Rolo Cupcakes! (nut-free recipe)

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Rolo Cupcakes

 

When my son was diagnosed with his peanut allergy, I went out of my way to find or make extravagant desserts within his limitations.  One of our very favorites was Rolo Cupcakes, made with my son’s favorite chocolate treat.  Well, that and Canadian KitKats.  It’s a toss up around here, really.  Now that he’s done with peanut OIT, we don’t have to buy Canadian KitKats anymore.  We just buy regular American KitKats, but we still buy Rolos!  And this is an often requested special occasion dessert.

 

Rolo Cupcakes

Ingredients

    Cupcake Recipe
  • 2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 C flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 C milk
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1 C boiling water
  • Rolo Candies
  • Frosting Recipe
  • 1 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 C cocoa powder
  • 3 C powder sugar
  • 3/4 C heavy cream
  • Rolo candies
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Caramel syrup

Instructions

    Cupcake Directions
  1. -Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. -Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
  3. - Mix all dry ingredients together on a mixing bowl - flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and cocoa.
  4. -Mix in the wet ingredients - vanilla, oil, milk, and eggs.
  5. -Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until all of the ingredients are blended.
  6. -Pour in the boiling water. Beat until mixed.
  7. -Place an unwrapped Rolo on the bottom and in the center of the lined cupcake tin.
  8. -Scoop the batter into the lined cupcake tins until 2/3 full.
  9. -Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. -Cool for 10-15 minutes.
  11. -Place on wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Frosting Directions:
  13. -Beat the softened butter on its own until smooth.
  14. -Add cocoa and powder sugar alternately with heavy cream into the creamed butter until it becomes a smooth and thick texture.
  15. -If the frosting is too thick, add more heavy cream, if too thin, add more powder sugar.
  16. -Scoop prepared frosting into a pastry bag with a large frosting tip.
  17. -Twist the open end of the pastry bag pushing the frosting to the tip.
  18. -Frost the cupcakes.
  19. -Drizzle chocolate syrup on the chocolate frosting.
  20. -Drizzle caramel syrup on the chocolate frosting.
  21. -Place a Rolo in the center of the frosted cupcake.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2015/06/rolo-cupcakes-nut-free-recipe/

 

Rolo Cupcakes Recipe

Coconut-Lime Cupcakes (a nut-free recipe)

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Coconut Lime Cupcakes

“Bruder bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime
His sister had anudder one she paid a quarter lime
She put de lime in de coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up
She put de lime in de coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up…”
~ Coconut, Harry Nilsson

 

No, this isn’t just your earworm for the day.  It’s the song that filters through my mind whenever I make these cupcakes.  They’re absolutely summer perfect, refreshing…and dessert!  And I have to tell you, one of the absolute best/worst cravings I’ve had with this pregnancy versus the my other two kids (bacon and cucumbers) is my horrific citrus cravings!   Holy moly, I could eat lemons and limes ALL DAY LONG.  I mean, it could be worse.  Bacon is pretty bad after all.  Lemons and limes?  Not so much. Hence, these cupcakes…Did I just justify eating cupcakes? Yes, pregnancy also equals spinmaster.
 
Coconut-Lime Cupcakes

Ingredients

    Cupcakes
  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons lime zest
  • 4 Tbsp lime juice (1 medium lime)
  • 1 teaspoons coconut extract
  • ¾ cup Milk (whole)
  • Frosting
  • 8oz cream cheese (1 box), room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp toasted coconut
  • Small Lime slices (garnish)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
  3. In a separate large sized bowl, whisk eggs and sugar.
  4. Add the oil, lime zest and juice, coconut extract, and coconut milk to the egg and sugar mixture.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and lightly mix until blended.
  6. Fill each cupcake liner ¾ full.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes
  8. Use a toothpick to test the center of a cupcake
  9. Allow cupcakes to cool to room temp before frosting
  10. Frosting
  11. Beat the cream cheese using a hand mixer, adding butter 1 Tbsp at a time on medium speed until all butter has been added.
  12. Add coconut extract and powdered sugar and mix until combined. Do not overbeat frosting.
  13. Fill Decorating Bag with frosting. You'll also need a Coupler and Wilton 8B Tip (or another tip) if you don't have them already.
  14. Garnish with a wedge of lime and sprinkle of toasted coconut.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2015/06/coconut-lime-cupcakes-a-nut-free-recipe/

Coconut Lime Cupcakes Recipe

Lemon Curd Cupcakes (Nut Free Recipe)

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Lemon Curd Cupcake

 

In the summer, I only consider making two types of dessert –  No Bake and Light Desserts.  What I mean by light isn’t necessarily low calorie or low sugar – although I certainly do make both.  What I’m talking about is fruit based desserts.  It’s the time of year when fruit is locally grown and fresh, in season, and above all else, plentiful.  Why wouldn’t I take every opportunity to incorporate it wherever I can?!? You should, too!

