Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cake

Over the years, I’ve had many people guest post on my blog (you can see all those cool bloggers here!), the majority of which either had their own blog or were avid bakers.  This year, I’m doing something a little different. Instead of inviting a professional blogger to guest post, I’ve decided to mentor an inspired baker who wants to start her own food blog and have that person contribute to JavaCupcake.  Meet Roxana!

Meet Roxana! | JavaCupcake.comRoxana has been a loyal reader of JavaCupcake for many years and I have loved her continued dedication to leaving comments, Facebook messages and her overall desire to be a part of the JavaCupcake community.  Last year, Roxana stepped up when I put a call out to my readers asking for help with some technical upkeep on the back end of my blog.   You may have noticed the new JavaCupcake Recipes board on Pinterest, Roxana was responsible for creating that!

As a part of my #BakerMentor program, once a month Roxana will be posting a new recipe.  I’ll be guiding her on how to create recipes, photograph her creations and showing her the ins and outs of out to create a blog post!   This is her first recipe and I’m pretty impressed!  It took me years of baking before my cakes looked this amazing!

So without further adieu… here’s Roxana!

Chocolate Beer & Pretzel Cake |

If you’ve ever watched QVC on a Sunday and seen David Venable do his “happy dance” after taking a bite of delicious food, then you have an idea of how excited I am to be posting here on JavaCupcake! I’ve been following Betsy’s blog for some time now and am honored that she’d allow me and my newbie-self to hang out with you guys. Thanks Betsy for being an inspiration to me and taking me under your wing! xox

So, before I get overly squishy let’s get to the recipe. ;)


I was recently working on a cupcake recipe for my friend Kirsten’s blog. Although I do not drink beer, I decided that I wanted to try using it in my recipe. I mean, it tastes good in bread so why not? I also knew that I didn’t want to use Guinness because I knew plenty cupcake/cake recipes already existed using it. That’s when my brilliant husband (who by the way, also doesn’t drink beer) suggested I try using chocolate beer. I was surprised that such a thing even existed. So I turned to my sister and brother-in-law (because they actually drink beer and they like to cook with it) for some help and Rob delivered! He gave me a chocolate oatmeal stout to try in the recipe.


Can I just tell ya… AWESOME! I was so happy with how the cupcakes turned out that I decided to use the leftover beer in this Chocolate Beer Pretzel Cake!  Waste not, want not… right? If you are a lover of salty and sweet then this is the cake for you. My sister, Corinna, actually said “I think this is the best cake I’ve ever put in my mouth” when she tasted the cupcake version.


When I made the cake I noticed that the beer flavor came through a little more without being overpowering. Peanut butter buttercream, mini chocolate chips, and pretzel crumble finish this cake off. If you can believe it, the only thing I forgot was the caramel! So if you really want to kick the cake up some more, drizzle some caramel on the top. :) Grab a tall glass of milk or your favorite beer and enjoy some Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cake!

*You can find the original cupcake recipe that inspired this cake here. If your curious about what I might be baking next, check out my Facebook page The Red Eye Baker.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1 2-layer 8" cake
  • ½ c salted pretzel sticks
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • ½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ c mini chocolate chips
  • Homemade caramel sauce or your favorite store bought (optional)
  • 1 c chocolate stout beer (I used Boulevard Brewing Co. Tasting Room Oatmeal Stout, Kansas City, MO)
  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter
  • ¾ c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ⅔ c sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 c heaping of creamy peanut butter
  • 3 - 4 c powdered sugar
  • ½ c heavy cream
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. In a food processor, pulse the pretzel sticks into small chunks.
  2. Add the brown sugar and melted butter, process on high until well combined and the pretzels are in smaller crumbs.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl, add the mini chocolate chips, stir together, and set aside.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease and flour two 8” cake pans.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, bring the butter and beer to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, let cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg together with the sour cream
  6. Very slowly add the warm chocolate mixture to the egg/sour cream mixture, whisking constantly.
  7. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until just combined and no lumps remain. Do not overmix.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 26 – 28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool cakes in the pan for 10 – 15 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Make sure cakes are completely cool prior to frosting.
  1. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the peanut butter together until it pales in color a bit.
  2. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar ½ c at a time.
  3. Add the salt and the vanilla.
  4. Add the heavy cream and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  1. Using a cake leveler or serrated knife trim the crown (top) off both cake layers making them even.
  2. Place 3 – 4 pieces of wax paper around the perimeter of your turntable or cake stand/platter. These will help to catch the pretzel crumble and will pull out easily from under the cake without having to lift the whole thing.
  3. Place about a tablespoon of buttercream in the center of your cake board or stand and place the first layer flat side down on top of it. Using an offset spatula spread an even, generous layer of buttercream on the first cake layer, then sprinkle some mini chocolate chips over the buttercream. Place the second cake layer flat side up on the first. Spread a thin, crumb coat over the entire cake and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill.
  4. Remove the chilled cake from the freezer and finish frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream (save some if you want to pipe a border). Put the buttercream on the top of the cake and just spread it over the edges with an offset spatula. Then work the buttercream around the edges until the cake is completely covered and evenly coated.
  5. Gently press the pretzel crumble into the sides. Remove the wax paper from under the cake. Pipe a border if you like (I used a Wilton 1M tip), then sprinkle the top of the cake with more crumble and drizzle with some caramel (optional).
*Cake can be stored at room temperature in a covered container for a couple days. You can refrigerate it, but allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Red Velvet Mocha Macaron Cake

Decadent red velvet cake filled with a whipped cream cheese filling surrounded by a rich chocolate fudge frosting adorned with mocha macarons make this cake an extravagant dessert fit for any special occasion!

