“Ice Cream” Cake and Cupcakes

My sister-in-law asked me to make the cake for her daughter’s first birthday party.  I have been wanting to make ice cream cone cupcakes for a while now and this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

I don’t want to brag, but I thought that they turned out so cute! 🙂

Want to make some?

They are super easy!

Here’s what you need:

1 package of cake mix (any flavor)

18 flat-bottomed ice cream cones (I used larger cones, which made it so the cake didn’t bake over the cone.  You can use regular-sized cones as well, just know that the cake will bake and rise higher than the cone).

1 recipe for Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Sprinkles

24 maraschino cherry’s (optional)

Here’s what you do:

1.  Preheat over to 350 degrees.

2.  Prepare cake mix according to package directions.

3.  Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each ice cream cone.

4.  Stand cones on cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpicks inserted into centers come out clean.

5.  Cool completely.

6.  Decorate as desired.

I also wanted a cake to go with the cupcakes for the birthday girl to dig into.

Here is the “ice cream” cake that I made to accompany the “ice cream” cupcakes.

Guess what?

The cake was easy to make as well! 🙂

Here’s what you need:

1 package of cake mix (any flavor)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe (see above)

Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Sprinkles

2 Maraschino Cherries

Here’s what you do:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.  Prepare the cake following the package directions for the basic recipe.  Pour about 2 cups of the batter into a greased round pan and about 3 cups of batter into a greased square pan.

2.  Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

3.  Cool completely.

4.  Cut the round cake in half.

5.  Cut the square cake in half, diagonally.

6.  Place the round cake halves along the 8-inch sides of the triangular cakes.  (I had to cut the “cones” a bit to make them more triangular).

7.  Frost the “cone” portion of the cake with chocolate frosting and the “ice cream” portion of the cake with vanilla frosting.  Decorate as desired.

I sure had a blast making these cakes…you should try them out as well! 🙂

Pumpkin Bars

 

I worked at a bakery/sandwich shop called the “Old Grist Mill Bread Company” for a few years when I was in college.  I loved working there!  One perk of being an employee was that I got to buy any baked good for 50% off.  Needless to say, I practically lived on Old Gristmill bagels and bread for those two years!

Aside from delicious bread and sandwiches, they make to-die-for sweets.  Although I loved their oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies, I seriously think that I liked their “pumpkin squares” the best.  The toughest part about working there was giving the customers their orders and wishing that you could eat it instead!  I always salivated when I gave the customers their pumpkin squares! 🙂

I found this recipe a while ago and it tastes just like I remember the Old Gristmill pumpkin squares tasting like.

Only better.

Because I can eat the whole entire batch all by myself!

I definitely have to be careful with these.  The recipe makes a ton and I usually only make it if I know that people are coming over or if I am going visiting teaching so that I can give most of it away.  If I didn’t give a lot of it away, then it would be gone (in my own digestive system) in less than 24 hours.  No joke!

I you love pumpkin as much as I do, you simply have to try out this recipe!

Pumpkin Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tsp. salt

4 eggs, beaten

1 – 16 oz. can pumpkin

1 1/3 cup sugar

1 cup cooking oil

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine beaten eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and oil.  Beat until well mixed.

3. Add dry ingredients, and mix together until smooth.

4. Spread batter into an ungreased cookie sheet (15″ X 10″ X 1″).

5.  Bake in oven for 25-35 minutes.

6.  Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting (see below)

Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Beat together the ingredients below until light and fluffy:

1 – 3 oz. package of cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2.  Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

I got the idea for these cookies from The Idea Room .  I am even, once again, using a picture from the actual blog I got the idea from because her picture was so cute that I just couldn’t make mine look better 🙂

As I posted on Friday, we try to take healthy foods on the road with us, but I wanted to make one treat for our trip to Utah this weekend, and had already decided on chocolate chip cookies.  But I put away our old recipe and used this one at the last minute and am so glad I did.  They are delicious.  I love the texture that the pudding adds to the mix.  And the little extra flavor.  This one is a keeper.  Thanks, Amy!

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (3 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

First you combine the first 5 ingredients.  Then you beat in the eggs one at a time.  Then you add the flour.  Once the batter is combined, add the chocolate chips.  This batter is pretty stiff. 

Place in rounded teaspoons on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  

No-Bake Energy Bites

I’m being lazy today and re-posting something off of a blog I love and follow (Smashed Peas and Carrots).  The picture and recipe are hers and I hope you go over to her blog and check it out and I hope you try out these tasty snacks.
We learned how to make these at enrichment night and I can’t stop making them.  They are way better than granola bars.
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Go ahead, Indulge!

Chewy Cranberry Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

These. Are. Delicious.

Enough said.

🙂

Chewy Cranberry Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

8 ounces butter, slightly softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten lightly

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/3 cup dried cranberries

1 cup flaked coconut

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Mix the dry ingredients together, then stir in the oats.  Set aside.  Beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, then scrape down the bowl; add the honey and vanilla and beat until blended.  Add the flour mixture in two additions, beating each until well combined.  Stir in the cranberries.  Drop by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheets.  Bake until the centers of the cookies are soft and no longer wet; about 9-11 minutes.  Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix first four ingredients together and then add dry ingredients and chocolate chips.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Mmmmm Delicious!

