Tasty Mandarin Orange Pineapple Cake

1 box Duncan Hines Butter Cake mix
1/2 cup Wesson oil
1 11- ounce can mandarin oranges
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
12 ounce tub of Cool Whip
small instant vanilla pudding mix
1 16 oz. can crushed pineapple

Steps :

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, oil, oranges with juice, sugar and eggs. Mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees in 3 greased, floured and lined with wax paper pans for about 20 minutes or until center of the cake bounces back when touched. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on cooling racks.
Drain juice from pineapple and set aside (If the icing seems to be too thick you can use it to thin it out a bit).
Mix pineapple with the instant vanilla pudding. Stir in Cool Whip. Frost the cake according to these directions. Store the cake in the refrigerator. I think it is better the next day

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.
- See more at:


1/2 cup plus 2 T jasmine rice or basmati rice
1/4 cup sugar
1 (13 1/2-fluid ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup whole milk
1/4 t salt

1 vanilla bean (or 1 T vanilla extract)
1/2 cup plus 2 T sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1 egg

special tools: fine-mesh strainer

Cook the rice.

coconut rice, prepared by baking in a covered pot in the oven
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the rice in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Place the rice in a heavy-bottomed medium-sized saucepan with 2 cups cold water. Bring the rice to a boil and immediately remove the pan from the heat.

Strain the rice and discard the starchy water. Place the blanched rice back in the pan and add the sugar, coconut milk, milk, and salt.

Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, and cover the pan with aluminum foil or the lid. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the rice expands, and absorbs all the liquids, 30 minutes. (If the pan is not oven-proof, transfer the rice and liquid to a metal or glass baking dish and cover with aluminum foil). If there is still runny milk in the pan, continue to bake, covered, for another 5 to 10 minutes. When the rice is done, remove if from the oven, leave it covered, and set it aside.

Make the custard.
the cream and vanilla bean mixture, prior to cooking and thickening
While the rice is baking, make the custard. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds with a knife and combine the empty pod along with the seeds in a heavy saucepan with 1/2 cup sugar, milk and cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and allow the vanilla to steep for 10 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, egg and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and briskly whisk for 1 minute. Using a ladle, slowly whisk some of the hot cream into the egg mixture to warm it. Gradually pour the warmed egg mixture into the hot cream, whisking the cream constantly as you pour.

Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring continuously and scraping the bottom with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and remove the empty vanilla pod.
Combine the custard and the rice
the rice pudding is coconut-custardy-creamy
Scoop the rice into a large mixing bowl. Pour the hot custard over the rice and, using a whisk, slowly whisk until all of the rice granules are dispersed evenly and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Allow the rice pudding to cool completely.
Serving suggestions
Portion into oven-proof individual serving gratin or creme brulee dishes.
Sprinkle with granulated sugar and brulee (under a broiler or with a torch).
Will keep refrigerated, for 3 days

Homemade Twix Bars

Serves: 24-36
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 cups caramel candies (I used caramel bits)
3 tablespoons half and half
2 (16 oz.) packages Chocolate CandiQuik Coating

Prep time 1 hour 30 mins
Cook time 40 mins
Total time 2 hours 10 mins


FOR THE CRUST: Preheat your oven to 300°F. Spray a 9" x 13" pan lightly with cooking spray (or line with parchment) and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. Mix until well combined.
Take the dough (it will be thick) and press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
Prick the crust all over with a fork. The holes allow the steam to escape and the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.
Bake the crust until the edges are golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set aside to cool completely.
FOR THE CARAMEL LAYER: Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan - this takes about 10 minutes. Spread the caramel evenly over the cooled crust and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER: After the caramel layer has chilled, cut down the length of the pan, splitting the bars into two long, narrow bars (see notes below). Then cut the bar horizontally, creating 24 bars. Melt chocolate CandiQuik according to package directions; using two utensils, dip the chilled bars into melted chocolate and place on wax paper to set.

