I Am Baker

peanut butter chocolate chip coffee cake

This is one of those cakes that I inevitably end up having for breakfast but that should never be served for breakfast.  It is a full on honest-to-goodness cake with sugar and butter and decadent frosting.

But it has coffee in it.  So I make it in the morning loving that I have a very good reason to brew myself another cup.

I am an adult and can totally do that ok?!  Just don’t tell my mom, she would kill me!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting!

So why coffee in a peanut butter cake? Because instead of adding regular old chocolate chips, I prefer to use good quality chopped chocolate. (For this one I used Scharffen Berger 62% Semi-Sweet.)  And we all know that coffee amplifies the flavor of chocolate!

When you chop chocolate as poorly as I do with a huge Chefs Knife (a Chef I am not, I just like to use their cool stuff), there is inevitably a tablespoon or two of smaller, fine crumbles as well as chocolate dust.  I absolutely love that in this cake and love that every single bite is infused with the beautiful rich chocolate.

But then I kick it up a notch and add coffee.  Not just any coffee, but strong coffee.  And not with any ole machine, but with the brand new Keurig 2.0.

Keurig 2.0

The Keurig’s are more like a computer now; highly intelligent and full of brilliant options I didn’t know I wanted but can now not possibly live without.

Like the STRONG button.  I use it every single time even when I am not technically supposed to.  Which I weird I even think that I am technically supposed to drink coffee a certain way and then go so far as to make myself feel guilty for not adhering the the imaginary guidelines I have set in place.

keurig-2-0-machine-story-top

In summary (where is that cake recipe???), not only is Keurig my go-to coffee maker for amazing coffee, hot chocolate and a variety of other drinks, it is my go-to machine in Baking.  And if you like coffee and try this cake or my Perfect Chocolate Cake with the “strong” coffee, you will be as hooked as I am.

It’s a game changer baby.

Peanut Butter Glaze Frosting

I decided to make a simple glaze to combat the rich chocolate flavor of the cake.  Well, it was supposed to be simple.  It was supposed to drizzle.  But I skimmed the recipe (bad baker!) and instead of 2/3 cup added 2-3 cups.

So thick and creamy ruled the day and not soft drizzles.  Just be sure if you make it you try the soft drizzles first ok?  The warm glaze seeps into every nook and cranny of the cake and adds the amazing moisture and flavor that makes me long to just eat it directly on my treadmill so I can do it without guilt.  Well, when the treadmill is on that is.  You know, being used for exercise purposes.  Like it is intended to be used.  #whatever

Peanut Butter Glaze Frosting

peanut butter chocolate chip coffee cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons coffee
  • 1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, the baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  2. In a separate bowl with a handheld mixer cream together the brown sugar, the peanut butter, and the butter.
  3. Beat in the egg, vanilla and the coffee.
  4. Add in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition, and gently stir in 1/2 cup of the chopped chocolate.
  5. Pour batter into a prepared 8-inch round cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 28-34 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool slightly then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. If you are adding peanut butter glaze, turn the cake out directly onto a cake stand and add glaze while cake is still slightly warm.
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Adapted from Cooking Channel.  Click here for Peanut Butter Glaze recipe.

Peanut Butter Glaze Frosting

My favorite way to eat this cake is warm and for breakfast.  Do not be like me.  You make yours in the afternoon and enjoy it for dessert as it was meant to be.

If you do end up with any extra glaze, be sure to save it.  It goes great on everything!

I Am Baker

spumoni cake

Kinda.  I mean, in all honesty this cake was inspired from some ice cream I saw at the grocery store.  But when I saw it the first thing I thought was… Neapolitan Cake.  I need to make this “spumoni” into my Neapolitan Cake!

Spumoni Rose Cake!

So I did.  I mean, kinda.  I got the colors right… but I think that’s about it.  The ice cream container says that it is chocolate, pistachio and amaretto ice cream with mixed fruit.

I made a chocolate, pistachio and cherry almond cake.  So it’s basically the same thing, right?

Spumoni Rosette Cake!

My saving grace of this dessert is the flavor.  Everything works so amazingly well together.

