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cakes Quick Bread Recipe Snacks

Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread

Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

This supremely simple quick bread comes together in minutes and gets eaten almost as fast in my house!

Applesauce Quick Bread Close-up
applesauce quick bread 5

This quick bread is a total happy accident. I bought a jar of applesauce that was much larger than I needed when I made my Applesauce Sheet Cake last week. I wanted to come up with a way to use the remaining applesauce. I was considering applesauce cookies, but then I remembered a really great oatmeal quick bread that I bought at a bake sale a couple of years ago.

applesauce quick bread 3

I love a good quick bread, but they’re not as easy to come by as you might think. What I love most about this Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread recipe is the moist and robust texture thanks to… well.. the applesauce and oatmeal!

Applesauce Quick Bread 6
applesauce quick bread from above

You can spice this bread however you like. I often use the spice listings in a recipe as a general guideline. I like spiced baked goods to have a lot of kick. If you’re missing one of the spices or you prefer a different profile, feel free to use whatever you like. You could even swap in a spice blend like pumpkin pie spice mix.

applesauce oatmeal quick bread 4

Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread

A lovely spiced quick bread with a hearty texture from the oatmeal and a lovely moist texture and sweetness from the applesauce.

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, applesauce, baking, best dessert, Best Recipe, bread, dessert, easy recipe, oatmeal, quick bread, recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 servings
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar 198g
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil, like canola 99g
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 177g
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, old fashioned or minute 50g
  • 3/4 cup applesauce 170g

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment.

  2. Add sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl and whisk together.

  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

  5. Allow to cool completely, cut, and serve with butter or honey-butter.

This supremely simple quick bread comes together in minutes and gets eaten almost as fast in my house! It's lovely and sweet and moist from the applesauce and has a heartiness and fab texture from the oatmeal.
This supremely simple quick bread comes together in minutes and gets eaten almost as fast in my house! It’s lovely and sweet and moist from the applesauce and has a heartiness and fab texture from the oatmeal.
This supremely simple quick bread comes together in minutes and gets eaten almost as fast in my house! It's lovely and sweet and moist from the applesauce and has a heartiness and fab texture from the oatmeal.
This supremely simple quick bread comes together in minutes and gets eaten almost as fast in my house! It’s lovely and sweet and moist from the applesauce and has a heartiness and fab texture from the oatmeal.
cakes Recipe vegan

Easy Coconut Cake That Just Happens to Be Vegan

vegan coconut cake shot from above

Smitten Kitchen’s Plush Coconut Cake is EVERYTHING! Now, I’m not vegan nor have I ever been, but something really caught my attention with this cake when Smitten Kitchen posted it a few weeks ago. Maybe it was the use of the word PLUSH in the title? I mean… it’s totally the right word to use… it’s dense and moist and a delight to eat!

Vegan Coconut Cake
Are you a fan of TONS of frosting? I AM!

The second thing that made me want to make this cake was that my friend Patti Paige of Baked Ideas… a.k.a. Cookie-Master… a.k.a. like the best cookie decorator in the existence of decorated cookies… made this cake the very same day that Smitten Kitchen posted the recipe. You see, it’s THAT kind of cake… the kind of cake that you have all the ingredients for in your pantry. Just a few simple ingredients!

The THIRD thing that actually made me bake this cake was that my husband and I randomly got invited to a vegan dinner party last week?! That’s literally never happened to us! So this was all meant to be. My Spanish husband always tells me “nada es casual”.. “nothing’s an accident”.. and I think he’s right!

vegan coconut cake 3

So when I made the cake for the party it was a total HIT! Everyone enjoyed it so much… or at least they said they did! It’s like the densest and super-moist cake. It’s got lots of coconut flavor without being too much. I want to play with the recipe a bit over the next few times I make it. I think it could be great with diced fresh strawberries in the batter or maybe try using part almond flour? We’ll see!

slice of vegan coconut cake

Let’s talk frosting… I’M THE #1 CRUNCHY SUGARY FROSTING FAN. I know that not everyone is! When I made the cake for the dinner party I made a nice frosting with confectioner’s sugar, almond milk, vanilla, and a bit of solid coconut oil as the fat. It was wonderful! But I’m not giving that recipe here because I’m not certain how it would work if the coconut oil was liquid and not solid? Like on a warm day? I will research the topic, but for now I’m going to just use a classic vegetable shortening frosting recipe. Because that’s what I grew up with. And that’s what I love the most. I understand if you’re not into vegetable shortening and in that case you’re more than welcome to use Smitten Kitchen’s glaze recipe or whatever other recipe you love!