As you know, one of my big pregnancy cravings has been lemon.  While I haven’t abandoned all reason and simply taken a big bite out of one (although I probably could and I wouldn’t even flinch), I’ve infused lemon into just about anything possible, desserts especially, and this is one of my favorites: Lemon Curd Cupcakes.   They’re light with a wonderful lemony taste that isn’t overpowering at all. These are ideal if you need mini cupcakes for a summer party and a perfect finish for a dinner like grilled chicken, vegetables, and fruit salad.

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Ingredients

    Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups all -purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 2 egg yolks (room temp)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Frosting
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cups unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Juice fresh squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Instructions

    Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whisk the first four ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  3. Mix the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the sugar to the butter and mix until smooth.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time until mixed well.
  6. Add the yolks one at a time until mixed well.
  7. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest until fully mixed.
  8. Begin slowly adding the lemon juice on low speed and mix.
  9. Add the dry ingredients and milk.
  10. Begin with the dry ingredients and alternate with the milk into the butter mixture then increase the speed to medium.
  11. Incorporate all together, scraping sides.
  12. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  13. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-24 minutes.
  14. Cool to room temperature before frosting.
  15. Frosting
  16. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together until stiff peaks form and all ingredients are well incorporated.
  17. Fill your pastry or ziploc bag with frosting and decorate as desired.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2015/06/lemon-curd-cupcakes-nut-free-recipe/

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Cannoli Cupcakes (nut free recipe)

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Best Cannoli Cupcake Recipe

 

When we went on vacation last year, we polled our friends about great eateries they thought we should check out along the way.  More than a few recommended a couple of bakeries.   Yeah, thanks guys. I said FOOD not DESSERT.  You know how it is, though.  When you’re on vacation, dessert IS food, and we made sure to stop by both recommended to us.  I have to say that we were not disappointed.  The first had all sorts of different cupcakes, gourmet cupcakes, based on different desserts.  These were not your standard white cake with buttercream frosting cupcakes – although I’d have been just as happy with that!   Sheesh.  Oh no, they had things like Black Forest Cupcakes, Andes Mint Grasshopper Cupcakes, Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes, and these delicious doubles – Cannoli Cupcakes.  Now, if you know anything at all about my husband, know this:  He l-o-v-e-s cannoli.  We never set foot in any bakery that sells them and leave without a few. When we’re on vacation we tend to leave with a few more than ‘a few’ of just about everything.  We left with 6 and went back the next day for 6 more, then 6 more before we left for our next destination. By the time we went in for the last 6, we were a little embarrassed.  Like most people, I don’t really like being embarrassed a whole lot, so I came home determined to recreate our favorite vacation dessert.  And after a few tries, I got it!

Friends, these are truly decadent desserts and among the very best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten.  You certainly don’t need a special occasion to make them, but they’ll absolutely hold their own if you choose to make them for an event of some sort.

Cannoli Cupcakes

Ingredients

    Cupcake
  • 3 C flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 C unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • Filling
  • 1/2 C ricotta cheese
  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/4 C small chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Frosting
  • 4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 C unsalted butter, soft
  • 4 TBSP heavy whipping cream
  • 3 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1 C zest of an orange and lemon
  • 1 C chopped semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