To make this cake I baked two separate cakes, one is the “white” cake and I will share the recipe below.  The other is the Best Chocolate Cake.  I prepared the chocolate cake as directed and had 2 layers in 8-inch round cake pans.  One layer is used in the spumoni cake, the other layer I snacked on for 2 days.  But you should freeze yours for a later date.

I then made up a small batch of cherry buttercream, of chocolate buttercream, and of pistachio buttercream.  I recommend printing off each of those recipes if you want to make this cake.

Spumoni Rosette Cake!

I have a post on how to make the rosettes here, and a video showing how to make the Rose Cake here.

Ok!  Now for recipes.

As I mentioned, click here for the chocolate cake.  You will use one layer for this Spumoni cake.

spumoni cake

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Cherry Cake
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • Pistachio Cake
  • 1 package pistachio pudding (3.4 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer cream butter.
  3. Add in egg whites, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
  4. Add 1/3 cup milk at a time, alternating with dry ingredients.
  5. Remove bowl from mixer and halve the batter. It is approximately 4 cups of batter, so remove about 2 cups and place in a bowl.
  6. Cherry Almond Cake
  7. To the batter left in the stand mixer add finely chopped cherries, cherry juice and almond extract. Mix by hand until fully incorporated. Pour into prepared 8-inch round cake pan and bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes.
  8. Pistachio Cake
  9. For the 2 cups of batter in the separate bowl, add in pistachio pudding mix and vanilla. Stir by hand until fully incorporated. Pour into a prepared 8-inch round cake pan and bake for 22-26 minutes.
  10. My pistachio cake needed to bake for a bit longer than the cherry cake, but you can certainly bake them at the same time and just remove the cherry one first.
  11. Prepare chocolate cake. (recipe linked to above) Bake as directed when the other cakes are done.
  12. Allow all cakes to cool for about 5 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack.
  13. Prepare chocolate, cherry and pistachio buttercream. (recipes linked to above) Place buttercreams each into a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip.
  14. Once chocolate cake is cooled, level the chocolate cake, the cherry cake and the pistachio cake to the same height.
  15. To assemble cake, place chocolate cake on cake stand and cover in about 1/2 cup of chocolate buttercream. Place cherry cake on top of chocolate and cover in cherry buttercream. Place pistachio cake on top of cherry. (I did not do a crumb coat.)
  16. Starting at the bottom and with chocolate buttercream, cover bottom layer with rosettes. (video and picture tutorial linked to above). Next do a row of cherry buttercream rosettes. Next a row of pistachio buttercream rosettes. The entire sides of the cake should be covered.
  17. Finish covering the top with pistachio rosettes and chill until ready to serve.
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Spumoni Rose Cake!

There are definitely a lot of steps in this cake.  I have made it both from scratch and with cake mix, and while the cake mix is faster, it was not as flavorful.  However, it will definitely work in a pinch!

Spumoni Rose Cake!

This cake is absolutely perfect for anyone looking for something a little different.  The flavors are unique and (as I mentioned already, I just can’t stop) work so well together.

It was worth all the work!

Spumoni Rose Cake!

And it’s kind pretty if I don’t say so myself.  I know there were a lot of recipe’s and steps and directions in there, but if you have any questions please do feel free to ask!  I am happy to walk you through it.

Like this cake?  You should check out my new book Surprise-Inside Cakes!

I Am Baker

first came the chicken, then the cake

There has been quite a bit of drama around our sweet chickens, but none like this.

Today I found our very first egg!  After many long months of caring for and nurturing our chickens, we finally have a real honest-to-goodness egg.

Farm Fresh Egg

To be honest, I had forgotten all about this part.

The chickens have found their way into our hearts and lives and seem more like pets.  We have a small coop, but they spend  a majority of their day roaming the property, eating the crawling and flying bugs alike, and making quite the mess in the garden.  Literally eating and pecking at every single tomato on our 42 tomato plants.  Guess no canned tomatoes for us this year!

Note to self: Next year a fence around the garden is a must.

Note to self: Chickens who feast in the garden and free range are happy fat chickens.

What to do? What to do.

Fancy Rooster Feathers

Well hello Mr. Fancy Pants Rooster.  (He likes to wonder up and down the stairs of our deck.  I chuckle every single time I see him going down those stairs.  Don’t know why it’s so funny to me!)

