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Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Zucchini Chocolate Cake {Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts}

Zucchini Chocolate Cake - rich and chocolate cake that uses up lots of zucchini

We have made it through the first week of school.  So far the year is off to a good start, I think my 9 year old is going to love 4th grade.  To celebrate the end of a great week, my son is having a friend sleep over tonight.  I guess I better get prepared!  A fun dinner and maybe ice cream sundaes need to happen.  Or maybe that is just what girls do?  Or maybe I am just old, and that is what I remember from being a kid?  Either way, guess I better figure it out quickly!

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Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Snack Cake

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Snack Cake - a cake you can feel good about!

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Snack Cake - a cake you can feel good about!

The second week of summer break is coming to a close, and it has been another busy one! My 9 year old had camp from 8-3 every day last week, plus baseball games 2 nights.  This week it was an outdoor survival camp every day, and 2 nights of baseball.  Thanks goodness next week we just have baseball.  I am ready for some more relaxing days.  I think my 9 year old might be too.  As much fun as he has had these last 2 weeks, I think he is ready to just play and be home a little bit.  [Read more...]

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie {Dinners, Dishes and Desserts}

Boston Cream Pie {Dinners, Dishes and Desserts}

What a whirlwind the last few days have been.  Miami was HOT!  It was so much fun to finally meet so many of the bloggers I have followed for a long time.  I will give you a fun recap of my trip on Thursday.  In the meantime, I might just sleep until then.  I had to get up at 3:30 am for my flight to Miami, and from then on it was downhill in the sleep department.   I really do not know how people travel for work all the time, and only sleep a few hours a night.  I just can not function that way.

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Grapefruit Yogurt Cake with Grapefruit Glaze

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake with a Grapefruit Glaze | Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake with a Grapefruit Glaze | Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

I hope that everyone had a good weekend.  We had a gorgeous Saturday, followed by a cold and windy Sunday.  We thought about going up to the mountains, but with the weather decided to stay home.  It was good to be able to get some stuff around the house done that has been over looked, because we had guests the last two weekends.  The birthday boy suggested we watch a movie and have popcorn on Sunday afternoon.  The movie he picked…..Michael Jackson’s This is It.  The kid is a huge Michael Jackson fan.  Plus with hockey playoffs being on pretty much 24/7 (at least it seems that way to me), our weekend was full.

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Chocolate Sheet Cake

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Chocolate Sheet Cake

I am super excited for this post today.  September marks the 1 year anniversary for the #chocolateparty.  To help celebrate,  Roxana has lots of great stuff up for grabs.  Like seriously, you need to read the bottom of this post and enter the giveaways.  Kind of wish I wasn’t participating this month, so I could enter.

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Chocolate Meringue Cake (gluten free) #SundaySupper

Chocolate Meringue Cake | @dinnersdishesdessert

Today is the first #SundaySupper event of 2013.  We are starting off with a bang too!  The theme today is recipes that are on our bucket list.  You know, the list of things you always say you want to do….eventually.  I don’t actually have a written down list, but I have some things in the back of my mind that I have always wanted to do.  This is even inspiring me to make that list (on paper), and maybe share it with you later.  Maybe they will actually get made then :)

So for this week I picked a chocolate meringue cake.  I have Pavlova (which is a meringue) on my blog, but to be honest my husband made it.  So I wanted to tackle it myself, and do it up with chocolate, because we all know that is how I do things.  Plus my birthday was on Tuesday, so I wanted to turn it into a cake!

It did take 2 attempts for this to work out.  The first time I followed a different recipe, which I am sure was a good one, but there was melted chocolate involved and it just didn’t work out.  So then I started again, adapted the Pavlova recipe I know works, and went from there.  I used an almond flavored, freshly whipped cream as the “frosting”.  There is almond extract in with the meringue too, and it just pairs perfectly together.  It is sweet, light, fluffy, and the perfect birthday cake!  My 7 year old even asked me yesterday if I could make this again for his birthday.

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Pumpkin Dream Cake #ChristmasWeek


Welcome to day #3 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. Today’s theme for Christmas Week is “Christmas Cakes and Cupcakes”.

Just look at this cake! This is the first cake recipe I have ever shared on this blog, and I am so excited with how it turned out!  In my family, pumpkin does not stop at Thanksgiving.  We have pumpkin pie at Christmas too.  Plus, with how pretty it is, how could you not have this as part of your Christmas celebration?

I actually made this for Thanksgiving, in addition to pumpkin pie.  There were the traditionalist in the room that shunned it because it wasn’t pie, but everyone who tried it, loved it!  The frosting is a Cinnamon Butter Cream, and is just amazing.  You can see the flecks of cinnamon in the frosting, and it adds so much depth to the cake.  The cake itself is a little dense, but still light, and super moist (bad word, I know!).

This cake actually comes together very quickly.  The mixer does all the work for you.  Beware the batter is a little thicker than I was used to when baking a cake.  Then as soon as it comes out of the oven you put it in the freezer.  This stops the cooking process, and cools it quickly, so you don’t have to wait forever to frost.  Freezing the cake, made it so easy to get the cake to come cleanly out of the pan.  I will be doing this trick from now on with any cake!  I changed up the frosting from the original cream cheese based, because there was no room in the fridge for a cake.  And also, cream cheese frostings aren’t my favorite.  This cake would be perfect as the center piece of your dessert table this holiday season.

