No Baking Required- S’more Bars

Right now, I really wish it was summer and we weren’t in a blizzard warning. You know what reminds me of summer? S’mores. On top of that, no baking required recipes are sometimes the best recipes. Whenever I need to make a quick treat, my default is something that doesn’t require a lot of effort or thought. I obviously love baking and decorating baked goods (otherwise this blog wouldn’t exist), but I’m also all for a no bake.



I feel like everyone and their mom has a recipe for these bad boys. I first found this recipe in a Taste of Home book. I’ve also seen it on the side of cereal boxes. I have made it enough, that I tweaked it a little bit over time.

This recipe is super simple. It’s basically like making rice krispie bars. Fact: I used to be so afraid of making rice krispies because I thought I would burn the marshmallows (and that, you know, they’d burst into flames). But once I concurred that fear, the world opened up. In place of the rice krispies, these use Golden Graham cereal. And you throw in a chocolate chips. There really is nothing better.

DSC_0402These bars are so sweet, sticky, and gooey. What more could a person want?

DSC_0398S’more Bars

3 tbls butter

1 16 oz bag marshmallows (regular or mini)

1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

12 oz box Golden Grahams cereal (or the store brand works too)

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1- Heat butter in a large sauce pan until melted. Stir in marshmallows (big or small, whatever you have on hand). Stir until smooth and combined.

2- Take off the heat. Stir in vanilla, if using. Add cereal. Mix until coated and combined.

3- After cereal is all mix in, stir in chocolate chips. The chocolate chips will became all melty. That’s what you want- keep stirring.

4- Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 pan. Let cool before cutting.


*You can use up to 5 tablespoons of butter. I just don’t like too much of a butter flavor coming through.

*Vanilla isn’t required for them to be tasty. Kind of related to what I said above about not liking much butter flavor. I like what the vanilla adds.

*If melty chocolate isn’t your thing, you can also sprinkle the chocolate chips on top after putting the bars into the pan.

img_1664You can bet we are eating these today while watching the Vikings game. SKOL.



Trust Issues- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I’m basically a grandma. I try to eat dinner around the same time every night, my hobbies include reading and baking, and I like to be in bed before 9:30. Day in and day out. And, I will never turn down an oatmeal raisin cookie. Oatmeal raisin cookies have always been gas stations cookies for me. I have never once made them- until now.

I always thought they were a “healthy” cookie. And maybe they are healthier than a double chocolate cookie, but there is still quite a bit of not great stuff in there (I’m looking at you sugar and shortening). Mixing in all those oats though, that’s the good stuff.


I love these scoops. I have one this size, and two in the perfect cupcake scoop size. It makes everything look a little more uniform.

The cookies came out a little crisp. I read the directions as 10-15 minutes. So, I baked them for about 14 minutes. It wasn’t until I was typing this that I realized the directions say 10-12 minutes. This is what happens when I try to read fast. And, in general, I’m not super confident in knowing when a cookie is done. I was thankful these looked like oatmeal raisin cookies though. Nothing is worse than thinking it’s a chocolate chip cookie, when it’s actually a oatmeal raisin cooking. That my friend is how trust issues start.


All in all though, they made me very happy. Next time, I might sub out some of the shortening for butter. I just don’t find shortening as appealing as butter, that’s all. At first, I was worried it wouldn’t be enough raisins, but it turned out just right. I ended up getting 53 cookies with this recipe. Cookies for days! And the grandma inside me has never been happier.


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies– from Taste of Home Baking book

1 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups old fashioned oats

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup golden raisins

**I omitted the walnuts and increased the amount of raisins. I used regular raisins, not golden raisins.

1- In a large bowl, cream together shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add into the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in walnuts (if using) and raisins.

2- Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets (I used parchment paper and it worked well). Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.


Milo is a little bit camera shy. :D

Cosmic Brownie Points

A few months ago, I made Twinkies for my moms birthday. When I posted that, Nick challenged me to make cosmic brownies.

