Skinnier Strawberry Shortcake

This ain’t your momma’s Strawberry Shortcake!  No sir.  This is Strawberry Shortcake elevated to a whole new level.  Fresh baked sponge cake.  Freshly whipped cream.  And berries picked from a local farm. 

I tried to come up with some fancy shmancy name to help emphasize the awesomeness of this cake, but there was nothing that described it better than the simple, traditional name. 

I lightened this up a bit by using Splenda in the whipped cream and to macerate the strawberries.  Yes, there’s still 2 cups of heavy cream in there, but hey – you’re not going to eat the whole thing, so don’t freak out.  I only ate 1/16 of this cake and was quite satisfied.  All in moderation, folks.

I think this will be my new favorite recipe for fresh strawberries.  But don’t quote me on that.  I have about 3 more gallons of strawberries, so I may find another favorite!

Skinnier Strawberry Shortcake

Cake

  • 4 eggs, seperated
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Splenda

Strawberries:

  • 1/2 pound fresh strawberries
  • 2-4 tbsp Splenda (depending on the sweetness of your berries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare cake, line an 8″ square baking pan with parchment or waxed paper.  Grease and flour the paper lined pan and set aside.

Combine sugar and egg whites in large bowl and whip to stiff peaks.  Add egg yolks and gently whisk until combined.  Add milk, vanilla, and flour and gently fold in until combined.  Fold in melted butter.

Pour cake batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 mintues or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool completely on wire rack.  Remove cake from pan and split horizontally.

While the cake is baking, finely dice the strawberries.  Combine with Splenda and set aside to macerate until ready to assemble cake.

When cake is cooled and ready to be assembled, prepare the whipped cream:  Combine heavy cream, splenda, and vanilla in a metal bowl and beat until slightly stiff.  Reserve one cup for piping on the top of the cake.

Place one cake layer on a serving platter.  Top with half the the remaining whipped cream.  Spread a layer of strawberries over the whipped cream.  Top with the other half of the whipped cream.  Place the remaining cake layer on top.  Spoon the reserved 1 cup of whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, and pipe diagonal stripes over the entire top of cake.  Garnish with fresh strawberry halves, if desired.

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Paw Paw Muffins

About a week ago, I went to a friend’s house to pick up something I had ordered from her.  When I stepped on her porch I could smell this really sweet, fruity scent.  When she opened the door the first thing I said was “what smells SO GOOD out here???”  It smelled absolutely divine.  I can’t even describe it.  She informed me that it was Paw Paw fruit from her Paw Paw tree.  Seriously?  I had only heard of them from The Jungle Book movie!  Is there really such a thing?  Yes, there really is.  She gave me a bag of them to take home and try.  She told me that they are an ‘acquired taste’ for most people, so don’t be alarmed if you take a bite and don’t really like it at first.  So, I took my little bag of Paw Paws home and was anxious to taste one and make something with them. 

First, I just cut one open, and ate a bit of the flesh with a spo0n.  Hmm…she’s right.  I didn’t love it.  But I didn’t hate it either.  I couldn’t decide.  So, I made muffins with a few.  I did like the muffins better than the plain paw paw, but I still didn’t love it.  My husband really liked the muffins though.  Here’s the recipe, in case you ever come across some Paw Paw fruit yourself!

Paw Paw Muffins

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 medium-large paw paws (or 4 small ones), flesh removed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In seperate bowl, combine paw paw flesh, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg yolk.  Stir just until mixed together.  Add dry ingredients and walnuts to paw paw mixture, stirring just until combined.  Don’t overmix.

Divide evenly into 5 or 6 muffin cups (grease the muffin cups or use papers).  Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.  Cool slightly before serving.

Birthday Cake Batter No-Churn Ice Cream

After making the Birthday Cake Batter Rice Crispy Treats, my sprinkle-obsessed daughter has been begging me to make Birthday Cake Batter Ice Cream – her absolute favorite ice cream.  So, while I was in my ice cream-making mode last week, I whipped up a batch.  She was in heaven.  If you’re a birthday cake ice cream lover like her, I think you will be too.

Birthday Cake Batter No-Churn Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup dry yellow cake mix
  • 1 tbsp butter flavor
  • 1/3 cup sprinkles

In medium bowl, whip 1 cup of heavy cream to stiff peaks. 

In seperate bowl, stir together remaining 1 cup of heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, cake mix, and butter flavor.  Fold whipped cream into this mixture.  Fold in sprinkles.  Pour into a freezer safe airtight container and freeze until solid.

Skinny Brown Butter Peach Crumble Bars

Peaches have been absolutely delicious this year.  We’ve been buying them from a local fruit stand regularly for the last several weeks.  I don’t know if I’ve ever had peaches as good as the ones we’ve been getting this year.   In addition to just breaking them open and eating them as the juice runs down my arms to my elbows,  I’ve been trying to come up with different ways to use them.  I found this idea of a cross between a granola bar and a peach cobbler.   I’ll be trying these with other fruits too…let me know if you do!

