Strawberries and Cream Icebox Pie

Next time you’re looking for a summer dessert that everyone is sure to love, look no further than this strawberries and cream icebox pie. It is a true summer staple, the icebox pie is made with fresh summer strawberries and then has a creamy filling that cools to be almost like an ice cream cake, it’s an all around amazing pie, and best part is that it is a no-bake dessert!Strawberries and cream ice box pie from @sweetphi

I’ve always loved strawberry desserts. When I was growing up my mother used to make us each our favorite kind of cake for our birthdays. While my sisters would always opt for a chocolate cake (like this raspberry and chocolate layer cake) I would always want something with strawberries. Even my wedding cake had strawberries in it! I’m a strawberry fiend! So clearly I’m ALL about desserts and pies that include strawberries, like this strawberries and cream icebox pie. Boiled strawberries for strawberry icebox pie

I think my favorite thing (besides the flavor combination) about this pie is that it is a no bake pie. No preheating the oven and baking something, no sitting in the kitchen sweating as the temperature inside reaches the high of the temperatures outside The only thing one does is boil the strawberries so they get all soft and syrupy, and then one mixes the cream layer together while the strawberries are cooking.

Cream filling for strawberry icebox pie

The whole pie takes all of 15 minutes to put together, then one just lets it set it the refrigerator (or ‘icebox’ if we’re being retro and cool like that) for a few hours (or overnight) and then viola, strawberries and cream icebox pie perfection.

Strawberries and cream icebox pie from @sweetphi

I usually end up making this pie the night before events I bring this to. It’s really nice to be able to make a dessert ahead of time and then day of the event not need to worry about a thing.

Strawberries and cream no bake pie from @sweetphi

Do you see the Mexican street corn salad in the picture above? That is also a bring-along favorite!

The next time you’re looking for a crowd pleasing summer dessert, definitely make this strawberries and cream icebox pie to bring along!

Strawberries and Cream Icebox Pie
 
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Serves: 1 pie
Ingredients
  • 1 premade graham cracker pie crust
  • For the strawberry layer:
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced, then divided
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the cream layer:
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, at room temp
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (16oz) container cooled whipped topping
Instructions
  1. In a sauce pan add about ¾s of the strawberries, ¼ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to boil and thicken, about 5 minutes) then remove from heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes while making the cream layer.
  2. In a bowl with a hand mixer cream together the cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Having the cream cheese at room temperature keeps it from clumping, so make sure the cream cheese is not cold. Cream until smooth (about 2 minutes) then add in the cooled whipped topping and beat until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Spoon strawberry mixture from the sauce pan into the bottom of the pie dish, next spoon and smooth the cream mixture on top of the strawberries. Lastly add the remaining fresh strawberries as decoration on top. Refrigerate the pie 4 hours or overnight, then slice and enjoy!

Strawberries and cream icebox pie - the perfect no bake dessert for summer from @sweetphi

Orange Vanilla Bourbon Root Beer Floats

Sip on these orange vanilla bourbon root beer floats and feel like a kid again with the nostalgic flavors of a root beer float! Made with rich orange and vanilla extracts from Nielsen-Massey, these adult floats will be your new favorite summer cocktail.

Orange and vanilla bourbon root beer floats from @sweetphi

Ah summertime, sweet summertime.

Gentle breezes, the smell of sweet cut grass and wonderful warm weather, it just begs for cold cocktails! And is there anything better than summer cocktails that include ice cream? Why yes- summer cocktails that include the delicious sweet creamy Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract that has velvety after tones, paired with the always wonderful citrus notes of the pure orange extract.

Nielsen-Massey orange and vanilla extract

Now, I’m no stranger to the fine extracts from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. I grew up in Chicago, so in terms of vanilla extracts, I’ve loved and used Nielsen-Massey Vanillas– for literally as long as I can remember (the over 100 year old family owned and operated company is located in Illinois). I have always loved playing around with flavors and adding unique flavors to things, and one of the best ways to add rich flavors to things without using a ton of ingredients is by using extracts.

Orange vanilla bourbon root beer floats

Root beer floats are such a summertime drink. And with the countless BBQs and enjoying time outside, it’s always nice to have a little recipe that can serve as both a dessert and as a cocktail, an ice cream cocktail if you will. The secret to making good cocktails is to know what flavors go together. Earthy root beer is complimented by the sweet notes of Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract, and that of course goes perfectly with a splash of bourbon. The unique twist in this cocktail is the few drops of orange extract, it adds a twist of brightness and it brings the whole cocktail together. And since today is Five Ingredient Friday – these floats only have five ingredients!

