Sometimes all you need in life is a little cake. Am I right?
If I could bake layered cakes all the time, I would. It tends to be pretty time consuming so I like to save it for special occasions, such as birthdays or holidays. Even though this cake took me a few hours to bake up and frost, it was completely worth it.
I baked this with Easter in mind. Sometimes it’s fun to go outside the tradition of carrot cake and bake something to surprise everyone. Just imagine pulling this out and setting it on the table. Minds will be blown. Like did you just make a triple layered cake? Wait it tastes like a fluffy banana bread. Oh and there’s chocolate in there? Wait and a frosting that tastes like the inside of a peanut butter cup?
Oh.em.gee. I know.
Work. Work. Work. I’ve been sooooooooo busy.
All of it makes me crave cake, which is actually quite disappointing considering I put myself on a baking restriction. I mean the whole point of it was to learn how to control myself around things that smell like heaven. Whattttttttt.
But come on! You and I both knew that sort of thing wouldn’t last long. I mean did I really expect myself to NOT throw flour around my kitchen for an entire week? I don’t think that’s even possible.
The other day I baked my incredible black bean avocado brownies for my Godson, then pretty much devoured half the pan. Who could blame me? Those things are ridiculously fudgy and packed with healthy things. WIN!
Totally dramatic… I’m aware.
Confession: I’m not a cake person.
I’d rather have pie loaded with whip cream; it’s much more nostalgic. However, I recently discovered the downside of pie: it’s not acceptable to eat for breakfast. I mean could you imagine walking into a Starbucks and ordering a slice of French Silk? Here comes the judgy looks.
But coffee cake? Totally cool. Load up my plate at 8am with buttery bliss and give me a shot of espresso.
I think I can totally get down with cake for breakfast thing.
There’s something special about enjoying a slice of coffee cake with your favorite person. In fact, sometimes that is exactly what you need. Trust me on this. I’ve become an expert in wooing people with desserts.
So here’s what I did: I made you a coffee cake that tastes like a moist, fluffy blueberry muffin. The crunchy streusel topping is wonderful and I think you’ll find it perfect served warm with a cup of joe. Plus, it gives you an excuse to brown butter!
Just do it, okay?
Why is it that I feel like pumpkin recipes are only okay to post from October-December? It’s as though January is a big reset button, where we all go on juice cleanses seen on Dr. Oz.
Whatever! I’m a huge fan of pumpkin year round. So yes it’s January, but baking this pumpkin coffee cake won’t disappoint.
This cake! Oh did it fill my home with a wonderful aroma that I’ve never experienced before. I wanted the inviting warmth of it to linger until someone special showed up and wondered what cozy concoction was in the oven. To which of course I would reply, “A melt-in-your-mouth brown butter pumpkin coffee cake… with a pecan gingersnap cookie streusel!”
Sounds dreamy… and I can assure you, it is.
Hi! I’m so excited to FINALLY publish this recipe!
This past week has been completely crazy! I flew to New York to meet and cook with Bobby Flay at his restaurant! Whattt?! I know! My dessert was selected by Fage Total Greek Yogurt to be served at their event. They transformed Bobby’s restaurant Mesa Grill into a beautiful Pop-up Plain Kitchen restaurant.
I’m so happy that I was able to be apart of it! I can’t express how blessed I feel. I met some fabulous food editors, Fage’s PR team (Mullen!), and of course, Bobby. He was incredibly sweet and complimented me on how delicious this cheesecake was. We also made a spice-crusted lamb, which was by far my favorite entree of the evening!
BUT THE CHEESECAKE?! Can we just talk about it? It’s a dense, smooth, chocolate-wasted cheesecake that I want to live in for the rest of my life. I’m SERIOUS. Oh and not to mention that it has a creamy, rich chocolate hazelnut butter (Nutella) ganache, toasted hazelnuts, and sea salt.
Please prepare yourself to drool.
Things I’ve learned in the past year:
1. Follow your heart. It’s the best thing you can do in life. You live once, so enjoy your life as it unfolds.
2. Embrace change. When we change, we grow and adapt. We become better. Don’t do something just because it’s comfortable. Instead, challenge yourself and learn from your failures.
3. Take chances. I moved across the country for a job and realized it wasn’t for me. I looked at what I wanted, and what I didn’t, then made a decision to pursue a different career. Without moving, I wouldn’t have figured that out. Taking chances means succeeding or learning something you didn’t before. And sometimes, it’s okay to fail.
4. Work hard. Damn hard. Success never comes easy. Dreams rarely turn into realities overnight. It’s an uphill climb full of doubts, but with enough determination, I believe anything is possible.
5. Baking cake is essential. No wait, THIS cake is essential. It has bananas, peanut butter and has a caramel topping to die for. It’s the stuff dreams are made of… or something like that anyway.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes a love a little reflection. Today we’ll reflect over this cake together. Join me?
Today, I slept in for the first time in what seems like forever. For brunch, I made vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookie pancakes that I found on Pinterest. I’m so thankful I did because I had a smile on my face for the next 7 hours. What? Pancakes make me happy.
