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}



Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Blondies

It’s time to fall into a big batch of soft and scrumptious Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Blondies!

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Blondies - soft and scruptious! | Sweet Baked LIfe

Yes. Fall. Into.

You, your mouth, tummy and heart will go nuts for these incredibly fluffy and moist squares of pure peanut butter love.

Don’t even bother wrapping them up, as these babies are so darn good you won’t be able to resist the tempting peanut butter aroma floating around your kitchen!

Trust me on this one. Just sayin’ I may have some experience here!

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Blondies - soft and scruptious! | Sweet Baked LIfe

You see, I used my standard peanut butter blondie recipe then “kicked it up” a notch by adding fall colored Reese’s Pieces.

It’s like a peanut butter explosion in your mouth. But in a good way! So if you love peanut butter, you are going to go crazy for these!

The crisp peanut butter pieces surrounded by a soft, fluffy peanut butter base is so incredibly addicting!

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Blondies - soft and scruptious! | Sweet Baked LIfe

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Blondies

  • Servings: 16 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
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By: Sheila|Sweet Baked LifeReese's Pieces Peanut Butter Blondies - soft and scruptious! | Sweet Baked LIfe

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup Reese’s Pieces candy

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×11-inch baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

To a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir and set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Then add the vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Note, the batter will be a bit sticky. Then add the Reese’s Pieces and stir until incorporated.

Dump batter into prepared pan. Using a spatula or your fingers, press into pan until evenly distributed. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted to the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Cut into 16 squares and serve!

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Blondies - soft and scruptious! | Sweet Baked LIfe

So, this fall season, make a batch or two, or three, or four of these delectable Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Blondies to show your love and thanks to the ones you care most about!

Happy Thanksgiving!



Peanut Butter-Chocolate No-Bake Dessert

Go nuts for this decadent Peanut Butter-Chocolate No-Bake Dessert! It’s a great end of summer treat that’s easy to prepare and perfect to serve to your hungry kiddos when they get home from school!

Peanut Butter-Chocolate no-bake dessertAnd going nuts is exactly what I am doing today! You see, my son is off to his first day of High School! Can’t believe it…not only is it the end of summer vacation for him, but he is off on a brand new adventure! So, why am I going nuts?

Well, because I am a huge worrywart! Yep, it’s true! Ever since my kid first started preschool, my heart sinks each and every first day of school. I guess it’s a mom thing (ok, I know that some dads go through this too!).

It’s kinda scary for him this year — mostly because he has gone to small schools and now he is going to a large public school where he barely knows anyone — and a little for us too; our son is growing up (and way too fast I might add!). I’m sure he will do fine, it’s me and the hubs I’m worried about!

And now, because of the close proximity of the High School and our house, he can now walk to school. Crazy for me and his dad as since he began his education we have always had to drive him to and from school. May not seem a big deal, but it is to me. Last week when he went to his orientation, I watched him from the window as he disappeared down the street. I really did want to cry. But somehow I contained myself, even though my heart was racing and my head was pounding. I’m sure I’ll feel the same way when I kiss him good-bye today.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate no-bake dessertNow, because I am so emotional and really going nuts hoping that he will be ok with all of these big changes, I thought I would treat all of you to this amazing peanut butter and chocolate dessert! Somewhat of a change for me, since I normally do not make or post recipes with peanut butter.

So, if you love peanut butter as much as I do, then you’re gonna love this Peanut Butter-Chocolate Dessert!

You start with crushed Nutter Butter Cookies moistened with butter, then you layer chocolate pudding, chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, whipped cream, and more chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.

Now this is what I call, truly incredible. The salty peanut butter combined with the rich smooth chocolate is one of my favorite combinations. There is just something about this concoction that I just can’t get enough of, what about you?

And even better, it’s simple to prepare, there is no need to turn on your oven, and your kids (and husbands alike) will devour this for sure! It’s truly a great dessert for the after school blues!

