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Caramel Turtle Bundt Cake

Turtle Bundt Cake

Swirls of caramel and chocolate cake, topped with caramel sauce and pecans, make this a beautiful and decadent dessert!

I love bundt cakes. They are just so pretty and fun to serve. This one is a combination of caramel and chocolate in a memorably beautiful and tasty display of yumminess!

Turtle Bundt3

This uses cake mixes and Kraft caramels, so it is a quick and easy dessert to put together, and it serves a ton of people, 14-16 at least.

Here’s how we made it: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One box of chocolate cake mix (plus water, oil and eggs to make according to box)
  • One box of caramel cake mix- I use Duncan Hines- (plus water, oil and eggs to make according to box)
  • 32 Kraft Caramels (unwrapped)
  • 1 can (14 oz.) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
  • Whole Pecans (as many as you want to sprinkle on top)
  • Mini chocolate chips (as many as you want to sprinkle on top)
  • I also added some Kraft caramel bits as sprinkles because I had them and they sounded fun- those are the little round caramel bits you see in my photos.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Make up both cake mixes according to package.
  • Alternate pouring them into a well-greased bundt pan. Fill the pan only 3/4 full. You will have a little cake mix left at the end, since both mixes don’t fully fit in the pan.
  • Place on a cookie sheet (just in case of overflow) and bake for 40-50 minutes. A cake tester or skewer should come out clean when cake is fully baked.
  • Allow cake to cool for 5-10 minutes in pan, and then tip onto a wire cake rack to finish cooling.
  • While cake cools, make caramel.
  • Place unwrapped caramels into a medium saucepan with sweetened condensed milk and butter.
  • Heat on medium/high, stirring constantly, until caramels are completely melted and smooth.
  • Place cake on serving plate.
  • Pour caramel sauce over the bundt cake, allowing it to run down the sides.
  • Immediately sprinkle with nuts and chocolate chips. If you wait these will not stick to the caramel as it hardens.
  • Allow topping to cool and firm up before cutting.
  • Enjoy!

Turtle Bundt5

My thoughts: This is such a moist cake, and if you aren’t a big fan of frosting this is perfect- no frosting at all- just a soft caramel. It’s a perfect fancy dessert that is so quick to make, and fun to serve!

Turtle Bundt2

One more…

Turtle BundtOther yummy caramel desserts you’ll love (just click on photo to be taken to recipe):

Caramel Fudge Brownies!!Salted Caramel Cookie Cup!!!Dulce de Leche caramel sauce form a canAlfajores- Peruvian Caramel Cookie!

Learning to make Scones

Chocolate Chip Scone4These dense, rich scones can be made with a variety of flavors, and they are SO good!

One month ago I could say that I had never even tasted a scone before, much less made one. Today I made nearly 80 of them and they are one of my new favorite treats!

About a month ago, I offered to help with a baby shower for my friend Heather. I asked if they needed help with food, thinking cake or cupcakes or fancy cookies- typical shower requests. Heather’s mom Sharla explained that they were having an English tea for Heather and could I please make scones?

Scones…? I agreed and started to read up on scones. They sounded difficult. They sounded dry and crumbly and b-o-o-o-ring…. yawn.

Apricot Scones1

I started with a basic recipe for chocolate chip scones. I won’t tell you where I got it, because it wasn’t very good. At the time, I thought it must just be how scones are supposed to be (since I’d never tasted one before). Yuck.

I was explaining my dislike for scones in a group of friends one night, and one family started protesting that they make the best scones ever. The mom (my friend Beth), got the recipe from her mother-in-law, who sold them in a tea shop she ran years ago.

It sounded promising, and Beth sent me home armed with the recipe, tips and two scone pans (I didn’t even know those existed, but I LOVE them!).

I started with Apricot White Chocolate Scones, and the rest is history. I love them. They are easier than cookies and so much yummier!

Apricot Scone

Here is how to make them: (printable recipe)

You really need to have a pastry cutter (you can cut cold butter in with a knife, but it is SO much harder). You might also want to consider a scone pan. Those links will take you to products on Amazon, and if you get them I will get like 6% of what you spend. And then I will buy a scone pan for myself. *smile* If you want, you can cut the scones and bake them on a cookie sheet too- but they aren’t quite as moist and amazing that way.

