I haven’t done a recipe roundup in QUITE awhile and thought it was high time I bring you some of the best, brightest and cutest dessert ideas from around the blog world! If only I had more time I’d make every. single. one. of these but we’re a little short on time these days so I will probably have to be satisfied with picking up some mini robin eggs at the store and eating ALL of them while I drool over these pics. Doesn’t sound like too bad of an idea, huh?
Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, if not my all-time favorite. I’ve made a few…Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, Gingerbread Cheesecake, New York Style Lemon Cheesecake and one of my all time favorites and very first recipes, a layered Red Velvet Cheesecake cake. Not to mention a few cheesecake filled cupcakes (here and here). But I have never made a no bake cheesecake and honestly have always been skeptical of the no bake variety. In my mind, it just NEEDS to be baked. But this cheesecake proved me wrong…can you say divine?! First of all, I actually LOVE the fact that this cheesecake didn’t need a water bath and an hour and a half in my oven! And second, it is just as creamy and delicious as the baked variety. Sure, there is definitely a different in texture but it’s not a bad thing at all.
I chose to make this Oreo variation from Life, Love and Sugar. The only difference was adding a bit more Oreos, homemade whipped cream and a ganache to top it off. I took it to a family dinner and it was a huge hit, but cut the slices small because we all agreed it was VERY rich. Perfect with a hot cup of coffee or tall glass of ice cold milk!
In a medium bowl, combine the Oreo crumbs and melted butter. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan. Let chill in the refrigerator to firm up.
For the Homemade Whipped Cream
In the bowl of an electric mixer (cream will whip better if bowl and whisk are chilled in freezer for 30 minutes), beat the heavy whipping cream until thick and holds shape. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Set aside in the refrigerator to use for the filling.
For the Filling
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Slowly beat in the whipped cream. Gently fold in the Oreo crumbs. Pour into the Oreo crust and let chill in the refrigerator overnight.
For the Ganache
Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. In a small pan over medium heat, bring the heavy whipping cream just to a boil and immediately pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for one minutes and then begin stirring until all the chocolate is melted. Let cool for a few minutes. While ganache is cooling, remove sides of the springform pan from the cheesecake. Pour ganache onto the middle of the cheesecake and down the sides. Let cool completely in fridge until ganache is firm. Serve chilled.
Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favorite combos and it is absolutely delicious in these super easy Peanut Butter Gooey Bars! I looooove easy these days, let me tell ya. Don’t be put off by the use of a boxed cake mix–they really come in handy sometimes! I added Rice Krispies for a little crispy/chewy texture but feel free to leave them out if you wish. Perfect treat to whip up on a cold winter night (which apparently we are having lots of around here in the Midwest–UGH).
Combine peanut butter, butter, eggs, cake mix and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well combined. Gently mix in the Rice Krispies. Press half the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pour on the sweetened condensed milk. Top with remaining cake mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack and cut into squares.
I had the extreme pleasure of going to a friends house this past week and witnessing a special dessert being made called fastelavensboller; basically cardamom yeast buns filled with whipping cream. She is from Norway and these mark the beginning of Lent in her country. A link to the recipe can be found here. She made hers basically the same way, although she used regular all-purpose flour for the buns and filled them with a raspberry whipping cream. They were decadent and so delicious. Not to mention pretty! She put hers into heart shaped tins for a special Valentine’s Day twist. It was such a fun project and I felt so honored to be able to share in it! I can’t wait to try making them myself! Below are a few photos that documented the process.
Doesn’t the title of these things just SOUND delicious?! As well it should because these bars are good. Very, very good. They definitely remind me of one of my favorite recipes of all time, Sugar Cookie Bars, but with a touch of cocoa in the bars (YUM) and decadent white chocolate cream cheese frosting. They are perfect for Valentine’s Day with the red in the batter and cute, sparkly pink sugar hearts on top. I used a cookie cutter to make the heart shape and directed the pink sugar with a funnel into the heart. Easy! These make great treats for kids and adults alike!
Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars
3⅓ c. All-Purpose Flour
¼ c. Unsweetened Cocoa
½ t. Salt
1 t. Baking Powder
1 c. Unsalted Butter, softened
1½ c. Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 T. (one, 1 oz. bottle) Red Food Coloring
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
1, 8 oz. Pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
½ c. Unsalted Butter, softened
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 c. White Chocolate Chips, melted
4 c. Powdered Sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick spray.
For the Bars
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Press evenly into the bottom of the 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool bars completely on a wire rack before frosting.
For the Frosting
In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla and the melted white chocolate. With the mixer on low, gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Spread evenly over sugar cookie bars.
Superbowl is this Sunday and of course we’ll be having something sweet! When it comes to food for parties, I really prefer it to not require utensils and be easy to eat. The less fuss, the better. These brownies fit the bill and oh yeah, are super delicious. If you haven’t tried Nutella by now, these brownies are a great place to start (after eating some straight out of the jar with a spoon of course). The combo of creamy cheesecake and dense brownie swirled with rich Nutella make these the perfect dessert for the big game day, in my opinion. Can’t wait until Sunday! I mean, it’s really about the food after all.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan.
For the Brownies
Combine flour, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Spread batter into pan.
For the Cheesecake
In the bowl of an electric mixture, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Pour over brownie batter. Drop spoonfuls of Nutella over the cheesecake and gently swirl into the cheesecake batter with a knife.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until center is set. Cool completely on a wire rack and then chill in the refrigerator overnight and until ready to serve.
A few weeks ago a new donut (doughnut? I never really know) shop opened in downtown Springfield, MO and people went NUTS. I mean, NUTS. It was lines out the door, front page news, donut PANDEMONIUM. So of course I had to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. We ventured downtown late one Saturday morning with stinker butt (that would be our daughter, Avery) and to our surprise there was no line out the door and hardly anyone inside. Apparently we had just missed the rush. Yay! So we got to swagger right up to the counter where we were greeted with a plethora of brightly decorated, candy and cereal crusted donuts.
The variety was pretty big….from your basic glazed yeast donut to maple bacon long johns and cake donuts dipped in frosting and covered with cereal, candy bars, sprinkles and almost anything else you could imagine. It reminded me of a place I had seen on Food Network years ago called VooDoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon.
So how were the donuts? Pretty tasty. I wasn’t a fan of the cake donuts with all the crazy toppings (cereal and candy on a donut just isn’t my thing) but the streusel yeast donut and glazed maple long john we had were quite delicious. I can definitely understand the appeal to so many people with all the variety they have. You’re bound to find something you like! At this point, they are open 24 hours a day so check them out if you are in the area. Hopefully this place will be around for awhile!
I had grand plans this past Thanksgiving of making pie, which is definitely one of my favorite desserts. For me, it ranks up there with cheesecake, bread pudding and really good wedding cake. However as the time drew near, I quickly realized how challenging it would be to make two or three pies with a seven month old demanding my attention. Yeah, not happenin’. Soooo, Plan B was these German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars. And I must say, I am NOT sad that I had to make these instead! Imagine pecan pie, loaded with coconut and bittersweet chocolate chunks, on top of a chocolatey crust, in bar form. To. Die. For. I can honestly say I’m glad I had to change things up because these were out of this world delicious!
2 c. Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I like Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet but you could also use semi-sweet, etc)
2 c. Sweetened, Flaked Coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over the sides to use as "handles". Lightly grease foil.
For the Crust
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and cocoa powder. Add butter and crumble it with your fingers or a fork until it resembles a coarse meal. Press into the bottom of the 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
For the Filling
In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and eggs. Stir in 1 cup of coconut and pecans and pour over the crust. Top with remaining cup of coconut.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and set (mine was still the slightest bit jiggly in the very middle and I was ok with that). Cool completely on a wire rack. Lift baked bars from pan using foil "handles" and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.