Red Velvet Mocha Macaron Cake |

A couple months ago, my friend Rachel of the fashion and lifestyle blog Glitter & Bow asked me to make a cake for her friends birthday.  But, not just any cake… it had to be a very special cake.

Rachel and I discussed several options, but decided on a Red Velvet Mocha Macaron Cake.  Red velvet and cream cheese go perfectly together inside the cake, but to tie in the macarons, we went with a chocolate fudge frosting.

Red Velvet Mocha Macaron Cake | Red Velvet Mocha Macaron Cake |

Deliciously sinful in every bite… or so I was told.

Since the cake was for a party, I couldn’t really cut into it for a photo for this post, so I tried to take a picture of the cake before I frosted it to give you an idea of how the inside looks.

Red Velvet Mocha Macaron Cake |

The birthday girl sweetly emailed me after the party and said the cake was delicious and she was so very thankful I made it for her.  I only wish I could have had a slice of the cake myself!

Happy Baking!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Red Velvet Mocha Macaron Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 cake
Red Velvet Cake
  • 8Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 Tbsp unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbsp liquid red food coloring mixed with 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp distilled white vinegar
Whipped Cream Cheese Filling
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  • 12Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1lb package plus 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4oz semi-sweet bakers chocolate
Mocha Macarons
Red Velvet Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease & flour 2 9-in round cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs and mix well after each addition. Cream again for 1 more minute.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, water, vanilla and red liquid coloring until it has become a thick paste.
  4. Add this mixture to the bowl of the mixer and mix until completely combined. Scrape the bowl down to make sure all the batter has been colored red.
  5. Combine the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add half the buttermilk to the batter and mix until combined, the mixture will look grainy and curdled. Add half the flour and mix until combined. Repeat this with the remaining buttermilk and flour.
  6. Add the baking soda and vinegar and beat for 2 minutes or until the mixture is completely smooth and uniform.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Wrap the cake layers in plastic and freeze until firm or ready to use.
Whipped Cream Cheese Filling
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar, salt and vanilla and continue whipping until incorporated.
  2. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the whipping cream and whip until incorporated. Turn the mixer to high speed and whip until light, fluffy and smooth.
  3. Chill for at least an hour or until ready to use.
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  1. Using a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate. Set aside to slightly cool.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. While beating, sift together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
  3. Pour the cooled, melted chocolate into the butter and mix until incorporated.
  4. One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar and cocoa to the butter beating well after each addition.
  5. Mix in the vanilla and salt.
  6. Slowly pour in the heavy cream and beat the frosting on high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
Mocha Macarons
  1. Use THIS RECIPE to make the macarons and filling. Instead of making mini macarons like the recipe, use a 1½in circle template to make your macarons.
  1. Place one cake layer on a cake plate or stand, flat side down. Spread whipped cream cheese filling evenly over the top of the cake leaving a ½in border of unfrosted cake on the edges. . Gently place the second cake layer, flat side up, on top of the filling and press gently until the filling reaches the edges. Chill cake for 20 minutes to set.
  2. Apply a thin crumb coat of frosting to the entire outside of the cake. Freeze/chill the cake again for 20-30 minutes or until the frosting is firm.
  3. Spread the remaining frosting evenly over the outside of the cake. Use a bench scraper to create a flat surface of frosting on the top of the cake. Use a small spatula to create a textured side/edges of the cake.
  4. Place macarons evenly on the top of the cake along the edges.
  5. Chill cake and macarons until ready to serve. Remove 20 minutes before serving.

German Plum Cake

Ripe, sweet, juicy plums are one of my favorite fruits in the Fall. Here in Germany, the most delicious cake is make from these dark purple pitted fruits, Plum Cake!

German Plum Cake |

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With less than a year left in Germany, I’m determined to learn to bake as many of my favorite treats that I’ve come to love in the last 3 1/2 years.  Cake rectangles topped with fruit and struessel are a German staple and one of my most favorite desserts.

In Germany, small purple plums are in season beginning in late summer and continue into the Fall.  They are an inexpensive fruit to purchase but they make one of the best and most unexpected additions to cake.

Before I lived in Germany, I had never seen plums in cake before and to be honest, it would have never crossed my mind to use them in a dessert.  Let me tell you though, this Plum Cake is one of my all time favorite treats in Germany.

German Plum Cake |

Now, you may be thinking, “This doesn’t look like a cake?!”  And you’re right!  German cakes come in all shapes and sizes.  The base of is almost a bread like dough made with yeast and rolled out into a pan.  Topping the dough  is a whipped cream and quark mixture topped with rows of fresh plums and a streusel to die for.  Hmmmm… yeah.  This really is the quintessential fruit cake in Germany.  It’s a must have and now a must bake!

