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Coconut Tea Cake (TWD)

I was very pleased to see that we could put this one off until Easter.  I love coconut, but David doesn’t, so I don’t make desserts with it all that often for that reason.  Luckily,It my parents were visiting for Easter weekend, and they both love coconut.  I thought this would be a great cake to snack on while they were here.  Since it was still just three of us eating it, I cut the recipe in half and baked it in a loaf pan (it took 45 minutes to bake).  It was pretty simple to make, which was great because I was already going to be cooking so much.  I added way more coconut than the recipe called for, which was a good move because I like a lot 🙂  My only complaint was that I couldn’t taste the rum.  Overall, this was a fabulous cake, and my parents and I really enjoyed it!  I passed the recipe on to my mom and I’m pretty sure she’ll be making it in the near future!  You can get the recipe on Carmen’s blog, and she chose it for TWD.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

I’ve been on a major cornbread kick lately.  I’ve always liked it, but recently I’ve been making meals where cornbread goes along with the main dish so well.  I made some Mexican-style chicken chili and thought this would be the perfect side to go with it.  I started using masa flour in place of regular flour in cornbread and have really been pleased with the results.  It adds a corny (ha!) flavor to the bread and keeps the excepted texture.  This cornbread was no exception!  As a southerner, I’ve been used to plain, slightly sweet cornbread, but I really liked this variation.  I added more cheese than the recipe called for for a stronger cheddar flavor, but I really liked the kick the jalapenos added.  It was delicious served hot and straight out of the oven, but we at the leftover cornbread over the next couple of days and it reheated in the oven quite well.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
Source: adapted from Ina Garten via Food Network

3 cups masa harina

1 cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 cups milk

3 extra-large eggs,beaten

1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan

12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar

3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  In another bowl, combine milk, eggs, and butter.  Using a spoon, pour wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved.  Do not overmix.  Stir in the cheddar (leave a little extra for topping) and jalapenos.

Pour batter into greased 9×13-inch pan.  Top with remaining cheddar.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and cut into squares.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

One evening a few nights ago, David mentioned that he didn’t have any snacks to eat at work.  He never eats first thing in the morning, but after he’s been at work for a few hours, he’s ready for something.  I am willing to bake him something as often as he wants, but he rarely asks for anything.  I offered to make him some muffins, and since it was late, I knew I needed a recipe where I had all the ingredients on hand.  Chocolate chip muffins immediately came to mind, and I searched for a recipe since I didn’t already have one saved.

These were so simple to put together, and I didn’t even have to get out my mixer.  It’s nice to have that instant gratification!  I took one out for myself, and loved how light and fluffy they were.  These made a great mid-morning snack and David said he loved having them to look forward to all week at work.  The chocolate chips will make you think you’re getting away with something for breakfast 🙂

Chocolate Chip Muffins
Source: Bake or Break

  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease or line 12 muffins cups.  In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in melted butter, milk, and vanilla.  Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Serve warm.

Lemon Lemon Cake

No, that title isn’t a mistake.  This cake is so packed full of lemon flavor, it had to be named twice!  David’s parents recently visited, and I wanted to have something sweet to snack on.  David’s family loves lemon baked goods, so when I saw this as I was flipping through my cookbooks, it was the obvious choice.  It’s listed in the cookbook under breakfast sweets, but it’s really good any time of day.  I made it the night they got here after dinner, and a good portion of it was gone before we went to bed!  It’s almost like a pound cake, but very light in texture.  It’s very full of lemon- there’s lemon in the cake, then you glaze it with a lemon syrup, and then the optional lemon glaze (but don’t let it be optional…definitely include it!).  This is as must-make for the lemon lovers that you know!

Lemon Lemon Cake
Source: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup grated lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, or more if needed
4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the sides and bottom of two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.

Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until combined. With the motor running, drizzle the butter in through the feed tube. Add the sour cream and vanilla and pulse until combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Sprinkle the flour mixture, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F., and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and invert the loaves onto the pan. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves.

Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

(The soaked but unglazed loaves will keep, wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and frozen, for up to 6 weeks.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. If the mixture is too stiff, add up to another 2 tablespoons lemon juice and whisk again, adding small amounts of lemon juice and/or confectioners’ sugar until you get the right consistency. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

The glazed loaves will keep for up to 3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Muffins

Like many other places on the East Coast, we had a snow day recently.  Ours ended up being more snow than ice, but here in South Carolina, that was reason enough to stay in 🙂  We had some friends over, and they decided to stay over because of the weather.  The next morning, we woke up to snow and I decided to bake some muffins for us to enjoy.  I looked at ones I had bookmarked, and since I had all the ingredients on hand for these, they were the obvious choice.  These muffins were so easy to put together, and they were truly delicious.  I love the combination of apples and cinnamon, and adding butterscotch in the mix made them even better.  There are several options for the topping, but I just kept it simple and sprinkled the tops with some cinnamon sugar.  These were a great snow day treat, and loved snacking on these while watching movies and being lazy all day 🙂

Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Muffins
Source: Annie’s Eats, originally from Sugar Plum


2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
¾ cup butterscotch chips
¾ cup chopped apples
1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped

For topping (optional)

Dried apple slices
Maple syrup
Granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line the wells of two muffin pans with paper liners (about 18 liners total).  Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix lightly with a fork to blend.  Stir in the oats.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Beat in the applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and beating just until incorporated.  Fold in the butterscotch chips, apples, and toasted pecans with a rubber spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups.  If desired, press a dried apple slice into the top of the batter in each cup.  Drizzle lightly with maple syrup and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: about 18 muffins

Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake Turtle Bread

We recently had some overnight guests, and I wanted to make something special to have for breakfast in the morning and to snack on.  I’ve been wanting to make pumpkin bread this fall, and when I saw this version, I knew it would be spectacular.  There were so many wonderful flavors going on that made this so much better than your average pumpkin bread.  When I first saw the recipe, I thought it would be time-consuming but it was actually quite simple and didn’t take as much time as I thought it would.  The base of the recipe is a regular pumpkin bread, and then you marble the cream cheese mixture in it.  The original recipe yields 3 mini loaves, and I didn’t realize that it would be the equivalent of two standard loaves.  As I was pouring the mixture in the pan, I realized that I needed to divide it into two loaf pans instead of just one, so I messed up on the marbling as a result.  So mine doesn’t look marbled, but the cream cheese is in there.  If I had realized how much batter this would make, I probably would have halved the recipe, but I just froze the other loaf, so it worked out fine.

After letting the cake cool, you pour chocolate glaze and caramel sauce over it, then sprinkle the pecans on the top.  Normally I would make homemade caramel sauce, but I opted for store bought because I was short on time.  Homemade would have been better, but this was still quite good.  This bread is very moist due to the cream cheese and made extra special with the chocolate and caramel.  I added some cinnamon to the bread because I can’t imagine pumpkin without cinnamon!  It was the perfect bread to serve to guests, and I enjoyed eating the leftovers 🙂

Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake Turtle Bread
Source: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

Pumpkin Bread:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup pumpkin puree (plain, not the already made pumpkin pie kind)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup canola oil
2 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar, loosely packed

Caramel Cheesecake Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup brown sugar, tightly packed
2 tablespons Lyle’s Golden Syrup
2 tablespoons Caramel Sauce (store bought or homemade)
1 large egg

Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)
Caramel Sauce (store bought or homemade) (my favorite homemade version can be found in this post)
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 325F.

Lightly grease and flour three mini loaf pans (3 ½ -x- 5 inch) or two standard loaf pans.

Using a stand mixer (or a medium bowl and electric beaters) with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, syrup and caramel sauce for about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add egg and beat for another minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl and add flour. Beat flour into mixture until fully incorporated. If using stand mixer, transfer cheesecake filling to a separate bowl. Set aside. If using the stand mixer, clean and dry the bowl to use again.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

Using a stand mixer (or a medium bowl and electric beaters) with the paddle attachment, place pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, and sugars into the bowl and beat for about 1 minute.
Add flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and mix just until combined. This is a quick bread so you don’t want to over mix.

Pour half of the pumpkin bread batter evenly into the three prepared loaf pans.  Spread the batter out evenly.

Spoon cheesecake mixture on top of pumpkin batter layer, a little less than 2/3 of a cup.

Scoop the remaining batter on top of the cheesecake layer, again about 2 ice cream scoops worth.

If you don’t want to bother with the layering you can just spoon some pumpkin batter, then cheesecake, then pumpkin batter again and use a knife to make swirls in the bread.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.
Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes.
Remove bread from pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Let breads cool completely before glazing.

