Recipes

Decadent Double Layer Chocolate Cake

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Chocolate Lovers – this one’s for you.

This cake is hands down, the best homemade chocolate cake recipe ever.
You’ve gotta trust us on this one – we’ve tested many different kinds of chocolate cake recipes over the years, and this one blows away all the others.

This cake is soft, light, fluffy, and perfectly chocolatey. {All the things a good chocolate cake should be.}

The cake’s super fluffy & moist texture is due in part to a few things.. the use of buttermilk, and coffee! That’s right – 1 cup of hot coffee is used in this cake to help accentuate the chocolate flavour. Don’t worry, it will NOT make the cake taste like coffee.
Buttermilk is also used to help keep the cake super moist. (Buttermilk really is a great baking ingredient for cakes & cupcakes.)

For the frosting, we decided to ditch the usual chocolate buttercream that is often used for this kind of cake and went with a Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting instead. Neither of us are big fans of buttercreams, as they are usually extremely sweet and overpowering. We always tend to frost cakes using a whipping cream frosting because it is a lot lighter, less sweet, and just seems to taste better & fresher.

Natasha made this cake a few weeks ago for a birthday, and everybody raved about the cake so we decided to make a Valentine’s version! This chocolate cake is perfect for any occasion – decorate it however you wish! ūüôā

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Nummm! You can see just how moist & fresh the cake is.

This cake is amazing because it actually stays fresh like this for days after baking!
{Keep cake covered at room temperature for up to 4 days to ensure freshness, or covered and refrigerated for up to 6 days.}

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Decadent Double Layer Chocolate Cake Recipe + Directions

Note: it is very important that eggs are at room temperature for this recipe! using eggs at room temperature will allow the cake to rise properly. using cold eggs could ruin your cake.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder {not dutch processed}
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting Ingredients:

250g whipping cream
Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Syrup (to taste)

Directions:

Butter & flour two 9-inch round cake pans & set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, & salt; set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttermilk, oil, room temperature eggs, & vanilla.
With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined. Add in the coffee. {Batter will be very wet – it is supposed to be. don’t worry!}

Pour the batter evenly into the 2 prepared baking pans and bake for approx. 24-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the beater/whip attachment, whip the whipping cream on medium-high speed for 2-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in chocolate syrup to taste, and mix.

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Happy Valentine’s Baking!
Natasha & Laura xo

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Recipes

Mini Red Velvet Donuts

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Valentine, Oh Sweet Valentine!
{We’re at it again. We can’t be stopped now, we’re on a roll.}
This time we decided to try these delicious Red Velvet Mini Donuts. Oh so adorable.

These red velvet donuts are little mouthfuls of Valentine’s goodness. If you love red velvet, you will looove these donuts!
They are soft & not overly sweet. The icing balances the overall flavour, and adds that little bit of sweetness that red velvet cakes need.
Being that these are mini donuts, you can feel less guilty about devouring 10 of these little guys instead of one big donut! ūüėČ

This recipe is super easy to make, and is one of our favorite Valentine’s treats.

Happy Baking Everyone!

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Laura baking with love! xo

Oh, I just have to point out this vintage apron I’m wearing.
My parents got it for me this Christmas and I was more than giddy over it.
Love. It. So. Much.
It’s so hard to find cute aprons so I couldn’t be happier when I laid my eyes on this one!

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Baked Red Velvet Mini Donuts Recipe

Donut Batter:
{yield 4 dozen mini donuts}
1 tbs. red food colouring
2 tbs. cocoa powder
2 c. flour sifted
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. melted butter

Directions:

Mix together food colouring and cocoa powder to form a paste in small bowl.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray donut pans with a nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, butter and the red paste mixture beating until combined.

Fill each donut cup approximately 3/4 of the way full.
Bake 5-8 minutes making sure to not over cook. (In our oven they were perfect after 5 minutes)

Let donuts cool in the pan an additional 3-5 minutes before removing onto a wire rack.
Let donuts cool completely before icing.

