Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Mixed Berry Cake With Lemon Whipped Cream Icing

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016


A Cake Off you say? Don’t mind if I do.

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When it comes to Team Cake vs Team Pie, I am Team Why Can’t I Have Both? There’s no such thing as too much dessert. When I was looking for inspiration for a cake to submit for this contest, I searched Pinterest for cake and might have ended up eating half a box of cookies because it made me so hungry. This is why I am not a food blogger.

Half way through mixing the batter I realized I needed 3 9-inch cake pans but all I had in my cabinet was 1 9-inch cake pan and 2 8-inch cake pans. I thought really hard about how to make that work before giving up and sending my husband to the store to get the right pans. Be smarter than me and make sure you have the cake pans you need BEFORE you’ve already separated all the eggs and have the mixer going. This recipe has kind of a lot of steps, but I promise it’s worth it for the results: moist but light cake with an amazing flavor and super light frosting with exactly the right amount of sweet.

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Mixed Berry Cake With Lemon Whipped Cream Icing
Adapted from A Latte Food

    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 3/4 cup butter, softened
    • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 2 1/2 cups flour all purpose flour
    • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
    • 1 Tbsp baking powder
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/3 cup greek yogurt
    • 1 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Berry Puree
    • 2 cups mixed berries (I used raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries)
    • 3/4 cup sugar
Lemon Whipped Cream
    • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
    • 1 8 oz cream cheese
    • 2 Tbsp lemon zest (about the zest of 2 large lemons)
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
Extra berries & mint to decorate
Preheat the oven to 350 and spray your cake pans with non-stick spray.
Make the berry puree first: throw all the berries (hull strawberries first) and the sugar in a food processor or blender on high until it’s well mixed. You can strain it if you hate seeds but they don’t bother me. Set aside.
Next the cake: separate your eggs and set aside. In your mixer, whip the butter for a minute or two until it’s fluffy. Add the vegetable oil and mix for another minute. Gradually add in sugar and eggs until everything is well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed.
Mix your dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt), then mix your wet ingredients in another bowl (milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and greek yogurt). Alternate adding wet and dry ingredients to your mixer until just combined. Whip your reserved egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold them into the batter, gently but completely. Divide your batter as evenly as you can into the three prepared cake pans.
Add about 1/3 cup of berry puree to each pan, using a knife to swirl it around. The kids really loved this part, so it’s a good time for helpers. Be sure to reserve any leftover puree to drizzle on your plate or spoon over the cake when you serve it.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine was perfect at exactly 25 minutes.
For the frosting: whip the heavy cream on high for a few minutes until it starts to thicken. Add in the lemon zest and vanilla. Slowly add the powdered sugar (add too fast and it will end up all over your kitchen) and then the cream cheese. Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Once your cake is done and cooled, put the bottom layer on a plate or cake stand. Top with about a cup of frosting, spreading it all the way to the edge. Repeat for all three layers, with extra frosting for the top. Use a large knife or spatula to spread any frosting that leaked out from between the layers evenly around the sides. You can fully frost them if you want but the golden cake showing through is so pretty I left mine sparse.
Decorate the top with extra berries and mint leaves to make it extra fancy and really impress all your guests. It’s a big cake and serves about 15, as long as no one cuts a piece that’s 1/4th of the cake. Which I totally did when we had leftovers the next day. Be sure to store it in the fridge if you’re keeping it overnight.
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If you think this looks delicious and want to make it – or just add it to your aspirational dessert Pinterest board (doesn’t everyone have one of those??) – you can pin the graphic below! This is a Cake Off and I’m in it to win it, despite not being a food blogger.
Mixed Berry Cake With Lemon Whipped Cream Icing YUM!

How To Make Sorbet Out Of Juice

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

For Christmas, my uncle always sends me a really generous Williams-Sonoma gift card. It takes me WEEKS to decide what to buy with it, since Williams-Sonoma is pretty much my favorite store on the planet. Sometimes I blow the whole thing on something huge, like my KitchenAid mixer and sometimes I break it up into a bunch of small but useful things, like the year I got a strawberry huller and some treats and some spatulas and the best kitchen tool ever. This past year I split it between a grill tray and an ice cream maker – the Cuisinart Stainless-Steel 2 Quart Ice Cream Maker to be exact (Five stars! Highly recommend!)

