This post is sponsored in conjunction with #AppleWeek . I received complimentary product from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
Apple spice cake. Cream cheese frosting. Dark Chocolate. All wrapped up in a portable treat. You’re welcome in advance.
I’m calling them cakesicles because they’re just too big to be cake pops. Hefty squares are like a slice of cake on a stick. Sure, you can totally make them into smaller pops – but one taste and you’ll understand why bigger is better.
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Both kids got cookbooks for Christmas, so for the past several weeks, both kids have been obsessed with playing restaurant. They browse through their stack of cookbooks, deciding what to make, and then cook and serve it out of their play kitchen.
It’s adorable, and I’ve been eating up every second of it.
This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
I always feel a little more nostalgic about my German heritage at Christmas. I think it’s a remnant of Opa’s Christmas cookie packages, which were synonymous with Christmas for all of my childhood. Without even thinking about it, I end up planning some German-inspired dessert for our holiday table – like this Black Forest Cheesecake.
This is obviously not traditional, but the flavors are there – and, I’ll be honest, this is going to be easier than your traditional Black Forest Cake.
Note: I received complimentary product for this post. All opinions are my own.
Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble…
What shall we add to the witch’s brew today? Essence of mummy? A pumpkin picked at midnight?
These adorable cupcakes are reminiscent of a witch’s cauldron, so of course, there’s a magic potion inside – courtesy of Sprinkle Pop! I used two of their sprinkle mixes in these cupcakes and they were so, so perfect for getting the desired effect.
I used the Lime Green Sprinkle Mix on top of the cupcakes to give the image of a bubbling cauldron. The cupcakes are stuffed with their Monster Mashup Sprinkle Mix. The kids had so much fun biting into the cupcakes to see what the witch had cooked up in her cauldron – ghosts, eyeballs, mummies, and pumpkins!
These were a quick from-scratch batch of cupcakes and buttercream, but you could always use a boxed mix and icing if you’re more comfortable – the sprinkles are the real stars here!
This is also the first recipe I’m sharing for this year’s #Choctoberfest – you can check out a TON of other chocolaty goodness from my fellow bloggers right here: An InLinkz Link-up
For the cupcakes:
1 cupgranulated sugar 1 cup all-purpose flour 6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 1tsp.baking powder 3/4 tsp.baking soda 1/2 tsp.salt 1/3cupvegetable oil 1/2 cupmilk 1egg,lightly beaten 1 tspvanilla extract 1/2cuphot coffee
For the icing:
1/2cupunsalted butter at room temperature 5cupspowdered sugar 2tsp.vanilla 1/4cupmilk
Green food coloring
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Whisk in the oil and milk until combined. Add the egg and stir to combine. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Add the coffee and stir until evenly combined – it will be quite thin.
Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pan, filling each well 2/3 of the way.
Bake for 20-24 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the buttercream, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time and beat. Add in the vanilla, milk, and food coloring. Beat until fully incorporated.
After the cupcakes are cooled, use an apple corer or small knife to cut holes into the cupcakes. Fill the holes with sprinkles. Ice with the butter cream then dip each cupcake into the green sprinkles. Top with additional sprinkles if desired.
Disclaimer: Thank you AppleWeek Sponsors: Swiss Diamond, Nordic Ware, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, The Spice House, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan’s Irish Oats and Nairn’s for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The AppleWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The AppleWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the AppleWeek posts or entry.
Another #ImprovCookingChallenge, another opportunity to get outside my comfort zone! I’ve never cooked with lemongrass before – I actually had to google a picture of it so I knew what to look for in the store – but I’m really loving the result here!
The base is beautifully rich and fluffy and then the swirl is the perfect blend of blueberry and lemon to compliment. Right after I tasted it, I texted my mom that this was going to be my contribution for Easter dinner – it’s that good!
The recipe makes more of the blueberry/lemongrass filling than you need for the cheesecake. Since it comes out as almost a jam-like consistency, we used our extras as jam for toast.
You can see the other bloggers’ blueberry and lemongrass creations here:
The #ImprovCookingChallenge is a monthly blogging event where two ingredients are assigned to a month. Bloggers can make any recipe they like as long as it features the two ingredients. If you are a blogger and would like to join us, please visit our Facebook page.
You can also read more about the event on our home page. If you’d like to see previous creations, check out our Pinterest board.
Blueberry Lemongrass Cheesecake (adapted from Taste of Home) Makes 1 cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, and lemongrass in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the berries begin to cook down and the sugar is dissolved. Remove the lemongrass and transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan and whisk in the cornstarch. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened and almost a jam-like consistency. Set aside
Mix together the graham crackers, sugar, and butter until well combined. Press into a 9″ springform pan, going up the sides slightly. Place prepared pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
In a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, flour and vanilla. On a lower speed, add in the lightly beaten eggs and mix until just combined. Pour the filling into the crust.
Dollop 3-4 Tbsp. of the blueberry lemongrass mixture. Use a knife to swirl it along the top of the cheesecake.
Return the pan to the baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until the center of the cheesecake is nearly set. Transfer the pan to the cooling rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. Cool at room temperature for another hour, then refrigerate overnight.
What’s better than chocolate lava cake? Chocolate lava cake with warm, melty peanut butter sauce in the middle. Seriously you guys – this is what dreams are made of.
We fell in love with lava cakes after a cruise a few years ago and they’ve since become my go-to special occasion dessert. And this one is freaking amazing. If you’re a chocolate-peanut butter fiend like me, you will love this! That melty peanut butter is really something special.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it makes just two little cakes – perfect for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or any other occasion where you want something special for a smaller crowd. The recipe can, of course, be scaled up to make more – but sometimes it’s nice to have something already sized for two!
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray two ramekins with non-stick spray. Combine 1 1/2 tsp. flour with the cocoa power and coat the inside of the greased ramekins with it – shake off any excess. Place prepared ramikins on a baking sheet and set aside.
Combine 4 Tbsp. butter and the chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
Using a stand mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, and salt on medium-high for about three minutes, until the mixture is think and pale yellow. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate until no longer streaky. Fold in the flour and mix until smooth.
Use 2/3 of the batter to fill the ramekins, then place half of the peanut butter mixture on top of each ramekin. Cover the peanut butter with the remaining batter.
Bake for 14-16 minutes – the top should be set but the cake should still have a little jiggle. Let sit for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
Need more ideas for Valentine dishes for two? Here are some great ideas!