There are several names for this German Plum Cake including Pflaumenmuskuchen or Zwetschgendatschi.  When I go into the bakery, I just smile and point and say, “Pflaumenkuchen, bitte!”

German Plum Cake |

I translated this recipe from a German baking book I picked up at the Kaufland here. It’s called Omas beste Kuchen by Parragon Books.  You can buy it on Amazon if you’re interested.  The book is full of traditional German cakes that can be found in all the bakeries here!

If you need help with measurements in the recipe, you can download my Baking Conversion Charts to help you with the conversions!


German Plum Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: German
Serves: 16-20 slices
  • 175ml milk
  • 350g all-purpose flour
  • 21g yeast (3 envelopes/packets)
  • pinch of salt
  • 40g granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1tsp vanilla sugar
  • zest of ½ a lemon
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g granualted sugar
  • 500g quark
  • 2Tbsp corn starch
  • 100g heavy cream
  • 850g or about 30 small purple plums, pitted & quartered
  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, cold
  • powdered sugar, for garnish
  1. Warm milk in a sauce pan to 100F-110F degrees and set aside.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast. Sprinkle the salt and half the sugar over the yeast. Add 50ml of the warm milk (about ¼ cup) and vigorously stir together with a wooden spoon. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to proof for about 10 minutes (may take longer if it's not warm enough).
  3. Using a stand mixer with the dough hook, place the dough into the bowl. Add the egg, sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon zest and the butter and mix until combined. Add the remaining milk and mix until smooth. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  1. Wash and remove the pits of the plus. Slice the plums into quarters (4 pieces) and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until fluffy and the color has lightened. Mix in the corn starch and quark and stir until smooth.
  4. Gently fold the quark mixture into the whipped cream being gentle not to deflate the cream.
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Cube the butter and add it to the mixture. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour and sugar until crumbly.
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C degrees.
  2. Grease a 30x40cm pan with butter and flour.
  3. Knead the proofed dough 3-4 times on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll the dough to the size of the pan. Transfer the dough to the pan, pressing it into the sides and edges.
  4. Spread the filling evenly over the dough.
  5. Arrange the plums in rows on top of the filling.
  6. Sprinkle topping over the plums.
  7. Bake 30-45 minutes until golden brown. Turn heat off and let the cake rest in the oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Cool completely then garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar.
  9. Cut cake into rectangles and serve with coffee or tea.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 16


Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Dense dark chocolate cake layers filled with a decadent red currant creme all covered in chocolate ganache and garnished with frosted red currants make every slice of this Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake a sinfully delicious guilty pleasure!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek |

I’ve made several layer cakes over the past few years, but this cake is truly the culmination of everything I’ve learned about American and German baking, rolled into one glorious dessert.

And when I say American and German baking, I mean that I’ve taken my American style cake and paired it with a German style cake filling covered it in a simple ganache.  No frosting or buttercream anywhere on this cake… which is a huge departure for me.  Here in Germany, the cakes are typically filled with a cream and topped with whipped cream or ganache, but hardly ever do you find frosting or buttercream on their cakes.

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek |

This is not an overly sweet cake. Instead this cake is very rich cake and paired with the creaminess of the filling and the tartness of the berries the flavors match each other perfectly.

Red Currants are typically found in Western Europe, but this cake could easily be made with any fruit including fresh cherries or raspberries.  Even strawberries would be amazing with this cake!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek |

The chocolate cake recipe that I used for this cake is my tried and true chocolate cake.  It is made with melted butter and coffee as well as dark chocolate cocoa powder.  The biggest difference this time with this cake is that it is served chilled, which in my opinion completely changes the texture and flavor of the chocolate.  In fact, I think the chocolate flavor intensifies and the texture becomes dense, thick and almost fudge-like.  Heavenly.

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek |

The recipe for the red currant creme filling was inspired by a similar cake I saw on a Croatian baking blog and I adapted it to fit what I wanted to create.  They actually made a very similar cake and was thrilled to see how successful they had been in their attempt to make the cake that I had been dreaming of in my head!

Since this cake is a very large cake and the pieces don’t need to be cut more than an inch big, I had a lot of cake to share!  One of my neighbors was kind enough to eat most of it for me!  I kept offering slices and she kept saying YES!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek |

Each bite of this cake knocked my socks off and far exceeded any expectations I had for how it would be.  The sour cream filling I expected to be very sour, but after sitting in the refrigerator chilling for 24 hours, the flavors came together and it was perfect.

If you need a show stopping cake for your next party, I completely suggest this cake!  Your friends and family will be so impressed!

