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So, this cake may not be the prettiest, but I promise it tastes really good. Ha! The kids were stoked because it’s a Happy Potter cake.

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Maple Sauce

You will need:

12-16 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
½ cup hot water
½ teaspoon baking soda
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs

Maple Sauce
¼ cup grade B maple syrup
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup heavy cream at room temperature or warmed

Begin by moving a baking rack to the center of the oven and preheating to 350°F degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan and set aside. In a small bowl, add the dates, hot water, and baking soda—stirring to dissolve. Let this mixture sit for about 15 minutes, then combine in a food processor until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pour in the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and maple syrup, processing until well-combined. Next, add the butter and eggs, and process until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix the batter or the cake will come out tough! Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, or just until the cake is golden brown and springy. In the meantime, start the maple sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk the maple syrup and butter together until well-blended, then slowly whisk in the cream. (The mixture should be kind of soupy.) Let the sauce sit at room temperature as the cake bakes and line a large plate with parchment paper. Once the cake is removed from the oven, pour ⅓ of the sauce over the top evenly while it cools. When the cake is completely cooled, invert it onto the lined plate, then immediately invert it again onto a serving plate, making it right-side up. Serve slices of the cake warm or at room temperature and pour a little extra sauce on top of each slice. Store the cake in plastic wrap at room temperature for 3 days and the sauce in a refrigerated airtight container for up to 1 week. The sauce can thicken, so you might need to whisk it and possibly warm it before serving.

Recipe via Baking With Less Sugar by Joanne Chang.




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We haven’t baked in a while because well, we’ve been really busy, but the other day we decided we should make a little something sweet, and Birdie was raising hands wanting to help out. She helped rinse the blueberries, she cracked the eggs, she was in charge of pouring all of the ingredients into the mixer and pushing the buttons until everything was blended just right. Then she patiently waited for our cheese tart to bake and cool. When it was done, she went to town decorating the top with fresh blueberries. The tart was good and she was very proud. I can’t believe how big she is—she’ll be four next month. Time really flies!


You will need:

1 box of vanilla wafer cookies (12 ounce box)

6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 cups ricotta cheese

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 carton of fresh blueberries, washed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a food processor, pulse the vanilla wafers until they are finely ground. Add in the melted butter and continue to pulse until everything comes together and the crumbs are moist.
Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch tart pan (we used a springform pan). Press the mixture into the pan and up the sides, making sure to press firmly so the crust holds together. Place the pan on a baking sheet and pop it into the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
In a clean food processor, blend the ricotta, softened cream cheese, eggs, granulated sugar, lemon zest, and juice until combined and smooth. Pour the ricotta mixture into the crust and bake until the filling is set (no longer jiggly) and slightly browned in some spots. Approx. 30-35 minutes.
Cool the tart completely on a cooling rack. Once cooled, top with blueberries, slice, and serve.

Recipe by Martha Stewart.



This cake is one of my favorites to date. Lemon and lavender go so well together. Every one of us, including Sailor, wanted more. I highly recommend giving it a try.

Lemon & Lavender Buttermilk Cake

For the cake:

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs and 2 egg yolks
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9 inch pans and set to the side. Sift dry ingredients together and set to the side as well.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed and then add in the sugar and beat until fluffy and incorporated. Scrape down the sides then add in the lemon zest, vanilla extract and eggs. Scrape down the sides once everything is mixed in. Next, in alternating batches, add in the dry ingredients and then the buttermilk. Starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is combined. Pour batter into both prepared pans, making sure the batter is evenly distributed. Pop in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the lavender simple syrup:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dried lavender

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir together. Heat over medium-high heat until the liquid comes to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let the mixture cook for an additional 10 minutes. The liquid should turn into a syrup. Take it off the heat to cool and reserve 1/4 cup of the syrup for the buttercream.

For the lavender buttercream:

3 egg whites
3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup lavender simple syrup

Place egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Carefully whisk together to combine. Place a medium saucepan filled with about 2 inches of water, over medium heat. Place the bowl with your sugar and egg whites over the heated water (to create a double boiler) and heat egg mixture until hot to the touch or until a candy thermometer inserted into the liquid reads 155-165 degrees.

