Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust {and a cookbook giveaway}

This chocolate cheesecake with oreo crust is decadent and rich, and is the perfect dessert to bring along for parties and get togethers!

Chocolate cheesecake with oreo crust

In our small house we have a small den. In that den is where I keep my collection of cookbooks. I don’t have just one or two cookbooks, I have probably somewhere upwards of 100. And that’s after getting rid of some every so often to make room for new ones. But that doesn’t stop me from loving cookbooks. If you ever need an idea for a present for me, go with a cookbook, I’m sure I’ll love it!

When cooking and baking, sometimes all I want to do is follow a recipe, those days I head straight for the den and look through my collection of cookbooks, I love looking at all the pictures and getting inspiration.


So when I got an email from a publisher asking if I’d be interested in receiving a few cookbooks to check out, I said ‘sure’ I’d take a peek at them, and I also made sure to ask for an additional copy for a giveaway for one of my amazing readers.

Today I’m sharing a recipe for chocolate cheesecake with oreo crust, adapted from the cookbook United States of Cake: Tasty Traditional American Cakes, Cookies, Pies and Baked Goods by Roy Fares. To win your very own copy of the cookbook, simply leave a comment telling me what your favorite American baked good is. Winner will be randomly chosen June 7th, 2015.


The United States of Cake: Tasty Traditional American Cakes, Cookies, Pies and Baked Goods cookbook is filled with pretty pictures and delicious recipes, there are several recipes that I cannot wait to try, like the nutella cupcakes (nutella anything, am I right?). The author, Roy Fares, is a world class pastry chef who shares his favorite classic recipes, all featured with his own unique twist. Desserts can sometimes be too sweet or not sweet enough. After much trial and error, Roy has found the perfect median between the two for many beloved cakes, cookies, and pastries. The book contains over 50 delicious pastry recipes from various beloved patisseries such as, Magnolia’s, Crumbs, and Sweet Lady Jane. United States of Cakes reminds us of the simple pleasures in life and showcases the sweeter side of American cuisine.


The chocolate cheesecake was delicious! It was creamy and smooth-the trick being that you have to have patience while it’s in the oven, you even leave it in the oven with the heat off, letting it bake in the residual heat. I definitely learned something new from the cookbook!

chocolate cheesecake recipe with oreo crust

Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 pieces
  • pie bottom
  • 20 (200 g) Oreo cookies
  • ¼ cup (50 g) unsalted butter
  • Cheesecake filling
  • 1¾ cups (250 g) dark chocolate, 70%
  • 3¼ cups (900 g) room temperature cream cheese
  • 1⅓ cups (300 g) sugar
  • ½ tsp (3 g) salt
  • ¾ cup (200 g) room temperature sour cream
  • 3 (165 g) eggs, room temperature
  • 1 (15 g) egg yolk
  • garnish
  • 1¼ cups (295 mL (300 g)) whipping ceam
  • ¼ cup (50 g) melted dark chocolate, 70%
  • ¼ cup (50 g) shaved dark chocolate, 70%
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Scrape off the filling in the Oreo cookies and then run the biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor. Melt the butter and add it to the crumbs. Mix well and then line the bottom of a springform, 9½ inches in diameter, with the mixture. Flatten the surface lightly with the back of a tablespoon. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Cheesecake filling:
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop and melt the chocolate in a waterbath or microwave. Let cool to a lukewarm temperature. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer in a bowl until fluffy. Whisk in the sour cream. Fold in one egg at a time and the yolk with a spatula. Finally, carefully fold in the chocolate. Pour the filling in the mold, smooth the surface with a spatula, and bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to 225 degrees and bake for 60 minutes.
  6. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake stand in the residual heat for another 40 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  7. Let the cheesecake stand in the fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, so that it hardens properly.
  8. Run a thin knife around the edge of the mold before it is removed. Rinse the knife with hot water a few times during that process. Spread whipped cream on top and drizzle the melted chocolate. Finish by sprinkling the shaved chocolate over the pie.

The adaptation I made was that I used a premade oreo cookie crust. I was feeling kind of lazy, so when I spotted an already made crust in the grocery store, I immediately picked it up, but I’m sharing the recipe as is in the cookbook. Don’t forget to enter to win your very own copy of  United States of Cake: Tasty Traditional American Cakes, Cookies, Pies and Baked Goods!

