Cakes, Desserts

Blueberry Coffee Cake


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Nothing quite finishes off an afternoon like coffee cake straight from the oven.  Too hot to go outdoors and bored out of our gourdes, my eldest girl-child helped pull this quick treat together that I found at Joy of Baking.  It wasn’t overly sweet which we all enjoyed.  Despite the coffee mug in the photo, I opted to make up a tall glass of iced coffee rather than a hot cuppa which was even better for a summer afternoon treat.

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Cake Batter:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, an 8 x 8 inch square dish.

Streusel Topping 

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and ground cinnamon.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside while you make the cake batter.


  1. In a separate small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth.  Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Add the flour mixture, alternately with the milk, and beat only until combined. 
  3. Evenly spread the batter onto the bottom of an 8×8 cooking dish, coated with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
  4. Evenly arrange the blueberries on top of the cake batter and then sprinkle with the streusel topping.
  5. Bake for about 40 -50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly. 

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Appetizers/Snacks, Cakes

Blueberry Streusel Muffins


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I had a friend over and needed to whip up something sweet, in a hurry, and this recipe from Our Best Bites had been sitting in my “snacks” favorite folder for quite some time – perfect excuse to get them made!


  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated orange or lemon peel
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

Streusel Topping

  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and citrus peel in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and oil.  Add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
  3. In another small bowl, combine the remaining flour and sugar then toss the blueberries in this mixture until they are well-coated. Gently fold the blueberry mixture into the batter. Spoon the batter into lined muffin tins, filling 2/3 full.

For streusel topping:

  1. Combine the topping ingredients.
  2. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. Sprinkle over the batter and bake for 18 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.
  4. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Cakes, Vegetables

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes


DSC_5782 copyThese cupcakes are another winner from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.  The kids each helped to taste test this for texture, flavor, sweetness and whether or not they could taste the vegetables.  I only told my oldest that the cupcakes have beets and squash in them because telling my nine and six year old would have been the end of the line for these cupcakes.  The vegetables are undetectable to me and the kids.

To make the beet puree the book suggests leaving the fresh beet whole and unpeeled, trimming the stem to one inch.  Wrap each beet in tin foil and roast at 400 degrees for about an hour or until the tip of a sharp knife can easily pierce the beet.  Once cooled, peel the beet (I forgot this step and tossed the whole beet in, peel and all) and puree for about 2 minutes in a blender or food processor.  Then in 1/2 cup portions, freeze the puree in freezer bags.  I bought 4 beets and had about 3/4 cup to show for it.  I’ll be making the ‘Pink Pancakes’* in the morning with the rest of the beets that didn’t go into these cupcakes.


  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 Tablespoons beet puree
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 cup yellow squash puree
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (1 large lemon will do)
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 (8 oz.) package reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • food coloring (optional)


Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.

  1. In a small bowl, mash the raspberries, beet puree and butter.  Set aside
  2. In a large bowl beat the sugar, milk, yellow squash puree, oil, egg whites, lemon juice and lemon extract until smooth.  Add the flour, baking powder, and salt then mix until well incorporated.
  3. Using about half the batter, fill each muffin cup about half full.  Dot each with the raspberry filling, then cover each cup with the rest of the batter.
  4. Bake for 20-25.  Turn the cupcakes out onto a cooling rack.
  5. For the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon extract and food coloring (if desired), then spread over each cupcake.

*update – I made the Pink Pancakes this morning and we each took a bite.  Then threw the rest of the uncooked batter and on-the-skillet pancakes out.  They were bad.  The taste of the beets was very obvious and no one wants that in a morning flap-jack.  Yuck

Cakes, Desserts

Eggnog Cupcakes


DSC_4987 copyIt’s been a week since the kids were released from the confines of school for the holiday break, and since then I think I’ve eaten only one healthy meal.  I’ve had more than my fair share of cordial cherries, ginger snap cookies, death-by-chocolate birthday cake, cookies from neighbors, more cookies from friends, candy from the kids’ stash, candy from our twelve days of Christmas extravaganza, and now?  If I never eat another cookie it may be too soon.  That is, until tonight when my sugar level dips dangerously low and I feel the need to gorge again.  I told the kids that Santa would probably leave “extra” gifts if we were more original with our offering tonight and left something other than cookies.  These eggnog jollies were first on the list after I Googled for a recipe and since I’m already a fan of Annie’s Eats, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed!  These are a perfect blend of flavors, tease the senses with the scent of rum and are (surprisingly) not terribly sweet!  The tops cooked up almost chewy, leaving the centers with a cakey softness.  My stocking will definitely not be empty in the morning!



  • ¼ cup dark rum or bourbon
  • 1 cup low-fat eggnog
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt


  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp. low-fat eggnog
  • 1 tbsp. rum
  • generous pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 (or more) cups powdered sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • cinnamon sticks


Preheat oven to 350°

1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a small bowl, mix together the rum, eggnog, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract.

