Angel Food Pineapple Cupcakes

Angel food cupcakes

Batter up!

Sprinkles add fun and color

Bake till golden

Want easy? This is it. Two ingredients – or three, if you like – and you’ll have a tray of simple, light cupcakes that are low in fat, high in flavor.
This started as a weight loss recipe for bars, but I discovered that it works well as cupcakes. (Call them muffins if you eat them before noon!) Because they are angel food, the bars are moist and crumbly, so encasing them in muffin cups keeps fingers clean and somewhat contains the crumbs. Bring these to your next gathering – or to work as I did last week. They will love you for it.

Ingredients for Angel Food Cupcakes
1 box of one-step angel food cake (The kind where you only add water.)
1 16oz can of crushed pineapple with all the juice. (Packed in its own juice is best)

Optional: 1 cup coconut
Also optional – sprinkles to show which cupcakes have the coconut.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put cupcake liners in 24 muffin cups.
Mix the cake mix and pineapple in a glass or metal pan with a large spoon. (No plastic, which holds grease.)
If you are adding coconut, add that too and stir to combine.
Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the mixture into the muffin cups.
Bake 15 – 20 minutes until they are golden brown.

I knew that a coworker dislikes coconut, so I put red sprinkles on the batch with the coconut to make it easier to tell the difference. Of course, the sprinkles were a favorite for the children who visited our office that day! So perhaps use two colors of sprinkles to denote those with – and without – the yummy coconut.

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Baked Chocolate Cheesecake – gluten free

It all started with the high price of gasoline. No, there’s no gas in the recipe, but this is where the thread begins.
We have the fuel saver program at our grocery store and I find myself sometimes purchasing items because I can get a nickel off each gallon of gas, rather than because I need the item. This was the case with ricotta cheese. I found myself with two packages that were approaching their expiration date. So one of them became this delicious dessert.

The picture looks like a brownie, but in fact, this is a baked chocolate cheesecake. I happened to have gluten-free graham crackers on hand, so the crust was gluten free. That was a bonus for my neighbor Karen, who has celiac and often does the taste tests for my GF recipes.

chocolate cheesecake

But even my other neighbors, Layton and Becky, who do not need gluten free, enjoyed the cheesecake blissfully unaware that it was GF.

I had created another chocolate cheesecake a year or so ago, but there were too many ingredients and steps. So I simplified it and we loved the result.

Makes an 8″ square pan, or 16 servings.
Graham cracker crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
4 TBS butter, softened

Filling Ingredients

15 oz ricotta cheese
4 oz cream cheese
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup almond flour – sifted because it can be lumpy and no one wants lumpy cheesecake

Garnish – 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Blend graham cracker crust ingredients.
Press into 8″ square pan that has been greased with butter.

Filling: beat the ingredients in the order listed until smooth.
Pour them over the unbaked crust.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a crack forms on the top.

Pull cheesecake out of the oven and while very hot, sprinkle the top with the chocolate chips.
Put the cake back into the oven for one minute.
Pull out of the oven and spread the chips which will become a light frosting.

That’s it. Of course, you should wait until the cake is cooled to try it. Good luck with that!

I hope you have friends to share this with because it is very rich. Very very rich.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce

Springtime in the Midwest always includes rhubarb. And deer. One wondered into our backyard Saturday evening as we were having dinner. She looked at me as if she was asking where I keep the rhubarb.

Deer visitor

I do love rhubarb. As a small child we chewed on the raw stalks…after dipping them in sugar. Now I make jams, crisps, coffeecakes and sauces. I used to make a sauce with just rhubarb and a sugar substitute – a Weight Watchers recipe from the ’60′s. But it was too acidic alone and left a funny taste on my teeth.

strawberry rhubarb sauce

I tried adding in strawberries and using a bit of sugar. What a great find. Wonderful alone or over Greek yogurt, ice cream, frozen yogurt, cake or cottage cheese. You can also pour a bit over raw strawberries and add a dollop of yogurt on top.

sauce over angel food

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce
1 cup cleaned rhubarb, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1/2 cup sugar (you may also use Stevia or Truvia)
1 tbs lemon juice
dash salt

Put all ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium-low on the stove.
It may appear dry at first, but as the fruit cooks, it will let go of it’s juices and become a sauce.
Slowly bring to a boil and boil about one minute.
Remove from heat. The sauce will thicken a bit as it cools.
Eat it warm or cool. Store left overs in the fridge.

more cake

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Baby Sea Turtle Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is an idea from the Dora the Explorer cookbook for kids. One year I gave each of my oldest four grandkids a cookbook for Christmas. Since then we occasionally have fun recreating recipes from them.

baby sea turtles

Sophia with Clare

First Communion Day

I was in Florida celebrating my granddaughter, Sophia’s 8th birthday and her first Communion. It was a wonderful time with Sophia, her sister, Clare and brother, Oliver, along with parents Isaac and Kara.

Clare and I made cupcakes for Sophia to bring to her class on her birthday. We used a basic frosting that I learned as a child and still love to make and then decorated them with M & M’s and gum drops. Snip the gum drops to use as the tails and use a full gum drop for the head of the turtle. So cute! The kids in Sophia’s class loved them!

Sophia and family

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 TBS butter
4 TBS cream cheese (low fat)
1 tsp almond extract
2 TBS milk
2-3 cups confectioners sugar
2 drops each – green and blue food coloring

Beat the ingredients, adding the sugar at the end.
Add more milk if it’s too stiff or more sugar if it’s too thin.

Use whatever cupcakes you like.