Sensational Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

I’ve made “loose” versions of Strawberry Shortcake over the years…basically angel food cake (or white cake) with either whipping cream or vanilla ice cream and strawberries, but this was my first time ever making a true Strawberry Shortcake recipe. It was my husband’s birthday this week and he didn’t have a specific birthday cake request, so I decided to finally give Strawberry Shortcake a try and believe me this recipe from Glorious Treats did not disappoint! Her presentation was much better, but never the less, it was absolutely delicious! When it comes to trying new recipes, I have this thing I do….I’m not sure why, but almost every time I try a new dessert recipe, I end up making adjustments of some kind. It really makes no sense because the “tweaks” are not a result of the recipe lacking in some way, but rather my presumptions as to what would make it even better. For the full original recipe, please visit Glorious Treats, but I do want to share my thoughts and the changes/additions I made.

First of all, I absolutely loved the density of the cake. It was a bit of a heavier cake, but it combined perfectly with the whipping cream and strawberries. Glory mentions the Balsamic Glaze being key in this recipe and I have to agree. The flavour it brought to the strawberries was amazing. In her recipe, she uses Sprouts Organic Balsamic Glaze. I have never actually come across a Balsamic Glaze (or another recipe that calls for it). I didn’t want to have to hunt for it and then store a mostly full bottle for a measly tablespoon, so I opted to make my own. I found the recipe on Add a Pinch and then just reduced it to make a half recipe. It was super easy to make and my version made about 2 tablespoons of glaze. I had the vinegar on hand, so it cost me nothing to make it and the flavour was fantastic. Here’s what I did:

Balsamic Glaze

  • 1/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup (or honey or brown sugar)

Place ingredients in a small pot. Heat over medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by half. Stir every couple of minutes. This takes about 10 minutes and makes approximately 2 tablespoons of the Balsamic Glaze. Cool.

I’m not sure if cream cheese is a staple in Strawberry Shortcake recipes or not, but I loved the added flavour in the whipping cream mixture of Glory’s recipe. (Seriously, her recipe is fantastic!)

Last, but definitely not least, I decided to add in the Strawberry Crumble that I found on Deliciously Sprinkled. The cookie crumble incorporated a bit of crunch and I loved the contrasting texture that it added. The only down side is that the recipe makes quite a bit and you really can’t cut it down because it calls for one box of Strawberry Jello and one box of Vanilla Instant Pudding. However, I put the extra in a ziplock bag and froze it. I can’t be sure, but my guess is it will freeze well. (The fresh strawberry topping and cookie crumble would also taste amazing on vanilla ice cream for a quick dessert, so having a stash in the freezer may come in handy.)

To Make My Version:

Print the original Strawberry Shortcake recipe from Glorious Treats and follow all of the steps (substituting your own homemade Balsamic Glaze).  Don’t forget to add in a layer of Strawberry Crumble, following the fresh strawberries.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle ~ Oh yeah!

As amazing as this tasted, I did find the denser cake layers a bit tricky to cut through while maintaining the integrity of the cake. Of course this had zero impact on the flavour, but it didn’t look as pretty when it was served. In summary…this could honestly become one of my favourite recipes…so amazingly yummy! However, the next time I make this it will absolutely be in a trifle bowl! Oh yeah…STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE TRIFLE! I predict that the flavours will meld even more when combined trifle style, and it would also take away the fuss with presentation and serving. To make the trifle, I would simply add the strawberry crumble into the original recipe, as the fourth layer in the trifle bowl. (Cubed cake, whipping cream mixture, fresh strawberries and cookie crumble, repeat X3) The only other thing I might consider when converting this to a trifle is perhaps dipping the cake chunks into the juices from the strawberry mixture. There probably would not be enough juice to dip all three layers, but I’m thinking that it might be nice to dip the pieces for the bottom or middle layer of the trifle. I will absolutely be sure to post when I pull this amazing recipe together in a trifle. Let me know if you beat me to it!

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out. Be sure to check out my archives for more great recipes, gift wrapping ideas, DIY projects and home decor tips! Thanks for visiting!

Don’t forget to LIKE/SHARE the post and SUBSCRIBE to my blog for more great ideas.

