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  • Hot Chocolate Pancakes

    How to make Hot Chocolate Pancakes

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the fudge topping:

    3/4 cup (128 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup heavy cream

    For the pancakes:

    1 cup (127 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 large egg
    1 1/4 cups buttermilk or whole milk
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    Mini marshmallows, for garnish

    Directions

    Make the topping:

    In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and cream until melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside.

    Make the pancakes:

    In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

    In a medium bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir until just combined. Do not overmix, it’s okay to have lumps. At this point the batter can rest, covered, for up to 30 minutes.

    Heat an electric griddle to 350°F, or a large nonstick pan to medium heat. Coat with butter. Pour batter by 1/4 cup onto the hot pan, spacing apart. Cook until the edges are set and bubbles have formed on the top, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gently flip and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until done.

    Keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven while you finish the batter and get ready to serve. Stack pancakes on plates and top with the fudge sauce and mini marshmallows.

  • Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes

    How to make Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes

    Yield: 16 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the chocolate cupcakes:

    1 cup (127 grams) all purpose flour
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
    1/3 cup oil
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/2 cup boiling water
    1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

    For the caramel frosting:

    1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter
    1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    pinch of salt
    2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar

    Toppings:

    Caramel sauce
    Chocolate
    Chopped Pecans

    Directions

    To make the chocolate cupcakes:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-count cupcake pans with 16 cupcake liners and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined. Using a whisk or an electric mixer, mix in the oil, egg, vanilla extract, and buttermilk until just combined.

    Add the instant espresso powder into the boiling water and mix until dissolved, then add to the mixing bowl. Mix with the rest of the ingredients until well combined, making sure not to over mix the batter. The batter will be thin, this is okay.

    Evenly distribute the batter between all 16 cupcakes liners, making sure to only fill them a little over halfway full. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

    To make the caramel frosting:

    Add the butter to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add in the brown sugar and heavy cream and stir until fully combined. Allow to cook for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts bubbling, reduce heat to low and continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt until fully combined. Pour the caramel sauce into a mixing bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

    After 15 minutes, add in the powdered sugar and mix with a handheld mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment) until fully combined. Pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes as desired, top with additional caramel sauce (or chocolate) and chopped pecans.

    Chocolate cupcakes adapted from Hershey's

  • How to Make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

    How to make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

    Yield: about 40 cookies

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    If you don’t have almond extract, feel free to omit. It simply adds an extra element of sweet flavor to the recipe.

    Ingredients

    For the cookies:

    3 sticks (339 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    4 1/2 cups (572 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder

    For the icing:

    2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    4 tablespoons water or milk

    Directions

    Make the cookies:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well-combined and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until combined. On low speed, slowly add in the flour and baking powder and beat until incorporated.

    Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Place one dough portion between two sheets of parchment and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining portion of dough. Place the two sheets of dough on a baking sheet and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. You can also freeze for 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

    Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter, rerolling any scraps and cutting more shapes. Transfer the shapes to the prepared baking sheets.

    If the dough is warm, freeze for 15 minutes or until firmed again.

    Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set and begin to brown. Be careful not to over-bake. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Baked un-iced sugar cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

    Make the icing:

    In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together all the ingredients except the food coloring. The mixture should be very thick but still pourable.

    Transfer the icing to a squeeze bottle using a funnel. You can also scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip. Before you begin icing any cookies, take a few moments to practice on a piece of parchment paper to get the feel of the icing.

    Holding the bottle or bag tip directly over one corner of a cookie, create lines and dots to enhance the snowflake shape as seen in the photos. If desired, garnish with edible dragees, glitter, or sprinkles. Let the icing set before serving.

  • Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

    How to make Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

    Yield: about 30 cookies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cookies:

    1 1/2 cups (150 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
    1 2/3 cups (212 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    3/4 cup (150 grams) packed light-brown sugar
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
    1/2 cup (118 ml) applesauce
    1 cup (100 grams) peeled and chopped Granny Smith apple
    3/4 cup (90 grams) chopped California walnuts

    For the glaze:

    3/4 cup (94 grams) powdered sugar
    1 to 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
    1 tablespoon apple juice or water

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

    Make the cookies:

    In a medium bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

    In a large bowl stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the egg, egg yolk, and applesauce and stir until well combined. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the chopped apple and walnuts.