Rooster is not giving us eggs, as roosters tend not to do, but he does wake us up with his morning cock-a-doodle-do.  And afternon cock-a-doodle-do.  And evening cock-a-doodle-do.  He sure likes of sound of his own doodle.

And he does get pretty aggressive with the guineas as well as other chickens, which I dislike immensely.  Apparently the whole “pecking order” thing is very much alive and well and I am too much of a city girl to appreciate it just yet.

Rooster

But never with us.  He is a gentle friend with the kids, letting them play with his tail feathers and eagerly running to them when they change out the food and water.

He is a classic Rooster, as they say.  But one of kind with us.

Our First Egg

As for this glorious thing, I have big plans.

I just need a few more eggs and I will be making this:

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix!

From scratch Yellow Cake!  Can’t wait to see the beautiful color of my cake after using organic fresh-from-the “farm” eggs!

I Am Baker

pumpkin puff pastry

I have officially jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon and I am so excited about it!  This faux Toaster Strudel® recipe is absolutely amazing, and the perfect way to start any day!

Pumpkin Puff Pastry!

It all started with a homemade puff pastry.  I have made it three times in the last couple days and love it more and more each time.

Puff Pastry Dough

The great thing about this puff pastry is that it takes just minutes to pull together!  I was shocked at just how easy and fool proof it is.  Every single time I have made it, the dough has been perfect.

A word of caution:  This dough feels like silk.  I wanted to keep kneading, to let my hands linger in the velvety soft exquisiteness, but you must resist!  Over kneading is a no-no. ;)

pumpkin puff pastry

Ingredients

    Pastry
  • 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cold tap water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Filling
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

    Pastry
  1. Measure water and add salt; stir to dissolve and set aside.
  2. Put flour and cinnamon into food processor.
  3. Coarsely dice all butter and place in food processor on top of flour. Pulse for about 3 seconds four or five times.
  4. Drizzle water into food processor on low speed. Watch closely as dough will start to pull together very quickly. Once the dough forms a ball stop the processor.
  5. Flour work surface and scrape dough from work bowl.
  6. Roll dough into a rough rectangle, dusting with more flour if the dough gets too sticky.
  7. Fold the dough in half, then in half again, then in half again. If you are able fold it over one more time, then wrap in plastic and chill for one hour.
  8. Filling
  9. Put pumpkin puree in a bowl and mix well with sugar and vanilla.
  10. Cream Cheese Glaze
  11. Beat cream cheese with handheld mixer until creamy.
  12. Add in remaining ingredients and mix on slow until fully combined. (You may add more or less milk to reach desired consistency.)
  13. When you are ready to assemble to Pumpkin Puff Pastries:
  14. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. You want the dough to be thin, only about 1/8 inch thick.
  15. Using a pizza cutter, trim off the rough edges and then cut into small sections, about 4 inches by 5 inches.  I divided the dough into thirds lengthwise, and then halves width wise.  You can see that my rectangles are not perfect and that is just fine.  
  16. Beat egg in a bowl and grab a pastry brush.  Brush the edges of the pieces of dough lightly with the egg.
  17. Add about 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree to half of the rectangles, spreading to about half an inch from the edges.
  18. Top with the remaining pieces of dough.  
  19. Use a fork to press the edges together going in about 1/2 inch from the edge. (The first couple times I made this I just barely made marks with the fork and when they baked you could not tell.  I prefer the look of a larger fork impression.)   
  20. Generously brush the entire top of the pastry with the egg.
  21. Place strudel on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  When done pastries should be golden brown and puffed up.
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Puff Pastry recipe barely adapted from Food Network.

Puff Pastry Dough

I think that I ended up liking the ‘rustic’ look best.  Sure, you can get out your ruler and make a perfect rectangle and measure each perfect little pocket of pumpkin loveliness OR you can eyeball it and enjoy it just the same.

For the delectable frosting drizzle: Place cream cheese in a pastry bag and snip off a very small portion.  Apply pressure to bag and drizzle over each pastry while it is still warm.

