Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Pink and Chocolate Cake

Time to welcome the month of love with this pretty Pink and Chocolate Cake!

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Or for me, just another reason to make something drool worthy using the color pink!

But really, I don’t need a special day or month just for that! I try to incorporate my favorite color into my recipes as much as I can!

If you hadn’t noticed from this blog, there is pink everywhere, and some of my favorite posts include Birthday Cake Bark, Pink Lemonade Sheet Cake, Honey Vanilla Cupcakes, and Peppermint Bark Cookie Bars.

Don’t get me wrong, I do LOVE Valentine’s Day – heart decorations, lots of chocolate and of course, pink, pink and more pink!

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

As you move past the pink, there’s the chocolate. Ah, let me tell you all about the chocolate cake — it’s out of this world fabulous! It’s moist, dense, and rich all rolled into one incredible, lip smacking cake. And the frosting is the best super fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth buttercream that you will ever experience!

Put the cake and the frosting together, and well, let’s just say you and your sweetie will be on cloud nine!

I loved it (well, duh!).

My boys loved it (amazing!).

My co-workers loved it (spoiled!).

And you will love it too!

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

You see, I made a cake similar to this one about a month ago. For that version I added peppermint extract and chopped peppermint bark to the frosting. It was A M A Z I N G!

Unfortunately, I got very sick right after it was made (ok, not from the cake — I got that terrible flu!) and did not have the energy or desire to take photos of the beautiful cake. And by the time I was up to possibly dragging myself out of bed, well, the cake had seen better days!

So I decided to recreate my scrumptious cake for Valentine’s Day. However, when I was making it, I asked my boys if they wanted peppermint frosting or vanilla. And of course they said vanilla — go figure! I sided with them (I would have made the frosting peppermint!), as I wanted them to enjoy this special treat.

But if you love the flavor combination of peppermint and chocolate (like I do!), then by all means substitute peppermint extract (about 1/2 teaspoon) for the vanilla extract as indicated for the frosting recipe.

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

PINK & CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • Servings: 15-18
  • Difficulty: easy
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By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
4 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sour cream (or you can use milk)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons milk
3-4 drops red food coloring

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 11×7-inch baking ban with non-stick spray and set aside. This makes for a thick cake, if you prefer you can use a 13×9-inch pan and adjust the baking time.

For the cake, in a large mixing bowl whisk flour, granulated sugar and salt, and set aside.

Over low heat, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Once the butter is completely melted, whisk in the cocoa powder until thoroughly combined. Add the boiling water and turn up the heat to medium and allow mixture to boil for about 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and pour the hot mixture over the flour mixture and lightly stir.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Then pour this mixture into chocolate flour mixture and stir until combined. Pour into prepared sheet cake pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted to the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cake is cool, make the frosting. 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, milk and the red food coloring, adding a couple of drops until you get the color you prefer. Turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Frost the cake using an off set spatula, and smooth to create an even layer. Slice into squares and enjoy! Note, this is a rich cake, so a little piece goes a long way. Yield: 15-18 squares.

Pink & Chocolate Cake | Sweet Baked Life

Spread the love with your special someone by sharing a big slice of this incredible Pink & Chocolate Cake!

xxoo

Sheila

 

{Adapted from my Texas Sheet Cake and Coconut Buttercream Frosting}

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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

Ingredients:
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

Instructions:
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!

xxoo

Sheila


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Valentine M&M Blondies

Spread the love with these pretty Valentine M&M Blondies!

Valentine M&M Blondies | Sweet Baked Life

If you didn’t know it already, I love the color pink. And anytime I can incorporate any variation of this sweet color into my baking, I do (as you may have noticed a bit of pink on this blog).

And to me, Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to go all out with pink!

I know some of you are all about red for this day for lovers, but for me, pink steals my heart every the time.

Valentine M&M Blondies | Sweet Baked Life

So today, I have taken one of my all-time favorite recipes, blondies, and added some pretty little M&M’s to make these especially scrumptious Valentine’s treats!

This recipe is super easy and super delish! You start with a rich buttery base and toss in the sweet pink chocolate candy bits, and voila, you’ve got Valentine M&M Blondies to share with your loved ones!

It’s true…from the first bite of these heavenly squares, love will strike and they will cherish you forever!

Valentine M&M Blondies | Sweet Baked Life

Valentine M&M Blondies

  • Servings: 12 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
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By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Valentine M&M Blondies | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups Valentine M&M Candies

Instructions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 11×7-inch pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

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

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until combined (about 2 minutes). Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then beat in the vanilla.