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link, if you purchase amazon products through my store at no cost to you,  I will earn a few pennies. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine alone. The SweetPhi blog will send 1 winner a copy of United States of Cake. As always, thank you for making the SweetPhi blog possible.

Banana Caramel Swirl Cake {and a huge caramel giveaway}

Today I’m sharing a recipe for a super delicious banana caramel swirl cake which uses my all time favorite caramel from Fat Toad Farm, and am doing a huge caramel giveaway!

Banana Caramel Swirl Cake

Mondays are always a little bit of a shock. An awakening from the lull of the weekend. A time to ‘get back into the swing of things.’

However, with this banana caramel swirl cake, the work week ahead is just that much sweeter (corny pun intended).


I never knew how much of a banana dessert fan my husband was until he not-so-subtly was raving about this dessert we had at a restaurant….I mean he went on and on telling me how much he loved banana desserts-well, the message was heard loud and clear: my husband loves banana desserts! Not the simple boring fruit by itself I was told, but anything involving bananas that is made into a dessert.


Armed with the new knowledge and bananas that were almost past their prime, I made a banana sour cream cake, and as I putting ingredients away in the fridge, I saw that I had an open jar of cinnamon caramel. Banana cake? Caramel? Yes, those two flavors would be absolutely perfect together! I drizzled caramel in a swirl around the cake batter, then baked it!

Banana cake with Fat Toad Farm cinnamon caramel

Absolute perfection came out of the oven! Smooth cake that is not too sweet and has a subtle banana flavor is complimented perfectly with the hint of cinnamon in the caramel, this cake is an absolute winner!

It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of caramel (these salted caramel chocolate chip cookies, these Mexican hot chocolate caramel cookies, these mini pumpkin muffins with sour cream and caramel frosting, this carrot cake with caramel spiced pecans…I could go on) and it’s not just any ‘ole caramel I love, it is Fat Toad Farm caramel.

Fat Toad Farm Caramel Sauce

Their caramel is hand made in small batches on their goat farm in Vermont, and ever since trying the caramel sauce as a sample at a market, I have been obsessed.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Since I want you to experience the deliciousness of the caramel, Fat Toad Farm and I are doing a huge giveaway! 3 winners will each receive 4 caramel sauces in different flavors! To enter simply comment and tell me your favorite way to enjoy caramel (don’t forget to fill out the widget letting me know you’ve entered! Winners randomly chosen June 7th).

Banana Caramel Swirl Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2 ripe bananas, about 1 cup mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream, reduced fat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cinnamon caramel sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350, line the bottom of a spring form pan with parchment paper and then spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl microwave butter for 30 seconds to soften it a big.
  3. Remove from microwave and then add in mashed bananas (or mash in the bowl). Then add in eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract, and stir.
  4. Add the sugar to the bowl and stir, then add in flour, baking powder and baking soda and salt and stir to Incorporate. You don't want to over stir the batter, so just stir until everything is combined.
  5. Spoon into prepared spring form pan, and then spoon the caramel sauce around the cake batter creating a swirl. Place cake pan on top of a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, then slice and enjoy!

This deliciousness is brought to you in partnership with Fat Toad Farm Caramel, thank you for supporting the brands that make the SweetPhi blog possible.

Spring Themed Party {& no bake Easter egg shaped cake pops recipe}

Today I’m sharing with you how to have a Spring and Easter themed party or get together that feeds a crowd, and a recipe for no bake Easter egg shaped cake pops which are part of a shop that has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are as always mine alone. #EasterEssentials #CollectiveBias

Finally finally finally I’m starting to see some sunshine, little rays of hope telling me spring isn’t too far off. The weather could not have been more perfect for a party this past weekend.

In the spring it’s always so much easier to get together, it’s easier to leave the house (because it’s not super dark outside so maybe it’s not as painful to leave the warmth and comfort of ones’ home) and it’s easier to spend time quality time together. But that doesn’t always necessarily make it easier to feed a crowd.

Stouffer's - buffalo-chicken-mac-and-cheese


Do you ever feel like just not cooking even though you know you have guests coming over? I know some weekends I feel like that. I still want to serve some warm food and have get togethers, I just don’t feel like being stuck in my kitchen sometimes!