Happy Baking!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 10in cake - about 16-20 servings
Chocolate Cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brewed strong coffee
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
Red Currant Creme Filling
  • 300g red currants, destemmed, clean and dry
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • ⅛tsp orange extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 700g sour cream
  • 4Tbsp cold water
  • 10g powdered gelatin
  • 200g semi-sweet chocolate (50-60% cocoa)
  • 250g heavy cream
  • 2Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1-2 cups chocolate shavings
  • 2 cups or a large bunch of red currants on the stem
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
Chocolate Cake
  1. Prepare a 10in springform pan by greasing the sides and bottom with butter or shortening and then coating in flour.
  2. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the cocoa powder, brewed coffee, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. While cooling, whisk together the egg and sour cream in a medium bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  5. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the eggs and sour cream until smooth.
  6. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the wet mixture into it. Whisk together until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan completely before removing from the springform pan.
  9. Once cool, trim the top of the cake so it is flat. Measure half way down the cake and cut it into two equal layers.
Red Currant Creme Filling
  1. Gently stir together the red currants, 50g granulated sugar and orange extract in a medium pot and cook over medium high heat for 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to break up the berries. You want their skins to become slightly soft and for the juice of the berries to come out with the sugar, but not for the berries to break down. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium glass bowl over a water bath, whisk the egg yolks with 100g granulated sugar. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, measure out the sour cream. Scoop about 3Tbsp of the sour cream into the egg yolk mixture to help cool it down.
  4. In a small pot over low heat, whisk cold water and the gelatin together. Slowly warm the mixture to dissolve the gelatin. Once dissolved, pour it into the eggs and whisk to combine.
  5. Whisk remaining sour cream until smooth. Pour in the egg mixture and whisk to combine completely.
  6. Gently fold in the red currants, including all the juice in the pot. Chill this mixture in the freezer for about 25 minutes or until it has began to set but it still pourable.
  7. Place the bottom layer of the cake back in the springform pan, making sure the pan is latched closed. Pour the filling over the cake and smooth it out flat with an offset spatula. Place the second layer of cake on top of the filling and gently press down to ensure that the filling has reached the sides of the pan.
  8. Cover with foil and chill the cake at least 24 hours. Once completely chilled and the filling has set, you can move on to covering th cake in ganache.
  1. Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and place in a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a small pot on medium high heat, heat the heavy cream just until it begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes, untouched.
  3. Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth slowly, being careful not to create any air bubbles in the chocolate.
  4. Add the butter and stir until combined.
  5. Allow the chocolate to cool and thicken until when poured it won't immediately run off the top of the cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the springform pan and place it on the serving platter or plate.
  7. SLOWLY pour the ganache in the center of the top of the cake until it reaches the edges of the cake and begins to fall down the sides. You want the chocolate thick enough that it will leave a nice layer of chocolate on the top of the cake, almost like a frosting, but not as thick and very smooth.
  8. Using an offset spatula, scoop up the chocolate that fell down the sides and spread it along the edges, being careful not to damage the perfectly smooth top of the cake.
  1. Before the ganache has time to set, press chocolate shavings onto the side of the cake.
  2. Clean and dry the red currants.
  3. Whisk an egg white in a small bowl. Dip the red currants, on the stem, into the egg whites then completely cover in granulated sugar.
  4. Set on a tray covered in wax paper to set and completely dry.
  5. Place the frosted red currants in a pile on top of the cake in the center.
  6. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve.

Very Berry Cheesecake

You may  not believe it when I tell you this, but I’ve never made a traditional cheesecake before this one.  Maybe it’s because I’m not actually a fan of cheesecake… or cream cheese for that matter.  I know, I must be nuts!

Very Berry Cheesecake with Chocolate Oreo Crust |

It really wasn’t until I went to Disneyland Paris and was served a mini cheesecake with my dinner that I started to think differently about cheesecake.  This cheesecake had a thick graham cracker crust, a sweet creamy center and was covered in a raspberry sauce that was insanely good.  All three together was amazing!

So, when I was invited to be a part of National Cheesecake Day with some of my food blogging friends I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to make my very first traditional cheesecake! A Very Berry Cheesecake!

Very Berry Cheesecake with Chocolate Oreo Crust |

Because I love chocolate and the commissary finally started carrying chocolate creme OREOs, I decided I wanted this cheesecake to have a chocolate crust.  Seriously, who doesn’t love a chocolate cookie crust?  And then to top the cheesecake, I wanted to try and replicate the tart, sweet flavor of the berry sauce that I had on the cheesecake in Paris, so I made a chunky raspberry & strawberry sauce to pour over each serving of cheesecake.

The filling of the cheesecake comes from a recipe I found on Simply Recipes.  I’m not even going to rewrite the recipe for you, I’m just going to let you head on over there and use their directions and tutorials.  It’s amazing.  Simply Recipes has provided a lot of pictures and very simple instructions.  I felt confident as a first time maker of cheesecake that I could “get it right” with this recipe! The only difference is that I used a 10in springform pan instead of the 8in or 9in their recipe calls for.

Very Berry Cheesecake with Chocolate Oreo Crust |

I really wanted each bite of cheesecake to have the flavor from the berry sauce, because to me that was the best part of the cheesecake… the contrast between the creamy smooth of the cheesecake and the tart and sweet of the fruit.  Add the crunch of the crust and WOAH… perfection.

I think that this cheesecake has made me a believer.  A cheesecake believer, that is!

