Cream puff cake has a golden crust that puffs high in the pan as it bakes, which forms the perfect container for creamy custard filling. A drizzle of scratch-made chocolate ganache makes this cake pretty and gives it added richness. What makes it extra delicious? Real butter. Butter gives the ganache a beautiful shine and smooth consistency while keeping the choux batter rich and fluffy.

Cream Puff Cake

Pâte à choux is one my favorite classic pastry elements. It's the base for eclairs, profiteroles, savory cheese puffs, and other delicious bites that are carefully piped on baking sheets. I'd never considered the fast and easy option of spreading an entire batch of choux pastry in a dish and baking it as a crust, but it works marvelously! It makes the fluffiest, airiest crust for this cream-filled cake that slices neatly for serving.
Shark Week Diorama Cake

Hello, and Happy Shark Week! Discovery's week-long shark fest began on July 28th and runs through August 4th. I'm sure by now you've noticed some shark-themed treats swimming through your social media feeds, and I'm adding one more! I'm so excited to share this special cake I made for Food Network in honor of the event.
Ruby chocolate is a brand new innovation in the culinary world made from red cocoa beans, which yields a naturally pink chocolate with mild red berry flavors. In this recipe, dark chocolate cupcakes are covered with a high mound of billowy meringue frosting and then dipped in tangy ruby chocolate coating.

Ruby Chocolate Hi Hat Cupcakes

It's been nearly a year since I first sampled ruby chocolate, which was invented by Barry Callebaut in 2017. It's been my new obsession ever since, and the subject of quite a few experiments in my kitchen. You may remember this Ruby Chocolate Cheesecake from earlier this year.

In my work, I've found that Ruby Chocolate's flavors shine best when closest to its pure form, such as bar or callet. For this reason it makes a fine chocolate coating for all kinds of candies and confections - and certainly for these cupcakes!
These hot dog look-alikes are sure to bring the smiles at your next summer gathering. Homemade golden sponge cakes are filled with chocolate franks and garnished with yellow buttercream 'mustard'.

Hot Dog Snack Cakes

Summer is in full swing and we're adjusting to new routines. Days are long so we're staying up later to enjoy evenings on the patio. The lightening bugs in our backyard glow with near synchronicity which is a simple but awe-inspiring kind of magic. And then there's our renewed zest for spontaneous cookouts, which happens weekly.

The latter was my inspiration for creating these hot dogs in true trompe l'oeil fashion. I think they're a real hoot! They're tasty too, because they are essentially extra-large Twinkie-style snack cakes. They're not hard to make but require a few steps which are all outlined in the tutorial that follows.

Also, I have a fun giveaway today, so read on for the details!
This classic recipe for zucchini muffins is the perfect way to take advantage of summer's bounty of squash. The cinnamon-streusel topping gives each muffin an extra bite of sweetness and a delicate crunch.
Zucchini Olive Oil Muffins with Cinnamon Crunch Streusel

Happy First Day of Summer!

If ever there was a time to post a zucchini recipe, it is now. I've always known that this vegetable is plentiful in warm months, but I'm finding out just how plentiful first hand. This spring I planted a little 9-foot garden just outside the workshop doors. Almost every day there's a new squash to discover and pluck from the vine - it's as if they magically appear overnight!
This classic Victorian-era dessert of fresh peaches, vanilla ice cream, and raspberry sauce is easy to prepare and makes an elegant last course.

Peach Melba

I think it's fair to say that most desserts prepared in the French style could be described as elaborate, however, this French dessert is delightfully simple. It was created by famed chef Auguste Escoffier around 1892 to honor Australian opera singer Nellie Melba.

Because this recipe relies on few ingredients, use the best of each available. In Escoffier's words, “Pêche Melba is a simple dish made up of tender and very ripe peaches, vanilla ice cream, and a purée of sugared raspberry. Any variation on this recipe ruins the delicate balance of its taste.”
Three simple ingredients make up this puppy-safe birthday cake and humans can enjoy it, too! It's made entirely of fresh fruit so it only takes about 5 minutes to assemble.

A Fresh Fruit Cake for Puppies

This past weekend we celebrated our Churro pug by throwing him a proper birthday party. We rescued him many years ago on Memorial Day, and by our count he's around 15 years old. He spent the day being doted upon and eating his favorite foods, which all happen to be fruit!
Star-shaped petit fours in patriotic colors will make your Memorial Day or July Fourth holiday extra-special! This shortcut recipe is quick and easy using ready-made pound cake from your local bakery or grocery store.