The science behind baking is one of the things I love most about getting in the kitchen and whipping up a yummy sweet treat! This video very simply explains what happens when you bake and why. Check it out!
Gooey butter cake again? YES. And this time with Nutella. NUTELLA. In OOEY GOOEY BUTTER CAKE. Can your mind even comprehend?! I’ve made all kinds of gooey butter cakes, but this one might be my favorite. It’s rich, decadent and perfect with ice cream. A great, chocolatey addition to any holiday spread!
1, 18.25 oz. Box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 Large Egg, at room temperature
½ c. Unsalted Butter, melted
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Filling
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
3 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. Nutella
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
3¾ c. Powdered Sugar
½ c. Unsalted Butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.
For the Cake
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg, butter and vanilla and mix well. Pat into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.
For the Filling
Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs, Nutella and vanilla. Dump in powdered sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well. Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes (mine is done around 40), until a tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Have you heard of dessert hummus? Sounds kind of gross, right? When you think of hummus you typically think savory, spicy, chickpea goodness served with veggies, crisp chips and deliciously soft, warm pita bread. You usually don’t think of dessert. But this recipe will forever change the way you view hummus! Because chickpeas have a fairly neutral flavor, they are a great base for MANY things (brownies, fudge, etc). Kind of like avocado…remember this awesome Chocolate Avocado Pudding made with avocados?! Yeah, it was awesome. But back to the hummus…in a word, this stuff ROCKS. You would never know it was made with BEANS and you definitely don’t have to tell people. I absolutely love that it is healthy and a perfect holiday treat. I served it with graham crackers, gluten-free cinnamon crisp cookies and tart fuji apples. I actually liked the apples best for dipping! That is when I was actually using something to dip it with and not just eating it with a spoon. Kind of addictive. But in a good way! Try this for your next holiday party just don’t mention the beans! 😉
I am into FAST recipes these days. But of course they still have to be delicious. And obviously were in the full swing of fall so they either need pumpkin or apples involved somehow. Which gives us this super moist, super yummy Praline-Apple Bread. I love quick breads, especially ones that are topped with a gooey praline topping. The chunks of apples, bursts of cinnamon chips and crunchy, toasted pecans make this bread perfect for a brunch, snack or after dinner dessert! I took it to a mommy/baby play date and it was almost gone by the time we left! I call that a successful recipe!
2 c. Finely Chopped, Peeled Jonagold Apples (or golden delicious, granny smith, etc. It ended up being about 3 large apples.)
1½ c. Cinnamon Chips
1 c. Chopped Pecans, toasted
½ c. Unsalted Butter
½ c. Dark Brown Sugar, firmly packed
½ t. Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sour cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed for 2 minutes or until blended.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple pie spice. Add to sour cream mixture, beating just until blended. Fold in apples, ½ cup of pecans and 1 cup of cinnamon chips. Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle with remaining pecans and cinnamon chips, lightly pressing them into the top of the batter.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil after 50 minutes to prevent excessive browning (I missed the tip about the foil and my edges were well done so I strongly recommend doing it.) Cool in pan on wire rack, placed over a baking sheet, for 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and spoon over top of bread. Let cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.
Fall is in the air! Cooler weather, leaves falling, sweaters and boots, bonfires, apple and pumpkin EVERYTHING. I love it! Definitely my favorite season. So I thought I’d start things right with this recipe for Pumpkin Crunch Cake. I saw this recipe on The Picky Apple and since it had over HALF A MILLION pins on Pinterest, I thought it might be a good one to try. The bottom is like a yummy custard type pumpkin pie and the top is cakey and slightly crunchy from the pecans. So good! I topped mine with homemade cinnamon whipped cream, Bourbon Salted Caramel from Fat Toad Farm and organic dark chocolate chips. If you’re looking for a delicious fall recipe, this is the one!
