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Yogurt Streusel Coffee Cake

March 7, 2014

YogurtCoffeeCake_1The weekend is almost upon us! For some reason, Friday’s arrival just sort of ambushed me and I am having a hard time believing that it’s Friday. I guess that’s a good problem to have, much better than the week dragging by. We don’t have a whole lot on the calendar this weekend, which I’m totally excited about. A few dinners with friends and family, a couple of lazy mornings, and enjoying the warmer weather with the pups. Sounds pretty perfect to me!

At work I’ve been creating some really fun yogurt cake recipes. And while I can’t share the amazing recipes just yet, I did play around in my own kitchen with a completely different yogurt cake that’s delicious in its own right. My dedicated taste tester, Joe, was a big fan of this cake. Serve it as a coffee cake in the morning or as a dessert with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. It’s not overly sweet, which both Joe and I loved. But I think the best part is how easy it is to make.

I hope that wherever you are the weather is getting warmer (and yes, 30 degrees totally counts as warm!) and you take some time to relax with loved ones. See you Monday!


Yogurt Streusel Coffee Cake
Recipe type: Brunch/Dessert
Serves: 16 slices (2 cakes)
I love how easy this recipe is! You use the actual yogurt container to measure out all the sugar, oil and flour, meaning you don't need to dirty measuring cups and you can throw the yogurt container away when you're done. This coffee cake is easily my new go-to for easy, effortless entertaining. Perfect for breakfast, brunch of dessert.
  • 2 containers (5.3 to 6 oz) Greek yogurt (I used a flavored raspberry Greek yogurt)
  • 2 containers sugar
  • 1 container oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 containers all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Streusel
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • Icing
  • 1 container powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine yogurt, sugar and oil. Stir until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Beat in the vanilla.
  3. In medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to wet mixture, beating with a whisk or electric mixer until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour batter into cake pans.
  5. In small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, oats and flour. Work the butter in with your fingers until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel mixture on top of cakes.
  6. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost completely clean (a couple crumbs may remain because it's a slightly moister cake.)
  7. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cake. Turn cake out of pans and cool on wire cooling racks.
  8. Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cakes. Serve cakes warm or cool.



Rainbow Chip Mug Cake for One

February 15, 2014

Mug_Cake_4I’ve got a serious bone to pick with mug cakes. While I love the concept of mug cakes, every time I went out looking for a recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth, the mug cakes I found fell in one of the following categories:

1. Very super healthy but tasting similar to sawdust
2. Super indulgent, with as much as 2 or 3 tablespoons (!!) nut butter in a single serving, meaning 200-300 calories in nut butter alone

When I’m looking to make a mug cake, I want it to taste great but I’m also not looking to consume a huge number of calories. In that case, I would just make a regular cake or go to Whole Foods for a cupcake. The other week as I was leaving work, I swung by the company store (yes, we have a company store and it’s wonderful) and picked up a box of Betty Crocker Party Rainbow Chip cake mix. We don’t usually have things like cake mix sitting around at home since I’m more of a from-scratch baker, but something about that Party Rainbow Chip was calling my name.


Turns out I was right. I’ve found plenty of ways to use the cake mix I picked up last week. I was delighted when I figured out that I could make an incredibly easy and tasty mug cake with just a few ingredients. A little bit of cake mix, an egg white and a few tablespoons of milk is all you need to make a mug cake any night of the week. While it’s not exactly health food, it’s certainly healthier than a lot of the mug cakes out there and tastes so much like a regular cupcake! From now on, I’ll be keeping a box of cake mix in my pantry just in case.

Healthier Rainbow Chip Mug Cake for One
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
This is my go-to weeknight dessert when I'm craving something sweet but don't want to totally bust my healthy eating for the day. It's easy and incredibly tasty and has enough protein to keep you full thanks to the egg white.
  • ¼ cup Betty Crocker Party Rainbow Chip cake mix (or similar cake mix)
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  1. In small bowl, whisk together the cake mix, egg white and milk until smooth. Spray a mug with cooking spray. Pour cake batter into mug and microwave 30 to 40 seconds or until cake is cooked through. It's better to undercook than overcook mug cakes.
  2. Serve cake warm plain or with a dollop of Greek yogurt or peanut butter as "frosting."


Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake

January 28, 2014


Maybe you’re already thinking about Valentine’s Day? Maybe, if you’re like me, you think Valentine’s Day could be done a little better. I like Valentine’s Day, but I really don’t like the chiche roses and pressure to do something grand or give the perfect gift. A couple years back, Joe and I agree to never go out to eat on Valentine’s Day. We usually go out to eat a couple weeks before or a week after the actual day, avoiding the crowds and the craziness and the fixed menus.

This year, with the incredibly cold weather we’ve been having, I think my idea Valentine’s Day date goes something like this: watch a movie in our pajamas, drink red wine, eat this Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake. It’s pretty simple, really.

I don’t have a clue why it took me so long to make a flourless chocolate cake, but I’m a little embarrassed. I think I’ve always associated flourless chocolate cake with restaurant menus and sophistication and difficulty. In reality, it’s a no-brainer! I frequently find myself out of flour, but I almost always have cocoa powder and some semi-sweet chocolate and eggs, meaning I’m never more than a few ingredients away from a delicious, easy and impressive cake.

If you’re like me and have been putting off making one of these cakes, delay no more! Grab some high-quality chocolate, cocoa powder, sugar and eggs and get to baking something sweet for your sweetheart. And don’t feel the need to wait for Valentine’s Day. This cake is easy enough to make even on a weeknight, but I can’t guarantee it will last longer than a day.


