One day last week I was all wound up about strawberry shortcake. Like, I’d thought about it all night the night before and then I got even more pumped because I had sour cream to make my favorite sour cream pound cake.

Excited doesn’t even begin to cover how I was feeling.

And yes, I realize my feelings toward food tend to be pretty extreme.

But anyway, I put the pound cake in the oven and wanted to get started slicing the strawberries. Guess what.

We had no strawberries.

And I’m having a lazy summer. I’m only motivated to do fun things like stovetop s’mores-ing and swimming and splash padding. Going to the grocery store is not on that list.

The pound cake just sat there for days and finally I came to terms with the fact that no one was going to show up at my door with strawberries and made my kids French toast with it.

Well I finally went to the store over the weekend (with a kid wearing two different shoes) and got some dang strawberries. I made this Angel Food Cake to go with them and I think I’ve decided that Angel Food is my favorite for shortcake. It reminds me of those little round sponge cakes that you can buy and I love those so much!

Angel Food Cake

about 12 servings

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups egg whites (about 9)
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  3. Sift 1/2 cup sugar and flour together twice; set aside.
  4. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  5. Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and entire top appears dry. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  6. Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/16/angel-food-cake/

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Big disaster in my life.

We can’t find Cuties anymore.

I don’t even know what to do. The baby (he’s almost 3 – not a baby) eats at least 3 a day and now they are gone from the grocery store shelves. Yesterday I found a bag of pluots labeled dinosaur fruit and thought “Hey, it’s got a dinosaur on it. Maybe he’ll eat them!”

Nope.

I’m kind of regretting using our last bag of Cuties on these cupcakes. Kind of. But not really.

Because Orange Cream Cupcakes! I’ve been really digging citrus cakes for awhile now so an orange cupcake with orange cream cheese frosting? All about it!

Don’t worry if you’re in the same predicament as me with the Cuties though – you can use any kind of orange!

Orange Cream Cupcakes

from Food Network Magazine, May 2014

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
For the frosting:
3/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons orange zest
orange gel food coloring

Instructions

    To make the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed and slowly beat in the melted butter. Beat in orange zest and vanilla.
  4. Beat in the flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 of the way. Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean Cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. To make the frosting:
  7. Bring the orange juice to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 tablespoons, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
  8. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the butter, a little at a time, until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low; sift the powdered sugar into the bowl and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla, the cooled orange syrup, and orange zest. Beat until combined. Add food coloring until desired color is reached. Refrigerate until spreadable, about 15 minutes. Spread onto cool cupcakes.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/12/orange-cream-cupcakes/

4

I’m breaking all my rules with this one.

Normally, stuff in my favorite cake would be a big no no in my house. I like my coffee cake to be just cake with a ton of crumbly topping. And then I just eat the crumbly topping off and leave the rest in the pan.

But this cake really called out to me for some reason!

It’s got the cake and the crumbles that I love but it also has a layer of cheesecake-y filling and a layer of sweetened strawberries.

It’s good. It’s really, really good.

I caught both the baby and the husky trying to sneak a piece off the counter so… I mean, that probably doesn’t tell you much since both will eat pretty much anything… but, yeah I’m not sure where I was going with that one.

You should just make it. And don’t tell me you’re not a sweet breakfast person. Because I’m not either. But cake for lunch? I can get into that.

One year ago: Sweet and Tangy Chicken
Two years ago: 
Fluffy Pancakes
Three years ago: PB&J Cookies
Four years ago: Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Six years ago: Chicken Piccata

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Ingredients

For the cake and crumb topping:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cream cheese filling:
1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
For the strawberry filling:
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with baking spray.
  2. To make the strawberry filling:
  3. Combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry in a bowl.
  4. Mix the strawberries and sugar in a pan and heat over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the strawberries have released their juices. Stir in cornstarch slurry; continue stirring until it has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you work on the rest of the cake.
  5. To make the cream cheese filling:
  6. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and egg and continue beating until everything is smooth. Set aside.
  7. To make the cake:
  8. Combine the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or just 2 forks, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure 3/4 cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  9. In another bowl, beat the sour cream, egg and vanilla extract until well blended. Using a hand whisk or a spoon, stir gently into the flour mixture until just incorporated. Batter may be a bit lumpy. Set aside.
  10. Spread the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the batter. Spread the strawberry filling on top of the cream cheese filling. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup crumbs over the strawberry filling.
  11. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the cake.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/05/20/strawberry-cream-cheese-coffee-cake/

