Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Cake

This perfect pumpkin cake brings back so many memories. The tender, moist texture reminds me of the pumpkin cake bars I used to make in junior high. I got the treasured bar recipe from an old children’s cookbook. I lent the cookbook to a neighbor and never saw the book or the recipe again. Through trial and error, I came up with this cake, which I think is even better! It’s so delicious it doesn’t need frosting, but the classic pairing with cream cheese frosting takes it over the top.

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Pumpkin Cake
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, pumpkin
Servings
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, pumpkin
Servings
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cake
Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
Pumpkin Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line the bottom of an *8-inch round cake pan with **parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin purée with an electric mixer, until smooth, about 1 minute.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture. Stir just until combined.
  5. Transfer batter to prepared cake pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
  6. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer, until creamy.
  2. Beat in vanilla extract and salt until well combined.
  3. On low speed, beat in powdered sugar.
  4. Beat in heavy cream a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. Stir with a spatula to smooth out any bubbles.
Recipe Notes

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

Pumpkin Pasties

Pumpkin Pasties

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.

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Pumpkin Pasties
Harry Potter inspired sweet pumpkin filled hand pies
Course Dessert
Keyword pastry
Servings
hand pies
Ingredients
Pie Crust
Pumpkin Filling
Assembly
Course Dessert
Keyword pastry
Servings
hand pies
Ingredients
Pie Crust
Pumpkin Filling
Assembly
Instructions
Pie Crust
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Work shortening into the flour mixture with your fingertips until evenly dispersed throughout.
  2. Work butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips, creating flat dime size pieces.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Pumpkin Filling
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together pumpkin purée, sugar, egg, heavy cream, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until well combined.
Assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. Place 2 tablespoons of filling on each round, leaving a half-inch border. Apply egg wash to edges of rounds.
  4. 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.
  5. Brush pasties with egg wash. Cut a half-inch slit into the top of each pastie. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  6. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Mini Muffins

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.

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Mini Muffins
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Muffins
Topping
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Muffins
Topping
Instructions
Muffins
  1. Grease and flour a 24-serving *mini muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil, egg and pumpkin purée until smooth.
  4. Stir in flour mixture just until combined. A few lumps are okay.
  5. Transfer batter to prepared pan, about a scant 2 tablespoons of batter in each muffin cup.
  6. Bake until toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean, about 11-13 minutes. Do not over bake! Be diligent, since over baking can happen very quickly with mini muffins.
  7. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn muffins out onto a cooling rack.
Topping
  1. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  2. Dunk warm muffins in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar.
Recipe Notes

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

Peaches and Cream Loaf Cake

Every peach season, I get excited by the abundance of peaches at my local farmers market and I end up buying way too many. So if you’re like me and you have ripe peaches sitting on your counter, turn them into peach purée. I love adding peach purée to my iced tea or adding it to desserts like this moist, tender cake. This is one of my most popular cake recipes on social media, and for good reason. It does not disappoint! To watch the TikTok video, click here.

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Peaches and Cream Loaf Cake
Moist, tender peach cake with peach cream cheese icing
Keyword cake, peach
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Cake
Icing
Keyword cake, peach
Servings
loaf
Ingredients
Cake
Icing
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line the bottom of an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Set aside 2 tablespoons peach purée for icing.
  4. In a large bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs, remaining peach purée and extracts until smooth.
  5. Add flour mixture and beat just until combined.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes.
  7. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Spread icing on cooled cake.
Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of peach purée. Beat until smooth. Add additional peach purée, if needed, until desired consistency is reached. Fold in diced peaches.

Blackberry Oatmeal Cookies

Blackberry Oatmeal Cookies by Brownie Mischief

We’ve all heard our parents telling their childhood stories of walking miles to school and suffering worse hardships than we ever had to. My mom used to tell me stories like that, but she had a sense of humor, so her stories were always fun to listen to. She used to tell me about her friend’s mother, who would make big, delicious oatmeal cookies. My mom would trade her baloney sandwich nearly every day to get one of those cookies from her friend. She reminisced about those cookies so much, that I set out to make her some when I learned to bake. She and my grandmother would taste test batch after batch of my cookies over the years. I have probably baked enough oatmeal cookies to circle the earth. Okay that’s an exaggeration, but seriously I have baked quite a few. Of all the oatmeal cookies I’ve baked, these are one of my favorites!

