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Seasonal & Holiday

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee

This post is sponsored by the © J.M. Smucker Company, all opinions are my own.

The rich aroma of coffee paired with delicate scent of spices will fill your kitchen with warmth and your heart with joy when enjoy this Dunkin’ Donuts® Spiced Gingerbread Coffee.

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

Summer has come to an end in my house.

Fall is here and it is officially cozy sweater and rain boots season! 

One of my favorite things to do when the kids go back to school is invite a girlfriend over for coffee. 

As soon as I kiss Matty and wave goodbye as he goes to school on the bus, I hurry home to prepare for my coffee date! 

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

Sometimes a cup of black coffee with a splash of creamer is enough. 

However with Fall approaching and the weather turning colder, I wanted make a special spiced coffee for this morning.  

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is a staple in our household. 

In fact, I used to send Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend coffee to my husband when he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Dunkin’ coffee got him through some long nights!

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

For my coffee date with my girlfriend, I used Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend coffee to make a perfectly seasoned Spiced Gingerbread Coffee.  

Putting this Spiced Gingerbread Coffee together is very simple.  I combined whole milk, coffee, maple syrup, molasses, and fall spices together in a pot a whisked until smooth. And, you can find the coffee and ingredients all at Walmart!

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

I let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes or until it reduced by a quarter.  What is left is a rich, creamy, smooth, perfectly seasoned Spiced Gingerbread Coffee that is out of this world delicious! 

In fact, it’s so rich and creamy that I have to sip it slow otherwise I’ll drink too fast and get a sugar rush! 

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee served with gingerbread cookies and cinnamon sticks.

I got some pre-made gingerbread men cookies, whipped cream, ground nutmeg and extra cinnamon sticks to garnish.  However, all those things are optional!  

The Spiced Gingerbread Coffee is delicious even without all the toppings! 

Spiced Gingerbread Coffee

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes

The rich aroma of coffee paired with delicate scent of spices will fill your kitchen with warmth and your heart with joy when enjoy this Spiced Gingerbread Coffee.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups brewed Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend coffee
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar packed
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (plus more for garnish, optional)
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, whisk together all ingredients over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook until it begins to bubble but not quite to boiling, whisking occasionally. (6-8 minutes)
  3. Once it bubbles, reduce to a hot simmer and let reduce by one quarter, whisking occasionally. (4-5 minutes)
  4. Strain coffee using a mesh strainer to get out the cinnamon stick and any other unwanted bits.
  5. Serve hot topped with whipped cream, ground ginger, a cinnamon stick and ginger cookie.
Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake

Need a dessert to bring to your 4th of July party?  This simply delicious Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake made white chocolate chips and red, white and blue sprinkles is the perfect Independence Day dessert!

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

This year I’m hosing a HUGE July 4th Celebration at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, DC.   I’m expecting about 3000 people to attend to enjoy food vendors, music, entertainment, carnival games and fireworks!

I don’t have to cook or bake for the celebration, however that won’t stop me from making this super cute Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake for my kids to enjoy in the days leading up to the 4th of July!

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

What I love most about this dessert is how incredibly quick and easy it is to put together and bake.

The ingredients are ones that I always have on hand in my pantry so I don’t have to run to the store to pick up supplies to make.

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

The second thing I love about this dessert is that it’s a one-bowl recipe.  Ingredients don’t need to be measured out into other bowls which means less mess, less clean up and easy baking!

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

My husband loves this recipe because of the white chocolate chips.  You could easily substitute milk or dark chocolate chips, however the patriotic sprinkles wouldn’t stand out as much as with white chocolate chips.  Making my husband love this recipe is a win in my book because he rarely likes dessert.

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

So what exactly is a cookie cake, you may be asking?  It’s a dessert that is made with a cookie batter base but baked in a cake tin.  It’s thick and rich like a cookie, but cuts like a cake into slices!

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

Frosting.  The frosting totes makes this dessert a cake too!  Lots and lots of sweet, creamy buttercream frosting decorating the top of this cookie transforms it into a decadent cake!

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

And the sprinkles make this dessert patriotically  perfect.

Don’t you think? I mean, everything is better with sprinkles!

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

I think I’ll just serve myself up a big slice, grab a glass of milk and enjoy!

Nothing better than a Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake for the 4th of July!

