Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes

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These Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes, made with cocoa and strong hot coffee, are the most decadent and moist cupcake you’ll ever enjoy!

These Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes, made with cocoa and strong hot coffee, are the most decadent and moist cupcake you'll ever enjoy!

Your quest can finally be over. You have found it. The be all, end all, of cupcakes. Never again will you need to search for a chocolate cupcake recipe, only to be sorely disappointed by the results. The days of resorting to a boxed mix are in the past forevermore.

These Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes, made with cocoa and strong hot coffee, are the most decadent and moist cupcake you'll ever enjoy!

When I say these are the best damn cupcakes you will ever enjoy, I’m not kidding. My husband, who doesn’t like sweets all that much, can’t get enough. My kids, who ask for anything but cake on their birthdays (so strange, I know), think these are the best things that have ever come out of my oven.

These Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes, made with cocoa and strong hot coffee, are the most decadent and moist cupcake you'll ever enjoy!

Think about all the wonderful things you’d want in a chocolate cupcake. Moist? Most certainly. Taste? There’s cocoa, coffee, and sugar in these bad boys. What else could you ask for?  Rise and volume? Yes, and I believe this has to do not only with the mixing directions but also the baking process. There is no other way to describe them than heavenly.

These Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes, made with cocoa and strong hot coffee, are the most decadent and moist cupcake you'll ever enjoy!

As much as I’d like to showcase this cupcake, I’ll tease you for a mere moment with my perfect buttercream frosting. I could stare for hours at those luscious swirls!

These Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes, made with cocoa and strong hot coffee, are the most decadent and moist cupcake you'll ever enjoy!

Just look at all of those lovely little air bubble pockets. Those are what give this cupcake that soft, pillowy, fluffy texture, while at the same time the top leads to the slightest bit of sweet crunch on top. You’re totally starting to salivate, aren’t you?  I just know it!

These Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes, made with cocoa and strong hot coffee, are the most decadent and moist cupcake you'll ever enjoy!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes, made with cocoa and strong hot coffee, are the most decadent and moist cupcake you'll ever enjoy!
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Yields: 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee (or 1/2 cup boiling water + 1 pack starbucks via instant coffee)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425º F.
  2. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Combine hot coffee and cocoa powder. Mix well to dissolve and set aside.
  4. In bowl of stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with paddle attachment.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine milk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Mix well to combine.
  6. Add about half of the milk mixture to the flour and mix on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  7. Combine the chocolate mixture with the remaining milk mixture and add to the batter. Mix with batter on medium speed for about 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl before turning mixer on.
  8. Distribute batter evenly to the 12 muffin cups. Batter will be very wet.
  9. Bake in preheated 425 degree F oven for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 F without opening the oven door. Continue cooking at lower temperature for an additional 13-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven and transfer cupcakes to a cooking rack as soon as they're cool enough to be touched.
  11. Prepare buttercream frosting according to instructions or your other favorite frosting... or just devour it plain!

These Heavenly Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes, made with cocoa and strong hot coffee, are the most decadent and moist cupcake you'll ever enjoy!
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

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Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!Naughty. Naughty. Naughty. Oh man, these “muffins” are naughty, but they are oh soooooo good.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

Around this time of year, I go a little crazy with the pumpkin spice. To me, pumpkin is a perfect ingredient regardless of whether you’re making something sweet or savory. I’ve used it sweet recipes like cheesecake, cookies, pancakes, brownies, cinnamon rolls, french toast, coffee cake… the list goes on and on. I also like to use pumpkin in savory dishes too – like chili, soup, and even appetizers.  In other words, I like pumpkin.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

Not sure if you can tell, but I only had three muffin cups. We can pretend this was on purpose because I was experimenting to see if they turned out better with or without the muffin cups, but we all know that I just ran out. I’m happy to say that the muffins were fantastic both ways.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

I was also particularly fond of the consistency of the batter. When I make muffins or cupcakes, I really like my batter to be thick enough to scoop with a large cookie scoop. If I’m expected to pour it, the top of my muffin pan will be covered with extra batter and all that does is make me mad.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

These muffins didn’t rise up super tall, but they did expand enough to make them interesting looking and create a light and soft texture inside. I might experiment with my cooking temperature next time because I know that if you start them off really hot, it helps them rise, and then reducing the cooking temperature enables them to finish cooking. I’ll try that out with the next recipe and will let you know how that goes.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