I love this covered 9×9 pan from Nordic Ware:

covered Nordic Ware 9x9 baking pan
Click the image to purchase!

Vegan Coconut Cake with Pink Frosting

A few simple ingredients yield a marvelously dense and moist cake. This recipe is almost exactly the same as a wonderful recipe called PLUSH Coconut Cake from Smitten Kitchen.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
resting time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 9 servings
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups + 3 TB all-purpose flour 285g
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar 200g
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil in liquid form 110g
  • 13.5 ounces coconut milk, I used Goya
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

For the frosting:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp almond milk you could use whatever type of non-dairy milk you want
  • 1 drop red food coloring optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×9 square pan with parchment paper.

  2. Measure dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. I measure by weight so I just put the bowl on the scale and tare it each time I need to add a new ingredient. Whisk everything together.

  3. Measure and melt your coconut oil if it’s not liquid. And add to the bowl.

  4. Add coconut milk and mix well.

  5. Finally add the vinegar and mix until fully incorporated.

  6. Pour silky batter into prepared pan and pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. It will be golden and you can test for doneness with a toothpick.

  7. Allow to cool completely.

  8. For the frosting, beat all ingredients together until light and airy.

  9. Frost the top of the finished cake, cut, and enjoy!

This is the most wonderful cake that just happens to be vegan. You might have the simple ingredients in your pantry right now! Coconut oil, coconut milk, flour, sugar, baking soda, and vinegar!
This is the most wonderful cake that just happens to be vegan. You might have the simple ingredients in your pantry right now! Coconut oil, coconut milk, flour, sugar, baking soda, and vinegar!
cakes Recipe

Super-Moist Spiced Applesauce Sheet Cake

This super-moist sheet cake is so quick and easy to make and sooooo satisfying to eat and share with loved ones! My new favorite cake!

I have a new love… this fabulously moist, light and delish, flavorful and sweet, super-spiced and iced sheet cake!

This super-moist sheet cake is so quick and easy to make and sooooo satisfying to eat and share with loved ones! My new favorite cake!

I’ve been obsessed with Applesauce Cake since this summer when I first made Julia Turshen’s instant-classic Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese + Honey Frosting. Her cake is so fabulous, easy, and supremely satisfying.

I have this thing for sheet cakes… I love them. I love a classic Texas Sheet Cake and its deep cocoa flavor. Sheet cakes are so easy to cut and serve and can feed a huge crowd. Because they’re baked in a sheet pan the cooking time is very short too! My favorite part of a sheet cake is the boiled frosting. I love that you ice the cake when it’s still hot. And let’s be honest.. it’s BEST when served a little warm with ice cream!

I wanted to make my own version of a nearly OVERspiced cake in a sheet pan and drench it in super-sweet boiled icing. After a lot of research I mostly based my recipe on this spice cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and I based the icing on this white texas sheet cake from Inspired by Charm.

After three — delicious — tries I settled this recipe and I’m really happy with it. Let me warn you… I love a TON of spice in my spice cake! You can adjust the spice levels or even the spices you use. I think cardamom would be really nice in this cake, but I just didn’t have any on hand when I was making it.

The end results are fabulous. The texture of the cake is insanely light yet still super-moist. The crumb is perfect. You can get the texture from the grated apple and applesauce in every bite. I personally LOVE the super-sweet boiled frosting, but I think you could easily make this cake and omit the frosting and serve it with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. I was talking to my mom about the cake and she said that she would sprinkle brown sugar on top when it comes out of the oven… I think I’m going to try that out next time I can rationalize making a cake!

I love this Nordic Ware Naturals Sheet Pan… I have 6 of them and use them DAILY.

Click HERE to purchase a 2-pack!

