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Desserts

Plum Nectarine Pistachio Upside Down Cake

Breakfast, Cakes, Desserts, Summer

This summer, I’ve made only sheet cakes and zero pies. I have no idea what’s gotten into me. I think I’m reserving my pie muscles for fall. I also think I’ve been super lazy (and really busy) this summer, and I haven’t had time to sit and braid pie dough for hours and hours. I’ve been into more quick and easy recipes with big payoff. Like sheet cakes…and this upside-down cake.

Upside down cakes are underutilized in my very humble opinion. For this post, I teamed up with ALDI, where I go for all of my baking needs. When you go there, be sure to stock up on all the high-quality flour and sugar and brown sugar that will fit into your cart. I always do (I get bags and bags of stuff), and I always use it. Click here to find the closest ALDI to you!

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One-Bowl Chocolate Sheet Cake with Fudge-y Simple Frosting

Chocolate, Desserts, Quick and Easy

First things first: did you see the giveaway I’m doing on the ol’ Instagram?! Today is the last day! Enter that shizzz.

I’m currently in that mode where it’s the quiet before the storm. I have a super busy month coming up and I’m diligently trying to get my little duckies in a row so I won’t be crying of stress every single day. I think it’s going a’ight.

I also have a ton of summer stuff I want to make before the end of the season! It’s crazy, we’re nearly to the end of July and then we have August. And once September hits, all anyone wants to talk about are pumpkin spice lattes and apples; I’m just not ready. LIKE, SO FAR FROM READY. I’m still obsessed with stone fruit and tomatoes and cherries.

And if you can believe it, I still haven’t made a pie this season. WHUT!! I’ve been sleepin’.

Josh and I have been cooking nearly every single night, making super quick meals. I can’t wait to share a few that I’ve been making. We eat outside in the backyard, under the little stringy lights and it’s become my favorite time of day.

This sheet cake deserves a place on that backyard table because it’s the perfect summertime dessert for a group. It’s so easy and leisure.

I love me some sheet cakes because they’re so simple. No cake layers, no fancy decorating needed. All you need is a few bowls, an offset spatula and some sprinkles.

This cake is made in one-bowl and is so ridiculously moist, without being dense. You can make this on a Friday and it would be delicious for the entire weekend.

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How to Make a Corgi Cake (and a Pug Cake, Too!)

Adventures, Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts, DIY

I always feel blessed that I have a career where I get to make things every single day (basically any creative person’s ultimate goal). Sometimes it doesn’t always feel all that romantic, particularly when I’m wiping grease off my kitchens’ walls or washing an absurd amount of dishes, but even in those moments, if I think kinda hard, I’m pretty happy.

Another plus about this creative world called blogging, I get to meet other creative people, too. Last week, I drove like five minutes away to hang out with Alana and make this cake.

She makes the most unreal cakes. A lot of them are just total pieces of art that I would be shy to eat. A bonus, her cakes taste SO good. I was at a friend’s bbq and she brought some corgi cupcakes and they were so fluffy and so soft. I was in love.

SO, we thought it would be fun to make side-by-side dog cakes. I did the corgi, inspired by that feral beast I own, Amelia. And she made a pug cake, inspired by her two baby pugs.

It was also nice to have some emotional guidance and support from her because I had never made a corgi cake before and it definitely required some planning and sketching.

It was also nice to have some emotional guidance and support from her because I had never made a corgi cake before and it definitely required some planning and sketching.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake: To start things off, I made a three-layer (6-inch) chocolate cake. I used my one-bowl chocolate cake recipe because it is SO easy and delicious.

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Thai Tea Coconut Popsicles

Desserts, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Summer

#POPSICLEWEEK

My favorite week of the entire year, hosted and organized by my friend Billy.

These are not a hot, hot mess but if I’m being completely real with you, they sort of didn’t work out how I wanted them to. But it’s mainly aesthetic. The flavor was on point.

I really wanted them to look all swirly and marbled…like when you order a Thai Iced Tea but, umm, that didn’t happen. I would’ve been happy with gradient but that didn’t happen either.

So aesthetically they’re not exactly what I had in my brain but that’s just life. I really don’t think I could’ve done anything that would’ve made it so the swirl would just suspend and not actually dissolve and become one. Whatever.

I’m also gonna be real with you and tell you that I kinda dislike popsicles that have really dairy in them. I want my popsicles refreshing and on the lighter side, hence the reason why I chose to go with light coconut milk vs. sweetened condensed milk/evaporated milk (the real thai tea ingredients).

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Coconut Cake with Hibiscus Frosting

Cakes, Desserts

I’m slowly getting myself used to the idea that we are about to head into summer (tomorrow is the official day!). I mean, it’s felt like summer all week long but I need mental preparation for things like the sweltering temperatures and sweating.

As you know, I’m more of a wintery person. I like sweaters and snow and crisp breezes. This past weekend, a few pairs of shorts and summer clothes arrived in the mail, along with a beautiful straw bag that my friend Cassie brought back for me from Bali—it’s beautiful (this one is kinda similar tho the ones she bought were like a fraction of the price, of course).

