and other scrumptious sweets

Light, but still sinful, Coconut Cake June 9, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katiepies @ 11:31 PM
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IMG_0035We love coconut! My grandmother Elgia, Katie’s great-grandmother, made coconut cake all the time in their restaurant, Johnson’s Cafe.  When I would visit my grandparents, there was  always a cake-many times coconut-waiting to be devoured.  It was my grandfather’s favorite. I wish I had her recipe, but so far have yet to find anything written down.  She probably had it all in her head!

We found an yummy recipe from “Cooking Light” that is  lighter than many traditional recipes.  I wish I had a picture of the cake sliced, but I took it to work where it was devoured! Take my word-it’s a winner. The frosting is creamy and a cross between meringue and marshmallow.  The recipe calls for fresh coconut which would be awesome if you can find it, but in a pinch use the regular baker’s coconut.  Next time, we are going to add our fabulous lemon curd to the filling of the cake to add some summer flavor.

Happy Baking,



Coconut Cake


  • 1 tablespoon cake flour
  • 12 ounces sifted cake flour (about 3 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup warm coconut water (from 1 small brown coconut)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 large egg whites
  • Frosting:
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shaved fresh coconut, toasted


  1. To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly coat 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottom of pans with wax paper. Lightly coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust pans with 1 tablespoon flour.
  3. Combine 12 ounces (about 3 cups) flour, baking powder, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 1/2 minutes or until well blended. Add flour mixture and coconut water alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. In a separate bowl, beat 6 egg whites on high speed until foamy using clean, dry beaters. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Carefully fold egg whites into batter; pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks; remove from pans. Discard wax paper. Cool completely on wire racks.
  4. To prepare frosting, combine 4 egg whites, cream of tartar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Combine remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 250°. With mixer on low speed, pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites. Gradually increase speed to high; beat 8 minutes or until thick and cool. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  5. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate, and spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with another cake layer. Repeat procedure with 1 cup frosting and remaining cake layer, ending with cake layer on top. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Gently press shaved coconut onto top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Cooking Light
APRIL 2010


Halfway Healthy Oatmeal Cookies May 23, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katiepies @ 4:45 AM
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IMG_0030 When we think of an oatmeal cookie we think it’s kind of healthy already-with the oatmeal and all, right?  These are even better for you.

A simple tip to try with your baking is to substitute coconut oil for butter! Our recipe came from the Nestle Butterscotch Chip package and we used whole wheat flour and coconut oil.  Not only delicious, but better for you! The recipe is below for your convenience.

Happy Baking!





1 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine , softened (substitute coconut oil)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (substitute whole wheat flour)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups quick-cooking or regular rolled oats , uncooked

1-3/4 cups (11-oz. pkg.) Butterscotch Chips


1. Heat oven to 375°F.

2. Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

3. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in oats and butterscotch chips; mix well. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.


World Baking Day – Orange, Blueberry Oat Bars and Homemade Apple Sauce May 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katiepies @ 4:38 AM

These look amazing. We will be trying this recipe asap!

Bunny Kitchen


OK, I couldn’t not bake something on World Baking Day, despite it falling on the day before my final exam. Are you all sick of hearing about these blasted exams now? It’s OK, I am too!

So, these bars are so delicious. They are sweet, fruity, crisp, wholesome, antioxidant and vitamin rich, fat free and low in calories. They work both as a breakfast treat or as dessert with a scoop of vegan ice cream.

They take just 5-10 minutes of actual work, then 30 minutes in the oven.

Orange, Blueberry Oat Bars.

Ingredients: Makes 9 bars

  • 125g fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup raw brown sugar (or sweetener of choice, agave, maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia, Sukrin etc)
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from the 2 zested oranges, divided)
  • seeds from half a vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 3 cups/330g…

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Mini Party Whoopie Pies May 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katiepies @ 4:50 AM

IMG_0051 This is a fun idea for party treats!  These are our chocolate whoopie pies, but reduced in size to be just a bite or two! To add more fun, the filling is neon colored.  So easy to do, but really adds a fun element to a delicious treat.  You could do the same thing with mini cupcakes if whoopie pies aren’t your favorite treat.

