Tag Archives: dessert

Strawberry Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

22 Mar

Strawberry Chocolate Malt CupcakesTo ring in Spring this year I decided to make cupcakes.  Well there was a dual purpose to them.

Strawberry Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

It was St. Joseph’s Day on Tuesday. This is the day Italy celebrates Father’s Day. Last year I didn’t even realize it was their Father’s Day till my husband had to explain it to me. So I have had it on the calendar since last year. Well I forgot. Not really forgot I didn’t check my pocket calendar where I had it written down.

Strawberry Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

So again my husband had to tell me. Luckily I had enough time in the day to run home and plan something. I had them planned in my head for sometime I just had to put the plan in action. Most of us enjoyed these cupcakes. I found some flavored malt balls and added them both to the cupcakes and icing. Next time I think I would add triple the amount of chocolate malt balls to the cake batter than I did.

One thing about my cupcake batter. I added extra virgin olive oil. I know you are saying “Come again?” Well when I lived in Italy I only made all my baked goods with olive oil. “Why?” do you ask. Well because I did. No seriously I started trying it and loved the moisture it gave to some of my baked goods. Not all but some. I have found that when using boxed cake mix it helps with moisture.

Strawberry Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

On the cake mix I used it does not even specify which oil to use. It just says 1/2 cup oil. So you should give it a try and see what you think! And no it does not taste like olive oil, though I have a soft spot for the flavor of olive oil!

Strawberry Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

Let’s talk icing! The icing was just right! I added strawberry flavored malt balls to the icing. The longer it sat the better the flavor melded with the cream cheese icing. There was a little crunch in the icing which I liked but not ever one did, that would be my husband. No worries though he helped figure out what to do the next time if I wanted to make this or something similar for him. Just pulse the malt balls in my processor a little longer. Either way they were great! These would also be great for Easter as well!

Strawberry Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

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YIELDS: 22 cupcakes

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 18-22 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes



1 box of devils food cake mix

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (yes I really do mean olive oil!)

1 1/4 cups water

3 large eggs

10 chocolate flavored malt balls, crushed


5 oz cream cheese, semi cold

2 cups powered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

4 tablespoon butter, semi cold

10 strawberry flavored malt balls, crushed


1. Preheat oven to 350° . Prepare muffin tin by lining it with cupcake liners.

2. In mixer combine cake mix, water, oil, and eggs. Mix till all is incorporated and batter is lump free and smooth.

3. Stir in crushed chocolate flavored malt balls. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean. (Mine were done right at 18 minutes.)

4. Remove from tin and cool.

5. In the meantime,  using mixer combine cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar till smooth.

6. Add enough milk to get the consistency of the icing to how you like. If you are piping the icing needs to be thick. If you are frosting the cupcake it can be thinner but it should still hold its shape.

7. Stir in the strawberry flavored malt balls.

8. Pipe on to your cupcake or frost them with a spatula. Eat and ENJOY!

Strawberry Chocolate Malt Cupcakes


Pecan Pumpkin Roll

20 Mar

Pecan Pumpkin Roll I know you are saying Pumpkin? Why pumpkin now when there are rainbows and butterflies and colorful marshmallow bunnies all over the place? Well first it is ok to have pumpkin in the spring, summer, winter and fall. Does it happen often in our house. No not really but it is still ok.Pecan Pumpkin Roll

Let me explain. We had some dinner guest a few weeks ago and I, of course, wanted to do a dessert that would wow. Problem is I didn’t have the time, energy, or ingredients to really do a new wow dessert.Pecan Pumpkin Roll

So I shuffled through my cabinets and thought ok pumpkin roll. I know how to make that, I know how to make it good. They have never had my pumpkin roll, so this could work.

What I love about this is that because I picked a dessert I was comfortable with, it was easy for me to kick it up a notch with one added ingredient. Pecans.Pecan Pumpkin Roll

Now me and pecans have this love hate kind of relationship. Well I am only a fan once in a while. Lately it seems I like them more and more in good recipes. The original recipe actually calls for pecans and I have always left them out.

Man what have I been missing. The regular pumpkin roll is great. This one is even better!Pecan Pumpkin Roll

Also I have been wanting to share this with you since my trip to Italy in December. While I was there I went around and visited some friends. One night I was at, Laura and Siro’s for dinner. Well she pulled out the dessert and some powdered sugar. But wait. It was not just powdered sugar. It was this powdered sugar shaker she got from Munich. I went coo coo over this thing. IMG_9668_newOh how life could be easy just for a moment with this little thing in my life. No more pouring the sugar form the bag into a tiny metal strainer and trying to beautifully sprinkle it onto a dessert.Pecan Pumpkin Roll Nope no more. I just turn up side and  turn, just like you would if you would using fresh cracked pepper. And the best part! It is refillable. Which means I can use it for like ever! Well Laura stopped and was like. Wait! I have another. I picked up two. I will give you one!! She is the best and totally made my day, week, year! Now if we have something like this in America, please feel free to point me in that direction, but I have yet to see this here. Love those Germans and their creativity!! 🙂

Pecan Pumpkin Roll

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recipe adapted from Diane Drago

YIELDS: 1 roll

PREP TIME: 1 hour 45 minutes

COOK TIME: 15 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 2 hours



2 eggs

5 oz Chobani Greek yogurt, plain

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup pumpkin

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ginger

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup powdered sugar


1 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoon butter

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 375. Line cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. ( I always use foil for this.)

