Perfectly Flaky Cranberry Orange Scones!

Cranberry Orange Scones fresh-from-the-oven are the perfect way to start the day. Tender with the perfect crumb, these cranberry scones are infused with fresh orange zest for amazing flavor. 

Serve these at room temperature or in the afternoon with tea for the perfect bite.

cranberry orange scones on parchment paper drizzled with icing

For Breakfast or Tea Time

So, what is a scone? It’s a tender and slightly crumbly pastry somewhat resembling the texture of a biscuit. The difference between scones and biscuits is in the eggs (found in scones but not in biscuits).

This british pastry is often served with jam and clotted cream however I do love butter (and tea) with my scones.

To Make Scones

Scones are very easy to make and take about 15 minutes prep. This recipe is completely versatile… you can adapt it to your own tastes!  Swap out the orange cranberry for your own combination…  blueberries, chocolate chips or flaxseed!

To Make Scones:

  1. Mix dry ingredients with a whisk until combined.
  2. Add butter and use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until it is pea sized.

Sliced butter being cut into the flour.

  1. Add liquid ingredients and stir with a fork until soft dough forms.
  2.  Form into a circle and cut into triangles. Bake until slightly browned.

Two images. The first the wet ingredients being added to a well in the dry ingredients. The second showing the consistency of the dough once mixed.

To Make Icing:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a zippered bag and slowly add warm water. Squeeze the bag in your hands until it is fully mixed.
  2. Snip off a small corner of the bag and drizzle over the slightly cooled scones.

Tips for Making Flaky Scones

  • Use very cold butter (per recipe below).
  • Make sure your baking soda and baking powder are not expired. This is a common oversight as these ingredients tend to sit in the cupboard for a long time.
  • Once the dough is made, handle it as little as possible. The heat from your hands will melt the butter and the scones won’t rise as well.
  • Be sure all the scones are equal size and shape so they bake evenly.

baked cranberry orange scones on parchment paper with orange slices

How Long Do Scones Last?

Scones will last up to 5 days if they are kept tightly sealed. Keep them in a container with a tight-fitting lid or a gallon-sized zippered bag in a cool place.

Scones, Biscuits, and More!

Cranberry Orange Scones

Cranberry Orange Scones are a delicious start to your day! Moist but crumbly, you'll love these!

Scones

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter (cut into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • milk (to brush top of scone)
  • sugar (to sprinkle top of scone)

Icing

  • 3 Tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest ((or to taste))

Scones

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cranberries and make a well in center. Set aside.

  3. Combine eggs, whipping cream, and orange zest. Add egg mixture into well in flour mixture.

  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough by folding and gently pressing dough for 10 to 12 strokes until nearly smooth. Pat or lightly roll dough into an 8-inch circle and cut into 8 wedges.

  5. Place wedges 1-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with additional sugar.

  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove scones from baking sheet. Let slightly cool and top with icing.

Icing

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

  2. After scones are slightly cooled, place scones on a large plate and drizzle with icing.

Close up of a cranberry orange scones drizzled with orange glaze.
Close up of a cranberry orange scones drizzled with orange glaze.
Top photo - Close up of a scone drizzled with orange glaze. Bottom photo - scones cut into 8 triangles on a wood cutting board.

Easy Homemade Whipped Cream

Learn how to make Whipped Cream perfectly every time with these easy tips! It’s a fresh and fluffy concoction of just 3 ingredients: heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla! 

Enjoy this easy whipped cream on top of a slice of pumpkin pie or a hot cup of Irish Coffee. Customize it with vanilla, almond, or mocha extracts and alter the sweetness to fit your taste or recipe.

Whipped cream in a bowl, topped with a strawberry.

What Cream to Use

Heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, has more than 30% fat and is the best choice for making whipped cream. It will stand up in peaks and hold up for several hours without melting or losing its shape when piped on top of pies or cakes.

I have found that containers labeled simply “whipping cream” sometimes have lower milk fat and will make a runnier whipped cream, so look for the word “heavy” on the carton if you’re wanting a stiffer result.

Cream in a measuring cup.

How to Make Whipped Cream

Make with a Mixer: 

Always start with very cold cream and a chilled bowl.  The colder the cream is the quicker it will whip. With just 2 simple steps you’ll have it whipped up in a jiffy when using an electric mixer.

  1. Place all ingredients in a cold mixing bowl (see recipe below).
  2. Mix on medium for 5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.