Most of the time when you see fruit added to an oatmeal cookie, it’s dried fruit, like raisins or cranberries. That’s mostly because if you just dump fruit into your cookie dough, the fruit releases water, leaving soggy spots in your cookies. To solve that issue, for this recipe, I macerate the blackberries before baking. The purple blackberry juice that’s released from the berries is used to make a beautiful lilac icing to drizzle over the cookies.

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Blackberry Oatmeal Cookies
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Brown Butter
Macerated Berries
Oatmeal Cookies
Icing
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Brown Butter
Macerated Berries
Oatmeal Cookies
Icing
Instructions
  1. In a small, light colored saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until dark golden and fragrant. You will see brown particles sink to the bottom. Keep a close eye on it. It can go from toasted to burned very quickly.
  2. Remove from heat and immediately transfer brown butter, including the brown particles, to a small bowl. Refrigerate until solid, about one hour.
  3. Place blackberries in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and toss to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes until berries release their juices.
  4. Drain blackberries and reserve the juice.
  5. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  7. In a large bowl, beat brown butter, softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  8. Add eggs and vanilla extract in three separate additions and beat until well combined.
  9. Stir in flour mixture just until combined.
  10. Stir in oats until combined.
  11. Gently fold in blackberries.
  12. Scoop 1/4 cup sized portions of dough, about 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets. *I used a #16 2 ounce scoop.
  13. Bake until cookie tops are set and edges are golden brown, about 13-15 minutes.
  14. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  15. Pass reserved blackberry juice through a sieve to remove seeds.
  16. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream and one tablespoon reserved blackberry juice until smooth. Add more blackberry juice, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  17. Drizzle icing over cooled cookies.
Recipe Notes

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

Brioche Cinnamon Buns

Brioche Cinnamon Buns

I can honestly say that cinnamon buns are one of my favorite foods ever!!! Yes, this statement required three exclamation points. Bring on the cinnamon buns, cinnamon rolls and cinnamon twists. I love them all. I’m especially fond of this recipe because it never disappoints. The brioche dough is soft, fluffy and easy to work with. I love that it contains cornstarch, which is a decades old secret to tender dough. I chose this recipe to share with you because you’ll have a very high chance of success with it. Yeast can be moody, but she’s always in a good mood when I make these buns.

I topped these cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing, but you can top them with fruit, nuts, honey or a simple vanilla glaze instead. They’re amazing topped with peaches and cream too.

Print Recipe
Brioche Cinnamon Buns
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Servings
cinnamon buns
Ingredients
Brioche Dough
Filling
Cream Cheese Icing
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Servings
cinnamon buns
Ingredients
Brioche Dough
Filling
Cream Cheese Icing
Instructions
Brioche Dough
  1. In a small bowl, whisk warm milk and yeast together. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt on low speed until combined.
  3. Keeping mixer at low speed, gradually add milk mixture. Continue mixing on low until dough comes together.
  4. Increase speed to medium. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding more.
  5. Continue mixing on medium speed until dough is smooth and stretches easily, about 10 minutes.
  6. Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2-2 hours.
Assembly and Baking
  1. Line a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12"x 16" rectangle.
  4. Spread softened butter evenly onto dough to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over butter.
  5. Starting at a long end, roll dough tightly into a log. Trim off 1/2 inch of uneven ends.
  6. With seam side down, slice log into 12 equal sections or 9 equal sections for large buns. Place rolls in prepared baking pan.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise again in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  8. Heat oven to 350ºF. Remove plastic wrap. Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.
  9. Let cool 20 minutes. Top with cream cheese icing.
Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla bean paste and salt. Beat until combined.
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
  4. Beat in milk, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Recipe Notes

*To find the yeast I used, click here.

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

***To find the vanilla bean paste I used, click here.

To find the baking pan I used, click here.

The Nutcracker Land of Sweets Cupcakes

Nutcracker Land of Sweets Cupcakes

The tradition of enjoying the Nutcracker Ballet at Christmastime is another thing the pandemic took from us. I’m not sure when I’ll ever feel safe sitting close to people in a theater for ballets, plays or movies. In the meantime, I can enjoy the music at home and share some Nutcracker inspired treats with you.