There’s one thing I’m more excited for this week: the 4th of July! It’s probably one of my favorite holidays. Laying under the sun all day and watching fireworks at night is simply the best.
And of course instead of giving you a standard with red, white, and blue dessert for the 4th of July, I thought that maybe you’d like to indulge in this cake instead.
While rummaging through recipes, I found a recipe for a Caramel-Walnut Upside Down Banana Cake in my Bon Appetit Desserts! book (a great dessert cookbook). I adapted it by adding peanut butter instead of more butter, and reducing the sugar (ripe bananas provide natural sweetness). Don’t let that fool you though, his cake is still ridiculously indulgent.
The caramel sauce is completely delicious, gooey, and warm when the cake comes out of the oven; I recommend serving the cake as soon as you are able to flip and cut into it. I thought about pairing it with a salted caramel ice cream, but they were out at the store so if you try it, let me know.
Please note that the caramel sauce tends to harden a bit once the cake it cooled, so don’t be afraid to warm up a slice in the microwave! You can even make the cake with out the caramel-walnut topping if your heart desires.
This is a cake that changes non-cake lovers into die hard fans. It can also be the cake you bring to your boyfriend’s mom. You could even bring this cake to every family gathering you ever have, they won’t mind.
It will deliver every single time.
My advice? Don’t think about the calories. Indulging every once in a while actually keeps you on track. And your taste buds will thank me later. I promise.
Come on you know you want to.
Caramel-Walnut Upside-Down Peanut Butter Banana Cake
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1/3 cup walnut halves or pieces
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter (4 tablespoons), room temperature
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup very ripe mashed bananas (about 2-3 large bananas)
1/2 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt or sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup skim milk
I made you a snack!
In cake form.
I know you just got super excited, right? Surprise, surprise, snack cakes make me jump up and down too. But shhhh, this snack cake is full of secrets. Healthy secrets that will make yo’ abs pop. (Because after eating brownies and cookies and pies for months, I figure that it’s time to lighten it up). This snack cake actually won’t get you a six-pack nor do I suggest you invent a new ‘bundt cake diet'; this recipe just uses minimal butter because I secretly despise Paula Deen.
I’m joking! I’ve got nothing against that woman. I just enjoy giving you healthier alternatives that make it possible to enjoy something a bit indulgent while still being able to button your skinny jeans.
I bring you a snack that you most certainly can eat if you’re having a-stressed-out-of-my-mind-and-I-NEED-CARBS-OR-SOMETHING-SWEET-NOW kind of day. At only about 200 calories per serving, I’d say this might even be a breakfast cake. Or you could turn it into muffins.
I know you’d high-five me if you could right now.
I hate to admit this, but I really lovelovelovelove making bundt cakes. They’re SO pretty and perfect for sharing. Wait… when did I turn 70? Must have been last year when I started drinking tea and obsessively grocery shopping.
Maybe when I’m actually 70, I’ll act like I’m 23. That would be interesting… yet incredibly scary at the same time.
Anyway I’ll give you my full attention and provide you the deets on this lemon and blackberry cake shenanigan that I dreamt up. It began after I stopped by the grocery store (shocker!) after the gym. I’d been wanting to bake something for over a week. I realized that I haven’t made a simple cake in quite sometime and remembered how beautiful my last bundt cake was. (Bragging rights because it won a contest.) I snatched up blackberries; well because they’re like the best berry ever, and picked out a couple of lemons. Once I got home I realized that I had a ton of greek yogurt that needed to be used; this was perfect because putting yogurt in cakes makes them SUPER moist and delightful. I used a combination of whole wheat and regular flour to make the texture dense and divine.
I’ll be honest. It tastes like a muffin cake that I want to live in.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about this cake! It’s pretty, snackable, and definitely worth baking up for Mother’s Day.
I can’t wait to surprise my Mom with this!
Lemon Blackberry Yogurt Bundt Cake
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup skim milk (or almond milk)
3/4 cup fat-free plain greek yogurt
1 pint of blackberries
zest of 1 lemon
Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Don’t waste your time asking yourself what you’re going to get your sweetie for this Hallmark holiday. Just embark on a mission to make something out of this world delicious that comes from the heart.
I’m talking about this cake people.
This delicious, moist, beautiful dark chocolate raspberry upside-down cake.
I made a Chocolate-Coconut Pumpkin Marble Bundt Cake. It was luxurious. Moist, rich, and pretty too! It won Nordic Ware’s Bundts across America contest.
However, it didn’t win the Grand Prize.
That’s okay, It’s still amazzzzing! Definitely for cake lovers. Are you a cake lover?
Yes? Get baking then. Cancel all plans. Make this cake now!
While you make it, get to know me a bit and what inspires me. Because we all have things we love to do; dreams and goals. Little things that make us who we are. I’m sharing some of my little things with you.
Good things come to those who wait.
Think about it. Good things usually don’t happen in a moment.
They take time to evolve; to become beautiful. Sometimes even to reach their potential.