If using a stand mixer, be attentive! Over beating will turn the cream from fluffy peaks to lumpy butter in a matter of seconds if you’re not careful.

Two images showing whipped cream ingredients in a bowl before and after being whipped.

No Mixer? No Problem!

You can make whipped cream without a mixer by whisking or even by shaking in a jar!

To make whipped cream by whisking can take up to 10 mins or more, so stretch those arms and get a good workout in making whipped cream by hand!

  1. Place all ingredients in a chilled mixing bowl (see recipe below).
  2. Whip using a wire whisk until it reaches desired consistency.

Making whipped cream in a jar is a simple activity that can involve the kids too. Pass it around, giving everyone a turn while you introduce them to the magic of food chemistry.

  1. Place all ingredients in a tightly covered jar.
  2. Shake until thick and fluffy.

Be sure to loosen the lid every so often to release the vacuum pressure that will build as bubbles form!

Try on Top These Desserts

How to Make Whipped Cream

A fresh and fluffy combination of just 3 ingredients!

  • 1 cup heavy cream (chilled)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar (or powdered sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  1. Place a bowl and beaters into the freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. Add ingredients to the bowl and beat on medium for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium high and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  3. Refrigerate unused portion for up to 24 hours.

Whipped cream in a bowl, topped with a strawberry.
Whipped Cream in a bowl, topped with a strawberry.
Top image - whipped cream in a bowl topped with a strawberry. Bottom image - whipped cream ingredients in a measuring cup.

Homemade Strawberry Crisp (so easy)

Strawberry crisp is one of the best recipes for happiness. Juicy ripe strawberries topped with a buttery crisp topping deliver a delicious dessert that is nothing short of heaven.

We love making homemade peach crisp, but this easy strawberry crisp recipe is such a refreshing treat!

A bowl of strawberry crisp with a spoon and some ice cream.

Topping for Fruit Crisp

It’s hard to know what to like best about this dessert, the luscious fruit layer or the crunchy topping. Call it taste synergy, because when it comes to strawberry crisp, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts!

The secret to making the perfect crisp is using the correct proportions (and real butter). With a spoon or spatula, combine butter with sugar, cinnamon, flour. oats and nuts. For a nut free version, substitute nuts for coconut.

Strawberry crisp topping in a mixing bowl.

How to Make Strawberry Crisp

  1. TOSS: Mix flour and sugar together, and then combine with strawberries (per recipe below).
  2. POUR: Place in a baking dish or pie dish, and sprinkle with crisp topping.
  3. BAKE: Bake until bubbling hot.

Serve homemade strawberry crisp pie with scoops of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. A dollop or crème fraiche is also an excellent addition. Dairy will cut through some of sweetness, while adding a creamy richness.

Fresh strawberries in a baking dish with flour.

How Long Will it Last?

Strawberry crisp is best served oven fresh, but if you do need to make it ahead of time it will keep at room temperature for a day, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

You can also freeze it for up to four months. Be aware that when you make it ahead and store it, the topping will lose its crispness, but it will still retain all its yummy flavors.

Ensuring Strawberry Crisp Doesn’t Get Soggy

The use of oats and nuts like I have done here helps offset the issue of a soggy topping. It seems fruit crisps and crumbles are rarely as perfectly crunchy as we would like, especially when we need to make them ahead. But don’t let that issue stop you from trying to achieve the crisp of your dreams.

A bowl of strawberry crisp next to the serving dish with a spoon and some ice cream.

To make ahead, make the crisp topping and store in a separate bowl. Sprinkle over the fruit just before baking.

More Delicious Crisps and Cobblers

Strawberry Crisp

Strawberry crisp features fresh strawberries melded with a buttery crisp topping deliver a sublime taste sensation that is nothing short of heaven.

  • 4 cups strawberries (cut into chunks)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Topping

  • 1/3 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oats regular or quick
  • 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Toss berries with sugar and 3 tablespoons flour. Place in a 2.5qt baking dish.
  3. With a fork, combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle over berries.
  4. Bake 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Cool slightly and serve warm.

A bowl of strawberry crisp with a spoon and some ice cream.
A bowl of strawberry crisp with a spoon and some ice cream.
Top photo - A bowl of strawberry crisp with a spoon and some ice cream. Bottom photo - cut strawberries in a white baking dish.

Creamy & Delicious Chocolate Milkshake

Making a milkshake is the perfect treat any time of year! Made with ice cream, chocolate sauce or your favorite add ins (like strawberries) and milk, this dessert couldn’t be easier!