Pumpkin Crunch Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, Bourbon Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Chips
1, 15 oz. Can Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1, 12 oz. Can Evaporated Milk
3 Large Eggs, room temperature
1½ c. Sugar
1 t. Cinnamon
½ t. Salt
1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
1, 18.25 oz. Spice Cake Mix
1½ c. Pecans
1 c. Unsalted Butter, melted
Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Dark Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10½ inch springform pan or 9x13 cake pan. I used a springform pan which did leak a little so I put a large, round baking pan under it.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Pour into the pan and sprinkle the cake mix on top (I only used about ¾ of the cake mix because I used a springform pan), then the pecans and drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for 1 hour or until the middle of the cake is firm (mine took about 1 hour and 10 minutes). Cool completely. Top with cinnamon whipped cream, caramel and dark chocolate chips.
Sometimes I think I like my healthy recipes better than my totally unhealthy ones…for instance, these No-Bake Energy Bars. One word-AMAZING. Easy and delicious, sweet but not too sweet, chewy and just yummy. Wholesome ingredients like oats and flaxseed and a little indulgence from the dark chocolate chips. Perfect pick me up in the afternoon when energy is at an all-time low. Now if I could only eat just one…
2 c. Dessicated Coconut Flakes (the unsweetened kind)
1 c. Ground Flaxseed (I used flaxseed meal)
⅓ c. Coconut Oil, melted
½ c. Organic Dark Chocolate Chips
Line a 9x13 pan with foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, agave and vanilla until smooth. Add oats, coconut flakes and ground flaxseed and combine thoroughly. Stir in coconut oil. Stir in dark chocolate chips. Press evenly into bottom of pan. Refrigerate for at least 30-45 minutes until bars are firm. Invert onto a cutting board, peel away foil and cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.
My love affair with ooey gooey butter cake is well-documented here, here and here. I love it and I’m not ashamed. And I’ll probably keep coming up with more versions as long as there’s a semi-creative bone in my body! Hope you guys don’t mind. Actually I know you won’t mind once you taste this Banana Split Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. It. Is. Divine. Literally like a banana split in cake form and so, so, SO good. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
2 Ripe Bananas, mashed (not brown ripe like for banana bread and not green...just nice and yellow)
1 c. Maraschino Cherries
1 c. Pecans, toasted and chopped
8 oz. Pineapple Tidbits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
For the Cake
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cake mix, egg, butter and vanilla on medium speed until well combined. Pat into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.
For the Filling
Still using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat in mashed bananas. Dump in the powdered sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well. Beat in cherries, pecans and pineapple tidbits until just combined. Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is firm in the middle.
I never thought I was a huge fan of snickerdoodles until I found the recipe I’m going to share with you guys today. I mean, I always liked them ok but if given the choice, I’d probably choose a peanut butter or classic chocolate chip cookie. However, this snickerdoodle totally gives those other cookies a run for their money. Just like the title says it is totally soft and crazy thick and full of yummy cinnamon flavor! I took them to our gourmet cooking club the other night and heard several people say they were THE BEST snickerdoodle they’ve ever had. Yay! And I have to agree! If you’re looking for a cookie you can whip up quickly and will get you rave reviews, look no further! This is it!
1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
1⅓ c. Granulated Sugar
1 Large Egg, room temperature
2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
3 c. All-Purpose Flour
2 t. Cream of Tartar
1 t. Baking Soda
2½ t. Ground Cinnamon
½ t. Salt
¼ c. Granulated Sugar
1 t. Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Make the topping by tossing the ¼ cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three different parts. The dough will be thick.
Roll 1.5-2 Tablespoons of dough into a ball and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes, rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Let cool on the pans for two minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Just when I think I’ve found the most amazing brownie recipe ever and can end my search for good, I find another recipe that claims to be “the best, most chocolatey, fudgiest, decadent, to-die-for, OMG good” brownie EVER and just have to try it. Such was the case with these Ultimate Fudge Brownies.
