Cherry Upside-down Cake + Two Giveaways!

It’s cherry season where I live and that means we’ve been stuffing our faces with fresh cherries!

I’ve never made an upside-down cake before so when I had two bags of cherries in my fridge I set out to make this Cherry Upside-down Cake.  I’m sure glad I did because it was A-MAZ-ING!

Cherry Upside-down Cake | A Sweet Baker

The funny thing about this cake is that I actually forgot to put in the egg whites, which the original recipe called for, but I think this cake turned out perfectly without them.  If you like a more of a dense, moist cake then this is probably the way it should be made.  If you want more of a light, airy cake then you might want to add in the egg whites as per the original recipe.

Cherry Upside-down Cake | A Sweet Baker

The juices from the cherries mixed with the butter and brown sugar mixture seeped down into the cake to make it extra moist and added the perfect amount of sweetness.  Adding Gay Lea’s Real Whipped Cream on top makes this dessert one you’ll have a hard time sharing.  I like a big dollop of whipped cream with each bite….but that’s just me, you can do whatever you like!

Cherry Upside-down Cake | A Sweet BakerCherry Upside-down Cake | A Sweet Baker

If you want some more inspiration for your Gay Lea Whipped Cream, how about making this Strawberry Shortcake or these Mojito Shortbread Trifles.  It really doesn’t matter what dessert you add whipped cream to it will be pretty darn good.  That’s just what whipped cream does to desserts…..it makes them even better!

Now on to those two giveaways!  

The first giveaway is for a Perfect Patio Entertaining Kit valued at $250!  The kit will contain BBQ Utensils, Cornhole Game, 4 Plates, 4 Side Plates, Big Bowl, Tray, Place Mats, and a Picnic Basket!  You must be 18 years of age or older and be a resident of Canada (excluding Quebec).  You can enter through multiple blogs that are participating but only one winner will be chosen. Contest closes July 27th, 2014.  Good luck!
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The second giveaway is for 12 free product coupons from Gay Lea Foods.  The coupons will expire October 2014 so make sure you use them up before then.  You must be 18 years of age or older and be a resident of Canada (excluding Quebec).  You can enter through multiple blogs that are participating but only one winner from each blog (for a total of 12 winners) will be chosen. You can only win once.  Contest closes July 27th, 2014.  Good luck!

 
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Cherry Upside-down Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
Topping:
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ brown sugar
  • 25 or so fresh cherries, pitted and halved
Cake:
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • ½ cup whole milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of a 10" round cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly, until brown sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Place halved cherries, face down, over the brown sugar mixtures until it completely covered. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add sugar and butter and mix until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time until mixed well. Add in vanilla and almond extract.
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients alternating with the milk until everything is smooth.
  6. Spoon batter evenly over cherries and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven a let cake sit on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the cake pan to loosen the cake. Place platter on top of pan and invert onto platter. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to allow all the juices to seep into the cake.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of Gay Lea's Whipped Cream on top!
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com

 

“Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

 

S’mores Chex Mix (Gluten Free) #SummerWithChex

Yeah!!!  It’s officially S’more Season and I can’t wait to eat my share of S’mores and S’more-inspired treats (like this S’mores Chex Mix) this summer!

S'mores Chex Mix | A Sweet Baker

There’s nothing  better than sitting around a campfire and toasting up marshmallows and squishing them between a piece of chocolate and two cookies!  Who wouldn’t love that?   But, if you can’t have a fire in your backyard then I’ve got the perfect alternative – S’mores Chex Mix!   It’s the perfect snack for summer and the perfect on-the-go snack for summer road trips.  It’s got all the goodness of marshmallows, chocolate and the crunch from the Rice Chex and Honey Nut Chex cereals, both which happen to be gluten-free and are a healthier alternative to other snack food.  It’s quick and easy to put together so you’ll be snacking in no time!

S'mores Chex Mix | A Sweet Baker

I also love this time of year when I can open up the windows and smell the freshly cut grass blow in. This past weekend I cleaned every window in our house, inside and out.  It’s one more thing I can check off my list of things I’d like to get done before I’m off for the summer.  I’d rather be outside enjoying the sunshine with my kiddies than spending my time inside cleaning the house.  My list is getting shorter and if everything doesn’t get done…..oh well!

