Peanut Butter-Nutella Coffee Cake

Key IngredientsThis drab and dreary weather calls out for something sweet and fun to help fight the urge to stay in bed and hibernate.  Who wouldn’t want to get out of bed for a piece of delicious coffee cake combining not only peanut butter and Nutella but having the added crunch of praline nuts and a peanut butter crumble topping!

Whether you stay up to binge watch your favourite shows on Netflix while enjoying this moist and flavourful coffee cake or hop right back into bed to relax against your propped up pillows, I think you’ll agree this is a delicious addition to your morning.  Or afternoon or before dinner pick-me-up or…


This recipe is from the Bake from Scratch ‘One Layer Cakes 2017’ issue and I made a couple of slight modifications.  Mostly because I didn’t follow my own advice to do the one thing you should always do when trying a new recipe…read it through thoroughly and pay attention!

I must say my slight modifications, which were layering the warmed Nutella in the middle and on top of the cake batter and using Praline Mixed Nuts instead of roasted salted peanuts did not detract in any way.  I also subbed in cream for the whole milk as I had some in my fridge.  Now you have options! Follow the original directions or switch it up like I did and enjoy.

Peanut Butter-Nutella Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9-round or 9-inch square cake pan.


1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup whole milk

3/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella), warmed

Peanut Butter Crumble – in a small bowl combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar.  Using your fingers or a wooden spoon mix in 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter.  Mix in 1/2 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts.


Prepare peanut butter crumble and set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugar, until light and creamy.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Add in sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt until combined.

Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with the milk, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients, until combined.

Adding top layer of PB Cake
PB Cake batter atop warmed Nutella

Pour half of batter into prepared pan.  Top with chocolate-hazelnut spread, making sure to spread to edges.  Top with remaining cake batter, smoothing to edges.  (A small offset spatula works great for this.)

Sprinkle Peanut Butter Crumble evenly over top of batter.

PB & Nutella cake topped with Praline Nuts and Streusel
PB Crumble and Praline Nut topping bf baking

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Note: If edges begin to brown quickly loosely cover cake with foil until completely baked to avoid excess browning.

PB-Nutella Coffee Cake with PB Crumble & Praline Mixed Nuts
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Pound Cake – Easy, Breezy and Beautiful

Pound Cake – Easy, Breezy and Beautiful

img_20161211_194937307-2Simple, sweet and stunning!  This ‘Classic Pound Cake’ from Bake from Scratch’s Cake issue is delicious and baking it in my new Nordicware Fleur de Lis pan takes it from blah to fab even with no drizzle or embellishments.img_20161212_100150326-2

A word to the wise, don’t bake this cake when you’re in a rush, as it needs about 2 hours of baking time in a low oven (300F).  My bundt pan had a 10-cup capacity so I filled 2 individual bundt pans with my leftover batter.  This way you have a little taste tester or a little treat for yourself.

This recipe is delicious.  Dense and flavourful as well as moist it presents beautifully when baked up in a pretty pan and can be left unadorned or would take well to a dusting of icing sugar or sweet cocoa powder.

This cake has no leavening agent so don’t be alarmed.  Make sure to spend at least 6-8 minutes beating your room temperature butter with the sugar in order to create the lightness you need in this cake.  You could also change up the vanilla to almond flavouring or even add in some orange zest.

Classic Pound Cake

Preheat oven to 300F and spray a 15-cup bundt pan using spray with flour.


1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

7 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, 6-7 minutes. Scrape down beaters and bowl a couple of times during mixing.

Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt.  Add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the whipping cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat just until ingredients are combined after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour.  Cover loosely with foil, and bake an additional 45-55 minutes more, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool in pan for about 15 minutes and then remove from pan and cool completely.  Garnish with icing sugar if desired.



This would be a terrific holiday dessert for this Christmas season.  Enjoy!

Fudgy Chocolate Cake

Fudgy Chocolate Cake

img_20161029_165911592-2  –  Chocolate Cake

I baked up this always delicious, always moist, and always popular chocolate cake for a friends birthday this weekend and although I did share the recipe over a year ago, thought it was worth sharing again.

I have seen many versions of this cake all over the internet but it is a Barefoot Contessa recipe called Beatty’s Chocolate Cake.  It is unbelievably simple to prepare and bakes up well.  Once you’ve made it I guarantee it will be on your favourites list as well.

The cake and icing are both fudgy…rich, moist and dense. The cake is a deep dark chocolate containing cocoa and melted chocolate.  If your looking to lighten it up (I mean in the taste department not the calorie department) you may have an icing recipe that is less dense but no matter what you top this cake with it is deliciously yummy!

As usual, before getting started on your baking, make sure you have all your ingredients at room temperature, not just the butter.  This means your buttermilk and eggs.  Let them sit out at least 20-30 minutes before using.

Tip: This recipe calls for 2 extra large eggs.  I substituted 3 large eggs and the recipe works well.  REMEMBER, unless otherwise stated recipe books and magazines use large eggs in their recipes so you may want to add them to your shopping list!

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and parchment line 2 x 8-inch cake pans. (I used 3 pans so I wouldn’t need to torte the cake into layers and reduced the baking time.)


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cups cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


Sift the flour, sugar ,cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

In a medium bowl combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.  With the mixer running on low slowly pour in the wet ingredients into the dry.  With mixture still on low speed, slowly pour in the coffee, and mix just until combined.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cake springs bake when touched lightly or a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool for about 10 minutes then remove from pan.  Left cool and chill before icing with your favourite icing.


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly

3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

3-4 cups icing sugar

2-4 tablespoons milk, cream or whipping cream

Cream butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy.   Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.

Add in cocoa powder and icing sugar and mix on low until combined.  Add in melted and cooled chocolate.  Add in milk a tablespoon at a time until mixture is smooth.

Now beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes until light, fluffy and creamy.


White Chocolate Cupcakes

White Chocolate Cupcakes

White Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes are versatile and will become a favourite.  Just because, or for your next special occasion, these are sure to fit the bill.

To take them over the top fold in about 1/2 cup of mini white chocolate chips before baking.

White ChocolateDense without being heavy and flavourful as well as moist these cupcakes can be topped with the white chocolate buttercream I shared on the blog back in June or your favourite icing.  Sprinkle with some Jimmies or top with Maltesers or chocolate sprinkles for added glamour.

I decorated each cupcake with a swirl of white chocolate buttercream and completed each one differently for fun.  Let your creative side shine.



White Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing

(modified from Intensely Chocolate by Carole Bloom)

Preheat oven to 350F and paper line 18 muffin cups.


4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped or white chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla

3/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional, to fold into batter before filling muffin cups)

Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave on low.  Mix until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.

With an electric mixer beat the butter until creamy about 1 minute.  Add in the sugar and beat until fluffy.

In a small bowl beat the eggs and vanilla together.  Add this into the creamed butter/sugar mixture and mix in well.

Scrape down bowl and beaters.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the cream in 3 additions and scrape down bowl and beaters again.

Add in the melted white chocolate and mix in gently to blend thoroughly.

Fill the muffin cups half full and bake for approximately 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.  Cupcakes are done when the tops spring back lightly when touched or a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool completely before topping off with your favourite icing and sprinkles.

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Carrot cupcakes are a classic and pretty much a guaranteed cupcake success story.  With the addition of grated carrots which add depth of flavour as well as moistness to the cupcake plus the tangy sweet combination of cream cheese, butter and icing sugar mixed together to top them off they are a hit!


Carrot Cupcakes w Cteam Cheese Icing. Top these with Cteam Cheese Icing for the traditional combination or with a buttercream icing if you prefer.  These will freeze well with or without the icing.  Let’s not forget with the addition of the grated carrots I’m sure these babies must count toward my daily veggie serving!

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots

2/3 cups brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans or walnuts


In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars and then whisk in the eggs.  Add in applesauce and vanilla and mix together.  Add in the vegetable oil and mix until combined.

Add in half of the flour mixture to the wet mixture and combine.  Add in the shredded carrots to the remaining flour mixture to coat the carrots and then add in to the batter and combine. (Coating the shredded carrots in the flour helps to prevent the carrots from sinking to the bottom of each cupcake.)

Fold in pecans.

Spoon batter into muffin cups filling about 3/4 full and bake for approximately 18-20 minutes until tops spring back lightly when touched or a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Let cool completely before icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

Beat together 1/2 cup room temperature butter with 1/2 cup room temperature cream cheese.  Add in approximately 3-4 cups icing sugar and combine on low speed.  Add in enough icing sugar to have a spreadable consistency.  Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix well.

Use a knife or piping bag to ice the cupcakes.

Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

This dense but moist pound cake comes from a tried and true recipe book, Another Cup of Sugar, by Anna Olsen.  Like Bonnie Stern’s Desserts (1988 and revised 1998), I find the recipes pretty much no fail.  The directions are clear and the end result always great giving you the confidence to try another and another and another.  Just don’t forget to work in some cardio to burn off all the extra desserts!!  Life is all about the balance, right.