I was so incredibly impressed with these muffins. They were perfectly sweet and moist. That cheesecake topping added just the right texture and creamy sweetness the muffin deserved. Something like a cream cheese frosting would have been too much.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

I had to let them sit in the pan for a good 10-15 minutes after I took them out of the oven to ensure they wouldn’t fall apart on me when I took them out of the pan. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve ruined muffins because I ended up under cooking them out of fear that I’d over cook them. Fortunately, these have enough oil in them to keep them soft, even if you accidentally cook them for a couple minutes too long.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

Oh – about the oil. I would have used regular old vegetable oil but I didn’t have enough so I used coconut oil. I’m really not one of those die hard coconut oil users because I tend to not like the coconut taste when it doesn’t belong and the whole solid-at-room-temperature thing totally throws me off. To use coconut oil for this recipe, I had to warm it up to liquefy it, however once I mixed it in with the other ingredients, some of it solidified again. Perhaps because we blast our air conditioner at all times. I was worried that those little chunks of hard oil would mess up the muffins but it all turned out, so rest assured. After having used coconut oil, I would totally recommend it in this recipe!  Enjoy!!!

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
muffin:
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (15 ounce can) canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin puree)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil (I used coconut)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
cheesecake topping:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place paper baking cups into muffin pan or spray muffin wells with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar and brown sugar. Mix in eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, until there are no lumps. Fill muffin tins evenly. Using a large cookie scoop makes it easy.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in sugar, egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. This is easier done in a stand mixer, but you can mix it by hand with a whisk if your cream cheese is soft enough.
  5. Top each muffin with about small spoonful (I use the small cookie scoop) of cream cheese mixture and use a toothpick to swirl it into the batter.
  6. Bake muffins in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not open the oven to check on them until they are nearing the end of their cooking time.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!
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Sweet Potato Quick Bread

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If you’re looking for a moist and delicious breakfast treat, this Sweet Potato Quick Bread is the perfect start to any Fall morning.

If you're looking for a moist and delicious breakfast treat, this Sweet Potato Quick Bread is the perfect start to any Fall morning.

I have really grown to love sweet potatoes. When I was a kid, I would only enjoy them if they were smothered in roasted marshmallows on Thanksgiving day, but now I love them in most forms, especially for breakfast. Some of my favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes are when they’re made more savory by combining with bacon and herbs in things like a frittata or a hash, but you really can’t beat how moist and delicious they make things like this quick bread.

If you're looking for a moist and delicious breakfast treat, this Sweet Potato Quick Bread is the perfect start to any Fall morning.

I was so please with how perfect this bread turned out. I have a history of making breads like this turn out too dry, but I think this may be impossible to mess up. It was dense yet fluffy, moist and flavorful. I happened to have a small handful of leftover candied hazelnuts that I chopped up and threw in at the last minute and I have to admit, they really sent this bread to over-the-top delicious status!

If you're looking for a moist and delicious breakfast treat, this Sweet Potato Quick Bread is the perfect start to any Fall morning.

Sweet Potato Quick Bread
 
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If you're looking for a moist and delicious breakfast treat, this Sweet Potato Quick Bread is the perfect start to any Fall morning.
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast
Yields: 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup apple cider, hot
  • optional: candied hazelnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Mix in the beaten eggs and mashed potatoes. Mix until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir to combine. Next, add the hot apple cider to the wet mixture and stir well. Then, add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until combined. If adding chopped candied hazelnuts, stir them in now.
  4. Add the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove from pan and allow to cool on wire rack.
  5. Once completely cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

 

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

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This incredibly moist homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake has just the right amount of sweet by combining decadent cake with a chocolate chunk middle.

This incredibly moist homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake has just the right amount of sweet by combining decadent cake with a chocolate chunk middle.

This incredibly moist homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake has just the right amount of sweet by combining decadent cake with a chocolate chunk middle.

I have been on such a pumpkin kick lately! I’ve roasted two pretty good sized pumpkins already and have made all sorts of recipes. Everything from sweet to savory, breakfast to dinner to dessert. My house has been saturated with pumpkin recipes for weeks, and no one is complaining! I absolutely love bundt cakes for no reason other than they make me happy. I was totally intending on making a chocolate ganache for the top of this cake, but it turned out so moist I decided not to.

This incredibly moist homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake has just the right amount of sweet by combining decadent cake with a chocolate chunk middle.

I used my cute little pink silicone bundt pan for this recipe. I find that its flexible material makes it super easy to get the cake out when its done cooking. Now, this recipe has a ton of butter. It makes the final cake quite heavy, but the end result is so worth it because of how moist it is.

This incredibly moist homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake has just the right amount of sweet by combining decadent cake with a chocolate chunk middle.

All of that butter is what give it that beautiful browned top. YUM!

This incredibly moist homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake has just the right amount of sweet by combining decadent cake with a chocolate chunk middle.

I’m actually categorizing this recipe as both a dessert and breakfast because I had it for both! Morning or night, it goes perfectly with a hot cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk.

This incredibly moist homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake has just the right amount of sweet by combining decadent cake with a chocolate chunk middle.

I brought some of this cake into work and, needless to say, the people who sit by me sort of love me. One of my favorite taste testers, Scott, commented on how he really liked the middle chocolate later and asked what it was. When I told him it was just chocolate chips that I didn’t fully mix in, he was pleasantly surprised. The cake really isn’t super sweet, which is why combining it with the chocolate made it heavenly!

This incredibly moist homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake has just the right amount of sweet by combining decadent cake with a chocolate chunk middle.

This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This incredibly moist homemade Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake has just the right amount of sweet by combining decadent cake with a chocolate chunk middle.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Yields: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups (or 1 15 ounce can) pumpkin puree (I roast my own pumpkin puree)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used a combo of mini chips and baking pieces)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter and lightly flour, removing any excess, bundt pan.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, and sugar.
  3. With the paddle attached and the mixer running on low speed, add the softened butter in chunks and continue to mix until the dry ingredients are evenly coated with the butter.
  4. Combine the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and milk. Stir to combine.
  5. With the mixer running on low, add half of the wet ingredients. Increase speed to medium high and mix for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add remaining wet ingredients and mix on low until well combined. Batter will be very thick.
  6. Spoon about a third to half of the batter into your bundt pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Spoon on some more batter. Add remaining chocolate chips. Spoon remaining batter on top and smooth over with back of spatula to evenly distribute.
  7. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the deepest part of the pan comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Be aware that the chocolate may make the batter appear as if it has not cooked. Move to a wire rack and let cool in pan for about 15 minutes. Invert onto wire rack, cake should come out cleanly, and allow to cool.

 

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Stuffed Pork Chops

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Stuffed Pork Chops with bone in pork chops, spinach, mushrooms, and provolone make for a moist and delicious weeknight family dinner.

Stuffed Pork Chops with bone in pork chops, spinach, mushrooms, and provolone make for a moist and delicious weeknight family dinner. 

I made these stuffed pork chops for no other reason than they sounded really good. That, and the fact that I had spinach and mushrooms in the fridge that had to be used up. But that is pretty typical of my meal planning. I buy a ton of stuff with high hopes of so many amazing meals, drinks and desserts that I want to make, then I run out of time and resort back to some good old fashioned family friendly comfort food. The two main things I loved about these pork chops were that the moisture from the spinach and mushrooms kept the meat super moist, and no one likes dry pork. Second, I finally found a use for the provolone that had been sitting my my refrigerator for longer than I care to mention in this post. You see, I think provolone is stinky and kind of gross when its cold. But it melts oh so good and really went perfectly with these chops. I also like to cook with bone in because, well, without the bone its not really a chop, is pork loin, right?  I dunno. I’m rambling now because I’m hungry and staring at these stuffed chops ain’t doing me any favors, so I’m gonna go make some lunch, mmmkay?  Enjoy!

Stuffed Pork Chops with bone in pork chops, spinach, mushrooms, and provolone make for a moist and delicious weeknight family dinner.

