Category Archives: dessert

Red, White, and Blue Confetti Cookies

As a choc-oholic, sugar cookies often get overlooked in my household. Most of the ones I’ve had have been pretty flavorless and disappointing, to be made only during the holidays when you bust out the cookie cutters and cover the festive cookies in frosting. So, when Smitten Kitchen posted a link to her confetti cookies on facebook, and I saw all the rave reviews and comments, I was pretty intrigued. What could be so great about a sugar cookie?!?! Don’t get me wrong, bonus points for sprinkles…but it’s still just a sugar cookie!! The recipe has been in the back of my mind since then and I figured now would be the perfect time to put a spin on them and make Red, White, and Blue Confetti Cookies.

Red, White, and Blue Confetti Cookies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I found these adorable red, white, and blue star sprinkles at TJMAXX the other day, and I LOVE how festive they make these cookies! Plus the cookies themselves are so easy- you can even throw them together in a food processor! If you need a last minute recipe idea to take to a party, these are perfect AND they travel well. We’ll be spending the 4th on the boat, so easy to pack is a rather important detail for me! I might even be re-creating these around the holidays; they would make such a colorful addition to my usual selection of Christmas cookies!

Red, White, and Blue Confetti Cookies

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen, which was adapted from King Arthur.

If you’re using a food processor, you won’t need to soften the butter and cream cheese first. If using a mixer, you’ll need to soften both before you mix the dough.

Yield: 4 dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ts baking powder
1/4 ts baking soda
3/4 ts salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 ts
1 cup red, white, and blue sprinkles

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking large sheets with parchment paper.

To make in a food processor: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in your food processor, then pulse a few times to blend. Add butter, cream cheese, and sugar and blend mixture until all is incorporated. Add egg and vanilla extract and process until the dough forms into a clump, scraping down as necessary.

To make with an electric mixer: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. If dough is too soft to roll into balls by hand, let chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.

Both methods: Roll 2 inch scoops of dough into balls, then drop into a bowl of sprinkles, gently rolling to coat them evenly. Place on parchment lined baking sheets with at least two inches between each cookie. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press down on the cookies until they are about 1/4 to 1/2-inch tall. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the bottoms begin to brown. You do not want the entire cookie to brown, so they will still look underbaked, especially compared to chocolate chip cookies. Set the baking sheet on a cooling rack to let them cool for a few minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Print Recipe

What will you be making for the 4th, anything fun and festive?


Tiramisu or ‘How to Win Over Your Husbands Italian Family with Dessert’

I know, I know, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted anything..a little over a year! But in my defense I’ve been busy getting married and making this tiramisu and such!


I made this for the first time last Christmas Eve for my Husband’s Italian family and it was decided that this would be “my thing” to make every Christmas. Luckily the recipe is actually quite easy, just make sure to give it plenty of time to set in the refrigerator, because it really makes a world of difference!


I have to say, I was never a big tiramisu fan before, but I’m a true believer now (and it’s even better with coffee the next day)!

6 egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
4 tablespoons rum
2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form.
3. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.
4. Combine coffee and rum in a shallow bowl. Dunk each side of half of the ladyfingers in the mixture, then place in the bottom of a 7×11 inch dish.
5. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 to 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Adapted from

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Can you believe October is halfway over?! The “pumpkin window” is way too small, I don’t have nearly enough time to make all the pumpkin flavored things! I have two priorities this time of year, that I HAVE to make:
1. Pumpkin Bread (of course!!) and
2. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

We had a potluck at work and I knew that whoopie pies would be the perfect thing to bring. They’re like a cupcakes, but way easier to take somewhere and maybe even a liiittle bit better! I like to make them on the smaller side, that way you don’t have to feel guilty if you reach for a second! I like to stick them in cupcake wrappers before putting them in containers so they don’t get messy and are easier to serve.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from

What’s your favorite pumpkin treat you have to make every year?

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Print Recipe

Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, beat the sugars and oil together. Add the pumpkin followed by the eggs and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
Use a small cookie scoop to drop the dough 1 inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and cookies are firm when touched.
Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.
To make the filling: beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined. Add the powder sugar a little at a time, then add the vanilla and beat until smooth.

Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

Flourless Fudge Cookies

Since I’ve started making ice creams, I’ve found myself with a LOT of egg whites I need to use up. I’m not a huge egg fan, so egg white omelets are a rarity, which means I’m always on the search for fun new recipes to use them up with. These flourless fudge cookies are one of my new favorite ways to use them up – they’re quick and easy to throw together, don’t make TOO many cookies, and they’re even better with ice cream sandwiched between two.

Flourless Fudge Cookies from

They’re VERY rich and fudgy so a glass of milk (or ice cream, of course) is highly recommended!

Flourless Fudge Cookies

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2 ¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ ts salt
1 ts espresso powder (optional)
1 cup dutch process cocoa powder
3 large egg whites
2 ts vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment and grease the parchment.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients until smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you stir. The dough will be soft and batterlike. If it’s still very thick, add another egg white.
Drop onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 8 minutes, until they have spread and are somewhat shiny with a slightly crackly top. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the pan for a few minutes before eating.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour.

