Cotton Candy Cupcakes

With summer officially in swing, I can’t help but think of fair food: funnel cakes, candy apples, corn dogs, and, as you can imagine, cotton candy! Growing up, I used to LOVE cotton candy, especially the blue (actually, anything blue candy gets my vote), so it only makes sense that I made a cupcake version.
The cake itself is a pretty standard vanilla–where the cotton candy comes in is the lovely cotton candy toppings (of course) and the frosting. Yep, that’s right: there’s cotton candy in the frosting. Not only does it provide a bit of coloring (I opted to add a bit of coloring, but it’s optional), but some of the cotton candy doesn’t fully dissolve, leaving lovely little pieces.

Coffee Caramel Ice Cream

Nothing screams “Summer!” quite like ice cream. And, sure, you can go with the traditional–vanilla, strawberry, chocolate–once you’ve mastered those, it’s time to move onto something something more adventurous.

Actually, “mastered” might not even be the right word. Did you know ice cream actually isn’t all that difficult to make? It’s true! Outside of the basic ingredients, all you need is a lot of patience. That’s it. No special skills or magic required.

Trust me. Give this coffee caramel ice cream a go and you’ll see what I mean. You’ll be able to “master” ice cream in no time!

Coconut Almond Bars & Classic Yellow Birthday Cake

Did you miss last month’s recipes? Now’s your chance to catch up. Not only did I make myself a birthday (apparently you aren’t supposed to make your own birthday cake, but who cares!), but I also make something that incorporates both coconut flakes and almonds (two things my boyfriend hates but managed to love this time around). Read on to learn more!

Classic Yellow Birthday Cake

Classic Yellow Birthday Cake

With my birthday coming up in a few short days, I wanted to make a classic: a yellow birthday cake. Both easy and delicious, there’s no wrong way to decorate a classic yellow birthday cake. It’s an “all about the taste” cake, so don’t feel like you have to do something extravagant. Keep it in the pan and just frost the top, have several layers with frosting in the middle… The choice is up to you. With something so delicious, it doesn’t matter how it looks.

What You Need

CakeBlog Cake Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup) salted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

FrostingBlog Fristing Ingredients

  • 3 ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup) salted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 

How You Do it

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare pan. If you’re going to serve in the pan, simply butter and flour. If serving right out of the pan, line with parchment paper. I used a 9’x13’ with the intention of cutting it in half, so if you’re not going to do that, you can use a smaller pan.
  2. Cream together the sugar and butter.Blog Butter Sugar
  3. Adding one at a time, mix in eggs and vanilla. The consistency will be similar to that of uncooked pudding.Blog Sugar Butter Eggs Vanilla.jpg
  4. In a separate dish, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternating with the milk, pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until all are combined.Blog Cake Batter
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let set as room temperature for at least 20 minutes, then place in freezer until ready to decorate (it’s a lot easier to work with cold!).

Frosting

  1. Combine powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla. Mixture will not completely combine at this point; there will still be clumps.Blog Frosting Butter Sugar
  2. Add milk. Mixture will be slightly thinner than typical frosting.
  3. Add cocoa powder. This will thicken the mixture, but if you plan to frost your cake instead of piping, add some more milk until desired consistency is reached.Blog Frosting.jpg

Putting it Together

  1. Take cake out of the fridge. If making a layered cake, cut in half and begin to carve cake into desired shaped. If your layers are uneven, use a bread knife and shave off the tops.Blog Cake LayersBlog Carve Cake
  2. Stack the layers on top of one another, frosting in between, and create a crumb coat. If you’re planning on piping, this might be as far as you go–and that’s okay! If you’re interested in piping and adding sprinkles, continue below.Blog Crumb Coat
  3. Staring at the bottom, begin to pipe the cake. I used an open star tip, but which one you use is up to you.Blog Piping
  4. Pipe all the way around the cake. Depending on how you want to decorate the top, either pipe until the cake is completely covered, or leave the top open for sprinkles. If putting on sprinkles, do so carefully and slowly–they have the tendency to bounce around and make a mess! Putting the sprinkles on the dead center of the cake and then pushing them to the desired spot works the best. Pat them down if needed.20180520_131600 (2).jpg
  5. When you’ve finished decorating, that’s it! Cut, serve, and enjoy!Blog Cake Slice.jpg

The sprinkles make it so fun, worthy of any celebration.Blog Complete Cake.jpg

I love layered cake, don’t you?Blog Cake Center

I’m so excited for my birthday this year, and though I made this cake a few days before hand, I’m trying my best to save a slice or two for the big day. Until next time,

♥Danielle

Mix it up: The sprinkles I used are nonpareils, but if you don’t like the “crunch” they produce, you have so many other options. You can even use sanding sugar. Experiment!

Coconut Almond Bars

Coconut Almond Bars

When it comes to baking, these bars are as healthy as they get. Due they have a decent amount of sugar? Of course. Can we taste the butter? Absolutely. But there is also coconut and almonds, which means these are the epitome of ~healthy snacking~ right?

Okay, maybe not.

But they’re delicious, which is what counts.

Even if you’re not big on coconut or almonds, you might like these! My boyfriend, who hates both coconut and almonds found himself asking for more. These reason is that they’re more about adding texture, not so much flavor. Sure, you can taste them, but these bars produce a sweet vanilla flavor, augmented by the coconut flakes and sliced almonds. Definitely a crowd pleaser!

*A quick note: I cooked these on the shortest time possible as to end up with a gooey center. I’m talking fork-and-knife potential. If you’d like a firmer filling, simply bake for 5-10 minutes longer.

What You Need

Blog Crust Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter, softened

Blog FIlling Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ⅓ cups sliced almonds

 

How You Do It
Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and butter an 8″ x 8″ glass dish.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add in the butter until combined. There shouldn’t be any chunks of butter, and a ball of dough should form, able to hold its shape.Blog Crust Dough
  4. Press crust into glass dish and bake for 15 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. Note: the crust doesn’t have to be fully cooked at this point because it’s going to continue to bake later on.Blog Pressed in Pan

Filling

  1. Mix together the brown sugar, eggs, and vanillas until texture resembles a thin, grainy syrupBlog Filling Wet Ingredients
  2. Add in the unsweetened coconut flakes and sliced almondsBlog Filling Almonds CoconutFilling All Ingredients
  3. Pour over crust, making sure to cover the edges. If you’d like, sprinkle on some more coconut flakes. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on how gooey or firm you’d like the centers.Blog Glass Filled.jpg
  4. Cool for at least 20 minutes. If the bottom of the glass is still warm, don’t cut them yet! You’ll want them at least room temp–if not colder–otherwise, they’ll fall apart when you cut them. If you helps, stick them in the fridge or freezer. When they’ve finally cooled, cut and enjoy!Bars Stacked Done

Look at how deliciously gooey.Blog Bars Done

That’s all for now! If you give these coconut bars a go, let me know how they turn out. Until next time,

♥Danielle

Mix it up: Not a big fan of almonds? Try it with any other nut: walnuts, pecans… Completely up to you!

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Ever notice how versatile cheesecake it? You can have a plain cheesecake, cheesecake with fruit, cheesecake with chocolate, coffee-infused cheesecake…Basically, cheesecake is so forgiving that you can pair it with just about anything sweet and you’ll come out with something amazing.

Take the recipe below. There’s chocolate incorporated throughout–from the cookies in the crust to the chocolate in the filling to the chocolate on the top, this is truly the cheesecake for the person who never turns down chocolate. And don’t worry if you don’t have a spring form pan (see note below); you’ll still be able to make this with whatever pan you do have.

PB&J Cupcakes

I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, another peanut butter recipe? Danielle must really be obsessed with peanut butter.”

The answer is yes, yes I am.

These bring me back to my childhood. Lunch was always a PB&J on wheat bread. And these taste so much like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I can’t help but be nostalgic. They make me want to watch Nickelodeon and then go play with my Skip-It. These are fun and yummy, producing an instant smile.

Plus, if you’re like me and like a lot of jelly, these recipe can easily accommodate that. I just put a dollop of jelly on the top, but there’s nothing stopping you from putting on more. Nothing at all.