Chocolate Mocha Trifle

Chocolate Mocha TrifleI’m not gonna lie….this dessert involves several steps and is a bit time consuming. Having said that, it isn’t hard to make and can be made over several days because of the various steps. If you love the meshing of chocolate and coffee flavours…I think you’ll find it’s worth the effort! I had never really tasted a Chocolate Mocha Trifle before, but I had to make a dessert for an event and I love making trifles because they taste good and are relatively stress free. Seriously, not much could go wrong with a trifle!

I somehow got it in my head that I would love to make a Chocolate Mocha flavoured trifle, so I began scouring the internet for that perfect recipe. There were several, but one comment that surfaced more than once in the reviews was that many of the recipes had a “processed” food taste…yuck! I decided that instead of searching for an actual trifle recipe, I would instead look for what appeared to be good Mocha and/or Coffee flavoured desserts. This dessert is completely from scratch (other than the Coffee Crisp Chocolate Bars) and combines several recipes (all of which I tried for the first time for this trifle).  The good news is that some of the recipes can be made ahead and frozen until the day you assemble the dessert.

Chocolate Mocha Trifle Layers:

  • Chocolate Cake with Kahlúa drizzle
  • 8-10 Café Coffee Cookies
  • Chocolate Mocha Mousse
  • Mocha Whip Frosting
  • 2 Coffee Crisp Chocolate Bars, chopped

Chocolate Cake:

For this trifle, I used one of my go to Chocolate Cake recipes. This cake is super moist, but a bit denser than some. I like it for a trifle because it is a heavier and holds up better in the layers. For this trifle, I doubled the cake recipe. I did end up with some left over cake, but didn’t want to end up short and not have enough cake for the trifle bowl. My bowl isn’t overly large, but I’m glad I doubled it up, despite the left-overs (which make great cake pops)! I made the cake several days ahead; cooled it completely, cut it into 1″ squares and then froze it in a zipper bag until the day of assembly.

Kahlúa – I used about 1/2 cup of Kahlúa and drizzled it over the layers of cake, as they were added to the trifle bowl.

Chocolate Mocha Mousse:

This recipe was adapted from the recipe found on page 181 in Enjoy! from The Best of Bridge cookbook series.  I can’t find the recipe online to link it to, but their recipes are very good and I have several of the books from the series. The original recipe uses chocolate wafers for the base of the dessert and I didn’t need a base, so the recipe is not exactly the same as is in their book.


  • 6 cups (small bag) of miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 4 teaspoons of instant coffee
  • 1 cup of whipping cream


Melt the marshmallows in the top of a double boiler (or in short increments in your microwave – that’s what I did). While the marshmallows are melting, stir the coffee into the boiling water. Once the marshmallows have melted, stir in the coffee mixture. Cover and chill at least an hour. (I did this step the day before I planned to assemble the dessert.) This is super quick to do, but waiting for it to chill can really slow down the process, so plan ahead.

On the day of assembly. Whip the cream. Remove the marshmallow/coffee mixture from the fridge and whip. Fold in the marshmallow/coffee mixture. Place back in the fridge until all of the trifle layers are prepared and ready for assembly.

Café Coffee Cookies:

Café Chocolate CookiesThis recipe was found on the Betty Crocker site. The cookies turned out great, but I did make a couple of minor changes to the original recipe. I reduced the chocolate chips and omitted the pecans. The recipe calls for one 12 oz. bag of chocolate chunks (I used chips instead). I felt like this was too much, so I only used half a bag (and still felt like that was more than enough). The cookies are very much like a regular chewy chocolate chip cookie with a coffee twist. The recipe says that it makes 15 servings. I made my cookies 1/3 to 1/2 the suggested size and baked them about 10 minutes. Yielded about 3 dozen cookies, give or take (I didn’t actually count them). You can find the original recipe for the Café Coffee Cookies here. I made these about a week before I needed the dessert and frozen them.

Chop/break 8-10 of the cookies for use in the trifle.

Mocha Whipped Frosting:

Again, this recipe is taken from the Best of Bridge Series. I found it on page 196/197 of Grand Slam. The recipe is actually called Mocha Whipped Cream Cake, but I only used the frosting portion of the recipe.