September 12th is National Chocolate Milkshake Day so let’s celebrate with a simple 3 ingredient milkshake.

Two glasses of chocolate milkshakes with whip cream, sprinkled, and a cherry on top.

How to Make a Milkshake

Making a milkshake is honestly as simple as blending 3 ingredients! A generous portion of ice cream, a splash of milk and some flavoring.

The best ice cream is to use is full cream, full-fat ice cream because that’s where the flavor is! It is thicker, richer, and holds up better in the blender and when mixed with other ingredients because it has more air whipped into it.

To make a milkshake without a blender, you can simply add the ingredients to a bowl and mix until smooth. This takes a bit longer but still tastes great!

Chocolate milkshake ingredients in a blender.

How to Make Thick Milkshakes

There is nothing better than a good thick milkshake…otherwise, it’s really just chocolate milk, isn’t it? To make a thick and creamy milkshake every time follow these simple tips.

  • Start by using real ice cream (and choose full-fat.)
  • Add just enough milk to blend until smooth.
  • For an even thicker shake, substitute real heavy whipping cream for milk.

Make sure you’re ready to serve before getting started or assembling the ingredients. Once blended milkshakes start to melt quickly. You can also put your milkshake glasses in the freezer to get chilled which will help to keep the ice cream frozen a bit longer!

Top view of all ingredients being blended into a thick chocolate milkshake.

The Best Milkshake Toppings

This is the fun part! If you are making chocolate milkshakes for a crowd, put out a selection of toppings so your guests can build their own! These are my favorite ideas:

  • Cookies: Crushed cookie crumbs (Oreos, nutter butters, chocolate chip)
  • Sauces: Caramel, strawberry, blueberry, hot fudge, pineapple, peanut butter
  • Nuts: toasted peanuts, slivered almonds, crushed pecans
  • Fruit: strawberries, blueberries, cherries, bananas
  • Candies: gummies, sprinkles, licorice whips, nonpareils, skittles, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, crushed peppermint candies.

More Fun Ice Cream Desserts

How to Make a Milkshake

This thick and creamy milkshake is made with only 3 ingredients.

  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups ice cream (use chocolate ice cream for a chocolate shake)
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup (or mix ins of your choice)
  • whipped cream for topping (optional)
  1. Combine milk, chocolate syrup and chocolate ice cream in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into cups and garnish with whipped cream and sprinkles if desired.
  3. Serve immediately.

You can use any flavor of ice cream or any add ins. For fruit, you will need about 1 cup of fruit for the recipe above in place of chocolate syrup.

Two chocolate milkshakes with whip cream, sprinkles, and a cherry on top.
Two chocolate milkshakes with whip cream, sprinkles, and a cherry on top.
Top image - two chocolate milkshakes with whip cream, sprinkles and a cherry on top. Bottom image - milkshake ingredients in a blender.

Pavlova perfect dessert for the holidays!

Close up photo of a pavlova topped with strawberries, raspberries, and kiwi on a white cake stand.

Pavlova is a simple dessert recipe made with ingredients like egg whites, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and cornstarch. This large meringue-like dessert is a popular holiday treat that’s a lot easier to make than it looks!

Pavlova is baked and then topped with Whipped Cream and fresh fruit! For an extra pop of flavor, serve it with Lemon Curd!

Close up photo of a pavlova topped with strawberries, raspberries, and kiwi on a white cake stand.

What Is Pavlova?

The classic pavlova dessert is believed to have originated in New Zealand in the early 1900s and has since become popular all over the world. This dessert is similar to meringue cookies but you will love the soft center that’s encompassed in a crunchy shell and topped with smooth whipped cream and bright fruits!

The Pavlova itself tastes a lot like Marshmallows or Marshmallow Fluff with a smooth vanilla flavor. Traditionally, it is topped with strawberries, raspberries, and kiwi – but you can add any fruit. Strawberry Pavlova is a fave!

Pavlova dessert is popular to prepare around the holidays, most commonly during Christmas and Easter. The best part is that the toppings are completely customizable! Try topping it with Kahlua Whipped Cream for a boozy finish!

How To Make Pavlova

This fancy meringue dessert is actually quite easy to make and tastes the best topped with an assortment of fruits, like strawberries, raspberries, and kiwis!

