Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

 

When I was ten, my mom and brother and sister and myself went to Alabama to visit my grandparents (Mommer and Popper) for a few days. I absolutely loved being there. It was way out in the country, a small wood frame house with no central air, no central heat (no heat at all actually), built I have no idea when. It had one small bathroom, two small bedrooms and an ancient kitchen with an old iron porcelain coated sink. I remember sleeping in the tiny hallway between the kitchen and one of the bedrooms on a blanket with my mom when I wasn’t staying over with my cousin Lori. The house was surrounded by woods and the blueberry bushes that Popper had planted. On the same patch of land was the trailer my Aunt Irene and my cousin Lori, who was my age, lived in, so going to visit was sheer heaven for me. Country, family and someone to play with. Part of my heart still lies in Alabama and the south, which is why I’m probably quite content living out the rest of my life here in Kentucky even though I was born and raised in Chicago.

Well, one day during the visit, Popper told me, my cousin Lori and a couple other cousins who were visiting that we could go pick some blueberries. We grabbed bowls and went out to the two large bushes right next to the house, which were about 5 feet tall each; nicely established bushes. About half an hour later, we went back into the house to show Popper our blueberry haul. We had totally stripped the bushes bare and had about 2 gallons of blueberries. While I’m sure that inside of him he was thinking, “oh, Etta (Mommer) is going to kill me for letting them doing this”, outside all he did was laugh, tell us that we had a lot of blueberries and had us take them in to my aunt. I have no earthly idea what they used all those blueberries for.

Silly story maybe, but the memory popped into my head the other day when I made this cake. It doesn’t take 2 gallons of blueberries though, I promise; just one pint. It did however, take me a couple of tries to get right. The first one totally stuck to the pan and while it tasted fine, it wasn’t quite right even if it hadn’t stuck. The second one however, was completely delicious. My husband, who is type 2 diabetic and knows better, had three slices in one day. I used my raspberry amaretto pound cake recipe, but changed it up for this, plus increased the butter a bit to account for the water evaporation from browning the butter. This is a delicious cake. It has a tight, moist crumb and an amazing flavor. Don’t look at the amounts of flavorings and think it sounds like they would all be competing with each other. They don’t at all. They complement each other and mixed with the fresh berries, brown butter cake and the orange syrup finish, add up to an outstanding cake, if I do say so myself.

You know the drill…

Mrs. Cupcake, who needs to go get some cake before my husband finishes it all

Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange oil (or orange extract, but please, go buy the oil. it lasts forever and is much better
  • 1 teaspoon Fiori Di Sicilia flavoring (optional; available through the King Arthur site. Another one I recommend splurging on. It is a fantastic addition to many baked goods)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • Orange syrup-
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  1. Place the butter in a medium pot and cook over medium high heat, swirling the butter frequently, until it is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Do NOT leave the stove. Butter can burn before you know it. Pour immediately into a bowl and put in the fridge for 45 minutes or so, just long enough to chill it and take it form a pure liquid state to a mushy solid.
  2. Preheat your oven to 325 and grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the soft brown butter and cream cheese. Beat at medium speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl once if needed.
  4. Gradually add the sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the Grand Marnier and the extracts, beating well afterward. Gradually add the flour to the mixture at low speed. Beat just until blended.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each one. GENTLY fold in the blueberries. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. When you have it in the pan, firmly bang the pan on a counter top to help remove any air bubbles.
  6. Bake at 325 for 65 to 95 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. When the cake is almost done, make the syrup- in a small pot, combine the syrup ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain out the orange zest and discard it, then set the syrup aside until the cake is finished.
  8. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes, then use a plastic spatula ( or a fast food plastic knife if you have one) to loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Place a large plate over the top of the pan, then carefully invert the pan. Tap firmly on the bottom of the pan to loosen the cake. It should fall out onto the plate. Let it finish cooling on the plate.
  9. Carefully transfer the cake over to a rack that has been set inside of a large rimmed baking sheet (to catch drips). Reheat your syrup until it is hot to the touch, then spoon the hot syrup over the cake. Make sure to let it soak in each time before adding more. You may not use all the syrup; it’s up to you. If you don’t though, don’t throw it out. It’s wonderful in tea.
  10. That’s it! Enjoy!