Stuffed Pork Chops
 
Prep time
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Stuffed Pork Chops with bone in pork chops, spinach, mushrooms, and provolone make for a moist and delicious weeknight family dinner.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 bone in pork chops
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and shallot and cook until golden brown, only stirring a few times to evenly cook, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add spinach, stir, and cover with lid. Reduce heat to low and cook until spinach is completely wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and allow mixture to cool.
  3. On the meaty side of each chop, slice through the middle of the meat to the bone to create a pocket. Add your sliced provolone to the inside of the chop. Divide the spinach mixture evenly between the four chops and stuff them. Hold opening together with toothpicks, if needed.
  4. Add salt and pepper to the outside of your chops.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Using an oven safe skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, cook the pork chops until lightly golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the chops and transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking. Cook until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 155 degrees F, about 15 minutes.

 

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Coconut Pudding Poke Cake

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Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you “poke” holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.

Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you "poke" holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.

I had never heard of poke cake until right before I made this. I actually had to look it up on wikipedia. The explanation is simple – you poke the cake to let something wonderful fill the holes. No one likes a dry cake, so here’s how you make the ultimate moist cake. This was one of my favorite cakes I’ve ever made. Don’t get me wrong – I love to make homemade cakes from scratch. But we don’t always have the time nor the desire to do so. the next best option, in my opinion, are the Trader Joe’s cake mixes. In true TJ’s fashion, they don’t offer a ton of options, but their vanilla cake mix is out of this world delicious… and easy.

Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you "poke" holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.

Just look at those beautiful specs of vanilla bean. You know I’m a lover of all things vanilla.

Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you "poke" holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.

A wooden spoon works great, but all of my wooden spoons have rectangular handles instead of round, and I’m such a freak in the kitchen I couldn’t handle odd shaped holes in my cake, so I found my silicon brush and it worked perfectly. My OCD almost got in the way of me poking that first whole in this beautiful cake, but once the first one went in, my destructive side had fun and went to down with the whole poking. I actually wish I had put twice as many wholes as I did below so that there would be even more pudding in each bite of the cake.

Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you "poke" holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.

For you to be able to enjoy this recipe like I did, you must make a batch of homemade coconut pudding. Sure you could use any kind of store bought pudding, but then you wouldn’t feel the sheer and utter joy I did. And believe me, you’ll want to.

Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you "poke" holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.

After I spread the coconut pudding filled with tiny little specs of sweetened toasted coconut into all the holes, I topped with even more sweetened toasted coconut. Wouldn’t you want to do the same thing? I thought yes, so I did.

Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you "poke" holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.

In my opinion, frosting can either make or break a cake. More times than not, it is too sweet and/or fatty and you end up feeling sick after devouring a piece. That’s why I fell in love with this cake. The pudding combined with the cake was the perfect balance of sweet and creamy. My kids freaking loved it too (shocking, I know).

Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you "poke" holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.

So the next time you get signed up to bring a dessert to a summer potluck because your last name starts with M-Z, make everyone happy by bringing this Coconut Pudding Poke Cake!

Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you "poke" holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.

This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.

Coconut Pudding Poke Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you "poke" holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Yields: 9 servings
Ingredients
cake:
  • Trader Joe's Vanilla Cake mix (plus the below ingredients required from the cake mix)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 stick melted butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup cold milk
pudding:
Instructions
  1. To bake the cake, follow the directions on the box. You can substitute any other cake mix, but be aware that the Trader Joe's brand makes an 8x8x2 cake, where as big brand cake mixes often make a 9x13x2, so you will either have extra cake batter or you will have less pudding to cake ratio.
  2. Make homemade coconut pudding according to the post instructions. Mix half of the toasted coconut into the cooled pudding and reserve the other half.
  3. Using the handle of a wooden spoon (or something similar), poke holes that are about an inch apart in your cooled cake. Spread cooled pudding over cake. Top with remaining toasted coconut. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Cut into 9 squares while in pan and serve.

Coconut Pudding Poke Cake is so moist and perfectly sweet because you "poke" holes into the cake to enable the homemade coconut pudding to be in each bite.

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Spicy Southwestern Turkey Burgers

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These moist and delicious grilled Spicy Southwestern Turkey Burgers are packed with flavor and are a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers.

These moist and delicious grilled Spicy Southwestern Turkey Burgers are packed with flavor and are a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers.

I have to admit, I’ve always thought turkey burgers were rather gross. I have never come across one that could compete with the flavor or texture of a moist and juicy beef hamburger. All of my previous expectations where shattered as soon as I took a bite into this spicy turkey burger. The first word that came out of my food stuffed mouth was “wow”. It was that freaking good.

