Raspberry Lemon Muffins - and a Sink Hole Failure!

I found this recipe on KitchME. She had adapted it form an AllRecipes entry. I modified it even more.

That being said, I learned a lot on this recipe that I needed to learn as I continue this adventure in the kitchen.

What you don’t see in the photo above is that the center of each of these muffins is one giant sink hole! Food decoration covers a multitude of ‘sins’, but I want to be transparent in my failures and lessons so that someone else might learn without having to experience it.

The first thing is, this recipe calls for frozen berries. If I had it to do over again I would have followed this and used frozen instead of fresh. However, the one thing I learned about fresh fruit (after the fact) is, if you are going to use fresh you MUST make certain that it is completely dry from all water prior to adding it to the mix. I did not pat the berries completely dry before I added them to the batter. I am certain this was one of the contributing factors to the ‘sink holes’.

The second thing is sugar – I used Raw Sugar, because I like the look and the crunch of it. My problem was I didn’t stop to think about how much heavier the raw sugar is compared to regular white sugar. Combine that with the fact that I used a heavy hand when sprinkling it on the top of the batter and…well, deeper ‘sink hole’! In hindsight, I would still use the raw sugar, and I would probably even use the same amount, however I would allow the muffins to bake until almost done and I would add the sugar in the last 10 minutes of the baking process. Maybe it would work that way (ok, I might use a lighter hand as well!).

Raspberry Lemon Muffins - makes 12


  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt – I used vanilla, because I like the flavor it brings out.

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 egg whites

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries - I used fresh – I think this may have contributed to my ‘fail’

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar for decoration (optional) – I used Raw sugar – and I used too much. Raw is heavier and I think that was also a contribution to the sinking in the center


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin tin, or line with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, egg whites, and, if using, lemon extract. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just blended. Gently stir in the frozen raspberries. Spoon batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining sugar over the tops for decoration, if desired.

3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Cool muffins in the tin on a wire rack.

In the end they were very tasty and didn’t last very long in the house! I might change the recipe up the next time around and drizzle a little chocolate on top of them! No matter, I highly recommend that you try them for a treat that isn’t too sweet and that embraces the flavors of summer!

The Pumpkin Madness Continues...Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Last week I wanted to bake some cookies. I had the Pumpkin Snickerdoodle recipe from Cooking Classy pinned for a while so…I thought, in the midst of getting better from that blasted ear infection, I would try this recipe out. (Sorry, light on the photos this time...but really, you can only see so many ingredient and mixing photos in one week...right!)

Now, let me preface this by saying that I love Snickerdoodles. I think they are in the top 3 of my favorite cookies. I don’t know that I would really classify these in the Snickerdoodle family as I thought they had a very cakey texture, vs. the chewy/crunchy that I’m used to in a normal Snickerdoodle. That being said, they are YUMMO!!! Of course, they are a cookie that relies heavily on the baking powder and cream of tartar so you want to make certain you have fresh (re: not expired) ingredients.

Let me also say - I'm not a fan of Allspice. I think it's the anise that is it in - not a fan of the licorice taste. (however, I do think it makes a lovely decoration when used whole - such as the Pumpkin Cake I made last week. Additionally, throw some star anise in a pot of simmering water with vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and sliced oranges and you have an instant and wonderful simmering potpourri!). That being said, I substituted the Allspice in this recipe for the same amount of the Baking Spice from Penzeys.

And as long as I'm giving full disclosure, I have to confess that I did share this with a beautiful, young woman who is pregnant with her 3 Little...she sent me a message when I posted the sneak peek and said she needed in NOW!! Well, who am I to withhold from a craving pregnant momma!? So, she had it form me first!! Love you Emily, and can't want to see this Little!

