The Amazing Oreo Cream Layer Cake {Recipe}

This isn’t just any old Oreo cake.  This Oreo cake is packed with everything that’s good in life {sorry, I didn’t say “good for you”!}.  With two layers of double chocolate Oreo, one layer of vanilla and Oreo, cookies and cream filling, AND chocolate ganache frosting- this Oreo cake is definitely worth the splurge, and it’s certainly one impressive looking dessert!


Enter: The Oreo Cream & Ganache Layer Cake…

The Oreo layer cake was slightly adapted from a recipe found on the Bean Town Baker.  Since this cake is multi-layered, we’ll start with making the two chocolate Oreo cake layers first.

Ingredients for the Oreo Chocolate Cake Layers

1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup milk with 1 tbsp. white vinegar added
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
10-12 Oreos, cut into quarters

Instructions for the Oreo Chocolate Cake Layers

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour two 8″ cake pans {I used square pans}

Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl

In another bowl, combine the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients.

Slowly blend the coffee into the mixture.

Stir in the Oreo chunks & pour batter into the prepared pans…

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.

Yummm….looking delicious.  Now onto the Vanilla Oreo Cake layer.

Ingredients for the Oreo Vanilla Cake Layer

1/2 stick softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
6-8 Oreos, cut into quarters

Instructions for the Oreo Vanilla Cake Layer

Keep oven heated at 350 degrees.  Butter and flour another 8″ baking pan.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until fluffy, add the milk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Mix the dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mix until integrated. Stir in sugar, eggs and Oreos.

Pour cake batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

Now the three cakes can cool for a bit while you make the frosting…

Ingredients for the Cookies & Cream Whipped Filling

4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6-8 Oreos, cut into quarters

Instructions for the Cookies & Cream Whipped Filling

Cream together, cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until light and creamy. Slowly whisk in  whipping cream until smooth.  Stir in Oreo chunks.

It took all my self control not to devour all of the cookies and cream filling.  It’s just too delicious.  Now for the chocolate ganache, which is equally delicious…

Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache Frosting

1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 3/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions for the Chocolate Ganache Frosting

In a medium sauce pan, bring whipping cream to a simmer

Remove cream from heat and stir in chocolate chips.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Pour mixture into a bowl and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours

 Now its time for the Oreo cake assembly!

 Lay down one of the chocolate Oreo cakes.  Spread a layer of the cookies & cream frosting.

Place the Oreo vanilla cake on top.  Spread another layer of the cookies & cream frosting.

Place the final layer of chocolate Oreo cake on top.

Here’s the completed Oreo Cream Layer Cake…

I decided to glam the cake up with some white chocolate polka dots {I melted a Hershey’s Cookies & Cream Bar} and a “Happy Birthday” flag banner.  The flag banners are super simple to make.  Simply cut out little triangles, tape them onto a ribbon, then tape around craft sticks.

What a delicious end to a great night!

banana bread pudding

Banana Bread Pudding for One {recipe}

My sweet tooth gets the best of me WAY too often…which is why I’m always looking for healthier ways to satisfy it =) One of my favorite sweets is bread pudding, but making it is usually a long process that leaves me with a week worth of leftovers (which I’ll consume within the first two days…) You can only begin to imagine my delight when I came across this healthy bread pudding recipe on The Vegan Stoner recently, I knew that it was an immediate MUST TRY.  I made a few modifications to the recipe, including cutting down the recipe to a single size serving ;)

Banana Bread Pudding [for one]


one banana

1/8 cup brown sugar

1.8 cup white sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 slices of bread (your choice, I used sprouted wheat)

1 tbsp melted butter (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut banana into thin slices and toss with brown sugar, set aside.  In a medium saucepan, heat coconut milk, sugar and vanilla extract (just until a very light simmer).  Add bread to pan, allow the bread to soak in the liquid for one minute.  In a small baking dish (or divided into two ramekins), add a layer of bread, then banana slices, bread again, then more banana slices.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until top is light golden brown.