That’s where STOUFFER’S® MACDADDY Family Size Mac & Cheese and BUTTERFINGER® NestEggs comes in. I was at Walmart and saw all the beautiful Easter decorations and knew I was going over to my in-laws house, so I told everyone I’d bring the food!


Easter is more than just a holiday; it’s a season of spring celebrations for me, so I decided to put together a pastel spring and Easter themed party. I have to tell you, it was fantastic. It made everyone think of spring and happy thoughts! I mean, how can you not smile when you think of little Easter bunnies and all the delicious Easter candy (what’s your favorite Easter candy? I recently discovered NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER® NestEggs and am in love!)

Here are some tips for putting together a celebration that will feed a crowd but not have you spend hours in the kitchen:

  • Decide on a theme (I chose to have a spring celebration with an Easter themeFlower-arrangement-with-jelly-beans
  • Purchase some decorations that go with your theme (I made little centerpieces by filling a glass with SWEETARTS® Jelly Beans – tangy jelly beans in cherry, lemon, grape, blue punch, green apple and orange flavors, yeah I snuck some lol – and then inserted a little shot glass into the middle and put some flowers in the shot glass).  I also used little BUTTERFINGER® NestEggs both as decoration and as an edible snack to put out on the table.
  • Decide on a simple menu that includes:
    o An appetizer (I used spinach dip with pita chips)
    o A vegetable (I used green beans)
    o A bread (either dinner rolls or a loaf of sliced bread with butter)
    o An entrée (I used STOUFFER’S® MACDADDY Family Size Buffalo-Style Mac & Cheese)
    o A dessert (I made no bake cake pops with BUTTERFINGER® NestEggs)

To make the no bake BUTTERFINGER® NestEggs egg shaped cake pops you’re not going to believe how easy it is! You crush up some vanilla sandwich coookies and BUTTERFINGER® NestEggs, then add some cream cheese and shape them into egg shapes, put little sticks in them, let them cool, dip them in chocolate and viola, you’re done!


Want a little peek inside what the party looked like in action? Check out my Instagram video:

I’ve shared my holiday Easter party ideas with you. I’d love to hear about yours! Leave a comment sharing your family traditions.


No bake Easter egg shaped cake pops
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 15-20 cake pops
  • 34 Vanilla sandwich cookies
  • 12 unwrapped NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER® NestEggs
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup blue pastel chocolate baking morsels
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips or baking morsels
  • 15-20 lollipop sticks
  1. Place cookies and unwrapped NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER® NestEggs in a food processor and process until a fine crumbly mixture and no big chunks remain.
  2. Add cream cheese and process until it is well combined (it will be difficult to mix)
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take spoonfuls of batter from the food processor (carefully remove the blade so that it doesn't get in the way) and shape into egg shapes and press one lollipop stick into the cake pop and then set on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Repeat rolling dough balls into egg shapes, sticking a lollipop stick in and placing on cookie sheet until all the dough has been made into eggs.
  5. Place cake pops into the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove from freezer.
  7. In a microwave safe bowl melt the blue pastel baking morsels until smooth and creamy stirring between 30 second intervals (mine took 2 minutes).
  8. Dip each egg cake pop into the blue melted morsels, then place back on the baking sheet. Repeat with all cake pops.
  9. In another bowl melt the white chocolate chips in 30 second intervals, then with a fork drizzle the blue eggs with white for decoration.
  10. Allow to cool for 1 hour, then serve and enjoy!
  11. Store in the fridge.


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Stout Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies that have oatmeal stout in them? Yes please! These adult chocolate chip cookies will have you feeling like a kid enjoying the nostalgic flavors of an oatmeal cookie, but with a twist, the twist being that there is a double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout used in them!


I’m going to dub this week St. Patrick’s Day recipe week, because there are a number of super delicious and scrumptious recipes I have planned and cannot wait to share with you. And on top of being absolutely delicious, these cookies were made for my first in print feature in a local Milwaukee publication called the Alcoholmanac as part of their March issue, in case you don’t live in Milwaukee, here’s a picture:


And when we’re talking about St. Patrick’s Day, of course the topic of stout comes up. Dark and rich in flavor, they’re perfect for bringing out sweet notes of chocolate and coffee. The stout I used for these cookies was a breakfast stout, the double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout from Founders Brewing. “The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and two types of coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.” The description sounds like a cookie in and of itself, doesn’t it?