Banana-Banana Pudding

2 boxes of instant banana pudding
4 c. milk (I used 2%)
1 box of vanilla wafers
4-5 bananas, sliced
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3 TBS. white granulated sugar

How to make it

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Start with a layer of vanilla wafers, flat side down, side by side on the bottom of a 9" x 13" x 2" Pyrex baking dish. Then layer banana slices on top of the wafers, but put the bananas side by side as well (not just 1 slice on top of a wafer - cover those wafers well with nanners).

Prepare the first box of banana pudding with 2 cups of milk and whisk until it starts to thicken (see instructions on box), pour over the first layer of wafers and bananas - using all of it.

On top of the pudding, put another layer of wafers and then bananas - you should use all the bananas here and maybe all but 8 or 9 wafers from the box. With the left over wafers place 4 (or 5 depending on how many are left) along the long sides of the Pyrex, tucking them down in the pudding. Prepare the 2nd box of pudding as you did the first, pour over the 2nd wafer/nanner layer and then give the whole dish a lil shimmy shake to even it out and to remove as many air bubbles as possible.

In a mixer, preferably using the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and cream of tartar at high speed. When they just start to come together, add the 3 TBS. of sugar slowly. Continue to whisk until the eggs become glossy and form stiff peaks. Spread over the pudding and create lil peaks with the tip of your knife or spatula.

Bake for 10-15 minutes in preheated oven, or until the meringue starts to brown. Allow to cool at room temp. This pudding can be served warm, at room temp or after being chilled for a few hours in the fridge.


Serves: 12-15
Cream Cheese Filling:
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Apple Cake Batter:

1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (about 1 1/2 lb)
Caramel Pecan Frosting:

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans for garnish

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 60 mins
Total time: 1 hour 15 mins


Prepare Filling:
Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
Prepare Apple Cake Batter:

Preheat oven to 350º and Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured Bundt pan.
Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife.
Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
Bake at 350º for 60-75 minutes, or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).
Prepare Frosting:

Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbs milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly.
Pour immediately over cooled cake. Garnish with pecans.

Mini Caramel Apple Streusel Cheeecakes

1⅓ cups graham cracker crumbs (I like Honeymaid)
2½ T. sugar
6 T. salted butter, melted
Streusel Topping
½ cup flour
¼ cup quick cooking oats
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp light-brown sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp salt
¼ cup butter, partially melted in microwave
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
⅔ cup sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped* (I used Gingergold)
Salted caramel sauce, homemade or jarred


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with liners.
In a mixing bowl, combine melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
Divide mixture into liners and press down firmly o form little crusts.
Bake 5 minutes and cool.
To the melted butter, stir in flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir until clumps form and park in the fridge while you make the filling.
Beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth.
Add eggs until smooth.
Add sour cream and vanilla.
Pour cheesecake batter evenly over the mini crusts.
Top with chopped apples evenly.
Sprinkle on streusel topping.
Bake about 25 mins.
Cool and chill in fridge a few hours.
Top with caramel!

Easy Lemon 7­Up Cake!


From Scratch Ingredients:

5 eggs
3 cups self rising flour
3/4 lb butter, softened (3/4 LB of butter equals 3 sticks)
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon Juice (real or squeeze kind is fine) or extract if you want a deeper lemon
3/4 cup carbonated lemon­lime beverage, any brand

Ingredients using Box Cake Mix

one box of yellow cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
1­ 4 ounce box of instant lemon pudding
3/4 cup of carbonated lemon lime soda of your choice/any brand

Lemon Glaze Ingredients:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon of milk


From Scratch Directions:

1. Mix butter and sugar together for about 10 minutes.
2. Add in your eggs­1 at a time, beating after each is added in.
3. Add in flour and lemon extract/juice.
4. Fold in your lemon­lime soda of choice.
5. Pour into well­greased 12­cup Bundt pan
6. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 to 1 hour & 15 min or until fully set
7. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool, then drizzle your glaze on top

Directions using Box Cake Mix

9. Preheat your oven to 325F
10. Grease your bundt pan
11. In a separate large bowl combine all the cake ingredients, plus pudding ans the soda and mix
12. pour the mixed batter into the greased bundt pan
13. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until set
14. allow to cool completely before removing from the pan
15. top with Glaze
16. ENJOY!

