Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Banana Coconut Baked Oatmeal Squares

Treat yourself to a tropical adventure at breakfast with these to-dye-for Banana Coconut Baked Oatmeal Squares.

Banana Coconut Baked Oatmeal Squares | Sweet Baked Life

As the morning sun rises, a new day is upon us.

We slowly stumble from our comfy beds and try to get started to begin our journey for a busy day.

The hustle and bustle of makes most of us cringe. Why can’t we just stay in dreamland for just a moment more?

The aroma of coffee fills the kitchen with delight. Cabinets are open and closed, refrigerators searched and the pantry is thoroughly explored as we try to locate that one special item to satisfy our morning craving.

Banana Coconut Baked Oatmeal Squares | Sweet Baked Life

Then it hits you — you go back to dreaming of a tropical paradise.

No cares in the world. Relaxed and peaceful. Your mind at ease.

Warm sun, sandy beaches, beautiful sunsets, island cocktails.

You grab some bananas, coconut, pecans and oats and you are on your way to a create a breakfast oasis.

Banana Coconut Baked Oatmeal Squares | Sweet Baked Life

BANANA COCONUT BAKED OATMEAL SQUARES

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Banana Coconut Baked Oatmeal Squares | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened coconut

Instructions

Heat your oven 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Into a large bowl, add the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir until incorporated. In a medium bowl add the milk, banana, egg, and vanilla. Whisk until blended, then slowly add the butter and continue whisking until fully incorporated..

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in the pecans and coconut then add to the prepared dish. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until golden brown on top. Cool slightly then cut into squares and serve with sliced bananas and sprinkle with pecans.

Banana Coconut Baked Oatmeal Squares | Sweet Baked Life

Now bite into these warm and wonderful Banana Coconut Baked Oatmeal Squares and you’ll start your day relaxed and calm.

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from Love Grows Wild}


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Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

This soft, fluffy Coconut Cake filled and frosted with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting will make a true coconut believer out of you.

Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

Truth be told, I am not a huge coconut fan. Gasp! However, I feel if you use the sweet stuff in moderation, it can really enhance your baked treats.

This Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream frosting is no exception! Turns out, coconut cake is my husband’s favorite type of cake and I do enjoy making things for him that he likes. That being said, he is very picky and even though he may like a certain type of treat, it may not always meet his high standards (oh well!). You see, it was my husband’s birthday a few weeks ago and I always do a little party for him. Small, but meaningful.

That morning, not only did I have to clean the house, decide on the menu, do the grocery shopping, take my son to the gym, get in a quick work out myself, but also had to prepare the meal and make dessert. After a full week at work, and helping my son with his many honors projects and the like, I am pretty tired by the time the weekend comes around.

Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

But since this was my guys birthday day, I mustered up the energy to create a special event for him. I told him my plans and we decided on the menu: cheese, nut and fruit tray followed by a chopped salad, citrus marinated chicken and roasted red potatoes. And then I announced the all important dessert I had in mind, Coconut Cake. He thought it was a great idea, but stated that since I was already doing so much, why didn’t I just buy the cake at our local grocery store.

What? Me, buy a cake? Me the baker and blogger…why in the heck would I buy a cake? My hubs sometimes just does not get it. I LOVE TO BAKE! Especially when it’s for a special occasion. And doing this for him, I WANTED to bake him a cake and make it something wonderful that we would rave about!

OK, he was right, it would be a lot easier for me just to put that, who knows how old, overly sweet, too much lard-y frosted cake in my shopping cart. But, I really, really wanted to make this cake, even if it did take some time out of my day. And so, that is exactly what I did!

Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

You see, I think I get this baking obsession from my mom. She always baked extraordinarily unique homemade cakes for birthdays and every other occasion you can think of when I was growing up. It was not until I got older, and for that matter when she got older, did she start buying cakes. But, she really only buys cakes from exquisite bakeries, not from a grocery store. I’m with her, however I would still rather bake my cake. I’m not saying that grocery store cakes are bad, some are actually OK, but they are not really my thing.

The secret for this cake is using canned unsweetened coconut milk in place of regular milk and adding this same coconut milk into the frosting. Also, to achieve the light and fluffy frosting, be sure that you beat the butter on high-speed for at least 5 minutes and then another 5 minutes after you add the remaining ingredients. It really makes a huge difference and the results are outstanding!

My very picky husband said this Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting was the BEST cake he ever tasted. He oogled over it as he devoured it! Not too sweet, not too coco-nutty! Just right!!!! He even mentioned the other night, when he was craving something sweet, that he wished we still had this cake as nothing around our area (that can be purchased) compares! Such a huge complement coming from him!

Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 2hr (includes baking and cooling)
  • Difficulty: easy
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Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients

Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 egg whites
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)

Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 pound (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk*
¼ teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
Large sweetened flake coconut, for top garnish

Instructions

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together four, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand-mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and beat on medium-speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg whites and beat until well incorporated. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until fully incorporated. Then add the coconut milk and vanilla and mix until combined.

Divide batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and when gently touched the top springs back. Be careful not to over bake.

