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Category: Desserts & Fruit

Pumpkin Fritters – Buñuelos de Calabaza

Pumpkin Fritters – Buñuelos de Calabaza

Pumpkin Fritters – Buñuelos de Calabaza

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (120g)

1/4 cup tapioca flour (30g)

1/4 tsp. dry yeast

1 small egg

oil for frying


Mix together all of the ingredients and cover it and set it aside to rest while you heat your oil. Heat the frying oil on medium heat. You’ll want somewhere around 360ºF, but I don’t ever check the actual temperature. The oil is ready for frying when you add a small amount of batter to the oil and it begins to bubble and make a frying sound. The easiest way is to spoon small amounts of dough into the oil. You want the fritters to lightly brown on both sides after frying for around a minute on each side. If they get too dark or aren’t browning quickly enough, adjust the oil temperature accordingly. Frying pumpkin fritters in hot oil. Remove the buñuelos from the oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towels or cloths to absorb the oil. recently fried pumpkin fritters on a paper towel to drain the excess oil Sprinkle them with sugar and serve with a small bowl of sugar for dipping them.

Mulberry Crumble Cake

Mulberry Crumble Cake

Mulberry Crumble Cake


2½ C. sugar

2½ C. all-purpose flour

1 cup (2 sticks) butter


2½ C. all-purpose flour

2½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 C. sugar

4 eggs

1 cup buttermilk, milk or dry white wine

4 C. mulberries


Make the crumb topping by pulsing the ingredients in a food processor or cutting them together with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture is crumbly. Chill. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 375°. To make the cake, combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Beat the butter until smooth and fluffy. Add sugar slowly and continue to beat until well mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add about ¾ cup of the flour mixture and stir to combine. Add ½ cup milk and stir to combine. Repeat, ending with the remaining flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Top evenly with mulberries. Sprinkle crumble topping over all and press lightly. Bake 1 hour, or until top of cake is brown. It may jiggle a little in the middle, that’s expected. Serve with cream or vanilla ice cream. Also delicious for breakfast. Makes about 16 servings.

If using frozen mulberries: Cook 90 minutes.

Peach Melba Popsicles

Peach Melba Popsicles

Peach Melba Popsicles


1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup whole raspberries

2 C. peeled chopped peaches in small/medium chunks

1/8 tsp. almond extract (optional)

1 1/2 C. vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt or non-dairy vanilla ice cream of your choice, slightly softened (think: soft-serve consistency)


Combine sugar and water in a small-medium saucepan (intentionally larger than it requires) and bring to a simmer; stir until sugar dissolves. Pour 1/4 cup syrup (just eyeball it — it’s 1/3 of mixture) over raspberries in a bowl. Add peach chunks to remaining syrup in saucepan and bring back to a simmer, cook for 1 to 2 minute, until they soften. Let both raspberries and peaches cool in syrup. The raspberries will quickly but you can hasten the peaches along by setting them in a larger bowl of ice water for 10 to 15 minutes. In a blender or food processor, puree peaches and their syrup first, then scrape into a measuring cup with a spout and stir in almond extract, if using, then puree raspberries and place in a smaller spouted cup. (The raspberry color would muddle the peach puree much more than vice-versa, hence blending peaches first.)  Pour a tiny splash of raspberry (you’ll only want to use half of your total sauce) in the bottom of each popsicle mold or small glass that you’re using as a mold (I like champagne flutes, for this and really everything), following by a larger splash of peaches (again, using about half the puree) and dolloping in a little softened ice cream. Repeat with remaining raspberry, peaches and ice cream. Use a skewer to lightly marble the mixtures together — I get the best swirls by swiping the skewer right along the inside of each mold. Freeze popsicles according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Baked Apples with Spices, Olive Oil and Nuts

Baked Apples with Spices, Olive Oil and Nuts

Baked Apples with Spices, Olive Oil and Nuts


4 tablespoons dried cranberries, finely chopped

4 tablespoons shelled unsalted pistachios, finely chopped

4 tablespoons slivered almonds, finely chopped

1 cup (250ml) fresh apple juice

Finely-grated zest and juice of one organic lemon

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out

4 crisp, flavorful apples, e.g. Reinette, Pink Lady, Cortland, Winesap or Liberty

4 cinnamon sticks

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons turbinado (raw) sugar


In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, pistachios and almonds; set aside. In a pot, combine the apple juice, lemon zest, vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Cover and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F(175C). Core the apples, then slice the top off each one (set these aside) and drizzle with lemon juice. Place the apples in a baking dish and divide the stuffing mix among them. Place a cinnamon stick in each apple and cover them with their tops. Pour the infused juice and the oil over the apples and sprinkle with sugar. Place the apples in the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until the flesh is tender, regularly drizzling with the cooking juices. Remove from the oven and serve warm with the juices and plain yogurt on the side.

Salted Spicy Watermelon Margarita Popsicles

Salted Spicy Watermelon Margarita Popsicles

Salted Spicy Watermelon Margarita Popsicles


4 cups cubed watermelon

1 jalapeño, halved and seeded, if desired (optional)

2-6 tablespoons granulated sugar, using more or less to your taste

1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon tequila

2 tablespoon Cointreau (orange liquor) (orange liquor)

1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus 1 tablespoon lime zest

4 kiwi, peeled and chopped

2 Persian cucumbers, peeled and chopped

flaky sea salt, for sprinkling


In a blender, blend the watermelon, jalapeño, and sugar. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. Add the tequila, Cointreau, and 1/2 cup lime juice + lime zest, stirring to combine. Pour the mixture among 6 popsicle molds or Dixie cups. Freeze one hour. Rinse the blender out and blend the kiwi, cucumbers, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and 1 tablespoon tequila, blend until smooth. Pour the kiwi over the watermelon layer, filling the molds to the top. Insert popsicles sticks. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Serve with lime wedges and flaky salt…and maybe even a margarita too!