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder (fresh!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, or any combination of those three
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of cold butter
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 3/4 cup of whipping cream
  • Milk (as needed)
  • Sugar/ Cinnamon to sprinkle on top.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and spray pan (or sheet) liberally with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add stick of butter and cut into crumb-like pieces using the pastry cutter.
  • Add nuts or chips (if using) and toss together with dry mixture until coated.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, mix together whipping cream and eggs until well combined.
  • Add dried fruit (if using) and toss together with wet mixture until coated.
  • Make a “well” in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.
  • Combine and then gently knead with hands until it holds together in a ball. Add milk if mixture is too dry (this is most often the case when no fruit is added). Don’t over-knead this dough (you’ll melt all those little pieces of butter with the heat of your hands!)

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  • If using a scone pan, set aside about 1/4 of the dough to bake in a second batch. I overfilled my pan and they rose too high (as you can see in my pictures). When I made them for the shower, I used less dough and it was perfect!
  • Press remaining dough into a square on a floured counter and cut into triangles as shown (I used a pizza cutter and a knife- both worked fine).
  • Set into pan (or on cookie sheet) and brush tops with milk. Sprinkle with sugar (I used cinnamon and sugar).
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.

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  • Allow them to cool in pan for about 5 minutes and pop out with forks.
  • Enjoy!!!

Apricot Scones3

My thoughts: Goodness…this sounds complicated, doesn’t it? I thought so too, but now that I’ve made a bunch of them I really do think they are easier than cookies! Today for the shower I made 4 kinds. I added white chocolate chips and apricots to the first (I cut the dried apricots into smaller pieces using kitchen scissors).  I added dried berried (cherries, blueberries and cranberries) to the second. I added mini chocolate chips to the third, and I added Hershey’s cinnamon chips to the fourth.

DSC_0894Here’s Heather, the beautiful mom-to-be at her English tea baby shower- SO much fun!  Enjoy!!~r

Other fun shower desserts here at Easybaked (click on a photo to see the recipe):

Gender reveal cookiesOriginal Oreo pops!!!!!Cotton Candy Fizz Gender reveal cupcakes

Raspberry Fudge Layer Cake

Raspberry Fudge Layer Cake1Layers of pound cake, chocolate and raspberry are sure you make your Valentine smile this year!

You know those desserts that look incredibly difficult and are super easy? This is one of those. The cake is simply a frozen pound cake sliced and stacked with chocolate and raspberries. Makes you smile, doesn’t it?

Raspberry Fudge Layer CakeHere’s how we made it: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One frozen pound cake
  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of red raspberry jam
  • 1 cup of sliced red raspberries
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream

IMG_0147DIRECTIONS:

  • Remove pound cake from packaging and use a large serrated knife to slice it into 3 or 4 layers
  • Divide the bag of chocolate chips into 2 separate microwave-safe bowls.
  • Add the stick of butter to one, and the whipping cream to the other.
  • Melt each bowl of chocolate, one at a time, in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth.
  • Set aside the butter/chocolate glaze.
  • Lay the bottom layer of the pound cake on a baking rack set over a cookie sheet.
  • Spread chocolate/whipping cream mixture generously on the top of this layer and sprinkle with fresh raspberries.
  • On the “bottom” of the next layer, spread raspberry jam and then gently place (jam side down) on top of the raspberries.

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  • Repeat this process until all layers are used.
  • Refrigerate until layers firm up a little (10 minutes or so)
  • Pour remaining chocolate/butter glaze over the top and sides of cake, allowing excess to run through the baking rack and onto the cookie sheet below.
  • Refrigerate until glaze firms up.
  • Cut into slices and enjoy!!!

Raspberry Fudge Layer Cake5My thoughts: This is so easy. A tiny bit messy with all of that melted chocolate, but once it is made, it stores well for a couple of days and makes a beautiful layered dessert. I think you could fill these layers with so many different things for different times of the year. Yum. Enjoy!!! Happy Valentine’s Day! ~r

Raspberry Fudge Layer Cake3

Other fun (and creative!) Valentine’s treats, just click on a picture for the recipe:

White Chocolate Strawberry Cookies!!Chocolate covered strawberry Cake roll!!Frog Oreos!!Creamy cheesecake with sour cream topping

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

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Chocolate covered Strawberry cupcakes1Easy and fun, these are the perfect Valentine’s Day cupcake!

