I brought this cake to work for a meeting, a breakfast meeting, and it was gone in moments.  To me peanut butter and banana have a wonderful affinity for each other.  If you want to really pump it up, toss in some chocolate chips to the cake batter…whatever you choose to do, be sure to save room for dessert, even if it’s 9:30 am…

Banana Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Buttercream Glaze

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature.

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

4 very ripe bananas, mashed, about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups

1 cup sour cream

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray or generously butter a 12-cup Bundt pan (After a disastrous cake inversion, I now use this)
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  • Beat butter until creamy; add sugar and vanilla, beating until fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after you plop in each egg
  • Unless you want to be splattered with batter, reduce the speed to low and add the bananas.
  • Then, add in half of the dry ingredients, the entire cup of sour cream, and then the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. During the baking time, check after about 30 minutes, and if it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.
  • Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before inverting to cool completely.
  • Pour on Peanut Butter Buttercream Glaze or just dust with powdered sugar.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Glaze
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk, or more
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt

  • In a microwave safe bowl, heat butter and milk until butter melts.  Add peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until mixture is smooth.
  • Add 1 cup powdered sugar, mix well.  Add more powdered sugar or milk to achieve desired consistency.

Cake recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Save Room for Dessert…Cajun Cake

AKA, dump cake, which is a rather unattractive moniker for such a delicious, yet easy, cake.  Growing up in largely Cajun town of LaPlace, La, I ate this cake often, and I’ve never tired of it.  Nor will you, I dare say.

My version is an adaptation from an old cookbook of my mother’s, Cajun Cooking.  I pumped up the flavor using brown sugar for some of the granulated, as well as adding both vanilla and a pinch of salt, which rounds out the flavor.  Also, because we’re all about the icing, I doubled the icing recipe.  The unattractive moniker of “dump cake” originates from the instructions – dump all recipes in a bowl and mix.  Whatever name you prefer to use, be sure to save room for dessert when this delicious cake is on the table…

Cajun Cake
2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
16-oz crushed pineapple with juice
2 large eggs
Coconut-Pecan Icing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter or spray an 11×7 baking dish and set aside.
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
While cake bakes, prepare Coconut Pecan Icing.

Coconut-Pecan Icing
12-oz can evaporated milk
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups packed shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cups toasted and chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bring evaporated milk, butter and sugar to a boil, reduce heat and cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, and add coconut, pecans, vanilla, and salt.
Pour hot icing over warm cake; allow cake to cool to room temperature before serving.

Magic Brownie Bars

Hello Dollies, Seven Layer Bars, Magic Bars, these delights have many names and all of them delicious.  This is my take on this old favorite, and it’s super quick and easy to put together as it starts with a brownie mix of your choice.  Actually, all of the ingredients used to build these bars can be individualized.  I used three types of chips, but you could use just one, two, or even use more than three!  Have fun and make them taste like magic!

Magic Brownie Bars
1 family size brownie mix
1+1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
1 cup coarsely chopped & toasted pecans
2/3 cup each semi-sweet morsels, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups coconut nut
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 13×9 pan with parchment or foil, so that edges extend on sides of pan.
Toast pecans in 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes, toss with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle on 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.
Mix brownie mix, melted butter, and egg together to make a stiff dough; press into bottom of prepared baking pan.
Layer the following ingredients onto brownie bottom: graham cracker crumbs, pecans, semi-sweet morsels, butterscotch chips, and white chocolate chips, and coconut.
Pour entire can of sweetened condensed milk over top.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes, remove from pan, and cut into squares.

