I have some chocolatey, peanut buttery halloween cookies for you!
You may have heard that you can make cookies with boxed cake mix and this recipe does just that, but with a boost of unsweetened cocoa powder and Reeses Pieces! They are delicious; rich and not too sweet. If you’re looking for something tasty to bake for yourself or someone(s) you love, please try these and enjoy!
1 box of devil’s food chocolate cake mix
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup of butter, softened
2 cups of Reeses Pieces candy
Pre-heat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Open the cake mix and pour it into a large mixing bowl.
Measure 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa into the dry cake mix and stir gently to incorporate.
Add the softened butter and eggs into the dry ingredients and mix until a thick dough forms.
Divide the Reeses Pieces: stir one cup into the cookie dough and place the other cup into a separate small bowl.
Roll the dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls, then dip the top of each dough ball into the small bowl of Reeses Pieces. Lightly press the Reeses Pieces on top a little more firmly into the dough if needed but don’t squash the dough ball and place it onto the baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes depending on the power of your oven.
Bring the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool on a rack for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Zoey, our little Tinker Bell, is one year old! This year has been an unusual one (understatement of the century), but it has flown by faster than I could have imagined and I have been fortunate enough to spend the majority of it at home with her; grateful for every moment.
Like many one year birthday boys and girls, Zoey has not been exposed to much sugar. Now I don’t mind a little sugar, but I did not want to sugar bomb her all at once so I created a homemade smash cake with frosting for her without adding extra sugar.
This Tinker Bell petal smash cake is a variation of a banana bread recipe my family has made for years without added sugar and a variation of cream cheese frosting without powdered sugar. I would consider the cake a tame banana flavor and the frosting a tangy cream cheese flavor, smoothed out with the addition of a natural sweetener (I used agave nectar). I purchased a used Disney Infinity Tinker Bell figurine off of Mercari, gave it a good cleaning, and used it as a cake topper with the obligatory “1” candle.
She was very tentative about smashing her smash cake, almost like she wasn’t sure if she was allowed to. Even with her audience coaxing her she only tasted a little bit of cake I broke off for her and mostly just played around in the frosting. Her favorite part of the cake was the Tinker Bell figurine up top and she ended up fixating on that. And what the hey, as long as she had fun!
So let’s make a smash cake for the little Tinker Bell in your life!
BANANA SMASH CAKE
3 bananas, overripe
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 1/4 cup of flour
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Grease two 6-inch cake pans, or line them with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and bananas together with a (hand) mixer.
Add the eggs in one at a time, beating each in with the (hand) mixer.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time, mixing and scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition.
Pour the mixed batter into the prepared cake pans about half to 3/4 of the way full.
Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. The timing may vary depending on your oven so keep an eye on them!
Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in their pans for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
Mine were pretty flat. If yours do not turn out flat, cut the very tops off of the cakes to create flat tops for stacking and frosting.
Frost your cake (see below).
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (NO ADDED SUGAR)
5 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1 1/2 packs of cream cheese (8 ounce), room temperature
A pinch of salt
2 to 3 tablespoons agave nectar, honey or maple syrup
1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons corn starch
Green food coloring
*You can make the frosting up to several days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before frosting.*
Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl until well combined.
Add the agave nectar (or sweetener of choice), milk, salt and vanilla extract. Whip again, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add 1 tablespoon of corn starch and whip until well incorporated. If at this point the consistency is right for you, you can move on to the next step. If not you can add cornstarch one teaspoon at a time until it reaches the desired thickness (careful not to exceed 2 tablespoons total).
Divide the frosting four equal parts in separate bowls. Add green food coloring to each bowl of frosting, ranging from dark to light green. Put each shade of green frosting into a pastry bag.
Pipe and smear frosting on the top of the first layer of cake and gently place the second layer on top of this.
Begin the petals by piping a dollop of dark green frosting on the side of the cake at the base. Take a flat slender spatula or butter knife press gently into the dollop and smear it to the right. Pipe another dollop of dark green near the end of the smear and repeat all the way around the cake.
Repeat this process with the next shade of green and repeat, but stop before you reach the lightest shade of green and the top of the cake.
Pipe and smear a healthy dollop of the lightest green frosting onto the top of the cake and smooth it out with a flat spatula, then continue with the last layer of petals in the lightest shade of green around the top of the cake.
Welcome back friends! This week we will be baking Winnie the Pooh’s hero cake from Disney’s The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Winnie the Pooh’s hero cake (and the hero cookies we made last week) is featured in the “Blustery Day” featurette when Christopher Robin throws a Hero Party for Pooh Bear, believing him to be Piglet’s rescuer during the flood. Pooh and Piglet really just happened to be in the same predicament at the same time and came out together perfectly alright, but it was still sweet of Christopher Robin and their friends to celebrate them all the same!
This is a surprisingly complex cake, and I had a lot of fun creating and tasting it! I chose to make pink velvet cake (my own interpretation of what flavor the pink color stood for) with chocolate frosting. White buttercream frosting surrounds the base of each of the orange candles and orange buttercream, in color and in flavor, whimsically dots the chocolate frosting in puffs. If you take the cake with the chocolate frosting and orange buttercream in the same bite it is absolute heaven and will definitely satisfy the rumbly of any tumbly!
4 cups of all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
2 pinches of salt
12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
2 cups of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of almond extract
1 1/3 cups of whole milk, room temperature
4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
8 drops of red food coloring
8 egg whites
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans with spray or parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another large bowl, beat the butter until softened.
Slowly add the sugar and beat until fluffy, then add in the almond extract, food coloring, milk, and vanilla extract; mix on low until ingredients are incorporated.
Beat in the egg whites one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven) until a toothpick is inserted at their centers comes out clean, not wet with cake batter.
Remove the pans from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes within the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before assembling.
While the cakes are cooling, make the frostings (see below).
1/2 cup of butter, melted
6 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of oil
3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
Milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla
INSTRUCTIONS (CHOCOLATE FROSTING)
In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, cocoa powder and oil until well incorporated.
Sift in the powdered sugar half a cup at a time and mix well.
Add milk a little at a time and keep mixing until the chocolate is smooth and creamy.
Add the vanilla in last and stir until well incorporated.
Once the cakes are cool, put a small dollop of this frosting on the center of cake stand, then place the first layer of cake down on top of the dollop; this will anchor the cake to the stand.
Scoop the desired amount of chocolate frosting onto the top of the first layer of cake and spread it around evenly, then add the next layer of cake over it.
Apply the rest of the chocolate frosting to the sides, and then the top of the cake, using an icing spatula or something similar. I added texture to the sides of my cake using a cake comb that came with the little cake decorating set I bought.
* You can double this recipe for a thicker layer of frosting on the cake.
ORANGE AND WHITE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
1/2 cup of butter, softened
2 cups of powdered sugar
3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon of orange extract
Orange food coloring
INSTRUCTIONS (ORANGE AND WHITE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING)
In a medium bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar together by low speed (or hand otherwise you’ll have a cloud of powdered sugar).
Add in the whipping cream and orange extract and mix until well incorporated.
Pause and scoop about a fourth of the white frosting into a pastry bag and set aside.
Add in the orange food coloring and beat until fully incorporated.
Scoop the orange frosting into another pastry bag with a large tip.
After the cakes cool and you’ve applied the chocolate frosting, pipe 4 dollops of the white buttercream frosting onto the top of the cake where you want the candles to be and stick the candles in at their center.
Using the orange buttercream, pipe small orange puff dots all around and on top of the cake.