Friday, October 6, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Hello! It's going to be full-on FALL over here for the foreseeable future. For the last three years beginning in September, I would start travel for work until November. To give you a good idea of what this week looked like last year, I left on Sunday for Northern Virginia, was home for a weekend and then left again for 4 solid weeks. While it was fun to eat my way through Virginia for 3 months, I'm happy to say that I now have the ability to do some fall baking, go to my barre class, and GO ON VACATION! It's going to be a great fall and I am prepared to take full advantage. 

What better way to start off fall baking than with the most basic of fall treats: a PSL cupcake! Now, lets talk about PSLs.....for years I refused to get in on the PSL trend mainly because (don't tell anyone) I don't really like Starbucks' version of the PSL. Dunkin' Donuts Iced Pumpkin Macchiato on the other hand is something I can get behind. It's not overly sweet and it is extra creamy with a hint of spice and pumpkin. What more could a girl ask for? 

Actually, what a girl could ask for is an iced Toasted Graham Latte from Starbucks. Does anyone remember those? I drank 456 of those over three months as I was traveling in 2015. That drink is my favorite Starbucks drink of all time. Please bring it back! 

Anyway, back to these cupcakes. What we have here is a deliciously dense, spiced, pumpkin cake topped with the fluffiest coffee buttercream of all time. Seriously. I gave one of these to a friend and he thought it was whipped cream. So. Fluffy. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

recipe from The Whole Bite

For the cakes

3 cups flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
1 cup oil

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill 2 cupcake pans with liners. 
  • In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients and set aside. 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer combine eggs brown sugar, pumpkin, and oil. 
  • Add dry ingredients to the mixer on low speed until wet and dry ingredients are totally incorporated and smooth. 
  • Using a medium batter scoop or spoon evenly distribute batter between the 2 prepared cupcake pans and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  • Remove cupcakes from pan and place on a wire cooling rack until ready to frost.

For the Coffee Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules 
pinch of salt

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat room temperature butter until smooth and creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat until just combined.
  • Add vanilla and salt and beat on high until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • In a small measuring cup combine coffee granules with 1 tablespoon water and stir until the granules have dissolved. 
  • Add coffee mixture to the buttercream and mix on medium speed until just combined. 
  • Bump mixer up to the highest speed and beat until frosting gets lighter in color and super fluffy, about 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Frost completely cooled cupcakes and top with cinnamon before serving. 


Friday, September 22, 2017

It's Fall Ya'll!

It's the first day of fall! Today I'm sharing some of my favorite fall recipes, some recipes that I'd like to try, and some fall projects I'd like to tackle. The last few years I've been on the road traveling for work and have missed out on all the fall fun, so this year I'm squeezing all the cozy goodness out of the season that I can!

Lakyn & Judah Fall Favorites

Lakyn & Judah Fall Bake-List

These have been on my list for several years, and I haven't gotten around to making them. I will this year though!

These will be so great to take to our small group on Sunday nights!

Fall = Sweet & Cinnamon Carbs

I'm imagining chai-spiced twists!

I have a thing for apple cider if you can't tell!

I also have a major thing for everything spice. YUM!

The texture of the pecans on top of these fluffy donuts is calling my name. 

This reminds me of my Aunt Vickie and I'm going to need to make it for her!

These cupcakes look amazing! 
Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, and this takes it to a whole new level.

Lakyn & Judah Fall Projects

Cutest pumpkins EVER!


Friday, September 8, 2017

Vacation Bundt

It's finally September, one of my favorite months because it's the best of both seasonal worlds. Things get cozy fast in September, but there are still days when it feels like lazy summer. More September forever! 

Today we have a bundt cake recipe that is more geared toward those lazy summer-feeling days (or days where you wish it was a lazy summer day), and it is LOADED with pineapple, coconut, macadamia nuts, and banana. This cake is sweetly spiced and cozy so it can suffice for any fall cravings, too. 

P.S. I stole the cake styling and recipe idea from Liv for Cake. I couldn't pass up the pineapple top inside this bundt! 

Vacation Bundt

recipe & styling inspiration from Liv for Cake

For the Cake

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups mashed banana (I used 4 large bananas)
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained (keep the juice for the glaze)
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

For the Glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons pineapple juice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a bundt pan with nonstick spray. Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together sugar, vanilla, and oil until creamy. 

Add in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. 

Add in banana, pineapple, macadamia nuts, and coconut and mix until just combined. 

Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. 

Pour batter into prepared bundt pan, and bake until a tester comes out clean. (about 70 minutes)

Allow cake to cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes then turn out of the pan.

Once the cake has cooled completely cover with glaze. 

To make the glaze:

In a measuring cup combine powdered sugar and pineapple juice and whisk until smooth. 

Pour over cooled cake. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sour Cream Donuts

It's the last few days of August, can you believe it?? I have so many good things coming in these last few months of 2017 and I'm trying my hardest to slow down and savor every single one of them. 

I thought it would be fun to write out some things I've loved this month just to let you know about them, and to help me remember, too! Here we go!

First things first, the That Sounds Fun Podcast with Annie F. Downs. I have been super into podcasts this year, but this one makes me most excited to see when a new episode starts downloading. The topics of conversation are usually Jesus and FUN - it doesn't get any better than that. 

Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human by John Mark Comer. I was introduced to this book when John was on the That Sounds Fun Podcast, and it's been a great read. I highly recommend it!

Whole30. After what I've dubbed "Chaotic August" my body needed a reset, so we're doing another round. Thankfully we'll be finished before our vacation at the end of September!