  1. Beat egg whites until frothy. Add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy.
  2. Combine the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch with the lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. Fold the lemon juice mixture into the egg whites with a rubber spatula.
  4. Transfer the egg whites to the prepared baking sheet and bake. Turn off the oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven until completely cool.

Once cooled, place the Pavlova cake on the serving dish, then top with whipped cream and fruit.

Overhead photo of a pavlova on a baking pan ready to be baked

Why Does My Pavlova Sink And Crack?

These issues arise when the pavlova cools too quickly. This is why the recipe calls for leaving the Pavlova cake in the oven to cool completely.

It’s also important to use the freshest eggs possible. Having farm fresh eggs will work the best, but if not, just looks for the eggs with the latest expiration date at the store.

Small cracks are par for the course when making a Pavlova properly, but bigger cracks can still happen. This is usually caused by external forces like the weight of the toppings rather than any baking or recipe issues.

More Great Baking Tips

  • Start with room temperature eggs for the best volume.
  • Do not use grease of any kind in prepping this recipe.
  • Dust the parchment paper with cornstarch to prevent sticking.
  • Make absolutely certain there is no egg yolk in the mixture.
  • Avoid making pavlova on humid or rainy days.

Pavlova on a white cake stand topped with fresh berries and kiwi.

Can You Make It Ahead Of Time?

Yes and no. You can prepare the pavlova itself a few days in advance of serving and it can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. However, it shouldn’t be decorated with whipped cream or fruit until just before serving.

Leftovers? Pavlova with toppings can be refrigerated overnight, but the dessert can absorb moisture and lose its crunch.

More Delicious Desserts

Pavlova

This large meringue dessert is topped with whipped cream and fruit and is popular around the holidays.

  • 4 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 cup caster sugar (*)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 2 kiwi (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 cup strawberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Add egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and begin beating on medium speed until frothy.

  3. Add the sugar in a very slow but continuous pour while the mixer is going. Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy.

  4. While the egg whites are beating, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and use 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to rub in a 12-inch circle. Set the pan aside.

  5. In a small prep bowl, combine the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch with the lemon juice and vanilla and mix with a fork until liquid.

  6. Once the egg whites are done, fold the lemon juice mixture into the egg whites with a rubber spatula.

  7. Transfer the egg whites to the prepared baking sheet and use the rubber spatula to spread it out in a circle leaving an indentation in the center.

  8. REDUCE THE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 250°F and bake the pavlova for 1 HOUR, then turn off the oven and leave the pavlova in the oven until completely cool, about 3 hours.

  9. Once cooled, gently remove the pavlova from the pan and place on the serving dish, then top with whipped cream and fruit.

*If caster sugar is not available, you can use granulated sugar but the pavlova will have some noticeable granules. You can also run granulated sugar through a food processor to make it finer. DO NOT use powdered sugar. 

Pavlova topped with fresh fruit.
Pavlova topped with fresh fruit.
Top photo shows Pavlova topped with fresh fruit on a tray. Bottom photo shows the pavlova on a baking pan ready to be baked.

Easy 3 Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream!

No Churn Ice Cream is the perfect way to send off summer with one last celebration. Made with just 3 ingredients there is no need for any fancy equipment, ice cream makers, or special tools!

For parties, a DIY ice cream sundae bar with chocolate and caramel sauce, whipped cream, chopped nuts, and a cherry for the top is always a crowd pleaser! Or serve with your favorite fall desserts like apple pie or a delicious rhubarb crisp!

A dish with a serving of vanilla ice cream, garnished with mint leaves.

How Do You Make Ice Cream?

A traditional homemade ice cream recipe often starts with cooking a custard. The custard is then added to an ice cream machine that has been pre-frozen and churns until the custard freezed into a creamy delight.

No Ice Cream Maker? No Problem!

This ice cream is made with 3 simple ingredients, 3 easy steps and no ice cream maker is required!

  1. Combine the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl (per recipe below). For a more intense vanilla flavor, use a real vanilla bean by scraping the tiny seeds out of the bean. Add to the mixture.
  2. In the second chilled bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
  3. Gently fold together until fully mixed. Do not overmix or the finished result won’t be as light and airy.

Now you are ready to freeze it! Just pour into a prepared loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap.

Two images showing the steps to combine No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream ingredients.

How Long Does it Take to Make?

As long as the loaf pan and bowl for the whipping cream are pre-chilled, mixing up the rest of the ingredients shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes or so!

