This cake was made for a lady who loves shopping. What better way to celebrate than with a shopping bag cake! I built the cake pretty tall in a rectangle shape. Then I paneled the cake with white fondant.
I added some gum paste roses to the side of the cake, I love how they look. They really balance out the cake.
To make the handles I took some thick wire and bent it. Then I wrapped it with white fondant before inserting it into the top of the cake.
I rolled out tons on red fondant using my pasta roller to get the pieces very thin. Then I cut small rectangles of fondant and ruffled them by folding them up and allowing them to dry slightly before attaching them to the cake.
Going through some older photos I found this cake I made 3 years ago! I’m pretty sure I have never shared it until now. The design is still in style this cake could have been made today. I love this cake style and I think it’s safe to say it’s still trending. This is a simple style but still so perfect. The cake is covered in buttercream rosettes made using either a Wilton 1M or 2D tip. I don’t remember which one I used here but I often switch off depending on my mood. The pink color gets lighter with each layer. A simple fondant topper finishes off the look.
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The Silver Platter: Simple Elegance is the second book by Daniella Silver. After the success of her first cookbook, The Silver Platter: Simple to Spectacular, Daniella has yet again teamed up with cooking guru Norene Gilletz. These two ladies make an amazing team and have put out another winning cookbook. Daniella comes up with impressive dishes with simple ingredients and Norene gives some really interesting and helpful tips for each and every dish. This book contains over 160 new recipes with tricks and techniques for planning, prepping, and serving stunning dishes for any occasion.
I love the layout of this book. Each recipe has a small introduction. The ingredients are clearly listed, and the directions are easy to understand. Each recipe includes “Norene’s Notes” which can be anything from make ahead tips, to substitutions, leftover ideas, Passover options, preparation tips, and even nutritional information. Every recipe is also paired with a gorgeous color photo to give you an idea of what your dish will look like as well as plating ideas. The cookbook itself is nice and big and is just gorgeous to flip thorough-it makes a beautiful coffee table book and makes the perfect gift.
The book is broken up into categories: appetizers, soups, salads, fish, poultry, meat, dairy, grain side dishes, vegetable side dishes, cookies and treats, and cakes. I like how easy Daniella and Norene make it to be healthful. Not only are the recipes lightened up when possible, but at the end of the book you will find a clear breakdown of the nutritional information for each recipe.
Some recipes I’m excited to try: roasted eggplant salad, pulled BBQ beef nachos, sweet potato and kale soup, cheesy potato leek soup, balsamic spinach salad with carmelized onions, honey garlic herbed salmon, chili lime fish fillets, smoked turkey cabbage slaw, asian flavored miami ribs, quinoa pizza ramekins, spinach cheese bites, candied cauliflower with almonds, peanut butter cookie brownies, brown sugar peach crisp, and salted chocolate ganache tart.
I am excited to share this recipe for Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cake from THE SILVER PLATTER SIMPLE ELEGANCE: Effortless Recipes with Sophisticated Results by Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz reproduced with permission from the copyright holder, Artscroll, November 2016.
You can’t beat the combination of fruit and chocolate in this fragrant cranberry loaf. Perfectly tart and sweet, it’s a great cake for breakfast, brunch, or an after-dinner treat. It makes two loaves, so freeze the second one for another occasion.
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups orange juice
2 ½ cups flour (or gluten-free flour with xanthan gum)
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to thaw)
1 ½ cups mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs with sugar, oil, and vanilla on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light.
Reduce mixer speed to low; gradually blend in orange juice.
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until combined. Fold in cranberries and chocolate chips.
Divide batter evenly between prepared loaf pans; spread evenly. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
Allow loaves to cool for 20 minutes. Invert onto serving platters.
Muffin Variation: In Step 5, scoop batter into muffin pans coated with nonstick spray or lined with paper liners until ¾-full. Bake at 375°F for about 25 minutes. Yields 18-24 muffins.
Frozen cranberries don’t need to be thawed. Just rinse and pat them dry with paper towels before folding them into the batter.
Want to win your very own copy? Artscroll has offered to give one free copy of The Silver Platter: Simple Elegance to one of you! Head over to my Instagram @lilmisscakes for a chance to win! US mailing addresses only.
Cake release, also known as cake goop, is kind of a bakery secret. Ever have a cake stick in the pan even though you sprayed an entire can of cooking spray before baking? You could brush butter, then coat with flour. That will definitely do the trick, but then you may have a coat of flour on the outside of you cake, not to mention the mess involved in the process. Cake release is a mixture of equal parts shortening, oil, and flour, used to coat any baking pan before filling with batter. I always keep a jar of it on hand, ready to use to coat any baking pan. It kind of seems like magic when my cakes just slide right out of their pans.
The recipe is equal parts oil, vegetable shortening, and flour. I add 1 cup of each into the bowl of my mixer and beat until smooth. It takes a bit of time to work out the lumps but it’s necessary. Once smooth, store your cake release in a jar or container until ready to use. It can be stored at room temperature for a few months. I use mine all the time, so it never lasts that long.