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sakuri Babyfacial has saved my skin after "Chaotic August". My skin flipped out, and I think it was a perfect storm of stress, eating things out of my norm, and hormones. I have reactive skin anyway and the combo of all that wasn't great. Babyfacial is the only thing that helped. 

THESE Donuts! Actually, any donuts, but these turned out really nice and extra pretty. 

These are sour cream donuts, and we glazed them with a brown butter glaze. Did you know that brown butter is one of my favorite smells of all time? See also - lemon zest & sugar, and slightly burnt caramel. So good, all three. 

These donuts have such a great texture, and while they are not a yeast donut, they are fried which I prefer. They turned out so pretty and making a tiny slice around the top of the dough before frying made these look so rustic. Add 10 points for that. 

Sour Cream Donuts with Maple Brown Butter Glaze

For the Donuts

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda1 tsp cinnamon1 tsp nutmegpinch of salt1 cup granulated sugar2 eggs1/3 cup butter, melted1 tsp vanilla1 tsp lemon zest1 cup sour cream
Canola oil, for frying 

In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together sugar and both eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Slowly pour in the melted butter making sure to incorporate fully. Add in half of the sour cream, beating until combined before adding the remaining sour cream and mixing until smooth and creamy. 

Add wet ingredients into the dry and mix together with a spatula until a smooth, sticky dough is formed. Roll dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap tight. Refrigerate overnight. 

When you're ready to begin frying, remove dough from the fridge and let rest on the countertop while you prepare the oil. In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring about 2-3 inches of oil to exactly 350 degrees. 

While the oil heats, roll dough out onto a flour surface to about 1/2 inch thickness. Using a large cutter, cut dough into 12 rounds, and then cut the centers out with a small cutter. Take a pairing knife and make a shallow cut all the way around the dough to make the extra texture on top of the donut. 

Drop three donuts at a time into the hot oil. Once the donut floats to the top, allow to cook about 1 minute before flipping the donut over and cooking for an additional 1 minute. Remove from oil and allow excess oil to drip off before placing on a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Continue for the remaining donuts and donut holes. 

For the Glaze

3 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp brown butter
3-4 tbsp milk

Combine icing sugar, syrup, vanilla, brown butter, and 2 tablespoons milk in a bowl. Depending on the thickness of your glaze add more milk to desired consistency. 

After donuts have cooled dip donuts in glaze and allow to set for a few minutes before serving. 



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Toasted Coconut Limeade + SkinnyPop Popcorn

Friends! How has your August gone? Kyle and I have started to call this month "Chaotic August". It's been nothing short of chaotic in our lives, and we are both looking forward to the vacation we have scheduled in October. 

We've been doing our best to come up with ideas to just relax on the weekends, and one of our favorite things to do is EAT! Duh! We really like to just relax with a movie and some really great snacks, and that's what I'm sharing today!

One of our favorite snacks while movie-watching is popcorn (revolutionary, I know), but we like to ramp up the flavor with exciting popcorn and drink combos. One of my personal favorites? This tangy, coconut limeade paired with the Naturally Sweet Popped Popcorn from SkinnyPop. The tangy limeade is the perfect pairing with the subtle sweetness of the popcorn. SO GOOD. 

The folks at SkinnyPop have come up with a few pairings of their own that are a little more high octane than my pairing. I'm super interested in trying the coconut margarita paired with the new jalapeƱo flavor. What pairing sounds good to you guys? (PS - scroll down for the limeade recipe!)

Toasted Coconut Limeade

Lightly Adapted from The Kitchy Kitchen Cookbook by Claire Thomas

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted 
10 limes, halved and juiced (keep the halved rinds)
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon mint extract 
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 half cups coconut water
1/4 cup agave

Place the halved lime rinds into a large bowl along with the toasted coconut and extracts. 

Cover rinds with boiling water and allow to steep for 10 minutes. 

While the rinds steep, place lime juice, coconut water, and agave into a pitcher. 

Strain the lime coconut mixture into the pitcher with the lime juice. Using an immersion blender, pulse a few times to ensure the mixture is fully combined. 

Chill for an hour and serve with extra lime, coconut, and ice. 

Happy snacking! 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Peach Fluff

I am so excited to be sharing this very famous (at least in our house) recipe today! This one brings up so many memories for me as we had this at a close friend's home quite a few times when I was growing up. This also happens to be one of my dad's favorite recipes, and since his birthday was recently I was able to surprise him with it! Food gifts are my favorite to give! 

This recipe is a summer staple. It's fairly easy to make, and it makes A LOT so if you have a picnic or BBQ to go to this would be the perfect option. This dessert also looks impressive in the pan, and it's a great way to use up the best summer fruit....PEACHES! 

This dessert starts with a shortbread-like crust with delicious pecans in the crust. I toasted mine and it gave it an extra nutty flavor. The crust is topped with a sweet cream cheese mixture, and then all of that gets finished with a peachy, fruity, delicious topping. Crunchy, nutty, sweet, tangy, peachy! This hits all those delicious notes all in one bite. 

May I introduce you to: Peach Fluff!

Peach Fluff

recipe from a sweet lady at church who was gracious enough to share it with me!

To Make the Crust

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and press into a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. 

To Make the Cream Cheese Filling

1 8oz tub Cool Whip, defrosted 
1 8oz brick cream cheese, softened 
1 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl combine all ingredients with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. 

Spread mixture onto cooled crust.

To Make the Peach Topping

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 3oz box peach Jello
8 fresh peaches, chopped

Add water, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thick and clear.

Remove thickened mixture from heat and add in box of peach Jello. Whisk until combined.

Add chopped peaches into thickened sugar mixture and stir to combine.

Pour peach topping over cream cheese filling.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

I hope your family enjoys this dessert as much as my family does! Happy summer to you and yours!