recipe:: pumpkin muffins


MMM…. fall is here, and I can smell it in my kitchen! I have really been craving some pumpkin doughnuts, and I found a great-sounding recipe for them on Pinterest. I was all set to make said doughnuts… and then I realized that required a doughnut pan, which I did not have. So I opted for muffins, which seem healthier anyway, regardless of the fact that they involve the exact same ingredients. It’s all about perception, people.

– 1/2 cup vegetable oil
– 3 large eggs (or 3/4 cup of egg beaters)
– 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
– 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
– 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
– 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
– 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
– 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in 2 standard muffin pans. My batch made approx 19 muffins.

2. With a mixer, beat together oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, spices, salt, and baking powder until smooth.


3. Add the flour, stirring until just smooth.

4. Fill the cupcake wells about 3/4 full.



5. Bake for approx 23 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester is inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

6. Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool.

7. Sprinkle heavily with cinnamon sugar. Cool completely, cover, and store at room temperature.



Tie Dyed Cake!

In honor of one of my coworkers’ last day in the office, I wanted to bake a cake. A fun, colorful, tie dyed cake, to be exact. She has such a fun-loving, silly personality, and she loves all things bright and crazy, so I knew this would be perfect. I have not made one before, but thankfully, lots of Pinterest folks have. I found several posts there with “tie dyed” cakes and colorful frosting techniques, and I used instructions from here. I do not claim to be a fantastic from-scratch baker, so this box mix recipe is perfect for the busy girl on the go who just loves semi-homemade treats.

1 box white cake mix and accompanying ingredients (check box)
1 can white frosting
gel food coloring in an assortment of colors (I used regular and neon)
2x 8″ round pans


1. Preheat oven according to box.
2. Following box recipe, prepare mix.
3. Grease 2x 8″ round pans.
4. Divide batter evenly between 6 small bowls. Add gel food coloring in 6 desired colors (1 per bowl).


5. Starting with 1 pan, pour each layer one on top of the other. It is easiest to get a good shape by pouring in a concentric circle, making each layer a little smaller than the previous one. Be sure to leave enough batter in the bowl to fill the 2nd pan
6. Fill the 2nd pan in the same manner, using the last color first, and so on, going backward in order from the previous pan.


7. Bake both pans according to box directions.
8. Let cakes cool and remove from pans.

9. Mix up a small portion of white frosting with your preferred gel color. Cover the top of one cake layer with colored frosting.
10. Place un-frosted layer on top of 1st layer. Cover top and sides of cake thoroughly with white icing.
11. You can leave it here and have a fun surprise inside of the white cake, or you can tie dye the outside as well!

To tie dye the frosting…
1. Draw concentric circles on the top of the cake with gel icing. Use 1 color per circle. The order I used was pink / orange / yellow  / green / blue / purple (the pink looks sort of red-ish).
2. Using a butter knife, icing knife, or small paintbrush (new or used only for food), begin running the knife/brush between circles from the center of the cake to the outer edge. I did about 8 lines evenly spaced around the center circle. Be sure to wipe knife/brush often between every couple circles, so as not to smudge the dark colors through the light ones. Nobody wants a big dark mess on the top of the cake.
3. This technique will create a spider web effect. You can then go back and smudge more lines to fill in the white spaces and create a tie dyed look.

4. You’re all done! I found that if you’re in the south with lots of humidity, it’s best to refrigerate the cake after decorating if you won’t need it for a few hours. Otherwise, you might have that big mess of colors that you were trying to avoid in step 2.

cake3 cake4

quick recipe:: rolo stuffed cookies

Quick Recipe::
Snickerdoodle Rolo Cookies

I found this little gem on Pinterest via Rachel Schultz — thanks for the quick recipe! Actually, Craig found it… but he didn’t want to save it because he doesn’t pin “girly stuff” like cookie recipes. When I went to our nearby Kroger to get the ingredients, they didn’t have snickerdoodle dough, so I improvised.

1 package of break-and-bake cookies (snickerdoodle is preferable, but sugar cookie* will work as well)
1 bag of individually wrapped Rolo candies
*If using sugar cookie dough, you’ll also need a few tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. If using regular sugar cookie dough, you’ll need to mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl — it’ll be used to roll the dough balls in before baking.

Flatten 1 tablespoon dough and wrap around Rolo candy. Roll into ball and set on cookie sheet.

Bake for 14 minutes.

And that’s it! Easiest recipe ever for something a little more fun than a regular old cookie.

PS — they’re best when warm so the caramel inside is melty!