Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


Almond Joy Overnight Oats

Ease into your morning routine with a jar full of tasty and satisfying Almond Joy Overnight Oats.

Almond Joy Overnight Oats | Sweet Baked LifeDuring the weekday mornings, I leave my house at 6 AM to head for the office — the best thing about leaving this early is there really isn’t much traffic. So my 14-mile commute only takes me about 20 minutes.  I love going to the office early, especially when I get a jump ahead of the dreaded bumper to bumper traffic.

There is something about this time of the morning that I really love. Not sure if it’s that the sun is just about to rise, but everything seems peaceful. With no distractions, I can reflect on the day ahead, unwind and have a clear mind when I start my day. I enjoy the quiet before the storm — as when I walk into my office, my day is filled with the hustle and bustle of unending projects and meetings.

Almond Joy Overnight Oats | Sweet Baked LifeHowever, it seems lately the crazy drivers have come out of the woodwork and have firmly planted themselves and their cars into my serene commute. Now, I am not a slow-poke driver, but these days if I am not going at least 80 MPH on the freeway, I might as well get off the road! And even on the surface streets, these fools are pushing 50 MPH in a 35 MPH zone! Really — at 6 AM, do you absolutely need to go that fast, and for that matter, get right up on my bumper with your brights on if I don’t instantly get into the other lane?

Oh, crazy early morning commuters — take a chill pill! Maybe you had too much coffee and that is why you are ruining my once calm and delightful drive. Or maybe you should just leave a bit earlier so you don’t have to rush to get to wherever you are trying to get to in such a hurry! To top it off, now when I get to the office, I feel like I have just gotten off of the Autobahn or a NASCAR racetrack and feel stressed before my day really begins.

Almond Joy Overnight Oats | Sweet Baked LifeThese drivers are ruining my mornings! So what do I do? Well, it’s kinda hard to ignore them, with their flashy bright lights and swerving in and out of the few cars on the road, but that’s pretty much what I try to do. Just breathe knowing that it will soon be over!

I try to focus on other things, such as my amazing Almond Joy Overnight Oats, which were quickly prepared night before and are nestled securely in my lunch bag — ready to consume when I reach my destination. They take no-time to whip up and the outcome is creamy almond soaked oats dotted with semi-sweet chocolate bits and topped with coconut and sliced almonds — which just about makes my heart sing. And, there is no stress involved here!

And if you have never prepared overnight oats before, they are a must-try! You mix all the ingredients in a mason jar, stick it in the fridge and in the morning you just grab and go. You can either eat them cold or zap it in the microwave for a minute and voila, you’ve got a great, delicious breakfast.

Almond Joy Overnight Oats | Sweet Baked Life

Almond Joy Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 min prep | 8 hrs refrigeration
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Almond Joy Overnight Oats | Sweet Baked Life

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
dash of cinnamon
1 teaspoon semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
Topping: semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut, sliced almonds

Into an 8 oz. mason jar, add all the ingredients (but not the toppings) and stir to combine. Screw on lid and place in refrigerator overnight.

These can be eaten cold or hot. For cold, just remove the lid and add your toppings. To serve hot, remove lid and place in microwave for 30-60 seconds, stir then add toppings.


Almond Joy Overnight Oats | Sweet Baked LifeSo if you encounter some crazies on your way or work, be sure you have a jar of these Almond Joy Overnight Oats with you — they’re the perfect on-the-go breakfast!


Leave a comment

Espresso Chip Tiramisu

In need of a treat with a special boost — then this light and creamy Espresso Chip Tiramisu is the recipe for you!

Espresso Chip Tiramisu - an easy, no-bake dessert | Sweet Baked Life

I’m sure you guys have days like me…get up early, have a full day at work, prepare dinner, help with homework, spend a little time with your hubs, maybe read or watch some TV, then try to unwind before you have to go to bed to wake up to do it all over again.

And lately it seems like the weeks are flying by — especially knowing that today is the first day of fall. It does not feel like it, maybe because it’s still in the 80’s here! But it really is here!!!