Remove from oven and drizzle a bit of melted butter on top (optional).  Bon appetite!


christmas treat bag printable template

Holiday Treat Bag [DIY + Free Printable]

I love to bake, especially around Christmas time!  Every year, I usually spend the entire Christmas Eve, “Eve” (Dec. 23) baking mass amounts of Christmas cookies & candies…I love packaging them up into goody bags and giving them out to friends and family.  The thing is, sometimes I have just as much fun (if not more) making the packaging for my Christmas treats!  This year, I found a great printable online that I altered a bit to go perfectly with any Christmas treat package.  Here’s how my Christmas treat bags turned out!

This Christmas treat package was super simple to make.  All you need is a package of clear cellophane bags and a color printer!  Once you load up your goody bags with treats, you simple fold the bag topper in half and staple it to the bag! 

Here’s the template so that you can create your own treat bag topper!  Customize the topper by typing in your own home-baked Christmas sweets!

Seasons Eatings Christmas Treat Bag Template- by Picklee  [click to open in Word!]

Happy baking! Ho, Ho, Ho!

chocolate marshmallow top cupcakes

Spotted Chocolate Mini Cakes {skinny recipe}

I really enjoy baking… mainly because of my own sweet tooth, but also because I find it somewhat therapeutic.  Don’t ask me why, but when I start baking my mind tends to focus so much on the dish that I’ll actually start to forget about my stresses!  Having said that, sometimes I’ll be so eager to bake that I’ll forget to check for all the ingredients…this leads to lots of improvising (sometimes good, sometimes not so much)!  This happened recently while in the midst of satisfying a (skinny) chocolate cupcake craving.  Right as the cupcakes went into the oven, I realized I had no frosting…so I searched the web and racked my brain for a simple solution.  I decided to use mini toasted marshmallow toppers, and I love the way they turned out!   

The mini toasted marshmallow tops gave the cupcakes a funky polka dotted look, a fun twist I did not expect!

Spotted Chocolate Mini Cakes [skinny recipe]

Makes approx. 24 mini cupcakes

Each skinny mini cupcake is approx. 85 calories


1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup mini marshmallows (for topping)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line mini cupcake tins with liners.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in the yogurt, then gradually add in the water. Add the vinegar and vanilla and mix to combine, then beat in the egg until the batter is well blended.
Pour battern into cupcake tins. Bake for 10-12 minutes (until toothpick comes out almost clean), then remove from oven and quickly add three mini marshmallows to the top of each cupcake.  Insert back into oven and bake for another 1-2 minutes, until marshmallows toast.  
Remove from oven and let cool.  Enjoy your skinny spotted chocolate cupcakes!


raisinette pancakes

Raisinette Pancakes {recipe}

The weekend’s a hop, skip and a jump away…and what could be better on a lazy Saturday than a big plate of warm, fluffy pancakes?? I know what… warm, fluffy pancakes WITH chocolate AND raisins…now that’s what I’m talking about!  I absolutely love pancakes, and I’m pretty sure I’ve experimented with every single pancake variation known to man, so I’m like a kid in a candy store when I hit on something good.  This happened recently when I took my favorite pancake recipe and made it even better (note: I said better, not healthier…) by adding a touch of sweetness, that’s where the Raisinettes come in!  I made myself feel better about the indulgence since my pancake recipe is about as skinny as it gets to start, so adding a few Raisinettes doesn’t really hurt, right ;)?

Raisinette Pancakes [recipe]

Serves 2

*You can use just about any pancake recipe as the base before adding the Raisinettes, but I like to use my favorite Skinny Greek Yogurt Pancakes, they are the perfect fluffy consistancy and healthy too!  Here’s the recipe using my yogurt pancakes:


6 oz of fat free plain Greek yogurt

2 egg whites (or one egg)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

a few dashes of cinnamon

optional: one packet of Stevia natural sweetener (if you like your pancakes a little on the sweeter side)

1/2 cup Raisinettes


In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and egg whites and vanilla extract, whip together until smooth. Add flour, baking soda and cinnamon, stir until there are no lumps. Don’t add the Raisinettes to the batter yet, they will go on the pancakes once they’re on the griddle. Batter will be very thick, this is how it should be, but if you like very thin pancakes, you can always add a bit of milk to thin the batter.

Coat a griddle or large pan with a bit of non-stick spray or butter, bring to medium heat. Pour pancake batter into 6-8″ circles, quickly sprinkle a small hand full of Raisinettes on top of each pancake, wait for bubbles to appear on the tops, then flip! Each side should be golden brown.

Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top if you’d like, enjoy!