    Cupcakes
  1. -Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. -Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
  3. -Cream together the butter and sugar.
  4. -Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one.
  5. -Stir in the vanilla.
  6. -Sift the flour and baking powder together.
  7. -Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture.
  8. -Mix well.
  9. -Add the milk slowly until the batter is smooth.
  10. -Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  11. -Scoop the batter into the lined cupcake tins until 2/3 filled.
  12. -Cool for 10-15 minutes.
  13. -Remove the cupcakes from the tin and place on a wire rack until completely cooled.
  14. Filling Instructions and Addition
  15. -Add all the filling ingredients (except small chocolate chips) in a bowl and mix well.
  16. -Stir in the small chocolate chips.
  17. -Scoop out with a small spoon or cupcake scooper a hole in the middle of the cupcake.
  18. -Fill in the hole with a spoonful or two of the ricotta cheese mixture.
  19. -Spoon the filling until it equals to the top of the cupcake.
  20. Frosting
  21. -Cream the butter and powdered sugar until creamy.
  22. -If it doesn't cream add the heavy whipping cream.
  23. -If it does cream test to see if the frosting can form and keep a stiff peak.
  24. -If the frosting can't form and keep a stiff peak then ADD 1/2 C powdered sugar.
  25. -Test again.
  26. -When the frosting can form and keep a stiff peak ADD the fresh orange and lemon zest.
  27. - Stir to mix well adding the cocoa powder.
  28. -Ad the chocolate chips.
  29. -Stir to mix well.
  30. -Scoop the frosting into a pastry bag with a frosting tip.
  31. -Frost the cupcakes in a circular motion.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2015/05/cannoli-cupcakes-nut-free-recipe/

Cannoli Cupcakes Recipe

Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake (Nut-Free Recipe)

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Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake
I sure hope you like citrus-y things because you’re stuck with them for the next couple of months!  Lemon, Lime, and Orange, in that order, are my biggest cravings with this pregnancy.  Most everything I eat has at least one of those in it.  Boy, if you only knew how much I generally dislike all of those.  Haha…I make my husband crazy with a bag of Starburst candies.  I usually pick out all of the strawberry, then cherry, then orange, THEN lemon…Yep, that’s my order for everything.  With any candy that has a lime flavor, it’s the absolute last thing I’ll eat.  IF I eat it at all.  I know…craziness.

Right now, though, I’m all about this cake!  I DO actually love Orange Creamsicles, pregnant or not, and this is the yummiest cake version of that childhood favorite of mine.  It’s a perfect spring and summertime dessert!

Orange Creamsicle Poke Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 White Cake Mix
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Oil
  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 package Orange Jell-O
  • 1/2 cup boiling Water
  • 1/2 cup cold Water
  • 1 package Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 8 oz Cool Whip

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 13x9 pan with non stick spray.
  3. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, using eggs, orange juice (instead of water) and oil.
  4. Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes until cake springs back when touched.
  6. Allow cake completely cool.
  7. Using a skewer, poke small holes all over the cake, piercing all the way to bottom.
  8. In a bowl, combine Jell-O and boiling water and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.
  9. Add cold water, mix well and slowly pour this mixture over the entire cake.
  10. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  11. Combine the pudding mix, milk and vanilla and beat well.
  12. Fold Cool Whip into the pudding mixture and use it to frost cake.
  13. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2015/04/orange-creamsicle-poke-cake-nut-free-recipe/

 

Note: This recipe can easily be made sugar free.  Use a box of sugar free cake mix, swap water for OJ, and use sugar free Jell-O orange gelatin, sugar free Jell-O vanilla pudding, and sugar free Cool Whip! 

S’Mores Cupcakes! (Nut-Free Recipe)

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S'mores Cupcakes

 

Summer’s coming and that means camping, hobo pies, and marshmallowy, gooey, chocolatey s’mores!  I can hardly wait.  Since I’m so impatient, I thought we could both use a taste of summer a little bit early.  And what better way to do that than with S’mores Cupcakes!  They’re chock full of everything we love about those tasty summer treats…and more…frosting.  Oh yes, S’mores with frosting.  Is there anything better?  I think not.   Well, one thing.  They’re completely nut-free!

 

S'mores Cupcakes

Ingredients

    Cupcakes
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs, room temp.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Mini-Marshmallows
  • 1/2 bag of Graham Crackers (from box like Honey Maid)
  • Frosting
  • 1 cup Salted Butter
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Marshmallow Extract
  • 2 Hershey Bars, broken into squares (garnish)

