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    Sour Cream Apple Coffee Cake

    This Sour Cream Apple Coffee Cake is soft, tender, and loaded with apples and cinnamon. The crumb topping gives the cake a buttery crunch along with a creamy, sweet glaze to top it off!
    Make sure to try my classic Coffee Cake recipe too!

    Table of Contents

    Well, it’s that time of year again to make sure your kitchen is fully stocked with apples and cinnamon. Of course baking with this winning combo makes your house smell delicious, but you also end up with a cake that you will absolutely LOVE!
    I feel like this cake is the mash-up of two super popular recipes that I have already on my site, my Apple Fritter Cake and my Easy Cinnamon Roll Cake. Basically if you like those, you will LOVE this one.
    Why You’ll Love This Apple Coffee Cake

    Easy Ingredients. This is especially great to make during apple season when they are plentiful, but easily can and should be enjoyed all year long. The cake has multiple steps, but everything is easy to make and is a great beginner recipe!
    Texture. The addition of sour cream into the cake makes it extra moist and tender, plus the juiciness the apples bring makes this soft and tender!
    Flavor. The apples, the cinnamon, the crumb topping, and the icing! The fun part about this cake is there is not only a cinnamon crumb topping, you have a cinnamon sugar swirl in every bite.

    Do You Have To Use Sour Cream In This Cake Recipe?
    I know there are some of you who don’t like sour cream, but trust me in that you can’t taste it in this recipe at all. It simply adds a moistness and gives the cake a tender crumb. BUT if you don’t have sour cream, you can sub full-fat Greek Yogurt in its place.
    I am going to list what you will need for this Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake recipe, but there are 4 elements to the cake: the crumb topping, the swirl mixture, the cake, and the icing. All of the ingredients are simple, and there is a lot of overlap in the elements, so make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to the recipe card that has all the measurements and instructions!

    Butter. I use salted butter in this recipe. You will need both cold butter, and room temperature butter. The cold butter you will use to make the crumb topping and the room temperature butter will be used in the cake batter.
    Sugars. You will use granulated sugar, light brown sugar AND powdered sugar. The granulated sugar will be used in the cinnamon swirl and the cake, while the brown sugar is used in the crumb topping. POwdered sugar is used in the icing on top!
    Dry Ingredients: All purpose flour, kosher salt, baking soda and baking powder, and ground cinnamon.
    Sour Cream. If you don’t have sour cream you can sub in Greek yogurt or even buttermilk in a pinch.
    Eggs. I use large sized eggs in all my baking recipes.
    Apples. I suggest Granny Smith apples in this recipe because they are tart and sweet, but also bake well and don’t get mushy! BUT you can use whatever type of apples you like.

    How To Make Apple Coffee Cake
    The cake batter comes together very easily. Dice up the apples and stir those in at the end, making sure that the apples are evenly distributed in the cake batter.

    Half of the cake batter in a 9×13 with the cinnamon sugar mixture swirled in.
    The remaining cake batter and cinnamon sugar mixture swirled into the batter.

    Spread half of the cake batter into a greased 9×13 baking pan and then top it with half of the cinnamon swirl mixture, which is light brown sugar and ground cinnamon mixed together. Run a butter knife through that to swirl it into the cake. Then repeat this step with the remaining cake batter and then the rest of the cinnamon swirl mixture.

    Then you are going to top the whole cake with a delicious and buttery crumb topping. The layers of flavor in this cake are outstanding. You have the buttery cake batter loaded with apples, the brown sugar cinnamon swirl, and now the crumb topping!
    Once it’s baked you will have a perfect looking coffee cake. You could stop there, but a sweet drizzle of icing just send this over the top. Enjoy it warm or at room temperature.

    How To Store Apple Coffee Cake
    You can store this cake airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also refrigerate it for up to 5 days for best freshness! I don’t prefer cold cake, so I recommend that if you refrigerate it, take it out of the fridge before serving, allowing it to come back up to room temperature.
    To Freeze:
    Freeze this airtight in the freezer for up to 2 months for best freshness. Allow it to thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving.

    More Coffee Cake Recipes You Will Love


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    Sour Cream Apple Coffee Cake

    Author: Shelly



    This apple twist on coffee cake is moist, tender, and delicious! 



    Crumb Topping

    1 cup cold butter, cubed
    3/4 cup light brown sugar 
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 cup all purpose flour

    Cinnamon Swirl

    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


    1 cup butter, room temperature
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    4 large eggs
    16 ounces sour cream
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 – 2 1/2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples (2 medium-sized apples)


    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon milk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla


    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
    Crumb Topping: In a medium bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and flour. Using your hands or a pastry cutter combine ingredients until they resemble coarse sand and hold together when squeezed. Set aside.
    Cinnamon Swirl: In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
    Cake: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine butter and sugar, mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes.
    Add in vanilla and eggs mixing until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Add in sour cream, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and continue mixing on medium speed for 30 seconds, until mixture is combined.
    Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until just incorporated and then stir in the apples.
    Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the batter with half of the cinnamon swirl mixture. Using a butter knife, swirl the mixture into the batter.
    Repeat with the remaining batter and remaining cinnamon sugar.
    Sprinkle the crumb topping onto the cake evenly.
    Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes.
    Icing: Prepare the icing by whisking the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla together until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake. 
    Serve warm or at room temperature. 


    Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days. 
    Store airtight  in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
    Freeze airtight in the freezer for up to 2 months, thaw at room temperature.

