Pumpkin Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

“Let them eat cake!”

No, but really, everyone should eat cake (at least before everyone’s New Year’s resolutions starts!). After hearing this phrase on the television (this phrase was supposedly spoken by a princess who learned that the peasants had no bread and was rumored to have  been Marie Antoinette, but no actual proof exists), I became inspired to bake a cake for our annual Christmas dinner.

Now, although the original recipe called to make homemade frosting (Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake With Caramel and Cream Cheese Frosting), I copped out and bought store-bought frosting because I was in a pinch and used a bundt pan instead of creating multiple layers. My deviations resulted in an easier version; however, although I saved myself time and energy, I am sure that the original version (complete with homemade frosting!) would have been more flavor-filled and fulfilling. But, that adventure will have to be saved for another day – at least everyone could eat cake!

Step 1: Mix Together Liquids


Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients Into Liquids


Step 3: Bake and Add Frosting


Now, truly after this recipe, I swear that my healthy New Year’s resolution will actually start (I swear!).

Cheers!

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Pear Croustade

When most people think of fruit desserts, either apple, blueberry, lemon or strawberry conconctions come to mind. For me, I would classify myself as a bit of an oddball. Don’t get me wrong, I love classic strawberry and lemon-flavored desserts (as seen here and here); however, I love to experiment with new desserts and more uncommon ingredients (as seen here and here). Now, I realize pears are not “out-of-the-ordinary” or “unique” — but, I think it is safe to say that pears are not the usual fruit of choice. So, if you are reading this and you happen to fall into that boat, I strongly urge you to forget about the usual go-to’s and try this dessert with pears. I promise you will not be disappointed!

I have made this Pear Croustade many times (as seen in My Thanksgiving Post) — it has definitely made it into my rotation of desserts. At least for me, I love the fact that it contains pears. Pears are a nice change that pairs (not trying to make a pun, I swear!) well with the nutmeg and lemon juice for a not too sweet, but yet tart and delicious flavor. Plus, among my friends, this is hands-down their favorite crust out of all the desserts that I have ever made.

Step 1: Zest Lemon; Cut
Butter Into Small Pieces



Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients Together


Step 3: Mix Butter Into Dry Ingredients;
Use Hands to Crumble into Fine Mixture


Step 4: Stir in Cream With Fork



Step 5: Gather Dough Into Disk;
Refrigerate for One Hour

Step 6: Toss Dry Ingredients Together

Step 7: Cut Pears


Step 8: Toss Pears With Dry
Ingredients and Lemon Juice


Step 9: Arrange Pear Slices on Dough; Bake

This is a fun recipe that I will definitely love continuing to make. The key is finding ripe pears at the grocery store. I lucked out this past time, but I am glad that pears are soon coming into “season”. I will be on the hunt to find a good poached pear recipe in the near future – stay tuned!

Cheers!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes With Lemon Curd & Raspberries

One of my best friends came to visit me this past weekend. Like me, she loves to bake and cook. In fact, she is an inspiration to me and even taught me some new tricks with cooking (whether she knows it or not). For her visit, I wanted to make a fun breakfast that would encompass three traits: ease, few ingredients, and fruit (have to take advantage of fruit during the summer season). I happened to find a recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes that looked enticing — especially because prior to this cooking experience, I’d never used ricotta in a “sweet” recipe or used lemon curd.

Step 1: Combine Dry Ingredients;
Combine Wet Ingrediens


Step 2: Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients


Step 3: Drop Batter Onto Greased Hot Griddle;
Flip When Golden Brown; Add Powdered Sugar
and Raspberries; Enjoy! 

Although these look “pretty” — they were tough to make. The batter does not hold together as easily as I would have liked. The best trick is to carefully watch the heat and make sure to master the perfect art of the quick-flip (I had a few fall apart…). But, nonetheless, these were absolutely delicious and the combination of fresh lemon and raspberries flavors provided a nice contrast to the boring egg-and-cheese-combo of the usual Sunday morning breakfasts.

Cheers!