Vanilla Glaze Icing:
2-4 tbsp. hot water
2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir all of the ingredients together until sugar is completely dissolved. Use icing immediately to glaze tops of the donuts. We found it was easy to dunk the tops of the donuts into the glaze then place onto a wire rack until set.
Tip: If icing forms and becomes too thick while glazing the donuts, add a drop or 2 of hot water, mixing well.

Happy Valentine’s Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Recipes

Pink & White Vanilla Delight Cupcakes

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so in keeping with our ‘Valentine’s Day Baking‘ theme, we have yet another Valentine’s recipe to share with you guys!

This is my favorite recipe yet. These Pink & White Vanilla Swirl Cupcakes really are perfect for Valentine’s Day.
These cupcakes have a cake-like consistency (from the cake flour), and are light, tender and fluffy.
They even taste delicious without the icing – we almost ate them all up before icing them!

Really though, the best thing about these cupcakes is obviously how pretty they are.
They really are gorgeous to look at – the pink & white marbled cake with the bright pink & white swirl icing make these cupcakes the ultimate Valentine’s treat!

Happy Valentine’s Baking!

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Pink & White Vanilla-Delight Cupcakes Recipe

Ingredients:
{yield: approx. 2 dozen cupcakes}

5 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup (total) whole milk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
pink or red food colouring

For the Vanilla Buttercream Icing:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar
4-5 tablespoons milk (preferably whole milk)
pink food colouring

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites, 1/4 cup of the whole milk, and the vanilla extract. Stir till combined; set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients together (cake flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt) on low speed for approx. 30 seconds.
Add in the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of whole milk & mix on low speed until just combined. Increase speed to medium and mix for 1-2 minutes.
Add the egg mixture in three separate batches, beating on medium speed for approx. 20 seconds after each addition.

Divide the batter in half and add a good amount of pink food colouring to one half of the batter. Mix until the food colouring is coated evenly.

Using a spoon, put a spoonful of white batter into each cupcake cup. Top with a spoonful of pink batter, and repeat until cups are 2/3’s full. After, use a butter knife to gently marble the colours.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (A few little crumbs on the toothpick is good – you don’t want to overcook them!).

For the Icing:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the icing sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the milk and beat on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until icing is light and fluffy. You may need to add a little more milk to get it to the consistency of your liking. Divide icing into two batches, and mix in the pink food colouring to one of the batches.
To get the pink and white swirl icing – Using a piping bag fitted with a 1M star tip, fill one side of the icing bag with white icing, and the other side of the bag with the pink icing.

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Happy Baking!
Natasha & Laura xo

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Recipes

Perfectly Pumpkin Cake Bars

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Pumpkin + Milk Chocolate Chips + Pecans = Perfection!

I love making dessert bars for many reasons… Let me count thee ways:

1) They’re super easy to make. Just throw the ingredients together, and pop it in a pan.
2) They almost always turn out moist & delicious.
3) anddd they usually taste even better the next day!

These Pumpkin Cake Bars are definitely no exception. They are moist, full of flavour, & are quick and easy to make.
While they are pretty cakey & fluffy fresh out of the oven, by the next day they almost have a nice chewy, blondie texture to them. They’re the best of both worlds!

I chose to use milk chocolate chips & pecans, but feel free to use whichever extra goodies you prefer.. from walnuts to any kind of chocolate chips.

This is one of my favorite Pumpkin recipes for Fall. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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Perfectly Pumpkin Cake Bars Recipe

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin
1 1/2 – 2 cups milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9″x13″ inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking soda & salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter & sugars together on medium/high speed until smooth. Beat in egg, & vanilla until combined. Beat in the pumpkin.

4. Reduce speed to low, & mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips & pecans with a wooden spoon of spatula.

5. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in pan.

Notes:

– Bars stay fresh for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
– Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

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Enjoy!
Xo Natasha

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Recipes

Candy Corn Cupcakes

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To get into the Halloween spirit, we made these adorable Candy Corn Cupcakes!

These are definitely my favorite cupcakes that we’ve made in awhile. They are perfect for any Halloween get-togethers, and kids will adore them.

Not only are they cute and perfectly Halloweenish, they are also easy to make! Don’t let the yellow/orange ombre fool ya – these cupcakes are super simple and use white cake mix for the batter. They are nice & fluffy, and have a faint taste of almond, so nummy!