This recipe makes roughly 10 pumpkin pastries.  I had about 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture left over, and that will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Pumpkin Toaster Strudel

Just look at those flakey layers of buttery deliciousness!  My third attempt at these is when I decided to add cinnamon to the dough.  I have to tell you… it is incredible.

Homemade Pumpkin Toaster Strudel!  (from scratch puff pastry)

The slight cinnamon flavor in the buttery pastry paired with the barely sweetened pumpkin filling seriously creates something magical.

Here is another plus, without the frosting these pastries have just 1/3 cup of sugar in the entire recipe!  If you use a small amount of frosting you can actually feel good about giving them to your family for breakfast. :)  (Note, I was not able to use a sparse amount of frosting.  I mean, cream cheese.  Obvi.)

If you are a pumpkin fan, a breakfast pastry fan, a butter fan, a fan of food in general, you will want to try these!

I Am Baker

Logo Surprise-Inside Cake

I have been partnering with McCormick for a few years now. It is a match made in heaven! I get to use amazing quality products and share delicious and creative recipes and they… um… they… well. I am starting to think that I got the better end of this partnership.

Don’t tell them I love my work so much ok?  Our secret!

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

McCormick is celebrating their 125th birthday on Sept. 28th. I don’t know about you, but I had no idea that they had been around for 125 years! There is something to be said for longevity and dependability in a huge company like that.

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

In honor of their big day I decided to make them a cake. It’s what I do ok? I wanted it to be fun, really fun, and really personal. The outside of my cake is covered in hundreds of rainbow sprinkles! Don’t you love the clean lines and color in this cake?

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

Add to that a fancy little white frill around the top and we are golden.  Golden I tell you!

Or rainbow.  More like rainbow.

Add to that a fancy little white frill around the top and we are golden.  Golden I tell you!

And here is the surprise! I made the McCormick logo inside the cake!

It was not easy. But it was a labor of love.

Add to that a fancy little white frill around the top and we are golden.  Golden I tell you!

I have to tell you, when I cut into the cake I was so pleased! SO pleased.   could not contain my excitement and I texted off a picture to a close friend. She was as excited as I was and that’s when I knew that this was a special cake. And who better to honor?

While I happen to think that this may be one of the prettiest cakes I have ever made, it is also the tastiest. I prefer this amazing White Cake recipe, but with a twist.

McCormick Extra Rich Vanilla

McCormick just released this wonderful new Extra Rich vanilla that is 25% richer than classic vanilla extract. It adds something really special to my cakes and frostings!

McCormick Logo Surprise-Inside Cake!

If you want to know more about how I made this surprise-inside cake please do check out my book, Surprise-Inside Cakes! I also have a little video here that helps to detail the process.

Happy Birthday McCormick!  Looking forward to another 125 years!

I Am Baker

pumpkin rose cookies

Making things into roses is kinda my thing.  I have an Original Rose Cake, Neapolitan Rose Cookies and Red Velvet Rose Cookies.  I recently decided to re-vamp my Pumpkin & Brown Butter Sandwich Cookie’s and make them into rose cookies!

Which is kinda weird, I admit.  I mean, the correlation between roses and pumpkins is not exactly obvious.

Except here at iambaker! Then it’s like, da.

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

I simply used my Homemade Spice Cake mix and added a can of store bought pumpkin puree.

The cookies are basically the same as the Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Buttercream, only I made then a tad fancier.

I’m so fancy.  You already know.

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

Just kidding.  That’s a song that I heard once by accident.  Think it was made for the young kids to listen to.

I am more of a worship music kinda gal.  And 80′s Hairbands, monster ballads and stuff.  Yup, I am weird.

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

Ok, back to these beauties.

Spice Cake Mix + 15 ounce can Pumpkin Puree + Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting =

AWESOME

Pumpkin Rose Sandwich Cookies with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting!

To get the rose effect I placed (1/2 at a time) of the pumpkin cookie batter (it is thick) into a pastry bag with a Ateco 846 closed star tip. I then piped out rosettes onto a parchment lined baking sheet. These cookies do not spread, so whatever design you pipe out is what it will look like when done baking.

Allow to cool and pipe out a dollop of frosting onto one cookie, place another cookie on top, then take a bite!  Er, I mean, set aside and make another. Although I did take a lotta bites. They are kinda irresistible.