If you’re a cheesecake lover, you’re going to want to check out all of these other amazing bloggers and their cheesecakes!  We’ve got bars, cakes, pops, and so much more!  I can’t wait to check them all out myself!


cheesecake dayBaked Cheesecakes:

No Bake Cheesecakes:

Cheesecake Beverages:

Cheesecake Cookies and Bars:

Cheesecake Desserts and Treats:

Frozen Cheesecakes and Treats:

Very Berry Cheesecake
Prep time
Cook time
Serves: 1 10in cheescake
  • 25 chocolate cream OREO cookies
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 cups fresh raspberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • Fresh raspberries, blackberries and blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. In your food processor, pulse the cookies until you have a finely ground consistency.
  3. Pour in the sugar, salt and melted butter. Pulse again until a dough forms. Scrape the sides and bottom of the processor to make sure everything has been incorporated.
  4. Prepare your springform pan according to the directions found in this recipe from Simply Recipes .
  5. Press the cookie mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared 10in springform pan.
  6. Bake for 13 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool.
  7. Reduce heat in the oven to 325F degrees.
  1. Prepare, bake and chill the cheesecake according to the instructions on the recipe from [Simply Recipes] in the 10in springform pan with the Oreo crust.
  1. In a large pan, combine the raspberries, sugar, vanilla and salt over medium high heat.
  2. Smash the raspberries until no more pieces remain.
  3. Cook until the mixture begins to simmer and bubble. Stir constantly and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.
  4. Remove from the heat and press the mixture through a metal/mesh strainer into a bowl. They object of this is to remove the seeds and any chunks so all that's left is a sauce.
  5. If the sauce is too thin, meaning if you dip your finger in it none stays on your finger, return it to the pan and cook on medium high, bubbling, until it's thickened to your desired consistency. Don't reduce it too far, you want as much of this delicious sauce as possible!
  6. Set the sauce aside to cool completely before using.
Assembly & Storage
  1. Cut a slice of cheesecake and put it on a plate.
  2. Spoon the raspberry sauce over the top of the cheesecake.
  3. Garnish the cheesecake & plate with fresh raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
  4. Store the sauce & cheesecake covered in the refrigerator up to a week.

Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne

Made with Driscoll’s strawberries, this traditional German strawberry shortcake is a simple, delicious treat your entire family can enjoy!

Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne (Strawberries & Cream Shortcake) |

Living in Europe, I’ve had the opportunity to try desserts from so many different countries. Here in Germany, one dessert that can be found during the Spring and Summer at every bakery and restaurant is Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne, which translated means strawberry cake with cream or as it’s called in the USA, strawberry shortcake!

When Driscoll’s Berries asked me to develop a recipe for National Strawberry Shortcake Day, I knew exactly what I needed to make! I’ve taken a traditional recipe for Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne and turned it into a Strawberry Shortcake recipe that can be easily recreated in the United States with familiar ingredients.

Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne (Strawberries & Cream Shortcake) |

The star of this shortcake is obviously the strawberries. I used Driscoll’s strawberries because I’ve been using their strawberries my entire life. Even better, their strawberries are always ripe, red and delicious and I can buy them at the local grocery stores here in Germany! Driscoll’s has been the strawberry in everyone’s shortcake for more than 100 years!

The base of this German shortcake is a light, airy cake made with pastry flour, corn flour, eggs and a touch of sugar. It’s not too sweet and makes the perfect base for the cream and Driscoll’s strawberries.

In Germany, the finest ground flour, Type 405 is used for these types of tarts and cakes. It has the highest starch content which makes it ideal for the baking of cupcakes and cakes where you want a finer crumb, the American equivalent being Pastry Flour.

Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne (Strawberries & Cream Shortcake) |    Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne (Strawberries & Cream Shortcake) |

For more on the types of flour used in Germany, my friend Ewa of Das Cupcake in Frankfurt, Germany has written a great post about differences between German and American flours! Check it out for more info!

Corn flour is also used in this recipe, which gives the cake the golden color and adds a touch of flavor. Not to be confused with corn starch, corn flour is yellow in color and can be substituted with finely ground corn meal if you can’t find corn flour in your grocery store.

Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne (Strawberries & Cream Shortcake) |

The cream layer is the easiest part of this shortcake with only two ingredients, heavy cream and sugar. For this recipe, I used a thick, creamy German high-fat cream that is made with cream from the Alps. It’s one of the most delicious creams I’ve ever had and the flavor is truly out of this world. In the USA, you’ll want to use heavy whipping cream which is easily found in the dairy section of your local grocery store.

The glaze might be a little harder to recreate as easily in the United States. I did a bit of research online and found that the brand Dr. Oetker makes the red & clear glaze packets in the USA and can be found at stores like Walmart and Wegmans. If you can’t find the glaze packets, I also found several recipes online using powdered gelatin or gelatin sheets to make a glaze.

Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne (Strawberries & Cream Shortcake) |    Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne (Strawberries & Cream Shortcake) |

The pan I used is a traditional fruit cake pan called a Tortenboden that I bought at a local German store. It has fluted edges and the bottom is indented to create an edge around the outside when you flip it over. If you can’t find a Tortenboden in the USA, I’d suggest using a springform pan to bake the shortcake in. With the ring still on the pan, let the cake cool completely then spread a thin layer of whipped cream across the top of the cake. Arrange the strawberries on top of the whipped cream. Spoon the glaze over the strawberries then allow the glaze to completely set at least an hour before removing the ring around the pan.

