Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Here in California we are under a statewide Shelter in Place directive. There’s only so much house cleaning I can do to pass the time. So now it’s on to baking. I decided to bake some treats for my elderly mother and her neighbors and make little treat boxes for them. These carrot  cake cupcakes were one of the items I made for them.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots, or more to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) can finely crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper muffin liners. Set aside.
  3. Place flour in a bowl. Add salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Sprinkle in ground ginger and cinnamon. Whisk thoroughly until combined. Set aside.
  4. Add sugar to a separate bowl. Whisk in eggs until mixture is smooth and pale yellow, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Heat butter and coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat until just melted but not too hot. Whisk into the bowl with the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add carrots, crushed pineapple, pecans, and raisins. Stir well.
  6. Stir flour mixture into the carrot mixture until no dry spots remain.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared cupcake pan. Carrot Cake Cupcakes 1
  8. Tap the pan against your counter to let any big air bubbles rise to the surface.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting, at least 40 minutes.


  1. Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and lemon juice together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar to form a smooth frosting. Spread evenly over the cooled cupcakes.Carrot Cake Cupcakes 3
  2. Garnish with grated carrots. (optional) Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake

I came across my bundt cake pan the other day. I thought to myself,  I really need to use it more often. So I went through my cupboard and found all the ingredients for a semi homemade pineapple upside down cake.  Then I found out my brother and his family were coming to town. I now had willing taste testers to help eat up the cake. My son and I would never have finished it by ourselves. It was fate.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can (20 ounces)  pineapple slices, reserve the juice
  • 1 small jar maraschino cherries (you will need about 15-20 depending on your bundt pan size)
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (thus the semi homemade description)
  • 1 package (3.4 ounce) vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a bundt pan generously with nonstick spray.
  2. Evenly pour the melted butter into the bottom of the bundt pan and top with the brown sugar. Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 2
  3. Cut the pineapple rings in half and, alternating with the cherries, place into the butter-brown sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan. Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 3
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cake and pudding mixes together. Add the reserved pineapple juice and milk. Add the eggs and vegetable oil, and mix until fully blended. Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 5
  5. Pour the batter evenly over the pineapple and cherries. Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 6
  6. Follow the cake mix instructions for how long to bake in a bundt pan. Approximately 35-40 minutes. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 7
  7. Cool the cake for about 30 minutes before running a knife around the edges and inner ring of the pan. Invert onto a serving plate and slice between pineapple rings to serve. Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 8

Black Forest Bundt Cake

IMG_6752I finally bought myself a bundt cake pan. Being a bundt pan novice, I didn’t realize I needed to spray the pan with baking spray oil so heavily.  My lesson was learned after 10% of the top of my first bundt cake stayed in the pan. Good thing I had enough ingredients to try again.  Otherwise, the bundt cake pan would have been put in the far back of a cupboard never to be seen again.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1/2 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling (use remainder to serve on the side)


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sprinkles of your choice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Prepare your bundt pan by coating it heavily with baking spray or butter and flour.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, almond extract,  vanilla extract and sugar on medium speed for 1 minute.
  4. Sift into the bowl the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt.
  5. Mix together on medium speed for 2 minutes. Batter will be thin.
  6. Top the batter with the cherry pie filling. Black Forest Bundt pan 2
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.IMG_6749 (2)
  9. Whip the heavy cream in a cold, chilled bowl until it starts to thicken.
  10. Then beat in confectioners sugar, almond and vanilla extract until the mixture begins to hold its shape.
  11. Top the bundt cake with the whipped topping and add sprinkles. If you have maraschino cherries add those too. I didn’t have enough to decorate my cake though.
  12. Serve the extra whipped topping and cherry pie filling on the side. Your guests will be pleased! Black Forest Bundt 2

Magic Lemon Custard Cake

Magic Lemon Cake 3I’ve been hearing about these magic cakes. One batter, three layers. Magic. It’s a rainy evening and there’s nothing good to watch on TV. I have nothing better to do, so why not give it whirl? So if I do this correctly, the top layer should be cake; the middle layer a custard; and the bottom layer a stiffer custard layer, more like flan.  Wish me luck.

The one thing I will note is the batter itself will be more like a crepe batter, so don’t be alarmed if you were expecting the batter to have a normal cake batter consistency.