Peanut Butter-Chocolate no-bake dessert

Peanut Butter-Chocolate No Bake Dessert

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Peanut Butter-Chocolate no-bake barsBy: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

1 (11.8 0z) package Nutter Butter Cookies
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 (3.9 oz.) package Instant Chocolate Pudding mix
1-1/4 cup milk
8 oz. heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (8 oz) package Mini Unwrapped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, chopped in half

In a large baggie, add the Nutter Butter Cookies and crush with a rolling pin until you get large crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a medium bowl and add the melted butter. Stir to combine. Then add the crumb mixture to a 11×7-inch baking dish (I used an oval dish here) and press into the bottom with your hands. Set in the refrigerator while you prepare the other layers.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on high-speed until firm peaks form. Set in the refrigerator until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, add the pudding and milk. Whisk until firm, about 2 minutes.

Chop the Reeses candy in half and set aside.

To layer, add the pudding to the crust layer and gently spread evenly using a spatula. Add 1/2 of the Reeses candy and then add the whipped cream and spread evenly with your spatula. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Reeses candy. Set in the refrigerator for 4 hours, until firm (or overnight). Cut into squares.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate no-bake dessertKeep your spoon ready by the fridge so any time you have a bit of anxiety about your kiddos and school, you can take a big bite of this Peanut Butter-Chocolate Dessert and feel like the supermom that you are in no time flat!

Happy Back-To-School!



Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Go bananas for breakfast! Get ready to make your morning a little sweeter by whipping up a batch of these soft and satisfying Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Are your mornings crazy like mine?

It seems no matter what time I wake up, I always seem to be rushing around just about the time I need to leave. And that I don’t like. I like to wake up early enough so that I don’t have to do the rush thing, but for some reason it is inevitable. At the last moments before I jet out the door, I seem to be frantically packing my kid’s lunch, making sure my hubby knows the schedule for the day, remembering to unplug my cell phone from the charger; and the list goes on!

And sometimes my stress raises and my morning time shortens when I am the one to take my son to school. With the 50,000 times I have to tell him to get up and the 50,000 more times I have to nudge him to get dressed. At this point I’ve gone bananas myself! I thought as they got older, it got easier. Not!

Anyway…I really am an organized person. And sometimes I do the morning prep the night before. But sometimes I am just too tired and then my mornings become crazy. The only good thing is being able to unwind during my drive to work, which takes about 30 minutes. OK, yes, this seems like a strange comment. But even though there are insane drivers on the roadways and highways, I really don’t let those people get to me, especially in the morning. I really like to have a clear head when I step into my office and am ready to take on the day! And it’s made that much better if I have a good breakfast to eat.

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Well now we all can rest a bit easier and make sure that you and your family have a yummy to-go breakfast or wonderful mid-afternoon snack. These muffins are definitely the way to go. I love grabbing a few to take with me to work; they are a tasty and healthy alternative to the vending machine!!

You see, I always buy bananas with the intention of eating them in their natural state. But for some reason, at the end of the week I always end up with uneaten, ripe bananas. The other morning I woke up and thought, “What can I do with these bananas?” Ah, yes, I could make some classically delicious banana bread. Then after one millisecond, I changed my mind and Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins were born.

This was a no-brainer — as well as the bananas, I also had some left over mini chocolate chips and thought this would be the perfect combination; soft, creamy bananas surrounded by bittersweet chocolate morsels in a light and fluffy base with a hint of a nutty flavor from some oats. Just the thought of these sweet gems makes my taste buds tingle!

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Turn your oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Note, this recipe made 18 muffins and you can easily double the recipe.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Whisk together until combined and set aside. Then in a small bowl mash bananas — I like to use a potato masher here. Set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment add the butter and sugar. Mix on medium-high speed until creamed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until well blended then mix in the vanilla. With your mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Remove bowl from stand and add the mashed bananas. Stir until just combined. Then fold in the oats and chocolate chips.

Evenly spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

I hope your mornings are a little less stressed and more sweet with the addition of these Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Have a great day!