Lemon cream cake with vanilla bean frosting

We were invited to my aunt and uncle’s Derby party and needed a dessert. I thought a lemon dessert would be nice and refreshing. I had recently seen this recipe and thought it would be perfect for the party! It was a hit. The cake is quite moist, the filling is to die for and the frosting is perfect. Definitely make this for your next get together. It’s impressive and delicious!




For the cake:
3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
Zest of ½ a lemon
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the filling:
4 oz. mascarpone or cream cheese, cold
2½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tsp. lemon extract
Zest of ½ a lemon
1 cup heavy cream, chilled

For the frosting:
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. (3 sticks plus 2 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream

For the candied lemon slices: I omitted this
1-2 whole lemons, preferably organic
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour the edges of 3 8-inch round cake pans and shake out the excess. Set aside. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the lemon zest to the bowl of the mixer with the butter. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Combine the buttermilk and the lemon and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Divide the batter between the prepared baking pans. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pans about 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
To make the filling, combine the mascarpone and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated. Blend in the lemon extract and lemon zest. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside. Wipe out the mixer bowl and fit with the whisk attachment. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, being careful not to overbeat. Mix about a third of the whipped cream into the lemon-mascarpone mixture to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain and the mixture is evenly blended.
To make the frosting, add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pod into the bowl and add in the salt. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract and heavy cream on low speed just until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4 minutes.
To make the candied lemon slices, wash and dry the lemons thoroughly. Use a sharp serrated knife to make very thin slices of lemon. Poke out any seeds in the slices with a toothpick. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon slices to the mixture so that they are in a single layer (none overlapping), reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer about 20 minutes, turning the slices at least once so both sides are candied. Remove from the heat. Store in a container with the syrup until ready to use.
(Level cake layers if necessary.) To assemble the cake, place one of the layers on a serving platter. Top with half of the lemon-mascarpone mixture and smooth in an even layer. Place a second cake layer on top of the filling and top with the remaining filling. Place the final cake layer on top. Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake with the vanilla bean frosting. Use a pastry bag with a decorative tip to pipe accents on the cake. Garnish with the candied lemon slices.


Funfetti cheesecake cupcakes with cake batter cream cheese frosting

The title says it all. This dessert has cheesecake, cream cheese icing, cake batter and cake all in one. It’s awesome! I needed some desserts for our Easter celebrations and knew there’d probably be a lot of fruit flavored ones as spring always brings, so I’d thought I’d go in the other direction. Glad I did! These are incredible.




Confetti (or Funfetti) cake batter, use your favorite homemade or boxed version)-I used homemade
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 and line 24 muffin tins with liners.
Spoon cake batter into each tin until it is about 1/2 full. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Spoon one spoonful over the top of each cupcake. Bake for about 15 minutes or until set.

Cake Batter Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick salted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Baker’s Mystery Flavor (you could omit this, I omitted as my bottle I ordered didn’t arrive in time. Darn you smart post!!)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup white cake mix (MIX–NOT BATTER)

In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and extract(s) on medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and cake mix and beat on low until just combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. If frosting is too thick, mix in a bit of heavy cream or milk until desired consistency is reached.
Once cupcakes are cool, frost generously. And decorate as you wish!

Cinnamon Toast Crunch cupcakes

Recently, my friend Nikki made these for Superbowl and shared the recipe with me. They are FANTASTIC! While the original recipe is below, there are several suggestions for changes. First, no need to put the crushed cereal in the batter. It doesn’t always lead to good results. Some have found the bits of cereal to get very hard. Also, if you decide to put the crushed cereal in the frosting rather than on top, it can make the cereal soggy and the frosting with an odd texture. I upped the cinnamon in the recipe and just dusted the tops with crushed cereal and cinnamon sugar mixture. Also, either cream cheese frosting it butter cream frosting works great here!



Cinnamon Cake:
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
¾ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup sour cream
Vanilla Cake Mix (not white cake mix)-I used from scratch basic vanilla cake batter here and just mixed in the cinnamon.
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
(There used to be cereal pieces in the batter, but that has been removed due to comments saying it’s better without it)

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Buttercream:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch powder
(Crush the cereal in a bag and then sift out 2/3 cup)
Milk as needed to thin out frosting
Cinnamon sugar mixture (I used the cinnamon sugar mixture shaker we bought permafrost at the store)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with 20-22 cupcake liners.
(I made my own vanilla batter then added in cinnamon) use whatever you prefer)
In a large bowl, gently combine eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.Mix in sour cream.Add cake mix and cinnamon and mix until smooth.Stir in lightly crushed cereal.
Fill cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add Cinnamon Toast Crunch powder. (i omitted and just pit on top) Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Adjust the consistency using milk if it is too thick.
Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with cinnamon sugar and Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares.

Gluten free low carb flour less chocolate cake

It’s my birthday!!! (feb 15!!!) I needed to decide on what birthday cake I wanted this year, except it needed to be lower carb and gluten free. So I turned to my new favorite blog and found a delicious dessert. Easy to make and very chocolaty!!!!



1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup granulated erythritol
20 drops stevia extract
1 cup pecans, finely ground

8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
2 tbsp whipping cream
12 drops stevia extract
1 cup fresh raspberries-I used strawberries the raspberries werent looking good at the store!!