  • 4 eggs, room temperature (separate whites from yolks)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • powdered sugar for dusting the cake


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease or line with parchment paper an 8 X 8 baking pan.
  2. Separate the whites from the yolks of the eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer and mix until egg whites are stiff. Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Next beat the egg yolks with the sugar until creamy.
  4. Add butter and vanilla extract to egg yolk mixture. Continue beating for another minute.
  5. Add flour and mix well.
  6. Add lemon juice and lemon zest.
  7. Slowly add the milk and beat until all ingredients are combined.
  8. Using a spatula, add the egg whites to your batter a third at a time. Mix in manually with the spatula. Do not over mix. You should still see bits of egg whites floating in the batter.
  9. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 70 minutes or until cake top is golden and firm. You may want to start checking at the 40 minute mark, as all ovens vary.
  10. Let cake completely cool before garnishing with powdered sugar. I put mine in the refrigerator to cool.

Hmmm.  I was a little worried as I could only see two layers from the outer sides of the cake. But once I cut it open and took out a piece, I could see the three layers. Awesome. It’s MAGIC!

Lemon Blueberry Mini Loaves

Lemon Blueberry Loaf platedI’m really loving my mini loaf pans lately. They make cute little loaves and I don’t feel so guilty when I have a second serving. Plus, if I make mini loaves my mom knows she’s going to get at least one. For this recipe I used plain yogurt because I heard it would keep the cake moist. Boy, were they right.


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar; plus additional 1 tablespoon for lemon syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour; plus additional 2 tablespoons for blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from the lemons that were used for zest earlier)
  • 1/3 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar for dusting (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter or use baking spray on 3 mini loaf pans (5.75 x 3 x 2 inch) or one loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inch)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla extract and oil. Mix well.
  4. Slowly whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix for at least 2 minutes to make sure all ingredients are well combined.
  5. In a separate bowl mix together blueberries with 2 tablespoons of flour. (This step helps ensure all the blueberries do not sink to the bottom of your batter.)
  6. Gently fold blueberries into your batter.
  7. Pour batter to prepared pan(s).
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester (toothpick) placed in the middle of loaf comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in pans for at least 10 minutes before removing from pans and placing on cooling rack to completely cool.
  10. Meanwhile, in a small pot add 1 tablespoon sugar and lemon juice. Heat on medium high just until sugar is dissolved.
  11. Once loaves are cooled, use a toothpick to poke small holes all over the top of the loaves. Brush or spoon on the lemon syrup you just made.
  12. Dust powdered sugar over top. (optional)Lemon Blueberry Loaf

Chocolate Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Chocolate Banana Pudding Poke  CakeWith my family, there doesn’t have to be a holiday or celebration to have dessert. If we get together for a family dinner, you can bet there will be dessert. Homemade or store-bought. It doesn’t matter. But there must be dessert. This was originally an “experiment recipe” and of course I tested it on my family. But now it’s my go to dessert when I want to make an effort to actually make dessert, but don’t necessarily have the time or energy to be a Master Chef.


  • 1 box Devil Foods cake mix. (You can make your own from scratch. But why? Take the help when you can get it.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 package instant banana pudding mix 5.1 ounce size
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 4 medium bananas
  • 1 carton Cool Whip topping 8 ounce size
  • Optional: sprinkles or fruit for decorating


  1.  Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the cake batter according to directions using the water, oil and eggs.
  3. Pour the cake batter in a 9X13 baking pan that has been lightly coated in baking spray or wiped throughout with vegetable oil.
  4. Bake for 35-38 minutes.
  5. Let the cake completely cool down.
  6. When the cake is cool, use the bottom of a wooden spoon and poke holes throughout the cake. Yes, I know you just baked it and watched it rise to become a smooth surfaced chocolate cake. But I mean it. Get to poking! That’s why it is called a “poke” cake. 
  7. Next, whip the banana pudding mix with 3 cups cold milk for 2 minutes.
  8. Immediately pour the pudding onto the cake, making sure all holes are filled with pudding.
  9. Put the cake into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to let the pudding completely set.
  10. In the meantime, cut up 4 bananas into slices.
  11. Pull the cake out of the refrigerator and arrange the banana slices on top of the pudding layer. Be sure to cover entire cake.
  12. Now layer the Cool Whip topping over the bananas.
  13. Add sprinkles and/or fruit to decorate.Choc Banana Cake 7

I hope that you and your family enjoy this cake as much as my family does. You don’t have to tell them how easy it was to make. That can be our little secret.