  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup strong, cold coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlúa


Whip cream with sugar until soft peaks form. Add the coffee and kahlúa. Beat until stiff.

Chocolate Mocha Trifle Assembly:

  • 1/3 of cake, drizzled with kahlúa
  • 1/2 of Chocolate Mocha Mousse
  • Cookies
  • 1/3 of cake, drizzled with kahlúa
  • 1/2 of Chocolate Mocha Mousse
  • 1/3 of cake, drizzled with kahlúa
  • Mocha Whipped Frosting
  • Top with broken Coffee Crisp Chocolate Bars



Scrumptious Pumpkin Poke Cake Dessert

Scrumptious Pumpkin Poke Cake Dessert

Sorry, no great pictures of this dessert! I snapped this one quickly before putting on the plastic wrap and taking it to work.

If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you already know that I love pumpkin! There is no better time than the fall to try out a new pumpkin recipe and this fall was no exception. In fact, this recipe is so yummy I’ve made it twice and can’t wait for an opportunity to make it again!

Let me begin by saying that this recipe was adapted from Jennifer W.’s recipe Better Than Sex Pumpkin Dessert on Key Ingredient, so suffice to say…it’s delicious!

I’m sure the original recipe is fabulous…. I only changed it because you can’t buy Heath Bits here and I prefer homemade caramel sauce. Here is my version.

Pumpkin Poke Cake Dessert

Yield 8 – 12


  • 1   box spice cake mix
  • 2  cups pumpkin puree (be careful not to buy Pumpkin Pie Filling)
  • 1   14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1   tub Cool Whip (I bought the larger size and had some left over, even with a generous layer)
  • ½ bag SKOR Bits (original recipe calls for Heath Bits)
  • 1   batch of Ree Drummond’s homemade Caramel Sauce .  The original recipe calls for a jar of Caramel Sundae Topping, but it is worth the tiny bit of extra effort to make your own ~ so good!


  1. Preheat your oven 350º and grease a 9 X 13″ cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cake mix and pumpkin puree until a smooth batter forms.
  3. Pour the batter into the pan and bake according to the directions on the cake mix box.
  4. Test with a toothpick to ensure it is cooked. (Toothpick should come out clean when poked into the cake.)
  5. Let cool for about 10 minutes after baking. Using the bottom of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the top of the cake. (The first time I made this, the holes were nice and uniform, the second time they seemed a bit gooey and I was worried the cake wasn’t cooked even though I’d tested it. Don’t panic, mine tasted great both times.)
  6. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake and spread as is necessary to fill the holes.
  7. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the cake from the fridge and spread a generous layer of cool whip over top of cake. Sprinkle the SKOR bits on top and drizzle with caramel sauce. Reserve the balance of the sauce to serve over each individual piece.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight, if possible.

This recipe is super easy and a real crowd pleaser! Enjoy and thanks Jennifer!

If you love pumpkin as much as I do, why not check out some of my other recipes!pumpkin cheesecakePumpkin Pie Cake Dessertoatmeal pumpkin sandwich cookie

pumpkin cookiespumpkin pancakesPumpkin LoafPumpkin Salted Caramel Blondies with Glaze


Apple Bavarian Torte

Like most people, I have a set of my favourite “go to recipes” and this delicious Apple Bavarian Torte has been part of my repertoire for about 20 years. I’m not sure where it originated, but I got it from a colleague a few decades ago. It is easy to make, super tasty and visually appealing. A great dessert to serve at any dinner party!

Apple Bavarian Torte

This recipe is a quick and easy dessert that only takes about 20 to 30 minutes to prepare (plus 35 minutes of cooking time). It serves 8 generous pieces, but up to 12 depending on the serving sizes.

Recipe Ingredients:

Bottom Layer:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Middle Layer:

  • 1 – 8 ounce package  of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Top Layer:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 5-1/2 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 6 medium)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Optional Toppings:

  • whipping cream or vanilla ice cream


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla followed by the flour. Beat until blended. Press the soft dough onto the bottom of an ungreased 9 inch springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add the balance of the “middle layer” ingredients and continue beating until well mixed. Pour over the bottom layer.
  4. Peel and slice the apples into a large bowl. Sprinkle them with the sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat. Spoon the apples over the cream cheese layer. .
  5. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 400°; bake 25 minutes more. Sprinkle the almonds over top and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before removing the sides of the pan and slicing the dessert. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Although this dessert really doesn’t need anything extra, I usually serve it with a dollop of whipping cream. When serving warm, vanilla ice cream is a delicious alternative.