5

Sometimes you just need a fun cupcake in your life. Am I right? (And by sometimes, I mean every day of your life.) I made these cupcakes in honor of the release of Disney’s The Pirate Fairy on Digital HD and Blu-ray on April 1st. It is the newest from the world of Peter Pan and I am pretty excited about it. I think the Disney Fairy movies are so cute – they really appeal to my love of all things pretty and sparkly. My littlest has recently been obsessed with the Tinkerbell movies so I’m sure we’ll be heading to the store first thing April 1 to pick it up. And then we’ll watch it at least 3 times that day. That’s just how we do things around here. I decided to make pineapple cupcakes because for some reason pineapples make me think of fairies. Maybe it’s all the leaves growing out of the top? I really don’t know but they do. This is also my go-to recipe when I get a last minute request for cupcakes because they are so simple and I always have the ingredients on hand. It is just cake mix and a can of crushed pineapple! That’s it! They couldn’t be easier to make and they bake up so light and fluffy. These are one of the only cupcakes that I’d happily eat without frosting on top. I went with a vanilla bean buttercream but you could top the cupcakes with anything you want. Because they are so light, I actually really like them with just a dollop of whipped cream on top and some fresh berries or even maraschino cherries. I went with a “Tinkerbell” green for the frosting and then covered it with sparkly sprinkles. You can’t make anything fairy related without lots and lots of sprinkles! I also made cute little flowers out of marshmallows because I always think of flowers when I think of Tinkerbell. The flowers are so easy – you just cut large marshmallows into pieces and dip them in sprinkles! I used chewy Sprees as the center of my flowers but you can use any kind of round candy.

Pineapple Fairy Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 yellow cake mix
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple (DO NOT DRAIN)
For the vanilla bean buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt
2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
2 - 3 tablespoons milk
For the flowers:
large marshmallows
small sprinkles
round candies

Instructions

    To make the cake:
  1. Beat cake mix and crushed pineapple until very few lumps remain. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake according to package instructions.
  2. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  3. To make the vanilla bean buttercream:
  4. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla bean paste and salt. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and milk until it reaches your desired consistency.
  5. To make the flower cupcakes:
  6. Use kitchen scissors to cut marshmallow into 5 horizontal "slices". Dip the sticky side of marshmallow into sprinkles. Position the marshmallows around the cupcake and top with a round candy.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/27/pineapple-fairy-cupcakes/

1

I hope you guys are ready for slow cooker recipes because I’m about to have a lot of them for you!

I told you guys last week that two of the boys are playing soccer now and since my husband deployed about a week and a half ago, I’m on my own when it comes to practices and games. Their practices don’t let out until late and there is no way I’m coming home at 8 pm and cooking dinner. So yeah, if you have any tried and true slow cooker recipes, send ‘em over!

I made this over the weekend and omg ya’ll, it’s so good. I very rarely crave something this sweet but I wanted boxed brownies like you wouldn’t believe. I decided to take it a step further and added some chocolate chip cookie dough and “baked” it all together in the slow cooker. It was slightly crunchy (not potato chip-crunchy, but brownie top or cookie crunchy) on the outside and gooey on the inside. I topped it with vanilla ice cream – divine!

I know it’s not much to look at but if you’re having a lazy day or just don’t feel like turning the oven on, this is the perfect way to get rid of a sweet craving.

Three years ago: Guinness and Onion Soup with Irish Cheddar Crouton
Four years ago: Banana Nut Muffins
Five years ago: Chicken and Mushroom Cheesy Lasagna

Slow Cooker Chocolate Chip Brownie Cake

adapted from Betty Crocker

Ingredients

1 box fudge brownies mix
1 packet chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup melted butter
4 eggs
1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Spray your slow cooker with baking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine brownie mix, 1/4 cup of the melted butter, 2 eggs, and the water. Stir until everything is incorporated. Set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine chocolate chip cookie mix, 1/4 cup of the butter, and 2 eggs. Stir until combined.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of the brownie batter and cookie dough randomly in the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on high 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until cooked but still gooey in the center.
  6. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
  7. (Note: I used a 2 quart slow cooker. If using a bigger one, cooking time may be shorter.)
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/17/slow-cooker-chocolate-chip-brownie-cake/

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