Banana Crumb Muffins

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If I’m talking about “a few of my favorite things”, I certainly cannot forget my fix of banana bread desserts! I’ve mentioned before that my favorite type of sweets are muffins and coffee cakes; they are always the tasters I take the most of at Trader Joe’s! Unfortunately this week marked the end of winter break, so I decided to bake some banana muffins for advisory to help ease back into the school routine. Continue reading

Oreo Ice Cream Cake

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These are the wisest words I’ve ever heard: “Ice cream is happiness condensed.”-Jessi Lane Adams

For my grandma’s birthday, she requested a dessert from her two favorite sweet categories, chocolate and ice cream, so what else was I to do but make a delicious chocolate ice cream cake?! I usually don’t even let my family keep Oreos in the house because I would eat them all within seconds, but I thought this a fitting occasion to make an exception! To me, the only thing better than Oreos themselves is an Oreo dessert…a tall, dark, and handsome chocolate cake doesn’t stand a chance against an Oreo cookie or cupcake, and certainly not an Oreo Ice Cream Cake! (I learned this after making my  Oreo Chocolate Layer Cake!)  Continue reading

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes

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There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate” -Anonymous

Ironically, I came across this quotation while reading The Hunger Fix, a diet/self-help book about overcoming food addiction, which I found in the airport on my way to Argentina. I thought it would be an interesting and helpful read for my nutrition research because (surprisingly) despite my overwhelming sweet tooth, I’m a vegetarian, conscientious eater and a dedicated athlete! But regardless of my contradictory relationship with food, I recognize that I can never escape my true love--CHOCOLATE! Continue reading

German Chocolate Cake

Obsessive-ness runs in my family; my dad has a strict punctuality requirement, my mom swears by post-its and agendas, and my sister combines all of the above. Thanks to them, I have a lot in common with Guy Pearce, who claims that his “problem is [that he’s] an addictive personality“, for I too “can’t have one cup of coffee… or just one piece of chocolate cake.” Being slightly compulsive certainly has its benefits and its drawbacks, but because I’m an all-or-nothing person, at least I can fully commit myself to any undertaking. And, since I’m also a Taurus, I’m even more resolute; there’s no stopping me once I’ve set my mind on something! Thus, here’s the dessert of the week: a fantastic German Chocolate Cake! Continue reading

Gooey Vanilla Cake Bars (St. Louis Style!)

Fun fact: this is my first post from an airplane! Although technology just frustrates me most of the time, I must admit that blogging from 35,000 feet above ground is pretty cool! On the way home from New York, my family and I are stopping in St. Louis, so I took it upon myself to explore its dessert attractions. I was certainly not disappointed, for although they might be best known for ribs and their Gateway Arch, my favorite one of their specialities is their St. Louis gooey butter cake! Continue reading

Candy Dump Cake (Easy & Delicious!)

I know it’s post-Halloween and pre-holiday season, but before we attempt to start our fall diets, here’s a last-mintue (and totally worth it) treat to try! I never know what to do with my leftover Halloween candy; although I can undoubtedly finish it in less than a day, this year I decided to use the candy to make a FAN-TASIC confectionary creation! I had promised my friends that I would bring a candy cake to school the day after Halloween, so my baking time on Halloween night was very tight. Thus, I have two versions of this recipe: 1) A perfectly sweet homemade cake OR 2) A super easy cake that only requires 5 minutes to prepare (look below)! The light vanilla cake tastes fantastic just on its own, so you can only imagine how amazing it tastes when infused with Snickers, Kit-Kats and Butterfingers galore! The candy becomes a luscious caramel filling that coats the cake with an indulgent layer of sweetness and later solidifies to form a yummy, gooey, candy crumble! Feel like a little kid with this out-of-this-world candy cake…It’s love at first sight! Enjoy!!!

Recipe: Leftover Halloween Candy Bundt

**NOTE: Make sure to take out the cake out of the immediately after baking so that the melted carmel/candy does not stick to the pan!! For a super EASY version, just use a yellow cake mix and add in your candy before baking.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

My quotation of the season: “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” ~Jim Davis

Thus, I present one of my favorite fall time desserts, pumpkin bread…with tons of chocolate chips! Just as some people count the days until fall when they can sip gingerbread and pumpkin spice lattes, I long for autumn treats with sugar, spice and everything nice! Nothing reminds me more of turning leaves and pumpkin patches than yummy pumpkin bread baking in the oven. As I love all things coffee cake and breakfast cake-like, pumpkin bread has always been a favorite of mine! This cake is so moist and delicious, it literally melts in your mouth. Just on its own, the cake is so amazing, adding chocolate chips takes this fantastic cake to the next level! You will love this fall staple! Enjoy!!!

Recipe: Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

***NOTE: Sometimes being a purist pays off. I think I might like this pumpkin bread even better without the chocolate chips! Hard to believe, but sans-chocolate, this dessert becomes more like a pumpkin loaf/coffee cake (my favorite type of cake!).