Easy Patriotic Petit Fours

Today we're prepping for our long Memorial Day weekend, which involves lots of grilling, cool treats, and even a puppy birthday party for our Churro pug (more on that later). We'll also be visiting family lakeside, so I wanted to make something cute to bring for dessert.

These little petit fours couldn't be easier to make. You'll need a 2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, a ready-made pound cake (1 lb.), three tubs of ready-made vanilla frosting and a little food color.
A favorite ice cream parlour treat gets a fun layer cake makeover! Banana Split Ice Cream Cake is made with fluffy yellow cake layers, hot fudge sauce, and banana split ice cream. It's a chilly treat for hot summer days.

Banana Split Ice Cream Cake

The first day of summer is yet a month away, but here in the southern US temperatures are already soaring. The only way to enjoy being outside is to have a frosty treat ready to hand, so I've been eagerly exploring ice box recipes. It didn't take long to realize that banana split ingredients such as hot fudge, walnuts, and Neapolitan ice cream would make a fantastic layer cake. I think it's just about perfect for picnics, potlucks, and even summertime birthdays - just add candles!
This breakfast pizza begins with a buttery, scratch-made biscuit crust that is loaded with cheese, scrambled eggs, and bacon. The toppings can easily be varied!

Breakfast Pizza with Biscuit Crust

I'm a brunch girl through and through, so I'm always looking for new ways to serve my favorite power couple: eggs and cheese. This breakfast pizza is just the ticket, and the recipe is as straight-forward as you can get. It doesn't take a lot of time to put together, and it's a real crowd-pleaser!
Soft and chewy Birthday Cake Sugar Cookies will bring lots of fun and sweetness to any celebration. They're simple to make with all the flavor of classic yellow birthday cake!

Birthday Cake Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles

Hello! It's been a while since I've posted here and that's because I've been on a special project with my friends at Food Network.  More on that soon, but right now I'd like to share an easy and fun little cookie recipe that I can't stop eating!  These Birthday Cake Sugar Cookies are rich and buttery with an extra dose of vanilla and plenty of happy confetti sprinkles.
Homemade carrot cake and rich cheesecake batters are swirled together to create the ultimate springtime dessert. A topping of sweetened sour cream offers a delightful tang, and the carrot ribbon garnish makes an elegant presentation.

Carrot Cake Swirl Cheesecake

I hope you don't mind me squeezing in just one more Easter dessert before the holiday. I have this cheesecake in my refrigerator right now, getting properly chilled for our dessert buffet on Sunday. Whenever I'm hosting a big holiday dinner, I appreciate dishes that can be made ahead of time. This is one of them, and it just happens to be delicious and so season appropriate!

These delightful Floral Bunny and Egg Sugar Cookies are pretty enough to decorate your Easter table, and tasty, too! Use them as place setting decor or package them for take-home favors.

Floral Bunny and Egg Sugar Cookies

It's hard to believe that Easter is this Sunday! I've been busy planning our dinner menu and collecting little spring accents to decorate my table. I like to make decorated sugar cookies for occasions like this, because they can serve double duty as table decor and a tasty treat for guests.
Lemon Syrup Cake and a Colorful Tablescape with The Home Depot

Hello friends!  Today I’d like to share a couple of things with you that I’m really excited about. The first and perhaps most obvious is this Lemon Syrup Layer Cake. It’s tart with layers of white cake soaked in lemon syrup. It’s a bounty of citrusy goodness and with tangy sweetness and no sourness to speak of. I have a feeling it’s going to be the centerpiece of our dessert buffet at Easter dinner.     

Speaking of centerpieces! The cake stand you see here, along with the beautiful dinnerware, flatware, and serveware are all from The Home Depot. Did you know that the nation’s #1 and most trusted home improvement retailer is now expanding their online shopping to include furniture, home accents, kitchenwares and tabletop? Well, now you do! I’m so happy to be working with them to bring you this news, and to show you a few of the items that I tried out personally.
Celebrate the sunny flavors of spring with this limoncello infused sponge cake. It’s filled with sweetened cream cheese frosting and a generous helping of crushed Sconza Lemoncello Chocolate Almonds

Limoncello Almond Cake Roll

Like most bakers, lemon is a staple in my kitchen year-round. It goes in all kinds of cakes and confections, but there's something wonderful about making a lemon dessert in spring. It feels like a celebration of sunshine and lightness after long winter months. I was inspired to make this cake after tasting Sconza Lemoncello Chocolate Almonds. If you haven't tried them yet, then you're in for a real treat! I think they taste like a slice of creamy lemon tart in a single bite.
Celebrate the season in a big way with a Reese's-inspired Giant Chocolate-Peanut Butter Egg! It's fun to make and even more fun to share.