Instructions

    Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add your eggs, milk, and oil.
  5. Beat with a mixer for 2 minutes.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Break graham crackers in half and place in Ziploc bag.
  8. Pound with blunt object (like rolling pin) until finely crushed.
  9. Scoop 1 tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs into cupcake liner.
  10. Place a scoop of chocolate cake batter onto graham cracker crumbs.
  11. Push 3 mini-marshmallows into the center of the cupcake.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes.
  13. Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to cool. Once cooled, put on wire rack.
  14. Frosting
  15. Place softened butter in mixing bowl and add the cocoa and powdered sugar.
  16. Mix on low until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary after each step.
  17. Add the extract.
  18. Add heavy cream.
  19. Fill Decorating Bag with frosting. You'll also need a Coupler and Wilton 8B Tip if you don't have them already.
  20. Pipe frosting around the top of cupcake.
  21. Garnish with graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows and a Hershey bar piece.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2015/04/smores-cupcakes-nut-free-recipe/

Note:  You can use Hershey’s Miniatures if you don’t have nut allergies in your home. They have more a more finished look.

Gender Reveal Cupcakes (Nut-Free Recipe)

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Gender Reveal Cupcakes

 

Pinterest was not even a thing when I was pregnant with my son…or my daughter for that matter!  I wish it had been because I would have had all sorts of ridiculously creative baby announcement ideas at my disposal.  Now?  I only have to be bitter about all those nifty wedding ideas I missed out on because I still get to take advantage of all of those super fun and creative baby ideas!  What am I saying?  Well, I can’t make you cupcakes, so I’ll just tell you.  I’m having a girl in June.  🙂

If you’re in the same blessed boat that I am, you have got to make these cupcakes!  They give you a reason to gather your loved ones around, so you can have a gender reveal party in addition to a baby shower!  Hey, we only get to do this so very few times in our lives.  We had better get as many parties out of it as possible, right?  Right!

Now, for the cupcakes, the idea is simple – Bake them with little cake hearts inside that are color coded to reveal the gender of your baby.  When your party-goers take a bite out of their cupcake, they’ll know if you’re having  a boy or girl.  Awww and sniff-sniff at the same time, I know. I know.

Think that sounds like they’re hard to make?  Think again.  If I can do it, you can do it.

But first, here are a few things you need to make these that you might not have:

Wilton Large Star Tip

Wilton Disposable 16-Inch Decorating Bags

Wilton 101 Piece Cookie Cutter Set – This set has the particular heart used to cut out the cake pieces and a whole lot more. It’s a must-have set.

Enjoy and congratulations!

Gender Reveal Cupcakes (a nut-free recipe)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour, Stir flour before measuring, then scoop and level each cup carefully
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into Tablespoons
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Blue or Pink Food Coloring

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Using a hand mixer slowly add the butter, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the butter breaks down and the mixture crumbles, scrap the sides as needed.
  3. In a large glass measuring cup, measure the milk and then whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Pour egg mixture into the dry ingredients, Do not overmix.
  5. Pour roughly ⅓ to ½ the batter into a bowl
  6. Mix in blue or pink food coloring until you achieve the color you want.
  7. Pour batter into a greased 13x9-inch baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool for a good 15 minutes.
  8. Press a small heart shaped cookie cutter in the colored cake and gently pull out the hearts. Cut enough hearts for the amount of cupcakes you need.
  9. Fill a cupcake pan with paper liners and fill ¼ to ½ full of batter.
  10. Stick colored hearts in the center of the batter.
  11. Scoop additional cake batter over the colored heart to fill the cups about ⅔ to ¾ full.
  12. Be careful not to overfill.
  13. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 14 to 18 minutes until cake is baked and bounces back when touched.
  14. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
  15. Icing:
  16. 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  17. 1 cup butter
  18. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  19. 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  20. Make 2 batches of Butter Cream Frosting and fit a plastic piping bag with large decorating tips
  21. Draw one thin line of pink food coloring and one thin line of blue food coloring on either side of the plastic bag.
  22. Gently fill the bag with frosting, being careful not to touch the food coloring with your spatula.
  23. Twist the end and squeeze until both colors are coming out the tip.
  24. Pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake, from the outside in towards the center, covering the secret colored heart.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2015/03/gender-reveal-cupcakes-nut-free-recipe/

Gender Reveal Cupcake Centers

 

Cake Batter Fudge Recipe (Nut-Free)

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Cake Batter Fudge Nut Free Recipe

 

When I was young, I used to mix up cookie, cake or brownie batter and eat a few spoonsful before baking….with the egg mixed in. Meh, in the 80’s, this was pretty normal.  Now, this is largely considered living on the edge.  I don’t do it anymore either, by the way.  Heck, I don’t want salmonella!  I’ve got enough stomach problems on a GOOD day to roll the dice like that.  Nevertheless, I still love batter.  There really is nothing quite like it.   My solution these days?  For a box mix, I combine the mix, water, and oil, eat a bite or two or six, and THEN mix in the eggs.  Works just fine.  The only problem? About 2 hours later I’m wishing I had another delicious spoonful of batter.  You, too?  I know.   That’s what makes this particular recipe ridiculously awesome. Cake Batter Fudge. Specifically, white cake batter fudge. Yep, that’s kind my thing.  I love white cake batter better than just about anything, but you can use any cake flavor you like. It doesn’t really matter.