Making the cookies isn’t difficult, it’s pretty much a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie, but the most time consuming part is reducing the stout. You want it to almost be a syrupy consistency, slightly thick, Even though it does take a little time, the end result is totally worth.  You then include the syrup in the batter, and bake the cookies. Out of the oven come deliciously chewy chocolate chip oatmeal stout cookies.


Yesterday I previewed that I would be sharing this recipe on instagram and facebook (I’d love to stay connected via social media) so without further a due here is the recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Stout Cookies:

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Stout Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4.5 dozen
  • 1 12-ounce bottle Oatmeal Stout (1/3 cup of liquid used after reducing)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter, unsalted, at room temperature (2 sticks)
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ½ cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 ¾ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 12 oz bag)
  1. Start by reducing the beer down, it will reduce by half (you’ll only be using ⅓ cup of the liquid, so you could only use ½ a bottle and drink the rest while baking!) Pour beer into a pot and turn on high, stirring occasionally, and cook until it has reduced into half (about 30-40 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer cream the butter and sugars, scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and beat again, and then add ⅓ cup reduced stout.
  4. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and oats and stir.
  5. Pour dry ingredients into wet and stir to combine, add chocolate chips and stir.
  6. Scoop 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and place on lined baking sheets about 1 inch apart (I get 12 cookies per baking sheet) and bake for 8-10 minutes until edges start to brown a little (only a very little, you don’t want to over bake these because they’re a chewy cookie.) Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 5 more minutes and then enjoy!


Vegan Toasted Coconut and Lemon Cake

Brighten your day and forget the cold with this light and airy toasted coconut and lemon cake that just so happens to be vegan!


Has it been cold where you live? Has it been downright cold-to-the-bone? It has literally been freezing where I live in Milwaukee, WI. With the temperatures being what they are, it makes me want to escape to a faraway land with palm trees and sand. As I was shivering standing in my cold kitchen, looking outside at the snow covered ground, all I could think about was warmer climates and sunshine.


And nothing conjures up thoughts of tropical places like the flavors of coconut and the bright color of lemons, so why not combine the two into a delicious cake? Cake makes everything better, right?


I had been playing around with the coconut-lemon flavor combination for a while, and could not have been happier at the cake form my idea turned into. Better than that, the cake just so happens to be vegan! I am not vegan, but lately I cannot get enough of coconut recipes that just so happen to be vegan (like these no bake coconut date energy bites…I’ve made them 3 times over the past month!)


The cake is subtly sweet with lemon and coconut hints of flavor, and then the sweet frosting and toasted coconut on top tie it all together. The toasting of the coconut flakes really brings out the warm coconut flavor that you want on the top of the cake.


Topping the cake with lemon slices not only looks beautiful and decorative, but as the lemons sit on top of the cake they add a little lemon flavor to the frosting that gives it an extra zip!

All around, this cake is super flavorful and reminiscent of warmer days and will bring brightness into your day!

Head on over to Rachel Cook’s blog where I’m sharing the recipe for this vegan toasted coconut  and lemon cake.

No Bake Coconut Date Energy Bites

These naturally sweet no bake coconut date energy bites are sweet little bites of absolute deliciousness, and just so happen to be vegan!


I think I’m really getting the hang of making energy bites. A few weeks ago I made cherry chocolate chip energy bites and loved them so much, that I wanted to make some again. But since I’m doing Whole30 (overview here, here and here) I can’t have any chocolate (insert sad face).


But, to be honest, after making these delicious energy bites, I’m putting it out there that I don’t even miss a version of energy bites that include chocolate, because these are rock stars all by themselves.


Here are some tips to making the best ever no bake energy bites:

  • Use a good food processor. I use this food processor, it really makes a difference texturally
  • Process the nuts first, then add in the dates and other ingredients
  • Use a cookie scoop to make even size balls, then roll with hands
  • Fun little cupcake liners make the energy bites super enjoyable (we eat with our eyes too, right? And how cute are these?)
  • Let your energy balls refrigerate for an hour or over night (and store in the fridge) this will


While making and enjoying these coconut energy bites I have been listening to books through (audio books through Amazon, currently I’m listening to The Rosie Project). I love reading but have been reading books at a slower pace then I’d ideally like so listening to books on my way to and from work (which is a good 30 min plus each way) and while I cook has been so amazing.


