blog hop

5 Food Bloggers I Love

Today’s post is a special one… there’s no recipe. Instead, I’m sharing my friends.

5 Food Bloggers I Love | JavaCupcake.comThere are hundreds of food bloggers in the world. And realistically, that number is probably closer to thousands of food bloggers. I have the privilege of knowing several them in person and online and am honored to call them my friends.

Today, I am going to share with you 5 of my favorite food bloggers. These bloggers come from all corners of the world and produce such amazing content for their blogs that they inspire me daily with their creativity, and practical tips such as when to post on instagram – it may seem small, but it makes all the difference.

I hope you take a few minutes to check out each of their blogs… I’m certain you’ll love them as much as I do!

Toni Miller of Make. Bake. Celebrate.

Toni Miller is the owner of the baking blog, Make. Bake. Celebrate. where she shares her recipes for desserts that are creative, easy to make and geared towards serving at parties or events. Her blog is bright, colorful and so incredibly fun to read!

One of the things I love most about MBC is that Toni has styled each and every photograph of her recipes in the same style, creating a consistency across her blog unlike any other food blog I’ve seen. Her photos are simple, yet stunning and are just fun to look at!

Most recently, Toni joined forces with Better Homes & Gardens to create two fun cupcakes! First, were these Garden-theme Cupcakes… which are so perfect for Spring! And second were these fun Banana Split Cupcakes!

Garden-themed cupcakes by Make. Bake. Celebrate for Better Homes & GardensBanana Split Cupcakes by Make Bake Celebrate for Better Homes & Gardens

Not only is Toni a blogger, she’s also an Army Wife like me! Although we’ve never met in person, we chat online almost daily and share a bond that few can say they share. We’re Army Wives and Food Bloggers. It’s a pretty amazing, crazy-stressful but so much fun life we live! I’m so thankful to have Toni in my life! It’s a blessing to have someone understand two of the most important part of my life. <3 Make sure to check out Toni on her blog or on social media! Blog: Make. Bake. Celebrate.

Kimmie Schiffel of Bake. Love. Give.

Kimmie Schiffel is the creative genius behind the blog, bake. love. give. When I first met Kimmie online more than 4 years ago, we were both new bloggers. To be honest, I’m not sure when the first time was that we interacted in the food blogger world, but I do remember how she stepped up to make hundreds of cookies for the Cucpakes Take the Cake 6th Birthday Bash I threw in December of 2010. I knew then that she was simply amazing.

Cupcakes Take the Cake cookies by Kimmie of bake. love. give.

Over the past 4-5 years, I’ve been able to watch Kimmie’s blog grow into the amazing collection of recipes and inspiration that it is today. Recently, Kimmie completely overhauled her blog design and launched a new visual recipe index (which I am completely jealous of!). Her blog is clean, classic and features the photos of her food so that they are the star of her blog!

Animal Cookies by bake. love. give.

Recently, she posted these super adorable Spring Circus Animal Cookies. Seriously some of the cutest cookies I’ve ever seen! Kimmie’s creativity inspires me with each new recipe she posts!

Make sure to visit her blog and check out Kimmie on social media!

Blog: bake. love. give.

Amanda Rettke of i am baker

Amanda Rettke, if you don’t know her… you’re missing out! Amanda is the inspiration behind the blog, i am baker, where she shares her passion for baking! She is the baker who created the “Rose Cake” tutorial and who has made the “Surprise-Inside Cake” famous with her new book, Surprise-Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion–with a Little Something Extra Inside!

Bunny Surprise Inside Cake by i am baker

Amanda not only has a passion for baking, but she has a passion for her family. I watch as she has worked hard over the last year to create and launch her book and I am in awe of how she was able to keep it all together. Juggling her family, faith, book and blog all at once is no small task, but Amanda has done it with grace, sophistication and has earned my respect in the process. I strive to be a better person by witnessing her road to success. I love scrolling through her Instagram, I can only say that I’m surprised that not many more people do the same. She really does deserve all the followers in the world! I guess she could always buy Instagram followers @

rainbow pancakes by i am baker

Not only does Amanda post about cakes and cupcakes, but she has an entire section of her blog dedicated to pancakes. I especially love her Rainbow Pancakes… because really, who doesn’t love rainbows… and for breakfast? Yes, please!

So please, support my friend Amanda, buy her book (if you haven’t already) and make sure to visit her blog!

