Deluxe Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This dreamy Cinnamon Swirl Bread is a perfectly soft, tender loaf with two layers of brown sugar cinnamon. It was already delicious on its own, but I’m sure Grandma wouldn’t mind that I upgraded it with a generous amount of crumb topping and a drizzle of cream cheese icing. This versatile loaf is enjoyable year round. During spring, it’s delightful served with a cup of blueberry tea. On summer mornings, it’s perfect with a glass of peach iced tea. And of course, during fall and winter, this comforting loaf is cozy served with a mug of hot coffee or cocoa.

To watch the Instagram video, click here.

Print Recipe
Deluxe Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Soft, tender vanilla loaf cake with two layers of brown sugar-cinnamon swirl, topped with crumb topping and cream cheese icing
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cinnamon swirl, loaf
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Cream Cheese Icing
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cinnamon swirl, loaf
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Cream Cheese Icing
Instructions
Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt until well combined. With your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like wet sand with no large pieces of butter. Press the mixture together to form chunks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup (100g) of brown sugar and the cinnamon until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup (50g) of brown sugar, with an electric mixer at medium speed, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. In a small bowl or a glass measuring cup, whisk the milk and sour cream together. On low speed, beat the flour mixture into the batter in two additions, followed by half of the milk mixture after each addition. Mix just until combined.
  6. Transfer half of the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture over the batter. Swirl with a skewer. Add the remaining batter and repeat with the remaining brown sugar-cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle the crumb topping on evenly.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. (The toothpick may have some brown sugar or crumb topping on it, but not wet batter.) Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a cooling rack.
Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and 1 tablespoon (30ml) of milk until smooth. Whisk in additional milk if needed to achieve your desired consistency. Drizzle the icing over the cooled loaf.
Recipe Notes

*To find my favorite cinnamon, click here.

Strawberry Swirl Cake

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.

Mini Baklava Cheesecakes

Mini Baklava Cheesecakes

These Mini Baklava Cheesecakes are so cute and incredibly delicious that they actually made me mad! I’d been thinking about making them for awhile, so I was mad at myself for not making them sooner. They’re much quicker and easier to make than a full size cheesecake. The phyllo dough is par-baked, then topped with a nut mixture. I used a combination of pistachios and almonds, but you can use any combination of pistachios, almonds or walnuts of your choice. After the cheesecakes are baked, the phyllo shells are soaked with honey syrup.

I topped them with little nests made of kataifi, which are so cute and perfect for Easter. Kataifi is thinly shredded phyllo pastry. You can find it in the freezer section of supermarkets and international markets. Toasted coconut makes a good substitute if you can’t find kataifi. These cute cheesecakes are also pretty topped with edible flowers or rose petals, which would be perfect for Mother’s Day or any springtime celebration.

Print Recipe
Mini Baklava Cheesecakes
Mini cheesecakes with a baklava base, topped with kataifi nests
Course Dessert
Keyword baklava, cheesecake
Servings
mini cheesecakes
Ingredients
Honey Syrup
Kataifi Nests
Course Dessert
Keyword baklava, cheesecake
Servings
mini cheesecakes
Ingredients
Honey Syrup
Kataifi Nests
Instructions
Honey Syrup
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, water, honey and lemon juice, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Mini Cheesecakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Brush the insides of a 12-serving muffin pan with melted butter.
  2. Place a sheet of phyllo dough on your work surface. Brush it lightly with melted butter. Place another sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first one and brush it lightly with melted butter. Repeat this process until you have 5 sheets. Using a pastry wheel or a sharp knife, cut the phyllo into 6 squares, measuring about 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches each. Repeat this process with the five remaining phyllo sheets. Make sure to keep your unused phyllo sheets covered while you work to prevent them from drying out.
  3. Place the phyllo squares into the cups of the muffin pan. Press them in with a pastry tamper or with the flat bottom of a small shot glass. Prick the bottoms of the phyllo with a fork. Bake until light golden brown, about 14-17 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the nuts, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of melted butter and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix until well combined.
  5. Turn the oven heat down to 325ºF (165ºF). Place about a tablespoon of the nut mixture into the baked pyllo shells and press lightly with the back of a spoon.
  6. To make the cheesecake filling, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low speed, until smooth. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar, the egg, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and well combined, but do not over beat.
  7. Ladle the cheesecake mixture into the phyllo shells over the nuts. Fill them almost to the top. Bake until the cheesecakes are set, but still slightly jiggly in the centers, about 13-15 minutes.
  8. Using a small offset spatula, gently loosen the cheesecakes from the muffin pan. Drizzle honey syrup generously along the perimeter of the outside of the cheesecakes, letting the syrup drip down the sides of the phyllo pastry. Let the cheesecakes cool in the pan. When the cheesecakes have cooled and the syrup has absorbed, transfer the cheesecakes to the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
Kataifi Nests
  1. Turn the oven temperature up to 350ºF (180ºC). Brush an 8 x 8-inch or a 9 x 7-inch baking dish with melted butter. Roll clusters of kataifi stands into twelve 2-inch wide spiral shapes to form the nests. Place them in the baking dish. Drizzle the nests with melted butter. Gently brush more melted butter over the surface of the nests. Bake until golden brown, about 25-35 minutes. Immediately drizzle with honey syrup. Let the nests cool in the baking pan.
  2. Place the nests onto the cheesecakes. Fill the nests with candy eggs.
Recipe Notes

To find the muffin pan 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.