 

Cake Batter Fudge Fail

 

OK, confession time.  Before I dig into this recipe, I have to tell you that this is a post that has been sitting for at least a year.  I know this because my first attempt has Valentine’s Day sprinkles on it.  See that up there?  Yep, the upcoming holiday is what reminded me to dust it off in the first place.   Wondering why it has been sitting for so long?  It was a Pinterest fail.  That’s not parchment paper.  That’s foil with a few spoon scrapes here and there thanks to my husband and kids.  Nope, I didn’t eat that one.  Oh yes,  I ruined cake mix after cake mix before I came up with the perfect ingredient balance.  You see, the previous recipe I used didn’t use the entire box of cake mix.  Not cool.  I mean, what am I going to do with 1/3ish box of cake mix?  I tried making  a few cupcakes, but the balance of additional ingredients was off.  I never could get it right.  I had to remedy this problem by using the entire box of cake mix, so I set about finding a solution all by myself = trouble.  I had several fails before getting it right.  Sometimes I added too much milk and it didn’t set.  This happened a few times.  Another time I used a bad cake mix.    Yes, it’s possible to do that, too.  OK, so here’s the skinny on this recipe, you know, because I don’t want you to suffer the same fate.  Do not use Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix.  It will not work.  I don’t know if any other box cake mixes work either.  If you’re brave enough to try, let me know how they turn out.  I used Betty Crocker for two reasons:

1.)  It works.

2.)  We are a food allergy house and BC is good about labeling for allergens.

Since I figured out the proper combination of ingredients, I’ve made these a few times because my kids love them.  Even my girlie who only likes all things chocolate loves them.  They’re perfect birthday party take-home treats, Easter yummies, and yes, Valentine’s Day desserts, too.   Just pick up the appropriate sprinkles and you’re in business.  I can usually find nut-free sprinkles in the Target Dollar Spot for, yep, $1.  Ahem, not everything in the Target Dollar Spot is $1.  🙂

Cake Batter Fudge

Ingredients

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Cake Mix, your choice (abt. 3ish cups in the box)
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) Butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Milk
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Line an 8x8 brownie pan with parchment paper or foil - along bottom and sides. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and powdered sugar.
  3. Place a stick of butter on top.
  4. Pour in milk.
  5. Do NOT stir.
  6. Microwave for 2 mins 30 seconds.
  7. Remove from microwave and stir until well mixed. It should not be runny.
  8. Pour into your prepared pan, smoothing it with a spatula.
  9. Cover with sprinkles. Gently press them into the batter.
  10. Refrigerate at least 3 hours until well set. The longer the better.
  11. Cut into squares.
  12. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
http://dontmakemenuts.com/2015/01/cake-batter-fudge-recipe-nut-free/

 

Reminder:  Manufacturing practices change over time.  While Betty Crocker and other mentioned products may be safe at the time this post is made, it may be years down the road when you may be reading this.  Please always read all labels carefully to avoid cross-contamination if you are avoiding allergens and call the manufacturer if you’re still unsure.

Recipe adapted from Girl Meets Life

Patriotic Tiered Watermelon Cake (Nut-Free)

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Patriotic Tiered Watermelon Cake

I am the resident dessert baker in the family. It has always been this way – even before we knew our son was allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. I love to bake and everyone knows it! In the summer, though? Meh, not so much. It’s too hot to bake most of the time, so I always try and choose desserts that don’t add any heat to the house.   The problem with that? No bake desserts sometimes lack good presentation.

That isn’t true for this light, refreshing, cake-esque dessert that makes a fabulous centerpiece for your summer table!   Just pull out your star cookie cutter and you’re ready to go!  Plus, this won’t set you back a ton either.  All of this fruit is generally on sale in the week leading up to either Memorial Day or July 4th, so you won’t spend a lot to make something that looks extravagant.