I was in a meeting yesterday where it was announced that there were 100 days until New Years! Yikes! I really don’t want to think about that at all. But if I have to, I’ll do it with visions of this amazing dessert dancing around my head!

Espresso Chip Tiramisu - an easy, no-bake dessert | Sweet Baked Life

This melt-in-your-mouth Espresso Chip Tiramisu is so easy to make — it requires simple ingredients and in no-time flat you will have a scrumptious dessert that will give you the energy to make it through your crazy days and this wonderful season. It’s great after a casual dinner with your honey, and even more impressive to serve to your guests — they will definitely ask for seconds!

You start with buttery pound cake, then douse it with some freshly brewed espresso, layer it with sweet concoction of cream cheese, heaving whipping cream and confectioners sugar, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, repeat, then top it off with more mini chips and a dusting of cocoa powder.

For me, the perfect dessert that will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth! Light and creamy in texture with the perfect combination of sweetness and bitterness. I have been making this recipe for years and each time it turns out AMAZING!

Espresso Chip Tiramisu - an easy, no-bake dessert | Sweet Baked Life

Mocha Chip Tiramisu

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 15min prep | 4 hour chilling
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life MochaTiramisu

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
butter pound cake (homemade or store-bought)
1 shot espresso (or 1/2 cup strong coffee)
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus extra for garish
2 teaspoons baking cocoa

In a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, confectioners sugar and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Then add the whipping cream and beat until fluffy — about 1 minute.

Cut the pound cake crosswise into slices – about 1/4-inch thick. Note, I used a small loaf and cut 16 pieces. Arrange half of the cake in a single layer at the bottom of a 8-inch oval dish (you can also use an 8-inch square or 9-inch round). Brush the cake with half of the espresso. Then spread half of the cream cheese mixture over the cake using a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with mini chocolate chips. Top with the remaining cake slices. Brush the cake with the remaining of the espresso. Then spread the remaining cream cheese mixture over the top in an even layer. Sift cocoa over the top and refrigerate for 4 hours.

To serve, slice into squares and sprinkle with some mini chocolate chips. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Espresso Chip Tiramisu - an easy, no-bake dessert | Sweet Baked Life

For a quick and delicious pick-me-up dessert — whip up this Espresso Chip Tiramisu today!



{recipe adapted from Williams Somona, Cakes, Cupcakes & Cheesecakes}


Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Keep the summer alive with a batch of these soft and delicious Lemon Crinkle Cookies. They’re not too sweet and will fill your day with happy sunshine.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies - soft, fluffy and delish! | Sweet Baked Life

I just had to get one more summertime treat out there before the weather changes.

Now around here, the weather has been all over the place. Last week it was in the 100’s and so far this week it is in the 80’s. Yes, it’s only in the 80’s — LOL!

Before you know it, we will be complaining about that it’s too cold. Well, in my book, that would be a welcome change. And rain. Yes, rain would be nice too. We really need it here in California. By the way, have you heard about all the devastating fires that are happening here in the Northern part of our state? Turns out there are two very large wild fires that are close to us; the Butte fire and the Valley fire.

So, not only has it been hot here, but now the smoke from these terrible raging fires are invading our area. Just to go outside is not much fun — it’s super hazy and the smell is terrible and my eyes have been watering for days. Luckily we did get a bit of precipitation, not really much to report as well there is a little breeze blowing around — hopefully that will help remove some of the gloom from the ash. Just glad to see the weather beginning to change, as this summer has been extremely hot so I will welcome the fall with open arms!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies - soft, fluffy and delish! | Sweet Baked Life

And so that’s why I’m treating you today to these Lemon Crinkle Cookies.

They are oh so soft and fluffy in the inside and they will immediately put some sunshine into a possibly gloomy day. Or for that matter, will extend the summer just a bit!

