Tag Archives: desserts

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling

A couple of weekends ago, I decided to experiment with a new cupcake recipe.  But not just any cupcake recipe.  After spending entirely too much time watching shows such as Cupcake Wars and DC Cupcakes, I decided to experiment with filled cupcakes for the very first time.

I had already bookmarked this recipe from Food & Wine for double dark chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter filling (say that three times fast…), so this seemed like an appropriate time to pull it out and give it a try.



Considering I had never made filled cupcakes before, I think they turned out pretty well!  My number one take-away lesson for next time, though: Add. More. Filling.

These cupcakes were a little involved, but totally worth it!



Chocolate Cupcakes


3/4 cup & 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

½ cup boiling water

1 cup buttermilk

1 ¾ cups flour

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ sticks butter

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin cups.

2. Combine cocoa powder and boiling water.  Whisk until smooth.  Add buttermilk.

3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

4. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Then beat in dry ingredients alternating with cocoa mixture.

5. Spoon batter into liners (about two-thirds full) and bake for 20-22 minutes.

6. Let cupcakes cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then let them cool completely on wire racks before filling.



Peanut Butter Filling


1 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup powdered sugar



1. Beat the peanut butter and butter until creamy.  Add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

2. Spoon filling into pastry bag with star tip (or if you’re like me, a plastic baggie with the corner cut off works just fine).

3. If you have a pastry bag, push tip into top of cupcake and fill.  If using a plastic bag, cut a cone shape out of the top of the cupcake, fill, then replace cone.


Chocolate Icing


1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped



1. In small saucepan, bring heavy cream to a simmer.

2. Off the heat, add semisweet chocolate to cream and let stand for 5 minutes before whisking together until smooth.

3. Let icing stand until slightly cooled and thickened (mine took about 10 minutes, but it could take up to around 15 minutes).

4. Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the icing, let stand for 5 minutes, and then dip the tops again.





Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Last week, I was on a mission to find smoothie recipes so that I could live off of “liquid food” while my mouth recovered from the shock [read: pain] of new brackets on my back teeth.

At some point in the midst of my smoothie search on allrecipes.com, I came across this recipe for Banana Bars, which led me to this recipe for Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting.  I honestly can’t remember how I found the recipe or why I decided to make it (especially considering that I would typically just make banana bread muffins with any extra bananas on hand), but I’m SO glad I did.  On both accounts!

This recipe, which is somewhere between a banana cake and a banana bread, is simply amazing!  And bonus, it gets even better after taking up residence in the fridge for a few days.

Banana Bars


½ cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups white sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups mashed bananas


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 10×15 inch pan.

2. Cream together butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then stir in the sour cream and vanilla.

3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt and stir into batter (I actually beat it on low for about a minute). Then add the mashed bananas.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

5. Cool completely before frosting.

Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting


1 8oz. package cream cheese

1 cup white sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream


1. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.

2. Combine cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth (this may take a little time, but it WILL get smooth).

3. Fold in whipped cream to cream cheese mixture.


Strawberry Pie

I’ve mentioned before that I like to bake cakes for family gatherings.  If a cake seems even halfway appropriate for the occasion, I am all there with my [meager] cake-baking skills!

But for Father’s Day this year (an occasion that would typically necessitate a cake by my standards), my Dad specifically requested a pie.  A fruit pie to be exact.

I couldn’t decide between a key lime pie and a strawberry pie…so I made both.

I used Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Key Lime Pie (Sorta), which was good, but the Strawberry Pie – an adaptation from about 4 or 5 different recipes – really “took the cake”.


FOR THE CRUST, I found this basic recipe on allrecipes.com.  Aside from using butter-flavored shortening and adding a couple tablespoons of sugar, I followed this recipe exactly, and it turned out great.  I even did a lattice top (and considering it was my first time, it didn’t look too bad)!


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2/3 cup butter-flavored shortening

6 tablespoons ice-cold water


1. Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.  Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter until the mixture is blended and crumbly.

2. Mix in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, with a fork.

3. Divide the dough into 2 balls, and roll each out into a circle 1 inch larger than the inverted pie plate.

4. Place one circle of dough into pie plate.  Add the filling.  For lattice top, cut remaining circle of dough into strips and make weave pattern on top of filling.  Cut off excess crust around edges. Fold under excess dough so that it is even with the edge of the pie plate.  Seal and flute the edges of the crust with a fork.  Brush top of crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar before baking,


FOR THE FILLING, I combined several recipes, all the while hoping and praying that even with my lack of pie-making experience, the combination would work out okay…and I’m happy to report that it did!


2 pounds of strawberries, cut into large chunks

1 ¼ cups sugar (or more/less depending on sweetness of fruit)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (could add more to taste)

2 tablespoons butter


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Mix together sugar, flour, cornstarch, and cinnamon.  Mix lightly with strawberries.

3. Let filling sit for 30 minutes before adding to crust.

4. Once filling is in the crust, dot the fruit with butter.

5. Cover with lattice strips (see #4 from the crust instructions).

6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is slightly brown.


Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake Cookies

On Sunday evening, I had an intense craving for chocolate, but didn’t feel like making anything overly complicated.  I considered just making brownies, but didn’t have a box mix in the pantry.  (And yes, I actually prefer brownies from a box to any made-from-scratch recipe that I’ve tried.  I know; it doesn’t make sense…)

So my search for chocolate led me to this FABULOUS recipe for chocolate chocolate chip cake cookies on allrecipes.com!



I mean…YUM!  These cookies are rich and moist and wonderful!




Except for a couple of minor ingredient substitutions (regular salt instead of kosher salt and salted butter instead of unsalted) and one omission (no nuts – I’m allergic), I followed the recipe exactly.


          1 cup butter

          1 ½ cups sugar

          2 eggs

          1 teaspoon vanilla extract

          2 cups all-purpose flour

          ½ teaspoon salt

          2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

          2 cups semisweet chocolate chips



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (for 8-10 minutes).  Add the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla.

3. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in large plastic baggie.  Seal bag and combine until no separate ingredients are showing.

4. Add the flour mix to the butter/sugar.  Mix together until completely combined (about 3 mintues).  Add the chocolate chips.

5. Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 11 minutes.  Let cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.




Aunt Sarah’s Coconut Cake

I like to make cakes.  Whenever a family gathering calls for a cake (birthdays, holidays, etc.), I rather eagerly volunteer to make it happen. 

Last year for Easter, I decided that I wanted to make a coconut cake, so I called my MeMaw to track down my Great-Aunt Sarah’s recipe (rumor had it the cake was good).  An hour later, we were caught up on life and I had the recipe…and bonus, three additional recipes as well!

The rumor was correct – the cake was good!  So I made it again this year…with a few changes of my own.



Butter flavor cake mix

2 cups sugar

16oz. carton sour cream

12oz. pkg. coconut

12oz. tub cool whip


  1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions.  (Aunt Sarah’s recipe calls for 2 round 8” cake layers split in half when cooled, but I cheat and use 3 round 9” layers instead.)
  2. Combine sugar, sour cream, and coconut, blending well.  Chill.  Reserve 1.5 cups of mixture for frosting.  Spread remainder between cake layers.
  3. Combine reserved sour cream mixture and cool whip for frosting.  (Aunt Sarah’s recipe says to spread on top and sides of cake, but this year, I used it in between layers as well – on top of the sour cream mixture.)
  4. Seal cake in air tight container and refrigerate for 3 days before serving.

 Trust me; the 3 day wait is totally worth it!  Enjoy!