Watermelon-Jalapeno Popsicles

Watermelon-Jalapeno Popsicles

Watermelon-Jalapeno Popsicles


6 cups chopped fresh watermelon

1/2 cup of lime juice

1/2 cup of sugar*

2 large jalapenos, quartered, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 heaping Tablespoon of lime zest


Combine the watermelon, lime juice, corn syrup and jalapenos in a blender and process until pureed. Pour through a strainer or chinois and press out the liquid. Discard the solids. Adjust sweetness/tartness/bite* to taste. Stir the lime zest into the liquid. Pour into Popsicle molds. Freeze until ready to serve. *Depending on the sweetness of your watermelon, you may want to add a little more sugar. Taste and adjust.

Lychee Sorbet

Lychee Sorbet

Lychee Sorbet


2 tins (20oz, each) canned lychees or 1 ¼ lb. fresh lychees flesh (peeled and deseeded)

2 tablespoons agave syrup or honey

Mint leaves for garnish (optional)


Combine the lychees and agave syrup or honey into a Nutribullet or food processor and blend until you get a smooth texture.

Using Ice Cream Maker: Transfer the lychees mixture into the ice cream maker and follow the instruction manual. Serve immediately when ready or transfer to a freezer proof container and freeze until ready to serve. Serve with mint leaves.


Without Ice Cream Maker: Transfer the lychee mixture into a freezer proof container and freeze for around 8 hours or overnight. Check occasionally with a fork to see whether consistency has been achieved. Once desired consistency is achieved, remove from freezer and serve immediately with mint leaves.


Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 25

Fat: 0g

Fiber: 0g

Lemon Sponge Cake with Pear Marmalade

Lemon Sponge Cake with Pear Marmalade

Lemon Sponge Cake with Pear Marmalade


Pear Marmalade needs to sit at least 3 hours; Make the day before.


Unsalted butter, for greasing the cake pans

2½ cups cake flour

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

5 T. extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

Grated zest of 6 lemons

½ cup whole milk

¾ cup pear marmalade

Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 8­inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl, toss the flour, salt, and baking powder with a fork to mix well. In a large bowl, beat the olive oil & sugar together with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Put the dry ingredients in a sifter & sift about one third onto the egg mixture. Add the lemon zest & fold in the flour and zest, then stir in about one third of the milk. Add the remaining flour and milk in two additions each, blending well. Turn batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cakes are beginning to pull away from sides of the pans & spring back when pressed lightly in the center with a finger. Turn the cakes out onto a rack, & invert onto another rack to cool. To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread marmalade over the top. Place the second layer on top and gently press the layers together. Sprinkle the top of the cake with confectioner’s sugar.


For Pear Marmalade


2 lbs. firm unripe pears, peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces

1 ½ C sugar

3 cloves

1 T freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl, mix the pears, sugar, and cloves together. Cover with a kitchen towel and aside for at least 3 hours to let juices start to run. Transfer the pear and juice to a large nonreactive saucepan, bring to a simmer, and simmer gently, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking, until the pears are tender. Remove from the heat, stir in the pepper, remove the cloves, & allow to cool.

Pastelli (Armenian Sesame and Honey Candies)

Pastelli (Armenian Sesame and Honey Candies)

Pastelli (Armenian Sesame and Honey Candies)


1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 cup honey

11/2 C. sesame seeds


Combine sugar, water and honey in a heavy pan. Stir occasionally over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Boil for about 15 minutes to the soft ball stage. (When a little is dropped into cold water it forms a soft ball.) If you have a candy thermometer, cook to 115°C (240°F). Stir in sesame seeds and return to the boil. Boil for 15 minutes until seeds turn golden and a little of the syrup dropped into water forms a hard ball, 130°C (265°F). Take care not to overcook as the sesame seeds will brown too much, spoiling the flavor. Pour into an oiled 18 x 28 cm (7 x 11 inch) slab cake pan, or on to an oiled marble slab, shaping it into a rectangle of that size with a spatula. (should be 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick). When almost cool, cut into squares, triangles or fingers. Cut again when completely cold

and wrap pieces in waxed paper or cellophane.

Sheet Pan Vanilla Sheet Cake with Sprinkles

Sheet Pan Vanilla Sheet Cake with Sprinkles

Sheet Pan Vanilla Sheet Cake with Sprinkles


Cooking spray

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

4 large eggs

3/4 cup canola oil, or melted and cooled unsalted butter

1 cup whole milk

1 T. vanilla extract


8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 T. whole milk

Disc sprinkles (optional)


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Coat a 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheet (also known as a half sheet pan) with cooking spray; set aside. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, oil or butter, milk, and vanilla and mix with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour the batter into the baking sheet. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and springs back when gingerly pressed with a finger, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack while preparing the frosting. Make the frosting: Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and milk and beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread the frosting right on top of the cake and use the tip end of a small spoon to work the frosting back and forth, creating a striped pattern. Decorate with sprinkles if using. NOTES: Storage: The cooled cake can be covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 7 days.

Better Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting

Better Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting

Better Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting


1 package yellow cake mix

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup of water

1/2 cup of canola oil

3 large eggs

Quick Caramel Icing (see below)

1 cup of chopped pecans



Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with Baker’s Joy non-stick spray. In the bowl of your mixer, add the cake mix, brown sugar and cinnamon and whisk to break up clumps. In a separate bowl, combine the bananas, water, oil and eggs until mixed together. Add to the dry ingredients. Beat on low for about 1 minute, stop scrape down the sides, and beat another 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake another 25 to 30 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool in the pan. Pour icing over the still warm cake and sprinkle the pecans on top while the icing is still warm. Allow the cake to set for at least an hour to fully cool.  Variation: Make this an applesauce cake by replacing the bananas with 1 cup of applesauce


Quick Caramel Icing


1 stick of pure unsalted butter

1 cup of packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup of half and half

2 cups of sifted powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar and cook over a slightly higher than medium fire, until mixture begins to boil. This will take anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes depending on your stove. Once it begins to boil, slowly whisk in the half and half until well blended. Bring back just to a boil, turn the burner to low, remove the saucepan from the heat, add the powdered sugar and vanilla and blend. Return the saucepan to the burner and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Icing will get stiff quickly so you’ll need to immediately pour over cake and allow it to set.