Need a naturally sweet snack that gives you natural energy? Look no further!

No Bake Coconut Date Energy Bites
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 13 energy bites
  • ⅓ cup cashews
  • 10 medjool dates, pits removed
  • ½ cup coconut, shredded, divided
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs water
  1. Put cashews in a food processor and pulsate for 10 seconds.
  2. Add pitted dates, ¼ cup coconut flakes, 1 tbs coconut oil and water. Process for a minute or until the mixture comes together and no big nuts or dates remain.
  3. With a tablespoon scoop or a spoon scoop out 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll in between hands to form a ball.
  4. Put remaining shredded coconut in a bowl, and then roll the ball in the coconut. Place ball in a mini muffin liner and refrigerate for an hour and then serve.Store in refrigerator.

Disclaimer: some of the above links are affiliate links, if you purchase amazon products through my store at no cost to you, I will earn a few pennies. As always, thank you for supporting the brands and products I love that make the Sweetphi blog possible. 

Coconut Cream Fruit Tarts {no bake, naturally gluten free and vegan Valentine’s day dessert}

These naturally sweetened, no sugar added, coconut cream fruit tarts are the perfect no bake, naturally gluten free and vegan Valentines’ day dessert that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and are part of a shop that has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are as always mine alone.  #MyPicknSave #CollectiveBias


Let’s talk about dates for a second.


No, I’m not talking about dates like the hand-holding-going-out-to-dinner-and-a-movie type dates (although I do love those kind of dates) I’m talking about the delicious fruit. Dates are naturally sweet and super versatile. They can be used to make little energy bites (like these cherry chocolate chip no bake energy bites) and are perfect for ‘no bake’ desserts, because they have a great moldable-yet-firm texture.


During my latest grocery shopping trip to Pick ‘n Save I was leaving the produce section and realized I forgot some raspberries….as I turn back into the section, I saw a big box of dates, right by the nuts section! I turned my cart right around and put a big box in my cart.


With my newly purchased dates (and fruit) I headed home where I was greeted by my husband (ok fine, if you want to know, I called him from down the street and asked if he could carry in the groceries for me) who upon seeing the giant container of dates asked ‘what are you going to do with these?’


My response was of course ‘eat them’ (I’m sassy like that lol).


Since I’m doing the Whole30 diet (see here and here for overviews) I can’t have any added sugar, but dates? Dates I can have! They’re sweet, and absolutely perfect for creating a little Valentine’s day dessert.


Every year my husband and I forgo the crowed restaurants with difficult to get reservations and pushy wait staff trying to turn the tables over and enjoy a nice, low key evening in. He cooks me dinner (a delicious steak and mushrooms) and I make a potato side dish (in years past I’ve made these leek stuffed baked potatoes, but this year I’m thinking I’m just going to do oven roasted potatoes in olive oil) and then dessert. And these coconut cream fruit tarts will be the perfect dessert.


The tart crusts are made with dates and almonds, and then the filling is just whipped coconut milk and then a little bit of the dates and almond mixture and then the tarts are topped with strawberries.


Since there’s no baking involved, they are perfect for making ahead the night before, but in reality they take a total of 10-15 minutes to make, so even if you start them before dinner and then let them cool a little in the fridge while you eat, they’re perfect!


Happy Valentine’s Day…what are your plans? Do you have any Valentine’s day traditions?


For more ideas from Pick ‘n Save be sure to follow them on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter

Coconut Cream Fruit Tarts {no bake, naturally gluten free and vegan Valentine’s day dessert}
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 12-14 mejool dates, pits removed
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • ¼ cup strawberries, sliced
  1. In a food processor process mejool dates and almonds until there are no big chunks (mine always forms a big ball when it's done, and it usually takes about 30 seconds to a minute on high in the food processor.) Carefully remove the blade and take 1 heaping spoonful of the mixture and set aside.
  2. Line two small springform molds or two small pans and line with parchment paper.
  3. Divide the date/almond mixture between the two molds and with hands press the date/almond mixture to form a crust.
  4. In a mixing bowl spoon coconut milk (you only want the solid parts from the can, you will see clear liquid and then solid white...the white stuff is what you want) and then with a hand mixer whip it for a minute, then add the spoonful of date/almond mixture that you've reserved and 5 raspberries. Beat until combined (there will be some small date, almond, and raspberry bits in the mixture.)
  5. spoon the coconut cream into the tart crusts and then top the tarts with raspberries and sliced strawberries


