Strawberry Swirl Cake

This soft, incredibly moist cake is a happy experiment that successfully combines my favorite strawberry cake with cinnamon roll cake. Instead of cinnamon sugar, it has a swirl of strawberry sugar. It’s bursting with fresh strawberry flavor and it’s so good it doesn’t even need frosting. But of course, I added strawberry cream cheese icing, in the tradition of cinnamon roll cake, which takes it over the top.

Print Recipe
Strawberry Swirl Cake
Fresh strawberry cake with a strawberry sugar swirl and strawberry cream cheese icing
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, strawberry
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Strawberry Swirl
Strawberry Cake
Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, strawberry
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Strawberry Swirl
Strawberry Cake
Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing
Instructions
Strawberry Swirl
  1. In a small food processor or a clean spice grinder, pulse the freeze dried strawberries to break them up a bit. Add the sugar and process to a fine consistency. Strain the sugar mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Mix in the flour, melted butter, salt and lemon juice until well combined.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip. I used an Ateco #12 tip.** Alternately, you can snip the corner off a disposable piping bag or food storage bag, creating a 3/8-inch wide opening.
Strawberry Cake
  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer the puréed strawberries until reduced by half. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan*** with parchment paper. Grease and flour the inside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, egg, egg white, and extracts, with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth. Alternately, you can whisk the mixture together by hand until smooth. Stir in 1/3 cup of the cooled strawberry reduction and the food coloring. (Reserve the remaining strawberry reduction for the icing.)
  5. Stir the flour mixture into the batter, in 2 additions, alternating with the sour cream. Mix just until combined. Transfer the batter to the cake pan.
  6. Pipe the strawberry swirl mixture onto the batter in a spiral pattern. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
  7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a cooling rack.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and strawberry reduction and beat until smooth and well combined. Whisk in the buttermilk a little at a time until your desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over the cooled cake.
Recipe Notes

*To find the food coloring I used, click here.

**To find the piping tip I used, click here.

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

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s nearly impossible to feel blue while you’re eating one of these cheerful Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies! They’re lemony, buttery and so delicious. I tested these over and over until I got the best lemon flavor and the perfect texture. You’ll love the crisp edges and soft, chewy centers. They don’t require any chilling time, but if your cookies spread too much, you can chill the dough balls for 20-30 minutes before baking. Weigh your ingredients for the best results.

For extra cuteness, I added small yellow chocolate flowers. I used melted white chocolate chips, but candy melts work too. The candy mold I used makes 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch flowers. To find the mold I used, click here. If you use that mold or a similar one, I recommend buying more than one so you can make more chocolate flowers at one time. If you want to skip the white chocolate flowers, then add a few white chocolate chips to the top of each cookie before baking.

Print Recipe
Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Lemony cookies with white chocolate chips, crisp edges and soft, chewy centers, topped with white chocolate flowers
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies, lemon
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies, lemon
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Instructions
White Chocolate Flowers
  1. Prep silicone candy flower molds by brushing a small amount of luster dust into the cavities with a small food safe brush. This step is optional, but it gives your chocolate flowers a sheen and helps them to release from the mold.
  2. In a heat safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips together with the vegetable oil over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Alternately, you can melt your white chocolate chips with short bursts in the microwave. Stir gently until smooth. Stir in the food coloring a little at a time until your desired shade is achieved.
  3. Transfer the melted chocolate to a piping bag with a narrow round tip or snip the tip off of a disposable piping bag. Alternately, you can use a food grade squeeze bottle with a narrow tip. Fill the cavities of the flower mold. Scrape off any excess chocolate with a small offset spatula. Place the mold in the freezer for a few minutes until set. Turn the mold over and bend it slightly to release the flowers. Repeat the steps until you have about 24-36 flowers.
Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cake flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and lemon zest, with an electric mixer at medium speed, until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and egg yolk in separate additions until well incorporated. Beat in the extracts until combined.
  4. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture just until combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips.
  5. Place 1/4 cup size portions of cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, about 3 inches apart. I used a #20 portion scoop* and I placed 6 cookies on each cookie sheet. Bake one cookie sheet at a time. Bake until the tops of the cookies are set and the bottom edges begin to turn light golden brown, about 10-11 minutes. Do not over bake. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Apply the white chocolate flowers to the cooled cookies with a dab of melted white chocolate.
Recipe Notes

To find the flower mold I used, click here.