Make Lemon Glaze­

17. Both recipes from scratch and from the box mix use the same easy, delicious glaze
18. Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice and milk together and drizzle on cooled cake one removed
from the pan..

Kentucky Butter Rum Cake

Cake Ingredients:
3 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Vanilla Yogurt
1 Cup Softened Butter  
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
2 Tsp Vanilla (use the highest quality possible)
4 Eggs
Rum Sauce Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Sugar
3 Tbsp Water
1/3 Cup Butter
2 Tbsp Rum


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine the Cake Ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat them with a mixer until well blended.
3. Pour the Cake Ingredients into a greased bundt pan.
4. Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees, rotating halfway.
5. Just before the cake is done, combine the Rum Sauce Ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook until the butter melts, stirring to combine.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and stab it all over with a knife. Seriously. The more you stab it, the better your rum sauce will soak in.
7. Pour the rum sauce over the cake while both are still hot.
8. Once the cake is only slightly warm to the touch, flip it over onto a plate to remove it from the pan.
9. You can serve it warm or let it cool – your choice. The cake serves 8-12 people.

Orange Poppy Seed Ricotta Cookies

For the cookies:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1½ cups sugar
zest from 2 oranges
2 eggs
½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese
For the glaze:
1½ cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
zest from 1 orange

Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  18 mins
Total time:  33 mins
Serves: 36 cookies


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, or a Silpat liner. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and poppy seeds. Stir with a whisk to blend. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Mix with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add butter to the mixture and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in the orange juice, vanilla and ricotta cheese. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and beat for another minute to make sure everything is incorporated.
Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. The dough will be moist and a bit sticky because of the ricotta cheese.
Spoon/scoop about two tablespoons of dough for each cookie on a baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from oven and and let rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
While the cookies cool, make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, orange juice and zest. Whisk until smooth. Spread about a teaspoon of glaze on the top of each cookie. Let glaze harden before serving. Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Crisp Cheesecake

Graham/Oats Crust:
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
¾ cup rolled oats
½ cup melted butter
2 8oz package softened cream cheese
2 tbsp corn starch
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
⅛ tsp ginger
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
Apple Crisp Topping:
¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup rolled oats
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 medium to large apple, peeled and thinly sliced
Caramel Topping, if desired

Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 40 mins
Total time 1 hour


Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a mixing bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, rolled oats, melted butter and brown sugar together.
Press inside the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan.
Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.
Meanwhile in the bowl of your electric mixer blend together cream cheese, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cornstarch and vanilla.
Once well combined, pour on top of your graham cracker/oat crust.
To start your apple layer, arrange the thinly sliced apple on top of the cheesecake in a single layer.
Top with the Apple Crisp Topping. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes.
Once it's done cooking, cool for 15 minutes, then refrigerate overnight



2 c all purpose flour
2 c sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 c shredded coconuts
1 c finely chopped walnuts
5 egg whites [beat for stiff peaks]
5 egg yolks
1 c buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder [optional]


8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c whipping cream
1/2 c chopped nuts
4 c powdered sugar
1/2 c coconut, shredded

Serves: 10-12
 Prep: 45 Min
 Cook: 55 Min


1 Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

  1. Cream butter with sugar and add vanilla.
  2. Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until soft peaks form - and set aside. Cream the egg yolks, butter and sugar. Set them aside. 
  3. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients: Sifted flour, baking powder and the baking soda. [it doesnt call for baking powder but I like my cakes to stand high]
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture a little at a time alternating with the buttermilk (about 1/4 cup at a time).

2 5. Next mix in walnuts and coconut.
  6. With a spatula gently fold in your egg whites into the batter by making the figure 8 pattern.
  7. Spoon the batter into your greased bundt pan making it as even as you can.
  8. Bake for about 60 minutes until the cake seems firm

3 10. Let it cool for 20 minutes.

For the Icing:

  1. With a hand blender cream the cream cheese with the 1/2 cups of whipping cream. Add powder sugar. Blend. Pour generous amount on cake. Sprinkle Coconuts and top off with chopped walnuts. Again drizzle [I like that word] more icing on top on nuts and cocunuts.

