Archive for Cakes

Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cake



Okay friends, if there was ever a recipe of mine you ought to try, this one is it!

This is my homage to my favorite Girl Scout Cookies, the Caramel Delites or Samoas.

My version of this cake combines all the things I love about the classic cookie — sweet coconut, rich chocolate and luscious caramel.

The super moist and fudgy cake gets a generous topping of my caramel cream cheese frosting.  Toasted sweet coconut gets pressed into the frosted cake, followed by drizzles of melted chocolate and MORE caramel!

Do I have you drooling yet and ready to bake this cake RIGHT THIS MINUTE??? ;)

My super easy recipe is made even more simple by using boxed cake mix. While you can certainly make a cake from scratch, there are several brands that bake up a very moist and delicious cake.


My complete recipe is at the bottom of this post. Give it a try and let me know how you like it. :)

Here’s how to make it.

I used a box of chocolate fudge cake mix.  You can use any brand you prefer, but I like Betty Crocker brand mixes.

Follow the instructions on the back of the box to make the cake.  This particular mix calls for adding 1 1/4 cups water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 3 large eggs.  I also added 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to the batter to really amp up the coconut flavor.


Generously spray a bundt pan with baking spray (the one that also has flour in it).  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

imageBake the cake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees.  Insert a thin skewer (or knife) into the middle of the cake to test if it’s done (no crumbs should stick to the skewer or knife).

Invert the cake onto a serving dish then let it cool completely.

imageWhile the cake cools, and while the oven is still hot, toast the coconut.

Spread out sweetened coconut flakes on a large baking pan.


Bake the coconut for 3 minutes at 350 degrees; use a spatula to stir the coconut around.  Bake for another 3 minutes; stir again to ensure even browning.

If the coconut is still too light, bake for 3 more minutes, but watch it carefully at this point.  Once browned, remove the coconut from the pan and allow to cool.


While the cake and coconut cool, prepare the frosting.

Using an electric handheld mixer, mix the softened cream cheese with the caramel sauce.  You can use the same caramel sauce that you pour over ice cream.  I used salted caramel sauce for this recipe, but any thick caramel sauce will do.  Beat until creamy.

This is the caramel sauce I used:


This tastes great already!  For future reference, this is the base for a delicious fruit dip — just mix in some marshmallow creme to the cream cheese-caramel mixture.

imageSo, back to the frosting.  Mix in up to 4 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.  I used only 3 cups of powdered sugar, but if you want a very thick layer of frosting on top of your cake, use all 4 cups of powdered sugar.

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Once the cake has cooled sufficiently, it’s time to frost it.

Spread the frosting all over the cake, covering it entirely.

imageImmediately sprinkle the coconut over the frosted cake.  To add the coconut to the sides, grab a handful of coconut and press it into the sides of the cake.  Shake off any excess coconut.


Now for the chocolate sauce.

Melt a cup of chocolate chips for 30 seconds in a microwave-safe glass bowl or cup.  Stir the chocolate — it might not be melted at this point, however, but stir it nonetheless.


Melt the chocolate for 30 more seconds then stir again.  Once again, it may not appear as if the chocolate is melted, but trust me — the chips are already mostly melted, and will continue to melt with the heat of the glass.  Do not microwave the chocolate any more or it will seize and become stiff, lumpy and unworkable.

imageScoop out the melted chocolate and place it into a sandwich bag.


Twist the top of the bag to keep the melted chocolate in one corner of the bag.  Use a pair of scissors to snip off a tiny piece of one corner of the bag.

Squeeze the melted chocolate over the top of the cake.  I’m sure you can decorate your cake a lot nicer than I did mine. ;)

Drizzle some caramel over the cake, in the spaces between the chocolate.


Oh my goodness…this cake is D E L I C I O U S!!!

