Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Well, the end of September means that pumpkin season is officially upon us!! I love pumpkin as much as the next person, and I find myself sharing at least one pumpkin recipe before the season is done.

This recipe, though, I didn’t even find myself. My fabulous friend Jericka (oh yeah – shoutout!) sent me this recipe on Pinterest and said that we had to try it. Well, I was all game to try a pumpkin recipe, and try creme brulee for the first time. (It also helps that we have a brulee torch now, so I don’t need to try and burn sugar under the broiler!)

Well, Jericka, the sweetheart she is, showed up at our dinner/creme brulee date with flowers to celebrate my birthday (yeah, she’s awesome), and a can of pumpkin for these beauties.

The longest time that this recipe takes is for the cooling and final setting of the creme brulees. We couldn’t wait longer than about an hour and a half, we were so excited to try this recipe, and it still turned out beautifully!

Make these fabulous desserts! They are totally worth the wait, and SO GOOD!


Yield: 4-6 creme brulees, depending on the size of the ramekins

½ c. brown sugar, packed
3 egg yolks
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. pumpkin puree
½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice (if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use ¼ tsp. ginger and ¼ tsp. cardamom)
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
½ c. sugar (more or less depending)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange 4-6 ramekins in a deep baking dish or two, depending on the size of the ramekins. Boil a kettle of water.

In the bowl of a mixer, whisk together the brown sugar and egg yolks until combined. Slowly add in the cream, whisking continuously, until incorporated. Add in the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice (or substitutions), cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Combine well, until you have a smooth custard.

Pour mixture into the ramekins evenly, filling about ½ to ¾ full. Pour the boiling water into the baking dish, so that the water comes up about halfway around the sides of the ramekins.

Bake in the preheated ovens until just set – the middle might jiggle slightly. Take out of the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, about 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, sprinkle sugar over the brulee mixture until it is evenly covered. Torch with a kitchen torch until the sugar melts and hardens.If you do not have a kitchen torch, place under the broiler of your oven and watch constantly.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve cold.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake

Well, I’ll admit it. I’ve never really liked PB & J sandwiches. Not sure why. I like peanut butter. I like jelly or jam… if it’s raspberry or strawberry flavoured. But I’ve never had the inclination to put them together.
I celebrated my birthday last week, and had the day off today, so I figured that I’d make myself a cake. From the get-go, I was planning a Cannoli Cake. I know, sounds AMAZING. But, I found myself on a Sunday where I really – and I mean really – didn’t want to leave the house to go get any ingredients I was missing. I was missing quite a few as well, so I decided to store the cannoli cake for another day, and look for something a little more… accessible.

I was scrolling though Pinterest and saw this Peanut Butter and Jelly cake, and thought, heck, why not give it a try? After all, it’s in cake form, and I do love cake. I changed a few things… The original recipe has all white sugar in the cake. Well, my sugar bucket was running low, and I’m not QUITE strong enough to lift up my 20kg bag of sugar and balance it just so to fill up my sugar bucket without getting sugar all over the kitchen floor. That being said, I substituted half a cup of white sugar for brown, and I’m so glad I did, because it made the cake and the frosting match in flavour just that much more.

This frosting though. Oh. My. Gosh. Sooo good! A brown sugar peanut butter swiss meringue buttercream. Oh yeah – wrap your head around that. I was definitely licking the bowl… and the spatula… and the beater… yeah, you get the picture. It was knock-your-socks-off good.


Yield: 1 6-inch cake

For the cake:

2¼ c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ c. butter, softened
½ c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. sugar
½ c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla

For the frosting:

¾ c. brown sugar
3 egg whites
1½ c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
6 tbsp. creamy peanut butter

To assemble/garnish:

Jam or jelly of your choosing (I used strawberry jam)
Chopped peanuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 six inch pans or 2 8 inch pans. (I used my miracle cake release.) Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until combined.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add in the sugar, and mix until well incorporated. Add in the eggs and vanilla, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add in half of the flour mixture, and turn the mixer on low. Drizzle the milk into the mixer bowl slowly, until all the milk is incorporated. Add in the other half of the flour mixture, and mix until combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Tap on the counter a few times to make sure the batter is level. Bake in the preheated oven for about 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, whisk together the sugar and the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer set over a pot with 2 inches of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160°F. When the egg mixture reaches the correct temperature, take off the simmering pot, and whisk on high speed until a thick meringue starts to form. Mixture should reach stiff peaks. Beat in the soft butter, a few tablespoons at a time. Add in the vanilla, and the peanut butter, and beat until combined into a thick, fluffy frosting. It will come together.