To make this, I use:
1 – whole seedless watermelon
1 – pineapple
blueberries
cherries, halved
Whipped Topping (piped using a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off. You can use a tip and coupler, too, if you like)
toothpicks (to secure pineapples and cherries)

Directions:  You can assemble this anyway you like, really.  The only stipulation here is that you make sure that you do not cut directly in the center of the watermelon to cut it in half .  Cut it as though you’re cutting the middle out of the watermelon instead.  Then, use the “ends” to make the next two tiers. The picture is otherwise relatively self-explanatory.  I know. I never say that, but it’s true!  You can see what I did.  Haha!

You may need these items:
DayMark 115435 12″ Hand-E-Grip Disposable Pastry Bag with Dispenser (Roll of 100)
Ateco 4-Piece Set of Standard Couplers
Ateco 14-Piece Cake Decorating Set (use #2 tip)
Ateco 6-Piece Graduated Star Cookie Cutter Set

tiered patriotic watermelon cake

Dessert Love: Creamy Blueberry Pie (Nut-Free)

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Creamy Blueberry Pie

 

Diner.

To different people, that word means different things.   For some, it’s about chicken and waffles, jumbo breakfasts, signature macaroni & cheese, or simply the notion of a meal like Mom used to cook.  For me, it evokes memories of my childhood.  Growing up, we had a diner nearby called Harvey’s.  I never knew it was actually Harvey’s Colonial House until recently.  It was always just Harvey’s to my Dad and me.

Sigh, my Dad.

You may know that my Dad was the superintendent of a local school district here years ago – in the 1970’s.  Sometimes, when he was available for lunch, he would come home (in his tailored suit) and pick me up.  We’d go to a local diner, usually Harvey’s, and sit on the swivel stools and have lunch together.  Soup and a sandwich, it often was.  My Dad would enjoy engaging me, as well as other patrons, in somewhat idle chit-chat about world events, local politics, and the like.  As a child, I was always impressed with my father’s confidence and intelligence.  He could talk authoritatively with anyone about any subject – from Barbies to Barbados.    I didn’t quite understand why, though even in those days, it was always conveyed to me by my mother that my Dad had his PhD.   Well, at 6, I could only barely identify those letters, much less the weighty importance of the way they were put together behind his name.  I just knew Dad went to school for a long time and that he had an important job.

And so, I always felt a little bit lucky that my Dad wanted to spend his lunch with me.  Those were such fun times and very special memories to me now.  And looking back, what I remember about these places is the homey feel, the Mom-cooked flavor of the food, and the to-die-for desserts in the dessert case.

“What are you going to have for dessert today?”, my Dad would ask, “I think I’m going to have a slice of apple pie.”  My Dad.  He never strayed from tradition with his dessert choices.  Me?  It was either French Silk Pie or  Coconut Cream Pie or Lemon Cream Pie or Blueberry Cream Pie, definitely something extravagantly indulgent and over the top.

It usually ended there, though.  I loved their Blueberry Cream Pie.  It reminded me of a baby food I loved when I was so tiny.  I can’t even tell you how old I was, but I was old enough to remember it.  Toddlerish? It was Blueberry Buckle, and it was…amazing.    I mean, it was Gerber, so…you know…we’re talking baby food here.  I loved it.  To the indiscriminate palate of a toddler, it was gold.

To the somewhat more refined dessert palate of a six year old, ahem,  Blueberry Cream Pie was Blueberry Buckle’s Momma.  Oh yes, blueberries, creamy pudding, and crusty goodness.  Who can say no to that?   Pfft…not me.

So, I’m clearly all about diner food around here, so I made my Memorial Day/July 4th signature pie – Creamy Blueberry Pie.  See what I did there?  Blueberry Cream/Creamy Blueberry…pie?  I know, I’m not THAT creative, but I did manage to do a pretty excellent job of recreating my very favorite pie.  It’s a favorite of our family gatherings and it will be of yours, too.  Plus, it makes use of a decidedly American fruit, and one that Michigan is known for growing.  Did you know that Michigan produces approximately 100 million pounds of blueberries each year and more cultivated blueberries than any other state? It’s true!  We have acidic soil  perfectly suited for optimal blueberry growth near Lake Michigan.  We saw rows and rows of blueberry bushes from Grand Haven down to Holland.  It was stunning to see.