    Drop 1 1/2 tablespoon sized balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.

    Bake cookies until golden and just set, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack set over parchment paper to cool completely.

    Make the glaze:

    Whisk the powdered sugar, syrup, and juice until a thick yet pourable glaze forms. Add more sugar to make thicker, and more juice to make thinner if needed. Drizzle over cookies. Let stand at room temperature until the glaze is set before serving.

    Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

  • Easy Death By Chocolate Cake

    How to make Easy Death By Chocolate Cake

    Yield: Makes one 8 inch cake

    Prep Time: 45 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    Chocolate Cake

    3/4 cup (105 grams) plain flour
    1/2 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 cup (90 grams) brown sugar
    1/4 cup (50 grams) caster sugar
    1/2 cup or 1 stick (115 grams) unsalted butter
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup (120 ml) of buttermilk

    Chocolate frosting

    1/2 cup or 1 stick (115 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
    3 and 1/2 cups (435 grams) powdered or icing sugar
    4 tablespoons milk
    1/4 cup (20 grams) cocoa powder
    2/3 cup (100 grams) milk chocolate, pieces
    1/4 cup (40 grams) milk or dark chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C). Grease and line a round 8 inch springform cake tin with baking or parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and then add the sugars. Pop the butter into the microwave for short bursts, 10 seconds or so at a time, until it is just melted. Give it a stir with a fork to eliminate any lumps. Whisk together the butter, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk until combined – don’t worry if it goes a little lumpy. Then add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and gently fold until just combined.

    Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and pop into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middles comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edge of the cake before turning out of the tin. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

    To make the chocolate  frosting, add the butter to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Gently sift in the icing sugar, one cup at a time. Add a tablespoon or two of milk to help loosen up the mixture.  Add  the cocoa powder and beat again. Add the final two tablespoons of milk until the frosting is nice and creamy.

    Frost the top of your cake with the chocolate buttercream. Then scatter over your pieces of chocolate and chocolate chips. Cut and serve.

  • Apple Pie Pull Apart Loaf

    How to make Apple Pie Pull Apart Loaf

    Yield: 12 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the dough:

    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
    1/3 cup lukewarm milk
    1/4 cup lukewarm water
    1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
    1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    3 cups (380 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt

    For the filling:

    2 medium green apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    For the glaze

    1/2 cup (63 grams) powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons maple syrup

    Directions

    Make the dough:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the melted butter, milk, water, egg, egg yolks and vanilla. Add in the sugar and yeast and stir until the mixture is combined. Add in the flour and salt and stir until a shaggy mass forms.

    Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and knead until the dough is smooth and sticky. Avoid adding any extra flour, the dough is supposed to be slightly sticky.

    Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Generously grease an OXO Glass 1.6 Qt Loaf Baking Dish with butter.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, toss together all filling ingredients. Set aside.

    Gently punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle it with flour and knead a few times until no longer sticky. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

    Roll the dough out into about a 12-by-20-inch rectangle. Spread the apple mixture evenly over the dough.

    Cut the dough into six long 3 1/2-inch strips. Stack the strips and cut the stacks into five or six square pieces.

    Turn the pieces upright and squeeze them into the prepared loaf pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy, about 30 to 60 minutes.

    MAKE AHEAD: You can refrigerate the loaf immediately after assembling for up to 1 day. Let it come to room temperature while you preheat the oven.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and tent with foil. Continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to touch. Turn it out of the pan onto the rack to cool.

    Make the glaze:

    In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and syrup with a fork until a thick but pourable glaze forms. Drizzle over the loaf.

    Serve warm or at room temperature. The bread is best served the day it’s baked.

  • Maple Walnut Coffee Cake

    How to make Maple Walnut Coffee Cake

    Yield: 6 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 35 minutes

    This recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan for 45 minutes. The maple extract is optional, but adds a more intense maple flavor to this cake.

    Ingredients

    Streusel:

    1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
    1/4 cup (32 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup (27 grams) finely chopped California walnuts
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    Coffee Cake:

    2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
    1/2 cup (54 grams) chopped California walnuts
    1/2 cup (170 grams) maple syrup
    1/2 cup (100 grams) vegetable oil
    1/4 cup whole milk
    2 large eggs, beaten
    1 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
    8 ounces (227 grams) sour cream, at room temperature

    Topping:

    1/2 cup (63 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    2 tablespoons maple syrup

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom of an 8-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    Make the streusel:

    In a small bowl, combine all of the streusel ingredients with a fork until crumbly.

    Make the cake:

    In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and walnuts. In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup, oil, milk, eggs, and maple extract. Stir in the sour cream. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour in the wet ingredients. Gently stir until just combined.

    Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Spread the remaining batter over the streusel. Sprinkle with the remaining streusel.

    Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes.

    Make the topping:

    In a small bowl combine the sugar and maple syrup until a thick, pourable icing forms. Drizzle over the warm cake. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers, covered, at room temperature for up to 4 days.

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  • Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

    How to make Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

    Yield: 15 rolls

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the dough:

    1 medium-large sweet potato (200 grams)
    1 cup (240 ml) room temperature buttermilk or whole milk
    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
    2 tablespoons honey
    2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
    1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
    4 3/4 cups (600 grams) bread flour

    For baking:

    1 large egg
    Coarse salt

    Directions

    Prick the sweet potato all over with a fork. Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave at least 4 minutes, turning halfway through, until a knife glides easily through the tender center. Cut in half and let cool before scooping out the flesh and discarding the skin.

    Press the flesh through a potato ricer for the best texture. You can also puree in a blender or food processor. Or, mash very well until no lumps are remaining. You should have about 230 grams of sweet potato.

    Combine the buttermilk, butter, eggs, honey, yeast, and sweet potato in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt and 2 cups of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a rough, shaggy mass.

    Attach the dough hook to the mixer, turn to medium-low speed, and gradually add in the remaining flour, kneading until a mass of dough begins to forms. Continue kneading on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes until a soft, smooth ball of dough is formed. The dough should feel elastic and slightly tacky to the touch. If the dough is unbearably sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time.

    Lightly spray a large clean bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature or until the dough is big, puffy, and about doubled in size.

    Bake the rolls:

    Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Gently deflate the dough. Use a bench scraper, knife, or pizza wheel to divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in the prepared pan. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the rolls all over with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. Lightly cover the dough with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for 30 minutes, or until about doubled in size.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.

    Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm. Store leftovers in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.

  • Leftover Halloween Candy Cheesecake

    How to make Leftover Halloween Candy Cheesecake

    Yield: 12 servings

    Prep Time: 30 mins

    Cook: 1 hour

    Do NOT use double-stuff Oreos for the crust. Make the crust with Oreo filling intact.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    36 Oreo cookies (1-14.3 ounce or 405 gram package)
    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    32 ounces (907 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    5 large eggs, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups chopped Halloween candy (see above)

    For the topping:

    1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
    Chopped Halloween candy, for garnish

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a food processor, process the cookies until they are finely ground crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.

    Make the filling:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar, cream, and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Be careful not to overbeat. Stir in the chopped candy.

    Pour the batter into the cooled crust. Bake for about 1 hour, or until set and the top looks slightly dry. If the middle is slightly wobbly, that’s fine. Err on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool inside for 10 minutes.

    Remove the cheesecake and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 6 hours. Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate.

    Make the topping:

    Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. Pour over the cheesecake.

    Sprinkle the chopped candy over the cheesecake. Serve or cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  • Pumpkin Old Fashioned Doughnuts

    How to make Pumpkin Old Fashioned Doughnuts

    Yield: 12 doughnuts

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the pumpkin spice doughnuts:

    3 cups (339 grams) cake flour, plus more for rolling
    2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (use less if you don’t love nutmeg)
    2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 large egg yolks
    2/3 cup (165 ml) sour cream or plain yogurt
    1/2 cup (120 ml) pumpkin puree
    Canola oil, for frying

    For the pumpkin glaze:

    4 1/2 cups (450 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    2 teaspoons light corn syrup or golden syrup
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1/4 cup (60 ml) pumpkin puree
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/4 cup (60 ml) hot water

    Directions

    Make the doughnuts:

    In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and butter on low speed until sandy, about 1 minute. Add the egg yolks, increase the speed to medium, and beat until light and thick, about 1 minute.

    On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the bowl in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and pumpkin, mixing until combined. The dough should be sticky like biscuit dough.

    Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 45 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

    Make the glaze:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the powdered sugar, corn syrup, salt, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, and vanilla until combined. On medium speed, add gradually add the water, scraping down the bowl, until incorporated. Set aside.

    Fry the doughnuts:

    When ready to fry, pour 2 inches of oil into a large heavy pot. Attach a candy thermometer and heat oil to 325°F.

    On a generously floured work surface, roll out the cold dough to 1/2-inch thick 8-inch wide round. Cut as many doughnuts and holes as possible, dipping the cutter into flour to prevent sticking. Fold and gently re-roll the scraps to make extra holes.

    Shake any excess flour off the doughnut dough before adding them to the hot oil about three at a time. Wait for the doughnuts to float, then fry for 20 to 30 seconds. Gently flip over and continue frying for about another minute, or until golden. Transfer to a paper towel lined cooling rack to drain. Fry the holes for about 20 to 30 seconds per side.

    While the doughnuts are still hot, give the glaze a whisk before dipping the cracked side of each doughnut into the glaze. Let dry on the cooling racks until set, about 15 minutes, before serving. Glazed doughnuts should be served the same day.

  • Banana Bundt Cake With Nutella Ganache

    How to make Banana Bundt Cake With Nutella Ganache

    Yield: Serves 10-12

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    2 and 3/4 cups (385 grams) all-purpose or plain flour
    1 cup (200 grams ) granulated or caster sugar
    3/4 cup (135 grams ) brown sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    3 large over ripe bananas
    1 cup (230 grams / 2 sticks) unsalted butter
    3 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup (240 ml) greek yogurt
    1/2 cup (120 ml) thickened or heavy cream
    1/2 cup (150 grams) Nutella

    Directions

    Grease a large bundt pan well with butter. Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C). In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, then add the sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk well.

    Peel your bananas and mash them well with a fork. In a separate bowl, add the butter and microwave for 20-40 seconds, until it is just melted. Then add the eggs, vanilla and greek yogurt and whisk together. Don’t worry if it goes a little lumpy.

    Finally, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, along with mashed bananas and gently fold together. Pour the cake batter into the prepare cake tin.

    Bake for approximately 35 minutes, then cover with alfoil and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes. Then carefully run a knife around the edges of the pan and gently flip the cake upside down to remove it from the pan. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely.

    To make the Nutella ganache, add the cream and Nutella to a small saucepan and place on the stove on a low heat. Stir until the two combine to form a creamy chocolate ganache. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes and it will thicken slightly.

    Pour the Nutella ganache over the cooled banana cake. Cut into slices and serve.

  • Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

    How to make Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

    Yield: 12 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    For a fun twist, feel free to use Speculoos or Gingersnap cookies in place of the graham crackers! You’ll need 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) of crumbs.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    15 whole graham crackers (230 grams)
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    24 ounces (680 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
    15 ounces (425 grams) pureed pumpkin
    1/4 cup (77 grams) salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
    1/4 cup (57 grams) sour cream
    3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the topping:

    Whipped cream
    Salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    Make the crust:

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the graham crackers and cinnamon. Pulse until finely ground. You should have 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) graham cracker crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool. Maintain oven at 325°F.

    Make the cheesecake:

    In the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin puree, caramel, and sour cream until smooth. Add the eggs and yolk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, flour, and vanilla and puree until just combined. Pour over crust and spread evenly. Bake for 1 hour, or until set and dry at the edges but slightly jiggly in the center. Turn off the oven and allow to cool inside for 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature (this helps prevent cracks). Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. The cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Top with whipped cream and caramel sauce before serving.

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  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Streusel Bars

    How to make Pumpkin Cheesecake Streusel Bars

    Yield: 9 larger bars or 16 smaller bars

    Prep Time: 3 hours 25 minutes (includes cooling and chilling time)

    Cook: 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the gingersnap crust:

    1 and 1/4 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar

    For the pumpkin cheesecake filling:

    1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup pumpkin puree
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    2 large eggs, room temperature

    Streusel Topping:

    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    pinch of salt
    1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

    Directions

    To make the gingersnap crust:

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure to leave some overhang for easy removal, and set aside.
    Combine the gingersnap crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl and mix until fully combined. Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking pan and firmly press it down into one even layer. Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool. Keep oven temperature at 325°F to bake the cheesecake.