Spiced Appplesauce Sheet Cake

This super moist cake is so quick and easy to make!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 213g
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup light cooking oil, like canola 240ml
  • 1 3/4 cup light brown sugar 350g, you could also use dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce 180g
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated apple I used a large-ish gala apple
  • 2 tbsp molasses optional, but I love the deep rich flavor it brings

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter 113g
  • 1/2 cup whole milk 125ml
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar 550g
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • sprinkles are optional

Instructions

  1. For the cake, preheat oven to 350F and line the bottom of a sheet pan with parchment. I used a Nordic Ware Naturals half-sheet pan(16.25×11.25).

  2. Measure out the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix together with a fork, and set aside.

  3. In a large bowl measure out all the remaining ingredients and whisk them together.

  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk everything together… make sure you get any brown sugar clumps that might be there hiding!

  5. Pour batter into prepared sheet pan and stick it in the oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and gorgeous.

  6. Remove cake from oven and put in on a rack to cool.

  7. While the cake is cooling a bit, prepare the frosting. IN a large sauce pan melt the butter, add the milk, salt, and vanilla, and bring to a boil and then immediately shut off the heat.

  8. Slowly add the confectioners sugar while stirring. I didn’t sift my sugar, but if you want a perfectly chunk-free icing you should.

  9. Carefully pour and spread the icing on the hot cake. I did this almost immediately, but if your frosting seems too hot you could totally wait a minute or two.

  10. I added sprinkles because sprinkles are fabulous.

  11. Allow the cake to cool a bit and the frosting to set. Serve warm if you can!

Spiced Applesauce Sheet Cake
I love this gorgeously moist sheet cake! It’s got both applesauce and grated apple inside! The icing is perfectly sweet and the spice of the cake has some KICK! The best part is that it’s so quick to make… and eat!
Appetizers Recipe Snacks

Everything Bagel Seasoned Quick Snack “Crackers”

Buttery pastry shards with a spice blend that tastes just like the seasoning on top of "everything bagels". Ready in a jiffy!

I have created a new obsession! This is new recipe is going to be added to my list of go-to snacks when I have a savory craving and want something QUICK and simple!

Trader Joe's Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend
Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

Now everyone and their brother has written about the Trader Joe’s “Everything But the Bagel” spice blend. It’s amazing! Sweet Paul even has a recipe to make your own at home! It really does taste exactly like the topping on an everything bagel. I love to experiment with the blend and add it to everything… I’ve even tried it on ice cream! Not gonna lie… wasn’t my best move ever. It’s really good on buttered popcorn, buttered toast, and sprinkled into stir fry.

So… yesterday I had a CRAVING… I had just gotten home from the gym and I wanted a salty snack. It’s been so cold in Brooklyn that we’ve not been keeping our pantry stocked quite like we usually do. I opened the freezer and I saw that I had a 2-pack of Trader Joe’s pie crust with one roll remaining. The use-by date was last week… I’m not one to waste food, so I decided to figure something out. But I didn’t want to wait to defrost, so I needed to get creative.

A quick scan of the cupboards and the fridge was leaving me at a loss. I was thinking maybe just baking it and putting strawberry jam on it? That woulda been delish, but I wanted something SALTY. Then it hit me! I grabbed the “Everything But the Bagel” blend… an egg… and cranked the oven to 450F! I decided to break the dough up into “rustic” shards and I left a few of the pieces really long. I sprinkled liberally with the seasoning too. Within 15 minutes I had the most gorgeous snack “crackers” sitting in front of me! The hardest part of the whole recipe was WAITING a few minutes for the crackers to cook so I wouldn’t burn my fingers or tongue when I grabbed one and scarfed it down!

Buttery pastry shards with a spice blend that tastes just like the seasoning on top of "everything bagels". Ready in a jiffy!
Buttery pastry shards with a spice blend that tastes just like the seasoning on top of “everything bagels”. Ready in a jiffy!

From now on when I buy 2-packs of frozen pie crust I always know what I can do with any leftovers! I didn’t have any cream cheese in the house, but I’m SURE it would taste absolutely incredible on these crackers. I would also love to try them with cream cheese and LOX! Next time! Now I’m motivated to run down to Trader Joe’s and stock up on supplies!

Everything Seasoned Quick Snack Crackers

This recipe has just three simple ingredients! It’s a super quick way to satisfy a snack craving for something warm, buttery, and savory!

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, craving, everything, everything bagel, everything but the bagel, frozen pie crust, pastry, pie crust, snack, trader joe’s
Servings 4 servings
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

  • 1-2 rolls of frozen pie crust do not thaw
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment and preheat oven to 450F.

  2. Break up frozen pastry into shards. I left some of them really long because I thought it would look pretty… and it did!

  3. Brush each of the pieces of frozen pastry with beaten egg.

  4. Sprinkle the tray full of frozen pastry with as much everything bagel seasoning as you like.

  5. Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown.

  6. Allow to cool on baking tray and serve warm.

Recipe Spain Spain

Flan-tastic! 5-ingredient Flan!

My mother-in-law has the most delicious FLAN recipe that she makes all the time. I was so surprised to see how EASY it is to make her silky-smooth flan. It’s all cooked in the oven, no endless stirring on the stove-top. My favorite part of the recipe is that you use the can from the condensed milk to do all of your measuring… one less measuring cup in the sink!

Top view of my mother-in-law's easy flan recipe.
I never fret if the flan doesn’t come out of the mold perfectly or if there are cracks… that’s part of the charm of this rustic dessert!

In Spain — where my mother-in-law lives — creamy pudding-like flans, nocillas, and crema catalanas are staple desserts and afternoon snacks. I remember my mom making a nutmegy instant custard when I was a boy. We’d eat them when they were just set and still a little bit warm. It’s very similar to the taste and feeling when I tried flan in Spain for my first time.

I’ve always been afraid of melting sugar, but it’s actually so easy!

This recipe has a couple of techniques that I think a lot of people are afraid of. Trust me… there’s no need to worry! The CARAMEL… it’s so easy to make the caramel sauce/topping for the flan. You simple pour 3/4 cup sugar into a pan and melt it over low heat until it’s a deep amber color. There’s no candy thermometer needed. Just be careful.. it’s HOT! The second technique that I think people sometimes like to avoid is the WATER BATH. In Spain they call it a BAÑO MARIA. I always put my baking dish in a larger pan, set both on the oven rack, and then pour in the water once the pans are in the oven.

This recipe is SO VERSATILE! You can add in a condensed milk can full of coconut or ground almonds. I want to try chia seeds next! You can use just about any extract you like. I’ve made it with pistachio flavor, vanilla, almond, and even maple! I’ve even substituted chai concentrate for some of the milk and added turmeric for a deep yellowy-orange color.

Easy 5-Ingredient Spanish Flan

This is a simple everyday silky-smooth flan recipe that uses condensed milk, eggs, milk, sugar, and flavor extract. It’s a very versatile recipe that you can customize in many ways. The recipe comes from my mother-in-law in Santander, Spain.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Mexican, Spanish
Keyword best dessert, Best Recipe, custard, dessert, easy recipe, flan, pudding, spain
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Resting time 4 hours
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

For the caramel topping:

  • 3/4 cup sugar

For the flan:

  • 1 14oz. Can Sweetened Condensed Milk save the can to measure your milk
  • 28 ounces whole milk simply fill the condensed milk can twice!
  • 4 eggs large
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract you can substitute any flavor you like

Special equiptment:

  • immersion blender, blender, or mixer
  • aluminum foil
  • water bath

Instructions

  1. Melt the sugar over low heat until golden brown, about 4–5 minutes.

  2. Carefully pour melted sugar into a 6-cup baking pan (I used a Pyrex pan), and rotate to coat the sides with the caramel. Set aside to allow to cool. It’s really HOT so be really careful.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  4. Open and pour the contents of the sweetened condensed milk can into a mixing bowl and retain the can.

  5. Fill the empty can TWICE more with whole milk and add to the bowl.

  6. Add 4 eggs to the mixing bowl.

  7. Mix well with an immersion blender or electric mixer.

  8. Pour flan base into the pan that you’ve prepared with caramel.

  9. Cover well with aluminum foil and place the covered pan into another baking pan. We’ll create a water bath for the flan by setting the pan within a pan onto your oven’s middle rack. Once in the oven, fill the outer pan with hot water.

  10. Bake flan in water bath 1 hour to 1 and a half hours, until completely set. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the counter for a half hour.

