Mandarin orange loaf

Mandarin orange loaf (1)

I love this fresh citrus loaf for a humid ending to August! I would have never thought to to mix mandarin oranges with cake, but earlier this summer my friend Katie brought over a delicious mandarin orange cake and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Finally one day when I was really craving this cake I decided to see what I could throw together with what I had.
Mandarin orange loaf (2)Almond Pound Cake Mix is something I always have because it is so versatile, and I use it for any last minute cake-ish recipes all the time. And every time it turns out perfectly! This cake turned out exactly how I envisioned it. The dark chocolate was an extra step that I didn’t originally plan on doing, but I am so glad I did. Also, I may have gone overboard with the chocolate as you can see, but in my defense it is really fun drizzling melted chocolate over something, and I couldn’t waste my good dark chocolate. It was the icing on the cake (loaf) for real! A dollop of whipped cream and your good to go.Mandarin orange loaf (3)

  1. In a medium mixing bowl stir ingredients together. Be sure not to over mix.
  2. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes.
  4. Let the loaf cool.
  5. Melt a few bars of dark chocolate on defrost in the microwave.
  6. Drizzle dark chocolate over the top of loaf, if desired.


Fresh cheesecake with raspberry topping

raspberrycheesecake (1)I am sort of on a blogging hiatus for the time being because summer is almost over and I want to enjoy every moment with my family before the craziness of school starts back up again. But, I had to quick share this delicious summer cheesecake recipe with you that I recently stumbled upon. I have used the same cheesecake recipe for years but wanted something new for my sons birthday. I love this recipe from Tide & Thyme and it couldn’t be easier. *let it be noted that this was my very first cheesecake that didn’t crack, not even one bit. yahooo! The fresh raspberry topping is incredible and the little touch of lemon in the cheesecake is super refreshing. Two thumbs up to this cheesecake. We are loving the fresh raspberries this summer. What is your favorite way to use raspberries?

raspberrycheesecakeadd (1)Head on over to Tide & Thyme for the full recipe and a ton of other great recipes.



Salted no-bake peanut butter bars

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Besides looking delicious, these bars might look familiar…I posted a recipe for no-bake peanut butter bars not too long ago ,that is almost identical. Here they are. But these bars are SALTED. A couple years ago I tried Trader Joe’s salted dark chocolate caramels, and my love for regular old sweets has slowly been fading ever since. All I want are salty and sweet desserts. Enter :this gem of a recipe. 
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First of all NO BAKE. Are there any better dessert recipes than ones that start with NO BAKE in the title? Especially in the summertime… keep that oven off as long as possible I say! Secondly, pretzels mixed right in the peanut butter batter, right in there! It’s almost like crunchy peanut butter, right?! You still have the creamy-ness and smoothness of the peanut butter but a perfectly salty crunch in your bite. And lastly, peanut-buttery chocolate topping sprinkled with sea salt. Yes please. Oh yeah, did I mention these take a whopping 10 minutes to throw together?

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To make this recipe gluten-free use a gluten-free brand of pretzels like Glutino’s.

Salted no-bake peanut butter bars
  • 2½ cups creamy peanut butter, divided
  • ¾ cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 cups broken pretzel pieces, divided (Glutino brand if you are making them gluten-free)
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  1. Grease a 9x13 pan with soft butter.
  2. In a stand mixer beat 2 cups of peanut butter and butter until smooth.
  3. Turn mixer to low and slowly add in powdered sugar until incorporated.
  4. Stir in 3 cups of the pretzel pieces.
  5. Press the peanut butter batter into your greased pan.
  6. Melt chocolate chips and ½ cup peanut butter in a small sauce pan on low heat, stirring continuously.
  7. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over top of the peanut butter layer.
  8. Smooth with a spatula.
  9. Top with remaining pretzel pieces and sea salt.
  10. Place in freezer for 15 minutes, then store in fridge for at least an hour before serving.
  11. Cut into squares before serving, dipping your knife in warm water to make clean cuts.