Save Room for Dessert…Christmas Cake
I love fruitcake, in fact, I’ve always loved fruitcake, even as a kid.  Weird kid, I know.  Anyway, I’m not naive enough to believe that everyone loves fruitcake; I suppose it’s likely that more people dislike fruitcake than not.  However, this cake, which I’ve cleverly renamed as Christmas Cake, could possibly turn a fruitcake hater into, well, maybe not a fruitcake lover, but perhaps someone who likes fruitcake.  It’s chockful of big red raisins, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.  Everyone who takes a bite always says the same thing, “this tastes like Christmas!”  And, it does, it’s a wonderful cake.  The recipe is actually an adaptation of many war cake recipes that I found a few years ago when I was doing some research for a library program.  During war, items such as butter, milk, and eggs are rationed, so cakes from war times were made sans expensive ingredients.  All of the recipes I found contained shortening, some used brown sugar, others used granulated sugar, none of them had eggs or milk, but they all had nuts and raisins.  I’ve made many versions of the cake, and this is my favorite version thus far.  I use butter rather than shortening and granulated sugar instead of brown.  Dried cranberries have been added along with the raisins, and while walnuts were very common in the original recipes, I used pecans.  I also add an entire ground orange, which appeared in a few of the recipes, but not all.  I love the hint of citrus flavor.  For an impressive look, not to mention, truly over the top deliciousness, drizzle on a brown sugar glaze…drool-worthy.

Christmas Cake
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 navel orange, ground in food processor
2 cups raisins
2 cups dried cranberries
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
Brown sugar glaze, optional

  • In a large pot, combine water, sugar, butter, raisins, dried cranberries, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer; continue to cook for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat, and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
  • When mixture is cool, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Butter & flour a Bundt pan and set aside.
  • Whisk flour and baking soda together.  Add to cooled mixture, mixing well.  Stir in pecans.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees for 75-90 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 15 minutes in pan before inverting onto a dish.  Cool completely before drizzling with glaze or slicing.
Save Room for Dessert…Eggnog Coffee Cake

I was browsing through my recipe binder, you know, the kind filled with yellowed newspaper clippings, handwritten recipes jotted onto scraps of paper, and occasionally, a nicely done recipe card.  Today’s post is a recipe written in my own handwriting on a piece of paper from a yellow legal pad.  No idea of its origins.  Maybe from my brief foray into law school?  Who knows, what I do know is that it’s super yummy, moist, perfect for dessert with a cup of coffee, and luckily, everytime I come across the recipe, it’s the holiday season, and eggnog is readily available.  It goes together super quickly, and needs no other adornment in addition to the yummy streusel.

Eggnog Coffee Cake
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, divided
1 cup eggnog
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter and line a 9″ cake with parchment paper, or butter and flour the pan; set aside.
Using a pastry cutter, combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter together until crumbly.
Measure out 1 cup of the mixture and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg; set streusel aside.
Add baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg to the remaining crumb mixture; beat in the eggnog, egg, bourbon, and vanilla until well mixed.
Pour batter into prepared pan and top with streusel mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Serve warm.

Save Room for dessert new badge
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup butter, softened
3 Jumbo eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup golden rum*
3 cups grated carrots
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained well
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • Pour rum over raisins and set aside for at least an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour 2-9 inch cake pans.
  • In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugars.
  • In another bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and 1 egg. Add additional eggs and beat until well creamed.
  • Add dry ingredients gradually until well blended.
  • Add carrots, pineapple and walnuts until well blended.
  • Drain raisins and fold in last.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool 10 minutes.
  • Invert cakes onto rack and cool completely.

*As an option you could soak the raisins in orange juice instead and then substitute 1 teaspoon maple flavoring for the rum.

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

  • In a medium bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  • Add powdered sugar gradually until well blended and smooth.
  • Ice first layer and then add 2nd cake top and ice again including sides of cake.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour to set icing before serving.

Hi, Tamy here filling in for Save Room for Desserts.
Don’t forget to add your link on the sidebar!
2-3 large Granny Smith apples (4 Cups chopped)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup apple juice
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 small box cheesecake flavored instant pudding
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine all CRISP ingredients and mix well. Pour into an un-greased stoneware pan.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the topping ingredients and mix until crumbly.
  • Sprinkle topping over apple mixture.
  • Bake 45-60 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is crisp and golden.
  • Serve warm with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.
You say zabaglione, I say sabayon: Don’t call the whole thing off, Save Room for Dessert

Do you remember the song? Louis Armstrong and Fred Astaire both sang this romantic tune over the decades, and this dessert from the Joy of Desserts archives would be pretty to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day no matter how you pronounce it.