Summer Solstice Herby Honey Cookies

Summer Solstice Herby Honey Cookies

Summer Solstice Herby Honey Cookies


1 & 3/4 cups of flour

¾ cup softened butter

¼ cup honey

¼ cup brown or cane sugar

1 teaspoon minced thyme

1 teaspoon lavender buds

1 teaspoon minced rosemary

1 teaspoon minced sage

a few crushed cardamom seeds

pinch of salt


NOTE: I used more like a tablespoon of each herb in my cookies, but this might be too herbaceous for some, so adjust accordingly. And I also added 3/4 cup oatmeal to another batch of cookies and cut back on the flour. Feel free to experiment or use whatever cookie recipe you like…after all it’s not the cookie that matters as much as the spirit!




3 teaspoons milk

1 cup icing sugar

a wee bit of grated lemon rind. (I also added lavender buds to the second batch of icing)

Coloring. I used a combination of golden beet juice, St. John’s Tincture and a pinch of turmeric powder, but of course, you could use a store-bought natural food dye.


Combine your milk and icing sugar. Slowing add in your coloring and mix until you find the desired color/consistency


Preheat Oven to 300 F. Beat flour, sugar and soft butter together until creamy. Slowly drizzle in honey while beating until mixture pulls together. Add minced herbs and petals, mix well through the dough. Divide into four balls and chill for an hour or so. Roll out and cut into round shapes. Add flour as needed.

Bake at 300 for 10-15 minutes. Let cool. Decorate using the flowers and herbs of the sun: petals of calendula, lawn daisies or ox-eye daisies (not store bought daisy chrysanthemums), St. John’s Wort, rose, or sprigs of rosemary, thyme and sage.

Torn Figs and Burrata

Torn Figs and Burrata

Torn Figs and Burrata


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling

3 rosemary sprigs

About 18 perfectly ripe figs* preferably Mission

12 ounces (3 balls) burrata

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup unsalted pistachios chopped, for garnish


Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and rosemary just until the leaves begin to crisp. Place the rosemary sprigs on a paper towel for at least 10 minutes. Strip the leaves from the stem, discarding the stems. Tear or slice each fig into 4 pieces and divide them among 6 plates. Tear each ball of cheese in half and add a portion to each plate. Sprinkle the crisped rosemary and pistachios on top of the burrata cheese and figs, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

Tropical-Fruit Salad with Coconut Crunch

Tropical-Fruit Salad with Coconut Crunch

Tropical-Fruit Salad with Coconut Crunch


1 large egg white

2 T. clover or orange-blossom honey

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla paste or extract

1 tsp. grated Meyer-lemon zest, plus 2 T. fresh juice

1 T. poppy seeds

Pinch of kosher salt

2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 quart strawberries, halved lengthwise if large

2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick fingers

1 small papaya, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick fingers

1 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch-thick fingers


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk egg white with honey, vanilla, lemon zest and juice, poppy seeds, and salt until foamy and thoroughly combined. Stir in coconut to evenly coat; spread on a rimmed baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake, stirring a few times, until golden in places, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely (mixture will crisp as it cools). Rub between your fingers, breaking up any clumps, until crumbled. Arrange fruits on a platter; sprinkle with coconut crunch to serve. Fruits can be loosely covered with plastic, without coconut crunch, and refrigerated up to 8 hours. Coconut crunch can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Peach Upside Down Mini Cakes

Peach Upside Down Mini Cakes

Peach Upside Down Mini Cakes


Non-stick cooking spray

1 T. unsalted butter cold

6 tsp. light brown sugar

For cake batter:

3 fresh peaches (Note 1)

1 ½ C. (190g) all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

2/3 C. (130g) granulated sugar

1/3 C. (90g) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 large egg at room temperature

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

½ C. (120ml) buttermilk at room temperature (Note 2)


Preheat the oven to 350°F (177° C). Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. To prepare the topping: Cut 1 T. of butter into 12 equal parts. (TIP: cold butter is easier to cut.) Place each butter piece in 12 muffin C.. Sprinkle ½ tsp. of brown sugar into each muffin C.. Slice 1-2 peaches into thin slices. Arrange about 3 slices into the bottom of each muffin pan. To make the cake batter: Cut the remaining peaches into small cubes. You should get about 1 C. of cubed peaches. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat it for another 2-3 minutes, or until well combined. The mixture should be fluffy and white. (Note: It’s totally normal for the mixture to curdle right after adding egg, but keep mixing and it’ll turn nice and fluffy!) Add half of the flour mixture into the batter, beat for 1 minute on low speed. Stir in the buttermilk and beat for another minute. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat just until combined. Don’t overmix the batter, or it’ll make tough cake. Fold in the cubed peaches. Divide the batter into 12 muffin pan C..  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pan for 5 minutes. Then carefully run a butter knife around the edges to release the cake from the sides. Now, place a wire rack over the muffin pan and carefully turn the pan upside down to remove the cakes. Place an empty baking sheet to catch any juice, if needed. Cool the cakes completely before serving.

Churro Brownies

Churro Brownies

Churro Brownies


8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 ½ C. brown sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ C. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

Pinch kosher salt

2 T. fresh orange zest

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 ½ T. ground cinnamon

Flaked sea salt, for garnishing


Preheat the oven to 350°F and line with parchment paper or grease a 9-inch square-baking pan or 9-inch cast-iron skillet. On low heat, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 10 minutes. Once cool, add to the melted butter the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest until well combined. Add to the liquid ingredients and stir until a thick batter is formed. Spread the batter into the baking pan. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon then spoon evenly over the batter. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are set. (Be sure to not overcook as the churro brownies will harden as they cool.) Lightly sprinkle with the flaked sea salt, then allow to cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Holiday Eggnog Cake with Apricot Filling

Holiday Eggnog Cake with Apricot Filling

holiHoliday Eggnog Cake with Apricot Filling


1 package (18.25) yellow or vanilla cake mix, plain or with pudding

1 1/4 cups eggnog

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

4 large eggs

3 T. bourbon (optional), for brushing the tops of the cake layers


1 jar (10 ounces) apricot all-fruit spread

1 T. bourbon or water

Spiced cream cheese frosting:

4 T. (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature

4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Heaping 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon


Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist three 9-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray, then dust them with flour. Shake out the excess flour; set pans aside. Place the cake mix, eggnog, oil, vanilla, nutmeg and the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for two minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again, if needed. The batter should look well blended. Divide the cake batter evenly among the three prepared cake pans, about 11/2 cups of batter per pan, smoothing the tops with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven. If your oven is not large enough to hold three pans on the center rack, place two pans on that rack and one in the center of the rack above. Bake the cake layers until they are golden brown and the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a finger, 18 to 20 minutes. The cake layer on the higher rack may bake faster, so it for doneness first. Transfer to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each cake layer and give the pans a good shake to loosen the cakes. Invert each layer onto a wire rack, then invert it again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up. If desired, brush the cakes with the 3 T. of bourbon, using 1 T. for each; set aside to cool, 15 minutes longer. Meanwhile, make the filling: Place the fruit spread and 1 T. of bourbon or water in a small bowl and stir until well combined.  Make the spiced cream frosting: Place the butter and cream cheese in a medium-size bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until well combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the confectioners’ sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon and beat with the mixer on low speed until the ingredients are well incorporated and the frosting has a spreading consistency, 1 to 2 minutes. To assemble cake, transfer one layer, right side up, to a cake plate. Spread half of the filling to the edge of the first layer, about 1/2 heaping cup. Place a second cake layer, right side up, on top of the first and spread the remaining filling over it. Place the third layer on top, right side up, and frost the top and side of cake, working with smooth, clean strokes. To make slicing easier, place the uncovered cake in the refrigerator until the frosting sets, 20 minutes. Store in a cake saver or loosely covered with waxed paper in the refrigerator for up to one week. Freeze the cake, wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to six months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Rhubarb and Spruce Tip Galette

Rhubarb and Spruce Tip Galette

Rhubarb and Spruce Tip Gazette

pastry for a single crust pie

4 C. (550gms) rhubarb, cut in ½ inch (1cm) pieces

2/3 cup (140gms) + 1 tsp. sugar, divided

1/8 tsp. salt

¼ cup (4 T.) chopped spruce tips (*or see variations below)

3 T. cornstarch

1 T. butter

2-3 tsp. almond milk, dairy milk, or water


Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Roll out the pastry dough between two sheets of parchment paper, into a 12″ (30cm) circle. (See the bottom of this post for a good tip on how to roll between paper.) Peel off the top layer of paper and discard it. Transfer the bottom layer of parchment, with the pastry circle still attached, to a baking sheet – a pizza pan works really well for this. Set the pan with the pastry crust into the fridge to chill while you make the filling. Cut the rhubarb into ½ inch (1cm) slices. Clean the brown papery husk off the spruce tips and chop the spruce tips coarsely. Place the rhubarb and spruce tips into a bowl. Add the salt, cornstarch, and sugar. Toss to combine everything well. Scrape the mixture into a pile on top of the pastry circle in the pan. The sugar and cornstarch will settle between the rhubarb chunks. Level the rhubarb chunks into a neat circle, leaving a 2 inch (5cm) border of pastry uncovered. Very carefully fold up the pastry border, pulling up on the parchment paper to help lift the pastry. Pleat the pastry and press the folds gently down onto the rhubarb filling as you go around the circle. Dot the filling with little bits of the butter. Brush the pastry border with the milk and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Remove the galette from the oven and leave it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Leaking bits of filling are normal with galettes, and add to their rustic charm. If there’s a big puddle of liquid that has leaked out, try to scrape some of it up with a tsp. and drizzle it back onto the center of the galette. Gently slide the galette with the paper onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or let cool completely.  If letting the galette cool, remove it from the paper to the cooling rack. To do this, slide a thin metal spatula between the galette and the paper and run it all the way around the galette to make sure it isn’t sticking to the paper anywhere. Then slightly lift one side of the galette with the spatula and pull the parchment paper out from underneath, leaving the galette resting on the cooling rack. Leave it there until it is completely cool. This helps the bottom crust to stay crisp. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, if desired.


*Rhubarb Basil Galette: replace the spruce tips with 2 T. chopped fresh basil. Another winning combination.


*Plain Rhubarb Galette: replace the spruce tips with 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Simple and delicious.

Banana Bread Sheet Cake

Banana Bread Sheet Cake

Banana Bread Sheet Cake


3 – 4 ripe bananas (mashed about 1 1/2 cups)

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter (at room temp)

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

3 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup milk

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside. With a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, mixing in one at a time. Then add the vanilla and mix until smooth. In a separate large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a separate small bowl mix together the milk and sour cream. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, followed by 1/3 of the milk/sour cream mixture and repeat until it is all combined. To this batter add the mashed bananas and mini chocolate chips, then combine. Pour the batter into your 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (Check your cake after 30 minutes to see how it is baking.) Cool and enjoy!

For no chew diet, break into small pieces or dip into milk before eating.

Spruce Chocolate Mousse

Spruce Chocolate Mousse

Spruce Chocolate Mousse

5 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped

1 ounce unsalted butter

3 large eggs separated

8 ounces heavy cream

¼ cup plus 2 T. caramelized spruce syrup

1/8 tsp. salt


Whisk the egg yolks and ¼ cup of the spruce syrup over a double boiler until doubled in volume, then reserve. Combine the whites with the 2 T. of syrup and whisk in a double boiler until soft peaks form, then remove from the heat and whisk to full volume by hand. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks and reserve. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, then mix with the egg yolk mixture. Fold ¼ of the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk-chocolate mixture until combined, then mix in the rest. Finally, gently fold in the cream until just incorporated. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a fluted tip, then pipe into dishes and chill until ready to serve. It can also be scooped with a disher or scoop dipped in hot water. Notes: Yield: roughly 4 C., enough to serve 8-10 people a small scoop. This is rich stuff.

Almond Flour Sponge Cake

Almond Flour Sponge Cake

Almond Flour Sponge Cake


Makes 2 sheet cakes (13 BY 17 BY 3⁄8 INCH), 1 sheet cake (13 BY 17 BY ¾ INCH), or 2 round cakes (9 BY 1 INCH). Butter and flour if using round pans.