Once the mixture is poured into the loaf pan, cover it with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Additions to No Churn Ice Cream

The possibilities to change the flavor of this ice cream are endless. Simply sprinkle in a handful of add-ins and freeze as directed. Swap of the vanilla for your favorite extracts.

  • Add a swirl of peanut butter, nutella, or cookie butter.
  • Broken bits of graham crackers/cookies or chopped nuts.
  • Chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or M&Ms.
  • Fresh strawberries, peaches or cherries slightly mashed.

Vanilla ice cream being scooped out of a baking pan.

Storing Homemade Ice Cream

Vanilla ice cream will easily pick up freezer odors and flavors, so keep it tightly sealed in a freezer container. Be sure to label the container with the date it was prepared.

How Long Will It Last?

Once the ice cream is made, the key is to keep it from temperature fluctuations. Here are a couple of tips to make sure the ice cream stays fresh!

  • Cover the ice cream with plastic wrap before you put the container lid on it. This prevents ice crystals from forming on the top of the ice cream. (This works with store bought ice cream as well.
  • Store in a flat container instead of a deep container.
  • Store towards the back of the freezer (not the door) so the temperature stays the same.

No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream scooped out of a pan.

Scoop Over These Desserts

No Churn Ice Cream

Made with just 3 ingredients there is no need for any fancy equipment, ice cream makers, or special tools!

  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  1. Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Place in the freezer.
  2. Combine sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a large chilled bowl.

  3. In a separate chilled bowl, whip heavy cream on medium high until stiff peaks form.

  4. Gently fold the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk. (Stir in any mix-ins you'd like at this point).

  5. Pour into prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.

A serving of vanilla ice cream in a bowl, garnished with mint leaves. A serving of vanilla ice cream garnished with mint leaves. Top image - a serving of vanilla ice cream. Bottom image - vanilla ice cream being scooped out of a baking pan.

Banana Nut Bread (extra moist)

Banana Nut Bread is an easy banana bread recipe, perfect for those last minute guests or lazy weekend breakfasts. Made with ripe bananas, pecans, and cinnamon this homemade bread is so airy and moist. 

Banana Bread can be made with or without nuts, or made into banana nut crunch muffins. Either way, it will be a family favorite for years to come!

Overhead of a banana nut bread loaf sliced into slices.

 

Ingredients in Banana Nut Bread

Bananas: You’ll want bananas that are spotty and brown with a little bit of yellow. Ripe bananas have more sugars and are sweeter, the perfect addition to this bread.

Butter & Shortening: This banana nut bread uses a combination of shortening and butter. Shortening has a higher fat content (and melting point) so it makes a more tender bread. The addition of butter is for flavor. You can use all butter in this recipe if you prefer but I would suggest trying it with shortening too, the results are great!

Nuts: You can use any kind of nuts in this recipe, my go to is pecans or walnuts.

Banana nut bread ingredients.

How to Make Banana Nut Bread

  1. Mix the butter/shortening with sugar until fluffy. This incorporates air into the mixture for a tender bread.
  2. Mix dry and wet ingredients (per recipe below) just until combined. Fold in nuts.
  3. Spread into a loaf pan and top with cinnamon sugar pecans. Bake about 1 hour.

Banana nut bread sprinkled with pecans and prepared in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

Tip for Baking Moist Bread

Banana nut bread is considered a ‘quick bread’ because there is no ye ast.To keep it moist, here are a few tips and tricks:

  • Use very ripe, soft bananas, they’re extra sweet and moist and impart the most ‘banana-y’ flavor!
  • Have ingredients at room temperature before beginning.
  • Butter tastes great, but shortening produces a softer crumb.
  • Gently fold in the wet and dry ingredients with a spatula and be careful not to ‘overstir.’ A light, fluffy bread that goes into the pan comes out airy, moist, and beautiful!

Baked banana nut bread in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

To Store

Banana nut bread will last at room temperature about 4 or 5 days. Keep it wrapped tightly in a cooler space on the counter.

Can I Freeze Banana Nut Bread?

This banana nut bread recipe is a champion for freezing and can be frozen, thawed, and served (without anyone noticing!) for about 2 to 3 months.

Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then seal in a freezer bag with the date on it. To save freezer space, slice in 1 inch slices and layer in a zippered bag and place the bags flat in the freezer. Once they are frozen, stack them neatly. This also allows you to thaw only the portions you need.

Have More Bananas?