A note about the measurements for this recipe: European bakers always measure their ingredients by weight and volume. They never use cups for measuring because it’s typically inaccurate. To make this recipe, you’ll need a digital food scale. These scales can easily be found in any Target or Walmart type store for less than $30. Once I got my scale, I began measuring all my ingredients by weight and found my recipes came out better than ever. I included both Imperial/US and Metric/Europe measurements when either would work in the recipe.

Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne (Strawberries & Cream Shortcake) |

And as a special treat to my readers, Driscoll’s has provided $100 in Driscoll’s coupons to one lucky person! Participants must be 18+ years old and live in the USA to win. To enter, fill out the form at the bottom of this post!

Happy Baking!

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Erdbeerkuchen mit Sahne
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 shortcake
  • 28cm Tortenboden (or 11in Springform pan)
  • 2 medium eggs, separated
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp hot water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60g Flour Type 405 (or pastry flour)
  • 40g corn flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, soft (for the pan)
  • 150g (2/3 cup) 32% fat cream (heavy whipping cream)
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 750g (1½ - 16oz packages) Driscoll’s Strawberries
  • 250ml (1 cup) cherry juice (apple juice can be used also)
  • 1 packet of Torenguss (clear or red powdered gelatin glaze)
  • 4 Tbsp granulated sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius degrees (350F degrees). Generously grease the Torte pan with butter making sure to cover the entire surface.
  2. In a medium bowl, whip the egg yolks, granulated sugar and hot water together with a hand mixer until they are pale yellow and fluffy.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the 405/pastry flour and the corn flour.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whip the egg whites and salt until firm.
  5. Once the egg whites are firm, slowly pour in the egg yolks and add the flours. GENTLY fold the mixture together until just combined. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything. Use a gentle fold and be careful not to deflate the batter.
  6. Gently spread the batter evenly into the prepared Torte pan.
  7. Bake for 15-16 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan completely.
  8. Once cool, invert the Torte and place it on a serving plate/dish/stand. The indented side of the Torte should be up.
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on high speed until it becomes frothy/bubbly.
  2. While the mixer is still whipping, slowly add the granulated sugar. Continue to whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. Spread a thin, even layer of the whipped cream across the indented portion of the Torte making sure to leave the edges of the cake free of cream.
  1. Rinse and dry the strawberries. Cut the top off of each strawberry creating a flat edge.
  2. Beginning on the outside edge and working your way to the center, arrange the strawberries cut side down, on top of the cream on the Torte.
  1. In a small sauce pan, whisk together the cherry juice, powdered gelatin and granulated sugar over medium high heat.
  2. Cook until the glaze just barely begins to bubble.
  3. Remove the glaze from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
  4. Working quickly, use a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of glaze over the berries. Drizzle the glaze between each berry to cover all of the cream. Be careful not to get any glaze alone the outer edge of the shortcake. NOTE: If the glaze begins to become clumpy, it has become to cool. Reheat it over high heat until just bubbling and continue to drizzle.
  5. Allow the glaze to set at least 30 minutes before serving.
Serving & Storage
  1. This cake is best served within the first day.
  2. Cut into slices and serve with coffee or tea.
  3. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake

This British-inspired Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake is my spin on the a classic.  It includes layers of cake filled with rich vanilla pudding, strawberries and topped with fresh whipped cream and is the perfect Sunday afternoon treat or Spring-time dessert!

Victoria Sponge sandwich cake with vanilla pudding & fresh strawberry filling topped with fresh whipped cream, lemon zest and more strawberry! |

Easter is a holiday that I just can’t seem to decide how I want to celebrate.  I grew up Catholic, so that part of me knows the “real” meaning of the holiday.  Jesus gave his life for us and on Easter He rises to Heaven.  It’s some pretty amazing, deep stuff to think about… and should be celebrated!

But, since I’m not a practicing Catholic anymore, I find myself questioning the reasons to celebrate Easter.  I am not the type of parent that can rationalize spending tons of money on an Easter basket for my kids full candy and toys they’ll probably never play with.  And I just don’t think that visiting the Easter bunny at the mall for some cheesy staged photo is worth my time.  I just can’t wrap my brain around all the hype surrounding Easter when the focus isn’t on the true meaning.

So, what’s left?


Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake with vanilla pudding & fresh strawberry filling topped with fresh whipped cream, lemon zest and more strawberry! |

If I’m not going to celebrate Easter for it’s true meaning and I’m not filling my kids with Easter candy… I will use this day to spend quality time with those l love, to cook and bake for them and to enjoy their joy when we share a meal together.

This year, my family includes my husband who is recently home from Afghanistan and my best friend Chasity and her family.  Chasity is moving soon so this may be our last holiday together.

Victoria Sponge sandwich cake with vanilla pudding & fresh strawberry filling topped with fresh whipped cream, lemon zest and more strawberry! |


I knew that I needed to make something amazingly delicious for dessert this year.  Chasity requested strawberries & cream to be included in the dessert so I started researching recipes to use.  I have always wanted to try Mary Berry’s recipe for Victoria Sponge, so I decided this would be the perfect opportunity!

This Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake has two layers of Mary Berry’s cake recipe.  Since this is a British recipe for cake, I knew it wouldn’t be like the American cakes I was used to eating.  Mary’s cake is less sweet but perfect when paired with the pudding and strawberries of the filling.