Serve a large slice of this incredible edible with a cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk. :)


Mmmmmm mmmmmm good!  Look how moist the cake is!

imageCare for a slice?  I’ll eat this one for you. ;)


Not convinced yet?  How about now? ;)

imageGive my recipe a try.  I KNOW you’ll like it. :)


Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cake
Moist chocolate fudge cake topped with a decadent caramel cream cheese frosting, toasted coconut, and drizzled with melted chocolate and caramel sauce.
Cuisine: American
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge cake mix
  • 1¼ cups water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
Toasted Coconut:
  • 2 cups (packed) sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
  • ½ cup caramel sauce
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
Drizzled Sauces:
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons caramel sauce
Bake the cake:
  1. Mix all of the ingredients for the cake together using a whisk. Mix just until combined and most of the lumps disappear. Do not over mix.
  2. Pour the batter into a bundt pan sprayed with baking spray. Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees. Invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let it cool completely.
Toast the coconut:
  1. Spread the coconut onto a large baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes to ensure even browning. Bake until golden brown.
  2. Remove the toasted coconut from the hot pan; allow to cool completely.
Make the Frosting:
  1. Beat the cream cheese and caramel sauce until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, one cup a time, mixing until thick and creamy. Use all four cups of powdered sugar if you like your cakes frosted with a thick layer of frosting, otherwise, three cups of sugar will suffice.
Drizzle on the Goodness:
  1. Place the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe glass cup or bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds then stir. Microwave for 30 more seconds then stir again. Place the melted chocolate into a small sandwich bag. Snip a tiny piece off one corner of the bag. Squeeze the melted chocolate over the top of the cake.
  2. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top of the cake.


Caramel Apple Cake


Fall is probably my favorite season because of all of the yummy fall fruits that abound this time of year.  Apples are in full season right now, and rather than wonder what to make with them, how about you bake my friend, Vikki’s Caramel Apple Cake?


This cake is incredibly moist, and the thick batter suspends chunks of sweet apple so that they don’t sink to the bottom of the cake during baking.  You get a taste of sweet apple and cinnamony (my new word) goodness in every bite.

My husband took some cake to work and shared it with his boss, who said this was the best apple cake he’s ever had. (Thanks, Vikki!) :)


This cake is screaming your name…wait, it’s screaming MY name.  I need to make another one.  My family devoured the one I made the other night.  It’s that good.

Let’s get to it.

Whisk the oil and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.


Whisk the eggs into the sugar-oil mixture.


Add the vanilla extract, apple pie spice, salt and baking powder; whisk to combine.


Add the flour to the bowl.  This batter is very thick.  Use a spatula to fold in the flour.


See how thick the batter is?  My spatula is standing straight up in the batter.


Fold in the chopped apples.  You can’t tell from the photo, but I cut the apples very small and relatively thin to ensure they cook through during baking, but not too small that they turn to mush.  I used Honeycrisp Apples in this recipe, which I recommend you use as well.  They are sweet, crisp apples that hold up to baking.  The apples were still somewhat firm after baking, but cooked through (not over cooked at all).


Pour the batter into a greased baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until it tests done (insert a knife or skewer into the middle; it should come out clean).


While the cake is baking, make the caramel sauce.

Place the butter, brown sugar, and milk in a small sauce pan over low heat.


Whisk occasionally, cooking until the butter and sugar melt and the sauce thickens.

Don’t make the glaze until right before the cake is done, however.  The sauce thickens as it cools, so make it just minutes before the cake is done so that it’s thin enough to drizzle.


Drizzle the caramel glaze all over the top of the cake.

This is wonderful just as you see it below, but if you want to take it over the top, add a huge dollop of whipped cream and you’ll be in caramel apple heaven! :)

Vikki says this cake freezes well.  All you’ll need to do is defrost the cake at room temperature then make up a fresh pot of caramel sauce to drizzle over the cake just before serving.


Cut yourself a huge slice of this sinfully delicious cake, serve and ENJOY!

