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Spring has given us many brisk mornings. I've been waking up chilled despite the heavy comforter on the bed and two warm little dogs under each arm. It's made me relish that first cup of steaming hot coffee, and it's changed my mood from bright and citrusy to cozy and cinnamon-spiced.

There's a lot to love about this cake. It's made in a bundt pan, which means it's a quick fix. It makes your house smell like a cinnamon bun as it bakes. It is absolutely doused in deep, dark homemade caramel sauce, and it's sprinkled with fine crunchy flakes of Maldon salt. This is one delicious cake.

Hello and happy Monday to you! Let's get this week started in the right direction with a tall frothy milkshake - extra sprinkles, please!

I rely on this lightened up recipe when I'm craving a slice of birthday cake but I just don't have the time (or a good excuse) to bake one. It's hard to believe it's a "skinny" recipe because it's delicious and totally satisfying!


I don't decorate my milk shake glasses every time I make this drink (I mostly just stir them right into the shake) but if you're entertaining or throwing a birthday party, a spiral sprinkle glass makes the cutest presentation. You just need some honey, maple syrup or corn syrup (anything sweet, thick and syrupy) and a small paintbrush. Check out the video below to see how I make them.



The sprinkle decoration can be made a day ahead of time if you're on a schedule. Confetti quinns will have the most staying power. Jimmies from the ice cream aisle would work well, too. Multicolor nonpareils (a.k.a hundreds and thousands) will begin to dissolve and the colors will bleed almost immediately, so choose your sprinkles wisely.


This treat tastes so much like birthday cake and has a delicious Greek yogurt tang. I couldn't help but add a tiny puff of aerosol whipped cream and a cherry on top - speaking of those cherries, they're pink! I couldn't believe my luck finding pink cherries at my local grocery store. They are also sold online in bulk or you can buy a single jar here.

Cheers!


Skinny Confetti Cake Batter Milkshakes
Yields four 1 cup servings
Author: Heather Baird

2 cups nonfat frozen yogurt
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup yellow cake mix (dry)
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup confetti sprinkles
1/2 cup nonfat dairy whipped topping (I like Reddi Wip)
4 maraschino cherries


Place the frozen yogurt, Greek yogurt, dry cake mix and skim milk in a blender pitcher. Blend on high speed until all of the ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into four 1 cup capacity glasses.

Stir 1 tablespoon confetti sprinkles into each glass. Top each glass with two tablespoons whipped topping and 1 maraschino cherry each. Serve immediately.





I am a pastry devotee through and through so I'm not sure why it took me so long to make these delicious Mexican sweet buns. I've had them bookmarked for ages. They have just about everything I want in a pastry. They are soft and cottony at the center with a crunchy sweet coating, and (this is important) they're darn cute, too.

I figure now is a great time to post these because next week we say hello to the month of May and soon after, we'll be planning our courses for Cinco de Mayo. How festive would these look on a dessert table next to churros and fried ice cream cake? Yes, they need to happen.

Oh, delicious bubble tea. I could subsist on those sweet, chewy tapioca pearls. This is a problem because the only place that serves it on my side of town has recently decided to use old boba in their tea. Fresh boba is chewy, soft and lightly sweet. Expired boba is rock-hard and nearly unchewable. Clearly, I had to take matters into my own hands (either that or drive 30 minutes across town for good boba tea- and that's not likely when you're a weekday hermit like I am).

Hey sprinkle-shakers! I'm so excited to share this new project with you. I love sprinkles of all kinds, but my favorite sprinkles of all are those teeny-tiny edible stars that look like confetti and come with a not so teeny-tiny price tag. I just adore them, and I will probably always keep at least one bottle in my stash, but I've always wanted to try to make my own at home.

I've been pleased to see all the attention matcha tea is getting lately from big-name food magazines and their online counterparts, but as someone who has been using it in sweets since 2010, I take issue when they call it a trend. Why can't we call it the new must-have pantry staple, instead? I can't imagine it ever falling out of favor. I always keep a little container of it in my cupboard right next to the espresso powder.

Here's a friendly little recipe to get your weekend started. It's easy, no-fuss and has been in regular rotation at my house for quite some time now. I can't believe it's taken me this long to tell you about it!


My good friend Christen had a birthday recently so I made her some extra special cupcakes. They were inspired by a name given to her by her sister Stephanie (during a Skype call, involving glasses of wine, I'm told) - vanilla sunset- because Christen is the only blonde sister in the family. I thought that was just the cutest thing, and when I heard those words I immediately thought - vanilla sunset needs to be a cake!

These were so much fun to make. The cake portion is flavored with pineapple juice, and in addition to that, the colorful layers are flavored with pineapple, orange and coconut extracts. See that little pipette sticking out from the side? That's where the magic happens. It's filled with a mixture of coconut rum and grenadine. Just give it a squeeze before you take a bite - yum! Such an easy way to spike a cupcake, and it adds some interactive novelty for parties and special occasions.

The trees outside my window are covered in pink blossoms. Soon the petals will release and float on the air like snowflakes, and then the show will be over. This spring spectacle is too brief, so I decided to try to capture it in a confection - and what could be more "springy" than a pink marshmallow?

Preserved sakura (cherry blossom) is a Japanese ingredient that is sparsely available at international markets here in the states. I searched for it locally and came up empty-handed, but luckily it is procurable online. Two of the ingredients - the blossoms and leaves - arrived within a week of ordering (you can find those for purchase here and here), but the tiny bottle of sakura essence took close to a month to arrive. It was well worth the wait. It has crisp, citrusy top notes, floral heart notes, and a faint lingering base note that reminds me of Thai lime leaf.

Today's post is extra special because I have some exciting news. My friend and fellow baker Rosie Alyea of Sweetapolita is releasing her first cookbook - The Sweetapolita Bakebook! I recieved an advance copy a few weeks ago and I've been paging through it ever since. It is utterly gorgeous! I feel so honored to be one of the first people to get to bake from it.


One of my favorite cakes in the book is the Watercolor Graffiti Cake. The aesthetic struck me immediately, and the painting-on-fondant technique is something I'm comfortable with. I just had to make it.

I considered making a prank recipe for April Fool's Day, but honestly, I'm just the worst when it comes to practical jokes. They never work out for me! I can never keep a straight face, or I give up mid-joke because the whole thing feels dishonest. I'm just not a practical joker at heart.  I know - it's all in good fun.  I'm just not great at it. 

Now, playful? That's another thing altogether. I can do playful all day every day, especially where dessert is concerned. That’s why I love this cake.
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