♥ Rolo Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies

The hardest part about these cookies was waiting for them to completely cool to enjoy. I must say that it was worth the wait, as the true flavor of the rolo came out after the cookies had completely cooled. 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
About 30 Rolos

Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In stand mixer beat the butter and 1 cup sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and vanilla beat on low for 2 more minutes.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the sugar mixture in three parts and beat on low just until combined. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes scoop up about a tablespoon of dough, stick a rolo in the center and roll into a ball. Set on parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat until all the cookie dough is used up. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in a wide, shallow bowl.

Working in batches, roll the cookies in the cinnamon sugar and bake 2 inches apart for 14 minutes. Refrigerate the unbaked cookies in between batches.

Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets. 


♥ Graveyard Cupcakes

For Leah's Halloween themed birthday I made chocolate graveyard cupcakes filled with chocolate ganache. I topped the cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting, and to make them look like dirt I dipped them in a bowl of chocolate sprinkles.  I then hand piped Milano Cookies to make them look like tombstones, and decorated them with glittery edible piping gel. For ordering information please go to www.carlymakescakes.com.



2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar


3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

11/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup Hersey's dark chocolate cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces chocolate dark melted and cooled

Make the Ganache Filling: Place the chopped chocolate, heavy cream and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave on high power until the mixture is warm to the touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate until just barely chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

Make the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin pan with liners. Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the muffin pan cups. Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of ganache filling on top of each cupcake. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

Make the Frosting: In a food processor, process the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the corn syrup and vanilla extract and process until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 one-second pulses. Frost the cupcakes as desired. 


♥ Happy Halloween

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I wish Halloween was as drawn out as Christmas, the spooky decorating ideas I have are endless. For my "stabbed" cupcakes I made a Molten Chocolate Cupcake with a traditional buttercream frosting. Please check out my website, www.carlymakescakes.com for ordering information. 

Cupcake Ingredients:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
Butter, to coat muffin tin
1 tablespoon cocoa powder


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place a small metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Melt the chocolate and butter in the bowl. Stir in vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt. Sift these into the chocolate and mix well with electric hand mixer. Add eggs one at time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. Beat at high until batter is creamy and lightens in color, approximately 4 minutes. Chill mixture.

Coat the top and each cup of the muffin tin with butter. Dust with the cocoa powder and shake out excess. Spoon mixture into pan using a 4-ounce scoop or ladle. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes. Outsides should be cake-like and centers should be gooey.


♥Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread

Once I want to make banana bread, it seems I have to wait weeks to actually eat it. After I patiently waited for the bananas to ripen, I made this chocolate marbled banana bread and it was worth all of the waiting.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, in a small bowl stirring with a whisk.
  3. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add banana, egg substitute, and yogurt; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist.
  4. Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at MED POWER for 30 seconds until almost melted, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters together using a knife. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.


♥ Blueberry Cupcakes with a Honey Buttercream



3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups blueberries
Honey Buttercream:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup honey
4-5 cups powdered sugar
dash of milk
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-count muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together melted butter and oil, then add in eggs, buttermilk and extracts. Whisk to combine.
  3. Mix the liquid ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries.
  4. Divide the batter among the cups and bake for 15 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, frost and decorate as desired.
  5. To make the frosting, cream butter and honey together in a large bowl. Stir in powdered sugar carefully at first, then mix until fully combined. Add milk if frosting is too thick.

♥ UCLA Bruins Cake

Baked inside was a Hersey's Perfect Chocolate Cake layered with a Salted Caramel Frosting. 

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
For the Frosting:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream, or as needed
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup salted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  1. To make caramel, Place the brown sugar, 1/2 cup margarine, corn syrup, and vanilla into a large saucepan over medium heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes; remove from heat and allow to cool to warm (not hot) temperature. Add the cream, a little at a time, until the caramel has the consistency of honey. Mix in the pinch of salt, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Beat the salted butter with confectioners' sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy; slowly add and beat in the caramel, a tablespoon at a time, beating until the frosting is smooth.

♥ Cupcakes, Coffee and Booze

This is what happens when you combine three of my favorite things!

♥ Rose Cupcakes for a new Bride

A traditional red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting, decorated with edible accents. These cupcakes were ordered by a husband to tell his new bride, "Stefee," that he loves her. Swoon!


♥ Nautical Baby Shower Cake

Inside this nautical themed cake is a triple layer lemon blueberry cake with a whipped lemon frosting. The 9" cake, which serves 10-20 people, is covered in fondant and all accents are edible. 



♥ Color Your Own Cake

I can't take credit for this cake, as I had three adorable helpers. The kids colored, poked holes and sucked on edible markers to make the cake extra special for their dad's birthday. I baked the small, three layer, chocolate cake, with a salted caramel filling and covered the cake in a plan white fondant for the kids to color. As sweet as this cake was, the kids made it sweeter. 


♥ Dinosaur Birthday Cake

A special birthday cake made for a boy turning two!

The traditional vanilla cake was frosted with buttercream and decorated with fondant. 


♥ Good Bye Cupcakes!

 A dozen cupcakes to say goodbye. Vanilla bean cupcakes with handmade fondant roses, sprinkled with edible pink sugar, silver stars and pearls. $36


♥ Dark Chocolate Raspberry Banana Bread!

I baked an amazing banana bread for my book club. I can't wait to make this one again. 


2 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated white sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)

1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chunks 
1 cup halved raspberries, tossed in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


 Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

2. In a separate large bowl, beat the sugar and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

3. Add the banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Stir in the flour mixture; just until moist. Don't over-mix. Stir in the chocolate chunks and then gently stir in the raspberries. If you want, you can sprinkle a few additional chocolate chunks and raspberries on the top to make it look pretty.

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.


♥ Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Cream Pie!

My mini-house (studio apartment) is under "emergency renovations." So after all my walls were ripped apart I ended up with my pots and pans on my bed,  and the rest of my kitchen is on my couch. To get to my closet I have to climb under my kitchen table and squeeze between my dresser... you get the picture. 

So I'll call this pie, "I'm staying at my boyfriend house for free" pie. 

It's a crushed nilla waffer pie crust, layered with fresh bananas and smothered with chocolate and peanut butter. The pie is then topped with a vanilla cream and garnished with peanuts, chocolate curls and nilla waffers. 

I'm still here three weeks later, so I'll say the pie was a hit :)