Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Swing into spring with these bright and tangy Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins!

Tangy Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins | Sweet Baked Life

With all the beautiful things that spring has to offer — why is the rain still lingering? And what’s up with the wind?

Oh well, I guess the rain and wind are just part of the season changing! But I wish it would just be bright and sunny every day!

So, in honor of spring, and all the things I love about this time of year, especially the sunshine, I thought I would delight you with these pretty and pleasing Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins.

Tangy Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins | Sweet Baked Life

Funny story about these sweet, spring muffins — you see, my teen son has been obsessed with Dutch Bros coffee lately. Don’t you know, EVERY ONE goes there? We have two of these shops close to our home and when my husband is traveling, and I have to take my son to school, he begs me to take him to the “IN” coffee shop. I usually give in (sucker!), as it’s much easier for me to drive through to get my coffee, then make it at home (long story here — see this post).

So, one morning while waiting in the line of (1,000) cars to order, my son happened to spy the menu. He immediately asked, “What are muffin tops?” I quickly looked over to make sure I understood his question, just confirming he was talking about food, not someone’s figure (LOL)! And sure enough this special coffee place was selling the tops of muffins! And, as you know, the best part of the muffin is the TOP! Ingenious!

As I explained a “muffin top” to him, he was intrigued, and asked if he could get one for his breakfast. He scarfed it down immediately and told me it was incredible. Oh no, going to this place on a regular basis could cost me a small fortune!

Tangy Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins | Sweet Baked Life

Well, that got me to thinking…I  told him that I could make Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins and he could have them for breakfast. He thought that was a good idea, considering it’s a miracle if I can get that boy to eat anything in the morning. The following weekend, I gathered all my ingredients, lemons, poppy seeds, and the basics of flour, sugar and butter and I was happily on my way to bake!

I also decided to double the batch; that way my son could have them for his breakfast, I could take some to work for breakfast or a snack, and I could also give some to my traveling husband — everyone would get a special treat in the morning. And who wouldn’t want sweets for breakfast? No arguments in this family!

These poppy seed scattered muffins hve a dense yet fluffy texture and the combination of sweetness from the sugar and tang from the lemons is perfect! They also have a nice crunch from sugar sprinkled tops! Now, I did not make my muffins as large as the coffee place, but I did get “two thumbs up” from the kiddo! (mom smiling here!)

Tangy Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins | Sweet Baked Life


  • Servings: 12-18
  • Difficulty: easy
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By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Tangy Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins | Sweet Baked Life


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup milk, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 tablespoons poppy seeds


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with baking cups and set aside.

Into a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt – whisk until incorporated. In another medium bowl, add the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk and whisk until smooth; then whisk in butter. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Then fold in the poppy seeds.

Fill muffin cups about 1/2-3/4 full and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until slightly golden on the top. Cool for about 5 minutes then transfer to a rack and cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter (depending on your muffin tin, this recipe will either yield 12-18 muffins).

(Note, this recipe can be easily doubled.)

Tangy Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins | Sweet Baked Life

Tangy Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins | Sweet Baked Life

If you are in need to of a quick and easy breakfast, whip up a batch of these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins — they’re delicious and will satisfy you and your family without having to wait in a long line at the hot coffee spot!

Happy Spring!



{recipe adapted from Martha Stewart}



Pear Tart {with orange glaze}

Simplicity at it’s best…this Pear Tart with orange glaze will amaze your taste buds and warm your tummy!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

Ever since I got my rectangular tart pan, I have been thinking of new and interesting treats to bake with it.

However, I have really only made a few things in it, such as this Chocolate Malt Tart and this Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart (when I blogged this I did not have the tart pan yet, so I used a round tart pan, however I have baked this several times in my rectangular pan, but have not taken photos or done another post — may have to put that on my list!).

So, I thought it was time to get something new and memorable baked in my favorite pan and share with you! And since the fall is upon us and the weather is finally brisk with hints of rain in the air — something warming and wonderful was on my mind!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

My husband wanted something made with apples. My son requested a treat with chocolate. But for me, I wanted something different.