The Nutcracker Land of Sweets is a magical theme that has me mesmerized. Gingerbread, candy canes, gumdrops and billowy clouds of pink frosting are what dreams are made of. And that’s exactly what these dreamy cupcakes are made of. The cupcake flavor is a subtle spice cake. The recipe is adapted from a Martha Stewart cake recipe I made last summer. The original cake was paired with blackberry jam, but I knew plum jam would be perfect for these cupcakes. I topped them with a mildly sweet, fluffy Swiss meringue buttercream.

Part of the fun of making these cupcakes began at the store as I collected the sweets to decorate the cupcakes. Another perk of the job is taste testing the candy. I discovered that purple spice drops are licorice flavored and red spice drops are cinnamon. Who knew?

Print Recipe
The Nutcracker Land of Sweets Cupcakes
Spice cupcakes filled with plum jam, topped with fluffy pink frosting, gingerbread men and Christmas candy, and dusted with sugar snow
Course Dessert
Keyword cupcakes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Spice cupcakes
Pink Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Course Dessert
Keyword cupcakes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
Spice cupcakes
Pink Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Instructions
Spice Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 serving muffin pan with disposable baking cups. (I used silver foil liners.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg, egg white, and vanilla, one at a time, mixing until well combined.
  5. Add flour mixture in two additions, alternating with milk. Mix until combined.
  6. Divide batter evenly into wells of prepared muffin pan, filling about 2/3 full.
  7. Bake until light golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes.
  8. Let cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes. Gently transfer cupcakes to cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. Core the center of each cupcake, removing a 3/4-inch deep circle. Fill with jam and replace the circle top.
  10. Frost cupcakes with pink Swiss meringue buttercream. Decorate with cookies and candies. Lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Pink Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercreamgue Buttercream
  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of gently simmering water.
  2. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and temperature of 160ºF is reached.
  3. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixture with a whisk attachment. Whisk on low speed, gradually increasing to medium-high speed. Whisk until glossy, stiff peaks form and mixture reaches room temperature.
  4. Turn mixer to medium-low speed. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, allowing the butter to fully incorporate each time before adding more.
  5. Switch to paddle attachment. On low speed, mix in vanilla, salt and food color. Continue mixing on low speed for a few minutes until smooth.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Spice Cake

Apple Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Apple Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

These Apple Spice Cookies were one of my most popular cookies last fall so I decided to bring them back a little early this year. I’m definitely not the type of person to be drinking pumpkin spice lattes in 90º weather in the middle of August, but these are my favorite fall cookies ever so I wanted to give them a proper head start. The combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in this cookie dough will remind you of cinnamon rolls and apple pie and help you look forward to fall.

The apples in this recipe are cooked briefly on the stovetop to bring out the flavor and create the perfect texture. Dropping raw apple chunks into cookie dough or cake batter is never a good idea. If you’ve ever baked an apple pie, you know that apples release liquid as they’re cooked and that liquid will end up in your baked cookies, creating soggy spots. So definitely don’t skip this step!

These gorgeous, golden brown cookies are perfectly delicious on their own, but extra credit goes to the Brown Butter Icing for taking them over the top!

apple spice cookies with brown butter icing

Make sure to head over to TikTok to watch the video of these Apple Spice Cookies being created.

Print Recipe
Apple Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Cooked Apples
Brown Butter Icing
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Cooked Apples
Brown Butter Icing
Instructions
Cooked Apples
  1. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add apples, sugar and cinnamon to skillet.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Drain any excess liquid from cooled apples.
Apple Spice Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract, one at a time, until well combined
  5. Stir in flour mixture, just until combined.
  6. Fold cooled apples into cookie dough.
  7. Divide dough into 12 equal golf ball size portions and place three inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake until golden brown, about 12-13 minutes. Let cool 1 minute on baking sheet, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Brown Butter Icing
  1. In a small saucepan, cook butter over medium heat until golden brown and fragrant.
  2. Immediately transfer browned butter to a small bowl. Whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and 1 tablespoon milk. Add more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency.
  3. Drizzle icing over cooled cookies.
Recipe Notes

NOTE:  If your cookies spread too much when baking, refrigerate dough for 20 minutes, then bake as directed.

Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves with Caramel Filling

pumpkin spices mini loaves with caramel filling

In early September, I saw someone announce the fall season on social media. In addition to people pointing out that it was too early for the announcement, the word police corrected the person with the word autumn. Since both terms are correct, we can call the season whatever we prefer. I think autumn is a pretty sounding word, so I’ll use it for the rest of this post. Whatever you call it, these Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves are a perfect little celebration of the season. They have just the right amount of pumpkin spices, making them so fragrant that your kitchen will smell like cozy autumn heaven.

pumpkin spices mini loaves with caramel filling

I call them loaves because I originally made them in mini loaf pans. They’re so cute and delicious that I often give them as holiday gifts. This year I decided to try them in ramekins and I loved the results! I used 6-ounce ramekins, but you can use 8-ounce ramekins, any size mini loaf pans, a muffin pan or even an 8 or 9-inch loaf pan. Keep in mind that baking times will differ. To find the ramekins I used, click here.

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves with Caramel Filling
Mini loaves of tender pumpkin bread with caramel filling and luscious cream cheese frosting
Servings
mini loaves
Ingredients
Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves
Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings
mini loaves
Ingredients
Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves
Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour seven 6-ounce ramekins or six 8-ounce ramekins or any loaf pans of your choice.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
  5. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla until combined.
  6. Stir in flour mixture just until combined.
  7. Divide batter evenly into prepared ramekins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake. (Mini loaves or muffins bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on size. 8 or 9-inch loaf bakes for 40-50 minutes)
  8. Cool completely if serving in ramekins or remove from pans after cooling for 10 minutes. Continue to cool on wire rack.
  9. Make 3/4-inch well in the center of each loaf. Fill with caramel sauce. (For an 8 or 9-inch loaf, poke multiple holes with a skewer. Fill with caramel sauce.)
  10. Top with cream cheese frosting and pumpkin seeds
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla extract and salt and beat until combined.
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat at medium speed until combined.
  4. Add heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined.

Fairy Puffs

Fairy Puffs sugared mini muffins wtih edible flowers

My dad used to take me on walks in the woods to look for fairy rings when I was a child. I wanted to see a real fairy so badly! I got a book about fairies, hoping to learn more about them. Fairies love little cakes, milk, honey and butter so I’m sure these Fairy Puffs would be fairy approved.

My Fairy Puffs recipe is loosely based on an old favorite mini muffin recipe. I tweaked it quite a bit, including the addition of pink dragonfruit powder. Dragonfruit has a subtle flavor, so the bright fuchsia powder is mostly for color. But oh what a beautiful color it is! You can find dragonfruit powder in healthy food stores or online. To find the dragonfruit powder , also known as pink pitaya powder, I used, click here.

fairy puff muffins

Decorating these little cuties was so entertaining! After sampling multiple variations of sparkling sugar and cinnamon sugar, I decided that dipping the bottoms of the muffins in butter and cinnamon sugar, then dipping the tops in butter and sparkling sugar gave them the perfect balance of sugar and spice. I had purchased some edible flowers a couple of days prior, and they added a pretty, magical touch. The flowers I used are called bachelor’s buttons and I got them at a local gourmet flower seller.

sugared mini muffins with edible flowers

Print Recipe
Fairy Puffs
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cake, muffins
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Fairy Puffs
Topping
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cake, muffins
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Fairy Puffs
Topping
Instructions
Fairy Puffs
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 24 serving mini muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, dragonfruit powder, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and beat until smooth.
  5. Add flour mixture and milk alternately in two additions and mix just until combined.
  6. Fill wells of prepared muffin pan with batter.
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Be careful not to over bake. Small muffins can dry out easily.)
  8. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove puffs from pan and transfer to cooling rack. (Loosen puffs with a small offset spatula or butter knife if necessary.)
Topping
  1. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  2. Place colored sparkling sugar crystals in another shallow bowl.
  3. Dip the bottoms of each puff in melted butter, then into cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. Dip the tops of each puff in melted butter, then into sparkling sugar.
  5. Decorate with edible flowers if desired.
Recipe Notes

*To purchase dragonfruit powder, click here.

 **To purchase pink sparkling sugar crystals, click here.

 

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Blood Orange Slices

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Blood Oranges

Every winter, when blood oranges come back in season, I start keeping an eye out for them at grocery stores and farmers markets. This year was different. I’ve been at home, having my groceries delivered instead of perusing the local produce aisles. If you’ve been entrusting strangers to do your shopping like I have, then you know delivery produce selections are hit and miss. So I was elated when a bag of perfectly beautiful, ripe blood oranges landed on my doorstep. This simple joy made my day. There was no choice. I had to make something worthy of the gorgeous red beauties!