Giant Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg

Here's something extra special - and extra large - for your Easter basket this year. This super-sized peanut butter egg is big enough to share with a dozen friends (or Easter dinner guests!) and it was inspired by those famous yellow-packaged peanut butter eggs that appear everywhere this time of year.
This one-skillet recipe is a quick fix using rotisserie chicken, fresh veggies, canned beans and taco seasoning. The buttery cornbread crust makes it a delicious, filling meal the whole family will love.
Spicy Southwest Chicken Cornbread Skillet Bake

Hello, hello! I hope everyone is having a nice spring season. April is right around the corner, which brings us all kinds of sweet things like chocolate bunnies and jellybeans. I've been baking up all kinds of sweet Easter treats, but before the sugar rush commences I'd like to share this recent favorite savory bake. It's so easy and a great weeknight one pan meal!
This is an easy recipe for fudgy brownies that have no flour added! It's a rich dessert that goes far, and it's well-balanced with scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Flourless Chocolate Brownies

If you're looking for a happy little weekend bake, then I'd like to recommend this recipe. It's simple and so satisfying. The formula is gluten-free with almond flour standing in for wheat flour. This yields a dual-textured brownie depending on your preference to serve it chilled (fudgy) or at room temperature (soft).
This luscious no-bake cheesecake is made using ruby chocolate, a new innovation in the culinary world! It is made from red cocoa beans which yields a naturally pink hued chocolate with mild red berry flavors.

Ruby Chocolate Cheesecake

I've been eager to work with ruby chocolate ever since it was introduced in 2017 by its inventors, the cocoa producers of Barry Callebaut. You may remember that I first mentioned this chocolate as a gift idea in this December post. It has been unavailable in the US for quite some time, and just last month it arrived for purchase in meltable callets thanks to Trader Joe's. Now that it's becoming more widely available, I wanted to share one of my favorite kitchen experiments with ruby chocolate - this cheesecake recipe!
This savory egg pancake is baked in a sizzling hot cast iron skillet, which causes it to balloon into a large bowl-shape in the oven. It’s filled with diced ham and Swiss cheese, and finished with a handful of fresh greens and cherry tomatoes.

Ham and Swiss Dutch Baby Recipe

This dramatic-looking Dutch Baby is a complete one-skillet meal convenient enough for weeknight dinners. It's also been a weekday favorite when we need a quick lunch but want to eat well.
These puffy marshmallows look just like slices of birthday cake! They'll make a fun addition to your party treats, or package them for take-home favors.

Birthday Cake Slice Marshmallows

My love for making homemade marshmallows begin back in 2013 when I first figured out how to make marshmallow ropes. It was such a fun project. The ropes were so tactile and flexible, and when they were wound into a ball they looked like a skein of puffy yarn. It was hard to believe they were edible, but they were so tasty! That kitchen adventure opened up a whole new world of ideas, and marshmallow became a new art medium for me.

I've had the idea for these cake slice marshmallows for a long time, but it took me a while to sit down and figure out the logistics. In the end it was simpler than I expected, and equally as fun as the marshmallow ropes!
Tiramisu is the original afternoon pick-me-up with notes of espresso and chocolate. This recipe has all the flavor and creamy texture of classic tiramisu, but with less steps and prep work.

Easy Tiramisu

This is the tiramisu recipe I make most often for family dinners, potlucks and holidays. It's easy to assemble because there's no cooking involved - just lots of whipping ingredients together using an electric mixer. It has all the flavor of classic tiramisu with its espresso-soaked savoiardi and creamy whipped mascarpone filling.
This easy Funfetti recipe makes exactly one dozen soft, fluffy, sprinkle-filled cupcakes. They are topped with vanilla buttercream, dressed in rainbow sprinkles, and ready for any happy occasion.

