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.
Mini Pumpkin Bear Muffins
Moist, fluffy bear-shaped pumpkin mini muffins with cream cheese icing snouts
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.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
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.
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.
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.
Clean the pan and repeat with the remaining batter.
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.
In a small bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of milk until smooth. Add more milk as needed.
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.
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
These cute little pink muffins are the strawberriest muffins ever. I had to use a word that’s not even in the dictionary to describe them because these little gems are bursting with strawberry flavor. They’re made with fresh strawberry purée and finished with homemade strawberry sugar. The strawberry purée helps to make the muffins soft and moist on the inside and the strawberry sugar gives a nice crunchy texture and a bright strawberry flavor on the outside.
The strawberry sugar is made by pulverizing freeze dried strawberries together with sugar. Freeze dried strawberries are not the same as dried strawberries. You can find freeze dried strawberries at grocery markets, gourmet stores and online. They’re typically located near the nuts and dried fruit in most markets.
To watch the TikTok video of Double Strawberry Mini Muffins click here.
Double Strawberry Mini Muffins
Strawberry Mini Muffins Coated in Homemade Strawberry Sugar
Combine the freeze dried strawberries and 2 tablespoons (7/8 oz or 25g) of sugar in a small food processor or a clean spice grinder. Process until finely ground. Add 1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz or 100g) of sugar and pulse a few times until well combined. Place the strawberry sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease and flour a 24-serving mini muffin pan.** Do not skip this step and do not use liners. The muffins need to form a crust on the outside so they don't soak up too much butter in the final step.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt
In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz or 100g) of sugar with the oil, egg and extracts until smooth. Whisk in the strawberry purée until well combined.
Stir in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula, just until combined. The batter will be thick.
Transfer the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan cups.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake! Be diligent, since over baking can happen very quickly with mini muffins.
Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a cooling rack. Place the melted butter in a small bowl. Dunk the warm muffins briefly in the melted butter, then roll them in the strawberry sugar.
If you like tropical flavors, you’ll love this spring dessert from my childhood. We used to call it Pineapple Coconut Snack Cake, but I would consider it more of a bar, so I changed the name to Pineapple Coconut Cake Bars. We would enjoy it on Easter or Mother’s Day because it was my mom’s favorite. It’s buttery, moist and rich. It’s also kind of addicting, because everyone always asks for seconds. You can double the recipe if you need to.
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 substitute 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.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line the bottom of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the insides.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy and well combined.
Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla in 3 separate additions, making sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next.
In a small bowl, whisk milk and sour cream together.
Add flour mixture to batter in two additions, alternating with half of milk mixture after each addition. Beat just until combined. Do not over mix.
Set aside a handful of chocolate chips for top of loaf. In a small bowl, toss 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.
Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Top with reserved chocolate chips.
Bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven heat down to 325ºF and continue baking until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45-50 more minutes.
Cool loaf in pan for 10 minutes then turn loaf out onto a cooling rack.
*If you want to use mini chocolate chips, use one cup (6 oz or 170g)
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.
Little Strawberry Heart Cake
A six inch heart shaped vanilla cake with fresh strawberries and two-ingredient frosting
In a small bowl, combine strawberries and 2 teaspoons sugar. Set aside to macerate for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of a 6-inch heart shaped cake pan*** with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and oil with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg and vanilla in two separate additions until well combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together milk and sour cream.
Beat flour mixture into batter in two additions, alternating with milk mixture.
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.
In a large bowl, stir cream cheese with a spatula to smooth out lumps.
Add marshmallow fluff and beat until well combined. Add food gel color with a toothpick and beat until evenly distributed.
Split cake into two layers. Top the bottom layer with frosting. Drain strawberries and spoon onto cake. Top with second layer, then more frosting.
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.
At the Brownie Mischief website, all types of brownies are welcome. We all know and love chocolate brownies. But there are other less common brownies in the universe, that deserve to shine too. Let me introduce you to Strawberry Sweetheart Brownies. These lovely pink creations aren’t strawberry cake or strawberry blondies. They contain white chocolate and they’re made with the same baking method as brownies. When you bake chocolate brownies, you want to be careful not to over bake them, to achieve the rich, fudgy texture. The same is true for these strawberry brownies. When you test for doneness, the toothpick should have a few moist crumbs attached to it. If the toothpick is clean, the brownies have baked too long and will likely be a little dry and cakey, although still edible. So make sure to test for doneness well before the end of the baking time!
