Hey coffee lovers! I’ve got an easy crowd pleaser for you today.
If you’re anything like me, you love coffee, and you’ve always been intimidated by making your own tiramisu. But for reals, don’t be. It’s easy, you can definitely handle it. You only have to cook one component here. Also, mascarpone cheese is like, this super creamy and smooth cream cheese.
If you’ve never had tiramisu, it’s basically a layered creamy dessert. The base is lady fingers, which are a dry sponge cake, soaked in espresso, layered with a mascarpone cheese sweet cream, and dusted with cocoa powder. It’s served chilled, and if you like coffee, it’s pretty divine.
If you only kind of like coffee, you can use less of it while layering the dessert.
Here’s my tip that worked well at least for my lady fingers- I had trouble dipping these in espresso even for the shortest time, they kept just falling apart before I could place them. So instead I actually placed the dry lady fingers in the dish, and then brushed on espresso in two applications, waiting for it to soak in between each round. I found it much easier.
I also like a slightly sweeter version of this classic, so I added some additional sugar to the cream, as well as vanilla to boost the sweetness and flavor here. Feel free to omit the vanilla and the powdered sugar if you prefer a more bitter version!
Let’s talk about blueberries, and pie fillings, and cake, and putting it all together!
I’m not a huge fan of blueberries on their own, but when baked into something, they are truly amazing. We all know and love the classic blueberry muffin, and this is a variation on that! Loaf cakes are just so easy- you can just slice them as your family eats it, and this is a simple single loaf recipe. I don’t know about you, but when I look at a recipe that yields like 3 loaves or 75 cupcakes, I just can’t deal. God knows we don’t need that much in one household.
Honestly, if you can make a loaf instead of muffins, it’s just easier. It takes longer to bake, but you don’t have to do all the scooping and batch baking. Sometimes you just don’t feel like it- I get that. This is a low-maintenance recipe overall, very few dishes involved.
I used a homemade blueberry pie filling, but you can use canned just the same. I made a birthday cake earlier in the week that was topped with blueberry sauce, so I thought I’d use up some of the leftovers. Use the extras to top off some pancakes this weekend!
Homemade pie filling is super simple- just cook your blueberries with some sugar until boiling, and stir in a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up! It’s perfect in a pie, and on pancakes or waffles. Store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and enjoy.
This recipe uses fresh blueberries along with the pie filling, which gives you a really beautiful texture and flavor throughout the cake. I sprinkled some coarse sugar on top for a little extra crunch, but the cake is totally fantastic even without that.
So. No liners, no scooping, one single bake. Just slice and enjoy!
Let’s all just sit and enjoy some lemonade, shall we? I don’t like summer, but I DO like ice cream a lot. Enter my new popsicle mold, which seriously was a long time coming. I constantly think to myself “oh, you should totally get one of those!” and then proceed to forget. Forever.
Anyways, I finally managed to buy this ice pop mold, which I love so far! It’s got that classic shape, and it’s simple. Does the job!
Moving on to one of the prettiest and best tasting ice creams I’ve ever made. Seriously, I was kind of surprised at how addicting it is. If you like lemon, this is perfection. The lemon flavor really comes through, even with so many strawberries in the mix. It’s tart and sweet and creamy, overall I’d say it’s the perfect summer treat to cool off with.
The process of making pops is fairly lengthy, but it’s mostly freezing time, so it’s low effort. Basically, for ice pops which are more water-based and use a thin liquid, you want to fill your molds, and partially freeze them. Then, you’ll place the sticks in, and fully freeze before removing them from the molds.
For this recipe, however, the ice cream base is thick enough on it’s own to hold up the sticks right away. That means you can simply spoon your molds full, place the sticks in, and freeze until completely solid. When it’s time to remove them from your tray, you’ll want to fill a large pan, that is high enough to cover your mold, with warm water. You can set the mold in the water for about 30 seconds, and then simply pull your pops out!
This recipe makes about 24 pops, so several batches of freezing. You can keep your ice cream mixture in the fridge between batches, or you can simply freeze the rest as a scoop-able ice cream for later!
I love living in Colorado, really. As some of you know, I used to live in Boston when I was in college, and I’m so happy to be back in home state, even though its been a few years since coming home. That being said, I really wish I could just pluck any recipe off Pinterest and bake it up perfect. Like, altitude really screws things up sometimes. (By sometimes, I mean nearly all the time).
Baking cakes in a high altitude is tough. I can’t tell you how many cupcakes I have baked that have tasted really eggy, or been duper dense, almost like bread somehow.
That being said, it was my goal for many years to find the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe, and I found it! Actually, if I’m being honest, I found it like 4 years ago, and I’m just now sharing it. Whoops.
Anyways, I think the key for vanilla cake in a Denver altitude is finding the right balance between adding the flour that you need for structure, and still keeping the cakes moist. I’m using two different kinds of flour here- self rising and cake. The self rising flour just offers a good ratio of baking powder built right in, and the cake flour makes the crumb very tender and pretty fantastic.
P.S.- did you see this epic baking dish my brother got me for my birthday???
On the other end of the spectrum, I use sour cream to add moistness to the cake. It’s thick enough that it doesn’t mess with the structure too much, but it gives us the texture that we’re looking for in a great, simple cupcake.
Vanilla cake is my favorite. I know chocolate is probably the main winner for most people, but I’ve never been a huge fan of chocolate cake. I still make it for lots of family and friends, like this chocolate bundt cake I made for my dad last year. But vanilla is my jam.
Usually I actually prefer vanilla frosting as well, but this chocolate buttercream is too good to pass up on a perfect vanilla cupcake. It’s fluffy, super chocolatey, and not too sweet.
I hope you enjoy this one!