Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Sometimes you bake things because you need to use up what's in the fridge. Recently I've be struggling real hard with using fruits and vegetables and eating leftovers before they find there way to the back of my fridge to turn and grow mold (adulting is hard, folks!). So when the weekend hit and I had some time to spend in the kitchen, I decided to figure out a simple recipe that would use up some blueberries, lemons, and yogurt instead of running out to the store. 

This recipe looks like a lot of steps, but it's fairly simple to make. Plus, unlike cookies or cupcakes or even a layer cake, this batter all goes into one pan and into the oven, with just a few check-ins needed. No running back and forth to the oven to load in more cookies or refill cupcake pans, which was just what I wanted from this Saturday morning baking session. 

Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Yields one loaf
adapted from this Bon Appetit Magazine

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon zest, divided
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 handfuls of blueberries
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
8 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a loaf pan by lining with parchment paper so the hangs over on the long sides and spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. In a separate bowl, toss blueberries with 2 teaspoons of flour until coated. Side aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add granulated sugar and lemon zest and work the zest into the sugar with your fingers until slight clumps appear and mixture is fragrant. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla and beat until light and thick, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, then 3/4 cup of yogurt. Scrape down the bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients followed by 5 tablespoons of lemon juice. Using a spatula, fold in blueberries until they are evenly throughout the batter and scrape into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven. Poke holes into the top of the cake and brush with remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Cool for 15 minutes and then lift cake out of pan with parchment paper and let cool completely on a wire rack. 

Whisk together powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of water, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl until combined and drizzle over cooled cake. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest (optional) and let glaze set, about 30 minutes, before slicing.


Recipe: Funfetti Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches

This weekend (well actually Monday) was G's birthday! We ate, did a ton of walking around the city, went to the baseball game with some friends, and made and ate these ice cream sandwiches! 

I knew I wanted to make something that wasn't chocolate, was easy to share with friends, was easy, seemed pretty foolproof, and didn't require a ton of dishes and/or time. These fit all of categories and also seemed really fun/outrageous/festive. Hooray! 

(These were honestly so good that while eating the first one, I just looked at G and with my mouth filled with ice cream sandwich murmured "I made something great." He agreed.)

Funfetti Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yields 18-20 sandwiches

For Funfetti Cookies:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups flour
3-5 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles or nonpareils

For Filling:
1 container of birthday cake ice cream (I used Blu's Birthday Party from Blue Bunny)
1 container of rainbow Nerds candy and Fruity Pebbles cereal, or whatever you want!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and shortening with an electric mixer. Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk flour, salt, and baking powder to combine. With your mixer on low, add dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixer. Using a spatula, fold in sprinkles.

Drop rounded balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. I made mine a little larger than the original recipe to get a bigger cookie, about a tablespoon and a half large. Bake 8-10 minutes or until bottoms just begin to brown. Allow cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheet, about 5 minutes, and then transfer onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once cookies are completely cool, match cookies of the same size. Place a baking sheet so it's flat in your freezer. Using a tablespoon or soup spoon, spoon birthday cake ice cream onto one cookie and lightly press down with another cookie. I used a ball of ice cream that was larger than a golfball, but smaller than a tennis ball, but whatever works! Use the handle of a spoon (or your finger) to smooth out the ice cream between the cookies and place on the baking sheet in the freezer. After all sandwiches are created, roll the sides of each sandwich in candy or lightly smashed cereal, pressing the pieces into the ice cream. Place back in the freezer and freeze for at least an hour to completely harden. 

So cute! :)


5 Things I'm Loving Right Now


Spent most of last week in Chicago for a half work, half personal trip. I attended a work conference and also spent the weekend exploring Chicago with G—a city I've never been to! More photos and a list of some of our favorite places are coming soon, but in the meantime, here's 5 Things I'm Loving Right Now:

  1. Dry Shampoo. Since I've been growing my bangs out, I've been (thankfully) able to go longer in between washing my hair. I'm trying to get my hair to a healthier, stronger state and not washing it as often seems to be helping. BUT dry shampoo has been key. My two favorites are Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo and KMS California Hair Play Makeover Spray.
  2. Peanut Butter Banana Toast. Recently I've been bringing this for breakfast at work and it's been my jam lately. Sometimes I drizzle honey on it, sometimes I eat it at my desk at work, sometimes I eat it twice in one work day. I've just been eating it a lot.
  3. Planting. Work has been quite stressful lately and I've been loving coming home and planting a little potted garden on my deck. It's been very relaxing to me. Plus I've been looking for plants at different shops, spending time in my backyard, and they really make my deck look a hell of a lot prettier.
  4. These Madewell Jeans. I'd been looking for bell bottoms for a little while and found these on sale and they're great. They fit perfectly and look great with clogs. Really excited to wear them without a coat!
  5. Enamel pins. Along with everyone else on the Internet, I'm having a hard time not buying tons and tons of enamel pins. There's so many good ones out right now, but I'm running out of things to put them on. Here's some of my favorite pin brands: Big Bud Press, Hello Holiday, Stay Home Club, Greenwich Letterpress, Valley Cruise Press, and The Found.

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

I took a little time off from making, baking, and photographing to have a low-key weekend before I head to Chicago this week. Work has been intense lately. I'm adjusting to wanting to spend a lot of my time off with someone else. The weather has been starting to perk up. All in all I just needed a weekend to relax and not worry about baking. Getting back into the swing of things this weekend, I wanted to make something that used up things in my fridge/pantry. It's been a little while since I've baked cupcakes and I had a few oranges and blood oranges lingering in my fridge and these cupcakes were born. A standard cupcake with a few twists: orange zest, dark cocoa, and a tangy frosting.  

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes 

Yields 36 cupcakes

1 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed or Special Dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place liners in a cupcake pan.

Cream together butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add zest of one orange and vanilla and mix together.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Add a third of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, add half the buttermilk, another third of dry, the other half of the buttermilk, and the last third of dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Spoon batter into the cupcake pan, filling each liner until 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in tin for 10 minutes and then cool completely before frosting.


Orange Buttercream

1 stick butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 orange, zest and juice

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter with confectioner's sugar, adding one cup at a time. Add vanilla and the zest of an orange. Juice the orange, strain it, and then add to the frosting one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistence. (I used 3-4 tablespoons) Beat on medium high for 3-4 minutes until frosting is light and airy.

Add to a pastry bag with a star tip and frost each cupcake in a circular motion. Top with an orange slice if desired. Serve immediately or store in an airtight cake carrier.

Around Here

It's starting to feel like springtime around here! 

I've been buying cut flowers like crazy and I found a fiddle leaf fig tree (and it was $20 from Home Depot). I've been sleeping with the windows open and drinking iced coffees. I feel like getting my hair cut more regularly is finally helping it look stronger and healthier. The cats are happy to have some open window time during the weekends and I'm happy to be taking a break from using the heater.

Last weekend I hosted a grilled cheese party at my house and we sat outside even though it was chilly. G helped me knock a couple things off my Planning for Spring list by helping me build an outdoor loveseat and pick out an outdoor rug. I have to say, I'm excited about spring in the city. I'm excited to not be planning a move and staying in this house another year. I'm happy to have someone special to spend time with and enjoy the city with. It's nice to be on the same page as someone else. <3