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    PIN for later: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Seven Must-Make Muffin Recipes

    Whether you’re craving a sweet start to your morning or a scrumptious snack during the day, these seven muffin recipes are not just your average baked goods. From tantalizing twists on classic favorites to innovative flavor combinations, these muffins will become staples in your baking repertoire.

    These domed Lemon Curd Muffins are warmly spiced with the bold flavors of cardamom and ginger and then filled with Lemon Curd for a sweet and tangy surprise.

    Packed with hearty whole grains, shredded carrots and apples, dried cranberries, and pecans, with a hint of warm spice, these muffins are the perfect way to start your day.

    Doubling down on crunchy texture with cornmeal and the almond-flecked streusel, these fruity quick breads are the best way to enjoy peaches for breakfast.

    Studded with Bosc and Anjou pears, these tender muffins feature the luxurious pairing of crisp Champagne and rich vanilla.

    Why go for tried-and-true zucchini bread when you could have these indulgent muffins? Owing their soft texture to juicy zucchini, these muffins get a dose of decadence from white chocolate chips embedded in the cocoa-rich batter. LEGGI TUTTO

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    Classic German Chocolate Cake Recipe

    Learn how to make my family’s recipe for classic German Chocolate Cake. Get the step-by-step instructions and video tutorial for both the cake and the famous coconut-pecan frosting.

    While reviewing all the cake recipes that live on this blog, I was surprised to find there were a few classics still missing. For example, Classic German Chocolate Cake. Any baker worth their salt (and sugar) has an excellent German Chocolate Cake recipe! I haven’t made one in a very long time, and I found myself without a trusty recipe. Seeking one, I called my mom for advice. I knew the most delicious recipe was somewhere, hanging from a branch on our family tree.
    “Oh, your Aunt Alice! You should ask her.” mom said. Memories of Aunt Alice’s sweets came flooding back. Mostly of Christmases at Gran’s house, when she’d make something special. I reached out to her, hoping she’d share. She was more than happy to oblige. And boy. Did she ever deliver!

    It may be a family recipe, but it’s no family secret. The recipe is the original Baker’s German’s Chocolate Cake recipe first developed in 1957. Which used to be printed on the backs of the Baker’s German’s Sweet chocolate bar boxes. Speaking of German’s chocolate…

    Is German Chocolate Cake, German?
    Plainly, no. But yes, it definitely sounds like this cake originated in Germany. It is named for the type of chocolate used in the recipe. In 1852 Sam German created a sweeter variety of dark chocolate (48% cacao) that was marketed under the name German’s Sweet Chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company. The company named the chocolate in his honor.
    Much later, in 1957, a recipe for German’s Chocolate Cake (note the possessive) showed up in a Dallas Morning Star newspaper, from Texas homemaker Mrs. George Calay. Made with German’s Sweet Chocolate, it quickly gained popularity nationwide. General Mills, who then owned the Baker’s Chocolate Company, took notice and distributed the recipe under the name German Chocolate Cake (dropping the possessive). And that’s how it came to be!

    German Chocolate Cake Batter
    Begin with a 4 oz. bar of German’s Sweet Chocolate. If you can’t source this product, use a semisweet chocolate bar with around 50%-56% cacao. Melt the chocolate in boiling water and let it cool.
    Next you’ll do some familiar mixing of dry ingredients in one bowl. And creaming butter, sugar and egg yolks in another. The dry ingredients are mixed in alternating with buttermilk. But the real magic happens when you fold whipped egg whites into the finished batter. Fold gently so you don’t knock the air out of the whites, and the baked cake will be supremely fluffy and moist!

    The true hallmark of a German Chocolate Cake is its light chocolate appearance. That’s thanks to the German’s Sweet Chocolate bar, which is sweeter and milder than other Baker’s bars. Cool the layers completely. And get started on that amazing coconut-pecan frosting.

    Coconut Filling and Frosting
    I could eat this stuff straight from the bowl! Place evaporated milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks, and some vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly (see the video for visual cue), about 12 minutes.

    Once the mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and pour it over sweetened flake coconut and chopped toasted pecans. Stir it all up until and let it cool completely. Because the mixture thickens to spreading consistency as it cools.

    Here’s the tricky part. The frosting is almost too thick to spread. Use an ice cream scoop to portion the frosting on the cake. Then, using an offset spatula, spread it by pushing it around with the tip of the spatula. Pat it down with the flat part of the spatula as evenly as you can.

    Are We There Yet? Maybe!
    You could stop right here. With all the layers filled and a coat of coconut pecan frosting on top, you’ll have the original German’s Chocolate Cake, as it was written so long ago. However, I did not stop right there. I went a step further by coating the sides with a simple chocolate ganache. It makes the cake look a bit neater to me. And it’s not just for looks! It’s delicious, and the ganache seals in the cake’s moisture, Which, in my opinion, keeps it fresher longer.

    Two Ingredient Chocolate Ganache
    You’ll need two cups of chopped chocolate (chips work fine) and 1 cup of heavy cream. Get them together in a bowl and microwave for about 1 minute 30 seconds. The cream should be steaming upon removal from the microwave. Let the mixture stand for about 60 seconds, then whisk together to combine. You can leave the ganache at room temperature to thicken. Or refrigerate it – checking and stirring it often- until spreading consistency. Coat the sides of the cake.

    After frosting the sides, pat a small line of toasted pecans into the bottom edge of the cake. And there will be just enough ganache left over to pipe a decorative border (if you so choose).

    Line toasted pecan halves 1/2″ apart around the top edge of the cake for a pretty presentation. This can be optional, but it gives the cake a bakery-made look.