These moist and delicious grilled Spicy Southwestern Turkey Burgers are packed with flavor and are a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers.

I always have a story of how my recipes came to be, so allow me to tell you my tale. I’m trying to eat healthier these days so I bought some ground turkey at the store. The problem is, not of us really like ground turkey. Turkey lunch meat? Great. A wonderful roasted Thanksgiving turkey smothered in gravy or leftover turkey soup? You bet. But for some reason, ground turkey kind of freaks me out. I don’t like the way the raw meat feels and I usually feel like the final product is sort of dry and flavorless. That was so not true for these burgers.

These moist and delicious grilled Spicy Southwestern Turkey Burgers are packed with flavor and are a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers.

I was originally going to make my turkey croquettes which are like these little Thanksgiving tasting patties. Its sort of the only recipe I ever buy ground turkey for. But my food loving husband is actually not too find of the wonderful flavors of Thanksgiving and pretty much said “eww” when I told him what was for dinner. Discouraged, I tried to think of other uses for my ground turkey. I had some leftover roasted hatch green chile in my frig along with some chipotles in adobo sauce that needed to be used up, so I sent him a text that asked “spicy turkey burgers?” and he lovingly replied with “duh” which in my husband’s terms really means “why yes, dear, I would be ever so grateful if you prepared a tasty and healthy dinner for our family to enjoy”.

These moist and delicious grilled Spicy Southwestern Turkey Burgers are packed with flavor and are a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers.

I discovered a few secrets while cooking these turkey burgers. First – you must add fat to make them moist, so I threw in some mayonnaise with the raw meat. If that means that I can no longer call them healthy, than so be it. They needed it. And boy did that mayo make them absolutely delicious. Second, the onion really added some much needed moisture, in addition to the added flavor. Who doesn’t like a little onion with their burger? Next, the spicy green chile and chipotle. Wow – what a combo. Delicious. Finally, I lathered some homemade green chile aioli onto the bun as well as a piece of melty extra sharp white cheddar – perfection!

These moist and delicious grilled Spicy Southwestern Turkey Burgers are packed with flavor and are a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers.

Spicy Turkey Burgers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These moist and delicious grilled Spicy Southwestern Turkey Burgers are packed with flavor and are a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers.
Author:
Recipe type: main dish
Yields: 4 patties
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup (about 4 ounces) roasted green chile, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 very small onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl. I use my hands to ensure everything is fully mixed. Form into four equal sized patties.
  2. Preheat your grill to 300 degrees F. Spray grill grates with olive oil to prevent sticking. Grill turkey patties for a duration of about 30 minutes, turning only once half way through the cooking process. Ground turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.
  3. I like to top with a thick slice of sharp cheddar about 5 minutes before I'm done grilling.
  4. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings, including some green chile aioli.

 

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Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake

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This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

So here’s the story on this outrageously delicious fresh apple cake: it all started when I made the most unbelievably good salted caramel sauce. It took me three attempts to make it perfectly (not because its hard, but boiling sugar skeeers me). Well, a little of that stuff goes a long way, so I had some leftover in the refrigerator. I tried to figure out what I should make. Then, I opened up my produce drawer and saw this damn apple that had been in there for a couple of weeks. You see, I LOVE apples in the fall. I make wonderful apple pies and the most amazing vanilla bean honey crisp apple sauce. But as the winter drags on and the only produce available are apples and oranges, I get a little burnt out on eating plain apples. Enter the fresh apple cake.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

You can see how big I like my chunks. I slice them thin but make the chunks big enough to pierce with a fork. I’m one of those weird eaters who pays very close attention to the texture of my food and I like a little crunch mixed in with my soft, hence the reason for the chunks of apple as well as the addition of the walnuts.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

Mmmm, homemade caramel sauce. There are few things on this planet that are better. The darker it is, the more intense the flavor. YUM.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

When you’re all done, just drizzle that caramel sauce over the entire cake. However much you choose to dump on is totally up to you.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

I’m totally salivating right now as I look at this.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

I actually didn’t add the salt to the sauce because I like to sprinkle the beautiful crystal flakes on top when I’m ready to serve. Again – that part is all about the texture for me.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

See the little salt flakes in the photo below?

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

Warm. Ooey. Gooey. Super delicious and flavorful apple cake. YUM.

