Tropical Carrot Cake

This cake is a slice of heaven, seriously… For all you carrot cake and coconut lovers out there this is the cake for you! There is quite a few ingredients that may not be for everyone but topped off with cream cheese icing what isn’t to love? It also makes quite a bit of cake which is great for a potluck or family get together. If you are looking for a fun twist on carrot cake give this recipe a shot 😉 I got this recipe from Taste of Home.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 45. min prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 17 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowl with hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Grater
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Can opener
  • 13 x 9 in. baking pan
  • Butter or cooking spray for greasing

The Recipe

Time: 45 min. prep + 45 – 50 min. bake = 1 hour 35 min.

Servings: 24

Calories/serving: ~ 366

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 can (227 ml) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

FROSTING:

  • 1 package (250 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (I used half and half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil and buttermilk.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add to egg mixture and mix well.
  3. Stir in vanilla, carrots, raisins, pineapple, walnuts and coconut; mix well.
  4. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool.
  5. For frosting, beat all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Frost cake.

Buttermilk Pound Cake

This pound cake is so easy and delicious. It is so sweet and buttery. Serve it with whipped cream and strawberries for a summer dessert! Also, perfect with a morning coffee. It’s great for when you need to use up leftover buttermilk. I got the recipe from Taste of Home HERE.

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 20. min prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 8 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Stand mixer or mixing bowl & hand beaters
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Toothpicks
  • 10-in fluted tube pan.

The Recipe

Time: 20 min. prep + 70 min. cook time = 1.5 hours

Servings: 20

Calories/serving: ~ 285

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Confectioners’ sugar, optional

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; add alternately with buttermilk and beat well.
  2. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 325F until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 70 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired.

Mint Chip Ice Cream Cake

This is the easiest ice cream cake to whip together. And it doesn’t even have to be made with mint chip ice cream, it could be made with Rocky Road, Cotton Candy, Moose Tracks, you name it! I got the recipe from my Half Baked Harvest Cookbook which you can purchase here. This is great for summer and as I said you can try it out with any flavour!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 6
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 15. min prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 6 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Springform pan
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Saucepan
  • Knife

The Recipe

Time: ~15 min. prep + ~ 4 – 6 hours softening, freezing & cooling

Servings: 12 – 16

Calories/serving: ~ 344 – 459

Ingredients:

  • Non-stick cooking spray or butter, for greasing
  • 2 litres mint chocolate chip ice cream or ice cream of choice
  • 1 (9-ounce or ~ 2.5 cups) box chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or other oil of choice)

Directions:

  1. Grease an 8- or 9-inch round springform pan with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 – 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the chocolate wafer crumbs and melted butter. Dump the mixture out into the prepared pan and press the crumbs into the bottom to make a smooth, even crust.
  4. Spread the ice cream on top of the crust and smooth into an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly against the cake to help prevent ice from forming. Freeze for 4 – 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
  5. About 20 minutes before you plan to serve the cake, in a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove from the heat and continue stirring until completely melted and smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes before using.
  6. Remove the cake from the freezer and pour the melted chocolate over the top, allowing some of it to drip over the sides. Once the chocolate hardens into a shell, you can slice and serve the cake, or return it to the freezer until ready to serve. Just be sure to take the cake out of the freezer 10 minutes before cutting. This makes cutting so much easier!

Coconut Lemon Crumble Bars

I made these squares for Mother’s Day and they did not disappoint! I found them on Pinterest and the recipe comes from Rock Recipes. A homemade lemon filling with the buttery coconut crumble just melts in your mouth. If you like lemon & coconut these are to die for!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 10
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 1 hour + 5 min. prep time
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Knife
  • Grater
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Mixing bowl
  • 9 x 13 inch baking pan

Time: 1 hour + 5 min. prep + 45 min. bake time = 1 hour + 50 min. total

Servings: 50 squares

Calories/serving: ~ 117/square

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups dried coconut, medium cut
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup butter, cut in small pieces

LEMON FILLING:

  • 1/3 cup cake flour
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • Zest of 2 large, or 3 small lemons, very finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 large, or 3 small lemons
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • pinch salt

Directions:

  1. TO MAKE THE LEMON FILLING combine the corn starch, salt, cake flour, sugar and water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour about 1/2 cup of the thickened mixture over the beaten egg yolks and whisk together quickly. This tempers the egg yolks so that they do not scramble.
  4. Pour this mixture back into the pot and whisk it in quickly. Return the pot to the heat and stir constantly for a few minutes until the mixture is thick and evenly smooth.
  5. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest and remove from the heat.
  6. Finally whisk in the butter and set aside to cool while you prepare the crumble mixture.
  7. FOR THE CRUMBLE mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, coconut and salt.
  8. Using your hands or a pastry blender cut in the butter until the it is completely incorporated into the dry ingredients.
  9. Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch well greased baking pan. Pour the lemon filling evenly over the bottom crumbs. Gently sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the lemon filling and press down gently.
  10. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until light golden brown in color. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares and serving.

Chocolate Eclairs

I have always been intimidated to make Eclairs but once I gave this recipe a try I realized they aren’t that bad to make at all! The creamy filling and airy pastry just melts in your mouth! They are so good! If you’re looking for a baking project I suggest giving this recipe a try!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY – MODERATE

  • Steps: 4
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 1 hour prep time
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Knife
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Saucepan
  • Electric beater
  • Piping bag
  • Spoon
  • Mixing bowls

Time: ~ 1 hour prep. + 35-40 min. bake time + cooling = ~ 2 hours total

Servings: 9 – 15

Calories/serving: ~ 289 – 483 (depends on if you make smaller or larger eclairs)

I got this recipe from Taste of Home. I have adapated the directions slightly below. But you can find the original HERE.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 larges eggs, room temperature

FILLING:

  • 2 1/2 cups cold whole milk
  • 1 packages (153 g) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FROSTING:

  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons hot water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F In a large saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
  2. Using a piping bag cut about 1.5 inches off the bottom and fill with the dough. Pipe dough into nine 4×1-1/2-in. strips on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Remove to a wire rack. Immediately split eclairs open; slice off and remove tops and set aside. Discard soft dough from inside. Cool eclairs.
  3. In a large bowl, beat milk and pudding mix according to package directions. In another bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar and vanilla; fold into pudding. Fill eclairs (chill any remaining filling for another use).
  4. For frosting, in a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Stir in sugar and enough hot water to achieve a smooth consistency. Cool slightly. Frost eclairs. Store in refrigerator.

Mom’s Fudgy Brownies

I LOVE my mom’s brownie recipe. It’s so soft and chewy with a nice thick layer of icing on it. They are super easy to make! This recipe is for all you chocoholics out there 😉

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 30 minutes prep time
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 8 ingredients
    • All ingredients you can easily find at any grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Mixing bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Knife
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • 8 x 8 in. pan

Time: 30 min. prep + 30 min. bake time = 1 hour total

Servings: 25 squares

Calories/serving: ~ 123

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt

ICING:

  • 1 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons margarine or butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons hot water (approx.)

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan melt butter and cocoa.
  2. In a mixing bowl beat eggs until frothy, then add sugar, flour and salt. Then pour cocoa mixture over top and mix.
  3. Spread batter into greased 8 x 8 in. square pan. Bake @ 350F for 30 min. or until edges pull away. Cool before icing.
  4. Beat icing sugar, cocoa, margarine, and hot water until thick and blended.
  5. Ice brownies and cut into squares.

Mini Egg Cookie Bars

These squares are to die for! But I mean hey…who doesn’t love Cadbury Mini Eggs 😉 You will not be able to eat just one! These are soft, chewy, chocolatey goodness. You’ll definitely want to make these for your next Easter gathering or just to enjoy for yourself 😉 If you don’t want to use Mini Eggs you could use M&M’s or another small chocolate of your choice!

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 6
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 15 minutes prep time
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10-11 ingredients
    • Most ingredients you can find at your grocery store. You may not be able to find Mini Eggs unless it’s Easter but you can substitute it for another small chocolate.
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Parchment paper
  • Whisk and/or Electric beaters
  • Mixing bowls
  • Spatula or mixing spoon
  • Knife

Time: 15 min. prep & ~ 20 min bake = ~ 35 min. total

Servings: 16 – 25 pieces

Calories/serving: ~ 188 – 293

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch*
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 g (~1 3/4 cups) Mini Eggs
  • 100 g (~1/2 – 2/3 cup) milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F and line a 9x9inch square pan with parchment paper, and leave to the side for now.
  2. Whisk/Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and cornstarch together so its evenly distributed – leave to the side.
  3. In a larger bowl, melt the butter. Add in the two sugars, and whisk for about 2 minutes so the sugar starts to dissolve and the mixture is smooth. Add in the egg and the vanilla, and whisk again briefly till smooth. (I used an electric beater)
  4. Add in the dry ingredients, the Mini Eggs (apart from a handful), and the chocolate chips and mix with a spatula till a thick cookie dough is formed.
  5. Press the mixture into the bottom of the tin and press in the handful of Mini Eggs into the top for decoration. Bake the traybake in the oven for 18-22 minutes, until the top of the cookie bake looks ‘dry’!
  6. Leave the cookie bake to cool for about 10 minutes, then leave to cool fully on a wire rack. Cut the bake into 4×4 for decent sizes, or 5×5 for smaller ones! Enjoy!

Notes:

*If you don’t have cornstarch – use 3 tbsp more flour, but the texture may change. 

I got this recipe from Jane’s Patisserie – you can find the original recipe HERE.


Maple-Glazed Cardamom Apple Fritters

I tried this recipe from Half Baked Harvests Super Simple cookbook. You can purchase it HERE. These fritters are so delicious! Who doesn’t love a homemade donut? They are a bit finicky because the apple filling tends to fall out when frying but still so worth the effort! I highly recommend purchasing this book as there are so many delicious recipes!

Time: 1 hour prep + 30 min cook time = 1.5 hours

Servings: 12 – 14 fritters

Calories/Fritter: ~ 400 – 463

The recipe below is different but I’m sure it is just as delicious and would be worth a shot!

Link to the recipe and ingredients is here: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/maple-glazed-apple-fritters/

Equipment Required:

  • Skillet
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Rolling pin
  • Parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Saucepan
  • Paper towel
  • Whisk
  • Mixing bowls

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE – DIFFICULT

  • Steps: 6
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 1 hour prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 17 ingredients
    • All ingredients except for the apple butter I could easily find at my local grocery store. I tried making my own apple butter by boiling down applesauce. All-in-all the fritter was still delicious whether I did it right or not.
    • Rating: Difficult

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

Ok seriously, who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter! These bars are so simple to make and have only 5 ingredients! The only thing that takes time is letting it set in the fridge. I am writing this as Valentines Day is coming up and this could be the perfect indulgent treat for that special someone ❤ You could even cut the squares out with a heart shaped cookie cutter!

Warning…you won’t be able to eat just one bite 😉

Time: 35 min prep work, 25 min baking, 2.5 hours chilling = 3.5 hours total

Yield: 2 dozen

Calories/Bar: 390

Ingredients:

  • 1 package fudge brownie mix (13×9-inch pan size)*
  • 1-1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cups Rice Krispies

*I just bought Great Value Fudge Brownie Mix from Walmart. You can find it here.

Link to recipe directions can be found here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chocolate-peanut-butter-crispy-bars

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • 9 x 13 pan
  • Microwave or stovetop

 

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 3
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 35 min prep work
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 5-8 ingredients (depends on what extra ingredients your brownie mix calls for)
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy


Peanut Butter-Dipped Cookies-and-Cream Cake

This cake is decadent! The Peanut Butter Frosting is divine! It also is fairly time consuming but what 3 layered cake isn’t? I made it for my husband’s 28th birthday. Safe to say he gave this recipe a 10/10. It makes so much! So be sure to invite some friends over to share!

I made this recipe from a cookbook so unfortunately I can’t share the ingredients or how to make it but I can tell you where to buy the book. I highly recommend it! It is the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook. You can purchase it on Amazon and I am cooking my way through it and loving it so far!

Time: 3 hours plus cooking time

Yield: 16 servings

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – DIFFICULT (mostly b/c it’s time consuming)

  • Steps: 9
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 3 hours
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 17 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate – Difficult