Archive of ‘Cakes and Pies’ category

Lemon Pudding Cakes + Lighten Up Y’all Cookbook Review

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Maybe you’ve had a lemon pudding cake before. If you have, you already know how amazing they are: baked in a cute little ramekin with a water bath like crème brulee, tangy and creamy like lemon curd, and topped with a delicious and light lemon cake. I guess you could call this the original trifle, given its layers and depth (only that the preparation is a whole lot simpler for lemon pudding cakes). And maybe the comparisons that I’ve written makes it sound like this is a super rich, calorie-ridden dessert, but don’t worry, this is definitely not the case!

Some versions of lemon pudding cake are made needlessly rich and loaded with sugar, but this recipe limits unhealthy ingredients to a minimum while taste and flavor are kept to a max!

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This recipe is from Lighten Up, Y’all by Virginia Willis, where all the recipes are made with both taste and health in mind. It features classic Southern recipes that most people consider too unhealthy for everyday consumption (like macaroni and cheese, potato gratin, or grits) and spins them around to make them lighter. (more…)

Cheesecake with Homemade Graham Cracker Crust

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Cheesecakes in our house are always a special treat. Because they’re so rich and dense, they’re not really the type of dessert that you can have every night — they’re something that should be savored and eaten slowly. When made well, the cream practically melts in your mouth. And the graham cracker crust adds a nice crunchy contrast of texture. And, with this recipe, a light and milky topping perfectly completes the dessert.cheesecake with graham crust.8

Cheesecakes are commitments. Not only does making one require some patience, but eating one does too. Even when you just buy one, you’re committing you and your family to eating the whole thing (not that that’s a scary commitment to make ;).  (more…)

Tres Leches Cupcakes

I have only eaten tres leches cake a handful of times, and to be completely honest, I have never actually tried a good one. Maybe I did when I was little, before I had a true appreciation for good desserts, but in my recent years all the ones I have tried have either been bad or just mediocre. 

tres leches cupcakes.8That being said, I can assure you that this recipe is so different from the cakes I have tried before. These tres leches cupcakes are made with a whipped egg-white batter that gives them a spongy texture. The sponge cupcakes are then filled with milk. The milk sets over a few hours and is able to suffuse throughout the entire cake. 

tres leches cupcakes.5Instead of icing, these cupcakes are topped with a homemade whipped cream, perfectly complementing the light and fluffy cake.

For a tutorial on how to make these, continue reading.  (more…)

Mocha Mousse Brownie

Some people think that putting frosting on top of brownies is weird. They think that icing is just for cake or maybe sugar cookies, but never for something as sweet and rich as brownies. 

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I think that people who say crazy things like that have never tried a good iced brownie (like this one). Sure, no one likes stomach-ache-inducing sugar-bomb sweets, but it is possible to make rich desserts that don’t leave you feeling this way. 

Mocha Mousse Brownies.4Take this mocha mousse brownie, for example. It is a rich brownie with a mousse icing. But this mousse icing is, well, mousse. It’s creamy and light and fluffy and sweet and chocolatey… the icing itself is like a cloud. It balances the dense chocolate of the brownie. It adds a touch of class, a taste of fancy, to this ubiquitous American dessert.  (more…)

Almond Honey Cake with Berry Syrup + review of Vibrant Food

I have two great things for you today: an amazing (and healthy!) almond cake recipe along with a review of the cookbook, Vibrant Food by Kimberely Hasselbrink. 

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First, let’s talk about this almond cake: it’s a dense cake made with pure almond flour (so it’s gluten-free), lightly sweetened with honey, and made with olive oil. Thought it’s a dense cake, it’s far from heavy; this would still be considered a light dessert. I can assure you that this was an amazing cake because it was finished in my house before the end of breakfast – this only happens when true perfection has been created! Scroll down for the full recipe. 