To find the portion scoop I used, click here.

Lemon Bundt Cakes with Blueberry Cream Cheese Icing

Lemon Bundt Cakes with Blueberry Cream Cheese Icing

Say hello to springtime in cake form. These soft, fluffy, little lemon bundt cakes are bursting with lemon flavor and topped with a beautiful, delicious blueberry cream cheese icing. The icing gets it’s natural beauty from fresh blueberries. The colors and flavors of these cakes remind me of sunshine and spring blooms. I decorated my cakes with tiny blue violas from my garden. They would also look pretty topped with fresh chamomile flowers.

I used a bundtlette pan with six 1-cup servings. To find the pan I used, click here. This recipe also works as cupcakes using a standard muffin pan. The baking time will be a bit shorter. If you’re not a fan of blueberry icing, you can glaze the cakes with lemon icing instead. To find my lemon icing recipe, click here.

Print Recipe
Lemon Bundt Cakes with Blueberry Cream Cheese Icing
Soft, fluffy lemon bundtlette cakes topped with blueberry cream cheese icing
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, lemon bundts
Servings
Bundtlette cakes
Ingredients
Lemon Bundt Cakes
Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, lemon bundts
Servings
Bundtlette cakes
Ingredients
Lemon Bundt Cakes
Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
Lemon Simple Syrup
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, lemon juice, and water over medium-low heat. Cook and stir gently just until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Lemon Bundt Cakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease and flour a bundtlette pan with six 1-cup servings. Make sure to thoroughly grease and flour all of the crevices. (To find the pan I used, see note below.*)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and lemon zest until well combined. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth and well combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and sour cream. Stir the flour mixture into the batter in 2 additions, followed by half of the milk mixture after each addition. Stir just until combined.
  5. Fill the cake pan wells half full with the batter. (If using a standard muffin pan, fill the wells 2/3 full.) Bake until the tops are springy and a toothpick inserted in the centers of the cakes comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached, about 14-16 minutes. Check for doneness a couple of minutes early to avoid over baking. (Baking time is shorter for a standard muffin pan.) Cool the cakes in the pan for 8 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack. Brush the warm cakes generously with lemon simple syrup.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice. Stir occasionally over medium heat, until the blueberries start to soften and the mixture starts to bubble. Smash the blueberries with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Let the mixture simmer gently until thickened to a jam consistency, about 2-3 minutes. Strain the cooked blueberries through a mesh sieve for a smooth consistency. You can skip this step if you prefer a chunky consistency. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Don't over beat. Cream cheese tends to curdle if beaten too much.
  3. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk and beat until smooth and well combined. Stir in the cooled blueberries until combined. Stir in more milk as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Spoon or drizzle the icing onto the cooled lemon cakes.
Recipe Notes

To find the bundt cake pan I used, click here.

Strawberry Iced Madeleines


Print Recipe


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.

Print Recipe
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.

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.

Print Recipe
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.

Double Chocolate Oreo Muffins

Double Chocolate Oreo Muffins

If you’re craving something sweet, decadent and intensely chocolate, these Double Chocolate Oreo Muffins might be just what you need. They were born when I had a craving for Double Chocolate Muffins, but I didn’t feel like driving all the way to my favorite cafe. I noticed the internet had an overwhelming number of chocolate muffin recipes, each one claiming to be the best. I said goodbye to the sea of chocolate muffin recipes and went to work on a muffin recipe that fulfilled my dream muffin wish. I used black cocoa powder to capture the Oreo essence, semisweet chocolate chips, for those little pools of melted chocolate throughout and a cookies and cream filling. I used tulip muffin liners* because they hold more batter so you end up with more generous sized muffins. They’re high recommended if you want to make the muffins exactly the way I made them.

