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! 🙂

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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

Chocolate Rum Balls

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We started early with the Valentine’s baking and now we can’t stop! Until Valentine’s Day is finally upon us, there will be plenty more sweetness to come. Valentine’s Day is all about chocolates and sweet treats so today I thought I’d make some Chocolate Rum Balls. I’ve been making these Rum Balls for many years. I used to make them every year for Christmas Eve and bring them to my Uncle’s as they were his favourite. They’re a pretty little addition to any dessert tray or cookie platter.

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We found these pretty little cups at Michael’s. Adorable!

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Chocolate Rum Balls Recipe:

{yield 20-25 Rum Balls}

1 125g pkg of cream cheese
1 c. ground almonds
1 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. instant coffee
1/4 c. dark rum
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (can melt in microwave approx 40 sec)
Topping Suggestions: Sprinkles, icing sugar, toasted coconut

Directions:

Blend cream cheese until fluffy. Stir in almonds, icing sugar, powdered instant coffee and rum. Mix well.
Add in melted chocolate.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until mixture is easy to handle. (approx. 1 hour)
Roll mixture into 1 inch balls (tsp size amount) and roll into desired toppings.
Tip: I placed the rolled balls onto a sheet of wax paper and then sifted powdered coatings on top instead of rolling the balls in the coatings.

Refrigerate in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

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Happy Valentine’s Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Recipes

Gingerbread Cupcakes

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Gingerbread is a Holiday classic & we just can’t get enough.
We are still on a total gingerbread kick after baking batch after batch of our Gingerbread Cookies this holiday season.
The Gingerbread cookies were a hit and we ended up making a lot more than we expected since friends & family kept requesting them! They were definitely our star holiday cookie this year.

We couldn’t let our gingerbread addiction end with just cookies this year though, so we decided to make Gingerbread Cupcakes!

These really are the perfect Winter cupcake. Super moist spiced cupcakes, with deliciously creamy cinnamon spiced cream-cheese icing. Mmmm. And nothing tastes more like Winter than the brilliant combo of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and molasses!

If you are a Gingerbread lover, you have gotta try these cupcakes. The combo of the ginger-spiced cake with the sweet & tangy cinnamon cream cheese icing go together like peanut butter + jelly. 😉

These are fairly simple cupcakes to make and I love them because there are plenty of different adjustments you can make to alter the taste of the cupcakes to your liking:

If your not into the cinnamon cream cheese icing, try white chocolate frosting, chocolate frosting or even plain vanilla frosting. You could even leave the icing off completely and enjoy them as muffins.

You can alter the spices as you wish. If you’re not a fan of a certain spice, put a bit less/or omit it completely and up the quantity of a spice of your choice.

Instead of the little gingerbread men cupcake toppers, you can use sprinkles or if you want to get real fancy – bake a batch of gingerbread cookies, use a fairly small gingerbread man cutout and stick the gingerbread man cookie on top of the icing.

We had lots of fun baking & decorating these cupcakes and they really are every bit as tasty as they are cute.
We hope everyone had a wonderful New Year, and hope you enjoy this recipe!

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How cute are these Gingerbread Men Cupcake Cups & Decor?!
The cups and little gingerbread toppers are both Wilton brand & can be found at Michaels & certain grocery stores.
You can also buy them online here.

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Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
{recipe slightly adapted from The Cupcake Diaries}
{yield: approx. 20 cupcakes}

Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups molasses
1 cup hot water

Frosting Ingredients:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 cups icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 teaspoons milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners, or spray pans with non-stick cooking spray if you’re not using baking cups.
In a large bowl, sift together all (flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt) of the dry ingredients EXCEPT for the brown sugar. Lightly whisk the ingredients to combine them slightly than set the bowl aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & brown sugar for a few minutes until light & fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix slowly after each addition. Add the molasses and mix until well combined. Next add one third of the dry ingredients and one third of the cup of water and mix thoroughly. Repeat this step, scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the last third, starting with the dry ingredients than add the last third of the water and mix until well combined.

Scoop the batter evenly in the cupcake liners. Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix all ingredients (except for the milk) together until well combined. To help the icing come together and to make it a bit smoother/creamier, add 2 teaspoons of milk. Continue mixing until the icing is to your preference.

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Natasha & Laura xo

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Recipes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

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I’m excited to share this recipe with you guys today because not only is it the simplest cookie recipe that we’ve posted, it also requires minimal ingredients! You will most likely already have all the ingredients on hand which makes these cookies even better.

I wanted to make some classic chocolate cookies but didn’t have certain ingredients on hand and of course it was too late at night to run to the store, so I scoured the cupboard and made these delish simple, soft chocolate cookies using the ingredients that I had on hand.

This is an extremely simple recipe which doesn’t require any crazy ingredients. It’s the perfect cookie recipe if you are in a rush and want to whip up some cookies for kids, or to satisfy your sweet-tooth cookie craving in a snap! (Sometimes you just need a cookie ASAP.) 😉 These cookies bake up nice and soft, and are a perfect mix of fudgy chocolate with a hint of peanut butter.