1½ cups almond flour

½ cup plus 1 T. cake flour

¾ cup granulated sugar

4 eggs

6 egg whites

Pinch of cream of tartar, unless using a copper bowl

Confectioners’ sugar, if making a sheet cake


If you are making round cakes, preheat the oven to 350°F and butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. If you are making sheet cakes, preheat the oven to 375°F and line two 13 by 17-inch sheet pans with parchment. Combine the almond flour, cake flour, and ½ cup of the granulated sugar in a food processor. With the motor running, add the eggs, 2 at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl large enough to hold all the batter. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar (if using) on medium-high speed in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment for about 2 minutes or with a handheld mixer for about 3 minutes, or until medium peaks form. Add the remaining granulated sugar and beat on high speed for 1 to 5 minutes longer (depending on what kind of mixer you are using), until stiff peaks form. Mix one-fourth of the egg white mixture into the almond mixture until smooth, to lighten the mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold this mixture with the remaining egg white mixture. Transfer the batter to the cake pans or sheet pans. If you are using sheet pans, spread the batter with an offset spatula and run your thumb around the edges to make a small moat to keep the edges of the cakes from sticking to the pans. Bake round cakes for about 25 minutes, or until they bounce back to the touch. Bake sheet cakes for about 15 minutes, or until firm and they bounce back to the touch. If you are baking sheet cakes, sprinkle 2 sheets of parchment paper as large as the sheet pan with confectioners’ sugar. Run a knife around the edges of the cakes to make it easier to get them out of the sheet pans. Quickly flip out the cakes over the parchment paper as soon as they come out of the oven by placing the cakes right next to the parchment. Peel away the cooked parchment from the bottoms of the cakes. Cut the cakes into rounds or rectangles and layer them with the same fillings you’d use for a sponge cake. If you are baking round cakes, let them cool for 5 minutes in the cake pans and then turn out onto cake racks.

Tahini Fruit Drip

Tahini Fruit Drip

Tahini Fruit Drip


1 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt

3 T. tahini

3 T. honey

Coarse salt

Ground cinnamon

Sliced fruit, such as apples, bananas, strawberries, and mango, for serving


Stir together yogurt, tahini, honey, a pinch of coarse salt, and a large pinch of cinnamon. Serve with sliced fruit.

Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Prosperity Cake for May Day Eve

Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Prosperity Cake for May Day Eve

Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Prosperity Cake for May Day Eve

Sweet Woodruff is a common ground cover garden plant, and while it is native to Europe it has naturalized in many of our forests. Leaves and flowers should be harvested just before and during blooming, but they must dried or at least wilted before using to capture their flavor/aroma. The stems are bitter, so make sure you just use leaves and blossoms.


By baking this magical Sweet Woodruff cake we can combine our magical powers together and cast a powerful blessing to enrich us, one and all and make our hearts merry. And here’s a little prosperity spell to say over your cake, while you’re making it, while it’s baking or just before you serve it. Abracadabra!


Money, money come to me

In abundance three times three

May I be enriched in the best of ways

Harming none on its way

This I accept, so mote it be

Bring me money three times three!


1 cup & 2 tsp. of DRIED Sweet Woodruff leaves and flowers (no stems!)

4 large egg yolks

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

3/4 cup organic cane sugar (or whatever sugar you like)

2 tablespoons cold water

8 tablespoons melted butter

3/4 cup of wholewheat, or spelt, or all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tsp. lemon zest

2 cups light cream

Powdered icing sugar for dusting


Three days before making your cake: Take your dried sweet woodruff and place in your cream. Stir well. Cover and allow to sit in a warm place for 24hrs. Then transfer to fridge. After two days, strain the plant material from the cream. Line a 8 X 8 inch square pan with sheets of parchment paper. Leave a generous amount sticking out from the sides. These will be your “handles” when you take the cake out of the pan. Heat Oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar and water together until creamy and the sugar is dissolved. 5 to 6 minutes. Drizzle in the melted butter into the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Add in the flour, lemon zest, salt and two tsp. of dried woodruff (crumbled into a powder) then blend until fully combined. Add the milk or cream and mix them in gently. Whisk the egg whites on high speed until the egg whites hold stiff peaks. Add the egg whites to the yolk mixture and flour mixture. Stir VERY gently with a large spoon just a dozen or so times, leaving large clumps of egg whites in the batter. Do not overmix! Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the edges are set, the top is a warm brown, and the center is still a wee bit wobbly. 50 to 55 minutes. Leave the cake in the pan at room temperature until completely cooled. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Best left overnight. Dust with icing sugar and serve!

Apple Yogurt Cake with a Cinnamon-Sugar Streak

Apple Yogurt Cake with a Cinnamon-Sugar Streak

Apple Yogurt Cake with a Cinnamon-Sugar Streak


Cooking spray or olive oil

1 1/2 cups whole regular or Greek yogurt, well-stirred

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 pounds apples (preferably tart, such as Granny Smith)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

Pinch freshly ground nutmeg

2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided

1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

2 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with baking spray or olive oil. Place the yogurt, granulated sugar, oil, lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Peel and core the apples, then chop into rough 1/2-inch chunks. (Do not grate the apples or the batter will be too wet.) You should end up with 4 to 4 1/2 cups of apples. Add the apples to the yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon. Stir just until no dry pockets of flour remain; set aside. Place the remaining 2 tsp. cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter in a small bowl and smash with a rubber spatula to combine.  Pour 1/2 of the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cinnamon-brown sugar mixture on top, dropping it on the batter in small lumps. Spread the rest of the batter over the top, then sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-brown sugar. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, covering with aluminum foil toward the end if the top is browning too much, 45 to 55 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and let it cool for at least 1 hour. Cut and serve the cake warm or at room temperature. Storage: This cake can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 4 days, and it gets even more moist as it sits, due to the apples.

Vitamix Green Apple Ice Cream

Vitamix Green Apple Ice Cream

Vitamix Green Apple Ice Cream


6 ounces (180 g) frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

2 banana, peeled, halved

1½ cup (60 g) fresh spinach

4 cups (520 g) ice cubes


Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid. Select Variable 1. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High. Use the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades. In about 40 seconds, the sound of the motor will change and four mounds should form. Stop machine. Do not over mix or melting will occur. Serve immediately.