Whether you call this dessert zabaglione like the Italians, or sabayon like the French, it is the same classic dessert made with egg yolks and a sweet dessert wine. It only takes about 15 minutes to make and can be prettied up by serving in a glass with berries.

Italian Zabaglione or French Sabayon
Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings
2 packages (6 ounces each) raspberries
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dry Marsala or other dessert wine

Divide berries between four 8-ounce dessert dishes or stemmed glasses.
Fill the bottom of a double boiler (or a saucepan with a metal bowl fitted snugly on top) with 1-2 inches of water or just below bowl. Bring water to a simmer.
Beat egg yolks and sugar in top of double boiler or bowl with an electric mixer or wire whisk until fluffy and light in color, about 5 minutes. Maintain water at a low simmer while beating.
Add Marsala, 1 tablespoon at a time, continuously beating until mixture forms very soft peaks, about 8 minutes.
Pour zabaglione mixture over berries and serve immediately.

Nutrition Per Serving: 238 calories, 4.79g total fat, 1.64g saturated fat, 3.39g protein, 37.47g carbohydrate, 209.78mg cholesterol, 2.04g fiber, 192mg sodium
Recipe and nutrition values from Driscoll’s, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)

Healthy tips:
* Substitute blackberries, blueberries or about 3 cups sliced, hulled strawberries
* Try a mixed berry zabaglione with some of all the above berries
* 1 cup of strawberries provides an amazing 93% of your day’s supply of Vitamin C
* 1 cup of raspberries and blackberries each provide 50% of your day’s supply of Vitamin C
* Blueberries have one of the highest antioxident values at 5,486 ORAC Value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) per cup

Happy St. Valentine’s Day,

Joy of Desserts

Strawberry cream pie recipe; Surprise your Valentine

Here’s one very tasty strawberry cream pie recipe from my Joy of Desserts archives. It’s a great dessert to surprise your Sweet Valentine — notice how the strawberries are hulled into a heart shape — or you could bake this pie in a heart-shaped plate, too.

It’s quite easy with a store bought pie crust and a basket of strawberries. All you’ll have to prepare is the custard, but if you want to cut corners there too, you could always just replace it with store bought pudding.

Another variation would be to prepare in small tartelette molds. You’ll love this recipe so much, you’ll want to enjoy it all during strawberry season.


4 Egg yolk
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon of natural flavoring
such as vanilla, lemon, rum, or
Grand Marnier1 Prebaked pie or tart shell
1 Basket of strawberriesGently beat the yolks, add sugar and salt. Slowly bring to almost a boil while stirring. DO NOT BOIL or it will curdle. Add flavoring and let cool.

While you are waiting for the custard to cool, wash and cut your strawberries in halves. Gently stir in a few teaspoons of sugar to macerate (marinate for fruits). When cool, add the custard to your favorite pre-baked pastry shell. Line the macerated strawberries all around on top of the custard, covering it completely. Pour all sugar syrup over the top.

Voila! Simple as Strawberry Pie!

Joy of Desserts

Brown sugar cookies recipe – Save Room for Dessert

Like sugar cookies? You’ll love brown sugar cookies! These cookies go well with ice cream, coffee, tea, or even as a cookie pie crust. Try them.


See you next Wednesday for another Save Room for Dessert.
Don’t forget to visit the other participants, and to comment on their blogs.
(Stop by Joy Of Desserts to enter my latest giveaway, too!)


Brown Sugar Cookies Recipe
makes about 15 cookies1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup milk
1 cup flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped nutsCream butter. Add sugar. Beat egg whites and egg yolks separately. Add beaten eggs whites, beaten egg yolks, and milk. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add to egg and sugar mixture. Add nuts. Continue mixing thoroughly. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto well-oiled baking sheet. Bake at 400 F. for about 15 minutes.