Doesn’t that caramel sauce make you want to run your finger across that plate, scoop up some sauce, and lick your finger?  ;)



Caramel Apple Cake
A super moist cake with chunks of sweet apples and a luscious caramel glaze
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
Make the Cake:
  1. Mix the sugar and oil together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, apple pie spice, salt and baking soda.
  3. Fold in the flour.
  4. Fold in the chopped apples.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until the cake tests done.
Make the Glaze:
  1. Cook the glaze in a small sauce pan on the stove, just until the butter and sugar melt and the sauce thickens.
  2. Pour the glaze over individual pieces or over the entire cake while it's still warm.
NOTE: I used Honey Crisp Apples (2 of them) -- I recommend them for this recipe. The apples stayed somewhat firm during the baking; they were definitely cooked through, and I liked that the apples didn't become mushy after baking.


Apple Cranberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

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Apples and cranberries go so well together.  Pair them together in these muffins topped with sweet streusel topping and you’ve got a real treat on your hands.

I made these for a PTA-sponsored Teacher Appreciation Day one year and it was wiped out in no time.  These muffins are great for potluck breakfasts, and they make great snacks for a packed lunch.

Top the muffins with my apple cream cheese frosting (recipe below) and now you’ve got a decadent dessert.

Give my recipes a try.  I think you’ll like them. :)

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Apple Cranberry Muffins with Streusel Topping
Apple and cranberries baked in a moist muffin and topped with a sweet streusel and buttery apple frosting
Serves: 2 dozen
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients for the Muffins:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (set aside 4 tablespoons out of the 4 cups of flour)
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups white, granulated sugar (you can use Splenda or Truvia made for baking)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup orange juice (with pulp)
  • 1 cup craisins
  • ⅔ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, optional
Ingredients for Streusel Topping:
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ⅔ cup finely chopped walnuts, optional (or use your favorite nut)
Ingredients for the Apple Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 box powdered sugar
Directions for the muffins:
  1. Place cupcake liners in two regular sized muffin pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl toss 4 tablespoons of flour with the diced apples; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl cream the 2 sticks of butter with the granulated sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla and orange juice; mix until creamy.
  4. Mix together the remaining flour, baking soda and salt; add to the butter mixture.
  5. Fold the apple mixture, craisins and chopped walnuts into the batter (it will be quite thick).
  6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling about ⅔ full.
  7. Top with streusel topping then bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cupcakes/muffins in the pan for 10-15 minutes then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the Streusel Topping:
  1. In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of flour, lemon zest, melted butter and chopped nuts (you can use a food chopper to chop these nuts very fine).
  2. Mix well (you can use a fork) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Make the Apple-Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. Place the diced apples, brown sugar and 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the apples have softened, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Place the cooked apple mixture in a blender or food processor to finely chop the apples (small bits are okay). Set aside to cool completely.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer. Add the apple mixture; mix until combined. Mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until creamy. Refrigerate the frosting until you’re ready to ice the cupcakes/muffins.


Easy Ultra-Moist Red Velvet Cupcakes



Ahhh…the delicious aroma of cake baking is rivaled only by that of gooey chocolate chip cookies baking and filling your home with happiness. :)


Red velvet cake topped with sweet cream cheese frosting is one of my favorites.

These cupcakes were topped with a marshmallow flower made by slicing marshmallows (use a pair of kitchen scissors for easy cutting) then sticking the petals together to form a flower.



This is a super-easy recipe.  Mix a box of red velvet cake mix with eggs, milk, oil, instant chocolate pudding, and red food coloring (for a deeper red color).


