Double Chocolate Banana Cake

As usual, I had a couple of over-ripe bananas and needed to find something to make to use them up. I don’t know why we always end up with 2 or 3 bananas that never get eaten?!? I was thinking about making one of my muffin recipes, but then decided on this recipe for a double chocolate banana cake.

It’s super moist, rich and I used a combination of peanut butter and chocolate chips to make it even better. It takes all of 5 minutes to throw together and then 30 minutes of baking until you have this delicious cake. It can be eaten at room temperature, but I recommend eating it when it’s warm.

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Upside Down Peach Cake

Peach season is winding down and I grabbed one last basket of peaches from the farm stand I visited all summer. This basket ripened all at the same time and I knew we wouldn’t be able to eat them before they went bad, so I decided to bake a cake. My coworker mentioned making an upside down peach cake and I thought it was a great idea. I mean, you can’t go wrong with glazed peaches and a moist cake. Top with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yummy!

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Blueberry Ricotta Cake

My kids have been asking for me to bake a cake and this is one that I’ll definitely be making them again. It’s not too sweet and is super moist. The only berries I had on hand were blueberries, but I can’t wait to make it again when strawberries are in season. I’m thinking it will be great with a little whipped cream – almost like a strawberry shortcake. I was able to use the last bit of ricotta cheese I had in my fridge from another recipe. I’m really trying to be better about using up every little bit of food and not being so wasteful. If you have any tips, I’ll take them!

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Blueberry Yogurt Cake

I’m a little behind getting my posts up about blueberries. It’s been another crazy busy week and I think it might get only worse in a few weeks. In addition to working full-time, my Rodan+Fields business, this blog, my family, I’ll be starting to coach cheerleading. I know, I might be crazy, but our family seems to function between when we’re busy and have things to do. I’m finding this summer, we’re just lounging around the house and not really getting anything accomplished. Though it’s nice to have some down time, we’re getting in a rut and need to start doing things again.

Anyways, here’s a quick and easy cake recipe to make! I loved that it wasn’t overly sweet and could be eaten for breakfast or a snack. I swapped out the flour for white whole wheat flour and it worked perfectly. I think I might mix the blueberries into the batter before putting in the pan since I was hoping they would sink into the batter more and not be right on top…you know so every bite was packed with fruit.

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1 cup white whole wheat flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease and lightly flour a 9 inch round cake pan. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer beat the softened butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and mix until well combined and light in color.  Reduce the speed to low and add in half of the flour and yogurt and mix. Add in the remaining ½ cup of flour and mix until just combined.

Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan and lay the blueberries evenly over the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool and then transfer to a serving plate. You can sprinkle the top with powdered sugar right before serving or make a glaze to top it.

Source: Julia’s Album

Chocolate Cupcakes

Madeline is cheering again this year and each week different parents are asked to bring in a snack and drink. A couple weeks ago it was my turn and it also happened to be on the of coach’s birthday, so I thought cupcakes were the perfect treat after the game. Now I usually would have just made a regular cupcake recipe, but one of the girls has an egg allergy. I didn’t want to exclude her from the group, so I searched for a new recipe. The recipe I found that reminded me of the cake in my black bottom cupcake recipe. I made a few tweaks to the recipe based on some of the reviews and I think they turned out really good.

They were super moist and all the girls thought they were delicious! I made sure to use my expensive unsweetened cocoa powder and coffee to make sure the chocolate flavor was intense. I topped them with a simple butter cream frosting and sprinkled a little bit of red sugar sprinkles on top.

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup canola oil (I am going to cut this back to 2/3 cup next time I make it)
2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cold water
1 cup cold coffee
1/2 bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder. Make three wells in the dry mixture and add the oil into one, vinegar into the second and vanilla into the third. Pour the cold water and coffee over the entire mixture and stir well until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Divide the batter for 24 cupcakes, filled 3/4 way. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one cupcake comes out clean. Remove from muffin tins and allow to completely cool on a wire rack. Frost with your favorite icing.

Adapted from allrecipes.com 

Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake

Yes, once again I found myself with over-ripe bananas that I needed to use. I think it happens at least one a month, but no one was complaining this month after I made this cake! It was soooo good. The cake is moist and light, and then the caramelized bananas with the melted butter and brown sugar glaze, takes it up a notch. I really can’t put it into words, trust me, you just need to make it for yourself.

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3-4 medium bananas, sliced horizontally and then sliced vertical
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray, place on a baking sheet and set aside. 
Pour the melted butter in the bottom of the pan. Spread the butter around to make sure the entire pan and sides are well-coated with butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the melted butter. Begin to cover the bottom of the pan with the sliced bananas in a pinwheel. Use small pieces of banana to fill in the gaps. Add 8 to 10 short banana pieces around the sides. 
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and baking powder. In a smaller bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk, sour cream, oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just combined. Gently pour the batter over the bananas.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the center of the cake is set and golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for at least one hour. Once cooled, invert the pan on a plate. Remove the pan and allow the butter sugar mixture to flow over the cake. Slice and serve. 
Source: Averie Cooks

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Last weekend we had my husband family’s annual family reunion. I never know what to make but I usually bring a dessert so when I started thinking about something. I searched Pinterest and some of my favorite food blogs and saw Annie Eats Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes. Perfect! I always try to make something that I can leave since most times we need to leave early because the kids are done after a couple hours.

