Strawberry-Coconut Cream Cupcakes

Strawberry Coconut Cream Cupcakes


If I remember correctly the Cupcake Craze in America started in the year 2005. This was the year that the “Cupcake Genius” Candace Nelson opened her doors to her very first Cupcake Bakery – Sprinkles on lIttle Santa Monica Blvd in Beverly Hills, Ca.

Then the buzz in the food world started “Have you tried Sprinkles yet” “Omg you will never be the same after eating one of these cupcakes” , “Those cupcakes can kill a diet in one bite”. So in the Spring of 2007 I made a special trip to Los Angeles with my lovely nieces in tow and it was then that I finally got to sink my teeth into one of these little babies.

All I can say is “I was sold on the first bite” and yes I have never been the same since. I have visited many cupcake establishments over the last seven years and none of them can even begin to touch the magic of a Sprinkles cupcake.

Since 2005 The Sprinkles Empire has gone on to grow and expand into 14 locations nationwide. If you ever get to opportunity to visit any one of these locations and immerse yourself in cupcake euphoria I promise you too will become a life long fan.

In the meantime if you don’t live near one of these locations you can make your own batch of Sprinkles cupcakes in your very own kitchen. The following is the official recipe from Candace Nelson for her Strawberry Cupcakes. I have only added the small twist of garnishing them with coconut because I favor this combo. Happy Cupcake Making!






  •  The Talented Ms. Candace Nelson


Strawberry - Coconut Cream Cupcakes
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 Doz Cupcakes
  • ⅔ cup whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Strawberry Frosting
  • ½ cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 3½ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about ⅓ cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
  7. For Strawberry Frosting
  8. Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.
  9. ** Garnish Cupcakes with sweetened coconut flakes






  • I love this picture of “Bubby” my little nephew. This was his very first taste of a cupcake made by yours truly. I believe he liked it, he ate the whole thing. Good Boy!






Frozen Cheesecake Bars

Frozen Cheesecake Bars

These frozen treats are easy and fun. Kids love them- especially after playing all day in the pool or out in the hot Summer Sun. The edges can be garnished not only with sprinkles but also, mini chocolate chips, crushed candy bars or even graham cracker crumbs!


Frozen Cheesecake Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 bars
  • 12 Graham Crackers
  • 5 oz of Cool Whip (Softened- About half a tub)
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • ¼ Cup powered sugar
  1. Break the graham crackers in half to make 24 squares. Lay out the 12 graham crackers in a square dish with been lined with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Whisk together the soften cream cheese and powdered sugar together with a mixer on medium speed. Once the sugar and cream cheese are combined and smooth, add the softened Cool Whip and whip together for 1-2 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Pour the Cool Whip mixture over the graham crackers.
  4. Top with remaining graham crackers to make sandwiches.
  5. Freeze for at least 3 hrs
  6. Once the bars are completely frozen, lift them out of the baking dish by using a the paper as handles, and cut into individual squares. Dip the edges in sprinkles and serve.





Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie


Sin Skillet City- Yes I have gone there.

Yet another yummy dessert that comes right out of your cast iron skillet. What you don’t have a cast iron skillet? Please go grab your car keys and run to the store and pick yourself up one! They only last about 100 years and everything you will ever make ends up tasting so extra good.

This rather large cookie can then be embellished with Ice Cream , drizzled chocolate fudge and salted carmel (As if it weren’t fattening enough). But don’t worry I won’t tell anyone , go right ahead and enjoy yourself…………..


Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10 - 12
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 heaping teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • Ice cream, such as vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate, for serving
  • Salted Carmel & Hot Fudge, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Add the vanilla and eggs, mixing well. Combine the flour, instant coffee, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 batches, mixing after each one. Stir in the semisweet chocolate chips.
  3. Spread the mixture into a 10-inch skillet and bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven, top the cookie with several scoops of your favorite ice cream, drizzle on some hot fudge and salted carmel on top.









Sugar Cookie Berry Tart

Sugar Cookie Berry Tart

With the arrival of Berry season, this old favorite get’s put back on the table for all to devour and enjoy. Feel free to add your own twist of fruit combinations. There are so many ways to make this tart bright and colorful. You can add sliced Kiwi, Oranges, Raspberries, green apples as well.