Pumpkin Pie Cake Extraordinaire!

Pumpkin Pie Cake DessertA colleague brought this yummy cake like dessert to share with our staff and it was stop in your tracks deeelicious! I love pumpkin and although this is somewhat similar to a traditional pumpkin pie it is also like nothing I’d ever tasted before. It is super easy to make and my neighbour said it might seriously be the best dessert she ever tasted! I’m not sure about that, but I guarantee it will please any pumpkin loving guest.

Pumpkin Pie Cake:


  • 1 – 28 oz. can of pumpkin purée
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 cup butter – melted
  • 1 cup of pecans
  • whipping cream (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a bowl and pour into a greased 9 X 13″ cake pan.
  3. Sprinkle the dry cake mix on top of the batter.
  4. Pour melted butter over the cake and then sprinkle with the pecans.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes.
  6. Cool and serve with whipping cream.

*Although I didn’t do this, my friend suggested adding the nuts about half way through the baking time, so that they don’t get too brown. I put mine in the whole time and they seemed fine, but I may try it the other way next time just to compare.

Printable Pumpkin Pie Cake recipe

Holiday Red Velvet Trifle

I found this recipe on Artsy Chicks Rule last year and have been waiting for the right opportunity to try it.  I made this Red Velvet Trifle for a Christmas party a few weeks ago and it was quite good. I added Oreo cookies to my version and made a few suggestions at the bottom of the post. I can’t wait to make it again. This would make a great dessert any time of the year, but the red velvet makes it a perfect choice for Christmas or Valentine’s Day celebrations!

Holiday Red Velvet Trifle


  • 1 Red Velvet Cake Mix (prepared according to instructions minus one egg)
  • 1 – 16 oz frozen Whipped Topping (large)
  • 1- small package of either Cheesecake or White Chocolate Pudding Mix
  • 1 – package of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar (more or less, to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • White Chocolate Bar (optional)
  • Oreo cookies, about 16 crushed


  1. Mix and bake the cake following the directions on the box. (*Omit one egg.)
  2. Let cool completely.
  3. Mix pudding according to the directions on the box. Once set, fold in 8 oz of the 16 oz Whipped Topping.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the softened cream cheese with the other half of the Whipped Topping. Add in 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. Mix well. Add about 2/3 of the crushed Oreos and stir to combine.
  5. Set both bowls aside.
  6. Once the cake is cool, remove it from the pan(s) and cut into squares. (I broke mine and I felt it was a bit too “crumb like” – next time I’ll be sure to cut it.)
  7. Layer the cake, followed by the shaved white chocolate, and both fillings. Repeat. (I was struggling a bit because of the size of the bowl and knew I was not going to get good coverage for the filling, so I opted to alternate the fillings.) You should end up with three repeats depending on the diameter of your bowl and height – **see note below.) You really can’t mess this up!
  8. Finish with shaved chocolate, remaining crushed cookies and a few cake crumbs for colour!

* I did not leave out the egg as suggested in the original recipe from Artsy Chicks Rule. After doing some research, I learned that adding an extra egg to a brownie mix can result in a more cake-like brownie – a lighter, softer and less crumbly brownie. So, I’m thinking the reverse would be true when you omit one egg from the mix as suggested. You would end up with a denser, more crumbly version of the cake. I think this texture would be preferable for a trifle. I’ll definitely do that next time.

**Word of caution:  When making a trifle, you want to make sure you use a bowl with a smaller diameter and increased height. If you use a bowl that is too wide, the layers aren’t as thick and this impacts how the layers “meld” together. You want to get good coverage. I usually use such a bowl (7 1/2″ diameter by 6″ height), but opted for a shorter/wider bowl thinking it would be better for a larger number of guests. The result was that the layers too thin. I found it difficult to spread the layers and get good coverage and thus the overall taste was somewhat impacted.