    Talk about fluffy! This is one of the most delicious cakes you will ever make. It sounds like hyperbole, but I promise you it’s not. The cake portion is so fluffy and moist, sweet and light. But it’s that ridiculously delicious boiled coconut pecan frosting that makes it really special!
    I’m so thankful to my Aunt Alice for sending me her time-tested recipe. It’s the real deal Classic German Chocolate Cake recipe! I hope you love it as much as I do.
    Related recipe: Death by Chocolate Cake

    Classic German Chocolate Cake

    Heather Baird

    This recipe is lightly adapted from the original “German’s® Sweet Chocolate Cake” recipe from Baker’s Chocolate Company, originating in 1957. Both the cake recipe and coconut-pecan frosting recipes are true to the original, with my addition of chocolate ganache to frost the sides of the cake. If possible, use German’s Sweet Chocolate bar by Baker’s Chocolate Company to make the cake layers. An acceptable substitute is a semisweet chocolate bar with cacao content of 50% to 56% (this percentage will be somewhere on the label). This recipe requires a cup of buttermilk. If you don’t have any on hand, see the recipe notes for a substitution using whole milk and vinegar. Special thanks to my Aunt Alice Welch Crutchfield for handing down her best recipe to me.

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    Prep Time 45 minutes minsCook Time 45 minutes mins1 hour cooling time 1 hour hrTotal Time 2 hours hrs 30 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 12

    Equipment8-inch cake pans (3)parchment paper
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric German’s Sweet Chocolate Cake Layers4 oz. German’s chocolate bar broken into pieces (1 bar)1/2 cup boiling water1/4 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder optional2 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking soda1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt1 cup unsalted butter softened2 cups granulated sugar4 egg yolks1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 cup buttermilk see recipe notes4 egg whitesCoconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting12 oz. evaporated milk 1 can1 1/2 cups granulated sugar3/4 cup unsalted butter4 egg yolks1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract2 2/3 cups sweetened flake coconut 7 oz. or 1 package1 1/2 cups toasted chopped pecans see recipe notesChocolate Ganache2 cups chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate1 cup heavy creamToppings1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans16-18 toasted pecan halves
    Instructions Cake LayersPreheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line three 8” cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.Place the chocolate pieces in a medium bowl and pour over the boiling water. Add the instant coffee, if using. Let stand 1 minute; whisk together until the chocolate is melted and set aside to cool.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk (begin and end with the flour mixture).In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half of the egg whites into the batter to loosen it using a large rubber spatula. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick tester inserted near the centers of the cakes comes out clean. Immediately run a knife between the cakes and sides of the pans. Let cool 15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and peel away the parchment paper. Cool completely on wire racks.Coconut-Pecan Filling and FrostingIn a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla. Cook on medium heat while stirring occasionally.When the butter is melted, cook for approximately 12 minutes whisking constantly, or until the mixture thickens and turns golden. Remove from the heat.Place the coconut and pecans in a large bowl. Pour the cooked mixture over them and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature and of desired spreading consistency.Chocolate GanachePlace the chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 100% power for about 1 minute 30 seconds. The cream should be steaming upon removal from the microwave. Let the mixture stand for about 60 seconds, then whisk together to combine. You can leave the ganache at room temperature to thicken. Or refrigerate it – checking and stirring it often- until spreading consistency.Cake AssemblyPlace a cake layer on an 8” cake board, a cake stand, or serving plate. Scoop 1/3 of the coconut-pecan frosting on top; spread as evenly as possible. Use a spoon or an offset spatula to push the thick frosting into place. Top with a second cake layer and repeat frosting. Top with the third cake layer and spread on the remaining coconut-pecan frosting. (At this point, you could serve the cake without the ganache covering.)Spread a crumb coat of the cooled and thickened ganache on the sides of the cake. Refrigerate 15 minutes; add a second even coat to the sides. Immediately press chopped pecans into the bottom edge of the cake. Transfer any leftover ganache to a piping bag fitted with a small closed star tip, and pipe a shell border around the top edge (this is optional but pretty). Sprinkle any leftover chopped pecans on the shell border.Line pecan halves within 1/2 inch of each other around the top edge of the cake.Store the cake at room temperature in an air-tight cake keeper, or tightly under plastic wrap for up to 4 days. Or, to prolong freshness, store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Bring slices of cake to room temperature before serving.
    NotesButtermilk Substitute: Place 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a 1 cup measure. Fill the cup to the rim with whole milk. Stir. It may curdle a little; this is normal. Use in the recipe as a substitute for buttermilk. (There really is no perfect replacement for thick, rich and tangy buttermilk – but this substitution works well enough in this recipe.)
    2 Layers Instead of 3: Divide the cake batter between two 9-inch round cake pans; increase bake time by 10 minutes, or until cakes test with a clean toothpick.
    Toast Those Pecans! For the absolute best flavor, toast the pecans at 350F for 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Chopped pecans can vary in size, and small pieces may toast quicker than larger pieces.
    Freezer-Friendly: The assembled cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Chill the cake in the refrigerator first to firm up the ganache. Wrap well in plastic wrap, then double bag in extra-large zip-top freezer bags. Or, if you don’t have freezer bags large enough, wrap cake in at least four layers of plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, to prevent freezer burn.

    Keyword Baker’s chocolate bar, buttermilk, coconut chips, egg whites, German chocolate bar, German Chocolate Cake, German’s Chocolate Cake, pecan-coconut frosting, toasted pecans, white chocolate ganache

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    Shamrock Shake Recipe

    This Shamrock Shake Recipe is full of eye-popping green color and creamy mint flavor. Make this seasonal treat whenever you need a minty pick-me-up!