Happy Baking,



Kicked Up Brownies May 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katiepies @ 3:55 AM
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IMG_0022 Everyone loves moist, decadent brownies. Here are a couple of changes that will make your brownies a hit.

Usually, we make our brownies from scratch, but due to a time constraint and the need to bring something rich and yummy to a friend’s house, we opted for a box mix.  Probably any mix will do, but we used Trader Joe’s Brownie Truffle Baking Mix – a great choice!!

We added 1 tsp of cinnamon to the mix. This really adds a hint of spice to the chocolate without being overpowering.  The next addition was a glaze – an espresso glaze!  Cut the brownies into small bites because you won’t be able to eat just one!

Happy Baking,


Espresso Glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 Tbs unsalted butter at room temp

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp espresso powder

Dissolve the espresso powder in 2 Tbs of water, add vanilla. Whisk in the powdered sugar and butter.

Whisk until smooth.  Pour glaze over cooled brownies and refrigerate until set.  Cut into bite-size pieces.


Kickstart Morning Muffins April 25, 2013

Filed under: baking,Uncategorized — Katiepies @ 5:35 AM
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These muffins are not only delicious, but they’re really a great way to start your morning, or have as a high energy snack. They are made with whole wheat flour, almond meal/flour, walnuts, Chia seeds, oatmeal and cranberries. The almond meal and Chia seeds are both high in protein, fiber and make the muffins moist. They were so popular in our house this weekend, we had to make two batches. Enjoy-these are guilt free!

Happy Baking,



Kickstart Morning Muffins

    1 cup Whole Wheat Flour

    1/2 cup Almond Meal/Flour

    1/4 cup Chia seeds

    1 cup Regular Oats

    1/2 cup Packed Brown Sugar

    1/2 teaspoon Salt

    1 teaspoon Baking Soda

    2 teaspoons Baking Powder

    1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

    1/2 cup Walnuts, Roughly Chopped

    1/2 cup Cranberries

    1 cup Almond Milk or Buttermilk

    1 whole Egg

    1 whole Banana, Peeled And Mashed With A Fork

    1/2 cup Applesauce

    1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Thoroughly grease a 12-count muffin pan or use muffin liners.

In a large bowl, combine flours, Chia seeds, oats, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, walnuts, and cranberries. Stir together until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the almond/buttermilk, egg, banana, applesauce and maple syrup.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until it just combined. Batter should be very wet.

Scoop 1/4 cup into the muffin cups and bake for about 18 minutes, or until deep golden brown.


Coconut Macaroons March 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katiepies @ 5:09 AM
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Springtime is still time for desserts, we just like to make them a little lighter. These coconut macaroons are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Of course we like them dipped in chocolate too!  We have made these for years using sweetened condensed milk and whipping egg whites.  Recently, we decided to try a new recipe in Real Simple, March 2013 edition. Wow, those people know what they are doing. Super easy, super delicious! Great for your Springtime celebrations!IMG_3231

Happy Baking!


Coconut Macaroons

3 large egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1-14 oz package sweetened shredded coconut

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment.

Whisk together egg whites sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl until glossy.

Fold in the coconut and evenly combine.

Use a small ice cream scoop and drop the batter in mounds (about 2 TBS) about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool completely.

The macaroons will keep for 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container. Dipping in chocolate is optional, but highly recommended.


Irish Soda Bread March 18, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katiepies @ 2:56 AM

IMG_3214Recently, we were going through our recipe book looking for ideas and came upon an Irish Soda Bread recipe.  It was hand written and I remember copying it from my great Aunt Ina’s recipe box.  Why not make it for St. Patrick’s Day? It is a simple bread recipe with the traditional caraway seeds, raisins  and this recipe called for buttermilk, I think.  Typical Aunt Ina recipe-ingredients are listed and directions written out, but soon you realize that something is wrong.  In this case the recipe called for dissolved buttermilk (what is that?!), although the recipe only called for butter.   We assumed it was buttermilk and adjusted the recipe, hoping for the best.  What we got was a moist, fragrant, crusty loaf of bread! I can see Aunt Ina giggling at her error.

