Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

I like to think I have some self-control when it comes to desserts.

As in, I don’t typically pig out on what I bake. I’m more of a taste-as-I-go kind of gal, sampling my way through the making and baking process, and taking a bite (or, three) of the final goodie before sharing with whoever wants some. If I’m not baking, then I’m what’s called a dessert nibbler-yes, I did just make that up. I prefer to nibble on all available dessert options rather than commit to eating a single sweet. I’m just not ready to settle down with just one dessert. I like to give everyone their fair chance to win over my heart.

Notice I said typically.

I’m going to openly admit, all self-control went out the window with this Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake.

And, when I say all, I mean every single little ounce of self-control, completely gone.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

For starters, I couldn’t stop eating the batter. Why? I have no idea. It tastes like fluffy vanilla-yellow-cake yumminess and I was all but, sticking my face in the bowl, to eat it. No joke. I even scolded myself to stop while baking. Who does that?

Crazy baking ladies, that’s who.

Did I tell you that I not only made Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake in a cake pan, but also Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake donuts baked in a mini donut pan?

Yup. No self-control.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

You see, I really really really wanted to make coffee cake donuts. So, I did. But, I got a little too excited while filling each donut well, and ended up with muffin top mini donuts that didn’t really come out of the pan in one piece.  I blame the moistness of the cake. Seriously, it’s so ridiculously moist that it practically melts in your mouth. It’s an 11 out of 10 on the moistness scale. True Story.

So, I have a whole cake and a baker’s dozen of deliciously edible but, not super pretty Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake(s) in my kitchen.

Betcha wanna be my best friend now, huh?

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Want to hear how much I’ve pigged out? I’ve eaten four donuts (and counting). One before they had even cooled. Two before the cake had even finished baking. And my last one just because the cake looked so good, that I felt the need to eat another. Did I mention that was all in a matter of 30 or so minutes? Yeah, don’t judge me. I can’t help it. Really, I tried too. I offered some up to my mom, who like me, ate four donuts, and then simultaneously said we wouldn’t be sharing these with anyone, and that I was never allowed to make this coffee cake again.

And then we ate a slice of cake, because, well, what else do mothers and daughters do when they are faced with deliciousness? 

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

The best part is, once the donuts are gone, I have a whole damn cake left. That tastes just as good, if not better, than the donuts. Insert delighted school girl squeal. And, a happy dance, which I just did around the kitchen. See, crazy baking lady in the house. Don’t worry, I know you love my craziness. Because without it, you wouldn’t get this Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake.

And without this cake, your mornings will be the worst.

And when I say the worst, I mean worse than the worst.

Doesn’t that sound bad? Cause it is. And, you don’t want that. So, do me a solid and make this. Or, better yet, come visit me so I can make you your own share coffee cake with you.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake
Yields: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients:
Pecan Topping
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 coarsely chopped pecan pieces

Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Coffee Cake
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sour cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all pecan topping ingredients–brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt, flour, pecans–except the butter, until combined. Cut in the butter using a pastry knife or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together all cinnamon filling ingredients. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Add remaining dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Scrape the bowl as needed. Mix in sour cream until incorporated.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon filling, using a spatula to evenly spread. Top off with the remaining batter.
Sprinkle the pecan topping over the batter, pressing lightly for it to stick.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts browning too much, cover the top with foil and place back in the oven to continue baking.
Let cake cool completely before serving.

 

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

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Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
There is less than a week before summer. Well, more specifically, in five days it’s the first ‘official’ day of summer.

Emphasis on the official part. I’ve always been one to mark the first day of summer by the last day of school or the first day in June, which means I’m about seventeen days into my summer. But, hey, that could just be me. I have a tendency to go off book when it comes to holidays or events labeled on calendars.

Little known fact about myself: I like to celebrate (if I remember that is) the random, obscure, and definitely-not-listed-on-any-calendar national holidays. National Yogurtland Day? Best believe I’m waiting in line to eat my weight in free frozen yogurt. National Donut Day? Why, hello, Krispy Kreme drive thru, where have you been all my life? National Siblings Day? Instagram will be blown up with pictures of my brother and I, mainly because we were adorable kids, but also because the holiday demands it. Who am I to ignore these wonderful national holidays? But, better question, who are you to ignore them?

