Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fun Cake

This cake is so easy and so yummy too. The peanut butter buttercream frosting can also be used for frosting cupcakes and whatnot. Really delicious =)

-Chocolate Cake-

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (3 1/2 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat bottom and sides of 8x8x2 pan with nonstick spray; line bottom of pan with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.
  3. Add oil, vanilla, and water; whisk until smooth.
  4. Fold in chopped chocolate.
  5. Scrape into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center, 35–40 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

-Peanut Butter Buttercream-

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup egg whites (from about 2 large eggs)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (about 1 3/4 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  1. Combine sugar and egg whites in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot to the touch, 3–4 minutes. 
  2. Remove from heat; using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until cool and thick, 5–6 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then peanut butter. With mixer running, add butter a few pieces at a time, beating to blend between additions. Season with salt. 
  3. Run a thin knife around pan to release cake. Invert cake onto a serving plate. Spread peanut butter buttercream over top. Garnish with chopped chocolate and peanuts. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
  4. Cut into 2-inch squares. Chill in refrigerator.   

Original Recipe from:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

This is my favorite banana bread. It is packed with flavor and very moist and I love the crunch from the cinnamon sugar topping... mmm.  It's really yummy. You should definitely try it!!

-Banana Bread-
3 very ripe bananas, smashed up
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature and beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
A pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour

-Cinnamon Swirl-
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and four a 9x5 loaf pan
  2. Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. Sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture.
  3. Gently and gradually stir/fold in the flour. Be careful not to over-mix!
  4. In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon to create the cinnamon swirl mixture.
  5. Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle half, or a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, but remember, if you’re using a different-sized loaf pan, be careful and keep a close eyeball on it! It's ready when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

The Easiest and Cutest Mini Cheesecakes

These mini cheesecakes are so simple to make and they are so cute.  And super delicious.  I normally don't like to eat my desserts but I could not stop eating these things!  If you love cheesecakes like I do, you will love these.

You can top them with cherry pie filling (you can find cans of these in the baking aisle of your supermarket), fresh fruit, or jam (which is what I did).

And the graham cracker crust is delicious too :)

You will also need foil cupcake cups, anything from 2" to normal-sized ones will be fine.  These cups are sturdy enough to stand on its own so you just need a flat cookie sheet or tray to place them on to bake.

-Graham Cracker Crust-
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Using a fork, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon until well blended.
  2. Press mixture into foil cupcake tins. Be generous because then you might have some left over and that is a waste... and these tastes even better with a generous layer of crust anyway!
  3. Place them in the fridge to chill.
-Cheesecake Batter-  
16 oz. (2 pkg) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a big bowl and mix until smooth and fluffy. 
  3. Take out your prepared cups with the graham cracker crusts from the fridge and fill each cup with about 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter.
  4. Bake at for 15-20 minutes. Let cool and top with your choice of cherry pie filling, fresh fruit, or jam. Refrigerate... eat them when they have been completely cooled in the fridge!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cream Cheese Frosting

I like this cream cheese frosting recipe because it retains the tangy cream cheese taste that is so essential to me when it comes to frosting red velvet cakes. Its really easy and really delicious on any cake though!

16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
A pinch of salt

  1. With an electric mixer, blend cream cheese and butter until smooth.

  2. On low speed, add powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.

  3. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy.

  4. Use immediately.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These cupcakes are soooo beautiful. The flavor and texture is perfect.

And the COLOR is gorgeous! Perfect red velvet color.

I know that some of you might freak out about the fact that this recipe calls for two whole bottles of red food coloring... but really, it isn't going to kill you.

Unless you eat these delicious cupcakes as a part of your regular every day diet... And if that's the case, the red food coloring is not the issue you should be concerned about. :P

Just let the pictures speak for themselves. :)

If you're looking for a red velvet cupcake recipe, you really don't need to look any further. Go bake it now!

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. red food coloring (two bottles)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go until smooth.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  6. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda (it will fizz).  Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine.
  7. Fill cupcake cups with batter about 3/4 full.  You may not fill all the cups, but I ended up with 24 cupcakes.
  8. Place muffin tins on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven.  Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check early and don’t overbake!
  9. Cool in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove to cool completely before frosting.
  10. Frost with cream cheese frosting (recipe here).

Banana Cream Cheese Muffin w/ Crumb Topping

I read somewhere that, "Whoever invented the muffin understood that even grown-ups secretly want to eat cake for breakfast." This is so true! Especially for these muffins because they have a not-too-sweet layer of cream cheese filling inside~

These muffins are very moist and delicious. And honestly, I bet it would be just as delicious without the cream cheese filling for those of you who want a traditional banana muffin.

These are easy to bake... I guess it can just be annoying because you need to prepare three separate mixtures: batter; cream cheese filling; and crumb topping.  But they are all very easy to put together. Basically, the cream cheese filling and crumb topping is just throwing the ingredients into a bowl and mixing.

Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures because I took them with my phone. I still think they look pretty despite camera-phone-quality photos.

-For the muffin-
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

-For the cream cheese filling-
8 oz. (1 package) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature

-For the crumb topping-
1/3 cup coarse brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mash bananas and beat in sugar, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  4. Gradually stir in the dry flour mixture to the wet egg mixture until just moistened.
  5. In another bowl, make cream cheese filling by beating all three ingredients together until nice and fluffy.
  6. Start filling muffin liners by alternating between the muffin batter and cream cheese filling. (Optional: You can even add a layer of crumbs somewhere in between too, just make sure you leave enough crumb topping for the top of the muffins) Start and end with muffin batter until 3/4 way full.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the muffins with crumb topping generously.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Apple Muffins

I LOVE this muffin! The apple taste is really light and perfect and the texture is super moist. And I just love how gorgeous they come out each time.  The diced apples and coarse brown sugar on top really makes this one of the most beautiful muffins ever!

This recipe calls for an entire cup of oil. I used vegetable oil. For those of you who find this unappetizing, you can sub it with 1/2 applesauce and 1/2 cup oil instead.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup oil (or 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup oil)
2 eggs, room temperature
3 cups peeled, cored, diced apples (~3)
< 1/2 cup coarse brown sugar for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan.
  2. Cream together sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  3. In a smaller bowl, sift flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together.
  4. Gradually add the dry flour mixture to the wet egg mixture until well combined.  The batter will be very thick.
  5. Add the diced apples but leave a few to top the muffins with!
  6. Fill muffin liners ~3/4 way full.
  7. Place remaining diced apples on top and sprinkle with coarse brown sugar.
  8. Bake 20-24 minutes until a toothpick that is inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Makes ~18 muffins.