I wrote lots of lists this weekend, too. I’m preparing for a biggish project that I’ll be telling you about soon! (It’s fun and cool and will result in more pretty pictures of food.)

Also, Beyonce had twins! WHEEET?!?! She had them reportedly LAST Monday. I’m mainly impressed that they were capable of keeping that private for an entire week. Go, B!

ANDDDD, The Great British Baking Show started on PBS. I love that show so very much. There are a lot of things that I’ve made on this lil’ blog (like the battenburg cake!) that was inspired by things I’ve seen on that show. The pistachio loaf cake that Benjamina made in the first episode looked SO GOOD.

Anyway, let’s talk about this cake. OMG I’m so excited. This coconut cake is so fluffy. It’s so soft. And that’s really what I want with every single cake on earth: light, fluffy, softness. It tastes EXACTLY like coconut and that’s thanks to coconut extract.

You can get it at pretty much every grocery store. I had never even seen it before but then I realized I don’t really venture into the extract category very often; I stick with plain ol’ vanilla but that might have to change soon.

The cake is a larger crumb than, most coconut cakes are, I found. The frosting is a tart hibiscus frosting that feels right with a tropical coconut flavor.

The full recipe and more photos are on BE MAKEFUL’s site!

xoxo
Adrianna

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My Favorite Cozy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts, Quick and Easy

The vibe of Friday is the best, isn’t it? It’s that feeling of almost being able to hang out and chill TFO.

I don’t have any crazy plans this weekend but it might consist of us taking a trip to the vet because Amelia is favoring/licking her left toe obsessively and she won’t let me look at it. Every time I get close she starts to show her teeth at me like a psycho. So, hopefully it doesn’t cost a million dollars/her toes are a-ok.

Moving onto cookies…

Remember when I did that nerdy post all about chocolate chip cookies? Well, that post was actually SO much fun to execute and write because I learned a whole lot about CC cookies. And I figured out how to get closer to the cookie I had in my dreams/brain.

I really love doing these types of baking experiments because I learn so much. I’m thinking of doing a post on the perfect white cake because while I’ve made a ton of cakes, I’m still searching, still learning what makes a white cake hella special. Let’s learn things together!

Also, before we begin, I’d like to give a special shout-out to my friend and helper, Billy. In case you don’t know, Billy helps me pretty much every week with helping create content for this space and he extra helped with these cookies because he loves nothing more than to talk nerdy about chocolate chip cookies.

Here’s the breakdown of the choices I made (AND WHY!) with these chocolate chip cookies.

I’ll also say that there is no perfect chocolate chip cookie because we’re all after different things. Some people like thin and chewy, some like crispy, some like super soft. Those recipes are good too.

This one is soft in the center that is slightly chewy and a teeny bit crunchy around the edges. They are not cake-y but are a little fluffy.

Ok, here is the breakdown:

MELTED BUTTER:
Most cookie recipes begin with you creaming room temperature butter with sugar(s). But melting the butter vs. using room temperature butter will lead to a chewier cookie. I’m am very down with a chewy cookie so I went the melted butter route.

BAKING POWDER + BAKING SODA:
The baking powder in this recipe gives it a bit of a lift, while the baking soda helps these cookies spread. A lot of recipes you see that only have baking soda are on the thinner side. There is nothing wrong with this but I like a bit of both.

MORE FLOUR:
I added a bit more flour in this recipe to make it a little bit thicker cookie but not too much because I didn’t want it to be dry. I love the thickness of this cookie. It’s not too thin and not too thick/cake-y/dry. It my opinion, this has a super good ratio of butter to flour.

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What’s on my Macy’s Wedding Registry!

Adventures, Desserts

Two days after Josh and I got engaged, we started wedding planning. AND THEN, we got stressed out and overwhelmed with all of the details and quit. We decided, together, that we’d take a bit of a break and just enjoy being engaged before we started up again. I’m actually glad we took a bit of a breather because now we’re super close to booking a location and venue! YAY! I have to say, I’ve enjoyed just simply being engaged. It’s been a nice, lovely and happy place to just be.

So, now that I’m ready to jump back into planning, I partnered with Macy’s to talk all things wedding registry. We made a special curated registry highlighting some of my favorite items (check it out here!), plus five super quick videos that I’ll be posting across Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’ve broken everything down into a few categories:

1. Getting Ready for Guests: Believe it or not, I don’t really have nice spa-like towels or sheets. I don’t even have towels for other people besides Josh and me. So I took this opportunity to register for a few things that would make people’s stay with us more relaxing and comfortable.

2. Drank Time: We currently don’t really have room for a bar cart, but we’re moving soon (more on that later!) so I wanted to get a proper bar set and nice glasses — most of my glasses are mismatched and not cohesive. I also wanted a few stands for appetizers and entertaining.

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S’mores Doughnuts

Desserts

A few days ago I was looking at my bank account activity, as you often do as an adult, and I saw a mysterious check written for the amount of $280. And then I opened the photo of the check and, umm….the handwriting wasn’t mine! WHAA! Yeah, it freaked me out. I called my bank and luckily they’re giving me my money back but it still has left me a bit on edge. Because, um, how did someone get a hold of one of my checks? I will admit that I’m sort of disorganized and messy person so I could’ve dropped it or left one in my car.

Anyway…after feeling a bit violated and annoyed, I did what you often do at times like that: I made some damn doughnuts.

It was the best cure. Tomorrow is National Doughnut Day and while I agree that the national food days get a lil’ annoying, this one is important.

National Doughnut Day was started in 1938 to honor “doughnut girls” who provided spiritual and emotional support for U.S. soldiers fighting in France during World War I. They found that giving soldiers, in dire conditions, doughnuts and coffee lifted their spirits!

Isn’t that cute?

I had my heart set on making some sort of s’mores doughnuts.

To make these doughnuts s’more-like, here is what we have going on:

1. Fluffy doughnut dough.
2. Graham cracker sugar that the doughnuts are rolled in. (It’s just graham crackers and sugar in a food processor.)
3. Chocolate cream filling.
4. Torched marshmallow topping.

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Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls

Breakfast, Desserts

A few Saturdays ago, I flew up to Maryland (from Florida when I was visiting my mama) to visit Holterholm Farms, an Organic Valley co-op farm. They wanted to show me around to meet their cows and see how their dairy is produced.

I have never had a friendship with a cow but from the few farms I’ve visited prior to this, I knew that cows have strong personalities, much like dogs. The cows on this particular farm are Jersey cows and they are so beautiful, with the longest eyelashes and funniest expressions. A few of them kinda reminded me of Amelia because she is equally as expressive and dramatic.

The eighty or so cows that live on this farm, roam and eat ONLY grass and are milked twice a day. They’re moved every single day to ensure that each day they’re eating new, freshly grown grass. I wanted to hang out with them for hours and hours; my city-slicker self could totally see farm life as the best life.

When I was on the farm and I tasted the milk and cream, I instantly knew I wanted to take advantage of their 100% grass-fed milk by putting it into a dough. I knew it would make any dough-like thing even better, even softer.

These funfetti cinnamon rolls are the softest! Have you ever had a crunchy, not soft cinnamon roll? They’re not great. And usually, I judge a cinnamon roll on how soft the center is. The edges can be crispy because sometimes they’re touching a baking dish and what-not but the center? It’s gotta be soft and gooey.

The one thing I love to do with cinnamon rolls is add orange juice to the mix; it cuts the richness just a bit and adds a nice freshness and tartness to the dough.

These cinnamon rolls are laced with naturally colored sprinkles and topped with a a delicious, tart, vanilla-spiked glaze that is BOMB.

If you want to make them “overnight” rolls, which I highly recommend, you can do the following:

1. Make the dough the night before, let them rise their 1 hour, and then stick them in the fridge.
2. Make the filling, cover the bowl and leave butter on the counter overnight so it’s soft the next morning.
3. Make the glaze and stick it in the fridge.

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Beer Ice Cream Floats + Burger Party!

Adventures, Desserts, Dinner, Drinks

It’s almost summer, which means it’s beer ice cream float time!

Last weekend, I invited Billy and Steve over and we made some copycat Shake Shack burgers (recipe coming tomorrow!) and served them with beer ice cream floats using some delicious ice cream from Coolhaus.

The first time I had a beer ice cream float was a few years ago, and I’ll admit that before I tried it, I thought it might be a little gross. But, umm, it was the exact opposite.

Beer and ice cream go SO well together, especially when paired properly. And of course, if you have a little kid around or someone who doesn’t drink, you can substitute the beer with cream soda. Cream soda universally will go with all of these flavors of ice cream.

For this post, I teamed up with Coolhaus. I first had Coolhaus back in the day when food trucks were new and cool. I’d go to these food truck parties and I always finished my grazing with some ice cream or an ice cream sandwich from the Coolhaus truck.

Now you’re able to find Coolhaus in nearly every grocery store—it’s so amazing to have watched them grow from small ice cream truck to what they are now. Coolhaus is a woman-owned, LA born business, straight out of the recession—YAS!

I figured I’d do the very difficult job of paring a handful of their ice creams with different types of beers.

Here’s what I paired and loved:

1. Dirty Mint Chocolate Chip with a stout – I accidentally and unknowingly bought a coffee stout. It was surprisingly SO amazing with the Dirty Mint Chocolate Chip, which uses real spearmint and little delicious bits of chocolate.

2. Bananas Foster with a hefeweizen – The bananas foster might be my favorite flavor because I love bananas and the dulce de leche swirl is bomb. It pairs well with a hefeweizen because a lot of hefes have banana-like-tasting notes and the tartness works well with the sweetness of the dulce de leche.

3. Chocolate Molten Cake with a cream ale – At first I thought that the chocolate molten cake would go well with a stout and I tried it that way but it was a bit too rich for me. I liked it better with a cream ale that has some oat-y, malt-y notes that pair well, but isn’t too overpowering, with the rich chocolate molten cake flavor.

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