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Blueberry Grand Marnier Brown Butter Pound Cake 2

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread



As much as I love making yeast breads and other good stuff that are yeast raised like sticky buns , my first love will probably always be cornbread .There is just something so homey about a good wedge of cornbread, be it plain or doctored up, as this version is. You can eat it by itself; and contrary to popular belief, you really should be able to eat it plain, without soaking it in something to relieve dryness. If it’s that dry, you did something wrong when baking it.

On the yeast bread front, I’ve put my sourdough starter out to come to room temp somewhere in the vicinity of 43 times in the last month. Then, I get involved in other things, put it away and say I’ll get to it the next day. If starters could be sentient, mine would have the worlds largest inferiority complex. “What? She doesn’t want me again? Was it something I did… said? Do I smell funny? Wait… I’m supposed to smell funny.”

With this bread, I took the recipe I have up in here for honey cornbread and played with it. I traded the plain butter for browned butter because you can never go wrong with brown butter, used maple sugar in place of the regular and added in a pint of blueberries.ย  This one is perfect for breakfast. Just serve it withย  yogurt and a cup of coffee (or tea in my case) and you’re good to go. It’s actually almost cake like enough to be a good fit for dessert too, if you’re the nontraditional sort, as I am. One of my favorite desserts is a piece of cornbread with butter and maple syrup. Try it sometime. ๐Ÿ™‚

You know the drill…

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (NOT cornbread mix)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar (if you don’t have maple sugar, sub 1/4 cup regular sugar and add in 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring when you add the eggs)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey, warmed if needed to make it pourable
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Butter a 9 inch cast iron pan or a 9 inch square baking pan.
  2. Then, brown your butter- place the butter in a small pot. Melt it over medium high heat, swirling it frequently. Let it keep cooking until it turns a nice golden brown, then immediately pour it into a measuring cup or bowl to cool a bit while you work on the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
  4. In another bowl, combine the maple sugar, cream, milk, honey and browned butter. Whisk well. Add in the eggs (and maple flavoring if that’s what you’re using) and whisk well.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir just until barely combined. gently fold in the blueberries then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 400 until the top is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20ย  to 25 minutes.
  7. Best served warm with plenty of butter and maple syrup. But that may be a bit of bias on my part. ๐Ÿ˜€

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DSCF1534

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Mocha Cheesecake

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Mocha Cheesecake

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Mocha Cheesecake



Hey everyone. Sorry about the rather long hiatus from here. I’ve been ill. Nothing earth shattering. You’re not getting rid of me that easily. Just been having some “I had a stroke a few years ago and it likes to come back and bite me in the arse at times” issues. So you’re still stuck with me. I was just too drained to be cooking and couldn’t balance well, which could have caused trouble, lol.

I tried making a cheesecake anyway while I was down and oh my, talk about a disaster. I have been making cheesecakes since my oldest son, now almost 29, was an infant. SO I have a wee bit of experience. But oh….my….heavens. I put what was a delicious batter in the oven and it wouldn’t cook. It puffed and overflowed all over my oven. It was greasy, grainy, watery; you name the bad adjective when it comes to cheesecakes and that cheesecake wore that adjective proudly, like a badge of honor. Once it overflowed, I had hopes that it would at least be salvageable for the family, since it certainly wouldn’t work as a post. But…ummmm…no. Totally…and completely…disgusting. I scraped the sodden gritty mess into the garbage and tried not to whimper like a 3 year old denied a chocolate bar. Or a 50 year old who just had to trash about 12 dollars worth of ingredients *whimpers*

Then today I tried again. I think I turned the oven light on 72 times and peeked into the oven to see what was happening. And lo and behold, I haven’t lost my skills. WooT!! Yay for non disgusting cheesecake! So, I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge coffee drinker. When I drink it, it has to be highly flavored and creamed. I’m one of those “I like a little coffee with my cream and sugar” people. But strangely enough, I love coffee flavored desserts. Coffee ice cream, tiramisu, anything mocha flavored. I’m all over them.ย  So I decided to play with that flavor idea in the cheesecake. But I wanted a mild coffee flavor, not an in your face caffeine punch from cheesecake. So I made a raspberry mocha… in cheesecake form. ๐Ÿ˜€

This is a pretty wonderful cheesecake. Creamy, rich, but not heavy. It has a mild chocolate/coffee flavor on first bite. Then you get some of the raspberry preserves with those flavors and that explosion of tart berry. THEN some of the chocolate curls and fresh berries;so good! Talk about happily confused taste buds. ๐Ÿ˜€