There are a lot of great recipes for Irish Soda Bread.  Give it a try-it’s a nice change and makes a wonderful breakfast with butter and jam.

Happy Baking,




Heavenly Lemon Cheesecake March 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katiepies @ 8:04 PM
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IMG_3203We love lemons and find that most people love something lemon as an alternative to chocolate.  This cheesecake is heaven on a plate!  The lemon curd that runs throughout the cheesecake is just enough sweet-tart to balance out the very light and fluffy cheesecake. We originally tried this with a shortbread crust but really prefer the old-fashioned graham cracker crust.

The real treat is the layer of lemon curd on the top and the those candied lemons that we have talked about before.  This creation had to go to work so that we wouldn’t eat it all ourselves.  Needless to say, we had an empty container within the hour. 🙂 We’ve included the recipe for you to enjoy.   IMG_3209

Happy Baking,




1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease a 10-inch springform pan or regular 10-inch cake mold with a pat of butter. Place 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs in a bowl.  Stir the sugar into the graham cracker crumbs and blend well.  Stir in the melted butter, mix well.  Pat the crumb mixture into the springform pan including the sides of the pan.



4 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese –room temperature (2 regular, 2 low fat)

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs-room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

2 cups lemon curd (see recipe below or you can use store bought)

Beat cream cheese at medium speed until light and creamy.  Gradually add the sugar, beating until blended.  Add the eggs one at time. Beating until the yellow disappears. Beat in vanilla.

Pour two thirds of the batter into the prepared pan.  Dollop 1 cup of the lemon curd over the batter.  Use a knife to gently swirl the curd through out the batter.  Spoon the remaining cheesecake batter over the curd.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the center is set.  Turn oven off and let the cheesecake stay in the oven for 15 min.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about an hour. Cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.

Remove sides of the pan if you used a springform pan. Spoon remaining lemon curd over the top of the cake and garnish with Candied Lemon Slices.


4 large lemons –washed and dried (can use Meyer Lemons if you have them)

10 large egg yolks-room temperature

1 cup sugar

8 TBS unsalted butter cut into ½ inch cubes at room temperature

Zest the four lemons  and set aside the zest. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze out the juice, straining out the seeds. You should have about 2/3 cup.

Whisk the yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a heat proof bowl, then place the bowl over a pan a simmering water.  Have another medium bowl with a wire sieve ready for when the curd is done cooking; you will need to strain it. Cook the curd, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula until the curd is opaque and thick enough to cling to the spatula.  This will take about 10 minutes. If you use an instant-read thermometer the curd will be about 185 degrees.

Pour the curd through the wire sieve and into the bowl. Slowly whisk the butter into the curd one piece at a time until it is all incorporated.  Place plastic wrap onto the curd, piercing with a few holes to allow the steam to escape.  Cool completely and then transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.


Cut 2 small lemons into 1/8 inch slices (you can use Meyer Lemons or regular lemons) Discard the seeds.  Stir 1 cup sugar , 2 TBS lemon juice and ¾ cup water in a large skillet over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the lemon slices in a single layer and simmer gently, turning occasionally for about 16-18 minutes.  Remove from the heat and place the slices in a single layer on cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Cool for an hour and then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use them.  They will last for about two days.


Jack and Coke Cupcakes February 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Katiepies @ 5:28 AM
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When I say Jack, yes, I mean Jack Daniels. If you’re a fan of Jack and Coke you will love these. I’ve been wanting to make these for a while now and I’m so glad I did! They are hands down my new favorite cupcake. The cake is so moist and the butter-cream frosting has the perfect amount of whiskey. These will definitely be added to our menu!

Happy Baking,




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