Category Archives: Cakes & Cupcakes

Zucchini Brownies and/or Cake, anyone?!


While we are on the topic of zucchini, lets move on to zucchini bars! Oh, wait, we were NOT on that topic? Oh, well, now we are!!! ¬†ūüôā So let’s go back to talking about it! Zucchini is probably one of my favorite things about a garden. They grow like mad, produce these crazy big leaves and trailing stems and then there is the actual zucchini~ WHICH if you pick at the just right size, not to big and not too little, you can make this ~

Grilled Veggies

or this~

Zucchini Crisp

BUT when they grow too BIG, you know when they are hiding under a BIG leaf and you just plain miss it…….and they grow to be laughingly HUGE?? ¬†Well, those are GREAT for shredding. Why shred? For BREAD (ah! a rhyme!!!) or bars of course! ¬†ūüôā So. My self-given job was to find a great brownie recipe made from zucchini. Now the results!!

The first recipe was so very good, BUT more cake-like. A nice recipe to have if you want a zucchini cake (or cupcake perhaps??) recipe. Tho I was aiming for a brownie, not a cake, so I tried another recipe, this was for sure more brownie like. They both were a smashing success SO no more searching~ a brownie (+ cake) recipe my family enjoys has been found!

Wanna try them out for your family?

The first recipe is the “cake” like one. It is taller, fluffier and not at all dry. ¬†The frosting for it is delicious, funny how chocolate chips and peanut butter make a frosting, but it does! We ate it warm (yum) and we ate it cold (yummy!)((Room temp was not fabulous in this hot humid weather)).¬†¬†Or you can frost with a butter cream frosting instead, that is fabulous!

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Zucchini Cake

1 c. soft butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. shredded zucchini

2/3 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
(or frost with chocolate butter cream frosting instead)

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time ~ beating well after each addition. Beat in the yogurt and the vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Fold in the zucchini. Spread in a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake @ 350¬ļ for 30-40 minutes.

Melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler, stirring till smooth and melted. Spread over warm brownies.

Recipe from Prized Recipes to Cook and Savor, Vol. 2.

The second recipe is a bit denser, a bit flatter and not at all dry. More like a brownie!

Here is the brownie recipe ~ (I skip the nuts.) Enjoy!

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Pardon the pictures, the brownies are cold in the shots. I will never be a food photographer……… taking pictures of my family is much more my style! ūüėČ

(Other good ways to use up that really BIG zucchini!)~

Herb Stuffed Zucchini

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Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

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Want some more uses for small zucchini???

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna (pardon the picture, I need to take a new one!)

Zucchini Fries



The Ultimate Party Cake & Homemade Yogurt


Happy Blog-Day!!!!

No, this is not an”official” calendar celebration day (like National Peanut Butter Day or National Kiss Your Husband day….wait, are those real?!?!? Anywho…..), this is just a Favorite Family Foods celebration day!!!!! One year ago today, I started this little thing. I have not regretted it since. It has been fun.

NEVER in my wildest dreams (and, food nerd, that I¬†am¬†I have dreamed about food) did I EVER imagine I would have a blog. I am computer illiterate. We don’t really get along. It thinks it is smarter than me and I think I am smarter than it. ¬†But, I do have a strong enjoyment for sharing recipes, collecting recipes and preparing recipes. So a food blog is right up my alley.

I feel as if I should give a speech. But I won’t. I will TRY to keep this short and sweet.

* THANK YOU for reading.

*THANK YOU for sharing your comments, thoughts, recipes and this blog with your friends.

* THANK YOU for dealing with my photography skills (or should I say “lack-there-of?!?!?) ¬†My good ol’ camara has a hard time focusing in on food and I just am not a “food prop-er”. It is what it is.

* THANK YOU for not criticizing my grammar, spelling, punctuation and word inventing. ¬†Spell check tells me something it wrong but if I like it, I leave it. See. I am smarter…… ;).


All in all, this has been fun. You know I have questioned if it is worth it with so many blogs out there. Who really cares about mine? Well, I do and a good number of you do too, I hope.  I will continue to share cooking adventures as long as you keep reading and sharing and commenting, please!!! See, we are a team.  So, raise your glass * drink of choice* to many more years of blogging adventures.

Happy Blog-Day to you all!!!!