Don’t freak at the long instructions here. It’s mostly me jabbering on with some cheesecake tips that will help ANY time you make a cheesecake.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Mrs. Cupcake… who wants more cheesecake and then NEEDS five hours on my exercise bike.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Mocha Cheesecake

  • Crust-
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups vanilla wafers
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Filling-
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 8 ounce package mascarpone cheese, room temp (can use another cream cheese instead, but the mascarpone is decadently creamy)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp also
  • 1 10 to 12 ounce package chocolate chips (I used bittersweetย Ghirardelli’s ), melted according to package directions
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules or espresso powder (use a teaspoon or so more if you want a heavier coffee flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
  • Boiling water for the water bath
  • Fresh raspberries and chocolate curls for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Wrap a 9 inch springform pan in two layers of heavy duty foil, each layer going in a different direction to make sure the whole pan is well covered. Lightly grease the pan and place inside a large baking dish. In your food processor, pulse the cookies until they are fine crumbs. Add in the sugar and 6 tablespoons melted butter. Pulse until well combined. Alternately, you can crush the cookies in a ziploc bag and then combine the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Press the mixture over the bottom and a little bit up the sides. Bake at 325 for 8 minutes; just long enough to set the crust. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar. Beat at medium speed until creamy.ย  Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping the bowl as needed.
  4. Add in the melted chocolate and beat on low speed just until combined.
  5. Pour the instant coffee granules into the cream; stir to dissolve. Whisk the cream and the melted butter into the batter. Trust me on the whisk. You use the beater and you’re going to be wearing cream.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Microwave the preserves for about ten second, just enough to thin them out a bit. Dollop the preserves onto the top of the cheesecake batter. Use a butter knife to drag through the preserves, spreading the preserves decoratively through the batter.
  7. Place the baking dish with the pan in the oven and carefully pour boiling water around the springform pan, going about an inch up the sides of the pan. Carefully push the rack in, being careful to not splatter water into the cheesecake pan.
  8. Bake at 325 for between 65 to 85 minutes (I have gone to both extremes for some reason; cheesecakes are finicky). When it is looking set up to about midway into the cheesecake, stick a instant read thermometer carefully into the middle of the cheesecake. You are looking for a temp of about 150 degrees. If it is that, turn the oven off, prop the door open with a dishtowel or something, and leave the cheesecake completely alone to finish cooking in the turned off oven. The final temp needs to be between 160 to 165. Any higher and you will most likely end up with a huge crack down the middle of the cheesecake. Plus, letting it sit in the slowly cooling oven helps protect from quick temp changes which can also cause it to crack. When the oven has completely cooled, take the cheesecake out and let it come to room temp. Then chill until cold, preferably overnight. They slice sooooo much better that way.
  9. When ready to serve,ย  garnish with fresh raspberries and chocolate curls. Slice with a sharp knife dipped in hot water and dried in between cuts.

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Cheesecake Filled Blueberry Citrus Muffins

Cheesecake Filled Blueberry Citrus Muffins

Cheesecake Filled Blueberry Citrus Muffins



I realized a few days ago that I haven’t done a muffin post in a while. GASP! Forgive me!? I mean, my blog IS called From Cupcakes To Caviar and what are muffins (in my world anyway) other than cupcakes without the frosting? Because Lord above knows that they aren’t healthy when made by me. I’m the only person alive who can take what should be a wholesome breakfast style food and make it into a caloric mine field, sure to clog your arteries and send you into a sugar coma. I like to think of this ability as one of my finer, more endearing qualities, along with my innate ability to make stuffed animals talk,ย  charm old people with my politeness and toss and turn in bed so much that my husband can’t sleep. Ok, so maybe that last one isn’t so endearing.

I have been craving fresh fruit lately and am knee deep into a huge orange phase. I can’t get enough of them. This usually hits me about this time of the Winter. Unfortunately though, about the only fresh fruit WORTH eating are the orange varieties. The rest are all shipped in from places like Mars or Venus, not to mention who in their right mind pays 5 bucks for like 25 blueberries in a carton so small an ant couldn’t make a home in it?