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

No matter what you’re doing to celebrate the Independence of the United State of America, celebrate it with a deliciously simple Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake!

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake

Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake

This simply delicious Patriotic Sugar Cookie Cake made white chocolate chips and red, white and blue sprinkles is the perfect Independence Day dessert!

Ingredients

  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup red/white/blue sprinkles
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9-inch spring form pan by spraying the bottom and sides with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine the butter and sugar in a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Add in the egg, vanilla, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar. Mix until well combined. Slowly add in the flour and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter into your prepared spring form pan and press to the edges. Top with a few more white chocolate chips for presentation.
  4. Bake for 20-22 minutes, just until edges are a golden brown color. Remove from the oven and allow cooling for 15 minutes. Then, remove the spring form side and allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
  5. With a stand mixer or a hand mixer, combine the butter and powdered sugar. Add in the salt, vanilla and heavy cream. Mix everything until it’s smooth and creamy.
  6. Scoop into a piping bag with a 1m tip and decorate your cake.
  7. Top with sprinkles before the icing sets.

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

Show those around you that you love them by making and sharing these deliciously adorable Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies.

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Photos by: Frenchly Photography

It seems as though every holiday my go-to treat to make has become sugar cookies.  I find myself looking for new cookie cutters every time I go to the store, hungry for a shape I don’t have yet!

To be honest, I don’t remember where this set came from or even what brand it is, but I knew I had to have it as soon as I saw it!

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Recently, I was teaching a Blogging 101 class and one of the participants questioned why bloggers write so much before the recipe.  The person complained that they didn’t want to read about bloggers personal lives, they just wanted to get to the recipe.

My response to her was two-fold.

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

 

First, the recipes that bloggers share are FREE to those who visit their blog.   The only cost to the reader is a few seconds to scroll through to the bottom to get to the recipe.

Yup, that’s it… just a finger flick… flick…flick.  In my world, for tried and true recipes like these Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies, a flick… flick… flick is a pretty darn good rate!

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Second, in order for readers like her to actually find the recipe on sites like Google or Pinterest, the bloggers need to follow certain rules.  For example, to get listed on the first page of a Google search, a blogger must have the best Search Engine Optimization including a minimum number of words and photos per post.

Bloggers don’t do this for free.

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

You mean I don’t share recipes just because I have all kinds of free time?

That’s laughable.  I follow good SEO so that I get a LOT of people coming to my site.  The more people coming to my site the more the ads on my site make money and in turn… the more new recipes I can create!

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

So if you’ve read this post thus far… I say THANK YOU!  Thank you for helping me earn a living by doing what I love… sharing recipes with people like you!

If you’re interested in a few more awesome sugar cookie ideas… check out:

Happy Baking!

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes

Ingredients

Sugar Cookies

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cookie cutters

Buttercream Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1lb powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • up to ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • gel food coloring
  • sprinkles

Instructions

Sugar Cookies

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and shortening together until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add the sugar and beat on high until incorporated.
  3. One at a time, add the eggs and beat well after each addition. Mix on high for 1 minute until pale yellow and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Add this mixture to the butter and sugar and mix until just combined.
  7. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 2 hours or over night.
  8. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 F degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  9. On a floured counter, knead the dough 2-3 times until smooth. Roll out cookie dough to about ⅛" thick. Cut out Valentine shapes and place on the cookie sheet 1" apart. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
  10. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until the edges are SLIGHTLY brown. DO NOT OVER BAKE!!
  11. Allow to cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and shortening together.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix on high until smooth.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add up to ½ cup of heavy whipping cream until you reach your desired consistency. If you like it thicker, add less cream. If you want it thinner, add more cream.
  5. Whip on high for 2 minutes.
  6. Separate frosting into bowls and color with the gel coloring

 

Kid Friendly Picnic & Charcuterie Board | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Kid Friendly Picnic and Charcuterie Board

Treat your family to a fun summer day at the park with this Kid Friendly Picnic and Charcuterie Board!

Kid Friendly Picnic & Charcuterie Board | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Let me set the scene for you. It’s a beautiful summer day and you want to get the kids out of the house and setting up the Picnic Table for a fun afternoon at the state park. Food, games, and exploring. Sounds great, right? Sounds great until you realize that you’ll need to make and pack lunches and snacks and that is a lot of work when you just want a simple afternoon.