To assemble the cake, level the cakes so they are flat. Place one cake on the serving dish. Pipe a dam of icing around the outside edge of the cake, then spoon the jam or jelly into the middle of the icing. Place the second cake on the icing/jam. Repeat with the next layer of cake.

Once all three layers of cake are stacked, frost the sides and top of the cake, reserving some icing to decorate. (I had a lot of icing left over – I just slathered it on the trimmed cake tops for a little snack for Paul!)

If desired, pipe a border around the bottom of the cake and around the top of the cake. Fill the space in the top of the cake with another layer of jam. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts on top and around the cake, if desired.

Store in the fridge, but serve at room temperature.

Turtles Cupcakes

Why have a Turtle when you can have a Turtle’s cupcake? I was invited over to a friend’s for a wine night and she jokingly suggested that I bring cupcakes. Well, she told me she was joking, but that really got me thinking. I haven’t made cupcakes in a long time, and therefore decided to!
I scoured through my Pinterest board, and came across these beauties. I knew as soon as I saw them that yup, these cupcakes were the one to make. I found the original recipe here, and I didn’t modify it in any way… except to double it. I’m sorry, but I need more than just 12 cupcakes. A girl needs to share!

These cupcakes are totally reminiscent of Turtles. There’s a chocolate base, covered in a salted caramel buttercream, then sprinkled with chopped pecans and more salted caramel… Oh yeah, these things are good! I also decided to make a little surprise in the middle of the cupcake. With a paring knife, I cut out a small hole in the top of the cupcake, filled it with chopped pecans and caramel, then put the cupcake back over the hole to fill it and iced the cupcake. It was beautiful – the little surprising crunch of the pecans and the soft gooey caramel right in the middle. A great little bite.

If you want, you can also drizzle some chocolate sauce on top of these beauties. I chose not to, because I sprinkled a generous helping of pecans over the top, and I wanted that crunch factor.

I forgot the best part! You don’t even need your mixer! Just one big mixing bowl, and you’re set! 🙂 Like you needed another reason to make these cupcakes! I also use the homemade salted caramel recipe that I first posted about in my Salted Caramel Apple Bars. It’s a great recipe – I’ll have to do a post just on that – it takes 10-15 minutes at most.


Yield: 12 cupcakes (recipe can easily be doubled)

For the cupcake batter:

1 c. flour
¾ c. sugar
½ c. cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ c. milk
¼ c. vegetable oil
½ c. boiling water

For the salted caramel buttercream:

¾ c. butter, softened
3½ c. icing sugar
1/3 c. caramel sauce (homemade or store bought)
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. heavy cream

For garnishing:

Caramel sauce
Chocolate sauce or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Mix in egg, vanilla, milk, and vegetable oil until combined. Whisk in boiling water until smooth and incorporated.

Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and tops spring back.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before cooling completely on wire rack prior to adding frosting.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: In a bowl using a stand mixer or your hand mixer, cream butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes. Beat in powdered sugar and slowly mix on low speed until mixture comes together. Add caramel sauce then vanilla and beat on medium-high speed. Add heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time until light and fluffy or desired consistency is reached.

Fill a pastry bag with frosting and pipe onto cupcakes. Top with chocolate chips, chopped pecans and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Coconut Cream Pie

Okay, I admit it. Up until now, I haven’t been the biggest coconut fan. I’ve always liked it, but I’ve never LOVED coconut. I think the Coconut Cookies I made a few weeks back, along with this pie, is truly opening me up to loving coconut. While I’m still not a fan of Pina Coladas (the pineapple-coconut combination just doesn’t do it for me… sorry team. It’s not BAD, it’s just…. mojitos are better!) I am really starting to appreciate coconut as its own flavour.

Paul has been bugging me, almost relentlessly, for pie lately. His excuse is that it’s Fall now, and Fall means pie. Today, I bit the bullet, and made him pie. I’m happy I did too, because this pie is phenomenal. Like, I can’t even explain how great it is. The coconut filling has just a touch of almond extract, and for me, that made the coconut flavour sing even more!!
I found the original recipe here, and followed it word for word. I haven’t made a ton of cream pies, so I’m still getting used to the custard idea. But, again, I am so, so happy I made this pie. Just trust me, and go make this pie for yourself!