5 Ingredient M&M’s® Red Velvet Cake In A Mason Jar

These amazingly delicious 5 Ingredient M&M’s® Red Velvet Cake In A Mason Jar treats have only 5 ingredients (yes, only 5 ingredients!) and are the perfect treat to enjoy with friends and family on Valentine’s Day and are part of a shop that has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are, as always mine alone. #RedVelvetLove #CollectiveBias

5-Ingredient-M&M's Red Velvet-cake-in-a-mason-jar

Ah Valentine’s Day, a day when everything is lovey dovey and heart shaped…that holiday…it approacheth! And I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt like there’s a lot of pressure on Valentines Day. Pressure to have the most perfect of perfect date nights and get the best, most romantic presents. Ummm…can we ‘real life’ this for a second? I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy.


I don’t want to worry about yet an additional thing needing to be done or place I have to try and not be 5 minutes late to. For this precise reason I would like to propose a new type of Valentine’s Day: spend it with friends and family and create new traditions.

5-Ingredient-Red-Velvet-M&M's®-Cake-In-A-Mason-Jar-Ingredients -fom @sweetphi

My husband and I never go out on Valentine’s Day, rather, we cook dinner together. It’s nothing crazy, but it makes my heart swell with love, and it’s always delicious food. And this year I’m making these 5 ingredient M&M’s® red velvet cake in a mason jar (also, today is Friday, so say hello to another Five Ingredient Friday recipe.)


These would be absolutely perfect for a girl’s night too…one of my girlfriends once called Valentine’s ‘galentines’ and it has ever since stuck with me. How fitting for a fun girlfriends party on Valentines!

5 Ingredient Red Velvet M&M's® Cake In A Mason Jar

To make these cakes in a jar it’s actually super simple! You mix 1 box mix of red velvet cake with 1 can of dark soda, bake into little cupcake liners, then when cooled push one cupcake into a mason jar and pipe some frosting in (I was lazy and just took a spoon and spooned some in) and then put another cupcake on top and then repeat and finish by topping the cakes in jar with chopped up M&M’s® Red Velvet and M&M’s® milk chocolate ones. And voila!

How-to-make-5-ingredient-red-velvet-m&ms-cake-in-a-mason-jar from @sweetphi

See more great M&M’s® Red Velvet recipe and party ideas at where you can also download a coupon to save on your M&M’s® purchase.

5 Ingredient Red Velvet M&M's® Cake In A Mason Jar  - how to make cake in a jar

Since I’m such a sucker for themed holidays, and since at every holiday you can find little bowls of themed M&M’s® on my table, I was perusing the holiday aisle at Walmart which is where I found the M&M’s® Red Velvet!

5 Ingredient Red Velvet M&M's® at Walmart

For more M&M’s® Red Velvet inspiration, be sure to visit the Red Velvet Love Recipes page. Join the #RedVelvetLove Pinterest Party taking place at on Saturday, January 31 at 12:00pm ET for your chance at winning a $1000 Walmart gift card!

5 Ingredient Red Velvet M&M's® Cake In A Mason Jar

So grab a spoon and dig in! I’d love to know, how do you spend your Valentine’s Day?

5 Ingredient M&M's® Red Velvet Cake In A Mason Jar
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8 Jars
  • 1 box of red velvet cake mix
  • 1 can (12 oz) dark soda (cola)
  • 1 jar (16-18 oz) of cream cheese frosting
  • ½ cup M&M's® Red Velvet, chopped
  • ¼ cup M&M's® Milk Chocolate, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cupcake pan with liners and set aside.
  2. In a bowl mix together the can of soda and bag of red velvet cake mix. Spoon to fill cupcake liners ¾ full. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool on a wire rack.
  3. Unwrap one cupcake and press it into a mason jar, then scrape any remaining crumbs on the liner into the mason jar. Now either pipe frosting or spoon a tablespoon or a little more into the jar. You want it in the center of the cupcake, then press another cupcake into the jar, spoon or pipe frosting in, then add a third cupcake and frost the top of the mason jar, now sprinkle some chopped M&M's® on to and enjoy!
I found that small mason jars work the best.
Refrigerate remaining uneaten jars with plastic wrap on the top.
If you want it to look 'prettier' pipe the frosting into the jars, it can get a little messy (but still good) when you're spooning the frosting in.


