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.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cakes
Moist pumpkin cakes with cinnamon swirls and vanilla bean icing
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.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
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.
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.
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.
In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add the melted butter and whisk until well combined.
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a 1/4-inch wide round tip.
Vanilla Bean Icing
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.
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.
Do you ever feel like a three year old child who doesn’t want to share? That’s how I feel about this crumb cake. I didn’t want to share so I made six 4-inch personal crumb cakes. You’ll understand once you taste the soft, fluffy lemon scented cake with juicy blueberries, a ton of sweet crumb topping and a lemony cream cheese icing. You’ll want every bite for yourself! I was also hesitant to share the recipe. But I was taught to share recipes by my two grandmothers who were amazing cooks and bakers. They shared their knowledge and recipes with anyone who asked. Recipes are a legacy that should be passed on to family and friends. If you’re reading this, I consider you a friend. So enjoy this recipe that’s especially dear to me because it’s based on my Grandma’s Apple Crumb Cake recipe.
I used a six serving shallow jumbo muffin pan to bake the cakes. The muffin cups are 4 inches across by 1 inch deep. To find the pan, click here. A hamburger bun pan for 4-inch buns will work too. If you happen to have six 4-inch cake pans, those work nicely. I used jumbo muffin liners to line the muffin cups, which fit perfectly by pressing them in around the inside bottom edges.
Blueberry Lemon Crumb Cakes
Fluffy, soft lemon cakes with blueberries, crumb topping and lemon cream cheese icing
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, brown sugar and salt together.
Work in butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like the consistency of wet sand. Press together to make chunks. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a 6-serving shallow jumbo muffin pan* with jumbo muffin liners.** Jumbo muffin liners will fit by pressing them around the inside bottom edges.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy.
Beat the egg, egg yolk and extracts into the butter mixture in 3 separate additions, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next.
In a small bowl, whisk the milk and sour cream together.
On low speed, mix the flour mixture into the batter in two additions alternating with half of the milk mixture after each addition. Beat just until combined.
Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan, evenly distributing the batter and filling the cups about half full.
In a medium bowl, toss the blueberries with 1 teaspoon of flour and place them into the cups on top of the batter, about 1 ounce (28g) in each. Top each one with crumb topping.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Let cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Icing
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, melted butter, powdered sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add additional lemon juice, a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over the cooled cakes.
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.
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.
This cake story has a happy ending. Once, many years ago, someone gave my grandparents’ neighbor a flourless chocolate cake. The neighbor had a slice and couldn’t finish it because it was too rich. She brought the cake over to my grandparents and they each had a slice and couldn’t finish them, because they were too rich. I had a slice and I couldn’t finish mine either and, well…you can guess why. So my grandparents, not wanting to be wasteful, put the cake in the freezer and forgot about it for a very long time. Whenever I opened the freezer and saw it, I wondered why none of us could eat more than a few bites of that rich cake. Although I don’t know for sure, it was probably because the ratio of chocolate to butter was off. But I do know that serving it with something acidic, like berries or raspberry sauce, would have helped immensely.
The happy ending to this story is that this flourless chocolate cake was created to be enjoyed to the last bite. It’s decadent, but not overly rich. It has a good balance, not too sweet or too bitter. The raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries compliment it perfectly. This luscious cake is also delicious with strawberries or any combination of berries you like. It’s also delicious served with salted caramel sauce. I wish my grandparents were still around to give my version of a flourless chocolate cake a try. I think they would have loved this cake and finished every last bite!
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a 6-inch springform pan** with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray. Wrap the bottom two inches of the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Set pan in a baking pan.
Combine chocolate and butter in a large stainless steel bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until doubled in size, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and salt.
With a large spatula, gently fold beaten eggs into chocolate mixture in three additions until no streaks of egg remain. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Smooth top of batter with a small offset spatula.
Pour 1 1/2 inches of boiling water into baking pan. Bake until top is set and internal temperature*** reaches 140ºF, about 28-37 minutes.
Remove cake pan from water bath. Cool to room temperature then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or up to overnight, but cake is best served the day it's made).
Remove cake from pan when chilled and set. Top with powdered sugar and fresh raspberries.
To serve, remove cake from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving and serve at room temperature for best texture. Serve with raspberry sauce.
Purée raspberries in blender or food processor. Pass purée through a fine mesh sieve**** to remove seeds.
In a small bowl, whisk together water and cornstarch.*****
In a small saucepan, heat raspberry purée with sugar and cornstarch slurry to a boil over medium heat. Turn heat down to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
*Chalazae are the opaque chords of egg white. Removing them is optional, but they do show up as white spots in the cake after baking.
**To find the 6-inch springform pan I used, click here.
I remember my grandma making coffee cakes and sweet muffins for breakfast, along with eggs, sausages, hot coffee and a big pitcher of milk on the table. The older generation really loved their coffee cakes. I’ve noticed that many Millennials and Gen Z’s think coffee cake contains coffee. Maybe some coffee cake does contain coffee, but in general, coffee cake is called that because it’s typically eaten with coffee. A classic coffee cake is usually a subtly sweet cake with cinnamon, crumb topping and maybe some icing. The Apple Crumb Cake recipe I’m sharing with you has the elements of a classic coffee cake, but so much better! The cake is fluffy and soft, the crumb topping is chunky and plentiful, and the apples are perfectly tender. And don’t get me started about the icing!
