Category Archives: Dessert

Espresso S’mores cupcakes

oh so delicious

oh so delicious

I made these yesterday for my dear friend and colleague that just got tenure. He and everyone at the party loved them, especially his daughter Maya!  I really liked the graham cracker base and meringue  frosting with the piece of Hershey’s chocolate a dust of graham crackers.

Graham Cracker Base

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 20 squares)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mini chips

Chocolate Espresso Cupcake

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon of espresso powder

Meringue Frosting

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1 package of Hershey’s chocolate bars (for decoration)


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Graham Cracker Base

  1. Reserve 2 tablespoons of crumbs to sprinkle on the top later.
  2. Place remaining graham cracker crumbs in a bowl with butter and mix to combine.
  3. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of mixture to each cup and firmly press crumbs down with the back of a small cup.
  4. Sprinkle the mini chips on top of the graham cracker base.
  5. Bake for about 8 minutes. Cool.


  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. Then combine eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add sugar and mix until combined.
  3. Then add flour mixture. Blend at low and then increase to medium. Beat for 2 minutes until blended and smooth.  Add boiling water with 1 tbsp of espresso powder.  Batter will be thin.
  4. Let batter rest for 15 minutes and stir again gently before using.
  5. Fill liners with prepared crusts three-quarters full with batter.
  6. Bake about 16-20 minutes until done.
  7. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely

Meringue Frosting

  1. Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water without letting the bottom of the bowl touch the water in the saucepan.
  3. Hold the handle of the bowl while whisking the egg white mixture until the sugar is dissolved… about 4 minutes. Then transfer bowl to the stand mixer.
  4. Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture, starting on low and increasing to high speed. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form and the meringue has cooled, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add the vanilla and whisk just to combine. Use frosting immediately.


  1. Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a Wilton 4B tip.
  2. Pipe high swirls on the cupcakes and brown the meringue using a kitchen torch and serve immediately.
  3. Using a kitchen torch lightly toast marshmallow frosting.
  4. Place one small piece of chocolate on the top and sprinkle with graham cracker dust.


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World Cup Coconut Cake


I made this for Takumi’s birthday! -he loves soccer

I’ve made this several times now as EVERYONE loved it so much. Many have said that this cake has surpassed my chocolate cake as their favorite. The recipe is an adaptation of 2 recipes one from Epicurious and the other from Completely Delicious and then my addition of real toasted coconut.  I think this one is by far a real winner.  I think what sets it apart is the REAL coconut flakes. Their toasted natural coconut taste is WAY BETTER than the awful sweetened version you often find. In addition, the moist crumb of the cake from the coconut cream and buttermilk makes it a real winner. Enjoy!


2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (Coco López)
4 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 3-inch-high sides*. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and sweetened cream of coconut in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract & a drop of coconut flavoring. On low-speed, beat in dry ingredients and then buttermilk, each just until blended.

Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites with pinch of salt in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold beaten egg whites into batter.

Divide cake batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.

*Note: The batter will not fit in two 8-inch pans-consider using 3 8-inch pans or two 9-inch pans with 3-inch sides.

For the Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups (455 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
1-3 tablespoons regular milk
1 teaspoon coconut flavoring

Beat together the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar on medium high-speed until light and creamy. Add the coconut flavoring and enough coconut milk (or regular milk) to reach a spreadable consistency. Mix until smooth.

Make the toasted coconut:

1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened coconut (Bob’s Red Mill brand)

Spread the coconut on a sheet pan. Toast in a 350 degree oven until golden, checking every 2 minutes. Watch it carefully, the coconut will burn fast. Let it cool completely.

1 cup of the Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting (above)
1 cup (237 ml, 8 fl oz) heavy whipping cream

With a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until it starts to thicken. Add 1 cup of the cream cheese buttercream a spoonful at a time while mixing on medium-high speed. Whip to soft peaks.

Assemble the cake:

Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Cover with the whipped cream cheese filling. Place the other layer on top.  Frost the entire cake with the remaining cream cheese buttercream and cover in the toasted coconut.

Chill for overnight before serving. It will be more moist the day after.



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Magic Custard Cake (aka the Geologists’ Favorite Stratified Custard Cake)

Magic Custard Cake

I found this very unique cake on Pinterest which led me to numerous other foodblogs stating that they also saw it on Pinterest.  Which led me to even more blogs with reference to Pinterest.  Hmm…finally this led me to the best photo taken of this unique cake on one of my favorite foodblogs,  Here, I give you the Magic Custard Cake…or as I call it the Geologists’ favorite Stratified Custard Cake.  I was unsure what this cake was going to turn out to look like given the soupy mess  of a batter that I poured into my 8X8 pan.  But to my surprise the next day, I cut into the cake and by some “magic” there is a  thin bottom crust, middle custard layer and a light fluffy top layer. It’s like an edible geology experiment. I love it!  I brought it into work today and it was a huge hit! What I like about it is that it’s not too sweet, has an unusual texture and it’s pretty easy to make too. PLUS–you can teach people about stratified layers of the earth’s crust when you eat it. Enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 4 drops white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup  All Purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Really Good Vanilla Extract
  • extra confectioner’s sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter or grease a 8″x8″ glass baking dish.
  2. Melt the butter and set aside to slightly cool. Warm the milk to lukewarm and set aside. (you can use the microwave here–cool to lukewarm).
  3. Whip the egg whites and vinegar to stiff peaks. Set aside.
  4. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light. Mix in the melted butter and the tablespoon of water for about 2 minutes or until evenly incorporated.
  5. Mix in the flour until evenly incorporated. Slowly beat in the milk and vanilla extract until everything is well mixed.
  6. Fold in the egg whites, 1/3 at a time. Repeat until all of the egg whites are folded in.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden.
  8. Allow cake to completely cool overnight in the fridge before cutting and then dust with confectioner’s sugar


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