So, since I was craving blueberries (in January. Don’t use me as a food role model) and citrus, and knew I needed to make some nice healthy muffins *coughcough*, I combined the ideas, just using frozen berries. But then I totally blew the calorie budget (and I have a really really really really high budget. Call me the Donald Trump of calories.) on a cheesecake filling. But it’s so worth it. These are moist, tender blueberry muffins, with a lovely citrus edge, then you break one open and there lies a creamy cheesecake-ish filling. You can thank me later. For now, go make muffins. And don’t get involved in playing Monster Busters on facebook and forget your muffins and slightly overcook them. I…ummm… heard of someone who did this once. Yeah, that’s it. Heard of someone.

You know the drill…. ๐Ÿ˜€

This makes 24 muffins so feel free to cut it in half. I make a lot so that we have some to give away but if that’s not your thing, just make half. Or make them all and freeze half for another time.

Cheesecake Filled Blueberry Citrus Muffins

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon +1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 12 ounce bag frozen blueberries
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup blueberry or other berry preserves
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  1. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, blueberry preserves, teaspoon each of orange and lemon zest and flour. Stir well to combine and then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange and lemon zests. Whisk to combine.
  4. In a large measuring cup, combine the eggs, milk, melted butter and extracts. Stir just until combined; it will still have lumps.
  5. Carefully fold in the frozen blueberries.
  6. Fill the prepared muffin cups half full. Add a dollop (about 2 teaspoons or so) of the cream cheese mixture on top of the muffin batter. Use the rest of the batter to finish filling the muffin cups to the tops of the cups. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are a nice golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in the tin for about a minute, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

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Raspberry Chocolate Amaretto Streusel Muffins

Raspberry Chocolate Amaretto Streusel Muffins

Raspberry Chocolate Amaretto Streusel Muffins




Mannnn, I’ve mentioned before that I hate wordy recipe titles. I prefer straight to the point and concise. But sometimes, you just need to make sure the title lets people know about all the yummy goodness in the food.

It’s funny that I am the same way with recipe titles as I am with life in general. I’ve always told my husband not to assume I fit the stereotypes of how women are “supposed” to act. If I ask you, “do I look fat in these pants?”, and I do, tell me I do. I can’t stand it when some women use phrases like that as a trap for a guy and when he answers honestly, they go on a rampage. Don’t ask the question if you don’t want a straightforward, honest answer! Point being (yes, somewhere in there there was a point) that I like people to be just as straightforward as I like my recipe titles. ๐Ÿ˜›

And no, I have absolutely no idea where that all came from. Chalk it up to being incredibly tired and as I wrote it, there seemed to be some vague connection lol. Now? Not so much. But it’s there, so…

These muffins are quite yummy if I do say so myself. I had found some fresh raspberries at the grocery store for, get this, 50 cents a pint! I was in shock but not so dumbstruck that I didn’t go ahead and grab six pints. My original thought was to make preserves, but lately, I’ve been unbelievably tired for some odd reason and the thought of making preserves just kind of died out. So I went to muffins. Nice, easy to throw together muffins lol.ย  And I’m glad I did. The original recipe for the raspberry and chocolate part of these came from Sallys Baking Addiction which is a blog I love. But I wanted to do them a bit differently. Imagine that…me…changing a recipe. Whoda thunk it?

I have always loved the combo of chocolate and raspberry and the combo of chocolate and almond. Knowing that almond also goes with raspberry made this an easy decision as to what to do. Add in some streusel and these are wonderful dessert muffins, though you can of course still eat them for breakfast. Because…muffins! There is no actual Amaretto in these. I used almond flavoring but didn’t want the title to make it seem that there were nuts in here, so amaretto sufficed as a description. These are soft and tender, fairly high rising with a lovely almond flavor amidst bites of raspberry and chocolate. The original recipe called for an oven temp of 425 for the first five minutes, but I did it at 400 instead; hot enough to yield a quick rise, but not so hot as to burn the outside if ones oven runs hot, as many do (cause ovens are finicky pains in the…) Also, since I used more raspberries and more chocolate than Sally’s, I got more muffins. She got six jumbo. I got six jumbo and five regular sized.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Raspberry Chocolate Amaretto Streusel Muffins