Adult root beer floats - root beer floats with bourbon from @sweetphi

Something that I like to do when making these cocktails is to scoop vanilla ice cream ahead of time onto a baking sheet and then freeze it, that way when I’m ready to make the cocktails I don’t have to sit there scooping, I can just make all the drinks at the same time.  After you’re done making these adult root beer floats stir them with a spoon (I always love to sneak a spoonful of ice cream).

Vanilla bourbon root beer floats from @sweetphi

Next time you need a deliciously refreshing summer cocktail, look no further than these orange vanilla bourbon root beer floats.

Orange Vanilla Bourbon Root Beer Floats
 
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Author:
Serves: 1 float
Ingredients
  • Per float:
  • ¼ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey pure orange extract
  • 3 small scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1 oz bourbon
  • ¾-1 cup root beer
Instructions
  1. Start by measuring out extracts and putting them in the bottom of a glass.
  2. Next add in the ice cream scoops, pour in the bourbon, and then slowly pour in the root beer until it bubbles and foams at the top.
  3. Stir the float a couple of times, then serve and enjoy!
Notes
The recipe is for one individual flat, make as many as desired using the same recipe :)

This post is sponsored by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas (for more information be sure to check out the Nielsen-Massey website or follow Nielsen-Massey on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting the brands that make the SweetPhi blog.  All thoughts and opinions are as always mine alone. Happy summer!

Salted Honey Blondies

Enjoy these salted honey blondies as the perfect dessert for summer (or really the perfect dessert for any time of year, they just make me think of sunshine and outdoors!) The light flavor of honey comes from using Honeycomb cereal in the batter as well as real honey, and is finished off by a nice hint of sea salt, making it the most wonderful sweet and salty combination!
Salted honey blondies from @sweetphi

Summertime is finally upon us! The sun is shining, and life is good.

Life is good because when the sun is out and the weather is warm, I feel like being outside – I’m not the only one, am I? It makes me feel all around happy. You know what else makes me happy? Honeycomb cereal! No joke, I’ve loved the cereal forever,  the little honeycomb shaped cereal just begs to be eaten whenever I feel like cereal.

Honeycomb cereal

As I was getting to the bottom of the box once I saw that the contents were a little crushed up – you know what I’m talking about, the little bits that get stuck in the corners – and as I was pouring them into a bowl, a thought crossed my mind that I could use the the cereal like a flour.

Honeycomb ccereal

That’s right. Crushed up Honeycomb cereal used as a flour! You just HAVE to try it. The cereal grinds up really nice and fine in a food processor and then can be used instead of a flour, which is exactly what I did with this recipe. The end result is just phenomenal! The first time I made these (I’ve made them several times, each time getting rave reviews until I got the recipe juuuuust right for you) I gave a little square to my husband to try and said asked what he thought, he said he needed another just to be sure (haha) and then he said ‘you know, they remind me of childhood, a really homey and comforting dessert with an adult twist, I just can’t stop eating them.’ I squealed with delight, that is EXACTLY what I thought they tasted like.

Salted honey blondies from @sweetphi

The salted honey blondies have a subtle sweetness from the honeycomb cerial, and then the perfect finish with the sea salt, they taste almost like a butter cake, but better. The next time you need to bring a dessert to a gathering, bring these – there won’t be a crumb left!

Salted Honey Blondies
 
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Serves: 16 blondies
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Honeycomb cereal, crushed (makes 1 cup crushed)
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup butter), melted
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp sea salt (fleur de sel)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a food processor pulsate the cereal until it is a fine powder and only a few small pieces remain.
  3. In a bowl melt the butter for 30 seconds in the microwave, then add all the remaining ingredients except the sea salt to the bowl (crushed cereal, flour, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla extract) and stir until combined, then spoon into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden grown, then remove from oven and sprinkle sea salt on top as soon as it comes out of the oven. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes, then slice up (I slice into 16 bars - 4 x 4) and enjoy!

Salted honeycomb blondies from @sweetphiThis post has been sponsored by Post Honeycomb cereal. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting the brands that make the SweetPhi blog.  All thoughts and opinions are as always mine alone. Happy baking!

Chocolate Raspberry Cake {with raspberry whipped cream filling and chocolate frosting}

Today I’m sharing a recipe for a chocolate raspberry cake with raspberry whipped cream filling and chocolate frosting that is actually a guest post for Lynn of Order in the Kitchen for her Torte Tuesday series, I’m still on vacation, but will be back soon!