So, you decide to rummage through your kitchen to find finger foods that you and the kids can enjoy all afternoon at the picnic table of the park and the idea comes to you… Charcuterie Board (aka cheese board)!

Kid Friendly Charcuterie Board | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Then you realize your kids are not about to eat stinky cheese and seed filled bread just because you like it. So you have to come up with a way to incorporate the things your kids love into a picnic & charcuterie board your kids will actually enjoy!

Here’s how I incorporated the food I love with the food my kids love too!

Charcuterie Board

Let’s start with the charcuterie board first. I was given this slate board by Rock Timber to try out in exchange for the use of photos on their blog.

The black slate they sent me is a beautiful and unique hand-cut and food-safe chiseled slate, handcrafted with a smooth face and natural edge.

You can use any wood or slate board for your charcuterie, however it’s just really more fun with it’s on beautiful slate from Rock Timber!

Cheese & Fruit

Kid Friendly Picnic & Charcuterie Board | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

As you can see in the photo above, I selected a variety of cheese and fruit to satisfy everyone. I paired milder cheese like fontina and white cheddar that I know my kids already love with stronger cheeses such as brie and goat cheese for the adults. The “stinky cheese” as my kids call it.

In my family, apples and cheddar cheese always go together so I included honeycrisp apple slices as well. A few cherries and blueberries mixed with red currants finish off the board.

Bread & Crackers

Kid Friendly Picnic & Charcuterie Board | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I kept it simple with the bread and crackers to go with the charcuterie board. When you make this, include your favorite breads but keep in mind what your kids like too!

I chose a whole grain bread with seeds and White Thin crackers which were perfect with the cheese.

Fruit Dip

Kid Friendly Picnic & Charcuterie Board | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Not only does firm cheese go well with apples, cream cheese and brown sugar do too! Accompanying the other items on the picnic table was a bowl of Fruit Dip made with cream cheese, brown sugar, and chocolate chips.

This Fruit Dip goes great with almost every fruit as well as cookies such as vanilla wafers and graham crackers!

DessertKid Friendly Picnic & Charcuterie Board | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I wanted to keep the dessert for this picnic simple so I made Muddy Buddies. Not just any recipe though, these are Lemon Blueberry Muddy Buddies made with fresh lemon and Blueberry Chex.

(Chex supplied me with the supplies to make these Muddy Buddies, but I totally would have made them myself anyway because they are delish!)

Kid Friendly Picnic & Charcuterie Board | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Tips:

  1. Don’t be afraid to go simple by choosing cheese you know your kids will love. Serving it on the board makes it fun and special and your kids will pick up on that.
  2. Not everything has to be the most expensive item at the deli. Creating a delicious charcuterie board doesn’t have to break the bank. You can still serve items found in your kitchen already or at the store within your budget.
  3. Presentation is key. Once you have the items you love… get creative! Cut the cheese into octagons, triangles or rectangles. Arrange the cheese on the board in a way that makes it look special. Do more than just stacking in piles. Spread the cheese and other food out makes it feel special.
  4. Don’t forget dessert! Finger foods are perfect for picnic desserts. The less silverware and serving utensils you need, the better.

I really encourage you to get out there and put together a picnic and charcuterie board for your family! There are no rules when it comes to food like this… just fun!

Enjoy!

Photos by Frenchly Photography.

Kid Friendly Picnic & Charcuterie Board | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Candy Cane Oreo Cupcakes | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Candy Cane Oreo Cupcakes

Rich chocolate cake baked with chunks of holiday OREO cookies topped with whipped peppermint buttercream loaded with candy cane chunks makes my Dairy Queen Blizzard inspired Candy Cane Oreo Cupcakes the perfect holiday treat!

Candy Cane Oreo Cupcakes | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

No, I didn’t get paid to make these cupcakes.  Instead, inspiration hit me at a time in my life when I thought baking wasn’t a passion anymore… that I was burnt out on cupcakes.

Last week, my family and I were watching TV and a DQ commercial for candy cane oreo Blizzards came on and I said WOAH that sounds delish.  No naturally we went to DQ to try them and of course they were delicious.

Candy Cane Oreo Cupcakes | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I had not felt inspiration to bake something new in 10 months.  This feeling was strangely familiar but it somehow felt different, but I knew I had to see it through to the end.