You can pair these with that fabulous Caramel Cream Cheese or feel free to use any fabulous cream cheese frosting recipe.  (Or the brown butter buttercream I have linked to above!)

I Am Baker

happy birthday! {naked cake}

Did you know that September 16th is the most popular birthday??  In honor of everyone who is lucky enough to celebrate this awesome day as well as all the September birthdays, I am sharing a fun “naked” cake!

Calm down now, this is a G rated post.  A naked cake simply refers to the fact that the sides of the cake are left bare, or free from frosting.  Or, naked!

A Naked Cake in honor of all the September Birthdays!

I am absolutely positively thrilled with how these turned out and I have to tell you, it is thanks to a good recipe!

A Naked Cake in honor of all the September Birthdays!

Achieving the “perfect” colors in icing is often complicated and difficult to replicate.  With the help of McCormick, the recipe is specific down to the very last drop.  If you decide to try this cake, you are destined to get the exact same results that I did!

A Naked Cake in honor of all the September Birthdays!

Another reason to celebrate!  What do you think of the fun design?  Two cakes, one with pink, orange and yellow and the other with green, blue and purple.  A Rainbow!

Rainbows are my happy place. #obsessed

pink, orange & yellow naked cake recipe

Ingredients

  • ngredients
  • 1 package (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract
  • McCormick® Assorted Food Colors & Egg Dye
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Orange Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Coconut Extract
  • 2 teaspoons pineapple juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix as directed on package. Pour batter evenly (about 1 1/4 cups each) into 3 (9-inch) round cake pans sprayed with no stick cooking spray.
  2. Bake 25 to 29 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean.
  3. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
  5. For the Frostings, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy.
  6. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently.
  7. Add water; beat until light and fluffy.
  8. Divide frosting evenly among 3 bowls.
  9. Tint and flavor each bowl of frosting. F
  10. or Pink Lemonade Frosting, stir in lemon extract and 7 drops red food color.
  11. For Burnt Orange Frosting, stir in orange extract, 36 drops red food color and 30 drops yellow food color.
  12. For Piña Colada Frosting, stir in coconut extract, pineapple juice and 30 drops yellow food color.
  13. Place a cake layer on serving platter and spread with Pink Lemonade Frosting.
  14. Top with second cake layer and spread with Burnt Orange Frosting.
  15. Top with remaining cake layer and spread with Piña Colada Frosting. Do not frost sides.
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Recipe shared from McCormick with permission.

A Naked Cake in honor of all the September Birthdays!

If you stop by McCormick there is a complete chart with all the frosting as well as a very detailed recipe you can download for both cakes!  I can’t help but be impressed with the level of detail they have provided.  It really takes all the stress out of baking and leave you with all the FUN!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all the September Birthdays!!

I Am Baker

homemade spice cake mix

The Homemade Yellow Cake Mix, White Cake Mix and Homemade Brownie Mix on my site are so popular, I deciding that adding to the selection needed to be at the top of my list of things to do.  (Don’t worry, chocolate is next.  I am still experimenting! You will read why below.)

Homemade Spice Cake Mix

I have quite a few recipes that utilize spice cake mix, so instead of buying boxes I make up my own mix! It is easy peasy. And best part?  Wholesome and delicious!

As with all my homemade “box mix” cake mixes, you have some dry ingredients in an airtight container and then simply add the wet ingredients when you are ready to bake. The very same process as if you were to use a box of mix you purchased at the store.

One of the main differences is of course taste (so delicious) but also quality of ingredients. You have complete control over what you are eating and what you are putting in your body.