I do love a good baking challenge. I also love learning how to make snack cakes. Because really, what’s better than eating a food that basically sums up your childhood? When Josh asked what I was making, I explained what cosmic brownies were and showed him a picture of the final product. He didn’t think he had ever tried a cosmic brownie before. He asked me what the candy crunch pieces tasted like. So, apparently cosmic brownies don’t sum up his childhood… I guess you were raised in a snack cake family or you weren’t.

I found the recipe I was using on Pinterest. Where all food lovers can lose themselves for hours. Phase one of the recipe was making the brownies. The recipe gave the time and said “they are done. Don’t keep them in or they will be dry”. Weirdly, when I pulled them out after my timer went off, they 100% did not look done. But I pulled out a toothpick and popped it in a few places, and it came out clean every time. So they were right, just trust that they are done.

Next was the ganache. That was just 2 kinds of chocolate chips and heavy cream. What more could a person want? Not going to lie, this is now my phone home screen shame.


Melt that all up, and spread it over the top of the cooled brownies. These offset spatulas are one of my favorite baking tools. It makes frosting things such a breeze.


I found the little candy pieces somewhere…I truly don’t remember where. Gosh, that’s sad. It wasn’t even very long ago. I’m almost thinking Ace Hardware of all places. The Ace in my town has a nice baking section. Weird, I know. But they are Wilton brand, so you could probably find them wherever you can find Wilton stuff (JoAnn’s, online, etc). As much as I covered the brownies, I barely used an eighth of the sprinkle bottle. So these babies should last awhile.


I then covered them and let them sit overnight. Because I wanted to let the ganache set a bit and for the candies to get pretty stuck into it. The next day, I cut them, individually wrapped them, and tried one. There was of course a difference. I would say my brownie was softer. But, I’m not going to complain about soft brownies. These bad boys were also super rich. Like, could’ve been cut into bite size pieces rich. I would say I got brownie points for this one.

Homemade Cosmic Brownies

¾ c (1.5 sticks) butter, melted

1 c sugar

2/3 c brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 ¼ c all purpose flour

¾ c cocoa powder

½ tsp baking powder

1 tbsp cornstarch

Pinch of salt

3 tbsp milk

1 c semi sweet chocolate chips

½ c milk chocolate chips

½ c heavy cream

Candy crunch chips to top (or mini M&M’s would work)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9×13 pan with foil and lightly spray with baking spray, set aside.
  2. In bowl, beat (stand mixer or hand mixer) melted butter, sugars, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined.
  3. In small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt.
  4. Mixing on low, alternate adding dry ingredients and milk. Mix until combined. Batter will be thick! (Even Josh noticed how think it was :D). Pour batter into prepared pan in an even layer.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. (I baked mine for 21 minutes, and they were done. They did not look done, but do the toothpick check). Allow to cool in the pan.
  6. To make the ganache, use a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Combining chocolate chips and cream in measuring cup. You can use half power on the microwave to microwave or just do short period on full power (start with 45 seconds). Take out and stir. Continue warming and stirring until all the chocolate chips are melted and the ganache is smooth. When smooth, pour over the top of brownies and spread evenly. Top with candy chips.

Recipe I used:


A Full Drawer–Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Cupcakes

The baking drawer in my kitchen now has 3 different kinds of scoops. One for ice cream, one for cupcakes, and one for mini cupcakes/cookies. All I’m saying is that both the drawer and myself are better because of it. And Josh appears to be fine with it because A) the designated ice cream scoop is the biggest and B) the other 2 scoops just happen to have yellow and purple handles…which are Viking that makes it ok. Of course he has been given instructions that I should never see him holding the purple or yellow scoops unless I also see him making me cookies. I love getting fun packages like scoops in the mail. Don’t listen to what anyone says about the frequency of my Amazon orders.


So, when I ordered these scoops, I also ordered a book. I was flipping through it and there was this recipe and I just so happened to have some ripe bananas on my counter and all the other ingredients needed. The recipe uses a cake mix. I typically make completely homemade, but I’m ok with the cake mixes. The cake mix is really your “cake base”. Instead of having to measure out all the flour, sugar, and baking soda, it’s all there already. It definitely saves space on the counter.