Dig in!


witch fingers and spider rice krispie treats

Witch Fingers & Spider Krispies [recipe]

Last week I posted 10 of my favorite Halloween recipes, which worked out perfectly because I had the opportunity to make some of those treats this past weekend at a little Halloween party Brett and I had.  I always feel like you can never have too many sweets, so I decided to make a big platter of witch finger cookies and rice krispy treat spiders!  These were so much fun to make and they look great too!  I did modify the original recipes a bit after a failed batch of finger cookies that looked more like finger pancakes…so here’s the end result, both of these recipes are Halloween “must-makes”!

We’ll start with the Witch Finger Cookies…I wish I had taken a picture of the failed batch, but trust me when I say they looked awful.  I ended up using a great sugar cookie base for the witch finger cookies instead, here it is!

Witch Finger Cookies [recipe]

Makes approx. 40 cookies


3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 tsp. green food coloring, plus 1/2 tsp. for almonds

1 tsp. almond extract

1/3 cup whole, raw almonds


In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt-set aside.  In a .medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, egg, milk, food coloring and almond extract-add to flour mixture.  Roll the cookie dough into a large ball and refrigerate for 1 hour, I have no patience so I froze mine for 10 minutes…still turned out great ;)

While your waiting for the dough you can prepare the witches (almond) finger nails!  Add almonds to a small bowl along with 1/2 tsp of green food coloring.  Stir until the almonds are coated-set aside.

Heat oven to 375.

Once cooled, roll small sections of dough into finger shapes (each cookie is approx. 2 tbsp of dough), lay them onto a non stick or greased cookie sheet.  Add one almond to the tip of each cookie for the witches nail.  Last, use a butter knife to make tiny indents on the cookie for the knuckles!  Bakes for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden brown on the bottoms.  Here’s how my witch finger cookies looked when they hit the oven:

Then 10 minutes later…

I may or may have accidentally broken a few…then I had to eat all the broken ones since they were no good.  These things are DELICIOUS.

Now for the Spider Rice Krispies Recipe!  This recipe couldn’t be more simple.  It’s your average rice krispy treat recipe with a spooky twist!

Spider Krispies [recipe]

Makes approx. 20 spiders, source


6 cups Cocoa Pebbles

1 bag of mini marshmallows (10.5 oz), reserve a small handful for the spider eyes

1/4 cup butter

mini pretzel sticks (for spider arms and legs)


Melt butter in a medium saucepan, add marshmallows and stir continuously.  When butter and marshmellows are fully melted and mixed, remove from heat and add Cocoa Pebbles, stir until pebbles are coated.  Pour into a non stick or glass baking dish and press down.  Allow to cool.

Using a knife, cut the rice krispy sheet into circles.  Stick pretzel sticks in them for arms, pieces of the mini marshmallows for eyes.  I got about three sets of eyes from each mini marshmallow.  Here’s how they turned out!

These things were so much fun to make!

These spooky Halloween treats are perfect to make with kids too!

pumpkin spice cake

Three Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cake {recipe}

There are some delicious looking pumpkin cake recipes floating around right now and it’s absolute torture for me!  I am a complete sucker for apple and pumpkin spiced anything (hense my new favorite Fall Cocktail)!  So after a nice little Sunday dinner with the Mister, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to test out some of the pumpkin cake recipes I’d found.  I tried three different recipes, from one with a complicated list of multiple ingredients, to a simple pumpkin cake recipe that called for only two ingredients!  In the end, their was a clear winner…hands down, no questions asked.  It was the two ingredient, simple pumpkin spice cake!  I modified the recipe just a bit to soften and fluff up the consistancy, the result was plain & simple pumpkin-cake-perfection.  And the best part? So without further ado, here it is, the Three Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cake (with apple cider glaze)…

Three Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

Barely adapted from the Noble Pig


1 box yellow cake mix

1 can pumkin puree

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Optional: A few dashes of pumpkin pie spice, just to kick things up a knotch (I did this and I highly recommended it!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, blend together cake mix, pumkin puree and Greek Yogurt.  The batter will be very thick, be sure ingredients are mixed together well.

Pour pumpkin cake batter into a baking dish.  I chose to use individual ramekins, for single size servings.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cake puffs up and toothpick comes out clean.  You do not want to over cook this cake.