Enjoy! If you end up giving this recipe a try before I make it again, I’d love to hear how your trifle turns out with the recommended changes.

Pumpkin Salted Caramel Blondies

Pumpkin Salted Caramel Blondies with Glaze

I don’t have a great photo as these didn’t get cut until I took them to work.

Here’s another one of the new fall recipes I recently discovered. “Baked Bree” is one of my favourite recipe blogs. Her photos are top notch, the recipes sound fantastic and the reviews are always great. When I found this recipe on her blog, I knew it would be a hit, but I have to admit it was no easy feat pulling this off between the kids activities and my crazy week at work. I was on “staff room duty” this week and that meant bringing in treats for the staff, in addition to the cleaning duties throughout the week. Wednesday is usually treat day, but my first attempt at this recipe was a total flop and so I had to re-do it and bring my treat in on Thursday instead. Sometimes, I’m not sure why I can’t choose the simpler route and stick to a recipe I’m already comfortable with. Why do I insist on testing something new when I plan to serve to others?

These Pumpkin Salted Caramel Blondies are really quite incredible and I will totally be making them again. After my first failed attempt, I actually made a few changes, but mostly just to “play it safe” and avoid another possible flop. The result was good, but I think the original recipe is over-the-top delicious. I will definitely stick to the original next time, as I’m sure the “under baking” was a result of me trying to do 100 things at once!! Several of Bree’s readers also commented on the fact that their blondies required extra cooking time, so I’ll just allow for that next time.

Bree’s Pumpkin Salted Caramel Blondies


Bree's Pumpkin Salted Caramel Blondies

This is Bree’s photo. Don’t they look scrumptious!!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I used ground)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup Bree’s Sea Salt and Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce (or store bought caramel sauce with 1 teaspoon sea salt) DO NOT DO THIS!! See below!


Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.  In a second bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Finally, add the reserved flour mixture slowly, and stop when the batter is just combined.

Spray a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Add half of the batter and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. (This was not long enough.) Remove the baked base from the oven and pour the caramel sauce over it.  Cover the caramel with the remaining batter. Return the blondies to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes (or longer). A toothpick should come out clean. Let the blondies cool before cutting.

Additional Notes:

When I say my first attempt failed, it was really a series of unfortunate events that led to the demise of my first attempt. Firstly, all of the reviews of this recipe absolutely raved over Bree’s homemade Salted Caramel Sauce and rightly so… is to die for. There was no way I was going to do the “store bought” version, when clearly this is was took the recipe to the next level. I hadn’t made this type of a caramel sauce before and although I read the instructions carefully before making it, I followed my own instincts and gave the sugar/water mixture a “little stir” despite the fact that it clearly said not too. This resulted in crystals forming and the end product was not a sauce at all, but rather a variation of the sugar crystals I originally started with. I then made a second batch of the sauce and stuck to the directions and complete restricted myself from even removing a spoon from the drawer. The result was a “to die for sauce” that would be fabulous served on almost anything sweet!  Sooooooo good!! I think I even botched the second batch “just a tad” by removing the boiling sugar and water before it reached a deep amber colour. I guess I was just so worried about burning it. Mine was super delicious, but not as deep of a colour as Bree’s. This is an absolute must. If you are not going to make this sauce, don’t even make the blondies. It is very easy, if you just trust Bree’s directions and are patient with the process.

One recipe of the sauce will make enough for the blondies with enough left over to enjoy in other ways throughout the week!

Sea Salt and Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced and seeded (Picked up vanilla beans at Bulk Barn)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


Slice a vanilla bean in half. Using the back of the knife, scrape the seeds from the pod. Add the vanilla bean scrapings to the cream and add then add the sea salt. Set aside.

Put the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sugar to a boil. Let the sugar cook until it reaches a deep amber colour (DO NOT STIR) . Whisk in the cream mixture. It will bubble and go nuts, but keep whisking. It will come together.

Pour the sauce into a jar and keep it in the fridge. The sauce will thicken, but it is more of a loose sauce.This will keep for about a week in the fridge.