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We used a 1M Wilton star tip for the icing, and bought the cute little ghost toppers from Michaels.

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Fresh out of the oven.

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What the inside looks like.

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Candy Corn Cupcakes Ingredients + Recipe:

(yield: 15-20 cupcakes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag white cake mix (we used Betty Crocker)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • yellow & orange food colouring (approx. 2 teaspoons of each colour)
  • pre-made icing, or any icing of your choice (we used Duncan Heinz)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the beater attachment, beat all the ingredients together (except for food colouring, and icing) for 1 minute on low speed. Scrape down the sides of bowl, and continue mixing on medium speed for another minute or so.
  2. Divide the batter into 2 medium bowls. There will be approx. 2 1/4 cups of batter in each bowl. Stir in approx. 2 teaspoons of food colouring in each bowl.
  3. Using a cookie scoop, scoop about 1 tablespoon worth of the yellow batter into each cup. It should be about 1/2 full. Hold the sides of the cupcake pan, and drop the pan onto the counter a few times to level out the batter a bit. Repeat with the orange batter.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to fully cool.
  5. Allow to cool completely, ice and enjoy!

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Enjoy!

Xo Natasha & Laura

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Uncategorized

Throwback Thursday: IPhone Photos

Happy Thursday! Just wanted to write another little update – We are still without a computer, which means the recipe posts must be put on hold for a bit! Laura’s working on a new blog post as I type this.. but since it’s ‘Throwback Thursday’, we are posting some iPhone shots… Check err out! ūüôā

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 Sneak Peak РCream Cheese Cookies with a Candy Corn Centre! 

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ImageLaura at The Keg.

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The biggest strawberry I’ve ever seen! Such a beautiful sight. – Laura

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I LOVE this book. I actually laughed out loud at some parts while reading it. Pretty sure Mindy and I should be BFF’s. – Natasha

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Laura’s new purple slippers, so comphy!

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My mom always insists on using the baskets that have wheels on them while shopping, and I always laugh at her. I took a photo to show her how funny it looks but she somehow made it look cute…

Now for the ‘Throwback Thursday’ portion of this post – because we are SO excited for Christmas time, we wanted to post a few snapshots from last Christmas…

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¬†Baking Pecan Tarts – we’ll be posting this recipe this Christmas!

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andddd¬†this¬†is what happens when we discover the Photobooth app on my Ipad…

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derpppp.

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Muahaha. Happy Halloween!

Xo Natasha & Laura

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Recipes

Eggnog & Rum Coffee Cake

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If you only make one dessert this Holiday season РI would definitely recommend this one! This Eggnog & Rum Coffee Cake is like a dream. It is a quick & effortless recipe that is perfect for the holidays and allows you to spend time with your family instead of being in the kitchen! Simply throw the batter together in a pan the night before, and refrigerate overnight. Pop it in the oven the next morning and ta-da! You get a perfectly moist, spongey, light, festive & delicious eggnog coffee cake!

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Eggnog & Rum Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon spiced rum
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Eggnog Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon eggnog

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9″x13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, mix all of the Streusel Topping ingredients (sugar, flour, butter, nutmeg) together with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together 1 cup sugar & 1/2 cup softened butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in 1 cup eggnog, 8 ounces sour cream, 1 teaspoon spiced rum and 2 eggs until well blended. Stir in 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda & 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. Spread batter evenly into the pan and sprinkle with the streusel topping. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F. Uncover pan and bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 – 20 minutes. Mix the powdered sugar & eggnog to make the Eggnog Glaze and drizzle over cake.

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Batter before refrigerating & baking.

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Enjoy!

Natasha xo

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Uncategorized

Sunday Family Dinner

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Tonight we had my grandparents over for dinner & my mom and I made Chili with an Eggnog & Rum Coffee Cake for dessert. We usually have Sunday dinners at my Grandparents house, but we wanted to switch things up a bit and make dinner for them instead. They always make the most delicious meals, so we had our work cut out for us!

My mom’s¬†famous chili is¬†sooo¬†good. So,¬†Sooooo good that I actually¬†ended my 2-year stint of Vegetarianism tonight and ate meat. Yup, that’s right. After 2 years of not eating¬†any¬†meat, I ate the chili tonight and¬†it. was. delicious.¬†No regrets whatsoever!