For the torte, preheat oven to 325F and butter a 9-inch springform pan.
Melt butter in a small saucepan and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to let cool.
In large bowl, beat egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Beat in erythritol and stevia until combined. Beat in cocoa mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in ground pecans.
With clean beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold into chocolate mixture in two additions. Spread batter in prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake 18-22 minutes or until top is firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then run a sharp knife around edge of cake and carefully remove the sides. Let cool completely.
For the topping, stir mascarpone, whipping cream and stevia together until smooth. Spread over top of cooled cake. Arrange berries over top.

Secret heart cupcakes

As soon as I saw these cupcakes, I knew I had to try them! And omg are they ever cute! Definitely make for your Valentines Day celebration!
Keep close eye on the direction of your cupcake so when you bite in the heart is facing you. If not, when you bite in all it will look like is a rectangle. I put a heart in the front to indicate it.

The cupcake recipe below is from where I found the cupcakes but I chose to top them with my favorite marshmallow frosting. Top however you’d like!

Happy Valentine’s Day! 💘💗💘



Cupcakes and the hearts:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
the seeds from half a vanilla bean
1/4 t. salt
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/3 c. whole milk
red food coloring

Buttercream below cupcake recipe

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
Mix the butter and sugar together at medium speed for about 90 seconds, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so everything gets well combined. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla and mix until the batter is smooth. Finally, alternate between the flour and milk, beating on med-high speed until the batter is light and creamy.
Pour a little more than 1/3 of the batter (about a cup and a half) into a smaller bowl. Add red food coloring until you get your desired pink or red color. Pour the batter into a non-stick (or lightly greased) 8×8 baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes (mine only took 10 mins)until the edges of the cake start to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely. Once the sheet cake is cool, loosen the edges away from the pan with a knife and then invert the pan onto a cutting board. Use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a dozen cake hearts that are small enough to fit into an average-sized cupcake pan.
Spoon two heaping tablespoons of the remaining batter into paper-lined cupcake tins, so they’re about half-full. Put one heart into each tin and press it point down into the batter. Keep all the hearts facing forward in the pan. Cover with another teaspoon of batter and bake for 24 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting.
Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. Keep the cupcakes facing forward so you get the right cross-section of the heart when you cut or bite into the cupcake (to get the full heart effect). So keep all the cupcakes facing forward as you move them from the cupcake tin to a cookie sheet for cooling/frosting. After frosting, put heart candy on them (or some other decoration) that can also face forward so you know which way to cut the cupcake in order to see the heart shape inside (if you cut the heart in the wrong direction you just get a rectangle shape—not very romantic!).

Marshmallow frosting:
2 sticks of butter ( at room temp.)
1 cup of confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 – 7 ounce tub of marshmallow cream

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.
Beat in one fourth of the sugar until fluffy, then repeat with the remaining sugar.
Beat in vanilla, then stir in the marshmallow cream until well blended.


Santa hat cupcakes

Ahhh just in time for the holiday season…santa hat cupcakes. I saw these on pinterest from Diane’s blog and knew they would be PERFECT for our annual holiday party. Each year we host a wine/holiday party. Everyone brings a bottle of wine and an app/dessert to share and we kickoff the holiday season together. Well I can never decide on one or two things, so I make like 4-5 things to share. 2 of which are a dessert. This year as soon as I saw these I was either making them for my H’s work or our party. Our party was first, so they got the cute cupcakes. (I made ahead to practice and froze the rest for the party)

All you need is one batch of chocolate cupcakes (I made 24 cupcakes) baked and cooled. Make 2-3 batches of butter cream (I doubled and had JUST enough so you might want to make  more than I did if you are heavy-handed), and use 1/4- 1/3 for stars and leave white. Make that batch a bit stiffer to hold star shape. The rest of the frosting, dye a deep, bright red and use a round tip to create a very high fluffy santa hat. Once the red part is done, pipe white stars around the base of the hat and a nice sized star on top for the ball of his hat. And it’s that easy. I did add almond instead of vanilla to my butter cream as I always prefer almond flavor during the holidays.


Rum Cake

For H’s work pot lucks, I always make a dessert or two or three as I can never decide what to make, so I make many. Besides the pumpkin bars, I had been dying to make this rum cake. OMG OMG OMG it is to die for. It does have a lot of rum in and on it, so becareful with kids, but for adults…MAKE THIS TODAY. Honestly this cake was great and super easy to make. Would be perfect for any holiday party or dessert table!


for the cake:
1/2 cups walnuts, crushed
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3 tablespoons + 1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil, separated
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup vanilla instant pudding mix
3/4 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
3/4 cup dark rum
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

for the rum syrup:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup dark rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan, and drop crushed walnuts into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
In the base of a mixer, cream the 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and the 1/2 cup butter. Add the 3 tablespoons oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and kosher salt combining until evenly distributed. (Mixture will look like fine crumbs.) Mix in the pudding mix.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, rum, vanilla extract, and remaining vegetable oil. Add to the dry mixture and mix well until combined. The batter will be smooth, thin, and pour easily.
Pour into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the cake comes up clean.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes.
While the cake cools, prepare the rum syrup: In a large saucepan with high sides, combine the butter, water, granulated sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the butter completely melts and the sugar dissolves. Let reduce slightly, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum (it will bubble).
Wash and dry the bundt pan, then place over the cool cake and invert the cake back into the pan. Pour the hot rum syrup all over the cake and let soak for 8 hours (overnight). In morning, invert the cake back onto a serving platter. Keeps covered for 1 week at room temperature.