On my first attempt at making the blondies, I found they were not baking in the time recommended. I did bake them longer than suggested and thought they were done when I whipped them out of the oven on my way out the door for my son’s hockey game. I was so disappointed when I got home and realized the centre sank (obviously not baked long enough). Despite the fact that they couldn’t be served, they tasted absolutely delicious. The following evening, I attempted the recipe again, but much like the evening before, I really didn’t have much time to play with the cooking times as it was another crazy busy evening for the Roys. I decided to cook the entire blondie recipe at once and omit the caramel sauce layer (just saying I did that makes me feel like I’ve committed a federal offence). I just felt more comfortable baking them this way, as I wasn’t sure if the “runny” caramel sauce had contribulted to the under baking problem or not and didn’t have the time or stamina to play around with it. In lieu of the caramel sauce layer, I opted to change the blondies into more of a “poke” cake. When the blondies had cooled, I poked holes over the surface of the cake and poured the sauce over the top so that it seeped into the holes I had created and still infused the cake in a similar way. Of course, the blondies were now covered with holes, so I made a glaze to give them more of a finished look. The end result was very good, but I still think Bree’s original is the way to go. I can’t wait to get this one right!

Salted Caramel Glaze:

I found a recipe for this Salted Caramel Glaze on It’s Yummi and I have to admit, it was a delicious finishing touch to Bree’s Pumpkin Salted Caramel Blondies. 

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt, divided

In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the heavy cream – but DO NOT boil! Keep it warm. (I microwaved it for about 15 seconds and then did 5 seconds here and there to keep it warm.)

In a separate medium saucepan, combine the sugar & water but DO NOT STIR. Place over medium-high heat & bring to a boil. Cook until mixture turns an amber colour (about 5 minutes). (Of course, by now I had attempted this process three times and finally got it right!)

Remove the pot from the heat and add warm cream, butter, and 1/2 of the salt. Stir gently until smooth & well combined. Pour over the cooked brownies and use a spatula to spread it evenly over the surface. Sprinkle with remaining salt.

Allow the glaze to set before cutting and serving. (The glaze did crack a bit as I was cutting the squares, so I heated my knife in an attempt to “score the surface” before slicing through the entire blondie.)

This ended up being a HUGE production that really wasn’t necessary. I was just trying to do too much without giving my self enough time. This recipe is not really complex or difficult and is absolutely worth the effort.



Shmoo Torte

Shmoo Torte has been my husband’s favourite dessert for years, so I figured it would make a perfect 50th birthday cake for him. It’s actually not that difficult to make, but does contain pecans, so it’s not appropriate if you’re serving it to guests that may have a nut allergy. I was given this recipe many years ago, but my good friend Pat. I must admit I have only made it a few times, but only because it is much too dangerous to have in the house! This is an incredibly delicious recipe and a guaranteed hit!

Shmoo Torte Recipe:

Cake Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs (separated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 2 cups ground pecans
  • 1 cup of cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Separate the eggs and then beat the egg whites until very stiff.
  3. Add cream of tartar. Beat. Slowly add 1 cup of sugar, beating as you add it.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla. Continue to beat this mixture until it is thick and light.
  5. Fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites.l
  6. Sift the cake flour and baking powder together. Fold the dry ingredients into the eggs.
  7. Fold in the ground pecans.
  8. Divide the batter in half and pour into two greased angel cake pans.
  9. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 300 degrees on the lowest rack in the oven.
  10. When the cakes are done, invert them immediately to cool.
  11. Remove the cakes from the pan while they are still warm. (I actually baked my cakes the day before and left them in the pans until the next day with a clean towel laying over the tops of the completely cooled cakes. I simply used a butter knife and slid it around the edges and the cakes released just fine.)
  12. Cut the cooled cakes in half so that you end up with 4 horizontal layers.
  13. Place whipped cream between the layers and on top.
  14. Drizzle a scant amount of caramel sauce over the top to decorate the cake. (I didn’t do this because it was a birthday cake and I wanted to pipe on top, but normally I would.)
  15. Serve the torte with warm caramel sauce drizzled on top. (It isn’t necessary, but if you want to “plate” it nicely, add a little extra dollop of whipped cream and then the caramel sauce drizzled on top, with a pecan set in it for a lovely presentation.)

Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of butter
  • 2 cups of brown sugar (packed)

Place the ingredients in a sauce pan and let simmer cover for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (When I make a sauce like this, I will often put it on the stove early in the day on the lowest setting on my stove until all of the ingredients are melted and well mixed. I will then turn it off and just let it stand until closer to serving time and then just heat it up.)

Cream for Layers:

  • 3 cups of whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons of icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whip the cream until it holds its shape. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat to mix. (The original recipe calls for 2 cups whip cream, 1+ T. icing sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla, but I find that it isn’t quite enough to get good coverage of the sides and top, so the above is 1 1/2 times the original and made plenty.)

*This recipe makes a lovely tall 4 layer torte that served all 20 people at Tim’s birthday. The pieces weren’t huge, but everyone got a piece and there was a good hunk of cake left. I was worried about how many it would feed and actually made 12 cupcakes as well, just in case. I would say this cake would easily serve 16 to 20 people.

*I have also halved this recipe and made only one cake when serving less people.  I then slice the single cake into thirds to get 3 layers.

*I don’t generally have “cake flour” in my house, but did go to “Bulk Barn” and bought 1 cup just for this recipe. I am not sure how important that is??

Did you know?

I already had this recipe, but was originally wondering if I might try to bake it in regular round cake pans, so was researching to see if it would work or not? (I found mixed responses to this and ended up using my angel pan and a borrowed one from a neighbour.) Anyway, in my research I discovered that Shmoo Torte is somewhat of a Winnipeg/Manitoba phenomena. I never realized that, but evidently it’s rare to find it in a bakery or on a dessert menu outside of our lovely province. Interesting? I don’t know if there is any truth to this or not, but if you are reading this post and you live outside Manitoba, I’d love to know if you’ve ever heard of Shmoo Torte before. If Shmoo is new to you, it is an absolute MUST TRY!  Let me know how it works out for you when you have a chance to try it!

P.S. I didn’t have a great picture from the party, so I “plated” a piece this morning just for this post. After snapping a few pictures, I thought “Ah, what the hell! No body else is around…”, so I ate it for breakfast! Not the healthiest start to the date, but well worth the temporary euphoria!

Sensationally Sinful!

A few weeks back, a colleague brought in this cake for the staff that was absolutely delicious. I am a chocolate lover through and through and I when presented with an array of dainties or desserts, 90% of the time, I’ll choose a chocolate option. Of course, I love a variety of desserts, but generally speaking I’ll go for something chocolate. So, for me to say this, is a huge thing…..according to my taste buds this is one of the most delicious cakes I have ever tasted. It is very rich and the combination of flavours is really fabulous. I am not actually going to post this recipe, only because I followed it exactly as Alex Hitz instructed in his post on House Beautiful. To check-out this incredible recipe for Salted Caramel Cake, follow the link.

I won’t lie, this is absolutely the most fattening sugar laden concoction you’ll ever taste, but man is it worth it! The recipe suggests that it serves approximately 16, but I think you could easily serve more. I served 12 pieces of cake at the party and still have exactly one half of the cake left. I cut the pieces quite small as it is very rich and only a few had seconds. You could easily serve 20 with this cake.

Although there are more steps than the typical frosted cake, I didn’t find it too bad. Here is my advice, based on my experience:

    • Bake the cake the day before, cool it completely, cover and leave on the counter for frosting the next day.
    • The recipe suggests putting the caramel mixture in the freezer to cool for about 40 minutes. I think mine took about an hour and a half  before it was completely cooled. The bottom of my pot was still hot to touch after 40 minutes in the freezer.
    • Do a crumb coat and then pop the cake in the freezer for about an hour or longer.  A crumb coat is a thin layer of icing that covers the outside of the cake and catches all of the crumbs. This recipe makes a gargantuan amount of frosting which is fabulous. There is nothing worse than doing a 6 layer cake and running short on frosting. There is plenty of frosting to do a crumb coat, freeze and then do a final beautiful layer of frosting. I covered the remaining frosting and popped it in the fridge while the cake with the crumb coat was in the freezer. I’m not saying this was a mistake, but perhaps it wasn’t as smooth and creamy as it was before placing it in the fridge. I thought it would hold its shape a bit better as it was very creamy and I wondered if it might slide down the sides if left out. You can decide.
    • When I went to bake my cakes, I realized that I needed 3 pans. I have four, but they are 2 sets of 2 and the sizes weren’t exactly the same. I ended up calling my neighbour and lucky for me they had just purchased a set of three new cake pans, so I just used there set of three. At the time, I didn’t realize it, but I think they inadvertently saved me a huge mess and intense frustration. (Thanks Kelli and Ian!)  I should know better, but I had a printed out version of the recipe from my friend and didn’t bother to read the reviews prior to making the cakes. I usually check out the reviews prior to making a recipe, as there are often good tips. Before posting this, I decided to see what others had to say and sure enough there was a theme in the reviews. Everyone loved the cake, but many had an issue with their cake batter spilling over into the oven and having to toss the cakes out . Yikes! The pans that I generally use were my moms and can be seen below on the left. They are not very deep and I can see how I would have had the same problem had I used those pans. Instead, I used pans similar to that on the right. Moral of the story….use deep pans!
    • More about the pans….I have never baked in deep pans like this and I instantly loved them. Not only did the cake not spill over, but instead of the baked cake having a huge dome on top where it rises during baking, the cake remained relatively flat across the top. At first, I was concerned that they weren’t rising, but then it hit me. In my shallow pans, the cake is forced to rise in the center because the sides are not tall enough to support the rising cake. In the deeper pans (about 3″, I think), the entire cake rises and the result is a more even surface. This is especially important when layering cakes as the stacked cakes are much more stable with a more even surface. I loved these pans and thought I might buy a set, but my neighbour insisted I just borrow theirs whenever needed. Love that idea even more as I don’t have to spend the money or store the suckers. Too bad they don’t nestle together like my old ones.
    • I placed three wooden skewers through the layers of the cake prior to my final coat of icing. I just find that it prevents any sliding when cutting the cake.

old 9" pan

Old 9″ pan with slider to help remove cake. Only about 1 1/4″ high.

9" pan

The 9″ pans I used.

This cake is a must try! It is absolutely worth the extra effort. I can’t say that it would be a cake I would make regularly as it is more work, more expensive and off the scale in terms of naughty, but it is the perfect cake to serve a large group and will definitely impress those with a sweet tooth.  Enjoy!

Decadence on a Dime: Chocolate Butterscotch Dessert

I was under the weather last week and was happy when I woke up Saturday morning feeling almost 100% again.

I had planned to try out 3 new recipes for our dinner party, but stuck to my mom’s Chocolate Butterscotch Dessert to complete the meal. This was my favourite dessert growing up and it has now become a favourite for my entire family. This dessert is easy to make, quick to prepare and absolutely delicious. Unlike most desserts that can be pricey to prepare, I can generally make this by purchasing only one item ~ whipping cream. This is a real winner!

Chocolate Butterscotch Dessert

Mom’s Chocolate Butterscotch Dessert:

Prep time: about 20 minutes
Serves: 4 – 6


  • 5 eggs
  • 3 rounded teaspoons cocoa
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon flour
  • whipping cream (enough to use as topping ~ about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until very stiff and gradually add the beaten yolks. Add the icing sugar, cocoa and flour. Pour the batter into a greased and floured jelly roll pan (approximately 15 1/2″ X 10 1/2″ pan with 1″ sides). Bake 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully begin rolling the cake lengthwise releasing it as you roll. (The pan won’t be overly hot, so you really don’t need to wait very long before you’ll be able to handle it.) Place the roll on a damp towel and roll the towel around the roll, so that the air can not get at the roll. When cool, unroll the towel and cut the roll into sections for serving.

Butterscotch Sauce:  Place the last four ingredients in a glass bowl. Set the bowl in a hot water bath so that the butter melts.( You only want to melt the butter, do not boil by placing on direct heat or microwaving for too long.)  Stir until all of the melted butter has been thoroughly mixed with the other ingredients.

Beat the whipping cream. Add 1/4 cup icing sugar and vanilla, if desired or simply serve as is. Place a dollop on each piece of chocolate roll.

Serve the warm sauce over sections of chocolate roll topped with whipping cream. Enjoy!