While cake is baking, you can whip up the simple cider glaze…

INGREDIENTS (for the apple cider glaze)

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tbsp Greek Yogurt

3 tbsp. apple cider

3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice


Blend powdered sugar, Greek yogurt, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice in medium bowl.  Consistancy should be a pourable glaze.  Add more powedered sugar to thicken, and more cider to thin as needed. 

Pour glaze over warm cake and serve immediately.

Isn’t it pretty?  The perfect end to a yummy Fall dinner

Forget pretty…this is the fluffiest, most flavorful cake. Ever.

Seriously…this pumpkin cake litterally melts in your mouth…

Ahh yes.  My new favorite Fall dessert for sure!


cinnamon baked noduts

Cinnamon & Sugar Baked “no-duts” {recipe}

Who doesn’t love a batch of warm, fresh donuts? I know I do, but I DON’T love what they do to my thighs. As much as I love this delicious treat, I almost never eat them because of the guilt they leave me with…because of course I can never have just one! So you can only imagine my delight when I came across a delicious sounding better-for-you recipe for baked donuts!  The Mister is a big time donut lover, so I was excited to surprise him with this recipe (without telling him they were better-for-you of course!).  So I whipped these up one Saturday morning and waited anxiously for his reaction...”these are awesome” was his response!  Then I revealed the truth about them being baked and better for you, he was shocked! As a result, I’ve dubbed these baked “no-duts”…it only seemed natural since this treat is nowhere near as bad for you as their greasy, fried counterpart.  So dive in donut lover’s…introducing, the Cinnamon & Sugar Baked “No-Duts”!

Cinnamon & Sugar Baked No-Duts (baked donuts recipe)

Yeilds 18-20 mini donut holes

Adapted from Pinch of Yum


1 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tsp. of cinnamon

1/2 tsp. of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup applesauce

1 tbsp skim milk

2 tbsp coconut oil (can substitute for natural butter too)


2 tbsp. butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350.

Mix all dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt & sugar.

Whisk together milk, coconut oil, applesauce, and egg. Stir into dry mixture.

Pour batter into a greased mini cupcake tin (this will give you mini donut holes) , filling each space about half way.

Bake for about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and pop the donut holes out of the pan.

METHOD (for the topping)

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium dish.

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar.

Using a pastry brush, dust each donut hole with the melted butter, then quickly roll them in the cinnamon & sugar mixture.

Serve warm and enjoy!

healthy baking substitutions

Healthy Baking Substitutions {healthy living}

I can’t lie, I have a major sweet tooth and I love to bake.  Most of the recipes I gravitate toward are loaded with butter and sugar, so when I did make them in the past it was always a rare treat.  This just wasn’t cutting it.  I wanted to eat sweets more often and NOT feel like I should have to go on an all  lettuce diet for the next week.  This is when I started exploring healthy recipe substitutes for baking.  I found some really strange things, and I found some really great things.  I tested the substitutes on some of my favorite recipes and came out with some winners (and some really weird things I just won’t share!).  I’ve been using many of these substitutes for a while now on recipes like the Skinny Chocolaty Chippers and The Healthy Brownie with delicious results.  Here they are, some of my favorite healthy baking substitutes

PS.  If you like these substitutions, then you’ll LOVE my 10 healthy eating choices!

Healthy Baking Substitutes


Black Beans

How it works? Using black bean puree in place of flour in recipes is a great way to reduce calories and add fiber to any yummy treat.  If your recipe calls for a cup of flour, try swapping it with a cup of black bean puree!

Works best with: Brownies, cookies


Unsweetened Apple Sauce

How it works? For cakes and bakes, you can reduce the sugar content by up to half when you use apple sauce.  All you need to do is cut the sugar in half, then add the same amount of apple sauce plus about 1/3 more. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you can use 1/2 a cup of sugar and about 3/4 a cup of apple sauce (1/2 a cup, plus about 1/3 more).  For this substitution, you will need to cut down a bit on the recipe’s liquids.  Reduce the recipe’s main liquid by about 1/4 for every cup of apple sauce added.

Works best with: cakes, bakes and fruit dishes


Mashed Avocado

How it works? Avocados are packed with essential vitamins and minerals and are a great source of healthy fats.  Swapping avocado for butter will significantly reduce the calories and fat in any recipe.  To make this switch, replace with a one to one ratio.  For example, if your recipe calls for one cup of butter you can swap it with one cup of mashed avocado.  Just remember, naturally this will tint your batter or dough green, so keep that in mind!