    The Shamrock Shake returns to McDonald’s menus each February to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It’s only for a limited time, but now you can make the minty milkshake year-round! This recipe is so easy to make and fun to share.
    If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, then you know I’m extremely picky when it comes to mint-flavored sweets. I am likely to pass up minty sweets on most dessert menus. Why? Because it’s difficult to know if you’re getting something that tastes light and refreshing, or something more akin to toothpaste. This is definitely not the latter. This copycat Shamrock Shake recipe is creamy and indulgent with light mint flavor.  It’s such an easy dessert for St. Patrick’s Day dinner – or heck! Anytime you’re looking for a sweet minty treat.

    Shamrock Shake Origins
    First, a bit of history. Because after some digging, I was shocked to see how long Shamrock Shakes have been around. Connecticut McDonalds franchise owner Hal Rosen brought the Shamrock Shake to life in 1967. He created it to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. But get this – it wasn’t mint-flavored! It was made with lemon-lime sherbet. In 1983 that the mint-flavored shake made its debut. It was such a success, McDonalds decided to debut it nationally. Altogether, that’s more than 50 years of Shamrock Shake-ing!

    Let’s Talk Vanilla Ice Cream
    According to their website, McDonald’s Shamrock Shake recipe is made with reduced fat vanilla ice cream from the on-site soft serve machine. It’s perfectly fine to start with your favorite full fat, plain vanilla ice cream from the grocery store. It doesn’t have to be reduced fat. But it can be. However, full fat will blend better and the milkshake will be thick. Mayfield’s, Breyer’s, Turkey Hill – all the usual vanilla ice cream brands will work. Set the tub of ice cream out for about 10 minutes at room temperature to soften.

    What Kind of Milk?
    Use whole milk for the closest copycat of the McDonald’s shake. If you’re not a purist or stickler, then use whatever milk you prefer. 2% works well also. You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups for this recipe.

    Shamrock Shake Flavor and Color
    The McDonalds formula uses mint beverage syrup for the Shamrock Shake recipe. I don’t know about you, but I don’t keep beverage syrups on hand. But as a baker I definitely have mint extract. Use mint extract, and sure to use bottles labeled as “Mint” and not “Peppermint”. You might think there’s not much difference. But peppermint flavor is much sharper and not as true to the original shake’s flavor.  Start with 1/4 teaspoon of mint extract. Then, add more to taste. I know that doesn’t seem like much. However, over the years, and through many bottles of mint extracts, I’ve learned that brands vary in strength. You can always add more to taste.
    What makes the Shamrock Shake green?
    Well, technically, the food industry’s Yellow 5 and Blue 1. Yep, food color! The shades seem to vary a little in person and in advertisements. Some show it as bright lime green. And others are more emerald green.  So, use whatever green color you have on hand. A few drops of liquid green food color from a standard pack of grocery store food colors will work. I used a few drops from this Wilton’s set.

    In 2012, the shake was updated with whipped cream and a cherry on top. The squirt-y canister of aerosol whipped cream is a good standby. However, it is extremely meltable and goes flat rather quickly. I made some homemade using whipping cream, because it holds its shape longer. (And I needed it to last through an hour-long photo session!) Use whatever you prefer. But, while fleeting, the aerosol whipped cream is closest to its inspiration.

    Blend it all Together
    Get the ice cream, milk, green food color, and mint extract together in the pitcher of a blender. Then, give it whir. Taste-test, and add more mint extract if needed.

    Pour in a Tall Glass
    Divide the milkshake mixture between four glasses. Immediately top with the whipped cream of your choice (aerosol or homemade). Add the all-important red cherry on top!

    If you’re feeling festive, you could add some sprinkles to the whipped cream. I had some cute gold sugar pearls, which I used as a nod to leprechaun’s gold. Green sprinkles would also look super cute and very spring-y. Enjoy!
    Related recipe: Irish Cream Coffee Milk Punch

    Shamrock Shake Recipe

    Heather Baird

    This minty, green seasonal treat can now be enjoyed year-round! Shamrock Shakes are so fun to make and an easy St. Patrick’s Day dessert – although they shouldn’t be limited to the holiday. They’re an evergreen favorite! (Pun intended!)Be sure to use extracts labeled as “Mint” and not “Peppermint”. Peppermint extract is sharp and unlike the mint flavor used in Shamrock Shakes. Also, be a label-reader, and pay attention to the ingredients. Some mint flavorings labeled as ‘extract’ are oil based, and will be stronger than water-based extracts. If your ice cream is frozen rock-solid, let it stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before using, or until it is easily scoopable.

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    Prep Time 5 minutes minsBlend time 2 minutes 2 minutes minsTotal Time 7 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 4