I’ve tried a few brownie recipes in my time (many flops that I have never even bothered to blog about…or maybe I should have just as a warning to readers haha) and thought I had found the perfect one with the infamous Baked Brownie but honestly, this new one totally gives it a run for its money. And I’m pretty positive I like it better. Ok, I KNOW I do. It’s thicker, denser, fudgier, richer and so, so, SO GOOD. The perfect brownie? Umm, yes. For now at least! I’m not sure it can get any better! And they are easier to make than the Baked Brownie which is another plus when you’re the mom of a newborn. You DEFINITELY need fast and easy.
½ c. White Chocolate Chips (or whatever kind you prefer...dark, milk, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9x9 square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a large bowl in the microwave at 30 second increments, stirring each time until the butter is completely melted. Mixture will look gritty. Set aside for a few minutes and let cool slightly.
Stir in the vanilla extract. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition. The batter will be thick and glossy. Add the flour, stirring with a whisk until just combined. Do not overmix the batter. Gently fold in the semi-sweet and white chocolate chips with a large spatula. Pour into prepared baking pan.
Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick/tester inserted in the middle comes out clean with only a few crumbs. Do not overbake.
Cool brownies completely on a cooling rack, cut into squares and store in an air-tight container.
I know what you’re thinking….avocado pudding?! Hear me out on this one though! Believe it or not, avocados make a great base for a LOT of desserts. My brother-in-law, who is from the Philippines, will not eat guacamole because where he is from they use avocados in sweet things, smoothies, etc. so using it in a savory way is weird to him. When I heard that I thought it was so strange but it kind of makes sense, especially now that I’ve tried it in a sweet dessert.
Avocados are fairly neutral in flavor, can be blended until they’re super creamy and contain loads of nutrients and healthy fat! And this pudding is absolutely delicious. SUPER thick, creamy, chocolatey and not too sweet. Honestly, I don’t think anyone would know the difference if you never told them it wasn’t “real” pudding. They’d probably even like it better! I know I do. Oh and did I mention it literally takes minutes to make? Put everything in your food processor and done! Easy!
Remove skin and pits from avocados and place in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and blend for a few minutes until mixture is smooth and no green pieces remain. Scrape down the sides and blend for a few seconds more, until mixture is thick. Put pudding in a bowl or air-tight container and place in the fridge for at least one hour before serving.
Cheesecake is one of my all time favorite desserts, especially New York style cheesecake. So a couple of weeks ago when we were getting together with some extended family for a little cookout, I knew what I’d be making for dessert! Nothing better than cool, creamy cheesecake on a ridiculously hot day…well, ok, maybe ice cream is better but cheesecake doesn’t melt!
I have a fabulous cheesecake recipe that I decided to put a little twist on with fresh squeezed lemon juice and grated lemon rind. I also topped it with homemade whipped cream, which not only looks pretty but helps balance out the sweetness of the cheesecake. It was fabulous and the perfect ending to a great meal!
2¾ c. Lemon Sandwich Cookie Crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs)
8 T. Unsalted Butter, melted
4, 8 oz. pkgs Cream Cheese, at room temperature
4 Large Eggs, at room temperature
1 c. Sour Cream
1½ c. Sugar
¾ c. Milk
¼ c. All-Purpose Flour
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
½ c. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (I used 4 large lemons)
2 T. Lemon Zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. (Wrap pan in foil if doing waterbath. I did not do a waterbath but did place the pan on a large cookie sheet to catch butter that would leak out.)
Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press evenly into bottom of pan and up the sides an inch or so.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium to high speed until smooth. Blend in milk and then mix in the eggs all at once, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Beat in lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour filling into crust.
Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the center appears firm. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Chill for at least 4-24 hours before serving. Top with homemade whipped cream just before serving.