Pumpkin Dream Cake #ChristmasWeek
Serves: 12
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Pumpkin Cake topped with a Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
  • Cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tblsvanilla
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • Cinnamon Buttercream
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 (2 lb) bag powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of 3 - 8 inch cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla, pumpkin and canola oil until combined. Mix in the flour and the milk, alternating between the two, until everything is well combined.
  4. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Once fully cooked, immediately remove the pans from the oven, and place them in the freezer for 45 minutes. This stops the cooking process, and makes the cake very easy to remove from the pan.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Using an electric mixer beat all of the frosting ingredients together. You can adjust the milk and sugar amounts to get the desired consistency. You want it a little on the thin side, but not so thin that you can drizzle it.
  6. After 45 minutes, remove the pans from the freezer. Remove the cake from the pans, and begin to frost. Spread a layer of frosting between each layer of cake, and then spread along the edges and top.
Adapted from The Novice Chef


Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I have given you quite a few healthy recipes this week, today not so much!  I love this cake, and just had to share.  My birthday was last weekend, but we celebrated it last night with my parents.  This is what we had.  I first had a flourless chocolate cake on our honeymoon. and I immediately fell in love.  I have never made it at home though.  My husband gave me the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook this year, and this recipe was in there.  It was high time I make one!  It might be a problem now that I know how easy it is to do at home!

It is a very rich cake, and a tiny sliver is all you need.  And that is coming from someone who can never have enough chocolate.  With all of us  eating it we only ate about 1/4 of the cake.  I topped with fresh whipped cream and raspberries, but you could use strawberries or anything else you wanted.

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Flourless Nutella Cake

It’s that time of the month again…Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day!!  This is my second month being a part of this group, and it is lots of fun.  I have been introduced to new and wonderful blogs.  And this month…oh my was this month a yummy one!  Amanda does such a wonderful job organizing this group.  Want to join?  You can check out the Secret Recipe Club page for all the information. 
Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned Ilke’s Kitchen.  Ilke was born and raised in Turkey.  She moved to the states to attend college, and has been here since.   I was excited when I was checking out her blog.  I don’t have any experience with Turkish food, and thought this was going to be fun to try something new.  But then I spotted this cake, and I immediately got side tracked.  I think by now, you all know my obsession with Nutella.  There was this, this, this, and this, and oh yeah this.  How could I not make this cake?  I kept searching, looking at her delicious breads and other authentic dishes, but this cake kept calling to me.  So I finally just gave in. 
Boy am I glad I did, it was so good!  I will go back and try something else from her site, something actually from Turkey, but for now you can check out this lovely, chocolately, amazing cake! 
Flourless Nutella Cake
6 eggs (separated)
¼ tsp salt
1 stick of butter (softened)
400 g of Nutella
1 tablespoon rum, Frangelico or water (I used Water)
100 g ground hazelnuts (I only had almonds, so that is what I used)
100 g melted dark chocolate
Beat the egg whites and salt until it forms stiff peaks. Around 2 minutes or so.Beat Nutella and softened butter in a different bowl until it combines. Add the rest of the ingredients (including the egg yolks) except melted chocolate and the egg whites.
Once everything is well mixed, stir the melted chocolate in and fold the egg whites into the mixture gently.
Pour the batter into a 9-inch springform pan (lined with parchment paper and greased) and cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. When the cake is done, you will see that the cake will separate from the pan.
Unmold, cool the cake and get the icing ready.
75 ml heavy whipping
125 g dark chocolate
1 tablespoon rum, Frangelico or water (I used Water)
100g Hazelnuts, toasted and Chopped or 1 pint Raspberries
Mix the heavy cream, chocolate and your choice of liquid in a pan on the stovetop. Heat on moderate setting until the chocolate melts.
Turn off the stove as soon as the chocolate melts, and start whisking until the mixture thickens.   I added 4 Tbls powdered sugar at this point because it was too dark for me.  Still did not end up all that sweet. 
Spread/pour the thickened chocolate mixture over the cake.
Decorate with chopped toasted hazelnuts or raspberries

Pumpkin Madeline Cake Balls

First let me start by saying I love you guys!  All the well wishes for my sick little boy mean so much.  Well he is on the mend!  This new antibiotic seemed to do the trick.  After 24 hours he was like a new kid.  Now I just think this full day has him tired.  But I will take tired and crabby over sick and not moving any day! 

Now to these delicious treats!  I have never tried a Madeline before.  I know, sometimes it is like I live under a rock. I blame my Dad!  If it wasn’t chocolate, we didn’t have it.  And growing up in the midwest Madelines weren’t the norm.  So when the lovely people at Donsuemor contacted me to design a dessert for them, I was thrilled.  Thanks to Lizzy over at That Skinny Chick Can Bake for recommending me for the job!  A few days later, my lovely box of Madelines and French Almond Cakes arrived. I immediately set to work.  First I had to taste them, since they were new to me.  They were soft, tender, and delicious. 

School is back in session, so that means is it fall right?  Don’t pay attention to the fact that it was 95 degrees in Iowa today.  I am in the mood for some fall cooking, and pumpkin is the first thing that comes to mind.  So I turned these delicious Madelines into Pumpkin Cake Balls!  They were so good!  I used the French Almond Cakes too, so there was some crunch from the almonds….so good! 

Pumpkin Madeline Cake Balls
Printable Recipe

6 Traditional Madelines
6 French Almond Cakes
1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 oz butter, softened
1 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 pound white chocolate

Start by making a Cream Cheese frosting.  Blend together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until nice and creamy. 

Using your hands crumble the cakes into a bowl. Add the pumpkin, frosting, and all of the seasonings.  Stir until well blended. 

From into 1 inch balls.  Place on a lined cookie sheet, and refrigerate until hardened, approx 30 minutes. 

Melt the white chocolate in a large bowl.  One at a time dip the cake balls into the chocolate.  Put sprinkles on when the chocolate is wet, if desired.  Place on a lined tray, and refrigerate until hard.  Store in the fridge.