The most challenging part of this recipe is testing for doneness, because you don’t want to over bake these. Insert a toothpick or a cake tester into the cake part of the muffins. If there are a few moist crumbs on it, that’s what you’re looking for. If there’s melted chocolate on it, you’ve likely hit a chocolate chip, so test again with a clean toothpick. If you see cake batter on the toothpick, the muffins need more time in the oven.

To watch the Instagram video of Double Chocolate Oreo Muffins being made, click here.

Print Recipe
Double Chocolate Oreo Muffins
Dark chocolate muffins with semisweet chocolate chips and cookies and cream filling
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Cookies & Cream Filling
Double Chocolate Muffins
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Cookies & Cream Filling
Double Chocolate Muffins
Instructions
Cookies & Cream Filling
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Gently fold in the Oreos.
Double Chocolate Muffins
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Line a 12-serving muffin pan with tulip liners*
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream and milk until well combined. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups, about 3 1/2 ounces ( in each one. Scoop or spoon a scant tablespoon size dollop of the filling into the center of each muffin.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350ºF (180ºC). Continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of the muffins comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, about 7-10 more minutes. If the toothpick hits a melted chocolate chip, reinsert a clean toothpick and test again. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Top each muffin with a quarter piece of Oreo cookie.
Recipe Notes

*Tulip muffin liners are preferred. To find tulip muffin liners, click here. You can also make your own by pressing  6-inch squares of parchment paper into the muffin pan cups. If you want to use standard muffin liners, fill them 3/4 full and use less filling. Standard muffin liners hold less batter so you'll end up with a a couple of extra muffins.  Keep in mind, the baking time will be shorter.

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.

Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins

Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins

These cute little bear-shaped pumpkin muffins are almost too cute to eat. But if you try one, it’ll be gobbled up without hesitation because they’re so moist, fluffy and delicious! The cinnamon sugar coating gives them the perfect fall flavor and a subtle crunch. I used cream cheese icing to form the snouts and melted chocolate for the eyes and noses. You can also use melted chocolate chips or candy melts to decorate their faces if you prefer. I used a bear-shaped mini muffin pan, which is also called a Madeleine pan or a financier pan. To find a bear mini muffin pan, click here. A standard mini muffin pan will also work, but the muffins won’t be bear-shaped. If you end up using a standard mini muffin pan, you can add round, flat candies to form the ears.

To watch the TikTok video of Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins being made, click here.

To watch the Instagram video of Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins being made, click here.

Print Recipe
Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins
Moist, fluffy bear-shaped pumpkin mini muffins with cream cheese icing snouts
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword muffins, pumpkin
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins
Cinnamon Sugar
Bear Faces
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword muffins, pumpkin
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins
Cinnamon Sugar
Bear Faces
Instructions
Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins
  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (165ºC). Grease and flour a bear-shaped mini muffin pan. (This recipe also works in a mini muffin pan but the muffins won't be bear shaped.)
  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, oil and egg until smooth and well combined. Mix in the pumpkin purée until incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined.
  4. Scoop or pipe the batter into the muffin pan, filling the cups 2/3 full (about 3/4 oz or 21g in each). Use a small offset spatula to smooth the top of the batter, making sure to get batter into the ears.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 9-11 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove them from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. Clean the pan and repeat with the remaining batter.
Cinnamon Sugar
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Brush the warm muffins with with melted butter using a small pastry brush. Coat them with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bear Faces
  1. In a small bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of milk until smooth. Add more milk as needed.
  2. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip or snip off the end of the piping bag making a 1/4-inch wide opening. Pipe a small blob of icing onto each bear's face to form the snouts.
  3. Transfer the melted chocolate to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip or snip off the end of the piping bag making a 1/16-inch wide opening. Pipe dots of chocolate onto the snouts to make the noses. Pipe dots or curved lines to make the eyes. Alternately you can apply the melted chocolate dots with the tip of a toothpick
Recipe Notes

*To find a bear-shaped mini muffin pan, 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.

White Chocolate Peach Muffins

I have strong opinions about muffins. Maybe a little controversial too. When baked correctly, muffins should be soft, fluffy and tender. I get a little sad and disappointed when I buy a big, domed bakery muffin and the inside is rubbery. Many of the pretty muffins I see on social media are painfully rubbery too, as the creators break open a muffin in a dramatic moment of triumph. The muffin recipe I’m sharing here is tender and delicious if baked correctly.