The meal turned out great, but the company was even better. We love spending quality time with family and always look forward to our Sunday family dinners.

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imageWatching the Vancouver Canucks game.. typical Canadians & proud of it! (this is the only photo I could get of my grandparents tonight. they hate the camera, i had to sneak this one!)

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Lame-o IPhone selfie

Image Reppin’ my Jason Mraz concert tee.

Random fact: I cried like a baby for a good 3 songs during his concert. What can I say, music makes me emotional, can’t help it.

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My mom’s a babe. She makes holding a tub of sour cream look good.

ImageMmmm, chili.

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The meal that ended my Vegetarianism!

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ImageZeus Photo Take # 1.

Image Zeus. Photo Take # 2. He was so not down with the photo-taking. Such a little grump tonight haha.

Xo Natasha & Laura

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Beauty & Cosmetics

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things… (Instagram Edition)

Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with Instagram?

I love that you can find great ideas & inspiration on Instagram, its a simple way to make your photos look good, there’s literally thousands of photos for any subject that you’re looking for & its also a great way to keep up with friends & family (aka stalk-your-ex-boyfriend). ūüėČ

On the other hand – you have to look through a ton of (how do I put it..) not-so-great photos to find quality ones, and it seems like every other photo is of a half-naked girl doing a duckface selfie.

So yes, Instagram has its pros & cons but I’d say the pros outweigh the cons…

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Here a few of my favorite Instagram photos:

(note: i did not take or own any of the photos above. instagram users are credited below.)

Top Left: Quilted Couch by Instagram User –¬†elsiecake

OBSESSED with that couch. I will have a couch like that in my place someday. (a girl can dream!)

Top Right:¬†Braided Updo by Instagram User –¬†thestylebrowse

If I weren’t totally useless at doing my own hair, I would totally wear this bun everyday. (i mean it,¬†everyday. seriously. that’s how much i love it.)

Bottom Left:¬†Bright Floral Cake by Instagram User –¬†goodiegirlcooks

This cake caught my eye.. I love the bright colours and the technique used for the flowers. I’d love to try flowers like that on a cake someday.

Bottom Right: Homemade¬†Pumpkin Cozies for Coffee Cups by Instagram User –¬†faithsyarnworks

Guys. How cute are these?! I’m obsessed. They would be a great gift for any girl who’s obsessed with pumpkin spice lattes. Ordering one soon!

Love/hate Instagram? Comment & let us know! 

Natasha xo

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Recipes

Light Pumpkin Spice Cake Bars

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Guess who’s back? Back again.
Pumpkin’s¬†back. Tell a friend.
(Yes, I just used Eminem’s song lyrics & put the word pumpkin in it ūüėČ )

I just couldn’t stay away from baking with pumpkin for very long… After contemplating for a good 20 minutes on what to bake today, I decided to bake some Light Pumpkin Spice Cake Bars!

I wanted to make something a little healthier than I normally bake and thought bars are always easy, but tasty!

To skinny-tize these Pumpkin Bars, I used a half cup all-purpose flour, and a half cup of whole wheat flour. The whole wheat adds nutrients & goodness, and the all-purpose gives the bars a nice light texture. Whereas when we just use whole wheat flour in recipes, the baked goods tend to be pretty heavy & thick.
I think the combo of the two flours make it the perfect consistency.
We also reduce the amount of butter & eggs in this recipe which makes the bars healthier.

These pumpkin bars are super moist, and have a cake-like consistency.
Although these bars are delicious on their own, feel free to add some walnuts, white, milk or dark chocolate chips, or even some whipped cream to the top! NUM!

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Ingredients:
(makes 9 bars)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch – 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/4 cup milk (plain, fat-free, soy, or almond)
1/4 cup butter (melted in the microwave)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 8 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients until evenly combined. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar & pumpkin until combined. Add in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract and stir until just combined. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients & mix until evenly combined. Do not over mix.
3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool completely, than cut into 9 squares.

Notes: Bars stay fresh for up to one week stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Happy Baking!
Natasha xo

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