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk, room temp
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (I used vegetable)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 dry pints fresh raspberries (about 2 cups)
  • Streusel-
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.ย  Spray 6 large and 5 regular muffin cups with no stick spray.
  2. Make your streusel and set aside- in a medium bowl, combine the streusel ingredients. Cut the butter in using a pastry blender. You can also slice it thin and work it in using your fingers. You want small chunks, about the size of a pea.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt). Scoop out about 3 tablespoons of the flour mixture and toss it with the chocolate chips in a small bowl. This helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and brown sugar. Add in the oil, milk and extracts. Dump the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and gently stir just until combined. It’s ok, good actually, if there are some small lumps. Over beaten muffin batter makes for tough muffins.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips, then carefully fold in the raspberries, trying your best to break them as little as possible.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared cups, filling each to the top. Sprinkle with streusel topping, gently pressing it down onto the muffins. If you have streusel left over, just put it in a ziploc bag and freeze it. It’s wonderful to have on hand when you need some. Place in the oven on the middle rack.
  7. Bake at 400 for five minutes, then, without taking the pans out of the oven, reduce the heat to 350. Bake for about 25 minutes for the large muffins, 18 or so for the small ones, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. let cool in the pan for three minutes, then carefully remove to a rack to finish cooling. These are even more delicious spread with some raspberry jam!

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Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumbcake

Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake

Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake

 

My gosh, can you believe it’s almost September!? Wasn’t it just yesterday you and I were whining that we wanted warmer weather and pool season and bikinis and…wait, I never would have whined about wanting bikinis. That must have been you.

Where was I? Oh yeah, September…you whining over bikinis. But yeah, what happened to Summer? It can’t really be almost Fall, can it? My last two school age kids started back to school on August 12th with one in his senior year and the other in Kindergarten. I know, I know, my kids are spaced rather strangely. Kindergarten and senior is nothing, though. I also have a 19 year old and three in their mid to late 20’s as well as 7 grandkids, three of whom are older than my kindergartener hehe.

Man, I can NOT stay on topic today, not that there was really a major topic going anyway. Do you do that? “Ooo, shiny thing!” your way through life? I get distracted easily. Crap, I just did it again. I give up

Berry season is almost over sobs cause I love berries and I had cartons of both blueberries and raspberries I wanted to use before they went bad, but I didn’t know what to make. So what do I fall back on when I’m unsure what to do? I go for the crumbs! C’mon, you know me. Give me streusel or give me death! Because…streusel. Crumbcakes call it crumbs, but we all know it’s streusel with a nickname.

I have a cookbook that I frequently take out from the library. This time around I think it’s about 17 weeks overdue. Sorry, library people! Honest, I’ll get it back there! I really need to buy my own copyย she says, channeling Captain Obvious The book is The Best Quick Breads by Beth Hensperger. I love this book (obviously). I have about 900 tabs in it for recipes I want to make, which is of course, why I keep forgetting to return it. One of them was for a Blueberry Cheese Crumbcake. I didn’t change a ton in this, but the changes I DID make made this so much more yummy. Sorry, Beth. No offense.

I used mascarpone instead of plain old boring cream cheese, plus I doubled the vanilla in the cake batter and changed the plain milk to buttermilk, as well as adding both some almond extract and a touch of lemon oil. Plus, I added vanilla in the mascarpone filling and a bit of lemon zest. and a smidgen of vanilla in the crumbs too. I also used raspberries as well as blueberries and probably doubled the recipe amount. Ok, so maybe I did make a few changes lol. Imagine that. This cake take a 10 inch springform pan, which I know some don’t have, but it’s worth the investment. I got a 3 pack of pans, 8, 9, and 10 inch, at Wal-mart, for under 15 dollars. They come in handy for more than just cheesecakes.

This is fairly easy to toss together and smells fantastic when baking. Because…well…crumbs…and mascarpone. Need I say more?

You know the drill ๐Ÿ™‚

Blueberry/Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake

  • Mascarpone filling-
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Crumb topping-
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  • Cake-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Lemon Oil (or sub 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a ten inch springform pan.
  2. Make your cheese filling and set it in the fridge while you make the rest- In a small bowl, beat together the filling ingredients until smooth and well combined.
  3. Make your crumbs- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add in the butter and vanilla and cut it in with a pastry blender. What I like to do is use a pastry blender to cut it in, then when it’s fairly well combined, use my fingers to mix it more. The heat from your fingers will help make some of the crumbs a bit chunkier, which is a nice textural contrast in the topping.
  4. For the cake, in a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add in the extracts and beat well.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, to the butter mixture, beating until smooth and fluffy looking. Start and end with the flour, i.e., flour, milk, flour.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan, then top with half of the berries. Top with the mascarpone filling, then the rest of the berries, Finally, sprinkle the top with the crumb topping.
  7. Bake at 350 for 60 to 70 minutes or until the top is light brown, the filling is set and the cake has started to slightly pull away form the edge of the pan.
  8. Cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before removing the side for serving. Store leftovers in the fridge. This can be reheated gently in a slow oven or in the microwave for about 5 to 10 seconds per slice.