Cherry Chocolate Chip No Bake Energy Bites

These Cherry Chocolate Chip No Bake Energy Bites come together in a flash, are super delicious, and best of all are a super healthy snack option!


I’m sure everyone has seen some version or another of no bake energy bites. I know I’ve heard of them for ages and seen all sorts of recipes, but never have I actually had one or tried to make them myself. To be honest, I was a little put off by the thought of making them. I was convinced I would need twenty thousand ‘trendy’ ingredients that I would never use again and wasn’t convinced that they’d taste all that good.


I had a few leftover dates from when I was making party appetizers and decided to ‘wing it’ and try making energy bites by combining ingredients in my food processor.


HOLY WOW! The end result was so absolutely delicious, consider my mind blown!


The natural sweetness of the dates melds perfectly with the tart dried cherries and then is nestled perfectly with the rich chocolate flavors!

They taste like a combination between a brownie and a piece of fudge, and I just can’t stop raving about them! Plus, they’re super healthy:

  • Dates are a good source of various vitamins and minerals.  Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc are found in dates.  It also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. (source)
  • Sweet or sour, cherries are bursting with nutrition. These petite stone fruits can help improve your health, from a better night’s rest to a trimmer tummy to managing other diseases (source)
  • Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Studies show that dark chocolate (not the sugary crap) can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease (source)
  • Dried fruits are very high in antioxidants. They’re wonderful because they’re very transportable. They’re a great snack, and they’re high in fiber, which is a big plus, because our bodies need to consume more fiber than we currently are consuming. Dates are very high in antioxidants. Any dried fruit has higher antioxidants than the fruit itself because there is less water. It’s concentrated.  Dark chocolate is number 1 in antioxidants (from Best Food Facts expert Dr. Vinson)

Cherry Chocolate Chip No Bake Energy Bites
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 30
  • 1 cup dates, pits removed (I used medjool dates but you could also use deglet nour dates)
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried tart cherries
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1½ Tbs water
  1. Remove pits from dates and place dates in a food processor along with the water. Run the food processor for about 30 seconds, and then add all the other ingredients and pulsate again until it is a smooth paste-like consistency.
  2. If it is too thick and not coming together, add a little bit more water (only a ½ teaspoon water at a time)
  3. With a spoon (careful not to hurt yourself with the food processor blades) scoop batter and roll between hands to form a ball. Place in a little wrapper or simply on a plate. You can refrigerate the energy bites for 30 minutes or store them in the refrigerator if you want a fudgier consistency (I did this and loved it!)
These energy bites can be sticky when you roll them, after refrigerating them they become firmer and a fudge like consistency.
You can also add a little less water to make them less sticky, but I find that I need the water to help with the food processing.

For this recipe you need a good food processor. I used this food processor, it is my favorite kitchen appliance ever, like ever ever!

Have you ever made energy bites?

Chocolate-cherry-energy-bitesThis post contains an affiliate link, if you purchase amazon products through my store at no cost to you, I might get a few pennies.

Note: This recipe has been made by a reader and is featured on my Reader Recreation page. If you ever make a SweetPhi blog recipe or tutorial that you’d like to share, just include the hashtag #Sweetphiblog on social media or send me an email to, I love seeing your recreations!

Green & Gold Football Party with Skittles Cupcake and Snickers Popcorn Mix

SNICKERS® Popcorn Mix and Skittles® Green and Gold cupcakes make perfect treats for your next football party and are part of a shop that has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are as always mine alone. #BigGameTreats #CollectiveBias


Here’s a little fun fact about me:  I live in the state of Wisconsin.


You might think ok, good for her, and not think anything of it. But let me tell you something about the state of WI…’Wisconsinites’ sure take their football seriously. The colors of green and gold are prominently displayed with pride everywhere.


So naturally when my husband was having some friends over for the game he asked if I could throw a green and gold party. A themed party? Yes, I’m all about that!