Blog: i am baker

Carrie Fields of Fields of Cake & Other Good Stuff

Carrie Fields is the heart and soul of the blog, Fields of Cake & Other Good Stuff. And Carrie isn’t kidding when she says ‘other good stuff’ either! I met Carrie online a few years ago when I ordered a care package of home-baked desserts (which included this Red Hot Fudge) from her to send to my husband who was serving his first deployment to Iraq back in 2010.

Red Hot Fudge by Fields of Cake & Other Good Stuff

Since then, she’s become not only become a great friend, but someone who I often go to as a guide for baking and blogging! For a while… we even lived in the same part of the world when she was living in Greece with her husband while he was stationed there. We “almost” got to meet! hehe

Roasted Mango & Gin Sorbet by Fields of Cake & Other Good Stuff |

Carrie is back in the USA now where’s she’s working as a pastry chef and an ice cream maker in Montana as well as keeping up her blog! Doesn’t that Roasted Mango & Gin Sorbet look amazing? Man… I wish I lived in Montana!

Stop by Fields of Cake & Other Good Stuff and share the love with Carrie… or go eat some of deliciousness the next time you’re in Montana!

Blog: Fields of Cake & Other Good Stuff

Erin Dee of Texanerin Baking

Erin Dee runs the healthy baking blog, Texanerin Baking. I love her blog because she creates desserts that are like fake-outs! They’re made with whole grains, low sugar and reduced fat… but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the taste!

Healthier Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies by Texanerin Baking

I know first hand how amazing her creations taste! Earlier this year, I went to visit Erin in Berlin where we put ourselves to a little baking challenge. I made brownies with full fat and sugar and she made the healthier version. Her husband was the judge and he said both were amazingly delicious!

It’s been really great having another American food blogger here in Germany to get to know! Erin and I experience a lot of the same baking challenges living in Europe… including not being able to find the ingredients we need or not being included in advertising campaigns from American companies because we’re here in Germany. It’s been great to have someone local to bounce ideas off of and get to know! I am hoping that we’ll be able to bake together again this Spring when Erin comes down to Bavaria to visit me! If you’ve been inspirated to start your own blog because of these talented chiefs consider talking to they have some useful web hosting solutions.

100% Whole Grain Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting by Texanerin Baking

It’s hard to imagine that these Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting are made with 100% whole grains! Don’t they look amazing?

To see more of Erin’s healthy baking, visit her blog or find her on social media!

Blog: Texanerin Baking

Cupcake Couture Blog Party:
Strawberry Camo Cupcakes

I am so super excited to announce the launch of the Cupcake Couture Blog Party today! I have teamed up with the owner of Bella Cupcake Couture, Carrie Middlemiss, to bring you this fantastic party.  Cupcakes, party displays, Bella Cupcake Couture and…. A HUGE PRIZE!  So make sure to read the whole post so you don’t miss a thing!!

Cupcake Couture Blog Party! 20 blogs, 20 cupcakes 20 party displays!

Carrie and I, along with 18 other bloggers have created custom cupcakes to coordinate with 20 different Bella Cupcake Couture cupcake wrappers (provided graciously by Carrie – THANK YOU!).  Each blogger then created a display for the cupcakes – but here’s the best part… the displays were made of every day items found in each bloggers home!  No trips to the store for any fancy props.  What that means is that you can recreate all 20 of these cupcakes and party displays by yourself – easily!   Maybe you’ll even be inspired to create a cupcake in Bella Cupcake Couture wrapper and a display all of your own!

Please visit all 20 blogs, read all 20 recipes and check out all 20 party displays!  Links to each party can be found below!

An American Cupcake in London
Bella Cupcake Couture
Chronicles of a Foodie
Crazy for Crust
Creative Food
Cupcakes Take the Cake
Diary of a Mad Hausfrau
Eat Your Heart Out
Hoosier Homemade
In Katrina’s Kitchen
Inside BruCrew Life
Java Cupcake
Love From the Oven
Make Bake Celebrate
Not Just a Mommy
Sugar Daze
Sugar Swings! Serve Some
The Baked Equation
The Baking Cup
The Decorated Cookie

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by

For the party, Carrie sent me her Jolene Pink Camoflague cupcake wrappers for this party.  For the party, Carrie sent me a package of her pink camo wrappers.  Kinda perfect for me since my hubby is in the Army and we’re stationed over here in Germany!  All Army – all the time! hehe I decided to make a strawberry cupcake with strawberry buttercream … both made with fresh strawberry puree.  It’s almost summertime so I thought this flavor would be a perfect choice… plus, the pink matches the wrappers!  Super easy, yet so super delicious!