  11. Chill for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.

  12. When ready to serve, carefully invert the flan onto a plate with edges. You may need to run a knife around the sides of the pan to allow it to release. Make sure all the gorgeous caramel syrup pours out over the flan and around the edges!

  13. Scoop, serve, and enjoy!

This is a simple everyday silky-smooth flan recipe that uses condensed milk, eggs, milk, sugar, and flavor extract. It's a very versatile recipe that you can customize in many ways. The recipe comes from my mother-in-law in Spain.
This is a simple everyday silky-smooth flan recipe that uses condensed milk, eggs, milk, sugar, and flavor extract. It’s a very versatile recipe that you can customize in many ways. The recipe comes from my mother-in-law in Spain.
Products

Bar Keepers Friend is My BEST Friend!

This is the post where I show everyone my dirty dishes!


Isn’t he handsome? All that warm gold and vaguely colonial-era sign logo situation?!

Let me start off by saying that this isn’t a sponsored post! I just happened to buy a canister of Bar Keepers Friend recently and have been obsessed with using it to clean EVERYTHING.

I think I have some blurry memories of my mom having a canister of Bar Keepers Friend under the sink at her house when I was a boy, but I don’t ever remember actually using it? Maybe I thought it was for adults because it had the word BAR in the title? I have no idea!? Anyhoo, I purchased a canister of Bar Keepers Friend on Amazon a couple of months ago. I was going to buy scouring powder to try to tackle some neglected bake ware. I always remembered using Comet or Ajax for the rare times I needed scouring powder.  When I saw Bar Keepers Friend and that they specifically had cookware on the packaging… and the NAME implys that professional bar keepers use the product… AND the packaging looks throw-backy… I decided to give it a shot! I’m so glad I did!

Here are some of my embarrassingly poorly maintained dishes!

This scouring powder cleans like the dickens!! Okay… so I don’t always take care of my cookware the way I should. You know what I’m talking about I’m sure.  You use a pot, pan, or casserole… it gets some baked-on staining… you don’t take the time and elbow grease to clean it properly and eventually your pots and pans look like they’ve been through a house fire!  GROSS!

I cook a lot with high heat, both on the stove top and in the oven. Searing roasts and cuts of meat for the slow-cooker has done a number on many of my frying pans. My obsession with baking weekly loaves of bread in my once-gorgeous Le Creuset dutch oven has turned it into a lackluster shell of its former self.

So, Bar Keepers Friend isn’t a total miracle product. You DO need to actually scrub a bit to get things looking good. I honestly don’t mind it though… it’s sort of therapeutic. I like to put on some LOUD music and spend a little quality time with whatever I’m cleaning. It’s SO satisfying to me to see the difference from dirty to clean!

I mean… look at what a HUGE difference there is with the frying pan above! Normally I’d just scrub it with a sponge and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day dish soap… that doesn’t do the trick… the pan is clean enough to use, but all that high-heat-cooked-on-grime is still there! Yuck!  And it also makes the pan not work well.  So… after a bit of Bar Keepers Friend and elbow grease the pan looks and FUNCTIONS so so so much better!

I often use my dutch oven at 450F-500F and that tends to make it look not-so-fresh.  You can see the before and after above. The after isn’t totally perfect! BUT… I’m not embarrassed to have people see it now! Also, dutch ovens are expensive! I want this one to last for years and years and then gift it to someone who will love and use it when I can no longer use it!

I also have used Bar Keepers Friend to clean my kitchen, floors, and bathroom.  I’ve used it on thrift store purchases and all types of materials. I also love that it doesn’t have bleach in it so it doesn’t ruin my clothes when I inevitably make a mess of myself.

So to wrap everything up, go buy some Bar Keepers Friend and use it to clean! It has helped me take better care of tools that I love!


cakes Recipe

Almond Dream Cake: Naturally Gluten-Free!

Let me start by saying… this cake is WONDERFUL! I was visiting my mom in Western New York recently and she invited me to join her for her Ladies’ Club annual picnic.  Each year she and about 12 of her friends have a luncheon under a tent by a lake in Linwood, NY. They each bring a dish to pass. The only rule is that the dish has to be a SALAD.  I think it’s such a sweet idea!

Not to be one to follow too many rules, I decided that since I was a special guest I could bring a cake instead.  I wanted something light since I knew there would be so many food options at the luncheon. I also wanted something that would hold up well in the heat of the day. My final requirement was that it had to be a real show-stopper! I always try to cook up something that will impress this group of ladies!

My Almond Dream Cake checks off all the boxes I mentioned above! It’s made of the lightest sponge cake made with 9 eggs and almond meal instead of all-purpose flour. I make it extra moist by soaking each layer with almond-flavored simple syrup. The filling is simply whipped cream and berries. My trick with the whipped cream is to use a stabilizer powder to make sure it can stand-up to a hot day. An added plus is that this cake is naturally gluten-free! I wasn’t trying for that, but the almond flour does that trick!

I have to say, the cake really didn’t disappoint!  Everyone had a big piece, and we sent the leftovers home with two of the ladies.

The almond cake is based on the King Arthur Flour almond cake roll recipe that can be found here.

Here are the powders I used to help with my whipped cream:

Almond Dream Cake

An almond, whipped cream, and berry layer cake that's naturally gluten-free!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword almond, almond flour, best dessert, cake, cake recipe, gluten-free, whipped cream
Servings 12
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

almond sponge cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 9 eggs seperated size large, and at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract

almond simple syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp almond extract

filling:

  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 2 packets whipped cream stabalizer
  • 2 packets vanilla sugar
  • 2 pints fresh berries

Instructions

almond sponge cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Line a half-sheet jellyroll pan (13"x18")with parchment and grease the bottom and sides.

  3. Mix together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and brown sugar until the color is light and the consistency is thick and silky. It's very pretty!

  5. Add the extract and dry ingredients and mix well.

  6. In a new bowl beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.  Be sure the bowl and your beaters are very clean and dry before starting to beat the egg whites.

  7. Stir a few large scoops of the beaten whites into the yolk mixture. After it's fully incorporated, gently fold the remaining whites into the batter until it's JUST incorporated. Try not to over-mix so your sponge stays light and fluffy!

  8. Pour the batter into the prepped pan and even it out to the edges.

  9. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beautiful and golden.

  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

almond simple syrup:

  1. Dissolve the sugar into the water over medium heat until the mixture is totally clear. Add almond extract and mix well.

  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

whipped cream:

  1. In a large bowl beat the whipping cream and powder packets until it's light and fluffy.

to assemble:

  1. When the cake is cool, cut it into three even segments. Place the first third onto your serving plate and spoon on the almond simple syrup evenly over the top of the layer. Add berries evenly over the whipped cream. Top with the next third of the cake and repeat the process until the cake is fully built.

Recipe Notes

You can make the whipped cream your own favorite way and omit the stabilizer and powdered vanilla sugar.

VARIATION: Make egg white meringues and crunch them up and add them to each layer and the top of the cake for a little extra texture! 

This lovely layer cake is made from light almondy sponge, simple syrup, whipped cream, and fresh berries! It's also naturally gluten-free!

This lovely layer cake is made from light almondy sponge, simple syrup, whipped cream, and fresh berries! It’s also naturally gluten-free!

cakes Recipe

Cuppa Cuppa Cobbler

Cuppa Cuppa Cobbler

I adore CUPPA CUPPA recipes! They’re recipes that have equal parts of many of the ingredients. My mother-in-law’s coconut flan recipe is sort of a cuppa recipe. You use a can of condensed milk, and then use the can to measure out all the other ingredients. It’s so easy to commit these recipes to memory.  I also remember making the cuppa cuppa cuppa recipe that Truvy (Dolly Parton) recited in Steel Magnolias. Her recipe was just a cuppa sugar, a cuppa flour, and a cuppa fruit cocktail with the juice. This recipe I’m making today has a few more ingredients, but I think it produces a wonderful cobbler that people just love!

I’m not certain this is actually a true cobbler? I think it may be a more of a buckle, but the name sounds better when you call it a cobbler…. so please… nobody report me to the cobbler police! One thing’s for sure, the recipe is totally versatile! You can use just about any type of fruit in it! I’ve even used frozen fruit. Some variations I’ve made: strawberry, peach, donut peach, mixed berries, raspberry, plum, I’ve even made it with white chocolate and macadamia nuts! In this recipe I’m using the most wonderful cherries from Washington State. I also tend to swap out the flavor extracts that I add to this recipe. Sometimes I like vanilla, sometimes almond, or even something exotic like coconut! you should totally experiment with whatever you have fruit and extract wise!