To use, just take a pastry brush and coat your entire pan. Easy peasy! Hope this helps take your baking to the next level!
I’m really excited about this recipe. It’s perfect for this time of year, and really any time of year actually. But these definitely do remind me of fall, when the leaves are changing and the sweaters and boots come out.
I got a frantic call from a devoted mom trying to pull off the perfect autumn themed bake sale. She was planning to have warm cider and spiced apple cider donuts, but couldn’t source the perfect donuts anywhere. She had 2 days until the event when she called me. I told her there was no way I could pull off making 100 fresh donuts, but how about muffins? Perfect-muffins will be great! The only problem was I had never made apple cider muffins. I scoured the internet for a recipe and came across this one from New England Today’s Food section. It sounded like a winner. With a few tweaks I adapted the recipe to be dairy-free, perfect for my needs. These muffins promised to be better the next day and they sure do deliver!
Measure the apple cider and pour into small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the cider is reduced to 1 cup. Allow to cool. This can be done in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to use.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray regular or mini muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the oil, apple sauce, and sugar until blended.
Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until blended.
Add in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, fresh nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients to combine.
With the mixer running on low add the dry ingredients to the mixer alternating with the reduced and cooled apple cider, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Once the batter comes together, spoon the batter into prepared muffin pan. I like to fill mine half way (for 18 regular muffins) but you can go ¾ of the way up for a larger muffin (12 regular muffins). You can also make minis, just reduce the baking time.
Bake for about 15 minutes until the muffins spring back to the touch. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before adding the topping.
In small bowl melt the margarine. In a second bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Once the muffins are cool enough to handle, brush the muffins with the melted margarine on all sides, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar.
Store in an airtight container. They are perfect right away but are even better the next day.
Cookie butter is all the rage right now. I love the speculoos cookies, but the cookie spread is a little too sweet to eat on its own. I know that’s not the popular opinion, but it’s mine and I’m sticking to it! So I keep trying to use it in different desserts. Some have been successful and some have flopped. This recipe is a definite success. It’s also a no bake recipe, which is why I tried it in the first place. I was preparing dinner, pot roast. I was so proud of myself, I prepped early! But as I was putting my roast in the over for 3-4 hours on 275 degrees F, I realized I couldn’t bake anything else! Cookie butter crispy treats to the rescue.
This recipe is super easy and quick. You need a bit of patience to get it right, but it’s worth the minimal effort! I used to use marshmallow cream to make traditional crispy treats. Don’t get me wrong, they taste great, but they were always gooey and messy. Plus they would fall apart, and I wanted these to hold their shape. I asked my friend Rebecca of I Want That Dessert fame, for her tips and tricks. She always posts these perfect looking treats and I just had to know how she does it!
Rebecca had a few very key points for success. In order to make perfect looking dairy free kosher marshmallow treats: use Paskesz brand mini marshmallows. According to Rebecca, these are the best ones to use, they melt really nicely. (This is not a sponsored post, I’m just sharing my preferred brand with you!) Also, use the microwave! Melt the margarine (or butter) in a large bowl in the microwave. I added the cookie butter in at this point as well. Then dump in the marshmallows and stir. Heat the marshmallow mixture for 10 seconds at a time mixing in between. It will take some time here. You may think this will never work. You may want to give up. DONT! Do not give up. Keep heating and mixing. The marshmallows will melt. As soon as the mixture is smooth and gooey pour in the rice cereal. Mix quickly and carefully, this will be hot! Pour the mixture into a prepared pan and press flat. I lined a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper and got flatter treats. For thicker treats use an 8×8 inch or 9×9 inch square. To help press into the pan, spray your hands with cooking spray so the treats won’t stick. Once the treats are firmly packed, allow to cool and then cut into squares. Easy, amazing, dairy-free, no-bake perfection!
The cookie butter crispy treats are perfect as is, but my husband needed more cookie butter intensity. In that case, just melt some extra cookie butter and drizzle it down on top!
When a recipe for chocolate sugar cookies from Handmade Charlotte showed up on my Instagram feed, I knew I had to try it. I’ve been craving a chocolate sugar cookie for as long as I could remember and this cookie looked perfect.. But if you have been here before you know I specialize in dairy free desserts so I had to adapt the recipe to fit my needs. I also added a pinch of cinnamon for a bit more of a complex flavor. You won’t really taste it but it gives a nice background flavor that pairs nicely with the chocolate.
These cookies are chocolate heaven. They are intense but also sweet. The sugar coating adds a really nice crunchy coating while the inside is chewy and tender. To get the cookies this really deep almost black color I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa. It’s a combination of regular cocoa powder and dutch process cocoa powder and I’m kind of obsessed with it lately. I find it in my local supermarket but I’ll include an affiliate link in case you can’t find it locally: Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, 8-Ounce Container (Pack of 2). You can probably use regular cocoa powder but your cookies will look a lot lighter in color. They also freeze well! Here is my dairy-free recipe adapted from Handmade Charlotte.