So, I went to the grocery store, bought all the supplies (can you believe that the candy canes were hard to find?!!) and scheduled a day to bake.

Candy Cane Oreo Cupcakes | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The DQ Blizzard has big chunks of candy cane and OREO in it, so I knew I wanted my Candy Cane Oreo Cupcake to have the same.  I started with my dark chocolate cake recipe and filled it with pieces of OREO.

Next, my traditional whipped buttercream got kicked up a notch by adding peppermint extract and tons of crushed candy canes to it.

Candy Cane Oreo Cupcakes | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I couldn’t decide how I wanted to garnish these cupcakes, so I did it a few different ways.  All of the sides were lined with crushed candy canes and some were topped with an OREO chunk, crumbles or a candy cane.

The peppermint chocolate combination is one of my favorites for the holiday season and these cupcakes do not disappoint!

Happy Holidays!

Candy Cane Oreo Cupcakes

Candy Cane Oreo Cupcakes

Yield: 16 cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate OREO Cupcakes

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup brewed coffee
  • ½ Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 OREO cookies, crushed into chunks

Candy Cane Buttercream

  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 18 mini candy canes
  • 1/2 cup crushed candy canes, for decorating
  • OREO cookie pieces, for decorating

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the coffee, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Add the chunked OREOS and toss to coat. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream and the eggs. SLOWLY add a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to the sour cream and eggs. Whisk to combine. In a slow stream, whisk in the remaining chocolate mixture until combined completely.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in wet. Using a whisk, stir until no more lumps remain.
  6. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Buttercream

  1. Crush candy canes in a food processor until they are very fine, small pieces. Divide in half.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the butter until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add half the sugar and mix until combined. Add the remaining sugar and mix until incorporated.
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the peppermint extract and half the cream. Mix until combined.
  5. Add the remaining cream until you reach your desired consistency. Less cream for stiffer frosting, more cream for softer.
  6. Mix on high speed for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  7. Using a large round piping tip fitted on a piping bag, pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake.
  8. Press crushed candy cane pieces onto the side of each cupcake.
  9. Top with an OREO or candy cane piece or however else you want to decorate it!
  10. Eat and enjoy!

 

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes

These Easy 4th of July Cupcakes are not only delicious, but they are simple to put together and will help you celebrate our nation’s independence with style!

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I believe that a cupcake isn’t just a personal size portion of cake with some frosting smeared on top.   I believe that an individual cupcake should be as beautiful on its own as an entire cake is.

To achieve this, I start thinking about the cupcake from bottom to top.  First, I plan which grease proof liners from Sweets & Treats Boutique will best fit the theme.  For these 4th of July cupcakes, I decided the only way to go was with red and blue liners.

To compliment the liners and to keep the patriotic theme going, I baked blue and red velvet cake in their coordinating liners.

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I topped each cupcake with crisp, white whipped cream buttercream and a combination of red, white and blue sprinkles and jimmies.  To complete the cupcake, each cupcake is topped with a red, white or blue patriotic M&M.

Pure patriotic perfection.

I wish you all a happy & safe 4th of July!

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes

Easy 4th of July Cupcakes

Yield: 4 dozen
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 18 minutes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix + ingredients on the box
  • 1 box blue velvet cake mix + ingredients on the box

Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 lbs powdered sugar
  • 4 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • red & blue liners from Sweets & Treats Boutique
  • red, white, and blue sugar crystals and/or jimmies
  • 1 bag of patriotic M&M candies

Instructions

Cupcakes

  1. Prepare the cupcakes according to the directions on the box. Bake the red in the red liners and the blue in the blue liners.

Frosting

  1. Whip the butter, sugar, vanilla and half the cream together until smooth.
  2. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and whip again.
  3. Add the remaining heavy cream until you reach your desired consistency. You may not need all of the cream if you want it thicker or add more if you want it softer.
  4. Add the salt.
  5. Whip for 3-4 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.

Assembly

  1. Using a Wilton 1M (medium open star tip), pipe swirls of frosting onto each cooled cupcake.
  2. Top immediately with red, white and blue sprinkles/jimmies.
  3. Top each cupcake with one patriotic M&M candy.
  4. Enjoy!

 

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