The story begins: “I had an extra tub of strawberry frosting….”

Last fall, as I was preparing to leave the Navajo reservation and move back to the Midwest, I committed to using up everything in my cupboards rather than buying any new food that I would have to fit in my car for that long trip home.

One of the items in the back of my baking cupboard was one tub of strawberry frosting, and it was the inspiration for this yummy (and incredibly easy!) cupcake idea.

I used a chocolate mix for these cupcakes (also remaining in my cupboard), but you could certainly make your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe for these.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

When they all were done and I’d taken some pictures, I decided to hold this recipe for February as a fun Valentine’s Day treat! Here it is!!! (printable version)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One boxed chocolate cake mix (with water, oil and eggs to make according to package)
  • One tub of strawberry frosting
  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 24 Pink Sixlets candies and sprinkles (as desired for decoration)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make cake mix according to package and bake in 24 cupcake liners placed in tins as directed. Cool.
  • Make chocolate sauce by melting whipping cream and chocolate chips together in a sauce pan, stirring often, until fully melted and smooth.
  • Spoon strawberry frosting into a microwave-safe bowl, and heat for 15-30 seconds until smooth and liquid when stirred.
  • Grasp a cooled cupcake by the bottom and dip the entire top of the cupcake into the softened strawberry frosting. Set each cupcake on a cookie sheet and set these in the refrigerator to harden up for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Gently spoon a dollop of chocolate onto the center of a cupcake and smooth it toward the edges, trying to keep it from running over. A couple of mine did and they were fine once they hardened up, just a little messy.
  • Place decorations on immediately and refrigerate until both chocolate and strawberry frosting are firm. They should be fine at room temperature once they have hardened.
  • Enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcake2

My thoughts: These are such an easy cupcake to make, but they are SO yummy- and cute! I love the chocolate and strawberry combination. I hope you have a chance to make these for YOUR sweetheart this year! ~Enjoy!

Other fun Valentine recipe ideas (just click on a photo to see the recipe!)

Frog Oreos!!White Chocolate Strawberry Cookies!!Chocolate covered Strawberry cake roll-- all fixed!!!Raspberry Confetti Kisses

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies!

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Cookie Dough BrownieThese soft brownies topped with cookie dough and fudge are an easy family favorite!!

I’m back! Thanks for your patience this past month. This was the 1st break I’ve taken from Easybaked in nearly 4 years, but there are just some times in life that knock you over and even your favorite things (like baking and blogging!) hold no appeal.

We lost my beautiful mom very quickly last month to aggressive cancer. She is woven through this collection of recipes in so many ways. She taught me how to bake, she shared her best dessert ideas, and she helped me brainstorm new and creative ways to remake a recipe.

She was my biggest fan. As I post this recipe later this week, I will miss her text; “Honey, I loved your blog post- are you bringing those home this weekend? They look so good!”

 1934081_25483287512_9140_nThese cookie dough brownies are mom’s recipe- with a new twist. Mom made these all the time, with mint filling. They have been featured here on Easybaked many times- with all kinds of different fillings. If you’d like to see these other recipes, just click on the photo!

Mint Creme Brownie CupsCaramel Fudge Brownies!!Coconut Brownie Cups!!!Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies!!!!!

As you can see, almost any filling is a wonderful addition to these dense, rich brownies. Cookie dough is no exception- it is WONDERFUL, cuts beautifully into squares, and can be kept refrigerated for three to four days or frozen for up to a month. (I love make-ahead desserts!!!) Want to know how to make these? Here you go: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

Brownie:

  • Two sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk

Filling:

  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of water (more or less, to desired consistency)
  • 1 bag of mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Topping:

  • 12oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 tablespoons butter

DIRECTIONS:

Brownie:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. 
  • Beat in eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating them and mixing well in between)
  • Pour batter into a jellyroll pan (12 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 1″)
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until done in center and pulling slightly away from sides.
  • Cool.  