This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.

Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This super moist and delicious Salted Caramel Fresh Apple Cake is loaded with fresh apple chunks and combines the perfect amount of sweet and spice.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Yields: 8-16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh)
  • pinch of salt
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups apples, chopped and peeled
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • salted caramel sauce
Instructions
  1. Ahead of time, make a batch of salted caramel sauce. You can buy some from the store, but homemade is oh so much better.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and/or line an 8x8 pan.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment on, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy for several minutes. Scrape sides down and beat in egg. Scrape sides again.
  4. In small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually add to creamed mixture and mix just until combined.
  5. Toss apples in lemon zest and juice. Toast raw walnuts in small pan on stove over low heat, occasionally tossing walnuts to evenly heat. Add apples with lemon and walnuts to cake batter and set mixer on low just to get them going and then flash it on high for only a couple seconds to evenly mix them in.
  6. Pour into prepared baking dish. Batter will be very thick so you will need to use a rubber spatula to spread it to an even layer. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  7. Serve cake warm or cold with warm caramel sauce with some salt crystals on top.

 

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Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting

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These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

Oh man, these cupcakes were good. No, they were great. Scratch that. They were freaking phenomenal. I made them because we had some new neighbors move in and I wanted to welcome them to the neighborhood.  Well, it appears we’re not that great to live next to because the cupcakes turned out so damn delicious that we wanted to keep them for ourselves.

These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

I’ve made carrot cake and carrot muffins and carrot cupcakes plenty of times. I’ve always tried to make them healthier by decreasing the sugar or replacing the oil with applesauce. There are lots of recipes out there that want you to add shredded apples or crushed pineapple. Those are all good, I’m sure, but I went for pure carrot this time. And let me tell you, I didn’t cut back on the oil or the sugar and I’m totally okay with that. They’re cupcakes, damnit! I made healthy gluten free carrot coconut pancakes with the rest of the carrots, so it all balances out, right?

These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

The next thing I did that ended up being wonderful was the frosting. Everyone knows you have to have cream cheese frosting with carrot cake. They’re just made for each other. But I did things a little bit differently than your standard cream cheese frosting. First, I used half cream cheese and half butter. You may or may not already do this. Sometimes I go heavier on the cream cheese. Truth be told, I just didn’t feel like opening a new pack of cream cheese and I had exactly four ounces ready to go, so that’s what I did. Next, I added some orange zest. I found out how cook orange zest is with carrot and cinnamon when I made some super soft carrot sandwich cookies. Then, in both the cupcakes and frosting I used almond extract instead of vanilla. Just search for vanilla on my blog and you’ll know that I am obsessed with it and use vanilla in almost everything I make. So why didn’t you, Krissy? Well, let me tell you. I finally finished up my last batch of homemade vanilla extract and am ready to crack open the next gallon that’s been soaking a healthy amount of Mexican vanilla beans in a gallon of vodka for 15 months. The problem was that I couldn’t get the damn lid off and the husband wasn’t home. I’m actually grateful I couldn’t open it because the almond extract made these especially spectacular. I also used pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon. If you have it, use it, otherwise cinnamon will due just fine.

These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

Now, if you have a keen eye, you’ll see all sorts of different colored carrots in my cupcakes. That’s because I buy the multi-color pack at Trader Joe’s for the simple reason that all those colors make me extra happy. I’m weird, I know. This is one of those recipes that I really don’t want you to take my word for it. You must make them to see how wonderfully delicious they truly are.

These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.

Carrot Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Spice Frosting are the most moist and delicious carrot cupcakes you will ever enjoy and the frosting is unbelievably good.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Yields: 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
cupcake:
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spice instead)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups packed shredded carrots
frosting:
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line 12 cupcake wells with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, oil and sugar. Mix on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add almond extract and mix until combined. Add flour and fold mixture together just until mixed. Fold in shredded carrots.
  4. Fill all 12 paper liners with batter. Bake at 425 F for about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and back until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes total. As soon as you remove them from the oven, transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
  5. To make frosting, blend butter and cream cheese together on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape sides, add zest, cinnamon, and almond extract, and mix until combined. Add sugar incrementally, blending slowly to combine and then on high speed to really mix. You can frost 12 cupcakes with a thin layer or 8 cupcakes with a big mound of frosting.

 

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