Skinny Brown Butter Peach Crumble Bars

  • 1-1/2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or you can substitute all purpose flour)
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp splenda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 stick light butter, melted
  • 4 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour an 8×8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, splenda, oats, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside. 

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter.  Stir constantly until the butter turns a light golden brown. (This will take about 3 minutes or so)  Once brown, add butter to flour mixture along with vanilla.  Stir until combined.  Fold in the peaches.  Press into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Let cool completely and cut.

Serves: 12

Weight Watchers Points + : 4 points each

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

 

Chocolate?  Yes.  Peanut Butter?  You betcha.  Cheesecake?  Absolutely.  Combine all three and you have a make-your-eyes-roll-back-in-your-head-good-cheesecake.  And that’s all I need to say about this cheesecake. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Crust:

  • 3-1/4 cup oreo cookie crumbs (or graham cracker crumbs if you wish)
  • 3/4 stick melted butter

Filling:

  • 2 pounds cream cheese (Four 8 oz. packages), softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 eggs
  • 8 oz. melted semisweet chocolate

 

In medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs and melted butter.  Press into bottom and 1/3 of the way up the side of 10″ springform pan lined with parchment paper.

For filling, place softened cream cheese in mixer bowl and beat until smooth.  Add peanut butter and mix well.  Gradually beat in sugar.  Add heavy cream aned vanilla and beat on low speed to incorporate.  Add eggs one at a time.  Beat only until eggs are incorporated.  Transfer half of the mixture to a second bowl.  To one half of mixture, add melted chocolate.  Spoon both batters into crust, alternating between the peanut butter and chocolate mixtures.  When all batter is in pan, swirl gently with a knife.

Place pan in a larger pan and fill larger pan halfway with hot water.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes, or until lightly golden and set.  Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours.  Run paring knife around edge to loosen, and invert onto plate.  Invert again onto serving plate.

** I topped mine with ganache, a drizzle of peanut butter, and some chopped Reese Cups!

Skinny Raspberry Crumb Coffee Cake

Serve this yummy treat as breakfast, dessert, or a snack!  And substitue other fruits for a twist!

Skinny Raspberry Crumb Coffee Cake

  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Topping:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9″ square pan with cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, applesauce, sugar, egg and egg white.  In food processor, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Add butter and pulse until crumbly.  (Alternately, you can cut in the butter by hand)  Place crumbly mixture in large bowl.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Fold in raspberries and spread batter in prepared pan.

For topping, combine flour and sugars.  Stir in melted butter.  Sprinkle evenly over top of cake batter.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, ur until a toothpick  inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

Cupcake Hero {September}

This month’s secret ingredient for Cupcake Hero is…..

CAFFEINE!

How fun is that?!?!  I had several ideas for what I could do with this, but so far I’ve only created one cupcake.  A spin-off of my absolute favorite espresso drink:  The Caramel Latte.  I developed a Caramel Latte Cupcake, and everyone who tried it LOVED it!  I used to work at a local coffee shop, and we would top the Caramel Lattes with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel on top.  So, I mimicked that with the frosting and a caramel drizzle. 

It is a Caramel-Espresso flavored cupcake, with a rich, thick caramel filling, topped with Espresso-laced Buttercream and drizzled with more of that luscious caramel filling.

My mouth is watering just thinking about these again!

 

CARAMEL-ESPRESSO CAKE RECIPE:

1 white cake mix*

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp instant espresso powder

1/2 cup caramel coffee creamer

1/2 cup very strong espresso

1/3 cup oil

3 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup Dulce De Leche**

Mix cake mix, flour, sugar and espresso powder together in mixer bowl.  Add coffee creamer, espresso and oil; mix well.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate egg.  Add sour cream, beating well.  Add Dulce De Leche, beating until smooth.

Scoop into muffin tins lines with cupcake papers, filling tins 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 until cupcakes test done.  Let cool 5 minutes, remove from tins to wire racks and let cool completely.

Once cooled, cut a hole out of the center of each cupcake.  Fill each cupcake with Dulce De Leche.

*You can use your favorite scratch recipe if you’d like…but honestly, I like using a mix because it turns out perfect every time.

**You can find Dulce De Leche in the Latin food aisle of your grocery store.
ESPRESSO-LACED BUTTERCREAM:

Basic Buttercream (Use your favorite recipe)

1/4 cup strong espresso

2 tbsp finely ground instant espresso powder

Powdered sugar, if needed
Prepare your favorite buttercream.  Add strong espresso, mixing well.  Add powdered sugar, if needed, to reach desired consistency.  Stir in instand espresso powder.

Pipe swirls of Espresso-Laced Buttercream on top of each cupcake.

Place some Dulce De Leche in a piping bag and snip off the end.  Pipe zig-zag designs on the top of each cupcake.