The baking temperature for this recipe is 325ºF. I noticed that when baking in a heart shaped cake pan, things tend to bake unevenly because of the shape. So I used a lower temperature to help with even baking. If you don’t have an 8-inch heart shaped cake pan, you can also use an 8-inch round cake pan. To find the cake pan I used, click here.
To watch the Strawberry Sweetheart Brownies Instagram video, click here.
Strawberry Sweetheart Brownies
A heart shaped strawberry brownie made with fresh strawberries topped with strawberry icing.
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line the bottom of an 8-inch heart shaped cake pan*** with parchment paper. Spray the insides with nonstick spray.
In a large heat safe bowl, melt butter and white chocolate together on the stovetop over a pan of barely simmering water or in the microwave for 20 seconds at time, stirring at each interval. White chocolate overheats easily, so be vigilant.
Add the sugar and salt to the butter mixture and mix until well combined.
Add egg and egg yolks. Whisk until smooth.
Pass strawberry purée through a sieve to remove seeds. Set aside 2 tablespoons of strawberry purée for icing. Add remaining purée to batter. Mix until well combined.
Add extracts and food color. Mix until combined.
Stir in flour until combined, scraping bowl as needed.
Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in center has a few moist crumbs on it, (not batter), about 25-30 minutes. Do not over bake. Let cool in pan. Remove from pan and top with strawberry icing.
Whisk all icing ingredients together until smooth and well combined.
*To make strawberry purée: Purée clean, hulled and quartered strawberries in a blender or food processor. **To find the food color I used, click here. **To find the heart cake pan I used, click here.
My fascination with Christmas cookies started as a child when my elderly neighbor used to bring over a tray of her homemade Christmas cookies every year. I loved the moment where I got to choose a cookie from the beautiful, interesting selection. In my humble opinion, I think a holiday cookie should be something special. It should be something that you don’t eat on a regular basis, maybe because it seems fancy or requires a little extra work to make. Or maybe it has a special meaning or a fond memory. These Chocolate Raspberry Cookie Tartlets check all the boxes for me. They have that something special a cookie needs to be the star of the holiday cookie tray…tender jam-filled chocolate dough, dipped in shiny chocolate with a pretty pop of red.
In a medium bowl, sift together powdered sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese, with an electric mixer on medium speed, until smooth.
Add powdered sugar mixture and beat until well combined.
Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined.
On low speed, beat in flour just until combined.
Divide dough into two equal portions. Wrap with plastic wrap and form into disks. Refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll dough between two sheets of wax paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough into 3-inch rounds, re-rolling scraps as necessary. If dough becomes too soft at any point, chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes then continue with recipe.
Place rounds on prepared baking sheets. Top each round with a teaspoon of jam.
With a small food safe brush or with your finger, apply a small amount of water to the edge of half of each round. Fold over and press edges to seal.
Bake until tops of cookies look set, about 9-11 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
In a small bowl, mix melted chocolate with coconut oil until smooth.
Dip cookies about 1/3 of the way into melted chocolate. Top with freeze dried fruit or sprinkles.
I never imagined that I’d ever be posting a peanut butter cookie recipe. There are already crunchy peanut butter cookies, soft ones, chewy ones, and those peanut shaped store bought ones out there. I mean, do we even need another peanut butter cookie recipe? After I tasted this one, it’s a resounding YES! These soft, tender cookies combined with a silky, smooth filling are a new peanut butter experience that I had to share.
The key to getting the soft texture in the cookie, without being dry, is cake flour. So don’t substitute it, because it’s vital to achieve the correct texture. Make sure to weigh your flour for the most accurate results. The second important ingredient is heavy whipping cream. Just a little added to the filling gives it a luxurious, silky texture.
This recipe makes sixteen medium size peanut butter cookies, which will give you eight sandwiches. If you want more, you can double the recipe or make the cookies smaller. Smaller cookies will have a shorter baking time.