These were really good! I loved the pumpkin flavor and the coffee was subtle. I would have liked it stronger but couldn’t find espresso powder at my grocery store so I’ll need to order some online to have it on hand the next time I want to make these. I had a lot of compliments and knew they were a winner!

Now a little bit of an update on us, we’re pretty much settled in our new house. Just a few more things to unpack and then it’s time to start decorating! In addition to moving to a new house, I started my own business! In addition to my full time job, being on the PTO board at my daughter’s school, I’m so happy to announce I’m an independent consultant for Rodan + Fields. Feel free to check out my website and take the solutions tool. I’d love to help you get on the journey to the best skin of your life!

2 2/3 cups flour
3 Tbsp instant coffee (espresso powder if you have it)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup coffee for brushing on top of cupcakes

Frosting:
2 1/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper lines and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients – flour, instant coffee, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Stir together and set aside.

In the bowl of stand mixer, combine the pumpkin, both sugars and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture just until incorporated.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove and place on a wire rack. While the cupcakes are still warm, brush them two or three times with the brewed coffee. Let cupcakes cool completely.

To make the frosting, place the cold heavy cream in a bowl of an stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium-low speed at first and then increasing to high speed. Add in the confectioners sugar gradually and whip until stiff peaks form. Pipe the whipped cream frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Source: Annie’s Eats

Carrot Cake

I love carrot cake but rarely make it; I’m not sure why, but I have the perfect recipe and can’t wait to make it again. The cake is super moist and I love the cream cheese frosting. There’s just a hint of sourness from the sour cream that brings everything together. I topped the caked with crushed pecans but you could always omit those if you’re not feeling nutty.

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp table salt
1 lb medium carrots, peeled and shredded (approximately 3 cups)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups canola oil

Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp light sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch sheet pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugars and eggs on medium-high until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly stream in the oil. Increase the speed to high and mix until the mixture is light in color and has emulsified. Turn off the mixer and stir by hand the carrots and dry ingredients. Mix until completely combined.

Pour batter into your prepared baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes and then invert on a cooling rack to cool completely. I left mine in the pan to cool completely since I wasn’t covering the sides with frosting.

To make frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla at medium high speed with a hand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and mix until the frosting is fluffy. Frost and sprinkle chopped pecans on top of cake.

Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Pumpkin Roll

Rolled cakes were one of those items that I was “scared” to bake. I never had made one before and all the steps seemed so daunting! I finally made one for Thanksgiving and I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long! It was so good and I now I know I can conquer a few of my other items on my baking bucket list!

The cake is really easy to make and the pumpkin flavor is perfect. Not too strong and not too weak…just perfect! I think my next rolled cake is going to be a red velvet one. I’m drooling already thinking about it. 🙂

Cake ingredients
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Filling ingredients
8 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

extra powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 15×10 inch jelly roll pan. Line the pan with parchment papwer then grease and flour the parchment paper. Set aside.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and eggs with an handheld mixer on medium speed. The mixture will be thick after 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and using a spatula fold the cake batter together until no flour is remaining. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. While the cake is baking, place a clean kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.

Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Turn the cake onto the prepared towel and carefully roll up the cake with the towel. Place the rolled cake on a wire rack seam side down and allow to cool to room temperature.

While the cake is cooling, make the filling. Beat together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixture on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Once the cake is cooled, carefully unroll the cake. Spread the filling evenly over the surface of the cake. Roll the cake up around the filling and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Right before serving, unwrap cake and place on a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar. Slice and enjoy!

Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Cinnamon-Apple Cake

Last weekend, we went to our local orchard and picked 15 pounds of apples. You can’t beat 99 cents a pound for fresh PA apples. We picked a variety of Granny Smith, Stayman (it’s said like our last name) and Fuji….so be on the lookout for new recipes featuring apples in the coming weeks.

One of my mom friends was looking for a dessert to make with cheesecake and apples and I did a little searching for her since I had cream cheese in my fridge I needed to use you and it was the perfect time for me to do some baking. I found a recipe for a cinnamon-apple cake that uses apples and cream cheese – perfect!

We both made the cake and I have to agree with Megs, it’s delicious and so moist. The cream cheese in the batter makes it. You must try it and make it this weekend….just be prepared for it to be eaten in record time. My only suggestion is to double the amount of apples – I’ll note the amount I’ll use next time in the recipe below. Both my husband and I wanted there to be more apple pieces in the batter.

1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 ozs fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 cups chopped and peeled granny smith apples (or other variety of apple)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 inch springform pan (or a 9 inch round pan) with cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl of a mixer, beat together 1 1/2 cups of sugar, butter, vanilla and cream cheese until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each one. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and beat at low speed until well blended.

Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Take 4 tablespoons of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and mix with the chopped apples in a separate bowl. Add the apples to the batter and fold into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the side of the pan. It will be about 1 hour if you use the round pan. Cook the cake completely on a wire rack before cutting with a serrated knife.

Source: Cooking Light