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Blueberry Peach Yogurt/Granola Parfaits

Blueberry Peach Yogurt Granola Parfaits

Blueberry Peach Yogurt Granola Parfaits




Back in the day, when they first came out, I loved McDonalds Yogurt Parfaits. They were a quick fix when I wanted something light, relatively nutritious and still sweet. They were also cheap at a dollar for a good sized serving. Now though, the serving size has shrunk, the price has gone up and they just aren’t as good as they used to be anyway.

So I made my own.

A lot of blogging isn’t even recipes, it’s just helping your readers think outside the food box. This is one of those times. I am giving specifics here on amounts and fruits and the granola I used, etc etc, but unlike this recipe and when you buy these at a store for a bazillion dollars or at McDonalds and wonder if the 16 year old making it sneezed in it, this can be made to YOUR specifications, with the fruits and granola YOU like, the yogurt brand and flavor YOU favor. These just happen to be mine is all.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

(This makes enough fruit for quite a few parfaits. But that is deliberate. The fruit is wonderful on its own, just mixed with yogurt as is, over ice cream or frozen yogurt, etc. Feel free to halve the quantities if you don’t think you’d use it all within three days or so.)

Blueberry Peach Yogurt/Granola Parfaits

  • 2 cups vanilla or vanilla honey yogurt (my bottom layer was Oikos vanilla, top layer was vanilla honey from Greek Gods)
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 3 peaches, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • juice and zest of one large lime (about 2 tablespoons each juice and zest)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (and a little extra for drizzling over the top)
  • 1 cup of your favorite granola (I used Trader Joes Pumpkin granola)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, blueberries, lime juice and zest and the honey. Stir well to combine. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to get some juices going in the fruit and for the flavors to meld.
  2. Now comes the oh so hard part lol; in 4 purty glasses, layer the yogurt, fruit, granola and top with another dollop of yogurt. Drizzle with some extra honey.
  3. They can be served right away or let them sit in the fridge for a while if you prefer softer granola.
  4. Enjoy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Raspberry Amaretto Poundcake

Raspberry Amaretto Poundcake

Raspberry Amaretto Pound Cake



Not a fancy looking cake, is it? Trust me; you won’t care. I’ve never been a huge fan of layer cakes, even with the sweet tooth I have. I make them for birthdays and whenever I get a strange craving for one, which isn’t often. Then I eat one slice and no more, reminded of the fact that I don’t care for them. Too messy, too darn sweet. But give me a pound cake and I can chow down on that bad boy… or girl. I’ve never been proficient at identifying the gender of my pound cakes.

Totally off the subject of pound cakes and gender, I had a…fun…experience the other night. My husband and I were checking the pool the other night (we haven’t yet opened it for the year) because my son Jordan had said that it was full of tadpoles. Went up there with a flashlight and yep, our pool has become a froggie resort. I am pretty sure I heardย some lively Caribbean style music and saw one frog with a Mai Tai. Well, we looked, we got sad thinking of all the tadpoles who were going to have to die for the sake of cleaning the pool and then we left. Russ went first down the stairs. No problem. Then me. I got two stairs down the five stair deck, hit the third and “CRAAACCCKKK!!”. Suddenly, I was half airborne. I say half because as I was flying, I was also falling as that crack was the sound of the old poorly made staircase breaking. The stair went down, I followed, my bottom half slamming into the side of the stairs, my top half slamming into the next stair down as I tried to prevent myself from hitting head first into the next stair. Talk….about…pain. My R.N. husband was convinced for a bit that I had broken my leg. But it’s not. I do however have one whopper of a huge bruise on my right thigh and I walk like someone who has been hit by a bus… or a staircase. I feel about 95 years old right now lol.