    To make the pumpkin cheesecake filling:

    In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice and mix until fully combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix on low speed until just combined. Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the crust and spread it out into one even layer.

    To make the streusel topping:

    Add the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt to a medium sized mixing bowl until well combined. Add in the cubed butter and cut it into the mixture using a pastry cutter or fork until you have coarse crumbs. Evenly spread the topping on top of the cheesecake filling.
    Return the cheesecake back to the oven and bake at 325°F for about 35 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake is set. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least one hour, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until completely chilled.
    Remove the bars from the pan, slice into bars, and enjoy!

  • Maple Cinnamon Sugar Baked Donuts

    How to make Maple Cinnamon Sugar Baked Donuts

    Yield: 6 donuts

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the donuts:

    1 cup (127 grams) all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/8 teaspoon fine salt
    1 large egg
    7 ounces (200 grams) plain yogurt
    2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    3 tablespoons real maple syrup

    For the cinnamon sugar:

    3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon melted butter

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 6-cavity donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In medium bowl stir together the egg, yogurt, vinegar, oil, and maple syrup.

    Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the hole. Gently fold everything together until combined. The batter will be thick.

    Scoop batter into a piping bag or ziploc bag, snip a bottom corner with scissors, and squeeze out the batter evenly into a donut pan.

    Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a few moments and then flip over onto a cooling rack while still warm.

    In a small shallow bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.

    Use a pastry brush the melted butter over the donuts then dip each donut in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat. Serve soon after coating with cinnamon sugar mixture for best texture.

  • Pumpkin Bread Rolls with Cinnamon Butter

    How to make Pumpkin Bread Rolls with Cinnamon Butter

    Yield: 15 bread rolls

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 2 hours 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the bread:

    1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    1 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces or 43 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) pumpkin puree
    2 large eggs, divided
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 3/4 cups (16.88 ounces or 479 grams) all-purpose flour

    Sliced pecan pieces, for the “stems”

    For the butter:

    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1/4 cup honey
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Directions

    For the bread rolls:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir the yeast, milk, sugar, butter, pumpkin, one egg, and salt until well combined. Gradually add the flour and knead on medium-low speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Continue to knead the dough on medium-low speed for another 5 minutes, or until the dough is soft and smooth. If it seems too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

    Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces and shape into balls. Use the palm of your hand to flatten each ball slightly. With a pairing knife, cut 8 slices around each ball, being careful not to slice all the way into the center, to make the pumpkin shape. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Using the wooden end of a small utensil or your finger to poke an indentation in the center of each roll to create a space for the “stem.” In a small bowl beat the remaining egg with 2 teaspoons of water and brush all over the rolls. Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Place a sliced pecan piece into the indentation of each roll.

    For the cinnamon butter:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 30 seconds, or until pale in color. Add the powdered sugar, honey, and cinnamon and beat until well combined, light, and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately or store, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

    Serve the rolls warm with the cinnamon butter.

    Adapted from my Ultimate Dinner Roll recipe

  • Snickers Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

    How to make Snickers Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

    Yield: Makes 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 45 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    Chocolate cupcakes

    3/4 cup (105 grams) all-purpose or plain flour
    1/4 cup (20 grams) cocoa powder
    1/4 cup (20 grams) dutch processed cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated or caster sugar
    1/4 cup (45 grams) brown sugar
    1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk

    Peanut butter frosting

    1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    3 and 1/2 cups (435 grams) icing or powdered sugar
    1/2 cup (125 grams) smooth peanut butter
    1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
    1 cup (125 grams) Snickers bars

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C). Line a 12 hole muffin tin with patty cases. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder and then add the sugars – give it a stir. Pop the butter into the microwave for a short burst, 10 seconds or so at a time, until it is JUST melted. Give it a stir with a fork to eliminate any lumps.  In a separate mixing bowl, add the eggs, vanilla and butter and whisk together until smooth. Then add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, along with the buttermilk and gently fold until just combined.

    Spoon the mixture into the prepared patty cases and pop into the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until just cooked through. Set cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

    To make the peanut butter frosting, place your butter and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add in half of your icing or powdered sugar and the milk and beat until the frosting starts to come together. Then add the remaining icing or powdered sugar. The icing should be nice and creamy but thick enough to hold its shape. Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes using a piping bag and a large star tip.