In Our Table, food stylist and recipe columnist Renee Muller shares her simple and delicious kosher family recipes. Each recipe calls for everyday ingredients, all easily accessible, and is accompanied by full color photos. Both of those components as well as the easy to follow directions and tips make this cookbook perfect for a beginner in the kitchen as well as a great resource for the seasoned chef. The cookbook is not only for the kitchen, it makes a stunning coffee table book. Renee brings her expert food styling skills to each and every photo. This is something I really look for in a great cookbook. I love looking at beautiful food and love seeing what the recipe will look like.
The book is filled with recipe tips, suggestions, and techniques to help in the kitchen. Some of the recipes also include links to online video tutorials. As Renee was writing she wished she could be there with her readers in the kitchen. “Many times while writing down recipe instructions, I wished I could just invite my readers to join me in my kitchen and cook with me. That thought led me to create a variety of videos of some of the recipes so you can view them as you want and see some of the techniques I use when cooking my recipes.” I love this idea, it’s like getting personal cooking classes with Renee Muller!
The categories in the cookbook include Appetizers, Soups & Salads, Fish & Dairy, Meat, Chicken & More, Snacks & Sides, Bread, Cakes & Cookies, and Desserts. Each recipe is labeled as Meat, Dairy, or Pareve as well as Freezer Friendly or Gluten Free. There is even a Pesach (Passover) guide with substitutions so many recipes can be used over the holiday as well.
I have already made the Belgian Birthday Waffles and My Most Favorite White Flour Challah which were both a huge hit! I cant wait to try Mommy’s Stuffed Cabbage, Mushroom Barley Soup Done Right, Lo Mein, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tart, Sweet and Tangy Spare Ribs, Oven Baked Honey Mustard Chicken, Babka Swirls, Just Right Cookies, and Malky’s Old Fashioned Apple Bake.
I am delighted to share this recipe for Apple and Honey Rosh Hashanah Muffins from Our Table by Renee Muller reproduced with permission from the copyright holder, ArtScroll Publications, October 2016.
At our house, Rosh Hashanah cannot happen without honey muffins. At least, that’s the way my kids see it. It’s a family project, and by now, a family tradition, too. This recipe was given to me by a relative in Israel who bakes them all the time and claims that no matter how many batches she bakes, there are never enough. She’s absolutely right. We once baked a quadruple batch of these (sans the apples) for a bake sale on our block and we were left without a crumb!
For The Apples
2 Tablespoons butter OR margarine
4 Granny Smith apples, diced
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the muffins
2 cups prepared tea, lukewarm
2 cups sugar
2 cups oil
2 cups honey
6 cups flour
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 heaping Tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Prepare the apples: In a saucepan, melt butter over a medium-low flame. Add apples, sugar, and cinnamon; cook until apples are fragrant and soften a bit, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the muffins: In the bowl of a stand mixer, on medium speed, combine tea, sugar, oil, honey, and eggs. Mix until smooth. Reduce speed; gradually add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Fill each muffin cup halfway with batter. (I like to use a cupcake pen for this; I find it very helpful.) Top with a teaspoon of prepared apples. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out almost dry with some moist crumbs attached.
note: The apples are optional; I find that some children prefer the muffins plain. We add the apple for Rosh Hashanah (very loudly singing, “Dip the apple in the hooooneeeyy” as we do so) but throughout the year, we bake them plain.
tip: I recently discovered an amazing gadget called “The Cupcake (or Muffin) Pen.” It really removes the whole messy aspect of filling cupcake pans with batter. Look for it in specialty equipment stores.
Want to win your own copy? Artscroll has graciously offered to give one copy of Our Table to one of you! Head over to my Instagram @lilmisscakes and enter for a chance to win! US mailing addresses only-sorry!
Summer is winding down and Fall is in the air! It’s time for cozy sweaters, boots, and apple recipes! I love apple picking this time of year, and I always pick way too many. Here’s one great way to incorporate apples into a delicious dessert. This is also a great alternative to oatmeal raisin cookies. They are sweet and full of cinnamon for that delicious Fall flavor.
These cookies are sweet and full of cinnamon to satisfy your Fall flavor cravings. My recipe is simple and dairy free! I shared it with my friend Melinda of Kitchen Tested fame. You can find my Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie recipe there!
Have you ever craved a chocolate babka or kokosh cake, but just didn’t have the time or energy to make one? I’ve got you covered! This simple cake is full of deep chocolate flavor and tons of crumbs. I like this crumb to cake ratio, but you can even double the crumb topping if that is your thing. I have shared this recipe on Busy In Brooklyn while Chanie takes some time off to enjoy her new daughter. Head on over there for the full recipe and details!
Looking for a cinnamon version? That’s where it all began! Try my cinnamon roll cake, you won’t be sorry!