Once the liquid is hot, transfer the bowl back onto the electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on high until the bowl comes back to room temperature. Stop the mixer and switch the whisk attachment to a paddle. Beat on medium-low speed and add in the vanilla, softened butter and lavender simple syrup. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat everything together until the buttercream is smooth.

For the lemon glaze:

2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons milk

Pour sugar into a bowl and add the fresh lemon juice. Stir together. Add in your milk to the mixture and stir until everything is dissolved and smooth.

To assemble:

Brush both cakes with lavender simple syrup. Place one of the cakes on a cake stand and spread the buttercream on top, then gently top off with the other cake. Carefully pour the lemon glaze over the top of the finished cake. The more it drips down the cake, the prettier! Slice into the cake, grab a plate and a fork, and enjoy!

Original recipe found right here.



Flourless Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

You will need:

4 eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
Zest of one medium orange
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large carrots, finely grated (about 2 cups grated carrots)
1 and 3/4 cups almond flour

For the Mascarpone Frosting:

1 cup heavy cream
1 tub (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8 inch springform pan with butter and dust with flour, set the pan aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until soft peaks form. Add the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks have formed. Set the bowl aside.

In a separate bowl, combine sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Beat at medium to high speed until all combined and light in color. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the 2 cups of grated carrots and one third of the egg white mixture. Fold everything together until all ingredients are combined. Fold in the remaining egg whites along with the almond flour and continue to fold until everything is incorporated.

Pour the cake batter into prepared springform pan. Bake the cake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. You will know the cake is finished once the sides pull away from the pan and once a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer cake to a cooling rack and let it cool completely before you top it with the frosting.

While you’re waiting for the cake to cool, prepare the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, combine room temperature mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. Beat together until smooth in consistency. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Continue to fold everything together until everything is incorporated.

Spread your frosting on top of the cooled cake. Feel free to eat as is or garnish with chopped almonds, leftover grated carrots or some more orange zest. Enjoy!

Recipe found here.



Hi everyone. I have had a full plate over the past couple of weeks and haven’t been able to update as regularly as I’d like to. Life can get busy, as I am sure you all know. Things are great over here. The kids are doing well. We bought a full-sized drum kit and are searching for an upright piano this week so the big kids can practice their music at home. The house is going to be a little louder, which I honestly didn’t think was possible, but I am excited for them.

The weather is starting to warm up a bit. It’s in the sixties today and we are planning on taking full advantage. Lunch outside, fresh air and some much needed vitamin D are in order. This winter has been so long and cold and uninspiring. We are all ready for the sunshine!

Last year I made a pound cake. It was unsuccessful. I figured it was time to try again and am happy to report that this time around we have a winner. It’s a different recipe and it’s absolutely delicious. Beautiful, buttery, moist and the perfect amount of sweet.

The Best Pound Cake

You will need:

6 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 8 ounce package cold cream cheese, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sifted cake flour

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 10 inch tube pan and set aside (we used a bundt pan).

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cold butter for about 2 minutes on low-speed, occasionally turning it up to high-speed for 5 seconds to dislodge butter from paddle. Add in the cold cream cheese and beat on low-speed for 3 minutes. Beat butter and cream cheese mixture together until well blended. While still mixing on low, add the sugar and then the salt. Continue creaming butter and cream cheese mixture for 5 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for 2 more minutes.

Next, add in the room temperature eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, then beat in vanilla. Gradually add about 2-1/2 cups of the cake flour on low-speed, mixing until blended. Turn off the mixer and fold in the remaining flour by hand with a spatula. Folding until combined.

Pour batter into prepared tube pan. Shake pan gently to distribute batter and then drop filled pan onto kitchen counter to rid of any air pockets. Place pan in the center of your preheated oven and bake for an 1 hour 45 minutes. Your cake will be done one a wooden pick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer cake to cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out the cake onto a plate or cake stand.

Recipe adapted from here. Photos by Bleubird.

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