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Oh, here is an outrageously crazy good cake to make for your next special day ~ whether it be, a Birthday, an Anniversary or just a Happy Day!!!! It does take time, I cannot lie, but it really really was good. I actually halved EVERY bit of this recipe to make it¬†just¬†a 3-layer cake, because I made it “just cause” and we did not HAVE to have that huge of a cake. It worked out good. Head over here to grab the recipe. (You have to see the pictures on her blog, seriously, mine does not even compare. Your mouth will water.) You will want to make it someday I am sure, and let me know IF you give it a go!!!

* Looks like I get a “F” for direction following, I put the cookie layer on the bottom. She put the brownie down first. Opps.

* A tip if you are halving. Next time I would put the graham cracker layer in-between the cookie and brownie layer. It got pretty soggy up there with the cheesecake layer.

* I had chocolate frosting in the fridge, that is what I used, that is why it looks different.

I hope you make this cake some day, it really IS the ultimate. When else do you get to eat a cookie, a brownie, cheesecake AND frosting all at once? I mean really??? Enjoy!!!

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Cooking takes bravery. Sometimes.

IT does.

I was brave.

I made yogurt. Homemade yogurt. Much like having a blog, NEVER in a million years would I have ever EVER dreamed I would make yogurt. I do not like milk. I despise warm milk. (Those are pretty important parts of making yogurt.) BUT we do eat a LOT of yogurt on our granola or oatmeal. SO I knew I should try it and not be afraid of it.

A friend shared with me her recipe, and answered some of my questions and gave me the courage to try it. Well…… IT WAS DELICIOUS. Seriously. What was I afraid of?!?!? ¬†IT takes ¬†a bit of time and patience. But really, if you like yogurt you should try it. ¬†My kids all enjoy it too. Bonus of ALL bonus’!!! ¬† AND look at me getting strong bones eating all this yogurt!!!!

Tips. Tricks. Helps.

* The first time you make this you will need to buy a container of plain yogurt. You need 4 TB’s out of it. From then on you can use your own homemade plain yogurt as a starter for your next batch.

* We enjoy vanilla yogurt here, so I make mostly vanilla, taking out a bit of plain yogurt before adding the sugar and vanilla ~ I use this bit of plain for the next batch.

* Just like sour cream, your yogurt may develop a watery layer as it sets in your fridge, just pour that off before serving.

* After you pour the “yogurt” in the jars you can scoop out the bubbles with a spoon if you want, not necessary, but it does make it look nicer.

* As you are heating up the milk, it may develop “skin” (sounds gross, sorry) on top. That happened to mine once. I just poured it through a small fine strainer¬†thingy I had. Worked fab. Stir often and don’t heat to high, to avoid this hopefully.

* When cooling your milk to 115¬į, you may either do this on the counter (good for the cold months) or speed up the process and cool it in a sink of ice water. Just place your pot in ice water and stir, and watch till it gets to the proper temp.

I guess that is all. The directions will give you more tips. tricks. helps as well. It may get wordy, sorry. ¬†I can’t help it.

Homemade Yogurt

*Yields about 4 pint jars and 1-2 small jelly  jars*

8 c. 2 % milk (or whole would work too)
2/3 c. dry milk powder
4 TB. plain yogurt
1 1/2 TB. vanilla extract, opt.
1/2 c. sugar, opt.

Stir together the milk and powdered milk in a pot and heat to 185¬į. I have a thermometer¬†that attaches¬†to the side of my pot. I keep a whisk near by and every few minutes I check the temp and whisk it a bit. Don’t take your eyes off it for TOO long as the milk will scorch on the bottom of the pot rather quickly. ESPECIALLY if your heat is TOO high. I learned. I was impatient. I ¬†start with the heat at medium for about 5-10 minutes, stirring a lot, then I drop it to med-low for the rest of the time it takes to get to the proper temp. ¬†(This heating up should take about 1 hour, depending of course on your stove-top.)

Take the hot milk off the heat and set on counter (or is ice water in the sink to speed the process, especially in the warmer months!), cool to 115¬į. This should take 1/2 hour – 1 1/2 hours, depending on the temperature of your house. I stir this occasionally as well.

Add the plain yogurt (this is the yogurt “starter”), stir this in well.

At this point I pour my “yogurt” into ¬†my large measuring cup (8 c. size, it has a lovely pour spout) and I pour some plain “yogurt” onto a jelly size canning jar. Put on the lid and ring top.