As I was shopping at Walmart and thinking what I could make that would fit into the theme I found myself in the candy aisle and just had to get SNICKERS … remember when I made Husband Brownies – Peanut Butter SNICKERS Brownies ? … I just had to make something with SNICKERS that would be worthy of a homegating recipe, and I had just the recipe in mind, a SNICKERS popcorn mix – hey, everyone likes snacking on popcorn while watching the big game, right?


Along with SNICKERS I decided to get Skittles and set out to create recipes for the football party.

I used SNICKERS in a SNICKERS Popcorn Mix. The popcorn mix was such a hit, I even got the sweetest text from one of the party goers:

Text convo

In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about in reference to the ‘cup thing’…let me tell you…another friend (also in attendance at our party) had given us this absolutely gorgeous rosemary plant (really it was more like a bush) but it was infested with fruit flies. I don’t know if you’ve ever had fruit flies in your home…but they’re the worst! Just the absolute worst, they multiply and just don’t go away. Elisabeth was kind enough to share some a recipe for a little death trap that totally worked (water, dish soap, and vinegar). It worked so well that I’ll do a little tutorial on it soon.

But back to the popcorn mix. It is one of those things that is just so good you’re tempted to give it a catchy name like SNICKERS Popcorn’ Crack’ but I personally hate trendy names ending in ‘crack’ because they’re usually such a let down. This SNICKERS popcorn mix is definitely not a let down, it’s one of the best party snacks I’ve ever made (one of my mother-in-laws friends makes an amazing popcorn mix that was the inspiration for this recipe.) EVER!


Making the popcorn mix is super easy actually, you’ll chop up SNICKERS bars, make a coating and stir everything together and let cool. That’s it, then you serve, and you’ll watch it disappear. Everyone loved it!


The little Skittles cupcakes come together easily too and are topped with Skittles (use your favorite team colors!)


Since they’re mini they’re super easy for guests to enjoy!


There was even a little football throwing and learning how to throw it in our tiny kitchen…I’m going to pretend like I didn’t notice… and good thing the snacks served as a distraction!


Is football big where you live? And what are some of your favorite ways to celebrate game day?

Skittles Cupcakes and Snickers Popcorn Mix
  • For the SNICKERS Popcorn Mix-
  • 6 SNICKERS bars, cut into small pieces
  • 10 cups popped popcorn (premade or microwaveable with no salt)
  • 3 cups rice crispy cereal
  • 16 oz white chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs creamy peanut butter
  • For the Skittles Cupcakes-
  • ¼ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon)
  • Frosting -
  • 4 Tbs butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 24 Skittles (pick your team colors!)
  1. To make the SNICKERS popcorn mix-
  2. Put popcorn and rice cereal in a large bowl (if you don't have a bowl big enough you can make this in two bowls and just put half of everything in one bowl and the other half in another bowl).
  3. Chop up the SNICKERS bars (I cut each bar in 3s the long way and then into little pieces.) Put the candy pieces in the bowl with the popcorn and stir a few times to combine.
  4. In a microwave safe bowl melt the white chocolate chips and peanut butter by microwaving in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until smooth and creamy (mine took about 2 minutes).
  5. Pour the white chocolate peanut butter mixture over the popcorn mixture and stir until all the popcorn is coated. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spoon popcorn onto the parchment paper. Allow to cool for an hour or two, and then break into pieces and pour in a bowl and serve!
  6. For the Skittles Cupcakes-
  7. Preheat oven to 350 and line mini muffin pan with 24 liners.
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) cream together the butter and the sugar, then add the egg and combine, then add the milk and combine, then add the baking powder, baking soda, flour and lemon zest. Beat until smooth and creamy. Use a tablespoon scoop or a tablespoon and drop 1 tbs of batter into each lined cup. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to completely cool.
  9. To make the frosting start by creaming the butter, then scrape down sides and add the vanilla, lemon juice and milk. Beat, and then scrape down sides again and add the powdered sugar slowly, then beat again to combine until desired consistency. If it is too stiff, add a little milk, if it is too runny add a little more powdered sugar. Spoon frosting into a bag and cut off the end and pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Top each cupcake with a skittle and enjoy!

Note: This recipe has been made by a reader and is featured on my Reader Recreation page. If you ever make a SweetPhi blog recipe or tutorial that you’d like to share, just include the hashtag #Sweetphiblog on social media or send me an email to, I love seeing your recreations!