Category Archives: Dessert

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Time for breakfast! 

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Whats that?  You say this looks like a cupcake?

It is.  A cinnamon roll cupcake.  And since you eat cinnamon rolls for breakfast, you can certainly eat these cupcakes.

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See what I did there?  Cake for breakfast!  You’re welcome.

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Have you seen these Frosting Creations packets from Duncan Hines?  I was able to turn regular butter cream frosting into cinnamon roll flavored frosting without breaking a sweat.

I think you’re supposed to use a regular can of frosting, but I thought I’d make my own.

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 A moist, soft yellow cake with a sweet and spicy cinnamon filling, topped with cinnamon roll frosting and a cinnamon sugar drizzle. 

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Like I said, you’re welcome. 

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Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

For cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp room temperature butter
  • 3/4 + 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk

For filling & drizzle:

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • splash of milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Set this mixture aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together.  Mix for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the egg and egg yolk, mixing well between each addition.
  5. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the butter and sugar.  Mix well between each addition.
  7. Pour batter into a muffin tin that has been lined with paper liners, or sprayed well with cook spray.  Fill each cup 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full.
  8. To make the filling, microwave the butter in a small bowl until it is just beginning to melt.  Add brown sugar and cinnamon and mix until combined.
  9. Scoop 1/2 tsp of filling mixture into each cupcake.  You will not use all the filling.  Save remaining filling to make the drizzle.
  10. Bake cupcakes for 15-18 minutes, or until edges are starting to brown, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. 
  11. Add a splash or two of milk to the remaining filling mixture to thin it out.  This may cause the mixture to look ‘curdled’ but this is just the butter congealing back to its solid form  If this happens, microwave for 5 seconds.  Mix this well and set aside until you are ready to frost the cupcakes.
  12. When the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost using the frosting you create below.  I used a plastic ziplock bag. 
  13. Pour the drizzle into a small ziplock back.  Cut a very small hole in the corner.  This mixture will be pretty runny.  Swirl the drizzle over the top of the cupcakes.

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Cinnamon Roll Butter Cream Frosting

makes enough for 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • Frosting Creations packet, Cinnamon Roll flavor

Directions

  1. Cream butter using an electic mixer.
  2. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.
  3. Continue adding powdered sugar until you get a consistency you like.
  4. Add flavor packet and beat icing for 1-2 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
  5. Frost cupcakes as directed above.

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Amish Friendship Bread

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I love my friends.  I don’t know where I would be without them.  I’m not talking about those acquaintances that you see every now and again, although I like them a lot, too.  I’m talking about those few girls or guys who you can tell anything to and you know they will have your back.

Those people who you can go months without talking to, but pick right up like you didn’t skip a beat.

Those people who have seen you at your worst, but still stand by your side.

Those people who would do anything fo you, and you wouldn’t hesitate to do the same. 

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And those friends deserve this bread.

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My coworker brought these bags of Amish Friendship Bread starter to work and handed them out.  She gave one to me specifically because I’m “the baker.”  DSC_0239 (1024x681)

Yesterday was baking day.  I’m going to make a few more friends by sharing this bread with them. DSC_0242 (1024x681)

The idea of the starter kind of freaks me out.  I mean, you leave milk, flour and sugar sitting on your counter for 10 days?  Sounds…uh, not delicious.

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But trust me, when you bake up the bread, it has a slightly sourdough taste to it, and the sweet cinnamon sugar flavor is really great.  The outside is crunchy, and the inside soft and sweet.  I think I have a friend like that. 😉

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 If you don’t have a friend who already has the starter, you can find instructions on how to make it here.  But if you were lucky enough to have a friend give it to you, like I was, you just have to “feed” your starter and let it sit around for a few days.   And on the 10th day, you will be able to bake two delicious loaves of Amish Friendship Bread.

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Amish Friendship Bread

adapted from this recipe <-also a handy printable to pass along with your starters!

makes 2 loaves

*Do not use any metal bowls or utensils while mixing.

You will need 1 portion of Amish Friendship Bread Starter.  Either get this from a friend, or make your own with the recipe linked to above.  Follow these instructions:

Day 1: Squish and mush the bag.

Day 2: Squish and mush the bag

Day 3: Squish and mush the bag

Day 4: Squish and mush the bag

Day 5: Squish and mush the bag

Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk to the bag.  Squish and mush the bag.

