Lemon Blueberry Cake

lemon cake

Lemonade is the ultimate summer flavor. Add some fresh blueberries and you’ve got a seasonal stand-out. Add cream cheese frosting and it’s unstoppable. Although I think most desserts need to have chocolate in them, my fiance prefers fruit-flavored sweets.This layered cake was a treat that we both enjoyed and it’s perfect for a 4th of July party! Your taste buds will be seeing fireworks as they burst with flavor.

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The recipe makes enough batter for a three-layered cake or a two-layered cake with some cupcakes. I decided to go the cupcake route to add some variety. Topped with creamy icing, the dense, moist cake makes for a refreshing summer treat.

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Lemon Blueberry Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • zest and juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (if you use frozen, do not thaw!)
  • 1 Tbsp. flour

For the frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

Make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 9″ cake pans with cooking spray and/or line muffin pan. Set aside.
  2. Using a standing mixer, beat the butter on high until creamy, about 1 minute. Add sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture and beat on low until incorporated. Add milk, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir lightly until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, toss blueberries with 1 Tbsp. of flour and gently fold into batter. Do not over mix, or the cake will be too dense.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake cake layers for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. If you chose to make cupcakes, bake those by themselves for about 10 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed for 3 minutes, until no lumps remain.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar while mixing on low speed until frosting thickens. Add cream, vanilla and salt and stir on low until combined, then increase speed to high and beat for 3 minutes.
  3. If frosting is too thick, add additional tablespoon of cream.

To assemble:

  1. If the cake layers did not come out with a level surface, use a serrated knife to trim the tops off until they are flat.
  2. Place 1 layer on your cake stand or plate. Evenly cover with frosting. Top it with the second layer, more frosting and then the third layer. Finish by frosting the top and the sides.
  3. Garnish with blueberries or lemon slices, if desired.

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Sprinkles Cupcakes

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The forecast calls for a lot of Sprinkles in Las Vegas – at least for cupcake lovers like myself! I couldn’t wait to try these sweet treats from Sprinkles Cupcakes when it opened at The LINQ this spring.

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In addition to the vast selection of cupcakes, Sprinkles also makes ice cream! Since I couldn’t decide between the two, I went for the cupcake sundae made with salted caramel ice cream and a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting. The cupcake is cut in half with the bottom at the base of the sundae, which is topped with the ice cream and then finished with the top half of the cupcake. It’s like a cupcake ice cream sandwich – amazing!

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Another fun feature is the Cupcake ATM. Located outside of the shop, it allows you to choose between the flavors of the day and then you watch a crane pick up the cupcake, put it in the box and when the little door opens, you’re cupcake is ready to eat!

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Chocolate cupcakes are my go-to and my standard of measurement for cupcakes shops. This dark chocolate flavor did not disappoint. And how can you beat this view?

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Easter Coconut Cupcakes

easter
How is Easter already in three weeks? I feel like it was just yesterday that the grocery store was full of Valentine’s Day treats, but I do love seeing aisles full of jelly beans and chocolate bunnies. The mini Cadbury chocolate eggs are one of my favorite Easter candies, so I decided to make some coconut cupcakes topped with the pretty, pastel sweet.

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 18.25 oz. box white cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes

For the frosting + topping

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 bag Cadbury mini chocolate eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tins and set aside (makes 24 cupcakes).
  2. For the cupcakes: In a large bowl, combine egg whites, coconut milk, apple sauce and coconut extract. Add cake mix and stir until combined. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins and bake for 20-22 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.
  3. For the frosting: In a medium bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with heavy cream. Add coconut and vanilla extract. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add more powdered sugar if it is too thin or heavy cream if it is too thick.
  4. Frost each cooled cupcake and then sprinkle with shredded coconut. Top with three Cadbury eggs.

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S’more Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

cupcake 2

I always want some more cupcakes! And this classic campfire treat turned unique sweet is no exception. The Nutella frosting is just the icing on the cake… literally.

These s’more cupcakes take me back to summer and sitting around a bonfire at the beach, roasting marshmallows and laughing with friends. Although it’s already warming up in Vegas, hopefully these sweet treats will offer those of you still living in the snow a little taste of summer and sunshine!

S’more Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

Ingredients

For the graham cracker crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon. sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup black coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup Nutella
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • salt to taste
  • mini marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs to decorate

How-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. To make the graham cracker crust, combine crumbs, sugar and butter until evenly coated. Place a tablespoon of the mixture into each cupcake liner. Use a glass to press down on the crumbs, until a solid crust forms. Bake for 5 minutes, let cool before filling with cupcake batter.
  3. To make the cupcakes, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, canola oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. The batter will be thin. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Fill baking cups until 2/3 full and bake for 14-16 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.
  4. To make the frosting, beat butter in the bowl of a standing mixer on high for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. Add Nutella and cocoa powder, then beat on medium speed until combined. Add 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and the vanilla extract. Add more heavy cream if it is too thick or add more powdered sugar if it is too thin. If frosting is too sweet, add a pinch of salt. Place frosting into pastry bag or Ziploc bag and use scissors to snip the corner. Pipe onto cupcakes, then sprinkle on graham cracker crumbs and mini marshmallows.

Seahawks Super Bowl Sweets

Happy Blue Friday! Since I have lived in Seattle for 23 years of my 24 years of life, I am beyond excited that the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl! I wish I was there to experience the energy and excitement of the city, but these Seahawks-themed treats will have to do.

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Cupcakes and Cashmere is my favorite blog and the pom pom cupcakes that she made in honor of the Super Bowl are so cute! Obviously the green and blue one is the prettiest ;)

superbowl 8These festive 12th Man Mojitos from Posh Little Designs are sure to liven up a Super Bowl party. From the blue and green ingredients to the 12th Man flag and football-shaped kiwi, it just screams “Go Hawks!”

superbowl 9It can’t be a Seahawks celebration without Skittles! Marshawn Lynch would love these cookies from The Emerging Foodie.

superbowl 10One of the things I miss most about Seattle is Trophy Cupcakes. You just can’t beat a triple chocolate cupcake. I’m sure these spirited sweets have been quite popular lately! As they say – “The 12th Man needs a Trophy.” Agreed!

GO SEAHAWKS!!!

Home for the Holidays

Like the song says, “There’s no place like home for the holidays!” I’ve never found this so true until I was visiting Seattle last weekend. I’m not used to the sunny winters and brown┬áscenery of Las Vegas, so it didn’t really feel like Christmas until I was able to see the green trees, gray skies and Christmas lights on the Space Needle. Below are a few photos from my quick trip.

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(1) My mom still hangs stockings for all of the kids (and the three dogs) in the family. (2) My pink “J” stocking. (3) As you can tell by the frozen fountain, it was a little chilly shopping at University Village – it got down to 15 degrees! (4) Although it was cold, I had to get the salted caramel ice cream from Molly Moon’s. (5) Ok, I also had to get my favorite cupcake from Trophy (6) I was just as excited (if not more…) to see my dogs as I was my parents. (7) Muddy – our sweet, old lab.