So what’s my cure? Back to cake ๐Ÿ˜€ I had seen an Amaretto Pound Cake on Southern Living and wanted to try it. But I also love using fresh fruit any chance I get this time of year. I have a MAJOR love of Blueberries and Raspberries. Blueberries aren’t quite there yet in the stores; still expensive and still being imported from Chile. Raspberries are looking pretty good, though still not quite up to par in the way of sweetness. Baking takes care of that though (and pigging out on pound cake makes me forget that I am in pain). Baking fruit concentrates the sweetness plus you have the added sweetness of whatever is with it, in this case a moist, love almond scented and flavored pound cake. The raspberries do tend to break down in the batter, leaving holes, but again, you won’t care. This isn’t a fancy party cake, not something to serve to the Queen. This is a homey, comforting sort of cake to have with coffee, tea, as a midnight snack, after school treat, you name it. This is a nice densely crumbed cake, very moist and the almond flavor is wonderful.ย  Then you run into a nice tart raspberry with that almond flavor and oh my gosh, it’s yummy.

My changes from the original are the almond extract, the Fiori Di Sicilia (which I list as optional), the raspberries and the original called for scattering almond slices on the bottom of the pan before baking, but I didn’t want those, so I skipped it. I also changed the amounts for the glaze as when I made it, it made far too much and a good portion ended up dumped.

You know the drill…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Raspberry Amaretto Poundcake

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Amaretto
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fiori Di Sicilia flavoring (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • Amaretto Glaze-
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese. Beat at medium speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl once if needed.
  3. Gradually add the sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the Amaretto and the extracts, beating well afterward. Gradually add the flour to the mixture, keeping the speed at low speed so you don’t end up looking like Casper The Ghost. Beat just until blended.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each one. GENTLY fold in the raspberries. You can’t avoid crushing some, but you can minimize the damage. Gently spoon batter into the prepared pan. When you have it in the pan, firmly bang the pan on a countertop to help remove any air bubbles.
  5. Bake at 325 for 65 to 95 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. When the cake is almost done, make the glaze- in a small pot, combine the glaze ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat and set aside until the cake is finished.
  7. Set the cake on a rack. Spoon the glaze over the top, a little at a time, letting it soak in each time. Use about half the glaze. Let the cake cool completely on the rack, then turn out onto a serving dish. Reheat the glaze and spoon the rest of it over the cake, again letting it soak in each time before adding more.

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Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake



I haven’t made a foodie confession in a while, so I guess it’s time for a new one. Well, I did mention to a friend the other day that I like Spam, but since he is from Hawaii, where they very wisely love the canned meat, it didn’t really phase him as it would have many other food bloggers ๐Ÿ˜›

On to the confession. It’s no secret that I used to love Twinkies and Ho-Hos when they were owned by the original company. Now however, they are pretty bad. I’m still mourning and have been blocked from the Hostess site because of my insistence on periodic candlelight vigils lamenting the passing of the REAL Hostess products. One other thing I loved? Those horrid, dry, overly sweet crumb cakes. I can’t recall if they were Hostess or Dolly Madison. All I know is that every couple of months, I had to go to a convenience store and grab a pack. We won’t discuss how I also would buy a Little Debbie Brownies that was topped with fake M&Ms.

But, me being me, when Hostess became “Hostess Wanna Be” (and yes, I’m astute enough to realize they weren’t exactly gourmet in the first place), and they AND Dolly Madison products disappeared, I knew it was time to make my own goodies. I never really got around to the Twinkies and Ho-Hos, but I CAN make a killer crumb cake. Does it taste like theirs? No and this is a good thing lol. The one I make is better. The original recipe is from Food And Wine and while it was good, it was rather plain. I wanted to give it some flavor and I think I succeeded quite nicely.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