Brownie Cheesecake Cookies

Brownie Cheesecake Cookies

If you love chocolate chip cheesecake, you’ll adore these Brownie Cheesecake Cookies. I took my favorite elements from brownies and chocolate chip cheesecake and combined them into a cookie. The brownie batter cookies are soft and chewy on the inside and crispy on the edges. The cheesecake filling is creamy and smooth and dotted with mini chocolate chips.

The cookie dough should be refrigerated for a few minutes to help make the dough easier to work with. A short amount of chilling time worked best for me. I had minimal spreading during baking, but If your cookies spread to much, you can form the dough balls, add the indentations and refrigerate them for 20-30 minutes, then proceed with the recipe.

Since it’s so close to St. Patrick’s Day, I also made a version with Irish cream filling. See the notes below.*

Print Recipe
Brownie Cheesecake Cookies
Brownie cookies with soft, chewy centers and crisp edges, filled with creamy cheesecake filling and mini chocolate chips.
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Filling
Cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Filling
Cookies
Instructions
Filling
  1. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract together until smooth. Set aside 1 tablespoon of mini chocolate chips. Stir the remaining mini chocolate chips into the cream cheese mixture. Set aside in the refrigerator while you make the cookie dough.
Cookies
  1. Melt the chopped chocolate and butter together in a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir gently until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. (Alternately, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave with short bursts.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the melted chocolate. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  4. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 10-15 minutes to make it easier to work with. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Roll 2-tablespoon (40g) size portions of cookie dough into balls. Place them onto the cookie sheet, about 3 inches apart. Press a 1-inch wide indentation into each cookie dough ball using a pastry tamper, the flat top of a bottle cap or with your thumbs. Spoon a generous 1 teaspoon of filling into each indentation. Sprinkle with the reserved mini chocolate chips.
  6. Bake until the edges are set and beginning to crack, about 9-11 minutes. Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

To make the Irish cream version of the filling, replace the heavy cream and vanilla extract with 2 teaspoons of Bailey's Irish cream liqueur.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Little Strawberry Heart Cake

A cute little, stress-free, perfectly pink heart cake is my gift to you for Valentine’s Day. The vanilla cake is soft and fluffy. The frosting is super easy and delicious, with only two ingredients. It all comes together with fresh strawberries and it’s so good, you won’t want to share.

Print Recipe
Little Strawberry Heart Cake
A six inch heart shaped vanilla cake with fresh strawberries and two-ingredient frosting
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, strawberry
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, strawberry
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine strawberries and 2 teaspoons sugar. Set aside to macerate for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of a 6-inch heart shaped cake pan*** with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and oil with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in egg and vanilla in two separate additions until well combined.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and sour cream.
  7. Beat flour mixture into batter in two additions, alternating with milk mixture.
  8. Transfer batter to prepared cake pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool.
  9. In a large bowl, stir cream cheese with a spatula to smooth out lumps.
  10. Add marshmallow fluff and beat until well combined. Add food gel color with a toothpick and beat until evenly distributed.
  11. Split cake into two layers. Top the bottom layer with frosting. Drain strawberries and spoon onto cake. Top with second layer, then more frosting.
Optional Decor
  1. To make sugared strawberries, mix 1 part meringue powder with 3 parts water. Dip strawberries in meringue mixture, cover with sugar, then let dry. Alternately you can dip the strawberries in pasteurized egg whites, cover with sugar, then let dry.
Recipe Notes

*To find the gel food color I used, click here.

**To find meringue powder, click here.

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

 

Chocolate Gingerbread

Chocolate Gingerbread

Chocolate gingerbread is gingerbread’s elegant sister. It has the warm spices we love in gingerbread combined with the earthy depth of chocolate. Topping this rich, tender loaf with silky cream cheese frosting is the best possible choice to take it over the top. It’s a lovely loaf to enjoy during the holiday season and beyond. Enjoy it with a hot drink for a cozy, comforting winter treat.

Make sure to check out my method for making sugared cranberries below. No raw eggs required!

Print Recipe
Chocolate Gingerbread
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Chocolate Gingerbread
Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Chocolate Gingerbread
Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
Chocolate Gingerbread
  1. Preheat oven go 350ºF (180ºC). Line the bottom of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease the insides and dust with a mixture of equal parts flour and cocoa powder.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla together until smooth.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and milk.
  5. Add flour the mixture to the batter in two additions, alternating with the milk mixture, beating just until combined.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 38-45 minutes.
  7. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of milk, the vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth. Add additional milk, if needed, until your desired consistency is reached.
Recipe Notes

To make sugared cranberries and rosemary for garnish:  Mix 1 teaspoon of meringue powder* with 1 tablespoon of water. Place 1 cup of fresh cranberries in a bowl and coat them in the meringue powder mixture. Drain any excess liquid then coat the cranberries with granulated sugar.  Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet to dry at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Use the same method for sprigs of rosemary.

*To find meringue powder, click here.