IMG_5783Onto the book review: 

If you haven’t heard of Vibrant Food, it’s cookbook showcasing the various fruits and vegetables of each season. The book has four main sections, one for each season. Recipes coordinate with the vegetables and fruits that tend to grow during those seasons.  (more…)

Funfetti Cupcakes

Last week, I wrote about how I love making large decadent cakes, but that I don’t often get to make them because they’re normally too big for me and my family to quickly finish (unless we’re celebrating a birthday or inviting guests for dinner). 

Funfetti Cupcakes.1Well, a simple solution to this horrendous predicament is to make decadent cupcakes. Cupcakes can be just as luxurious, tasty, and beautiful as their larger counterparts, the only real difference is that they are manageable. They’re smaller and can be quickly eaten. You can freeze half a batch or just make half a batch. They don’t need to be eaten with a fork and can easily be shared with a friend or a coworker (not that you would actually want to share). 

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These cupcakes, specifically, are absolutely amazing. They start with a delicious, vanilla-based cake that’s perfectly soft and sweet. They’re topped with an extra creamy cream cheese frosting (that’s made so creamy thanks to a little bit of heavy cream) and decorated with some sprinkles.  (more…)

Super Chocolatey Cake

Birthdays only come once a year (and there’s only a select few that get to celebrate theirs with one of my desserts), but I love making cake. Not just cupcakes, but a huge, decadent and delicious cake. 

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That’s what this cake was. Three layers of soft, chocolatey amazingness. It’s a spongey, rich cake that’s not at all dense or heavy. 

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I ended up making this one for a family friend’s graduation party. We showed up towards the end of the party, when most had already left, but this cake was still able to disappear before anyone knew it. People were going back for seconds only to find a licked knife and a plate riddled with crumbs (plus a couple rogue sprinkles).  (more…)

Flan Cupcakes

So, maybe you’re not much of a flan person (it’s ok – I wasn’t for a long time either), but that really shouldn’t turn you away from this recipe! The center of these cupcakes is flan, the base is a vanilla cupcake, and the icing is made with cream cheese. The flan taste is of course present, but also subtle enough for a novice flan-eater.  

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Make these when you’re aiming to impress; most people are surprised to find the flan inside and some even wonder how you were able to fill the cakes. The flan turns this simple vanilla cupcakes into something fancier; something worth having seconds (or maybe thirds…). 

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Shirley Temple Cupcakes

I think most would agree that cupcakes are a great way to start off the week. Even if you don’t plan on making these today, at least you can start planning on how to treat yourself (or perhaps your family and friends) this weekend. 

shirley temple cupcakesToday, I present to you Shirley Temple Cupcakes. Hopefully most of you have had a Shirley Temple drink before, you know, the kind with 7-Up or Sprite, a splash of grenadine, and a cherry on top? When I was younger, this was a drink I could never pass up (and I definitely couldn’t resist asking for extra cherries!). Now, I’ve made the drink into cupcake form and, let me tell you, these are amazing! 

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Maybe you’ve seen Shirley Temple cupcakes somewhere else on the internet before, but a lot of them just have an overload of food coloring and an underload of classic Shirley Temple flavor. So what makes these different?  (more…)

Fudgy Cookies and Cream Cake

Maybe some of you have noticed, but I don’t have too many layer cake recipes on this site, and it’s mostly because I don’t make layered cakes all that often at my house. Layered cakes tend to be too big and rich for my family to finish them very quickly, so they’re often saved for special occasions, or for when we have dinner guests. fudgy cookies and cream cake.3

A couple weeks ago, I decided to make this cake and it transformed our Sunday night dinner into a special occasion! It is made with a fudgy, perfectly moist cake base, layers of Oreo whipped cream in the center, and coated with a rich, fudge-like frosting. Plus, it’s four layers :) 

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This cake was a huge hit because, even though it was a bit rich, I made sure to cut down on the sugar so that it wouldn’t be overwhelming. A lot of times I feel that when I try store-bought cakes they’re just sugar bombs with tons of icing! Even though this is rich, it’s nothing like that. You can enjoy each of the chocolate components without your mouth burning from sugar overload!  (more…)

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