Lavender Champagne Cake with honey cream cheese frosting

I have absolutely no chill when it comes to this cake.

Zero.zilch.nada.

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It’s amazing. And that’s a bold statement. But so amazing that I ate it for breakfast before Mr. LTSL was even awake. I wish I was lying but #RealLife.

And I would only make it for the specialist of occasions … you know, like Friday night.

Kidding … kind of.

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But it’s mother’s day weekend and we gotttaaa celebrate mama!! Also, this mother’s day is super-extra-special aannnnd we need cake.cake.cake.!

First, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all the people mamas out there, all the expecting mamas out there, all the adopting mamas, all the pet mamas, and all the women who are holding it down!!

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I have no words for my mom, seriously she’s my everything – she loves cake, her laugh is infectious and her kindness can put mother Teresa to shame (not true, mother Teresa wins life … by Mama LTSL comes a very close second).Don’t get me wrong though, her sass is something similar to Queen Bey’s Lemonade video. I’ll just warn you, don’t mess with mama’s family – she’ll juice you!!

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Now that we’re all afraid of my mom – let’s talk cake!! More specifically naked cake … such as this one. Funny story, a couple years ago for my bridal shower I wanted a naked cake – something with fruits and fresh flowers, simple but elegant. I walked into a bakery and simply asked Hi, do you guys do naked cakes – the kind baker responded, why – yes, I’ve done a few ass cakes over the years.

I looked at my mom – my mom looked at me and we walked out pretty much peeing our pants.

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But this cake. AHH – the lavender makes it taste like spring, the honey cream cheese frosting is sweet but not too sweet and it’s sooooo preeeetttyyyy!! Also, champagne. YYYEEESSS! We’re winning folks, simply winning all of the golden stars.

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Lavender Champagne Cake with honey cream cheese frosting

  • 3 cups all-purpose flower
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ tbsp. dried lavender
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups champagne
  • Prepared cream cheese frosting
  • 1 tbsp honey

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans (or 1 10 inch and 1 8 inch because you realize your 9 inch pans are at your parent’s house after making the batter *rolls eyes*).

In a bowl combine flour, baking powder sea salt, lavender and lemon zest .

In a mixing bowl beat butter and sugar 3 to 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add vanilla and beat in the eggs one at a time.

Beat in flour mixture and champagne in three alternating additions, starting and ending with flour to prevent curdling.

Pour batter into pans and bake 35 minutes.

Let cool.

In a small bowl, combine can of cream cheese frosting and honey.

Once the cake has cooled, cut each cake in half horizontally and frost the middle. Stack each layer and repeat, only frosting the middle ( that’s why it’s called a naked cake heh. without any bums in sight).

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Lemon, Coconut Sweet Bread

I have a little bone to pick … with life that is.

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Why is Meyer lemon season seriously .0823123 seconds long?!?! And how the heck to I get my hands on some without them going bad?!

See, originally I wanted to make this recipe using Meyer lemons – because they’re so little and cute and lemony, but not super tart. So I bought a bag ( I could have bought a car for less … by.the.way. – not the point) I ended up keeping them on my counter for a couple of days – and poof – they turned.

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Heartbreak.

So I used regular lemons. And this bread came out spectacular however if you have Meyer lemons, please use them instead and kindly send me a slice of bread … and a box of tissues.

Rant over.

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Also, why do people say, I have a bone to pick .. that’s gross – I’m kind of wishing I didn’t say that now. But what’s done is done – when life gives you lemons – make bread … okay, now I’m definitely wishing I didn’t say that. Although, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t on the floor laughing.

….

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Normally, I share what I bake for the blog with family, friends and co-workers – this bread though, it didn’t even make it out of our home … the top gets so crusty and it smells so lemony as it bakes. I’m clearly welcoming spring with open arms with the combination of lemon and coconut – it was a gamble with the citrus and sweet coconut buuuttt Daaaamn, Daniel!

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Lemon, Coconut Sweet Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • ½ cup dried coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp Malibu rum
  • 2 c milk
  • ⅔ c olive oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine brown and granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, sea salt, lemon zest and dried coconut.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, lemon juice, milk, Rum and olive oil.

Combine, the wet and dry ingredients.