To the rest of the “yogurt” I add the sugar and vanilla. You can skip this if you want to keep it all plain. The last batch I made, I kept about half of it plain as I had some recipes that called for plain yogurt. So do as you want.

Pour into pint size canning jars (you will need about 4, plus maybe another small jar) and top with lid and ring. I usually wash my jars in hot water first and dry well, so they are warm, ¬†this is not necessary I don’t think ~ but it is what I do.

I set my oven to “warm” about 170¬į. TURN IT OFF before putting the yogurt in.

In a large pot put on your yogurt jars. Carefully pour warm water around jars, about 1 1/2 inches up the side of the jars.  Cover with lid. Wrap the whole thing up in a towel. Put in a warm oven. . This is so the yogurt can incubate.

Now, ignore it for 4-12 hours. At about 3 hours in you can turn your oven light on for a few minutes to warm it up a bit in there, then turn it off. I have checked at 6 hours each time I have made it and it was ready every time. It is ready when the yogurt is firm in the jars. (See picture below.) Chill overnight. Serve or use as you want too. Enjoy.

Thanks Carrie for the recipe!

Some pictures to maybe help you on your way to begin making yogurt. Have you made yogurt before? Any tips are tricks you use? Do you do it a whole different way? Have you tried other flavors? Let me know if this seems interesting to you or if you give it a try and how it goes!!!

Bringing the milk up to temperature.

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Skimming of the gross top, if there is any.

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Filling up the pot.

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Wrapped cozy, ready for incubating.

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Yep, it is ready! (I keep a sticker on the “plain” jars, for easy identifying.)

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I put together “mini” jars…….that is strawberry jam…..

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….. so in the morning we can enjoy a¬†parfait!! (The kids chuckle at that word….wondering if I made it up…….)

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Flourless Chocolate Cake


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Need a gluten – free cake for this weekend?? Hummm….need a wonderfully rich delicious cake for this weekend?? EITHER was give this “cake” a try.

I say “cake” BECAUSE it. is. nothing. like a cake. Really, I challenge you to take a bite AND NOT try to figure out what it reminds you of. Impossible. It reminds me of fudge. No, no. I ment it reminds me of cheesecake. Oh, wait, I ment fudge. How about cheesecakey fudge??? Yum.

This is insanely rich. A small slice will do you. Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries. Did I mention you can enjoy this EVEN if you are not gluten Рfree. FACT. I know.

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Flourless Chocolate Cake    

8 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares (found in the baking isle)
4 oz. semi – sweet chocolate
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 c. butter
5 eggs

Butter a 9″ round cake pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper (I actually used wax paper and it was fine).

Chop the chocolate up a bit and place in a food processor or blender (if using a blender you may need to process the chocolate in a few batches). Process till finely chopped, teeny tiny pieces.

Bring the water to a boil and add the sugar, stir to dissolve sugar. Slowly pour into the food processor, with it running. Next add the butter, 2 TB. at a time (still with processor running). Next, add the eggs 1 @ a time. (Yep, processor running…..) Process till well blended.

Pour into prepared pan. Place pan in a large roasting pan and pour hot water (carefully) around the 9″ pan, till about 1/2 way up the side of 9″ pan. Carefully put in oven (better YET, put pans IN oven and pull rack out and pour water in. No chance of water getting in your cake).

Bake @ 350¬į for 25-30 minutes.

When the cake was cool, I sprinkled with powdered sugar. Very optional. It just dressed it up a bit.

Serves about 16, at least. Seriously rich.

Thanks Aunt Sher for sharing, she clipped this out of a magazine a few years ago.

That is all I have for gluten – free recipe so far. I have a few more recipes in mind that I hope to share as well. How about YOU? Do you have any gluten-free recipes that use average pantry staples. If you do and want to share, send it to Or include it in the comment section or “Readers” Page.

THANKS and have a GREAT weekend!

Wheat Free Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes


I am very thankful that no one in my family has any dietary restrictions. Though, I know that there are so many families THAT do have to watch what they eat. Whether it be a peanut allergy, lactose intolerant, diabetes, high cholesterol or wheat free/gluten-free ~ these restrictions are out there plus many more.