Yield: 1 9 inch pie

|For the crust:

1 recipe Flaky Butter Pie Crust (or half, if you don’t want to freeze the leftovers)

For the custard cream:

3 c. milk
1/3 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
4 tbsp. (or ¼ c.) butter
2 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. almond extract

For the whipped cream:

1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. icing sugar

Prepare the pie crust according to the recipe. Blind bake at 350°F, with pie weights, for 15-20 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

In a large saucepan, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and coconut and set aside.

In a small saucepan or microwave-safe liquid measuring cup, heat 1 c. of milk until scalding. (I used the microwave – I could quickly heat 1 cup at a time without burning the milk.)

With the burner on medium low heat, whisk the milk into the coconut mixture in the saucepan. Cook until the mixture thickens slightly. While the mixture is cooking/thickening, heat 1 c. of milk until scalding. Once the mixture has thickened, whisk the second cup of scalded milk into the saucepan and continue cooking.

Heat the last cup of milk until hot and scalded. Once the mixture has thickened again, whisk the 3rd cup of milk into the coconut mixture, and let it cook again, until thickened even more.

Once the mixture has thickened more, temper the egg yolks by spooning about half a cup of the coconut mixture into the eggs and whisking vigorously while doing so. Do not stop whisking until the mixture has come together – you don’t want the eggs to cook. Once the eggs have been incorporated, place the small amount of egg mixture back into the pan with the rest of the custard base, and whisk until cohesive.

Add in the butter, vanilla, and almond extract, and cook until almost boiling, or until a pudding-like consistency is reached.

Immediately take the custard off the heat and let it cool for 20 minutes. Pour the custard into the blind-baked shell, and let cool.

For the whipped cream, whip together the cream, vanilla and sugar until soft peaks form. Top the custard with the whipped cream, garnish with toasted coconut, and chill.

Wait until the pie is completely chilled until slicing and serving.

Root Beer Marshmallows

Who doesn’t love marshmallows?! And with Root Beer? Either I’m crazy, or a genius, or both.

Any time I eat a marshmallow nowadays, I think about all kinds of new flavours to try. Homemade marshmallows are just so much BETTER than store bought. They really are. And you can incorporate so many flavours – if it comes in an extract bottle, chances are you can make a marshmallow with it. I have a bottle of Root Beer Concentrate from Watkins and courtesy of my mom, and Paul loves it. We’ve put it in magic shell, cupcakes, and now I got the crazy idea to try it in marshmallows!

The best thing about homemade marshmallows is that they are so EASY. It never takes me longer than half an hour to make, and it takes more time for marshmallows to set up than it does to make them! Sure, you do need a candy thermometer, and a mixer is helpful here, but they are so worth the extra effort of making homemade marshmallows.

These homemade marshmallows will up your s’more game – guaranteed!


Yield: About 2 dozen marshmallows

1 c. cold water, divided
2½ tbsp. unflavoured gelatin
1½ c. sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. Root Beer Concentrate
¼ c. icing sugar
¼ c. corn starch

Line an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch square pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix the icing sugar and corn starch. Sprinkle some of the icing sugar mixture into the pan, trying to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attachment, place ½ c. of the cold water, and sprinkle the gelatin over to soften.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the rest of the water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Place a candy thermometer in/on the pan, and heat. Cook until mixture reaches 240°F. When it does, immediately remove it from the heat, turn on the mixture to it’s lowest setting, and drizzle the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl.

Once all of the sugar syrup is incorporated, turn the mixer to high and whip until mixture becomes thick and lukewarm. The colour should also change from transparent to white. Once the mixture is thick and has almost the consistency of melted marshmallow, add in the Root Beer Concentrate. Mix the extract in well, then pour the marshmallow mixture into the lined pan.

Sprinkle more of the icing sugar mixture over the marshmallows, then leave to set 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to cut, lift the set marshmallows out of the pan onto a cutting board. Use a pizza roller dipped in the icing sugar mixture, tossing the cut marshmallows in more of the icing sugar mixture so they don’t stick together. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.