Piped Cupcake

Isn’t that just the best name? This batter is pretty much liquid gold.

Liquid chocolate gold

This industrial scoop is so great. It’s the perfect size for cupcakes. You fill it all the way up and that’s the perfect amount to fill 3/4 of the liner. And it makes the best noise when you click the lever. Something about it just feels official.

photo 3

The chocolate and banana is incorporated into the cupcakes and the peanut butter is the frosting. This frosting turned out fabulous! It was a little thick, but it worked to pipe. My frosting didn’t get very high and stacked on the cupcake, but I really think it’s because the frosting was so think and wasn’t super fluffy. I was just so excited it was coming out of the piping tip, I didn’t even care that it was so much work that I almost started to sweat squeezing the frosting out. Either way, turned out fine. A step in the right direction. Plus when it comes down to it, I don’t like a whole lot of frosting, so it was good enough for me.

Cupcakes in a row

Success. And it covered all my food groups- fruit, chocolate, and peanut butter.

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter

A wider version of the picture. Sadly, I didn’t even set this. Sometimes life is a little messy. :) Life is a little messy

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Adapted from “Your Cup of Cake”

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

1 box devil’s food cake mix

3/4 cup bananas, mashed (I used about 1 cup)

1/2 tsp lemon juice

3 eggs

1/2 cup plus 2 T. oil

1/2 cup milk or buttermilk (I used milk)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Buttercream

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 tsp vanilla extract

4-5 cups powdered sugar

1-2 T milk

1) Preheat oven to 350 and line pans with cupcake liners

2) In small bowl, mash bananas and lemon juice together; set aside

3) In large bowl, combine eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.

4) Add cake mix and mashed bananas; stir to combine well.

5) Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 17-22 minutes. (I baked mine for 18 minutes)

6) Peanut Butter Buttercream: Beat butter and peanut butter for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla extract. Add 1 T. milk and slowly add powdered sugar until buttercream reaches desired consistency. If buttercream becomes too thick, add an additional 1 T milk.

7) Frost and eat!

I Can Can!

There is nothing quite like the joy of having your boyfriend walking behind you through Walmart carrying canning jars chanting “I can’t believe you’re actually doing this.” Even better, is running…OK, skipping…through the house because you successfully did it! That’s correct, attempt 1 of apple butter is complete! I made 2 jars..because I was afraid it might not work, and at that point, I didn’t want to be stuck eating 8 jars of apple butter in the next couple weeks. Does it taste exactly like my grandma’s, no. Though it is definitely apple butter and pretty tasty at that. But before I made apple butter, I made cupcakes.

The cupcakes are red velvet with marshmallow buttercream. This frosting was not my friend this time. I’ve made it time and time again, and it always turned out better than this. Or maybe I always just thought it was better than this because I never had a piping bag prepped and ready to go. I was pretty close to either A) hoping in my car and driving to the store to buy frosting; or B) tossing my frosting across the kitchen. But I maintained my self control, barely. I made a decision once and for all that I am going to buy myself a KitchenAid stand mixer. I really want to be able to put frosting in the mixer and walk away and have it turn out perfect. I’m not really sure where I’m going to store it, but I will definitely find space. Even if I do have to rearrange the kitchen.