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Maybe it’s just me, but I find these kinds of days to be fun. I believe it’s the little things in life that make you happy, and these national holidays are the epitome of the little things. But, before I get more philosophical on you, let’s get back to the first official day of summer. A day that is listed on calendars, but not given very much attention on the celebration scale.

I vote we change that. I think it should be celebrated. And, what better way to do that than a Raspberry Buttermilk Cake? Yeahh, I’ll answer that question, there is no better way to celebrate it. So, if I were you, I’d join me. Like now, before the entire cake is eaten.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake. Funny story. I don’t ever have buttermilk or raspberries, for that matter, in my fridge. It’s just not something I buy with frequency. Actually, if we are being completely open, this was my first time buying raspberries. I know, how weird, right? Raspberries just aren’t my thing. In fact, the only berry that is my thing is a strawberry. Again, I know, how weird.

But, Costco had a sale. And raspberries scream summer. And, okay, fine, there wasn’t a good-looking box of strawberries left. So, the raspberries found themselves in my fridge, sitting next to a half-opened carton of buttermilk, which I had used to make a healthy potato salad (substitute buttermilk for mayo…surprisingly quite tasty) a few days before.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

And then I saw a recipe for a Strawberry Summer Cake on Smitten Kitchen. I think it was the world’s way of telling me to grab the raspberries and buttermilk and make a cake in honor of the first day of summer. And, when the world speaks to you like that, you don’t even think about it, you just do.

So I did. And, can I just say, I’m glad I did. The buttermilk cake is super moist, flavorful, and pairs rather nicely with the tartness of the raspberries. As the cake bakes, the raspberries turn into puddles of jam that soak into the cake, making your house smell amazing and your stomach grumble in anticipation. This dessert isn’t overly sweet, but I found a hefty spoonful of homemade whipped cream definitely makes up for that. It’s a light, summery, easy-to-put-together kind of dessert—so, basically, the ideal way to celebrate the first official day of summer if you ask me!

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yields: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter + extra for springform pan, softened to room temperature
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 oz fresh raspberries, washed and dried

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and butter a 9-inch springform pan (or cake pan or deep dish pie pan).
In a small bowl whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Mix in egg, buttermilk, and vanilla until well combined.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Arrange raspberries, bottoms up, on top of the batter in a single layer. Sprinkle, as evenly as possible, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the berries.
Bake cake for ten minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking for 50-55 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (gooey raspberries on the toothpick are a given). Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into slices and serve with whipped cream.

 

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Peekaboo Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pound Cake

PeekabooPCCPCakeMy laptop decided to take a nap.

Really, a permanent nap. And it refused to be awaken. So, I took it to be repaired. And this little repair, left me computer less for about two weeks. This is partly to blame for my lack of posting recently.

The other part, you can blame, is a few failed dessert photo shoots and my need for every picture to be perfect. I admit it, I’m somewhat of a perfectionist. Especially when it comes to this blog and the recipes I provide you. I just want you all to be happy with the taste and look of the final product…Can you blame me?

The one good thing about taking this baking break is that I was able to prioritize my ‘To Bake’ list. Meaning, that I have some really good recipes in the works (a lot of which involve pumpkin…the season simply demands it) that I CANNOT wait to share. You have been warned of the future deliciousness. Prepare your kitchens, stock your cupboards, and be ready for your stomach to growl in happy anticipation.

Now, can we just talk about how cute this Peekaboo Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pound Cake is? Just look at it.

PeekabooPCCPCake

Aside from being ridiculously cute, this cake is extremely delicious. Did I mention it’s actually pretty easy to make too? The peekaboo pumpkin is made from a box mix of pumpkin bread and maintains the wonderfully warm and cinnamony undertones you would find in the bread. The surrounding cream cheese pound cake is a homemade cake that contains both regular and pumpkin flavored cream cheese, giving it a slightly pumpkiny aftertaste. As a whole, the cake is extremely moist and both the pumpkin and cream cheese flavors are present in every bite!

Peekaboo Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Cake concept from SheKnows
Yields: One 9×5-inch loaf (+ about 6 cupcakes)

Utensils:
Medium sized pumpkin silicon molds (if you don’t have molds, you can use a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter—see the SheKnows website for directions on how to proceed).