A traditional sponge cake is just filled with jam and topped with powdered sugar.  But, I wanted to liven things up a bit, so I filled my cake with jam, berries and pudding then topped it all with whipped cream and more berries.  SUBLIME!

Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake with vanilla pudding & fresh strawberry filling topped with fresh whipped cream, lemon zest and more strawberry! |

Matty loved it.  He was first at the table to get his slice!

When I served the cake, my family requested more of the filling to pile on top of their slice!  So make sure you reserve the extra fillings after you assemble the cake to serve with the finished cake to your guests!

I will definitely make this cake again… I think next time I may even try a blueberry filling.  Yum!

Happy Baking!

Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake
Cook time
Serves: 1 8in 2-layer cake
Victoria Sponge Cake
  • 225g (about 1 cup) unsalted butter, soft
  • 225g ( about 1 cup) granulated or caster sugar
  • 225g (about 2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 5 medium eggs or 4 large eggs or 8oz eggs
Vanilla Pudding Filling
  • 1 package Jell-O Cook & Serve Vanilla Pudding (NOT instant)
  • 3 cups heavy cream or half & half or whole milk (NOT skim, low-fat, 1% or 2% milk)
Strawberry Filling
  • 3 cups strawberries, cleaned and quartered before measuring
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • Juice of ½ large lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 5-6 strawberries, stems removed & sliced (reserve for assembly)
Whipped Cream Topping
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp granulated or caster sugar
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 5-6 whole strawberries with stems/leaves (for garnish)
  • Lemon zest (for garnish)
  • Powdered sugar( for garnish)
Victoria Sponge Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 355F degrees.
  2. Grease & flour 8in cake pan and line with parchment paper.
  3. Measure/weigh your ingredients and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy - about 3-5 minutes.
  5. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt 3-4 times until completely incorporated.
  6. Add the flour to the butter/sugar and mix until just combined.
  7. Mix in the almond extract.
  8. One at a time, add the eggs and mix well after each addition.
  9. After all the eggs have been added, mix about 2 minutes on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure everything has been incorporated.
  10. Divide the batter evenly and spread into prepared pans.
  11. Bake about 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. NOTE: DO NOT open the oven to check on these cakes. Let them bake the entire 25 minutes before opening the oven to check done-ness. The cakes will collapse if a sudden rush of cool air hits them before they are fully baked.
  12. Cool in pans for 1 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before assembling.
Vanilla Pudding Filling
  1. In a medium pot, combine the contents of the vanilla pudding package and the heavy cream.
  2. Prepare as directed on the package.
  3. Pour into a glass bowl and place in the refrigerator until set - about 2 hours.
Strawberry Filling
  1. In a large pan over medium, mix together the prepared strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, spices and vanilla.
  2. Using a potato masher, mash the berries until only small pieces remain but most are broken down.
  3. Stir & cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove about ¼ cup of the juice from the pan and place in a small bowl. Add the corn starch to the liquid and mix until smooth. Pour this mixture back into the berries and mix until incorporated.
  5. Cook strawberries another 1-3 minutes or until it has thickened.
  6. Remove from the pan into a glass bowl and place in refrigerator until cool - about 2 hours.
Whipped Cream Topping
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, pour in the heavy cream.
  2. Turn mixer on medium-high and beat the cream for about 30 seconds.
  3. One tablespoon at a time, drizzle in the sugar. Mix in the extract.
  4. Continue to beat on medium-high until soft peaks form and the cream holds it shape.
  1. Once the cake layers are cool, the cake can be assembled. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand.
  2. Spread a layer of strawberry filling across the top of the cake, leaving ½in of cake uncovered along the edge of the cake. You'll use about ⅓ cup of strawberry filling. Arrange sliced strawberries on top of the filling and gently press down.
  3. Fill a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M star tip with the vanilla pudding. Pipe a layer of pudding over the strawberries. Use an offet spatula to gently spread the layer smooth.
  4. Place the second cake layer, top side down, onto the filling and GENTLY press.
  5. Dust the entire cake and cake stand with powdered sugar.
  6. Place a generous amount of whipped cream on the top of the cake in the center.
  7. Zest a lemon over the top of the whipped cream and cake.
  8. Arrange 5-6 whole strawberries on edges of the whipped cream to garnish.
  9. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve.
  10. Serve cake slices with extra vanilla pudding, strawberry filling and whipped cream topping.
Recipe adapted from Mary Berry


Toy Story Checkerboard Cake

Surprise your family and friends with your baking skills by making this Toy Story themed checkerboard petal cake!  With a little work, preparation and time… you can make a cake that will WOW everyone!

{Tutorial} Toy Story themed vanilla Checkerboard Cake frosted with vanilla buttercreaming decorated using the Petal Technique |

This is the final post in the Toy Story themed party series!  And, I’m pretty certain I’ve saved the best for last with this Toy Story Checkerboard Cake! In case you missed the rest of the series… you can find them here:

{Tutorial} Toy Story themed vanilla Checkerboard Cake frosted with vanilla buttercreaming decorated using the Petal Technique |

Although this cake look really impressive, it was really quite simple to make.  It just took some planning, patience and time to execute.