Sugar Cookie Berry Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 1 package store bought sugar cookie dough
  • Toppings:
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • ½ pint fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Flatten cookie dough onto a 6-inch tart or pizza pan. Bake until firm to touch, about 11 to 15 minutes. Cool. In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar. Spread the baked cookie with the cream cheese mixture and decorate with sliced fruit.
  3. Slice and serve immediately.






Chocolate- Orange Pots De Creme



  • These little pots of heavenly yumminess are so easy to make. But they taste as if you spent hours on them. Poured into Mason jars they work out great for picnics and tailgate parties.
Chocolate- Orange Pots De Creme
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10 - 12
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 ounces strong hot coffee
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Orange peel, for garnish
  1. Place the chocolate chips in a blender. Crack in the eggs, and then add the orange liqueur and salt. Pulse until the chocolate chips are partially pulverized, 5 to 7 times.
  2. With the blender running, carefully pour in the coffee in a steady stream through the small opening in the lid. The coffee will melt the chocolate and turn it into a smooth mixture. Turn off the blender when the mixture is very smooth. Pour the mixture into small mason jars or pretty wine glasses.
  3. Place the jars on a tray and refrigerate them until firm, at least 2 or 3 hours.
  4. Whip the cream with the sugar and generously plop it onto the top of each glass.
  5. Cut a strip of orange peel, cut into strips and decorate with the orange peel twists.


Place the chocolate chips in a blender. Crack in the eggs, and then add the orange liqueur and salt. Pulse until the chocolate chips are partially pulverized, 5 to 7 times



With the blender running, carefully pour in the coffee in a steady stream through the small opening in the lid. The coffee will melt the chocolate and turn it into a smooth mixture. Turn off the blender when the mixture is very smooth. Pour the mixture into small mason jars or pretty wine glasses.




Place the jars on a tray and refrigerate them until firm, at least 2 or 3 hours. Yum!




Mini Key Lime Cups


Mini Key Lime Cups
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • Lime Curd:
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 14 eggs
  • Crust (Bottom Layer)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 12 whole graham crackers
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Topping:
  • 1½ cups whipping cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Lime zest, for garnish
  1. For the lime curd: Combine the lime juice, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan and cook on a low flame until the butter melts. Beat the eggs, add to the saucepan and stir until combined. Bring to a simmer. Stir constantly and cook until the mixture is a thick and creamy consistency, 5 to7 minutes. Pass through a mesh strainer. Chill for 2 hours in the fridge.
  2. For the crust: Add the sugar and graham crackers to a food processor. Pour in the melted butter and pulse to combine.
  3. For the topping: Whip the cream with the sugar until stiff.
  4. To assemble, layer the crumb mixture into the bottom of a serving cup, followed by the lime curd. Top with the whipped cream mixture and garnish with lime zest.








Great Shakes – Palm Springs


 Gourmet Shakes & Malts

This past Friday night my foodie pal (Mr. Brodie) and I where heading out to get him a Chocolate Malt for dessert. Just cruising along Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs we stumbled upon the most amazing place that was just too good to keep to ourselves.

It simply happened with a small turn to my left when I spotted this adorable Aqua Retro looking little Shake Shop. It’s called Great Shakes and let me tell you it should be called Amazing Change Your Life Shakes.

This is carefully crafted ice cream at it’s best. Made from scratch at a local dairy you can taste all the fresh ingredients starting from the very first bite. Their sauces Carmel, Fudge and Butterscotch are all homemade! They also make their own whipped cream and marshmallows. The best part, each shake is garnished with an adorable homemade mini donut. How much more cuter could a shake get?


  •  Lord Help Me!! It was a very difficult task to pick a flavor………….



  •  So here was the final verdict for me  – Carmel Coffee Creme


This was the Most Memorable and Delish shake I’ve ever tasted in my life! I think I will never be the same, to call it fabulous would be such an understatement.


  • Mr. Brodie’s choice- Lemon Lavender with Toasted Marshmallows.