    Cut your Snickers bars into bite sized pieces and add one on top of each cupcake. Enjoy!

  • My Favorite Piping Tip
  • Pumpkin Cookie Butter Truffles

    How to make Pumpkin Cookie Butter Truffles

    Yield: about 22 truffles

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the truffles:

    3 ounces (85 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1/3 cup (75 grams) pumpkin puree
    1 3/4 cup (175 grams) Speculoos cookie crumbs (from about 23 cookies)
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

    For coating:

    16 ounces (454 grams) chocolate (any kind), finely chopped
    1 tablespoon coconut oil or shortening
    Crushed Speculoos cookies or sprinkles, for garnish

    Directions

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine all filling ingredients. Pulse until well blended.

    Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the mixture into balls about 1-inch in diameter. I like to use this cookie scoop.

    Place the cookie balls in the freezer until well chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

    When cookie balls are chilled, combine the chopped chocolate and oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until just melted and smooth. Do not overheat.

    Drop each cookie ball into melted chocolate, coating evenly. Remove with a fork, gently tapping off excess chocolate. Place back on cookie sheet and decorate as desired. Repeat with the remaining cookie balls.

  • Butterscotch Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    How to make Butterscotch Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Yield: 25 large cookies

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter
    1 1/2 cups (187 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 cup (127 grams) bread flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
    1 1/2 cups (300 grams) packed dark brown sugar
    2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 cups (200 grams) chocolate covered butterscotch caramels (see post above)
    1 cup (170 grams) semi sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops, continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the granulated sugar and dark brown sugar. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes to room temperature.

    In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

    With an electric mixer, beat the cooled butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, yolk, and vanilla, beating until combined. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and butterscotch caramels. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours but no more than 72 hours.

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

    Let dough sit at room temperature just until it is soft enough to scoop. Divide the dough into 3-tablespoon sized balls and drop onto prepared baking sheets. At this point you can freeze the dough balls until hard then transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking as directed.

    Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Serve or store in an airtight container for 3 days.

  • Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

    How to make Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

    Yield: 36 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cake:

    2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
    1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter
    1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 cups (200 grams) peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples (about 2 medium apples)

    For the glaze:

    1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter
    1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
    3 cups (375 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 cup salted caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)

    Directions

    Make the cake:

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter or oil a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan or a 16-3/4 by 12-inch sheet pan.

    In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

    In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter with 1 cup water and heat until the butter melts. Bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, remove from heat and add in the flour mixture. Add in the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Gently stir in the apples.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 20 minutes if using a jelly roll pan, and about 17 minutes if using a half sheet pan, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 to 15 minutes.

    Make the glaze:

    Meanwhile, combine the butter and milk in a large heat-proof bowl. Microwave until the butter is melted. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until combined. Stir in the vanilla and caramel until combined. Pour evenly over the warm cake. Let set for about 15 minute before slicing and serving.

    Adapted from Chef in Training

  • Pumpkin Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

    How to make Pumpkin Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 40 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the pumpkin cupcakes:

    1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup pumpkin puree
    1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the nutella frosting:

    3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Nutella
    3 cups powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    pinch of salt

    Directions

    To make the pumpkin cupcakes:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

    In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until fully combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter.

    Evenly distribute the batter between all 12 cupcake liners, only filling them about 2/3 of the way full, and gently smooth out the batter on top. Bake at 350°F for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

    Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    To make the nutella frosting:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Add in the Nutella and continue mixing for an additional minute until well combined. Add in the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt and continue mixing on medium speed until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes as desired.

  • How to Make Sunflower Cupcakes
  • How to Make Hydrangea Cupcakes
  • How to Make and Store Brown Sugar

    How to make and Store Brown Sugar

    Yield: Any amount needed

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses for light brown sugar, 2 to 3 tablespoons for dark brown sugar

    Directions

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the sugar and molasses until completely incorporated. Use or store in an airtight container. Use a brown sugar saver to keep it from hardening.

    If it does become hard, you can still add the soaked brown sugar saver to soften it. You can also add a slice of bread for a few hours, which will soften it again.