Easy Banana Nut Bread

This quick & easy banana nut bread recipe is perfect for those last minute guests or lazy weekend breakfasts.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1 tablespoon flour

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons pecans
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (or line with parchment paper) an 8×4 loaf pan.

  2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.

  3. With a hand mixer on medium, combine sugar, butter and shortening in a medium bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Stir in mashed bananas.

  4. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Toss nuts with remaining tablespoon of flour and fold into batter.

  5. Pour into prepared loaf pan and top with topping. Combine topping ingredient and sprinkle over loaf.

  6. Bake 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake.

  7. Cool in the pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.

Two slices of banana nut bread stacked on a plate, with a pat of butter on top.
Two slices of banana nut bread stacked on a plate with a pat of butter on top.

Top image - two slices of banana nut bread on a plate, bottom image - banana nut bread dough in a baking pan lined with parchment paper.</div

Easy Cheesecake Bites

Cheesecake Bites are a delicious bite-sized dessert that everyone loves. A rich creamy cheesecake filling is nestled on an easy cookie crust and swirled with our favorite preserves. 

Not only delicious but pretty too, this easy dessert recipe is perfect to make ahead and freezes well!

Cheesecake bite with a bite missing.

I am so excited to partner with Cost Plus World Market and their new Downton Abbey inspired ingredients to bring you this cheesecake bites recipe!

Tea Time!

As many fans already know Downton Abbey is a British period drama that takes place in the early 20th century. It showcases an important part of British culture – the classic afternoon tea!

If attending afternoon tea with the Crawley family, rules and proper aristocratic etiquette should definitely be followed. Traditionally tea time consists of cucumber sandwiches, mini scones topped with jams, butter or creams. We’ve taken flavors from traditional tea nibbles and turned it into a cheesecake bite, we think the Dowager Countess of Grantham would approve!

A delicious cheesecake filling (sweetened with honey of course) is topped with a variety of Downton Abbey fruit preserves to create the prettiest of swirls!

Overhead image showing cheesecake mixture, baking pan with crusts and ingredients.

How to Make Cheesecake Bites

When mini cheesecake bites line a muffin pan with liners for easy removal. I love the selection found at Cost Plus World Market. You can add a fun twist or theme with liners to suit any party…including a Downton Abbey themed tea party!

  • Crust:
    • Combine crushed Viennese cookies and butter then press into liners.
    • Pressing the crust firmly helps it hold together once baked.
  • Filling:
    • For best results, ensure all ingredients are room temperature before mixing.
    • Beat together filling ingredients until light and fluffy.
    • Use a batter dispenser penbatter dispenser pen to fill the cupcake liners evenly and easily.

swirling preserved into bite sized cheesecakes before baking

  • Topping:
    • Add your favorite Downton Abbey fruit preserves on top of the cream cheese before baking
    • Use one flavor or a combination.
    • Using a toothpick, swirl the preserves to create pretty patterns before baking.

Bake and cool completely. Once cooled, remove from the liners and serve. Even better, in this summer heat try frozen cheesecake bites for a refreshing snack on a hot day!

Jams, Curds & Marmalades

When it comes to topping these cheesecake bites we used a variety of fruit preserves. The main difference being the flavor and consistency.

This fall, the worldwide phenomenon DOWNTON ABBEY, becomes a grand motion picture event, as the beloved Crawleys and their intrepid staff prepare for the most important moment of their lives. A royal visit from the King and Queen of England will unleash scandal, romance and intrigue that will leave the future of Downton hanging in the balance. Written by series creator Julian Fellowes and starring the original cast.

In theaters September 20. Get tickets now

Downton Abbey Collection Exclusive to Cost Plus World Market only.

Join Cost Plus World Market ALL DAY on Saturday, September 14th for their #DoTheDownton Virtual Tea Party!

They’ll be giving away World Market gift cards and movie tickets all day on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Plus, upload a photo on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter of your Do The Downton Tea Party pose (pinky up) for a chance to win a $150 World Market gift card and more.

Cost Plus World Market Downton Abbey fruit preserves and honey.

  • Jam: Downton Abbey Traditional Black Currant Jam is a thicker fruit preserve. It contains not just the juice but the flesh of the fruit as well.  This sweet spread gives a delicious texture to this cheesecake bite recipe.
  • Lemon Curd: Usually made with citrus flavors, Downton Abbey Lemon Curd differs from the other fruit preserves in texture. It is a smooth, very vibrantly flavored spread that is perfect on top of cheesecake!
  • Marmalade: Downton Abbey Orange Marmalade is similar to fruit preserve but easily recognized by the addition of the fruit peels. It has a distinctive bitter taste which is perfectly balanced with the sweet honey and cream cheese in this recipe!