There may be a time when you are entertaining and one or more of your guests have a diet restriction that you may need to be aware of and cook/bake for. I wanted to have a section on my blog where you can go to if you need some ideas. I am going to focus right now on wheat free/gluten-free foods. Just a few, really. I am not a pro, I really know NOTHING about it. Just that I wanted to have a few recipes in my files IF the need arises and I need them!

I wanted to use ingredients that are generally found in all of our pantries. There are gluten-free flours and other options available, but for those of us who do not have gluten-free family members we don’t generally have those items in our pantries. ¬†So I wanted to focus on recipes that have ingredients we already might have.

That being said. In the future IF I happen to share a recipe that is gluten-free and I don’t realize it ~ please let me know! I will add a notation in the Recipe Index that the recipe is “Gluten Free”. ALSO, if ¬†I claim a recipe is Gluten Free and it. is. not. Again, let me know!!! Like I said, I am not all that smart in all things gluten-free.

This recipe I am sharing today was a hit with my family. No one questioned as to what was in it. They all enjoyed it. There is a rather unique ingredient in it. I know that IF my kids would watch me put it in their cupcakes, they would not eat it! So, make sure to make these when no one is watching. Much like the Orange Carrot Pineapple Smoothies ~ once they see an interesting ingredient in it, they might not want to eat it.

These cupcakes are the opposite of dry. Frost and decorate as you would a regular cupcake, I know some of you are very gifted in cupcake/cake decorating. Opposite of my simplistic approaches.

PLEASE let me know IF these seem interesting to you and ESPECIALLY let me know it you try them, I am very curious as to others opinions! THANKS!

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Wheat Free Gluten-Free Cupcakes

 (Yeild about 16 cupcakes)

15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
5 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
6 TB. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. honey
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. chocolate chips

In a food processor or blender, blend the black beans, 3 eggs and vanilla till smooth. Add the salt, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, honey and butter (cut into 2 TB. pieces). Blend again till smooth.  Add the last 2 eggs and blend till smooth.

Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners. ¬†Fill about 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle tops with chocolate chips (don’t fold in BECAUSE they will sink to the bottom). Bake @ 325¬į for 17-20 minutes. (Check at 17, mine baked in about 18 minutes.)

Cool. Frost.

Frosting  (Or use your favorite frosting recipe.)

1/4 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 TB. milk
pinch of salt
2-4 c. powdered sugar

Beat the butter about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and milk, beat just till combined. Add 1 c. powdered sugar, beat, add 1 more cup. Beat till fluffy, may need to add more powdered sugar to get the correct frosting consistency. Frost. I have decorated with mini chocolate chips or Hershey Kisses, you can decorate HOWEVER you want to!

Yield about 16 cupcakes.

Recipe from The Marathon Mom ~ with just a few changes in ingredients.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna & Cake Balls


Aldi Sales for Oct. 10-Oct. 16.

* I was wondering if you all can help me out here. Those of you who shop at different Aldi stores, do you EVER notice that the prices I have listed are different from those in your store? Do you skim over the price and just look for the “special buy” item itself and IGNORE the price? I don’t NEED to type the actual price if it is not helpful OR if it is not a nationwide price, ya know?? Just wondering…… I will keep it as I always do for this week, patiently waiting your help! ūüôā

* Oh, PLEASE note if you plan on trying the Butternut Squash Soup PLEASE re-check the recipe. It calls for CHICKEN bouillon not BEEF. Oops. Thanks to a friend for pointing that out!! ¬†Thanks! On that note, please let me know if you ever see typos or if a particular “link” does not work! (Or the occasional bad word…..sorry!)


Let’s talk “special buys” and “seasonal items”!

* It IS that time of year again, when all the wonderful “seasonal items” come out. Time to STOCK up for that holiday and winter baking! I am JUST sharing some of the items. I could not list them all and I am sure there are some in the store that are NOT in an ad.
Peanut Butter (40 oz. for $4.49), Light Corn Syrup (32 oz. for $2.49), Coconut Flakes (14 oz. for $1.49), Baking Powder (8.1 oz. for 99¬Ę), Baking Cocoa ($2.49), Assorted Varieties of Sprinkles (3-5 oz. for 99¬Ę), Blueberry Pie Filling (21 oz. for $2.49), Apple Pie Filling (21 oz. for $1.49), Almond Bark, chocolate or vanilla(24 oz. for $2.49). (Has anyone tried the Chocolate Almond Bark?? How is it?)