  Refrigerate the cake until you are going to slice and serve!

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting


Yield: Approximately 3 cups of frosting (enough to frost 24 cupcakes)

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar (depending on your desired consistency & sweetness of frosting)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and the cream cheese. Slowly blend in the powdered sugar and vanilla, then beat until smooth and well-combined.

The longer you whip this frosting, the lighter and fluffier it will become.

Strawberry Cake


1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored gelatin
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and puréed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Garnish: sliced fresh strawberries

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed, puréed, and divided
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioners’ sugar

Makes 1 (9-inch) cake


Preheat oven to 350˚. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add puréed strawberries, eggs, oil, and ¼ cup water; beat at medium speed with a mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired. Store cake, covered, in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with a mixer until creamy.
Beat in 1/4 cup strawberry purée; reserve remaining purée for another use. Beat in extract. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.
For pinker frosting, add 2 to 3 drops of red food coloring to frosting.



Cake Ingredients:
1 Box (18.25 Ounces) White Cake Mix
1- 3 Ounce Box Strawberry Jello
4 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Fresh Strawberries, Finely Chopped
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Milk
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
2 (16 Ounce) Packages Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Fresh Strawberries, Finely Chopped


1.Make the Cake: Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 3- 9 inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix all cake ingredients with an electric mixer on low until just combined.  Scrape the side of the bowl, and increase mixer to medium and beat for 3 minutes.

3. Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 23 minutes.

4. Cool cake in pans on rack for about 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely. If using the following recipe for Strawberry Buttercream refrigerate cakes until completely chilled.

5. Meanwhile Make Frosting: In a large bowl, beat the butter at medium until it's pale yellow and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and strawberries and beat at low until well combined and creamy.  Set in the fridge fo about 5-10 minutes to firm it up slightly (You just don't want it to be runny).

6. Spread one of the layers of cake with frosting then refrigerate.  Frost the second layer and refrigerate until the frosting on both layers has firmed up a bit.  Assemble all the layers and frost the top and sides. Refrigerate!



6 organic eggs
2 ripe organic bananas mashed
1 tbsp raw honey
⅓ cup melted coconut oil (cooled)
½ tsp unrefined sea salt
½ cup coconut flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
½-1 cup chopped raw pecans or walnuts

Serves: 12 pieces
Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 40 mins
Total time 50 mins


Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl combine eggs, honey, vanilla extract and the cooled coconut oil and mix well.
In a small bowl combine coconut flour, salt, baking soda and stir well.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredient (except banana) and stir until there are no more lumps.
Fold in bananas until well blended.
Pour batter into 2 greased mini bread pans or 1 5"x9" loaf pan.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until lightly browned.

Coconut Pineapple Cake

1 batch Italian Meringue Buttercream, vanilla variation, ready to use
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1, 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2¾ cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1¼ cups 100% unsweetened coconut milk (not sweetened cream of coconut)
13 tablespoons (1 stick plus 5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
1¼ cups sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Italian meringue buttercream, vanilla variation
3 cups sweetened long-shred coconut