Filling:

  • Place powdered sugar and melted butter into a large mixing bowl, and use a mixer to beat on medium until crumbly.
  • Add vanilla, brown sugar and flour and continue mixing.
  • Add water, a little at a time, until a thick but spreadable consistency is reached.
  • Beat on high until smooth and creamy
  • Add bag of mini chocolate chips, and stir in on low until well blended.
  • Spoon over (cooled!!) brownies, and spread until evenly distributed over entire brownie top. (I used clean hands to press the dough into corners, and then I placed wax paper over the entire top and used my hands to press into a flat, even layer)
Chocolate Topping:
  • Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Pour over cookie dough filling and spread evenly over top
  • Chill until top layer is hard.
  • Cut into squares. Serve immediately, or stack in an air-tight container with parchment paper between each layer. Refrigerate for several days, or freeze for up to a month. (They are actually really yummy right out of the freezer!!)
  • Enjoy!



Cookies Dough Brownie My thoughts: These are as good as they look. If you like sneaking cookie dough out of the bowl, these are for you! This recipe makes quite a few brownies, and I love that they can be made ahead and some of them frozen for a later date. Enjoy!!

Cookie Dough Brownies

This one’s for you mom. I love you!

More of mom’s recipes here on easybaked:

Ice cream pie!!!!Chocolate drop cookies!Pumpkin RollChocolate Chip Cake

Peppermint ice cream pie- one of our summer favorites!  Chocolate drop cookies- one of my first recipes with mom.  Pumpkin roll- people always asked her to bring this to family celebrations.  Chocolate chip cake- her go-to recipe for winning a bake off.

Have you ever visited Immeasurably More? It’s about my non-baking self and all the ways God is directing my steps. Stop by sometime by clicking the link below.

JV blog header

Confetti Sugar Cookies!

Confetti cookies!What better way to celebrate the New Year than with confetti? Especially the edible kind that pours out of the center of a delicious sugar cookie? So. Much. Fun!!!!

These sugar cookies are a fun and festive surprise that are sure to make your guests smile as you ring in 2015! These are easy to put together and a creative addition to any celebration!

Here’s how we made these fun treats: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 24 cookies)

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of butter flavoring
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 bags of Wilton Candy Melts in any colors you wish to use
  • 2-3 cups of small confetti sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Add eggs, vanilla and butter flavoring and mix well.
  • Add all dry ingredients and mix until able to knead into a firm ball of dough (add additional flour if necessary).
  • Roll out on a floured counter with a flour coated rolling pin to desired thickness.
  • Cut about 72 circles using a cookie cutter (I used a 2″ cookie cutter)
  • Use a slightly smaller circle cutter to cut out a center circle from 24 of these cookies.
  • Place cookies on cookie sheets covered in parchment paper and bake at 350F degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Slide baked cookies and parchment paper together onto a counter to cool completely.

Confetti Cookies!

  • Melt about 1/4 of a cup of candy melts (I used white, but you can use whatever colors you’ve chosen) in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring between until completely melted and smooth. Place the melted candy in a small zip top bag and cut one corner off.
  • Pipe around the bottom of the “ring” cookie and place it on a “solid” cookie. 
  • Fill the open center of the “ring” cookie with confetti sprinkles.
  • Pipe melted candy melts around the top of the “ring” cookie and set another “solid” cookie on top.
  • Allow these cookies to harden completely (I placed mine in the fridge for about 20 minutes).

Confetti CookiesConfetti CookieConfetti Cookies

  • Melt remaining candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments until completely melted and smooth.
  • Dip cookie into melted candy and cover completely, using a spoon. Use a fork to lift out and tap against side of bowl until excess melted candy falls away. Slide bottom of cookie against side of bowl and gently slide onto parchment paper to harden.
  • Immediately sprinkle with confetti or other decorations before candy melts harden.

Confetti Cookies10Confetti Cookies9

    • Package up in a tightly sealed container or in cello bags.
    • Wait until midnight and celebrate with the BEST  confetti ever– the edible kind!!!

Confetti Cookies!!