Cupcakes by Gaby // Snickers Cupcakes

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Sweet dreams are made of these cupcakes friends. Rich chocolate cupcakes, filled with a caramel coated snickers filling, and topped with a light caramel creamy frosting. I mean. These may be the best cupcakes I have ever had, ever, and I have had my share of cupcakes. I was a little worried they were going to be extremely rich with all the chocolate and caramel frosting and all, but they are just right. The frosting is light enough that it does not overpower the sweetness of the gooey snickers center of the cupcake, which frankly, is the best dang part.

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See what I mean? Look at that filling! snickers cupcakes (3) snickers cupcakes (4)

  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (16 T)
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Line muffin pan with paper liners
  3. In a two-cup glass measuring cup whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth; set aside
  4. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat combine the butter and the sugar
  5. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and mixture is combined
  6. Remove from heat and transfer to stand mixer
  7. Beat on a medium-low speed for 4-5 minutes until cool
  8. Add eggs and egg yolk
  9. Mix vanilla and cocoa mixture until incorporated
  10. Add the dry ingredients alternating them with the sour cream
  11. Bake 20 minutes

  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups packed browns sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 Snickers bars
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Melt the butter in saucepan over medium heat
  2. Stir in salt and brown sugar
  3. Heat the mixture to a boil, stir constantly
  4. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar is totally dissolved
  5. Stir in the milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla
  7. Cool to lukewarm, stir occasionally
  8. Once the cupcakes have cooled, use a paring knife or apple corer to cut out small circle center of each cupcake
  9. Chop the Snickers in very small pieces and combine with about ¾ cup of the caramel
  10. Transfer the remaining caramel sauce to a stand mixer and add the powdered sugar and beat on medium high for about 3-4 minutes to make the frosting.

snickers cupcakes

**tips from Gaby: If you notice that the frosting is too thick just add a little milk, if you add too much milk just add some more powdered sugar. Easy fix! Happy Friday and have a fantastic weekend. As always thanks for reading.



Cupcakes by Gaby // S’mores cupcakes

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Heaven in a cupcake I tell you. HEAVEN. When Gaby brought these over for me to photograph and taste I was truly impressed! Girl has got cupcake talent!! That marshmallow whip frosting, and those graham cracker crumbs....I can't even. I have a real soft spot for s'mores, and these cupcakes are the real deal guys.
smorescupcakes smorescupcakes (2)
  • 1 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup PLUS 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ¾ cup PLUS 2 Tbsp flour
  • 7 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ------------------------------------
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 7-10 ounces jar marshmallow creme
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • Hershey’s Chocolate or chocolate chips
  • Graham cracker crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line standard muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners; set aside.
  3. Place the graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.
  4. Place 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture prepared earlier into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup.
  5. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner.
  6. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.
  7. Place the pans in the oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, a couple of minutes
  8. Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl.
  9. Mix these together until evenly combined.
  10. In a separate large bowl, mix together the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla.
  11. Add the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
  12. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.
  13. Sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on top of the prepared graham cracker crust.
  14. Then fill liner ¾ full with cake batter.
  15. Return to oven and bake until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
  16. Transfer muffin pans to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.
  17. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  18. Beat butter until fluffy.
  19. Beat in marshmallow creme until incorporated.
  20. Add sugar and beat until fluffy (3-5 min).
  21. Add the vanilla extract and beat another 30 seconds, taste & decide if you want/need more marshmallow or if needed, add milk to get desired consistency.
  22. If you want to really step these cupcakes up a notch, you can pipe the cream into the center of the cupcake.
  23. Frost cupcakes and top with Hershey’s chocolate piece and graham cracker mixture.

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*tips from Gaby: When you put the graham cracker crumb mixture in the oven make sure you keep an eye on it because it can burn quickly. If the batter seems to be too thin, go ahead and add a tad bit more flour and sugar.