For the Filling: Place sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan and whisk to combine. Drizzle a little bit of the juice from the pineapple over the dry mixture and whisk until smooth. Add remaining pineapple and juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for a couple of minutes, whisking occasionally until thickened and translucent. Whisk in the butter and cool completely. Refrigerate until chilled and firmed or in an airtight container for up to 3 days, if desired.
For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Coat the insides of two 8-inch by 2-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line bottoms with parchment rounds, then spray parchment.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl to combine and aerate; set aside. Whisk together the egg whites and milk in a small bowl; set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar gradually and beat until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla.
Add the flour mixture in four additions, alternating with the egg white/milk mixture. Begin and end with the flour mixture and beat briefly until smooth. Divide batter evenly in pans and smooth tops with offset spatula.
Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick shows a few moist crumbs. The cake will be tinged with light golden brown around the edges and the top and will have begun to come away from the sides of the pan.
Cool pans on racks for about 10 minutes. Unmold, peel off parchment, and place directly on racks to cool completely. Layers are ready to fill and frost. Alternatively, place on layers on cardboards and double wrap in plastic wrap; store at room temperature if assembling within 24 hours.
For the Assembly: Make sure buttercream is ready to go. It should be very soft - almost like mayonnaise. Place bottom layer on an 8-inch cardboard round (it will make covering it with coconut that much easier later on). Fill the cake with the pineapple filling (you might not need all of it, extra is great over ice cream). Frost the cake’s top and sides with the buttercream. Don't worry if your application job isn’t perfect - you will be covering the whole cake with coconut! See how imperfect it looks when you are still in the midst of it all?
Make sure you have a nice thick layer of buttercream all over (you might still have some leftover, which can be frozen).
Place coconut in a large bowl. Pick up cake (this is where that cardboard round comes in) and hold over bowl. Scoop up coconut with other hand and press generously all over top and sides of cake. Cake is ready to serve. May be refrigerated up to 2 days covered with a cake dome. Make sure to serve at room temperature.

Strawberry-Banana Cheesecake Salad


1 package cream cheese, softened
16 oz of vanilla yogurt
1 (8 oz) tub of cool whip, Thawed
1 (3½ ounce) package cheesecake flavor instant pudding or pie filling mix
½ bag of miniature marshmallows
3 pints strawberries, sliced
4 bananas, sliced
1 container raspberries (optional)


In a bowl, mix cream cheese, yogurt, pudding and cool whip until creamy.
Stir in marshmallows.
Fold in fruit.
Garnish with additional fruit.

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting


the cake
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup poppy seeds
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
the vanilla bean frosting
3 to 4 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature (about half the 8 oz package)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
the seeds from 1 vanilla bean
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
milk or cream for thinning the icing
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice


Set oven to 350F
Cream the butter, sugar and sour cream together. Beat in the egg, bananas and vanilla. (Make sure the bananas are completely mashed smooth first)
Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into the wet mixture. Mix together just until thoroughly combined. Fold in the poppy seeds.
Spread the batter into a greased 8x8 square baking pan. I lined mine parchment paper (or foil) so I could remove it easily for a neater presentation and cutting.
Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick just comes out clean.
Cool before frosting.
To make the frosting--- mix everything together until you have a thick, creamy, spreadable consistency. Taste to adjust your lemon juice.
Heap onto the completely cooled banana cake and swirl it around thickly.

Southern Caramel Cake Recipe


1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour, self-rising
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Southern Caramel Icing Recipe, double the recipe

Prep time 40 mins
Cook time 30 mins
Total time 1 hour 10 mins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare 3 9-inch cake pans.
Cream butter til fluffy and then add sugar and cream for about 8 more minutes.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, and cream after each.
Add flour and buttermilk, alternately, beginning and ending with flour.
Add vanilla and beat well.
Divide among pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until set.
Turn out of pans onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
Prepare Southern Caramel Icing as cakes are cooling then ice cake.


1½ cups of cooking oil
2 cups sugar
4 Eggs
3 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsps vanilla
3½ cups Granny Smith apples (approximately 3-4 apples), peeled and chopped
1 cup of chopped pecans
Caramel Glaze
¾ cups butter (1½ sticks)
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 325°
In a large mixing bowl, add oil, sugar and eggs, mix until nice and creamy.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to large bowl. Mix well.
Add vanilla, mix well.
Stir in apples and pecans.
Pour into generously greased and floured tube pan (you can use two loaf pans in place of a tube pan).
Bake at 325° for approximately 1 hour. Check using a tooth pick at about 50 minutes, and if it comes out clean, then your cake is done. If using the loaf pans, make sure to check it at about 50 minutes as well.
Making the glaze
In a small pan, melt butter over low heat.
Stir in brown sugar and milk.
Bring to a boil over low heat, then reduce to a simmer, stirring constantly.
Let boil for 10 minutes, continue stirring.
Remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir. Let cool.
Once caramel glaze has cooled a bit, pour over the top of cake.