My thoughts: these look complicated to make, but they really went together quickly and it was so fun to see people’s surprise at all that confetti inside. I did warn them to take that 1st bite over a plate- haha- I guess that just depends on how messy you want your floors during that NYE party!  Enjoy!!!


Confetti cookie3 Other fun NYE treats:

Koolaid Pie5Pink Champagne Cupcakes1Pile of Cupcakes!Raspberry Confetti Kisses

12/19/14: On a personal note: I blog my recipes ahead, and I prepared this post (and scheduled it to publish) several weeks ago. Since that time, my mom has been diagnosed with very, very aggressive cancer and admitted to Hospice. I just wanted to ask for all of you who have followed this little blog and enjoyed these recipes to keep our family in your prayers as we say good bye to her during this Christmas and New Year season. Because of this, and because I am in the process of starting a new job, I will be taking a few weeks off from publishing recipes here. May this New Year bring great hope and joy to you and your family! God Bless! Back in a few weeks.  *Hugs* ~Ruthanne

A Cut-out Cookie Collection!

Cut-out Cookie CollectionIt’s nearly Christmas, and those cute bells, stars and tree cookie cutters are begging to be used!  This post is dedicated to our favorite cut-out cookie recipes featured here on Easybaked. We have everything from gingerbread to mocha, simple sugar cookies to international favorites! Make this year’s cookies your best yet!

Let’s start with the family favorite. My mom’s thick and cake-like cutout cookie recipe features a hint of cinnamon flavor and is truly a part of our Christmas (and Easter, and 4th of July, and back-to-school and GO PACKERS!) traditions. These are easy, and freeze well- so you can make them ahead. Go ahead and click on that photo to see the recipe.

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Next, is my personal favorite: GINGERBREAD!  These, too, have been a part of our family Christmas traditions. This recipe is my grandmother’s, and she faithfully made them every year, cut them as Christmas trees and decorated them with red-hots! Click on the photo to see her oh-so-yummy recipe!

Gingerbread Cookies!Similar to gingerbread are my Pumpkin Spice Cookies. These are sweeter and bake very flat and easy to decorate.

Pumpkin Pie Cutout cookies!Chocolate cut-out cookies that taste like the richest brownie but roll out and cut like a dream? Yes, please!  I love how the frosting colors really stand out on that dark chocolate! These chocolate cut-outs have been in our family awhile too- but as drop cookies that I tweaked to make cut-outs. Click the photo to see this delicious recipe:

Chocolate cut-out cookies

That chocolate cut-out recipe is so yummy that I experimented a little more with it to create a chocolate espresso cut out cookie and…oh my…one of my favorites!

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies!I’ve spent some time overseas and discovered a wonderful dessert in Prague called Medovnic. Then I found these wonderful little honey-filled cut out cookies called Medovniky that are often made at Christmas. I made them for autumn, but they are a delicious flavor for any season!!

Honey cookies cut into leaf shapes!

Speaking of international cookies, these Alfajores from Peru add a totally unique (and deliciously caramel-filled) flavor to the holidays.

Alfajores (Peruvian caramel cookie)!

When it comes to cut-out cookies, the cookie cutters make all the difference! I absolutely LOVE the look created by Linzer cookie cutters. Typically they are layered with a fruit filling, but I just used colored frosting and you have beautiful cookies with very little fancy frosting technique!

Linzer Christmas CookiesOne other thing you’ll need are some good frosting recipes, which I’ve compiled right here in a post called: Frostings, fillings and fun!

mmm......frosting!

I hope that these recipes inspire fun-filled cookie making times with your family this season.

Merry Christmas! 

~r

12/19/14: On a personal note: I blog my recipes ahead, and I prepared this post and my next one (very fun New Years cookies) several weeks ago. Since that time, my mom has been diagnosed with very, very aggressive cancer and admitted to Hospice. I just wanted to ask for all of you who have followed this little blog and enjoyed these recipes to keep our family in your prayers as we say good bye to her this Christmas. After next week’s post (which is already scheduled),  I will probably take a little break from sharing recipes here. Many thanks, friends! ~r

(My personal and ministry blog is at: www.thenavajojourney.com, if you want to keep up with me there.)

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