For the display, I used things I already had at home… didn’t need to run to the store to buy anything.  Although, if I had to purchase any of the items I used, it wouldn’t be that expensive to recreate.

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by

Here’s what I used to create the display:

  • Pink vinyl table cover
  • Pottery Barn white cake stand trimmed with 1 1/2 inch pink ribbon
  • Martha Stewart white rectangle platter trimmed with 1 1/2 inch pink ribbom
  • Pink tissue paper pom pom (watch this tutorial to learn how!) – hung from the wall
  • Pink curling ribbon – curled & hung from the wall
  • Cupcakes adorned with Bella Cupcake Couture Pink Camo cupcake wrappers
  • Army helmet, patrol cap and toy Stryker (You can go to any Military surplus store to look for similar items.  Also, any military toy truck would work!)

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by

This display was super simple to put together and I think the addition of the ACU Army equipment really makes the pink POP!  And don’t worry if you don’t have access to an Army helmet or patrol hat – just use whatever your kids have already!  Got boys?  Use their Army trucks in the display!  Live near a military surplus store?  Run inside there and get some cheap ACU Army gear to put on your table.  No need to spend lots of money.

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by

The pink curling ribbon I had in my stash of ribbon already and I think it added some texture and color to the back drop of the display.  The pom pom and the curls added much needed height to the entire display.

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by

The cupcakes are a super yummy strawberry cupcake topped with strawberry buttercream and more fresh berries.  YUMMMMMMMMOOOO!  Seriously.  This is THE perfect strawberry cupcake.  Everyone who ate one RAVED about it.  This recipe makes 3 dozen cupcakes, so you could easily turn it into a cake with 3 8in layers or 2 9in layers.  Om nom nom nom

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Yield: 3 dozen cupcakes
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 18 minutes

Fresh strawberries macerated in honey and sugar are used in the cupcakes and frosting for these super sweet summer treat!


Strawberry Puree

  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Strawberry Cupcakes

  • 3 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 + 2 Tbsp cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry puree
  • pink food coloring (Wilton Gel - Pink) - optional

Strawberry Buttercream

  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 lbs powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup strawberry puree
  • 1 tsp strawberry extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt


Strawberry puree

  1. In a medium bowl, drizzle up to 1/2 cup of honey over the top of the chopped strawberries. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix with a rubber spatula until the strawberries are completely coated.
  2. Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours. You want the sugars to get into the berries to create a delicious syrup.
  3. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Strawberry Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
  3. In a measuring cup, measure out the buttermilk, oil and almond extract.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, press the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar using the back of your spatula. This will release the oils in the seeds into the sugar.
  5. Add the butter and cream with the vanilla sugar for 1 minute with the mixer on high.
  6. Add the beaten eggs in three parts. Scrape the bowl and mix for 30 seconds after each addition.
  7. Add the buttermilk and oil mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until completely incorporated.
  8. Fold in the flour using a rubber spatula until no more white can be seen. DO NOT OVER MIX.
  9. Add the strawberry puree and fold until combined.
  10. Add a few drops of food coloring to amp up the pink color - this is optional.
  11. Fill cupcake liners 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for 17-19 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Strawberry Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter.
  2. Add the sifted powdered sugar 1-2 cups at a time and beat on high until smooth after each addition. If the frosting gets too hard to mix, add a the extract and a few tablespoons of the strawberry puree.
  3. Once all the sugar has been added, add the extract (if you didn't already), salt and the strawberry puree and mix until combined.
  4. Add up to 1/2 cup heavy cream until you reach your desired consistency. This will vary on the humidity and temperature you're living in.
  5. Beat frosting on high for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.


  1. Using a Wilton 1M piping tip, pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake.
  2. Top with sprinkles and slices of fresh strawberries.
  3. Set each cupcake in a Pink Camo Cupcake Wrapper from Bella Cupcake Couture

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by

There were just so many amazing photos of these cupcakes that I just can’t help but share so many with you here! I mean…. how cute are these… really!!?

Cupcake Couture Blog Party - Strawberry Camo Cupcakes by

I can’t decide what I’m more excited about…. the awesome cupcake wrappers from Bella Cupcake Couture, the strawberry cupcakes & the pink camo Army display or the fact that I’m giving away a Prize Pack worth $565!!!!!