This 24 cup pan is one of the best things I ever drove store to store to find and buy. I’m in love.

photo 1

And this, well, this was a cheap impulse buy. In my defense, I will save money on toothpicks.. :)

photo 2

photo 3

Now, the apple butter. I can’t really share a recipe because I don’t really have a recipe. When I asked my grandma, she said “Put some apples on the stove to soften them. When they are soft, grind them up. Add as much sugar and cinnamon as you want. Then just put it in the oven.” Thanks grandma. So, I then asked my sister what she does. I got the same recipe, except with the variation of putting it in the juicer at the beginning and keeping it on the stove at the end. I learned pretty quick that it’s pretty adaptable. I started my grandma’s old school way (because I don’t have a fancy juicer or kids to drink the apple juice, like my sister) but ended it my sisters way (because I don’t have a giant roaster pan to put in the oven, like my grandma). Even though I don’t have a juicer or a roaster, I do have this awesome apple coring/peeler/slicer. It makes apples look like this in about 20 seconds. It’s fabulous.

photo 1 (1)

Obviously, I underestimated how much I should fill one of the jars. It looked good, then I tipped it upside down and watched it slide down the jar. Needless to say, that’s the one that’s currently in my fridge being spread on toast. But the other will be canned foods can.

photo 2 (1)

photo 3 (1)

Really though, it worked out. I successfully canned 1 jar (which would’ve been 2 if I wasn’t so nervous). Shocker of all shocks is that both the jars sealed and it actually tastes good. I can tell you that I’m opening the closet where I put the jar more frequently now. And every time I open the closet and see my little can, I squeal just a little bit.

Stress Baking and Sugar– Vanilla Cupcakes

So…I’m a bit of a stress baker. This past week has been a bit overwhelming. And it takes a lot for me to get to the point of overwhelmed. Usually I’m pretty good at handling stress. It’s been little things and it’s been big things all piled up. My emotional breakdown came last night…it was about time though. I had been waiting. :) I’ve got some good advice and have been told numerous times that I need to relax and not think about anything for awhile. But in reality, I don’t really know what it means to relax, but I needed to step back. So I baked. I’m a stress baker. Sue me.

Stress Baking- Vanilla Cupcakes

This is probably going to be written a little bit differently. I made a batch of vanilla cupcakes because I needed a recipe where I had everything at my house already. It also occured to me that I had never made vanilla cupcakes before. I didn’t take pictures the whole time, because it was simple and I wanted to just turn on my music and make some cupcakes.

I apologize that some of this pictures are bad quality. My camera wasn’t having a good day. And I was over it.

So I had a dream earlier this week. I never remember my dreams, but this one I did. In a nutshell, I was on a plane (the only people I remember being there was one of my uncles and one of my cousins, but it was full plane). The pilot came over the loudspeaker and said that he wanted to take a nap and asked who wanted to fly the plane. No one said anything so I said I would. I woke up when I was walking to the front of the plane. Now, I work in the psychology department at school. It just so happened that this is the week one of the professors is doing dream analysis in her class. She told me that my dream tells her 2 things about me. 1) Things keep piling up on my plate. -TRUE- 2) I have a hard time saying no and don’t like to disappoint people. -ALSO TRUE- Weird what dreams can tell you… :)

I decided to get fancy. I needed to pretend I was creative. And start practicing for when I have my own bakery in 20 years and appearance/presentation is important. :D

Well, they were a little dense. That could’ve just been all my pent up anger though. :) But next time I make vanilla cupcakes, I’ll be trying a different recipe.

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cold milk

Yield: 12 cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture; stir in milk.

Bake 18-24 minutes.

Halloween! This is Bria…we’re friends. :)

With a Hint of Peppermint–Peppermint Cupcakes

Home! After a crazy first week and a half of school, being able to bum with my family was quite wonderful. My baby brother aka the only younger brother I have who is 17 was confirmed this past weekend…actually now 2 weekends ago….yes, my life is seriously this hectic right now I haven’t had a good amount of time to sit down and write. Yay school! But anyways, being the supportive sister I am- I went home. On the phone the night before to my mom she asked if I would want to make cupcakes. She mentioned that she was thinking about just buying some but she figured she would ask me. Of course, I had to make them for my lil buddy whose only instructions were “I want chocolate”. Happy to oblige…of course on my terms.


The first things to combine were the eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla. I really don’t like sour cream. I can live without it. But apparently it’s sometimes used in baking because it helps make the cakes moist. Either way, I think it’s disgusting. (In case you haven’t realized, I’m a bit of picky eater…oh well. :D).