And then I let it sit in my basement for 5 months, waiting for ice cream weather. Once the warm weather arrived, I spent hours online looking for the best, most delicious, most complicated ice cream and gelato and frozen yogurt and sorbet recipes. But in the end, it turns out EASY and ON-HAND beats fanciest every time so I’ve perfected a recipe for turning whatever-the-heck you have in your fridge into delicious, refreshing sorbet.

how to make sorbet out of juice

When I say juice, I literally mean any kind of juice. Grape, pineapple, cherry, whatever. You could make carrot sorbet if you wanted to, although that’s not really my cup of tea. TEA is more like my cup of tea, since the Sweet Tea Sorbet I made barely got photographed before I shoved it all into my face.

Here are a few of the kinds I made in the past week:

orange mango tango sorbet

Newman's Own Orange Mango Tango Juice

pink grapefruit sorbet

Stop & Shop Ruby Red Grapefruit 100% Juice

V8 Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry Juice

V8 Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry Juice (hidden veggies!)

Market Pantry (Target) Sweet Tea

Market Pantry (Target) Sweet Tea

Welch's White Grape Peach Mango

Welch's White Grape Peach Mango Juice

Are you ready for the recipe yet? Gentlemen, start your ice cream makers!


1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest

Put the water and the sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is all dissolved, then simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer syrup to a container and refrigerate until cold*. Zest a lemon – use a vegetable peeler if you don’t have a zester and chop up the zest a little. Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze out all the juice. Add the lemon juice and zest to your syrup. Once everything is cold, pour the syrup/lemon mix and the 1 1/2 cups juice into your ice cream maker**. Following your machine’s instructions, let it churn until it’s frozen (mine takes about 25 minutes). Eat as is – it will be a little soft – or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for a couple hours until it’s more like store-bought sorbet. SO GOOD. Don’t forget to put your ice cream maker bowl back in the freezer to make more tomorrow.

*Look, you just made simple syrup! You can make it in larger batches using the same 1/1 sugar/water ratio and keep it on hand for more sorbet or other delicious things like a blueberry gin gimlet or sparkling lemonade.

**This is SO SUPER EASY with an ice cream maker, but if you don’t have one you can just pour everything into a large flat baking dish. Put it in the freezer and let it freeze, scraping the top occasionally to make it fluffier. The end result will be a little icier than with the ice cream maker but it’s still delicious! If you want a softer finished product (like a Rita’s Water Ice) pulse it in a blender or food processor for a few seconds after it’s frozen. Eat immediately and enjoy!

I’ve practically broken my arm patting myself on the back for this recipe. I love the fact that I can make any possible flavor of sorbet with minimal effort. I love the little bits of lemon zest to even out the sweetness. I love that it’s fat free. And I love that I can bribe my kids to do pretty much anything for a spoonful – and they have no idea it’s practically the same juice they can get any old time.

Suggestions and variations:
If you don’t like lemon, use some other citrus. If you don’t like citrus, leave it out.
If you want a less-sweet sorbet, use 1/2 cup simple syrup and 1/2 cup water.
If you don’t have juice, use pureed fruit and/or squeeze your own.
Top with fresh or frozen berries (duh).
Blend it with tequila or rum for a delicious frozen drink.

p.s. After my super home-made food photography shoot on Saturday, I had three adorable little dishes of sorbet just sitting on my counter melting. Obviously I had to fix that problem immediately.

Get in my belly! The blueberry-white grape was especially delicious together.

Sour Cherry Pie

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Sour cherry pie is one of the very easiest yet most delicious kinds of pie. The only problem is you need sour cherries. My mother-in-law grows and cans her own, and I’ve been lucky enough to receive several jars over the past few years. But since there is NO WAY I am giving up my stash, you’ll have to track some down yourself. I know Oregon Fruit has tart cherries, so check with their other fruit at your grocery store (or order them from Amazon).

quart mason jar of cherries

Once you have the cherries in your hot little hands, this recipe is easy as…well, you know.

lattice top sour cherry pie

Sour Cherry Pie


2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
5-6 tablespoons ice cold water

Throw the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Toss in the shortening too and then mash it up with a fork until it’s in little pieces. Don’t mix it TOO well, since the little pieces of shortening in the crust is what makes it flaky. Add cold water about a tablespoon at a time until the dough is sticky enough to hold together. Do most of your mixing with the fork but make sure you test it by squishing it together with your hands or you’ll end up adding too much water. Separate the dough into to balls. Roll it out one ball, press into a 9 inch pie plate and crimp the edges. Roll out the second ball and cut into 8-10 1/4 inch wide strips.


