Category Archives: Dessert

Best Ever Carrot Cake

I am a HUGE carrot cake fan – so I don’t tread lightly when I say “best ever”. Secret ingredient? Crushed pineapple!

Unlike most recipes where I toy with proportions/ingredients to make them even better, nothing was adjusted in this recipe from Philodeau (except, I did omit the raisins).

You will need:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cups vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups carrot (grated)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pineapple, crushed & drained
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup coconut (shredded)


Head oven to 350F.

Filter & mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine fruit & nuts. To the fruit mixture, add remaining wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Add dry ingredients to wet, 1/3 at a time.
Pour batter into greased 9×13 baking pan.
Bake for ~45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool before frosting.

BEST EVER Cream Cheese Frosting

1, 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered suga

Place softened cream cheese in bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth and not stiff. Add the softened butter and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar, 1/4 at a time. Spread evenly over cooled cake, and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Enjoy! (Pictures to come)

The Scoop on Tarts



In short, we don’t get along.

Tarts like trickery.


– Keeping the crust thin, especially for recipes that call for an egg (many do). Next time I’ll be opting for a more graham-cracker like crust (egg-less).
– Keeping the filling sweet, tart, and full. This tart has a bit of gelatin to help, it however only increased the “tartness” of the lemon juice added. Next tart, less lemon, more creme.
– Keeping the fruit…the same. Can’t do much there! (In fact, even second-picked fruits do fine, i.e. the bitter, the beat-up).

The bottom-line: tarts are not to be trifled with. Keep them simple: thin, sweeter than tart (personal preference), and fresh (no frozen berries).


Old-fashioned Banana Cake

From The Barefoot Contessa- How Easy is That?

Saw Ina make this for a bake sale on Food network.

Basically, banana bread + cream cheese frosting. Upgrade!

Tomatoes on the Vine's rendition- mine looked very similar (yes this means I forgot to take a picture, again)

  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking sod
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan.

Mix the bananas, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on low speed until combined. With the mixer still on low, add the oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and orange zest. Mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, turn out onto a cooling rack, and cool completely.

Add frosting, liberally:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Mix the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed until just combined.  Add the sugar and mix until smooth.