Flourless Chocolate Cake for Two
Adapted from

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon high quality vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s brand unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder)

Heat oven to 375°F. Grease 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment. Set aside.

In small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in the sugar until well combined. Add eggs, whisking after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and cocoa powder until just combined.

Transfer batter into cake pan and bake 22 to 25 minutes or until edges have set and formed a crust. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Invert onto plate or platter. Cut into wedges to serve.

Happy Baking!


Marcia’s Rhubarb Cake

June 10, 2013


Happy Monday, friends! I’m struggling to get on the Monday bandwagon this week, if we are being really honest. Joe and I have both been battling a sore throat for the last couple days and we had a terribly sick little pup Thursday and Friday, which was awfully scary. Thankfully, it appears to have been a bout of puppy flu, and she is back to her normal chipper self. Never have I been so thankful to see that little tail wagging again!

If I had to sum up last week, I think I would call it the “Week of Rhubarb Desserts.” Joe and I literally ate rhubarb dessert four out of five weeknights last week. Crazy, right? But when it is in season, you have to take advantage!

The real kick-off to our rhubarb dessert eating was the fact that my sweet older neighbor, Marcia, brought over a large bag of rhubarb from her garden. Along with the rhubarb she included a couple of her favorite rhubarb recipes, including a super simple family favorite recipe for rhubarb cake. I love old recipes, especially recipes that have been handed down from other bakers with much more experience, so it took about 10 minutes for me to get baking this cake.


As with most older recipes, there are a lot of ways you can go wrong. The directions are usually pretty vague and don’t necessarily provide much direction or explanation, meaning there is plenty of room to make a mistake. However, I’m happy to report that this cake was a huge hit with everyone who enjoyed it! It’s a simple cake that is very easy to pull together. I called for an electric mixer in the recipe, but I made the recipe twice and didn’t use an electric mixer the second time. The cake turned out beautifully both times, so use what you feel like using.

One word to the wise: This cake is better when it is made the day you are planning on serving it. Since the rhubarb has a lot of moisture it tends to make the cake soggy on the second and third days after baking. It’s still totally edible and delicious (Joe still ate it all!) but maybe not worthy of serving guests after the first day. Pop it in the oven while you eat dinner, then serve it warm with a cup of coffee and some ice cream after you eat your meal.

Marcia’s Rhubarb Cake
Makes 12 to 16 servings
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped rhubarb
Additional sugar for sprinkling atop cake

Heat oven to 350F. Combine sugar and butter. Beat until well combined with an electric mixer. Beat in the egg and buttermilk until combined.

In large bowl, combine the baking soda, cinnamon, salt and flour. Add flour to wet ingredients and beat until just combined. Stir in the rhubarb by hand.

Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons sugar atop cake. Pour batter into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 34 minutes or until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean. Cool 10 minutes before cutting.

Happy Baking!

Pink Ombre Cake

April 16, 2012

First things first. The winner of the Keep It Sweet Desserts giveaway is….

Congrats, Ashley! Please e-mail me ( and I’ll get you in touch with Lauren to claim your prize!

Moving right along…

For a couple of years in college, I dabbled in the wedding cake and cupcake business. It started when I made a cake for my cousin Emily’s wedding before my sophomore year in college and continued with friends and friends of friends – making small cakes and hundreds of cupcakes over the years. I think my largest wedding required somewhere around 500 cupcakes divided among three different flavors.

Let me tell you, I had no idea how much work baking cakes and cupcakes would be. It was not nearly as glamorous as the movies make it seem, and it was hard work for the small amount of money I took home at the end of a job. It didn’t take long for me to realize that decorating cakes or making cupcakes was not in the cards for me as anything more than a hobby.

That said, I still find the process of decorating a cake to be a great creative outlet and super relaxing when you’ve got no objective in mind. No wedding to worry about, no cake delivery fiasco, no bride to please. Pure bliss.

I’ve seen pictures of bright and colorful ombre cakes popping up all around the web. Something about the slight change in color, layer by layer, drew me in. But since the fun was more about the changing color of the layers rather than the cake itself, I did something I don’t usually do… I used a boxed cake mix. And it was awesome.

Instead of taking a full afternoon, making this cake only took a matter of a couple hours. Now that I think about it, this would be a really great way to dress up a boxed cake for a birthday party or to celebrate the birth of a new baby. The cake itself isn’t going to win any awards for outstanding flavor, though I thought it tasted pretty good considering how simple it was to make. But it would stand out in a crowd for the impact it makes presentation-wise.

Pink Ombre Cake
*2 boxes white cake mix, batter prepared according to package instructions
*1 bottle red food coloring
*Double batch of Deb’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream (seriously the best cake-decorating frosting around) OR 3 containers purchased whipped-style frosting
*Edible pink decorating pearls and red sprinkles (optional)

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line two 8- or 9-inch baking pans with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottoms with a small round of parchment paper. Set aside. 
*Divide the batter between five small bowls. In the first bowl, add 25 drops of food coloring. In the second, 17. In the third, 12. In the fourth, 8. In the fifth, 4. Stir to combine. Adjust colors as desired with additional food coloring.
*Pour two of the batter bowls into the two prepared pans. Bake for 17 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center according to package instructions. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from baking pan and cool on wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter/layers.
*Once all layers are baked and cooled, level of the domed part of the layers slightly with a serrated knife. (this will help with stacking the layers)
*Place the darkest layer of cake on a cake stand. Top with frosting and the next darkest layer. Repeat with remaining layers and frosting. Sprinkle the edges of the top of the cake with the edible pearls and sprinkles. Makes 12 to 14 servings

Happy Baking!