There were two main techniques of baking and decorating that I used for this cake.  First was the checkerboard pattern I used on the inside of the cake.  At Matty’s party, people actually thought I cut out little pieces of cake and reassembled it back together with frosting.

{Tutorial} Toy Story themed vanilla Checkerboard Cake frosted with vanilla buttercreaming decorated using the Petal Technique |

No no no no no no no.  It’s SO much simpler than that.  All I needed to accomplish the checkerboard effect was four cake rounds in two colors and two sizes of biscuit/cookie cutters.

I cut out rings of cake and then simple moved the rings from one color to another, creating a pattern.  I stacked the cakes with a thin amount of frosting between each later and crumb coated the entire outside with frosting.

The decorating technique I used is called the Petal technique because you’re creating petals of frosting all around the cake.   I’ve made this style of cake only once before, but it was a huge success and really quite easy.  So I knew that I could make this cake with the same styling and it would turn out perfectly!

{Tutorial} Toy Story themed vanilla Checkerboard Cake frosted with vanilla buttercreaming decorated using the Petal Technique |

For the cake itself, I used i am baker’s recipe for The Perfect White Cake.  I’ve used this recipe before and I’m certain I’ll use it again.  It’s really a delicious recipe and the cake holds up really well to decorating!

Everyone at the party thought my cake was a huge hit.  And most importantly, the birthday boy loved it!  Every time he sees pictures of it, he says Buzz Buzz Buzz and does the happy-toddler-dance!  It’s super cute.

{Tutorial} Toy Story themed vanilla Checkerboard Cake frosted with vanilla buttercreaming decorated using the Petal Technique |

I really hope you take the opportunity to try these cake baking and decorating techniques!  And please, don’t feel overwhelmed either… they really are not that difficult and I hope that my directions below are clear and help give you the confidence to make it yourself!

If you love this cake, please PIN it to Pinterest and share it on Facebook with your friends!  I’d love to hear about it if you try these techniques with your cakes too! Please, send me pictures!!

Happy Baking!

Toy Story Checkerboard Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Serves: 1 6in round checkerboard cake
Checkerboard Cake
  • i am baker's Perfect White Cake - for the recipe CLICK HERE
  • Green & blue gel food coloring
  • 6in round cake pans
  • 4in & 2in round cookie/biscuit cutters
  • Vanilla buttercream - for the recipe CLICK HERE
  • Green & blue gel food coloring
  • 2 Large round piping tips
  • 2 small round piping tip
  • 4 disposable pastry/piping bags
  • Yellow gel food coloring
Checkerboard Cake
  1. Prepare the cake batter as directed in i am baker's recipe (link above).
  2. Instead of the 8in pans in her recipe, grease and flour 2 6in pans. You can also line them with parchment paper if your cakes like to stick to your pans.
  3. Using a kitchen scale, measure by weight half of the batter and color it green.
  4. Color the remaining half of the batter blue.
  5. Spread each color into it's own prepared cake pan.
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Baking times vary depending on oven)
  7. Allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely.
  1. Prepare the buttercream as directed in the recipe in the link above. Just to be safe, you'll want to double the recipe so you have enough to work with. You'll probably have extra, but that's better than not having enough.
  2. NOTE: The coloring of the buttercream will happen later in the assembly process.
  1. Prepare the cake layers by trimming off the domed top of the cake. Cut horizontally into each cake layer to make two even pieces. You'll want two green and two blue layers of the same size.
  2. Use the cookie cutters to cut 4in and 2in rings out of each layer of cake.
  3. Take the cake pieces apart.
  4. Reassemble the cake pieces so that each color is alternating. Blue green blue. Green blue green. You'll have two layers of each pattern once they have been reassembled.
  5. Place a piece of wax paper on your rotating cake stand and set one layer of cake down.
  6. With the white buttercream, spread a thin layer on top of the first layer of cake.
  7. Place the second layer of cake down, making sure the outside ring is the opposite color of the first layer. Spread another thin layer of frosting on top.
  8. Repeat this with the next two layers of cake, making sure the outside rings of cake alternate in color.
  9. Crumb coat the entire cake with white buttercream. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  10. Spread a ½ inch layer of white frosting over the top of the cake. Reserve ⅓ cup of white frosting for later.
  11. Divide the remaining buttercream in half. Color half green & half blue.
  12. Prepare 2 disposable piping bags with the large round tips. Fill one with blue and one with green frosting.
  13. Use the Petal Cake Frosting technique to frost the outside of the cake. Alternating with green & blue frosting with each petal. NOTE: For detailed instructions on how to frost using the petal technique, CLICK HERE FOR THE TUTORIAL .
  14. Color half the reserved frosting yellow and half blue. Fit the piping bags with the small tips and fill them with each color.
  15. Pipe a large number 2 on the top of the cake in yellow frosting and outline it in blue.
  16. Write Happy Birthday with the remaining blue frosting.
  17. Allow the cake to set up in the freezer on the rotating cake stand until firm - about 2 hours.
  18. Gently remove the cake from the stand and place it on the stand you will serve the cake on.
  19. Store the cake covered in the refrigerator until ready 2 hours before serving when you'll remove it to room temperature.