S'mores Chex Mix | A Sweet Baker

One thing I’ve learned from owning a house for the past 13 years is that there’s always something that can be done.  It doesn’t matter if you own a fixer-upper or a brand-new house, you’ll always find something that can be fixed, touched up, re-done or cleaned up. The key is to know when to stop!  For us, our kids have been a good way of getting us to put things into perspective and walk away.  The mess, renovations, or broken things will always be there tomorrow.

Enjoy summer while you can!

 

S'mores Chex Mix (Gluten Free)
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups Rice Chex Cereal
  • 4 cups Honey Nut Chex Cereal
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, divided
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add 4 cups Rice Chex cereal and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, add 1 cup chocolate chips and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring often to avoid overcooking.
  3. Pour chocolate mixture over the Rice Chex cereal and stir well to coat. Pour this mixture into a large resealable plastic bag and pour the ½ cup icing sugar inside. Seal up bag and shake until all the cereal is coated in icing sugar.
  4. Pour this mixture into a large, airtight container and add the Honey Nut Chex cereal, the remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and the mini marshmallows.
  5. Stir to mix all the ingredients.
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

“Disclosure:  I am part of the Summer With Chex Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.”

 

Cake Batter Cinnamon Buns

I can never eat too many Cinnamon Buns.  I’m always looking for new ways to make them or new flavours to add to the inside. These Cake Batter Cinnamon Buns added a whole new flavour that made them disappear pretty quick in my house!

Cake Batter Cinnamon Buns | A Sweet Baker

This past weekend was our first long weekend of the summer.  Although it’s not summertime yet, it’s a weekend that most people open their cottages, put their boats in the water, plant their gardens and kick off the nice weather after a long winter.

We spent our weekend installing a railing on our front porch and spent time with family.  The weather was cooperative that we spent most of the weekend outside.   Bar-B-Q’ing and our first outdoor movie on the big screen were some of the highlights for sure!

Cake Batter Cinnamon Buns | A Sweet Baker

The only thing I didn’t get done this weekend was my garden.  I love spending time weeding, planting my flowers and deciding what new plants I want to add.  I only like to plant perennials in my gardens so that I can see them grow year after year.  I do buy annuals for my planters so I can add bursts of color throughout my yard.  We also want to add a vegetable garden this year so I think we better get things planted real soon!

Cake Batter Cinnamon Buns | A Sweet Baker

Once my vegetable garden is planted and ready to harvest, I can’t wait to make some of these things:

If that’s not enough inspiration for you, you can always check out Life Made Delicious.   You won’t be disappointed by the amount of recipes you can find and inspiration for any occasion.    Here’s to the beginning of summer!

Cake Batter Cinnamon Buns
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16
 
Ingredients
For the Cake Batter Cinnamon Buns:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast (or 2¼ teaspoons)
  • 4½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup Betty Crocker French Vanilla Cake Mix
  • ½ cup Betty Crocker Rainbow Bit Cake
  • cinnamon
  • sugar
  • sprinkles
For the Cake Batter Glaze:
  • ½ cup Betty Crocker French Vanilla Cake Mix
  • Icing sugar (to taste)
  • 10% cream (add enough to get desired consistency)
  • Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine milk, oil and sugar, Scald the mixture and let cool for 45-60 mins. Once mixture is lukewarm, add the yeast, stir and let sit for one minute.
  2. Add 4 cups of the flour and stir to combine all ingredients.
  3. Cover tightly with a lid and let sit for one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 F and lightly grease a 9X13 glass baking pan and set aside.
  5. After one hour, whisk together the remaining ½ cup flour, baking soda and baking powder and add to the dough. Mix with your hands to combine.
  6. Sprinkle flour over a clean work surface and roll out dough until you have a long rectangle.
  7. Using a pastry brush, cover the dough with the melted butter.
  8. Sprinkle both cake mixes over top, followed by the cinnamon, sugar and sprinkles.
  9. Starting with the end away from you, roll dough up tightly towards you and pinch ends closed.
  10. Using a sharp knife or unflavoured dental floss, cut dough into 1 - 1½" pieces and lay cut-side down in prepared pan.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
For the Cake Batter Glaze:
  1. In a small bowl, add the cake mix and desired amount of icing sugar.
  2. Slowly add enough cream to get the desired consistency.
  3. Pour over cinnamon buns and then cover with sprinkles.
  4. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is

 

“Disclosure: I am a part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger Program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

 

 

Strawberry Mango Crisp

We are FINALLY having some nice, warm weather. I’ve taken out my sandals and put away the socks for the season!