Caramel Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


3 + 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups brown sugar
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup fresh shredded apples, use large holes box grater
¾ cup jarred caramel dessert sauce or dulce de leche, plus more to drizzle over top
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1½ cups buttermilk
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 + 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups (approximately) confectioners’ sugar

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Yield: 12 servings


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
In a large bowl whisk flour baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. In a separate large bowl, beat sugar and oil together until combined. Add caramel and vanilla, beat for 30 seconds, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in shredded apples, draining off any juice that may have accumulated first. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, beat until well combined.
Divide batter evenly among the prepared cake pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool on wire racks 10-15 minutes, turn out onto wire racks and cool completely before frosting with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
In a large bowl beat cream cheese and butter together on low speed until fluffy. Beat in cinnamon and vanilla extract. Beat in confectioners’ sugar a cup at a time, on low speed, continue beating about 5 minutes until light and fluffy, adding more sugar if needed to reach a good spreading consistency.

-The original recipe calls for 2 (9-inch) cake pans but after filling two 8-inch cake pans I had a lot of batter left over, enough to make 2 additional 6-inch layers. You can easily make a three layer 8-inch cake or do what I did and make a big cake and a baby cake.

-Be aware the batter is thinner than most cakes, kind of like soup.

-When beating in the caramel it may seem as if it is seizing up but just forge ahead and all will be fine in the end.

Caramel Apple Cake with Apple Cider Frosting

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1½ cups light brown sugar
¾ cup canola oil
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup caramel sauce (homemade or jarred)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1½ cups buttermilk

Apple Cider Frosting:
7 1/2-8 cups confectioners’ sugar (to desired consistency)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

PREP TIME 30 mins
COOK TIME 1 hour
TOTAL TIME 1 hour 30 mins


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a second large bowl, beat sugar and oil together with an electric mixer until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add applesauce, caramel and vanilla, beat for 30 seconds, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, and continuing to beat until well combined.

3. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Set aside to let cool for 10 minutes, then gently loosen cakes and turn out onto a cooking rack; set aside to let cool completely.

4. For the frosting, put sugar, butter, cider, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Arrange one cake on a large plate and spread about 1 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Arrange second cake on top then frost top and sides of entire cake with remaining frosting. Set aside at room temperature or in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow frosting to set before serving.

Makes a tall 2-layer, 8-9 inch round cake.

Millionaire's Bars

Millionaire’s Bars

125g (1 cup) flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
50g (1/4 cup) sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces 
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

3.5 oz / 100g milk or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 
1/2 tsp light corn syrup
30g (2 tbsp) 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces 

How to make it

1) Preheat oven to 160C / 325F. Line a 20 x 20 / 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine together butter and sugar and beat with a mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Spread into the pan and bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool completely.

2) To make the filling, combine together butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter in melted and the mixture looks smooth. Bring to boil and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens a bit and turns amber color. Spread onto the shortbread layer and let cool completely. Transfer into the fridge for a few hours or overnight. 

2) To make the chocolate glaze, combine together butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan and heat until the butter is melted. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until melted. Pour over the condensed milk layer immediately. Cool completely before cutting into squares. For the best results, slice only after chilling for a few hours.

Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts


For the donuts:

2 1/4 cup (255 grams) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons (29 grams) butter, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (113 grams) sour cream
Canola oil, for frying
For the glaze:

3 1/2 cup (350 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup hot water


For the donuts:
In a bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until sandy. Add the egg yolks and mix until light and thick. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour. The dough will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. Use a doughnut cutter or two differently sized biscuit cutters to cut out as many donuts as possible, dipping the cutters into flour as necessary to prevent sticking. You should get about 12 doughnuts and holes.
Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot with a deep-fry thermometer attached. Heat to 325°F. Fry the doughnuts a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on each side about 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Let drain on a paper bag to soak up the excess grease.
For the glaze:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth. Immerse each doughnut into the glaze. Place on a wire rack above a sheet pan to catch any excess glaze. Let sit for 20 minutes until glaze is set. Doughnuts are best served the day they are made but may be store in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days.