Day 7: Squish and mush the bag

Day 8: Squish and mush the bag

Day 9: Squish and mush the bag

Day 10: Baking day!  Pour your starter into a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups milk to the starter and mix until well combined. 

Scoop out four 1 cup portions of this mixture into new plastic ziplock bags. These are the new starters you will pass on to your friends (or keep)

Add the following ingredients to your bowl:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 large box vanilla instant pudding (Do Amish people really use this?  Anyhow…)

Directions

  1. Mix this very well until all ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Butter 2 loaf pans.  (I used metal pans for this because I only have metal loaf pans.  My bread turned out fine.)
  3. Mix together an additional 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.  Sprinkle about 1/2 of this mixture in the loaf pans and shake around to coat.
  4. Divide your batter between the two loaf pans and sprinkle the tops with the remaining cinnamon sugar.
  5. Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. 
  6. Let bread cool completely before cutting.

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I passed on all my starters, because I didn’t want to make any more bread, but keep one if you would like to continue baking this treat!  Also,  you can check out this site which gives a bunch of tips on how to reduce the amount of starter you end up with and prolong the life of your starters. 

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Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Oh yes.  Moist red velvet cake with a hint of cocoa and topped with a smooth and sweet (but not too sweet) cream cheese frosting.  Just for you.

Well, that isn’t really true.  It was actually just for Chris.  As I mentioned, his birthday was this past weekend (on St. Patrick’s day!).   This was his birthday cake.  I joked that I should have made a Green Velvet cake…maybe next year? 

Chris isn’t really a sweets person. 

Besides pie.  That man would eat pie all day.

Ice cream?  He could take or leave.  Most cakes and cookies are in the same boat.  But occasionally there is a sweet treat that he really just loves.  Red Velvet cake is one of those treats!

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Just combine some sugar…

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with some vegetable oil your stand mixer (or with an electric mixer).

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Mix together until it resembles very wet sand.

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Then add in a couple of eggs and mix until well combined.

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Stir together some cocoa powder, red food coloring and a little water.

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Add that, plus some flour, salt, vanilla and buttermilk and mix it all really well.

Combine a little baking soda and vinegar and fold that into your batter. 

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Pour your batter into two prepared cake pans, and bake for 30 minutes.

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Cool your cakes completely before moving on to making the best cream cheese frosting. 

Let me pause for a minute to talk about this frosting.  I don’t know about you, but I really prefer a frosting to not be overly sweet.  I don’t want my teeth to hurt after eating a piece of cake! 

This frosting is more cream cheesy than sugary, and it is perfect on this cake, and would be great to use on carrot cake or a pumpkin roll as well. 

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Combine two packages of cream cheese and a stick of butter with a little vanilla and some powdered sugar, and mix until it is light and fluffy.  

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So easy and so delicious!

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No, I’m not left handed.

And, no, matching fingernails are not required to make this cake.

After your cakes are completely cooled, you want to cut off the rounded tops.  This is important for two reasons: 1) You want the tops to be flat so your cake is stable and pretty and 2) you need to get some crumbs for the decoration!  (Potential third reason-you might need a snack, but do try to save enough cake to make the crumbs)

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You’ll want to take your cake stand and some strips of parchment paper or wax paper and line the outside like so:

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Place your bottom cake right on top of the parchment strips. 

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The strips will help to keep your cake stand or plate clean while frosting and decorating. 

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Plop a good amount of your frosting in the center of the cake.  Use an offset spatula to guide the frosting to the outer edges of the cake.  Don’t be afraid to use a lot of frosting for this step.  I actually didn’t use enough and had a lot leftover for the outside of the cake.  I would say to use about 1/3 of your frosting for the middle.

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Once the middle is frosted, place the other layer of your cake on top.  Put the cut side to the middle, so the top of your cake will be nice and smooth.  Plop another good amount of frosting on top of the cake, and again, use an offset spatula to smooth and guide the frosting towards the edges of the cake.  Let the excess sort of “fall” down the sides.   Smooth the sides, and add more of the remaining frosting as needed.  You want to make sure the top stays clean, but the sides are less important.  You just want a nice even coating. 

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Crumble your remaining cake (that you cut off the top) into crumbs.  Work around the cake and press the crumbs onto the sides. 

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After all the sides have been coated, carefully remove the parchment from underneath the cake.  Your stand should have remained relatively clean of frosting and crumbs.   