Pour chocolate glaze over breads, about 1/3 cup each. Sprinkle pecans on top of the glaze, followed by extra caramel sauce if desired.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins


My parents recently visited, and I thought these muffins would be the perfect snack for us to enjoy in the morning.  My mom and I made these the night before so they would be fresh.  We haven’t baked together in a long time, so I had so much fun making these!  I haven’t had a baking buddy in a long time 🙂  These muffins dirty a lot of dishes, but they were really good and definitely worth it!  They were very moist with a full pumpkin flavor.  The cream cheese added a great dimension to the overall flavor, and it’s hard to beat a struesel topping.  These muffins are great on fall mornings, and I could see them being a great addition to a tailgate for an early football game! (Clemson is famous for having noon games).

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Source: Country Living

8 ounces cream cheese3 eggs

2 ½ cups sugar

2 ½ cups flour

¼ cup pecans, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 ¼ cup solid-packed pumpkin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat two 12-cup standard muffin tins with oil and set aside.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Toss 5 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup flour, pecans, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the remaining sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining cinnamon in a large bowl. Lightly beat the remaining eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour the pumpkin mixture into the well, and mix with a fork just until moistened. Evenly divide half of the batter among the muffin cups. Place two teaspoonfuls of cream cheese filling in the center of each cup and fill with the remaining batter. Sprinkle some of the pecan mixture over the top of each muffin and bake until golden and a tester, inserted into the muffin center, comes out clean — 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Allspice Crumb Muffins (TWD)


I actually made these a long time ago.  We were going out of town, and I made these as a snack for the road.  It was a last minute trip, and I searched my cookbooks for something easy to make that didn’t require a trip to the grocery store.  As soon as I saw these muffins, I knew I had found something!  These muffins were so easy to make, and I even did the mixing by hand.  I know that muffins with a crumb topping will almost always be good.  They add so much flavor to muffins and give it an extra sweetness that make muffins so great.  These muffins were nice and moist, and everyone really liked the flavor from the spices.  These were a great choice- Dorie’s breakfast recipes are always a hit!

Katie chose this recipe.  You can view the recipe on her blog and look at everyone else’s muffins on the TWD blog.

Banana Crumb Muffins


I am trying to adopt a new habit of making something for David to take to work to eat for breakfast.  He never eats anything before leaving for work, but after he has been there for a few hours, he will eat breakfast.  He’s not always good about telling me that he wants something, so I’ve been trying to look for new things to make.  I like this because it gives me a baking outlet, and I know he’s eating something better than a pop tart.

He’s been really into bananas lately, so I decided to make these banana muffins.  They’ve been getting rave reviews on allrecipes.com for the past several years.  I first discovered and made them about two years ago, but haven’t put them in my blog until now.  They are the best banana muffins I’ve made!  They are nice and moist with a full banana flavor.  Even better is the streusel topping- can you really go wrong?  The recipe actually provides ample topping for the muffins.  These are nice and sweet, but not overly so, which makes them a perfect morning snack.

Banana Crumb Muffins
Source: allrecipes.com

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
    3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Banana Muffins (TWD)

I’m committing a cardinal sin of blogging this week, as my post has no pictures.  But, I actually have a good excuse.  My husband ate it.  Last week, my sister and her boyfriend spent the night at our house on a weeknight, so I thought I would make this cake into muffins so everyone would have something for breakfast the next morning.  I made these at night and planned to take pictures the next afternoon with whatever muffins were left over.  The trouble is, David didn’t realize this plan and took all the leftover muffins with him to work, leaving me with no muffins to photograph.  I was annoyed for about two minutes, but it was an honest mistake.  So, I’m sorry that I’m leaving no visual here, but I can assure you that these muffins were very much appreciated!

Because I didn’t have that many people to eat these, I decided to cut the recipe in half and make them into muffins.  This also worked since I wanted to make these to grab quickly on the way to work.  Everyone liked them, and they made a great breakfast.  David said that they were pretty much like regular banana bread.  With half the recipe, you can get 12-14 muffins depending on how you fill the tin (I tend to overfill muffin and cupcake tins).  Mary of The Food Librarian chose this recipe, and you can view the recipe on her blog.  You can also visit the TWD blog to see what they actually looked like 🙂