Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Spring is in the air!! We’ve unseasonably warm weather here in Indiana the past few weeks.
With Spring on the way, it’s time to think of the next upcoming holiday, Easter is in April this year. Have you seen all the bunnies, carrots, and egg decor out in stores?! One of my favorite dessert recipes that pairs great with Easter and spring is carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. They are super moist, delicious, and have an Easter spirit about them that make them perfect for the holiday, but anytime of the year as well.

We have enjoy having meals with family for Easter and what perfect way to have carrot cake for everyone with Carrot Cake Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting …decorated cute for Easter.
Now I am pretty crafty but I am no artist when it comes to cake decorating, but these are simple to do and look cute!

I will share with you some simple decorating tips for simple Easter themed cupcakes below. Anyone can do!!

Not making them for Easter? That’s ok! A little bit of chopped pecans around the edges of the frosting is perfect!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
For the cupcakes
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp Clabber Girl baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

For the frosting
8 oz  cream cheese – at room temperature
1 stick butter – at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, and eggs and whisk together. Add the applesauce, carrots, and vanilla and stir together. Then add the dry ingredients from the previous bowl and mix all together until well combined. Add the chopped nuts and stir in.

Prepare a standard sized muffin tin with paper liners of your choosing for the cupcakes. Divide the cupcake batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Test batter with a knife to make sure it comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely.

Once cupcakes are cooled is time to add the cream cheese frosting. In a medium mixing bowl add the softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Using a hand held mixer, mix together the ingredients on medium speed until smooth and creamy. On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until it is all mixed in.

Top the cupcakes off with the frosting by piping it on or with a knife. Decorate your cupcakes.
Simply roll the edges in the frosting in chopped nuts or decorate with some Easter themes like shown below.

Recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Serve or store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

For Easter Decorating tips:
Bunny ears:
Regular size marshmallows
Pink sprinkles
Using a pair of kitchen shears, simply cut a marshmallow in half at an angle. The part that was cut open will be slightly sticky, dip that part in the sprinkles for the center pink part of bunny’s ears. Arrange them beside each other on top of the cupcake.
I added shredded coconut on top of the frosting to give a “furry”look.

Carrots:

Shredded coconut

Green food coloring

Orange Candy Melts

Put a small amount of shredded coconut in a small bowl and add a few drops of green food coloring and stir around.

Melt the candy melts and put in a plastic ziplock bag. At one corner of the bottom of the bag, cut a slit and use it as a piping bag.

Line a pan with parchment paper.

Place a little dab of coconut on the paper and using the plastic bag as a piping bag, squeeze out the melted chocolate into a carrot form. be sure to go over the coconut slightly with it so that the chocolate sets up and the coconut will stick to it.

After you have made several that you need, place in the freezer for final set up.

When you are ready to add to your cupcakes, simply remove from paper and place at the top of the cupcake.

Nest of Eggs:

Green Icing Pouch with Tip
Cadbury Mini Eggs
Simply Pipe the green icing onto the cream cheese frosting using the flower tip. Add the Cadbury mini eggs on top.
These carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are packed full of so much flavor you will love them from the first bite!

Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole


This apple fritter breakfast casserole combines all your favorite flavors of apple fritter donuts into a breakfast casserole. Simple to prepare, place in the oven, and enjoy apple fritter breakfast casserole for everyone to enjoy.

On our farmers market Saturdays. its a weekly tradition to head across the street and grab donuts from our local bakery. Sometimes our kiddos will join us at the market also, and they really enjoy the morning donuts and look forward to getting them.  My favorite is the apple fritter!

The sweet cinnamon breading with bits of juicy apples topped off with a creamy icing!

Delicious….

So simple! Prepare the ingredients and layer in the 9×13 and bake. Let cool then add the icing.

Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

Apple Mixture

5 apples – peeled and chopped ( I like more tart apples, so I used Granny Smith)

6 Tbsp. butter

1 c. brown sugar

2 tsp. Clabber Girl corn starch

2 Tbsp. warm water

Casserole Base: 

4 large Croissants (12 oz)

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. apple butter

3 eggs – beaten

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Glaze:

3/4 c. powdered sugar

4 Tbsp. heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: 

For the apple mixture

In a medium size pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar to the melted butter and stir until both are completely blended. Add the chopped apples pieces to the pan and stir until they are coated well with the sugar mixture. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer while continuing to stir. During that 5 to 10 minutes, in a small bow stir together the corn starch and warm water and add to the apple mixture and cook/stir for the remainder of the 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside while preparing the rest of the casserole.

For the casserole

In a small bowl add the heavy cream, apple butter, eggs, and cinnamon and whisk together. Pull apart the croissants into chunky pieces and place at the bottom of a sprayed 9×13 casserole dish. Pour half of the apple butter/cream mixture over the croissant pieces and then top with half of the apple mixture. Using a spoon, gently stir around the ingredients so apple mixture and the apple butter/cream mixture are somewhat coating the croissant pieces. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool down to warm. Add glaze and serve.

For the glaze

Combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract together in small bowl and stir together with a fork until smooth. Drizzle over the breakfast casserole.

Optional: Sometimes when making this casserole I will add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans when cooking the apples.

All your favorite flavors of an apple fritter together in a breakfast casserole. Bake it up for a weekend breakfast or for a special occasion. It is delicious anytime!

Hashed Turnips: A Rumford Complete Cookbook Recipe

It’s time again for another Rumford Complete Cookbook Recipe! Looking through the cookbook this month, I was looking for a recipe that I could use some fall produce that we grow. I found the Hashed Turnips recipe.


Hashed Turnips Close

I am a new fan of turnips, only first trying them a few years ago. We have grown them for several years and sell at our local farmers market, but I had never tried them. So a few years ago when we were picking for our farmers market, I tried one. Fresh right out of the garden. To my surprise they are so good!!

Raw Turnips

I think of them as a mix of kohlrabi, radish, and cabbage flavors all mixed together in one!! And so tasty raw! We just slice them up and eat them raw.

So when I saw this Hashed Turnips recipe, I was excited to try something new with them.

And it is SO delicious!! Next time making though, I will cut the salt in half just to suit my liking better. My turnips also were not large size, like they can grow to get, so I used 2 medium ones. I also used a purple top turnip, as that is what we grow.

The Hashed Turnips recipe is on page 70 in the Rumford Complete Cookbook. Below is a photo of the recipe.

Rumford Hashed Turnips

Here is my version with some updates.

Hashed Turnips

Ingredients
1 large turnip or 2 medium – about 3 cups cubed turnips.
2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cream
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped

Directions
Peel the turnips and slice thickly and then cut into small cubes. Cook them in boiling water until tender. Drain the water and return the turnip cubes back to the pan. Add the remaining ingredients; the butter, salt, pepper, parsley, and cream. Mix and bring to a boil. Serve.

Hashed Turnips Hero

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Once again, I am enjoying the many flavors of fall! Don’t you just love all the flavors of fall!!? Fall time is when we harvest some of my favorite vegetables! Sweet potatoes! I love them prepared so many ways! From sweet recipes to savory recipes, sweet potatoes are delicious so many ways. Definitely as a favorite with this Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potato recipe.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes 1

This recipe with the garlic and Parmesan brings in some savory flavors to blend with the sweet potato sweetness. It’s an easy side dish packed full of flavors.

Fall is when sweet potatoes are dug in the garden. It’s always nice to use fresh produce that we have grown to prepare different recipes and enjoy!