    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 4 cups vanilla ice cream about 8 scoops1 1/2 cups whole milk1/4 teaspoon mint extract plus more to taste10 drops liquid green food color plus more if neededAerosol whipped cream see recipe notes for homemade4 maraschino cherries with stems patted dry2 tablespoons sprinkles, gold or green optional
    Instructions In a blender pitcher, combine the vanilla ice cream, half of the milk, 1/4 teaspoon mint extract, and 10 drops of liquid green food color. Blend to combine; mixture should be very thick.While the blender is running, add additional milk through the hole in the blender lid to achieve a thick, pourable consistency (you may not have to use all of the milk, depending on the ice cream temperature and brand).Taste-test the milkshake mixture, and add more mint extract, 1/8 teaspoon at a time. My milkshake batch took exactly 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract.When the mint flavor is just right, add additional green food color if needed for a bright, festive hue. Blend until completely smooth.Immediately divide the shake between 4 glasses (about 12 oz. capacity, each) and top each glass with a large swirl of whipped cream.Add cherries on top of the whipped cream, then add sprinkles, if using. Serve immediately.
    NotesHomemade Whipped Cream: Place one cup of heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whip attachment. Beat until slightly thickened, and add 2 tablespoons fine granulated sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star top (Ateco 856). Pipe swirls of whipped cream on top of the milk shakes. Or, just dollop whipped cream on top of the shakes with a spoon.
    Boozy Variation: Omit the mint extract, and add 1/4 cup of crème de menthe liqueur to the milkshake mixture. Add more to taste.
    Vegan/Dairy-Free Shamrock Shake: Replace the ice cream in this recipe with plant-based vanilla ice cream in equal portions (oat milk, cashew, or coconut milk to name a few). Also use plant-based milk. Use plant-based frozen whipped topping (thawed), such as So Delicious brand coconut whipped cream.
    Copycat Oreo Shamrock McFlurry®: Crush 8 Oreo cookies and add them to the blender pitcher with the mint milkshake mixture. Blend in bursts to disperse cookie pieces throughout the shake. Don’t blend too much, or the cookies will turn the milkshake grey.
    *Shamrock Shake is a registered trademark and brand of McDonald’s Corporation. 

    Keyword maraschino cherries, McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, peppermint extract, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, whole milk

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    Magic Granola Cookie Bars

    Magic Granola Cookie Bars are made with your favorite ready-made granola. Just five ingredients makes them an easy, quick fix!

    Leave it to me to take something healthy like granola, and make it a little naughty. Magic Granola Cookie Bars are inspired by Magic Cookie Bars (also called 7 Layer Bars, or Hello Dollies). Heard of them? The recipe was published in the 60’s, and home bakers have been making them ever since. A big part of the recipe’s appeal is how easy it is. And also how deliciously chewy-gooey the bars are.
    The inspiration recipe uses 7 layers of ingredients, that includes mix-ins like baking chips, coconut, and nuts. The most important ingredient of them all? A can of sweetened condensed milk. It holds everything together, and creates the most craveable soft, chewy texture. I wondered if a granola mix could be used in place of all those mix-ins. Because a bag of granola already has a lot of things in it – nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips. (Depending on the variety you use.) I just had to try it, and I’m so glad I did!

    Use Your Favorite Granola
    Start with a box or a bag of your favorite loose granola or granola clusters. You could also use homemade granola if you have some on hand. You’ll need 3 cups, so if you’re purchasing it, get the ‘family size’ container. If you use clusters, break them up with your hands. Or, pound the bag with a rolling pin to break up the clusters before measuring. I used dark chocolate chip sea salt granola clusters, which made the baked bars taste like the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bar, ever!’
    Next, you’ll need graham cracker crumbs and butter for the cookie base, and a can of sweetened condensed milk. I also included sweetened flake coconut. This can be optional, but it’s very tasty!

    Make the Crust
    Mix up the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl and pour it into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan. Tamp the crumbs down evenly using the flat bottom of a measuring cup or glass.
    Then, pour the sweetened condensed milk – directly from the can – onto the crust. Really easy so far, right? Right.

    Layer on the Granola
    Here’s the fun part. Because anything goes! Sprinkle on your favorite granola blend. You’ll need 3 cups. Opt for granola with simple ingredients (no corn syrup).

    Layer on the Coconut
    I used sweetened flake coconut but unsweet flake coconut will work also. This ingredient can be optional, but it adds another toasty layer of flavor.

    Bake until Golden Brown
    Place the pan in a preheated 350°F oven and bake for 25 minutes. Prepared granola has already been baked once. So it’s important to tent the bars with foil halfway through baking so it doesn’t overbrown.
    Just out of the oven, and while the pan is still hot, toss on a handful of chocolate chips. I mean, if you’re feeling extra. (I usually am!)

    Cool and Cut
    Let the bars stand in the pan until cool. You can serve them directly from the pan, or turn them out as I did. However, if you plan to remove them from the pan, line it first with aluminum foil that overhangs the sides. You’ll have an easier time removing it than I did.

    These bars are deliciously soft and gooey in the middle, with chewy edges. The chocolate chip granola mix I used made these bars taste like the best oat bars I’ve ever made!

    So, did I manage to reduce the ingredients? Yes. If you don’t use the optional coconut, the whole pan uses just 4 ingredients. But I think the coconut really adds something. So, it’s worth trying!
    The possibilities are endless with all the granola mixes on the market now. I think I’ll use my favorite cranberry-almond with flaxseed for my next attempt. Seeds, nuts, dried fruits, coconut, chocolate chips all do well in this recipe. There is one caveat: avoid granola mixes that include freeze dried fruit, such as strawberry and apple slices. They don’t hydrate to a nice texture, and the pieces near the top tend to burn.
    This recipe is a quick bake for weeknights, or even busy weekends. There’s big payoff with little effort – *chef’s kiss!

    Related Recipe: Healthy Homemade Granola

    Magic Granola Cookie Bars (5 Ingredients!)

    Heather Baird

    Half cookie bar, half granola bar, 100% delicious! These bars start with your favorite ready-made granola mix. Choose oat-based granolas that have additions like peanuts, almonds, flaxseeds, quinoa, craisins, raisins, dried fruit, and chocolate chips. Avoid granola mixes that contain freeze-dried fruits such as strawberries and apples – the baked texture is tough and strange, and they tend to burn.Use loose cereal-type granola or clusters. If you use clusters, break them up by hand or pound the bag with a rolling pin to break them up before measuring.Remember that ready-made granola has been baked once already. Tent the pan with aluminum foil halfway through baking to prevent the top from overbrowning.