Works best with: Cakes and cookies. With cakes, reduce your oven temperature by 25% and increase your baking time. This will help to prevent your cake from rising up in the middle or, alternatively, caving in. It’ll also prevent the cake from browning too quickly.


Evaporated Milk

How it works: Replacing heavy creams with evaporated milks is another great way to cut out fat and calories.  Use a one for one substitution on most baked dishes.

Works best with: Whipped cream, dessert beverages



How it works? Replacing butter in a recipe with banana results in a nice rich, dense texture which can be great for all kinds of sweets.  Substitute an equal amount of mashed banana for the butter in the recipe. If a recipe calls for 1/2 cup softened butter, for example, pack a 1/2 cup with mashed banana.

Works best with: Cakes, muffins, cookies, breads. Using banana for butter may reduce cooking time by up to 25%, so keep an eye on your sweets!


Vanilla Extract

How it works?  For most baked goods, you can cut the sugar in half and add a teaspoon of vanilla as a replacement.  This will add just as much flavor without all the added calories!  Assuming a recipe originally calls for one cup of sugar, that’s a reduction of almost 400 calories!

Works best with: Cakes, muffins, cookies, breads


Cacao Nibs

How it works? Cacao is essentially chocolate in the raw.  It’s often referred to as a “super food” because of it’s wide array of benefits (unlike it’s processed counterpart).  Cacao nibs contain no sugar, and very little fat so they make a fabulous substitution for chocolate chips in just about any recipe!  Use cacao nibs one for one in place of chocolate chips.

Works best with: Any recipe where chocolate chips are used.



How it works? Stevia is an all-natural plant based sweetener with zero calories!  Stevia is usually sold in packets under different brands (Truvia etc.) in a granulated form.  This makes it the ultimate, natural sugar replacement.  One tablespoon of sugar is equal to approx. 1 1/2 packets of Stevia.  For example, if a recipe calls for one cup of sugar, you should replace that with approx. 20-24 packets of Stevia, this will eliminate almost 800 calories!  Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar, so sample recipes before adding too much!

Works best with: Cookies, cakes, muffins, dessert bars, breads


Greek Yogurt

How it works?  Using Greek yogurt in a recipe in place of oil is one of the best ways to cut the fat right out!  The Greek yogurt replacement is barely detectable and makes recipes super moist.  To make the substitution, cut the recipe’s amount of oil by half. Add ¾ cup of yogurt for every cup of oil that you remove from the recipe.

Works best with:  Cakes, breads, cookies

Now go forth and bake!


banana cream pie

Very Banana, Banana Cream Pie {recipe}

Banana cream pie has a very special place in my heart.  Personally, I was never a huge fan of it (this would soon change), but the memories it brings back are priceless =)  Whenever I dined out with my parents growing up, banana cream pie was always the ONE dessert my father could not pass up.  The server would read off the selection of sweets and if anything had the word “banana” (especially pie) I knew my dad would be a taker, and that meant desserts for everyone!  What kid doesn’t love dessert?!  Well I had a dinner for my father recently, so naturally I had to make him a banana pie.  I experimented with a few different things, until I got it just right.  I like a pie that’s more custard-like, rather than creamy so this banana cream pie is light, decedent and packed full of bananas.  This is the banana cream pie that made me a believer.  It’s simply amazing.

Very Banana, Banana Cream Pie

slightly adapted from the Joyful Baker


for the crust:

1 1/2 cup vanilla wafer crumbs

1/3 cup melted butter

for the pie:
4 bananas, sliced
1 cup skim milk
1 (3.4 oz) box instant French vanilla pudding
1/2 pkg (4 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 can (7 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 container (6 oz) Cool Whip


Starting with the crust, mix together vanilla wafer crumbs and butter.  Press into a 9″ pie plate, chill until set.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well, no clumps!  In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk, mix until smooth. Fold the Cool Whip into the cream cheese mixture, then add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.  Last, add one sliced banana into the mixture.

Making sure your crust has set, add the remaining 3 sliced bananas to the pie plate.

Pour the custard mixture on top of the bananas.

Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Add some whipped cream to each slice and enjoy!