I wanted something that I had not really baked with before, I wanted to create a new adventure.

As I wandered through the fresh fruit section at my local grocer, big juicy pears jumped out at me! I knew that this would be the centerpiece to my tart. I had not baked with pears before so this would be the perfect introduction.

Along with the pears, I also snagged some fresh lemons and a jar of orange marmalade and was on my way to whip up my new treat!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

This recipe is really easy to prepare mostly because you to not have to make a crust that you have to roll out. And if you know me, I do not like traditional crust; I know strange for a baker! Instead, mixing a few simple ingredients you then press the crust into your tart pan. How easy is that!

The result is a fluffy and moist base engulfed with juicy pears, sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar and glazed with tangy-sweet lemon scented orange marmalade. The flavor combination will amaze you — warmth from the cinnamon, sweetness from the pears, and tartness from the lemons.

You can serve it warm from the oven or room temperature. It’s great with a big cup of coffee in the morning, or with a cup of tea as an afternoon treat. You could probably even serve it for dessert, it’s that good!

Any way you slice it, you’ll want another piece of this mouth-watering Pear Tart!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

Rustic Pear Tart {with lemon-orange glaze}

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life
By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life


Tart Crust:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 pears; peeled, halved, and cored

2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice



Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 4-inch rectangular tart pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Into a medium bowl, add the flour and baking powder, stir then set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high-speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Decrease the speed to medium and add the egg and mix until well incorporated. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until smooth. Note, the dough will be very soft.

Scoop the dough into the pan and using your fingers, push down into the pan to form an even crust. Be sure to flour your fingers so the dough will not stick to them. Then place the pear halves, cut side down onto the dough and press gently. Lightly sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden brown,. Let cool on a rack.

Mix the orange marmalade, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Place in the microwave and heat on high for about 30-60 seconds. Stir until combined then brush over the top of the tart. Remove tart from pan, cut and serve with the remaining marmalade mixture.

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

Pour your favorite warm drink, cut a slice of this Pear Tart and sit back and enjoy the beauty of the season and be thankful for the simple pleasures in life!



{recipe adapted from Real Simple}


Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake

Celebrate your special day with this lovely Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake!

Strawbery Lemon Icebox Cake

And today is that special day for me — it’s my 20th Wedding Anniversary!

Yes, 20 years of marriage…

240 months.

1,043 weeks.

7,305 days.

175,320 hours.

10,520,000 minutes.

631,100,000 seconds and counting.

Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake

So, I thought this would be the perfect day to make this beautifully scrumptious and easy Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake.

You see, each year on my anniversary I like to make something that reminds me of that glorious warm summer day along with the divine fruit filled-lemony cake we celebrated with!

Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake

This Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake only takes a few ingredients; strawberries, lemon juice, graham crackers, powdered sugar and whipped cream.

And in no time, you will have a fresh and delicious dessert — worthy of any celebration.

Did you notice how the strawberries and lemon zest garnish look like hearts? I did not even notice that until after I uploaded my photos! True love shining through for sure!

Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake

Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Strawbery Lemon Icebox Cake

2 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced
2-3 packages graham crackers (about 20 full crackers)
3 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sliced strawberries and lemon zest for garnish

Add the heavy whipping cream to a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on high-speed until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners sugar and lemon juice and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

In a 9×13-inch pan, add a small amount of whipping cream to the bottom and spread evenly. Begin making the layers by adding one layer of graham crackers, breaking the pieces as necessary to cover the bottom, then add 1/3 of the whipped cream spreading evenly over the graham crackers and 1/2 of the strawberries one layer. Repeat layers once. Then add one more layer of graham crackers and the remaining 1/3 of the whipped cream and spread to an even layer.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, cut into squares and garnish with strawberries and lemon zest.

Strawberry Lemon Icebox Cake

On this day 20 years ago, we became husband and wife. We have loved one another, supported one another and stayed strong through the good times and hard times. As well, we have celebrated our love and life with many sweet treats!

I love you with all of my heart and sweetness, today, tomorrow, and always!




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

  • Difficulty: easy
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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}