Strawberry Lemonade Trifle

I am a huge fan of trifle.  It can be modified to fit any occasion.  Usually I enjoy a little chocolate in my trifle, but with spring here in full force, I was looking for a lighter taste.  I may have ended up eating most of this by myself…but it was so tasty!

Strawberry Lemonade Trifle

1 box lemon cake

1 lb strawberries, sliced

1 box instant vanilla pudding, prepared

1 tub of cool whip

It’s pretty simple really.  Make the cake as directed on the box.  Once it’s cooled, cut into 2 inch pieces.  Then proceed to layer cake, pudding, whipped cream, and strawberries until your dish is filled and pretty.  Then enjoy!

(feeds about 20 people so be prepared)

Easiest and Yummiest Doughnuts on the Planet

(Disclaimer:  The above picture was taken from this website)

Our parents were in town this week and my hands were actually able to accomplish something other than holding our adorable chunk of a baby 24/7.  As such, I thought that it would be a perfect time to try out this recipe, which I have had my eye on for a while.  In all actuality, it barely counts as a “recipe” because it is so easy.  My Mom lives for sweets, which is a very good thing.  Otherwise, I would have ended up consuming every last doughnut single-handedly, and that would have been a very bad thing.

Anyway, the author of this website has written a very nice tutorial, which I followed.  These doughnuts did not disappoint…and they were seriously the easiest dessert that I have ever made.

Go ahead and give it a try today!  I guarantee you won’t regret it!

Best Brownies Ever

Disclaimer:  I am obsessed with The Pioneer Woman.  I’ve loved her cookbook for a while and follow her blog daily.  The obsession is only fueled now by her Food Network show and her second cookbook coming out soon.

About a month and a half ago I saw her make these Knock You Naked Brownies on her show.  I made them that week for Ty’s blessing luncheon and they were a big hit.

Today my family is in town from Utah and we are celebrating my sister Alyssa’s birthday so I made these instead of a cake.  I will admit that they are SO bad for you but the are also SO sweet and delicious that a small piece is worth it.

(This is PW’s recipe.  I didn’t use pecans in mine and I doubled the cake mix/evaporated milk part to fit a 9×13 pan)

Ingredients

  • 1 box (18.5 Ounce) German Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 1/3 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk (additional)
  • 1/2 cup Butter, Melted
  • 60 whole Caramels, Unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, chopped pecans, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until totally combined. Mixture will be very thick.

Press half the mixture into a well-greased 9 x 9 inch square baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water) melt caramels with additional 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When melted and combined, pour over brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the caramel.

Turn out remaining brownie dough on work surface. Use your hands to press it into a large square a little smaller than the pan. Use a spatula to remove it from the surface, then set it on top of the caramel and chocolate chips.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for several hours. When ready to serve, generously sift powdered sugar over the surface of the brownies. Cut into either nine or twelve helpings, and carefully remove from the pan.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

We’ve decided to do a regular posting here on our blog called Sunday Sweets.  Every Sunday we will post a dessert that we have enjoyed and recommend to be made as soon as possible.  Really.  As soon as possible.

We have a cake shop here in Palmdale called Nadia Cakes.  They are hands down the best cupcakes I have ever eaten.  Last year, in the months preceding my husband’s birthday, he was able to sample quite a few flavors of those cupcakes and had found his favorite.  The Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcake.

He’s usually not a chocolate cake fan.  He’s a kid at heart and favors the confetti cake and frosting.  But when he kept dropping hints about these cupcakes leading up to his birthday, I knew we’d go a different route.

I wasn’t about to spend $4 a pop for cupcakes for everyone that would come to celebrate with us, so I went off in search of a copycat recipe and I managed to find a pretty good one.

I wanted to do a brownie cupcake but I knew if I ruined it I’d be upset.  I decided to experiment with that on a later date and just go regular cake cupcake.  My husband is a fan of box cakes so I didn’t get to wild there.  I just mixed up a chocolate cake and then added a cup of pudding to the batter to make it extra moist.

For the frosting I used this recipe:

Frosting

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned or freshly ground)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons whipping cream

First I creamed the butter, peanut butter and vanilla extract.  Then I alternated adding the powdered sugar and the whipping cream.  I will say that I used quite a bit more whipping cream than it called for to get the consistency that I wanted, but I don’t know how much more exactly.  Just follow the recipe and then add to your liking.

It was DELICIOUS!  We had enough extra that we sinfully treated ourselves to frosting daily for about a week afterwards.  We put it on graham crakers and animal cookies.  My kids were stealing it out of the fridge by the spoonful.

I topped it off with a bite size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Michael said it was just as close to Nadias as I could get and I was happy for the cheaper version.

We’re still finding new flavors of cupcakes we love at their shop though and definitely recommend a visit if you haven’t been there!