Pour into a well-greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour ( it should pass the crumb test by this point)

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Herb de Provance Cranberry Shortbread cookies

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At the rate I’m going, I might as well start referring to my blog as a cookie corner!! While, I’ve clearly proven I’m crazy for cookies – there’s something about a sweet and a touch savoury shortbread cookie!! This particular recipe has a good crunch to it, it would hold it’s own next to any cup of tea – a pipping cup of coffee or hungry little ones looking for a yummy snack.

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Also, I can’t even describe the amazing smell of these as they bake – almost like spring time flowers. You can thank the herb de provance!!

Can we talk about this AH-MAZING herb blend … since discovering it late last year – I pretty much add it to everything under the sun!! Cooking beef –   herb de provance ; lamb – herb de provance ; salad dressing – herb de provance ; making muffins … herb de provance and cookies, dude – that could do with some herb de provance!! It’s a combination of Rosemary, Marjoram, Thyme, Savory and lavender aaaahhhh soooo good!!

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Dear I say, these may be my absolute favourite non-chocolate related cookie ( I had to be specific, because we all know nothing can come between me and a chocolate chip sea salt cookie fresh from the oven!!). It’s THAT delicious!!

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Herb de Provance Cranberry Shortbread cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon Herb De Provance

1/2 cup Dried Cranberries

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

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Directions:

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg and extract.

Add flour, Herb de Provance, cranberries and sea salt. Mix until combined.

Divide dough and shape into 2 long cookie-logs.

Wrap each in parchment paper and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and bake for 17 minutes.

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…. And then, you’re more than welcome to send me some :)

p.s … I apologize for all of the double exclamation mark-ness of this post … they just make me that excited (!!)

Orange Cranberry Muffin Cookies

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We’ve got some cookie, cake, muffin top, biscuit type action happening here!!

These cookies are daaaarrrrnnn tootin fun #DTF ( Name that show, and no – not jersey shore), but I don’t know if I can actually call them a cookie.

Can we just call them breakfast?! Oranges, cranberries and muffin top crumble?!?! Wait, does that kind of remind you of a coffee cake.

I feel like my recipe is going through an identity crisis!!

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Does it all cancel out, if it’s deeeelicious?!

Heh – the weather around Toronto is also going through a bit of an identity crisis — I know I will regret these words come February but it’s December uno and I haven’t seen any snow … HOW THE HECK WILL WE HAVE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT SNOW?!?! In random news, did anyone go black Friday shopping?!? Cyber Monday clicking?!!?

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Oh the holidays … soooo darrrrrnnn tootin fun!!

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Orange Cranberry Muffin Cookies

Cookie Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour

½ cup cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon orange extract

2 teaspoon mixed peel (or orange zest)

1 cup dried cranberries

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Topping ingredients  

¼ cup flour

¼ cup turbinado sugar

2 tablespoons butter

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Directions

In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients. Set aside until you are ready to use.

Combine flours, baking powder, and sea salt in a bowl, set aside.

In a bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add in egg and beat until combined. Add milk, and orange extract.

Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and mix until combined. Gently fold in mixed peel and cranberries.

Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
Once chilled, scoop out large balls, placing at least an inch apart on your prepared baking tray. Top with prepared topping .

Bake for 15 minutes, at 325.

Allow to cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack.

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Spicy Sausage Gnocchi Pumpkin Soup

Dipping temperatures outside can only mean one thing, it’s gotta get toasty inside!!

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Can we finally say, soup season is here?!? The temperature has been so weird lately … not that I’m complaining, but we’ve been having warmer than normal days, and then this weekend — hellllloooooo November chill!

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I’ve got a couple of soups floating around the blog, and ironically ( or not so ironically) most of them, have a pumpkin base. It’s the colour … the burst of orange, reminds me of fall. The spices, leave my home smells aaahhh-mazing.

This soup is hearty, its quick, it’s got a kick — aka perfect recipe, to leave you warm, comforted and with a soup baby.

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Spicy Sausage Gnocchi Pumpkin Soup

·         2 lbs Turkey sausage

·         3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

·         1 large onion, chopped

·         3 cloves garlic, minced

·         1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Thyme

·         2 Fresh Basil leaves

·         1 Dried Bay Leaf

·         ¼ tsp curry powder

·         ¼ tsp caraway seeds

·         1 ½ cups Pumpkin Puree

·         6 Cups Chicken Stock

·         2 cups Water

·         1 tbsp Salt

·         1 ½ tbsp. Black Pepper

·         1 package prepared gnocchi

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Directions:

In a large non-stick frying pan, on medium-high heat brown the Italian sausage 2 minutes on each side.

Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Once cooled. Slice into bite sized pieces.

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add cooked sausage, onions, garlic, thyme, basil, bay leaf, curry powder and caraway seeds. Allow to sauté for 7 minutes. All of your ingredients should start to become fragrant.

Add pumpkin, chicken stock, water , salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil.

Add gnocchi and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

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Sloppy Skulls

I don’t do Halloween.

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What I mean is, I don’t do the dressing up scaring the cheese doodles out of myself and others kind of Halloween.

I do the eat tons of candy, make themed treats watch movies all night with the lights on kind of Halloween, still holding on tightly to Mr. LTSL….

You never know, evil ghosts and creepy things can still appear in the light.

What are you guys doing for Halloween?!? Is anyone hosting a party, dressing up, stealing your kids candy?!?

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Will anyone else be eagerly awaiting the Jimmy Kimmel I stole your candy video?!?! Hahahah so good … yet, so evil.. but so good.

The last couple of years I’ve focused on snack-ish items with my Halloween Chocolate Funfetti Cookies and a healthy dose of Halloween Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Squares … this year though I have something not just spooky but so delicious and savory, because let’s be honest, as much as I’d like to live on cookies and cakes and doughnuts ( oh, my) – I can’t.

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I need sloppy joes. Ooooorrr in this case, sloppy skulls.

Sloppy Skulls

Dough

3 Cups Flour

1 Tbsp Instant Yeast

1 Tbsp Sugar

2 Tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 1/4 Cup Water

Sloppy filling

1 pack dried sloppy Joe Mix

1 can tomato paste

1 lb medium ground beef ( you can totally sub in ground chicken, turkey or pork)

1 1/4 Cup Water

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Directions:

In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil.

Slowly add water and knead until dough comes together.

Cover and allow to rise for at least 30 minutes.

While the dough rises, on medium high heat, brown the ground beef – should take about 10 minutes.

Add sloppy joe mix, tomato paste and water.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 425 oc.

Once dough rises, punch down and empty onto a lightly floured surface.

Separate the dough into 4 even pieces.

Roll each dough piece into a 1/4 inch circle, place into  greased skull cake pan.

Carefully fill each with sloppy filling and cover with remaining dough.

Repeat with 3 other dough pieces.

Bake for 30 minutes.

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Have a happy Halloween!!

Honey Roasted Plum Pound Cake

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Mmmm the smell of this cake alone will have you swoon!! And if that doesn’t work look at all that crumb!!

Funny story — I know that prunes are really dehydrated plums – but I always wondered, how the heck do every day plums that we see, end up looking like those prunes ?!? There’s no similarity how is this even possible ( yes …  these are the things I wonder about😦 )

And then I found these!!

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Ontario Blue Plums … don’t these look more like prunes?!!?

… Prunes are a weird way to start today’s post, I apologize – the cake makes up for it.

And the crumb topping … ohhh the crumbs.

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I’m definitely one of those lovely ( read : slightly annoying) people that stand over things like this carefully picking away at the most crunchiest ( completely toasted) crumbs. That’s also the reason that I make extra crumb mixture … you can definitely half the recipe and still have more than enough for a delicious topping.

And shall we talk about this honey roasting business .. so good! It makes your home smell like fall … and with the cinnamon in the cake … ahhh i can’t even deal!

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Honey Roasted Plum Pound Cake

Roasted Plum Pound Cake 

12 blue plums cut in half

1/4 cup Honey

1/2  cup water

2 cups all- purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup milk

2 large eggs

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp ginger powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

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Crumb topping 

1  cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup Rolled oats

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup melted margarine

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 of – on a large baking tray, spread halved plums skin side down – drizzle with honey.

Bake for 40 minuets.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, ginger powder, baking powder and baking soda.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk margarine, milk, eggs and vanilla.

Plums should be cooled by now. Place all of the plums and any syrup that was created into a blender. Add water. Blend until plum sauce created ( approximately 3 minuets on high)

Add plum mixture to whisked liquid ingredients.

Add all of your wet ingredients, to the dry. Mix well.

In a small bowl, combine all of the crumb topping ingredients. Crumble with your fingers.

Lower oven temperature to  350 oc.

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Fill a prepared loaf pan, and sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake for 50 minutes.

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Enjoy!!