An Excuse to Eat Dessert for Breakfast

First off, I should apologize as I have been a bad, bad blogger. As everyone knows, life gets busy and summer tends to be a slower time for me when it comes to baking. Who really wants to be in a hot kitchen in the middle of August?

Good news internet friends, the weather is cooling off and now is the best season for baking. Not only is it cooler out, but usually right about now I start getting the itch to bake with apples, and pumpkin, and cinnamon, and everything else delicious and fall-y. Autumn-y? Yep, neither is actually a word but you get the idea.

So to kick off the fall/winter baking season I’m going to share what has now become a tried and true, go-to, recipe for me: my great-grandma’s favorite coffee cake. The best thing about this cake, is it pretty much is a dessert. You actually use a boxed cake mix for the base, BUT because it is a coffee cake you can totally serve it for breakfast! And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like cake for breakfast? (If you don’t, well, just shhhh!)

This recipe is pretty straightforward, my grandma’s recipe calls for 1 package instant vanilla pudding – I have always used the smaller box; she didn’t specify because she came from the era of measuring in a “pinch” of this and where apparently a “package” meant something specific. (okay haha, insert requisite “package” joke here.) The recipe also calls for some Nestle’s Quik powder (like the kind you make chocolate milk with); I have made it with the Nestle’s Quik and I have made it substituting cocoa powder. Both work. Nestle’s Quik is way more fun though. Also, you should pull out the hand mixer (or use a stand mixer) to beat the batter, it really needs to get well-mixed and fluffy. I made it once without a mixer and the batter was a lot thicker than normal, it still worked but wasn’t ideal.

Here’s the recipe…

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Nestle’s Quik powder
  • 1/3 cup sugarphoto 1

Beat together the first 5 ingredients at high-speed for 7 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix the nuts, cinnamon, Nestle’s Quik and sugar.

Pour 1/3 of the nut mixture into a greased pan. Pour 1/2 of the batter over the nut mixture. photo 2

Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture over the batter, and then cover with the remaining batter. Marble through lightly with a 3

Bake at 350 degrees for 65 minutes. Cool, wrap in foil and refrigerate. photo 4I usually serve the cake at room temperature, despite what the recipe says. Yeah, I know, I’m such a rebel.

So hopefully I will be a better blogger in the coming months, in the mean time, happy baking!


Make Ya Wanna Lick the Spoon Cake Batter Cheesecake

Growing up homemade birthday cakes were always a part of our family birthday celebrations. Our rule was you got to pick the cake on your own birthday. For as many years as I can remember my Dad always put in his request for lemon cake with lemon frosting. Every so often I’d wanna mix it up, but my standby favorite was yellow cake with chocolate frosting. My mom on the other hand, never really had a favorite cake. She liked to let me experiment, once I was the one baking her cake. One of the last cakes I remember making for her was a banana split cake. So in honor of my mom’s birthday this year I decided to sort through the latest recipes I’d found online and make something new.

Enter the Cake Batter Cheesecake. Normally for a birthday cake I’m not a fan of a cake without frosting, because frosting is sort of the best part. However, when I saw this recipe for cake batter cheesecake it looked too good to not try. 2013-03-23 08.59.13The first step to making this bad boy is creating the vanilla cookie crust. My first attempt at crushing the cookies involved a Ziplock bag and my rolling pin. Apparently vanilla wafers don’t crush easy, so I had to bust out my itty bitty food processor. 2013-03-23 09.02.54The recipe I found didn’t include instructions for the crust, so I just crushed up what looked like the right amount of cookies and added melted butter until I had the texture to be able to press the crust into the pan.

2013-03-23 09.27.39Next, came time to make the filling. So my cream cheese probably wasn’t “softened” as much as it should have been, so the batter took a little more mixing to get it to come together. Otherwise it is pretty simple to make the filling, a lot of dumping and stirring. The finishing touch on the batter was to mix in sprinkles. Of course when I got to this step I realized I didn’t have just plain rainbow sprinkles, so I had to mix my Easter and Valentine’s Day sprinkles to get my cake looking bright and colorful.

Here is the first part where I digressed from my recipe… this recipe calls for you to bake the cake “bain marie” style, which means you put the pan in another pan filled with water. It is supposed to make sure everything bakes more evenly. I’m pretty sure “bain marie” must be French for big, giant pain in my ass, so after feverishly Googling other cheesecake recipes I found many don’t require this. I would have attempted it, but outside of my GIANT turkey roasting pan, I didn’t have another pan big enough to fit my spring form pan. So into the oven my cheesecake went, without its water bath.

2013-03-23 11.52.43After baking and then letting it sit in the oven for the prescribed post-baking 60 minutes, my cheesecake was ready to cool off. It did crack a little and looked a little more brown than I expected, which the supposed “bain marie” was supposed to help avoid. Oh well. Lucky for my the recipe called for a chocolate glaze to top the whole thing and hide my over-baked top.

The chocolate glaze was really easy to make, just microwave chocolate chips and butter, then stir in heavy cream until smooth and chocolate-ly.

Here is the recipe for Cake Batter Cheesecake (as originally found on Pinterest from this site)


  • 1 9 inch spring form pan prepared with a vanilla cookie crust
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cup yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles
  1. Beat cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar on the lowest speed of your mixer until well blended
  2. Add the cake mix and continue beating until no lumps remain. Keep the mixer on low-speed.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition
  4. Fold in the sour cream
  5. Spoon into the crumb lined spring form
  6. Bake at 375 F for 50 minutes.
  7. Turn oven off but do not open the door. Leave for 1 hour. Do not open the door during this time.
  8. Allow to cool on the counter for 1 hour.
  9. Place a paper towel over the top, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours.
  10. Glaze with a mixture of 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 cups milk chocolate chips, and 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted together and stirred until smooth.

The whole cake put together was decent… I would maybe attempt that stupid water bath thing to see if I could make a creamier cake in the end the next time I make cheesecake.CAM04844

The best part of this recipe really is the filling. I’m not going to lie, before washing my batter bowl I had to taste a spoonful of the unbaked cheesecake filling. All I can say is holy monkey balls it was so good. I immediately filled the bowl with dishwasher to stop myself from eating anymore. I think the batter may have been better than the baked cheesecake. The chocolate glaze was also delicious by the spoonful. Just goes to show, despite the risk of eating raw eggs, it is ALWAYS worth it to lick the batter.