3 1/2 – 4 cups canned tart cherries (approx. 1 quart)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tablespoon corn starch

Drain the cherries but save 1 cup of the juice. Combine juice, sugar, extract and corn starch in a small sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens. Pour cherries into the prepared crust and then pour the juice mixture over it. Use the strips of crust to make a lattice top, weaving them over and under. Pinch the edges together all the way around.

Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes or until filling it bubbly and the crust is lightly browned.

lattice top sour cherry pie

I SUPPOSE you could also use store bought crust to make this even easier, if you hated deliciousness. And America.

Eat and enjoy!

Lemon Blueberry Bars With Coconut Crust

Monday, June 4th, 2012

I spent all morning Sunday on Pinterest. That’s pretty much all you need to know to understand the next couple of posts I have planned. Let’s just say I was REALLY hungry afterward.

These are actually more cake-like than the traditional powdered sugar dusted lemon bars – sort of like lemon brownies (these are actually what inspired me try making my own recipe). If you aren’t a fan of coconut, you could easily omit the crust – just watch the bake time closely. And if you don’t happen to have any blueberries, you could leave those out too. But personally, I think this is the perfect combination of sweet, fresh and tart.

lemon blueberry bars with coconut crust

There's a tiny hand photobombing my lemons in the background

Lemon Blueberry Bars With Coconut Crust



Mix all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Press into a well-greased 9×13 baking dish. Put it into the fridge while you make the filling.



In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pour the lemon mixture into the flour mixture. Beat at medium speed until the batter is smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Turn off mixer, fold in blueberries by hand. Spread filling over crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees, until the center is baked through and the edges are lightly browned. Let the bars cool completely before you try to cut them.



Wisk together until it’s all combined. Drizzle over cooled bars and spread around with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate until the glaze hardens. Eat and enjoy.

lemon blueberry bars with coconut crust

lemon blueberry bars with coconut crust

She's trying SO HARD not to touch them

lemon blueberry bars with coconut crust

She couldn't resist anymore!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

Monday, May 7th, 2012

I’ve had a strawberry-rhubarb pie once before in my life. We were visiting my aunt’s parents in Maine and the only two things I remember from the trip are the lake water in Maine is WAY too cold for swimming and strawberry-rhubarb might be my favorite combination in the world. AND YET, until last week, I never tried to make anything with rhubarb. It’s hard to find in the grocery store around here and a little intimidating. I suppose I could grow it myself, but the leaves are toxic and I’d be worried about the kids or pets accidentally gnawing on them.

But when I saw fresh rhubarb in the grocery store last Wednesday I decided it was time to give it a shot. I knew there was a recipe for strawberry-rhubarb crumble in my Weight Watchers Cookbook so I grabbed some strawberries too (I love buy one get one free!). It would have been better if I remembered to grab all the other ingredients that recipe called for, but I made it work.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble
adapted from the Weight Watchers PointsPlus Cookbook (but I promise no one will know!)
Serves 8

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter

2 stalks rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about a cup)
2 – 2 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 7 x 11 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (you can use a slightly larger or smaller dish but be sure to watch your bake time)

Combine all the topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Using the back of a fork, break up the butter and stir it into the dry ingredients until it looks like crumbs.

Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl and stir well until the sugar coats all the strawberries and rhubarb. Spread it out evenly into the baking dish. Repeat with the topping. Bake on the center rack for 50-60 minutes until filling bubbles and topping is golden brown.

I think it’s the perfect combination of sweet and not too sweet, especially with the crunchy topping. And the best part about a crumble is it’s not REAL baking, so if you need to substitute or switch ingredients it’s easily done without risking a huge disaster (ask me about the time I tried to make a pie from memory and forgot to put shortening in the crust. BLECH.)