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes Recipe

I've always appreciated 'one bowl' cake recipes, because that's exactly the number of bowls I want to wash. This funfetti cake is one such recipe and it comes stogether in a snap. The baked cupcakes are everything you want Funfetti to be: soft, fluffy, vanilla, and speckled with sprinkles throughout. I'm tempted to recommend this as a weekend project, but you won't need all weekend to make them - more like half an hour. You'll spend more time eating them than making them!
Mont Blanc is a classic French dessert made of baked meringue, whipped cream, and sweet chestnut cream. The finished dessert is dusted with powdered sugar and appropriately named for the highest snowy peak in the Alps.

Classic French Mont Blanc Dessert

I'm not sure how it happened, but I've fallen in love with classic French pastries and desserts all over again. There are a few gaps in my repertoire that I aim to fill, such as St. Honoré and Gâteau Basque, but first up is this classic Mont Blanc. It is essentially made of three components: baked meringue, whipped cream, and chestnut puree. The version I made has all of those elements, plus my addition of raspberry jam. I like how the jam gives the dessert a touch of acidity to balance all those whipped, creamy elements.
These puffy heart-shaped sugar cookies have a soft cake-like texture just like the popular store-bought version. They're finished with vanilla buttercream frosting and a mixture of bright, cheery sprinkles.

Heart Shaped Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies

Fancy desserts get a lot of attention around Valentine's Day, but sometimes the best way to show someone you care is with a cookie (or 12). These  Lofthouse style sugar cookies are a simple and fun way to celebrate the occasion, and I think they're the perfect hybrid of birthday cake and sugar cookie rolled into one sweet confection.
This pink celebration cake is inspired by a nostalgic sweet - Frosted Circus Animal Cookies! It would make a lovely birthday cake, or use it as an edible centerpiece for any happy occasion.

I've been seeing all kinds of beautiful Circus Animal Cookie-inspired cakes and treats on the web, and I've been itching to make a version of my own. It's taken a while to find the right inspiration for a cake design, and it wasn't until I purchased a bag of Mother's Circus Animal Cookies, that I found what I was looking for.

The bright pink shortbread cookies offer a lot of eye-popping inspiration, but it was their packaging that inspired me most. The top edge of the Mother's Cookies bag has an adorable pink and purple awning (or bunting) across the top edge which looked so cheerful. I decided to give my cake the same design.
This cheesy grits quiche makes a wonderful brunch or cozy weeknight dinner. Serve with a tossed salad for a fast and elegant meal.

Grits Quiche in Filo Crust with Sausage and Kale

I consider it a personal mission to see how many delicious things I can wrap in Filo dough. It's a recurring theme here, if you haven't already noticed. A few years ago I made this Baklava Cheesecake wrapped in Filo, then a Filo-Wrapped Brie, and later came Lobster Mac and Cheese in Filo. Most recently I baked this quiche in Filo, and it might be my favorite quiche crust, ever!

This particular dish is southern cooking at its finest, using a hearty helping of cheese grits in the filling. Quiche is sometimes considered to be lighter fare, but make no mistake - this is definitely comfort food, and something to make when you're in need of a stick-to-your-ribs meal.
Fried Sesame Balls, also known as Jian Dui, are a classic Chinese dessert traditionally served during Lunar New Year. The crisp, chewy pastries are made with glutinous rice flour filled with sweet red bean paste. A coating of sesame seeds give them a toasty, nutty finish when fried.

The first day of Chinese New Year begins tomorrow and celebrates 2019's Year of the Pig. According to the Chinese zodiac, the pig's virtues are abundant and include decisiveness, generosity, and kindness. I happen to be good friends with someone who falls under this sign, and the description of their qualities seems to be accurate!

Although I'm not well-versed in making Chinese pastries, I wanted to make a traditional sweet to help celebrate the occasion. Eating these pastries during Lunar New Year is considered good luck, and I often purchase fried sesame balls as a special treat. It only made sense to try my hand at a homemade version. It's not a difficult recipe to make, and there's nothing better than enjoying these fresh from the fryer!
This petite cherry layer cake is made of four white cake layers infused with tart cherry syrup and filled with Morello cherry preserves. It's covered with cherry-flavored buttercream and finished in the watercolor frosting technique using pretty pink hues.

Morello Cherry Layer Cake

I'm kicking off this month in the pinkest way possible with this small but mighty watercolor frosted layer cake. It would make a sweet ending to Valentine's Day dinner, or a fun and tasty centerpiece for your Galentine's Day brunch!
What's better than a steaming mug of hot chocolate? This Hot Cocoa Cake! It's inspired by everyone's favorite cozy winter beverage with three rich chocolate cake layers, swirls of cocoa frosting, and a pile of homemade toasted marshmallows on top.