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Red Velvet Cake

Makes 12-16 servings

adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp red food coloring
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour 2 8in or 9 in cake pans.
  3. Using a stand mixer (or electric mixer), combine the sugar and vegetable oil until the mixture resembles very wet sand.
  4. Add eggs and mix until combined.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, red food coloring and water.  Stir well until lumps are gone.
  6. Add cocoa mixture to the sugar mixture and mix until combined.
  7. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, vanilla and salt. 
  8. Alternate adding the flour and the buttermilk mixture to the wet ingredients in the stand mixer. 
  9. Once the last of the ingredients are added, set mixer on medium speed and mix for 1 full minute.
  10. Combine the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl.  Fold this into the batter until just combined.  Immediately divide batter between your two prepared caked pans.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. 
  12. Cool cakes completely before frosting.

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Cream Cheese Frosting

slightly adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Combine cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer (or with an electric mixer).
  2. Add vanilla and powdered sugar.  Beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
  3. Use on your favorite cakes.

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This was the best red velvet cake.  So good, in fact, that Chris ate a leftover slice for breakfast the next day.  Life is short, eat dessert…for breakfast?

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White Chocolate Cherry Blondies

I love that blondies are sort of the red-headed (blonde-headed?) step child to brownies.  We all love the gooey chocolatey treat, but sometimes it is nice to divert a little and try something different.

White Chocolate Cherry Blondies

adapted from Taste of Home

Makes 24 blondies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine melted butter and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Cool slightly, and whisk in eggs and vanilla until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  5. Gradually add butter mixture to flour mixture.  Stir until well combined.
  6. Reserve 1/4 cup each of cherries and white chocolate chips.  Mix the remaining cherries and chips into the batter.  Batter will be thick
  7. Transfer batter to a greased 9 in x 13 in baking pan and press into an even layer.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the reserved cherries and white chocolate.  Press down slightly to adhere them to the top of the blondies.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

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Mardi Gras King Cake

Happy Fat Tuesday!

I love any excuse to celebrate, and what better reason than Mardi Gras!  King Cakes are traditionally baked with a small trinket or toy baby inside, and the person who gets the slice with the trinket is King (or Queen!) for the day.  That person is also responsible for bringing the King Cake to the next party!  I didn’t get the baby last time, however we are having a pizza luncheon at work today, and I thought it would be fun to celebrate Fat Tuesday with my co-workers.

King Cake

adapted from Southern Living Magazine

Ingredients

For cake:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 oz (2 envelopes) active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 5-6 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

For icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp milk

For topping:

  • 1 cup sugar, divided into three bowls (1/3 cup each)
  • Green, Yellow, Red and Blue food coloring

Or

  • Green, Yellow and Purple sanding sugar

Directions

  1. In a small sauce pot, mix butter, sour cream, yogurt, sugar and salt over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.  Turn off heat and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tbsp sugar.  Set aside 5 minutes until yeast is frothy.
  3. Add butter mixture, eggs and 2 cups of the flour to the yeast.  Mix until combined.
  4. Switch attachment on mixer to a dough hook. Continue mixing, adding flour until a soft dough is formed.  You may not need the total amount of flour listed in ingredients.
  5. Knead with dough hook for 5 minutes.  Turn dough out on a floured surface and hand knead for 2 minutes until dough is elastic and smooth.
  6. Place dough in a well greased bowl, turning to coat the top.  Cover with a clean dish towel and place bowl in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  7. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Divide dough in 2 equal pieces.  One at a time, roll each dough piece into a long rectangle (approx. 24 in x 10 in).
  9. Spread 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) onto each dough rectangle.  Sprinkle 1/2 sugar mixture onto each dough rectangle.  If you are using a trinket, place it in the cake before rolling.
  10. Roll jelly-roll style beginning with the long side.
  11. Shape each dough log into an oval shape, pinching edges together where they meet, on a foil lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Pinch to
  12. Cover and let rise for 25 minutes.
  13. Bake cakes in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.
  14. Let cool completely before decorating.
  15. To make the colored sugar, mix 2-4 drops of desired color of food coloring into each bowl of sugar.  Mix until combined.
  16. To make the icing, combine powdered sugar, melted butter and milk.  Mix until smooth.
  17. Drizzle icing over cooled cakes.  Decorate with colored sugars.

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