Overview of all ingredients and cookware used in this recipe.

Cost Plus World Market is one of my favorite places. I can easily spend hours browsing through the aisles. I always seem to be able to find something I absolutely ‘need’! They have beautiful napkins, linens, and kitchen items from gadgets to prep and decor (my weakness)! They have gourmet and International foods, not to mention wines, and now a Downton Abbey themed line of tea time essentials!

All of the prep and serving items I used in this recipe (and most of the ingredients) were purchased at Downton Abbey Orange Marmalade. You can head to your local store (find a store closest to you here) or purchase your favorites online below!

More Cheesecake Recipes You’ll Love

 

Easy Cheesecake Bites

A rich creamy cheesecake filling is nestled on an easy cookie crust and swirled with our favorite preserves. 

  • 4 Downton Abbey Viennese Cookies
  • 1 tablespoon butter (melted)
  • 16 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons Downton Abbey Orange Marmalade
  • 4 teaspoons Downton Abbey Blackcurrant Jam
  • 4 teaspoons Downton Abbey Lemon Curd
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with 12 foil liners.

  2. Crush cookies and melted butter in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Divide over liners and press firmly to form a crust.

  3. Beat cream cheese In a medium bowl until fluffy. Add honey, lemon, eggs and extract. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Divide cream cheese over each cookie crust. Add one teaspoon of Downton Abbey Orange Marmalade to top of 4 of the cheese cakes. Repeat with blackcurrant jam and lemon curd.

  5. Using a toothpick, slightly swirl the jam/marmalade/lemon curd.

  6. Bake 20-22 minutes or until set. Remove from oven, cool completely and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Cheesecake bite with a bite missing.
Cheesecake bite with a bite missing.
Top photo-A cheesecake bite with a bite missing. Bottom photo-ingredients assembled to make Cheesecake Bites.

Easy Lemon Blueberry Cake

Lemon Blueberry Cake is a sweet and refreshing way to enjoy those end-of-summer blueberries. Plump fresh blueberries are baked in lemony sweet coffee cake and topped with a zesty lemon glaze and freshly whipped cream! 

A coffee cake, with tea, coffee, or even an Irish coffee, is the perfect way to start the morning or end the day.

A slice of lemon blueberry cake on a plate. Garnished with a slice of lemon and blueberries.

What’s in Lemon Blueberry Cake?

Much like a lemon blueberry bread, this cake is made with real blueberries that pop with flavor, pure butter, and bright, citrusy lemons that all come to together to make this delicious from-scratch recipe. This easy recipe is a bit like a poke cake as once its baked, we poke holes in it and drizzle it with a fresh lemon glaze. The glaze adds a bold lemony flavor to every bite.

Serve topped with dollop of freshly whipped cream or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Lemon cake batter with blueberries being folded in.

To Make Lemon Blueberry Cake

Only the freshest flavors of lemon and blueberry are mixed together in this easy cake!

To Make the Cake:

  1. Zest & juice lemons.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, and eggs (per recipe below) and whisk dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the flour and milk alternately to butter mixture. Then fold in blueberries carefully so they stay whole!
  4. Add to prepared pan and bake.

Baking Tip: Tossing fruit with a bit of flour before adding to a batter keeps it evenly distributed and can help keep the color from bleeding.

Lemon Blueberry Cake batter in a poured into a 9x13 pan.

Lemon Glaze

While the cake is baking boil sugar and fresh lemon juice. Poke the cake with the end of a wooden spoon or even a chopstick while still warm.

Drizzle with the lemon glaze and let it cool completely. The lemony flavor will seep into every morsel keeping the cake moist and delicious!

Two images showing the steps to poke and then cover cake with lemon glaze.

This lemon blueberry cake is the perfect pair to a coffee or dessert date with friends. Just cut generous slices and serve with whipped cream and a cup of coffee!

How to Tell When a Cake is Ready

Aside from the amazing aroma, the best way to tell if the lemon blueberry cake is done is by inserting a wooden pick in the center after it’s done baking. If the skewer or pick comes out clean, it’s done!

How Long Will Blueberry Cake Last?

As long as it stays covered, the lemon blueberry cake will last about a week. It can be frozen too as long as it is fully cooled! Don’t forget to label and seal it tight!