Hot Cocoa Layer Cake

This is the big, warm, comfortable sweater of chocolate cakes, if you ask me. The texture of the frosting is so soft and billowy that it's best applied in large swirls (cake smoothers need not apply). I would call it old fashioned as a compliment, because the cake layers have that rich old-school flavor that only comes with melting butter and chocolate together on a stove top.
This dip is delicious as a game day appetizer or a quick party food. Present it with celery and carrot sticks for a fresh bite, or serve it wonderfully hearty with a buttered baguette.

I don't know about you, but when winter temperatures dip to freezing, all I want is something warm to eat. And it's even better if I can serve it on a coffee table as I snuggle up on the couch in front of the TV. This blue cheese dip checks all the boxes - and is one of my recent favorite savory bakes. It's true comfort food, I tell ya!
Swedish Princess Cake is a classic Scandinavian torte with layers of sponge cake, raspberry jam, vanilla custard, and whipped cream. It is traditionally dome-shaped and covered with a layer of sweet marzipan tinted green.

Swedish Princess Cake Prinsesstårta

Princess Cake has been on my baking bucket list for ages, and I always seem to revisit the idea of making it in winter. Perhaps it's because I'm longing for spring and all its pink blooms and greenery. One thing is for sure, it's a cheery sight on a grey day! I think it would be perfect for upcoming spring holidays such as Mother's Day and Easter.

A few days ago I decided to knuckle down and check mark the box next to Princess Cake. Instead of one big cake, I decided to make four little cakes. This gave me some good practice, which I needed because it turns out that it may be my new favorite cake - edging out Twelfth Night Cake by just a smidge!
Classic butter pound cake is given a citrusy makeover with orange zest and triple sec liqueur. It's a wonderful foundation for trifles and petit fours, or simply serve pieces with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

This cake bakes up golden on the outside with the showy hallmark of any good pound cake - that all-important split on top. It comes out of the oven lighter than you'd expect, and it's only after two days in the refrigerator that the crumb settles into its rightful place. The end result is firm and dense, yet extremely moist! That old saying 'good things come to those who wait' rings true with this recipe.
These little muffin pan pies have sweet French pastry dough crusts filled with tangy lemon curd. Each pie is topped with a generous swirl of fluffy marshmallow and then toasted until golden brown.

Mini Lemon Marshmallow Pies

I'm not sure there's anything better than the scent of lemon in January. It is the single sparkling clean note I crave when freezing temperatures keep us indoors. It sweeps away staleness and reminds us that the grey landscape won't last forever. Thank heavens for winter citrus!
Almond Joy candy bar flavors are transformed into a decadent triple layer chocolate cake! Rich coconut-almond filling and a drip topping of dark chocolate ganache make this cake truly crave-worthy.

Say hello to my first cake of 2019! It's taken a couple of weeks to get back in the swing of having a regular baking routine. First there was Christmas to dismantle and glitter to sweep from every corner of the house. I also broke a toe while hosting a dinner party on New Year's Eve (which involved a bottle of olive oil) and it was the strangest beginning to a year that I can ever recall!

I'm happy to say that things are back to normal, and I've been whipping up cakes like crazy. This Almond Joy-inspired confection is perfect for the coconut lover in your life. It would make a great birthday cake or even a special chocolaty Valentine for your sweetheart.
Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles prove to be a healthful option for those keeping January resolutions. They're rich and creamy, and a guilt-free way to satisfy your sweet tooth!

It's always wonderful to indulge in a rich, chocolaty dessert no matter the nutritional value. I've never been a health food blogger and I personally think that moderation is key, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a healthful dessert that tastes amazing.  Dessert - healthy or not so healthy - should always taste good! These buttery avocado truffles are a great example of a dessert that is better for you, and also tastes delicious.
This Danish-style sweet bread makes a lovely breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up. The dough braiding technique may look complicated, but it’s really quite simple and easy to achieve!

Winter always brings out the bread baker in me. There's nothing I'd rather do on a frigid day than work in an oven-warmed kitchen with sweet fragrances wafting about. This cream cheese pastry is one of my favorite recipes to make when I feel the need for something cozy. It yields two loaves, one to keep and one to give to a deserving friend or neighbor.
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