Another trick that I love to use with this cobbler is Ina Garten’s faux crème anglaise. It’s so simple, you just let a pint of good vanilla ice cream melt overnight in the fridge. It’s so decadent! If that’s a little too rich for your blood you could also just top with cold heavy cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream or even a scoop of ice cream!

Cuppa Cuppa Cobbler

Use your favorite fruit or berry in this recipe! Whatever's abundant or in season, or even frozen!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, cobbler, dessert, easy recipe, recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp flavor extract I used almond extract here, but you can use vanilla or whatever else you want!
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit, clean and dry I used cherries, but you can use anything you want!
  • .25 cup sugar this is to top the cobbler before baking

For serving:

  • 1 pint melted vanilla ice cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a shallow tart pan or a 9x13 pan.

  2. Melt butter over low heat or in the microwave.

  3. Add dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk together.

  4. Add milk and whisk until incorporated.

  5. Add melted butter and flavor extract and whisk until fully incorporated.

  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and top with fruit. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup sugar.

  7. Bake until golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. I usually start checking for doneness at about 45 minutes.

  8. Serve warm with cold melted vanilla ice cream poured on top!

Cuppa Cuppa Cobbler

This is a wonderful and versatile recipe that uses a “cuppa” flour, a “cuppa” sugar, a “cuppa” milk etc. I love that you can use just about any fruit you want in it too! It’s perfect for last minute guests or for a potluck!

cookies Recipe

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies a.k.a. THE BEST EVER

NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is hands down my favorite cookie recipe ever.  You see, this recipe has sort of a cult following. My friend David Leite of Leite’s Culinaria wrote this wonderful piece in the New York Times in 2008 about the history of this most famous cookie. In the article, David gives the recipe that he adapted from Jacques Torres.  I have to tell you, I’ve made this recipe at least 50 times and it always turns out perfectly. Whenever I gift these cookies, people always ask for the recipe! They’re perfect for special occasions, pot lucks, and even to help give solace to those experiencing stressful times.

It was a little bit daunting to me the first time I read the recipe.  There are two types of flour! GASP! Furthermore, you must rest the dough for 12-24 hours! MY LANDS! Now that I’m a pro at this dough, I have to tell you, it’s worth ever second of time that I originally fretted over the ingredients or resting period.  Once you have this down to a science, you’ll be prepping the dough in your sleep.

This recipe does have a few MUSTS in my opinion:

  • DO NOT skimp on the resting period
  • DO NOT use all purpose flour
  • Buy the best chocolate you can
  • Weigh your ingredients
  • Weigh your dough portions

Sometimes I skip the sea salt topping. Some people just don’t like it, although, I adore it. I sometimes use different types of chips depending on who I’m baking the cookies for.  If I know someone prefers sweeter chocolate I’ll not use a super-dark chip/chunk. I love to use Jacques Torres or Valrhona feves, but I sometimes just use chunky chips from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

Oh, I almost forgot one of my favorite parts of this recipe! The dough freezes super-well! I weigh out portions, put them on a cookie sheet and cover them with plastic wrap and freeze them until they’re very very solidly frozen. I then transfer them to ziplock bags. Any time I have a hankering for a cookie I grap a few dough balls from the freezer and let them defrost a bit and then bake ’em up!

NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies Close

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is adapted from a recipe published in the New York Times in 2008 by David Leite.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Best Recipe, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cookie Recipe, Cookies, New York Times Cookies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Resting Time 18 hours
Total Time 48 minutes
Servings 18 Cookies
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

  • 8.5 ounces cake flour 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
  • 8.5 ounces bread flour 1 ⅔ cups
  • 1.25 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 10 ounces salted butter 2.5 sticks/1.25 cups
  • 10 ounces light brown sugar 1.25 cups
  • 8 ounces sugar 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract I use a generous pour!
  • 1.25 lbs. best quality chocolate chunks feves or super chunky is the best
  • Maldon Sea Salt optional

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer, cream together the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. I usually let it mix on medium for at least five minutes while I'm measuring out the dry ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flours and the baking powder and soda and set aside.