Chocolate raspberry layer cake - with raspberry whipped cream filling and chocolate frosting

A little bit of a back story – Lynn and I met at a blogging conference last year and have been super close ever since. I can’t even tell you the amount of time we spend talking, texting, and social media-ing. It was so much in fact, that I had to change my phone plan for more minutes and more data. Stop talking to Lynn? That was clearly not an acceptable alternative! My husband calls my phone my ‘Lynn communication device’ … I think you’re starting to see the magnitude of our friendship and communication level.

chocolate-raspberry-layer-cake

When Lynn started doing Torte Tuesdays I squealed with excitement. I LOVE series! I have a series called Five Ingredient Fridays (every Friday I post a recipe with 5 ingredients or less) and one of the things I love most about Order in the Kitchen is all the fun legal-themed series.

Fee Simple Fridays? Sign me up!

Present Sense Impressions? I’m game!

So as Lynn and I were talking about a torte she was making for the series, I told her all about how I loooooved tortes and how “aren’t fancy cakes the best?” She just kind of said “umhmm” and we kept talking about tortes.

Raspberry whipped cream filling for chocolate cake

One would have thought that as I food blogger I would have known the difference between a cake and a torte, but let me tell you, I did not.

I was under the impression that a torte was another way of describing fancy cakes, the kind that one can only get at Parisian bakeries or have fancy layers and/or toppings. Ooooops. Luckily, I have Lynn in my life, Lynn the lawyer who so graciously explained what tortes are to me, otherwise until this day I would probably have been embarrassing myself telling people about ‘tortes’ when I was really talking about ‘cakes’

As Lynn points out in her description of Torte Tuesdays a “Torte, with an “e” is “a rich cake, especially one containing little or no flour.”

chocolate raspberry layer cake

Well, that is a far cry from what I thought, and to this day we still laugh at how I did not know that.

Today, for Torte Tuesday (in a nod to our inside joke of me learning what a torte was) I’m sharing the recipe for a super-rich and ultra-decadent chocolate and raspberry cake with raspberry whipped cream filling and a chocolaty frosting. It is one of my all-time favorite cakes. It is super fancy, and has smooth chocolate flavors that are complimented perfectly by the gentle tartness of the raspberries. THIS is the cake that my family requests I make for holidays and parties (they say ‘can you make the chocolate raspberry torte’ when requesting it…so I blame my not knowing on them, thanks mom – lol!)

Chocolate-raspberry-cake

As this post goes live, I actually have the pleasure of being on a trip with Lynn! I’m sure we’re both posting up a storm on social media, so be sure to follow us! Lynn on Instagram, Phi on Instagram, and if you haven’t already seen, Lynn guest posted a delicious 5 ingredient carbonara pasta on my blog last week that is definitely worth checking out!

Chocolate Raspberry Cake {with raspberry whipped cream filling and chocolate frosting}
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • 3oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 ½ cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup raspberry preserves, seedless
  • For the frosting
  • 8oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs corn syrup
  • Toppings (optional)
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Chocolate pieces
Instructions
  1. For the cake -
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of two springform pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate has melted (mine usually takes about a minute and a half.)
  4. Then in the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer in a big bowl) pour hot coffee and sugar and beat on medium speed until combined. When chocolate is done melting, use a spatula and pour it into the bowl and mix.
  5. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir to combine.
  6. In a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients (eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract) and whisk to combine.
  7. Now, alternating between the wet and dry ingredients, pour ⅓ of the mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer containing the coffee/sugar/chocolate mixture. In between pouring in thirds of the dry and wet ingredients, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  8. Divide the batter between the two prepared springform pans and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (I always set my springform pans on a baking sheet in case of dripping when baking).
  9. When cakes are done baking, remove from oven and allow to completely cool before cutting/frosting.
  10. To make the filling simply whip the whipped cream and raspberry preserves together until fluffy.
  11. To make the frosting simply combine all the ingredients over medium-low heat and stir to combine until all the ingredients melt together, then allow to cool for at least half an hour or longer – the frosting will harden a little to a semi-soft and malleable consistency.
  12. To assemble the cake, run a sharp knife over the top of the cakes horizontally so that the top of the cake is flat (discard remnants). Cut each cake in half (horizontally so that each cake forms two layers).
  13. Place one layer of cake on a serving dish then spoon ⅓ of the raspberry whipped cream on top and smooth it out, then place another layer of cake on, and spread ⅓ of the raspberry whipped cream on, smooth it out, then place another layer of cake on and spread remaining ⅓ of raspberry whipped cream on and place final layer of cake on. Run a spatula around the cake sides to make sure that there are no bulges of whipped cream.
  14. With a spatula smooth and spread the frosting on, then garnish with fresh raspberries and chocolate chunks if desired. All the components of this cake can be made ahead of time and then assembled day of :)

 

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Spring and summer fruits come together in this vegan strawberry rhubarb crisp!