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Bread
1 box pumpkin bread (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)
2 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
food coloring

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 oz. pumpkin spice cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions:
Pumpkin Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin bread mixture, eggs, vegetable oil, and water. Stir until combined.
Add food coloring (2 red drops + 3 yellow drops=orange) to the batter until you feel the pumpkin is orange enough.
If you are using pumpkin silicon molds, pour the batter into the mold, filling it only about 2/3 of the way, and bake for about 10 minutes—the pumpkin will still be doughy in the center, but should be slightly firm on the sides.
The bread requires about 7 medium sized pumpkins, which means you’ll have extra pumpkin batter (with my extra batter, I made mini pumpkin shaped cupcakes using the mini pumpkin silicone molds, but I suggest making extra medium sized pumpkins just in case one falls apart while pulling it out of the mold).
Let pumpkins cool completely before gently removing them from the mold. Place pumpkins in a container lined with wax paper.
Refrigerate for at least four hours (I let mine sit over night).

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Cream together butter and both cream cheeses, until creamy.
Gradually add sugar, beating until combined.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture until each egg is incorporated.
In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.
Add vanilla. Mix until combined. Set cake mixture aside.

Assembly
Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
Remove the pumpkins from the fridge. Place pumpkins right side up (the bottom of the pumpkin touches the bottom of the loaf pan) in the middle of the pan in a line from one side of the pan to the other.
Pour the cream cheese pound cake mixture over the pumpkins, making sure to cover the pumpkins completely (there will be some left over cake batter, I made cupcakes with mine and placed the mini pumpkin cupcakes on top as a decoration).
Bake for about an hour and 50 minutes—if the top of the loaf is browning to quickly cover the pan with foil.
Let the cake cool completely (if you can) before cutting into it to reveal the inside.

 

PeekabooPCCPCake3

Double Chocolate Snickers Bundt Cake

Double Chocolate Snickers Bundt Cake Sometimes you just need something over-the-top.

By need, I really mean deserve. As in we’re celebrating my Dad’s birthday and he needs a slice of Double Chocolate Snickers Bundt Cake. Or, I spent the week studying for the GRE and am stressing like crazy, so I need a slice (or, three) of Double Chocolate Snickers Bundt Cake. Or, insert any type of accomplishment, event, or mood (regardless if it’s good or bad) and you need a slice of Double Chocolate Snickers Bundt Cake.

And by that other part, the ‘over-the-top’ part, I really mean something so decadent, so chocolately, so delicious that you won’t even feel guilty eating a slice because it instantly makes everything (and, I mean everything) much better.

Do you see what I’m saying?

Sometimes we deserve to treat ourselves, or need a pick me up, or need to celebrate. Sometimes we need something to make our day a little better, our stomachs a little fuller, and our smiles a little wider. For these days, I usually turn to dessert, and if you’re like me, then I just found us the perfect go to dessert.

Hello Double Chocolate Snickers Bundt Cake. Where have you been all our lives?
Double Chocolate Snickers Bundt Cake

In one word I would describe this cake as rich.  As in, you’re going to need a large glass of milk or a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream to eat with any slice. The cake itself is extremely moist and chocolately both from the semi-sweet chocolate and the chocolate chips (which, melt slightly while the cake is cooking). The ganache is very rich and velvety, adding yet another chocolately texture to the cake. The caramel and Snickers toppings, which I highly recommend, give the palate a break from all the chocolate and really add the perfect final touches to this decadent dessert.

Double Chocolate Snickers Bundt Cake
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma
Yields: about 16 slices of cake

Ingredients:
Cake
7 ½ ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup cocoa powder + more for dusting pan
1 cup boiling water
2 ½ sticks (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 ½ cups light brown sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons vanilla
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups of sour cream 

Ganache
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream

Toppings
About 12 fun-size Snickers, cut into baby cubes
Caramel for drizzling

Directions:
Cake
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and dust Bundt Cake pan with cocoa powder.
In a medium bowl, combine semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa powder as much as possible.
Add boiling water and whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth and blended. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
Reduce speed to low and add brown sugar. Beat until just blended.
Increase speed to medium and continue beating the mixture until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, a little at a time, until well combined.
Add the vanilla. Mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
Reduce speed to low and alternate between adding the flour mixture and sour cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until well combined.
Slowly mix in the chocolate-cocoa mixture. Beat until no white streaks are visible.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared pan (mine was full to the very top) and bake 65 to 75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center with only a few moist crumbs.
Let cake cool for about 15 minutes upright before inverting the pan and lifting it off the cake.
Let cake cool completely, at least 1 hour (I let mine sit over night).