Why do most of our grandmothers cook and bake so well? Because they’ve had decades of trial and error to perfect their recipes, tweaking them here and there until they’re approved and loved by their families, neighbors and friends. This cake has had its share of trial and error. She has earned her place as a well-loved, delicious, beautiful queen of coffee cakes.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples, sugar and cinnamon.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the apples to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Work in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like wet sand. Press together to make 1/2-inch chunks.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a 9-inch cake pan with a removable bottom*, or a 9-inch springform pan, with parchment paper. Wrap the bottom of the cake pan with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy.
Beat the eggs and vanilla into the butter mixture in three separate addition, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next.
In a small bowl, whisk the milk and sour cream together.
On low speed, beat the flour mixture into batter in three separate additions, alternating with milk mixture. Mix just until combined.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top with a spatula.
Drain any excess liquid from the apples. Top the cake batter evenly with apples, then the topping mixture.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Cool the cake in pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from pan and transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, salt and 2 tablespoons of cream. Add additional cream until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over the cooled cake.
What’s better than the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking or the smell of fresh coffee brewing? The smell of a warm, sweet buttery loaf of this Butterscotch Bread! The aroma is so heavenly that I’m convinced angel grandmothers bake this on a regular basis in heaven. The rich scent is accompanied by a soft, tender bread topped with a silky butterscotch glaze.
It all starts with browning your butter first. It adds a nutty, deep butter flavor. When browning your butter, use a light colored saucepan so you can see the visual clues. You’ll see it start to foam and brown specks will collect on the bottom of the pan. It will smell nutty and fragrant. Keep a close eye on it. It can go from brown to burnt in a quick second. When your brown butter has cooled to room temperature, the rest of the recipe comes together quickly. You can also brown your butter a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperate before using.
This delightful bread goes well with coffee or tea and is just as delicious the next day. Store covered at room temperature.
In a small saucepan, cook butter over medium heat until brown and fragrant. When brown specks (not black!) collect at the bottom of the pan, immediately transfer butter to a small bowl. Let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of an 8 x 4-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the insides.
In a medium bowl, beat brown butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk until smooth.
Stir in flour mixture in two additions. Mix just until combined. A few lumps are okay.
Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Bake until top is deep golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 38-43 minutes.
Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, them turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Top with two coats of butterscotch glaze.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and salt.
Continue stirring over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for two minutes.
Turn heat down and slowly stir in heavy cream. Keep stirring until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Transfer mixture to a small bowl and let cool until thickened.
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.
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.
Peaches and Cream Loaf Cake
Moist, tender peach cake with peach cream cheese icing
Meet Little Strawberry Charlotte. She brings romance with her wherever she goes. Whether it’s a tea party, a birthday celebration or a romantic dinner, you’ll gaze at her beauty and sigh. This lovely Charlotte has luscious strawberry mascarpone cream filling layered with lady fingers and topped with fresh strawberries. I used store bought lady fingers to make life easier but you can certainly bake your own if you wish. I typically make this in spring or summer when the weather is warm and strawberries are plentiful. But since my local stores start carrying an abundance of strawberries around Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be a perfect time to make this pretty little Charlotte.
Little Strawberry Charlotte
A pretty no-bake dessert layered with strawberry mascarpone cream filling and lady fingers and topped with fresh strawberries.
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil.
Remove from heat and transfer to a small shallow bowl or dish wide enough to dip ladyfingers. Stir in extract.
In a blender or food processor, puree strawberries. Pass through a mesh sieve to strain out seeds.
In a medium saucepan, combine strawberry puree and sugar. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Set aside two tablespoons of strawberry puree mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Place water in a small bowl and sprinkle with gelatin powder. Whisk together and let sit until dissolved, about 5 minutes.
Add gelatin mixture to warm strawberry puree and whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, beat mascarpone cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed, until smooth. Add strawberry puree and and extracts. Beat until well combined.
In a separate large bowl, whip heavy cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until medium peaks form. Be careful not to over whip the cream or it will look curdled.
Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.
Optional: Line the bottom of your springform pan with a cake board if you don't want to serve it on the pan base.
Slice the round end off of 16 ladyfingers. Dunk them briefly in the simple syrup then line them up along the inner sides of a 7-inch by 3 inch deep *springform pan. (Typically you would line them smooth side in facing the filling, but I placed mine smooth side out because I wanted a smooth look on the outside and it makes removal from the pan easier.)
Line the bottom snuggly with ladyfingers, cutting to fit where necessary.
Top with half of the filling mixture, about 2 cups. Then top with a layer of ladyfingers, cutting to fit as with the bottom layer.
Top with remaining filling. Smooth the top with a small offset spatula.
Cove with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator at least 4 hours.
Carefully remove the springform pan ring from the base. Separate the base from the cake board, if using. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Brush strawberries with reserved strawberry puree mixture. Tie a clean ribbon around the finished Charlotte.