  3. Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.

  4. Add vanilla.

  5. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the dry ingredients.

  6. Add chocolate and mix a little to incorporate.  I like it when the mixer breaks up the big chunks a bit.

  7. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, pressing it down onto the dough so there's no air touching the dough.

  8. Rest the dough in the refrigerator for 18-36 hours. I usually try to give it at least 24 hours.

  9. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet.

  10. Weigh out scoops of dough to exactly 3.5 ounces. Trust me, this recipe turns out best when you are really particular about weighing out the dough! Place six of the dough balls on the tray with a lot of room around each one. If you're going to use sea salt on the cookies, sprinkle a bit on each dough ball now.

  11. Bake for 18-20 minutes. The cookies will look a little gooey still. Remove from oven and let rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool further.

  12. Repeat until all your cookies are baked.

  13. Eat the whole dang batch and then start prepping another!

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the best cookies I’ve ever made! They’re perfect in every way, iconic even! There’s a long resting period for the dough, but trust me, it’s SO worth the wait!

cakes Recipe

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake is a three layer masterpiece of light sponge cakes with pecans,  and luscious cream cheese frosting with toasted coconut, and vanilla and almond flavors!

Italian Cream Cake

I’ve made several versions of this Italian Cream Cake over the last several months. I’ve toyed with my recipe a bit here and there. This version is mostly based on the recipe from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen.

I think this is a FABULOUS party cake! Three layers always impress guests. The almond, vanilla, pecan, and coconut makes this cake a little more sophisticated than your average chocolate or yellow cake. It’s so easy to decorate this cake too. It’s SO forgiving… the coconut and pecans hide any frosting mistakes.

I photographed this cake recently at my mom’s house. I perched it on her milk glass cake stand. I think it looks just stunning! I’ve got to get one of those cake stands for myself!

Italian Cream Cake

5 from 1 vote
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Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake is a three-layer masterpiece of light sponge cakes with pecans,  and luscious cream cheese frosting with toasted coconut, and vanilla and almond flavors!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 16 Slices
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

Toasted Pecans & Coconut:

  • 14 ounces sweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans

Cake:

  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened 1 cup, 225 grams
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 7 ounces toasted coconut (mentioned above)
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans (mentioned above)

Frosting:

  • 2 packages cream cheese Two 8 ounce packages
  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened 1 cup, 225 grams
  • 2 lbs confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • remaining toasted coconut
  • remaining toasted pecans

Instructions

Toasted Pecans & Coconut:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Chop up the pecans, they don't need to be too small.

  3. Spread pecans evenly on one of the baking sheets and repeat with the coconut.

  4. Put both sheets in the hot oven and toast for 5-10 minutes. CHECK ON THEM FREQUENTLY! The coconut goes from toasted to burnt very quickly! I really like the toasted coconut because it gives a lot of texture to the cake, but I suppose you could skip the toasting part if you wanted. 

  5. Remove both sheets from oven and set aside to cool.

Cake:

  1. Grease and flour three 8-9 inch round cake pans. (I actually used aluminum disposable pans at my mom's house and the cake turned out fine!)

  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars for about 5 minutes until light in color and fluffy.

  3. Add egg yolks and extracts to the butter/sugar and mix until incorporated.

  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix into batter alternately with the buttermilk in a few parts.

  5. Add coconut and pecans and mix well.

  6. Beat egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into the batter.

  7. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow layers to cool completely before decorating.

Frosting:

  1. Cream together butter, extracts, and cream cheese in a large bowl or stand mixer.

  2. Slowly add confectioner's sugar a little bit at a time until it's all incorporated. Beat the frosting until light and fluffy.

Assembling the cake:

  1. Position first layer on a cake stand and top with a hefty dollop of frosting. Spread evenly across the layer. Top with the second and third layers in the same fashion.

  2. Frost the sides of the cake. Use all of the amazing frosting and make it really thick!  Don't worry about making it too pretty, the coconut and pecans will hide any mistakes.

  3. Pat handfulls of coconut onto the side of the cake. Sprinkle pecans on top of the cake.