I added in about a  1/2 cup of poppyseeds and glazed my pound cake when it was cool with fresh lemon juice and icing sugar.  I baked this delicious pound cake up twice in a week with it being gobbled up quickly both times.  A definite winner in my books!

This loaf has no leavener and is dense but not heavy.  The lightness comes from the cake and pastry flour as well as 5 large eggs you add into the creamed butter and sugar, so don’t skimp on the mixing time.  Make sure your eggs and butter are at room temperature before you start for best results.

I found 1 good size lemon gave me the zest required for the cake and more than enough juice to make the glaze.

Lemon Pound Cake

Preheat oven to 325F and spray and line a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

1 2/3 cups Cake & Pastry Flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

5 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp grated lemon zest

1/2 cup poppyseeds

Sift flour and salt 2 times and set aside. (I just whisked mine well.)

With an electric mixer beat butter until creamy and light in colour.  Scrape bowl and beaters!  Continue beating and slowly add in sugar and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl lightly whisk eggs only to blend.  Add beaten eggs to creamed mixture in 3 additions, beating in for about 20 seconds after each addition.  Mix in vanilla and lemon zest.

By hand add in flour/salt in 2 additions.  Fold in poppyseeds if using.

Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for 60-70 minutes.  Let cool.

For glaze you can wait until lemon loaf cools to glaze so it sets on top or you can use a skewer and poke holes all through the warm loaf and pour glaze over and the loaf will absorb lots of it.

For the glaze mix about 1 cup of icing sugar with enough lemon juice to have a pouring consistency.  Add more icing sugar to thicken if you prefer a firmer glaze on top.



White Chocolate Buttercream

White Chocolate Buttercream

Icing, frosting, buttercream…which is it?!  I grew up calling the sweet deliciousness my Mom made by combining butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and a few tablespoons of cream or milk, icing. My brother and I used to each get one of the beaters to lick once the Sunbeam Mixmaster had come to a stop.

In the U.S. I believe they refer to it as frosting, whether you make it at home or open a can off the grocery shelf.

If you were to talk to a pastry chef they would, most likely, screw their face up at what we like to top off our cakes and cupcakes with and whip out the egg whites and show us how to make buttercream.  Swiss, Italian or French buttercream, they vary slightly, but taste like heaven whether eaten directly off the spoon or with a bite of cake.

whiteTruthfully, I love it all.  True buttercream is just that…lots of butter whipped into cooled egg whites and sugar. Add in some vanilla, fruit puree or flavourings and your buttercream varieties are endless.  Butter is key so if you are not a butter lover you’d better stick with frosting from a can.

AND, what’s not to like about the slightly sweeter homemade icing my Mom made.  I still whip that up and haven’t received any complaints on it to date.

I recently made some white chocolate cupcakes and topped them off with a White Chocolate Buttercream.  photoAny leftovers of this soft, billowy icing can be wrapped well (like a Rubbermaid Foodsaver or Tupperware) and kept in the fridge for a week or so or even frozen for future use.  Just bring to room temperature before using and give it another whip with your mixer.  If just craving a sugar hit, well, I’m sure you know to grab the largest spoon you can find and dig in!!

This method is slightly different from most Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipes since your not whipping the hot sugar and eggs to make a meringue first.  I followed the method described in by Summer Stone and will definitely be doing my buttercream this way again.  Thank you!

White Chocolate Buttercream

6 oz good quality white chocolate, chopped into 1-inch or smaller pieces

4 large egg whites

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tbsp corn syrup

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla paste

Heat egg whites and sugar together in double boiler being careful to whisk mixture to keep eggs from cooking.  Bring egg mixture up to 160F to ensure sugar is dissolved and to  kill off bacteria.  Add in the tablespoon of corn syrup and mix.

Now pour egg white/sugar mixture into a heat proof bowl and put in freezer for 20-30 minutes to cool it down to about 45-60F.

Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave on low until melted and stir until smooth. Let cool.melted chocolate

In a stand mixer, beat the butter on high until light and fluffy.  Scrap the bowl and beaters and beat for another minute.  Add in the cooled syrup slowly and beat well on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Add in the vanilla paste and the cooled chocolate and beat well.

If desired add in a few drops of food colouring.  Now go ahead and swirl or spread onto your most recently baked cake or cupcakes or fill some macaroons.  Mmmm Mmmmm Yum!