Bewitching  Maibowle Cream Cake for Beltane

Bewitching  Maibowle Cream Cake for Beltane

Bewitching  Maibowle Cream Cake for Beltane


3-4 tablespoons dried/wilted sweet woodruff

2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

½ cup may wine

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar

Powdered sugar, for dusting cake (optional)

Whipped cream, for serving (optional)



½ cup white sugar

¼ cup butter

¼ cup white wine

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, or as needed


Place dried/wilted woodruff, whipping cream into a pot and set on lowest heat. Bring just to a simmer, then allow to cool completely Strain out the leaves, then chill in the fridge. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift flour mixture and set aside. In a bowl, whip the infused cream on low, gradually increasing speed to medium-high as the cream thickens, until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, whisk together wine, eggs and vanilla. Gradually add egg mixture; beat until thickened (like mayonnaise) and well combined. Gradually add sugar. Gently fold half the flour mixture into the cream mixture until flour is dissolved and well combined. Repeat the process with the remaining flour mixture. Transfer batter to the prepared cake pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 25 to 35 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup white sugar, butter, 1/4 cup white wine together in a saucepan immediately after removing the cake from the oven. Cook sugar mixture, stirring constantly, over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon 1/2 the glaze over the cake while the cake is still warm. Let cool. Invert the cooled cake onto a cake plate and spoon remaining glaze over top of the cake. Allow the cake to absorb glaze, about 15 minutes. Using a metal spatula, loosen the top edges of the cake and invert onto the prepared wire rack. Let glaze set. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.


Maibowle Wine

A handful of wilted woodruff leaves (preferably harvested the previous day)

1 bottle of sparkling wine

2  bottles of  white wine,

¾  cup of sugar

Juice of ½ lemon



Pour one bottle of wine into the punch bowl, add the sugar and lemon juice stir until it has fully dissolved in the wine. Add the woodruff and let steep for 20 – 30 minutes. Remove the woodruff and discard. Add the remaining white wine and top off with the sparkling wine.  Chill and serve with ice and strawberries.

White Chocolate Cranberry Tart

White Chocolate Cranberry Tart

White Chocolate Cranberry Tart



1 1/2 C. gluten-free oats

1/2 C. almonds

5 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

2 tbsp maple syrup


cranberry layer

2 C. cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1 C. water

1/4 C. maple syrup

1 tsp agar agar


white chocolate layer

â…” C. coconut milk

â…“ C. cashew pulp (optional)

1 C. cashews (soaked overnight)

¾ C. cacao butter

¼ C. maple syrup

Pinch of salt

Optional: 4 tbsp vegan white chocolate


For the crust add oats and almonds into a food processor. Pulse until combined and add maple syrup and coconut oil. Process into a moist mixture. Firmly press dough into the tart and press up on the sides as well. Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes until crust appears golden brown. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes and then transfer onto a cooling rack.  In a small saucepan add cranberries, water and maple syrup. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes over low-medium heat until cranberries have broken down. With a hand mixer puree cranberries and add a little bit of water if sauce is too thick. Add 1 tsp of agar agar powder and simmer for another 5 minutes over low-medium heat. Set aside to cool for a couple minutes, then spread cranberry jam/sauce into the crust (½ way full) and let set in the fridge for another 15 minutes. In the meantime prepare the white chocolate layer. Melt white chocolate and cacao butter in a small saucepan over low heat and set aside.  In a food processor or high speed blender add cashews, maple syrup, coconut milk and cashew pulp. Process until completely smooth. Add melted chocolate/cacao butter and process until combined. Pour white chocolate mixture into the tart and let set in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours. Garnish with cranberries and white chocolate chips and serve immediately. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Peaches with Lemon & Saffron

Peaches with Lemon & Saffron

Peaches with Lemon & Saffron


4 Peaches

1 Lemon

2 oz Butter

1 pinch Saffron

2 T. Agave


2 oz Almonds

Vanilla Ice Cream for serving


​Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over low heat and add 6 segments of each stoned peach with its skin into the pan alongside 6 segments of the lemon with the seeds removed. Place the Saffron thread in a small bowl of water until the color has diffused throughout. Once the thread has diffused, place the mixture into the sauté pan along with the agave syrup.  Cover the pan and let simmer gently for 20 – 30 mins, do not move around in order to preserve the skin of the peaches. When the fruit is tender but still holding form, remove from the head, and drizzle some of the EVOO along with toasted almonds.  Finally, place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top to complement the warm dessert.

Cast Iron Peach Upside Down Cake

Cast Iron Peach Upside Down Cake

Cast Iron Peach Upside Down Cake


1stick butter

2 eggs

1½ cups sugar

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup milk

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla


Cream butter, eggs, sugar, and salt together. Add flour, baking powder alternately with milk; beat until fluffy. Add vanilla. Put a layer (¼”) of brown sugar in cast iron skillet. Lay peach halves over brown sugar (round side up). Pour batter over and bake in oven at 350°F for 55-60 minutes. Insert toothpick to check for doneness. To remove from pan, lay a flat plate over top of baked cake and flop cake onto platter. Any kind of fruit can be used.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake


3 C. all-purpose flour

1 C. white granulated sugar

4 tsp. baking powder

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 C. milk

1/2 C. salted butter (1 stick) melted


3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter softened to room temp (1/2 C. will be lighter and still taste yum)

1 C. packed light brown sugar

2 T. flour

1 T. ground cinnamon


2 C. powdered sugar

5 T. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (I like the kind that has flour in it.) In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), combine ingredients for cake (except melted butter). While your mixer is running, slowly add the 1/2 C. melted butter. Mix just until combined (overmixing flour in baked goods can make it tough and rubbery.) Spread this batter evenly into your baking dish. In a small bowl, combine all your filling ingredients: softened butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Stir until combined well. Drop the cinnamon filling by spoonfuls onto the cake batter. Take a butter knife and make swirly, marble-effect patterns all around the cake. Drag the knife through both the cinnamon and cake batter. Bake the cake for about 35-40 minutes (it took about 40 minutes in my oven), until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract in small bowl. Pour the glaze over the warm cake.