2.  In a large bowl, mix together the nutmeg, sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.

4.  Divide evenly between prepared muffin wells.

5.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, cream together the butter, eggnog, rum, nutmeg and powdered sugar. Add more confectioners’ sugar if needed to make the frosting stiff, but spreadable. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Breads, Cakes, Desserts

Zucchini Blueberry Muffins


DSC_7660 copyI haven’t baked in weeks and I was seriously craving some kind of sweet bread, so after a little searching I found these luscious little stud muffins, in bread form, on Closet Cooking and knew I couldn’t live without trying them!  Very moist, full of flavor and bursting with blueberries, the kids gobbled them up … even after I told them there was zucchini in them!

1 1/2 cups zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini) grated, squeezed and drained
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup blueberries

1. Mix the zucchini, sugar, oil, sour cream and egg in a bowl.
2. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix.
4. Fold in the blueberries.
5. Pour the batter into muffin tins.  I managed 18 medium sized muffins; you may be able to get 12 filled-to-the-brim muffins
6. Bake in a preheated 350* oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Cakes, Desserts

Nearly-Chocolate Pudding Cake

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Source: Delicious Meliscious. It was adapted for what I had on hand and was in the mood for.

If you find that you’re the only one in your house that loves chocolate (like me) this is a nice alternative to a “death by chocolate” cake recipe.  With a hint of vanilla, it compliments the chocolate without overwhelming the taste buds!


  • 1 (18.25 ounces) package devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 (3.9 ounces) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Yoplait Very Vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350*

  1. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan (I use cooking spray).
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix.  Pour in eggs, sour cream, oil and water. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool.
  4. To remove cake from pan, a rubber or silicone spatula can be slid down the large fluted edges and this is usually sufficient to help release the cake.  To remove the cake, place a large plate over the Bundt pan and while holding the plate in place, invert the pan, the cake should drop unto the plate.
Cakes, Desserts, Vegetables

Zucchini Brownies

Five More Bites © Shanna Dee Photography Zucchini Brownies

Found at Allrecipes, I needed a way to use up the gorgeous zucchini Stefanie gave us.  I’d planned on using half for the brownies and the other half for crab cakes…but after my oldest daughter spent 45 minutes making them & baking them, she removed them from the oven and they CRASHED to the floor leaving glass and chocolaty goo everywhere.  Needless to say they smelled too good not to use the rest of the zucchini to remake them and they were worth it!

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (left these out, eww!)


  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 (we went 45 minutes till the toothpick in the center came out clean.) minutes.

Frosting Directions

  1. Melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.
Cakes, Desserts

Molten Chocolate Cake

This recipe is courtesy of Kraft foods & Baker’s. This was by far the easiest dessert I’ve EVER made! Pretty tasty, too! (Although I should have had it with vanilla ice cream instead!)

Prep Time:15 min
Total Time:30 min
Makes:8 servings, one half molten cake each


4 squares BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate (I used choc. chips)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Butter four 3/4-cup custard cups or soufflé dishes. (I just used plain ‘ol cereal bowls!) Place on baking sheet. MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar until well blended. Blend in eggs and egg yolks with wire whisk. Stir in flour. Divide batter among prepared custard cups.BAKE 13 to 14 min. or until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 1 min. Carefully run small knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto dessert dishes. Serve immediately, topped with whipped topping.
Kraft Kitchens Tips: How to Bake Cakes in Muffin Cups
Prepare batter as directed; pour evenly among ten paper-lined medium muffin cups. Bake at 425ºF for 10 min. or until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 1 min. Makes 10 servings.
Make Ahead: Batter can be made a day ahead. Prepare batter as directed; pour into prepared custard cups. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before baking as directed.
Cakes, Desserts, Fruit

Upside Down Cranberry Cake

Upside Down Cranberry Cake

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center.  In 8-9 inch cake pan spray liberally with non stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar with the allspice.  Sprinkle this mixture evenly over bottom of pan; arrange cranberries in a single layer on the top and spread them out.

Upside Down Cranberry Cake

With an electric mixer, cream remaining 6 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy.   Add egg and vanilla; beat until well combined.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture;  mix until well combined.

Spoon the batter over the cranberries in the pan and smooth the top.  Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Let it cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the cake, then invert onto a rimmed platter.

Cakes, Desserts, Pies

Pumpkin Pie Cake

What could be better than cake and pie together? This is a FAVORITE holiday dessert in my family.

Reserve 1 Cup of yellow cake mix and add the rest to:
1 Beaten Egg
½ C Butter

Press into a 9×13 pan. In another bowl mix:
3 Eggs
1 Can of Pumpkin
1 T. Cinnamon
¼ t salt
½ C Brown Sugar
½ C Sugar

Pour over cake mix in pan.

Combine the following and sprinkle over the pumpkin mixture:
1 C of Yellow Cake Mix
½ C Sugar
¼ C Butter

Bake at 350 for 60 minutes.