  • Ultimate Cheesecake

    How to make Ultimate Cheesecake

    Yield: about 12 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 1 1/2 hours

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 3/4 cups (230 grams) graham crackers crumbs (about 15 whole graham crackers)
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    2 pounds (907 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (130 grams) sour cream
    1 lemon, zested
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    4 large eggs

    Boiling water, for the water bath

    For the topping:

    12 ounces (340 grams) fresh raspberries
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 325°F.

    Prepare a 9-inch springform pan for a water bath. Place a large square of heavy duty aluminum foil underneath the pan. Gently fold the edges up and around the pan. Repeat twice so there’s three sheets of foil to ensure a waterproof seal. Gently fold the top of the foil around the edge of the pan.

    Make the crust:

    In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and butter until the mixture is moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch nonstick springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool. Maintain oven temperature.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth and free of lumps. Add the sugar and beat until combined. Add in the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

    Pour the batter into the foiled-wrapped springform pan. Place the pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake at 325°F for 1 1/2 hours, or until set and the top looks slightly dry. If the middle is slightly wobbly, that’s fine. Err on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking.

    Turn off the oven heat and crack the oven door open just by 1-inch. Let the cheesecake cool inside the oven for 1 hour.

    Remove the cheesecake from the oven and from the water bath, unwrap the foil, and transfer it to a cooling rack. Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it’s not sticking to the sides (which can cause cracks as it cools). Let the cheesecake cool completely on the rack.

    Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Store the cheesecake uncovered to avoid creating condensation, which will create a mushy texture.

    Make the topping:

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the filling ingredients. Heat, stirring and breaking up the raspberries often, until the raspberries release their juices and begin to form a sauce, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and press through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl to remove the seeds. Let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

    Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate and top with the raspberry sauce. Serve.

  • Black Forest Cupcakes

    How to make Black Forest Cupcakes

    Yield: 16 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the chocolate cupcakes:

    1 cup all purpose flour
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/3 cup oil
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/2 cup boiling water
    1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

    For the cherry filling:

    2 cups pitted and halved sweet cherries
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup water
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the whipped cream:

    2 tablespoons water
    1 and 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
    1 and 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
    1/3 cup powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions

    To make the chocolate cupcakes:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-count cupcake pans with 16 cupcake liners and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined. Add in the oil, egg, vanilla extract, and buttermilk and mix until just combined.

    Add the instant espresso powder into the boiling water and mix until dissolved, then add to the mixing bowl. Mix with the rest of the ingredients until well combined, making sure not to over mix the batter. The batter will be thin, this is okay.

    Evenly distribute the batter between all 16 cupcakes liners, making sure to only fill them a little over half way full. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

    To make the cherry filling:

    Add the cherries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, water, and corn starch to a saucepan and mix until well combined. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool.

    To make the whipped cream:

    Pour the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on top. Allow to sit for a few minutes. Transfer to the microwave and microwave for a few seconds until the gelatin has dissolved. Stir well and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer, add the heavy whipped cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla and mix on medium speed until it starts to thicken. Turn the mixer to low, slowly pour in the gelatin, then continue mixing at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.

    To make the cupcakes:

    Once the cupcakes and cherry filling have cooled, use a knife to cut out a hole in the center of each cupcake. Scoop about 1-1.5 tablespoons of the cherry filling into each cupcake. Then pipe the whipped cream on top. Garnish with chocolate shavings and a cherry on top!

    Chocolate cupcakes adapted from Hersheys Stabilized Whipped Cream adapted from Food.com

  • Peach Pie Milkshakes

    How to make Peach Pie Milkshakes

    Yield: 2 milkshakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Note: I like the color and texture that the peach skins provide, so I don’t bother peeling the skin. If you want a smoother texture feel free to peel the skin.

    Ingredients

    For the milkshakes:

    1 1/2 cups REAL® Seal vanilla ice cream (store-bought or homemade)
    1/2 cup REAL® Seal cold whole milk
    2 large ripe clean peaches, chopped
    2 tablespoons REAL® Seal sweetened condensed milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    For garnish:

    Whipped cream
    Ground cinnamon
    Gingersnap or Speculoos cookies, crushed
    Peach slices

    Directions

    Place all milkshake ingredients in a blender and blender until smooth. Pour into two milkshake glasses and top with whipped cream, crushed gingersnap cookies, and peach slices for garnish. Serve immediately.

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