Vanilla Pudding

Vanilla Pudding

Vanilla Pudding


⅓ cup granulated sugar

3 T. cornstarch

⅛ tsp. salt

2-¼ C. whole milk

2 large egg yolks

1 T. unsalted butter

1-½ tsp. pure vanilla extract


In a medium saucepan whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk, and egg yolks. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally (every minute or two), until the mixture is bubbling all throughout (this took 7-8 minutes for mine). Once bubbling, continue cooking for one to two additional minutes, whisking once or twice, but not too vigorously (this can break down the binding properties). At this point the pudding should be thickened but still pourable, it will thicken more as it cools. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract.  OPTIONAL, to remove lumps: Place a fine mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl. Pour the mixture through the strainer and into the bowl. Skip this step if you don’t notice any lumps in your pudding. Transfer the pudding into a large bowl or into individual serving bowls. Cool until it is lukewarm, then cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or until chilled.

Clementine Cointreau Curd

Clementine Cointreau Curd

Clementine Cointreau Curd


Try this curd atop currant scones, tucked into pastry shells, or sandwiched between layers of poppy-seed cake. Yield: 3 half-pints


5 clementines

4 eggs

1¼ C. superfine sugar

10 T. unsalted butter, chilled

2 T. Cointreau


Wash and dry the clementines, then zest them, taking care to avoid removing any pith along with the zest. Juice the fruits and strain the juice through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any membranes or seeds. Set the zest and juice aside. Place the eggs in a medium-sized metal bowl and beat lightly to incorporate the whites into the yolks. Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 inches of water and place it over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Place the egg bowl on top of the pan to form a double boiler, and add the sugar, butter, Cointreau, juice, and zest. Whisk gently until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the curd from the heat. Transfer the curd to heat-proof jars. Allow to come to room temperature, then cover with lids and store in the refrigerator. Consume within two weeks. *Variation: To make this curd without alcohol, replace the Cointreau with orange juice. You can also substitute mandarin oranges for clementines.

Green Apple Gelato

Green Apple Gelato

Green Apple Gelato


3 Granny Smith Apples (cored and grated, with skin on)

2 cup ml Cream

1 cup Milk

4 Egg Yolks

1/2 Caster Sugar

2 tablespoons Lemon Juice


Place the cream and milk in a saucepan, heat until just below boiling point. In a mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Whisk 2 tablespoons of the hot cream and milk into the egg mixture. Slowly add the rest of the cream and milk, whisking as you go. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring for 8 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until cool. Place the lemon juice in a bowl and combine with the apple. Add the cooled cream mixture, ensuring it is well combined. Pour into an ice-cream maker and make according to manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, pour mixture into a metal bowl and place in the freezer for 2 hours or until set around the edges, but soft in the middle. Beat with an electric mixer and return to the freezer until firm.

Fluffy Banana Cake

Fluffy Banana Cake

Fluffy Banana Cake


1 ⅓ cup mashed bananas

2 ½ T. lemon juice divided

1 ½ C. milk

3 C. flour

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

⅔ cup butter softened

1 cup white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla


8 ounces cream cheese

⅓ cup butter softened

3-3 ½ C. powdered sugar

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 ½ tsp. lemon zest from 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan. Place 1 ½ T. lemon juice in a measuring cup. Top to 1 ½ C. with milk. Set aside. Mix together mashed banana with 1 T. lemon juice, set aside. Beat together butter, brown and white sugar until combined. Add in eggs one at a time and vanilla. Mix on high until light and fluffy (almost the texture of frosting). Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to egg mixture stirring just until combined. (Do not overmix). Fold in bananas. Pour into prepared pan. Put into the oven and reduce heat to 300°F. Bake 60 – 70 minutes (see note below) or just until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (do not over bake). Remove from oven and place in the freezer for 45 minutes to make the cake extra moist. Cool completely before frosting. FROSTING: Cream together butter & cream cheese until fluffy. Add in lemon zest and juice. Add powdered sugar a little at a time until you reach desired consistency. Spread over cooled cake.  Note: The cooking time on this cake can vary! Mine takes about 60 minutes. Check your cake at 55 minutes, if it isn’t ready, continue cooking until a toothpick comes out clean (this can be up to an additional 20-30 minutes depending on your oven).

Berry Fruit Salad with Warm Pear Sauce

Berry Fruit Salad with Warm Pear Sauce

Fruit Salad with Warm Pear Sauce


3 ripe pears, cored and chopped

1 T. lemon juice

1 C. strawberries, hulled

1 C. raspberries

1 C. blueberries

1 C. pitted Cherries,


Place the pears in a small saucepan with the lemon juice. Add enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cook gently over a low heat until quite soft. Remove from liquid and allow to cool. Blend in a food processor or with a hand-held blender until smooth. Add a little water if you prefer the sauce to be thinner.  Mix fruit together in a bowl and top with the pear sauce.  Serve immediately or chill before serving.

Addictive Salted Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Addictive Salted Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Addictive Salted Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies


6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 C. semisweet chocolate chips

3 large eggs

½ C. granulated sugar

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 C. plus 2 T. all-purpose flour

2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Canola oil or nonstick cooking spray, for greasing

24 to 28 milk chocolate caramels (I like Dove)

Flaky sea salt, for topping


Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, bittersweet chocolate, and chocolate chips. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until fully melted and combined—the chocolate will be thick. Remove the pan from the heat and let the chocolate cool slightly. In a small bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and the melted chocolate mixture and beat for 1 to 2 minutes more, until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and kosher salt and beat until fully combined and smooth, about 3 minutes. The batter should be thick but pourable. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Scoop out scant 2 T. of dough and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Grease your hands with a little canola oil or cooking spray, then flatten the dough into small disks, about 2 inches in diameter, and place a caramel in the center. Scoop out a rounded tsp. of dough and flatten into it into a disk. Place the disk over the caramel, pinching the layers of dough together. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until just set on the edges. Remove from the oven and sprinkle each cookie with a little flaky salt. Let cool for at least 5 minutes on the baking sheet before serving.