Ganache & Toppings
In a glass bowl, combine semi-sweet chocolate and butter.
In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring heavy cream just to a boil.
Immediately pour heavy cream over chocolate and butter. Whisk until mixture is smooth.
Pour ganache over top of cake, allowing for some to drip down the sides.
Once the top of the cake is covered with ganache, gently place cubed Snickers pieces all around the top.
Let cake sit until the ganache is set, at least 15 minutes.
Drizzle the top of the cake generously with caramel.

 

Double Chocolate Snickers Bundt Cake

Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cookie Stack Cake

Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cookie Stack Cake I’m still new to this blogging thing.

And, I’m learning that it’s a little harder than I thought it would be.

Posting weekly isn’t so bad; just bake something, take pictures, and post. Easy right? Mostly right. It gets harder when life things, like graduation, moving, packing, traveling, celebrating, and unpacking, interrupt your normal routine. Hence, my lack of posting in the past two-ish weeks, which I hope you’ve forgiven me for (and if you haven’t, I promise this recipe will make up for it).

The other thing about blogging that can be an issue is pictures. What’s so hard about taking a few artsy pictures? Nothing really, except that sometimes your friends and family get so excited about what you made (I can’t really blame them on this one…it is, after all, a dessert within a dessert), that they start eating it before you get the chance to have a dessert photo shoot.

It gets even harder, when your parents throw you a surprise graduation party (thanks Mom and Dad!!) and in all the commotion, you don’t get a single photo on your camera. Thankfully, Mom and Grandma take pictures like crazy (it’s actually part of their job descriptions) and my best friend snaps a few because, well, she thinks anything with red velvet needs to be photographed (this probably explains why we are friends). The end result is a few different pictures from different cameras of this deliciously, over the top, cookie stack cake.

Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cookie Stack Cake

This cake takes red velvet to a whole new level. Typically when you eat red velvet cake, the cream cheese frosting is only found on the top. By the last bite of cake, you’re left with no frosting and a craving for a hint of cream cheese. However, the only thing you’ll be craving by the last bite of this cookie cake is another slice. Soft and moist red velvet cookies are sandwiched in between layers of cream cheese frosting resulting in a cake slice that isn’t overly sweet, but still sweet enough to satisfy all your dessert cravings.

Also, if you’re looking for a cake that will have people applauding and asking for seconds for your Fourth of July celebrations, this is your recipe. The red and white colors are visible and you could alternate between doing white and blue cream cheese frosting to cover all three colors if you wanted!

Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cookie Stack Cake
Cake Concept adapted from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Ingredients:
Red Velvet Cookies
2 boxes red velvet cake mix
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Red Velvet Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cake mix and flour.
Add oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
Scoop about a tablespoon of dough (per cookie) onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Once the cookies are completely cooled, make your frosting.
Beat together cream cheese and butter, until creamy.
Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing until well-combined.
Add vanilla. Mix until frosting is fluffy.
Transfer frosting to a Ziploc bag. Snip off the corner (or, you can use a decorating bag with a large tip).

Assembling the Cake
(Note: If you work better with a visual on assembly, rather than just words, visit Erica’s Sweet Tooth)

Arrange six cookies in a circle on your cake plate. Place a cookie in the center.
Pipe a ring of frosting around the six cookies, leaving the center cookie free of frosting.
Layer six more cookies on top of your base layer, placing them to cover the slightly open gaps between the cookies on the base layer. Leave the center empty of a cookie this time.
Pipe another ring of frosting around the six cookies. Then, fill the center space completely with frosting.
Continue building layers, following the above steps, until your run out of frosting.
I used about 40 cookies for layering and crumbled one on top for decoration.
The cake isn’t meant to be perfect, so just take one layer at a time!

 
Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cookie Stack Cake