  • Crumb Topping-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cake-
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality cherry preserves
  1. Make your topping first- combine the flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut the chilled butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small crumbs. Then get in there with your fingers and smoosh together the mix between your fingers to heat it up a bit and make larger pieces. Refrigerate while you make the cake batter
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch springform pan well with baking spray (the kind with both flour and oil in it) and put the pan on a baking sheet. This will protect the bottom of your oven from possible leakage. Put the butter into a medium pot and cook over medium heat until it has turned a golden brown color and has a nutty scent. Do NOT turn away form it as it begins to color as it can go from browned and delicious to burned and garbage very quickly. Pour into a bowl and set in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.
  4. In another bowl (remember, always have someone nearby who has dish duty ๐Ÿ˜€ ), beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, eggs and egg yolk and beat until well combined.
  5. Alternating the flour and the sour cream (start and end with the flour mixture) add them to the butter/egg mix. Beat just until combined after each addition.
  6. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread to the edge of the pan. Cover with dollops of the cherry preserves and spread them to within a half an inch of the edge of the batter. Top with the other half of the batter and spread it carefully to the edges. Sprinkle the chilled crumbs over the top of the batter.
  7. Bake at 350 for 45 -60 minutes or until it is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, with a few moist crumbs, but no loose batter.
  8. Cool on a wire rack, still in the pan. When completely cool, open outside of pan carefully then gently slide a butter knife under the bottom of the cake to loosen it and carefully lift it off of the bottom of the pan and transfer to a plate.

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Lemony White Chocolate Double Berry Bread Pudding

Lemony White Chocolate Double Berry Bread Pudding

Lemony White Chocolate Double Berry Bread Pudding




When we get to this part of Winter, that time when you have some warm days then Winter has a hissy fit, backpedals and becomes cold again, I start having major cravings for fresh fruits. Citrus is always a good bet since it’s still in season, but I want berries, darn it! Problem is, what I can find in stores around here, besides being outrageously expensive, has been shipped either from the other side of the U.S. or from another country altogether. So it’s no longer very fresh and it just doesn’t have the flavor that in season berries have. So I compromise. I buy frozen berries. Believe it or not, they are a damned good substitute. With any company worth buying from, the berries are frozen within hours of being picked so you are still getting something that is extremely close to fresh. You may not be able to use it in ALL the same ways you can fresh ones, but in baking, so long as you remember the rule of thumb to use it still frozen, not thawed, you can use it in a LOT of recipes.

You may know I love bread pudding. I used to hate it, but have come to love it since I began making it myself and realized it didn’t always have to be an insipid nursery food with no flavor. Like I mentioned to my husband the other day, I like foods with strong flavors and that includes in bread pudding. This one definitely satisfies. I have made bread pudding enough now that I have no need of a recipe; I just change up the basics to go with whatever add ins I’m doing. This one turned out wonderfully. You have a mild lemon tang and peel taste in the pudding with a bit of smooth white chocolate in there. Then practically every bite, you get some nice tangy berries. It’s bright and fresh tasting and perfect for this time of year. I loved this both warm and chilled. Warm, it’s softer and the flavors are more intense. Chilled it has the texture of a firm mousse, which I love. So far I’ve had it only with some cream poured over it, but I can see this going quite nicely with a berry sauce or custard sauce.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Lemony White Chocolate Double Berry Bread Pudding

  • 6 cups cubed Kings Hawaiian Bread (about 12 ounces or 3/4 of a 16 ounce round loaf)
  • 11 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • zest of two lemons (about 3 tablespoons zest)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
  • boiling water for the water bath
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 4 quart baking dish or 2 2 quart ones. I used 2 2 quart souffle dishes. Place the baking dish/dishes into a large pan. An 11×15 works well.
  2. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Put your chocolate and lemon zest into a medium bowl. Heat the cream up in the microwave until very hot, but not boiling. Pour cream over the white chocolate in the bowl, stir once, then let sit for five minutes. Stir well to combine the cream and chocolate and complete the melting process.
  4. In a large bowl (I know; lots of bowls. Have your kids, neighbors, stranger off the street or husband or wife do the dishes ๐Ÿ˜› ), beat together the 6 eggs and the vanilla until frothy. Add in the 1/2 cup sugar and beat well.
  5. Slowly pour the warm cream into the egg mixture. Make sure you spoon out any lemon zest that may have sunk to the bottom and get it in there too. Beat in the lemon juice.ย  Let this mixture sit for about an hour so the bread can soak up the custard. When ready to bake, carefully fold in the frozen berries.
  6. Pour the pudding mix into the buttered dish and place it in the middle of the oven. Pour boiling water in the outer dish to reach about a third of the way up the sides of the dish the pudding is in. Carefully push the oven shelf back in to avoid sloshing.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for about 75 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and a knife inserted into the center of the pudding doesn’t come out liquidy and no liquid wells up in the hole left behind.
  8. Cool the pudding at room temp for about an hour. Then you can either serve it warm or chill it for later.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.