Basic Sponge Cake (Genoise)

Basic Sponge Cake (Genoise)

Basic Sponge Cake (Genoise)

3 eggs room temperature

70 g (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) sugar

100 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) cake flour

45 g unsalted butter melted

butter, parchment and flour for prepping the cake pan


Preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Trace and cut out a circle of parchment, grease the cake pan with butter, insert the parchment cut out and dust with flour. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture triples in volume, reaching the ribbon stage. The ribbon stage is attained when you test the batter and it temporarily holds a shape. Sift the flour and fold it into the egg mixture in stage until incorporated. In a separate bowl, ladle out a portion of the batter and fold it with the melted butter. Return the buttery batter to the main mixing bowl and gently fold it with the remaining batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30 minutes. Check for doneness by inspecting to see if the edges have sprung away from the pan or by inserting a toothpick into the center. Allow it to cool on a wire rack for ten minutes before removing from the pan. Note: Genoise cakes are dryer than many sponge cakes. You can add moistness and flavor with a simple syrup of choice.

Lemon Squares

Lemon Squares

Lemon Squares


2 cups flour, plus 1/4 cup

½ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tsp.

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

4 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

â…“ cup lemon juice (from about 1 to 2 lemons)

½ tsp. baking powder


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together two cups of flour, 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar and the salt. Add the melted butter and stir the ingredients to thoroughly combine them. Spread the crust with clean hands in an even layer into a 9-by-13-inch pan and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, baking powder and the remaining flour. Pour the lemon mixture onto the hot baked shell and bake it for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is just set. Using a small, fine-meshed sieve, sift the remaining confectioners’ sugar on top of the lemon squares once they have cooled. Cut the dessert into equal-sized bars.

Peach Bubble Cake

Peach Bubble Cake

Peach Bubble Cake


1 pound fresh or frozen peach slices

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. cornstarch

2 T. salted butter


½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, at room


1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ tsp. baking powder

½ cup milk


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. To make the peach filling, place the peach slices in the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish or 8-by-8-inch casserole dish. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the peaches and toss to coat. Cut the butter into small chunks and sprinkle it over the peaches. Bake the peaches for 30 minutes. While the peaches are baking, prepare the cake topping: In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and creamy in texture, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again until smooth. In a separate small bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Slowly beat half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, and then beat in half of the milk. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and milk. Briefly stir the peaches to redistribute the sugar and butter mixture. Pour the cake batter over the top, making sure to evenly cover all the peaches. Place the dish on a baking sheet to catch any filling that may bubble up and out while baking. Bake the cake for 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top and the peach filling is bubbling up around the edges.

Lemon Lavender Sweet Rolls with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

Lemon Lavender Sweet Rolls with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

Lemon Lavender Sweet Rolls with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting


¼ cups warm water (about 110°F)

2¼ tsp. active dry yeast

1 cup granulated sugar, divided

3 large eggs

½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature

1½ tsp. sea salt, divided

4½ cups all-purpose flour, divided

8 T. melted unsalted butter, divided

2 T. lemon zest

½ tsp. ground cardamom

1 T. dried culinary lavender

Lemon Mascarpone Frosting (recipe below)


Lemon Mascarpone Frosting


¾ cups mascarpone cheese

1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1½ tsp. lemon zest

3 T. fresh lemon juice

3 T. milk


In a small bowl, whisk together warm water and yeast. When yeast is dissolved, whisk in ½ tsp. granulated sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, until mixture foams up. Meanwhile, in the bowl of standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk eggs to combine; add buttermilk and whisk to combine. Add in yeast mixture, ¼ cup sugar, and 1¼ tsp. sea salt. Remove bowl from mixer and add about 2 cups flour and 6 T. melted butter. Stir with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened and combined. Add 2 more cups of flour, return bowl to the mixer, switch to the dough hook attachment, and knead with dough hook at low speed for 5 minutes. Touch the dough; if it is sticky, continue to run the mixer on low speed for up to five minutes more and add more flour, a T. at a time, until the dough is soft and moist, but no longer sticks to your fingers. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl, but stick to the bottom. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 1 minute to ensure that dough is uniform. If it sticks to your work surface, knead in more flour, a T. at a time, until it no longer sticks and all the flour is kneaded in. Spray a plastic mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place the ball of dough into the bowl. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free area until it has doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Brush the bottom and sides of a 13×9-inch baking pan with 1 T. of melted butter. Turn the dough ball out onto a work surface and pat it into a rectangular shape. Roll the dough into a 16×12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the remaining 1 T. of melted butter, leaving about ½-inch of dough unbuttered at the top edge. Combine remaining ¾ cup sugar, lemon zest, cardamom, and ¼ tsp. sea salt in a small mixing bowl and mix together with your fingers, rubbing between your fingers to get the oils out of the lemon zest and release the flavor. Sprinkle evenly over the buttered surface, leaving about ¾-inch uncovered on the top edge. Sprinkle evenly with lavender. Gently press everything into the dough, then roll into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam of the dough to seal it, then stretch the roll to about 18 inches length and adjust the roll to make sure the thickness is uniform all the way down. Slice into 12 even rounds. Place buns, cut side down, into your buttered 13×9-inch baking pan. There should be some space between the rolls. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and set it in a warm, draft-free area until the rolls get puffy and press against each other, about 1½ hours. Meanwhile, adjust your oven rack to its lowest position, place a baking or pizza stone on the rack (optional), and heat the oven to 350°F. Place your baking pan on the pizza stone (or directly onto the rack). Bake until rolls are golden brown on top, about 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. When the rolls are still warm, spread Lemon Mascarpone Frosting on the top of the rolls. Serve warm. Lemon Mascarpone Frosting While the rolls are cooling, make the glaze. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 1 minute. When the mascarpone is lump-free, gradually add in confectioners’ sugar with the mixer on low speed. Add the lemon zest, turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until creamy. Turn the mixer back to low, and slowly add the lemon juice and milk, beating until the frosting is uniform. It should be somewhat thin, but not runny.