Even though there’s a heatwave where I live at the moment, I’m dreaming about all the delicious fall treats I’ll be baking this year. Let’s look forward to cool, crisp weather, the smell of pumpkin or apples baking, and sipping a warm mug of something spicy while we wait for our bakes to come out of the oven.
Inevitably, every fall, the Harry Potter movies come on at my house and it’s nice to have some popcorn and sweet treats to enjoy while watching the movies. And these Harry Potter Inspired Pumpkin Pasties are perfect for that! If you’ve read the Harry Potter books, you may remember the Pumpkin Pasties being mentioned. There are many interpretations out there, but I imagined them to be crispy and flaky on the outside with a sweet pumpkin filling. I included a delicious flaky pie crust recipe here, but feel free to use store bought pie dough if you want to streamline the process. I sprinkled mine with raw turbinado sugar before baking which provides a sweet delicious crunch. You can also use maple sugar or sparkling sugar. To find the sugar I used, click here.
Harry Potter inspired sweet pumpkin filled hand pies
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Work shortening into the flour mixture with your fingertips until evenly dispersed throughout.
Work butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips, creating flat dime size pieces.
Mix ice water and vinegar together. Sprinkle over flour mixture a little at a time, stirring until dough comes together. You may not need all of the water depending on your climate.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough briefly by folding dough over onto itself a few times. Do not overwork dough! Form dough into two discs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour or up to overnight.
In a medium bowl, mix together pumpkin purée, sugar, egg, heavy cream, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until well combined.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough into 12 5-inch rounds, re-rolling scraps as needed. Place dough rounds on prepared baking sheets.
Place 2 tablespoons of filling on each round, leaving a half-inch border. Apply egg wash to edges of rounds.
Fold dough over and press edges together. Crimp edges with a fork. If any filling oozes out, wipe it up with a paper towel or it will burn.
Brush pasties with egg wash. Cut a half-inch slit into the top of each pastie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
My mom had a cupboard in the kitchen containing a few old cookbooks that she rarely used. As a child, I used to enjoy perusing them and looking at the baked treats. Some of the cookbooks were so old, they had black and white photos or even just drawings of the food. The ones with drawings interested me because they depicted smiling children enjoying the treats.
When I started learning to bake, I found a recipe for French Breakfast Puffs in one of those old books. The title sounded so fancy, but they were really just simple muffins dunked in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar. I have no idea what the name of the cookbook was or what happened to it, but the delicious muffin recipe stuck around for a while. I’ve tweaked the recipe so many times over the years, and most recently, I added pumpkin to it. These Pumpkin Cinnamon Mini Muffins are one of the best versions I’ve created. The inside texture of the muffins is soft and moist and it contrasts nicely with the slight crunch you get from the cinnamon sugar on the outside. They look so cute too, like little pumpkins, and they definitely make children smile!
To watch the TikTok video of these mini muffins being made, click here.
Crinkle cookies, also known as crackle cookies, have been around for a very long time. The pretty, crispy, cracked exterior and the soft, moist interior are what we love about them! There’s definitely no shortage of recipes for crinkles out there, everything from chocolate to red velvet. I even saw an audacious cookie company selling lemon crinkles for twelve dollars each, more money than it will cost for this entire batch! So many of the recipes I tried were disappointing, especially the ones made with cake mix. So I created my own version and I’m sharing it with you. Here’s to making sure delicious lemon crinkle cookies are available for all to enjoy, not just a select few.
This recipe requires a bit of chilling, which I know many people don’t like because they’re impatient. I happen to be one of those people. Old fashioned crinkle cookies require about 3 hours of chilling. My recipe has the addition of cornstarch, which helps prevent spreading and allows for a shorter chilling time. As an added bonus, cornstarch makes the cookies more tender. Win win!
Fresh lemon zest and lemon juice in these cookies is crucial to the best lemon flavor. A bit of pure lemon extract is added to enhance that flavor. Don’t be tempted to use imitation extracts. The flavor will disappoint you. I added two drops of lemon yellow food color, which made them so pretty they look like pure sunshine!
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Lemon cookies with a crackled, crispy exterior and a soft, tender interior