You start with a simple base of butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice, then add in your flour and baking powder. Roll these lemony gems into some confectioners sugar and bake until perfectly cooked. I especially like the way these cookies look — and to top it off, they are melt-in-your-mouth fabulous!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies - soft, fluffy and delish! | Sweet Baked Life

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

  • Time: 15 min prep, 30 mins chilling, 15 mins baking
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life LemonCrinkle-4

2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest on high speed until light and fluffy.

On medium-speed, add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly until smooth then add the lemon juice and mix until combined.

Turn to low-speed and add the flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together – be sure not to over mix.

Chill the dough for about 30 minutes to chill.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

When the dough is chilled, remove from oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Then cut some wax paper and place on your work surface. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and place onto the wax paper. Then roll each scoop of dough into a ball. One-by-one, gently roll the dough balls into the confectioners sugar and place on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies onto cooling racks. Let cool completely. Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days. Yields 32 cookies.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies - soft, fluffy and delish! | Sweet Baked LifeIf you’re in need of adding a little sunshine into your day, whip up a batch or two of these Lemon Crinkle Cookies, and they’ll brighten your day for sure!



{recipe adapted from The Kitchen Paper}


Challah Twist Bread

This golden Challah Twist Bread is beautiful to look at and satisfying to eat! And any way you slice it your family and friends will holler for more!

Challah Twist Bread | Sweet Baked Life

Truth be told, I did not make this bread! My teen son made it! I only helped with the braiding, the eating and the picture-taking!

You see, cooking was an elective my son took last year in middle school and one of the things they made was Challah bread. That day after school, he raved about it and asked if I ever had this bread – well, yes! But for me, I had always associated Challah bread with a Jewish tradition – a special braided bread that is made to be eaten on the Sabbath and holidays. I’m not really sure why they made this bread at school, it was not during any holiday or such, but I suppose because it is so tasty, you can make it whenever you please!

And for me, I never thought to make this bread, or for that matter, making any kind of bread is not something that is on the top of my list. Probably because bread making seems to be time-consuming; having to wait for it to rise, and then rise again. Probably just my lack of experience and patience.

Anyway, per usual, my son forgot the printed recipe at school, but bugged me like crazy to make it. So me, being the non-bread making mom told him the kitchen was all his. He quickly Googled, “How to Make Challah Bread” and clicked on the first link for the recipe and he was on his way to make his first loaf of bread!

Luckily, we had all the ingredients – yeast, eggs, sugar, salt, flour and oil; the basic stuff you probably have in your pantry right now. It was simple to prepare and the outcome was a delicious egg bread that was baked to a golden glistening perfection. I especially enjoyed this bread toasted with butter and jam! Of course, I had to turn this into a sweet treat!

Challah Twist Bread | Sweet Baked Life

Challah Twist Bread

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life ChallahTwistBread

1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add the water and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Add a pinch of sugar and stir to dissolve the yeast. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.

Add 2 eggs, sugar, salt and oil and mix with the whisk attachment until well incorporated. Then switch to your dough hook attachment and on low-speed, add the flour, 1 cup at a time. Knead the mixture until the dough is smooth and elastic and forms a ball, about 8-10 minutes. If the dough is sticky, add more flour, about 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is the right consistency.

Oil a large bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap, set the bowl in a warm place to allow the dough to rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Then punch down the dough and put onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each dough piece into a long rope shape. To braid, pinch the ends of the three pieces together and braid as like braiding hair, when complete, pinch the ends together.

Place the braided loaf onto a parchment lined baking sheet, place a clean dishcloth on top and let rise until puffed, about 1 hour (note, we did not do this step when making our bread – my son was too anxious to bake it and it turned out fine).

About 30 minutes before baking, heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush it over the entire braid. Be sure to get it in all the cracks and down the sides of the bread. Slide the bread onto a clean baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a rack then slice and eat.

Challah Twist Bread | Sweet Baked Life

So whether you decide to make this Challah Twist Bread for a special holiday treat or just any day, you will be glad you did!


{recipe adapted from The Kitchn}


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 329 other followers