I’ve also started to crave fresh, local fruits and vegetables.  I saw that some local asparagus is ready to eat so I know what I’ll be adding to my meals and salads this week.  Although strawberries aren’t ready yet I still made this Strawberry Mango Crisp as a healthy breakfast for my family.

Strawberry Mango Crisp | A Sweet Baker

Strawberry Mango Crisp | A Sweet Baker

On Saturday mornings I love waking up and being able to put breakfast in the oven while I drink my coffee and slowly wake up.  This Strawberry Mango Crisp is easy to put together and is delicious and healthy that you won’t feel guilty going back for seconds.

My oldest son is not a fan of oatmeal and he loved this recipe. The oatmeal is combined with sliced almonds and coconut  and then lightly sweetened with honey.  It was an amazing combination!

Strawberry Mango Crisp | A Sweet Baker

Adding mango with the strawberries, instead of the usual rhubarb, gave this crisp a unique taste that went so well with the oatmeal crumble on top.  The possibilities are endless as to what you can mix and combine together!

As for my family I know I will be making one with rhubarb in it because it’s one of the first fruits to come in season and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of it.  If you’ve followed my blog for awhile you know how much I love my rhubarb.  I’ve made Rhubarb Streusel Bread, Honey Rhubarb Scones, Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothies, and Rhubarb Crumble Bars.  I can’t wait to add some more rhubarb recipes to that list real soon!

Strawberry Mango Crisp | A Sweet Baker

Strawberry Mango Crisp

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

A sweet and tart crisp that combines strawberries and mangoes under an oat and nut crumble. Perfect for breakfast or dessert!

Ingredients

    For the Filling:
  • 5 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh mango (about 3 mangoes)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • juice from 1 lime
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 cup rolled oats,
  • 1 cup thinly sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a 9X13 glass baking pan and set aside.
In a medium size bowl, add the strawberries and mango. Sprinkle with cornstarch and toss the fruit to coat well.
Stir in the sugar and lime juice.
Pour mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
In another medium bowl, add oats, almonds, flour, coconut, cinnamon and salt. Mix all ingredients until well combined.
Add honey and coconut oil and stir until combined.
Pour crumble mixture evenly over fruit and cover with foil.
Bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden brown and bubbly.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly to enjoy warm or cool completely to enjoy cold. Either way it's delicious!
Enjoy!
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Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows

Homemade Coconut Larabars

Lately I’ve been trying to eat healthy and I’m trying to avoid any processed food. It’s actually not that hard but when it comes to having a little sweet treat there’s always added sugar and things I can’t pronounce. When I first tasted Larabars I loved them but at $1.69 each I knew I had to recreate them myself. These Homemade Coconut Larabars are the perfect treat after a good workout or a hike in the woods….or not!

Homemade Coconut Larabars | A Sweet Baker

The whole process of making these Homemade Coconut Larabars is pretty easy.  All you need is a good food processor.   Add in one ingredient at a time and then pour it out onto some parchment paper and you’ve got yourself a pretty tasty snack.

I added in mixed nuts with raisins but you can add in whatever nuts you like.  Next time I’m going to use pecans because they’re my favorite nut.  Even some all-natural peanut butter would be pretty good too.

Homemade Coconut Larabars | A Sweet Baker

Homemade Coconut Larabars | A Sweet Baker

After I took my pics for these I cut them in half again, layered them between parchment paper, sealed them in a container and put them in the freezer.  That way they’re out of sight of my kiddies (who would have them gone in no time) and I actually think they’ll taste pretty yummy straight out of the freezer!

Homemade Coconut Larabars | A Sweet Baker

Homemade Coconut Larabars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Protein packed energy bars that will satisfy your sweet-treat craving any time of the day!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup trail mix (my mix included peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews and raisins)
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

Instructions

Line an 8X8 baking dish with parchment paper leaving sides hang over; set aside.
In a small bowl, add dates and fill with hot water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until dates soften up.
Once dates are soft, drain water and pour dates into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Add in shredded coconut and pulse again.
Add in mixed nuts and pulse until mixture all comes together and is finely chopped.
Add in coconut oil and pulse again until you get the desired consistency.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and flatten with a spatula.
Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.
Remove pan from fridge and remove mixture by lifting both sides of the parchment paper.
Using a sharp knife, cut into 8 bars or 16 squares.
Enjoy!

Notes

Total time includes refrigeration time.

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