Sweet Things: Be Mine Vanilla Cupcakes

Well guys, what can I say. I’ve been hibernating. And then I looked at my calendar this weekend and realized that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Love it or hate it, Cupid’s very own holiday is a good excuse to bake. 🙂

Enjoy this ode to all things sweet, pink, and made with love.

xx Cocoa & Lace

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Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Buttercream frosting (see recipe here)
  • 1 package of M&Ms

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Directions:

  • Melt butter in microwave safe bowl; Whisk in granulated sugar. Add vanilla extract.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Make a well in the center and pour in liquid ingredients.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, to center of bowl, gradually whisking into liquid ingredients.
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly, but do not over-mix.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once cooled, spread vanilla buttercream frosting onto each cupcake. Layer with M&Ms (design as you wish!). Add another dollop of frosting to create multiple layers, as pictured.
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Sweet Things: Vanilla Almond Stadium Pound Cake

In honor of my alma mater’s upcoming appearance at the BCS National Championship, I whipped up this special stadium cake that’s deceptively simple to make.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Combine butter (at room temperature – not completely melted) with sugars.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, to sugar/butter mixture.
  • Add vanilla and almond extracts to sugar/butter/egg mixture.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour butter mixture into center of well and whisk together.
  • Add Greek yogurt to batter.
  • Pour batter into pan. Bake for approximately 1 hour (should be golden brown – toothpick inserted into center should come out clean).

Go Irish!

xx Cocoa & Lace

Sweet Things: Perfectly Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fig spread
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Combine liquid ingredients in an extra-large mixing bowl: blend pumpkin, yogurt, fig spread, eggs (one at a time), vanilla, water, and oil. Whisk in sugars until completely blended.
  • Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl: blend flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients until combined.
  • Scoop into desired pan (I used 2 pans of 6 mini Bundt cakes – flowers, etc.).
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a knife inserted into center comes out clean.
  • Makes 12 dozen mini Bundt cakes (or three 7 x 3 inch loaves).

Enjoy one of my favorite flavors of the season!

xx Cocoa & Lace

Sweet Things: Orange You Glad Chocolate Chip Cookies

Can you believe it’s Wednesday already?? As a midweek treat, set aside a half hour to make these delicious chocolate chip cookies with a twist: orange extract. The zesty addition pairs perfectly with dark chocolate chips and complements the rich oat texture. This recipe is also extremely versatile, as you can easily interchange orange extract for any of your favorite flavors.

Enjoy!

xx Cocoa & Lace

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large microwave safe mixing bowl, melt butter. Add sugars until thoroughly combined. Whisk in egg. Add extracts.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, mix flour with baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Gradually sprinkle flour mixture over the liquid ingredients, mixing gently until combined.
  • Fold in oats, then chocolate chips.
  • Use teaspoon cookie dough dropper to drop batter onto two cookie sheets.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes until cookies are light golden brown.
  • Yield: 24 cookies.

Sweet Things: PB & Butterscotch Bread Pudding

Prepare for a sinfully delicious combination of melt-in-your-mouth flavors with this decadent bread pudding recipe. Between the warm, gooey goodness of wholesome peanut butter and the sweet swirls of butterscotch chips throughout, this is a sweet treat worth every calorie…but who’s counting anyway? 😉

Enjoy!

xx Cocoa & Lace

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of buttermilk white bread
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set aside a 8 x 8 inch aluminum pan.
  • Slice bread into small cubes. Place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, stir together peanut butter and oil. Add sugars until blended. Whisk in milk. Add eggs, whisking one at a time.
  • Pour liquid mixture over cinnamon bread cubes.
  • Stir in butterscotch chips.
  • Add batter to pan. Bake 45-60 minutes until knife inserted into center comes out clean.