It looked super tasty…not really. It was runny and slimy. I hate when things look like this and I have to try and visualize them as cupcakes.

Time to dump in the Devil’s Food Cake mix. I honestly don’t know what the difference between all the kinds of chocolate cake are…they are all just chocolate to me. But I was excited to dump this in so it didn’t look as slimy.

Look, it actually looks like chocolate cake! It actually tasted right too. This is when I let out a sigh of relief.

Scoop, scoop, scoop. I would like to take this moment to say my scooping is getting pretty awesome. They come out much more uniform then they did when I first started making cupcakes last summer. AND I scooped these pans in about 2 minutes flat. Bam.

After all the scooping, they went into the oven.  Then I did my own dishes because my mom wasn’t home and my brother didn’t want to help. :(

Then I went to bed. Like seriously. I got home from school and started baking right away. By the time they were out of the oven, it was probably 11pm and I was over it. So I figured I would finish in the morning….Let’s imagine its morning now.  The first thing I did upon waking up was make the ganache. And yes, I did bake in pajamas. Step one was melting the cream and chocolate chips.

Finally the peppermint extract made an appearance! I added some of that to my ganache…ganache is a really fun word to say.

Since my cupcakes had cooled overnight, they were ready for ganache. So theoretically, you should be able to be classy and just dunk the cupcake tops into the ganache and have it work out wonderfully. Now that would be too easy. It wasn’t really working out for me, so I decided to just use a spatula.

It worked fantastically. I was working like a well-oiled machine.

Then it was time for the frosting. First was mixing together the cream cheese and butter…yum…

This is followed by the powdered sugar and peppermint. Story time! Before I added the peppermint, the mixture was simply butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar. Well, I got some on my finger. So my first reaction was to lick it off. I did just that. I almost vomited. I would not recommend that to anyone. Ever.

The point of the food coloring was to make it look mint. Otherwise, it looks like vanilla. I also showed food coloring skill. If you compare the color my frosting got to an Andes mint, the green are pretty close in color. Skill right there.

Frosting! The frosting tasted really good actually. To frost, I put a giant blob in the center of the cupcake and kind of spread it around. Each cupcake got a generous amount of frosting and it didn’t look bad visually either.

Soon enough, they were all frosted.

I then sprinkled them with Andes mint piece. I found these pieces in the baking aisle. The recipe says to cut an Andes mint in half to garish. Based on my experience with the Reese Peanut Cups to garish, I figured it would be easier to do the crumbles because then you could eat it all at the same time. You wouldn’t have to take off the mint and eat it separately. It would be cohesive.

Just as they were all frosted, they all got some mint topping.

OK, not going to lie. These cupcakes were kind of awesome. I was impressed. Considering the base was chocolate, I enjoyed them. They actually did taste like mint. I would make these again for sure.

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake:

Devil’s Food Cake mix

3 eggs

½ cup oil

¾ cup buttermilk

1 cup sour cream

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Chocolate Peppermint Ganache:

2/3 cup chocolate chips

2 tablespoons heavy cream

½ teaspoon peppermint extract

Peppermint Buttercream:

8 oz cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter, softened

3-4 cups powdered sugar

1 ½ teaspoons peppermint extract

green food coloring

Peppermint candies to decorate


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.

2. In a large bowl, gently combine eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla extract.

3. Add cake mix, for easing mixing I recommend sifting your cake mix in.

4. Stir until combined and fill cupcake liners 3.4 full and bake for 16-23 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.


5. Melt chocolate chips and cream together in the microwave or using a double boiler. Stir constantly until smooth. Add peppermint extract and stir again.

6. Dip cooled cupcakes into ganache, if they are still hot, the ganache will run off.


7. Beat cream cheese and butter for 4 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Add peppermint extract and green food coloring.

8. Wait until the ganache is set and pipe buttercream onto cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles and peppermint candies.

Copyright © YourCupofCake

My brother loves me. Even if sometimes he doesn’t show it. :)