Do you have any favorite egg white recipes??

Mississippi Mud Brownies

Growing up, my brother asked for a Mississippi Mud Cake almost every year for his birthday. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I had a Mississippi Mud Brownies and WOW are they addicting! I can only make them once in a blue moon, or I will eat them all, so when my coworker requested brownies for her birthday I knew these would be perfect…partly because I knew they’d be a hit, but mostly I really wanted to eat one and then make sure the rest of them were out of my house stat!

Mississippi Mud Brownies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

The brownie is fudgy, moist, and dense — a perfect balance to the fluffy marshmallows. Top that off with a very thin, crackly layer of fudge icing and a sprinkling of chopped pecans and you get what just might be the best brownie ever. I think it may also be the only brownie that I prefer nice and cold, but that’s just me.

Mississippi Mud Brownies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Mississippi Mud Brownies

Print Recipe!

For the Brownies:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ ts salt
½ cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 ts vanilla extract
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 ½ cups miniature marshmallows

For the Icing:
¼ cup butter
¼ cup milk
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ ts vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt

For the Brownies:
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Line an 8x8in baking dish with foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl. mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, brown sugar, and salt until blended. Mix in the melted butter until combined, following with the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir until no clumps remain. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-37 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
Spread the marshmallows evenly over the top, then return to the oven for another 4 minutes, until the marshmallows are slightly puffy. Move from the oven, to a wire rack and allow to rest for 5 minutes, while you prepare the icing.

For the Icing:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, whisk in the milk and cocoa powder, and cook until thickened – about 1-2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until the frosting is smooth, then immediately pour over the top of the brownies. Smooth out the icing, then top with chopped pecans. Wait until the brownies have cooled completely before removing from pan and cutting.

adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream

Blood oranges are kind of a new discovery for me. Every year around this time Honeybell oranges are everywhere in Southwest Florida. Fruit stands, grocery stores, and the farmers market are ALL about the Honeybells, so I was surprised when I spotted bags of Blood Oranges at Target last week.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I’m pretty much obsessed with blood orange soda and love it as a cocktail mixer, so I knew the first thing I had to make would be cocktails. The obvious choice being Margaritas. Can you say awesome?!! I did scale down the recipe a bit though…I’m not going to say we couldn’t have had the whole pitcher, but it was probably best that we didn’t!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Last week was a long, busy week. We had a surprise corporate inspection, which of course means STRESS, but I’m very happy and relieved to say that we did very, very well. I knew I wanted to make cupcakes to bring in for my coworkers and of course the blood oranges were calling to me!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I love the combo of chocolate and orange, plus the deep red juice makes a perfect pink frosting…so perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Oh and this is somehow the first cupcake recipe I’ve posted??! Kinda sad when cupcake is in the name, but I promise there will be more to come!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Serves: 24
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 ts baking soda
  • 2 1/4 ts baking powder
  • 1 1/4 ts salt
  • 2 large whole eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 ts vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 ts pure vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup fresh blood orange juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line 2 standard muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs and yolk, milk, oil, vanilla, orange zest, and warm water. Beat with a paddle attachment on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full Baking for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool in pans on a cooling rack for a few minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely.
  4. While the cupcakes are cooling, cook the orange juice in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  5. Cream the butter, vanilla, and reduced orange juice until smooth. Add two cups of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy, add more powdered sugar if necessary, a little at a time.
  6. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with buttercream and decorate as desired.
One-bowl Chocolate Cupcake Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook


Cranberry Blueberry Pie

Growing up I hated pie. Looking back, I really have no idea why, because it’s definitely a favorite now..but I just was not a fan as a child. I regret this now because my mother was pretty much the Queen of Pies. We had apple and cherry trees on our property as well as tons of wild blackberries, so pies were one of her favorite things to make with the over abundance of fruit.
Cranberry Blueberry Pie | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I would help her pick everything, but had very little interest in the whole pie making process and now that she lives in Florida she doesn’t have much interest in baking, so this was one of the first pies I made on my own! (Have to say I was pretty proud that the lattice turned out!). The crust recipe is my mothers and is perfectly flaky. The combination of cranberry and blueberry is absolutely perfect for the holidays and was definitely a favorite on Thanksgiving! Enjoy!
Cranberry Blueberry Pie | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Cranberry Blueberry Pie
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
  • 2 pie crusts (recipe below)
  • 16 oz frozen blueberries
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tb cornstarch
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tb fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ts lemon zest
  • 1 egg, plus 1 Tb water – for egg wash
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Combine all filling ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Set aside the filling to cool a bit.
  5. While the filling is cooling, roll out one layer of the crust into a 12-inch circle. Fit to a 9-inch pie pan, cutting off excess edges if necessary, leaving about an inch of overhang.
  6. Roll out the other half of the crust and cut into strips, approximately 1 inch wide.
  7. Remove the cinnamon stick and pour the filling into the pie dish. Criss-cross the lattice strips over the top.
  8. Brush the lattice and edges of the pie crust with the egg wash.
  9. Bake for about an hour, until filling is bubbling. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover with foil when it’s at the desired color.
  10. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.
Pie filling recipe from Bon Appétit


Perfect Pie Crust Recipe
4 cups flour
1 3/4 cup shortening
2 Tb sugar
2 ts salt
1 tb white vinegar
1 egg
1/2 cup cold water

1. Mix together flour, shortening, sugar, and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, beat together vinegar, egg, and cold water.
3. Mix the two bowls together until just combined and separate into two balls.