These will make it into the cookie mix for the holiday baking for certain…give them a try – and be prepared for your house to smell amazing.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Bake Time: 13 minutes

Makes: 3 dozen


  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 1/2 tsp cornstarch

  • 1 tsp cream of tartar

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt

  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice (I used the Baking Spice Mix here)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For rolling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice for 20 seconds, set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar (not until pale and fluffy, just to combined. Occasionally scrape down sides and bottom of bowl throughout entire mixing process if not using a paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl while mixing). Mix in egg yolk, then mix in pumpkin and vanilla extract. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients then mix until combined. Divide dough in half and place each half in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill 45 minutes to 1 hour (dough should be slightly sticky so the cinnamon sugar will stick when rolling but they should be manageable to roll in the palms of your hands). Preheat oven to 350 degrees during last 10 minutes of refrigeration.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Scoop dough out 2 even tablespoons at a time (run the measuring spoon against side and edge of bowl so it will slightly deflate the dough while also giving an equal tbsp, twice per ball) and shape into a ball, roll dough ball in cinnamon sugar mixture to evenly coat then transfer to Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 12 - 14 minutes (they should look just slightly under-baked as they'll cook slightly once removed from oven). Cool on baking sheet about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe credit: Cooking Classy

Pumpkin Vanilla Spice Cake with Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Glaze

I’m not a person to easily tire of all the pumpkin flavored everything that is out this time of year. I love it. There is just something about the smell of pumpkin and cinnamon baking. Its as if the house is filled with the smell of a baker’s heaven!

This is a recipe I had been mulling over in my head for a week. I decided to make it on Tuesday. And then…I woke up with a horrid earache. I was certain that once I got up and going, and was filled with a sufficient amount of coffee, I would be filling much better. I was wrong. So, after a quick jaunt down to the urgent car, confirmation of an ear infection and sufficient supplies of drugs in my hands, and instructions to rest, I came home and did what I should have done…baked, of course! After all, I felt fine other than this stupid pain in the hole in my head (more on that brilliant idea at the end of this post)!

This recipe was adapted from one on Gonna Want Seconds blog. I loved her recipe, but I’m very partial to a much more moist cake than what spice cake usually delivers. This being said, I added a box of vanilla pudding and another egg. I didn’t think about the vanilla pudding and egg until after the ingredient photo was shot – blame is on the ear issue! I also REALLY tweaked the glaze to a StacyMac glaze!

Pumpkin Vanilla Spice Cake with Cinnamon Vanilla Glaze

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 box Spice Cake Mix

  • 1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling)

  • 1 small box instant Vanilla Pudding

  • 3 large Eggs, room temperature

  • ¼ c. Granulated Sugar

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 c. Powdered Sugar

  • 3 Tbs. French Vanilla coffee creamer

  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

  • 1 Vanilla Bean



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Liberally grease a bundt pan. In a bowl mix together all cake ingredients with an electric mixer until well blended. Pour mixture into greased bundt pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.



Allow cake to cool in pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Allow to cool completely before pouring glaze over top.

I can't even tell you how happy  was that it came out of the pan perfectly. This pan has such sharp indents, I rarely get a clean outcome!

I can't even tell you how happy  was that it came out of the pan perfectly. This pan has such sharp indents, I rarely get a clean outcome!


For the glaze, using a sharp knife split the vanilla bean down the center and scrape the caviar out with the flat side of the knife.



Place the caviar into a small bowl with the creamer, blend with a fork and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Mix powdered sugar and cinnamon together and add vanilla and creamer/vanilla bean mixture. Blend well with a spoon until the proper consistency to drizzle the glaze over the cake. Add more creamer if needed. Drizzle over cake and serve.


To revisit the whole ‘feeling fine’ statement I made above…I was really feeling fine when I made the cake and even worked on some other projects. Then…I did what the doctor said and went to lay down and rest/nap. That’s when the fury of the germ warfare took over and I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a Mack truck. No joke…I’m thinking if I would have not rested I would have been fine! Alas, this is the season of allergies here in the desert and with that come many sniffles and runny noses, and apparently ear infections. So…lesson learned, never rest – right!?