Chocolate Ombre Layer Cake

Yet again, my sister desperately asked me to bake a cake for her school project. Her assignment was to create a business and her’s was a bakery, so of course she just needed to bring a cake to school the next day. She requested either a pink or chocolate cake, but she was certainly not expecting something as grand as this amazing ombre layer cake! I’ve always loved the ombre affect, but when it recently became popular in the baking world, the beautiful gradient layers always intimidated me, for they seemed so complicated! But, it was actually pretty simple! The amazing vanilla cake was light and fluffy–a must–and the frosting was a perfect chocolate-y flavor! Combine all of that with the amazing decoration, and this cake is truly incredible! Feast your eyes on this moist, rich, delectable cake and enjoy!!

Recipe: Pink Ombre Layer Cake

***NOTE: Please excuse my camera; the actual cake was colored gorgeous layers of pink, but for some annoying reason, they photographed as orange.

Skinny Oreo Cookie Dough Cheesecakes (Guest Post)

(Photo by Brooke B.  Oreo Cookie Dough Cheesecake.)

I’d like to introduce Brooke, the Sweet Prima Donna, a healthy dessert blogger. Our collaboration to bake the world’s best cheesecakes produced fantastic results! I baked classic New York Cheesecake and Brooke created fabulous Skinny Oreo Cookie Dough Cheesecake Cups, the perfect fun-sized dessert for individual servings! Enjoy Brooke’s recipe below!

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Hello lovelies!

I’m Brooke B. from The Sweet Prima Donna.  The Sweet Prima Donna is a website dedicated to serving you up recipes for all your favorite desserts made skinny and or healthier.  I believe that everyone should be able to enjoy life to the fullest, and that includes being able to indulge in the foods we love!  I hope with my recipes you are able to do so without the guilt.  I always say, “Life is short, eat dessert first!”, and I’m an honest believer in this!

I want to thank Carissa so much for allowing me to take over her blog today!  We are both very excited about our baking collaboration and have been working hard to get ready to share with you all!  Carissa informed me that she was going to share a New York Style Cheesecake with my friends on the Sweet Prima Donna Blog, which got my wheels turning.  I hadn’t really thought much about making a cheesecake, but I’d seen some pretty delicious recipes floating around for cheesecake.  The one that caught my eye above all was an Oreo Cookie Dough Cheesecake, holy yum!  Right then and there I knew that was the recipe I was going to try to make skinny, I mean oreo, cookie dough, and cheesecake all in one place… there was no way that that wasn’t a scale tipper, ahah.

For the cheesecake base I used the recipe from Gina’s Skinny Recipes, which was a fabulous, easy to make cheesecake recipe.  I also like the fact that it used greek yogurt, which gave them some extra protein, plus cream cheese has quite a lot of protein, so these cheesecake cups have quite a good amount of protein for being a dessert food!   Her recipe called for a vanilla wafer as the crust, but I subbed the wafer for a reduced fat oreo.  I then used my recipe for skinny chocolate chip cookies for the dough, and made it egg free so it was safe to eat raw by subbing an egg white for vinegar and baking soda.

These babies are out of this world.  I’m not the biggest cheesecake fan to be honest.  I’m the type of person that has to be craving a good old fashioned slice of cheesecake, but these kept me coming back to the plate for more.  If the fact that I ate four the night I made these didn’t sell you on how good they are, or the fact that my sister and her friends pleaded for more, maybe this picture will do the job:

Skinny Oreo Cookie Dough Cheesecake!

(Photo by Brooke B.  Oreo Cookie Dough Cheesecake.)

Servings- 12

Calories- 170 per cheesecake cup

Fat- 7g

Protein- 4.6 g – pretty good for a treat, don’t you think? (:

Ingredients:

Cheesecake BaseRecipe adapted from Gina’s Skinnytaste

Cookie Dough RecipeRecipe adapted from my recipe for skinny chocolate chip cookies

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Line cupcake tin with liners.  Place an oreo in the bottom of each liner.

3.  Beat cream cheese, sugar, stevia, and vanilla until smooth in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat in yogurt, egg whites, and flour gradually.  Be sure NOT to overbeat.

4.  Pour an even amount of batter into each cupcake liner until halfway full.

5.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until center is set (Mine took exactly 20 minutes).  Cool to room temperature

6.  While the cheesecakes are cooling make cookie dough.  To begin combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

7. Combine sugar, stevia, and butter in a large bowl of an electric mixer, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

8.  Add in vanilla and baking soda/vinegar mix and beat for another minute.

9.  Add in flour & chocolate chips, mix just until combined.  If the dough is dry add in fat free milk, rice milk, or soymilk by the tsp.  (I used 1 tbsp all together)

10.  Once the cheesecakes are cooled spoon the cookie dough on top of each cheesecake, about 1/2 tbsp a piece.  Place in fridge to let the cookie dough set, and the cheesecake to cool further.

11.  Open the fridge and gobble them all up!

My tummy is growling thinking about these… maybe another batch will be in order tonight.(;  Hopefully you are feeling the same as well!  Enjoy & thank you again for letting me join you all today!