Have Your Cake & Eat It Too!

Lemon Blueberry Cake

Blueberries baked in lemony sweet coffee cake and topped with a homemade lemon glaze! 

  • 3/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar (divided)
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 lemons (divided use)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups whipped cream (or whipped topping)
  1. Zest and juice lemons and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.

  3. Cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well.
  4. Whisk flour, lemon zest, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Combine milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

  5. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixture to the butter mixture. Toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour. Gently mix into batter.

  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30-35 minutes or just until a toothpick comes out clean.

  7. Meanwhile, bring remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice to a boil, boil 1 minute and set aside to cool slightly.

  8. Remove cake from the oven and poke cake with a skewer or chopstick. Drizzle holes with lemon glaze. Cool completely.

  9. Once cooled top with whipped cream or whipped topping.

Top photo shows a slice of lemon blueberry cake on a plate. Bottom photo shows the cake batter in the pan.
A slice of lemon blueberry cake on a white plate with lemon and blueberry garnish.
A slice of lemon blueberry cake on a white plate with lemon and blueberry garnish.

Quick & Easy Peach Dump Cake

Peach Dump Cake is one of the easiest ever dessert recipes. This simple recipe needs just a handful of ingredients including canned peaches, boxed cake mix and butter. 

Simply dump all the ingredients into a pan and bake until golden and delicious. It’s so easy to make, even the most novice of bakers can master this one!

A serving of peach dump cake in a bowl topped with ice cream.

What is Peach Dump Cake?

It’s a cross between a peach cobbler and a crisp. This recipe is even better because there is little need for prep (or skill) and it comes together super fast. While this recipe uses cake mix, it does not come out like a cake, it’s more similar to a cobbler.

When you’re invited to something last minute, you can whip up this dessert in mere minutes! Canned peaches, a pre-made cake mix, some butter, and a few spices are all you need!

Peaches in a 9x13 pan to make peach dump cake

What Peaches Should You Use?

Fresh (or Frozen) Peaches: To take advantage of the late summer peach harvest you can use fresh peaches. These will stay firmer while baking. Peel peaches (I use this peeling method here), slice and mix with 2 tablespoons sugar. Let sit 30 minutes or so until they become juicy.

If using frozen peaches allow them to defrost in a bowl with a bit of sugar. Do not discard the juices.

Canned Peaches: Canned peaches are used in this recipe and the heavy syrup is the liquid binder that blends everything together! Canned peaches mean you can make this amazing cobbler any time of the year! And trust me, you’ll want to!

Peaches topped with cake mix and butter for making a peach dump cake.

To Make Peach Dump Cake

With just four ingredients it’s super easy to make this dump cake from scratch! And it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Pour three cans of the peaches (draining one) in a dish.
  2. Sprinkle cake mixture over the top of the peaches, then top with pats of butter.
  3. Bake (per recipe below) until the top is golden brown and bubbly.

Remove from oven and serve with a big dollop of whipped cream or even better a scoop of ice cream

Peach dump cake baked in a pan.

Reheating Peach Dump Cake

The best way to reheat peach dump cake, if you have smaller portions, is to microwave it. If you have an entire peach dump cake to reheat, then heat it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350°F or until warm. Again, serve it with whipped cream or ice cream and it’s like new again!

Can It Be Frozen?

Dump cakes, just like cobblers can be frozen up to six to eight months. Use freezer and oven safe containers to avoid extra dishes!

Must-Try Peach Desserts

Peach Dump Cake

This is an easy 4 ingredient cobbler style dish, perfect any time of year!

  • 3 cans peaches ( in heavy syrup (14-15 ounces each) )
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice (cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature, sliced into 24 slices)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a 9×13 dish add 2 cans of the peaches with the heavy syrup.

  2. Drain the 3rd can of peaches and add just the peaches to the dish. Stir to combine.
  3. Whisk together the yellow cake mix and the apple pie spice and sprinkle over the top covering all the peaches.

  4. Pat the mixture down lightly. Place the sliced butter squares equally over the top of the cake mix.

  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until deep golden brown and the fruit is bubbly.

  6. Let sit for 15 minutes before scooping.

A serving of peach dump cake in a bowl topped with ice cream.
A serving of peach dump cake in a bowl topped with ice cream.
Top photo - A serving of peach dump cake in a bowl topped with ice cream. Bottom photo - dump cake in a large baking dish.