Vanilla Wafer Pie Crust

 

But I digress…this pie is relatively easy to make.  However, if you have trouble tempering eggs, that will be your downfall with this because it is a requirement.  Hey, don’t ask how I know about messing that up.  I spent years getting it wrong before I got it right, and I’m still not convinced I’m heating them enough sometimes, so I overheat and scramble the eggs out.  It’s really kind of gross.  Haha!

Crust

First, though, let’s take a look at the crust.  Preheat your oven to 350.  You’ll need 1 & 1/3 cups crushed vanilla wafers.  Add 2 tablespoons of sugar, 5 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Mix that all together.

Vanilla Wafer Pie Crust 1

 

After the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, press the mixture into your ungreased 9″ oven safe pie plate with a fork.  Bake it in your preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.  You want the crust to set  – not brown.

 

Cream Filling

OK, so for this portion of the dessert, you’ll need to have these ready to go:

1/4 cup sugar
3 tbl all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup half & half
3 egg yolks, beaten in a small bowl able to accommodate 1/2 cup additional liquid
3 tablespoons butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan on medium low heat (4 on my electric stove), whisk the sugar, flour, and salt.    Add the cream and whisk continuously until combined.  Cook on medium heat until sufficiently thickened, not just starting to thicken, whisking nearly constantly.   This takes about 3-4 minutes from the time it starts to thicken.

While whisking the eggs in your small bowl, add half of the milk mixture.   Whisk until combined and return all of it to the pan.  Keep whisking.  From here, I turn the heat up to about 5 for a brief minute or two to kick it up a bit, then turn it back down to 4.  Keep whisking until it bubbles almost immediately when you stop whisking.  I usually let it go a few minutes beyond this because I’m weird about eggs.  Just don’t turn up the heat and they won’t scramble.

Remove the cream mixture from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.  Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.  Whisk or stir it periodically or it will form a skin.    Yeah, I know, gross.  I think so, too.

Pour the cream mixture into the baked pie crust, and spread it evenly.  Refrigerate while you complete the blueberry topping.

Blueberry Topping

In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 cup water, and stir. Add 4 cups blueberries and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Continue to boil about 5 minutes, stirring periodically, until the blueberries start to make a sauce, but about 1/3 are still whole but well cooked.    Remove from heat and cool on the stove about 5 minutes, then pour over your cream mixture.

Chill 4 hours in the refrigerator or until set.  Store refrigerated.

Creamy Blueberry Pie (Nut-Free)

Ingredients

    CRUST
  • 1 & 1/3 cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • 2 tbl sugar
  • 5 tbl butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • CREAM FILLING
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbl all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten in a small bowl able to accommodate 1/2 cup additional liquid
  • 3 tbl butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • BLUEBERRY TOPPING
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbl cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. CRUST
  2. Preheat your oven to 350.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine 1 & 1/3 cups crushed vanilla wafers, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 5 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix that all together.
  4. Press the mixture into your ungreased 9″ oven safe pie plate with a fork.
  5. Bake it in your preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. You want the crust to set - not brown.
  6. CREAM FILLING
  7. In a small saucepan on medium low heat (4 on my electric stove), whisk the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the cream and whisk continuously until combined.
  8. Cook on medium heat until sufficiently thickened, not just starting to thicken, whisking nearly constantly. This takes about 3-4 minutes from the time it starts to thicken.
  9. Next, while whisking the eggs in your small bowl, add half of the milk mixture. Whisk until combined and return all of it to the pan.
  10. Keep whisking. From here, I turn the heat up to about 5 for a brief minute or two to kick it up a bit, then turn it back down to 4. Keep whisking until it bubbles almost immediately when you stop whisking.
  11. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes. Whisk or stir it periodically or it will form a skin.
  12. Pour the cream mixture into the baked pie crust, and spread it evenly. Refrigerate while you complete the blueberry topping.
  13. BLUEBERRY TOPPING
  14. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 cup water, and stir. Add 4 cups blueberries and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  15. Continue to boil about 5 minutes, stirring periodically, until the blueberries start to make a sauce, but about 1/3 are still whole but well cooked.
  16. Remove from heat and cool on the stove about 5 minutes, then pour over your cream mixture.
  17. Chill 4 hours in the refrigerator or until set. Store refrigerated.
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