Homemade Spice Cake Mix

homemade spice cake mix

Ingredients

    Dry Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice*
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

Instructions

  1. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and sift to combine. If there are any lumps in your sugar be sure to get them out now. Pour all dry ingredients into a mason jar or air-tight storage container.
  2. *If you do not have pumpkin spice you can use: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp all spice and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
  3. When ready to bake:
  4. In a medium bowl add in eggs, milk and vanilla and beat together with fork. Set aside.
  5. In a stand mixer cream butter until light and fluffy.
  6. With the mixer on low, start by alternating the dry mixture and the egg mixture.
  7. Pour 1/3 of the dry mixture into the creamed butter, then add 1/2 of the egg mixture. Continue alternating until all ingredients used. Turn off mixer, remove bowl and continue stirring by hand if any ingredients are not fully incorporated.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes in 8-inch round pans. Increase time to about 30 minutes for 9x13 pan and keep a close eye on it.
  9. This recipe makes 14-16 cupcakes and they should bake for about 15 minutes.
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Quick Note: You can change the spice level to your tastes.  I prefer a subtle spice cake, one that does not over power a cream cheese frosting.  If you prefer a bold and zany spice cake, then feel free to play around with the amounts of spies added.

Not just any recipe can be turned into a homemade cake mix. The recipe really has to be conducive to the Single Stage or All-Ingredient method of baking.  If you need to harness the lightness and airiness of the Creaming Method (creaming butter and sugar together first) then the recipe will not work as well for a homemade box mix.

Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese!

 

I recently used the Homemade Spice Cake Mix to make cupcakes with a Caramel Cream Cheese frosting.  They were phenomenal!  I can’t wait to make my Velvet Spice Cake Surprise-Inside Cake with it next!

I Am Baker

amazing zucchini crisp {faux apple crisp}

After posting a picture of this dessert on Instagram, my friend Kate commented, “I’m conflicted….I want you to bake me something awesome but I am skeered you’ll pack it with your zucchini!! #whoamikidding #eatallthethings”.

My advice to Kate? Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The BEST Zucchini Cobbler!  (tastes exactly like Apple Cobbler!)

This, my sweet friends, is Zucchini Crisp. It tastes exactly, and I do mean exactly, like Apple Crisp.

Only better. Cause it’s zucchini and we all know I am a wee bit obsessed with it.

The BEST Zucchini Cobbler!  (tastes exactly like Apple Cobbler!)

My husband came home one day and was like, “So I was chatting with the guys at work and one of them mentioned having a really delicious zucchini crisp.”

Um, what’s this you say?  You can your buddies sit around talking about yummy baked goods?

Well, no.  Hubby sometimes brings our extra zucchini to work and someone was thankful and offered up recipe ideas. So, uh, basically, yeah.  The boys do talk baking at the office.

Which makes me gloriously happy.  I now call him Mr. iambaker.

Anywho, after all that, I was like, “Where is the recipe?”

“He doesnt have a recipe.  He just ate a zucchini crisp he liked.”

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

The BEST Zucchini Cobbler!  (tastes exactly like Apple Cobbler!)

After doing some hunting online I was able to find a recipe, but I found it to be pretty vague. So through trial and error I have now found the best possible recipe for Zucchini  Crisp.

It’s fool proof I tell you!

amazing zucchini crisp {faux apple crisp}

Ingredients

    Zucchini Filling
  • 8 cups peeled, chopped zucchini
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Crust
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

    Zucchini Filling
  1. Choose a LARGE zucchini only (preferably 12-24 inches long and very thick). Peel zucchini and using a mandolin, slice the zucchini into thin slices*. Make sure all seeds are removed.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat add zucchini, lemon juice, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook for about 20 minutes or until zucchini is very tender.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Crust
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 10 x 15 inch baking dish.
  6. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, oats, baking powder and cinnamon.
  7. Crumble chilled butter into flour mixture with hands (you can also use a pastry cutter) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs or pea sized butter bits.
  8. Stir 1/2 cup of flour mixture into cooled zucchini mixture.
  9. Press half of remaining butter mixture into bottom of prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  10. Spread zucchini mixture over top of crust and sprinkle remaining butter mixture over zucchini.
  11. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  12. *The easiest way to remove the seeds is to cut the zucchini in half length wise then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. After all the seeds are removed, the zucchini should look like a large piece of celery.
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Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com.

The BEST Zucchini Cobbler!  (tastes exactly like Apple Cobbler!)

Tips & Tricks:

You can use a smaller pan, like a 9 x 13, but it may overflow. If you need to use a smaller pan I would consider decreasing the recipe size by 1/4.

Using smaller zucchini is not recommended. A smaller zucchini is more flavorful and will have a aftertaste, and may even be slightly bitter. Also, if you use a smaller zucchini you will not need to de-seed it. (But do still peel it.)

