Strawberry Cheesecake Trifles

Hello Lovely,

Valentine’s Day is coming up next week and it tends to be very chocolate heavy in terms of desserts/gifts. So I wanted to do a nice, simple dessert that wasn’t chocolate but still had Valentine’s vibes. I had some leftover strawberry cheesecake filling from the Cheesecake Brownies (see newsletter for recipe) so after randomly browsing Pinterest for some inspiration, I decided to go the easy route and make trifles. I've made it before with raspberry cocoa so I felt pretty confident. Trifles are so easy to make, you just have to know how to layer.

You can go the easy route with a boxed cake, but that would've yielded too much for me. I only wanted to make 3 trifles and the goblets were only so big, so I made my cake portion from scratch. In hindsight, I should've realised that I was making too much batter, but hey, better to have more than not enough, right? I'll still share the recipe using the boxed cake if you want to make this for a large crowd.

If you're only trying to make a little, all you'll need is about 1.5 cups of flour, 3/4 cup milk, 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder and soda, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Grease a 9 x 9 pan, bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until knife inserted in centre comes out clean. That's what I did. For everyone else, your recipe is as follows.

 

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifles
Makes 6-8, depending on dish size

1 box white cake mix with all the ingredients to make it
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1.2 oz bag freeze-dried strawberries, diced finely
2 cups heavy cream

Make the cake batter according to the instructions on the box then bake on a parchment lined half sheet pan (18×13″). Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the top and bake for 15-18 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cake sit in the pan for 20 minutes then use the parchment paper to lift it out of the pan and set aside to cool completely.

Once the cake is cooled and you’re ready to assemble, make the ‘cheesecake’ by beating together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and ground up freeze-dried strawberries in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Scrape up the bottom and sides of the bowl then add 1/2 cup cream to whisk it all together so you lighten up the cream cheese for about 30 seconds. Once that’s happened, add the rest of the cream and beat on medium high speed until the mixture has thickened and is light and fluffy. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag.

To assemble, figure out how big the cake needs to be to fit snugly in the serving dish and cut out rounds from the cooled cake. Place a cake layer in the dish, pipe out an almost even layer of the ‘cheesecake’ then repeat with another layer of cake and ‘cheesecake’. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours if not serving right away.

I didn't personally eat any of these because of my new diet, but my mum loved them! I intentionally dialed back on the sugar because while she enjoys dessert, she doesn't like anything that's overly sweet. And having a diabetic step-dad means that I have to watch the sugar content on everything I make. If you want the recipe for the Cheesecake Brownies I mentioned earlier, just hit that subscribe button below!

For more ideas on V-Day ideas, check out these faves below!

Who do you plan on making these for this Valentine's Day? P.S. This would be the perfect treat to serve at your "Galentine's party" with friends!

Oreo Cupcakes

Hello Lovely,

On Friday we celebrated the vice principal’s birthday with a surprise birthday party in the office because it’s her first birthday with us as vice principal. She was so surprised she almost cried! I made her a birthday card and got it signed by all of the teachers, and these AMAZING cupcakes! I really outdid myself on this one! Sure they take some time to make (especially when you’re operating out of a toaster oven, so you have to use a mini cupcake pan because the regular cupcake pan is too big to fit and you made enough batter for 16 cupcakes) but they’re totally worth it!

I’m so mad that I forgot my camera that morning so I had to take all of the photos with my cell phone and believe me, I am not cell phone photographer! Something as simple as getting the right angle confuses me but I did my best to show you guys how good and tasty these cupcakes are!

Oh, they are SO good.  What makes them extra good is the “frosting.”  It is less like frosting and more like a fluffy cheesecake. I surprised myself by making this frosting because it’s something I’ve never been good at! But to see it turn out so well (for the most part) gave me an extra confidence boost! I just knew she was going to like them!

OREO CUPCAKES

For the cupcake

·        1 1/3 cups self-rising flour

·        ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

·        3 tablespoons applesauce

·        1 cup white sugar

·        2 eggs

·        1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·        1 cup milk

For the frosting

·        1 package of cream cheese, 8oz. at room temp.

·        1 cups powder sugar

·        1 Tbsp vanilla

·        1 container of Cool Whip, 8oz. thawed

 

Directions

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, and cocoa. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.

3. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

4. While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting.

5. Beat the cream cheese and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy.  Slowly add in the sugar while continuing to mix the cream cheese mixture.

6. On a low speed, add in the cool whip.

7. You may need to allow the frosting to set up in the refrigerator while the cupcakes continue to cool.  Make sure the cupcake are all the way cool before adding frosting.

8. Put your frosting in a pastry bag.

9. Stick the point of the pastry bag into the cupcake and squeeze a little frosting into the centre.  You will see the cupcake puff up.

10. Then frost the cupcakes like normal and sprinkle with crushed Oreo.

11. If you’d like, stick a piece of leftover Oreo in the frosting, for a little flair and extra cookie goodness.

TIP: Consume these almost immediately! I personally hate hard frosting. I like a soft, creamy frosting. But if you leave this at room temperature for too long, it'll melt and you won't be able to enjoy it, and if you put it in the fridge, well then, you'll just have a cold cupcake. And that's not fun!

What’s your perfect cupcake recipe? Will you try this at your next celebration? I sure hope so! Let me know in the comments section below!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

It's officially office Christmas party season! Last night, my tech group friends from church held our Christmas dinner social at Denise's house and it was so much fun! There were bottles of wine and egg nog to go around! Dinner was great and my team won in Partini again! (I am now a 3-time winner, thank you very much! Never lost a game!) The best part? My cheesecake was a huge hit!

I made a cranberry swirl cheesecake and I was so worried! I forgot to take the cranberries out before swirling the sauce and the top of the cheesecake cracked so I was freaking out! Everyone told me that I had outdone myself and the cheesecake did not last very long! I was so relieved everyone loved it. So below is the recipe for my holiday cheesecake with some adjustments that you can use to brighten up your holiday meal!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Sorry it's not a high-tech photo. I snapped this while it was being sliced!

Sorry it's not a high-tech photo. I snapped this while it was being sliced!

Make room for dessert! I've got a cranberry swirl cheesecake that's easy to prepare and looks fabulous. It adds a pretty festive colour to a holiday dessert table.

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Filling

  •  2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

Sauce

  1. Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat for one minute.
  2. Stir in berries; cover and reduce heat. Cook until most of the berries have popped. Add lemon juice.
  3. Press mixture through a sieve and set aside.

Filling

  1. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating just until blended. Add lemon juice. Pour into crust.

Topping off & baking

  1. Spoon cranberry sauce over filling; cut through filling with a knife to swirl.
  2. Put a pan on the bottom rack of the oven and fill with water.
  3. Bake cheesecake on middle rack at 350° for 45 minutes. Turn oven off; let cheesecake stand in oven for 1 hour (with oven door open).
  4. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Carefully run a knife around sides of pan to loosen and remove side of pan. Refrigerate overnight.

1 Minute Microwave Banana Chessecake

Hi friends and bakers!

Who wants some cheesecake?! I know I do! But let's face it, we may not always have the time to wait on a cheesecake (hence the no-bake cheesecakes). But maybe you're new to cheesecakes like me. I really have probably only made one decent cheesecake in my entire life (mostly just never had a reason or the means to). But last night, as preparation for the cheesecake I'm making tonight (Yay more cheesecake!) I decided to step my microwave mug cake game up. That's right, I said MICROWAVE CHEESECAKE! And it's just as easy as any other mug cake! There's no mixer needed (but I used one anyway because I didn't have all night).

The cheesecakes cook very differently to my other mug cakes. They are cream cheese based and delicate so they need a little more TLC when cooking. It is not difficult as long as you follow my cooking tips throughout the recipe.

The entire process (not including chilling) should take about ten minutes. It still has to refrigerate like a real cheesecake, but it's totally worth it and a lot less messy when making because it's the perfect single serve option. Feel free to add any flavour you want like Oreo cookies, raspberries, strawberries, chocolate, even sprinkles! The world is your...well, cheesecake! I hope you enjoy!