Here is a sample of some of the flavors they serve up:

  • Brown Sugar Graham
  • Date Walnut
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Lemon Carmel
  • Oreo Mint
  • S’more
  • Strawberry Malt
  • White Chocolate Cherry
  • Pistachio
  • Cakeshake
  • Butter Pecan
  • Butterscotch Orange Cream
  • Brown Sugar Graham
  • Chocolate Fudge
  • Peanut Butter & Banana

Other treats that are offered is a very large assortment of “Retro Candy”, Fresh Baked Cookies, Homemade Brownies and Artisan Marshmallows.


Great Shakes

160 S. Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, Ca 92261




No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake



We are well on our way to wrapping up the 2nd month of the year (February) and as I promised back in January I would be posting a new “Nutella” Dessert for each month in the year 2014. So in continuation of my devotion and love for Nutella I have decided on a “No Bake” version for this months recipe.

**Warning this Cheesecake is Very Rich. But it’s nothing short of pure decadence. When paired with coffee or a shot of espresso – Well it’s bliss – bliss- bliss…………..and extra pure hyper- activeness……………………lol


No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 9 oz crushed graham crackers
  • 7 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp Nutella (for Crust)
  • ¼ Cup Crushed & Toasted Hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 18 oz (2 bars ) of cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 - 13 oz jar of Nutella
  1. In a food processor pulsate the crackers until nice and crumbly, add the melted butter 2 tbsp Nutella, Crushed Hazelnuts and give a few pulses until mixed thoroughly.
  2. Put the crust mix into a springform cake tin (I used 8”) and press firmly to create an even layer. Chill in the fridge while preparing the cheesecake mixture.
  3. Beat the cream cheese, with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until it forms a smooth mixture with no lumps.
  4. Beat in the jar of Nutella until mixture is combined.
  5. Beat in the ½ cup cream until mixture looks shiny and mousse-like.
  6. Dollop mixture onto graham crust and smooth the surface.
  7. Just before refrigerating the cheesecake add some topping if you wish, I crumbled some Hazelnuts and sprinkled on top for some décor.
  8. Chill in the fridge for a 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
  9. Just before serving dust corners with some powdered sugar....For the prettiness effect!














Coconut Tapioca Pudding



Tapioca with a serious tropical twist. Not to sweet – Just a little smooth blend of coconut with a tad bit of fresh pineapple and toasted coconut to finish. Tapioca is made from the root of the cassava plant, it’s used as a thickening agent in puddings, soups and fruit pie fillings. You can find Tapioca in the pudding section of the supermarket.


Coconut Tapioca Pudding
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 can (13½ ounces) coconut milk
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup small pieces of fresh pineapple, or 1 can (5½ ounces) pineapple chunks, drained and cut into smaller pieces.
  1. In a medium saucepan, lightly beat egg. Add coconut milk, milk, sugar, and tapioca; whisk to combine. Set aside, at least 5 minutes, until tapioca is slightly softened.
  2. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil over medium heat; stir in vanilla. Transfer mixture to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Let cool until no longer hot, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cold, 2 to 3 hours (or up to 3 days).
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast, tossing once or twice, until golden, 10 to 15 minutes; let cool.
  4. Just before serving, whisk pudding to loosen. Divide among four serving glasses or dishes; top with pineapple and toasted coconut.




Cannoli Dip



I’ve always have been a huge fan of Cannoli. The very first time a tasted one of these little cuties filled with pure “awesomeness” was at Mike’s Pastry in the North End of Boston.

I could only dream that there would be a bakery like this back here in California that could match the “Heavenlyness” (is that a word?) of Mikes Pastry, but so far I haven’t been able to pin one down.  This Cannoli is a nice “Plan B”- Because you get all the fun that comes with a Cannoli but it’s half the work. It’s alway’s been a real crowd pleaser and lets face it. How could you turn your back on something so pretty!


Cannoli Dip
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 1 32oz container part skim or fat free ricotta cheese
  • 2½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marinier
  • Toppings:
  • Mini chocolate chips, to top
  • Chopped pistachios, to top
  • Fresh orange zest, to top
  • Fresh Raspberries, to top
  • Wafers or graham crackers, to dip
  1. Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Top with mini chocolate chips, chopped pistachios,raspberries and orange zest.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Serve with dippers of your choice.