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    Prep Time 10 minutes minsCook Time 25 minutes minsTotal Time 35 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 24

    Equipment9×13 inch panaluminum foil
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs about 12 sheets crushed fine1/2 cup unsalted butter melted14 oz. sweetened condensed milk 1 can3 cups oat granola any variety with nuts, raisins, chips, etc.1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut optional
    Instructions Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil so that it overhangs two long edges of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray.In a large mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Stir until well combined, or until the mixture has the appearance of wet sand. Pour the crumbs into the prepared pan; spread evenly and tamp it down with the bottom of a flat measuring cup, or the palms of your hands.Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crust. Scrape out the can with a rubber spatula to get every last bit out of the can.Sprinkle the oat granola over the sweetened condensed milk in an even layer. Use a rubber spatula to press the granola down into the milk layer.Sprinkle the coconut evenly over the granola.Bake for 25 minutes, tenting the pan with foil halfway through bake time to prevent overbrowning.Cool completely in the pan. You can serve the bars directly from the pan, or after the bars have cooled completely, lift up by the edges of the foil to remove from the pan. Then, cut into 24 pieces.Store the bars in an airtight container.
    NotesWhat to expect: These are the oat version of magic cookie bars. They have soft chewy texture with extra chewy caramelized edges. 
    Optional? You decide: Sweetened flake coconut can be an optional ingredient, but it gives the bars a nice texture reminiscent of the original magic cookie bars.
    Endlessly variable: honey-oat, cranberry-almond, peanut butter-flaxseed, dark chocolate-pecan.. There are hundreds of oat granola mixes out there to try, so have fun experimenting with different flavors!

    Keyword chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs, granola mix, homemade granola bars, magic cookie bars, oat granola, sweetened condensed milk, unsalted butter

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    5 Recipes You Should Be Baking to Celebrate the Lunar New Year

    February 10 kicks off the Lunar New Year, a 15-day-long celebration of the beginning of the new year in the traditional Chinese calendar. For those who celebrate, the very light takes on a bright red hue. For these 15 days in China and all other countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year, the cheery glow of red lanterns illuminate the roads, with red paper pasted over windowpanes and doorways for good measure. At night, fireworks shout across the horizon in rapid succession and burst in dazzling, rhythmic fashion—an unsurpassed spectacle considering the Chinese invented fireworks. At the close, thousands of lanterns are lit and sent to the sky, with hopes and dreams scrolled on the paper that will soon be consumed by the growing internal flame. 
    But perhaps the quietest tradition is the most important: the reunion dinner, held on Lunar New Year’s Eve. The entire extended family gathers around the dinner table to dine on an multicourse meal made up of dumplings, rice cakes, and more. Food plays an integral part in welcoming the new year, and there is much to feast on. Start this new year, the Year of the Dragon, in sweet fashion with our five home baker-friendly recipes featured in our January/February 2020 issue. 

    Walnut Cookies (hup toh soh)
    A common treat found in pastry shops in China year-round, during Chinese New Year, home bakers often make hup toh soh as a crunchy treat to welcome visitors and family to their home. Supposedly, the original walnut cookies contained no walnuts in the dough. The “walnut” in the name might have been used to refer to the cookie’s crunchy texture, or its wrinkly, golden appearance. 

    Pineapple Buns (bolo bao)
    Instantly recognizable with its crosshatch design on top, pineapple buns are a treasure to have come out of Hong Kong bakeries in the 20th century. Contrary to what its name would have you think, no pineapple is used in making these buns. Instead, the title refers to its similarity in appearance between the crispy top and a pineapple’s bumpy exterior. The base bun is made of a milk bread dough—sweet and fantastically fluffy.

    Coconut Almond Rice Cake (nian gao)
    For Chinese New Year, a number of rituals ensure luck and fortune: wearing red, not cleaning, burning fake money and coins, and, most deliciously, eating nian gao. This traditionally steamed sticky rice cake is almost 2,000 years old, first coming to prominence around AD 200. The cake’s potential luck is due to being a homonym, with nian gao sounding similar to the Chinese characters for “higher year,” meaning you’ll have a bountiful year by eating a slice of this iconic rice cake. Of course, consuming cake is always lucky in our book. Click here for our recipe!

    Sweet Egg Tarts (dan tan)
    Hailing from the city of Guangzhou in the 1920s, the Chinese variation of the egg tart features a crisp, crumbly shortcrust made with lard and a luminous, egg-rich custard. Once the dish came to Hong Kong, it transformed again, getting a tender cookie-like pâte sucrée crust but keeping the reflective custard. Though a relatively new addition to the Lunar New Year feasting, the egg tart is one more sweet way to celebrate the new year. 

    Barbecue Pork Buns (char siu bao)
    A Cantonese and dim sum classic, this bao is special because it is steamed rather than baked, making it both fluffy and sturdy. Once steamed, the dough will form a chewy skin while staying snowy white and gently heating a tender filling of barbecue-style pork (or char siu). Pork is symbolic during the Chinese New Year, standing for strength, wealth, and blessings. Click here for our version of this dum sum classic. LEGGI TUTTO

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    8 Sensational Small-Batch Bakes

    Whether you’re enjoying a solo cozy night in or celebrating a special occasion with a few friends, small-batch bakes are perfect for baking for a smaller crowd. From savory breads to dark chocolate cakes, these eight scaled-down recipes are sure to satisfy in their perfect portions.