* Look for a recipe below that used both Cake Mix (a 16.5-18.25 oz. box is 99¬Ę) and Frosting¬†(16 oz. container is $1.29).

* Now is a good ¬†time to grab Powdered Sugar and Brown Sugar ~ 32 oz. bags are $1.39 each. AND Evaporated Milk is 65¬Ę for a 12 oz. can.

* APPLES. 3 lb. bag for $2. 49 ~ probably a few varieties to choose from. Honey Crisp are $2.99 for a 2 lb. bag. Don’t forget a 3 pack of Caramel Apples for $1.29!!

* I love that Aldi has lasagna noodles (16 oz. box for $1.29), I always like to have a box in my pantry. ESPECIALLY to make Roasted Vegetable Lasagna.

* MUCH MUCH more in the ad! Check it out here!

Do you shop at Aldi? If so WHAT is YOUR favorite “seasonal item”??

(My favorite is the Vanilla Almond Bark. For sure. Well, and the different varieties of chocolate chips ~ last year they had bittersweet, or was it dark chocolate? Either way I was giddified.)  


Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Sharing recipes is a VERY important part of cooking/baking. My friend shared this recipe with me. Her family enjoyed it A LOT, ¬†I knew my family would eat this…but would they eat it happily AND want it again??!?!!?? Well, I was pleasantly surprised, they all CLEANED their plates, it WAS FANTASTICALLY delish. I hope you too enjoy sharing recipes with your friends AND trying new unique things!! ¬†This recipe has become a favorite around here. I hope your family enjoys it too!!!

¬†I was a little nervous about serving a meatless lasagna dish, especially one with¬†eggplant¬†*ugh*, and veggies that my kids usually push around on their plates. SURPRISE! No one asked ” hey, where’s the meat???” or “what IS this vegetable?!?!?!?” My kids can be picky, but they ate this great…..why not try it out on your family too?!!!

* I did not use “no cook” lasagna noodles. I just cooked the lasagna noodles I had, though I did cook them for about 2 minutes LESS than al dente.

* I had no Asiago cheese, I just used all Parmesan.

* I chopped my veggies small (to “hide” them a bit), the recipe tells you to slice them. That being said, I hid all my veggies IN the lasagna leaving none for the top. IF your kids are not vegafobiacs, then save some to sprinkle on the top for a much lovelier presentation.

* Remember to let your lasagna set for 15 minutes before serving or I PROMISE, it WILL be runny!

* Please don’t be scared by the list of ingredients…….it was NOT difficult!

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna 
1 small eggplant
2 small zucchini
5 plum tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. olive oil
3 TB. fresh basil (I used about 1 1/2 tsp. dried)
3/4 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 tsp. pepper, divided
2/3 c. Greek olives, cut up (I skipped…but WILL try it next time I make this)
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 3/4 c. milk
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
5 TB. Parmesan cheese
2 TB. Asiago cheese (I skipped cause I did not have)
3/4 c. mozzarella cheese ( oh… I used MORE! about 1 1/4 c.)
6 no cook lasagna noodles (I used regular and cooked them under al dente)

(If cooking your noodles, then cook them to about 2 minutes under al dente, drain and let set till ready to assemble.)

Slice the veggies (into slices, chunks, chopped ~ however your family would like them), toss with the oil, 2 TB. fresh basil (or about 1 tsp. dried), minced garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper. Roast @ 450* for 20 minutes till tender.  Add the olives.

Melt the butter in a  medium sauce pan, add the flour and stir till smooth. Add the milk slowly and stir with a whisk over low heat. Add the bay leaf and nutmeg too. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes or till thickened.  Add 3 TB. of Parmesan cheese, the Asiago cheese, the rest of the fresh basil (or about 1/2 tsp. dried), 1/4 tsp. salt and some pepper to taste. Stir to melt the cheese, take off the heat and REMOVE the bay leaf.

Put 1/4 of the sauce down in a 7″ x 11″ pan. Add about 1/3 of the veggies (if saving some for the top, or use about 1/2 of the veggies), 1/4 c. mozzarella cheese and then lay down noodles. Repeat that layer one more time. Then, top with 1/4 of the sauce, the rest of the veggies, rest of the mozzarella cheese, remaining sauce and 2 TB. Parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake @ 375* for 30-40 minutes. Take out and let set for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with salad and bread. Serves 6.

Recipe from Taste of Home (thanks Kathy for telling me about it!).

Do you have a recipe your family LOVES??? I would love it if you shared it here at I would be happy to make it and post it to share with others :). (Giving you or your recipe source the credit OF COURSE!) Thanks!

Cake Balls

About a year ago, little more than that, I was busy making these will my soon to be sis-in-law for her and my brothers wedding. That was fun. We had some practice nights and then a big baking night. It was fun. Use whatever combo of cake and frosting you like, then either dip in vanilla or chocolate almond bark.

* Almond Bark works the best for this. I know because I recently  tried it with the  chocolate chips  I had on hand and it was a near catastrophe. IF you are using chocolate chips, MAKE SURE  you have some parafin wax (found in the baking isle, near the chocolate chips)  on hand to  melt in~ it makes is smooth and easy to dip. 

* I HIGHLY recommend that you make this with STORE BOUGHT frosting (mother get back on your chair, I am sure I shocked you off of it…..). You may never hear me say that again, that stuff is not my favorite. ¬†It just works better. I have made it with homemade frosting, but it makes ¬†for a more “starts with “m” and rhymes with “hoist” ” cake ball, which sounds like it would be fine, but really isn’t right. IT is still good, just not “right”. ¬†I will let you know when I find the right homemade frosting for this…..cause I WILL keep trying……

* Use any cake mix flavor, any frosting flavor and either vanilla or chocolate almond bark or chocolate or vanilla chips. Have fun with different varieties! (The one pictured is yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Well… and the bad chocolate melting malfunction…… FYI.)

Cake Balls 
1 cake ¬†mix (9″ x 13″ size)

ingredients needed for baking the cake
1 container of frosting
almond bark  (at least a 24 oz. package, maybe more)

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions. Let cool about 20 minutes.

Frost with frosting. Stir it all up, cake, frosting and all.  (When it is still warm.) Let this chill in the fridge for about an hour or two.

Scoop into balls. (I use my Pampered Chef cookie scoop).  If you cannot roll into a ball, just chill the  mounds of cake numminess till it is cold and will let you roll it into a ball. 

Freeze the balls. 

Melt the chocolate of choice. Dip the balls in. Let set till chocolate has hardened. 

Enjoy. Have fun with it. 

No idea where this recipe came from.  Kristen?? Do you remember?

Chocolate Cake with Fudgey Frosting


SO I my house, we have entered the season of BIRTHDAYS!!!! Yeah and fun.¬†This is the time of year¬†¬†I get to make loads of cakes and cupcakes OR at least have a liget¬†excuse¬†to make loads of goodies!¬† This cake bakes up beautifully, though I only have 8″ cake pans so that is what I use, I think 9″ may be better. Just remember ¬†it¬†will rise QUITE a bit, so bake on a cookie sheet just in case of spillovers¬†(though hasn’t happened to me yet…..)¬†¬†The crispy¬†bits on the edge, no need to worry ~ break it off and nibbles go to the chef! (My rule.) I then just trim it up nicely to be flat. ¬†This is a very “not dry” cake, a very rich cake ESPECIALLY¬†when paired with this “fudgey” frosting. If you want to go more the “buttercream”¬† route, you can use this recipe, just scroll down a bit and you will see it. ¬†IF you like milk….ugh….this would be a real good cake to have with a glass of cold milk! Oh, by the way, we like a little cake with our frosting AS you can tell! ūüôā (My cake “deflated” a bit because of ALL my frosting,I will go less next time ~ I was distracted¬†talking about pot roasts and went a bit over board WITH the frosting…though, I am not complaining!)

*Try to avoid opening your oven door too much, just turn the oven light on so you can check on it that way, do the toothpick test when it looks to be about done. Don’t want to deflate your lovely risen cake. (I know cause I recently deflated cupcakes…..)

* This frosting will harden up a bit¬† as it “sets” so don’t leave it uncovered on the counter TOO long, IF you do, just micro like 10 seconds to soften it up.

*Have no fear if you do not have instant coffee granules, just use 1/2 c. of your leftover morning coffee.

*The vinegar and milk it taking the place of buttermilk, IF you have buttermilk, by all means use 1 c. of it! That is just not something that I usually have.

Chocolate Cake
1/2 c. soft butter
1 1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. baking cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 TB. vinegar
1 TB. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules
1/2 c. hot water
1/2 c. sour cream
Put the vinegar in a 1 c. measuring cup, add milk to make it¬†1 cup.¬† Let set a few minutes. Meanwhile, beat together the butter and sugars for 30 seconds or so. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda,¬† baking powder, salt, eggs, “buttermilk”, and vanilla and beat 2 minutes. Combine the coffee and hot water, add that and the sour cream and mix just till combined. Pour into 2 ~ 9″ pans that have been greased and lined with parchment. (Be sure to put pans on a cookie sheet to AVOID a messy oven ~¬†IF spill overs do happen!!) Bake @ 350* for 28-35 minutes DEPENDING on your oven. Cool. Frost one cake layer, then put the other on top and frost top and sides.

Fudgey Frosting
1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. butter
2 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
4-5 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
milk to reach good “frosting” consistency
Melt the chocolates with the butter, let set till cooled. Beat the cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, touch of milk (1-2 TB’s to start), and powdered sugar for 1-2 minutes. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat 1-2 more minutes till nice and fluffy, adding a touch milk IF needed. ENJOY!!!!

“Hostess” Cupcakes


1st off, I need to ask you to click here and check out the new Recipe Index and let me know what you think!! Hope this is a help. I did not get a chance to check them all to make sure I linked it up right SO if you click on Brownie “Buckeye” Cupcakes but get Kid’s Favorite Green Beans, by all means LET me know so I can get it fixed up lickity split!¬† ūüôā

Here is my version of a “hostess” cupcake. Take the name lightly, I was never a fan of those things, but wanted to make one. I am thinking that next time I am going to make a ganache for a lovely drizzle on top OR dip¬†the top¬†¬†IN ganache THEN drizzle with white chocolate, yum……we’ll see. Let me know if anyone tries that! ¬†I really have a thing for cupcakes. I love to make ’em and love to eat ’em! They are fun. Easy. I cannot make them¬†ALL the time because leftover cake/cupcakes can easily be mistaken for¬†“breakfast” food¬†in this house! So we save it for special occasions….like FRIDAYS!!! oh. I made these when we had family from out-of-town over for dinner, that was fun!

*IF you are not a fan of making “from scratch” cake, by all means ~ use a boxed mix, you can still fill it with the cream filling and frost it, etc. It¬†will still be DELISH!

1/2 c. + 1 TB. cocoa powder
1/2 c. + 1 TB. hot water
2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks + 1 TB. soft butter
1 2/3 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 TB. vanilla
3/4 c. sour cream
Whisk the cocoa and hot water together till smooth. Set aside. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Melt the butter, then add the sugar and beat for 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 @ a time, beat a bit after each addition. Add the vanilla and the chocolate mixture. Mix till combined. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream. Put into cupcake tins lined with liners :). (2/3 full) Bake at 350* for 18-20 minutes. Cool.

2 TB. flour
1/2 c. milk
Shake this together till nice and smooth. Cook in small saucepan on medium heat till thick, stirring constantly. Cool thoroughly. Set aside.
1/4 c. shortening
1/4 c. margarine
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat these 4 ingredients at a fast speed till nice and creamy. Add the cooled mixture and beat till fluffy.  Put in ziplock baggie and set aside.

1/4 c. cocoa
1/4 c. milk (may not need it all….may need more….depends on the weather, no joke)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. soft butter
1 lb. powdered sugar
Beat the butter and add the cocoa, 1/2 the milk, vanilla, and 1/2 the powdered sugar. Beat till smooth. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, and if it is ¬†not¬†“frosting” consistency, then add more milk, bit by bit till it is just like frosting.¬† Set aside.

White Chocolate Drizzle
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
2 tsp. shortening
Melt these together in micro for 30 sec. Stir, repeat till melted. Set aside and cool a bit.

And now….the assembly.¬† Easy. When the cupcakes are cooled, take the bottom end of a wooden spoon and poke a hole in each cupcake. Snip the corner of the filling bag¬†and squeeze¬†just a bit in each ~ about 1 tsp. or so ~ there¬† may be extra, add more IF you want. See picture.

Frost with frosting. Drizzle with glaze. Serve and ENJOY!! (I stored the leftovers in the fridge, cause of the “whipped creamy” filling.


Cupcake recipe from Annie’s Eats.
Filling and frosting recipes adapted from Prized Recipes to Cook and Savor.