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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chocolate gingerbread is gingerbread’s elegant sister. It has the warm spices we love in gingerbread combined with the earthy depth of chocolate. Topping this rich, tender loaf with silky cream cheese frosting is the best possible choice to take it over the top. It’s a lovely loaf to enjoy during the holiday season and beyond. Enjoy it with a hot drink for a cozy, comforting winter treat.
These soft, tender, fluffy, sweet cornbread muffins are my favorite version of cornbread ever! No hate to the crumbly, savory cornbread that some people prefer. I like that too! Coincidentally, the latter has fans who leave the most heated comments on my cornbread posts. Maybe their cornbread is making them cranky. This cornbread recipe is delightful and would cheer up anyone, especially when it’s served warm and slathered with butter and honey. Positively divine.
I used a square muffin pan because it makes the muffins look absolutely adorable. The pan is also known as a brownie pan. The pan details are in the recipe notes. Feel fee to use a standard round muffin pan instead.
This perfect pumpkin cake brings back 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.
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.