Cupcake Couture Blog Party Prize Pack - a $565 value!

Thanks to our amazing Prize Pack sponsors for their generous donations! Please, visit their websites to see more of their fabulous products!

Bella Cupcake Couture
Cupcake Stand
Java Cupcake
Lil’ Punkin Creations
Sweets & Treats Boutique

To enter to WIN this Prize Pack, simply fill out the entry form below. –CONTEST OVER–

Contest opens 21May13 at 0700 PST and closes 27May13 at 2359 PST. One winner will be chosen and announced within 24 hours of the contest ending. Winner will be contacted via email to claim their prize.

This contest is open to residents of the USA and Europe only.

Onionlove: Oktoberfest Bier Batter Onion Rings with Dipping Sauce

Onion rings?  WTF? That’s not a cupcake or cake or a cookie!  You’re right!! It’s not!! BUT…. It is #OnionLove month with my BlogHop group and I’ve been dying to test out a recipe for a Bloomin Onion at home.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a deep fryer and I wasn’t about to run out and buy a Fry Daddy just to make this onion.  Cause, let’s be honest here… I’d start deep frying everything and that’d be bad for my waist line.  I mean, realllllly bad.

So… Onion rings instead.  Easier to control the heat in the oil and just as delicious!

The batter for the onions is really quite simple… and genius actually.  The key ingredients… beer and pancake batter! Yup… who knew that pancake mix would make THE BEST batter for these onion rings!

The beer I used, well… since I’m here in Germany and Oktoberfest is right around the corner, I used the seasonal Oktoberfest Bier by Paulaner.  If you’re not familiar with Paulaner, it’s the largest brewery in Munich, Germany… and it’s DELICIOUS.  It added a rich dimension to the batter and was really quite delicious to finish off after I added what I needed to the recipe.  hehe (PS… any lager would work for this recipe if your store doesn’t carry Paulaner.)


Oktoberfest Bier Batter Onion Rings with Dipping Sauce

Yield: 30-40 onion rings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


Onion Rings

  • 1-2 quarts vegetable oil
  • 2 large yellow or sweet onions, sliced & separated
  • 1 6.75oz package Buttermilk Pancake Mix
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder (more if you want more heat!)
  • 1/4 cup Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier (or whatever lager you have on hand)

Dipping Sauce

  • 2/3 cup 1000 Island dressing
  • 2 Tbsp horseradish (the spreadable kind in a jar)
  • 1 tsp chili powder (more if you want more heat)
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper


Onion Rings

  1. Cut onion into 1/4 inch slices. Separate slices into rings. Season with cracked black pepper.
  2. Heat about 1 1/2-2 quarts of vegetable oil in a large pot. You want the oil hot, but not smoking.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pancake mix and all the seasonings.
  4. Whisk enough beer until you get a batter thin enough to coat the onion rings yet still be able to tap off the excess.
  5. Using tongs, dunk each onion ring into the cake batter. Tap off excess.
  6. Submerge onion rings in hot oil. Cook until edges begin to brown (about 10-15 seconds), flip and cook another 5 seconds. Remove immediately and place on a paper towel lined plate. NOTE: Do not over crowd the pan, cook 4-5 rings at a time, depending on how big your pot is. You don't want them touching while they cook.
  7. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the 1000 Island, horseradish, chili powder and pepper.
  2. Serve in a bowl with the onion rings.

Please be sure to check out what my fabulous co-hosts are bringing to the table:

T.R. – No One Likes Crumbley CookiesTwitterPinterest
Betsy – JavaCupcakeTwitterPinterest

Have an awesome onion recipe? Add it here:

Peachlove: Peach Crumble Bundt

I haven’t been able to participate in the Love Bloghop cause I’ve had quite a busy summer. My little baby boy is growing like a weed and taking up a lot of my time AND my dad came for a visit! He was here for 5 weeks and we traveled all over Southern Europe! It was a blast! Now, I’m back to my everyday routine and can get into baking again and being a part of the Bloghop! YAY!

My family + My Dad + Germany <3

The theme for this months’ Bloghop is Peachlove! PERFECT, cause peaches are in season and are one of my favorite fruits! This week I picked up a big basket of juicy ripe peaches and today I set off to put together a recipe that would be perfect to share with you.

So… I also have another confession. I’ve never successfully made a bundt. I got a new bundt pan a couple months ago on my trip to Poland, made a bundt (overfilled it with batter) and completely failed with it. *sigh* So, I learned my lesson (don’t overfill the pan!) and I’m trying again with this bundt!