    Cakey on the outside and filled with a mouthwatering center of molten dark chocolate, these lava cakes are the ultimate romantic dessert for two—just in time for Valentine’s Day.

    To share with a smaller crowd, we scaled down our Four-Cheese Pull-Apart Milk Bread to produce two mini-loaves. This recipe is a savory twist on Japanese milk bread, with a quartet of melted mozzarella, provolone, fontina, and cream cheese stuffed between buttery pull-apart layers. 

    In a 1997 episode of Julia Child’s Baking with Julia, Nancy Silverton baked a brioche tart that was so good it made Julia cry. In our take on this groundbreaking dessert, we filled a pillowy brioche “crust” with velvety cream cheese custard and swirled it with fruit preserves. Finished off with crunchy pearl sugar, this stunner might just make you shed a tear, too.

    There’s something so nostalgic about yellow cake with chocolate frosting, and sometimes, there’s just nothing better! These mini cakes will add a pop of color and sweetness to any celebration. 

    We’ve scaled down our Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars from a large rectangle pan to fit in a smaller square pan for those occasions when you want the classic carrot, pecan, and spiced flavor of carrot cake but need a recipe for a slightly smaller crowd.

    For these Coffee Tres Leches Cakes, luscious mini pound cakes get soaked in the classic trinity of milks, with shots of espresso and coffee liqueur added in for good measure. Topped with meringue and a sticky coffee syrup drizzle, this cake offers custard-like texture with oodles of coffee flavor.

    Seamlessly blending sweet and savory ingredients, this Small-Batch Fig and Onion Focaccia is perfect for dipping in your favorite olive oil, serving alongside pasta, or eating on its own.

    Cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookie fans, this Black Cocoa Cookies and Cream Cake is for you! Rich black cocoa mixes with espresso powder for a delightful chocolate kick, and a creamy cookie-filled frosting sweetly finishes it. Find the Nordic Ware Charlotte Cake Pan and our book, Another Bundt Collection, in our store here! LEGGI TUTTO

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    Homemade Crescent Rolls

    Homemade Crescent Rolls are so much better than canned! Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or any meal. Freezer-friendly and overnight options make this recipe a keeper.

    Who doesn’t love delicious, buttery crescent rolls? They range from flaky and crusty to soft and pillowy. These homemade crescent rolls fall into the latter category, with soft texture, rich buttery flavor, and a kiss of sweetness. This is my favorite recipe for crescent rolls – and I’ve tried many! The yeasty flavor really comes through. And the addition of honey in the dough is a simple touch of genius. It gives the rolls a honey-butter note – without being overpowering. They’re not complicated to make, and as long as you follow a few simple steps, they turn out perfectly every time.

    Why Make Homemade Crescent Rolls?
    Sure, you could buy a tube of canned refrigerated crescent rolls. But homemade crescent rolls are a thousand times better. Read the label on the can and you’ll find some strange ingredients, including palm oil (and NO butter). For all the compliments and wows at the Sunday dinner table, buttery scratch-made crescent rolls win every time. They’re made with staple pantry and refrigerated ingredients. And if it’s convenience you’re looking for, there are plenty of make-ahead options.

    Make the Crescent Roll Dough
    Mix together 1 1/2 cups of flour, 2 packages instant or active dry yeast, and a little fine grain salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. If you don’t have an electric mixer – no worries. These rolls can be made without a stand mixer. Whisk the mixture together and set aside temporarily.

    Combine butter, milk, and honey in a small saucepan and heat on low while stirring until melted. Let the mixture cool down to 115°F to 120°F.

    Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Mix together with your mixer’s paddle attachment, or with a big wooden spoon by hand, until the ingredients are well incorporated. Make sure to scrape down the bowl. Especially the bottom, to make sure there are no pockets of flour hiding there.

    The dough is enriched with egg yolks. This gives the dough a golden hue and promotes browning. Add the egg yolks to the bowl. And mix well to combine.

    Add Additional Flour
    Critical point: Add in just enough additional flour to the batter to form a soft dough, about 1 cup to start. The dough should be sticky. Too much flour will make the baked rolls firm and not fluffy – as they bake they are likely to unfurl. Like most yeast dough recipes, this one has a flour range: 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 cups. You may not use all of the flour.

    Knead the Crescent Roll Dough
    Switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook. (Or turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface to knead by hand.) Turn the mixer on low and knead for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be slightly lax and a little sticky. While mixing it should clean the sides of the bowl but not the bottom of the bowl. If dough sticks to the upper sides of the bowl while mixing, add just a little more flour and mix again. When you raise the dough hook from the bowl, the dough should be soft and slightly sticky. It should drape from the hook. And it should slowly, and partially ease itself back into the bowl. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and turn over once. Then, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled. About 45 minutes.
    Overnight Option
    After the dough has risen, punch it down. Then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight. The next morning, turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape as directed.

    Shaping the Crescent Rolls
    Of course, if you’re looking to enjoy these rolls right away, you can immediately shape the dough after punching it down – here’s how.
    Cut the dough in two pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll a half out to a 12-inch circle. Cut the dough into 12 wedges.
    If you prefer, you can make slightly smaller rolls by cutting the dough into 16 triangles instead of 12. (I prefer the larger rolls.)

    Roll the triangles up from the large end, tucking the point underneath the roll.
    Freezer-Friendly Option
    Immediately after shaping, freeze the rolls on parchment-lined baking sheets until firm. Transfer to a freezer bag or other freezer container. Return to the freezer and store for up to 4 weeks. To bake, allow them to rise, increasing the rise time to 2 1/2 to 3 hours and bake as directed.