On low-speed, slowly add the flour and mix until just combined. Remove from stand and fold in the M&M’s. Batter will be thick.

Spread batter in prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Put in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top has turned golden brown and the blondies are set. Do not over bake.

Cool the blondies in the pan on a wire rack until cool. Cut into large squares. Yield 12 large squares.

Valentine M&M Blondies | Sweet Baked Life

Pretty, pink and perfectly delicious, these Valentine M&M Blondies will make cupid’s job a whole lot easier!

Have a sweet day!

Sheila


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Lemon Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars

Bring some love and happiness into your day with these sweetly tart Lemon Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars!

Lemon Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars - so delish!

Now, if you frequent my blog, you will know that I am all about quick and easy recipes. Ones that do not have many steps. However, when I have the time, I will venture out and make something that takes a few more steps. And with this recipe, I have done just that.

You see, I wanted to find something special to make as an anniversary treat. Something that brings back memories of my wedding day. That day, was a warm day, filled with love and romance and topped off with an incredibly scrumptious lemon raspberry cake — which so inspires me this time of year.

Lemon Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars - a sweet and tart treat!

And today, me and the hubs celebrate 19 years of wedded bliss. Can’t believe that! We have had our ups and downs (like most couples I’m sure), but no matter what challenges we have had to face, we have always stuck together as a team.

Good food and laughter have always been at the forefront of our relationship. I remember baking special treats for my honey when we were first dating. I accompanied him early on in our relationship on a sailing race in the San Francisco Bay. I believe it was called the Isle to Isle race that went from Isleton to Angel Island and back.

It was a long race (all-night) and I baked three dozen chocolate chip cookies for my guy and the crew. Baking definitely was the way to his heart, and I have always tried to make things that he likes. However, he is more of a simple guy and as I have said before, he would rather have a basic chocolate chip cookie or an apple pie than any of the fancy, smancy stuff I like to make (like these – LOL).

Lemon Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars - lemony goodness!

However, I so love the combination of lemon and raspberry, especially during this time of year. And I also think the hubs secretly enjoys these inspired treats that are made to celebrate our special day. Two years ago I made this divine Lemon Raspberry Cream Cake and last year we noshed on these petite Lemon Marshmallow Tarts.

So, if you love lemon and raspberry as much as I do, you will get it! These delectable bars incorporate lemony goodness in every layer. And along the way, there is a layer of sweet fresh raspberries and tangy lemon curd.

Just like a marriage – layered with many challenges with sweetness to get you through just about anything life throws your way!

Lemon Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars - a bar you must try!

You start with a lemon oat crumble crust, layered with a lemon filling, lemon curd, raspberries with lemon zest and top it off with a lemon infused crumble topping.

These bars are baked to golden perfection and cooled overnight. Refrigerated then cut into large squares. And lovingly enjoyed together by the old married couple!

Lemon Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars - yummy layers of lemon and raspberries!

Lemon Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars

Crust & Crumble Topping:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Lemon Filling:
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Lemon Curd & Raspberry Fillings:
1/2 cup lemon curd
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 11×7-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

For the crust/topping: In a large bowl, combine the sugars and melted butter, then add the flour, oats, salt and lemon zest. Stir to combine; note this mixture will be crumbly. Put half of the mixture into your prepared pan and press down to make an even layer. Set aside. The remaining mixture will be used for the topping.

For the lemon filling: In a medium bowl, add the eggs, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk until well blended. Then add the flour and whisk until fully incorporated. Pour onto the crust and spread evenly with spatula.

For the lemon curd and raspberry fillings: In a small bowl add the lemon curd and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Mix until well combined. Using a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls of the lemon curd all over top of the lemon layer, then using a knife, gently swirl into the lemon layer. In another small bowl, add the raspberries, sugar, lemon zest and mix. If your raspberry mixture has a lot of juice, then add cornstarch and fold gently to thicken; just add a bit at a time until you get the consistency you desire. Then pour evenly on top of the lemon curd layer.

With the remaining crumb topping, sprinkle evenly on top of the raspberry layer. Bake for 60-75 minutes, until the top is a golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. Cut into large squares and enjoy. Store in refrigerator.

Lemon  Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars - oh so lemony good!

Love and sweetness comes in all forms, especially with these Lemon Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars!

Happy 19th Wedding Anniversary my love! xxoo

Sheila

 

{recipe inspired from Avery Cooks}