I didn’t get enough of gingerbread this holiday season, so I decided to make a gingerbread cupcake recipe that I created a few years ago when I was experimenting with blood oranges. I used blood orange zest in the cupcake batter and brushed the warm cupcakes with the blood orange syrup left over from making the candied oranges. If you don’t make the candied oranges, you can easily make a batch of the syrup* or skip this step altogether. They will still be delicious. I topped the cupcakes with cream cheese icing made with more orange zest and some blood orange juice mixed in. The juice makes the icing turns a soft shade of pink.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing and Candied Blood Oranges

Candied blood orange slices are so stunning, that I can’t bring myself to just lay them on top of a dessert. They remind me of stained glass windows. I like to place them on toothpicks so they can stand up in regal style! Many recipes out there will instruct you to boil the orange slices, then let them air dry. This is perfectly fine if you don’t mind floppy candied oranges. For this recipe, boiling the slices, then letting them dry in the oven on low heat will give them enough stiffness to stand up.

If you can’t find blood oranges where you live, here’s a link to get blood oranges shipped to you. This recipe will also work with other types of oranges. You won’t get the deep scarlet color and the flavor will have a bit more tartness, but it will still be beautiful and delicious!

Print Recipe
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Servings
12-14 cupcakes
Ingredients
Gingerbread Cupcakes
Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Candied Blood Orange Slices
Servings
12-14 cupcakes
Ingredients
Gingerbread Cupcakes
Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Candied Blood Orange Slices
Instructions
Gingerbread Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Spray the wells of a muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth.
  4. Add brown sugar and orange zest and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add molasses and beat until combined.
  6. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
  7. Mix in dry ingredients in two additions, alternating with buttermilk. Beat just until combined.
  8. Scoop the batter into prepared muffin tin, filling wells 2/3 full. (If you have any remaining batter, prepare an additional muffin tin.)
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan.
  11. Place cupcakes upside down on cooling rack and brush generously with orange simple syrup. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Blood Orange Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed, until smooth.
  2. Add butter, orange zest and salt and beat until combined.
  3. Add powdered sugar. Beat at low speed until powdered sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth.
  4. Add blood orange juice and beat, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Candied Blood Orange Slices
  1. Slice oranges into thin 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a shallow saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add orange slices to saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain oranges, reserving syrup.
  5. Heat oven to 175ºF. Place on a large baking sheet lined with a baking mat in a single layer and bake until orange slices begin to stiffen, about 2 hours.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet. If desired, insert toothpicks when slices are cool enough to handle. The slices will continue to stiffen as they cool.
Recipe Notes

*To make orange simple syrup,  combine the juice of one orange with enough water to make 1/2 cup. Combine mixture with the zest of one orange and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and transfer to a glass container. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Brownies

pumpkin cheesecake crumble brownies

It’s Fall 2020. We need chocolate! We need pumpkin spice! And we need it drenched with caramel! These satisfying brownies check all of the boxes with multiple layers of comfort. A rich chocolate brownie is the base. The next layer is heavenly pumpkin cheesecake. The topping is a buttery crumble that rivals the best crumb cake. Finally, as if that isn’t enough, it’s drizzled with caramel sauce!

If it sounds complicated, don’t worry, it’s not. Each layer is super easy to make. You can use your favorite store bought caramel sauce to top it with. Vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream are optional, but highly recommended toppings also. Just saying.

The layers go unexpectedly well together and make the perfect dessert for Halloween or Thanksgiving. I’m even going to add these beauties to my Christmas dessert table this year. Enjoy! You deserve it.

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Brownies
Chocolate brownies with pumpkin cheesecake and crumb topping, topped with caramel sauce.
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
Brownie Layer
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Crumb Topping
Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
Brownie Layer
Instructions
Crumb Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until well-combined and crumbles are pea-sized. Press crumbles together to make large quarter-sized chunks.
  3. Set aside in refrigerator.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.
  3. Add pumpkin, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and beat until well combined. Set aside.
Brownie Layer
  1. Melt 1 stick of butter in a large microwaveable bowl.
  2. Stir in sugar until combined
  3. Stir in cocoa powder, vanilla, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the eggs and beat until smooth
  5. Add the flour and mix until just combined.
  6. Spread brownie batter into prepared baking pan. Smooth with a spatula.
  7. Spread pumpkin cheesecake batter over the top of brownie batter. Smooth with a spatula.
  8. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the top of pumpkin cheesecake layer.
  9. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into pumpkin cheesecake layer comes out clean.
  10. Let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve with caramel sauce.