Turkey Pie Crust Cookies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes
You should have leftover pie crust from your lattice, which is perfect for pie crust cookies! I like to brush them with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before baking them. Aren’t the turkeys adorable?!!

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie

Friday night I decided to take an impromptu trip to visit my mom for the night. My mom knows all the good thrift shops in the area and I still need quite a few things for our knew house so we decided an early morning shopping and yard sale trip was a must! I came home with quite a few good finds, but my favorite by far is this set of vintage Pyrex nesting bowls!

Vintage Pyrex Nesting Bowls

The woman I bought them from told me she remembered quite a few batches of sugar cookies being made in the yellow one when she was younger, so after washing them up at home I decided cookies were in order! (plus I can never go home without my mom requesting a batch of chocolate chip cookies)

Browned Butter Whole Wheat Chocolate Chips from

I’ve tried many great cookie recipes, but when I’m at home I just HAVE to use the Toll House recipe. It’s what my mom always made and to this day it’s still my favorite chocolate chip cookie!

Browned Butter Whole Wheat Chocolate Chips from

I did decide to mix it up just a little bit and used half whole wheat flour and browned butter and I love the way they turned out. I like to bake these on brown paper because that’s how my mom has always done it….and I think it really keeps them from spreading too much, but mostly because it’s mom’s way.

Browned Butter Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
makes about 5 dozen cookies
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ts baking soda
  • 1 ts salt
  • 1 cup butter, browned and cooled
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 ts vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the flours, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Cream the browned butter and sugars, then add in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, then stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a baking sheet lined with brown paper or parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then move to wire racks.
adapted from Toll House


Watermelon Sorbet

I’ve been going a little overboard with the ice cream recipes lately, so I decided I needed to mix it up a bit with a “healthier” alternative.

Watermelon Sorbet 2

Watermelon is one of my favorite summer fruits so this recipe did not disappoint! It’s perfect for the end of the summer, even if the end of summer seems VERY far away here in Florida!

Watermelon Sorbet

This recipe is also perfect for popsicles! I never pass up the chance to use my sailboat popsicle molds…

Watermelon Sailboat Popsicle


Watermelon Sorbet
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
  • 3 cups pureed watermelon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • big pinch of salt
  • 1 tb freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1-2 tb vodka (optional)
  • 1-2 tb mini semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
  1. In a small, nonreactive saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of the watermelon juice with the sugar and salt, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir the sugared syrup into the remaining 2 1/2 cups watermelon juice in a medium bowl. Mix in the lime juice and vodka, if using.
  2. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last minute of churning, add the mini chocolate chips.
  3. If making popsivles add to molds and freeze for at least a couple hours.
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz


Gooey Turtle Brownies

I don’t make brownies often, but when I get in the mood for them, I need them stat. Especially when I’ve had “one of those days”…you know, the ones where you walk in to an awning and give yourself a black eye? Oh, you’ve never done that?? Welllll, back to the brownies..

Gooey Turtle Brownies from

I had planned on making regular brownies, but my boyfriend had the brilliant idea of turtle brownies. It may have been his best idea ever.

Gooey Turtle Brownies from

I cheated a bit and used store bought caramels, but I’m sure homemade caramel would be absolutely wonderful on these. They’re very decadent, but in a very, very good way. I recommend a big glass of milk!

Gooey Turtle Brownies from

I think I only technically ate two brownies from this batch. They still disappeared quickly because I found myself cutting off a sliver every time I would walk by them…oops!

Dirty Turtle Brownies
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
  • ½-cup butter
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flower
  • 1 bag caramels
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a double boiler, melt together the butter and chocolate, then set aside and let cool.
  3. Beat together the eggs and salt until light and foamy, then gradually add in the sugar and vanilla while still beating.
  4. With a few swift strokes combine the chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar. Before the mixtures becomes uniformly colored, gently stir in the flour.
  5. Pour half of the batter a 9×13 in pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. While that is baking, melt the caramels and half-and-half in a saucepan until creamy. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped pecans.
  7. Pour half the caramel mixture over the baked brownies, followed by the rest of the brownie batter.
  8. Bake for another 25 minutes, then top with the rest of the caramel mixture. Let cool before cutting.
Brownie recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking