Twinkie Bundt Cake

It’s been awhile since I’ve done any baking.

Honestly, it’s been awhile since I’ve done anything other than wedding planning… and marry the love of my life. With the excitement and joy of the wedding day come and gone, I’m slowly rediscovering this thing called free time. As I unravel the day-to-day and embark on Mission Free Time, baking is at the top of my list.

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Having seen this Twinkie Bundt cake on Instagram, I knew this could be the recipe to snap me out of my baking coma. After seeing the post, I couldn’t stop talking about it. A Twinkie Bundt cake?? It sounded so wrong that it could only be right.

Thinking of twinkies conjured up memories from childhood: a red vinyl lunchbox safe guarding a PB&J sandwich, apple slices, and the prized Hostess snack… a twinkie. A guilty pleasure that, at the time, we didn’t know we needed to feel guilty about. Even still, I say leave the guilt at the door, tie on your apron and get ready to impress your friends and families with this buttery delightful recreation of your favorite childhood snack.

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The outer edges of the bundt glisten with a perfect golden brown hue while the soft yellow inside is offset by the shiny white marshmallow filling. As your fork dives in for a bite, you’ll notice the moist and spongy nature of the cake. A few crumbs may escape, but overall the slices maintain their form. The decadent buttery flavor will pique your tastebuds and leave you wanting more. The marshmallow filling adds another level of sweetness without being too overwhelming.

If you attempt making this cake (as you should!), I have three parting suggestions:

  1. Be generous: as you cut out the circles for the marshmallow filling, be careful not to break through the top of the cake but also be sure to remove enough of the cake so the marshmallow fills the slice. I wasn’t as generous with my scooping as a could have been which leads me to suggestions number two.
  2. Save the extra: if you find yourself with extra filling, save it! Serve each slice of cake with an extra dollop of mallow. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
  3. Top it off: for an extra flavor boost, try adding fresh strawberries or blueberries to each slice.

For the complete recipe, head on over to Smitten Kitchen.

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Raspberry Thumbprint Scones

Can we talk about these scones for real? They are ridiculous in the best possible way. The dough, oh that dough. It crumbles in your mouth but doesn’t fall apart on your plate. It’s graced with flaky salty morsels while remaining sweet. It’s even good enough to be devoured on its own sans jam. But who are we kidding? Of course we’re going to put jam on it.

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I generally try to avoid recipes that call for obscure ingredients. And by obscure, I mean anything not typically found in my pantry. Almond what? Coca-who? These intimidating ingredients usually lead to depleting my baking budget while filling my shelves with items I won’t use again. However, for this recipe I put on my big girl pants and ventured down the path of the unknown. The outcome was these delicious Raspberry Thumbprint Scones.

Okay, so almond meal and buttermilk might not be the most obscure foods out there, but they don’t typically find their way into my kitchen. Turns out tracking them down wasn’t half as hard as I thought it was going to be.

I was able to purchase almond meal from the bulk bins at my local grocery store, which allowed me to cut costs and only buy the amount the recipe required. As for buttermilk, I chose to use an easy at-home substitute. Mix 1 tbsp of white vinegar with 1 cup of milk; let rest for 3-5 minutes and voila! You can now scratch buttermilk off your list. Although it’s not as flavorful as true buttermilk, I love this trick because I use what the recipe calls for and am left with regular milk (a baking staple!).

When whipping up these scones, store bought jam will do just fine. The magic comes in baking the scones. As the dough bakes, the jam begins to break down and comes out thicker and seemingly gooier than before. I opted for raspberry but you can use any flavor jam or preserves your heart desires.

Now do yourself a favor and head on over to Butter and Brioche for the complete mouth watering recipe.

Peach Blueberry Greek Yogurt Cake

I’ve cast caution to the blazing hot wind this summer and have continued to bake in the relentless heat. Turning my apartment into a sauna seemed like a good idea at first. You know, save on those expensive trips to the spa (you’re welcome roomie). I’ve even tried embracing my inner night owl, waiting to bake until the sun to goes down and the cool temps make an appearance. This recipe is the result of one of those endeavors.

I had just finished a bowl of popcorn, a movie was streaming in the background, and I was finding my second wind. I was heading to a friend’s for brunch the next morning and knew this would be the perfect item to bring. Behold, I give you the Peach Blueberry Greek Yogurt Cake.

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Okay, the name is a bit of a mouthful, but you are going to love every bit of this moist, tangy sweet cake. Slices of peaches adorned with juicy blueberries layer every bite; you almost forget that you’re eating cake for breakfast.

The fruity colors of orange, red, and blue scream summer to me and awaken memories of sunrises dancing on lakes or early morning rays glimmering through your tent. If the vibrant colors aren’t enough to draw you in, hopefully the simple ingredient list will do the trick. The components of the cake are probably already in your kitchen; since I have a bag of berries that live in my fridge year round, the only ingredients I had to go out and grab were the greek yogurt (I opted for a single serve 8 oz container) and the peaches. Once you’ve gathered these items, follow the two step mixing process of wet ingredients followed by dry ingredients; pour the cake batter into your greased pan and decorate with sliced peaches and blueberries. Voila! You’ve just prepared a crowd pleasing, eye catching breakfast staple. Really, it’s that easy.

Head on over to Julia’s Album for the complete recipe.

Blackberry Almond Cake

Summer is in the air, like 90 degrees in the air. I’d like to tell you this post is about me trying out creative recipes that don’t require baking in an oven. But, alas, I’m a sucker for freshly baked goodies. . . even in the hottest of summer months. . . in an apartment with no A/C. So with windows open, the whispers of a breeze flowing in, and the steady whir of fans in the background, I set out to bake this Blackberry Almond Cake.

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I love this recipe for a couple of reasons:

  1. Incredibly approachable ingredients. This moist cake only calls for eleven items; the majority of which are are probably already in your kitchen.
  2. Prep time is a breeze. There’s no waiting, sifting, or rising involved with this cake; simply mix the ingredients, pour into a pan, and then pop it into the oven. What’s not to love about that?
  3. Berries. Berries. Berries. This cake will be amazing with any berry of your choosing; I opted for blackberries like the original recipe called for, but you can easily adjust depending on what’s in season or your personal preference. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, a berry medley …. need I go on?

The sweetness of this cake is subtle, which makes it perfect for breakfast (or really any time of day). The flavor ride starts with the spongy, moist cake slowly melting in your mouth and continues on to bursts of fresh, juicy berries, and gems of crystallized sugar. Finally, there’s the crunch of perfectly toasted almonds that adorn the top. My mouth is already watering…

For the complete recipe, head over to Seasons & Suppers.

Basic Sugar Cookies

I don’t know how Santa Claus did it. Somehow, in the midst of delivering all those presents, he’s managed to get the rep of needing a plate of cookies when he arrives at your house. Whether it started with parents and their sweet tooths or an older tradition, the idea of leaving cookies and milk out for good ol’ Kris Kringle has stuck. I’m not mad about it. That’s actually one of the traditions I love. However, you may be wondering why I’m talking about Santa in April. Well, with Easter upon us it has me thinking…. what about the Easter Bunny?

He’s big. He’s fluffy. He gives out Easter baskets. Wouldn’t he like some cookies too?

Better believe it.

So, Easter Bunny, this post is for you.

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This basic sugar cookie recipe is great for any occasion. The dough calls for less than 10 ingredients and can be made up to 3 days in advance. Just remember, it does need to chill for at least 1 hour!

I love these cookies because they aren’t overly sweet but still provide satisfaction to a sugar craving; I could eat them in the morning with coffee or after dinner for dessert, but then again, that’s how I like to enjoy most sweets.

The royal icing is also relatively simple and only requires 3 ingredients. When making the icing, you will want to prepare piping frosting as well as flooding frosting; the main difference between the two is their thickness. The piping frosting should be used first to line the edges of the cookie and is what will prevent the flooding icing from running off the sides; the piping frosting is also used to add designs to the cookies. The flooding icing, as the name suggests, is more fluid and can be used to add the base color to the sugar cookie. If you’re confused and want to dive more into icing, Sweet Sugarbelle does a great job detailing the process.

Now that you know the basics, let your creativity abound. Happy frosting, friends!

Recipe links:
Sugar Cookie Dough (Thanks Real Simple!)
Royal Icing (I used the egg white version, thanks Joy of Baking!)

Triple Berry Scones

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is curl up with a good book, a cup of coffee, and a freshly baked pastry. Okay, to be fair, it’s usually multiple cups of coffee and more than one pastry, but I do stick with one book. It had been a while since I was able to indulge in this relaxing pastime, and I was experiencing serious cravings for a scone. Luckily, my weekend schedule was pretty light and the weather outside was overcast and rainy. It was the ideal time to commit to staying in and testing out a new scone recipe.

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I’ve only dabbled with making scones a few times in the past, and they sadly produced less than stellar results. This was is it though. I could feel it. Today was going to be the day I conquered the scone.

To me, the perfect scone, is soft and slightly crumbly on the inside, yet firm and crisp on the outside. Extra points go to the ones that are dusted in crystallized sugar. And, of course, berries. ALL the berries.

As I set off to make these scones (recipe via Pretty. Simple. Sweet), I was having a hard time picking just one type of berry to use. So naturally, I decided to use all of them. The mix I chose included blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. You can find frozen mixed berries at your local grocery store or, if you prefer, you can opt to use a single type of berry.

Pretty. Simple. Sweet’s recipe delivers on exactly the kind of scone I was craving. The use of heavy cream in the dough produces a pastry that is rich yet balanced. The extra sugar on top adds sweetness which is cut by the zest of the lemon and the juice of the berries.

I have a feeling this recipe will be getting a lot of use in my kitchen…

Oversized Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Lazy days are something I rarely grant myself the freedom to enjoy. But after weeks of busyness and a schedule that has me running from place to place, sometimes a lazy morning is exactly what’s needed. And what better way to indulge in a day off than to enjoy freshly baked cinnamon rolls.

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When it comes to these morning pastries, the phrase Go Big or Go Home comes to mind, well kind of. I mean, I’m already home, and I’m going big too. So. There.

…. have I mentioned these cinnamon rolls are oversized?

Not only are these cinnamon rolls oversized, they are swirled with intricate layers of cinnamon and topped with a well balanced creamy, sweet frosting. One of my favorite things about these rolls is that they can be prepared the night before. You can even slip out of bed half awake in the morning to let them finish rising. As the smell of cinnamon wafts through your house, you’ll have enough time to brew a pot of coffee and prepare the decadent frosting. When it comes time to layer on the frosting, don’t be shy; it’s part of what makes these treats so special.

Once the rolls finish baking and you’ve adorned them with frosting, grab a cup of coffee and head back to bed to enjoy the warmth of your covers and a good book.

To treat yourself to these cinnamon rolls, head on over to Lovely Little Kitchen for the recipe. If you want to make these rolls oversized, like I did, simply cut the dough into 8 sections instead of 12. For an extra punch of cinnamon, I also added 4 tablespoons to the filling instead of the recommended 2-3.