I Am Baker

birthday celebration (with LOTS of desserts!)

This past weekend was a busy one, with lots of food, fun and desserts of course!

Parker & Inga Birthday Party!


My little guy is turning eight in about a week and my sweet niece turned nine last Friday!  We are also celebrating one year in our home as well as a long and beautiful summer.  School time is right around the corner, and we wanted to be outside with friends and family before the cold Minnesota winter drives us indoors.

But lets talk desserts!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake


My mother-in-law made this beautiful Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  It was a hit!

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Dessert Pizza

I made my husband’s all time favorite Butterscotch Peanut Butter Dessert Pizza.

I actually made two for the party, but hubby didn’t get to eat any of it, so I made him another one that night.  (It only takes 15 minutes from conception to your first bite, so easy!)

White Cake Zucchini Cupcakes


Parker had requested a white cake with strawberries, so I made him these cupcakes.  They are my white zucchini cake recipe with strawberry buttercream and fresh strawberries on top.  I didn’t actually get to try one, but I heard folks enjoyed them.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Last but not least was the Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  I didn’t get to try this one either, as it went pretty fast, but I did get to try the cupcake version and those were amazing.

As for the entertainment…

Rettke Party 2014


Some of the talented kids from our church agreed to come and play.  This is Next Destination.  I think everyone would agree that they did an amazing job!

We also had face painting:



Inga face paintingInga

bouncy house

We also rented a giant bouncy house that the kids enjoyed for three days!  Seriously enjoyed.  On Sunday they spent a good deal of time trying to plan ways to save money so they can buy their own.

It was a wonderful time I we felt beyond blessed to have so many friends and family there.  And to get to enjoy good food together!

Can’t wait until next year!

I Am Baker

Strawberry Lemonade Cake {Generous Table}

Have you ever been to Heather Cristo Cooks?  Its a fabulous blog written by a fabulous woman.

Heather Cristo Generous Table

Heather recently became an author with her first book, Generous Table, Easy & Elegant Recipes Through the Seasons.  Its got everything you want a good cookbook to have… wonderful recipes, beautiful pictures, and extras tips to help you become a more confident entertainer!

Strawberry Lemonade Cake from Generous Table by Heather Cristo


I was immediately drawn to this cake, called the Strawberry Lemonade Cake.  Its one of the BEST tasting cakes I have ever had!  Perfect for summer.

Heather graciously said I could share the recipe with you!  I hope you will try this cake, see how fabulous her recipes are, and run out and buy her book!  Everything in it is just as fabulous.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake {Generous Table}


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Strawberry Buttercream
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 5 cups powder sugar
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 2-4 large strawberries, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 350 and prepare two 9-inch round baking pans.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, place the butter, sugar and lemon zest. Beat until light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, combining thoroughly in between. With the mixer still running, add the lemon juice. (batter will look curdled, but its not)
  5. Add one third of the dry ingredients and 1/2 cup of the buttermilk. Mix, then stop and scrape the sides of the bowl. Repeat, adding another third of the dry ingredients and the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk. Mix, then stop and scrape. Add the remaining third of the dry ingredients and mix until completely combined and the batter is light and fluffy.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool before removing from the pans.
  8. Strawberry Buttercream
  9. Combine butter and powder sugar in a large bowl or standing mixer. Mix together on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the milk and strawberries and mix on high speed until the frosting is very fluffy and pale pink in color, with flecks of strawberry.
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Strawberry Lemonade Cake from Generous Table by Heather Cristo


Because I love and adore this cake and book so much, I am going to give away 2 copies!

To win simply comment and tell me, “How is your day going?”

See official rules for more information.

If you are impatient like me and need the book NOW, you can get it on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble.  You can also see her trailer here!

Heather Christo’s Generous Table by Heather Christo © 2013 Kyle Books

I Am Baker

Chocolate Cookie Cups with Strawberry Buttercream {Neapolitan!}

Around January 2nd I started seeing Valentines Day goodies all around the web. Thinking that it might be too soon to start spreading the February love, I promptly ignored them and moved on.

Chocolate Cookie Cups with Strawberry Buttercream

But it wasnt that easy. You know this is true if you are addicted to Pinterest like I am.  They kept coming. And I kept reading, and they infiltrated my brain. I am now Valentines obsessed. Its January 11th. My apologies in advance for the next month of Valentines treats.

These sweet little treats are chocolate sugar cookies filled with vanilla or chocolate buttercream, then topped with strawberry buttercream.

Basically a sweet overload.  Its what I am here for.

Chocolate Cookie Cups with Strawberry ButtercreamAs much as I love a fresh and palate pleasing real strawberry buttercream, I knew I wanted to pipe these, so that meant I could not have any chunks in the frosting.

To achieve a smooth as silk frosting I simply adapted my Back to Basics Buttercream… using Strawberry Extract in place of vanilla.  Be sure to start with a teaspoon of the extract and taste as you go… I ended up adding two but you can easily use less or more depending on personal taste.

Strawberry Buttercream


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 two-pound bag powder sugar (about 7-8 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons strawberry extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • dash salt
  • 1-2 drops pink food coloring


  1. Put room temperature butter, strawberry extract, and salt into mixer. Add in powder sugar one cup at a time, alternating with the milk until you have used it all.
  2. Add in food coloring a drop at a time to determine desired color.
  3. If your frosting is too thick you can certainly add more milk. I found that this is the perfect consistency for me to pipe roses using the 1M or 2D tip.
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Neapolitan Chocolate Cookie Cups


As you can see these started out as Neapolitan.   I adore the combination of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.  But I ended up adding some chocolate buttercream to the bottom of the cups instead of the vanilla.

Chocolate Cookie Cup with Chocolate and Strawberry Buttercream

And totally liked those better.  You’d think all that frosting would be just way.to.much.  But the truth is when combined with the thick chocolate cookie… its nice!  Well… I mean, I should clarify.  You should claim to like massive amounts of buttercream in your life prior to this baking experiment.


Valentines inspired Chocolate Cookie Cups!


For the cookie I used this recipe.  I made the recipe as directed then rolled out small balls.  Then place one ball into a prepared muffin pan and press dough into sides of pan evenly.  I made regular and mini cookie cups and they both baked in about 8 minutes at 350.

I also noticed that I had to go back and press in the bottom and side a bit to make sure they were hallow inside after they were done cooking.  It is best to do this right out of the oven.  I used a small juice cup to create a flat bottom and sides, and then allowed the cookie cups to cool to room temperature.

These Chocolate Cookie Cups are sure to impress!

So in closing please jump on the “obsessed with Valentines Day treats” bandwagon with me and lets have a little candlelight single-along.  Although, open flames on a bandwagon might not be good.

No matter.  We’ll make it work.