Raw Sweet Potatoes

These Garlic and Parmesan roasted sweet potatoes are well liked in our house and are a great side dish paired with any meal. Especially in the fall season, when we mostly think of having sweet potatoes.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients
3 medium sized sweet potatoes (peeled or skins on, cut into cubes)
1/2 of a small onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Black pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 400° F. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes (you can leave the skin on if you prefer). Chop the onion. Place the onion and cubed sweet potatoes in a bowl. Add the olive oil, pepper, and garlic powder to the bowl and mix coating the onion and sweet potatoes well. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, shredded Parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley. Serve warm.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes 3

Be sure to give these Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes a try as a side dish this fall! Add them to your Thanksgiving feast!

Sugar Cakes : A Rumford Complete Cookbook Recipe

These little sugar cakes are so simple and tasty!

I talked a little bit before about liking to make snacks for my kiddos to enjoy.

sugar-cakes1When looking through the Rumford Complete Cookbook this month, I had snacks in mind for a recipe to try!

These little cake muffins are delicious sweet treat! They are soft, moist and fluffy but yet pleasantly dense. Packed with a sweet flavor they are kid approved….my son loved these!

The Sugar Cakes recipe is on page 163 of the Rumford Complete Cookbook. Below is a photo of the recipe.

Here is my version of the recipe with some updates.

sugar-cakes3
Sugar Cakes: A Rumford Complete Cookbook Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites

Directions:
Mix together the butter and the flour in a medium mixing bowl until crumbly. Add the sugar and mix well. Beat the egg whites until slightly frothy and add them to the dry mixture. Mix together well with a hand mixer. Pour mixture into a well greased mini muffin pan for small cakes. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar onto the top of each cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

The mixture was too runny with this recipe from the cookbook to roll out at all on a cutting board and cut into small cakes. I decided to bake them in the mini muffin pan and they turned out great! Mini cakes!

The recipe makes 18 mini sugar cakes.

A moist, sweet in flavor little mini cake. Grab a handful for a little snack!

sugar-cakes4

Candy Corn Treats: Halloween Dessert Idea

Candy corn is probably one of the most popular Halloween candy treats! Maybe the most recognized for the Halloween time of year. What a fun twist on rice cereal treats and Halloween together is to make Candy Corn Rice Cereal Treats.

It’s always fun to put together a fun creative treat! These are great for your child’s class snacks, to pass out for trick or treating, or just a fun twist on rice cereal treats in the fall time!

candy-corn-treat1

Candy Corn Rice Cereal Treats

Ingredients:
mini marshmallows
rice cereal
stick butter
red food coloring
yellow food coloring

Directions:
For the Yellow layer:
2 1/2 cups rice cereal
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
yellow food coloring

For the Orange layer:
2 cups rice cereal
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 Tbsp butter
red and yellow food coloring

For the White layer:
1 cup rice cereal
1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows
1 Tbsp butter

candy-corn-treat2

Spray an 8 inch round pan with non stick spray. You will want to have wax paper available ready to use to shape your cereal in the pan, so the cereal doesn’t stick to your hands and is easier to shape. You can use the microwave or stovetop, whichever you prefer.

Starting with the yellow layer, melt the butter and add the marshmallows and melt them together. Then add the yellow food coloring, a few drops for the desired yellow color and mix together. Then add the rice cereal. Mix together well until all the cereal is coated with marshmallows. Shape the yellow layer around the outside edge of your round pan.

For the orange layer, melt the butter and add the marshmallows then melt them together. Add the yellow and red food coloring to get the orange shade. Remember only a little bit of red coloring needed and more of yellow to get the orange shade. When you have your desired orange color, add the rice cereal and mix together well until the cereal is coated with marshmallows. Shape the orange layer around the inside of the yellow layer in the pan.

For the white layer, melt the butter and add the marshmallows then melt them together. Add the rice cereal and mix together well until the cereal is coated with marshmallows. Then add to the center of the round pan.

Make sure all the layers are pressed in the pan and pressed together.

Allow the rice treats to cool fully and set up for 30 minutes. When they are ready to cut, simply flip over the pan on a cutting surface and remove the treats from the pan. This is where a well greased pan is important, so it all comes out together. Using a large knife cut the rice treats into triangles around the circle. This will give you the Candy Corn look.