One of the most important ways to achieve tender muffins is by not over mixing your batter once the flour is added. Muffins are technically cake, not bread, so we don’t want gluten formation. Another way to get tender muffins is to use an acidic ingredient such as sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk. Lastly, and very importantly, don’t over bake or under bake your muffins. Baking times in recipes are a guide and not necessarily exact because everyone’s ovens and baking pans are different. Keep an eye on your muffins and test them for doneness with a cake tester or a toothpick. My grandma used to say that when you start to smell them, they’re probably done or close to being done.

Soggy muffins also make me run the other way. Muffins loaded with too much fruit or fruit that hasn’t been macerated can make your muffins soggy or dense. In this recipe, I macerated the peaches to draw out some of the moisture, so it helps to avoid creating soggy spots in your muffins. The waiting time goes by fast as you prep the rest of your ingredients.

Print Recipe
White Chocolate Peach Muffins
Tender muffins with white chocolate chips and chunks of fresh peaches.
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Macerated Peaches
Crumb Topping
Muffins
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Macerated Peaches
Crumb Topping
Muffins
Instructions
Macerated Peaches
  1. In a medium bowl, toss the peaches with lemon juice. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the peaches well and toss with flour. Reserve 1/4 cup of peaches for the muffin tops.
Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  2. With a pastry blender, or with your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like wet sand. Press together to form chunks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Muffins
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Line a 12-serving muffin pan with tulip muffin liners.* (Tulip muffin liners are preferable because they hold more batter, but you can also use standard muffin liners.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and extracts in 3 separate additions, making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next.
  4. Mix in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula, in two additions, followed by half of the sour cream after each addition. Mix just until combined. The batter will be thick.
  5. Toss the white chocolate chips with flour, then fold them into the batter. Gently fold in the drained peaches.
  6. Transfer batter to the prepared muffin pan, equally dividing the batter among the muffin cups. (If you're using standard muffin liners, fill them 2/3 full.) Top with the reserved peaches and the crumb topping. Optional: Top each muffin with a piece of white chocolate.
  7. Bake muffins for 5 minutes. Turn down the oven heat to 350ºF (180ºC). Continue baking until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centers of the muffins comes out clean, about 15-20 more minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and continue cooling on a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

*To find tulip muffin liners, click here.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bread

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bread

This is the ultimate chocolate chip bread! There are no cookies in this recipe, but it tastes so much like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that Chocolate Chip Cookie Bread is the perfect name for it. Brown sugar, vanilla and jumbo chocolate chips really help to mimic that beloved chocolate chip cookie flavor. I love the big pockets of chocolate that come from using jumbo chocolate chips, but of course you can use regular or mini chocolate chips if you prefer.

I typically wait until a loaf is cooled off before slicing it, but in this case, I wanted to capture the melted pools of chocolate for the video. The fresh baked chocolate chip aroma was so heavenly, that it took all of my willpower not to immediately devour the entire loaf! It’s easier to slice a fresh baked loaf when it’s cooled off. But if you want to experience the melty chocolate chips, warm your slice in the microwave for 10 seconds.

To watch the TikTok video, click here.

Print Recipe
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bread
A moist, tender loaf cake with brown sugar and chocolate chips that tastes just like chocolate chip cookies
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Line the bottom of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the insides.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy and well combined.
  4. Beat in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla in 3 separate additions, making sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and sour cream together.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the batter in two additions, alternating with half of the milk mixture after each addition. Beat just until combined. Do not over mix.
  7. Set aside a handful of chocolate chips for the top of the loaf. In a small bowl, toss the remaining chips with 1 teaspoon flour, making sure to coat them all, then fold them into the batter. This will help to prevent them from sinking.
  8. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Top with the reserved chocolate chips.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 325ºF (165ºC) and continue baking until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45-50 more minutes.
  10. Cool the loaf in pan for 10 minutes then turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

*If you want to use mini chocolate chips, use one cup (6 oz or 170g)