Nutty Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Nutty Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Perhaps you’re a lovely lady, or fine fella that enjoy the occasional sweet treat.  Perhaps the thought of a fluffy cake-like bar filled with pumpkin, nutty goodnesss, topped with decadent cream cheese frosting… makes you a little weak in the knees.

Or, perhaps you want nothing to do with a sugary snack, but enjoy the idea of sharing baked goods that make the intended think you slaved away all day, as the flour and sweat flew.

Well, here’s the answer friends.

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Best Carrot Cake

Best Carrot Cake

A serious warning accompanies this cake recipe – once you make it, and the first bite is devoured, you will then be required to make it for every event, for the rest of your life.  There’s a possibility you might not even be invited, but the cake will.

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Heaven & Hell Cake

“So that’s 10 minutes on the bicycle, 10 minutes on the treadmill, a full set of legs and 30 minutes on the elliptical – that should allow me two hunks of cheese and two beers later.”

I’m not the only one calculating calories burned into what I can indulge in later, am I???

I bring up this small neurosis because this cake is totally worth conserving and calculating calories for!  Of course you can always throw caution to the wind and dive right in – I have a sneaking suspicion that calories might be like germs, designed to scare us and suck all the fun out of living, but don’t really exist. (Kidding!)

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Orange Pecan Beer Cake with Orange Glaze

Dear Sixties Housewives, you were really onto something with this whole “bundt” thing.  Well done!

“It’s a Bundt.” “Boont?” “BundTT!” Cake, bread, gelatin, ice cream cakes, what can’t these little wonders do?!  Seriously, the bundt cake has it all – it’s quick, it’s easy, it looks great, cooks evenly, and tastes great – a baker could not ask for more.   Why have I waited so long to get on board?  Who knows, but the obsession has begun.

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Orange Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with Blood Orange Compote

One of my goals for cooking in 2012 is “seasonal.”  Seasonal eating isn’t one of those hokey new-age eating fads, it’s one of the most simple and beautiful ways to fuel your body.  The earth is offering up these fruits and veggies at a certain time, practically begging us to eat them.  How cool is that?!

So what does this have to do with an orange chocolate cake? I’m getting to that.  Blood oranges are currently “in season” in my area and I’ve been dying to throw them into a delicious dish.  Enter… the cake!

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Triple-Layer Godiva Dream Cheesecake

While Valentine’s Day may be a ways away, I have a sneaking suspicion that there are those among you that have abandoned your New Year’s Resolution – swearing off carbs and sugar, in favor of loftier aspirations – such as mastering some baking skills, or boning up on your recipe reading.  I applaud you.  Now let me help.

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Gingerbread Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

You didn’t think I could make it through a holiday extravaganza without beer making its way into the mix… did you?

From start to finish the smells this cake produces are insane.  The smell of stout and molasses getting together is reminiscent of Brew House smells, so you know I was diggin’ that!  The cake baking fills the house with smells that could not be more Christmasy.

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Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting

It remains to be seen if whoopie pies will take the crown from cupcakes as queen of the portable sugary snacking device, but these guys might give them a run for their money.

The cakes are dense and moist, and the filing, ohhh the filling!  Food trends are slightly different than clothing trends, in that most of them last longer than that Day-Glo outfit you couldn’t live without in the 80s, and most have legit reasons for finding their way into our cultural gastronomical stream of consciousness.  Bacon, food trucks, farm fresh, Sriracha, these things have staying power, because they are fantastic!  Nutella sits easily, and firmly on this list.

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Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

I take for granted that growing up in the semi-south, I had the privilege of birthdays with red velvet cake.  In fact it was one of the best parts of having a birthday.  Red velvet lovin’ wasn’t relegated to my childhood, the red velvet I had on my 21st was from Magnolia Bakery in New York City, and it was so amazing that I froze it and would eat tiny slivers when the mood stuck me.

I’ve been pretty vocal about my lack of interest in sweets, but another New York City temptation was cheesecake.  Oh, Juniors and Roxy Delicatessen, why did you tempt me so?

Why the back story?  To set the stage for the ultimate combo – Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake!

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