Makes 8 Candy Corn Treats. Double or triple the batch to make more of this easy treat.

candy-corn-treats

Put a popsicle stick in the end, wrap in a clear party bag and tie with a colorful ribbon for a great treat for school or trick or treating!! Everyone will love them!!

Persimmon Pudding: An Old Fashioned Classic

Persimmon pudding is an old fashioned classic in the Midwest during the late fall and winter months. A dense, moist, sweet and almost custardy type dessert – a delicious flavor to enjoy along with all the other favorite fall flavors!

Persimmon is in season here in Indiana in the fall months. Persimmon are grown in the southern part of Indiana. There is even a Persimmon Festival in September. Persimmon pudding is a favorite old fashioned dessert for the fall and winter months.

I was introduced to persimmon pudding a few years ago! It’s actually one
persimmon-pudding2

of my dad’s favorite recipes that my grandma makes this time of year. I had always heard them mention it, but had never tried it until a few years ago. I loved it too!! This is a recipe my grandma learned from her mom, I asked her if she minded if I shared it here.

persimmonpudding5

Persimmon Pudding

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp Clabber Girl baking powder
3 eggs
1 pint persimmon puree

Directions:
Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix with a handheld mixer until mixed well. Pour mixture into a 9×13 baking pan and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Stick a butter knife or toothpick in the center at the end of the 50 minutes to check if the pudding is baked all the way through. Bake a little longer if it’s not. Cool to somewhat warm before serving. Top it off with cool whip before serving. Serve it in cut out squares or dolloped in a bowl.

Once cooled, the persimmon pudding can be stored at room temperature for about 8 hours. Then in the refrigerator for a day or 2. Simply reheat until warm in the microwave to enjoy more.

Persimmon pudding is a lightly spiced, with its own flavor, baked pudding that is similar to a custard with a pumpkin pie texture.

Thanksgiving is almost here and it would be paired perfectly with a big Thanksgiving feast. Add persimmon pudding to your Thanksgiving menu this year and years to come.

persimmon-pudding4

Oatmeal Sticks – A Rumford Complete Cookbook Recipe

oatmeal sticks 2It’s back to school here in our town! The boys have been back for about 3 weeks! We had a great summer and looking forward to Fall. Looking through the Rumford Complete Cookbook this month, I was looking for something that could work for the kids’ lunches or a snack and I came across this Oatmeal Sticks recipe.

I like to try to make up a variety of snacks for the kids homemade here and there. This recipe is super easy and doesn’t take long to put together and bake. Double or triple the batch to have more made up.

The Oatmeal Sticks recipe is on page 120 of the Rumford Complete Cookbook. Below is a photo of the recipe.

oatmealsticks recipe

Here is my version of this recipe.

Oatmeal Sticks

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup butter – softened
1 1/2 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup oatmeal or rolled oats
3 tsp Rumford Baking Powder

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder and mix together. Add the butter and blend in with the dry mixture. Scald the milk and then add to the oatmeal in a separate bowl and stir. Add the oatmeal/milk mixture to the dry mix and butter and mix together until well blended and smooth. Use hands and roll dough into sticks. I did about the thickness of a pencil, but a little shorter. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 425° F. I got 60 sticks out of one batch!

I did have a small bowl of flour to add a little to the dough as I was rolling out the sticks that prevented it from sticking to my hands.

Apple Cream Pie….my most favorite pie

apple cream pie 4I love pie, especially fruit pies! Today I am sharing my MOST favorite pie of all pies. Flavors of apple and cinnamon with a creamy texture all in one with this Apple Cream Pie. Definitely one of my favorite flavors of Fall.

When I tell people I’m making an apple cream pie, most say they have never heard of it.