    If you’re not freezing the rolls, place them on parchment-lined baking sheets, cover, and let rise until doubled and puffy. About 45 minutes. Bake at 375°F for 9-11 minutes, or until the rolls are puffy, golden brown, and fragrant.

    Brush the Rolls with Butter while Hot
    Yum, I could eat this picture! While the crescent rolls are piping hot on the baking sheet, brush each with a little melted butter. Or a lot of melted butter -ha!

    The end result? Gorgeous, puffy, buttery, yeasty, homemade crescent rolls. Pile them up on a platter and serve them for any meal. They’re excellent in the morning, split and stuffed with butter and jam. Fill them with chicken salad for lunch, or have them with a garden salad.
    However, I think they are best with a savory dinner. And they’d be so good with the Easter ham or Thanksgiving turkey. My husband eats them for dessert, warmed up in the oven, then stuffed with butter and drizzled with honey.

    After testing and re-testing, and eating my weight in these buttery delights, I couldn’t wait to share my holy grail recipe with you. Some crescent roll recipes have flaky crusts, bordering on croissant territory. Don’t expect that from these. These are pure dinner roll heaven. Soft and pillowy, and cottony on the inside. There are many ways to enjoy these, as I’ve mentioned. But there’s nothing like the simple joy of unfurling a hot crescent roll straight from the oven and eating it as-is.
    You can follow along the making of these rolls with my video tutorial below.
    Related recipe: Perfect Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

    Homemade Crescent Rolls

    Heather Baird

    These dinner roll-style crescents are buttery and soft with pillowy texture and a kiss of honey sweetness. Serve them for any meal! See the recipe notes for overnight instructions, which allows you to make the dough ahead one day and refrigerate it overnight for shaping and baking the next day. Or, use the instructions for freezing the shaped rolls for up to 4 weeks, which makes it easy to have homemade crescent rolls at a moment’s notice.

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    Prep Time 30 minutes minsCook Time 12 minutes mins2 hours rise time 2 hours hrsTotal Time 2 hours hrs 42 minutes mins

    Course Bread, Breakfast, BrunchCuisine American

    Servings 24

    Equipmentlarge baking sheets (2)parchment papersharp chef’s knife or pizza cutterPastry brush
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling dough4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast or two 1/4 oz. packages active dry yeast1 teaspoon fine grain salt1 cup whole milk1/2 cup unsalted butter1/4 cup wildflower honey or other local honey3 egg yolks from large eggs room temp.1/2 cup melted butter salted or unsalted
    Instructions In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the yeast, and the salt. Whisk to combine.In a small saucepan, add the milk, butter, and honey. Cook while stirring over low heat until melted. Cook to 115 °F-120 °F. If the mixture exceeds this temperature, let it cool to 115 °F-120 °F.Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir together on medium-low speed with the paddle attachment (or stir together with a wooden spoon by hand) about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again briefly.Add the egg yolks and mix on medium speed to combine, another 2 minutes.Critical point: Stir in just enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Begin with one cup, and add more as needed (about 1/4 cup at a time) while stirring on low speed to form a consistent, sticky, soft dough.Switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook (Or turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand). Knead for 6-8 minutes on medium-low speed. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl while mixing. It’s totally fine if the dough sticks in the bottom of the bowl a little. If the dough sticks to the top sides of the bowl, gently tap in a little extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until it cleans the top sides of the bowl. Remember: aim for soft and slightly sticky dough. When the dough hook is lifted from the bowl, it should drape from the hook. As it hangs there, the dough should partially relax back into the bowl.Spritz a large bowl with cooking spray, or butter the bowl. Place the dough into the bowl and turn over once to coat; cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until doubled.Punch down the risen dough. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two pieces.Roll each portion to a 12-inch circle. Cut each circle into 12 wedges. (Cut the circle crosswise in the center to create 4 pieces; then cut each quarter into 3 triangles to make 12 wedges).Lightly brush each triangle with melted butter; save leftover melted butter. Roll up the triangles from the wide ends. Tuck the points underneath the rolls and gently curve the ends to form crescent shapes.Place the rolls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Cover and let rise until puffy and nearly doubled, 30-45 minutes.Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown and fragrant. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with the reserved melted butter. Serve warm.Store rolls in an airtight container or zip top bag. Reheat rolls on parchment-lined baking sheets in a preheated 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes.See recipe notes for overnight refrigerator method, and for freezing instructions.
    NotesOvernight Refrigerator Method: After the dough has risen, punch it down. Then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight. The next morning, turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape as directed. The rise time may increase to 1 hour.
    Freezer-Friendly Method: Immediately after shaping, freeze the rolls on parchment-lined baking sheets until firm. Transfer to a freezer bag or other freezer container. Return to the freezer and store for up to 4 weeks. To bake, allow them to rise, increasing the rise time to 2 1/2 to 3 hours and bake as directed.
    Increase Yield Size: Increase the roll count from 24 to 32 by rolling each dough piece to 14-inches instead of 12-inces. Cut each dough circle into 16 wedges instead of 12. Let rise and bake as directed.
    Cranberry-Orange Variation: (Great for the holidays!) In a medium bowl, toss 1/3 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons fine orange zest from 3-4 large oranges. Rub together with fingers. Stir in 1 cup finely chopped dried cranberries. Brush dough circles with butter. Divide mixture between the two dough circles; cut, roll, rise, and bake as directed.

    Keyword active dry yeast, all purpose flour, egg yolks, freezer crescent rolls, homemade crescent rolls, how to make crescent rolls, instant yeast, local honey, overnight crescent rolls, unsalted butter, whole milk, wildflower honey

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