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.

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.

Blueberry Cornmeal Tea Cakes with Honey Butter Icing

Blueberry Cornmeal Tea Cakes with Honey Butter Icing

If you’re looking forward to spring as much as I am, you’ll love these tender, fluffy Blueberry Cornmeal Tea Cakes. They taste like soft, sweet cornbread with the added freshness of juicy blueberries. The Honey Butter Icing adds the perfect, sweet finish. Who doesn’t love cornbread slathered with honey and butter? It’s a match made in heaven and it works so well on these delightful tea cakes.

I placed them upside down because they look more pretty and elegant that way. I added some fresh, pesticide free violas to the tops. They would also be cute decorated with fresh blueberries or chamomile flowers.

This versatile recipe can also be made into muffins by filling the muffin pan cups 2/3 full instead of 1/2 full. The baking time may be a little longer. Place the muffins right side up on the cooling rack.

To see the inside of the tea cakes, watch the TikTok video. Click here.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Cornmeal Tea Cakes with Honey Butter Icing
Sweet, soft cornbread cakes with blueberries, topped with honey butter icing
Servings
Ingredients
Blueberry Cornmeal Tea Cakes
Honey Butter Icing
Servings
Ingredients
Blueberry Cornmeal Tea Cakes
Honey Butter Icing
Instructions
Blueberry Cornmeal Tea Cakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease and flour a 12-serving muffin pan*.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, oil, butter, vanilla and lemon zest until smooth.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. Don't over mix. A few lumps are okay. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. Fill the muffin cups half full. Bake until the tops of the cakes are light golden, the tops are springy and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 14-16 minutes.
  6. Cool the cakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and place them upside down on a cooling rack. Top the cooled cakes with Honey Butter Icing.
Honey Butter Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, butter, honey, salt and 1 tablespoon of milk. Add additional milk as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Whisk until smooth.
Recipe Notes

To find the muffin pan I used, click here.

White Velvet Snowflake Cakes


Print Recipe


White Velvet Snowflake Cakes

Soft, plush vanilla mini cakes with vanilla icing

Course Dessert
Keyword cake, white velvet

Servings
cakes


Ingredients
Snowflake Cakes

Vanilla Icing

Course Dessert
Keyword cake, white velvet

Servings
cakes


Ingredients
Snowflake Cakes

Vanilla Icing


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

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

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

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

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

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


Recipe Notes

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

 

 

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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

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

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.

Pink Velvet Cookies

Pink Velvet Cookies

Whenever I walk into a bakery, my eyes are always drawn to anything pink. Pink cupcakes, cookies, donuts or anything with pink icing will inevitably come home with me. This probably started in childhood. Most bakeries back then, including the bakery my aunt always took me to, had pink boxes, so I associate it with delicious, freshly baked treats. Maybe pink desserts do taste better or maybe our minds just tell us that. Either way, if you love pink treats, you’ll love these cookies.

Pink velvet is similar to red velvet, but without the cocoa powder and red food color. The texture should be somewhat velvety, like red velvet cake. I have yet to taste a velvety red velvet cookie, but I think the texture of these cookies is pretty velvety as long as they’re not over baked. Pink velvet desserts are typically vanilla flavored. I upgraded the flavor by adding a touch of cherry flavoring. It’s not enough to give you cherry flavored cookies, but it will add depth to vanilla flavored treats. It’s an old bakery trick that I learned years ago that adds a fruity note in the background.

For best baking results, I recommend using a scale to weigh your ingredients, especially your dry ingredients. If you love baking, you should invest in a food scale if you don’t already have one.

To watch the Pink Velvet Cookies TikTok video, click here. To watch the Pink Velvet Cookies Instagram video, click here.

Print Recipe
Pink Velvet Cookies
Pink vanilla flavored crinkle cookies with chewy exteriors and soft, velvety centers
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies, pink velvet
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Optional
Course Dessert
Keyword cookies, pink velvet
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and oil until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat egg whites into butter mixture in two addition, until well combined.
  5. Beat in extracts until well combined.
  6. Add gel food color, a little at a time with a toothpick, until desired shade of pink is reached. (Adding remaining ingredients will lighten the color slightly.) Beat until evenly distributed.
  7. Add flour mixture to batter and beat just until combined. Mix in white chocolate chips if using.
  8. Roll dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each. I used a #30 portion scoop.*** Roll dough very generously in powdered sugar. Place two inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets.
  9. Bake until cookies are puffed and tops are set, about 11-13 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

*The cherry flavoring in this recipe is not intended to make a cherry flavored cookie. The addition of cherry flavoring adds a subtle fruity note. You can also use pure cherry extract. Use a bit less (scant 1/2 teaspoon)  because extracts tend to be stronger than flavorings. DO NOT use imitation cherry extract. It has a medicinal flavor that will disappoint you. If you want your cookies to be cherry or strawberry flavor, reduce vanilla extract to 1/2 teaspoon and  use 1- 1 1/2 teaspoons of natural cherry or strawberry flavoring.

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

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

This recipe was updated on 2/14/23.

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.