2. In mixing bowl, mix the ingredients for the cake one at a time. Mixing after each addition.

3. Pour into prepared cookie sheet, spread out and bake for 15 minutes.

4. Take a dish towel that is the size of the cake. Cover with powdered sugar.

5. When cake is done and cooled for about 2 minutes. Fill onto dish towel. Starting at one end, roll the cake.

6. Place in refrigerator to cool for an hour.

7. Prepare filling by mixing butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.

8. Fold in 1/2 cup of pecans.

9. Take roll out of refrigerator, unroll. Spread icing onto cake. Roll the cake back up and refrigerator till ready to serve.

10. When I was ready to serve I sprinkled my remaining half cup of pecans on top and dusted with fresh powdered sugar.

11. Cut and ENJOY! (you get about 12 pieces out of this!)

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Pecan Pumpkin Roll

This recipe is linked over at Buns In My Oven


Valentine’s Day Nonna’s Tiramisu

14 Feb

Valentine's Day Nonna's TiramisuWhen Valentine’s Day comes along every year, it is a very unique and different kind of holiday in our house. I do make treats for the kids to take to school but I really try to leave the word love or be mine or any types of those sayings off their Valentine’s. This year I did a pretty neat one that I found off of Pinterest. photo

I am so glad that our tradition is different. I have told you before in my bio that my husband is Italian. Well his name is Valentino. He is named after San Valentino or Saint Valentine’s as we call it here in America.

This day used to be always a little depressing and full of anxiety before my husband came along. What will I receive? Will I get that box of chocolates? I don’t have a loved one at this moment who will celebrate this with me!


You know all of those thoughts and feelings that can be associated with this day.

Well no more. Because my husband was named after San Valentino today is his “Onomastico” Day. Translated to his “name” day.

So we celebrate and say Auguri di Buon Onomastico! Or Happy NameDay!

Valentine's Day Nonna's Tiramisu

This is a particular tradition for Italians in Italy. Almost everyone I know in his family has a saint name and he calls them on their Onomastico day.

To honor and celebrate his name day I made his favorite dessert. Tiramisu.

Valentine's Day Nonna's Tiramisu

He taught me how to make this quite a few years ago and now I can teach you. You won’t find many recipes like this online mostly because everyone uses a different type of alcohol. You will find many variations but this is how his mother taught him and how he taught me. So now I will pass the tradition on to you.

Auguri di Buon Onomastico Valentino!


YIELDS: 9 servings

PREP TIME: 25 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes


3 brown egg whites

3 brown egg yolks

2 teaspoons sugar plus extra for sweeting your expresso

8 ounces mascarpone cheese

2 teaspoons Sweet Vermouth Rosso

1/2 cup of expresso cooled

24 savoiardi or lady fingers

unsweetened cocoa for dusting


1. Brew expresso and add sugar to sweeten and 1 teaspoon of vermouth. Set aside to cool.

2. Separate eggs placing yolks in a bowl and the whites in a mixing bowl.

3. In the bowl with the egg yolks add mascarpone and mix well. Stir in 2 teaspoons sugar.

4. In bowl with egg white using a mixer, mount your egg whites to semi stiff peaks.

5. Add egg whites to mascarpone mixture by folding the whites in using a spatula.

6. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the vermouth to the mascarpone mixture.

7. Using an 8×8 pan layer savoiardi and the cream making two layers of each.

8. First dip one side of the savoiardi into expresso then turn it once so each side has soaked some of the expresso.

9. Second place in pan, then continue to do this with the savoiardi till a bottom layer has formed in your pan.

10. Add half of the mascarpone mixture to the top of the savoiardi.

11. Repeat this process making your second layer.

12. Dust with cocoa, refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer and ENJOY!


My savoiardi were purchased at world market. I used about 10 on my bottom layer and 12 on my top layer.

Try not to soak too much of the expresso into your savoiardi so it does not crumble. Each one needs just a little expresso in them.

Also the vermouth was purchased at my local ABC store.

This dessert gets better over time. I made mine the day before and left it in the refrigerator.

I am not responsible for any sickness due to consuming raw egg! We have never had any problems but just in case! Thanks! 🙂

Valentine's Day Nonna's Tiramisu

this is link over at bunsinmyoven.

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