From the category archives:

Cakes & Muffins

Simple Yellow Cake From Scratch ~ No Deep Thoughts Here

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It may be August, but I felt like baking. Six men have been crawling all over our home for weeks, painting its exterior. “Thank you” and “such a great job” are words; a cake will make ME feel better. I baked them a Scratch Yellow Sheet Cake with Pink Peppermint Icing. 

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Fresh Peach Pound Cake ~ Where is Virginia Willis When I Need Her?

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Let me say, this Two-Step Fresh Peach Pound Cake is hefty.  It’s from Southern Living Magazine, and presented some questions that could have easily been answered if I were Virginia Willis.  Or Nancie McDermott.  Both of my Southern friends — cookbook authors and culinarians extraordinaire — would have instinctively known what to do.

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Lemon Chickpea Cake

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Why would anyone put garbanzos into cake batter?  Yeah, good question.  The recipe was in a little pamphlet from a US Pea and Lentil Commodity Board I picked up at a food conference somewhere. Hmmm…  salads, soups, stews… LEMON CHICKPEA CAKE?

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When Larry Cooked Like a Real Italian

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Montone, Umbria, Italy — Our cooking class instructor assured us this was THE Umbrian recipe to master – a lemony olive oil cake. Chef Judith Klinger of Aroma Cucina put Larry to work in her killer Italian kitchen in Montone. Husband/partner Jeff Albucher was attentive dishwasher, bartender and M.C., regaling us in Umbrian history and […]

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Kahlua Chocolate Decadence Brownie– A Perfect 5-Inch Cake to Save You Forevermore From Sending Pricey Mail Order Baked Goods

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Success is sweet.  I feel like I kinda beat the system. My scratch-baked 5-inch Kahlua Chocolate Decadence Brownie fits in a mailable flat rate box. What started me on this project was the Harry and David cake ordered for my sis’s sinus surgery “get well” gift. GULP!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins ~ Guest Post by In Erika’s Kitchen

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  Thank you to Southern California food writer and working mom Erika Kerekes for these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins and guest post. Erika publishes the family-friendly food blog In Erika’s Kitchen as often as her schedule permits. She’s proud to have two boys who are equally skilled at making messes in the kitchen and cleaning […]

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Thelma’s Famous Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Larry’s Little Layer Versions

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Thelma’s Carrot Cake is truly phenomenal. Full fat, full sugar, full egg type of recipe from the 60s. Thelma is Larry’s mom, age 91, loves sweets and is still going strong. This is some miracle carrot cake!  It’s Larry’s fav but, sadly for him, a healthy diet means he doesn’t get it often. Uh, did […]

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Mini Glazed Lemon Corncakes

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Holy Moly, these Mini Glazed Lemon Corncakes are fab!! {TWO exclamation points.} Dense, moist, lemony, sweet. Here’s the brainstorm… first, a too-large bag of cornbread mix in the pantry, left over from Easter. Next, lemon tree, loaded with fruit. I was on my 3-mile Sunday walk (good girl), pondering cooking (natch). There HAD to be […]

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Tangerine Upside Down Cake

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Tangerine slices, I came to realize, are beautiful on a cake but I screwed up.  In order to get the bitter flavor out of the rind before I assembled this, I should have blanched the slices. I’d simply substituted them for the lemons in the Lemon Upside Down Cake recipe published in the LA Times […]

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Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake ~ a Southern Cake for the Groom

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This Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake was the companion cake at my sister’s Friday night pre-wedding family shindig. Groom, Mike likes chocolate. I like chocolate. I like Mike and wanted to make him a chocolatey cake from Nancie McDermott’s Southern Cakes – Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations. But OOPS — three mistakes got me THIS […]

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Pineapple-Coconut Cake ~ a Southern Cake for a California Bride

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This bride-inspired Pineapple-Coconut Cake is from Nancie McDermott’s dreamy Southern Cakes – Sweet and Irresistible Recipes for Everyday Celebrations (will post the groom’s little cake, behind, soon). My sister remarried on 9-10-11-12. September 10, 2011 at noon. No, no, this isn’t the “wedding cake.” Janie and Mike tied the knot at the house (Mike’s). But […]

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Kahlua Ice Cream Layered Cake ~ A Tutorial

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Step-by-step, make this killer Kahlua Ice Cream Layered Cake by following my photos. The idea has been in my recipe binder since 2004, a Family Circle cover recipe made with kid-friendly flavors. No way, this had Kahlua potential, requiring a dinner party at home for obvious melting challenges.

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Chestnut Cakes

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Do you remember THIS THROWDOWN (to myself)?  My jar of Roland chestnuts was befuddling. What the heck does a California girl make with chestnuts? Plenty of folks tweeted suggestions; most were savory (as in, toss with brussel sprouts. Seriously?). A few readers told me to eat them from the jar. Tempting, but I envisioned something […]

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