I used Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips, but feel free to use the chocolate chips of your choice! For an extra fudgy, doubley chocolate dose – try using semisweet or dark chocolate chips.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
{yield: approx. 18-20 cookies}

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips (or any flavour chocolate chips of your choice)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray & set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop (or spoon), scoop out dough and using your hands, roll the dough into balls. Place balls on baking sheet and slightly flatten them with the palm of your hand.

Bake for only 8-10 minutes, until just set. Allow cookies to cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring cookies to a wire rack.

Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Banana Muffins

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The year is coming to a close which means that sadly all the holiday baking is nearing its end as well.
It’s bittersweet – I’ll miss all the nummy Christmas cookies & holiday baking but I think we can all agree that it’s almost a relief when it’s over. (I know I have definitely eaten way more than my fair share of Christmas cookies this year!) So to end the year off right, I thought I’d switch it up a bit, take a break from all the cookie recipes and post a slightly healthier recipe for you guys!

Banana is one of my favorite fruits to bake with – It gives baked goods an amazing flavour, and helps keep them nice and moist. These simple banana muffins are no exception – they really are the moistest/most delicious banana muffins I’ve ever tasted. I’ve made them multiple times in the past few weeks and they are always eaten up quickly!
This recipe is perfect for those ripe leftover bananas sitting in the kitchen, and it’s a super easy recipe to whip up which is always nice.

We hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas & that you enjoy this recipe! xo

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Banana Muffins Recipe

Ingredients:
{yield: 12 muffins}

4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

Mash the bananas and add the egg, sugar and butter; mix until ingredients are combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pecans together.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until nearly all the flour has disappeared. (Don’t overmix – overmixed muffins turn out tough).

Pour batter evenly into the muffin pan and bake for approx. 20 minutes.

Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’ve never baked anything using maraschino cherries before, but my Grandma gave me some cherries to bake with so I decided to make Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Don’t let the maraschino cherries scare you – they really don’t taste strongly of cherry, and are actually really nummy when baked in a cookie. My mom & brother both cringed when I said I was baking maraschino cherry cookies. I literally had to make them try a bite – But like I suspected, they were both surprised and loved the cookies!

The white chocolate balances out the sweetness of the cherries, making the cookies not overly sweet, but just right.
These cookies are large, soft & chewy but my favorite part of these cookies is how Christmasy they look. The red & green cherries make for the perfect Christmas cookie!

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
{Note: This recipe requires chilling the dough for 3 hours.}

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup maraschino cherries, cut into small pieces & patted dry
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter until completely melted and no chunks remain, than set aside to cool.
Once the butter has cooled: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until nice and smooth. Add the eggs, and slowly mix until combined. With the mixer on low-speed, mix in the flour, salt, & baking soda and mix until just combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the cherries and white chocolate chips.

2. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (or overnight)

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line or spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Using a 1/4 cup, scoop out the dough and roll into balls. Place on the baking sheets, and flatten the balls slightly using either the bottom of a cup, or the palm of your hand. Bake for 9-12 minutes, just until the edges are golden.

Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Rustic Pumpkin Biscotti

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I have never made biscotti before and I really wanted to give it a go.
I have heard from numerous people that it is ‘difficult‘ to make. I don’t think it’s actually difficult to make, more time consuming I’d say. I went through various recipes and came up with a version that I decided to try.
The biscotti was a huge success & turned out delicious! These pumpkin biscotti are nice and crunchy on the outside and are a tad softer and crumbier on the inside. Traditional biscotti is hard throughout but because I wanted them a bit softer I cut them into thicker slices. The combination of spices + pumpkin + drizzled white chocolate makes for a perfect Fall/Winter treat.
I will now add biscotti to our regular baking list. I’m excited to try a whole bunch of different versions!

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Ingredients
3 1/2 c. Flour
1 1/2 c. Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (or an alternative: 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp ginger, 1/4tsp cloves, 1/4tsp nutmeg)
1/2 c. Pure Pumpkin
2 lg. eggs lightly beaten
1 tbsp. Vanilla
2 tsp. Butter
1 1/4 c. Pecans or walnuts coarsely chopped
1/4 c. Melted white chocolate for drizzling or dipping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add nuts. Stir constantly until nuts are slightly browned. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl, stir well. In another bowl combine pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla mixing well.

Slowly add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture, mixing until ingredients are moistened. Mixture will be very crumbly.

Knead or gently roll nuts into the dough mixture on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 portions. Roll portions into 2 2×10″ portions then place onto a slightly greased pan.

Bake logs whole for 24 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes then cut with a serrated knife diagonally into 1/2″ slices. (I made mine a little thicker)

Reduce oven to 300 then bake slices for 8 minutes.

Flip all of the pieces over and bake for another 7 minutes.
Remove from pan and place cookies onto a wire rack to cool.
Tip: be sure to have some space between the cookies as they can become soggy if touching.

Optional: When biscotti is completely cooled, melt chocolate chips in microwave at 15 second intervals until melted. Use a spoon to drizzle on top.
Note: Store in airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

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Enjoy with a cup of hot coffee or tea. Oh my, they are so delicious!

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Happy Holidays!
Laura & Natasha xo

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