Fill cupcake lines 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool then frost and ENJOY! :)


Easy Ultra-Moist Red Velvet Cupcakes
Serves: 2 dozen
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe red velvet cake mix
  • 1 box (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup oil
  • ¾ cup milk*
  • 12 drops of red food coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Pour into cupcake tins lined with paper liners, ¾ full.
  4. Bake 18-20 minutes.
  5. Frost with your favorite frosting.
High Altitude Adjustments (for altitudes higher than 3000 ft):
  1. *Use 1 cup of milk (instead of ¾ cup)
  2. Do not preheat the oven. Prepare the batter and fill the cupcake tins, THEN turn on the oven. When the oven temperature reaches 250 degrees, place the pans in the oven.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes; the time starts when the temperature reaches 350 degrees (check for doneness at 10 minutes). The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake


Some of my favorite desserts are chocolate cake, coffee ice cream, and toffee candy.  This dessert combines all three in one very decadent dessert.

I combined my love of these three sweet indulgences into one rich and luscious ice cream cake.

If you’ve read through my directions below, you may be thinking that this is a difficult desert to make.  Don’t let the number of steps fool you, however.  This is actually very simple to make; just follow each step as I’ve described them below and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying this heavenly dessert!  The only hard part is waiting for the ice cream to re-harden! :)

Give my recipe a try.  I know you’ll love it. :)

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

10352789_700854603304696_2410885298969090088_n Ingredients: Cake:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg YOLKS
  • 1/2 cup white, granulated sugar


  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half (or heavy cream)
  • Half gallon coffee ice cream (or your favorite flavor)
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits


  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup half-and-half (or heavy cream)


  • 1/2 cup toffee bits


1.  In a small mixing bowl, sift together the cocoa powder and cake flour.  Add the instant espresso powder and salt to the bowl.  Whisk to combine.

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2.  In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.  Set aside to cool.

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3.  Place a small pot filled with about 2 inches of water over medium heat; bring to a simmer.  In a large heat-safe mixing bowl, place the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.  Place the egg and sugar mixture over the simmering water, whisking constantly until the mixture is warm to the touch.

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4.  Switch to a hand-held mixer.  Mix on high speed until the mixture thickens and turns a very pale yellow.

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5.  Fold the dry ingredients into the thickened egg mixture.

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6.  Drizzle the cooled melted butter down the side of the bowl.  Gently FOLD the butter into the batter.  Do NOT overmix; the batter will be very airy and light.

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7.  Line a large baking pan (a jelly-roll pan works well) with parchment paper.  Pour the batter onto the lined pan.  Gently and evenly spread batter out over the pan (be careful not to over-handle the batter as you spread it out; you do NOT want to deflate the air bubbles).

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8.  Bake at 450 degrees for 7 minutes.

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9.  While the cake is still warm, flip it out onto a clean dish cloth that’s been dusted with cocoa powder.  Peel the parchment paper off the cake.

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10.  Sprinkle more cocoa powder over the cake.  Roll the cake — including the dish cloth — starting at the short edge.  Set aside until the cake is completely cooled.

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11.  After the cake is completely cooled, carefully unroll it.

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12.  Make the ganache for the filling.  In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the 1/2 cup of half-and-half for about a minute.  Add the milk chocolate chips to the heated half-and-half,  whisking until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

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13.  Spread the ganache over the cake, staying about 1 inch from the edge.

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14.  Spread the ice cream over the cake.  I found it easier to use a spatula to “slice” pieces of ice cream, then I placed the slices of ice cream over the cake, staying about 1 1/2 inches from the edge.

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15.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of toffee bits over the ice cream.

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16.  Re-roll the cake, jell-roll style, starting from the short edge.  Be careful not to squeeze too tightly or all of the ice cream and chocolate ganache will ooze out of the cake.

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17.  Tightly wrap the rolled cake with plastic wrap.  Place in the freezer and freeze until the ice cream firms up.

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18.  To finish the cake, prepare more ganache using the remaining half-and-half and semisweet chocolate chips.  Once again, heat the half-and-half in the microwave for a minute.  Add the semisweet chocolate chips to the hot half-and-half, whisking until smooth and creamy.  Pour the ganache over the cake.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of toffee bits.


19.  Slice the cake, serve and ENJOY! :D

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