Cool the cake in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then gently turn the cakes onto the rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting while the cake is cooling: In a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter on high-speed for about 5 minutes – until light and fluffy. Occasionally scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Then, with the mixer on low-speed, add the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, coconut milk and coconut extract (optional). Turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

To assemble the cake: place one cake onto a cake plate or cake stand. Add 1/3 of the frosting to the top and spread to an even layer with an offset spatula. Put the second cake on the top. Add the next 1/3 of frosting to the top of the cake and spread evenly. Then using the remaining 1/3 of frosting, frost the sides of the cake with an offset spatula and here use a thin layer scraping with the spatula. Any reaming frosting can go on the top and smooth out to your liking. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the flake coconut. Slice and serve!

*For the coconut milk, use the type from a can, such as Thai Kitchen coconut milk

Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

This beautiful Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting is the perfect dessert to top off a special occasion or, because it’s so easy to make, it’s great anytime you are craving a delicious cake!

Sheila

 

{cake adapted from Martha Stewart frosting from here}


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Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies

These warm and wonderful Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies give a whole new tropical twist to the traditional cookies you love!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Incorporating coconut into your recipes is a good thing. At least that’s what my hubby says! He loves the flaky stuff and is always asking me to make his favorite German Chocolate Cake. But you know me, I am always looking for something new to make!

Oatmeal cookies are one my guys favorite types of cookies. If you read this blog enough you will know that he loves traditional baked goods and is always asking why I have to bake things that are so complicated.

To me, my baking, and especially these cookies, are not complicated at all! I just thought I would elevate the tasty morsels, just in time for a new fall treat! You see, I love recipes that are quick to make, use simple ingredients, and taste incredible! The hubs however, begs to differ.

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

And I thought, there would be no better way to try out this cookie recipe than with my new mini cast iron pans! I had been dying to buy these and finally made it to Sur La Table where I spied these beauties. First I was only going to get one, than I though, “what the heck,” and I ended up purchasing four of them!

It was definitely the right decision.

Breaking in these pans in by baking my Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies was, to say the least, brilliant!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

And much to my surprise, my husband loved them! I think most of all because he adores the texture of sweet flaky coconut; in its pure form not toasted; him being the purest and all!

I would have also added macadamia nuts, however not sure if the guys would go for that. But next time I may sneak them in just for a bit of crunch and more texture!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

I was also delighted that my son liked them too! Wow, this my be a record — both my boys like something I make!

Using these mini skillets was a genius idea — as they both loved having their own “cookie” in a personal pan all to themselves!

If I knew it was this easy to please these guys, I would have been baking with these pans long ago!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

These Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies came out perfect. They were dense, yet soft and fluffy inside. The combination of the nutty oats, brown sugar and coconut was dreamy. And the sides and top were browned to perfection and had a nice little crunch and you dug into the cookie with your spoon!

I served these to my boys with vanilla bean ice cream – let’s just say this recipe is a winner in my book! And they made everyone’s tummy happy!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl add the flour and baking soda, baking powder and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to use.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment , add the butter and sugars and mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Then add the vanilla and combine. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Remove the bowl from the stand and add the oatmeal and stir with a spoon or spatula until combined. Then fold in the coconut and stir until incorporated.

Divide your mixture between 4 mini cast iron skillets, press down gently to make an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the top begins to lightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Eat warm with a scoop of ice cream, or enjoy cold with a big glass of milk!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Warm or cold, these Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies are worth every nutty bite!

Sheila


2 Comments

Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies {with easy homemade lemon curd}

Jump into spring with the lemony delight of these Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies — a soft buttery cookie topped with with easy homemade lemon curd!

Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

Even though the official beginning of spring was a couple of days ago, it does not really feel like spring around here.

Some days have been rainy and windy yest others have had a hint of sunshine, but still chilly. The weather around here just can’t get with the season! However, you can instantly brighten your gloomy days by making a batch of these happy cookies!

The bright lemon curd will surely put a smile on your face and make your tummy dance for more!

Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

I have made these thumbprint cookies many times before, however I usually make them with jam. And since I am such a huge lemon fan, I thought I would try them with this springtime twist.

As well, a co-worker brought in some fresh, off-the-tree lemons, and I could not resist putting them to good use. I had never actually made lemon curd before, but let me tell you, it’s easy! You just combine a few simple ingredients — fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, egg yolks and butter, and in a matter of minutes, you have thick, creamy lemony goodness!

The outcome — a soft buttery cookie, surrounded in sweet coconut and oozing with tart lemon curd. Delish. The unique flavor combination of lemon and coconut is truly joyful!

Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies - with easy homemade lemon curd

  • Servings: 36 cookies
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

Cookies:
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher slat
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 oz. sweetened flaked coconut
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Lemon curd:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions:
Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

To a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and beat until just combined and then add the vanilla. Into a medium bowl, sift tougher the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the four mixture to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Mix until the dough begins to come together. Dump the mixture on a floured board and roll together into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the lemon curd. In the top of a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water), add all ingredients and on medium heat, whisk until mixture becomes thick. You will have to whisk constantly. The curd will be done when it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool.

Roll all the dough into 1-1/4 -inch balls. Then, dip each of the balls into the egg wash and then roll them into the coconut mixed with 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and using your thumb, press down to make an indentation. Place about 1/4 teaspoon of the lemon curd into each indentation. Bake for 25-28 minutes, until the coconut is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

These are the perfect cookies for spring, Easter, or pretty much any day, any time!

Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

Sheila

 

{adapted from Ina Garten and Glorious Treats}