Polish Pottery Bundt Pan

I took recipes from Week of Menus and Sweetpea’s Kitchen, put them together and added my own personal spin with the peach glaze on top.  The cake is moist, full of peachy goodness and the glaze on top adds just the right amount of sweetness.

I’m thinking the bundt would be a perfect summer bbq dessert, or for your Sunday brunch or even just for breakfast! YUM! Hurry, go grab some peaches while they’re ripe and in season and whip up a bundt for your friends and family!

A heavenly snack for the peach lover!

Peach Crumble Bundt


Peach Bundt

  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup sour cream


  • 6 medium peaches, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Vanilla Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • seeds from one vanilla bean
  • heavy cream



  1. Dice the peaches and place in a medium bowl. Toss with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside until ready to use.


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Using a fork, press the cold butter into the mixture until it's the consistency of a course meal.

Peach Bundt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Generously grease and flour the inside of your bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. One at a time, add the eggs, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  5. Add the vanilla and combine.
  6. In three additions, add the flour alternating with sour cream.
  7. Fill the pan about 1/3 of the way with batter.
  8. Layer the peaches on top of the batter evenly. Sprinkle the crumble over the peaches.
  9. Scoop batter on top of the peaches and crumble and smooth out using an offset spatula. Make sure you leave about 1 inch of room from the top of the bundt pan.
  10. Bake for 60-80 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool for ONLY 5 minutes in pan before removing a a plate/rack to cool.

Vanilla Glaze

  1. Whisk together the sugar, extract and vanilla bean.
  2. Add cream until you reach your desired consistency.
  3. Drizzle glaze over the bundt so it covers the top and drizzles down the edges.
Nothing better than cake for breakfast!

Your hosts for this month’s #peachlove:

Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves| Becky Higgins
Elephant Eats | Amy | @elephanteats
Java Cupcake | Betsy Eves | @javacupcake
No One Likes Crumbley Cookies | TR | @TRCrumbley
Oh Cake | Jess | @jesshose
Pippi’s In the Kitchen Again | Sheila | @shlylais
Rico sin Azucar | Helena | @ricosinazucar
Savoring Every Bite | Linda| @spicegirlfla
Teaspoon of Spice | Serena| @tspcurry
That Skinny Chick Can Bake | Liz | @thatskinnychick
The Spicy RD | EA Stewart | @TheSpicyRD
The Wimpy Vegetarian | Susan Pridmore| @WimpyVegetarian

Please join in on the #peachlove fun by linking up any peach recipe from the month of August 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #peachlove event! The twitter hashtag is #peachlove.

Berry BlogHop: Chocolate Dipped Berry Empanadas

I’ve had my eye on these empanadas for a while now.  My friend down the street can make empanada dough from scratch and fills them with so many yummy things and then CakeSpy posted a recipe for peanut butter filled empanadas… I’ve been inspired.

So for this months Berry BlogHop I decided I needed to fill empanadas with berries and dunk them in chocolate.


Chocolate Dipped Berry Empanadas

Chocolate Dipped Berry Empanadas

Yield: 45-50 Empanadas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Flaky crust filled with sweet berries dipped in chocolate... can't get much better than this!



  • 2 boxes premade pie crust (4 crusts)
  • 2 12oz bags frozen berries (I used bags that contained blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cherries) NOTE: You can also use fresh berries - you'll need about 4 cups worth.
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 egg + 1 Tbsp water (for egg wash)
  • sugar, for dusting

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup milk or cream



  1. Bring pie crusts to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large pan, melt the butter on high heat.
  4. Add the berries and sugar to the pan and stir to coat the berries.
  5. Once the berry juice beings to bubble, remove 1/2 cup of the juice and combine it with 2-3 Tbsp of corn starch. Whisk the juice and starch together until all lumps are gone. Add this mixture back into the pan with the berries. Bring to a boil to thicken, stirring often and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Once the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, unroll pie crusts. Using a rolling pin, flatten out crust until it's as thin as a dime.
  8. Using a 3in round cookie cutter, cut dough rounds and place on cookie sheet.
  9. Brush egg wash around edges of dough round.
  10. Spoon 1-2 tsp of berry filling into the center of each round. Fold the round over and press the edges closed with a fork.
  11. Bake 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Cool on wire racks.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. Melt butter and chocolate together on low heat until smooth.
  2. Add the cream and stir until combined and smooth.
  3. Dip cooled empanada in the melted ganache.
  4. Set on wire rack to cool and harden before serving.

