brown, about 10-14 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Do not over bake. Test one cookie before baking the entire batch if you are unsure about how to determine the doneness of cookies.
Recipe Notes

*To find culinary lavender, click here.

**To find the decorative sanding sugar I used, click here.

***To find the scoop I used, click here.

Caramel Latte Brownies

These rich, fudgy, coffee scented brownies, with caramel and whipped cream topping are inspired by one of my favorite coffee shop drinks, a caramel latte. I was thinking about how to get the caramel inside the brownies. With some methods, the caramel ends up over baked and chewy. Then I remembered poke cakes from my childhood. You poke holes all over a baked cake and pour whatever you like on top to soak into the holes. It worked beautifully with these brownies. To finish them off, I topped them with fluffy cream cheese whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel.

Print Recipe
Caramel Latte Brownies
Rich, moist coffee scented brownies soaked with caramel, topped with fluffy cream cheese whipped cream and drizzled with more caramel.
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325ºF. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a couple of inches of overhang.
  2. In a large heat safe bowl, melt the butter together with the chocolate, in the microwave or on the stovetop over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, hot water and espresso powder until smooth.
  4. Whisk the cocoa powder mixture, sugar and salt into the warm melted chocolate mixture until well combined.
  5. Add the eggs, egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
  6. Stir in the flour just until combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl as needed.
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with moist crumbs on it, about 25-28 minutes. Do not over bake. Let cool completely.
  8. Once cool, remove the brownies from the pan and place on a serving platter. Using a chopstick, poke holes in the brownies, about 1 inch apart, to within 1 inch from the edges.
  9. Spread caramel sauce over the surface of the brownies with a small offset spatula.
  10. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, with an electric mixer, until smooth. Gradually add the heavy cream and beat to stiff peaks.
  11. Spread or pipe the whipped cream onto the brownies. Drizzle with additional caramel sauce.