1 MINUTE MICROWAVE BANANA CHEESECAKE

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce cream cheese,at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream/yoghurt (I used banana Probiotic yoghurt)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional; I didn't use any because of the flavoured yoghurt)
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon flour (prevents liquid from forming)
  • ⅓ cup (21/5oz/ 75g) crushed Oreo (or any chocolate or Graham cracker) cookies (extra for the base)
  • 2 teaspoons Mr. Boston's Eggnog

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, yoghurt ( or sour cream) ,vanilla, sugar, egg whites and flour until light and fluffy. This recipe makes 3 cheesecakes.
  2. In a microwavable mug, sprinkle a layer of cookie crumbs in the bottom of your mug to create your cheesecake base. My mug is around 6oz (1 cup)
  3. Pour in your cheesecake on top
  4. CAUTION : Each mug cake takes roughly 45 seconds-1 minute. Microwave until you see A bubble in the centre, and then STOP cooking. This will take seconds, maybe 15 or more. Take it out and check it. Microwave for short intervals until you see the edge of the cheesecake firm but make sure the centre is jiggly. If it is allowed to bubble and cook further, the mixture will "break" and you'll need to start over.
  5. Make a note of the successful cooking time for your microwave. They will take around 45 seconds - 1 minute.
  6. Take out of the microwave and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until fully chilled, about 2 hours. If any liquid has formed, carefully pour out. Top with some whipped cream and a some cookie crumbs. Enjoy!

McCormick Eggnog Truffles

McCormick didn't provide me with the materials needed for this recipe, but this is a paid post. The opinions I share about this recipe are my own and McCormick did not tell me what to say or how to say it.

Sleigh bells ring, are listening?

I'm so glad, you can't hear me singing!

A beautiful sight,

We're happy tonight.

Eating in a winter wonderland.

There's only 10 days until Christmas so I got started a little late.

I shouldn't be eating any more sweets after all the birthday cake and ice cream I've been shovelling down lately. 

But it's the holidays! And I've been working out!

(Sort of....)

You all know how much I love baking in the holiday season so when McCormick reached out to me and chose my blog to try one of their amazing recipes, I couldn't turn it down!

This is actually my first truffle. You don't believe me?

Check out my recipes, I'll wait. See, told ya. I've never made truffles before.

In fact, it took me about a year to figure out what a truffle really was. 

But now I think I've got it.

And you'll be surprised how easy it is to make.

Especially since it's a no bake recipe.

WHAT?! NO BAKE?!

And it requires only a few ingredients.

I've got you hooked now don't I?!

Yeah, I knew it!

I'm warning you though, these truffles are MEGA sweet. It's like any old piece of candy (in level of sweetness and texture) but that's where the similarities end.

This really is a tiny piece of Christmas heaven!

Instead of the imitation rum that was suggested, I went ahead and used real rum. Because it was only a capful, you probably won't even notice that it's there. But it does add to the flavour!

So watch your sweet tooth!

I get the feeling a lot of you will be best friends with your dentist after eating these!

(Diabetics limit to one or just stay away)

Overview

Eggnog Truffles make a great holiday or hostess gift. Package the truffles in a holiday tin between wax paper.

Ingredients

Serves:

Makes 2 dozen or 12 (2 truffle) servings.

1 pound white baking chocolate, divided

4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Nutmeg, Ground

1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Imitation Rum Extract (I used real Bakara Rum)

Additional McCormick® Nutmeg, Ground , for sprinkling



Directions


  • Melt 8 ounces of the chocolate as directed on package. Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, nutmeg and extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed mixer until well blended and smooth. Add melted chocolate; beat until well mixed. Cover. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm.

  • Shape into 24 (about 3/4-inch) balls. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Refrigerate until ready to dip.

  • Coat only 12 truffles at a time. Melt 4 ounces of the remaining chocolate in small microwavable bowl on MEDIUM (50% power) 1 1/2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Using a fork, dip 1 truffle at a time into the melted chocolate. Tap back of fork 2 or 3 times against edge of dish to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place truffles on wax paper-lined tray. (If there are any “bald” spots on truffle, cover with melted chocolate that remains on the fork.) Sprinkle truffles with nutmeg. Repeat with remaining 4 ounces chocolate and remaining truffles.

  • Refrigerate 1 hour or until chocolate is set. Store truffles between layers of wax paper in airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Nutritional information

(amount per servings)

Total Calories: 252

Sodium: 71mg

Fat: 16g

Carbohydrates: 24g

Cholesterol: 24mg

Protein: 3g

Fiber: 0g