Please be sure to check out what my fabulous co-hosts are bringing to the table:

A little bit of everything ~ Roxana GreenGirl ~ @RoxanaGreenGirl
Baker Street ~ Anuradha ~ @bakerstreet29
Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves ~ Becky Higgins
BigFatBaker ~ Erin Meyer ~ @bigfatbaker
Bon à croquer ~ Valerie ~ @valouth
Cake Duchess ~ Lora ~
Easily Good Eats ~ Three Cookies
Elephant Eats ~ Amy
Hobby And More ~ Richa ~ @betit19
Java Cupcake ~ Betsy Eves ~ @JavaCupcake
Mis Pensamientos ~ Junia ~ @juniakk
No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ T.R. ~ @TRCrumbley
Oh Cake ~ Jessica ~ @jesshose
Queen’s Notebook ~ Elizabeth  Quirino ~ @Mango_Queen
Rico sin Azúcar ~ Helena ~ @ricosinazucar
Simply Reem ~  Reem ~ @Simplyreem
Soni’s Food for Thought ~ Soni ~ @sonisfood
Teaspoon of Spice ~ Deanna Segrave-Daly ~ @tspbasil
That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!! ~ Liz ~ @thatskinnychick
The Art of Cooking Real Food ~ Laura ~ @TAofCRF
The Wimpy Vegetarian ~ Susan ~ @wimpyvegetarian
Vegan Yack Attack ~ Jackie S. ~ @veganyackattack
Vegetarian Mamma ~ Cindy ~ @vegetarianmamma

ChocolateLove Bloghop: Red Velvet Cheesecake Chocolate Brownies

Does anyone notice a theme lately?  Pink! Red!  Love!  YES! It’s definitely that time of year where all I want to bake and create are love themed and colored goodies!

Today… it’s Red Velvet, Cream Cheese & Chocolate Brownies.  Now, you may have noticed that I don’t make many red velvet things… I’m not really a huge fan.  I don’t always have red food dye on hand and I’m not a huge fan of cream cheese.  Call it pregnancy hormones and cravings… but for the first time in my life, I’ve been wanting to use cream cheese in every dessert I make.

The recipe is pretty simple… there are a few steps, but it really didn’t take much time at all to put together!

I made these especially for the #ChocolateLove BlogHop that I’m apart of!  So make sure you visit the BlogHop Co-Hosts listed at the bottom of this post and add your favorite CHOCOLATE recipe to the list!


Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Makes 12-16 brownies

Brownie Batter:
9 tbsp unsalted butter
7oz 70% dark chocolate

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp red food coloring gel/dye

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt

Cheesecake Batter:
12oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Line 9×13 glass pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray (or grease/flour pan – I prefer parchment paper, makes the brownies easier to pull out at the end).
  2. In a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate together.  Stir often.  Set aside to cool slightly when melted.
  3. While that’s melting, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt and set aside.
  4. In an even smaller bowl, with a fork, stir together the cocoa powder and food coloring until it becomes a paste and set aside.
  5. While the chocolate/butter is cooling, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  6. SLOWLY pour in the slightly cooled chocolate.  Start with a little bit at a time, you don’t want to add it all too much, too hot and cook the eggs.
  7. Add the cocoa powder/food coloring.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat until your batter turns a dark red color.  If you want, you can add more red coloring at this time.  Make sure the food color is very well incorporated before you move on.
  8. Slowly add the flour and mix until smooth.  Don’t beat too much… just enough until all the clumps are out and the batter is smooth.
  9. Remove 1/2 cup of batter and set aside.
  10. In a clean bowl for the stand mixer, mix together the cream cheese, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla on high speed until whipped and smooth.

  11. Spread brownie batter in the bottom of the pan, making sure to get it into the edges and corners.

  12. Dollop the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie mixture.  Using an offset spatula, gently spread to cover the brownie mixture.

  13. Drizzle remaining brownie mixture on top of the cream cheese.  Using your offset spatula, swirl the three layers together.  NOTE:  Don’t swirl too much!  You want a lot of the white cream cheese to show through!
  14. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate pan, and cover with foil.  Bake another 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with crumbs, not wet batter.
  15. Allow to cool completely in pan before removing to cut into squares.

Recipe adapted from An American Cupcake in London

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