I would advise using the mandolin for slicing the zucchini.  If you do not have one and need to cut by hand, make sure to take the time and get really uniform slices.

Before cutting in the butter I dice it into small pieces. I like how Dorothy from Crazy for Crust prepares her butter; she dices it then puts it back in the fridge. This works great when you opt to use your hands to mix like I do!

There is a picture above of the cooked zucchini and as you can see there is a lot of liquid. I was nervous to pour that much liquid over the bottom layer of crust, so I decided to bake the crust first. It works like a charm! All that glorious liquid will evaporate and soak back into the zucchini while baking and the bottom layer of crust will be crispy and dry.

The BEST Zucchini Cobbler!  (tastes exactly like Apple Cobbler!)

I am not kidding, this tastes so much like apple that no one would ever know it is a zucchini!

Served warm is the best option, and serving with vanilla ice cream and caramel is an even better option.

I Am Baker

brownie cookie dough pie

Stop judging me.

Ok, nevermind.  Judge away.  This dessert is… well… ridiculously awesome.

Brownie Cookie Dough Marshmallow Pie!

 

Let me tell you how this came about.

I was craving brownie batter.  I know, I know, gross. Raw egg, yuck.  But I am one of those weirdo’s who does not have a problem with raw egg nor do I have a problem with raw egg when it is surrounded by glorious chocolately homemade brownie batter.  In my old fart mind, raw egg (surrounded by glorious chocolately homemade brownie batter) is good for you.

Brownie Cookie Dough Marshmallow Pie!

So I made the batter and then for some reason it didn’t sound good anymore.  Well, all is not lost when making batters, just bake it!  So I did.

Then I got a hankerin for cookie dough!  (Here is where you can shake your head back and forth.  I really need to develop some healthier cravings.)

So I made up a batch of cookie dough frosting.  Then I was in the process of grabbing a spoon and saw my brownies on the counter.

Cookie Dough + Brownies = now I have to run 7 miles for one bite.

Totally worth it.  I mean, if I would actually run 7 miles.  It’s more like a 2 mile brisk walk through the local mall with large strapped-on ankle weights and a pink terrycloth braided headband and a T-shirt that says “totally rad”.  And if I were being totally honest, it’s more like a walk to the car so I can go to the store and buy more marshmallows.  #justsayin

Brownie Cookie Dough Marshmallow Pie!

But then, as if gobs of cookie dough frosting and brownies weren’t enough, I decided to toast some mini marshmallows on top.

Because marshmallows.

No da.

Brownie Cookie Dough Marshmallow Pie!

 

I used my favorite Homemade Brownie Mix recipe for the base of this pie.  I baked it in a 9-inch round pie dish.

chocolate chip cookie dough frosting

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, or to
  • taste
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In stand mixer beat brown sugar and room temperature butter until light and fluffy. Add in flour and vanilla extract until fully combined.
  2. With mixer on low speed, add in cream until desired consistency is reached. (Can use more/less cream if desired)
  3. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips by hand.
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Recipe just barely adapted from allrecipes.com.

So here is what the whole assembly looked like.  Bake brownies, allow to cool.  Prepare cookie dough frosting and smother on top of brownies.  Place a layer of mini marshmallows on top of cookie dough frosting and then toast in oven (the broil option works fast but placing them in for about 5 minutes at 250 works great for an all-over warming) for about 2 minutes, or until slightly golden.  Be sure to watch closely!

Can be served immediately or kept at room temperature.

Brownie Cookie Dough Marshmallow Pie!

By the time I got all my pictures taken and was ready to actually indulge in a bite, my pie was cool.  So I popped it in the microwave for a few seconds, drizzled on some hot fudge, and watched in fascination as the fluffy marshmallows started the magnificent descent off of the pie as the warmed cookie dough frosting seemed incapable of supporting the toasted clouds of sugar for one more second.

Gotta tell you, this combination of flavors is pretty darn amazing.  Totally indulgent and obnoxiously sweet… but worth trying at least once in your life.  And here is the best part, the whole thing takes about 1/2 hour to pull together.

Quick, easy, delicious.  I think that should be my new mantra.