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb CrispPhi here – Ever been in need of some delicious vegan dessert recipes? Well, my friend Abby has got you covered! She is the blogger over at The Frosted Vegan and I cannot wait to use rhubarb this summer because of this recipe! I’m still traveling (you can follow my travel adventures on Instagram or Snapchat-Sweetphi user name) but I’ll be back in the next few days! Now here’s Abby:

Hi there! I am so excited to be guest posting for Phi while she is taking a little bit of a vacation. Phi and I both live in Milwaukee and I can’t even tell you how great it is to have a fellow food blogger so close. She gets my crazy food blog brain and sometimes even tolerates me pummeling her with endless questions about SEO and food photography backgrounds. Now, moving on to this crisp!

Strawberries for strawberry crisp

This time of year, I try to get my hands on all the strawberries I can, especially while they are ripe and perfect for baking. Most of the time, I eat them all fresh, topping my oatmeal or just eating them straight up. But, I knew I wanted to try my hand at a strawberry rhubarb crisp this year, so I saved a few back just for this.

Vegan Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

The thing I love most about baking strawberries is that they get even juicier and sweeter while they slow roast in the oven. The crunchy, sweet topping on this crisp combined with the bubbly fruit underneath is a combination I just can’t (and won’t!) ever pass up on. Using solid coconut oil (or butter, if you want to sub it in) for the topping is key. While the crisp is baking, the solid oil melts and creates that perfect crust on top that just begs to be topped with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. Look for the biggest, juiciest strawberries when you are shopping for the ingredients, they make the best filling!

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 3 stalks rhubarb, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 or 9x9 pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the rhubarb, strawberries, ½ cup of the sugar, orange juice, and cornstarch. Transfer into the greased pan.
  3. To make the topping: Combine the other ½ cup of sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, and rolled oats. Cut in the solid coconut oil until the oil has broken down into pea sized pieces. Sprinkle over the top of the fruit filling and bake for 1 hour. Serve warm topped with ice cream!

 

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.

chocolate-oreo-cheesecake-recipe-united-states-of-cakes

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 {winner Alex R!}

Chocolate-cheesecake

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.

chocolate-oreo-cheesecake

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
 
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Author:
Serves: 12 pieces
Ingredients
  • 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%
Instructions
  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).

Banana-Caramel-Swirl-cake

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.

Banana-caramel-cake-recipe

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
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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

Spring-and-Easter-themed-party
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!

Feeding-a-crowd-easter-party

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!

Butterfinger-nesteggs

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!)

Butterfinger-nesteggs
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)
    DIY-Flower-arrangement-with-jelly-beans

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!

How-to-make-no-bake-easter-egg-cake-pops

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.

Spring-and-Easter-themed-party

No bake Easter egg shaped cake pops
 
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Author:
Serves: 15-20 cake pops
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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!

Chocolate-chip-oatmeal-stout-cookies

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:

Philia-kelnhofer-sweetphi

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.

How-to-make-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
 
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Serves: 4.5 dozen
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  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 and the vanilla extract.
  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!

Oatmeal-stout-chocolate-chip-cookies

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!

vegan-coconut-lemon-cake

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.

Coconut-lemon-cake-ingredients

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?

Coconut-lemon-cake-vegan

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!)

Vegan-coconut-lemon-cake

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.

Vegan-coconut-lemon-cake-recipe

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!

Vegan Toasted Coconut and Lemon Cake
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ⅓ cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • juice from ½ of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • zest of a whole lemon
  • ½ cup raw cane sugar
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
  • For the frosting:
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced for top of cake
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a springform pan bottom with parchment paper and then grease the pan with coconut oil.
  3. In a bowl start by mixing all the 'wet' ingredients (coconut oil, coconut milk, vinegar, lemon juice, vanilla extract) with a hand or stand mixer.
  4. To the mixing bowl add the sugar and beat again. Then mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix again, then add in lemon zest and ¼ cup shredded coconut and mix.
  5. Spoon into springform pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting it.
  6. While the cake is cooling, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and add remaining shredded coconut to the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  7. To make the frosting cream together coconut oil and milk, then add in vanilla extract, and slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix until it is a smooth and thick frosting consistency.
  8. Spread frosting on the top of the cake, then sprinkle toasted coconut around the edge of the cake, and layer thinly sliced lemons in the top center of the cake.

This cake was made as part of my contributorship on the Rachel Cook’s blog