This is my Grandma’s recipe. It is a recipe that has been passed down and made for several generations and I have always enjoyed it. I remember the day I asked her to teach me the recipe and she was so happy to show me. We got the ingredients and I learned how to make my most favorite pie of all! I even asked her for permission to share the recipe on my blog. It is super easy and DELICIOUS!! Plus I am so happy that I have learned one of my Grandma’s recipes (along with a few others).

I especially like this pie during the holidays and in the fall when apples are in season. You can use any variety of apple, although there are specific apples that are better for baking. My favorite apple to use is Cortland or Gala. I prefer more of a tart apple.

So here is the recipe:

Apple Cream Pie

makes 2 pies

Ingredients:
3 lbs of apples
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
Deep Dish pie crust – package of 2 or use homemade recipe below
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
Cinnamon

Homemade pie crust rather than pre-made crust
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup all- purpose flour
1/4 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. salt
10 Tbsp. butter, cold and cut into chunks
4 oz. cold water

Directions for homemade pie crust:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the chunks of cold butter and mix the butter into the flour using a pastry blender. Continue to do this until the mixture looks like bread crumbs or small pieces of butter. Add the cold water and stir into the mixture so that it all sticks together. Clump the dough all together to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. You want the dough chilled and cool, but not hard. This will make it easier to work. Roll out the dough to a circle on a lightly floured surface. Lay the circle of crust dough in your greased pie pan. Then do the directions below to fill your pie crust.

Directions:
-Place your pie crusts on a cookie sheet, one that has a rim (Do this before filling your pie crusts, to prevent spillage once you pour in the cream)
-Peel, core, and slice your apples into thin slices
-Mix 2 cups flour and 2 cups sugar together in bowl

Filling the pie crusts is simply an alternating and layering process.
This is how I do mine.

-Sprinkle flour/sugar mixture on bottom – just enough to cover the bottom
-Layer of apples
-Flour/sugar mixture
-Sprinkle cinnamon – more or less for your taste
-Layer of Apples
-Flour/sugar mixture
-Sprinkle cinnamon
-Layer of Apples
-Flour/sugar mixture
-Sprinkle cinnamon

Once your pie crusts are filled, divide the 1 pint of whipping cream between the two pies, half pint on each. Pour it all around the top of each pie. Be sure to not get too close to the brim of the pie crust. When baking, the cream will rise up and may spill over (hence the cookie sheet underneath for baking).

Place in the oven at 425° F for 15 minutes. Then bake at 400° F for 45 minutes.

Cool until pie is slightly warm before serving.

Savory Potatoes: A Rumford Complete Cookbook Recipe

Its garden season here in Indiana! Looking through the Rumford Complete Cookbook this month, I thought it would be nice to try a recipe using some sort of vegetable from the garden. We are definitely a potato eating family, so it seemed fitting to try a potato recipe. It sounded delicious and a great addition as a side to our meal.

Savory Potatoes 4

We are harvesting a wide variety of produce in the garden right now, potatoes being one of them. Each Spring we plant several hundred pounds of a few different varieties to grow for our farmers market booth and ourselves.

The Savory Potatoes recipe is on page 67 of the Rumford Complete Cookbook. Below is a photo of the recipe from the book.

Here is my version of the recipe with some updates:

Savory Potato Dish

Savory Potatoes Recipe

Ingredients:
6 medium sized potatoes (I used fresh new potatoes, so I used an amount about equivalent to 6 medium potatoes.
2 small onions
1 pint milk
salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:
Clean and slice the potatoes into thin slices. Chop onion into small minced size pieces. In a baking dish, create a layer of potatoes. Then sprinkle lightly with onion. Add salt and pepper for taste. Repeat layers until out of ingredients. Add milk over the potatoes to cover them. Bake at 400 degrees for an hour or until potatoes are tender.

These potatoes smelled delicious as they were baking and reminded me of walking into my grandma’s house as she was making a meal for the family. The smell of potatoes, onion, and pepper together takes me back to a smells of a homestyle meal.

This side dish was a great addition to our meal and will be enjoyed again!