Archives for the month of: July, 2014

IMPORTANT: These cupcakes do contain alcohol so please eat responsibly

My sister and I made these cupcakes for her friend’s 21st birthday and they were a hit! The icing does have some mint leaves so if you do not like textured frosting, feel free to ignore that although you will miss out on the taste (we have mint in our front yard so they were quite nice to incorporate) but otherwise these were delicious and fun!


For the cake:
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 limes, zested and juiced
    • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • 1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped (use food processor of possible)
For the rum syrup:
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/8 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1/4 cup rum
    • 5 Mint Sprigs
For the frosting:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon rum
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Mint sprigs for garnish (optional)





To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir with a fork to blend. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the lime zest, lime juice, chopped mint and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until incorporated.
Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ full. Bake 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For Syrup:
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water and butter over medium-high heat.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often.
When the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat.


Carefully add 1/4 cup of rum and mix until incorporated. Add the zest of 1 lime and 3 sprigs of fresh mint, and let the syrup infuse for 5 minutes.
Beat cream cheese, butter, lime juice, lime zest, and rum together until smooth and fluffy.
Add confectioners’ sugar in 2 additions. Beat until creamy.
Add more icing sugar or juice as needed for easy spreading.
Using a fork, poke holes in the top of each cupcake once cool. Dip the top of each cupcake in the rum syrup and allow to cool. Spread or pipe icing on as desired. Garnish with a mint leaf. Enjoy!

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Another creative way to bake with ripe bananas! This recipe also has raspberries and chocolate chips and is light for those dieting days 🙂


  • 2 and 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or mix of whole wheat and all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 large very ripe bananas)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat vanilla greek yogurt (or any yogurt)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk (almond milk, soymilk, cow’s milk, rice milk)
  • 1/2 cup (or less, depending on your taste) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 and 3/4 cups fresh raspberries



Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Spray 15 muffin tins with nonstick spray. Do not use cupcake liners, muffins will stick to liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, gently toss the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together until combined. Set aside.


In a separate bowl, whisk the honey and brown sugar together – it will be thick and lumpy. Try to get out as many lumps as you can.


Add the mashed banana, yogurt, and beaten egg.


Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently begin to fold it all together. It will be very thick. Add the milk slowly and continue to gently mix the ingredients together. The milk will thin everything out, but the batter will still remain thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fold in the raspberries last. Be very gentle not to dye the batter pink from the raspberry juices. Try to not overmix the batter, which will lend tough, dry muffins.


Divide the batter between 15 muffin tins. Fill all the way to the top. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top if desired.


Bake the first 12, then the last three in another batch. Fill the empty muffin tins halfway with water in the 2nd batch to ensure even baking and prevent your pan from warping. Bake for 17-18 minutes until very lightly browned on the edges. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Allow the muffins to cool completely.


Muffins remain fresh and moist stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.  Muffins freeze well, up to 3 months.


Many times when I have some ripe bananas, I want to bake something with them, but I was starting to get a bit tired of always making banana bread or chocolate chip banana bread! So I found these two different recipes that incorporated ripe bananas in a new form. This recipe and the next one do just that!


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 medium sized bananas, mashed
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 – 16 oz chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a jelly roll pan (I use a 13 x 9 inch glass pan). Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Beat the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Beat in bananas and egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread into your pan.

Bake for 20-30 min.


In honor of the 2014 World Cup in Brasil, we tried to incorporate something from the cuisine of each of the final four countries to watch the final. We made Brazilian (pao de queijo) cheese bread as the appetizer and German bratwurst and bread for the entree all with Argentine wine and, last but not least, Dutch Speculaas for dessert!! They have a great combination of spices and are great cookies that can last quite some time.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 1/1/4 cups dark brown sugar 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 3 1/2 cups flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons speculaas spice* 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

*Speculaas spice

  • 8 parts cinnamon
  • 2 parts nutmeg
  • 2 parts ground cloves
  • 1 part white pepper
  • 1 part ground ginger
  • 1 part cardamom


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter, vanilla, and both kinds of sugar until light and fluffy. Add both eggs and blend well.


Whisk all of the dry ingredients together and slowly add to the butter mixture, combining until the dough pulls from the side of the bowl.


Divide the dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. It can also be kept in the fridge for several days.


Roll out dough to 1/4″ or 1/8″ thick and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


This crisp is absolutely divine! With good peaches and good blueberries, this recipe lets the fruity tastes stand out while adding a delightful crunch! Enjoy!


  • 4 ripe peaches, peeled and cubed
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • ice cream for serving


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a 9×9 baking dish, mix peaches and blueberries with sugar, flour and salt. Toss well and set aside.


In a large bowl, whisk together oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.


Use your fingers to add in the softened butter, crumbling it together until it’s evenly distributed.


Sprinkle the crisp over the peaches and berries.


Bake for 25-30 minutes, until crisp is golden and fruit is bubbly.


Serve immediately with ice cream and more fresh basil if desired.


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